Monday, December 23, 2013

Cleveland Scene Sold

For those of you who use Cleveland Scene for your concert updates (in addition to TZA, of course)… no need to worry, the Cleveland Scene is staying put!

Scene logo web

Cleveland Scene Sold! (We're Not Going Anywhere!) | Scene and Heard: Scene's News Blog | Cleveland Scene

Euclid Media Group, a newly formed company led by Scene publisher Chris Keating, San Antonio Current publisher Michael Wagner, and Clevelander Andrew Zelman, completed the purchase of Scene.

It's all good news: Your paper is now locally owned, we're not going anywhere, and the ownership group is committed to building on Scene's strong tradition in Cleveland that dates back to 1970.

(Continued… )

Friday, December 20, 2013

Video Friday

A Video Friday! Starting off with CHVRCHES’ Lies.  Next up, I can’t say that the new Sky Ferreira video is all that good, but it’s a great song.  Phantogram has a new video for Black Out Days.

Friday Bonus:  “The British producer Jon Hopkins released the conceptual dance album Immunity earlier this year, and now director Tom Haines has effectively translated that album’s aesthetic into the music-video form. Watch the video below.” (Jon Hopkins – “Collider” Video - Stereogum)

I'll Be Opting Out of the Lighthouse & the Whaler Grog Shop Christmas Show Tonight

[UPDATE]  I heard from Lighthouse & the Whaler on this post, clarifying some points that were not as clearly expressed in the article as they should have been.  I’m thankful that they reached out and clarified this show as not being exclusively religious, and it’s focus to be around giving and love.  Can’t argue with that…  I’ll try to attend this show tonight if I can.

I have to say, a night of Christmas music by some up and coming (and great) local bands sounded like a lot of fun and I put it on my calendar to go - until I read this article on  

"Not just any Christmas songs, though. You won't hear any 'Jingle Bells' or 'Frosty the Snowman' tunes here.

'It will be also traditional songs that involve the biblical version of Christmas,' says LoPresti. 'We [performers] all have the same beliefs on Christmas, we were brought up to believe in the Bible story, and it's important for us to stay true to it.'

So I guess it’s that, paired with:

Instead of just lamenting the loss of attention to the season's religious roots, they booked a concert to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas

I think today there is plenty of meaning and value in Christmas that is not religious… I believe that if you’re not a Christian - that you can still enjoy and rejoice in the Holidays - but these attempts to reclaim “true” meaning of Christmas by reducing and eliminating non-Christian expressions of the holiday feels exclusionary and uncomfortable.  I’ll pass on this show.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Video Tuesday

 Have I got a backlog of videos for you!  Let’s get started… Bombay Bicycle Club have fun with animation and stop motion with their new video for Carry Me. The Arcade Fire explore the Afterlife in their new video.  Lindi Ortega has a new video for Tin Angel

Then here’s the beginning of some Holiday bonuses.  This one… Erasure saves Christmas (but also makes it a little creepy) with Make it Wonderful.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Article: Dear Ticketmaster

I can agree… but there is comfort & nostalgia in something that’s not constantly changing.

Dear Ticketmaster, — This Could be Better — Medium

"Why bother with paper tickets when we can just download it to our phone or print it out at home? There’s still something special about the traditional paper ticket. An inkjet print of your favorite band or the World Series ticket from your favorite baseball team will not outlast the durability of a wash-proof-thermal-based-paper ticket. Not everyone has a smartphone and paper tickets don’t run out of batteries."

(Continued... Dear Ticketmaster, — This Could be Better — Medium)

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Austin Craig / Allison Weiss (12/14/13)

The Beachland Tavern wasn’t my primary stop for the night, as I had other plans later, but I wanted to stop and catch Austin Craig. I saw him open for Joe Pug in Akron and thought he’d be a great performer for another house concert!  We’ve been talking and it’s sounding promising (details to come).  He was the first of 3 acts, of what looked like it was going to be a long night.  Austin’s voice is amazing and I really like his songwriting.  He’s only been at this a couple years, and I can’t wait to see what he does with his talent.

Austin Craig (12/14/13)

I zoned out for P.J. Bond, but sounded good enough.  Allison Weiss was next and she caught my attention.  Super voice and very engaging and polished, which felt surprising for her perceived young age.  Turns out she’s got quite a few albums out.  She was balancing between pop punk and acoustic sounds that night with no drummer - and it worked.  Even the Katy Perry covers.

Allison Weiss (12/14/13)

She was unfortunately my last band for the night and I missed headliner Austin Lucas.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Justin Timberlake (12/12/13)

Going to this show wasn’t originally my idea.  I was someone’s accompaniment - but I’m so glad I was.  The show started off a little slow for me, with the horn-tinged angle he started with - but it wasn’t long before the lasers came out.  With a 3 hour show, you really get some time to play around and experiment, which is one of the things I loved about this show.  The stage and lighting was fantastic as well!  The review is below.


Justin Timberlake (12/12/13)

Justin Timberlake Displays Depth at Quicken Loans Arena | Scene and Heard: Scene's News Blog | Cleveland Scene

"Yet despite the occasional misstep, Timberlake reinforced his pop star supremacy in myriad ways. As a vocalist, he was on point, especially while crooning on ‘That Girl’ and during a well-received cover of Michael Jackson's ‘Human Nature.’ From a dancing standpoint, the show was also a treat. Timberlake effortlessly controls his body—he often looked like he was shuffling on a bed of ice, it was so smooth, and his synchronized moves remain untouchable in their precision—while at other times, he sparred like a lightweight boxer or looked like a flirty robot. While not overly chatty, he also connected with the crowd in several notable ways, from leading a birthday sing-along to a 6-year-old boy wearing a suit to cracking himself up by baiting the crowd with the first part of the Ohio State ‘O-H!’ chant. (Yes, he got an exuberant ‘I-O!’ reaction every time.)"

(Continued... Justin Timberlake Displays Depth at Quicken Loans Arena | Scene and Heard: Scene's News Blog | Cleveland Scene)

Diego Garcia (12/10/13)

The new Diego Garcia album was a slow-grower for me, which tempered my excitement for his return to the Beachland - but I have to say, I was quickly reminded why I liked him so much down in Akron last time!  J.A. Beltram opened, who I’d seen before as a member of goodmorning valentine, but he was all the more earnest as a solo performer.

J.A. Beltram (12/10/13)

Diego Garcia brought some amazing backup musicians with him, to which he gave them ample stage time to show off their skills - particularly the guitarist, who has some wicked Spanish guitar solos.  Stunning stuff, and once again Diego proves himself worthy of a dedicated and engaged audience.  Things started off slow, but by the end of the night we were all up and dancing (it was a seated show).  If only my video had come out…

Diego Garcia (12/10/13)

Article: Why don’t we listen to full albums anymore?

While I collect albums, and often - eventually - listen to all tracks on an album, I’ll admit that I rarely *listen* to an entire album in sequence.  I like to think it’s because I’m “more broad than deep" when it comes to experiencing music.  I’m always listening to new stuff.  Always.  But I still don’t want the art of the album to die…

Lefsetz Letter » Blog Archive » Why don’t we listen to full albums anymore?

"And then the Internet comes along and blows it all to pieces.

You used to look forward to the new releases, you wanted to hear what your favorite acts had to say. Other than some squibs in print, you were completely clueless as to what they were up to. But today, no one ever really goes away. They’re available on Facebook, Twitter, even Instagram! Never mind their Websites, which are a cornucopia of information.

After buying your favorite new release, or catalog album, you played it. You paid for it. You had an investment. And no one likes to be a poor investor. You never hear anybody boasting of their losses in Vegas, their lousy stock picks. No, you have to prove to yourself that you made a good decision. So you scoured the album looking for that which hooked you. It sometimes took two or three plays, but by then there was a track that pricked your ears, made you smile, you started playing that side again and again. And when you knew it well, then you flipped over the LP or cassette to learn the other. And when the band came to town, you went. It was cheap. Way under ten bucks. And you were in nirvana as they played your favorite songs. And you knew you had to go to every show, because most of the new album would never be played live again."

(Continued... Lefsetz Letter » Blog Archive » Why don’t we listen to full albums anymore?)

A New Dr. Dog Oh My Christmas Tree EP

I find these guys so charming, and this only helps.  Listen below for a fun little Christmas EP.  Buy it on iTunes and all proceeds go to charity - I think.

Stream Dr. Dog Oh My Christmas Tree EP - Stereogum

"All the songs have a certain corniness about them, as is required of most Christmas songs, especially ‘I Believe In Santa Claus,’ calling for revival of Santa believers everywhere. It’s a good addition to the growing indie-Christmas genre sprouting up. Listen to the Oh My Christmas Tree EP below."

(Continued... Stream Dr. Dog Oh My Christmas Tree EP - Stereogum)

Here’s the official announcement.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Tomorrow: Diego Garcia @ Beachland Tavern

I saw Diego Garcia on a whim back in April last year in Akron and was really glad I did.  While he promised Akron would be his first stop on this tour (I don’t think it was) I’m glad he’s performing a bit closer to home this time.  If you like light latin-tinged pop music, you should check this show out… even if you don’t.  More details from below.


Diego Garcia: Former Elefant frontman brings Latin-flavored modern folk to Beachland on Tuesday, Dec. 10 |

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Music is a multidimensional medium, and different dimensions take the lead in different genres.

For Diego Garcia, it’s all about the story.

‘I was heavily influenced by the Beatles,’’ said Garcia, the Detroit-born son of Argentine immigrants. ‘Paul McCartney was a fantastic storyteller, from ‘Fool on the Hill’ to ‘Eleanor Rigby.’’

Garcia, who grew up in Florida, also has a lot of his ‘roots’’ in his music.

‘In my house, growing up in Florida in an immigrant household, your parents will overcompensate for the fact that they’re raising their family in a foreign country,’’ he said. Music was playing all the time in the Garcia household, and it was Robert Carlos from Brazil, Raphael from Spain.

‘What those guys carried was that they were great storytellers, and they were very dramatic in a way that only a man who’s had his heart broken could be,’’ said Garcia, who plays Beachland Ballroom's Tavern on Tuesday, Dec. 10.

The interesting part is that Garcia cut his teeth as frontman for Elefant, a punk-influenced modern rock band, and now has segued into an extremely melodic, lush, Latin sound as solo artist."

(Continued... Diego Garcia: Former Elefant frontman brings Latin-flavored modern folk to Beachland on Tuesday, Dec. 10 |

Big Bad Voodoo Daddy (12/4/13)

I’m as surprised as you are that I’m writing about this show.  This was a surprise performance (to me) after having dinner at Ray’s in Kent.  We stopped down and were able to pop our heads in the Kent Stage for some of their Christmas performance.  I haven’t really listened to these guys since the 90’s - but I can attest that they can rock out some good Christmas jingles.

Big Bad Voodoo Daddy (12/4/13)

Frontier Ruckus (12/3/13)

I’ve seen Frontier Ruckus several times now - all good.  Tonight was a typical night for them, which is about all that I can say… I’m not sure if their allure is wearing off for me or what, but it was just good.  Opening was Carrie Ryan, who at first I struggled with her voice not hitting the notes, but could appreciate what she was trying to do.  Next was Shivering Timbers, who always put on a great show and are headliners in their own right.

Carrie Ryan (12/3/13)

Shivering Timbers (12/3/13)

Frontier Ruckus (12/3/13)

Joseph Arthur (11/27/13)

Finally!  A show at the venerable (and not quite as tacky as I was expecting) Tangier in Akron!  Leading up to this show I went through a crash course in recent Joseph Arthur releases and really enjoyed what I heard.  He was also great in concert, with Mike Mills from REM joining him. I think this night was also the official announcement of his new band:  Joseph Arthur & the New Professionals!  I was also surprised to see him painting on stage - but it was a nice touch.  Overall, a great night of live music - he’s definitely of troubadour status.  I’ll definitely keep an eye on him (and the Tangier!).

Joseph Arthur (11/27/13)

Joseph Arthur (11/27/13)

Joseph Arthur (11/27/13)

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Free De Lux EP!

Here’s a fun little EP to jam to - and it’s totally free!

LA's De Lux Announces Debut EP for Scion AV, Download Now

"De Lux presents a new five-song EP on Scion AV that is now available as a free download. Combining post-disco and post-punk, this young Los Angeles duo have come together to make some excellent some clanging/banging jams on their debut. Sean Guerin and Isaac Franco play all the instruments in the groove-heavy band, creating an auspicious sound that looks forward even as it makes the most of the past.

This EP is De Lux’s debut release and in early 2014 they will put out their first full-length on the mighty Innovative Leisure label. Physical copies of the EP will be available on CD and vinyl on December 10, but for now you can bump it in digital form. Consider this is a preview of the great things that are sure to come."

(Continued... LA's De Lux Announces Debut EP for Scion AV, Download Now)

Article: Coventry Club Expands Musical Offerings

More venue updates!


"Coventry club expands musical offerings with open-mic nights by James Henke

The B-Side Liquor Lounge and Arcade, the Coventry Road club located under the Grog Shop, has long been associated with the most current musical trends. In recent years it has primarily focused on presenting deejays, who offer up electronic dance music. However, this past July, the club introduced ‘Mic-aroni,’ an open-mic night where almost anyone can perform. As a result, B-Side patrons can now hear a wide range of music styles and artists."

(Continued... Coventry club expands musical offerings with open-mic nights - The Heights Observer)