Arts

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)

Read Full Story
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.

Read Full Story
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.

Read Full Story
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.

Read Full Story
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.

Read Full Story
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. 

Read Full Story
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. 

Read Full Story
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)

Read Full Story
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. 

Read Full Story
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. 

Read Full Story
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.

Read Full Story
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. 

Read Full Story
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 

Read Full Story
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.

Read Full Story
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."

Read Full Story
Volume 13, Issue 16, Posted 6:15 PM, 08.15.2017

"You Hate Our Veterans, Your Label Is Garbage": Reviews Of Recent Releases By Local Bands, Pt. 52

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.

Brainwashed California - Demo - Blow Blood Records - 7 songs - Cassette, download

For those unfamiliar, Brainwashed California is a spinoff group of Brainwashed Youth that features Mr. California. You probably figured that out from the name. The first four tunes are modern updates on Brainwashed Youth songs, including classic hits "I Don't Really Like You" and "Blow Up This Place," which prove to be just as timeless now as they were whenever. Terry "Mr. Terrible" California adds exactly what you'd expect to the mix with thrilling results. Once we get to the new stuff, "Have You Seen My Gnashers?" is mostly a Mr. California song heavy on keyboard and drum machine, given that the only guitar was his two or three note guitar solo. Great call-and-response vocals from Paul E. Wog and newcomer Meggie Mohawk on this one. If you're as sick of Christmas music as I am, let "Brainwashed Xmas" speak to you. Aside from the group's wishes for you to have a "dodgy New Year," there's also a barely-related interlude from Terrence "The California" that's a must-hear for fans of his work. On the closing track, "Civilized People," Jayson from Magic City provides some synth noise over what's arguably the most punk of the new songs. The whole thing is stupid, vulgar, and in several places not even in tune. What I'm getting at is that it's pretty good. I will say that nothing could ever live up to the first time I saw this group live (also their first performance with Meggie Mohawk), mostly because of their stage show. As one member of the audience put it, "my god, these lights!" So go see them live. 4/5

(blowbloodrecords.bigcartel.com for the tape, blowbloodrecords.bandcamp.com to download)

 

Read Full Story
Volume 13, Issue 15, Posted 5:08 PM, 08.01.2017

Entertainment At The Festival

The Festival isn't complete without some great entertainment... this year we'll have three stages with music, performances and activities along Detroit Avenue.

Read Full Story
Volume 13, Issue 15, Posted 5:08 PM, 08.01.2017

2017 Lakewood Arts Festival Scholarship Winner

Lakewood Arts Festival Awards Scholarship to 2017 LHS GraduateSince 1981, the Lakewood Arts Festival has funded an annual scholarship for a high school senior moving on to study the arts. The 2017 recipient of the $4,000 scholarship is Lakewood High School graduate Garrett Bodnar. He will study the fine arts at the Hartford Art School at the University of Hartford this fall. Garrett wants to further his art education and continue to fuel his passion to create. He envisions a career as an artist and also has interests in being a curator or creative director. Garrett said, “I intend to use my art degree to create something original and hopefully positively affect the world and people around me.” Work from Garrett’s portfolio will be on display in Lakewood Public Library for a week near the circulation desk.

Read Full Story
Volume 13, Issue 15, Posted 5:08 PM, 08.01.2017

40th Annual Lakewood Arts Festival

For 40 years, the first Saturday of August has meant one thing… the Lakewood Arts Festival! This year the Lakewood Arts Festival will bring 165 wonderful artists and makers, dozens of non-profits and community groups, musicians and entertainment and more great food to Lakewood on Detroit Avenue. The festival celebrates the beauty of the arts, the joy of creativity – and the spirit of community.

The festival kicks off at 10am and closes at 6pm. This year the festival has shifted its footprint and will run from St. Charles to Arthur along Detroit to accommodate the construction between St. Charles and Belle.

Read Full Story
Volume 13, Issue 15, Posted 5:08 PM, 08.01.2017

I Can't Remember If I've Used This Title Already: Reviews Of Recent Releases By Local Bands, Pt. 51

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.

Bulsch - Tartington - Blow Blood Records - 4 songs - 7", download

If you're not familiar with Bulsch, they're a band featuring members of Cruelster, The Roobydocks, Real Regular, etc. That's the most mild way of describing them. Bulsch's deal is that all their songs are in their own special language. This particular record of theirs was originally released on cassette by Saucepan, here released on vinyl by your favorite local Australian/Canadian label. "Tartington" is probably the band's best song (tied only with "Cundaloovian"– when's that coming out on vinyl?), so it makes total sense that it's the main track. After somewhere between fifteen seconds and a minute and a half of super catchy punk that makes you wanna sing along (And you can! It's got lyrics!), a zero-effort guitar solo brings the track to an abrupt conclusion. My favorite part of "Bobby Poppa" is when the suspense really builds up and then everything drops out but the bass, only for the singers (plural– there are three of them, they sing in unison) to yell something (I think it's "the," but it might be "gulch") and everything comes right back in. "Pon Toeleen" is mostly worthy of note for the guitar solo, during which the band throws around their trademark "ee oo" quite a bit– Joe (or Ton, rather, as the insert finally reveals which band member is which) throws in a particularly disgusted sounding one. If for whatever reason it hasn't struck you yet, the slow "dun dun dun-dun dun dun" part in "Inee Inee Outbawl" for some reason really drives home how sublime the whole thing is. And sure, maybe this whole thing is completely incomprehensible, but there you are pogoing and yelling "Tom-Sharpman-Samminrah!" along with the rest of them by the end of the record. That said, what the world really needs is the Bulsch concert film ("Enjoy Cleveland" doesn't count). You're kinda missing out. 4/5

(blowbloodrecords.bigcartel.com for the record, bulsch.bandcamp.com to download)

 

Read Full Story
Volume 13, Issue 14, Posted 12:35 PM, 07.18.2017

Beck Center Brings The "City Of Angels" To Lakewood

Beck Center for the Arts is pleased to present "City of Angels," winner of 6 Tony Awards³ including Best Musical and Best Original Score. This acclaimed film noir musical runs July 7 through August 13, 2017 in the Mackey Theater. Show times are 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 3 p.m. Sundays. Tickets are now on sale.

Read Full Story
Volume 13, Issue 13, Posted 3:03 PM, 07.05.2017

Yikes: Reviews Of Recent Releases By Local Bands, Pt. 50

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. 

Magic City - Magic City - Blow Blood Records - 4 songs - 7", download

Magic City, along with The Roobydocks and Heavenly Queen, was one of my favorite new bands of 2016. This is their debut vinyl offering. "Free" is a great late-'70s style punk rocker with wah-wah'd out guitar and great energy. I know that's reviewer-type garbage to say it has "great energy," but it really does. I'm just stupid and can't think of a better way to say that. "Oogha Boogha" is a somewhat slower hard rock tune– indie rock fans may listen to the drumming and go "hey, that sounds familiar." Just kidding, indie rock fans probably won't listen to this. "Kay" on the flip is another solid hard rock/punk song, followed by "Monster," which features some great saxophone squawking as a bonus to the already solid song. Though all four songs on this are pretty good, I think "Monster" and "Free" are really the essential tracks. Lyrically, it might not be quite what you expect from the members of the band– there's no aliens or babbling like you might expect when hearing that there's a Darvocet and a Bad Noid in this band– but that's because the vocalist (I assume she writes the lyrics, too, but I'm probably wrong) wasn't in either of those bands, and in fact has never been in any band before. Nevertheless, Julia does a great job at doing her own thing. I really wish they'd re-press their cassette, or put it on LP or something, but this 7" is quite a fine substitute. 4.3/5

(blowbloodrecords.bigcartel.com for the tape, blowbloodrecords.bandcamp.com to download)

Perverts Again - My Accident - Total Punk Records - 2 songs - 7"

I think the wait for the new Perverts Again record has been entirely too long. So was it worth it? I'd say so. The two songs here, "My Accident" and "My Embarrassment," are sort of thematically linked, as the titles imply, in that they're both about situations you really wouldn't wanna find yourself in. "My Accident" is about a visit to the

Read Full Story
Volume 13, Issue 12, Posted 3:03 PM, 07.05.2017

Exquisite Corpse Project

Exquisite corpse is a method by which a collection of words or images is collectively assembled. Each collaborator adds to a composition in sequence, either by following a rule (e.g. "The adjective noun adverb verb the adjective noun") or by being allowed to see only the end of what the previous person contributed.

Read Full Story
Volume 13, Issue 12, Posted 2:48 PM, 06.20.2017

Wonderful Horrible Fest

Were you at Horrible Fest this year? No? Well, you probably should’ve been, since supposedly it was the last one. While I don’t believe that for a second, there’s always the possibility. Lots of Lakewood bands and personalities were featured, hence why it’s appearing here in your community newspaper. Once again, I was there, and here’s what I saw. 

Thursday night (which they supposedly weren’t gonna do this year), which wasn’t technically a part of Horrible Fest but a “pre-party.” I had thought the triumphant reunion of Brainwashed Youth (original lineup!) would probably be the main event, but they played first. Dumb punk. They were too good at playing. I wanted sloppier. Mourning A BLKstar, a band that I had heard was revelatory, played next. I did not feel that they were revelatory. After them was the band I was really there to see, Perverts Again. Maybe the best P.A. set I’ve seen yet? They played Billy Joel’s “My Life,” which was as good as seeing Shitbox Jimmy play “Fox On The Run” earlier in the month. Real Regular closed out the evening with their signature dumb punk (man, a lot of dumb punk bands at this show except for that second group). They did that terrible ‘90s song “I want to get away, I want to flyyyyyy away.” It sucked, which probably means it was what they wanted.

Read Full Story
Volume 13, Issue 12, Posted 2:48 PM, 06.20.2017

Celebrate Summer At Beck Center

There’s something for everyone at Beck Center…especially during the summer. From June through August, Beck Center offers exceptional theater on two stages, exciting summer camps and classes, community events, and more. Discover what’s best for you below!

Read Full Story
Volume 13, Issue 12, Posted 2:48 PM, 06.20.2017

Victoria Price's Learning To See: Postcards From The Road

Since childhood, Victoria Price has always loved capturing images of her travels. However, she never thought of herself as a photographer. Instead, she calls herself an amateur, in the true sense of the word -- a devotee and admirer of photography and photographers. In 2011, Victoria began what has become a seven year journey of mostly living on the road for her work. The images she captures inspire her to keep looking at the world with fresh eyes and continually to try to see anew. Through the eyes of love.

She frequently revisits photos she has taken, in order to "listen" to what they are telling her. She then incorporates what she has heard into the images themselves. In that intersection of the verbal and the visual, she finds new inspiration -- new ways of being present to what is.

Victoria Price is an inspirational speaker, writer, art historian, art consultant, designer and interspiritual/interfaith minister.

Victotia tries to live her life by credo of one of her favorite poets, Mary Oliver:
Pay attention.
Be astonished.
Tell about it.

After years of showing the work of other artists in her own gallery, creating a show of her own work at the good goat gallery is a dream come true.

Victoria's new book, This One Brave Life, will be published in February 2018. To find out more, please visit victoriaprice.com.

Read Full Story
Volume 13, Issue 11, Posted 12:39 PM, 06.06.2017

One More Time! OK, Again!: Reviews Of Recent Releases By Local Bands, Pt. 49

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. 

Goldmines / Shitbox Jimmy - Goldmines / Shitbox Jimmy - Quality Time Records / Wax Mage Records - 7 songs (3 Goldmines, 4 Shitbox Jimmy) - 12", download

Let me start off this review by saying I have no idea what band is supposed to come first here. While the album cover lists Goldmines first, the runout etchings say that Shitbox Jimmy's side is A. For my more casual readers (i.e. the ones that have never spoken to me in person), this annoys me more than you could possibly fathom. I guess I'm going with Goldmines for now, but that could change. As someone who wasn't head over heels for Goldmines' previous 12" like it seemed like a lot of people were, Goldmines do one heck of a job here. "We Real Cool," with choruses based on the poem of the same name, has lots of guitar from Mandy Look and Jeanna Lax, which is always appreciated. Meanwhile, Roseanna Safos (you may remember her from every other band she's also in) really kills it on the drums with an especially bombastic performance while Heather Gmucs holds it all down with a darn good bassline. It's mega catchy and I would go so far as to say it's Goldmines' best song. Though the two songs that follow it don't quite live up to all that, they're both still good. "Shadow" is another catchy indie rocker, with an instrumental bit that kinda reminds me of "Psychotic Reaction" for some reason. Something about the rhythm, maybe? "Not The Lion" has got a cool ominous melody that's both sung and played by the lead guitar. I think Goldmines go three for three here. Like 'em or not, I think it's undeniable that they have some darn catchy tunes. Then ya flip the record over and Shitbox Jimmy start their side of things with an utter killer as well. "Later" is just about everything you'd want in a power pop song. It's just a crusher. On "Try Save," they get a little more garage-rockin' but it's still mega pop, and Joey Nix reminds you that just because he's playing power pop these days doesn't mean he's a wimp, he can still belt it. I like the lead guitar on the chorus– actually, I like almost everything about this song. They're really taking things in a power pop direction these days as opposed to their earlier straight garage rock sound. I suspect (actually, I don't need to suspect, I confirmed this) that Drew (that's Ritchey, the one who plays guitar and sings sometimes, not Siegel, the one who plays drums) is at least a little responsible for this. Their third tune here, "Do You Wanna" is probably the weakest song on the whole record, but for a weakest link it's still a pretty good song. I do like the little quiet part, though this tune and the last one, "Teenage Daughter" prove that even the clean, bright production that John Delzoppo did here can't render what Joey's saying comprehensible. Oh well, that's just part of his charm.

Read Full Story
Volume 13, Issue 11, Posted 12:39 PM, 06.06.2017

Beck Center Dance Education Presents Bi-Annual Dance Concerts

Beck Center's popular bi-annual dance concerts return this spring to the Mackey Theater. All students from the Dance Education Program at Beck Center participate in two uniquely different dance concerts the first two weekends in June. Tickets are on sale now.

Read Full Story
Volume 13, Issue 11, Posted 12:39 PM, 06.06.2017

I Got Your Choice Quote Right Here: Reviews Of Recent Releases By Local Bands, Pt. 48

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. 

Fascinating - Picture This - Quality Time Records / Jurassic Pop - 8 songs - 12", download

It seems like it's been not very long at all since "Dice Game," Fascinating's previous record, was released, but hey, what can be said other than that Ricky Hamilton is a super prolific dude. The first thing I notice about the first track "Catholic Sun" is that the production of the vocals has improved since "Dice Game." That's a step in the right direction. You gotta find the balance between too noisy and too polished. "Catholic Sun" is a good catchy pop rock tune. The "do do do" backing vocals are a nice touch. Longtime Quality Time fans will remember "It's Gone" from Ricky's solo cassette that came out at the end of 2016, but I think this version trumps that one. The guitar leads are especially cool on this one. I'm gonna miss lead guitarist Alfred Hood on the next Fascinating record, though I'm sure his replacement Adam Spektor (who is somewhat inexplicably pictured on the insert, despite not playing on this record) will do an admirable job filling his shoes.

Read Full Story
Volume 13, Issue 10, Posted 3:05 PM, 05.16.2017

This Year's Horrible Fest: A Delightful Preview

The annual (Not) Horrible Fest is upon us once again. Several days and nights of rock 'n' roll, mostly at Now That's Class (11213 Detroit Ave.). For those who feel like you may be interested, here’s what’s gonna be going on. 

Thurs., May 25

Before the real fest even starts, there’s a pre-fest party at Now That’s Class, featuring the original lineup of local legends Brainwashed Youth making a rare appearance. Opening will be two other cool local bands, Saucepan Records’ own Real Regular and Perverts Again, for whom this show will double as a release party for their new single, “My Accident,” on Total Punk Records. 

9 PM - $5 / free with weekend pass

Read Full Story
Volume 13, Issue 10, Posted 3:01 PM, 05.16.2017

"Really Really" Makes Regional Premiere At Beck Center

Beck Center for the Arts proudly presents the regional premiere of "Really Really" June 2 through July 2, 2017 in the Studio Theater. Showtimes are 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 3 p.m. Sundays. A post–performance Talk–Back focusing on the various themes within the play will take place in partnership with the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center Saturday, June 17. Tickets are now on sale. Buy early and save with promo code: REALLY to receive $5 off each adult/senior ticket purchased by June 1. This production contains adult language and content.

Read Full Story
Volume 13, Issue 10, Posted 3:01 PM, 05.16.2017

Lakewood Young Filmmakers Academy Enrolling Students For Summer Camp

Looking for something new and exciting for your kids to do this summer? Tired of the same old summer camp activities? Lakewood Young Filmmakers Academy wants to unleash your child's inner Spielberg. The new film school for kids, opening in Lakewood later this year, is hosting its annual Summer Filmmaking Boot Camp where kids ages 12-17 will spend two weeks learning to write, direct and edit their very own movie that will be screened at the Capitol Theatre on July 6.

Read Full Story
Volume 13, Issue 9, Posted 4:19 PM, 05.02.2017

[Your Title Here!]: Reviews Of Recent Releases By Local Bands, Pt. 47

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.

Air Sicily - Sexy Eurobeat Vol. 1 - Objectively Good Records & Tapes - 5 songs - Cassette, download

Astute readers may remember that I've already reviewed this cassette. However, this is a brand new reissue of it, dubbed at a higher quality and, on my end, listened to through better speakers. I thought about just publishing the old review again, but where's the fun in that? I might as well go on about this new one for a while. I know for sure that local radio personality Jack and occasional door guy Noah are on this tape, but I'm told that Quality Time Records' own Ricky Hamilton was also involved, so there you go. You may be surprised to learn that this tape is exactly what I said it was before: 4 "music" tracks (I'm counting the rambling intro as a separate thing entirely; you may decide not to) of noisy punk no wave. At its root, it's solid punk. There's just a bunch of noise on top of it and Jack muttering incoherently. There's my biggest complaint: I can't understand a word he says during the songs, due to the effect on his vocals. I know that was completely intentional, but based on the intro, I'd think he'd have something interesting or at least entertainingly inane to say. Oh well. Next time around. My pick is the first track (the one after the intro, I mean). Or maybe the intro itself was my favorite. I don't know, you're just gonna have to listen yourselves and find out what I'm talking about, because even I don't know anymore. What did I give this last time? 4, I think. 4.1/5

Read Full Story
Volume 13, Issue 9, Posted 4:19 PM, 05.02.2017

Beck Center Announces 2017- 2018 Theater Season

Beck Center for the Arts is pleased to announce its 2017-2018 professional theater season filled with their signature eclectic titles that include classics, a regional premiere, and the seventh collaboration with Baldwin Wallace University Musical Theater program as they celebrate the 50th anniversary of HAIR.

Read Full Story
Volume 13, Issue 9, Posted 4:19 PM, 05.02.2017

WordStage Literary Concerts Presents - The Literary Legacy Of The Beat Generation

Like the French Impressionist artists of Paris, the Beat writers were a small group of close friends first, and a movement later. The term “Beat Generation” gradually came to represent an entire period in time, but the entire original Beat Generation in literature was small enough to have fit into a couple of cars.

Read Full Story
Volume 13, Issue 8, Posted 10:01 PM, 04.18.2017

"Cincinnati Meets Cleveland" Features Players From Two Great Orchestras

Both the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, founded in 1895, and The Cleveland Orchestra, founded in 1918, have long musical traditions deeply rooted in their respective city’s histories. It was a young conductor named Nikolai Sokoloff who led a series of summer concerts in Cincinnati during the summer of 1918 and from there was engaged to come to Cleveland, eventually becoming the first music director of The Cleveland Orchestra in the fall of 1918. 

Read Full Story
Volume 13, Issue 8, Posted 10:01 PM, 04.18.2017

North Coast Needlers Quilt Show

North Coast Needlers Quilt Guild presents its 15th biennial quilt show, "My Favorite Chix are Quilters!" Over 250 quilts will be featured, ranging from traditional and contemporary to modern and art quilts, offering something for everyone to enjoy. Many of our members are award-winning quilters!
 
Quilts will be exhibited in the airy rotunda of Westlake High School, 27830 Hilliard Boulevard, Westlake, on Saturday, April 22 and Sunday, April 23. Show hours are 10-5 both days. A beautiful red and white guild-made quilt will be raffled off on Sunday afternoon. 
 
Expanding on the show's theme will be a series of challenge quilts, "Chix Run Wild" and a block contest display. The contest blocks will be crafted into a "Chix For Kids" quilt for this year's donation recipient, Northeast Ohio Adoption Services. A special show event is "Adopt a Chix," with proceeds from the "adoption" of stuffed "Chix" also donated to Northeast Ohio Adoption Services to further their work placing children with loving families. 
 
Rounding out the show will be a boutique offering handcrafted items for sale, a quilt-side cafe, and a vendor mall featuring local and regional dealers. Admission donation is $5 for adults, $4 for seniors, ages 10 and under free. More information can be found on the North Coast Needlers website www.ncnquilt.com.

Read Full Story
Volume 13, Issue 7, Posted 5:10 PM, 04.04.2017

What Did You Say To Me?: Reviews Of Recent Releases By Local Bands, Pt. 46

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. 

Archie & The Bunkers - Live At Third Man Records - Third Man Records - 2 songs - 7"

The right way to take in Archie & The Bunkers is live, so I appreciate that there is now a live Archie record. This record is recorded pretty darn well (as are most of these Third Man live records, I take it), so that's cool. "She's A Rockin' Machine" is a decent garage rock tune. It's previously unreleased as well, so there's a bonus for all you Archie collectors out there. Although I know that it is an unpopular opinion, I think it would be improved with the addition of a guitarist. That isn't a dig at Cullen's organ playing skills, which improve even more with every passing record, I'm just saying. Still an alright song. "Mystery Lover," on the flip side, is my pick here. A more menacing sounding organ riff really makes it. It might be one of their best songs, and this is a quite good performance of it (topping the one on the "Mystery Lover" 12", I'd say). Though I like this record, it really just makes me want a full Archie & The Bunkers live LP. When's that coming out? 3.9/5

(thirdmanrecords.com or if you want the exclusive limited edition blue vinyl version, it's available exclusively at My Mind's Eye or from the band)

Read Full Story
Volume 13, Issue 7, Posted 5:10 PM, 04.04.2017

GV Art + Design: A Lakewood Institution

It’s no surprise that GV Art + Design quickly became the destination location for its "Cleve LAND that I LOVE" apparel and sports art. Founded and owned by the Vlosich family, GV’s roots run deep in the City of Lakewood. Mom and Dad, Gloria and George, raised their two sons right up the street (on Larchmont Ave.) from their retail store on Detroit.  Gloria, a teacher in Lakewood for over 40 years, and George, an advertising executive, made sure art and sports were a big part of George and Greg’s lives growing up attending the Lakewood schools.

Read Full Story
Volume 13, Issue 6, Posted 8:14 PM, 03.21.2017

Beck Center Teen Theater Presents High School Horror With CARRIE

Beck Center Teen Theater continues their 2016–2017 season with "CARRIE the musical," March 24–26 and March 31–April 2, 2017 in the Mackey 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 30. Tickets are on sale now at 216.521.2540 x10 or beckcenter.org. "CARRIE the musical" contains strong language and adult content.

Read Full Story
Volume 13, Issue 6, Posted 8:14 PM, 03.21.2017

100% Cassette Tape Rock: Reviews Of Recent Releases By Local Bands, Pt. 45

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 - Oatmeal Outburst - self-released - 2 songs - Cassette, download

I don't really know much about this group, but apparently they've been around for a while, so there ya go. Both tracks on this tape are long instrumental freeform experimental jams. Free jazz, maybe? I don't know these things. "Oatmeal Outburst" is my pick of the two. I like that there are different "movements," so to speak. Keeps it from getting too repetitive. It's actually sorta hypnotic in a couple places. "Porridge Parley" is decent as well. Something about certain parts of it reminds me of some of the more "freakout" Obnox moments. Good stuff if that's what you're into. Though both tunes are pretty long (over twelve minutes each, I believe), they do a good enough job of keeping your attention. I mean, I'd prefer slightly shorter, but hey. Experimental freakout avant-garde whatever. Not bad. 3.5/5

(cerealbanter.com)

Heavenly Creatures - Your Record Collection / This Summer Will Kill Us All - Peanut Butter Records - 8 songs - Cassette, download

This tape compiles two Heavenly Creatures EPs: the "Your Record Collection" 7" and the "This Summer Will Kill Us All" CD. Both are here on this cassette in their entirety for your listening convenience. If I were to get right to the point, I would tell you that a general description of this would be jangly indie pop, but I'm not gonna do that. I caught two lyrical references to R.E.M. in "Your Record Collection" alone (the song, not the EP), though I'm sure I missed a few. "Snow" has the most hesitant lead guitar playing I've heard in recent memory, but still is a catchy indie pop tune. "Water Is Rushing In" has a more ominous indie vibe that I kinda like. I definitely can hear the R.E.M. influence on that one. At this point, we move on to the second EP, "This Summer Will Kill Us All," where the band changes from a two-piece to a three-piece and the tunes are recorded at Bad Racket. Anyone who's been reading my column for a while probably already knows what I think about that. Overall, the quality of this EP is not quite as high as the previous one, though there's still some decent songs, "Blah Blah Blah Amen" and "Comforting Pain" (even though the latter goes on longer than I think it had to). I could say something about where it was recorded maybe having something to do with this drop, but I feel I've said enough. You jangly indie pop fans out there will definitely be into this one, but you probably already knew that. 3.5/5

(pbrecs.bandcamp.com)

Read Full Story
Volume 13, Issue 6, Posted 8:14 PM, 03.21.2017

Cleveland International Film Festival: The Gem In Your Backyard

After 16 years living in the Cleveland area, mostly in Lakewood, I left last summer to return to the east coast. I had come to love Cleveland, and for what it’s worth I am now a champion, defender and an ambassador. One of the things I talk up, whenever I talk about Cleveland, is the Cleveland International Film Festival (CIFF), returning for its 41st year between March 29 and April 9, at Tower City Cinemas and five neighborhood theaters. I’ll be back for just a weekend, but I know a few people who plan their vacations around the festival, and plot out the movies they want to see the way other people fill out March Madness brackets.

Read Full Story
Volume 13, Issue 6, Posted 8:14 PM, 03.21.2017

Memories Of Home And The Wisdom Of Women

March is Women’s History Month. If you want to celebrate women in an interesting, fun and thought-provoking way, visit the Beck Center to view an exhibit by three artists who have spent years working to portray their personal and political views through collage, painting and quilt-making. “Memories Evoked: Circling Back Home” is showcasing the works of Jill Milenski, Gayle Pritchard and Gail Crum in the lobby of Lakewood’s Beck Center through March 12.

The women met in 1996 at Artstown studio in Avon Lake when Pritchard taught a workshop on creating art from ordinary objects. The class and connection among the women was so intense, they mounted an exhibition the following year and commenced their regular meetings to collaborate in the process of assemblage, taking ordinary objects and creating both two-dimensional and sculptural pieces. Decades later, they’ve arrived at middle age with political opinions and life experience reflected in the collage, paintings and fiber works on display at the Beck.

Read Full Story
Volume 13, Issue 5, Posted 6:18 PM, 03.07.2017

Didn't Make Termbo's Best Of 2016: Reviews Of Recent Releases By Local Bands, Pt. 44

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. 

Haunted Head - Screaming - Public Square Records - 2 songs - 7"

I'm not quite sure what the deal is with this one. I think this was produced in 1998 (it was definitely recorded then, but I mean manufactured in '98 as well), but never released? Or only some were released? Or they just found copies they thought were lost? Or they finally got the covers? Or they broke up before releasing it? Or I was just straight up lied to and this isn't a new release at all? The member of the band I received this from said it was "new old," which doesn't really clear that up at all. Anyway. "Screaming" is a pretty darn decent punk tune in a '70s sorta Pagans style. Legitimately catchy, and I like that it sounds like the guitarist messes up the riff in the first five seconds of the song, but maybe that was intentional. Who can say? Side B, "98 Shutdown," isn't quite as good a song, but hey, it's a b-side, and it still isn't bad. You don't really hear much of this style of punk anymore, though based on that "Back To Cleveland" compilation (where I first heard Haunted Head), the market was once pretty over-saturated with it. Even so, I do remember Haunted Head as one of the standout bands of that style (I say that style to include the stuff that wasn't like that, like 9 Shocks or Wayne Kramer) on the Back To Cleveland record, along with The Spasms and Teenage Knockouts/TKO's, if I recall correctly. Fans of this kind of punk will dig it, people who don't like this style won't. I did. 4/5

Read Full Story
Volume 13, Issue 5, Posted 6:18 PM, 03.07.2017

Non-Traditional String Quartet Performs In Rocky River

Carpe Diem is not your ordinary string quartet! This boundary-breaking ensemble will present the fifth concert in the Rocky River Chamber Music Society’s 58th season on Monday, March 20 at 7:30 p.m. in the acoustically glorious sanctuary of West Shore Unitarian Universalist Church, 20401 Hilliard Blvd. in Rocky River. Members of the Quartet are Charles Wetherbee, violin; Amy Galluzzo, violin; Korine Fujiwara, viola; and Carol Ou, cello.   

Read Full Story
Volume 13, Issue 5, Posted 6:18 PM, 03.07.2017

Burning River Baroque Presents "On The Brink Of Insanity: Portrayals Of Women As Mad, Crazy, And Unhinged"

Praised by the Boston Musical Intelligencer as a group that "left an indelible imprint on my psyche," Burning River Baroque will return to Lakewood Presbyterian Church for their newest cutting-edge program "On the Brink of Insanity: Portrayals of Women as Mad, Crazy, and Unhinged." Dramatic musical works often contain scenes of overwhelming emotion in which male characters are frequently portrayed as being consumed by power. When women are overcome with emotion, however, male composers often attribute madness or craziness to them.

Read Full Story
Volume 13, Issue 5, Posted 6:18 PM, 03.07.2017

"A Great Wilderness" Touches On Timely Themes At Beck Center

Beck Center for the Arts proudly presents the regional premiere of "A Great Wilderness" March 3 through April 9, 2017 in the intimate Studio Theater. Show times are 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 3 p.m. Sundays. Tickets are now on sale. Buy early and save with promo code: NATURE to receive $5 off each adult/senior ticket purchased by March 2.

Written by 2014 MacArthur Genius Grant recipient Samuel D. Hunter, "A Great Wilderness" begins with Walt as he prepares for a reluctant retirement. After decades as the gentle–natured leader of a Christian retreat that endeavors to "cure" gay teens, Walt is packing up his life when Daniel arrives. Soon after, Daniel disappears into the Idaho wilderness, leading to a truly explosive turn of events. With profound humanity, this play navigates complex moral terrain, and explores the inconstant strength of our personal convictions.

Read Full Story
Volume 13, Issue 5, Posted 6:18 PM, 03.07.2017

Student Dance Festival At Kent State

Kent State Student Choreographers Highlight New Works in “il· lu· mi· nate, 1. to light up.”
Showcases original choreography by Kent State dance majors and minors

Kent State University’s School of Theatre and Dance will continue its 2016-2017 production season with “il· lu· mi· nate 1. to light up.,” a weekend of dance comprising two student dance concerts: the B.F.A. Senior Dance Concert on Friday, March 17 and Saturday, March 18 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, March 18 at 2 p.m. and the Student Dance Festival on Sunday, March 19 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Both concerts will take place in the Erdmann-Zucchero Black Box Theatre located at 1325 Theatre Drive in the Center for the Performing Arts.

Read Full Story
Volume 13, Issue 5, Posted 6:18 PM, 03.07.2017

Ready? Okay! Beck Center Presents "Bring It On" Regional Premiere

Beck Center for the Arts is pleased to present the regional premiere of "Bring It On the Musical," the sixth annual collaboration with the esteemed Baldwin Wallace University Music Theatre Program. This limited engagement runs February 10 through 26, 2017 in the Mackey Theater. Show times are 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays. Two Thursday performances will take place at 8 p.m. on February 16 and 23. Tickets are now on sale. Buy early and save with promo code: CHEER to receive $5 off each adult/senior ticket purchased by February 9.

Read Full Story
Volume 13, Issue 4, Posted 4:35 PM, 02.07.2017

Mincing Words Like Garlic: Reviews Of Recent Releases By Local Bands, Pt. 42

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. 

Cloud Nothings - Learn My Life - Carpark Records - 2 songs - 7"

Cloud Nothings' 7"s have always been kinda spotty for me. I was very pleased upon listening to this one, however, that both songs on it are quite good! "Learn My Life" is a great acoustic indie rock/pop tune, with just Dylan Baldi on acoustic guitar. If you've missed it with Cloud Nothings more extravagantly produced full-lengths, Dylan is quite a good songwriter, singer, and guitarist, which is on full display here with everything else stripped away. I like the part where he sings falsetto also. Nice touch. The flip side, "Sacrifice (For Love)," is another lo-fi acoustic one, though this time with bass and two guitars. I'm not sure whether fellow CN members TJ Duke and Chris Brown play on it or it's just Dylan (I'm inclined to believe the latter, but feel free to write in and tell me how stupid I am if you think otherwise), either way it's another great melancholy pop tune. I'd love to hear more Cloud Nothings/Dylan Baldi recordings like this, with just Dylan, acoustic and simple. Highly recommended, and you get to take a nice trip out of state if you want one (see below)! 4.8/5

(This is a tour exclusive, so I hear. Fortunately for you, it's not too late to catch Cloud Nothings while they're still in America. Check their Facebook page for tour dates and maybe you can travel to Chicago or something and buy a copy of this there. Or maybe they'll have copies when they're back from Europe, but you never know.)

Read Full Story
Volume 13, Issue 4, Posted 4:30 PM, 02.07.2017