Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Articles: Phantasy finally gets a buyer

More music venue news in Cleveland.  I can’t say I’ll miss The Phantasy all that much - but losing the Chamber hurts.




"The circa-1915 building, which runs between 11794 to 11814 Detroit Ave. and spans more than 54,000 square feet, has found a buyer.


'It's under contract to be sold, but as in any commercial real estate transaction there is a due diligence period that is not up until Aug. 4,' according to Rachele Glynias, who has been handling the listing for Howard Hanna Real Estate. The


The complex features three liquor licenses and is anchored by the Phantasy Nightclub. It also boasts the popular goth-rock lair, the Chamber, a long-running bar-club called the Symposium and, of course, the Phantasy Music Theater.


The complex also boasts something more nebulous, but just as vital to the music scene: countless musical memories.


Nine Inch Nails debuted at the Phantasy. The Ramones, Iggy Pop, the Pogues, the Damned, the Psychedelic Furs, the Cramps, Motorhead and the B-52s all played there. The Phantasy was also fertile soil for Cleveland's ascending 1970s and 1980s music scenes."


(Via Storied Phantasy Entertainment Complex in Lakewood under contract to be sold (photos) | cleveland.com.)

"After nearly three years on the market, the Phantasy Cleveland (which includes The Chamber nightclub) has been purchased by an unidentified buyer as first reported on Friday. A real estate source told NEOtrans's Ken Prendergast that the buyer will likely be ending the property's run as a performing arts venue and will remove its three bars in place of residential, offices and additional parking."

(Via Cleveland's Goth Community to Cry More Than Usual With Selling of Phantasy Nightclub in Lakewood | Scene and Heard: Scene's News Blog.)

Video Day #tzachill

Meshell Ndegeocello released this joyful video for Sensitivity, off her amazing covers album.  Josh Rouse has been killing it with this new album, and now has a vintage video for Salton Sea.  Saintseneca just posted a really creative video for their new single, Ladder to the Sun. 

Bonus: Max Richter just re-issued his Blue Notebooks and created a short film for his piece On The Nature of Daylight starring the indelible Elisabeth Moss, who produced the film.  Stunning work on both their parts.

Jupiter & Okwess (7/14/18)

If you haven’t heard about FRONT International: An American City events happening around the city - don’t wait!  So much cool stuff happening, and this show was just the beginning.  It was great to have Uptown closed off for this FRONT opening concert celebration with Jupiter & Okwess from Congo to kick off a series of excellent music events around the city.  The entire City Stages schedule can be found here. (Sidi TourĂ© tomorrow night!)

Jupiter  Okwess  7 14 18

Jupiter  Okwess  7 14 18

Article: Agora undergoes a $3 million-plus facelift and emerges as a jewel among Cleveland concert venues

Speaking of the Agora, it’s lookin’ good these days!  A nice update to one of Cleveland’s venerable music venues.  I’m still disappointed that they’re using metal detectors to get in, but I guess that’s the world we live in now.

12 Theatre After

"'We didn't want to polish the character out of it,'' said Miller, explaining why AEG Presents chose to fix and update certain things - like the new polished concrete floors in the theater and ballroom, the fancy fixtures and perfect stalls in the now-pristine bathrooms and the multiple upscale bars and point-of-sale systems spread throughout the facility - and yet retain and restore things like the French matte-style tiles.

The sound system, too, has been upgraded, as has the lighting system, which should help make the Agora once again a jewel in Cleveland's burgeoning concert scene."

(Via Agora undergoes a $3 million-plus facelift and emerges as a jewel among Cleveland concert venues | cleveland.com.)

The War on Drugs (7/13/18)

Having seen these guys back in 2014 at the Grog Shop, I knew it’d be a good show - but damn!  The band was superb, but throw in the light show and it’s probably one of the best shows I’ve seen in the Agora!  All the more excited to see these guys at Pitchfork Music Festival this weekend...

The War on Drugs  7 13 18

The War on Drugs  7 13 18

The War on Drugs  7 13 18

"The brass sealed the deal for me. For my money, Jon Natchez's droning ambience on sax took most of last night's set from The War on Drugs to another level of heavy, all-encompassing American rock. Never overdone, it was properly placed in the context of each tune, each jam.

That's essentially how the band works as a whole. Adam Granduciel's delicate compositions are built on a fine layering technique. In the live setting, the band replicates it beautifully.”

(Via The War on Drugs Subsumes The Agora With Massive, Unrelenting American Rock | Scene and Heard: Scene's News Blog.)

Friday, July 13, 2018

Weezer / Pixies (7/11/18)

I was surprised to see Pixies and Weezer touring together!  While I’d be intrigued to see each of them separately, put them together at Blossom with $20 lawn seats, and I’ll definitely go!  While neither band has been top of my agenda lately, both have had some great songs - and it was fun to be sitting outside on a beautiful evening with friends to watch.  That being said, capturing media of the show wasn’t my top priority, but here’s what I got… (Scene’s review below)

Pixies  7 11 18

Weezer  7 11 18

"The band’s expermintal new album blurs the lines between pop and alternative. It seemed like an alright plan, but the issue is that Weezer is not Imagine Dragons, and they should be held to a higher standard. But they’re also not the Beach Boys, the group that inspired the new album. When Weezer stops trying so hard to be somebody else and stays true to itself, the magic happens, and that’s what happened onstage last night.

‘We have a lot to talk about right now,’ said drummer Patrick Wilson. ‘It’s Scott’s birthday and Weezer’s cover of Toto’s ‘Africa’ went straight to the top of the charts.’"

(Via Weezer Focuses on the Hits for Its Blossom Show | Scene and Heard: Scene's News Blog.)

Article: Cain Park celebrates 80 years of outdoor arts in Cleveland Heights

This being Cain Park's Art Festival weekend, I thought it would be a good time to share this article… 

Esperanza Spalding  7 25 17

"For 80 years, Cain Park in Cleveland Heights has entertained audiences under the stars with quality theatre, nationally-known musical and comedy acts, and arts showcases.

Bob Hope, Harry Belafonte, Sarah McLachlan, Livingston Taylor, and Bela Fleck and the Flecktones are just some of the famous names that have graced the Evans Amphitheater stage, while theater productions like The Toxic Avenger, Hair, and Bat Boy The Musical have attracted sold-out crowds.

Renowned actors like Hal Holbrook, Dom DeLuise, Carol Kane, Jack Weston, and Pernell Roberts have also performed over the park’s history on sets designed by industrial artist and Cleveland native Viktor Schreckengost. And then there's the yearly Cain Park Arts Festival, a three-day juried art event held each July drawing as many as 150 local and national artists, selling their work at every price point."

(Via Cain Park celebrates 80 years of outdoor arts in Cleveland Heights.)

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Tri-C Jazz Fest (6/30/18)

After a beautiful night seeing Ray LaMontagne & Neko Case at Nautica, we stumbled upon Tri-C’s Jazz Fest in Playhouse Square!  I always have plans to go every year, but seeing this will make it a priority next year!

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Ray LaMontagne / Neko Case (6/30/18)

A beautiful night outside on the river, watching Neko Case & Ray LaMontange = no brainer.  Both were as excellent as always, and I particularly loved the shout out to the Beachland Ballroom crew by Neko Case.  Love that woman.
Neko Case  6 30 18
Neko Case  6 30 18
As for Ray, I’ll let Scene take it from here:

"Wearing a ragged cowboy hat and jeans (he owns a farm, so he can pull it off), LaMontagne ignored his more popular tunes like ‘Jolene,’ ‘Trouble’ and ‘Supernova.’ And yet, with the backing of his fine four-piece band, he still managed to deliver an engaging set that had a quiet intensity to it (he’s said in interviews that some of the songs on Part of the Light reference the current political climate) in front of a respectful crowd that filled about three-fourths of the venue.
He's a real class act, and his fans seem to acknowledge and understand that he enjoys performing live even if he doesn't offer much in the way of banter.
Alt-country singer-songwriter Neko Case opened with a 40-minute set that adroitly veered from tender ballads to power-pop anthems. Her five-piece band nicely complimented her powerful voice, and she capably switched from tambourine to electric and acoustic guitar during her performance."
(Via Ray LaMontagne Taps Into a Classic '60s Vibe at Jacobs Pavilion at Nautica | Scene and Heard: Scene's News Blog.)
Ray LaMontagne  6 30 18
Ray LaMontagne  6 30 18

Friday, June 29, 2018

Video Day #tzaupbeat

Chaka Khan is back (!) and has a slick new video for a slick new track that’s Like Sugar.  A Tribe Called Quests’ newest (and last) video for The Space Program is finally unrestricted and available for the masses. Computer Magic has a synth-inspired video for their new single Perfect Game.

Bonus: "The theme of anti-elitism is represented in the video by the array of American people finding joy in each other, in simple acts and in the places they call home — a salute to the unsung, modern-day American.” (link)