Thursday, May 29, 2014

Tonight: Head & the Heart / Lucius @ Masonic Auditorium

 Tonight at the Cleveland Masonic Auditorium!


Opening is Lucius

Video Day

New Robyn & Royksopp with Sayit!!!  Next is the refreshingly awkward & authentic Andrew Jackson Jihad with Temple Grandin.  Next is Sia’s compelling and odd video for Chandelier.


Bonus: Courtney Love has a new video out.  Not a great comeback, but worth a watch.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Video Day

A gorgeous Hercules & Love Affair vIdeo for Love Affair.  Another artistic video by Sissyphus (Sufjan Stephens) for Take Me.  Next is The Dream’s message-driven video for Black - now a state of mind.



Bonus: MGK!  (I’m still kinda smitten)

Tomorrow: The Faint @ House of Blues


Tomorrow night at the House of Blues, one of the venerable bands in electronic dance rock will be making their way back to Cleveland.  I’ve seen them twice at the Agora and missed a sold-out show at the Beachland.  After recently remastering and re-releasing some of their previous albums, and releasing the new Doom Abuse album - these guys are back.  I’ll be interested to see how they fill out the HOB, both physically and aurally.  Hot.


Opening is Reptar, who kind of reminds me of Modest Mouse meets of Montreal… Fun stuff.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

New Find: Arthur Beatrice

 Loving this new Arthur Beatrice album - and not just because of the Golden Girls reference.  Check it out:

"Arthur Beatrice: Late Breakout Model Moffy Takes to an Industrial Coastline in the British Band’s Evocative Music Video

A tender romance unfurls against the dramatic skies of the Britain’s Thames Estuary in George Belfield’s music video for elegant indie-rock quartet Arthur Beatrice. ‘I see the couple’s relationship as their sanctuary in a hard world, but maybe I’m being too optimistic,’ says Belfield of the nuanced performances, played out on the distinct outpost of Isle of Sheppey in Kent by actor Nicky Bell and rising model Moffy in her first acting role. ‘I love the chimney-studded skyline and the Salk Institute-inspired housing estate. The whole island is epic and rough, so it felt good to play that against the intimacy of the couple.’ ‘Late’ is the rousing last single from Arthur Beatrice’s debut album, Working Out, whose members Orlando Leopard, Ella Girardot and brothers Elliot and Hamish Barnes all met at school. ‘We've spent so many years together that the title Working Out is a nod to the process of figuring out who we are and what we want to be,’ says the band, who have their own independent label Open Assembly Recordings and whose previous music videos were directed by Nike, Topshop and Dazed & Confused designer Kate Moross. ‘We all have lots of influences, but people like Elvis Costello and bands like The Smiths are examples of musicians who have had an impact on us all.’"

(Continued... Arthur Beatrice: Late - NOWNESS)

Mirah (5/13/14)

I don’t remember how I stumbled upon Mirah - but I remember liking her instantly.  She felt like a deliberate and intelligent pop artist, my favorite kind.  Her new album came out and almost immediately she was going to be making a tour stop at the Beachland Tavern.  It was set to be a perfect evening of pop music in one of my favorite venues. Expectations were set on high.  Opening were some potentially great acts, with Led to Sea and Loamlands.  Well, a last-minute schedule shake-up got me to the Beachland late, to catch the end of Loamlands (though no pics).  Mirah was good - but folkier than I was anticipating.  This was not a pop show, and to top it off, I she was having troubles with her voice (being sick and all).  A good show, just missing my expectations.

Mirah (5/13/14)

Eternal Summers (5/6/14)

I have several friends who have been great with jumping on board shows, often with little prior exposure.  I then also feel a sense of fault when the show isn’t as good as I was expecting.  That was the case for this show.  I’d seen Eternal Summers back at the Happy Dog - but I guess I wasn’t paying that much attention.  That show didn’t strike me as terrible, but I wasn’t expecting the terrible vocals at this Beachland show.  I have a lot of their stuff - and really enjoy it!  I’m hoping there was something specific about this night that just didn’t work out for them, because I’d hate to write them off for future performances - though I know my friends have.  DAKS = 1

Eternal Summers (5/6/14)

I should mention that CHOMP opened (some Cloud Nothings connections there) - but I can’t say they save the night either… 

CHOMP (5/6/14)

Video Day

Some great videos this week, starting with the always effervescent Small Black with their video for Real People (feat. Frankie Rose) Next is a fun summer jam with Tokyo Police Club and their video for Hot Tonight.  Next is is the always-wacky tUnE-yArDs with a video for Water Fountain.


Bonus:  File this under WTF.  Quite the oddly sublime video for Spooky Black’s Without You.  Not a bad song actually.

Cher & Cyndi Lauper (5/2/14)

I’ve seen Cyndi Lauper in Cleveland several times, once at Lakewood Civic Auditorium (2005) several years ago and then again at the House of Blues (2010).  I already knew she would put on an amazing show.  Cher however, I was only relying on the myth of others.  While she’s had many decades of success, there of them were of relevance for me.  First were the 80’s, with fish-net body suits on Navy ships, second was her super-gay Believe album, and looking back to my third was her more politically charged history around the likes of Half-Breed and Gypsys, Tramps & Theives.   Combine that with being a gay man of a relevant age, and a friend who coordinated the ticket purchase, this show a no-brainer.

Cyndi wore her blazing red wig, during a blazing red performance. Her voice was top notch. While felt somewhat odd to have a woman her age, writhing around the stage (and getting up more slowly than usual) she was superb.  Her voice was as impeccable as before, and as expected again.  She deserves every accolade she receives.


Cher was parallel.  A great voice, but a slower elegance around the large Quicken Loans Arena stage.  Include the multiple costume changes and a massive trojan horse from which she emerged, and this felt like the Cher performance from lore.


Cher (5/2/14)

Check out the review from

Cher wows 15,000 at The Q with burlesque, circus, Trojan horses - and, yes, music (Review) |

"Cher did not disappoint on her aptly dubbed tour. She was a Greek goddess, a warrior-princess, a burlesque madam, a 1960s go-go dancer – she even pulled out her 1980's Bob Mackie.

But what about the music? Cher did not disappoint there either. This was full-on entertainment, from the fashion to the sets to the sound."

(Continued... Cher wows 15,000 at The Q with burlesque, circus, Trojan horses - and, yes, music (Review) |

See some of the outfits form the show over at Boy Culture.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Tomorrow: Herzog @ Happy Dog

It’s the album release show for our very own Herzog, for their new release entitled Boys.  Check out a track below, as well as a review by Cellar Door Cleveland.  Looking forward to seeing these guys rock out again, and finally getting back to the Happy Dog.  Stop on out! 

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(photo credit to my friend Rebecca!)


» Album Review: Boys by Herzog

"Boys, the third and most recent album by Cleveland rockers Herzog, is one of the best guitar rock albums in recent years.

There, that’s the one-sentence summary that I’ve been saying to everyone I’ve engaged in conversation with about Herzog or the Cleveland music scene in general within the last couple of months. It needs to be said, flat-out, no frills, first. Maybe the glasses are rose-tinted, because they’re our new hometown heroes and we can’t help but want to cheer them on, but I am convinced that this ranks among the best of the best among bands creating hooky, thoughtful, energetic guitar rock today."

(Continued... » Album Review: Boys by Herzog)

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Article: Largest vinyl record pressing plant in the US is expanding

Looking for Gotta Groove to be next!


Largest vinyl record pressing plant in the US is expanding | Ars Technica

"America's largest vinyl record pressing plant in Nashville, Tennessee, will be expanding its operations to include a second warehouse full of record-making machinery. United Record Pressing LLC told The Tennessean on Monday that it plans to add 16 presses to its present 30, and it will use the remaining space in the new warehouse as storage to meet a robustly growing demand for its product."

(Continued... Largest vinyl record pressing plant in the US is expanding | Ars Technica)

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Video Day

A great new side project of Sufjan Stephens, Sisyphus’s new video for Booty Call is funky fresh. A stunning video by Wake Owl for Candy… Wow.  A charming video for Say Yes To Me by Surfer Blood.  

Bonus this week is Chrissie Hynde’s fun video for Dark Sunglasses.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Tomorrow: Eternal Summers @ Beachland Tavern

It’s a great double-header night at the Beachland tomorrow.  Having already (practically) seen The Both (Aimee Mann @ Kent Stage), I’m opting for Eternal Summers in the Tavern.


Tomorrow: The Both @ Beachland Ballroom

Calling all Aimee Mann fans!  …and maybe some Ted Leo ones too.  


 “The project places the talents of the two artists in perfect harmony…”—The Los Angeles Times

“Aimee Mann and Ted Leo have combined their eloquent, slightly off-kilter songwriting powers…”—SPIN

"Critically acclaimed musicians Aimee Mann and Ted Leo have joined forces for a collaborative project they call The Both. The duo’s self-titled debut will be released April 15 via SuperEgo Records. Building on a friendship forged while they were on tour together last year, it was Leo’s solo sets that piqued Mann’s interest in getting on stage with him and writing music together. Of the project, Mann notes, “Honestly, I feel like for the first time, I’m part of a rock band.” The latest track “Milwaukee” is streaming at Rolling Stone:”

"The Both’s all original songs were written as back-and-forth collaborations between Mann and Leo. With their differing musical vocabularies and mutual admiration for one another, the duo found working together to be a boon. “We were just like ‘Fuck it, let’s push and make it happen,’” notes Mann. “You really just have to go, ‘You know what, I have to trust that this other person’s instincts are good.’” Leo furthers, “I think as Aimee and I have gotten closer, we have realized how much in common we have and how much respect we have for what the other person does and what they’re bringing to the table. The writing process has largely been long distance, but it’s been line by line, verse by verse, part by part; we’ll send each other something and go back and forth until it’s finished.” The album was recorded in Los Angeles with Ryan Freeland, between stretches of touring in 2013, and produced by Mann’s longtime friend and band member Paul Bryan.”

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Video Day

New Wild Beasts video for A Simple Beautiful Truth - also a band that looking forward to seeing at Pitchfork Music Festival!  An austere new video from Chris Garneau, which you can read much more about it here.  Next up, a new Julie Ruin video for Just My Kind.

 Bonus: Skrillex’s new Ragga Bomb video.  Not my favorite artist, but this video is rather incredible.

Tomorrow: Cher & Cyndi Lauper @ Quicken Loans

 I was reluctant at first, but hey… why not.  I hear the set lists are amazing.

Cher: Still-feisty, still-funny singer-actress bound for Quicken Loans Arena on Friday isn't ready to fade away yet |

"Cher first captured a lot of hearts as the shy kid who ‘got you babe’ with Sonny Bono back in 1965, and then made the lot of us fall in love with her and her sense of humor on their television show.

She’s 67 now – Hush! She doesn’t look, sound or feel like it! – and if anything, the actress, singer and entertainer who headlines a Quicken Loans Arena show on Friday night is even feistier. And funnier.

Her co-star Friday night is Cyndi Lauper, who has the one thing that the Grammy-winning, Emmy-winning, Oscar-winning, Golden Globe-winning former Cherilyn Sarkisian does not: a Tony."

(Continued... Cher: Still-feisty, still-funny singer-actress bound for Quicken Loans Arena on Friday isn't ready to fade away yet |

Are You Ruining Your Vinyl Records?

For all the newbies out there…

Are You Ruining Your Vinyl Records? | PledgeMusic

" The best way is to always keep your records upright and never to stack them. Stacking records, or even leaning them at an angle, can create too much pressure and cause your records to scratch or warp. To preserve your collection for as long as possible, you’ll want to be sure and remove all plastic wrap so it doesn’t shrink and then replace any old or moldy sleeves with new ones. Consider purchasing acid-free plastic inner sleeves to keep your records as free from dust and mold as possible."

(Continued... Are You Ruining Your Vinyl Records? | PledgeMusic)