Monday, April 21, 2014

Video Day

New TRUST! Elliphant’s artistic Revolusion.  A trippy video for The Lens by Thee Oh Sees.

 Bonus: Chrome’s Jealous (I Ain’t With It)

New Find: La Iaia

Stunning video.  Thanks to Boooooooooooom for showing me the way with this video (love the heart shape they form)

La Iaia “L’Ós” music video produced by CANADA

"Young love perfectly captured in this video, directed by Marc Oller for La Iaia’s song ‘L’Ós’. Whenever the name CANADA appears in the production credits you know it’s worth watching. Watch the video below."

(Continued... La Iaia “L’Ós” music video produced by CANADA - BOOOOOOOM! - CREATE * INSPIRE * COMMUNITY * ART * DESIGN * MUSIC * FILM * PHOTO * PROJECTS)

Friday, April 18, 2014

This Record Changed My Life

If you haven’t already seen this over at Cellar Door Cleveland, I thought I’d re-publish it here.  They asked me to do a blurb on my favorite album, for a piece leading up to Record Store Day.  I do have to admit that I feel like I’m still in the closet in some ways with being an Ani DiFranco fan - being that so many other music-folk I know kind of scoff of her as a performer, quickly categorizing her as “angry feminist”.  It’s terrible really, as I see her as being an artist that stays more true to her art than most other performers I see.  So in some ways, this piece was my coming out… as an Ani fan.  Make sure you check out everyone else who participated as well!

Ani Difranco Living In Clip Frontal

Roger Zender, Owner/Writer of The Zender Agenda
Artist: Ani DiFranco
Album: Living in Clip

I love new music. I’m always on the hunt for something that I haven’t heard before, so the thought of looking back and picking an album that “changed my life” is quite daunting. What genre? What era? Is this even possible? After a quick personal panic, I realized this was actually quite easy. The album I choose is Ani DiFranco’s Living in Clip (a ’97 double live album). I was working at Finders Records (Bowling Green, OH) at the time, I was in my early twenties and was just discovering the diversity of the music industry. I first discovered Ani DiFranco the previous year with Dilate, the album that established her as a truly successful independent artist with her own record label. Ani stood out because she was unabashedly political and unapologetically queer. This blew my mild, Midwest mind – one that was raised on hair metal and overproduced pop/rap. It was at this same time that I started seeing concerts on a regular basis, and seeing Ani live for the first time made my jaw drop. Living in Clip was a double album that collected works from her previous 6 studio albums, as well as poems, banter, and snorts. I remember anxiously waiting for it to be released, and when the box of new releases arrive from the distributor at Finders I snuck a copy out of the store before the street date. This album represents my burgeoning awareness of the power of music, the power of the live show, and the power of politics in music, all in a single package. I can easily say this album changed my life. If you need proof, just ask to see my tattoo.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Video Day

I told you we had some catchin’ up to do.  More Moderat(!!) with Last Time.  I know that the new Neneh Cherry / Robyn Out Of The Black song / video hasn’t been getting much love - but it’s growin’ on me. Leif rounds out with BOOM, though I have to say I liked his Letterman performance better.

Bonus: Oh J Lo… I still kinda like you.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Video Day

Finally some new Little Dragon (!!) with their new video for Klapp Kapp.  Jagwar Ma has a new video for Uncertainty.  Wild Beasts are back with a haunting Wanderlust.

Bonus:  Lykki Li’s No Rest for the Wicked.  Low key, but good.

The War on Drugs (4/12/14)

After a great show, seeing Arc Iris, we sprinted over to the Grog Shop to catch The War on Drugs. I knew would be a packed show (sold out) because theses guys have been super hot lately.  I’ve been a fan for a while, but this new album has been a treat.  Great rock & roll (despite all those loud-talkers).  Check out the I Rock Cleveland review below…  

The War on Drugs (4/12/14)


I Rock Cleveland | Live Rock Action: The War on Drugs @ Grog Shop Cleveland Hts.

"When the War on Drugs hit a groove, they recall the big tent interpretation of American roots music that Wilco turned into an amphitheater and arena career. Granduciel has a drawl that gets an instant Dylan comparison. The keyboards, meanwhile, have that cathedral sound like Disintegration era Cura, a tone that meanders in the air long after the keys have been pressed. In this context the unit could steal a riff from the classic rock catalog, add reverb and echo and more reverb and more echo and the result can be both familiar and mesmerizing, and a sound that effectively shuts off all other senses."

(Continued... I Rock Cleveland | Live Rock Action: The War on Drugs @ Grog Shop Cleveland Hts.)

Arc Iris (4/12/14)

Mechanic Street House Concerts had a late call for Arc Iris to perform yesterday, but they were still able to pull in a full crowd for this show.  No openers, but two sets by Arc Iris proved to be quite a treat.  They came out on stage looking like a futuristic, folk gypsies - and had the music to match.  

Arc Iris (4/12/14)

Arc Iris (4/12/14)

Oh - and that set… 

Arc Iris (4/12/14)

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Video Day

I am waaaaay behind on videos.  I hope you’re ready to get caught up.  Starting with one of my most favorite new albums, here is Gardens & Villa with their groovy new song for Colony Glen.  Glass Animals is up next with a captivating video for Gooey.  Finally, Major Lazer lose themselves in Lose Yourself.

Bonus:  I’m not a huge Beyonce fan, but whoa.

Mates of State (4/11/14)

On the fence on this one… I went, but unfortunately missed Leah Lou opening.  It wasn’t super-packed either (yay!), but they must have been expecting it because there were two rows of seats setup for this show (first time I’ve ever seen such a thing).  Mates of State were polished & good, but was hoping they would pack a little more punch than they did.  A nice night of music, but they’ll have to step it up a bit more next time.

The Julie Ruin (4/7/14)

Being a fan of Le Tigre, I would shave seen this show anyway, but after watching The Punk Singer at Cleveland Cinemas, I was even more stoked (trailer below).  Opening was ShiSho, a couple of girls from Kent, OH - who were quite a bit of fun, in a nerd punk kinda way.

ShiSho (04/07/14)

Up next, I was finally able to catch the Screaming Females - who put out more rock power than I’ve seen in a long time.  Impressive.

Screaming Females (04/07/14)

The Julie Ruin were great.  It’s fun seeing Kathleen Hannah back on stage - the only thing that could have made the show better would be the band having one-less guy on stage (one who I felt needed his own fronting gig).

The Julie Ruin (3/7/14)

"Featuring legendary riot grrrl pioneer Kathleen Hanna (Bikini Kill, Le Tigre) at its helm, The Julie Ruin released their debut full-length album, Run Fast, last September. “Running fast” into 2014, The Julie Ruin will take their “bursting dance rock songs” (Los Angeles Times) & “engaging, endearing presence onstage” (The Austin Chronicle) to the road once more on a North American tour, including stops in Cambridge, Toronto, Cleveland, Ferndale & Chicago.”

The Sounds (3/25/14)

The first two things I look for when traveling are breweries and concerts.  My first night in California, after flying into LA and driving to San Diego, was to see The Sounds at the House of Blues (in San Diego) - after stopping to visit Stone Brewery on the way…  The openers had me just as excited, seeing Strange Talk and Blondfire.  Strange Talk was up first - and sounded great!

Strange Talk (3/25/14)

Blondfire felt a little thin in comparison, but not all that bad.

Blondfire (3/25/14)

The Sounds really brought the energy, though I ended up catching one of my favorite (slower) tracks by them.

The Sounds (3/24/14)

The Sounds (3/24/14)

The Sounds (3/24/14)

Article: Rockefeller's adds music to its menu

More live music in the area…  

Rockefeller's adds music to its menu - The Heights Observer

"If you’re looking for a place to hear live music, there’s a new venue in Cleveland Heights. Rockefeller’s, the restaurant in the historic Rockefeller building at the corner of Mayfield and Lee roads, now presents live music every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night.

The focus is on jazz and blues, and some artists—including Hot Djang!, Anita Keys and Tom Letiza—appear every month. ‘We’re getting good turnouts for the music,’ said Mike Adams, the restaurant’s owner. ‘There’s a nice eclectic mix of live music in Cleveland Heights, with the Grog Shop, the Wine Spot, Nighttown, and now us. It’s great for Cleveland Heights to have this mix of music.’"

(Continued... Rockefeller's adds music to its menu - The Heights Observer)

New Release: TRUST - Joyland

So this album’s already been out for a couple weeks - but it deserves a call out.  

TRUST is the musical project of Toronto artist Robert Alfons. After years of extensive touring, and garnering glowing praise from top international critics at Pitchfork, VICE, and The Guardian UK for the 2012 Juno-nominated debut album "TRST", the follow up album "Joyland" will be released by Arts & Crafts on March 4, 2014.

"Joyland" is an eruption of guts, eels, and joy.

TRUST Joyland


Article: The Wine Spot's evolution includes live music

Looks like another place to experience some live music in Cleveland Heights!

The Wine Spot's evolution includes live music - The Heights Observer

"‘This is a really nice space for music,’ said Adam Fleischer, owner of The Wine Spot. ‘I thought we could provide the best local music in a comfortable space, at no cost and in a family-friendly environment.’ The opening show drew about 75 people, and Fleischer said, ‘They ranged in age from about 21 years old to 80 years old!’

The Wine Spot is collaborating with two local organizations—Cleveland Rocks: Past, Present and Future and ChamberFest Cleveland—to present the shows. Cleveland Rocks, founded by Cindy Barber, owner of the Beachland Ballroom, will assist Fleischer in presenting folk and rock acts."

(Continued... The Wine Spot's evolution includes live music - The Heights Observer)

This is also my first exposure to this Cleveland Rocks non-profit started by Cindy Barber from the Beachland… Seems intriguing.

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Dan Bern (3/24/14)

I’ve never tried seeing THREE shows in one night, but if there were ever a night to try it - this would have been it (Drew Gibson @ Barking Spider, Dan Bern @ Beachland Tavern, Future Islands @ Grog Shop).  Unfortunately it wasn’t possible - particularly with a 7am flight to LA the next morning.   I decided on Dan Bern, and as always, seeing him is like going home… The crowd was mostly a dud, but that’s the nice thing about Dan being such a veteran live performer (and so talented) - is that he can get even a dull group to open up and sing.


Dan Bern (3/24/14)

Tonight: The War on Drugs @ Grog Shop

 The War on Drugs tonight at the Grog Shop!  Loving the long-jam aspect of these songs…  Videos below.

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Always Lost: Adam Granduciel's War on Drugs Merges Sound with Dreams on New Album | Music Lead | Cleveland Scene

"And acclaim seems an understatement even at this early point. Denizens of the music blogosphere have leapt onto Lost in the Dream, calling it the most formidable contender for Album of the Year. It's easy to see why. There's something simultaneously introspective and anthemic about the whole thing. At every point in the album, the band toes the line between the ontological and the physical."

(Continued... Always Lost: Adam Granduciel's War on Drugs Merges Sound with Dreams on New Album | Music Lead | Cleveland Scene)

Friday, April 11, 2014

Support! Drew Gibson Kickstarter

As you know, I’ve been a fan of Drew Gibson for a while.  I’m excited to see he’s got a new album coming out - one that you should support!  Great story & video for it (good job Drew!).

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Gary Numan / Big Black Delta (3/19/14)

This show hit my radar first because of Big Black Delta - a band I’ve been enjoying for quite a while.  Once I realized they were opening for Gary Numan, I kicked into discovery gear.  Sure, I remembered Cars, but that was about it.  I scanned his catalog, and while I can’t say I enjoyed any of the newer stuff, those early Tubeway Army / Gary Numan albums are pretty sweet.  Still, this night Big Black Delta took the cake for me.

Big Black Delta (3/19/14)

Gary was no slouch mind you - he had more moves and energy on stage than I’ve probably ever seen with a guy his age.  He threw in some classics, but was really rocking that heavy, NIN-inspired sounds most of the night.  Still quite the spectacle - and worth it.

Gary Numan (3/19/14)

Gary Numan (3/19/14)

Electronic music pioneer Gary Numan gives visceral performance at Beachland | Scene and Heard: Scene's News Blog | Cleveland Scene

"The concert featured a good mix of both old and new tunes. For the most part, the set featured his darker material. ‘Cars,’ his big crossover hit from 1979/1980, was the one track that didn’t adhere to the formula. Though it sounded noisier than its studio version, it still had its distinctive pop hook. He and his four-piece band delivered the tune with an exuberance that was amplified by bright LED lights. But more often, Numan played in front of blinding strobes that made it difficult to stare directly at the stage. And the music was snarling mix of industrial rock that often buried Numan's thin voice. "

(Continued... Electronic music pioneer Gary Numan gives visceral performance at Beachland | Scene and Heard: Scene's News Blog | Cleveland Scene)