Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Heights Music Hop 2018

The ever-expanding Heights Music Hop taking place all over Cleveland Heights was this past weekend.  Thursday night was in Coventry, Friday night in Cedar Fairmount, and Saturday was the major effort happening all over the Cedar Lee area.  My time was limited this year and I was only able to hit Friday night. I was excited to catch back up with p.stoops and Wildcard Leader, both bands I’ve seen before and was happy to see again in some different environments.  First was p.stoops at The Fairmount. 

P stoops  9 14 18

P stoops  9 14 18

Next was Wildcard Leader at Still Point Gallery.

Wildcard Leader  9 14 18

I’m hoping to dedicate some more time next year to catch and cover all three nights!

Givers (9/13/18)

Chromeo was in town at the Agora on this night, which was a tempting option - but I was very exited to finally being seeing Givers at the Beachland Tavern instead.  I’ve been collecting and listening to all their albums going back to 2011.  The crowd was a little thin, but the whole band busted in and went around the room giving everyone high-fives on their way to the stage.  One of the best ways to engage a small audience, and immediately got everyone up front and listening!  I was stoked!  Unfortunately those embers died out as they continued, and I disconnected.  Very lively, but something wasn’t clicking for me for the rest of the show.  My friends dropped off, as I eventually did.   I’m not writing them off. Bands are people too, and deserve second chances.

Givers  9 13 18

Givers  9 13 18

Ani DiFranco (9/11/18)

I’ve seen Ani so many times now, that there’s not much else to say.  This is already my second time this year, with her performance at Nelsonville being the first in a festival format.  This tour was her Rise Up tour, where she was amping up and choosing songs to particularly motivate in this tumultuous political environment.  She dusted off some great songs and played across her entire cannon.  The intimacy of the Kent Stage was a refreshing transition for a festival environment.

Ani DiFranco  9 11 18

Ani DiFranco  9 11 18

Ani DiFranco  9 11 18

Opening is Peter Mulvey, who has a new album out on Righteous Babe Records.  While I can’t say I was thrilled with his performance, I will totally endorse him as a great storyteller - the sign of any great songwriter.

Peter Mulvey  9 11 18

Chad Valley (9/7/18)

Chad Valley is a pop artist, who despite being from the UK, I’ve seen multiple times here in Cleveland (2011 / 2014 / 2016)!  This was his second time headlining, and his first time at the Winchester Music Tavern.   He had his signature soaring, throwback pop vocal sound.  No band, just backed by a solid light wall and his charming personality and sound.

Chad Valley  9 7 18

Chad Valley  9 7 18

Equally appealing to me at this show was Bliss Nova, a new-to-me pop band from nearby Toledo, OH!  A city near where I grew up, a place I don’t hear about many bands originating from, let alone some pretty good pop acts.  Two guys on a drum set and keyboard were really entertaining, and hoping I’ll get to catch them again soon!

Bliss Nova  9 7 18

Bliss Nova  9 7 18

Monday, September 17, 2018

Video Day #tzaupbeat

Generationals just surprised me with a new video for their single It May Get Bad When You’re Lonely and Cold.   Tunde Olaniran is a new discovery with a fabulous new video for I’m Here.  Ryan Hemsworth continues to delight with his new video for Special Girl ft. SK & Tomggg.

Bonus:  I’m continually charmed by Mary Lambert.  She’s got a great voice and an effervescent personality.  Both of these show in this video for I’d Be Your Wife.


Monday, September 3, 2018

Lucy Wainwright Roche (9/2/18)

Lucy Wainwright Roche continues to cement herself as one of my favorite singer-songwriters.  It’s not hard to believe coming from music royalty, but she has a sound, style and presence that is all her own.  Last night she swung through Oberlin (her alma mater) to give a free show at Finney Chapel.  It was a great evening in Oberlin, bouncing around the charming town before the show began. When she took the (very warm) stage, she charmed us with her songwriting and conversation, as usual.  Her cover songs are always perfectly selected as well.  Check several of them out in the video below!

Lucy Wainwright Roche  9 2 18

She even brought out the puppy for the “encore!” 

Lucy Wainwright Roche  9 2 18

Video Day #tzachill

This Video Day is (almost) all about the new Blood Orange album.  I’ve been waiting a while on this one, and it’s totally worth the wait.  Check out the videos for Charcoal Baby, Jewelry and Saint.

Bonus: A sultry (and intense!) video from Son Little for The Middle.

M.A.K.U. Soundsystem (8/29/18)

M.A.K.U. Soundsystem performed at the PNC Glenville Arts Campus as part of Front International’s City Stages series.  Yet another great show in this series focusing on bringing international artists from around the world.  This was a first, seeing a concert outside in the Glenville area of Cleveland too!

M A K U Soundsystem  8 29 18

M A K U Soundsystem  8 29 18

M A K U Soundsystem  8 29 18

InCuya 2018

Wow.  Great job InCuya!!  Cleveland hosted it's first major music festival downtown, and I’m hoping it’s here to stay.  It was so well organized and the city looked amazing.  We even stayed downtown at the Hilton, so I had the advantage of feeling like a tourist in my own city.  Great job Cleveland!!
The music was just as good.  Great diversity, as shown from the headliners alone - SZA, The Avett Brothers, New Order and Awolnation.  Equally present were some of Cleveland’s finest, including The Modern Electric and Seafair.  More comprehensive reviews below.  Now we all wait and cross our fingers for another year (and maybe even an additional day!)
InCuya 2018
InCuya 2018
InCuya 2018
InCuya 2018

"To rectify the situation here in Cleveland, a group of local investors operating as the Cleveland Concert Company partnered with AEG Presents, Destination Cleveland, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and the city to launch the InCuya Music Festival. The inaugural event took place this past weekend on Malls B and C.
You can see photos from Day 1 and Day 2.
The setting was fantastic. Located on Mall B, the larger City Stage had the city skyline as a backdrop and the smaller Lake Stage, located on Mall C, looked out upon Lake Erie."
(Via InCuya Music Festival Makes an Impressive Debut | Scene and Heard: Scene's News Blog.)

"'This is what you see when you're visiting another city where they're having a festival,'' said Harris, indicating the expanse of the malls and the growing crowds.
Laura Bennett, who grew up in the United Kingdom and now lives in Chagrin Falls, has traveled the world and seen festivals around the globe, said it was really good to see Cleveland take advantage of its burgeoning metropolitan scene.
'It's good to see a downtown grow and change,'' said Bennett, who has called Northeast Ohio home for 14 years.
If this weekend is any indication, that growth and change is going to continue, if for no other reason than the motto on a booth for a business aimed at boosting unique entrepreneurial startups"
(Via InCuya Music Festival enjoys a stunning inaugural in downtown Cleveland.)

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Video Day #tzaubpeat

Finally! Empress Of has a new album coming out, and this is the video for her delightful first single, When I’m With Him. There’s nothing complicated about how delightful this new video is from Mursa Masa.  Computer Magic just put out another video for Clouds, from their excellent Danz release this year. 

Bonus: Our own Marcus Alan Ward droppes an *excellent* dance video for his new single, Please.

Mt. Joy (8/23/18)

Once in a while, an album comes out and completely bowls you over.  The more I listened to Mt. Joy as the show approached, this is what happened.  Nearly every song on their  only (?) album is amazing, and since this was moved from the Tavern to the Ballroom, I guess I wasn’t the only one to noticed.  It was a young and enthusiastic crowd at the Beachland Ballroom, and you’ll see that towards the end of the video!

Mt Joy  8 23 18

Mt Joy  8 23 18

Equally as great on stage were the openers, Oliver Hazard, a great group of guys from Waterville, OH.  Again, so many great songs on their one (and only?) album!  I chatted with these guys afterward about a possible house concert.  Keep your eyes peeled!

Oliver Hazard  8 23 18

Honcho Campout 2018

This is my third Honcho Campout, and probably one of the best.  They’re finding their groove in this new location, and you can tell by the number of people making their way out to this remote Four Quarters Interfaith Sanctuary.  A fabulous mix of people and music, and beautiful natural surroundings to envelop them.  Also, I know the video is pretty dark, but that’s probably for the best. ;-)

Honcho Campout 2018

Honcho Campout 2018

Honcho Campout 2018

Lydia (8/15/18)

I can’t even remember how I found out about this show, but I love it when friends reach out about how good a band sounds that they see on my TZA calendar!  Loved what I heard from this indie rock band, and their live show held up very well!

Lydia  8 15 18

Lydia  8 15 18

Opening was Jared & The Mill, a very capable (and cute) band.  A little more folk / jam than Lydia, but that’s never a bad thing.

Jared  The Mill  8 15 18

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Tonight! Mt. Joy @ Beachland Ballroom

I’ve been pretty busy these past couple weeks and have a lot to catch up on, but I really wanted to share these videos for tonight’s show at the Beachland Ballroom.  I’ve been enjoying Mt. Joy for awhile now, and was particularly excited when I saw they were going to be at Beachland’s Tavern.  But as I would expect, they were selling really well and got moved to the Ballroom.  Good for them.  These are some cool guys, with some great songs and videos to match.  Check them out below.


Tuesday, August 14, 2018

De Lux (8/11/18)

De Lux kinda snuck up on me.  Turns out I had some random "Scion AV Presents De Lux” EP from 2016 that I had enjoyed, and then readily moved on from. The speed at which I discover new music, I’ll often move past bands that probably deserve more attention, and this was one of those bands.  Thanks to Songkick monitoring my artist list in iTunes, they alerted me to their concert coming up at the Grog Shop.  I probably wouldn’t have even recognized their name had I not wondered - "why is Songkick telling me about this show?”   After getting reacquainted, I quickly updated my library with their new stuff, and the more I listened, the more I loved what I was hearing.  Every song was great!  Opening the was Cleveland’s own Key to the Mint, who I’ve seen several times.  They’re an interesting local band with a dark, throwback synth sound is.  I’m hoping for the best for these guys.

Key to the Mint  8 11 18

Next up were Traps PS, but we checked out for this band.  Then, L.A.’s De Lux took the stage and I never left the dance floor.  Their Bandcamp page describes them as: "a post-disco dance-punk DIY duo that sound like they could have come out of 1979 or 1982 just as easily as the present.”  Right on. The Grog Shop should’ve had a LOT more people there for this show, but this was also their first time in Cleveland.  Hopefully not their last!  So much fun… I live for concert nights like this.  

De Lux  8 11 18

De Lux  8 11 18

Joan Osborne / Lisa Loeb (8/10/18)

What a 90’s throwback show!  There was a time that both of these women held prominent places in my CD collection.  For this to be my annual trip to Cain Park for a concert was pretty exciting, though more so for Joan than Lisa.  I’ve continued to follow Joan and have always appreciated her dedication to her blues roots.  Lisa went on to make a bevy of children’s music.  Nothing wrong with that.  In fact, she was a consummate performer weaving in her one-hit wonder and filling the rest of the show with charming stories and insights.  She was delightful.

Lisa Loeb  8 10 18

Joan was polished, poised and sounded great. I couldn’t have been happier when she played my favorite, St. Teresa.  I only wished more people would have turned out for this show on this gorgeous night at Cain Park (and that my photos and video could have been better)

Joan Osborne  8 10 18

Friday, August 10, 2018

Video Day #tzaupbeat

I’m in love with this new song and video by Troye Sivan (feat. Ariana Grande) for Dance To This.  Fresh off seeing Bomba Estéreo at the Grog Shop, they just released the video for Amar Así with quite the unexpected ending.  I’ve been loving Kiesza for some time now, but wasn’t expecting this creepier version of Pee Wee’s Playhouse, in her new video for Phantom of the Dancefloor.

Bonus:  Big Freedia is back again, this time with additional vocals by Lizzo.  Nice work!

Bomba Estéreo (8/3/18)

I first caught wind of the Columbian band, Bomba Estéreo, back in 2011 from La Blogotheque, such a stunning performance (and visuals!).  Since then I’ve been following along and enjoying just about everything they’ve been putting out - except for that crappy song / video with Will Smith.  But hey, they’re just trying to make it.  When I heard they were coming to Cleveland and performing at the Grog Shop, I was shocked.  Unfortunately, this evening the sound setup wasn’t quite on their side.  Some muddled vocals really took away from the night.  Still, I’m so glad they came and that I was able to see them.

Bomba Estéreo  8 3 18

Friday, August 3, 2018

Article: Musical nostalgia: The psychology and neuroscience for song preference and the reminiscence bump.

This explains a lot.  While I can very much relate (see Guster), I’m always prioritizing new music.  Whether that’s conditioning or wiring, I feel rather unique in that way.

Screen Shot 2018 06 25 at 2 08 01 PM

"And researchers have uncovered evidence that suggests our brains bind us to the music we heard as teenagers more tightly than anything we’ll hear as adults—a connection that doesn’t weaken as we age. Musical nostalgia, in other words, isn’t just a cultural phenomenon: It’s a neuronic command. And no matter how sophisticated our tastes might otherwise grow to be, our brains may stay jammed on those songs we obsessed over during the high drama of adolescence."

(Via Musical nostalgia: The psychology and neuroscience for song preference and the reminiscence bump..)

Guster (8/1/18)

While I could consider Guster a total college band, I didn’t really get exposed to them until just after.  But still, their sound totally resonates as that level of fun nostalgia for me.  Looking back, I thought I had actually seen them multiple times, but turns out it was just one disastrous show with Ray LaMontagne at John Carroll University (and a guest blog from my friend Tim!).  This show was a great reprieve all these years later.  They’re light, fun, and a great sing along band.  Representative of their aesthetic, check out the Scene article below about their frontman hanging around town with some locals before the show.  :-)

Guster  8 1 18

Guster  8 1 18

"Pam, with her 72-year-old mom Benji in tow, picked Miller up and drove him around the city showing off the sights. They stopped for lunch at Simply Greek on Uptown Avenue and chatted about their lives and, presumably, their love of Guster's music. The women then returned Miller to HOB just in time for soundcheck."

(Via Guster's Frontman Explored Cleveland Yesterday With Random Fans | Scene and Heard: Scene's News Blog.)

Van William opened. I was a big fan of his earlier band Port O’Brien days and have been following him since.  Wasn’t able to catch the whole set, but I liked what I heard and I’m happy to hear he’ll be back at the Beachland Ballroom this fall for a headlining show!

Van William  8 1 18

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Article: Dave's Cosmic Subs and Music to Open in Former Barking Spider Space on CWRU Campus

Kind sad, but it could be worse I guess.  I hope I can find a sub there I like.


"Come late 2018, the location once again will play host to live music, when Dave's Cosmic Subs and Music debuts at the historic property. The locally owned and operated sub shop will be a unique blend of familiar subs and live music, a first for the 20-year-old chain.

‘It’s my first store with live music,’ says founder Dave Lombardy, who at the age of 23 left Cleveland to pursue an acting and singing career in California. ‘So it’s come full circle for me. It’s a wonderful location. It’s going to be a really cool spot.’

North Coast Cosmic Subs, a franchisee that operates Dave’s Cosmic Subs in Cleveland Heights, Berea, Mentor and Oberlin, has signed a long-term lease on the university-owned building (11310 Juniper Rd.), nestled in the heart of campus by L’Albatros restaurant.

‘The intention is to completely renovate, restore and refresh the space into a modern Dave’s Cosmic Subs prototype that can house a full-service bar and a venue for music and live entertainment,’ explains Paul Sidhu, president of North Coast Cosmic Subs."

(Via Dave's Cosmic Subs and Music to Open in Former Barking Spider Space on CWRU Campus | Scene and Heard: Scene's News Blog.)

Video Day #tzachill

Fleet Foxes just released a touching and beautiful short film video for If You Need To, Keep Time on Me.  Yoke Lore tells the story of lesbian relationship with his new video for Ride.  The Internet are knocking out the great singles, with their newest video for La Di Da.

Bonus:  The Decemberists just released a new video for Once in My Life, check out Colin Meloy’s take on the video below, and follow the link for more from the director as well.


"Meloy says:

We were searching for a video idea for ‘Once In My Life’ that would somehow capture the spirit of the song. In my mind, the song is a meditation, a plea to the cosmos that I imagine everyone, at some point or another, has made. We asked our old friend and collaborator Autumn de Wilde to pitch an idea and she came to us with a simple but powerful story: a depiction of her brother Jacob, a man who has lived with physical and intellectual differences his entire life, dancing in the streets of Los Angeles. The song, in this light, becomes more than just a ‘celebration of sadness,’ (which I have sometimes called it) but suddenly a longing holler to the universe against one’s perceived otherness.

This idea is particularly close to me as I’ve witnessed how the world sees my son Hank, who is autistic. When I’m out in public with Hank, I’m acutely aware of the world’s attachment to social and behavioral norms; in these situations, Hank’s otherness can suddenly be put in stark relief. Through the lens of Jacob’s joyful and defiant movement in Autumn’s video, we see a man shrugging off the constraints of an unaccommodating and judgmental world and truly reveling in his body and mind."

(Via The Decemberists – “Once In My Life” Video - Stereogum.)

Monday, July 30, 2018

Article: Cleveland's Music Saves record shop finds new life with online store and pop-up events

Just getting caught up with this article.  Music still Saves!

Cloud Nothings  4 17 10

"Luckily for music fans in Cleveland (and beyond), the song isn't over. This June, Music Saves launched an online store. For fans of Hershberger's sharp curation of records that were always stocked at the shop, you'll find a wide selection of indie, rock, folk, electronic and more online. Music can be shipped to your doorstep or picked up at the shop at 15801 Waterloo Road.

'Music Save has been a Cleveland institution for almost 14 years,' Hershberger says. 'It has become not just an important part of my life, but of the lives of many who live here. While the retail brick-and-mortar storefront no longer felt sustainable, I wasn't ready to give up on the store just yet. People are shopping online more and more, and I felt a growing demand for Music Saves to be available in that way.'"

(Via Cleveland's Music Saves record shop finds new life with online store and pop-up events |

Pitchfork Music Festival 2018

Another great year at the Pitchfork Music Festival!  A bunch of great bands this year, with some of my favorites performances from Syd, Courtney Barnett, Mount Kimbie, Zola Jesus, Blood Orange, The War on Drugs, and Kelly Lee Owens (who really impressed me).  Biggest disappointments this year were both Chaka Kahn and Lauryn Hill.  Unfortunate, but I rarely attend this festival for the headliners anyway. It was also a really unstable weather year, but probably one of the most enjoyable! Photos and video below!

Pitchfork Music Festival 2018

Pitchfork Music Festival 2018

Pitchfork Music Festival 2018

Pitchfork Music Festival 2018

Pitchfork Music Festival 2018

Pitchfork Music Festival 2018

Pitchfork Music Festival 2018