Archive for the 'Cleveland' Category

Cleveland Loved 2010

WHO: Dylan Baldi from fuzz-popsters Cloud Nothings
1. Seam – The Problem With Me
2. Rip Rig & Panic – Attitude
3. Hasil Adkins – Chicken Walk
4. Automatics – Walking With The Radio On
5. Stephen Steinbrink – Ugly Unknowns

WHO: Gregory Lee Boyd from big indie-rockers Clovers
FAVORITE ALBUM: Conspiracy of Owls – Conspiracy of Owls
It’s been awhile since a band made me feel the way these guys do, and even better that the record delivers the same vibe. It can go from ELO, to The Move, to the Beatles, to the greatest classic rock song you have never heard. To me, this is just a perfect record in many ways. The drums are very Ringo-esque, the vocal harmonies are incredible, and the guitar/bass work is very minimal yet very tasteful. “Raving Mad” and “Three” are the standouts for me.  Everyone should take a trip to a place where these comparisons but have never been fulfilled by a band more than these fellas.

WHO: Thomas Dechristofaro from indie-pop stars Afternoon Naps
FAVORITE ALBUM: Chin Chin – Sound of the Westway (reissue on Slumberland)
Even though this is a reissue, it’s still my album of the year. In 1984, three ladies from Switzerland made this record, and it sounds fresher and more relevant than any indie-rock or pop I heard all year. Loud guitars, perfect melodies, and completely essential. (P.S. the Black Tambourine reissue, also rules, it was nice to see them get the acclaim they’ve always deserved this year!)

WHO: Matt Fish from grilled cheese heaven Melt Bar & Grilled
Black Mountain – Wilderness Heart
OFF! – First Four EPs
Both these records pretty much saved music for me this year. The OFF! record is the best “punk” record I have heard in at least ten years.

WHO: Keith Freund from soft-rockers Trouble Books
Dreaded – Working Class Death
Really inspiring, really heavy. Doom-y noise loops by Ben from Tusco Terror that make me feel like something awful is slowly circling, so great.

Moustache Mountain – Transocean
Mike really nails an awesome sound of filtered tones shifting and lets it go for almost an hour. A really pleasant place to relax for a while.

Sam Goldberg/Mark McGuire – Spring Tour 2010
Lots of incredible stuff from the Cleveland camp this year, and this tape is one of my favorites. Not sure exactly what makes these pieces stand out, but it’s been in my car for months and the beginning of Mark’s side has gotten all wobbly in a way that feels appropriate.

WHO: Helen Harry from WRUW radio program Guilty Pleasures
FAVORITE ALBUM: Vampire Weekend – Contra
I discovered this album from my dorm room neighbors right around the end of winter and the start of springtime. It hit me as a true spring/summer album and I was sure to blast it throughout my dorm when I was getting ready for class. Vampire Weekend is so fun and I wasn’t really able to get into their first album as much as Contra due to the fact that it didn’t seem as airy and exciting as their sophomore follow up. This album followed me throughout the entire year as a favorite and I still find myself singing these songs, longing for when summer will be back in Cleveland. Vampire Weekend’s lyrics make me feel as though I have transferred to prep school where classes are cancelled forever and Vampire Weekend is playing a live show constantly.

WHO: Melanie Hershberger from “Best Records and CDs” shop Music Saves
FAVORITE ALBUM: Baths – Cerulean
feeling alive for the first time in your life
dancing with your bad self
a secret, romantic rendezvous
singing softly to your one true love

For me, 2010 was a year that was distinguished by an influx of drastic personal change and growth. Through all of this, Baths’ Cerulean managed to provide me with the comfort, catharsis, solace, and solitude I needed to handle everything that life threw at me with grace. It was like an angel on my shoulder, a best friend holding my hand, and a muse of inspiration. In my heart, 2010 will forever be marked by this album.

WHO: Nick Tolar from 90’s revivalists Herzog
Beach House – Teen Dream
I love this band, and this record is a big leap forward.

Deerhunter – Halcyon Digest
Halcyon is just a great group of songs. I really loved the new acoustic guitar/harpsichord effect as well.

The Walkmen – Lisbon
The older I get, the more I like this band. They’re classy, and they have certain sophistication that I really enjoy. I also like artists who find the thing that they do well and then constantly refine it, not copy it, but refine it.

Cloud Nothings/Herzog (Live @ Beachland Tavern, Cleveland OH 12/18/10)

Cloud Nothings

“Should Have”

“Forget You All The Time”


Square Records + Music Saves 7th Annual Holiday Get Down

Music Saves Website
Square Records Website
Cloud Nothings MySpace
Herzog MySpace
Low In The Sky MySpace

Cleveland Gift Ideas

Music Saves Best of 2010 Deal

Cleveland music store Music Saves is putting on a deal throughout the month of December, where if you buy any album from their long “Best of 2010” list, you’ll get a coupon for $1 off any purchase in January! And you get a coupon for each purchase, so if you buy Baths’ Cerulean, Glasser’s Ring, and Weekend’s Sports, you get three coupons for January usage!

Native Cleveland

Native Cleveland is the newest addition to the Waterloo Arts District, bringing together all sorts of rad clothes, photos, and jewelry from vendors all over Cleveland, including the great tees of C.L.E. Clothing.  The shop is a must-stop for those of you looking for the perfect gift for your Believeland buddy!

Great Lakes/Indigo Imp Beer

Beer brewed in Cleveland tastes better, right?  For those of you who agree, surprise your local or out-of-town friend with a six-pack from the famed Great Lakes Brewery or the small but still amazing Indigo Imp Brewery.  And if you’re feeling extra nice, go ahead and try to find GL’s Christmas Ale, or go for the insanely tasty Winter Solstice from Imp.

Gotta Groove Records Coasters

This holiday season, you can bring home a piece of Cleveland’s own Gotta Groove Records! Order a pack of Gotta Groove coasters made from the punched-out labels from records pressed right there! And maybe if you ask them, they’ll make a custom coaster from one of your favorite past GG-pressed releases, including Cloud Nothings’ Turning On, Megachurch’s Megachurch, and HotChaCha’s Fantastic Static. Order them from the Gotta Groove website, or stop at the plant and pick them up (call 877-383-2445).

The Melt Challenge

Have you got a friend who loves eating obscene amounts of food but thinks gift cards are lame? Then get them the gift of the Melt Challenge from the famous grilled cheese restaurant Melt Bar & Grilled, and watch them attempt to devour the five-pound giant.

Star Pop

Vintage toy/clothing store Star Pop is the perfect place for you to find anything retro for anybody on your Christmas list. You’ll find Care Bear plush toys for your mother’s collection, cool sunglasses for your daughters’ stocking, or a Harry Potter t-shirt for that obsessed friend!

Happy Dog Gift Card

I can’t think of any better way to say “I love you” than a huge hot dog layered with dijon mustard, brazilian chimichurri, dill pickle spear, and nacho cheese. Stop by the Cleveland hot dog establishment to pick up a gift card for your unique food-loving friend! or family member!

HotChaCha – Fantastic Static

Genre: Post-Punk, Dark Pop, Noise Pop
Year: 2010
Location: Cleveland, OH
Label: Exit Stencil Recordings

MP3: || “Naked Glass” ||

MP3: || “Bukarest” ||

In Cleveland, HotChaCha lives up to their reputation as the bad-ass all-girl quartet who will beat you up and steal your beer, but still be super nice about it. After their 2009 full-length debut, The Hardest Working Telescope and the Violent Birth of Stars, HotChaCha rode on the success of that album with a brand new EP, Fantastic Static.  The album and EP exhibit a similar style of music, but the EP sounds bigger than any of their past music.  Maybe it’s their transition into darker songs, maybe it’s from their shows with noise veterans A Place To Bury Strangers, or maybe it’s because they recorded this EP with dark-pop friends We Are Hex.  It could be any of these, but I can easily say that the final product is their best to-date.  Listen/download the first and third tracks from the EP, “Naked Glass” and “Bukarest,” above.  The Gotta Groove-pressed recycled random-color 12″ vinyl with silk-screened artwork on recycled jackets can be picked up at one of their many shows, or  directly from Exit Stencil.

P.S. They have an upcoming show on Halloween at Lafayette’s The Black Sparrow, stay tuned for a flyer!

The New Lou Reeds/Herzog/Madame & the Moist Toilettes (Live @ Happy Dog, Cleveland 10/23/10)

Last night, a big crowd packed into the famed Cleveland hot dog establishment for local heroes The New Lou Reeds’ record release show and first show in three years.  For certain reasons, I found myself back in Cleveland for the weekend and decided is was not acceptable for me to miss this show.  I headed over a little bit early to grab a loaded dog before the bands started.  First up was Madame & the Moist Toilettes, a bluesy garage duo with a set full of simple riff-rock anthems that I found quite enjoyable.  Quickly after the end of the Toilettes, my personal favorites Herzog took the stage for the third time ever.  Since the first time I saw them at the Grog Shop, which was also their first time ever playing live, Nick Tolar and his crew have gained a full, big, and confident sound.  They were, without a doubt, arena-ready, like they should opening for Weezer for a few dates.  Their set was scattered with tracks from their debut, Search, and a few new ones.  The highlight was the seamless transition from the alt-rock climax of “Town to Town” immediately into the huge ending of “Static Shock.”  It was especially nice seeing a few faces in the bigger-than-usual crowd singing along to the beginning of “Living Alone,” or the “ooh ooh ooh”s of “Static Shock.”  Herzog finished, but people were demanding more with “one more song” chants, to which Nick answered with, “The New Lou Reeds are playing for the first time in three fucking years!”  After more people crowded into the Dog, The New Lou Reeds anxiously took the stage with little rust on their backs.  They ran threw songs from their new album Hit Songs, as their sleazy blues-rock seemingly answered the prayers of a big group of people, some of which probably saw them three years ago.  Check out videos of Herzog’s “Living Alone,” and The New Lou Reeds’ “Headed For A Felony” after the jump, along with some rockin’ photos.

P.S. I apologize in advance for the low amount of light in the videos and that my camera ran out of battery at the end of “Felony.”

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Comfort Clouds – “I’ve Been Searching”/”33.3% Older Than I Am”/”Text Messages!”

Genre: Ambient Pop, Indie Pop, Post-Rock
Year: 2010
Location: Cleveland/Akron, OH
Label: Bark and Hiss

MP3: || “I’ve Been Searching” ||

MP3: || “33.3% Older Than I Am” ||

MP3: || “Text Messages!” ||

Comfort Clouds is “a team of scientists and engineers” formed from long-time friends and members of Ohio post-rockers Six Parts Seven. They claim that their “goal is to eventually be Steely Dan or Sade, but a bit more spectral.” That’s quite a goal, but nevertheless, the Akron and Clevelanders have crafted a beautiful pop debut, The Dinner Set, with ambient, post-rock, and jazz qualities that reflect both the fluid musicianship and amazing writing.  Comfort Clouds are part of the Bark & Hiss label collective, with other notables Trouble Books, of whom make a few appearences on this record, and Talons.  You can download the full album for $6 from BandCamp, where you can also order the CD or get it through the Bark & Hiss Store.



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