Friday, September 30, 2011

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. (9/26/11)

What a crazy week... Let me tell you about it.  It starts back on Monday with Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. at the Grog Shop.  Opening was Gossip Culture, a local band that have a great rhythm and beat, though they seriously lack on the vocals.  I've said this before, and was hoping they might've improved... not yet, but if they square that away, these guys have a kick-ass sound.  Next, Jr. Jr. rolls out with their big wood / light boxes that spell out... J R J R.  I knew right away this could be fun.  It was just about 10 seconds after that I realized my camera battery didn't quite make the trip (fahk).  So this is going to be an iPhone only show.

These Detroit boys were a lot of fun... Good spirits for a small, but still a spirited crowd.  They really tried to heal the Ohio/Michigan wounds this night. They sounded good, and the occasional swing from the rafters, a few blasts of light from the boxes, and a Neil Diamond cover really let me know that these guys can bring a party.

It was fun, but it epic party it wasn't.  It was a Monday after all, and it is a Corporate World:

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

House Concert This Sunday w/ Stephanie Nilles!

If you haven't had a chance yet, please RSVP for Sunday's performance by Stephanie Nilles (or email thezenderagenda at  This will be my 3rd house concert, and my first with a keyboard performer!  I've been thrilled with the results of the previous shows and have high expectations for this one as well.

$10 will get you a performance, free beer, and what's turning out to be a bit of a pot-luck.  All food, beer and effort is being donated, with all proceeds going to the artist.

Show starts at 6:00pm.  Location: Cleveland Heights (address will be provided to all RSVPs)


Here's some info on Stephanie:

"Nilles, an ex-classical pianist turned jazz and blues belter, tours year-round singing personally and passionately with a voice reminiscent of Ella Fitzgerald, if Ella was a little tweaked and really adamant about sticking it to the man." -Spinner

"Singer/songwriter Stephanie Nilles makes something fresh out of things lost. A graduate of Cleveland Institute of Music, she is a serious classical pianist gone bard. When you think Nilles, think of a quirky mix of subversive vagabond and sultry artist, a burlesque cocktail of wit and substance. No need to wonder what she's thinking -- she weaves it into her music, which growls like Eartha Kitt and bites like Tom Waits ... With a unique outlook on life, music that's as intellectual as it is entertaining and a voice capable of transcending the tracks of the indie railroad, Nilles is just the kind of treasure that music aficionados love to discover." -The Tennessee Journalist

"Stephanie Nilles is a Bad Ass ... Her songs are full of political satire and bold, shocking ideas you've subconsciously formed but never figured out how to articulate. And she only uses maybe 7 or 8 chords..." -Christian Howes

A great little bio / interview here:

Check out some sounds:

For a High Life Commercial - Stephanie Nilles by ladybangbeat

Video Tuesday

Here is the tUnE-yArDs' brand new video for Gansta - who is also performing TONIGHT @ the Beachland Ballroom (8pm / $14).  Next up is one of my new all-time favorte bands: Starfucker, with their new video for Bury Us Alive.  FInally going off the beaten path with a video Raleigh Moncrief's Lament for Morning.  He's someone I randomly discovered months ago and I'm happy to see something new.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Tomorrow: tUne-yArDs @ Beachland Ballroom

Sadly similar to the Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. name issue - I was late to tUnE-yArDs because I was mixing them up with Rubblebucket - who's new album I've been not-to-excited about lately.  It took a friend of a friend's strong recommendation (dare I say threat) to clue me in that I was messing this up and that this was a show to see. I've since thrown myself into tUnE-yArDs and like what they're throwing back.

I'm primarily thrilled with Merill Garbus' voice - which has this incredible power and this almost gender-neutral quality about it.  While i've been enjoying the album, I have a feeling this show is going to blow me away.  Here's a recent video - but keep an eye out for tomorrow's Video Tuesday where I'll post their newest!

Check out Pat Jordache opening too!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Tomorrow: Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. @ Grog Shop

I'll admit, I've been late to Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., primarily because of their name. I feel the same way about "play on pop culture names" for bands, as I feel for Instagram photos:  it's fun for about a minute, but annoying after that.

Still, I knew I needed to check them out before their show at the Grog Shop.  I waited to the last minute, however that minute is all I need. I've really fallen for their new album.  Check out a couple videos from it.  Grog Shop / 8pm / $10~$12

Our own Gossip Culture will be opening the night, with Trade School.

A Lull / Preston Pugmire (9/21/11)

My first show at The Spot for the 2011 Fall Semester @ Case Western Reserve University.  It was a last-minute realization that A Lull was coming to campus, and I'd been enjoying their new album Confetti (buy it from inSound).  Also performing was Preston Pugmire, whom I've never heard of until the day before the show.

I got there in time to catch the beginning of A Lull.  They were as I expected, a good dense, indie-rock jam band.

A Lull (9/21/11)

After this, Preston Pugmire too the stage solo, with a guitar, laptop and 50's television set displaying a single vertical line that fluctuated based on his sound.  If A Lull met expecations, Preston exceeded them, though they did start off at different points.  Preston's live show was more captivating than his album, and his great personality really showed, despite a waning crowd.  Check out this fun little ditty.

Preston Pugmire (9/21/11)

As usual, one of the benefits of The Spot is their cheap menu (and wings, if you're into that kind of thing).  $2.50 Lake Erie Monster - STILL on tap!

The Spot @ CWRU

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Bomba Estereo on La Blogotheque

And speaking of La Blogotheque, I was captivated by these Bomba Estero performances.  Not only is the music great, but just seeing the life happening around the music is beautiful.  Catch a glimpse of beautiful Colombia.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Kickstarter for Vincent Moon's New Project(s)

All the way back in February, I actually hosted a movie premiere in my living room.  It was An Island which was shot by this great filmmaker named Vincent Moon.  He's also shoots my favorite web video series called La Blogotheque.  Well, he has  a new project on Kickstarter.  Check it out, and maybe even contribute.  His stuff is worth it.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Video Tuesday

So many new videos to post... Here's three to tide you over.  First off is a classy new video from Slow Club for Two Cousins.  Next up is a *weird* but worthy-enough video for Cut Copy's Bilink & You'll Miss a Revolution.  Finally, a new video from Noah & the Whale's  Waiting for my Chance to Come.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Washed Out (9/16/11)

If you missed Ingenuity this past weekend, you totally missed out.  As mentioned before, just hanging out in the viaduct area of the Detroit-Superior Bridge is cool enough, the music and general entertainment is all bonus.

Well, I'd been digging Washed Out for some time, and their coming to the Ingenuity almost had me spiraling out of control (but maybe that was the quaaludes). I kid.  Though by the time the show started at Midnight, I was properly imbibed.  Needless to say, my recollection amounts to some technical difficulties, some raucous kids and slam dancing (not me).  Thankfully I took video.

Again I kid.  I can't say it was stellar show.  But for the time, place and moment, it was alright with me.  Check out some other pics from that night:

Washed Out (9/16/11)

Washed Out (9/16/11)

Ingenuity Festival 2011

Ingenuity Festival 2011

Active Child (9/15/11)

Ah... back to a Tavern show.  A Pop / Electronic one at that!  Similar to the TDCC debacle, I was probably a little more interested in the opener than the main act.  But first, I want to throw out kudos to the *very* first opener, our own Les Cousins Dangereux. It was a great set of glitch/pop/dance electronica sounds.  I'll be excited to see him perform again. (wish I had a better photo)

Les Cousins Dangeroux (9/15/11)

Chad Valley was next.  He sounded great, and by this time the room was holding a lot more people.  It was very nice to see, especially already having a sweet seat at the bar.  :-)  You really should spend some time with Chad Valley.  (oh, btw all videos are courtesy of kingofthecastle7)

Chad Valley (9/15/11)

Finally, Active Child.  Well, sort of my fear with Active Child was the operatic-esqu sounding pop/electronica wouldn't hold my interest (though the band members themselves did).  No big complaints, but had enjoyed the previous performances more.

Active Child (9/15/11)

Two Door Cinema Club (9/12/11)

This post has me a little salty.  I've been avoiding it, but it's backing up my chronological calendar of shows / diary process.  Here's the short of it... I was really excited for this show.  Probably more for Bombay Bicycle Club than Two Door Cinema Club, but my expectations were still sky high.  Well, my bad for not checking, but the show started WAY earlier than any show in recent memory for the Beachland.  I had known it would be sold out, so I wasn't in a hurry to get there early.  WhenI realized this, I booked it there and  walked in to Bombay Bicycle Club *rocking* out.  It was awesome, and I was all smiles - until they ended with "and that's it - good night!" or something like that. WTF.

Two Door Cinema Club (9/12/11)

So disappointing... At the intermission, I met another CLE music blogger (, and then got positioned at the back for Two Door Cinema Club.  They kicked it off with a full light show and I was just blow away by the crowd's reaction.  They were CRAZY excited (another wtf moment for me).  But unfortunately the show was so loud that the vocals were almost unrecognizable.  That's OK for some bands, but didn't quite feel right for these guys.

Two Door Cinema Club (9/12/11)

I decided to ditch the crowd and listen from the bar.  That's when I got a text from the above mentioned blogger that she was thrown out for taking pictures.  My final WTF moment.  I almost didn't believe her, but when I talked to her, she said they even threatened to arrest her, until the band manager asked to let her back in.  As far as who "they" were, I'm still unsure.  It was at this point, I listened to one more song and ditched - after all, I had a True Blood season finale waiting for me at home.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

All Weekend: Ingenuity Festival


Ingenuity Fest!!  It's Cleveland's yearly festival of all things art, technology, music and all around cool.  Hell, just hanging out below the Detroit Superior Bridge is good enough for me.  I think they stepped up the music acts this year too... I'm thrilled (and a bit surprised) to see that Washed Out is performing on Friday night at Midnight.  For me, this is the highlight of the Festival...

Other shows to consider are:

  • Revolution Brass Band (Friday)
  • Presque Vu (Saturday)
  • The Modern Electric (Saturday)
  • Ashley Brooke Toussant (Saturday)
  • Cloud Nothings (Saturday)
  • Buried Wires (Sunday)
  • Filmstrip (Sunday)
  • Megachurch (Sunday)
  • Shivering Timbers (Sunday)

A kind of who's who of Cleveland performers.  I'm sure there a ton of other good ones, check them out.  You can see the ENTIRE list of events happening online.  The list of just music acts is here.

Here's a article for even more detail:

Cleveland's Ingenuityfest kicks off Friday with an intriguing blend of art, technology |

"The 2011 edition of Ingenuityfest -- on the subway level of the Detroit-Superior (Veterans Memorial) Bridge -- will bulge with intriguing (and, potentially, ingenious) exhibits and performances, in keeping with the mission founder James Levin established in 2005. For the second consecutive year, admission to everything is free. Bendis, creative director of New Media for the Freedman Center at Case Western Reserve University, has put together newfangled presentations for Ingenuityfest that made use of holograms, photos, jokes and drawings."

(Continued... Cleveland's Ingenuityfest kicks off Friday with an intriguing blend of art, technology |


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Tomorrow: Active Child @ Beachland Tavern

I'm going to take a little bit of a chance on this show at the Beachland Tavern.  I started listening to Active Child because I started hearing some key people talk about him.  I'll admit it didn't catch me at first listen, but call me a sucker for synth... I kept listening.  It's growing on me.

Whenever I'm on the fence about a show, often times an opener will sway me.  I checked out Chad Valley (from the UK) and I've been swayed.  Check him out:

Chad Valley - Equatorial Ultravox by CASCINE

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

More Robyn Awesomeness

It just doesn't stop... This helps explain why she's such an amazing live performer. (beware, breasts are shown)  ;-)

The Secret Life of Robyn on

Zoe Muth & the Lost High Rollers (9/9/11)

Finally!  I can say that I have finally saw a show at the Happy Days Lodge in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.  I also couldn't have asked for a better performer / performance to see there.  Let me first say, with an entrance through the woods, and under a tunnel like this (below), how could that not set the stage for something amazing?

Zoe Muth & the  Lost High Rollers (9/9/11)

With no opening act we missed the first couple songs, but luckily this was a two-part set with an intermission.  The sound was amazing and the space felt like an old barn.  Then fill it with some top-tier folk / bluegrass and you just can't go wrong.  Zoe Muth & the Lost High Rollers sounded amazing.  Boasting a guitar, bass, mandolin, electric guitar, pedal steel and drums, the performance swung between the more traditional folk sounds to something a little more youthful and rock like.

Zoe Muth & the  Lost High Rollers (9/9/11)

Luckily as soon as I got up to grab some photos, one of my favorite songs came on:

I mean seriously, how much more true can you get?  Throw in some amazing solos and great songwriting, and this was a show to not be missed.

Zoe Muth & the  Lost High Rollers (9/9/11)

I also want to give a shout out to the CVNP for hosting these concerts.  I spoke with the lady running them and it just seems like such a sweet job.  I can't wait to go back.

Article: Online Tools for Finding New Music

This blog has two main purposes (see the header).  Live Music & New Releases.  And preference usually lands with new music that will also be played live in NEO in the near future.  Anyway, while I'd like to think this blog is all you'd need for both purposes, I concede that you might also want to look elsewhere as well (though it's totally cool if you don't).  Here's an article from Wired's Underwire that gives you some ideas and tools for other ways to find new music:


5 Essential Online Tools for Finding New Music (or Music That’s New to You) | Underwire |

"The problem with all this instant gratification is how quickly you hit the wall of what you want to explore. If you’d like to go deeper than the latest Glee soundtrack or who made Pitchfork’s Best New Music list, you’re going to need some help navigating the 75,000 records released in 2010 — and that’s down 22 percent from the 96,000 released in 2009.

Oh hell, you’ve got huge chunks of music history that you haven’t gotten around to listening to yet. So use the great new digital tools at your disposal to start tackling it and figure out what actually belongs in your record collection."

(Continued... 5 Essential Online Tools for Finding New Music (or Music That’s New to You) | Underwire |


Video Tuesday

A lot to choose from this week!  Let's start with yet another cool video from Diamond Rings.  He's been around a lotlately, and hopefully he comes back again.  Next up is a sweet new video from Battles for My Machine (feat. Gary Numan).  They'll be coming to the Grog Shop on Wednesday, Oct. 5th.  Finally, video from the amazing new Beirut album for Santa Fe.  Not what I was expecting...

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Tomorrow: Two Door Cinema Club @ Beachland Ballroom

Very exciting show, even more so with Bombay Bicycle Club opening for Two Door Cinema Club! This will probably sell out (if not already) - so hurry.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Tomorrow: Zoe Muth & The Lost High Rollers @ CVNP

I am SO excited.  I've been getting emails for events at CVNP for a couple years, and I'm always looking at their concert listings - because HOW COOL would it be to see a great show in the park.  Well, they've had plenty of great shows, but none have struck me as much as my first time hearing Zoe Muth & The Lost High Rollers.  Upon first listening, I was hooked.  She reminded me of a mix between Lucinda Wiliams & Mary Chapin Carpenter... both an edge and a polish.  I am excited for this show tomorrow night.

This song is amazing.

"With a haunting voice that treads soul and country and can only be described as a cosmic americana, Zoe Muth delivers songs that sound like vintage country classics."- Twangville

“If your own favorite country singers came from the vinyl era, don't let this one pass you by.”‐ Country Music Television

Ashley Brooke Toussant (9/2/11)

Last week I was able to catch the tail end of the album release show for Ashley Brooke Toussant in Akron.  In true Musica fashion, the show was already half over by the time we got there, and incredibly the doors were locked.  wtf?  Someone eventually left and let us in.  Apparently "the door guy left."

That's just crazy.

Anyway, Ashley sounded great with the full band, a nice addition from the last time I saw her.  A full band suits her well.  Here are some photos:

Ashley Brooke Toussant (9/2/11)

Ashley Brooke Toussant (9/2/11)

Ashley Brooke Toussant (9/2/11)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Video Tuesday

Going for diversity this week... Very excited to start off with Blitzen Trapper's new video for Love the Way You Walk Away.  I've been listening to their new American Goldwing album A LOT lately (pre-order at Insound), and I'm thrilled about their upcoming performance at the Beachland on Nov. 1st (they were great last time!).  Next up is another band on their way to Cleveland (Grog Shop / Oct. 10).  Wild Flag is causing mischief on their break for their Romance video.  Ending with some electronica, I've been carrying some high personal expectations for Justice's AUDIO VIDEO DISCO video.  Not sure it's striking me at first watch, but maybe I just need some time with it.

Peter Bjorn & John Concert Online

So I ended up missing out on the Peter, Bjorn & John show at the sold out Grog Shop, but luckily my concert-going buddy kingofthecastle7 was there.  As with all shows that he goes to, he posts the entire concert (when permitted) on YouTube.  Man, I thought I went to a lot of shows, but he's got me totally beat... thankfully.

Here's what makes me sad I missed it (unfortunately you'll have to click over to YouTube to actually watch):

So just keep him in mind if you ever miss a show in the Cleveland/Akron area, chances are he's been there.

Friday, September 2, 2011

A Savage Morning in Paris

So I was just watching the new Destroyer video for Savage Night at the Opera, when as soon as it started, it looked eerily familiar...

A friend once showed me this cult French short film for which the director was eventually arrested...  Clearly the inspiration, though not quite as dangerous.  More details on the original film below.

C'était un rendez-vous: A Cult Film by Claude Lelouch

"Filmed in 1976, it has become a classic staple of cinéma verité, literally “truth cinema”, a style of film making that is closer to the unpredictable and unscripted nature of documentaries. Although the film is over 30 years old, it remains very controversial. When you realize that this movie was filmed while speeding through the streets of Paris and with absolutely no blocked roads or movie permits, you quickly understand why people always have such a strong reaction to it. Claude Lelouch eventually admitted that it was a foolish act of manly bravado, but he said that at the time he loved film more than he loved the law and that the movie would never be as exciting without that constant feeling of danger. "

(Continued... smidgy • C'était un rendez-vous: A Cult Film by Claude Lelouch)

Thursday, September 1, 2011

MyTunes at Cleveland Public Library

As a Library professional as my day job, I was quite happy to see the recent merging of music & library service through CPL's MyTunes service.  Here's More:

MyTunes webGraphic

In the city that rocks, Cleveland Public Library (CPL) is teaming up with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum to offer CPL patrons a completely unique musical experience.  With free weekly music downloads from the Freegal Music Service, spotlights on key artists, special materials on music history, free programs, and more, CPL and the Rock Hall will celebrate Cleveland's special place in the music world. MyTunes will give CPL cardholders and participating CLEVNET members the ability to connect to the Freegal Music Service and download MP3s of their favorite music from Sony's entire catalogue on an ongoing basis-up to three songs a week and over 150 per year. Your CPL card is the key to beginning your MyTunes experience. To begin yours today, click here.

Check it out.