Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Headspace (1/25/19)

One of saddest things about the Happy Dog at the Euclid Tavern closing was possibly losing the Headspace parties happening in the basement. However, after a short hiatus, they found a new west-side home in the upstairs of Battery Park Pub.  The night was really well attended (!) and the space was pretty great.  My only complaint: many of the people were there to talk as much as dance, which competed with the sound.  Let’s work on that people.

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Headspace  1 25 19

BRKLYN (1/24/19)

Magnolia has been offering up free tickets to their shows (first 50 only), and it’s a chance to get on a dance floor. I’m usually mildly disappointed in the music - but I’ll take any (free) chance to hit a dancefloor (esp. when I’m off work the next day).  BRKLYN fit that bill.

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Lala Lala (1/23/19)

Lala Lala has been making the rounds on the music media lately, and for good reason.  They embody emo indie rock at it’s finest.  Some dense jams, interwoven with bright electric guitar/bass lines.  I understand they’re a fixture of the Chicago music scene, and they’re lucky to have them - thought I’m sure they’re spending a lot of time on the road these days.  In fact, they’ll be coming back here, opening for Better Oblivion Community Center at the Beachland (3/25)!!  More on that show later.  Check out some stuff below, including the Perfume Genius cover in the video!

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Lala Lala  1 23 19


Sen Morimoto is unique.  He’s one of Lala Lala’s friends from Chicago.  He plays a combo of R&B, rap and some art-jazz using a synth, saxophone and a drummer.  Pretty unique and varied stuff.  Something my more musically intelligent friends would probably understand/appreciate better than I. 

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Opening was Port Lucian.  I’d been checking out her stuff before the show and really liked it.  She has a smoky voice, and smoky pop sound really.  I was surprised it was just her on stage. She presented some great guitar work.

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Sunday, January 27, 2019

Video Day #tzaupbeat

Chemical Brothers release a new “visual” for their single MAH, showing a concert I’d love to be at.  Chaka Khan has been working with Major Lazer’s Switch and Sarah Ruba Taylor on her new album Hello Happiness, also the name of her new single.   Crystal Fighters have an (expectedly) funky video for their new single, All My Love.

Bonus: FIDLAR has a captivating and quirky new video for By Myself

Monday, January 21, 2019

Vacationer (1/19/19)

I wasn’t even sure if this show was going to happen.  We were right in the middle of a major winter storm warning and snow had been blowing all day.  I opted for a walking / busing adventure to the Grog Shop instead of driving.  I made a pit stop for dinner, but realized the next bus was going to get me there any quicker than if I walked the rest of the way - so I did.  While there were more people at the Grog Shop than I was expecting, there were way less than there should have been.  Understandable.

Vacationer were the perfect antithesis to what was going on outside, as their name would imply.  While hailing from the East coast, these guys feel like they just stepped off a California beach.  They were charming, fun, and really appreciative we were all there.  These guys have me wishing for Spring, especially as I was about to push back out into the winter weather to get home.

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Vacationer  1 19 19

Vacationer  1 19 19

There were 2 openers.  Monster Rally and p.stoops.  Monster Rally was pretty good, but I’m still team p.stoops - who took the stage first.

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I didn’t catch any video of Monster Rally, but he’s a photo.

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The Grovewood Grille / Stella's Music Club (1/18/19)

There’s something appealing about writing about all live music experiences, even if they aren’t planned.  I like the idea of exposing live music performances, in whatever shape or place they happen.  This past Friday night, these performances were pretty varied.  

With no plans of seeing live music, we randomly stumbled on this bar in Parma called The Grovewood Grille.  I was immediately charmed by the layout of the place.  I saw a stage (about to be active), a functional arcade bowling machine, and a boisterous crowd.  Turns out they were about to turn out a Neil Young cover band.  I really wish I would have caught (remembered) the name of the band.  While I didn’t catch much on video - these guys were definitely Rockin’ in the Free World. 

The Grovewood Grill

The Grovewood Grill

After that, a friend told us about an EDM dance party at Stella’s Music Club.  It was sorta on the way home, so what the hell (and it would be the second time at Stella’s in a week!).  The music wasn’t half bad when we arrived, but when it got to what you’ll hear in this video - we left.  :-) 

Stella s Music Club

Twisted Pine (1/16/19)

After scoring some tickets for this show, I was charmed by Twisted Pine’s cover of Blondie’s Heart of Glass.  That was enough to get me excited to see what this all strings band would bring to the Beachland Tavern stage.  Unfortunately, it was only the covers that kept me engaged.  Heart of Glass was played again, as was Scissor Sisters’ I Don’t Feel Like Dancin’ (check the video!).  The novelty of those songs were fun, but there wasn’t much else that kept my attention during the set.

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Opening was The Morning Bird, our own newly forming americana band.  These guys were a lot of fun and have some great potential.  I really enjoyed the songs.  I’ll look forward to seeing these guys again.

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The Morning Bird  1 16 19

Friday, January 18, 2019

Tomorrow: Vacationer @ Grog Shop

I’m not sure how this show on my radar, but I’ve been enjoying what I’ve been hearing by Vacationer.  Check out their description on AllMusic:

"Vacationer blends the escapist dream pop of Beach House with the quasi-mystical electropop of Animal Collective. Rhythmic, heady, and hypnotic yet peppered with heartfelt lyrics and genuine emotion, Vacationer released its debut EP in 2011, followed by the full-length Gone in 2012; both were put out by Downtown Records. In 2018, they delivered their third studio album, the Daniel Schlett-produced Mindset."

(Via Vacationer | Biography & History | AllMusic.)


That sounds about right.  Opening are our own p.stoops and Monster Rally - though MR looks like they’re out of California these days.  "Monster Rally is the project of Ted Feighan who crafts tracks from his record collection, combining his interests in Hip-hop, Exotica, and Tropicalia.” (via FaceBook) and p.stoops I’ve covered here several times.  

Check out the scenic Vacationer videos below.  Looks like it’s going to be a great party with the snow coming down outside!

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

House Concert Announcement!

I’m thrilled to be announcing my 8th house concert!  My last show with Mike Edel in May was so good, I was actually nervous about hosting another one that could match that experience.  As soon as I saw Oliver Hazard opening for Mt. Joy at the Beachland Ballroom, I knew these could be the guys.  I chatted with them after the show and they seemed amenable, but they also have a lot of things coming up for them.  Luckily, we were able to work this out!

Please RSVP on my FaceBook Event.  (If you don’t have FB, please email me at

I have limited seating, so reservations are necessary!  I couldn’t be more excited to be hosting these guys, and I hope you can come!


Get to know the band!

Some press:


"‘We got so much acclaim from people at the bar that it made us think maybe we were playing good music,’ says Belazis, who returned to California and stayed there for most of 2017. 'We have played one special show about every three months, but it worked out because we haven't burned out our fanbase and we have seen measurable growth.’"

(Via Waterville's Oliver Hazard Turning Heads With Its Twangy Tunes | Scene and Heard: Scene's News Blog.)


"The three friends, who together make up the indie/folk band Oliver Hazard, announced in January they were put on the bill to play this summer’s annual Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival, a three-day event that had more than 90 acts including Eminem, The Killers, Paramore, Bon Iver, and Khalid at a 700-acre Tennessee farm.

The gig was the biggest show Oliver Hazard has ever played. Yet, when the band walked on stage at 9:30 p.m., the trio had played no more than 20 shows as a band."

(Via Notes from Bonnaroo: Oliver Hazard celebrates biggest gig so far | Toledo Blade.)

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Video Day #tzaupbeat

Troye Sivan indulges in a beach romance in his sexy new video for Lucky Strike.  Sharon Van Etten has released a new video for Seventeen off her new album coming out (this Friday!).   Monarchy has a new video for their single Back to the Start, which it kinda feels like for them.

Bonus:  Computer Magic just released a cover of Suspicious Minds, with a new video shot entirely on an iPhone.

Tomorrow: Twisted Pine @ Beachland Tavern

I got lucky enough to score some free tix to see this fun folk band from Boston, MA.  Looks like it’ll be a good show with an interesting local opener,  Cleveland’s own americana band named The Morning Bird.

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"Praised by NPR for their ‘upbeat, poppy vibe; energetic, driving rhythms; virtuosic solos’ and ‘tight harmonies,’ the acoustic quartet deftly reimagines seven pop, rock, and disco favorites."

(Via Twisted Pine – Tickets – Beachland Tavern – Cleveland, OH – January 16th, 2019 | Beachland Ballroom & Tavern.)

"Cleveland americana band The Morning Bird formed in early 2018 with the goal of crafting songs that resonate with the common man."

(Via Twisted Pine – Tickets – Beachland Tavern – Cleveland, OH – January 16th, 2019 | Beachland Ballroom & Tavern.)

Screen Shot 2019 01 13 at 3 43 27 PM

Monday, January 14, 2019

Cleveland Week:ender (1/12/19)

I have *finally* made it to the Harbor Inn for the Week:ender dance party.  I’m always trying to support any form of dancing in this city, and have been really wanting to make it to this party.   Overall, the music was great, as was the lighting and the dance floor space.  I’m really looking forward to continuing to support it.  However...

The Harbor Inn.  It’s basically known as the hard-core Republican bar. The bartenders continue to wear the shirts they created for the Republican National Convention back in 2016 - as well as sell them.  While that’s their right to do so (though debatably distasteful), it was the continuous rotation of R. Kelly songs on the Jukebox was - as well as the loud comments overheard supporting him - that made me uneasy.  

As a gay man, this was not an environment I felt comfortable in - notably with much more privilege than many others who I’d love to see on that dance floor with me.  Granted, the Week:ender party was a separate party upstairs - in a really cool space that I never knew existed - but still.  Are there no other places that can support the Week:ender where one can feel included and accepted on many levels?  If the Week:ender wants to create a safe and inclusive space, the Harbor Inn is apparently not the place to do it.

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The Screaming Eagles (1/11/19)

Stella’s Music Club is a newer music venue located on E. 9th Street.  I’ve been seeing a lot of activity by this place, including starting a record label!  I like their momentum.  Not much has caught my attention in way of their bookings, but I wanted to just stop in and check this venue out.  I had a night free and the bands didn’t matter.  I took the train downtown, and after winning a quick $20 at the casino, I stopped in at Stella’s.  While I was never in  in previous iterations of the space, I was really happy with what I saw!  An open space, with a nice bar and great layout.  I stayed long enough to catch our own local rockers, The Screaming Eagles.  Let’s just say I felt like a true Clevelander being there.
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The Screaming Eagles  1 11 19
Here are some shots of the venue:
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The Screaming Eagles  1 11 19
The Screaming Eagles  1 11 19

Article: Where Stadium Concerts Are Concerned, It's Now A Pop World

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"Those of us who grew up with rock tend to remember the stadium concert as a bastion of the legendary rock performers like The Rolling Stones, The Who, and Black Sabbath among many others. While those bands and more from that era still manage to play stadiums (at least before they retire), that part of the concert business is now being dominated by a different genre of music. Would you believe that Pop is now #1 in the UK?

When I first started going to concerts, inevitably at stadium venues, it began with the likes of Mötley Crüe, Skid Row, Warrant, etc…(thanks to my big sister) but still… 

The BBC wanted to determine just who’s winning that particular music scene, so it looked back at every concert or event in Wembley Stadium’s history since 1980 and gave it a value as a ‘pop’ or ‘rock’ event. Shows with the same performers playing over multiple nights were counted separately. What they found was pretty surprising.

1980s Rock 61% Pop 39%

1990s Rock 54% Pop 46%

2000s Rock 58% Pop 42%

2010s Rock 20% Pop 80%"

and then there’s this little bit... 

"Interestingly Hip-Hop is the most popular music genre in the United States and accounts for 38% of all music streams, yet only 11% of the concert revenue. Except for Drake and Beyonce, the major hip-hop artists just don’t do the same amount of concert business as either the pop or rock acts, although they don’t seem to tour as much either."

(Via Where Stadium Concerts Are Concerned, It's Now A Pop World - hypebot.)

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Video Day #tzaupbeat

This Claire Laffut video first caught my attention just by the image, but the song is great as well!  Django Django got beamed up and beyond for their new video.  BROODS have a new album coming out in February, and I ran across their second video / single off of it!

Bonus this week is going back and discovering the other single off the upcoming BROODS release, another retro-inspired piece.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Article: Study claims that attending concerts can add nine years to your life

Every time one of these articles comes out, I’m usually tagged on social media (hi Brooke!).  I love it.  And I hope it’s true.  😊

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"Concerts can be daunting as you get older, what with late start times, a slew of opening acts, and the prospect of standing next to tall, sweaty people for several hours. A new study, however, claims that the effort’s worth it.

Conducted by O2 and behavioral science expert Patrick Fagan and reported by NME, the study finds that regular concert attendance can increase one’s lifespan by up to nine years. The logic here is that live music increases feelings of self-worth, closeness to others, and, especially, mental stimulation, all of which contribute to one’s sense of well-being. According to the study, there’s a ‘positive correlation between regularity of gig attendance and well-being,’ and ‘additional scholarly research directly links high levels of wellbeing with a lifespan increase of nine years.’"

(Via Study claims that attending concerts can add nine years to your life | Consequence of Sound.)

Tomorrow: Mary Gauthier, Gretchen Peters & Eliza Gilkyson @ Beachland Ballroom

I have such a soft spot in my heart for music by female singers of a certain age, particularly from the likes of Joni Mitchell, Nanci Griffith, and of course Joan Armatrading.  There’s something that’s relevant, timeless, and often poignant about it, as I know the music of these three women will be.  I’m casually familiar with Mary Gauthier & Eliza Gilkyson by name, both have had venerable careers.  As does Gretchen Peters, i’ve since discovered.  Should be a great night of stories.  I’m looking forward to it.


"Three women, three guitars and the words, music, and hard-won wisdom from three lifetimes spent in pursuit of the song. Three Women and The Truth is a trio of accomplished, richly talented, multiple award winning female songwriters whose songs cut through the murky layers of life's complexities. Writing from their own experience, these songwriters are skilled in balancing personal tales with classic underpinnings, which hint at the evocative idea that all our lives are full of events and incidents that touch on the mythic and the timeless."

(Via Beachland Ballroom & Tavern | Cleveland's most eclectic music venue.)

"Talk about how this tour came together. Peters: We’re all good friends. We love and admire each other’s works. Mary and I had done some touring together, and Eliza and I had done some dates together. We shared a booking agent, and when we started talking about it, we said we wanted to team up with the three of us. We enjoyed the format of it. People seem to love it. We had to come up with a title for it. We did that based on the old Harlan Howard quote about country music being three chords and the truth. Gilkyson: I think all three of us really decided to be more out in the world with our careers late in life. We were all over 50 when we made that decision. I didn’t start touring until then. That’s very unusual. That’s when women are supposed to not be seen or heard. We felt the calling to be out there. We confirm it in each other in a really respectful way. We’re all really respectful of each other’s artistry. One of the things we see again and again is that once you have become famous you can break the rules about your place in society. But for every famous woman, there are thousands of not-famous women being told that they can’t do this. Most people deal with a lot of prejudice."

(Via Unique Songwriter-in-the-Round Tour Lands at the Beachland Next Week | Scene and Heard: Scene's News Blog.)

Moonbeau (1/4/19)

This was the first Friday of the new year, and Mahall’s was HOPPIN’.  Shows were happening at both stages and both bowling alleys were full!  I was fully expecting this show to be on the main stage, but didn’t mind at all to be in down in their locker room stage.  I sensed this band would be fun, but I was also happy to see how many people knew the words to the songs of this up and coming Cincinnati band.  I like their newest album, and look forward to see what else these guys do!
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Moonbeau  1 4 18

The Modern Electric (12/23/18)

As usual, The Modern Electric hosted their North Coast Christmas party at the Beachland Ballroom.  What a brilliant idea.  A local band with a great Christmas song, throwing a party before everyone goes into the holiday craze with family.  The Ballroom was full and everyone was having a great time.  I hope they keep this going!

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Morgan Page (12/20/18)

A dance party in Cleveland!  I was excited to check out this new-to-me DJ at Magnolia, especially having the following Friday off.  Unfortunately it was one of those situations where the openers were better than the headliner.  The mix by Morgan Page this night was jagged and too reliant on the bigs ups and drops that come with a lot of modern, popular DJ’s.  Still - I danced.

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Morgan Page  12 20 18

Monday, January 7, 2019

Article: RuPaul’s Drag Race Has Lost Its Free Queer Spirit in Its Lip Sync Songs

In the spirit of the RuPaul’s Drag Race All-Stars being in season, I thought I’d share this little nugget.


"As a result of this expanding platform, it has become increasingly clear that the song choices are made with less concern for queer authenticity. They have begun to serve the larger goal of appealing to new demographics, capitalizing on the show’s popularity with, for example, young straight women. In the past three seasons, we’ve seen lip sync battles set to hits by Trainor, Ariana Grande, Katy Perry, Demi Lovato, Britney Spears, Lorde, Miley Cyrus, and Nicki Minaj—none of whom are inherently unwelcome on the show, of course. But oftentimes the songs have nothing to do with the queer community, or the songs (like Perry’s “I Kissed a Girl” or Lovato’s “Cool for the Summer”) actively trivialize them. One could easily imagine Rita Ora’s recent controversial song “Girls” appearing next season, presented uncritically and heralded as an easy, breezy, queer-friendly hit to lip sync to. There is simply something strange about this concerted effort to include evermore current chart-toppers while simultaneously drawing down the number of club classics or diva house ballads that not only define the earlier seasons of the show, but also the musical lives of many queer people."

(Via “RuPaul’s Drag Race” Has Lost Its Free Queer Spirit in Its Lip Sync Songs | Pitchfork.)

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Friday: Moonbeau @ Mahalls

After what feels like a long stretch from seeing shows, Moonbeau pops up out of nowhere as this fun, Cincinnati-based retro-pop outfit.  They’ll be a perfect fit for Mahalls on Friday night, and cap off what will be an All-Ohio lineup at Mahalls 20 Lanes!

"'Moonbeau’s live appearances have been what has made the band a popular draw in the Cincinnati area and earned it a loyal local following. It’s part dance party, part mood elevator, as the mix of dance beats, the musicians’ joyous performance and the music’s colorful exuberance combine to create the kind of experience that is hard to leave in a bad mood.' - Mike Breen, City Beat"

(Via Moonbeau, Summer School, Jaite | Mahall's 20 Lanes | Music Around Town, On Tour, Rock & Pop | Cleveland Scene.)


Check out this fun studio performance of Lover / Fighter from WCPO, also out of Cincinnati.

The middle band is Summer School out of Toledo, OH. Catch one of his most recent videos…  Should be - interesting.  I can honestly say that I’m cheering on his forthrightness, and I’m hoping it’ll be a good performance. 

As best I can tell, it’s this Jaite who will be opening the show.  I grabbed this EP off Bandcamp and looking forward to seeing how it plays live.