Arts

2018 Lakewood Arts Festival Scholarship Winner - Elyza Mihalski

Elyza Mihalski is chosen as recipient of the 2018 Lakewood Arts Festival Scholarship of $4,000.

Elyza is a 2018 graduate of Lakewood High School who will study fine art at the Cleveland Institute of Art this fall. Regarding her work, she said, "Becoming a studied and well-trained artist means that I will have the tools to not only create meaningful and visually appealing art, but to give something to be proud of and to give the world something to enjoy." Work from Elyza's portfolio of paintings and drawings will be on display in Lakewood Public Library during the festival through early August. 

The Lakewood Arts Festival awards a scholarship each year to a deserving high school graduate who resides in Lakewood and is pursuing a degree in the arts. More than 70 scholarships have been awarded since the Festival began in 1981. This year the Lakewood Arts Festival Scholarship is generously funded by supporters for the arts in our community. Proceeds from the food vendor/sponsors also goes directly to the scholarship fund.

 

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Volume 14, Issue 15, Posted 1:35 PM, 08.07.2018

Lookin' For It: Reviews Of Recent Releases By Local Bands, Pt. 75

Disclaimer: Record reviews are a tricky business. It's one thing to enjoy music, but to pick out what you like (or dislike) about it? That being said, if I review your thing and I didn't like something, don't feel too bad. My opinion doesn't matter all that much. 

Donkey Bugs - Ancient Chinese Secrets - Fish Records - 8 songs - LP

Another Cleveland group assimilated into the Spotted Race, I see. Donkey Bugs is a project of Haley Himiko and Steve Peffer, which of course might make someone go, "oh, so it's a Pleasure Leftists side project." Well, I guess, but I don't know if this will appeal to the average everyday PL fan so much as it will fans of Steve's other stuff. You might be shocked to learn that this sounds quite a bit like Factorymen but with Haley singing. All drum machine and repetitive riffs and noise and weirdness. It's a good record. I guess the quickest, most general way of calling it would be to say it's mostly post-punk, but that doesn't really mean that much. In the same way that Factorymen can, it treads a fine line between really goofy and really creepy. Steve really brings it on the guitar on "Hammer Jammer," unless that's a really distorted synth. The "stop the hammering!" bit at the end is pretty good, too. "ABC's of Lust" is what it sounds like, and could probably be a hot funk/new wave hit in some alternate universe. "F is for…no, not that!" The vocal melody of "Isosceles" is somewhat haunting whereas in another context it might not be. "Men In High Heels" is a good punker, gets pretty upbeat and all that. "The Mystic" sounds suspiciously like it's just a sample of some other record…but that could never happen. I think they really saved the best for last with "The Example." It's a real good post-punker, almost reminds me of Gang Of Four in some way. The "movie! movie!" or whatever they're yelling at the end bit comes off almost like a tribute to the Flyin' Trichecos. A fine addition to the line of Steve Peffer stuff that includes Factorymen, Deutschland Jerky Rave, and "The Brutal Birthday." 4/5

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Volume 14, Issue 15, Posted 1:35 PM, 08.07.2018

August Art Showcase At The Root Cafe

Artist and Cleveland native, Mata Zeigler, will showcase her work at The Root Cafe for the month of August. The Root Cafe, located at 15118 Detroit Ave., has been a space for local artists to share their work with the community for the past seven years and continues to open its doors to the thriving art scene of greater Cleveland.

Mata’s impressionist paintings combine her eye for color and design from years of art classes and a career as an accomplished floral designer. “I have always loved the arts and my fondest memories were those as a child working in the gardens with my mother,” Mata said. “People choose their medium by their personalities, mine being bold, bright, and permanent as oil paint.”

The vibrant display will draw you in with every detailed stroke. “Painting is my meditation and a beautiful way to escape back into the gardens,” said Mata. Don’t miss the chance to experience this energetic showcase and meet Mata Zeigler on August 11th at 6:30 p.m. at The Root Cafe.

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Volume 14, Issue 15, Posted 1:35 PM, 08.07.2018

Lakewood Arts Festival - Original Artwork, Original Music, Original Food - August 4

For one glistening summer day, Lakewood closes Detroit Avenue, between Belle and Arthur Avenues, and brings artists of all disciplines together along with 15,000 collectors and art lovers. The juried festival hosts over 175 regional and national artists and makers displaying paintings, prints, photography, art glass, ceramics, jewelry, sculpture, fiber and more. 

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Volume 14, Issue 15, Posted 12:05 PM, 08.03.2018

2018 Non-Profit & Community Booths

For 41 years the Festival has welcomed wonderful community organizations to share the spotlight on Detroit. Visit the Kiwanis Club for a grilled hot dog, find out what’s new with LEAF or CCLAS or learn something new at the Lakewood Historical Society tent. Refresh with a bottle of water from the kids at H2O or a sweet fresh pastry from the Greek-American Hellenic Organization. Update your voter registration with the League of Women Voters or support the work of Lakewood New Life Church to provide backpacks and school supplies for children.

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Volume 14, Issue 15, Posted 12:05 PM, 08.03.2018

2018 Lakewood Arts Festival - Artist List

Additional Media
7              Keith Allen, 5am Press
164         Jason Cappel
142         George Coghill
8              Lexi DeBaltzo, The Copper Rose
14           Shawn Dunn
109         Jon Lund
17           Court Smith, Uncharted Mapping

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Volume 14, Issue 15, Posted 12:05 PM, 08.03.2018

Witness "Gypsy": The “Mother” Of All Musicals At Beck Center

Beck Center for the Arts proudly presents "Gypsy" July 6 through August 12, 2018 on the Mackey Theater main stage. "Gypsy" is often regarded as “the greatest American musical” and one of Broadway’s all-time triumphs. Based on the memoirs of Gypsy Rose Lee, the musical follows an overbearing stage mother, Mama Rose, and her two daughters who travel across the country during the 1920’s when vaudeville was dying and burlesque was born. Gypsy received multiple Tony Awards® for both the original production and its revivals. The show celebrates nearly 60 years of iconic performance. Its memorable score features songs that have become standards and helped launch the career of Stephen Sondheim.

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Volume 14, Issue 14, Posted 5:57 PM, 07.17.2018

Something In The Water: Reviews Of Recent Releases By Local Bands, Pt. 74

Disclaimer: Record reviews are a tricky business. It's one thing to enjoy music, but to pick out what you like (or dislike) about it? That being said, if I review your thing and I didn't like something, don't feel too bad. My opinion doesn't matter all that much. 

Cruelster - Riot Boys - Lumpy Records - 14 songs - LP

I'd like to come out and make the claim that I was more excited to hear about a new Cruelster record than almost anyone else. I like everything these guys do, but Cruelster just holds a special place in my heart. This brand new LP kicks off with a clip of someone talking at great length about Captain America, and I won't go any further to avoid spoiling it, but it's pretty funny. I wanna know whether they found this somewhere or created it themselves. The problem I have is it does go on for a pretty long time and sometimes I just wanna skip to the music. Kinda like that one Uranium Club album, ya know? Hold on, I'll say Devo right now and then stick "something in the water" in at the very end, just to make sure I cover all my bases. I would not call Cruelster a hardcore band, though I know some would, because musically I don't think they're that hardcore. Other people would probably call this "Jimmy punk" or whatever that's been renamed to this week, but I don't know about that either, because I find a lot of those bands completely boring and Cruelster is anything but boring. I'm just going to say it's punk. That satisfies me plenty. I mean, we can do a whole analysis here: on the famous Lumpy label; goofy lyrics; band photo contains lots of Rancid memorabilia. It's punk, I don't care what imaginary subgenre it is. I'm glad the first song here is "Crisis In Local Government Part III," which is mostly a remake of "Crisis In Local Government Part II." It's quite a powerhouse of a song, but I'm really going to raise a fuss that they cut the "digging up skulls at Kiddie Park, murder in the ferris wheel long after dark" bit, which is probably my favorite Cruelster lyric. Points docked for that, sorry. As that line would imply, this band can be at times pretty locally specific– I'm not sure how "Cox Triv and Rover" will fly in, say, Los Angeles, but I like it. Interspersed throughout the record are short synth-based interludes, my favorite of which is the delightfully creepy "Laminate It Later," which actually brings to mind another point. At the end of "Why Did They Do That To Me Back Then," there's a bit where Piss and Runt (or maybe just one of them doubled, but that seems like a waste of resources) say "we thought you were in China, Yes Yes…we can sound just like you." Then "American Boots For Who" starts and I started thinking "wait, this actually sounds more like Nathan than it does Mike" and then that cast doubt over the whole thing. I'm not sure who it is in the lead on "Laminate It Later." My guess would've been Alex, but now I really don't know. It's gotta be Yes Yes on "Dum Fuk," that "we!" at the end is too perfect. I'm pretty sure Yes isn't on "Coco's Secret" at all, but again, I'm completely confused. "The Pipeline Could Work" is a phenomenal tune (that "chorus" melody is perfectly obnoxious; the spoken "I think it could work!" in the middle is perfect; etc.), and along with other great songs like "Gold Studded Citizen" and the outstanding closer "Benghazi Mommy," really get into an important point. I think Lumpy included something like this in his description on his website, but this really is the perfect answer to people who said, "well, now that Trump is president, we'll get some great new punk!" Well, yes, because you got a new Cruelster record, that's very correct. I don't know if this is the political punk you were hoping for, but it's the political punk we all deserve. I really could go on about this record all day, but this review is getting really long anyway. Wonderful artwork as one would expect of Nathan and friends; I think I could spend a good hour or so just taking it all in. Huge thanks to whoever put my name on there. 4.5/5

 

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Volume 14, Issue 14, Posted 5:57 PM, 07.17.2018

Temporary Tattoo For You

Summer is a season when body art display works well with fashion. Some fun designs are not wanted year round, and that's when temporary tattoos can be a choice. The current 4th of July parade will feature Carabel's Lady Liberty passing out 500 lady liberty temporary tattoos. Should you receive one, the directions for application are on the back. I think you might want to apply them on the day you get it so I am letting you know how to be ready for application. Think about where you might want to see this lady, on an ankle , wrist or shoulder? The size is small, have your skin pre-scrubbed for the most lasting look, peel off the plastic, apply the design on skin and wet thoroughly. Lift the tattoo and look to see if it transferred. If not, place face down and make sure it is wet enough, rub a bit until it is. A bit of baby powder patted on the design will give it the most realistic look. Our beauty salon Carabel features a variety of designs .

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Volume 14, Issue 12, Posted 4:18 PM, 06.19.2018

Also Known As...: Reviews Of Recent Releases By Local Bands, Pt. 72

Disclaimer: Record reviews are a tricky business. It's one thing to enjoy music, but to pick out what you like (or dislike) about it? That being said, if I review your thing and I didn't like something, don't feel too bad. My opinion doesn't matter all that much. 

Fan Fiction - I Thought You Said The Legend Wasn't Real - Just Because Records - 12 songs - cassette, download

Fan Fiction is a great name. I'm not sold on the title yet. The players here are a guy who has no Discogs page, so who knows; a guy from Prisoners (whose Discogs page won't show up for some reason and I had to go to the page for the Prisoners LP to make sure it was him– someone get on this); Joe, who put this tape out; and Drew Ritchey, who has played in a variety of good bands and is the drummer here. I can't quite come up with what genre I would call this. It's a little too power poppin' and punkin' to just be straight indie rock, but I can't call it punk or power pop or pop-punk or punk-pop either. It's somewhere in there. The songs have kind of a '90s feel to them, but differently from how, say, Cheap Clone's songs have a '90s feel. Fan Fiction might be somewhere in the continuum between Cheap Clone and Classic Sand, but also sound only mildly similar to either band. Royal Headache almost comes to mind, but also not quite. "What I'm Thinking" starts with (and comes back to later) a part that made me think these guys might sound like the Joe Jackson Band, but they do not (by the way, I mean the Joe Jackson Band of the first two albums more than "Beat Crazy," in case you were thinking I meant that Fan Fiction have some weird reggae element– they don't). There's definitely at least two people doing lead vocals here; I'm assuming Dan Whiteley and Josh Goldberg since I can't remember Joe Vecchio taking the lead when I saw them live, but maybe he did and I forgot? For some reason, I now cannot hear in my head what his voice sounds like to try and figure this out. I should've emailed him and asked him to send me a recording of him reading the newspaper or something. One of them (the one who sings lead on "Motorcycle," among several others) keeps catching me off guard because there's a certain quality to his voice that sounds almost like Adam Spektor, who is in many other bands, but not this one. I just can't figure it out. Anyway. Bright, hooky guitar pop. That's a good way to really boil it down. I think the B side is stronger (it helps that "Landlord" (the best song here, total hit) and "Bloodless Coup" are both on it), but the A side has some good material as well, particularly "Affirmation" and "Leave Guns." Overall, a listenable, hooky tape. 3.5/5

(justbecauserecords.bandcamp.com)

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Volume 14, Issue 12, Posted 4:18 PM, 06.19.2018

Meaningful: Reviews Of Recent Releases By Local Bands, Pt. 71

Disclaimer: Record reviews are a tricky business. It's one thing to enjoy music, but to pick out what you like (or dislike) about it? That being said, if I review your thing and I didn't like something, don't feel too bad. My opinion doesn't matter all that much. 

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Volume 14, Issue 12, Posted 11:16 PM, 06.05.2018

Beck Center's 85th Theater Season Includes A Regional Premiere And Blockbuster Family Musicals

Beck Center for the Arts is pleased to announce its 2018-2019 professional theater season filled with their signature eclectic titles that include modern classics and the eighth collaboration with Baldwin Wallace University Musical Theatre program. "Maybe one of these springs I’ll feel all calm and blasé’ about our upcoming season, but that’s not this spring!” says Scott Spence, Beck Center Artistic Director (now heading into his 29th season at Beck).”I am truly ecstatic about the 2018-19 season lineup and can’t wait to hear Northeast Ohio’s take on this parade of amazing shows.”

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Volume 14, Issue 11, Posted 10:43 PM, 06.05.2018

Hey, What's That You Got There? Huh?: Reviews Of Recent Releases By Local Bands, Pt. 70

Disclaimer: Record reviews are a tricky business. It's one thing to enjoy music, but to pick out what you like (or dislike) about it? That being said, if I review your thing and I didn't like something, don't feel too bad. My opinion doesn't matter all that much. 

Cheap Clone - EP - Just Because Records / Peanut Butter Records - 4 songs - 7"

From what I gathered, there's not really an official title for this one. Is it self-titled? Is it "EP?" Is it "4 Songs?" Drew told me I could make up whatever I wanted, so make sure you visit a local record store and ask for "430 Eyes, One That Smiles." Anyway. The record kicks off in a real good way with "Barely Smile," which is a great power pop tune. Pretty harmonies, a tasteful guitar solo, a nice bridge; what more do you want? "This One/That One" has a total Replacements vibe. Does Roseanna sing the bridge or did Drew's voice get even higher? Speaking of other people singing, I believe Kevin takes the lead on "Isaac Newton's Eye," which reminds me a lot of "Isolation Drills." Jaworski has a knack for singing in a key that sounds like it's not quite in tune but still somehow works (listen to that Cripple Kid 7"). "430 Miles" closes it out with another great power pop tune. I like the stop-start bits, that's a nice touch. Maybe it's just because of the other members stepping up to the mic on certain songs here, but this one feels more like a group effort than previous efforts. Did you know I saw the phrase "cheap clone" out in the wild somewhere the other day? About a guitar or something? Huh. Nice cover art, too. The Just Because/Peanut Butter collaboration strikes again. Members of 9 Shocks Terror and Counter Intuits. 4/5

(probably available at pbrecs.bandcamp.com or justbecauserecords.bandcamp.com)

 

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Volume 14, Issue 11, Posted 3:09 PM, 05.15.2018

Beck Center Brings Smiles To The Stage With Annie

Beck Center Youth Theater presents the final production of their 2017–2018 season, "Annie," May 11–20, 2018 in the Mackey Theater. Show times are 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays. TA special student matinee will take place at 10 a.m. on Thursday, October 17. Tickets are now on sale by calling 216.521.2540 x10 or visiting beckcenter.org

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Volume 14, Issue 9, Posted 12:39 PM, 05.01.2018

…And That's Real: Reviews Of Recent Releases By Local Bands, Pt. 69

Disclaimer: Record reviews are a tricky business. It's one thing to enjoy music, but to pick out what you like (or dislike) about it? That being said, if I review your thing and I didn't like something, don't feel too bad. My opinion doesn't matter all that much. 

Archie & The Bunkers - Play The Damned - In The Red Recordings - 4 songs - 7", download

Obviously, The Damned rule, so you know right off the bat with this one that all the songs on it are gonna be good. I guess the way to review a covers record when the band being covered is one you already know you like is to determine whether the interpreters did a good job with it. And I have to hand it to the Archies, they did. Side A, with "See Her Tonight" (which is misspelled, it's supposed to be "Tonite," these guys must be posers) and "Problem Child" is decent, though does make me think, "I should listen to the real Damned after this." Side B, containing "Suicide" and "Sick Of This And That" is the winner here, I'd say. Both energetic, reverent takes on the tunes. I know how much these guys (particularly Cullen) love The Damned, so I wouldn't expect any less than them giving it their best. My biggest whine here is I don't really think the brothers O'Connor themselves live these lyrics, so the believability gets called into question. I don't believe either of them have ever stolen a car, for example (this also comes up again when you look at the cover photo, which just comes across as being super forced). But then, on the other hand, you look at the original "Suicide" and you have to consider that neither Dave, nor Scabies, nor the Captain have killed themselves as of the last time I checked, so maybe that's neither here nor there. I mean, these guys played with The Damned. I don't mean opened for them, I mean went to their soundcheck and did "Suicide" with them. That's gotta count for something. A fun one for the fans. 3.5/5

(intheredrecords.com; download available via midheaven.com)

 

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Volume 14, Issue 9, Posted 12:39 PM, 05.01.2018

After Visiting 80 Countries, Why Did I Return To Lakewood?

After graduating from St. Ignatius and Boston College, working in 80 countries as a corporate event planner, living in San Francisco, Lake Tahoe, NYC, and Telluride, I returned to my hometown of Lakewood six months ago to form a new non-profit, "American Songbook Concerts". When people ask, “Why Cleveland?” I am quick to offer, "Are you kidding? Cleveland is our country’s best kept secret! And it is a mecca for artists."  This mission of our "American Songbook Concerts"  is to celebrate the American Songbook, to preserve this musical treasury, and to foster it for future generations through concerts and educational workshops. We define the American Songbook as any song with both a recognizable melody and meaningful lyrics written by Americans, from the past as well as contemporary, and of any genre (e.g. standards, Broadway, rock ‘n roll, folk, gospel, film, jazz, country, rhythm & blues, patriotic, spiritual, etc.)  Our first concert will be held on Mother’s Day “Songs for Mothers and Those They Love” at 4PM at Pilgrim Church, 2592 West 14th Street, in the Tremont neighborhood. We have planned it for 4PM, and it will last only 1 ½ hours, so it won’t interfere with church, brunch, or dinner.

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Volume 14, Issue 9, Posted 12:39 PM, 05.01.2018

LHS Artist To Donate 20% Of Proceeds From First Solo Art Show To H2O

Micah Inak, a senior at Lakewood High School currently has 20 pieces of art up in her first solo art show at The Root Café, 15118 Detroit Ave, Lakewood, OH 44107 which will run from April 9th to May 6th. She will be donating 20% of all sales from the show to H2O (Help to Others), a local community volunteer group. This show is a big deal for Micah. Not only will she have a nice selection of her work on display, but one of her award winning pieces was printed on thousands of paper coffee cups which will be distributed by 11 local coffee, tea, and ice cream shops across Lakewood. The cups first became open to the public on Sunday, April 15th at the opening reception, and will be available until they run out.

Micah and her twin sister, Chelsea Inak, have volunteered for H2O off and on since 2011. Through H2O they've gotten experience being volunteers for many organizations such as Ronald McDonald House, Vietnam Vets, and the Cleveland Food Bank as well as being caricature artists at the annual H2O Pumpkin Palooza event. They learned a lot about being a good community members from the program, got a lot of experience they were able to put down on college, job, and scholarship applications, and now want to give something back. "It seemed like a cool thing to do. H2O is an organization that does a lot for the community," said Micah.

 

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Volume 14, Issue 8, Posted 3:27 PM, 04.17.2018

Phantasy Fest

 Phantasy Fest will start in the Symposium at 4 PM with Hermes and then move to the Phantasy proper with American Fingertraps (aka Shitbox Jimmy). There will be an afterparty in the Chamber with DJs Himiko Gogo and Mateo Manic. Also included in the fun are an Earth Quaker pedal giveaway, tarot readings in the Phantasy’s ship, and a Taco Bell giveaway. John Valley will do some jokes. The list of bands as is follows: Hermes, Mateo Manic, Xanny Star, Truman Freeman, Sneeze Sleeve, Cotton Ponys, American Fingertraps, Part Time Lover, Heavenly Queen, Cross Brothers, Megachurch. It should be a fun time. May 5; $10. .

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Volume 14, Issue 8, Posted 3:27 PM, 04.17.2018

Please Don't Do That To Me Again: Reviews Of Recent Releases By Local Bands, Pt. 68

Disclaimer: Record reviews are a tricky business. It's one thing to enjoy music, but to pick out what you like (or dislike) about it? That being said, if I review your thing and I didn't like something, don't feel too bad. My opinion doesn't matter all that much. 

Cross Brothers - Living On Sheepheads - Just Because Records - 10 songs - LP, download

On one hand, I wasn't sure about this because I've never been a huge Coffinberry fan (that's where the Cross brothers themselves are from, you see), but on the other hand, Scott Pickering did the cover art, so there's something immediately worthwhile about it right there. It's not bad stuff. It's indie rock, as meaningless as that genre name is. About half-and-half 2000s indie and 90s indie, with a little bit of 80s indie in there and maybe even some 70s stuff too. What am I even talking about? Writing that sentence made all other thoughts fall apart. The tunes are well-written and well-performed. There's decent harmonies throughout and some pretty good guitar playing in several places (certain George Harrison-esque parts on "Singing Machine"; the guitar interplay on the solo of "Until"). I'm not a huge fan of the vocals, but oh well. I think my general opinion here is that I'm a fan of the songs, but not so much the style. It's a bit too…I don't know. It's not at all that the songs lack energy, because they don't, it's that they don't have the type of energy I want them to have. Does that make any sense at all? I have no idea. "In Transit," "Hard Earned Trap," "Where The Water's Fine," and "Back From The Dead" come the closest to what I'd prefer, but what can ya do. Probably something I'd like more live, I'd guess. I also wish "No White Mystery" was a diss track about the band White Mystery, though I think that's highly unlikely to be the case. Oh well. Final verdict: enough good songs to make it worth your while if this sounds like your kind of thing. 3/5

(justbecauserecords.bandcamp.com)

 

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Volume 14, Issue 8, Posted 3:27 PM, 04.17.2018

A Concert For Mike: Raising Funds For The Family Of A Lost Local Legend

You have to understand that he was being humble when he said he could play fourteen musical instruments fluently. Mike Jacobs could make beautiful music on anything—from a broken toy saxophone to an orchestral bassoon—but he never liked bragging so he only gave himself credit for the tools into which he'd really put some work. He was so unassuming and generous with the spotlight that you probably never heard of him before, but to many of your favorite local musicians he was a legend. (Mike would have hated that word, but it tells the story.) In addition to being a well-kept secret who could rock harder than Syd Barrett and John Denver put together, he was the most joyous person most people ever met, a warm and caring friend, a crazy-eyed collaborator, an inspirational teacher and a devoted father.

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Volume 14, Issue 7, Posted 12:07 PM, 04.03.2018

"My First Time" Makes Regional Premiere At Beck Center

Beck Center for the Arts proudly presents the regional premiere of "My First Time," March 30 through April 29, 2018 in the Studio Theater. Show times are 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 3 p.m. Sundays. There is no performance Sunday April 1. Tickets are now on sale. Buy early and save with promo code: LUCKY to receive $5 off each adult/senior ticket purchased by March 29. This smart and revealing comedy contains strong language and content. 

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Volume 14, Issue 7, Posted 12:07 PM, 04.03.2018

Don't Kill The Fill Ins: Reviews Of Recent Releases By Local Bands, Pt. 67

Disclaimer: Record reviews are a tricky business. It's one thing to enjoy music, but to pick out what you like (or dislike) about it? That being said, if I review your thing and I didn't like something, don't feel too bad. My opinion doesn't matter all that much. 

Great Plains - The Mark, Don & Mel E.P.  + 4 - Rerun Records - 12 songs - LP

I don't know if this is common knowledge amongst readers of this column or just people who actually know me, but I love Great Plains. It's kinda hard to write any review other than "Ron House 5/5" but I acknowledge that to do so would be to fail my audience, who might actually want to know something more about this. This is a reissue of the very first Great Plains record from 1983, with some additional live tracks stuck on at the end (which made this into a 33 instead of a 45, which may be cause for concern for some, but we won't dwell on that). It's pretty great. I guess at its heart it would be called "garage rock," but there's a very distinct '80s indie feel to it as well. You know, if that means anything to you. There's some upbeat garage-poppers, such as "When Do You Say Hello?" and "Pretty Dictionary" along with a mix of kind of more ominous, almost haunting songs, like "The Way She Runs A Fever" or especially "It's Dying." I kinda wanna take the whole thing with me on my next spooky road trip. The keyboard part on "Confetti" is real cool, as are the weird reverb-heavy parts. I don't think there's a single iffy or even just-okay lyric in "The Night Won't Live To See The Day," and it also has 1. the greatest opening lines ever and 2. some really nice sloppy harmonies on the chorus. The all-time classic "Cave-In" sounds like it's about to fall apart from the opening seconds of the song on, and I love when we get to the bridge and Ron just misses every note. Both of those points actually illustrate another great quality about this, which is its amateurishness, which can especially be heard on some of the live bonus tracks, which really gives the band a lot of heart. I don't believe "Seven Days All Night" or "Cause Without The Rebel" were ever studio-recorded (which is a real shame about the former, given the sound quality of the live recording here doesn't quite do it justice– "Cause" sounds pretty good though). I mean, unless you want to count the Moses Carryout (or was it Twisted Shouts?) version of the latter…but was that even a studio version? I can't remember. I think the live version of "Hamburger Boy" here blows away the one from "Naked At The Buy, Sell & Trade." "I Must Have Made It All Up" provides us with some of the backstory of the mysterious bassist Hank O'Hare (actually Don Howland, who apparently was embarrassed by these recordings and didn't want his real name on them, which is ridiculous), and it's really great to hear Ron switch from being a smart-ass to singing this really sincere, sad song, and then during the bridge switch right back to "I wanna say hi to all my kids out there" and then right back into the song. The true dual-nature of Great Plains, right there. I could go on and on about this all day, but I wanna save some of my good lines for the "Born In A Barn" review. 4.5/5

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Volume 14, Issue 7, Posted 12:07 PM, 04.03.2018

The Open Suitcase Exhibit

Commemorating Latvia's 100 years of independence, The Cleveland Latvian Welfare Association proudly presents "The Open Suitcase Exhibit." It will take place on Sunday, April 8th from 12 to 5 p.m. at the Cleveland Latvian Hall 1385 Andrews Avenue, behind the Latvian Church (the oldest church in Lakewood, originally The Church Of The Redeemer).

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Volume 14, Issue 7, Posted 12:07 PM, 04.03.2018

Violent Coughing: Reviews Of Recent Releases By Local Bands, Part 66

Disclaimer: Record reviews are a tricky business. It's one thing to enjoy music, but to pick out what you like (or dislike) about it? That being said, if I review your thing and I didn't like something, don't feel too bad. My opinion doesn't matter all that much. 

Perverts Again - Friday Night Light - Total Punk - 8 songs - LP, download

I think Perverts Again were the best band in Cleveland at a certain point. And they may be again someday (look, I know that they're still playing and all, but it's not really them without Mike and Jo– sorry, fill-ins). Anyway, this is a good document of how great they are. In a way, it's sort of like the "Straight To Video" to "Our Big Party"'s "Bait & Switch": maybe the first record was packed with classics, but this one might be more cohesive as an album. Or maybe I'm just saying that because of the book version, who knows. It's got all the Pervert hallmarks, in case you were worried: catchy songs, great vocal delivery, really funny lyrics.

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Volume 14, Issue 7, Posted 11:03 AM, 03.21.2018

42nd Cleveland International Film Festival

The 42nd Cleveland International Film Festival runs April 4 thru April 15. Most of the films will be shown at Tower City Cinemas, at Tower City in downtown Cleveland. For information go to www.clevelandfilm.org or call 1-877-304-FILM. Summaries and schedules of the 214 feature films and 250 short films from 72 countries are available. The films cover a wide variety. Something for everyone. This is the biggest film festival in Greater Cleveland, and a leading annual cultural event.

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Volume 14, Issue 6, Posted 7:14 PM, 03.20.2018

Beck Center Teen Theater Presents "The Laramie Project"

Beck Center Teen Theater continues their 2017–2018 season with "The Laramie Project," March 2–11 in the Studio Theater. Show times are 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 3 p.m. Sundays. A student matinee will take place at 10 a.m. on Thursday, March 8. Tickets are on sale now at 216.521.2540 x10 or beckcenter.org. "The Laramie Project" contains strong language and adult content.

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Volume 14, Issue 5, Posted 9:40 PM, 03.06.2018

Multiple Filmmaking Programs Offered For Lakewood Kids And Teens

Lakewood Young Filmmakers Academy is a nonprofit arts organization dedicated to inspiring and empowering youth through the cinematic arts. LYFA offers multiple programs for kids and teens to express themselves using filmmaking as the catalyst. Students learn about filmmaking in a fun and safe environment with like-minded individuals at the Lakewood studio located at 15022  Madison Avenue. All classes and programs are taught and supervised by award-winning industry professionals.

The following programs are now accepting new applicants!

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Volume 14, Issue 5, Posted 9:40 PM, 03.06.2018

Burning River Baroque To Perform At Lakewood Congregational Church On Friday, March 23

Cleveland-based early-music ensemble Burning River Baroque will return to Lakewood this March with a performance of their Suppressed Voices: Music of the Banished. You can see this compelling program on Friday, March 23, in the chapel of the Lakewood Congregational Church (1375 West Clifton Boulevard; performance begins at 7:30 p.m.).

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Volume 14, Issue 4, Posted 12:12 PM, 02.20.2018

Beck Center Presents The Ground-Breaking "Hair"

Beck Center for the Arts is pleased to present "HAIR," the seventh annual collaboration with the esteemed Baldwin Wallace University Music Theatre Program. Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the musical that introduced rock and roll to Broadway, his limited engagement runs February 9 through 25, 2018 in the Mackey Theater. Show times are 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays. Three Wednesday and Thursday performances will take place at 8 p.m. on February 15, 21, and 22. Tickets are now on sale. Buy early and save with promo code: TRIBE to receive $5 off each adult/senior ticket purchased by February 8.

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Volume 14, Issue 3, Posted 4:45 PM, 02.06.2018

And You Too: Reviews Of Recent Releases By Local Bands, Pt. 63

Disclaimer: Record reviews are a tricky business. It's one thing to enjoy music, but to, like, pick out what you like about it? That being said, if I review your thing and I didn't like something, don't feel too bad. My opinion doesn't matter all that much. 

Choke Chains - Trace Amounts - Heel Turn Records - 8 songs - LP

Heel Turn forgot my press release for this one, so to find out the "current/past affiliations" for Choke Chains I had to turn to Discogs like some sort of commoner. So you've got Thomas Jackson Potter (Bantam Rooster), Lindsey Crappor (No Bails), Mark Millionaire (Chinese Millionaires), and bringing the Ohio connection (besides the fact that this is on Heel Turn), Chizz aka Chris Butler (no, not Chris Butler from The Waitresses, the one from Blank Schatz). I'm gonna have to admit here while these are all bands I know and have listened to at one point or another, I can't pretend that I'm that familiar with any of them. Not purposefully, I'm just not. So, if you want to hear how this compares to those current/past affiliations, I guess you can go read Termbo or something. I'll just do my best. Generally musically speaking, it's garage punk. Some tracks have a post-punk feel ("Richard Speck Lights Up The Room", "Don't Feel Feelings") and some of them almost get into 90s alt-rock territory (in a good way, though)("The Tender Type," "I Want You To Know"). "If That Ain't A Sin" could almost be a Gaunt song, but it's too slow. The title tracks a real banger as well, the vocals especially get really frenzied. A few different singers in the band (or one very versatile singer, I guess that's also possible) which I like. If we assume that the writer of the song is also the singer, that makes Thomas Jackson Potter the one with the real wild style and Chizz the lower, perhaps more ominous-sounding vocals. Lindsey Crappor takes the lead on "I Want You To Know," I believe (again, unless there's one very versatile singer). The record blows by real quick. Feels like less than 15 minutes. It very well could be, I forgot to bring my stopwatch. It somehow both feels like an appropriate length and leaves you wanting more. A decent quality. Oh, and props to the group for sticking the word "feckless" in there (I forget which song now-- "Last Time You Were Shameless," maybe?). An underused word, in my opinion. 3.8/5

(heelturnrecords.com)

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Volume 14, Issue 3, Posted 10:04 PM, 01.23.2018

Bennewitz Quartet Will Perform In Westshore Area

Rocky River Chamber Music Society presents its first concert of 2018 on February 12 at 7:30 p.m. in the magnificent acoustics of West Shore Unitarian Universalist Church’s beautifully refurbished sanctuary at 20401 Hilliard Boulevard, Rocky River. Musical guest of honor will be the Bennewitz Quartet from Prague, Czech Republic. Formed in 1998 and named after renowned Czech violinist, Antonin Bennewitz, the Quartet’s current members are Jakub Fišer (violin); Štěpán Ježek (violin); Jiří Pinkas (viola); and Štěpán Doležal (cello).

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Volume 14, Issue 2, Posted 12:12 PM, 02.20.2018

Beck Center Presents Solo Exhibition With Shelly Svonavec

Beck Center for the Arts is pleased to present the solo exhibition Soulstice: Intuitive works by Shelly Svonavec on display in the Jean Bulicek Galleria January 13 –March 11, 2018. An Artists’ Reception will take place Saturday, January 13 from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. Cash bar and light refreshments available. The exhibition and reception are free and open to the public.

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Volume 14, Issue 2, Posted 9:51 PM, 01.23.2018

Here We Are Again: Reviews Of Recent Releases By Local Bands Pt. 62

Obligatory Disclaimer: Record reviews are a tricky business. It's one thing to enjoy music, but to, like, pick out what you like about it? That being said, if I review your thing and I didn't like something, don't feel too bad. My opinion doesn't matter all that much. 

Cereal Banter - Seasonal Poinsettia Disorder - self-released - 4 songs - cassette, download

Cereal Banter return with a holiday release. Interesting. "Dysphorbia" starts the journey off with a sort of hypnotic and melancholy experimental…indie rock song? The vibe of the song is almost an indie rock kind of thing but it's so minimal that it can't quite be called that. Experimental pop, perhaps? I kinda like it. While I thought I was taking notes on "Rump Pun," I was actually listening to the following track, "White Elephant In The Room" (good title). I guess "Rump Pun" was the little interlude part. Anyway, "White Elephant In The Room." I guess the best way to describe this (and the whole cassette, really) would be "avant-garde Christmas music." I think that's what they were going for, and they've done it. The semi-sappy melodies and (as annoying as this word is to use) "vibe" of some forgotten holiday tune but more sparse and kinda ambient. Speaking of ambient, Side B here is a 15 or so minute long cover of John Lennon's classic "Happy Christmas (War Is Over)," done here as an instrumental and retitled "Sappy Wishlist (Florist Goer)." The press release I got sent for this said something about it being "spaceship ambient" or something along those lines. I really can't do better than that in describing it. I like how they kept in some studio chatter as well. I won't be pulling this out over, say, the Fossil Fuel Christmas LP, but it's an interesting concept and Cereal Banter did a decent job with it. 3.7/5

(cerealbanter.com)

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Volume 14, Issue 1, Posted 4:06 PM, 01.09.2018

Abobobobobomination: Reviews Of Recent Releases By Local Bands, Pt. 61

Obligatory Disclaimer: Record reviews are a tricky business. It's one thing to enjoy music, but to, like, pick out what you like about it? That being said, if I review your thing and I didn't like something, don't feel too bad. My opinion doesn't matter all that much. 

Ricky Hamilton featuring The Voidboys - Hell Is Real - Quality Time Records - 9 songs - cassette, download

This is the third "solo" release from Ricky Hamilton of [insert band here] fame. I say "solo" in quotes because, as with the previous tape ("Killed By Ricky"), he's backed by Fascinating bandmates Adam Spektor (clarinet, this time around heavily processed) and Carter Luckfield (bass, this time around normal) and occasionally The Sight bandmate Noah Depew (guitar, shreds). Hold on, Spektor and Carter are in The Sight, too. I'm not sure how to work all these sentences out to be good. You know what I mean. I'd thought Ricky's solo work was his one man punk thing that the kids are into these days, but someone told me that the solo stuff is for Ricky's "pop" output. That can't be right, I thought that was what Fascinating was for. Anyway. I gotta say, this tape doesn't get off to a great start. "The Valium" and "All 6's," while perfectly acceptable songs, are just kind of okay. Things pick up with "The Feeling Is Alright," though I wish he was using live drums on these instead of the drum machine, especially since I know that Ricky's a pretty good drummer. I also wish he would be a little more enthusiastic, I guess is the word, with the vocals. I was hoping for something more like "666" on "Killed By Ricky," where he really goes for it, but not here. "Friday Eyes" is the first song on this tape that I would absolutely say I fully enjoy. It's a good, uptempo rock 'n' roller, it has nice harmonies on the chorus, and I think Noah arrives for the first time to add some lead. Moving onto the B side, "8 Days In Hell" keeps up the momentum (not speed-wise, but…ah, you know what I'm getting at). Again, the harmonies and the lead guitar (Noah does his best J Mascis here) keep it moving and it ends up a good song. Ricky chose "Killing Season On Earth" as the single for this record, which I don't quite get, but I assume that means he thinks it's a good one. It is, but…look, I gotta say, some of these songs get kinda samey, especially considering they're mostly the same tempo and with very similar arrangements. With the exception of the songs with the extra lead guitar, it's all very midrangey. Ricky did warn me that I was being given a hand-dubbed tape and the consumer version is gonna sound better, so hopefully that issue doesn't persist. We close this tape out with "You Look Like A Cop." I think I get what he was going for here (some kind of noisy punk thing), but it kind of ends up as a mess. Perhaps that was intentional. Is there actually a voice in the background saying "Satan" or am I hearing things? I do like the fake echo where he just goes "cop cop cop cop." That's entertaining. Also, the Jesus & Mary Chain interview clip at the end is a nice touch. At least I assume it's the Jesus & Mary Chain, as the guy speaking is very Scottish and very confrontational. I don't know what to make of this. There are good songs on here (and a couple really good songs on here), but it's not as consistent or listenable as "Killed By Ricky" or "Life By The Thorns." I know Ricky's got a lot of songs in him and I know and appreciate how much work he puts into this, but nobody will be offended or upset if he takes it easy for a minute or two. 3.9/5

(qualitytimerecords.bandcamp.com)

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Volume 13, Issue 24, Posted 3:19 PM, 12.19.2017

Like Crime, But With A Less Coherent Schtick: Reviews Of Recent Releases By Local Bands, Pt. 60

Obligatory Disclaimer: Record reviews are a tricky business. It's one thing to enjoy music, but to, like, pick out what you like about it? That being said, if I review your thing and I didn't like something, don't feel too bad. My opinion doesn't matter all that much. 

Key To The Mint - A Godless Line - self-released - 11 songs - download

This is the second release from Key To The Mint, following up on their cassette from either early last year or late 2015 (I can't keep that kind of thing straight anymore, I'm too old), "Polynesian Dreams." I think this was download only, but who knows. I'll get all the name-drop comparisons out of the way real quick so that those who don't like the cut of this jib can just skip the rest of this review: New Order/Joy Division/The Smiths/Depeche Mode/The Cure. For real, the singer here (Bandcamp tells me his name is Joel Anger) is really going for a mix of Morrissey and Ian Curtis. It's very synth-heavy, though there is guitar scattered about (sometimes in some interesting places). It's very derivative. I don't mean that in a bad way, they just very plainly wear their influences on their sleeve. The album kinda started alright, started to drag for a couple songs, got interesting again, a couple more, uh, filler tracks, and then fortunately enough ended good. Up and down, ya see. I think the main thing dragging this down is the length: it's real long. Oh well, what do I know? My favorite tracks here were "Make Me Suffer" (I might even describe this one as 'intense'), "Live Yr Lie" (which is a nice peppy one after "Maudlin" lives up to its name), "Hypochondriac" (the fact that it has two parts saves it, even though it is the longest song on here– I also like when the guitar goes a bit "Marquee Moon"), "Fraud" (decent melody), and "Stand In Confidant" (which does a good job as a closing track). I don't know, man. This isn't exactly my all-time favorite genre, but I liked a decent amount of things about this. People who own every Factory release might think it's stupendous. Or maybe they'll feel the same way as me. Or maybe some other, third option. 3.5/5

(keytothemint.bandcamp.com)

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Volume 13, Issue 24, Posted 10:14 PM, 12.05.2017

Great Presents For Lakewoodites, Or For Anyone

This past year saw the delivery of two fabulous art books/graphic novels just in time for holiday gift giving. “Tunnel To Hell - The Lake Erie Tunnel Disasters," by Lakewoodite Scott MacGregor, and “Sandwich Anarchy” by former Lakewoodite John Greiner, dealing with Lakewood’s spectacular restaurant “Melt.” Both are treats for the eyes and the head.
 
Scott MacGregor teamed up with legendary underground cartoon artist Gary Dumm, known for his work with Harvey Pekar, to give us an easy-to-read and graphically pleasing look at the 1916 digging of the tunnels 200 feet under Lake Erie stretching for miles, which bring clean water to the City of Cleveland. While this might not seem like a fascinating story, between Scott’s words, sense of history and sense of humanity, and Gary Dumm's amazing graphics, it is a quick and very good read, and a great edition to anyone’s books and/or coffee table.

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Volume 13, Issue 23, Posted 10:26 PM, 12.05.2017

Beck Center For The Arts Warms Winter Hearts

The holiday season can be stressful for many, but it’s a time that should be filled with family and fun. Beck Center has created a great lineup of events to warm winter hearts with the arts! From magical theater and dance performances on tour, to an exhibition tradition and original youth theater, there’s sure to be something memorable for people of all ages this holiday season.

Sure to get you into the holiday spirit is Beck Center’s annual Limelight Holiday Exhibition. This exhibit provides a unique opportunity to view fine art by local artists including printmakers, illustrators, painters, jewelers, and more. These original handmade pieces make wonderful holiday gifts for even the most difficult person on your shopping list and support local artists! The exhibition is free and open to the public and currently on display through Monday, January 8.

Beck Center’s award-winning holiday production of Disney’s "The Little Mermaid" returns to the Mackey Theater stage December 1 – 31. Evening performances will be at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, and matinee showings will be 2:30 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Saturday, December 9 there will be both 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. performances. There will be no performance on Sunday, December 24. In the spirit of the holiday season, Beck Center is bringing some fan favorites from under-the-sea to the Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital. Princess Ariel, played by Kathleen Rooney, and friends will be visiting on Tuesday, December 19 at 11:30 a.m. 

Beck Center Dance Education’s presents "Making Spirits Bright" – a dance performance with a mix of ballet, pointe, contemporary, tap, and jazz dance set to an eclectic mix of holiday music. "Making Spirits Bright" features original choreography by Beck Center Dance Faculty and is performed by Beck Center Dance Workshop, Jr. Dance Workshop, and Dance Education Students. After sold-out performances on December 2 and 3, two sensory-friendly performances for those with special needs will take place on Friday, December 8 at 9:30 and 11:00 a.m. "Making Spirits Bright" will be hitting the road for an annual holiday tour on Saturday, December 9, visiting Lutheran Home Concord Reserve, St. Mary's of the Woods, and Brookpark Retirement Community, and heading to Cleveland Clinic Friday, December 22 to spread holiday cheer far beyond the doors of Beck Center for the Arts.

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Volume 13, Issue 23, Posted 10:05 PM, 12.05.2017

Officially Endorsed By My Friend Who Says Marty Brass Shreds: Reviews Of Recent Releases By Local Bands, Pt. 59

Obligatory Disclaimer: Record reviews are a tricky business. It's one thing to enjoy music, but to, like, pick out what you like about it? That being said, if I review your thing and I didn't like something, don't feel too bad. My opinion doesn't matter all that much. 

Joey Sprinkles - Bubble Guts - Mirror Universe Tapes - 10 songs - Cassette, download

I'd like to start this review off with an apology for this being reviewed so late. There were a couple delays (including the package getting lost somewhere in the Observer HQ) that might have seemed like the natural course of things if this was the negative energy music of Chomp, but this is not Chomp, so it's just bad luck. Ya know? This is, however, the guy from Chomp, also known as Joe Boyer. I wasn't quite sure what to expect of this and I guess that's appropriate as Joe hits five different styles on each of the five tracks on the first side. Yep, from the upbeat indie rock of "All Is Well" (some Jay Reatard vibes at the end there) to the acoustic indie rock (this is a different style, trust me) of "I Guess It's Now" (the backing "ooh ooh" vocals on this one give me 60s pop vibes, and that keyboard on the chorus throws this one into Reatard territory as well) to "Bugs On Lightbulbs," which I have to assume is what Green Day would sound like if they were on Lumpy Records, to "You're Part Of It," which is a far more mellow indie rocker (again, totally different style) and is the first of several songs here co-written by the guy from So Cow, if that means anything to you, to "Midnite Blue," which is pretty much a straight power popper. Now, I don't know if you know this, reader, but I like power pop. And I know that Joey Sprinkles straight up stole that chorus hook from somewhere. He has to have. Or maybe not? Maybe he wrote such a catchy melody there that I feel like I've known it forever. If so, nice work.

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Volume 13, Issue 22, Posted 5:56 PM, 11.21.2017

Little Mermaid Returns To Beck Center This Holiday Season

Join us under the sea again for Beck Center’s critically acclaimed production of "The Little Mermaid." Last year, this production was winner of Cleveland Critics Circle 2016 Theater Awards for Best Musical Direction, Best Projection Design, and the Rising Star Award, and recognized for Best Musical Production, Best Lighting Design, and Best Choreographer.

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Volume 13, Issue 22, Posted 5:56 PM, 11.21.2017

WordStage Ends Its Six Year Run With A FREE program - The Real Story Of Thanksgiving

After six seasons of presenting Literary Concerts throughout many venues in Northeast Ohio, WordStage ends its run with a program which examines the troubled history of what is arguably our most popular National Holiday, told from the point of view of the Native American tribes who were affected by it. It will be presented in the Wright Chapel of the Lakewood Presbyterian Church on Friday, November 17, 2017 at 7:30 p.m. 

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Volume 13, Issue 21, Posted 5:02 PM, 11.08.2017

Heavy: Reviews Of Recent Releases By Local Bands, Pt. 57

Obligatory Disclaimer: Record reviews are a tricky business. It's one thing to enjoy music, but to, like, pick out what you like about it? That being said, if I review your thing and I didn't like something, don't feel too bad. My opinion doesn't matter all that much. 

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Volume 13, Issue 20, Posted 12:05 PM, 10.17.2017

Bring Back Splat: Reviews Of Recent Releases By Local Bands, Pt. 56

Obligatory Disclaimer: Record reviews are a tricky business. It's one thing to enjoy music, but to, like, pick out what you like about it? That being said, if I review your thing and I didn't like something, don't feel too bad. My opinion doesn't matter all that much. 

The Brides - 2001-2003 - Black Tongue Records / 100% Zero Records - 7 songs - LP

This was recorded in 2003 but has gone unreleased until now. The Brides were from Kent, if I'm not mistaken, and play some heavy rock/metal/doom type stuff. Let me be the first to tell you that those aren't the kind of genres I spend a lot of time listening to or really know that much about. So, with that out of the way, this isn't bad. There's some good riffs in there that the band really drives into your head. I think my favorite here is probably the closing track "Dirt Nap." My biggest problem with this is that I'm not a huge fan of the vocal style. In fact, I think I would like it more with a different vocalist, or maybe if Don Brown just changed it up a bit. Aside from that, it's more listenable than I thought it would be. People who are more into this kind of thing than I am have told me that this is good stuff. I enjoyed it well enough, I guess. It's not the first band I would go to when I want to hear a band that starts with the letters "Br" and has Matt Lindsay on guitar, but it's decent. I like how closely the silver vinyl matches the text on the center labels, too. Nice one. 3.5/5

(100zerorecords.com)

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Volume 13, Issue 20, Posted 5:20 PM, 10.03.2017

I Have A Headache: Reviews Of Recent Releases By Local Bands, Pt. 55

Obligatory Disclaimer: Record reviews are a tricky business. It's one thing to enjoy music, but to, like, pick out what you like about it? That being said, if I review your thing and I didn't like something, don't feel too bad. My opinion doesn't matter all that much. 

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Volume 13, Issue 19, Posted 9:25 PM, 09.19.2017

I Have A Headache: Reviews Of Recent Releases By Local Bands Part 55

Obligatory Disclaimer: Record reviews are a tricky business. It's one thing to enjoy music, but to, like, pick out what you like about it? That being said, if I review your thing and I didn't like something, don't feel too bad. My opinion doesn't matter all that much. 

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Volume 13, Issue 19, Posted 9:25 PM, 09.19.2017

Sixth Annual Hispanic Heritage Exhibition At Beck Center

Beck Center for the Arts is pleased to present the sixth annual Hispanic Heritage exhibition in the Jean Bulicek Galleria, focusing on scholarship funds with support from the Cleveland Foundation. In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, the work will be on display September 15 - October 8, 2017. An Artists’ Reception and Panel Discussion with live music and small bites will take place Thursday, September 28 from 5:30 - 8 p.m. Panel discussion begins at 6 p.m. The exhibition and reception are free and open to the public.

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Volume 13, Issue 18, Posted 9:26 PM, 09.19.2017

Book Review: "Friday Night Light" By Alex Ward

I don't really read book reviews or anything, so I don't really know how to write them. I guess I'll start by giving a quick synopsis. Friday Night Light follows the adventures of an unnamed teen narrator as he attempts to rescue his Little Brother (referred to only as Little Brother, or sometimes L.B.) from the clutches of various evils, including cruel Teen Warden Longlegger and college. Along the way he joins the football team and learns more about himself than he ever wanted to know. I think that's about the most I can say without spoiling it. 

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Volume 13, Issue 17, Posted 10:44 PM, 09.28.2017

Please Take The Time Out Of Your Day To Read About Music: Reviews Of Recent Releases By Local Bands, Pt. 54

Obligatory Disclaimer: Record reviews are a tricky business. It's one thing to enjoy music, but to, like, pick out what you like about it? That being said, if I review your thing and I didn't like something, don't feel too bad. My opinion doesn't matter all that much. 

The Cowboy - The Cowboy Album - Fashionable Idiots - 12 songs - LP, download

The first thing I wanna address here is the press release, which falsely claims that this band contains half of Pleasure Leftists. Okay, now that we have that out of the way, this is a darn good album. "Everyday We Grow" starts out with a riff that kinda reminds me of that one My Chemical Romance song (you all know which one I'm talking about, I know it's not "cool" but we all know it). This is a song that every time I've heard them play it, I've thought to myself "I really like this song." Something about that chorus ("the long hand of my best man…") just inspires me. The perfect way to kick the record off. Then, "The 

Cowboy" kicks in as the second track as more of a punker tune, and boy, it's another great one. "Hear my voice, it's always twangin', and ZOOMIN'! past the trees." You're telling me you don't like that? Come on. I'm gonna take the easy way out and tell you that the band this really reminds me of is Homostupids. I know, that's shocking. I think where they differ from Homostupids (besides the different drummer) is a clearer, more together sound. Your opinion may vary on whether that's a good or bad thing. "Golden Man" is the third great song in a row here, nice throwback to "The Glow" in the lyrics, and I just keep thinking of all the times I've seen them start this over live. I kinda 

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Volume 13, Issue 17, Posted 12:35 PM, 09.06.2017

Artist Maria Calanni To Showcase Work On September 8

Be sure to mark your calendars for the September 8 art exhibition at Lakewood Young Filmmakers Academy Studios. Lakewood artist Maria Calanni will be on hand showcasing her stunning photography. Come by, meet some fellow art lovers, have some food and drinks and maybe take home a new piece for your home or office.

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Volume 13, Issue 17, Posted 12:35 PM, 09.06.2017

Perfectly Imperfect: Chloe Simone Derethik Photo Show At Root Café

Many artists and photographers do not get their own show until middle age, if at all. Many of even the most talented find putting a show together an overwhelming task, and many never even try. Not Chloe Simone Derethik. This 14-year-old photographer who currently attends Magnificat High School will roll out her show at the Root Café, August 14.

Her show called: "Photography Exhibit: Perfectly Imperfect: An exploration of life through the eyes of a 14-year-old girl," does just that, it allows the visitor to see life through her eyes. You ask, what is the big deal? Anyone can take photos. While most of us have cameras on our phones, as Ansel Adams once pointed out, “Owning a Nikon does not make a person a photographer, merely a Nikon owner." In my life in the arts, and working with many photographers at the Observer, I've learned that anyone can take a photo, but very few can take more than one that makes you stop, look, think, and come back. Check out Chole’s work, technical, and artistically spot on, a fun show to see.

“My entire education has been filled with challenges and setbacks. I must learn things my own way, visualize what I am learning. Photography is a way that I can express myself in a community of artists that don’t judge, I connect with creative people and feel most at home when I can freely express and create,” said Chloe. “Lately I have been exploring portraits, non-traditional ways to capture people’s unique beauty. I have spent the last two summers at Camp Woodward exploring new ways of expressing myself in digital media, film, and most recently photography."

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Volume 13, Issue 16, Posted 6:15 PM, 08.15.2017