Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Heights Music Hop 2018

The ever-expanding Heights Music Hop taking place all over Cleveland Heights was this past weekend.  Thursday night was in Coventry, Friday night in Cedar Fairmount, and Saturday was the major effort happening all over the Cedar Lee area.  My time was limited this year and I was only able to hit Friday night. I was excited to catch back up with p.stoops and Wildcard Leader, both bands I’ve seen before and was happy to see again in some different environments.  First was p.stoops at The Fairmount. 

P stoops  9 14 18

P stoops  9 14 18

Next was Wildcard Leader at Still Point Gallery.

Wildcard Leader  9 14 18

I’m hoping to dedicate some more time next year to catch and cover all three nights!

Givers (9/13/18)

Chromeo was in town at the Agora on this night, which was a tempting option - but I was very exited to finally being seeing Givers at the Beachland Tavern instead.  I’ve been collecting and listening to all their albums going back to 2011.  The crowd was a little thin, but the whole band busted in and went around the room giving everyone high-fives on their way to the stage.  One of the best ways to engage a small audience, and immediately got everyone up front and listening!  I was stoked!  Unfortunately those embers died out as they continued, and I disconnected.  Very lively, but something wasn’t clicking for me for the rest of the show.  My friends dropped off, as I eventually did.   I’m not writing them off. Bands are people too, and deserve second chances.

Givers  9 13 18

Givers  9 13 18

Ani DiFranco (9/11/18)

I’ve seen Ani so many times now, that there’s not much else to say.  This is already my second time this year, with her performance at Nelsonville being the first in a festival format.  This tour was her Rise Up tour, where she was amping up and choosing songs to particularly motivate in this tumultuous political environment.  She dusted off some great songs and played across her entire cannon.  The intimacy of the Kent Stage was a refreshing transition for a festival environment.

Ani DiFranco  9 11 18

Ani DiFranco  9 11 18

Ani DiFranco  9 11 18

Opening is Peter Mulvey, who has a new album out on Righteous Babe Records.  While I can’t say I was thrilled with his performance, I will totally endorse him as a great storyteller - the sign of any great songwriter.

Peter Mulvey  9 11 18

Chad Valley (9/7/18)

Chad Valley is a pop artist, who despite being from the UK, I’ve seen multiple times here in Cleveland (2011 / 2014 / 2016)!  This was his second time headlining, and his first time at the Winchester Music Tavern.   He had his signature soaring, throwback pop vocal sound.  No band, just backed by a solid light wall and his charming personality and sound.

Chad Valley  9 7 18

Chad Valley  9 7 18

Equally appealing to me at this show was Bliss Nova, a new-to-me pop band from nearby Toledo, OH!  A city near where I grew up, a place I don’t hear about many bands originating from, let alone some pretty good pop acts.  Two guys on a drum set and keyboard were really entertaining, and hoping I’ll get to catch them again soon!

Bliss Nova  9 7 18

Bliss Nova  9 7 18

Monday, September 17, 2018

Video Day #tzaupbeat

Generationals just surprised me with a new video for their single It May Get Bad When You’re Lonely and Cold.   Tunde Olaniran is a new discovery with a fabulous new video for I’m Here.  Ryan Hemsworth continues to delight with his new video for Special Girl ft. SK & Tomggg.

Bonus:  I’m continually charmed by Mary Lambert.  She’s got a great voice and an effervescent personality.  Both of these show in this video for I’d Be Your Wife.

 

Monday, September 3, 2018

Lucy Wainwright Roche (9/2/18)

Lucy Wainwright Roche continues to cement herself as one of my favorite singer-songwriters.  It’s not hard to believe coming from music royalty, but she has a sound, style and presence that is all her own.  Last night she swung through Oberlin (her alma mater) to give a free show at Finney Chapel.  It was a great evening in Oberlin, bouncing around the charming town before the show began. When she took the (very warm) stage, she charmed us with her songwriting and conversation, as usual.  Her cover songs are always perfectly selected as well.  Check several of them out in the video below!

Lucy Wainwright Roche  9 2 18

She even brought out the puppy for the “encore!” 

Lucy Wainwright Roche  9 2 18

Video Day #tzachill

This Video Day is (almost) all about the new Blood Orange album.  I’ve been waiting a while on this one, and it’s totally worth the wait.  Check out the videos for Charcoal Baby, Jewelry and Saint.

Bonus: A sultry (and intense!) video from Son Little for The Middle.

M.A.K.U. Soundsystem (8/29/18)

M.A.K.U. Soundsystem performed at the PNC Glenville Arts Campus as part of Front International’s City Stages series.  Yet another great show in this series focusing on bringing international artists from around the world.  This was a first, seeing a concert outside in the Glenville area of Cleveland too!

M A K U Soundsystem  8 29 18

M A K U Soundsystem  8 29 18

M A K U Soundsystem  8 29 18

InCuya 2018

Wow.  Great job InCuya!!  Cleveland hosted it's first major music festival downtown, and I’m hoping it’s here to stay.  It was so well organized and the city looked amazing.  We even stayed downtown at the Hilton, so I had the advantage of feeling like a tourist in my own city.  Great job Cleveland!!
The music was just as good.  Great diversity, as shown from the headliners alone - SZA, The Avett Brothers, New Order and Awolnation.  Equally present were some of Cleveland’s finest, including The Modern Electric and Seafair.  More comprehensive reviews below.  Now we all wait and cross our fingers for another year (and maybe even an additional day!)
InCuya 2018
InCuya 2018
InCuya 2018
InCuya 2018

"To rectify the situation here in Cleveland, a group of local investors operating as the Cleveland Concert Company partnered with AEG Presents, Destination Cleveland, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and the city to launch the InCuya Music Festival. The inaugural event took place this past weekend on Malls B and C.
You can see photos from Day 1 and Day 2.
The setting was fantastic. Located on Mall B, the larger City Stage had the city skyline as a backdrop and the smaller Lake Stage, located on Mall C, looked out upon Lake Erie."
(Via InCuya Music Festival Makes an Impressive Debut | Scene and Heard: Scene's News Blog.)

"'This is what you see when you're visiting another city where they're having a festival,'' said Harris, indicating the expanse of the malls and the growing crowds.
Laura Bennett, who grew up in the United Kingdom and now lives in Chagrin Falls, has traveled the world and seen festivals around the globe, said it was really good to see Cleveland take advantage of its burgeoning metropolitan scene.
'It's good to see a downtown grow and change,'' said Bennett, who has called Northeast Ohio home for 14 years.
If this weekend is any indication, that growth and change is going to continue, if for no other reason than the motto on a booth for a business aimed at boosting unique entrepreneurial startups"
(Via InCuya Music Festival enjoys a stunning inaugural in downtown Cleveland.)

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Video Day #tzaubpeat

Finally! Empress Of has a new album coming out, and this is the video for her delightful first single, When I’m With Him. There’s nothing complicated about how delightful this new video is from Mursa Masa.  Computer Magic just put out another video for Clouds, from their excellent Danz release this year. 

Bonus: Our own Marcus Alan Ward droppes an *excellent* dance video for his new single, Please.