Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Video Day

Austra is supporting her new EP with a video (“film”) for Habitat.  Wild Beasts have a new video out for Mecca.  A new video by Trampled by Turtles, off their upcoming album (Wild Animals out on July 15th).

Bonus this week is a new video by our very own Lighthouse & the Whaler!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Rufus Wainwright (6/22/14)

Rufus Wainwright is now doing a “Hits” tour, and stopped down at the Kent Stage last night.  As Matt put it - this is the first time we were ever surprised by getting front row seats!  What a surprise treat it was.  What was also a treat, but no surprise, was Rufus’ sister Lucy Wainwright Roche opening.  She was as beautiful and charming as ever.  A true delight.

Rufus was a bit saucy as expected (and maybe a little sauced), but he was upbeat and sounded amazing.  He definitely covered his catalog and even played an Aria from his recently crowd-funded Opera that he’s working on.  He even evoked an appearance of Liza Minnelli on stage (actually Lucy).  Campy, fun and gay.  Everything you can hope for from a Rufus Wainwright show.  Just don’t take pictures.  :-/

Rufus Wainwright (6/22/14)

Rufus Wainwright (6/22/14)

Rufus Wainwright (6/22/14)

Summer Solstice Party (6/21/14)

Another Summer, another Summer Solstice Party from the Cleveland Museum of Art.  At this point, it’s becoming an institution - and with any “institution” there’s room for critique.  This year we got the early entry tickets, which seemed reasonable, particularly when realizing the event ends at 1 and the 10:30 entry people really only have 2 good hours of fun - which flies by super-fast.

This year there was no awesome exterior art experience, and while the music was very cultural and interesting - there was very little that you could dance to - inside or out.  While those have been two of the coolest things about the party that were missing - the people watching, GLBC beer and the Art Museum itself still made this an event worth considering.  I just hope they ramp up the music back up for next  year.

Summer Solstice Party 2014

Summer Solstice Party 2014

Summer Solstice Party 2014

Summer Solstice Party 2014

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Beck (6/19/14)

Beck kicked off the first night of his tour right here in Cleveland, at the State Theater in Playhouse Square!  Opening was Sean Lennon (yeah, that Sean Lennon) who sounded good, though a little too background-music like.  Beck came out on stage to little fanfare, but then brought it out on stage throughout for the rest of the night.  Beck has fallen off my radar lately, but with a new album - and Matt who’s a big fan - I was fully satisfied with a truly great performance.  I’d give it a 8 on the DAKS scale.  Check out the clips!

Beck (6/19/14)

Beck (6/19/14)

Beck Revisits His Past While Moving Forward at the State Theatre:
"Filling the early part of his set with older tracks like 'Black Tambourine,' 'Golden Age' and 'Loser,' he eased the crowd into his new works from Morning Phase. The first of the new songs, 'Blackbird Chain,' came across as a tame song with intriguing rhythmic quirks and a gorgeous chorus that soars like its eponymous bird. Other new tracks like 'Blue Moon,' 'Turn Away' and 'Waking Light' mellowed out the show mid-set, not without energy but engaging in subtler ways. When the show picked up on livelier tracks, Beck showcased some of his impressive dance moves. Moving about with the soulful swagger of a '60s R&B artist, he swayed and slid engaging the audience despite the house security trying to dampen the mood."

(Via.Beck Revisits His Past While Moving Forward at the State Theatre | Scene and Heard: Scene's News Blog | Cleveland Scene)

Friday, June 20, 2014

Andrew Jackson Jihad (6/18/14)

The Asher Roth show let out by 10:15pm (!!) so I had plenty of time to catch Andrew Jackson Jihad at the Grog Shop.  Completely different crowd, but equally as entertaining of an experience.  AJJ is also intelligent, funny and connects well with the audience - and what an impressive crowd it was!  AJJ’s brand of quirky, folky, pop/rock is terribly charming and the crowd loved it.  Check out their new album Christmas Island!

Andrew Jackson Jihad (6/18/14)

Andrew Jackson Jihad (6/18/14)

Asher Roth (6/8/14)

It’s been quite awhile since Asher Roth loved College.  Since then he’s released a series of albums and mixtapes, with his newest release (RetroHash) being his first truly independent release.  That freedom translated to his performance, where he was relaxed and connecting with the crowd.  He covered some ground with the tracks he chose to perform, but it was refreshing to see his focus on the new stuff - and great to see the audience knowing all the words!  Asher is such a great person all around, smart, funny and completely genuine.  Oh, and he has some mad music skillz as well.  Check out the party:

Asher Roth (6/18/14)

Asher Roth (6/18/14)

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Tomorrow: Sharon Van Etten @ Beachland Ballroom

I won’t be making it to this Sharon Van Etten show at the Beachland Ballroom tomorrow night - but there’s no reason you shouldn’t be.  Much buzz has been happening around Sharon and her new release.  Check out some videos of her to see why.  Album review below...

Sharon van etten


The Quietus | Reviews | Sharon Van Etten

"'Afraid Of Nothing' opens Are We There with a slow-build of plangent piano chords, dappled cymbals, backing vocals and strings that pirouette atop each other before the song begins in earnest - and begins to build once more, into something even lovelier than before: a deeply felt sigh that speaks volumes in exasperation and relief.

This is the prevailing sound of the new LP, and it's an excellent fit for the Brooklyn-based, New Jersey-born singer. Her voice is the kind that could make almost anything sound melancholy, but in matching it to songs simultaneously soft and steely, the effect is honestly heartening more than anything else. Even a piano-led ballad entitled 'I Love You But I'm Lost' shines with the promise of a brighter, more fulfilled future."

(Continued... The Quietus | Reviews | Sharon Van Etten)

Video Day

Frog Eyes, who just announced a new album (Oct. 7th), released a new video for The Sensitive Girls.  Next up is Ryan Hemsworth with “the most boring video of 2014” for One for Me.  Finally, we have a video for the next Cut Copy single, Meet Me In A House of Love.

Bonus:  Yet another OKGo Video:

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

New Find: Lily & Madeleine

With the recent release of the new First Aid Kit album, it’s prompted me to alert you to another new group that harken to the same gorgeous harmonizing - Lily & Madeleine.  Their new album is gorgeous, and worth a listen.  Check it out.

Lily Madeleine 2013 grande


Elvis Costello (6/16/14)

Elvis Costello performed at the Palace Theatre, in what was a completely solo performance.  From what I’ve heard from every Elvis fan there - this show was superb.  Personally, not being that intimate with his music, I kinda struggled. I’m going to have to dust off the DAKS scale and give it like a 2.  Sorry Elvis - nothing personal.  I still think you’re an immense talent.

Elvis Costello (6/16/14)

 I did catch my favorite song of his… 

For a more professional approach:

Elvis Costello Digs Deep into his Catalog for Palace Theatre Concert

"While Costello makes for a great bandleader (he and his backing band the Attractions were once able to play outdoor amphitheaters), he had no trouble shifting gears to perform without any accompaniment. Throughout the two-and-a-half hour concert, he regularly joked with the audience and introduced songs with short stories about their origins. He told stories about his father and his grandfather, both of whom were musicians. And he reminisced about the times he’s played Northeast Ohio. ‘It’s probably been about 400 years since the first time I came to Cleveland,’ he said"

(Via. Elvis Costello Digs Deep into his Catalog for Palace Theatre Concert | Scene and Heard: Scene's News Blog | Cleveland Scene:)

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Chaka Khan / Sharon Needles (6/14/14)

Pittsburgh Pride again this year, with Chaka Khan headlining.  I wish I could say it was a better performance, but I think I’m expecting too much from these divas of yesteryear.  At least she looked spectacular.

Chaka Kahn (6/14/14)

It wasn’t all Chaka this weekend however.  There was a little Sharon the night before.  (not for the faint of heart)

Video Day

New Blood Orange, with Gia Coppala directing You’re Not Good Enough.   Polica is up next with a new video for Raw Exit (still reeling over their performance at the Grog). Bishop Allen is finally back on the scene with Start Again.

Big Freedia Bonus!


Tomorrow: Asher Roth @ House of Blues

(i.e. Wednesday night) Cambridge Room show!  Asher Roth is gracing the CLE with his smooth rhymes and smart lyrics.  This will be superb.  

1921180 10151898556302234 1633546098 o

Opening is the up and coming Chuck Inglish.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Video Day

First up is a video for Hot Chip’s Alex Taylor with a video for Without a Crutch.   Then we have a Sam Smith double header, with a live video for the gorgeous Stay with Me (feat. Mary J. Blige) and one for Leave Your Lover.



Bonus:  RuPaul’s Drag Race runner-up has the best song / music video to date coming out of that franchise.

Ray LaMontagne (6/11/14)

The last time I saw Ray LaMontagne, it was back on his first (major) release back in 2005.  A lot has happened for him since then, but nothing quite as exciting as his newest release, Supernova, produced by Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys.  This new album has been one of my favorites of this Summer so far.  I know it’s not technically Summer yet, but this album has me feeling like it is.

It was only fitting that the show was outside, particularly with such a beautiful view of downtown.  

Ray LaMontagne (6/11/14)

I was glad he focused a lot of attention on the new album, but didn’t leave out the “hits” either.  While he felt a little more comfortable on stage than the first time I saw him - he really didn’t engage with the crowd a whole lot more.  That didn’t matter, because the night couldn’t have been a better experience.

Ray LaMontagne (6/11/14)
Ray LaMontagne (6/11/14)

CHVRCHES (6/10/14)

I’ve been waiting to see CHVRCHES for some time now, and just when I thought my chance had passed (their album has been out for a while now) - they announce shows in Pittsburgh, Detroit & Columbus.  Columbus was my best option, and is a great one because I can catch up with friends down there.  It was also a $5 show discount show!  Of course the day I’m ready to drive down, they announce a Cleveland show at the House of Blues on Sept. 28th.  However, I already have tix to catch Erasure in Pittsburgh on that date - so I was glad I had committed to this show.

They moved this show from the Newport Music Hall to the outside Pavilion.  A great idea - until it poured down rain.  Despite the inclement weather, the band sounded great and the audience was beyond enthused…  

CHVRCHES (6/10/14)

CHVRCHES (6/10/14)

CHVRCHES (6/10/14)

I do feel bad that these guys still have such a long tour schedule ahead of them - they have to be getting sick of playing these songs by now - but you would not have noticed it from this show.  I hope they can keep it up for our Cleveland date!

Oh - and I met some great people!

CHVRCHES (6/10/14)

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Video Day

New La Roux (!!) with Let Me Down Gently.  Next up is a slick groove with Tycho’s See.  Next is Glass Animals with a new video of all stop-action, clay goodness for Pools. 

Bonus:  This may have been around for a while (NSFW).  Some crazy shit.

Poliça (6/5/14)

A pop show at Grog Shop - yes please!  Lolawolf opened with their deep R&B grooves and slick production. Classy stuff. Oh, and just found out that it’s fronted by Lenny's daughter, Zoe Kravitz.

Lolawolf (6/5/14)

Poliça was amazing, even better than I was expecting. Channy Leaneagh was demure and retracted between songs, but was smooth as silk while performing.  The double drums and other synths really made this an impeccable & pristine show.  Good work.

Poliça (6/5/14)

Blitzen Trapper (6/4/14)

After grabbing dinner and watching the Big Scary in the Tavern, we walked over to the Ballroom to catch the Parkington Sisters, opening for Blitzen Trapper.  Alt-country female harmonies always gets me. These ladies were talented and charming.

Parkington Sisters (6/4/14)

Blitzen Trapper is a band for the fan of the guitar solo - particularly for their live performances.  At one point I turned to a friend and said they reminded of a folk-rock version of Rush (said with the utmost love).  The crowd was a little light, as I’m not sure how well the new album is doing - and I’m not sure if that’s what made the performance feel a little less spirited - but there was no less talent.  These guys continue as a favorite of mine.

Blitzen Trapper (6/4/14)

Blitzen Trapper (6/4/14)

Jeremy Messersmith (6/4/14)

This was a double-header night between this Jeremy Messersmith show in the Tavern and Blitzen Trapper in the Ballroom.  I’ve been a fan of Blitzen Trapper for some time and have only recently discovered Jeremy.  However, I knew I didn’t want to have to choose between shows.  Thankfully I didn’t have to, so while each entry will be separate, I bounced between both sides of the Beachland.

Opening for Jeremy was Big Scary out of Australia.  These guys were extremely talented and sounded amazing.  Their indie pop sound was really appealing and I’ve since acquired their back catalog to explore.  So glad I caught these guys.

Big Scary (6/4/14)

Jeremy Messersmith was utterly refreshing on stage.  Funny, talented, and an all around pleasure.  He kind of reminded me of a mix between Elvis Costello and Ben Folds - but with a style all his own.  I will see him any future chance I get.

Jeremy Messersmith (6/4/14)

Jeremy Messersmith (6/4/14)

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Tomorrow: Poliça @ Grog Shop

Poliça will be at the Grog Shop tomorrow night, with Lolawolf opening.  Should be a great night for some serious pop music. $15 @ 9pm


Opening will be Lolawolf

Video Day

New First Aid Kit for My Silver Lining!  Next up is the new video by The Horrors for So Now You Know. Then is the deliciously quirky Nathan K. for Sloppy Love.

Bonus:  Despite the mama-drama over the video, it’s a good song.

The Head and The Heart (5/29/14)

Still trying to recover from Movement, this show was a last minute decision.  We still went, but no plans for tickets, photos, or anything.  Just arrived.  Well, turns out that for the Beachland sponsored shows at the Masonic, they don’t allow cameras like the Grog Shop shows do, so after returning it to my car, we scaled up the stairs for a dark seat in the crowd to catch most of Lucius, who was great.  I’m loving their album, but the whole entree into the venue experience still had me stilted.  And of course, at that distance with the iPhone - pics were not an option.

We found a better spot for The Head & The Heart - but was wondering how the floor could have been sold out, as it looked to be less than half full.  Still, we sat and relaxed, enjoying the pop-folk show.  Check it out:

The Head & The Heart (5/29/14)

 From the Cleveland Leader:

"Throughout the past few years the venues have gotten larger and the amount of fans in attendance has grown but the band still seems to keep things simple. There is no elaborate stage decor or lighting. Their presence and sound reminds you it's all about the music.

The Head and the Heart performed songs from both of their successful albums. The songs all flow well together. They have a unique sound that was definitely carried across to the new album. If fans loved the first album then they are for sure to love 'Let's Be Still'."

(Via. Concert Review :: The Head and The Heart @ Masonic Auditorium | Cleveland Leader)

Movement Festival 2014

What an amazing festival experience this was, my first electronic music festival.  So thankful to some old and new friends for sharing this with… A great space, great music, and lots interesting and extremely nice people. 3 days of non-stop dancing. Great food too!  Check out some shots and a compilation video.

Movement (Memorial Day Weekend 2014)

Movement (Memorial Day Weekend 2014)

Movement (Memorial Day Weekend 2014)

Movement (Memorial Day Weekend 2014)


Check out some other thoughts on the first couple days of the fest.

Next year’s dates have already been announced.  They’re on my calendar!

"In the blink of an eye, Movement Detroit has already penciled in May 23rd, 24th and 25th, 2015 for next year’s festival dates. The annual event will return to Hart Plaza – Detroit’s renowned waterfront destination - during its traditional Memorial Day Weekend slot."

(Via. Movement Detroit announces 2015 dates - Dancing Astronaut)

The Faint (5/22/14)

Prepping for this show, I was reminded at just how long these guys have been around - and just how much I used to like them!  Sure, their new album is good, but not quite holding my attention like some of the newer stuff out there.  I guess the same could be said about the show, but that’s not from a lack of effort on the band’s part.  It was a light showing at HOB (why not play Beachland again boys?), but these guys really made the effort.  But before that… Opening was Darren Keen.  A whacked out DJ, in all the best ways. 

Darren Keen (5/22/14)

Reptar was next, and these guys were a dark horse winner for me.  Such vibrance on stage, great songs, and I really can’t wait to hear more from these guys.

Reptar (5/22/14)

The Faint really gave it their all.

The Faint (5/22/14)The Faint (5/22/14)

Here are more photos!

Created with flickr badge.

Tonight: Blitzen Trapper AND Jeremy Messersmith @ Beachland Ballroom AND Tavern

Tonight’s a big night at the Beachland, but you’ll have to choose a side (or do both shows like me).  Blitzen Trapper is one of my favorite “camping” bands, a smart, indie, alt-country rock sound.  Perfect for a campfire in the woods.  

Opening will be the talented Parkington Sisters, and Cellar Door’s The Commonwealth!

Over at the tavern is singer/songwriter Jeremy Messersmith.  Excellent songwriting and crazy good tracks… Check out his NPR Tiny Desk Concert:

Opening is Big Scary.