Just wanted to send out a quick apology to all 7 of my readers. Recently I took on a new position at the paying gig (aka work) that has been taking up a lot of my free time. My hours range from early morning to late nights so my sleeping pattern is kind of messed up at the moment.
I can tell you that I have not forgotten about this little site I run here and have tons I need to share with you. I just need to stop wanting to hibernate every time I come home.
I do have some concerts lined up this week and beyond:
Sadly I will be missing another show that night since I can’t be in two places at one time. A band called Youth Group is playing at Musica in Akron. I have heard great thinks about these guys from Australia.
Here, see for yourself:
Mike Doughty – Beachland Ballroom – 10/13/09 The one time lead man of Soul Coughing returns to Cleveland touring in support of his latest release Sad Man, Happy Man, a CD I am trying to finish reviewing. Having seen Mike Doughty many times in the past I know this is going to be one awesome show.
Converge w/ High On Fire – Grog Shop – 10/19/09 I am really hoping to make this show… You have no idea how badly I want to see Converge. I just hope I can make it.
Mae w/ special guest Jenny Owen Youngs – Musica – 10/30/09 I am super pumped to see both artists this night not only because I am a big fan of both but I get to hang out with my good pal Matt from Addicted To Vinyl and his super cool lady.
The Whigs w/ The Features – Musica – 10/31/09 As if one night with ATV and lady is not good enough I am going to hang out with them both again to see another great line-up. I previously saw The Features at the Grog Shop when Those Darlins played with them so I know they are entertaining already and this will be the first time seeing The Whigs live. Good times to be had, I know it.
Gallows – Grog Shop – 11/08/09 This show is going to be insane…I know it. This UK band always is a insane act to see live. I expect Frank Carter and crew to cause some hell on this Sunday night.
Here is a reason why I love Gallows so much:
Insanity. I love it.
So far that is all I have lined up but you never know. I am trying my hardest to see as many shows as I can.
I’m planning on knocking out some reviews here shortly and I have some amazing bands I want to share with everyone including FREE MP3s! So hang in there and I promise to spoil you with something entertaining.
On Tuesday I ventured the hip streets of Waterloo before checking out Those Darlins at the Beachland Tavern. Any time I ever see a show at the Beachland I make sure I stop at two of my favorite shops in Cleveland. Both shops are independently owned music stores by awesome folk.
Every time I go in this store I page through the bins of vinyl hoping to score something good to take home and throw a needle on. I have found some great finds there including some old Rollins Band records as well as a Propellerheads vinyl. I love the randomness that I can find there and the constant music playing on the speakers is enjoyable as well.
Focusing on mostly rock the store offers all sorts of genres of wax. Store owner Pete Gulyas not only knows his stuff but loves to share it with others. The guy also has one hell of a personal Clash collection on display at his store right now.
Blue Arrow Records is one of those stores for any seasoned music fan as well as novice collector to go crazy about. Recently Pete told me that he is going to be the east side distributor of Derek Hess prints. The store got even cooler once he told me that.
About a block down the street is the other shop I always make sure I stop in at when in the area. The store is Music Saves and recently the store celebrated their 5 year Store-A-Versary. More on that in a bit.
Music Saves is the other mecca of a music store on Waterloo I try and frequent a lot. The store is full of new and used vinyl as well as carries CDs most of which are indie bands but there is also punk, hip hop, and rock too. If you can’t find what you are looking for, the good folk at Music Saves will even attempt to special order you something. The owners are pretty damn cool too and so is their black cat appropriately named Vinyl Kitty.
While visiting on Tuesday I was informed that Music Saves was celebrating their 5 year Store-A-Versary on Thursday at the Grog Shop featuring some great music and guaranteed good times. I was invited to stop by and hang out so I made plans to do so. Sadly I knew Vinyl Kitty was not going to be there but I still planned on attending.
On Thursday before I headed to Coventry I made a stop with my friend to stop at the St. Greg’s carnival in S. Euclid as a handful of old friends were hanging out there and grabbing a bite to eat. There is a memory from my past that always comes to mind when someone says St. Greg’s carnival.
Story time… (Mom you might not want to read this, haha)
I met this group of friends while taking classes at Tri-C. There were five of us yet we called ourselves “The Four Horsemen”. These were the guys I bowled with and partied with while in my early twenties. I even got a place with one of them for a year but that is another story in itself. “The Four Horsemen” slowly drifted apart mainly because I moved to Akron and a couple of them started families but we made a pact to start hanging out a little more frequently.
Anyways I am sure you are wondering about this St. Greg story.
These friends of mine all grew up in S. Euclid, all went to school together, and have all been friends since childhood. They took me in and treated me like I was one of their childhood friends and before long they were taking me to a summer ritual of theirs, the St. Greg carnival.
The church ran carnival featured some of the best Italian food as well as legal church gambling, games, and of course beer. One particular year we attended I was broke and joked with my friends as we walked past the fishbowl game that if they won a fish I would eat it but they would have to buy me a beer.
I did not think they were going to do it to be honest, but they did and the guys started pulling out $20’s and bought endless amounts of ping pong balls to try and throw in the fish tanks to win a fish prize. Shaking my head as they keep trying to win the fish I asked myself what the hell I got myself into. After five minutes of throwing ping pong balls there were seven goldfish in bags being held by my friends with huge grins on their faces.
Not being one to ever back down I took the first goldfish, popped it in my mouth and had a nice little sushi snack.
People started gathering around me as I downed the second and third fish. The carnie behind the fishbowl game booth was cheering me on as were most of the crowd. There were of course a few people yelling at me for doing such a terrible think but they did not understand I was getting beers out of it. My friends of course were going nuts.
Seven fish later we were off to the beer stand for my reward. Was it worth it? Yes.
So it was to be expected when I saw my friends at St. Greg’s this year they offered to win more of fish. Instead I was treated to some fired dough, ciabatta bread, and other delicious Italian foods. We sat around for a few and chatted but just before 9pm I had to get going so I could make the show.
While driving down to Coventry I decided to make a couple of shortcuts so that I could just get to the parking deck without driving down Coventry and boy am I glad I did. As soon as I got in the area I noticed that there was an abundance of cars parked on the streets and soon started seeing streets closed off. I managed to get my car to the parking deck and snagged a great spot. When I went to put some quarters in the meter I saw this:
Honestly I had never seen anything like it before. The entire strip of Coventry was closed from Euclid Hts. to Mayfield road. It was crowded as hell too…
Slowly making way to the courtyard in front of the Grog Shop my concert going pal and I made it before the show started. My friend Ryan who is the drummer for Upsparing Sea spotted me and we chatted for a bit before they took stage. I’ll be honest with you all and confess that even though Ryan is a pretty good friend of mine, I had no idea what his band sounded like. So when he and his three other band mates took the stage I was just as curious as the rest were to hear them.
Unsparing Sea put on a great show and I have to admit I really got a kick out of their style. I loved the fact that they had a cellist and also an Ol’ DIrty Bastard poster hanging from the lead vocalist’s mic stand. Their sound was more indie folk and they really sounded well. I did feel bad for the band though as they had to pack their instruments into an already clogged stage thanks to the headliner but it did not seem to bother them at all. Head over to their MySpace page to get a taste of some Unsparing Sea. Who knows, you might like it just as I did!
Here’s a video of Unsparing Sea’s “Wolves At Wedding”:
The second band, Baltimore’s Ponytail really confused me because I could not decide if I liked them or not. Almost all of the crowed loved them but I myself could not grasp why. I enjoyed the music tremendously but the lead girl with the mic making random yeps and cries was giving me a headache so bad that I opted to leave mid-set and head home.
I of course took a video to share with you all. This was one of the tamer songs and the more and more I watch it, I think I like it…
Ponytail on stage. This some weird indie sh@t…and I think I like it.
I lied. This sh@t is way too weird for me. Sounds like wild animals having sex on a piano.
Someone take the goddamn mic away from the little kid on stage. Oh wait, some people are actually clapping to this noise.
All I can say about this band is WTF. Seriously I feel so lost. I am not cool enough to be here. I do not understand. Help.
I was not kidding when I said I left mid-way through Ponytail’s set. I opted to miss out on Yeasayer and kind of regret it but at the same time I had a pretty busy day and just wanted to get home. I got hell from Melanie from Music Saves when I said bye to her and I deserved it.
Walking down Coventry with my friend we opted to hit up Phoenix Coffee for a little pick me up. It was a good ending to a busy day. With the streets still crowded after midnight we walked back to the car and headed back.
For the third time this year Nashville’s trio of vixens also known as Those Darlins returned to Cleveland.The trio recently released their debut album on their very own Oh Wow Dang records and the girls decided it would be best to celebrate via touring the states.Having just played the Beachland Ballroom as an opening act a few months ago, the girls were headlining their own show this time at the cozy little Beachland Tavern.
I really did not catch the two opening band’s names nor do I care to know them for future reference.The first band of the night with the canine name really had this cool young Stooges feel at times but to be honest, they needed to practice more.People do not pay money for shows to watch two plus attempts at starting a song let alone see the signer get angry with the snickering crowd because of the mishap.Simmer down tight jean wearing lead singer lad; practice makes perfect, anyone can tell you that.
The second band was just too much for me.Imagine a lead signer you think might have a signing voice like Chris Martin only to be shocked by vocals that resemble more Hope Sandoval (Mazzy Star) meets Ween.There was a small crowd checking them out and I was not one of them.The music was not bad but adding that creepy helium singing over it just ruined it.
Ed. Note: Now normally I try not to bash bands too much while performing (blatant lie of course), but it’s kind of hard not to when your good buddy and music critic Matt is sitting next to you. I won’t post anything we “Tweeted” that night but feel free to try and find the few that we did post while sitting through that torture.
Luckily Those Darlins were up next so unlike someone I know, I stayed for their set.After all it was the whole reason I was at the tavern.I sure as hell was not there to see the two opening bands…
With a slow start into their set Those Darlins played as the crowd stood motionless almost like Lake Erie zombies but soon everyone mellowed out after a few songs and drinks.The threesome of ladies played their all too familiar boot-stomping fun country-rock and by the looks of all the nodding heads in the tavern I was not the only one enjoying it.
Smiles were all over the faces of Those Darlins as they played quite a few tracks off of their debut album including “222”, Wild One”, and to comical “Whole Damn Thing”.For the first time since I have seen them live they jumped off the stage for a moment to interact with the crowd and at one time Kelly Darlin almost leveled my friend to the ground as she dove towards him with bass in hnd.Nikki Darlin even took the mic to the floor and danced with one lucky gentleman as she sang. Fan interaction is always a good thing.
There’s a reason why I have seen these ladies live so many times.Is it because they are good looking?Perhaps.Is it because I really get a kick out of their style?Indeed.
There’s just something so addictive about their blend of music that just captured me the first time I heard it.Since then I am sure many of you readers know I became almost fanatical with them. I joked with Kelly Darlin after the show that night that I was a “Darlin Junkie” and she laughed but understood my gratitude for her and her band.
If you have not checked out the band yet do me a favor and at least hit up their MySpace page and sample some of their songs.You might be surprised, as I was, and might like them.Punk rock attitude, drinking dames, and country music fortitude; does it seriously get any better than this???
Formed in 1969 in Lansing, Michigan, the trio of “Loren Dog” Molinare (guitar and vocals), Mary Dryer (bass), and Ron Wood (drums), channeled the pummeling power of Detroit rock and Chuck Berry inspired riffs into tough tunes with a pissed off social conscience.
Raging out of the legendary Motor City rock scene of the ’70s, which spawned such musical touchstones as the Stooges, MC5, Amboy Dukes, Up, and other lesser known but equally ferocious proto-punk acts, The Dogs packed all the feral energy and cultural angst of that era into their live shows and an enduring set of recordings.
The Dogs opened for such acts as the MC5, Ramones, Television, Dictators, AC/ DC, Kiss, and Van Halen, and became one of the seminal LA punk bands of the era after locating there in the mid ’70s following a stint in New York
They disbanded soon after returning from a ’78-’79 tour of England, finding that hair metal had taken over the scene and punk had fallen out of favor.
With the 2001 release of the ‘Fed Up’ compilation on Dionysus Records, which they answered in 2003 with a set of new material entitled ‘Suburban Nightmare,’ The Dogs were encouraged to hit the stage once again. 2007 saw the release of ‘The Dogs Tribute… Doggy Style,’ a 26-band, 2-CD package from Future Now Records that also features several historic, unreleased tracks from The Dogs.
A live DVD, ‘Purity Not Perfection,’ has been released in Mar 09, and a new CD and live dates in the US, Europe, and Japan are slated for 2009 — the year that will mark The Dogs’ 40th anniversary.
So if you find yourself a fan of the original punk rock, the classic punk rock, or even some good rock n roll perhaps it would be in your best interest to head up to the Beachland to cheek these guys out! I know I am highly considering making it out there if I can.
It’s no surprise that all who attended the Grog Shop last Tuesday night to see Those Darlins, The Dexateens, and The Features had a blast. The sad thing though was the turnout for the evening and with tickets only $8 I really expected a bigger turnout. Nevertheless all the acts that night played just as hard as they would to a full crowd and I along with the handful of fans got our money’s worth.
Arriving early I had a picture perfect moment when Those Darlins came rounding the sidewalk outside of the Grog Shop. Clearly the ladies decided to check out their surroundings on a possible quest get a bite to eat and were returning to work. Respecting their privacy I kept the camera down and shyly smiled at them as they walked in the doors of the venue. I laughed when one of them screamed “blech!” as a Radiohead song greeted them when they entered. Not everyone can be a Radiohead fan I guess…
A couple of months ago Those Darlins had their first taste of Cleveland when they opened for Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys at a sold out show at the Beachland Ballroom. A nice size crowd greeted them as they took the stage. Sadly their return to Cleveland to play again had a crowd that barely made it to twenty. Still the sassy ladies of Tennessee did not let the lack of attendees kill their spirit and started playing through their songs at full force.
Ripping through tracks from their upcoming self-titled debut release Those Darlins played just as good, if not better, as the first time I saw them. Hearing “The Whole Damn Thing” cracked me up as the ladies sang about getting drunk and eating chicken. Other tracks like “DUI or Die”, “Snaggletooth Mama”, and “Wild One” seemed to get some of the folk sitting at the bar to turn their heads and pay attention to the three country cuties up on stage. Their mustache wearing drummer even had a moment when one of the toms on his kit fell off while playing. All of the girls laughed mid-song and continued to stomp their boots and play hard. Ripping through a nice sized set I could not help myself from getting excited when their album is delivered to my front door (I pre-ordered it).
I am sure Those Darlins were a tad frustrated with the small amount of people at the Grog Shop seeing they drove all the way up to play out, but thanks to their great set they won a few new fans and I am sure the next time they return to Cleveland there will be a much bigger crowd waiting to see them. I’ll do what I can to make sure that happens.
Not knowing the two other bands I decided to stick it out and see what each had to offer. Alabama’s The Dexateens took stage and it seemed like a few more people actually surrounded the stage as they played including the mustache clad drummer of Those Darlins. Some of the fans looked to have been friends of the band but still, fans are fans. The band’s mix of southern rock and folk really won me over and I made sure to pick up one of their vinyl albums from the merch booth just so I could check them out more.
The main act of the night, The Features, took stage to a very small welcoming crowd including a handful of folk who traveled all the way from Erie, PA just to see them. The Tennessee indie rock band played well but was not what I was looking for so I called it a night.
As I headed to the door I spotted Kelley Darlin sitting at the bar with one of the guys who works at the vintage shop below the Beachland Ballroom called This Way Out. I did not want to pass up the opportunity to thank her for playing Cleveland again and also wanted to tell her that she would be seeing me at Bonnaroo in less than a month. Kelley Darlin smiled from ear to ear and give me a high-five / handshake / hold hands type response that had me smiling too. She was a real pleasure to meet and I hope to see her again next month.
Yes, I have a crush on all three Darlins. So what!?!
I really wish that more folk would have come out the the Grog Shop that night not just because I felt that the band deserved a fuller crowd but also because I think a lot of people would have had a great time even if they never heard any of the acts before. Better luck next time to the bands and the fans I guess. I am just glad I was there.
Here are some photos I took of the evening:
Those Darlins at SXSW:
-Visit Those Darlins to pre-order a copy of their debut release. LP drops on 6/23/09 and the CD drops two weeks later on 7/7/09.