I have been so damn busy as of late I have not had a chance to tell you all what I have been up to in my own personal life, music and entertainment wise that is of course.
On Aug. 8th I joined my pal Mr. Addicted To Vinyl on one of the best adventures I have had all summer in Cleveland this year. You see Matt is and has been in the radio business for years now and I am sure you know that if you have read his blog and if you have not then you are missing out.
For unknown reasons other than I am amazing Matt extended an invite to me to meet up with some of his radio / music friends at a bar at Whiskey Island for a gathering and then to see 90’s Cleveland alt-rockers The Waynes play a reunion gig at the Happy Dog.
At first I hesitated seeing how I was not sure how this day was going to pan out. I would know one or two people tops who would be going to the show that evening and know only Matt during the day gathering. After some quick thought I decided what the hell and told him I was game.
I picked up Matt and we headed to a bar at Whiskey island called the Sunset Grille. I laughed as soon as we arrived to the bar because I remember being there over 10 years ago on a couple of occasions and have fond memories of drinking way too many Long Island iced teas while underage, making out with random women, and at one time sleeping in my car because I was too drunk to function.
I also recalled the time that I went there with some high school friends to join a frat party of some of my friend’s older brothers. Let’s just say during the evening hours I caught a boat to the flats, partied like a rock star, got a couple of girl’s numbers, made the driver of the boat angry, almost missed my ride back to Whiskey Island via boat as the sweet jocks I was with tried to ditch me, and eventually made it back to the marina after convincing another jock it was a bad idea to go swimming in Lake Erie as well as a bad idea to take the boat to Canada.
So yes I had some great drunken memories of this place and was actually a little excited to be there. The only problem was that it was gloomy out and just down right cold for an August afternoon. When I say cold I mean I actually put a hoodie on cold. It was crazy.
Matt’s friends were all in the music business one way or another and all super cool. I can honestly say I met some of the coolest people I have met in a long time that day. They were all very friendly and had a ton of stories to share. I of course supplied them with some of my stories as well. it was a blast and even the sun warmed things up a little making for the afternoon just the perfect Saturday to hang outdoors with good people.
Around 8pm we headed to the Happy Dog to get a place to sit and get ready for a fun night that would include a reunion show of The Waynes, a 90’s local rock act who had not played a show in years. The bar was already full of old school fans so we grabbed some bar stools and planted it there for the night.
Chris Allen opened the show with some great guitar playing, singing, and a little harmonica playing. I had recently just seen him and Don Dixon play at the very same bar a few weeks back so I actually recognized some of his songs.
The Waynes on the other hand I was not familiar with. I wish I was though because they were one of those bands in the 90’s I now wish I was aware of. They were amazing.
The Happy Dog should have been called the Happy Inferno that night because I swear it was over 90 degrees in the bar. With two full sets by The Waynes I tried my hardest to watch them perform their songs but eventually had to step outside for some fresh air.
While watching and listening to them I could not help myself but to observe Matt and his friends all with huge smiles on their faces as well as a bunch of other folk who showed up as well. They were all singing along having a great time. Yes, alcohol helped in the fun for many but the overall the gathering of good friends while listening to a band they all adored at a younger ago made it that much better.
Last Thursday evening I headed out to the wonderful Music Saves on Waterloo before venturing to see some bands play at a free show at Blue Arrow Records. I told Melanie at Music Saves that I would bring her some cheese previously in the week as a joke but she got so excited about the offer I decided I should stick to my offer and brought her an afternoon snack. After hanging out there for a moment and meeting up with Matt we then took off to Blue Arrow where my friend Adam’s (Rad-am) current band the Prisoners were playing a free show with The Lawton Brothers.
It was pretty warm in the store but nothing too crazy plus fans were brought in to make the show a little more comfortable. A lot of cool folk showed up for the event and shopped for good vinyl while listening to both bands play throughout the evening.
Hanging outside on the sidewalk in between acts on Waterloo brought me back some memories of the days when I was a kid hanging out on Coventry, a hip street full of music and specialty shops in Cleveland Hts. The Waterloo District as I have heard some folk call it recently is really a great attraction for all to check out. With two of the best music stores and other amazing specialty shops it is worth the trip no matter how far away you live. It takes me almost an hour to get there and I aim for one to two visits a month if that tells you anything…
Saturday night was all about The Foot at the Rock N Roll Hall Of Fame. Matt asked me if I wanted to join him to see Chickenfoot (Sammy Hagar, Joe Satriani, Chad Smith, and Michael Anthony ). i could not pass up the opportunity to see a line up like that of the silly named band so of course I said yes.
Before the show Matt and I headed around Lakewood to kill some time and eventually decided food was something that was needed. Matt suggested The Diner On Clifton and I am glad he did.
Before I even continue this babble of a story I need to tell you all about the purple coleslaw. Matt ordered fish n’ chips and where I am from fish n’ chips comes with a side of coleslaw too. Our adorable waitress dropped off our orders and Matt stops in mid-sentence and says:
“Jesus Christ, what the hell is that?”
He of course was alerted to a certain little cup of coleslaw that was purple in color from the red cabbage that was used to make it. The waitress asked if everything was ok and Matt kindly asked her to remove it from the table but being the ass that I am I asked her to give it to me so I could eat it slowly in front of him. When she took the little cup of goodness away from his plate a little of the purple stuff dropped on the table.
Matt’s face was priceless.
Matt was so terrified of the coleslaw and that little amount that was dropped on the table by him when the cup was moved from one side of the table to the other was seen as toxic waste in his eyes. I don’t think I have laughed that hard in a long time and to make things even more fun for me I took it upon myself to make sure he was looking at me each time I took a bite of the delicious slaw. I was torturing him and it was hilarious.
After dinner we headed downtown to the Rock Hall to partake in the free event. We chose to park in the parking deck just across the highway from the Rock Hall for a mere $10.00. The tenant who took my money was nice but not nice enough to inform me that the steps near E. 9th were closed. Matt and I found out the hard way as we parked the car and walked to the steps only to see caution tape. We then took the elevator to the 1st level thinking that was where we first entered. Nope. We were in the basement and it was gloomy as hell. All Matt and I could think of was the DXism (D.X. Ferris) reference to parking garage vampires.
I seriously thought we were never going to make it to an exit. Luckily we were not the only morons running around the deck like a mouse trying to find the cheese in some failed science experiment.
Finally getting out of that damn garage and making way to the show a guy approached me and asked if I wanted to buy tickets to the event. I am not sure if this scalper knew it or not but the show was free. Tickets were given out for free before the date of the show and I found out later that people were just handing out extras to people who did not come with a ticket…for free. I hope to hell the scalper sold nothing to anyone and cried himself home.
I admit I was excited to see Chickenfoot. After never seeing any era of Van Halen or Joe Satriani I told myself this may very well be the only chance to see these two rock superstars live. I did not know any of the songs but it did not matter as they were entertaining as hell and put on a great show for all who gathered that night in front of the Rock Hall.
I can tell you this. Chickenfoot sounded great. I still have yet to listen to their album that dropped earlier this year but the combination of all of the amazing musicians made for a great rock show. I am still shocked to have learned that Sammy Hagar is 61 years old.
The front patio of the Rock Hall was crowded and everyone was having a great time. The weather held out perfectly for the free show and I am glad I went.
I pulled a [insert Matt’s last name here] by leaving the show early but not because I needed to go home and crawl into bed like someone I know, but because I had another show in Cleveland I needed to get to. I said bye to Matt left the rock show so that I could go to a punk show.
My good friends The Facials had a CD release party at Rockstar and were set to go on stage around 11:15pm so I got there in time and was greeted by my pals with about 7 free tickets. I love my friends…jerks.
I was told by my pals that I missed some great openers but I could see a little gleam of jealousy when I told them were I was at before arriving. Rockstar (located on the upper level of Peabody’s) was just as hot as the Happy Dog the week before was and I swear I thought I was going to melt there.
The Facials were the last band to take the stage and even though I was given a CD to listen to by my friends I opted to not check it out until I saw them play some of the songs.
I have to say I was impressed.
I’m not going to go review their performance or CD but if you like Cleveland punk rock you should check out my boys The Facials. This is their second release and they put a lot of work into it plus they are good guys. Fans of Pennywise and enemies of pop-punk should dig.
So yeah, that was the last few days/weeks for me. It has taken me forever to even post this because I have been so busy with work and the office zombie routine.
This week is ending quick and tonight I am going to try and make it to Visible Voice Books in the essentric neighborhood of Termont to see author Jessica Hopper talk about her book Girl’s Guide To Rocking followed by a show at the Happy Dog (I will be bringing portable AC with me). The fun starts at 7:30pm. I am still not 100% sure I am going to make it but if you are in the area it is going to be fun. Don’t miss it.
Friday Matt, who may be kissing up to me as rumors have been pointing that I want to beat him up, offered his extra ticket to see Tonic at the mini-Blossom of sorts, Cain Park. I am super pumped to make that show. I almost feel bad for taunting him with the purple coleslaw…no, wait… I do not.
The 27th is the homecoming show of Nicholas Megalis at House Of Blues Cleveland. At $5 a ticket I am sure there will be a lot of folk there. Then on the 28th is Cracker at the Beachland Ballroom. Can someone say me so busy? Well, I am.
Luckily I have decided that I am skipping the Virgin Mobile Free Fest so that should ease some of my busy life down a notch. I was unable to get tickets (even though it was free they have to have some sort of control) to it but that is ok. I do not have the money to make the drive out there plus I feel I have enough going right now to justify my choice to skip my tradition of going to Baltimore every Summer since 2006.
So yeah, that is my well overdue post. If you made it this far down the line then go to the kitchen and find yourself a cookie.