Category Archives: Akron

Listing It Up: Best / Worst Of 2009 According To BHP

Nothing like waiting until the last minute…  With less than 10 hours to go I give you my Best / Worst list of 2009.  Mind you none of these are in order/ranked, they are just the best / worst I have been pondering over all year long… Enjoy.

Best Albums:

  • The Avett Brothers – I & Love & You
  • Mastodon – Crack The Skye
  • Frank Turner – Poetry Of The Deed
  • Phoenix – Wolfgang Amadeus
  • Converge – Axe To Fall
  • Those Darlins – Those Darlins
  • Gallows – Grey Britain
  • Dan Auerbach – Keep It Hid
  • P.O.S. – Never Better
  • BlakRoc – BlakRoc
  • The Sidekicks – Weight Of Air

Best Unreleased Album:

  • Dangermouse & Sparklehorse – Dark Night Of The Song

Worst Albums:

  • Brokencyde – I’m Not A Fan But The Kids Like It
  • Alice In Chains – Black Gives Way To Blue
  • Third Eye Blind – Ursa Major
  • Sugar Ray – Music For Cougars

On The Fence About Albums:

  • Them Crooked Vultures – Them Crooked Vultures
  • Drummer – Feel Good Together

Guilty Pleasure Albums:

  • Owl City –Ocean Eyes
  • Brokencyde – I’m Not A Fan But The Kids Like It

Best Box Set Released:

  • Coheed & Cambia – Neverender

Best Anthology Released:

  • Fat Wreck Chords – Wrecktrospective

Best Festival I Attended:

  • Bonnaroo – Bruce Springsteen, Merle Haggard, Public Enemy, NIN, Andrew Bird, Wilco, Beastie Boys, Al Green, Elvis Costello, Jenny Lewis, Phoenix and many more.

Best Shows I Attended:

  • The Avett Brothers @ Akron Civic Center – Akron, OH
  • Dan Auerbach / Those Darlins @ Beachland Ballroom – Cleveland, OH
  • Converge / High On Fire @ The Grog Shop – Cleveland Hts., OH

Loudest Show I Attended (EVER):

  • Mastodon @ Beachland Ballroom – Cleveland, OH

Most Unsuspecting Show I Attended (with good reason):

  • Britney Spears / Pussycat Dolls @ The Value City Area – Columbus, OH

Worst Show I Attended:

  • Gin Blossoms @ Cain Park – Cleveland Hts., OH

Best Local Acts I Saw Live:

  • Nicholas Megalis
  • Unsparing Sea

Best Movies:

  • Zombieland
  • The Hangover
  • District 9
  • Inglorious Basterds
  • Up
  • Star Trek

Worst Movies:

  • G.I. Joe
  • Transformers 2

Movie That You Should Not Watch When Your Heart Aches:

  • 500 Days Of Summer

Best TV Show:

  • Community

The Awesome:

  • Bouncing Souls celebrating 20 years as a punk band and releasing a song a month all year.
  • Greg Ginn (of Black Flag) agreeing to play a couple of songs for free at Blue Arrow Records courtesy of myself and Addicted To Vinyl.
  • Going to Bonnaroo with two of my favorite people and then coming home and immediate going to see Rancid / Rise Against from backstage.
  • Seeing Those Darlins 4 times live.
  • Matt’s wonderful girlfriend scoring me an autographed personalized CD from Frank Turner as well as a hi-five.
  • Meeting the fine folk at Thirty Tiger Records followed by shopping at Grimey’s while pit-stopping in Nashville.
  • Getting my Melt Bar & Grilled tattoo (I’m #47).
  • Having friends from all around come up to visit and see the magic that is called Cleveland.

The Suck:

  • November 5th, 2009
  • My laptop crashing
  • My external hard drive crashing
  • Changing for the better.

RIP (there were plenty more but these are ones that stuck with me):

  • Michael Jackson
  • James “The Rev” Sullivan
  • DJ-AM
  • Taylor Mitchell
  • Vic Chesnutt
  • Les Paul
  • Jay Bennett
  • Brittany Murphy
  • Captain Lou Albano
  • Patrick Swayze
  • Jim Carroll
  • John Hughes
  • Walter Cronkite
  • Billy Mays
  • David Carridine
  • Dom DeLuise
  • Bea Arthur
  • Jeremy Lusk
  • Heath Ledger

So with just a few hours left I would like to say goodbye to 2009.  It was a fun and incredibly rough year for me.  I see big things happening in 2010 for me.

Resolutions?  A couple I suppose…

  • Portion Control – I can eat and now I need to watch how much of it I do
  • Personal Conquest – I have ideas and will follow through
  • Sugar – I am limiting my intake
  • Live – I plan on attending more shows this year than previous years
  • Blog On – I will continue making BHP bigger and better so that people actually will COMMENT on here…

Do you have a best of you wish to share or do you think I overlooked someone?  Let me know.  Email me at or comment below.  I want to hear from you!

Interview: The Northeast Ohio Rock ‘n’ Roller Girls

It’s been a while since I have done an interview here on BHP but I thought I would make it up all you readers out there by creating a super interview.  I have been wanting to do this for a while now and thank the fine women who make up the Northeast Ohio Rock ‘n’ Roller Girls.

Seeing women of all shapes and sizes skate as a pack on a oval track is indeed something that everyone needs to see.  With music playing, announcers calling out the match, and the fans cheering their team the bout is just as entertaining as any other sport out there.

Just in case you have no clue what I am talking about, I speak of roller derby.  Specifically women’s indoor flat track.

If you have not heard of roller derby you are missing out.  Maybe you live under a rock or just don’t get out much but roller derby is a pretty big deal.  Don’t agree?  Check it out live at least once, I promise you will think differently.

Not only do the girls skate their hearts out all season long but they also get involved with charity and local organizations.  Honestly, out of all of the sporting events I have been to in my life I have never seen the wholeheartedness that is seen during a roller derby bout.  When you go to a match you are also going to a fundraiser of sorts with the money collected from the raffle tickets and beer sales sold by the roller derby grils during and after the bouts.

Last October I attended a roller derby match at the Summit County Fairgrounds.  The bout was between the Northeast Ohio Rock ‘n’ Roller Girls and the Buffalo, NY Assault City Roller Girls.  Along with a nice sized crowd, I cheered the home team on to a victory.  It was actually the final bout of the season so not only was it a pretty important win for the team but also a start to a well deserved break.

For those of you who do not think roller derby is a sport you really need to reconsider.  The girls wear helmets just like football players do, elbow and knee pads like pro skaterboarders wear, and mouth guards (do you see what I am going here?).  To top that,  their playing grounds are flat concrete surfaces where they compete to score points by pushing, blocking, and shoving the opposing team.

I watched girls fall hard on to the concrete that night only for them to get back up and jump back in the game.  A couple of them took falls so hard I don’t think I would have gotten up myself but they were in it to win it and brushed themselves off and jumped back in the game.  It was an exciting event with the fans going crazy and both teams trying their hardest for a win.  When all was said and done the final whistle was blown and the Rock n Roller Girls finished their final bout of the year with a victory.

So who are these girls?  Some are moms and wives, some are students, and many carry successful full time jobs.  They are people just like us and they do not hide their secret of roller derby status like they belong in Fight Club.  They are good people with families and friends with their own lives outside of the rink.

Regardless of what their day gig is or how they live their lives, they all are part of a sport where practice is mandatory and teamwork is key.  When the team comes together they become their own supportive family not only helping one another but also helping the community.

Recently I had the privilege to get some questions answered by a slew of the wonderful girls of the Northeast Ohio Rock & Roller Girls as well as a couple of their referees.  Instead of interviewing one team member I decided to interview as many as I could.  Be prepared, this is a long read…

Continue reading Interview: The Northeast Ohio Rock ‘n’ Roller Girls

Blakroc – Blakroc – CD Review

It’s the day after Thanksgiving and I am still full from an amazing array of good eats and excited.  Of course we all know that today is supposed to be the busiest shopping day of the year and there is not one part of me that wishes to engage in that stupid retail disaster.  I have no interest in waking up early and saving $20 on a junk TV or getting DVDs for $2.  I don’t wish to wait outside in the cold for the chance at getting a deal.  I’ll just surf the internet for my shopping needs when the Jesus Day comes a little close.

Black Friday can kiss my ass.

So if I am so bitter at this tragedy of a day what am I so excited about you ask?  That’s easy, Blakroc‘s debut self-titled album was released today.  What?  You have no idea what I am talking about?  Well of course I am going to explain a little more about this album that I have been anticipating for quite some time.

Blakroc is a project featuring Akron, Ohio’s blues/rock heroes The Black Keys plus hip-hop artists including Ludacris, Mos Def, the late-great Ol’ Dirty Bastard and other well known artists.  The combination of the music of Dan Auerbach and  Patrick Carney’s provided beats layered with the rap lyrics is just unbelievable.  To add to the exhilaration, The Black Key’s frontman Auerbach provides some of his own signing on a couple of tracks making for a truly matchless sound. 

So how exactly did The Black Keys get mixed up with hip hop?  Well apparently Damon Dash, co-founder of Roc-A-Fella Records is a huge fan of the Keys and wanted to do something involving the duo and Jim Jones.  During that initial session Mos Def interrupted and wound up recording as well and Blakroc was formulated (Black Keys + Roc-A-Fella = Blakroc).  In eleven days there were eleven tracks recorded thus creating an album that could be compared to a Gorillaz-like jam sans the electronics and cartoon fantasyland idea.

Finally after hearing about this project for months it the hit shelves today (CD & LP) and I could not resist but grabbing a copy for myself.  After all I am a huge fan of The Black Keys and everything they do as well as have a high appreciation for hip hop so it’s easy to say I was excited.  Once I put that album on though I was in my own little glory just like the first time I heart the Judgment Night soundtrack.  It was something new and something unmarked in it’s own kind.  Blues/rock and rap?  Nice.
The first track “Coochie” floored me not just because it sounded so great but because my number one favorite rap artist Ol’ Dirty Bastard was rapping in his glory (still can’t believe it’s been five years since his passing).  Thanks to ODB being affiliated with Roc-A-Fella Records prior to his death there was some of his work readily available for Damon Dash and he put it to good use.  Featuring the ever easy to listen to Ludacris and ODB slinging out rhymes about one of their loves in life, this song set the bar high for my expectations for the rest of the album.

“On The Vista” followed with the same knockout as the first track thanks to the smooth flow of Mos Def and Auerbach’s amazing guitar playing.  NOE dominated on “Hard Times” with some nice R&B like back-up singing as well as the Keys doing their thing.  “Why Can’t I Forget” was a nice somber R&B turn featuring Nicole Wray.

As soon as Mos Def and Auerbach shared the mic on “Ain’t Nothing Like You (Hoochie Coo)” I was just astounded.  It was my favorite track on the album thanks to the high appeal of hearing Auerbach’s distinguished singing followed by sick flows from Mos Def as well as a few lines by Jim Jones.

“Hope Your Happy” was another highlight on the album to me with Nicole Wray providing more soul signing beside the infamous Q-Tip and Billy Danze.  Nicole Wray returns once again with NOE, almost sounding like Jay-Z, on the final track titled “Done Did It”.  I am really glad the album included her as she made some of the songs that much better to listen to.

My only complaint with this album was the lack of Mr. Roc-A-Fella himself – Jay-Z.  It’s not like he’s never done something like this before (anyone remember Linkin Park/Jay-Z).  Based upon what I heard on this album though I would not be shocked in the least bit if another album was already in the works.

You will like this album if you like things done different from the norm but with substance.  It’s a fresh new sound that was brought together with near perfection.  If you are a fan of hip-hop you will dig this album as well, but I can honestly say if you are only about the music The Black Keys push out on average this may not be your cup of tea.  It’s a blues rock experimental album in a sense but more so a hip-hop heavy project that completely did wonders to my ears.

Babble Blog: Random Nothings So You Care

BHP back in business? Well not completely but we are getting there…

I am still waiting to find out about my hard drive and it’s killing me to hear the answer. It’s not the end of the world by any means and if I do happen to lose everything I will live. It just sucks to have to be in the predicament when I have the means of backing up everything yet I do not for stupid reasons.

Thanks to good friends at work I was able to get another laptop used for low cost. My financial situation as of late is not at a place where I can drop some $$$ on a brand new laptop. The one I have will do for now and is just a little bit older than my deceased one. It’s nice to have a laptop again. Nothing against my desktop, but I prefer mobility over sitting in the office. I still love you old Dell desktop.

I am so hoping to hearing that my data was recovered. I should find out tomorrow. I took some really cool pictures at the roller derby I attended last weekend and I would love to be able to share them along with the interview I did with select members of the team. I also have a ton of music on there that never made it to the desktop. (Keeping fingers crossed)

The weekend is coming up and I am off to Cincinnati to visit one of my best friends. I am sure the weekend will include a lot of beers including Arrogant Bastard Ale and of course Guinness. It’ll be nice to get away for the weekend. I’ll be sure to make a stop at Shake It Records while I am there and tell Matt how awesome of a store it is…

So I have been listening to the new Converge and all I have to say about that is – WOW. That is one hell of a hardcore metal CD. Not for the faint of heart at all. I’ll be posting something about the CD here soon as well as a review of the show I was at earlier this week.

Have you seen the video off their new single? Holy hell. I’ll post it again for you all:

From one music spectrum to the other now… The Avett Brothers. I have listened to I & Love & You over 40 times since it’s release. No joke. I have not listened to a CD like that in years where I just can’t get enough of it. They are truly a talented band and I really like the path that they are going musically. I am excited to see them again when they return to Cleveland in February. This time I will be recruiting as many friends as possible to join me.

So is everyone enjoying my babble blog of sorts?

Well I am not done yet.

I have been fighting the H1N1 swine flu poison epidemic that has been attacking many in the area for over a week now. I did not have severe symptoms but I was not feeling well at all last week and had to skip out of the Mike Doughty show that I really wanted to go to. You know I am sick when I skip out on a show. I think it was a good idea though. In fact I think I was in bed by 8pm.

Couple other CDs I have been digging and will be writing something up soon about:

Bless The FallWitness
Strung OutAgents Of The Underground

Upcoming shows I am attending:

Mae w/ Jenny Owen Youngs – Oct 30th at Musica
The Whigs – Oct 31st at Musica
Gallows / Wreck Havoc – Nov 8th at the Grog Shop

Is anyone listening to anything amazing as of late that you would like to share? You know I do take comments on BHP… I am always looking for w stuff to listen to.

Finally who has seen Zombieland? Honestly that movie is now one of my favs when it comes to horror comedies… I’m not going to say anything yet about the movie in case you have not seen it yet and want to…

Well that is all I have going on right now. See you next time!

Why Is It…

…that so many bands skip Northeast Ohio?  I swear out of all the tours I hear about with bands it seems like less than 50% of them stop in Cleveland or Akron.  Someone will be talking about a band that is going on tour but when I look at their dates there is no Cleveland or Akron to be found.

Seriously, what gives?  Are you too cool for Cleveland?  Do we smell?

Don’t get me wrong, a ton of bands have played in Akron/Cleveland this year but there were a few shows (ahem… NIN for example) that never made a stop when they should have. I;m sorry, I am not going to make the drive to another state every time there is an amazing tour that misses us.  I just don’t have it in me.  I have done it in the past and have had fun but let’s be realistic…Cleveland and Akron both are capable of holding their own tours.  We have arenas, clubs, amphitheaters, and they have housed tons of bands for many years now.

For those bands that did stop and perform in Akron/Cleveland, thank you.  You have no idea how many music fans appreciate it.

For all you other bands out there I would like to know reasons why you skip Akron/Cleveland.  If you can play in Pittsburgh or Detroit, you can play here.

To help your concert promoter throw a stop in Northeastern Ohio next time I decided to help out by compiling a list of good things about Akron/Cleveland…

  • It’s not that bad of a city…really it’s not.
  • There are some pretty amazing concert venues in the area that generally have good outcomes no matter what day of the week year round.
  • Fans will travel in blizzards if they have to just to see the band they love.  It’s Ohio, we are used to driving in crappy weather.
  • Great Lakes Beer is brewed here.  Seriously if you have not had one of their beers on tap yet you are missing out.
  • We are not out of your way.  Generally bands drive through Ohio when they travel from Detroit to Pittsburgh, you might as well stop for a night.
  • We have excellent eatery establishments in the area.  There’s Melt in Lakewood, Chili Peppers in Collinwood, Lolita in Tremont, Crave in Akron, and tons all over the place.
  • We are a music rich area, people love seeing live shows whether it be a small club show or a sold out arena performance.

No Columbus does not count as an Akron/Cleveland stop either.  Get your show up here.  I am not pointing fingers at anyone specifically but I am sure many can agree with me when I say that Akron/Cleveland is passed up a lot by bands some of us can not afford to travel to see.