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.

Safari – “New Lover”/”Victor Quaalude” from Maybe Tomorrow

Genre: Garage, Indie Rock
Year: 2010
Location: Cleveland, OH
Label: Self-Released

MP3: || “New Lover” ||

MP3: || “Victor Quaalude” ||

The Noise Is presents Safari, a buzzing garage three-piece out of the hard working parts of Cleveland. They’ve constantly been on the radar around the scene, but with their third release, Maybe Tomorrow, things are sure to heat up for these young guys. Listen/download a couple tracks off their sweet album, released today, including the big ballad “New Lover,” and the garage-pop epic “Victor Quaalude.”  Go pick up the rest of the album for a cheap $5 via BandCamp.  The release show for Maybe Tomorrow is tonight at the Grog Shop with openers Filmstrip and Swarm of Bats, also Cleveland natives, and Charleston’s Company, so get your ass out there!

Here’s the video for “Victor Quaalude,” featuring the love of Cleveland’s rooftops and beaches.

Phosphorescent/Lowly, The Tree Ghost/Herzog (Live @ Grog Shop, Cleveland OH 8/7/10)

On a night of so many shows going on, it was tough to decide where to go! I finally chose to get myself over to the Grog Shop for the retro-country Phosphorescent, indie-folkers Lowly, The Tree Ghost, and indie rocksters Herzog.  Before I had got there, I expected Fleet Foxes’ member J.Tillman to be opening for Phosphorescent, but learned that his grandfather had just past away, so he jumped off the Cleveland date and Herzog got added.  Although the situation wasn’t ideal, I was really excited to see Herzog perform hheaving downloaded their new album off BandCamp a few weeks ago.  And since Herzog is the one man project of Clevelander Nick Tolar, I think last night could have been his first show with a full band, having Brian and Dan from Megachurch on bass and drums.  When they took the stage, you could tell that Tolar was a bit nervous to play these songs for the first time, but they came out super strong and got a great response from the crowd, especially in 90s throwback indie-rock anthem “Paul Blart And The Death Of Art.”  Shortly after Tolar and his dudes ended their set, six-piece indie-folk group Lowly, The Tree Ghost took the stage.  Ever since they sent me their double-EP booklet a few weeks ago, their songs have been running around my head.  Lowly definitely proved their talent through their lively and warm tracks, above all in their quick country tune “Jeremy Fisher.”  The trump factor for them is definitely their violinist Laura Simna, she stood out like a shining star within the pretty folk tunes.  Acting as a perfect opener for Matthew Houck and his band, Phosphorescent soon after took the stage.  I was plainly exhausted from a full day of driving, and wasn’t feeling too well, so I only said for a few songs.  Houck led off with 9-minute Here’s to Taking it Easy-closer “Los Angeles,” and then preceded with opening track “It’s Hard to Be Humble (When You’re From Alabama).”  Just from watching for about ten-minute, it was easy to tell that Houck has this charismatic stage presence that most people dream of.  And add that with the ultra-retro vibe onstage, from the 50s and 60s era Gibson guitars, to the steel slide guitar.  Right as I was leaving, Phosphorescent broke into “Nothing Was Stolen (Love Me Foolishly),” which was a bit ironic considering all of their stuff was stolen in New York, but thankfully everything was recovered a few days later.  I brought my camera to the show, but forgot my memory card in my computer so I didn’t get any videos, but the pictures didn’t turn out so bad (thanks internal memory).  I’ll update this post later with a few from KingOfTheCastle7’sYoutube channel, as he was there taking video of everything.

Phosphorescent MySpace
Lowly, The Tree Ghost MySpace
Herzog MySpace

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“Who’s Coming To Town?!” (8/5-8/14)


August 6th – Maps & Atlases/Cults @ Grog Shop (Early Show)

August 7th – Phosphorescent/J Tillman/Lowly, the Tree Ghost @ Grog Shop | Square Records 7th Anniversary w/ Cloud Nothings/White Pines/Dreaded @ Musica (Akron, OH) | Filmstrip Record Release Show w/ Hotchacha/Founding Fathers @ Happy Dog

August 10th – Javelin/Warpaint/Beach Fossils @ Grog Shop | Cave @ Now That’s Class

August 11th – Deer Tick/The Modern Electric @ Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (FREE SHOW!)

August 14th – Admiral Radley/Hooray For Earth/Trouble Books @ Grog Shop

Bear In Heaven/Emeralds/Twin Sister (Live @ Grog Shop, Cleveland OH 8/2/10)

Soft-poppers Twin Sister, Cleveland drone kings Emeralds, and heavy psych-pop trio Bear In Heaven took the stage at the Grog Shop for a surprisingly filled Monday night show.  Twin Sister went on around ten, and definitely showed some bright talent, but their biggest obstacle was captivating the crowd…they never did. They go for this elegant pop sound which sounds beautiful, but it left many people thinking they were pretty boring. Emeralds went up next and destroyed the stage for 35+ minutes straight, starting off with “Genetic” and transitioning to other Does It Look Like I’m Here? tracks within the gorgeous mess.    Bear In Heaven walked on stage last and slammed into Beast Rest Forth Mouth opener “Beast In Peace,” followed by “Ultimate Satisfaction.”  They best part of their set was no doubt the mega-foggy epic “Dust Cloud,” where they proved that three men can be a tornado of noise under frontman Jon Philpot’s haunting voice.  It was pretty nice to see them all smiling, with Philpot addressing the crowd about how fucking jawdropping Emeralds was, and after a long wait between songs saying, “Sorry, we’ve having fun!”  That just about summed up the night, people were dancing and drinking to their oil-thick psychedelia, and it was all about having fun.  Bear In Heaven are going to heading over to Europe for a ton of dates (check their MySpace), and Twin Sister will be touring the US with Memoryhouse.  Hit the jump for some pretty cool photos!

P.S. I saw Emeralds a few weeks ago and captured a pretty good video of the first ten minutes of their set. Watch it here!

Bear In Heaven MySpace
Twin Sister Website

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Black Mountain/Quest For Fire (Live @ Beachland Ballroom, Cleveland OH 7/24/10)

I would hope that every Cleveland stoner made their way to the Beachland Ballroom for this psychedelic riff fest, cause they really would’ve gotten their money’s worth. Black Mountain and Quest For Fire teamed up for a show that would result in sore necks and throbbing heads the day after. Quest For Fire hit the stage first and in my honest opinion, they absolutely ruled. I had a few beers to help me, but I was digging it real hard. They stormed through “Bison Eyes” and “Strange Waves” from their self-titled debut, and played a bunch of new songs from their upcoming album, Lights From Paradise. Near the end of their set, the ballroom started to fill. It was somewhat surprising, considering Akron blues kings, The Black Keys, were playing a big sold-out show across town. Black Mountain took the stage and began softly with a new song, “Radiant Hearts”, from their upcoming Jagjaguwar album Wilderness Hearts, and then bashed into the title track for the new album. Since seeing them at the Grog Shop a couple years ago, not too much as change. The guitars are sludgy, the drums explosive, the organs sly, and the vocal combination of Stephen McBean and Amber Weber was both sexual and harsh. The highlight of their set was In The Future epic, “Tyrants,” which they quickly followed with new song “Old Fangs”, which can be downloaded below.  About half-way through their set, a few chuckling comments were yelled out from the excited Cleveland crowd like, “Cleveland loves your keyboardist!” and the best one “We love Black Mountain more than the Black Keys!”  That pretty much sailed everyone into a big giggle, including a few rare smiles from the band.  After the insane amount of head-banging I did in closer “Don’t Run Our Hearts Around,” Black Mountain left the stage only to return for a three song encore including “Queens Will Play” and  In The Future opener “Stormy High.”  Overall, it was definitely one of the best shows I’ve seen this summer and I believe the crowd would wholeheartedly agree.  Hit the jump for some pretty cool photos, if you ask me, and videos of Black Mountain’s “Tyrants” and “Old Fangs”, and Quest For Fire’s “Bison Eyes,” as well as the setlist.   And by the way, it was feeling like a black-and-white show.

// “Old Fangs” \\

Black Mountain MySpace
Quest For Fire MySpace

Videos and Photos

Kurt Vile/Real Estate/Cloud Nothings Scene Write-Up

I rambled over to the Beachland Tavern a little over a week ago for this cool show!  I met up with some friends and we were having one head-bopping time!  I was too lazy to catch some pics or vids, but my good friend Leanne Butkovic documented the show for the Cleveland Scene blog, C-Notes.  Here’s her show review:

When the reverb gets cranked up on the guitars, you know you’re about to experience some serious business. Everyone who was at the Beachland Tavern last night can attest to this.

Cleveland solo-act-gone-live-band Cloud Nothings opened the three-artist bill and played a set of their signature low-fi pop. The band presented itself as just that — as a band, playing raucous versions of the one-man solo songs found on Cloud Nothings records. The catchy and simple melodies were at their best in “Hey Cool Kid” and “Even If It Worked Out.”

New Jersey’s Real Estate play windows-down, music-blaring, driving-60-mph-on-a-back-road music. It’s part surf, part psych, and part indie-pop. The band was energetic onstage and looked genuinely excited to be playing for fans. There was a sea of bobbing heads in the Tavern, as Real Estate worked their way through songs from their self-titled debut album, which came out last year.

They warmed up the crowd for Kurt Vile and his band, whose drug-influenced psych-rock was heavy on wah-wah. If you were, um, under the influence, their set probably sounded really awesome. If you weren’t, it probably sounded really boring. After all, two-chord jams have a hard time stretching out to more than five minutes. —Leanna Butkovic”

Kurt Vile MySpace
Real Estate MySpace
Cloud Nothings MySpace

Young Mammals/Prisoners/Cloud Nothings (Live @ Happy Dog, Cleveland OH 7/2/10)

This show meant a ton more to me than just some sweet bands getting together on the West Side of Cleveland, it was my first show having just turned the age of 21! The ability to choose and order the beer I wanted was exhilarating! Aside from that, earlier that day I met up with the guys from Young Mammals and gave them a super quick tour of some of the East Side of Cleveland, including Star Pop, Music Saves, and Blue Arrow Records. They were absolutely the nicest guys and it only made me more antsy for the night, especially after their recent release of their debut album, Carrots. I headed over to the Happy Dog with my girlfriend, and Cloud Nothings was first up. They played a few songs that they didn’t play at their past Beachland Ballroom show, including “Hey Cool Kid”. Check out the video I got of that and the epic closer “Turning On”. Young Mammals took they small stage next, and perhaps the most exciting part about them is their fun rambunctiousness. They were quite a force on stage, and people appropriately gathered around the stage for them. I grabbed a good video of the second track from their album, “8 4 8”. At that point, I was pretty tired, and frankly pretty drunk, so we only stayed for a few songs of Prisoners, but I always have a good time watching them! Hit the jump for the videos!


Cloud Nothings/Megachurch/Mr. Gnome (Live @ Beachland Ballroom, Cleveland OH 6/11/10)

The rise of Cloud Nothings has almost been a blur, starting with Dylan Baldi sending a few tracks to some friends, to Pitchfork and Stereogum covering his every move, and now an upcoming tour with Wavves.  Somewhat of a send-off show, Cloud Nothings played the Beachland Ballroom (not the Tavern) for the first time opening for bass-orgy Megachurch and the obscure Mr. Gnome.  Cloud Nothings were up first with a good amount of people looking on.  They opened with a new song, which I caught on video, and then quickly flew into Turning On opener “Can’t Stay Awake”.  Having only seen them a few times, they still impress me how good they can be on stage.  They manage to be fun, tight, and insanely talented at the same time.  My favorite songs in their set were the ones on their new 7″ from Old Flame Records, “Didn’t You” and “Even If It Worked Out”, which are competing against eachother for best pop song in 2010.  After an 8-song setlist (which you can see after the jump), they turned the reigns over to bass-band Megachurch.  I had been hearing about Megachurch quite a lot but had never seen them in concert or heard any of their music.  They set up in the middle of the ballroom floor much like Lightning Bolt (who they will also be opening for in July).  I feel like the video I caught of them will describe it better, but its basically two guys on bass and one dude on drums playing insanely heavy and loud metal alongside evangelical and political samples.  The formula might sound stupid or strange, but it works so so so well that at some points, you just kind of smile cause its so ridiculously good.  I kind of wandered around and talked with people after Megachurch, but I caught some of the cult-band Mr. Gnome.  I really couldn’t get a solid read on them, as they went from a scary drone to a blues jam.  Check out a bunch of Cloud Nothings videos and pictures as well as a video of Megachurch.

Cloud Nothings MySpace
Megachurch MySpace
Mr. Gnome MySpace

Videos and Photos

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart/Surfer Blood/Hooray For Earth (Live @ Beachland Ballroom, Cleveland OH 6/6/10)

Over the past year or so, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart have easily been one of my favorite bands if not my favorite pop band.  I got to see them in concert last year at the Pitchfork Music Festival, which turned out to be a super joyous event for the big crowd.  And earlier this year, I drove down to Bloomington, IN to see my newer pop favs Surfer Blood bump out tunes from their album, Astrocoast.  So it was completely natural that I get freakishly excited when I saw Pains and Surfer Blood were gonna be hitting Cleveland together.  I went over to the show with a bunch of friends, who were also with me at Pitchfork, including James from Shock Mountain.  First up was NYC band Hooray For Earth, whom I really hadn’t heard much of.  I checked em out the day of the show, and one of their tracks, “Comfortable, Comparable”, stuck with me (and still has).  I showed up a little bit late for the show, but just in time for their set.  Their set was very much dance-ready, but no one in the ballroom was dancing, but I got my groove on anyway!  Surfer Blood was next, and they had high hopes for me after their show in Bloomington was a good one.  While they played very well, I will say that their frontman was acting quite strange, like he had just had his first beer (which wouldn’t be surprising at all!).  They seemed almost overly confident, which doesn’t work for them cause their teenage innocence plays a big part of that band.  The Pains of Being Pure at Heart set up, and quickly began their set with “This Love Is Fucking Right”.  The mega-poppiness they were playing was too much to not smile.  During a break in between songs, vocalist/guitarist Kip Berman told everyone how all of their songs are about creepy things, sex, or creepy sex, and then promptly jumped into “Come Saturday”.  Berman also talked about jumping into a neighboring Pavement argument, the art of icing, and also gave shout-outs to Music Saves, Star Pop and Tom from Afternoon Naps.  Once they finished their set with “Everything With You”, they left the stage and returned with a bigger cast including members of Surfer Blood and Hooray For Earth as they played their early self-titled track, “The Pains of Being Pure at Heart”.  It was clearly evident that everyone on stage was having a great time, and they genuinely shared a bond beyond just touring together.  All of this general happiness flooded the crowd, as no one wanted to leave after they had finished.  I talked to a bunch of the members from all the bands, including Kip Berman who had nothing but good things to say about Cleveland!  Hit the jump for a ton of photos, and videos of Surfer Blood’s “Take It Easy” and The Pains of Being Pure at Heart’s “Young Adult Friction” and “Higher Than The Stars”, and their setlist!

P.S. Check out James’ write-up on the show right here!

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart MySpace
Surfer Blood MySpace
Hooray For Earth

Photos and Videos

Holy Fuck (Live @ Grog Shop, Cleveland OH 6/1/10)

Almost exactly a year after their show in 2009, Holy Fuck returned to the Grog Shop with their experimental electro-rock. Last year’s show was probably one of my favorite summer shows, with a diverse crowd that went from head-nodding to all-out dancing in very little time. This years show had much more drive behind it, with Holy Fuck having just released their third album, Latin, and touring the U.S. nonstop. The show was much more crowded than I would’ve imagine, and the crowd was especially strange from what I could tell. But I found a nice spot on the side stage leaning against a speaker, and had a great vantage point for the whole show. Their newest addition to their show were this lights on the floor that were linked up to the soundboard, so during their loudest parts the lights would be madness. Their setlist included songs from their self-titled (“Super Inuit”, “Lovely Allen”, “The Pulse”), Latin (“1MD”, “Red Lights”, “Latin America”, “Stay Lit”, “Silva & Grimes”). The biggest surprises for me was how arena-rock ready they sounded on “Stay Lit”, and how they pulled out “The Pulse” near the end of their set. I got a video of Latin‘s opening track “1MD”, leading into funky jam “Red Lights”, and check out some of the photos. Most of them are pretty blurry, but they actually captured the show pretty well. Jump for videos of “Super Inuit” and “1MD/Red Lights” and a bunch of photos.

Holy Fuck MySpace

Photos and Videos

The Dreadful Yawns/Mystery of Two/Prisoners (Live @ Beachland Tavern, Cleveland OH 5/28/10)

Quite a night to celebrate Cleveland finest label, Exit Stencil Recordings. Cleveland garage up-and-comers Prisoners along with Exit Stencil veterans Mystery of Two and The Dreadful Yawns came together on a beautiful Friday night for one great show! First up was Prisoners, who seem to be relatively new in the Cleveland scene, but didn’t show any inexperience as they had a dominating stage presence with their Turbo Fruits-like blues/garage. In the past six months, I’ve had the chance to see Cleveland post-punk shoegazers Mystery of Two three times, and each time they fly to new heights. They opened with “Golden Hour”, a song off their new cassette EP, Color Me. They went through tracks off their self-titled and EP, and eventually got to their Cleveland love song “Strange Town”, where you would have to see the mid-song noise breakdown to believe it. The main focus of the show was on The Dreadful Yawns, playing their 2007 Exit Stencil debut, Rest. After three years, the songs proved to be in no way boring or rusty, as the Yawns played folky (“When I Lost My Voice”), poppy (“You’ve Been Recorded”), and surprising bluesy (“End Of Summer”). Check out Prisoners at Now That’s Class on June 7th, and The Dreadful Yawns at the Grog Shop with Small Black and Beach Fossils on July 8th. Click on “Read more” for pictures and videos of all the bands.

The Dreadful Yawns MySpace
Mystery of Two MySpace
Prisoners MySpace

Photos and Videos

Phantogram/Light Pollution 5/17/10 Live @ Grog Shop, Cleveland OH

Quite an interesting crowd (full of nerds and wannabe hippies) filled into the Grog Shop last night for the trip-hopping indie pop duo Phantogram, and the up-and-coming Chicago shoegazers Light Pollution. To be completely honest, I dig Phantogram’s sound and all, but I went to this show to see Light Pollution. After seeing them on accident seven months ago with I Need Sleep, I have been closely following their band’s touring and upcoming debut album Apparitions. In their first show on the tour with Phantogram, Light Pollution explosively ran through songs from the debut, including one of the best tracks of the year, “Good Feelings.” After they finished, I talked to the drummer, Matt, for quite a long time, and he just seemed really grateful of the place his band is at right now. We talked of their label Carpark Records, the Chicago scene, and hopefully playing more shows in Indiana this coming school year. I spent so long talking to him that I missed out on the beginning of Phantogram’s set. They were no doubt entertaining, but somewhat disappointed me. Their music wasn’t loud enough at all, and as a duo they really don’t do much on stage. The chick played a few notes on the synths and the dude hit a few riffs on guitar, but they left the bulk of their tracks to the digitalized beats. Nonetheless, I had a really good time hanging with some old friends and seeing some vibrant young bands.  Hit the jump for a sweet video of “Good Feelings” by Light Pollution and a bunch of photos.

P.S. The Phantogram video below is not very good, cause you can’t see anything. They were using a strobe light the entire show but decided for the last song not to turn it on till the end.

Phantogram MySpace
Light Pollution MySpace

Photos and Videos

Afternoon Naps/Very Truly Yours/Trouble Books (Live @ Cranky’s Manatee Pub, Cleveland OH 5/15/10)

You’d think with this much pop ones head would explode! Cleveland poppers Afternoon Naps, Chicago sweeties Very Truly Yours, and pretty shoegazers Trouble Books packed into the West Side semi-new pub Cranky’s Manatee. The result was my friends and I having a great time seeing some super cool bands! Trouble Books managed to transfer their album tones to the stage, which not only sounded beautiful, but kept everyones eyes glued to the stage. I couldn’t picture a better band to open for Afternoon Naps than Very Truly Yours, playing sugar-coated twee tunes for the entire set. Lastly, Afternoon Naps always put on a good show inducing extreme danciness to the crowd with tracks from both Parade and Sunbeamed. Check out some of the pictures and videos I got, I had just found my camera before the show so I was excited to get some shots. Jump for some photos and videos!

Afternoon Naps MySpace
Trouble Books MySpace
Very Truly Yours MySpace

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EMAIL: thenoiseis [AT]
If you are in a band or know a band you think I will like, shoot me an email. Just send me a link, artwork, and a short description of the music.




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