Tag Archives: The Awesome

Annabel + Bad Racket Session = Awesomeness

This is the feel good video of the day…

People of Kent/Akron/Cleveland/Ohio be proud.  Annabel is about to drop an album everyone is going to be talking about.

The Kent, OH indie rockers are on the verge of releasing their second LP, Youth In Youth, which will be put out by Count Your Lucky Stars in the later half of Fall.

I can not freaking wait.  Clearly from the photo above, Scotty is in shock about it too.

Interview: Jeff & Loren of Signals Midwest

It’s no lie.  I miss Cleveland.  I miss Akron.  I miss you Ohio.

I can not tell you how excited I was last night once my Cleveland homies Signals Midwest dropped by for a quick visit.

The boys had a night off of their current tour and I told them they could crash at my pad if they wanted.  They took me up on my offer and decided that we should all go see that new Batman movie too.

I was more than fine with that.

After the movie (amazing btw) and many beers later I felt like interviewing them for kicks and giggles.  Jeff and Loren were the troopers of the night and not only stayed up late, but were all about a drunken impromptu interview.

BHP:  So, what did you think about the movie?

Jeff Russell:  There was about 7 scenes that was tied to to my favorite and they all included Anne Hathaway and I was all like me likey likey.

Loren Shumaker-Chupp: Oh Batman… I don’t know.  The Restorations flasks were pulling it up.  John Blake was getting promoted to detective was epic.  I hit a certain point in the movie where I didn’t know what was going on.  Bruce Wayne making it out of the pit was it.

BHP: Bane was a little heavy on the Vader.

JR:  Ummmmm….I think as a trilogy it ended perfectly and I loved how Christopher Nolan had an all-star cast.  If he was a basketball coach, he would have had a dream team.  But LeBron James would have been in the new Spiderman movie.

LS: The pit that Wayne was stuck in was easy to get to get out of  in New Jersey.

JR:  Commissioner Gordon moved to Cleveland.

BHP:  Ha ha, and I moved away.  Do you feel the movie lacked in anything?

JR:  I would have loved to see Mr. Freeze and what he would have brought to the table.  I would have loved to have seen his take on global warning.  What if Al Gore played Mr. Freeze?

LS: I just think that I have a better memory of Danny DeVito carrying around that umbrella.  I just say that because you can’t use the Penguin anymore because he killed it.  Jack Nicholson killed it.  He warned Heath Ledger to not play the Joker.

BHP:  How’s the tour going?

LS:  Going great.  Played a lot of shows we did not know what we were getting into but had a good turnout.  We like playing new places not knowing what were were going into and having a good reaction.

JR:  The people that travel to see us is mind-blowing.  It sounds conceded, but we made some solid friends in cities that we could  not have played in due to cramming in so many shows as possible in a month and not going to as many cities as we wanted to.

LS:  This tour is great as we get to see a lot of cities, but not as many as we wanted to.  It is great to see so many people thought.

JR:  I will say it’s crazy being 2 weeks being Luther and 4 days ahead of Hold Tight!.  Having kids still come out to our shows is pretty awesome.  It’s tour season.

BHP:  What is next for you guys?

JR: We start a week long tour with French Exit.

LS:  We will be out with them for 6 days and have the cost.

JR:  We ge tho play at our favorite venue called VLHS. Does anybody need a beer?

BHP:  Yes.

LS:  Vince Lombardi high school. Yeah.

JR:  Also stoked to see Sleeping Weather, cause that band shreds.  I think they are just a three piece.

BHP:  What do you guys think of Las Cruces?

JR:  It is not that hot.

LS:  I heard some coyotes earlier.

JR:  No scorpions.  We went and saw Dark Night Crisis with our home girl Brian.

LS:  Las Cruces is awesome because you can buy liquor at Walgreens.  In Cleveland you have go to a liquor store.  Wave Falls, what is that Wallgreens beer?

And that was it.  The interview ended and we all went to bed.  It was well past 3am and we were all exhausted and maybe a little drunk too.  Even though Max and Steve passed out early (Steve, I hope you are feeling better man), it was still great to see the guys.  I only wish it could have lasted a little longer.  Sadly I had to go to work…really hungover, but I made it and wet on with my good self while Village Inn made breakfast for Signals Midwest.  Man I was jealous about that…

Happy touring fellas. Thanks for the great hang.

Fun Fun Fun Fest 2012 Lineup Announced!

Since 2006, Fun Fun Fun Fest has been nothing short of fun x 3.  Every year, the music/art/food festival seems to turn it up a notch, so much, that last year I actually decided enough is enough and headed to Austin, TX, to check it out.  The result, minus Danzig acting like a little bitch, was a killer weekend with friends fueled by amazing bands.  In other words, I had fun.  A ton of fun.

The festival was well organized, and all three days of music was well worth the $200 or so bucks I dropped on a wristband.  By the want of the fest last year, I told myself and my friends I wanted to return the following year.

This year, the good people at FFF Fest have outdone themselves.  Not only did they get RUN-DMC to reform, but they also had put together almost a dream lineup for this music lover.  Refused, De La Soul, Seaweed, The Promise Ring, Bob Mould, Lucero, Lagwagon, Braid, OFF!, Against Me!, F’d Up, Superchunk, Minus The Bear…I can keep going…P.I.L., Explosions In The Sky, X, Turbonegro…

Seriously, check out all who will be playing this year:

This does not even include the FFFEST Nites, the nightly free (with wristband) concerts around the city.

I am planning on returning to Auditorium Shores in November to take in this festival.  Since I have moved, I have not seen one live band due to a lack of venues, but this festival will make up for it.  Not to mention Austin is one of my favorite cities and I am now only a 6 hour drive away…

For more info, visit FUNFUNFUNFEST.COM

“Ohio I’m leaving, Ohio I’m gone …”

Never thought I would actually be able to sing the following Avett Brothers lyrics and have them actually hold true to my heart:

“Cleveland, I ain’t never felt nothing so strong
Been believing the words to my songs
Ohio I’m leaving, Ohio I’m gone”

For those of you who may not have heard yet, I have taken a job promotion within my company and will be relocating from Cleveland to Las Cruces, New Mexico, within the next 3 weeks.  This decision was the most difficult thing I have ever made in my life and it just killed me to come to a decision with such little time.

I weighed all the pros and the cons over and over and realized that I needed this adventure even if it meant leaving everything I love behind.  I feel terrible about moving on, but I do not want to not go on with life and one day wonder  “what if”.  I want to just take that huge risk and see what happens and say that I did it.

For 35 years, Cleveland and Akron have been my life.  Raised in a suburb in the middle of both cities, I was privileged enough to meet a ton of people who I have the pleasure of calling friend.  From the days of sitting curbside at a Dunkin Donuts to the warm nights in the Coventry courtyard, I really was lucky to be surrounded by such cool and remarkable people.  I loved going to the Metros daily and will never forget the times I had at “The Office”.  I could not have had a better childhood.

Throughout the years, we all grew up, some  of us took our own journeys and risks, but I stayed put and called Cleveland and Akron home.  To be honest, I was so ok with that.  I am Cleveland blood, this is my town.

As I continued growing up, I met more people and became involved in the ever important Cleveland / Akron music scene, not as a band performer, but as someone who fully appreciated it.  I loved my involvement with everything I did and cherished all of the memories that were created on a nightly basis.  I am so lucky to say that I had that.

Without going into too much detail, I will just say this: The Cleveland/Akron music scene rules right now and is it better than ever was.  I am so sad to leave it all behind, but you all know you I will be doing all I can to stick around, even if I need to do it via the Internet.  No way in hell am I going to not keep updated, some of these local bands are too important to not continue to keep tabs on.

The people…my friends.  Cleveland and Akron are full of the greatest people I will ever meet.  I know you will all welcome me back with open arms if and when I make it back on Ohio soil.  Trust me on this, I will be thinking about Ohio on a daily basis for the rest of my life.  Thank you to everyone out there who I have met for being so damn cool.

Obviously I am going to miss the locally owned shops and restaurants.  I just hit up Square Records last night and know nothing like that store will exist where I am moving to.  Music Saves and Blue Arrow, I seriously am going to miss the shit out of as well as the greatest comfort food on Earth, Melt.  Pizza will never even compare to Luigi’s.  I drool at the thought of one of their salads right now…  There are so many other places I can talk about, but I am getting sad just thinking about it.  I just hope I can score some Great Lakes beers out in the desert.

Sure, there will be plenty of new places for me to experience in my move to a new city, but it will not be the same.  Anyone from Cleveland and Akron who reads this knows exactly what I am talking about.  Cleveland and Akron are not that bad and I question why so many people hate it and say they are stuck in it.  I’m glad I was born and raised here.

Do I even dare get into Cleveland sports???  I will miss that so much and you can bet your ass I will remain a fan of Cleveland teams until the day I die.  That is a promise.  Browns for life.

I really should wrap this thing up.  Before I finish though, I just wanted to take a moment to thank each and every one of you out there who has spoken to me one way or another, shared a beer or a smile, rocked out along with, or just stopped here on this blog to see what was on my mind.  Without you all, I know I would not be the man I am today, and this site would not be going on 4 years.  Being surrounded in so many amazing people just adds fuel to my amazing life.

Special love to my greatest friends ever who rock out in bands like The Facials, Worship This!, Signals Midwest, Beat Kids, Harvey Pekar, Annabel, All Dinosaurs, Sidekicks, and of course Narcoleptics X5 (RIP).  These bands that I surrounded me around with are full of some of the most amazing people I will ever know in my life and I will miss the shit out of all of you.

Props to places like It’s A Kling Thing House, Dag House, Now That’s Class, Grog Shop, Agora (I hope you make a sweet come back), Odeon (you too), and all the other places I have seen a show at.

AddictedToVinyl.com, aka Matt, and his amazing new fiancé Annie (congrats!!!!), thank you for everything you have ever done for me.  The same love goes to all the good people who used to slave away at 92.3 including Patt The Producer and Nard.

I plan on continuing my blog, that is for sure, but it will never be the same.  I will be sure to try and visit and who knows, maybe one day I will plant my feet back in northeastern Ohio.  Only time can tell.

I leave June 8th and hope I get to see many of you before I pack up and drive cross county.  I know Las Cruces will be good to me, but nothing like the cities I grew up in.

I am scared as hell but excited to see what happens in the next chapter of my life.  Thank you people of Cleveland for all you have done for me.  I can not help but say “Cleveland Rocks” and mean it with all of my heart.  Akron, you rule too.

Evan Lovett @ Hell City

Maybe some of you remember the interview I did with Evan Lovett earlier this year.  He is an amazing artist and happens to do some amazing tattoos as well.  It was a fun interview from a guy who gave me an amazing tattoo while I was in Austin for Fun Fun Fun Fest.

Evan Lovett is actually going to have a booth at Hell City in Columbus, OH from May 4th to the 6th.  If you are going to be in the area that weekend, I highly suggest you stop at his booth and say hello.  The guy is super friendly and will actually have some prints for sale. 

Lovett actually still has a few appointments open at Hell City.  If you are interested in getting an amazing tattoo from Lovett, email him at elovettart@gmail.com to see what he still has open.