Friday, May 24, 2013

Video Friday!

It's a long weekend, get ready to party!  Some amazing dance stuff for you, most of which you might have already caught on my TZA Upbeat YouTube Playlist - if you're into that kind of thing.   Starting things off with an amazing good track from Holy Ghost! for Dumb Disco Ideas - stunning.  Next up is Big Black Delta's Side of the Road, another scorcher of a track.  Finally, !!!'s sporting some sexy Rolling Stones underwear (?) for their video for One Girl/One Boy.


The bonus this week goes to the venerable Pet Shop Boys with Axis.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Video Tuesday-ish

Some fun stuff this week…  Foxygen reveals more of their quirkiness with their video for No Destruction.  Dublin-based Little Green Cars has a catchy little number & video for Big Red Dragon.  Finally, a couple of great, delicious pop videos by NY's MS MR.



Bonus: A second video by MS MR

Monday, May 20, 2013

Tonight! - Laura Stevenson @ Beachland Tavern

Should be a great show!


Laura Stevenson: The TVD Interview | The TVD Storefront

"Uninterested in having a carefully cultivated ‘rock chick’ persona, fans have come to adore Laura for her authenticity. Her songs are honest. Her finger picking guitar style is impressive. And she’s not out to be famous. ‘I kind of just started it because it was what I loved to do and I didn’t know what to do with my life, so I’ll do this while I’m figuring that out,’ she tells us."

(Continued... Laura Stevenson: The TVD Interview | The TVD Storefront)

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Concert Showdown / Saturday Night: Thermals vs. Seafair

I'm not even going to be in town, so luckily I don't have to choose - but this Saturday you have the choice between seeing the venerable punk/pop Thermals at the Beachland Ballroom ($13~$15) with Total Babes opening  ~~ OR ~~ Cleveland's own gem, Seafair, with their EP Release show at the Grog Shop ($8) with Humble Home & Goodmorning Valentine opening.  If you remember, Seafair was a favorite at the Brite Winter Festival this past year.  I've also seen Thermals 3 times now (2010, 2009, 2007 - one on each blog iteration!) in case you want some background on them.  Granted these are not all that close on the musical spectrum - so that may decide for you.  Both sets of openers are great as well… 


Good luck deciding.  Glad I don't have to.

Just Announced!! Summer in the City Concert Series @ The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

One of the best events of the Summer in Cleveland!  Very excited to see Phosphorescent as the opening act!!

Summer in the City Concert Series | The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum

This is the summer to rock, and Summer in the City, the Rock Hall’s FREE live concert series, returns this season to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. Beginning on Wednesday, July 17th some of the country’s most buzzed about up and coming artists will perform on the Museum plaza (weather permitting, if necessary it will be moved inside to the Main Stage), and concessions will be available for purchase from the Museum and local food trucks on the plaza, as well.

Each Summer in the City artist or band has been invited to blog on to share their experiences with fans: how they got started, their inspirations, their aspirations for the future and what their thoughts are on performing in Cleveland at the Museum.

Wednesday, July 17 from 7-10 p.m.: Phosphorescent (opening band TBA)
Wednesday, July 31 from 7-10 p.m.: Father John Misty with Night Moves
Wednesday, August 14 from 7-10 p.m.: Coliseum with Above This Fire
Wednesday, August 28 from 7-10 p.m.: Lottery League Summer Grand Finale"

(Continued... Summer in the City Concert Series | The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum)

Cloud Nothings (7/11/012)

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Foals (5/13/13)

If you weren't at the Passion Pit show on this Monday night, you were probably here at the House of Blues for the Foals / Surfer Blood show.  I would have mentioned blondfire as the first opener - who I wanted to see - but we ended up going on a gorgeous walk around downtown Cleveland!

DSC 0017 DSC 0019

Surfer Blood took the stage and to my surprise, these boys were a little nerdier than I was expecting.  Like, they were the nerds who made it "big" (please note I'm using the term nerd with all due admiration and endearment).  They were fun - have some good songs - but didn't really blow me away.  Not sure they'd be a headliner act, though I may be swayed if they show up in another venue (and depending on how their new album sounds, coming out soon).

Surfer Blood (5/13/13)

Surfer Blood (5/13/13)

Foals took the stage in a drawn out, yet anti-climactic fashion.  Which, I have to say was similar to their show.  Well, that sounds bad.  I think Foals is a phenomenal live band, but this is another one of those situations where they were "neutered" by the venue.  Their Beachland Ballroom show was off the hook and a dancefest.  This one, not so much.  I blame the sound, and what the hell - I'll blame Passion Pit for probably taking most of the people who dance in this town.  So basically, it wasn't their fault.  I'll still see them, but hopefully they hit a different venue next time.

Foals (5/13/13)

Foals (5/13/13)

Foals (5/13/13)

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Video Tuesday

Some great stuff this week.  Wild Nothing with a dreamy pop video for a dreamy pop song.  Young Galaxy is up with another great pop song & video for Pretty Boy.  Finally… OMG!  New Austra!!  (with a video for Home).  

Bonus this week is the new Tegan & Sara.  I'm still getting acclimated to their new polished pop sound (a bit jarring for me), and they don't back down from that style with this super sleek video.

New Release: Wampire

Originally started as a New Find post, it's now turning into a New Release one.  I stumbled on these guys a while back and have been enjoying them ever since.  Check 'em out.


Band To Watch: Wampire - Stereogum

"Portland exports Wampire are a long time in the making. The duo, comprised of Rocky Tinder and Eric Phipps, have been playing music together since they were in middle school — ‘we started jamming in 2001,’ says Tinder — in their hometown Keizer, OR. While this is a lengthy amount of time to have under their belts as collaborators, it was only recently that they finessed their sound into what is ultimately the make-up of their upcoming Polyvinyl debut full-length Curiosity.

When the guys were around 19 — they’re 25 now — they started to become staples of the house party scene in Portland. ‘At first it was just the two of us dicking around and writing songs and just like playing funny house shows where we were like, in the corner, as far back crammed as we could be,’ Tinder says of their first real foray into a scene. But while they enjoyed the performance aspect of they were doing, it wasn’t the actual music they wanted to make. ‘At that time, 2007 through 2009, the wild shitty house show was at its absolute climax,’ says Tinder. ‘For us to bring our own P.A. and blast as backing track and [play] guitars and get everybody dancing was ideal then but a couple years later we’re like, you know, besides just loving the parties we were never super into that.’ So they dismantled their party sludge prowess and began carving out something that made sense to them.

There’s no real direct line to that sound. It’s bass-heavy indie-pop macabre, at times, like their track ‘The Hearse,’ which sounds like it belongs on a dive bar’s jukebox where Bela Lugosi slings the drinks. But it’s never schtick-y, despite the constant rotation of which elements are at play. Curiosity feels exactly like it comes from a band who halted their tenure as shlocky, screaming house show fixtures who took the time to actually mature and retool their love of electronics and rock music into a kaleidoscopic package. ‘It’s a weird album and it’s a little chew and swallow,’ says Tinder, but the bouquet of sounds are indicative of the time they took to craft it — and sometimes those projects take time to sit with, as a listener, as well."

(Continued... Band To Watch: Wampire - Stereogum)

Monday, May 13, 2013

Hello Cleveland! Music Documentary

Great history of Cleveland music, focusing on the Agora and WMMS.  Fun stuff.

'Hello Cleveland!' Documentary Explores 70s Music Scene: UPDATE | Scene and Heard: Scene's News Blog

"'Hello Cleveland!' is making the rounds online, presenting a magical era of our city's past. The documentary highlights the unique elements of Cleveland's music scene in the 1970s. The Agora and WMMS both figure into the storyline heavily."

(Continued... 'Hello Cleveland!' Documentary Explores 70s Music Scene: UPDATE | Scene and Heard: Scene's News Blog)

Tomorrow: Telekinesis @ Grog Shop

Tomorrow is the return of Telekinesis!  Originally catching them opening up for Somebody Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin back in 2010, they were great and I'm looking forward to a repeat performance.  Their new Dormarion release is excellent - a great poppy, rock record.

Opening is Deep Sea Diver.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Tomorrow: Foals / Surfer Blood @ HOB

Tomorrow is the Foals / Surfer Blood show at the House of Blues ($20), and all three acts should be great.  Let's start chronologically:  Opening is US/Brazilian brother & sister duo Blondfire:

Definitely worth getting there early for. Next up is Surfer Blood with a new album dropping soon.  Here's a video:

Finally Foals, which I have to say I forgot how much I liked these guys last time - so I'm even more excited to see them again.  Here's their new (NSFW) video for Late Night (it's pretty intense):

Black Moth Super Rainbow (5/9/13)

This show first caught my attention because of The Hood Internet.  I've been listening to these guys for quite a while, and even saw them before at the B-Side.  Knowing Hood Internet well, I quickly switched my focus to the actual headliner (Black Moth Super Rainbow) and immediately picked up on their enigmatic presence in the music industry.  I was intrigued, but not blown away… but was definitely looking forward to the show.

The Hood Internet (no longer a duo?) was good.  The mixes were upbeat with the trademark blend of indie pop rock & rap.  My only critique would be the lack of danceability… it skirts around it and teases you, but just doesn't quite close the deal

The Hood Internet (5/9/13)

So I'm going to regress here for a minute with BMSR. I guess I was expecting a mysterious, dark, and odd-looking lead singer.  I was shocked to see this beefy, attractive guy sheepishly hidden behind this monitor and producing the trademark vocals while turning knobs and pressing keys.  Not at all what I was expecting.  What I also wasn't expecting was how consistently good the whole show was!  I honestly only spent cursory time with their new Cobra Juicy release, but listening to it now after seeing them live, is quickly becoming a new favorite.  Once I was able to get past the vocal treatments, the quality of the actual music is quite refreshing.

In addition to the lead singer being hidden, visually - not one word was spoken to the audience.  And as you'd expect, none of the photos came out either - probably something they mysteriously made happen as well.

Black Moth Super Rainbow (5/9/13)

Black Moth Super Rainbow (5/9/13)

Why Does Music Move Us?

(From: Why Does Music Move Us? — VIDEO| Gay News | Towleroad)

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Tomorrow: Black Moth Super Rainbow @ Beachland Ballroom

And then there's this, tomorrow night at the Beachland.

With a video like this, I'm dying to see what the live show will be like.  Opening is Hood Internet - so there's that. 

Black Moth Super Rainbow pushes "Cobra Juicy"

The unconventional musical collective will kick start the journey with a May 9 show in Cleveland, OH, followed by club and theater gigs in 17 cities across the nation.

The five-piece act, comprised of Tobacco, Seven Fields of Aphelion, Ryan Graveface, Bullsmear and Iffernaut, will wrap up the outing June 1 in Asheville, NC.

Black Moth Super Rainbow unleashed 'Cobra Juicy,' the outfit's fifth album, last October via Rad Cu"

(Continued... Black Moth Super Rainbow pushes "Cobra Juicy")

Crystal Castles (5/7/13)

Crystal Castles surprised me and actually came to Cleveland's House of Blues.  I guess I shouldn't have been surprised, but it just seemed a million miles away from their show at the Sonar club in Baltimore (where I saw them last).  Baltimore, like Cleveland, is a gritty city, but I didn't feel like we'd be ready for a band like this (at HOB, and at $25 tickets).  Dark, intense, and dance.  The people came, but it was not close to a sellout.  They sounded great and I think this was probably one of the best light shows I've seen in a live show.  I missed the Pink Floyd era, btw.

Crystal Castles (5/7/13)

Crystal Castles (5/7/13)

Concert Review: Crystal Castles at House of Blues | Scene and Heard: Scene's News Blog

Throughout the first half of the raucous 90-minute set Crystal Castles delivered last night in front a half-full House of Blues, the group appeared to be having technical difficulties. Given that everything about the band’s electronic music involves the use of high tech electronic gear, technical problems can really throw a wrench into the operation. To be honest, though, the band’s noisy approach makes it difficult to tell when something is actually going wrong — the music is a sonic stew that sounds like the band’s mixed Cocteau Twins dream pop with Sleigh Bells-inspired punk and noise pop. In fact, there was so much distortion on singer Alice Glass’s vocals that her actual words were often hard to discern.

(Continued... Concert Review: Crystal Castles at House of Blues | Scene and Heard: Scene's News Blog)

Generationals (5/3/13)

As you probably already know, I was elated about this Generationals show - particularly because this was my first Q&A band as well.  I had even been getting into the opener Brass Bed.  These guys ended up being  a bit more rock & roll than I was expecting.  I liked it, though I was glad I already knew the songs - it helped.  Otherwise I don't know if I would have stood out to me as much.  Maybe a 6 on the DAKS scale (remember that?).  

Brass Bed (5/3/13)

Generationals were no nonsense and got right to business.  I think they also could pick up on how unusually not-dancy this crowd was - which was unfortunate (they must have gone to the Ra Ra Riot show on this night).  These guys could really be a *party* band in the right space.  This wasn't it, but these guy still put on a great show.

Generationals (5/3/13)

Generationals (5/3/13)

DFA Documentary / 12 Year Anniversary

How fun!  Some bands on DFA that I really enjoy (shown here):  YACHT, Holy Ghost, and of course LCD Soundsystem.  Funny, no mention of the lawsuit however. 

Support Weapons of Mass Creation Fest / Music Lineup Announced


This festival has always clashed with other plans for me, so I've never been able to attend.  With it's move to August, there's hope this year!  I'm considering the 3 day pass.  Watch a great little Kickstarter video for this project - and help out!

Now in its 4th year, WMC Fest is a must-attend event for creatives in the Midwest. Its goal is to inspire and enable the creative mind and will feature 20 speakers, 20 designers, and over 30 bands over the weekend. Put on by the Cleveland based creative agency Go Media and a host of volunteers, it’s got that homegrown, indie vibe that sets it apart from other major conferences. Come to WMC Fest to network, collaborate, get inspired, learn new tricks, and meet new friends! You can’t miss it!

No big, outside music names (that I can see), but looks interesting.   

Weapons of Mass Creation Fest Announces Music Lineup | Cellar Door Cleveland

Braid – The Appleseed Cast – F.Stokes  - William Tyler  - Tristen – Des Ark – Whirr - Astronautalis – The Sidekicks – Outer Spaces  - Annabel – Extra Medium Pony – Kittyhawk - Signals Midwest – Cherry Cola Champions – Worship This – Cayetana – Ma Jolie – ShiSho – Freeze-Tag – Ohio Sky – Leah Lou & The 2 Left Shoes – Living Room – Two Hand Fools – Nothing – The Modern Electric – So Long, Albatross – Deer Vibes  -Barrow - Glish – CityCop – Regular Shoulders  - Ages – Seafair – Muamin Collective"

(Continued... Weapons of Mass Creation Fest Announces Music Lineup | Cellar Door Cleveland)

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Video Tuesday

Still doing a little catching up… I'm sure you've probably seen this Macklemore video by now (and maybe already sick of the song) - but the video for Can't Hold Us is good stuff as you'd expect.  Youth Lagoon's trippy new (and quite lengthy) video for Mute is next.   Finally, another video for Isaac Delusion for Midnight Sun (I loved their last one).

What a bonus this week.  What an amazing video.  Kodaline's All I Want.

New Release: Little Boots

Little Boots is releasing Nocturnes (on her own) today! If you mention Robyn when talking about inspiration for a Pop album - I'll pay attention.  More below… Check out the video for Broken Record.

Little Boots on Self-Releasing New Album: 'I Remember What Robyn Did' | Billboard

"'Nocturnes' likely won't be a massive departure from the sound of 'Hands,' but for Little Boots, virtually everything else surrounding the release marks a major shift. 'It's been a long hard journey becoming the artist I am now and getting taken seriously for it,' she says."

(Continued... Little Boots on Self-Releasing New Album: 'I Remember What Robyn Did' | Billboard)

New Release: Patty Griffin / Stream It Now!

The new Patty Griffin album is out today.  With such an amazing repertoire, this is bound to be great. Buy American Kid now

Monday, May 6, 2013

Tomorrow: Crystal Castles @ HOB

Tomorrow night!  Seeing these guys at Sonar in Baltimore was pretty amazing.  I hope Cleveland can handle them.  :-)

New Release: Noah & the Whale

 Out today! UK's Noah and the Whale with a new album, Out of Nowhere!  Their last couple albums have been superb, so I have high hopes for this one.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

CMA Summer Solstice Lineup Announced

What a great event… Every year has been great (2012, 2011, 2010) and this year should be no different.  Well, it will be a little different… no more 3-tier tickets, with the cheapest price rising to $25. Still worth it.  An eclectic lineup as usual, with a personal highlight being The Crystal Ark.  Full details here.

Screen Shot 2013 05 05 at 7 15 56 PM

New Video Series from Cellar Door Cleveland

Exciting Stuff.

Friday, May 3, 2013

New Series: Video Friday!

No, this isn't a late version of Video Tuesday.  I was thinking that, with as many videos as I run through, it might be fun to group the more dance/upbeat ones as a "Video Friday" series, you know, to get the weekend started!  Not to say I'll be doing two video posts every week, but maybe.

We'll kick it off with Small Black's new (NSFW) video for Free at Dawn.  Next up is the new Calvin Harris video for I Need Your Love feat. Ellie Goulding- which is already blowing up.  A fun video and concept.  Finally, A-Trak is trying to challenge OKGo in their video concept - incredible, though I can't imagine this wasn't edited together.

Bonus this week is a Basement Jaxx video… after the hit Where's Your Head At, these guys remained on my radar. All I have to say about this new video is WTF?

Stepdad (4/28/13)

I've been following Stepdad since their first Ordinaire EP.  Their Wildlife Pop release I liked even more. Quirky, poppy, and from Michigan - I didn't think it could get any better.  Throw in a new (to me) venue, and I was sold on this show - despite it being a Sunday night.

Walking in I was instantly impressed with The Foundry - and was shocked that I had not been in this space before. Great layout and atmosphere.  

Pipe Dream (4/28/13)

We caught Cleveland's own Pipe Dream opening, to which I was thinking (and someone even tweeted) that One Direction was in the house.  A gaggle of young, good looking young men on stage playing some emotional rock, ala Foster the People and the Shins.  meh.  They're just so young!

Pipe Dream (4/28/13)

Stepdad was next.  We were instantly confronted with problem with this performance… the vocals.  As much as I enjoy Stepdad recorded, I realized that live… not so much.  Granted I think this was the last date of their tour, but come on boys.  It was rough…  Definitely some room for improvement, and if they get that down - they'll be a force on stage.

Stepdad (4/28/13)

Stepdad (4/28/13)

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Tomorrow: Generationals @ Grog Shop / Q&A!

I saw the Generationals open up for Ra Ra Riot back in 2011, but I guess you can say they ended up being my main act (because I had another show to catch the same night).  Loved them.  Couple new albums, I loved them more.  The more I listen, the more I love.  Now they're back again (missed them this past October) and playing the same night as Ra Ra Riot (who's' at the Beachland).  Maybe a tough choice for some, but for me it's hands-down Generationals all the way.  Which mind you, is why I'm so excited they're my first Q&A.  More on that later…
In the meantime, we even have a great opener!  Brass Bed, a quite noble band:

 As far as the Generationals go, I just think these guys are pop perfection right now:

 So let's get to those deep & probing questions:

Why live music?

Beluga doesn't pay for itself! 

Why new music?

 People of today need to turn to new music that speaks to their modern lives and struggles with RPG's and gluten intolerance. 
Tell me something about the CLE.
Elected in 1967, former Cleveland mayor Carl B. Stokes was the first black mayor of a major American city. Kudos. 
There we have it, beluga, RPG's and a first black mayor!  Let's just hope they don't actually eat whale.
Here are a couple of older videos I hadn't already posted:

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The Last Bison (4/13/13)

I'm kinda lazy when it comes to doing mediocre "reviews" - or reviews of mediocre shows I should say.  This night was a night away from the Film Festival, and a pleasant return to the Beachland.  I'd really been digging The Last Bison's Switzerland and some of their other stuff, so this won out.  Opening was White Pines and Music for the Trees.  Had some great friends join me too… The real shock of the night was walking in, checking in on FourSquare, and having the app tell me this is the second time I'd seen this band.  WTF?  Has it gotten to this point already, where I need technology to remind me who I've seen.  Perhaps.

Up first, Music for the Trees.  A local kid, totally adorable.  Has some great stuff on Bandcamp.  This one is my favorite:

Music for the Trees (4/13/13)

This was the second time seeing White Pines (opening for Bowerbirds & Basia Bulat).  There's some dense, hard stuff going on there - a little more rock than I remembered.  I like the wall of sound feel.

White Pines (4/13/13)

 So by now you're noticing the stage is quite a bit different.  It's a set!  Well, the band members all matched it - basically like costumes.  My friend called it… a cult.  Now sure they were smiling really big - but I'd give them the benefit of the doubt.  Sound was still good, loved Switzerland.  Not sure I'd need to race back and catch them again… maybe FourSquare can actually warn me next time.

The Last Bison (4/13/13)

The Last Bison (4/13/13)

New Series! Q&A @ TZA

I'm not a fan of artist/band interviews.  Well maybe once in a while, but when coupled with how much time it would take to do good ones, I couldn't even consider that for this blog.  However, I've still been searching for some more original content, beyond my own lyrical prose, of course.  Then it hit me… 3 questions, short, sweet, and local - repeatable.  Even better, tie it to the "tag lines" I usually use:  Live Music, New Releases, Cleveland, OH!

These questions can be answered anyway the artist wants, seriously, humorously, whatevs.

1. Why live music?

2. Why new music?

3. Tell me something about the CLE.

I wanted to wait until I had a band actually respond before posting.  I couldn't have sake for a better first band… Coming soon!