Category Archives: The Suck

RIP Jessi Zazu of Those Darlins

It’s with great sadness I share news of the passing of Jessi Zazu (aka Jessi Darlin) of Those Darlins.  The 28 year old lost her battle with cancer yesterday.

For those of you who have checked out this blog for many years, you’ll know I was a fan of Those Darlins from the start.  Having seen them not only in Cleveland multiple times but also at Bonnaroo, I got to interact with her more than once and she was always as nice as could be.

She never hid the fact that she had cancer and was very open about her fight with it.  This news came as a complete shock to me.

I’m lucky enough to say I saw her play in a band that she loved and was even able to capture some photos of her doing so.

RIP Jessi Darlin.

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Of Us Giants Call It Quits

In January, I had the pleasure of reviewing an amazing release by an up and coming band called Of Us Giants.

Of Us Giants - Nova Scotia

My last paragraph in that review stated:

I would not be surprised if this band was taking over stages in the near future playing to sold out crowds. This is an impressive release that I can see all sorts of music lovers getting into.  Don’t sit on Of Us Giants like I did, it is too good to pass up.

I really had high expectations with this band, but sadly over the weekend, they called it quits.

I get it.  Indifferences happen, but man, this band barely took off and their debut release Nova Scotia is still in heavy rotation.

OUG really impressed me with their DIY approach and truly were excited with all that was going on.  I really could feel their excitement and was hoping their would have made it to Cleveland one day.

Even after USPS lost a bunch of their vinyl (almost $600 worth), the band fought hard to regain their losses and successfully were able to raise money thanks to their amazing fans.

Clearly something happened though forcing them to part ways before more people were able to get into them.

Here’s what the band had to say on their Facebook page:

This is really difficult to write, but here it goes… we are very sorry to announce that we have decided to call it quits as a band due to personal issues. Unfortunately, that means we are dropping off the Captives / Keyes tour. We also were planning a 7″ split with Captives to be released later this year. We are not sure if anybody would still be interested in hearing those songs, but we may still record them… maybe not… it’s up in the air right now.

We want to take the time to say THANK YOU to all of you for caring about this band over the past few years. We are forever grateful for all of your love and support. We would be nothing without all of you. Our music is free and you can pick up any of our leftover merch at All orders are shipping soon. We also want to thank all of the record labels that have taken a chance on our music and have released it for us: Songs From The Road Records / Driftwood Records / Fly the Light Records / Close To Home Records / Little League Records / Mutt Tapes.

Last but not least, thank you to everybody that has been a member of the band over the past few years. We have had the privilege of working with some amazing people/musicians.

Goodbye… for now.

We love all of you,
Dustin and Jon

Good luck guys.  I still blame USPS for this break-up…

The Facials To Play Their Last Show

It is always sad to see a band call it quits.

What’s sadder is when it is a band full of your friends who you have known for a long time.

Facials 1

Akron/Cleveland punk act The Facials recently announced that they are going to throw in the towel.  In a proper approach, they are going to play one more show before disbanding.

Note that the band is not breaking up because they hate each other but rather because they are soon to be a bit distant from one another.

I have seen the Facials countless times and have always enjoyed their live shows.  From playing the ever elegant Chuck’s Steakhouse in good ol’ Akron, to playing both stages at the Agora in Cleveland, I can honestly say they have played solid sets.

They have shared stages with Rancid, White Wives, Street Dogs, Whole Wheat Bread, Civit, Swingin’ Utters, and even The Menzingers just to name a few.

Hell, I remember the time the band did a NOFX set.  That was one hell of a night…


Bummed to see them split, but I understand totally.  I know they didn’t want it to end, and I  think Chad said it best on his Facebook post about the band coming to an end:

There has never been a show that lacked the energy we aimed to create, so hopefully everyone can make it out one last time to end it right!

I consider myself lucky to have befriended these guys.  I was introduced to them back when The Narcoleptics X5 were still playing drunk shows in the early 2000s.  I liked their Pennywise approach and tried to hit every show they played.  From there, I would see other live shows with them and party until I would fall down a flight of steps.

I remember when we would all hit up the Warped Tour and be the old men heckling all the kids.  Good times.

As the years passed, things started slowing down for them with their day gigs taking up their free time and most of the band getting married and whatnot.  I really am stoked to hear that they are going to play one last show.  This will be the prefect farewell to a bunch of good dudes what have been doing their thing for almost 13 years.

Come see the band play one last hurrah at Now That’s Class on Friday, March 21st with special guests Night Sweats, The Old One-Two, and a couple other acts to be announced.

Greek Fire Release Video For “If This is the End (The Sound of Belief)” To Raise Awareness

Growing up, one of my best friend’s little sister was diagnosed with Leukemia.  I don’t need to get into exact detail, but I will say she recovered and is living a good life.  She was young when she had to go through all the horror of finding out what she had and kept strong while going through treatment.  It was an event I will never forget for as long as I live.

St. Louis act Greek Fire is pretty much experiencing the same thing I did years ago.  Their drummer, Johnny Venus, was diagnosed with Leukemia.  At this moment, he is still fighting to overcome it.

Greek Fire was formed in 2008 by members from Story of the Year and  Maybe Today.  If I had to describe their sound, I would have to say they resemble Muse and Thirty Seconds to Mars.

Once the band found out their drummer was diagnosed, they stepped up as any family would and devised a way to help pay for the treatment.  Recently, the band made a video for their song “If This is the End (The Sound of Belief)” with all proceeds from the track going directly to Johnny’s medical bills.  The song is full of hope and not only was created to help fund treatment, but to raise awareness to all who view it.

Over the past four years, Greek Fire has built a wide fan base through word of mouth that has been spreading rapidly in the past few months.  The band recently kicked off a tour, with Story of the Year singer Dan Marsala filling in drums for Johnny, to support their  album Deus Ex Machina.

From Greek Fire (as found on Johnny’s Tumblr page):

In February 2012, shortly after an amazing tour of Japan, GREEK FIRE drummer and longtime STORY OF THE YEAR drum tech Johnny Venus was diagnosed with Leukemia. As anyone can imagine, this devastating news came as a complete shock and rocked the entire camp to the core. Johnny is fighting the battle of his life, and even in these darkest of times his incredible courage and strength inspired Johnny’s fellow band mates to write a song about this profoundly difficult and emotional journey.

The song, “If this is the End (The Sound of Belief) was utilized for a video GREEK FIRE released via YouTube on May 15th, 2012. The video was made for zero dollars by a group of amazing and selfless individuals that donated their time and talents with no thought of reward or payment, and the result is a heartfelt and emotional offering of hope and support for anyone, anywhere who has experience with cancer. Greek Fire is releasing this video in hopes that it can help people find the courage and strength to fight with all of their heart, and that there are people everywhere in the world fighting with them. That is the mission: HOPE. Please share this video with as many people as you can. Nothing will make Johnny Venus and the band more proud than if it can help someone, somewhere, in some way.

Take a moment to watch the video about the song that surrounds the idea of believing. The ending is sad as hell, but is so real. Trust me on that.  Share it too if you so desire.

If you would like to follow Johnny’s progress or end find out how to help, head over to his Tumblr page.

I hope Johnny’s is able to kick this illness and get back behind the drums to continue his dreams.

Stream the new Greek Fire album below:

Greek Fire – Deus Ex Machina by SecretServicePublicity3