Tag Archives: Vinyl

May The Fourth Be With You – Weekend Follies In Fours

There is nothing better than having a four day weekend. Well maybe there are some other things out there that can be better, but one of them is definitely not having to work for four straight days and getting paid for one of them as it is a holiday. Add buying stuff, hanging with friends, and good eats and I would have to argue that nothing could be better.


Thursday the lady and I went for an amazing lunch at Yellow Tail in Fairlawn.  For $10 a person we got to engulf as much sushi, salads, desserts, and other buffet quality foods.  It was awesome and I am going back there very soon.  I was obsessed with the seaweed salad as well as the sushi tempura.

After we stuffed ourselves silly we stopped at Square Records in Akron for a quick look around at what was good.  I left there with some sweet finds including a Judgement Night soundtrack single and some Thom Yorke remixes from his album Eraser.

It was a nice little date for the two of us.  She had plans to go to go over to a friends for movie night and I just kicked it in the bedroom for the rest of the night.  It was a perfect way for me to start the weekend.

Last Friday was a day I really need to recap with a little more detail seeing how on much fun it was.  For starters I decided to head out to the good shops on Waterloo Rd. in East Cleveland where I dropped some $$$ on some vinyl at Music Saves (new Dinosaur Jr & Against Me! if you were wondering) and then killed some time at Shoparooni and Blue Arrow before heading to Lakewood to meet up with my pal Matt.

Once Matt and I met up we decided to grab a bite to eat but not before making a stop at My Mind’s Eye where I snagged up a couple more records (Coner Oberst & another Against Me!).  With my wallet feeling a little lighter we headed across the street to Angelo’s where for the first time I actually tried something other than the pizza.

Feeling full thanks to devouring my shrimp fettuccine alfredo and a slice of tiramisu, Matt and I ventured out to the Gordon Square Arts District area and made way in to the Happy Dog, a quaint little bar where Chris Allen & The Guilty Hearts with very special guest Don Dixon were to play a show that night.  Earlier in the week Matt had asked me if I wanted to join him as he was very excited to see Don Dixon live finally.  Figuring he would never make it down my way unless someone else drove him I happy oblidged to join him.

After dropping over $80 on records and a sweet Music Saves pint glass earlier in the day I feel as if I was given a break by the door-lady at the Happy Dog as she kindly waved us in saying it was not 9pm yet so no cover charge was needed.  Scoping out the bar we found a booth that was pretty close to the stage and parked it there for the night.

A very young and green opening act (their band’s name escapes me) took the stage and cranked out some original tunes as well as a Tom Petty cover and even a bold Wilco cover of “Jesus Etc.”, I was impressed with the kids.  I almost felt bad for them seeing how nervous they were but they really did a good job and everyone in attendance made sure they they let the kids know they were doing a good job.

Chris Allen was joined on stage by Don Dixon for the whole set.  Where as I am not familiar with any of their music I just relaxed and enjoyed the music.  Good times.

When Chris Allen and his band left Don Dixon to be alone for a while I became intrigued.  I was aware, thanks to Matt, that Don Dixon produced the Smithereens and R.E.M. back in the day so it was pretty clear the man was a veteran musician.  I was not sure what he was going to sound like as he started playing his acoustical guitar but was soon answered that question when he started to sing.  He had, to me, a very Elvis Costello resemblance and I really enjoyed the few songs he played.

Chris Allen and band joined Don Dixon back on the stage for play the second half of their set.  The mostly middle aged crowd there was going nuts.  The locals who use the Happy Dog as a Friday night drinking hole were not too excited, especially the ones who learned they needed to pay to get in the doors.

It was about at this time that another person was added to our table.  The very cool Emily who runs The Cleveland Caper met up with us to enjoy some of the tunes.

Honestly I think we had more fun making jokes at one another and surrounding people.  Regardless it was a good time.  Emily’s boss even met up with us for a couple of drinks after the band finished playing their songs.  We all sat snugly in the booth and continued to poke fun at one another as well as just engage in good conversation.

At one time Matt was telling us about how he and the Cleveland Bachelor went to see Kevin Costner play at the House Of Blues.  Somewhere in the conversation Matt hollered “Waterworld” where Don Dixon heard us and walked over to join our small party.

It was awesome just to sit there and talk to this guy who has a lot of music history running through his blood.  Trying not to talk to much I just let Matt and Don Dixon chat for a moment because I knew Matt was really excited to have him sit with us and talk shop even if it were only for a few minutes.

Having drained my iPhone battery earlier in the night from posting tons of Twitter lies about Matt, I had just enough juice to take a photo of Matt and Don Dixon.  After a warm shake for the guys and a more gentleman kiss on the hand for the ladies Don Dixon bid us a good evening and went back to collecting his gear.

Back to a table of four we kept conversing for a bit and before I knew it the time was after 2am and I really needed to get a start on that almost hour drive home.

Friday night was an awesome night even if I hardly slept.  I needed a night like that and I thank Matt and Emily for being a part of it (and Emily’s friend/boss too).

Saturday of course was the 4th of July. Woo, a day where people can go up to local fireworks stores, lie about where they are going to blow them off at since it is illegal to discharge fireworks in Ohio, and return home only to narrowly blow off a finger while carelessly lighting off M-80’s after a full day of drinking…

The day does not mean much to me as far as a drinking aspect goes so it was more like a day off from the work.  I did however have to go to my work as I left a flash drive there and needed it for review purposes.  After picking up my much needed storage device the lady and I headed up to the grocery store to buy junk food and grill food.  Jalapeno Cheetos are the bomb by the way.

The day (as well as the next day, Sunday) was all about hanging out with friends and family (and the pups) and was something that I needed.  I had some good eats, good sleeps, and just overall good times.  When I had down time I took a few moments to spin a couple of the records I had purchased.  I also joined the lady in some long ass naps.  I never nap so it was even that much more special.

So now that I have some alone time once again I thought it would be best to reflet upon about the weekend as well as relax a little bit more once again with the needle on the record…

Those Darlins Dare You To Have The Best Summer Ever

I’m sure a couple of you by know that I think that Those Darlins are just an OK band.  It’s not like I post a lot of posts about them or anything…

Who am I kidding?  I am all about Those Darlins.  Out of nowhere they were introduced to my ears thanks to the good folk at Thirty Tigers and I could not help but to like them.  There was just something about their take on rock infused with country that was ever so appealing to me.  I turned into an instant fan.

This past Saturday their debut album was released on LP on First Vinyl Saturday..  I might have purchased 2 copies…  They were available to Music Saves in Cleveland and Shake It Records in Cincinnati so I know great independent record stores have them. 

I’m currently in the works of finishing a review of their CD that very well may be one of my favorite releases of the year.  I know we are only 6 months into the year and anything can happen…

Today I received an email from Those Darlins I thought would be best to just share in its entirety.  It’s an announcement from the girls to you:


We’re coming to get you.
We dare you to just say yes.

Those Darlins will soon be roaming this great nation, bringing all Americans together the only way we know how: sheer freak spectacle.

But don’t just come see the spectacle, be the spectacle. We want you. We dare you. We, in fact, need you.

Have a drink, have a dance. Don’t worry about the environment being intolerant, too cool, too lame, too country, too anything. EVERYONE is invited; you’re one of us.

It’s Summer 2009, and, damnit, be here with us in the now. Don’t let the economic downturn ruin your appetite for some basic human relief: a good time.

Say yes… we already have. And we are bringing gifts (records, drinks, maybe even a kiss from our merch-man Byron) to the folks ready to lead the charge with us at every show.

Grow some fur, burn your laurels, let us see your inner spirit animal.

And, until then, enjoy Red Light Love, and make a date with us to make this the best summer ever.


“Buy the ticket, take the ride.” – HST

6/25: Atlanta @ Drunken Unicorn
6/26: Athens, GA @ AthFest
6/27: Nashville, TN @ Mercy Lounge $
7/07: Arlington, VA @ Iota Club & Cafe
7/09: NYC @ Mercury Lounge +
7/10: Brooklyn @ Southpaw **, ++
7/11: Philadelphia @ Johnny Brenda’s
7/13: Pittsburgh @ Club Café
7/14: Cleveland @ Beachland Tavern
7/15: Pontiac, MI @ The Pike Room
7/16: Indianapolis @ Radio Radio
7/17: Chicago @ Schubas
7/18: Minneapolis @ 7th St. Entry
7/20: Rock Island, IL @ Rock Island Brewing Company
7/21: Omaha, NE @ Slowdown Front Room
7/22: Des Moines, IA @ Vaudeville Mews
7/23: Kansas City, MO @ The Record Bar
7/24: St. Louis, MO @ Off Broadway
7/25: Memphis, TN @ Hi-Tone
9/18 & 19: Bristol, VA @ Bristol Roots & Reunion Festival

+ W/Heavy Trash (Jon Spencer) CD RELEASE PARTY


OPTIONS To Buy The CD Early Before Official 7/7 street date:

1) VINYL (W/CD of FULL ALBUM) at INDIE RETAIL STORES NOW! — it really is the most beautiful package. Hope you get to indie retail soon while they are giving away a pair of Blublocker sunglasses with the purchase of the vinyl and you get the CD as well inserted in the package.  (Editiors Note: Rumor has it that the first pressings are PINK!)

2) Buy the VINYL (W/CD) or the CD digipak at www.thosedarlins.com

3) iTunes: Now available at iTunes HERE

Download This! – Those Darlins – “Red Light Love”

Good Buy: Detournement – Screaming Response EP

While at the Bouncing Souls show last week I was checking out the merch booth grabbing some goodies for myself.  As I was waiting for the merch guy to return to the booth, I saw this interesting looking 7″ vinyl on the counter.  It grabbed my attention mostly because of the jacket.  The jacket was actually wrapped in sand paper making for a unique look.

Not knowing who the band was I added it to my pile of goodies and went on with my night.

Today I finally had a chance to check out my impulse buy.  The band is called Detournement and their debut EP titled Screaming Response was released on the Bouncing Souls’ record label Chunksaah Records.  The band enjoyed the EP so much they were selling it at their shows and boy am I glad they did.

The eight song EP is full of political powerful punk rock goodness with very thought out lyrics combined with punk music that almost reminds me of Rancid especially with the Matt Freemon-like bass riffs throughout the EP.  Heavy on the hardcore punk side at times and overall a good listen, I really enjoyed this blind purchase a lot.

If you want to pick up a copy for yourself head over to Chunksaah Records and grab one for the low low price of $6!

Detournement features members of Lifetime, Bigwig, Ensign, Plan A Project, and Worthless United.

Pressing Info:
Yellow Version: 195 pcs available from Pirates Press Records
Grey Version: 190 pcs available from Chunksaah Records
Black Version: 85 pcs available at Detournement shows (or Bouncing Souls as that is where I got mine)

It’s Not A Sale

Fat Wreck Chords founder and NOFX front man Fat Mike had a pretty sweet announcement last week:

Things I learned going to Ireland: Don’t order Bushmills in Dublin. Don’t order Jameson in Belfast. Don’t drink too much on the ferry, or too little, cuz either way, you will get sick.

Oh, this is the important news: the NOFX record comes out today. What’s more important is that it will be priced under $10 in every store in North America. This is not a sale. This is how much this CD costs, and not only that, but EVERY CD on Fat Wreck Chords will now be under $10 and most will be under $8.

No, we are not crazy. We just think that having a very low CD price is a fair way for scene supporting music fans to support their favorite independent bands and labels. Sound crazy? I think it sounds reasonable. We make less profit, but bands hopefully will sell more CDs to more people, which is why we started doing this in the first place.

Ok, I’m off the ferry now, but still seasick. I think this whole island might be floating.


If only everyone else out there in the music indrusty world would follow his lead…

How about some Fat Wreck Chord music videos???

Britney Spears w/ The Pussycat Dolls – Value City Arena – Columbus, OH – 04/30/2009 – Concert Review

This is the last review I thought I would ever be typing out, but here I am ready to post about what I experienced last night when I traveled to Columbus to see a different type of circus, featuring Britney Spears.

Before I even begin telling you of all my adventures last night, I might as well give some history on to how a ticket came into my hands for a show like this.  As most of you may know I tend to keep with the punk rock and metal shows but I never will pass up the opportunity for a good time, even if it is an almost sold out show with thousands of screaming tweens.  I wrote a short blog about it with more details but in a nutshell an old friend found himself with an extra ticket and invited me.  There was no way I was going to pass this up.

The drive to Columbus was fine until I drove past Grandpa’s Cheese Barn in Ashland, OH and then it just started pouring.  From there it was limited visibility and a-hole drivers all around me almost causing multiple accidents.  I finally made it to downtown Columbus where my pal was staying at a nice hotel and after getting lost in the hotel parking garage decided to venture down High Street and see what record stores were still around before heading to the show.  After a nice meal at Skully’s and some success at finding some good records it was time to head to the Value City Arena, also commonly referred to as The Schottenstein Center.

Having never been to the Value City Arena I had no idea where to park and we wasted time stuck in traffic and pulling illegal u-turns all over the premises finally finding a legal place to park.  I was pissed that it took so long to find a parking space that I originally drove past the first time but for $3 I was not complaining.

Mass crowds of folk, mostly female, were flocking to the arena so we jumped in the mad dash to get there and found our seats in no time.  Sitting in our seats we laughed that we were actually about to see a pop show and laughed even harder at the people who sat near us just stared at us perhaps asking themselves if we were lost.

The stage was located in the center of the arena and people who paid the big bucks got to sit in what looked like giant chairs while others crowded in a general admission area.  We were lucky enough to sit in the front row of section 218 where there were no real distractions in front of us.

A large curtain hid the center stage and soon arose featuring pop girl group the Pussycat Dolls who were all situated on a steel staircase of sorts.  I lost my hearing for a short second from the welcoming applause and screams.  Not familiar with their material at all the only song I picked out was the ever popular “Don’t Cha”.  Along their 45 minute set they also played “Jai Ho!”, a song originally written for the hit movie Slumdog Millionaire that later was rerecorded by The Pussycat Dolls with English lyrics.  The five beautiful clad women danced all over the stage to an adoring crowd.  Their dance moves were suggestive, their outfits were small, and the crowd loved them.

After the Pussycat Dolls finished their set stagehands quickly worked and dismantled the steel stair case of sorts and removed it from the stage.  The giant curtain dropped again where a 360 degree monitor soon emerged that would be a focal point for all types of visuals for the evening.  The theme for the evening was a circus inspired performance so seeing the three section stage was appropriate for what was about to come.

Before the main event, the Big Apple Circus took the stage with various entertaining performances including a muscleman who twirled what looked like a section of fence around and around and tossed it about like it was metal pizza dough.  That same performer then grabbed a giant cube made out of steel bars and balanced it on his palm and spun it to the crowds enjoyment.  I was not as thrilled and of course made a joke to my pal about how all the guy ever wanted to do in life was spin a giant cube in front of thousands and how today was his day.

Other performers included a very flexible girl who was more of a human pretzel, clowns, hula hoops, people being thrown in the air, and martial artists who wooed the crown with their shiny weapons.  I have to admit it was pretty entertaining.

Once everyone cleared the stage the lights dimmed and a very interesting video played on the 360 degree monitor with a cross dressing queen providing a rather disturbing introduction for the rest of the evening.  The crowd erupted in excitement through the intro and not too far after the sexy ringmaster, Britney Spears, was lowered down from the 360 degree monitor as her performers met her on stage. It was at that moment it struck me that I was actually at this show.

At the beginning of their performance I found myself more interested in the stage set up itself over the performance.  There were elevator like trap doors that would allow access to the stage without any of the performers leaving the center of the venue. It was a show in itself just watching how everyone worked together to make the stage work.

Again I am not a pop music fan so I did not know a lot of the songs that were being performed but I did know that there was a ton of choreographing going on for the two plus hours that the show went on.  There was a lot of hard work going on during the set.

One point during the evening had me scratching my head at was when the 360 degree monitor was lowered and Marilyn Manson‘s version of “Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of These)” started playing as videos of Britney Spears footage was displayed.  It was clear that the video was being played so everyone could take a breather.  I still could not believe that a Marilyn Manson song, even if it was an Euythmics track, was playing at high levels to the crowd.

The show started to get a little more entertaining, performance wise, after the quick break with darker skits and more daring stunts and dances, but soon ventured back to sexy cop Britney Spears and a whole slew of different types of dancing.  At one time gangster looking dudes rode in on low rider bicycles and surrounded the star of the night.  Once again I could not help but to comment to my comrade how I felt I was witnessing an Eminem ice capades.

As far as song titles go, I really did not recognize a lot of them.  “Womanizer” was one song I recognized towards the end of the night as well as a remixed version of “Baby One More Time”.  Other then that if you were to pay me for each song I could tell you that was played that night I would not be earning much money.

It was clear that the night was all about lip-singing, but I did not let that bother me at all, after all I did attend a Britney Spears concert.  The 360 degree monitor that showed all of the strange footage over the performance as well as ads for Virgin Mobile and Candies makeup never once showed live shots from the evening.  I felt bad for the people who sat all the way in the higher section of the arena seeing how I was in the middle section and had a hard time seeing the show myself.  These tickets were not cheap by any means and you would think that they would at least cater to the nose bleed sections.

The dancing was mostly handled by Britney Spears’ entourage of performers and to me it looked like most of the time Britney Spears was either being pushed around on various carts, being picked up by hanging men, or resting on furniture props as she moved her lips to the music.  I expected more on her behalf.  Still, it was a performance I was looking for when I agreed to go and not a full fetched music showdown.  I was not even phased towards the end of the show when two guys pretended to play guitars as women showered them with sparks from what looked like metal sanders.  It was a performance, a show, nothing to be taken seriously.

Britney Spears was not much of a crowd participation person except for a quick thank you to the crowd who spent way too much money on tickets to see her and even more money on merchendise.  I think she spoke to the crowd once, but that one time was good enough for the packed house of fans.

My ears still ring from the loudness of the show, mostly from the screaming fans.  It was clear that the fans who showed up that night were excited to be there and had a great time dancing and singing about.  Then there was me…

Honestly, I did have a great time though and I never in my life thought I would say that I went to a Britney Spears concert, and I had fun.  Stranger things have happened…

Here are some quality photos taken with my trusty iPhone.  You can not see anything…

The finale was a shower of sparks that burned everyone on stage to a crisp.  Human smores.
The finale was a shower of sparks that burned everyone on stage to a crisp. Human s'mores.
That red mess above is the 360 monitor.  Notice the hanging people?
That red mess above is the 360 degree monitor. Notice the hanging people? Britney is in the right sided circle pointing at a way out.
If you look hard enough you might be able to see the metal stairs I was talking about.
If you look hard enough you might be able to see the metal stairs I was talking about. This was taken right when the Pussycat Dolls broke into a sweet version of "Freebird".