Thursday, March 31, 2011

PressPausePlay Movie @ CIFF

Hopefully you're catching some movies at the Cleveland International Film Festival, going on now!  If you need any help picking a movie, how about this interesting documentary called PressPausePlay.  Airing:

  • Saturday, April 2 9:15 AM
  • Sunday, April 3 4:15 PM

And as part of their YouTube channel, an amazing piece on vinyl and it's future:

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


The story of a Cleveland rapper making it.  Lace up.

Out This Week: The Pains of Being Pure at Heart

The Pains of Being Pure At Heart release their second full album this week.  Listen to it in the entirety below... maybe you'll love it as much as the Internet's biggest music nerd (review below) - who I would tend to agree with.  btw... they're touring, with the closest stop being at the Basement in Columbus on Saturday, April 30th.

Pains of being pure at heart belong 608x608

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Video Tuesday

Alright, enough of the Tech / Industry talk... back to the music!  First is a gorgeous new video from Akron/Family (who was just here).  Second is a new video from the Dodos (who is coming - June 7th @ Grog Shop).  Finally, a band that everyone is talking about, that I would like to come here soon, The Head and the Heart.

Let the Games Begin! Amazon Drops the Cloud Bomb

How interesting... (not playable via iOS, and it's not a Flash thing)

GettingStarted TCG V184037123

Amazon Cloud Player goes live, streams music on your computer and Android -- Engadget

"Oh snap! Look who just ate Apple and Google's lunch here? Minutes ago, Amazon rolled out its very own music streaming service which is conveniently dubbed the Amazon Cloud Player. Existing Amazon customers in the US can now upload their MP3 purchases to their 5GB cloud space -- upgradable to a one-year 20GB plan for free upon purchasing an MP3 album, with additional plans starting at $20 a year -- and then start streaming on their computers or Android devices. Oh, and did we mention that this service is free of charge as well? Meanwhile, someone will have some catching up to do, but we have a feeling it won't take them too long."

(Continued... Amazon Cloud Player goes live, streams music on your computer and Android -- Engadget)

Monday, March 28, 2011

Free Downloads: Beehive Recording Company

Interesting idea... If you following the link to the video, you'll need to have plenty of time to watch a guy ramble on for way too long -- but he is doing something cool.  I understand the necessity of an all digital distribution vehicle, but not releasing any supporting vinyl is a bummer.



Pay-What-You-Want Music Label Opens In Detroit - hypebot

This Detroit music label is a great example of disruptive thinking. When thinking disruptively, the goal is to flip assumptions on their head. Case in point: Beehive Recording. All the music is free. All the recording and art services are free. Just donate what you can. The new album won't be released in three months; it will be released in three days. Fans create an account on the site and download all the music they want. Just pay what you can. Popularity is measured by downloads, not sales. Founder Stephen Nawara wants to put his city's music on the map and ignite a tribe around the music he loves. So he started a music label, thought disruptively, and flipped industry clichés around. Nawara releases one single a every week, twenty-five singles so far. The site has 600 site members. 3,500 - 4,000 downloads have occured to date. Artists get free distribution, recording, photography, and recognition, among other things. We realize this isn't a new idea, but the interview below is interesting.

(Continued... Pay-What-You-Want Music Label Opens In Detroit - hypebot)

Article: The Hidden Challenges of Subscription Music

An article on why subscription music may not be all it's cracked up to be, despite the incessant push by the industry for us to pay monthly fees for our music.  I struggle with this model and would have a real hard time going this route.  The deals may be nice starting out, but once you've moved from owning to renting, then you've lost price control.

Screen shot 2011 03 27 at 8 02 32 PM

The Hidden Challenges of Subscription Music

As I argued previously, subscription music remains a niche product and in company efforts to appeal to casual music fans, they may grow alienated and be turned away.

Logic tells us that casual fans do not want to use apps that ask too much of them. Yet in lowering the amount of effort that users must exert in order to build collections companies run the risk of taking away the opportunities for personalization and customization that are essential to users forming a lasting connection to their music. In this essay, we are going to expand on this theory and explore why free-trials are too short, what service features are essential to converting free users into subscribers, and the importance of preserving the cognitive benefits of music ownership."

(Continued... The Hidden Challenges of Subscription Music - MTT - Music Think Tank)


Sunday, March 27, 2011

New Find: Generationals (Coming Soon)

These guys make me wanna go to the Ra Ra Riot show at the Grog Shop, Friday, April 8th. (They're Opening!)


Some new songs, coming from their April 12th release, Actor-Caster (buy it on Insound)

"You probably don’t associate feel-good indie pop with New Orleans, but that’s the hometown of Ted Joyner and Grant Widmer, the duo otherwise known as Generationals. The band takes it’s inspiration from the bright, good-natured sounds of vintage 60’s-era pop while apt comparisons could also be made to present-day indie pop like Bishop Allen and Oh No Oh My. The band demonstrated their knack for a great pop hook and penchant for sunshine pop of yore with their debut album Con Law and they have a new album called Actor-Caster coming out this month which promises to combine their classic pop inklings with more electronic and synth elements."

(Continued... Generationals | Music For Kids Who Can't Read Good: Hit me with your genie's bottle)

An Island Screening Photo(s)

So remember that screening of An Island I hosted last month?  Well, part of the instructions were to take a picture of the group watching and submit them to the band.  They posted all photos on their Flickr stream, highlighting a very interesting snapshot of people from all over the world.


Our contribution:

17 Feb 2011 / My House / Cleveland Height, OH USA

Khaira Arby (3/23/11)

So the Wednesday night concert series at The Spot (UBP/CWRU) had their own little SXSW night last week.  After doing a little research, it seemed like an extremely varied evening of music with a LOT of potential.  On the bill was Khaira Arby, Wise Blood, and Pictureplane.  Luckily I was there to make the first show, and was a little surprised it was Khaira Arby and her group from Mali.

Khaira Arby (3/23/11)

Ever since seeing Babatune Olantuji back in my BGSU days, I've had a soft spot for the African Rythm (how cheesy does that sound).  Anyway, another one of my favorites has been Ali Farka Touré (who I unfortunately missed at the Spot last year).  I later found out Khaira is a cousin of Ali...

Khaira Arby (3/23/11)

I can't say I have any legitmacy in saying anything about the music itself, but Khaira sounded as good as any other in that genre of music for me. Great to hear recorded, even more amazing live.

Khaira Arby (3/23/11)

Here's what I'm talking about:

As for the rest of the night, the other acts... it's best I just keep this positive and leave them out.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Drew Gibson (3/21/11)

Another night of great night of music at the Barking Spider Tavern with Drew Gibson...  Looking forward to that new album, someday soon!

Drew Gibson (3/21/11)

Drew Gibson (3/21/11)

Download This: Raleigh Moncrief

Check this track out from Raleigh Moncrief...  Pretty amazing stuff. Wish I had more deets, but I'll definitely be keeping my eye out for this release.

(download a copy here)

Raleigh Moncrief  Vitamins EP  cover

Sacramento, California's Raleigh Moncrief creates a blend of existential reflection and ecstatic, profound epiphany on his debut LP Watered Lawn. Following a string of EP's and singles in 2009 and 2010, Watered Lawn finds Moncrief at his most focused and concise, blending the hip hop and post dub-step present in his past releases seamlessly with his gravely, damaged voice and virtuosic guitar. His dense and warbling textures lend themselves to creating an atmosphere where light shines only through cracks in decaying walls of sound. A producer at heart, Moncrief worked closely with Dave Longstreth in 2008 to design the sound of the Dirty Projectors' breakthrough album Bitte Orca, his taste for bewildering sounds complimenting Longstreth's bizarro-pop modusoperandi. Most recently, he has completed the forthcoming full-length for the post-garage rock group Ganglians.

"Lament for Morning" is the first single off the upcoming album Watered Lawn. Feel free to post and let me know if you'd like more info.


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Out Last Week

Still catching up... these are a couple new releases that should have been mentioned last week...

Noah & the Whale: Last Night on Earth



The Dodos: No Color

The Dodos No Color

I'd love to see these guys live someday...

MEN (3/13/11)

This was the show to see this month.  Having an awesome experience seeing Le Tigre, I was excited to see what (Cleveland's native) JD Sampson would do with her new side project, MEN.  I was a little surprise more people weren't out that night, though Sunday nights suck for shows.

Katastrophe opened.  I can't say I had any expectations, but when you got up close, you could see he knew how to bring the beats (and people on stage).

Katastrophe (3/13/11)

Katastrophe (3/13/11)

Regardless, MEN brought the show, starting out with the giant inter-connected pink triangle helmet.

MEN (3/13/11)

The rest of the show saw JD & crew pumping out the rest of her pop/dance beats.

MEN (3/13/11)

MEN (3/13/11)

All radio-worthy, though probably never be played... how could they resist such fun beats as:


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Video Tuesday

It's been a crazy-busy couple weeks and I'm still catching up... Here's a random smattering of videos I've been sitting on for a while. Enjoy some (relatively) new Fanfarlo, a slick video for our own Lighthouse and the Whaler, and some Chiddy Bang, who I really want to hear more from.

(and purely on a dorky side-note - this is my first Video Tuesday that I get to take advantage of my new blog format with 560px width videos!)

Cellar Door Records: Volume III // Believeland

Missed this show last Friday, but this compilation is still worth checking out...


Volume III//Believeland Cellar Door Records | CoolCleveland Blog

"Volume III//Believeland Cellar Door Records Cellar Door Records has done you a favor compiling a one-album-Cleveland-smorgasbord of music, ridden with some of Cleveland’s best. The sixth release from the local record label, Volume III//Believeland features 13 local acts, ranging from the guitar-picking folk of Tom Evanchuck to the indie pop of The Modern Electric.

Other artists included are those whom Cleveland has come to know well — Joshua Jesty, Keith Vance, Justin Markert and Doug Ivancic. The mellow indie folk of Tinamou and Humble Home rounds out the compilation, bringing honest songs and an organic touch. Female-fronted Diamonds & Pearls adds indie rock to the mix, boasting Zooey Deschanel-esque vocals and a polished sound. Lastly are David Beans and his ambient tunes, as well as an acoustic Rob Geer, Moonshake, E. React, and Bridget Davis. To put it simply, this is a very eclectic compilation, and you will not be disappointed in what Cleveland is doing in music."

(Continued... Volume III//Believeland Cellar Door Records | CoolCleveland Blog)



Sunday, March 20, 2011


SXSW has been all over the music world these last couple weeks (ending today I believe).  Here's a clip to show you what you missed...

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Video Tuesday

A beautiful Diamond Rings video for It's Not My Party.  New Lykke Li with I Know Places. And finally, new REM with Peaches!!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Laura Stevenson & the Cans (3/8/11)

Laura Stevenson & the Cans hooked me with their alt-folk sound - one of my favorite "genres" of music when done right - as well as her quivering, vulnerable voice.  Throw in a story about her being in a former DIY punk collective and I'm sold.

But even before she took the stage, I was interested in seeing Signals Midwest, who is Max Stern's band (unfortunately I missed Two Hand Fools).  You may remember, I first saw him open up for Drink Up Buttercup. I could see he had a lot of talent as a solo performer, but wanted to see what he could do with a band.  They were a lot of fun, as were the other openers, The Sidekicks.  I get a kick out of seeing solid local acts, and both these bands qualified. Sign me up for their next performance.

Signals Midwest (3/8/11)

The Sidekicks (3/8/11)

Unfortunately, or fortunately, the crowd cleared out a little bit for Laura and band.  She had a kind of meek demeanor on stage, which I wasn't expecting - but then given the intimacy of her songs and performance, it made sense.  And actually made the show.  Not a straight up singer/songwriter performance, there was some great diversity and depth.  Essentially - everything I was hoping for.

Laura Stevenson & Cans (3/8/11)

Laura Stevenson & Cans (3/8/11)

Their new album, Sit Resist will be out on April 26th. More photos here:

Friday, March 11, 2011

Out This Week: Luke Rathborne (Stream EP)

Another interesting release... check out the video below to see what Luke Rathborne is all about.

Dog Years embraces Rathborne's more pop aesthetic - not shinny, happy pop, but effervescent, melancholic pop. The title title track offers a cynical poke to not letting the "dog years" pass you by. If you hear a bit of Dylan in the New Yorker's tone, you aren't mistaken. He also cites a lot of '60s and '70s music like The Kinks and The Beatles as impacting those early tracks, written as a teenager in Maine.


Dog Years E.P. - Luke Rathborne by Luke Rathborne

Out This Week: Banjo or Freakout (Stream Album)

Looking for a great "dreamy" pop album?  Check out Banjo or Freakout, out this week.  I first discovered them when they released a free xmas EP back in December... I'm still listening.


Banjo or Freakout by Banjo or Freakout

"After a string of plaudits for remixes of artists as diverse as Bloc Party, Burial, Wild Beasts and Amy Winehouse, it wasnʼt long before Banjoʼs first EP Upside Down was received to critical praise across the board. Swathed in gauzy melancholia, itʼs a precursor to the introspective delirium of this album, though Alessioʻs approach to making music has never wavered: "I just want to write very personal pop songs that are not going to die in a couple of years, songs that have longevity, that you could go back to and listen in 10 years and still feel close to." Banjo Or Freakout does that, his twinkling revelries a distant cousin to future touring partner (this November) Gold Panda and his cinematic dream pop, dense yet ethereal."

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Stream: The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - Full Album

Check out the new album, Belong, from The Pains of Being Pure of Heart - in its entirety.

Tumblr lg35yl1KZh1qzbg4qo1 500

P.S. They're on tour, but only coming to Columbus. Saturday, April 30th at The Basement - WITH Twin Shadow!  Road Trip??

New Logo!!

I wanted to unveil this logo with a new blog design, but who am I kidding.  I can't wait...

Tza logo 500

A huge thanks to Verv Creative for an amazing process and result.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Tonight: Laura Stevenson & the Cans

Tonight at the Grog Shop, Laura Stevenson & the Cans ($7).  The Sidekicks are opening.

"Laura Stevenson & the Cans are crusaders of independent, do-it-yourself punk ethics. Crafting organic, minimalist melodies accompanied by detailed guitar and gorgeously sweet and soft vocals, the seven member-plus output playfully produces poised, perfected compositions." Venus Zine

Laura stevenson and the cans 1 hi res

Interesting Side Note:  Laura's Grandfather wrote "Little Drummer Boy" and "Do You Hear What I Hear" and her Grandmother sang with Benny Goodman.

Video Tuesday

A random little mix today. A great new video from R.E.M. for ÜBerlin. Another *strange* video from Yeasayer for I Remember (Free Singe Here). Finally, a new video from UK's The Go! Team

Akron/Family (3/3/11)

A Spangle Featured Performance for March: Akron/Family has finally come to Cleveland! Well, at least since I started really paying attention to their music, which has only been since the Set 'Em Wild, Set 'Em Free from 2009.  Still, their avant-garde folk/rock/jam style has held my interest, and has made me particularly interested to see how that translated live.

But first...  Delicate Steve opened up the night.  They've been here before, but this was my first chance to catch them.  Their Wondervisions album, releases on David Byrne's Luaka Bop Records, impresses me more and more, every time I hear it.  Being an instrumental album, I wasn't quite sure if it would hold up as well live as in the studio, but it definitely did.  The instrumentation was amazing, filled with incredible texture and energy.  The instruments filled any void possibly left by a lead vocal.

Delicate Steve (3/3/11)

I should have known that Akron/Family would have been a jam band live.  Honestly, I don't think they even stopped playing for the entire night.  At some points, people didn't even know when to clap or not.  Though, when done right, these kinds of shows can be awesome.  Tonight fell into that category.  Granted, some imbibement is always helpful.  Overall, a thrilling performance.

Akron/Family (3/3/11)

Akron/Family (3/3/11)

More photos here...

Monday, March 7, 2011

Dan Bern (3/2/11)

I was a little leery about this show.  Dan Bern and I go way back (1997) when I saw him perform in Bowling Green, OH.  I've seen him plenty of times since then, though not much recently.  The last time at the Tavern (2008) was a bust.  This time proved to be different, thankfully.

Dan Bern (3/2/11)

Dan Bern sounded good... though it started out a little dicey with him confronting a chatty "super-fan" at the bar - TWICE (ouch).  I was hoping this wouldn't turn tragic. Moving on, I was a little concerned listening to the likes of "turning over" and wondering if he just wasn't connecting with these old songs anymore - like this might be just "what he does" instead of what he feels.

Note that Dan hasn't had any serious full-album release of material anytime recently, just a couple EP's, live albums and a children's lullaby album. I doubt this is some newfound music distribution alternative.  Was he losing inspiration?

Dan Bern is one person that I want to see inspired.

Dan Bern (3/2/11)

Things were definitely looking up.  I was still feeling a bit skittish about taking photos, as no one else was - and I didn't want to be publicly chided.  Luckily, this night was broken up over 3 sets.  After the first, I just asked he minded and I was given a genuine "do whatever you like."

As the night continued, Dan really stepped it up, singing his signature, humorous story-telling songs.  In fact, Dan went on about how he envisions these stories as movies, then upon realizing they'll be impossible to make, they become songs.  Songs that are an impressive stream of consciousness, filled with biting satire and commentary on society.

Dan Bern (3/2/11)

He continued, making the audience laugh and sing along.  This is what I hoped a Dan Bern show would be.  He even remembered (and apologized) for his last time in Cleveland.  It was nice of him to remember and recognize that.  I'll be happy to see Dan Bern perform again, preferably on an album of new music.

Video for Bye Bye Bye here.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Tonight (also): Innerpartysystem @ B Side

And then if you want to get your groove on after the Ivan & Alyosha performance, then Innerpartysystem is DJ'ing at the B-Side Liquor Loungetonight ($3 ~ $5)... (great song, btw.)

Tonight: Ivan & Alyosha @ Wilberts

Should be a great show (and dinner) at Wilbert's tonight.

Check out a video of Ivan & Alyosha on a recent Out This Week post here on TZA.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Article: Will Lady Gaga End The Music Business? (Again...)

I really like hypebot...  I think they're hitting this nail right on the head.

Will Lady Gaga End The Music Business? (Again...) - hypebot

Lady Gaga isn't holding back, her new record is coming out and she wants everyone to know. With the fastest selling number one in iTunes history, and her new video amping up hits on Vevo, it seems an unstoppable force.

Tracklisting for Lady GaGa s  The Fame Monster


Well to me it stinks of everything that was bad about the old industry and continues that predisposed self-destructive bent. You remember the one that imploded when CD's didn't sell anymore. It's akin to an alcoholic insisting they don't have a problem.

If Gaga doesn't sell or live up to the hype, then the party is gonna crash again, big time.


The majors were used to the big lifestyle, the private jets, lavish luncheons, and bottomless expense accounts. Radio was bought. Tours were bought. TV was bought.

Once you have tasted that, it's hard to give it up. Lady Gaga seems like a relapse. That one final 'epic bender' as Charlie Sheen would describe it. The one that ends in either death, or realization that it's time for a final stint in rehab and to clean up your act one last time.

It is the majors chance to ignore those chest pains and shortness of breath and brush it off as indigestion. Let's forget about the 44,000 sales, which made an independently released album by Cake number #1 and outsell everything else a major had to offer.

Let's forget Mumford and Sons, that throwback acoustic act from the UK on an independent, are pretty much matching the sales of Katy Perry.

Just give us one more line of Gaga to keep us up partying all night."

(Continued... Will Lady Gaga End The Music Business? (Again...) - hypebot)


Friday, March 4, 2011

Pitchfork Music Festival 2011

I think I'm going... Tickets go on sale today!


Thursday, March 3, 2011

Out This Week: Middle Brother

Any chance I get to hear more of John McCauley's voice - I'm happy... I couldn't be more excited about this Middle Brother "Super Group".  New self-titled album out March 1st.  Details below.

Partisan Records is excited to announce that Taylor Goldsmith of Dawes, John McCauley of Deer Tick, and Matthew Vasquez of Delta Spirit have joined forces to make a very special record. The self-titled debut, recorded in the fall of 2009 in Nashville, will be released on March 1, 2011.

In a time when synthesizers and laptops are taking over stages, Goldsmith, McCauley and Vasquez are leading the pack of young rock songwriters who strive to carry on the tradition of figures such as Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen Warren Zevon and Tom Petty. Middle Brother came together in mid-2009 when the three songsmiths realized, after several on-stage collaborations, that they shared a unique vision and wanted to take it one step further, into the studio. Their songs are anthemic, soulful, passionate and confessional.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Video Tuesday

As a nod to the Oscars... Cloud Nothings will show you the best "robot" skills around with "Hey Cool Kid". Toro Y Moi wins awards for having the best location scout Still Sound. Bright Eyes wins best hook with Shell Games.

Scissor Sisters (2/27/11)

This was an amazing experience that almost didn't happen...  but as you're about to see, thankfully it did.  Having already seen Scissor Sistersin DC back in August, I already knew I was in for a treat.  The difference this time... A press pass and a chance to meet Jake Shears after the show. omg.

We got to Royal Oak, MI just in time for a quick dinner at the Royal Oak Brewery.  Props for the hops.

Royal Oak Brewery (2/27/11)

We then met up with friends from the area, as well as some fellow Clevelanders!  The Royal Oak Music Theatre was an impressive place.  It kind of made me think what the Agora could be with a some effort (and a lot of cash). A much needed improvement from the last time seeing the sisters at the seat-filled DAR Constitution Hall.  What's also notable about this show is that it's one of the few headlining acts squeezed in between opening acts for Lady Gaga's Monster Ball tour.  These sisters are incredibly hard-working.

Royal Oak Music Theatre (2/27/11)

So it was a super-high energy for the Scissor Sisters, as you'd expect.  But this post is really about the photos...

Scissor Sisters (2/27/11)

Scissor Sisters (2/27/11)

Scissor Sisters (2/27/11)

And then of course, there was meeting Jake...

Scissor Sisters (2/27/11)

Scissor Sisters (2/27/11)

Incredible.  The rest of the photos can be found here (including a little purple treat on the way home):