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COVER DESIGN BY TOM CARLSON


UPFRONT CHRIST COMMUNITY CHAPEL RELEASES ABUSE REPORT, PASTOR TOM RANDALL FORCED TO RESIGN OVER FAKE EMAILS Photo courtesy Justice for Sankey

PASTOR TOM RANDALL, THE subject of a Scene investigative story last week, has resigned from Christ Community Chapel (CCC), a nondenominational Christian church based in Hudson. A 27-page report produced by former FBI agent and current CCC member Suzanne Lewis-Johnson revealed that during her review of sexual abuse allegations at Sankey Samaritan Orphanage, the children’s home Randall founded in the Philippines, she discovered Randall had falsified an email corroborating his version of events. (This finding was consistent with the Truth Seeker blog, which has covered the Sankey case and reported on July 27 that Randall was likely “ghostwriting” under his supporters’ names.) Once Randall’s email falsification was discovered by CCC leadership, the church’s “elders” — its board of directors, essentially — asked that Randall tender his resignation on June 3 for his “clear violation of pastoral ethics.” Randall has not been on staff at CCC, in other words, for two months, a fact that CCC did not share with Scene during our reporting. On July 15, when Scene told CCC that we were working on a story about the case and requested an interview with Joe Coffey and Tom Randall, CCC’s Executive Director of Operations, Stacey DiNardo, told Scene that “it would be most productive to address you meeting with Joe and/or Tom after they learn the outcome of the review.” There was no indication that Randall was no longer on staff. Lewis-Johnson’s report was distributed on Tuesday, July 27. CCC lead pastor Joe Coffey told church members at a congregational meeting Sunday that the report was not a response to Scene’s article last week or coverage in the Akron Beacon-Journal Sunday, but rather was the fulfillment of a promise that the church made to its members back in September, 2018, to more thoroughly investigate the case. The report’s findings, while incomplete, were nevertheless an indictment of Randall’s account

and CCC’s wholesale adoption of it. Lewis-Johnson drew the same conclusion that local advocates have been pointing out for years: Randall’s statements about abuse at Sankey and events preceding and following his detention in the Philippines included “significant inconsistencies.” “CCC leadership simply regurgitated what Randall had said,” the report found, “and were inconsistent with the established record... For too long, church leadership’s belief in Randall was almost blind. As a result Randall’s spending and directives went essentially unchecked. Because he brought a reputation and significant assets to CCC, he essentially spent funds freely.” The report found, among other things, that while Randall and his nonprofit World Harvest Ministries were Sankey’s primary benefactors, Randall held no legal position at the orphanage. CCC, then, had no legal responsibility to pay for the legal representation and jail bonds of two Filipino workers — Toto Luchavez and Jake Luchavez, Tom Randall’s good friend and godson, respectively — who were accused of sexually abusing the orphans. The report found that despite the case’s dismissal in Filipino courts, abuse

likely occurred at Sankey. It also found that Randall was continuing to wire funds to an account in the Philippines accessible by Toto Luchavez. “That was inexcusable and indefensible,” Joe Coffey said at Sunday’s meeting. (Though evidently not grounds for dismissal. Revelations about Randall’s financial activity were reportedly made in “early 2019.” Randall wasn’t asked to resign until June, according to the report’s account.) At the Sunday meeting and in a recorded statement, Coffey apologized for using Randall as his primary source of information about the case. “Tom believed the Filipino workers were innocent, so I believed the Filipino workers were innocent,” he said. “I thought the review would bear that out. It didn’t. That means I made, and ultimately led many of you to make, the horrible mistake of discrediting an accuser. That was wrong, and I am really sorry.” Coffey said that CCC was now taking steps to reach out to the orphans, to apologize to them and “help them heal.” Additionally, the church would be working to develop more stringent protocols for their ministries around the world and assessing their policies at home to

ensure that children at CCC were safe and protected. He also said that the case had heightened CCC’s awareness of its own members who might be in need of healing and restoration after experiences with abuse. To that end, CCC would be setting up support groups, Coffey said. Several of the local advocates who have been sounding the alarm about the Sankey case attended the meeting Sunday and sat in the front row. One of them, Sarah Klingler, said on Twitter that they were “not impressed, in fact disgusted,” with Coffey’s remarks. “Why would you think survivors would want to come to your support groups?” She said. “You haven’t proven yourself safe.” In a written statement provided to Scene, Klingler said that while many important details were published in the internal review by Suzanne Lewis-Johnson, its scope was by no means wide enough. “She shared critical details about Toto and Jake, as well as Tom Randall himself,” she wrote, “but the leadership was not held accountable in this report.” That includes Coffey, who in his recorded message apologized for using Randall as his primary source and for “blindly trusting Tom because of [their] history together.” But in correspondence with former CCC member Cari Gintz in 2018, Coffey strenuously and preemptively denied that precise charge. He claimed that his understanding of the case was not based on loyalty to Tom. Indeed, he said he’d spent “hundreds of hours” personally reviewing the case. “And please do not say to yourself, ‘Oh, Joe’s loyalty has clouded his judgement’ until you have spent the hundreds of hours I have spent with this and until you talk to the one person who is right here who knows more than anyone else about [the various aspects of the case, i.e. Tom]. Google Joe Mauk and then google Tom Randall and tell me who has been maligned. We haven’t said | clevescene.com | August 7 - 13, 2019

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UPFRONT or written anything about Joe Mauk since my first blog back in 2013 which I took down within the week. Joe Mauk has posted literally hundreds of things about Tom (including making fun of Tom riding a unicycle for ministry) and about me and about the church to try to discredit us. Miriam posted that we sit under a ‘glittering dome of lies.’ What lies? What is a single lie we have told about any of this?” Klingler said that one of the missing aspects of Suzanne LewisJohnson’s review was the way that individuals from the community were treated when they approached CCC leaders with concern. “They were belittled at best and vilified and spiritually harmed at worst,” she wrote. Advocate Amanda Crist said that she was satisfied with many aspects of the report, especially the detailed explanation of the ways abuse works and methods for safe disclosure. She also appreciated Lewis-Johnson’s investigative rigor in uncovering the wire transfers that went directly

from CCC (via Randall) to Toto Luchavez. “Overall, I think Suzanne has given a baseline of facts in the Philippines that indicate we need to examine this further,” Crist wrote in an email to Scene. “I applaud the church for turning over key pieces of information which they could have withheld. I do not believe she examined the full extent of the church’s role and I do believe there’s more that’s hidden. Other orphanages connected to the church should also be reviewed. GRACE should be brought in to examine this further and to provide recommendations.” Cari Gintz, for her part, called the presentation of the review a “PR stunt.” She said a friend of hers had predicted that Tom would be thrown under the bus so that the rest of CCC could escape unscathed. She also said that Coffey’s use of the word “accusers” instead of “victims” to describe the orphans in the Philippines was a subtle but important distinction. Gintz, Crist and Klingler all cited the fact that the accusations of sexual grooming against Tom Randall by the Mauk daughters — Priscilla Leighton and Miriam Bongolan — were not addressed in the report.

Leighton told Scene she was “deeply disappointed” that the review failed to address these allegations, which have now been published in two venues. “CCC has not acknowledged my existence,” she said. “Perhaps they will claim ignorance yet again.” Klingler said she thought a new program for abuse survivors was the wrong approach. “I think the church needs a time of repentance, introspection and a serious deep-dive look into what kind of toxic culture allowed these events to transpire,” she wrote. “Had they simply listened to concerns of multiple individuals over all these years, there would be no need to even be having this discussion today.” — SAM ALLARD

Cleveland Heights Pro-City Manager Group Gets Funding Boost from International Association The Cleveland Heights political action committee dedicated to retaining the city manager form of government will receive up to $25,000 in matching funds from a global city management

organization. The International City/County Management Association (ICMA) has pledged to donate up to $25,000 to the Cleveland Heights Citizens for Good Government, a group created to squash the citizen initiative to change the form of government. The news of the matching donation came to light in late July when an exchange over NextDoor lead to a release of documents received through a public records request. These documents contained the exchange between ICMA and the deputy treasure of Citizens for Good Government, Mike Gaynier. Cleveland Heights City Manager Tanisha Briley was cc-ed in the email, making the email a public record. Briley has a prominent role within the ICMA network where she serves as an board member of ICMA-RC, the retirement corporation wing of the organization. Briley was also a featured panelist at at-least one ICMA conference. In a city council meeting following the exposure of the news regarding the donation, Cleveland Heights council members, most of whom have donated to the procity manager group, agreed not to adopt the revised version of the city charter. Over 20 residents attended

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| clevescene.com | August 7 - 13, 2019


the meeting and provided comments on the topic, including several that referenced the ICMA donation. Mallory McMaster, a resident and small business owner, told Scene that she is aghast at the ICMA funding. “It’s disappointing that the group that keeps telling us that it’s worried that the election of a strong mayor opens us up to partisan influence is the same group expecting $25,000 from an interest group,” McMaster said. In the past several years, ICMA has supported political action committees dedicated to attaining or maintaining the city management form of government. It is unclear how much the organization has given to other PACs in cities with a similar population size and organizational structure as Cleveland Heights. The organization did not respond to a request for comment. — HANNAH LEBOVITS

Gov. DeWine Says Ohio Can’t Find Execution Drugs Ohio officials are unable to secure the drugs necessary to put inmates to death via lethal injection, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said last week, and must cease using them or risk being unable to buy the drugs for other purposes. Companies that sell the drugs have balked at the state using them for executions without telling them they were doing so and have threatened to cut off all sales to Ohio if executions using the substances continue, according to a report by The Columbus Dispatch. That could impact entities such as the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, the Department of Youth Services, the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services and others. “If pharmaceutical companies discontinue supplying medications to the state of Ohio for these populations that are currently being served, it would put tens of thousands of our citizens at risk,” DeWine told the Dispatch. “Drugs they need for their health will be put in peril.” A federal judge in Dayton expressed concerns that the state’s three-drug execution cocktail is unconstitutional due to the risk of extreme suffering it can cause. The first drug in the cocktail, midazolam, can cause sensations similar to drowning, triggering an inmate’s lungs to fill with fluid. DeWine earlier this year delayed three executions as the state searched for a new lethal injection method. The next inmate scheduled to die

is Warren Keith Henness, whose execution DeWine delayed in January. Henness was scheduled to be put to death in six weeks, but was given a new date, May 14, 2020, as of Thursday. Despite the federal judge’s ruling, DeWine and state attorneys have contended that using midazolam isn’t cruel and unusual punishment. They pointed to a ruling by Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch arguing that since hanging wasn’t considered “cruel and unusual” punishment when the Constitution was drafted, pain and suffering alone can’t be used to block putting someone to death. The dearth of drugs available for executions makes the legal battle moot, at least for now. DeWine said he would leave a decision about other execution methods — including the electric chair or firing squads — up to the Ohio legislature. — NICK SWARTSELL

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n i a r T m o r F s e l a T Cleveland’s once, current, and probably future trash avenue Photo by Vince Grzegorek

By Vince Grzegorek

A

FTER THREE HOURS OF canvassing the wilds of Train Avenue as part of the regional RiverSweep day cleanup efforts around the Cuyahoga River corridor in May, I heaved two final garbage bags into the back of an overflowing trailer to join their distended brethren, bulging with soiled clothing, diapers, cardboard, used condoms and plastics of every shape, size, and function produced — judging by the labels of fast food wrappers for long abandoned menu items — during the past decade. Two other trailers made laps from east to west and back, joined by two industrial Republic services garbage trucks, collecting regenerating mountains of bags as the volunteers — some 75 adults and 75 students participating in service days — ventured off below bridges, over railroad tracks and into the weed-forested hillsides to pick up trash with double-gloved hands, piles evaporating and being replaced within minutes. Larger items — your appliances, old box TVs,

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construction debris, tires, furniture, mattresses, shopping carts, scrap metal — waited on the side of the road beneath signs posted at regular intervals reading: “DUMPING IS ILLEGAL; VIOLATORS WILL BE PROSECUTED.” In all, 12 tons of garbage would be collected that day along Train, in addition to some 250 tires. Peeling off both layers of gloves — a latex set on the bottom, outdoor workman gloves on top, standard issue from the organizers once you signed a waiver — I felt that yes, there was an absurd amount of garbage that was physical evidence supporting the 2.5-mile street’s reputation as Cleveland’s most notorious dumping ground, but if this was basically what had accumulated since last year’s RiverSweep, save for anything already scooped up that had been blocking traffic, it was better than I had expected. My naivete was almost immediately corrected. How’d you guys fare out there,

| clevescene.com | August 7 - 13, 2019

a burly man straight out of Sons of Anarchy central casting asked after getting out of the truck and introducing himself — Jeff Goforth, a volunteer who regularly works with Dave Reuse at the Metro West Community Development Corporation. Not bad, I replied. Yeah, we let it go for a couple of weeks since you guys were coming down, he said. Huh? Yeah, we’re down here basically every Sunday filling up two trailers, so we skipped a couple of weeks. Reuse, a former cop whose title at Metro West is Greenspace and Graffiti Coordinator, essentially a modern-day Sisyphus tasked not with a boulder but with trash, elaborated a few weeks later. Metro West services Clark-Fulton, the Stockyards and Brooklyn Centre, areas in which dumping by individuals, contractors and companies has long existed at plague-like levels. “Our service area is from West

25th to about Denison and West 90th, and it’s a lot, between alleys and vacant lots,” he said. “One year, I dropped off a truckload and a guy said, ‘Congratulations, you’re over a million.’ A million what, I asked. ‘A million pounds of garbage for the year.’” That’s just one anecdote of the endless supply he’s got primed and ready from 10 years on the job, and many more before that organizing RiverSweep since it started 30 years ago, to paint a picture for anyone uninitiated to the grim, dangerous hamster-wheel world of dumping. Another... “I got a call one day that 47th Place was blocked,” Reuse said. “It was about 2 p.m. We go down there and clear it. My buddy calls after that and says, ‘You a bit lazy today there, pal?’ What do you mean? ’47th Place. You haven’t gotten to it yet today.’ I told him we just left there, it’s cleared. He laughed. ‘Well then it’s blocked again.’ It was 4:30.” But, for all that Reuse deals with — “I had to pull my gun on a guy


would also be true of every previous administration, which is how we got to where we are.

*** THE HISTORY Train Avenue has existed for 150 years essentially as it exists now — a location for Clevelanders to dump garbage and through which to move quickly between the handful of neighborhoods it connects. It sits atop, and in other parts parallel to, what was once Walworth Run, a tributary of the Cuyahoga River whose origins were near West 65th St. and Clark Ave. and whose endpoint was three miles to the northeast. While the Cuyahoga has long been the dividing line between the east and west sides of Cleveland, it was Walworth Run that was considered the boundary between the town’s two sides in the 19th century and formed the southern border of Ohio City before the city was

and into the Run everything from table scraps to ashes to tin cans to broken glass. To alleviate flooding in the Isle of Cuba — that west side Czech community located just south of the Run — the City built storm sewers that channeled rain water into it. Eventually, the Walworth Run became so swollen and polluted that, by the early 1870s, nearby residents, whose lands had by this time been annexed to the City of Cleveland, were clamoring for City Hall to do something about it.” In exquisitely appropriate Cleveland fashion, it took two more decades of complaints, and court battles, before the city did anything, finally ceding to resident protest by 1897 and finding the money necessary to construct a sewer completely enclosing Walworth Run, a monumental engineering feat completed in 1903. Following the “transformation of the picturesque brook into a foul-smelling, litter-clogged dank body of water,” the combined

because Walworth Run’s original watershed of 2,125 acres has become a sewershed of 4,355 acres thanks to development and impervious manmade structures. As part of the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District’s Project Clean Lake — a $3 billion, 25year program to abide by a federal consent decree to reduce sewage overflow — the Westerly Tunnel is under construction to alleviate pressure on the Walworth Run combined sewer. NEORSD estimates the new system will reduce overflow from 330 million gallons a year to just 15 million.

*** THE GARBAGE Once the sewer system was installed, a road called Walworth Ave. was paved, parts of it eventually being abandoned, and parts of it being renamed Train Ave., with the remaining section of Walworth Photo Courtesy Cleveland Memory Project

one time at 56th and Denison. I was videotaping him dumping, he picked up a 2x4 and came after me.” — it is the topic of Train Avenue that immediately saddles his voice with frustration and exasperation. “We went down there the Sunday [after Riversweep] and cleaned up again,” he said both after and before a sigh. “And I went back a couple of days later and there were six or seven piles.” He will call the city occasionally for cleanups of grander scales, but both because the response time isn’t exactly swift and because of the regularity with which garbage is deposited, it’s simply easier for him to deal with it himself. Enforcement against illegal dumping is sparse, prosecutions rare. The Cleveland police department is short staffed, and calls for dumping are among the lowest in priority, meaning someone might show up to take a report six hours after a call. Unless you spot a license plate, good luck tracking

Scranton Heights 1910

down the offender, especially when folks obscure or remove plates before unloading a dump truck, quickly and while still moving, and exiting within minutes. With only three working cameras to deploy in targeted enforcement zones, Train’s largely ignored in favor of more residential areas. The street — dark, largely uninhabited, equal parts industrial and vacant except for the far western tip — is not only an easy target but doesn’t have hordes of angry residents banging on the doors of City Hall for a remedy. In fact, it doesn’t seem like the city cares at all. “That’s putting it politely,” Reuse said. Which is probably true, and

annexed by Cleveland in 1854. Historical accounts say the “bucolic” slice of nature that served as an open space for residents along the “pastoral channel” was, like many other waterways at the time, a casualty of booming industry and population. In other words: pollution. From Historical Cleveland: “Culverts and bridges built over it by the city on occasion collapsed, or were washed away in storms, spilling stones, iron, and other materials into it. Slaughterhouses, breweries and oil refineries, which located along the Run near the Big Four railroad tracks, used it as an open sewer for their industrial waste. Residents did much the same, dumping down the hillsides

sewer — 16 feet in diameter, wide enough for a train to pass through — alleviated many of the issues, and still operates today. With a divider separating sewage from stormwater, the former originally heading to Lake Erie before the advent of sewage treatment facilities and the latter being directed into the river, excessive rainfall brought a new if lesser problem when the two commingled over the barrier and millions of gallons of untreated sewage flowed into the Cuyahoga. Today, heavy rainfall brings an average of 43 annual discharges from the Walworth Run sewer into the river, pouring some 330 million gallons of overflow into water, levels exacerbated over time

running from West 44th St. west, jutting north around Menlo Park and parallel to I-90 before turning southeast again and terminating out at West 65th. As for how early Train became Cleveland’s Trash Avenue, as the Cleveland Press dubbed it in 1980, the answer is both clear and not. Scant historical record detailing dumping or trash on the street exists in the PD or Press archives before the 1940s. With the number of businesses and residential homes located on the stretch in the early 1900s, it’s likely that the sewer and freshly paved street ushered in an era of, if not pristine neighborhood living, something approaching it for awhile, but it doesn’t appear to have | clevescene.com | August 7 - 13, 2019

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lasted long. A 1943 Plain Dealer article relayed the cleanup plans of area middle schoolers along the entire east to west run. “The appearance of Train Avenue in the neighborhood of the school has been bothering the children ever since the scrap drive last fall when the area was found to be a fertile source of metal,â€? it read. “Children in the neighborhood are fearful of the multitude of rats which are attracted by the litter dumped in many places along the high bank.â€? Litter progressed to heavy dumping in the next two decades. A Cleveland Press article in 1966 detailed the plight of car-strippers with a photo capturing two burnedout autos, one overturned, with the caption: “The bridge under West 41st St. also is a popular haven for car-strippers who apparently had enough time to do a thorough job on these autos without interruption from police, or anyone else.â€? By then, today’s familiar refrain was already being sung: “Dumping is forbidden by city law, as posted frequently along the street,â€? the Press noted. “Area businessmen are sympathetic to the problems police face in catching the culprits. To do so would require full-time surveillance. An almost predictable timetable is followed by the car strippers. Cars are driven, pushed or towed to the sites each weekend [on Train Ave.]. They are stripped of every removable part. The shells are left. City crews are called in. By the next weekend the area is almost cleared. And it begins again.â€? A Press photo from May 10, 1978 captured what a mudslide might look like were it carrying trash, spilling down a hill and literally pouring out into the road. “The once scenic stretch of road now bears a closer resemblance to a junk heap,â€? the caption read, noting that the Cleveland Service Department promised it would be abated. Following up two weeks later, the Press quoted the city’s waste commissioner saying the area had been cleaned but that “he doubted the area would stay clean since it is a favorite spot for illegal dumping.â€? As you know, it did not stay clean, with the Press’s designation of Trash Avenue following in 1980, which preceded an impassioned if doomed streak of attention from city ofďŹ cials. Then service director Joseph Stamps called for a limit on private trash haulers to only operate in daylight

hours. There were calls for the police to once and ďŹ nally give the road more attention and a letter to the editor in the Press from then Ward 5 councilman Lester McFadden lambasting then mayor George Voinovich. “All my efforts to solve the problem have been futile,â€? McFadden wrote. “The mayor toured Ward 5 on Oct. 2 and Train Avenue was shown to him. On at least two occasions, priority efforts in my ward were submitted to the mayor’s ofďŹ ce with Train Avenue high on the list. It is a shame and disgrace that residents using Train Avenue to go to and from downtown must be subjected to this eyesore. It is also a shame that the residents and business places on Train Avenue have to live with this mess.â€? And, yes, dear reader, live with it they did. The frequency of stories and headlines ebbing and owing as the street became, and then was abandoned as, a hobby horse in various years by local newsrooms, but always coming around to an undeniable fact — nothing had changed. It was forgotten and ignored. A 1987 Plain Dealer column relayed the sad tale of residents who called over the course of an entire week for police to deal with a car that on day one had been stolen and dumped, by day three had been stripped, and by day seven had been burned. “It’s not still there, is it?â€? a police spokesperson told the reporter more than a week after, promising to get a crew out there when the answer proved to be yes. Tom Benedict, one of just two members of the Cleveland police department’s litter detail in 1991, basically shrugged his shoulders when telling the PD what an overmatched battle he and his colleague faced throughout the city. Suffering under the same difďŹ culties faced by police before them, all of 257 citations were issued the entire year with just 18 arrests. A slight improvement on Train was noted, with Benedict giving credit to the efforts of the local redevelopment association and groups who “had picked the area clean by hand.â€? Which is essentially how it’s been for decades — ineffective ofďŹ cial enforcement when there’s enforcement, general decline, and yearly cleanups by volunteers and nearby residents to ďŹ ll the void, because they care, and because few others seem to. It’s a sentiment no better summed up than by Louis Zelazo, a retired and disabled truck driver who lived off Clark and West 54th in 1976 who, while talking to


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the Plain Dealer about a cleanup effort he organized on Train near the site of a murder that year, said, “The ultimate goal I’d like to see is everyone going out and trying to save their neighborhood,” he said. “I’ve lived in this neighborhood all my life and I don’t want to move to Parma. I want to live here.”

*** THE BODIES On Aug. 20, 2018, a security guard called 911 and told dispatchers a resident in his complex named Michael Thompson wanted to speak to police. He could not tell them why. When they arrived, Thompson, a 64-year-old former truck driver suffering from an undisclosed illness, told them that twenty years ago he had killed a prostitute and buried her body off Train Ave. and Richner Ave. just east of West 41st St. Investigators from the FBI and the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office joined police as Thompson led them to the shallow grave. If the ever-present detritus is the most common visible sign of minor crime on Train, the bodies are the more infrequent yet serious reminders of the gruesome history of the street. It was almost exactly four years earlier to the day when the body of 31-year-old Michaela Diemer was recovered from a field near the same intersection in August of 2014. Ronald Hillman, a 47-year-old who worked with Diemer at Progressive

Field through Minutemen staffing, had raped and murdered her before dumping her body. After her family had filed a missing persons report, someone spotted Hillman, who was on parole from a previous rape conviction, driving her car. He confessed to the crime and directed police to the body before they even completed the drive downtown after picking him up. While in those cases suspects have been caught and sentenced to life in prison, the case of Christine Shook remains open with a reward offered by Crime Stoppers. Shook, a 23-year-old dancer who worked at a bar on Clark, was discovered dead, wearing only a black jacket and white socks, near the tracks on Train on Jan 4, 1990 by some children who were collecting cans. The coroner reported she died from blows from a blunt object to her head, chest, and extremities — in other words, a vicious, grisly full-body beating — and that she had been dead for more than a week before being found. And where there were memorials and remembrances in modern cases, there was that plus vociferous outrage and mobilized protest in 1976 after one of the city’s most brutal and unsettling murders. It’s a case that has evaporated into the backpages of Cleveland’s memory, but it’s one that at the time struck a citywide nerve, even during a decade as bloody and tumultuous as the bombing era of 1970s Cleveland. On a Saturday in late June 1976, the body of a young girl was found behind a vacant building that was once part of Standard Brewing’s mini empire between 58th and 61st

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Photo Courtesy Cleveland Memory Project

FEATURE on Train Ave. Once a humming cog in one of Cleveland’s last independent brewery operations of that era, the building had been abandoned, though technically owned by a local wrecking and excavation company, and was the scene of vandalism, drug deals, drug use and enough untoward behavior that neighbors had long lobbied for intervention from the city. The body was quickly identified as that of 8-year-old Karen Kollar, who lived with her family on West 47th St. Police said, “she was thrown from the roof of the three-story brick building and landed on a canopy over tracks of an unused railroad spur,” according to the Plain Dealer report that week. “Her body was then thrown again from the canopy to the ground where she was bludgeoned on the head with stone slabs.” Four suspects, three of whom were neighbors of the Kollars, were arrested the following week — Dallas Stuckey, 19; Guy Frehmeyer, 18; and David Zytowieki, 21; and Susan Zytowieki, 16. Kollar, police said, met her untimely and gruesome fate, after telling David that his young wife had missed an appointment with her juvenile court probation officer. The foursome, in retribution, kidnapped the girl and brutally beat her to death. Picketers lined the street in front of the scene of the crime for weeks after, loosely organized as the Brewery Group, collecting signatures for a petition to have the building torn down and soliciting donations for her family. Then councilwoman Mary Rose Oakar and Mayor Perk’s office resisted, hoping instead to find a new tenant for the building to inject business into the deserted stretch. The Plain Dealer’s editorial board sided with officials, cautioning residents and picketers to “exercise patience,” but lamented that city inspectors repeatedly ignored their complaints until belatedly citing the owner for failing to secure the building. “While this action is welcome,” the PD wrote the Tuesday after the murder in June 1976, “it is nothing short of disgraceful that it did not come sooner, that it had to be prompted by one of the most vicious crimes in the city’s history. Where were the inspectors prior to Karen’s death? The condition of the building

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was common knowledge in the neighborhood. City Hall, too, should have been aware of the building’s condition. Not very long ago it was proposed there that the city lease and use the vacant structure for a manpower training center.” Indeed, in June of 1975, Cleveland City Council’s finance committee tabled plans to use the building after discovering it was, to put it lightly, unsuitable. “It looks like a bomb hit it,” then councilman Dennis Kunicich said while asking for the city’s building department to do a full inspection of the building. That did not happen until a year later, days after Kollar was killed. If the common threads aren’t readily apparent, they should be: vacant and abandoned homes and buildings, vicious assaults and rapes where the victim is a usually a young woman, oftentimes defenseless, oftentimes of lesser means, oftentimes working on the fringes of the economy and society. And outrage that flares up and inevitably settles down as the cycle repeats. Because nothing has changed over the decades on the street, essentially. Every era has its blaring headline news of dead woman, and dead bodies tied to drug deals, with the occasional bizarre deaths — like the weekend of the “West Side Sniper,” who killed one on Storer Ave. and shot another on Train Ave. in 1984 but was never caught — or bizarre blotter item, like the man who left two bags of heroin and cocaine worth $2 million on the side of Train that same year — dropped in between the dumping, arsons, robberies and prostitution arrests that have clogged Cleveland police dispatch logs on the street since… well, forever. It’s a familiar, notorious and common nexus point. As a retired local cop said in the book Cleveland Cops: The Real Stories They Tell Each Other, while remembering a robbery on the near west side and their pursuit of the perpetrators: “We drove down Train Ave. because we figured that was the route the robbers would take. We get on, and the robbers go flying by us.”

*** THE DOGS Local filmmaker Jeff Theman was adding another tattoo to his collection from Sean Kelly one day in 2014 when Kelly started talking about dead dogs. He’d found them, more than one, quite a few in fact, on Train Ave. “[Sean’s] an artist, and he lives

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Train Ave 1963

close to Train, so he’d walk down there, he was telling me,” Theman said. “He’d try to find things to reclaim for his artwork, or just walking his dogs, and one day he just stumbled on this bag, opened it, and it was a dead dog.” “There’s just so much garbage down there,” Kelly said. “Your curiosity gets piqued and you want to know what’s in those bags.” Theman, who directed Guilty Till Proven Innocent, a documentary on breed specific dog legislation, was immediately interested and looking for his next project, so he soon went down to wander Train with Kelly, filming for a possible movie. “We started going out together and one day we found three bags in one day,” he said. “Just one day. We found two that were fresh and one that was just bones.” Each had a passion for dogs and the pairing spun off two artistic projects on the topic. Kelly, after calling the APL numerous times upon discovering dead canines — along with, he said, dead goats and dead roosters — got frustrated with what he thought was a lack of compassion and action on their part. “I’d call the humane investigator and then feel like I was getting the run-around,” he said. “They were dumped right there at Train and Wiley, right in their backyard, and I felt like I wasn’t being taken seriously. I had asked them to put up cameras at certain spots where I was consistently finding dogs and I wasn’t getting any help.” He also wanted a modicum of proper decency for the deceased pups — more than 20 in all, he estimates

— many of which were clearly abused. So he’d take them to get cremated, which is all the APL would be doing anyway, if the city didn’t find them first and simply toss them in the landfill. At some point, Kelly started incorporating the dogs’ cremated ashes into his paintings. “My first thing, it wasn’t art,” Kelly said. “It was first, you find a dead dog, and you cry. You sit and cry. I would just cry for a long time. It wasn’t about the art. It was about how can I give them one last bout of respect and compassion. That’s why I’d have them cremated. Some of the skeletal remains I had made into a box, a little way of paying respect to them.” And it wasn’t all about campaigning against the abuse of dogs in underground dogfighting rings, which is and has been an ongoing issue in Northeast Ohio, as a Plain Dealer story detailed in Sept. 2018. A vice detective on the beat for five years told the paper it was a growing problem and that Train Avenue had become a regular spot for disposing of dead pitbulls because the street was “a dumping ground for everything.” Kelly was certainly aware of that, but “the thing is people get real pissed off about the dogs, but they instantly go to one place — these people are abusing dogs,” he said. “That’s definitely happening, but at the same time people go down and bury their dogs because they don’t know what else to do or they lack the resources. A lot of people don’t know what to do, and in that particular area… it’s not an affluent area.” At the same time, Theman had


put together a trailer for his next project, which he debuted alongside Kelly’s art at the Derek Hess Gallery in 2018 in an exhibition titled The Dogs of Train Avenue. The most recent, updated trailer was released in early July and Theman hopes to have the full film released later this year. “Every big city has a Train Avenue,” Theman said. “I just don’t accept we can’t do anything. And for people in the city, either they know about Train Avenue [for the garbage] or they don’t know about it all. It’s like the city’s given up.” “I was told by people that eventually it’ll be cleaned up,” Kelly said, “but it doesn’t stop unless you take some steps. I had always said I didn’t want to find a dead body down there. I’ve been down there at 2 in the morning [in the area] where [Michaela Diemer’s] body was found dumped, and I always thought that’s one of the places they should put cameras. You can come up from above and go back down and go up and leave and no one knows the wiser. We can’t have that. It’s a dirty street, but the thing is it’s a good street.”

you like. But it’s art. And Train represents one of the broadest and most popular canvasses of the past 40 years. “It’s like a museum that’s open to the public, essentially 24/7, to view, and if you’re in-the-know, you can go whenever you want,” said Bob Peck, a Cleveland artist who ran down the abridged history of tagging on the street for Scene. It began with the Fun Wall on 27th and Queen, just around the corner from, in terms of notable modern day landmarks, Porco

cement until it was eventually completely torn down four or five years ago.) Graffiti’s ever-evolving, everupdating, ever-adding, self-policed, self-curated gallery world exists under a set of unwritten but nevertheless semi-codified rules. “The biggest thing is, like every other graffiti destination, is to have respect for it,” Peck, who during his time on Train had his brushes with packs of wild dogs, junkies, and an encounter with a man who claimed to have been the one to burn the Photo Courtesy Sean Kelly

*** THE ART One of the reasons Kelly and others believe it’s a good street is for one of the reasons that a casual observer, and the local CDC, might believe it’s in bad shape: the graffiti. On RiverSweep day in May, I watched as a volunteer opened the back of a van, handing out gallons of paint and rollers to an awaiting mob of high schoolers on the edge of the tracks thrilled to have lucked out with the task of painting cement walls rather than scavenging for rusted metal or rotting refuse on nearby hillsides, ravines and under bridges. The graffiti remediation portion of RiverSweep paled in scope compared to the garbage collection — 30 gallons of paint were used along all 10 service areas, including Train Ave., according to Canalway Partners — and the targets along Train were simply the most visible ones. But to consider graffiti on cement pillars beneath bridges and on the side of the embankments of a train track worthy or necessary of remediation is confusing to those who know, practice and appreciate graffiti art. (That would include councilman Matt Zone, who proudly told Scene he and his 1980s-era breakdancing group, Project V, would tag along Train.) It’s art. Perhaps not the art

an artist’s last works.” And the graffiti on Train, in terms of concerned remediation, which he believes is centered on its reputation as vandalism and a lack of appreciation for the art, doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to him. “From what I know working with public arts groups and neighborhoods in the last decade, they are more concerned when someone’s got a point to prove or trying to make a name for themselves, grabbing a can of black and writing their name on every storefront for a block,” he said. “And there’s also this thing where people think it’s just vagrants or ignorant kids running around. ‘Why aren’t these people in art school?’ Well, a lot of them are, and a lot of them have real art jobs. They just have a passion for the culture.” And when the culture disappears, as it does from time to time with gallons of paint on cleanup days or in preparation efforts prior to the arrival of large-scale events in Cleveland, history gets lost. “[When things get painted over] it sucks,” Peck said. “When they had the RNC and went down the RTA lines and graded out a long stretch of the west side, we lost decades of history, stuff we can never get back. Even commuters afterward were in disbelief, saying they couldn’t believe they did that and now there are just gray walls. The Train thing is funny, because there’s a school [Menlo Park Academy, off Walworth Ave.] where there was a bunch of graffiti and when they made it a school they kept a lot of it — inside, on conference room doors — and the kids love it. That’s cool shit, and they learn a little about the culture.”

*** Dogs of Train Avenue

Lounge and Tiki Room. “The Fun Wall was an abandoned building that had been torn down and just the foundation walls were left,” Peck said. “You had enough space — about 100 yards on one wall, 50 yards on the back — and people started painting there in the ’90s. By the late ’90s, what essentially happened, was it got too overcrowded and sort of touristy. So the whole Train Avenue thing kind of spun off from that, as people started looking around down the hill and around the corner for someone to go and that connected and led to other locations.” (The Fun Wall would evolve into a DIY skateboarding park with supporters bringing in commercial

building down that became the Fun Wall, said. “A lot of people have this misconception that graffiti artists don’t have respect. And a lot of people don’t understand the culture, or can’t read the words, and don’t get it. But most graffiti artists aren’t going to write on a church or a car. At the same time I’ve seen people go down there with a can of spray paint and think it’s just a free-for-all. No. You take your spot, and you paint only where you know you can. There are various rules and regulations, like one that if you can’t burn it, don’t paint over it. Basically, if you’re not good enough to do better than the piece that’s already there, leave it alone. Or if it’s a memorial, or one of

THE FUTURE A little more than a decade ago, the city of Cleveland, along with the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency and Cuyahoga County, completed a study examining the feasibility of making Train Avenue a greenway. The proposed multi-purpose trail along the road would connect the Zone rec center with the Towpath Trail on Scranton. This pie-in-the-sky dream made a certain amount of sense at the time in 2008, as the city adopted a Master Bike Plan in 2007 and set its sights, in theory, on transportation planning geared toward bikers and pedestrians. The goals, laid out in the presentation, were to improve the aesthetics of the street, re-establish | clevescene.com | August 7 - 13, 2019

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FEATURE Train as a “community asset,” promote alternative transportation methods, and to improve connections between neighborhoods and other bike paths. In other ways, of course, it didn’t make sense. This was the year after the financial collapse, and whatever early appetite for redevelopment of west side neighborhoods that had been growing had stalled. Plus, construction of the greenway, including the necessary trailhead land acquisition, was estimated at some $3.4 million, and other projects over the past ten years — the Red Line Greenway, the Lorain Avenue Bikeway — gathered official and private support, along with funding. The Train Avenue Greenway is still listed on the city’s Master Bike Plan, but what could be a “funky urban parkway with great views of bridges,” as then Stockyard Redevelopment Organization Executive Director Al Brazynetz told the Plain Press while community meetings were going on in 2008, something like the Dequindre Cut in Detroit or the Grand Rounds Scenic Bikeway in Minneapolis, remains a pipe dream. One that some, like Matt Zone, whose district includes a tiny slice of Train and who was part of the 2008 feasibility study, think would be nice but far, far down the line. (The city of Cleveland, naturally, did not respond to requests for interviews on the topic.) The challenge, as the study laid out, in transforming “what is now a sewer and dumping ground into a parkway” involves not only the makeup of the stretch — 48% industrial, 43% green or open space, 9% residential — but the fact that those numbers haven’t changed much. But that’s exactly the reason some folks think there is hope, folks like former councilman Joe Cimperman, who was also part of the study. “I wonder how soon after this story developers will start talking about the street again,” he said. Perhaps, because as development in Detroit Shoreway and Ohio City pushes south past Bridge to Lorain and beyond, and development from MetroHealth and in Clark-Fulton pushes north toward Lorain, and development in Tremont continues to max out, there are few open options left to fill in, Train being one of them. The City Planning Commission seems to know this and has prepared zoning in advance to help test the waters and draw interested parties. Two years ago sections of Train

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around the Fairmount Creamery apartment complex near Willey and Train, whose construction and tenancy showed there was demand in the area, were upzoned from industrial to semi-industrial, a designation that allows residential units, and the maximum building heights were elevated to either 115 feet or 175 feet tall, depending on the plot.

*** THE PRESENT Human beings are disgusting. And lazy. And cheap. Which is a recipe that, on a stretch of pockmarked asphalt two and a half miles long with no one really paying attention, has proven unbeatable for a century. Dumping is a problem in other areas, and has been throughout Cleveland’s history, thanks to Cleveland-level city services, cratering economic decades, garbage strikes, shifting populations and neighborhood evolution. Some Cleveland Press and Plain Dealer archive stories detailing garbage woes of eras past include photos that could not be mistaken as anything else but landfills but instead are patches of vacant lots, oftentimes mere blocks from huge apartment buildings or nestled in otherwise thriving communities, where residents and contractors have deposited tons, and tons, of trash. But Train remains the undefeated champion, in pure volume and years. Cleveland police Sgt. Andy Ezzo, also the officer in charge of the Cuyahoga County Environmental Task Force, was not available for an interview but did respond to some questions in writing through a spokesperson on the topic. “Dumping on Train is not different than any other area according to law,” he said. “We investigate a dumping case on Train Ave. as if it were any other location. We collect evidence,

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look for cameras to collect video and check for witnesses.” But, “one of our most difficult issues on Train is the inability to mount cameras. Our cameras use batteries for power and since Train is such a highly driven street, the camera batteries would run down too quickly.” “Dumping affects a whole community,” he said. “It is something no one wants to see, as it promotes future dumping and leads to infestations of rodents and insects. Dumping is a felony that carries a 2 to 4-year sentence and/or a $10,000 to $25,000 fine. However, without the assistance of the community, it makes it very difficult to get results. Witnesses can call 216-664-DUMP or 311 when they locate a dump. However, if they see it occurring, they should call 911 and report it immediately.” Reuse understands Ezzo’s predicament. After all, they’re fighting the same battle with the same bad odds, watching the same piles build up by dump trucks trying to undercut the competition by skipping a trip to the dump where fees can run $50 to $60 a pound and instead depositing their contents for free on Train. “I’ve been fighting for more cameras for years,” Reuse said. “They only have three now, and they move from place to place, and one time when they put a camera off Denison it was damaged so badly it was completely broken. I give people my number, because dispatch takes too long. I’ll call the commander directly. And when people are caught, like a guy who’d dumped dozens of times before finally being identified, Reuse feels like they get off light. “He was sentenced to a whole bunch of community service hours,” Reuse said. “He didn’t serve them. We followed his case. He didn’t serve his hours.” And not everyone wants to be a Good Samaritan.

“You need to permit police to do the job,” Reuse said. “Get more police, so you’re not running from call to call to call, because these are not high priority, and you’re not going to have time to look for a dumper. They can encourage people to be witnesses, but a lot of times people don’t want retaliation, so it’s, ‘I didn’t see nothing.’” They found four dead dogs on cleanup day in May, and they must have been freshly dumped, because Reuse said they hadn’t been there just the day before. One or two years prior, however, he found a live one. He’d seen the dog over the course of the three months, he said, here and there along Train, circling back to the same spots once Reuse started leaving food out for it. But he hadn’t seen it for a couple of days. On cleanup day someone called him and said there was a dead dog on a mattress. He didn’t think anything of it — this was common, after all — so he went out with his truck, prepared to scoop up the carcass. But the dog moved as he got closer. “It was completely infested with maggots, its whole body” Reuse said. “She was alive, but barely.” He took her to Gateway Animal Clinic where his girlfriend worked. It needed a lot of help, but they slowly nursed her back to health with the financial assistance of the Dick Goddard Foundation, the legendary local weatherman’s nonprofit that helps rehab abused animals and fund low-cost care. Eventually the dog returned to health and was adopted, one of the few happy stories Reuse has in those stuffed memory banks, and one that gets him choked up years later. “We named her RiverSweep,” he said.

vgrzegorek@clevescene.com t@vincethepolack


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Join SCENE for our Leinenkugel Friday Summer Bar Tour! Catch us at a different location from 6-8 pm every Friday all summer long! Grab a pic with the promo team and enjoy an ice cold Summer Shandy!

See You: This Friday Aug. 9 Wild Eagle (downtown) & Paradise (Euclid) Next Friday Aug. 16 Boneyard & Briarwood

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GET OUT everything you should do this week

Brian Wilson plays Beach Boys hits with a little help from the Cleveland Orchestra. See: Sunday.

WED

08/07

FAMILY FUN

Cuyahoga County Fair To call the Cuyahoga County Fair a local tradition would be an understatement given that it’s now in its 123rd year. This year’s incarnation will feature the Swifty Swine Pig Races, midway rides and three nights of fireworks. Up-and-coming country singer Ashley McBryde is slated to perform, and there will be truck racing and a demolition derby. The fair runs through Aug. 11. Check the website for hours and ticket prices. (Jeff Niesel) 19201 East Bagley Rd., Middleburg Heights, 440- 243-0090, cuyfair. com. THEATER

Disney’s The Lion King Some 90 million people around the world have seen Disney’s long-running musical The Lion King. The play has won six Tony Awards, and it brings to life the story of a lion and the cub who’ll

inherit his father’s kingdom. The musical features the work of Tony Award-winning choreographer Garth Fagan and some terrific songs by Elton John and Tim Rice. Tonight’s performance takes place at 7:30 at the State Theatre. The play runs through Sept. 1, and tickets cost $49 to $199. (Niesel) 1519 Euclid Ave., 216-241-6000, playhousesquare.org.

audience of his career when he played at the 1970 Atlanta Pop Festival. Jimi Hendrix: Electric Church, which screens tonight at 7:30 at the Capitol Theatre as part of the Cleveland Cinemas Rock Doc Series, captures the performance with color, 16mm multi-camera footage. Consult the Cleveland Cinemas website for ticket prices. (Niesel) 1390 West 65th St., 216-651-7295, clevelandcinemas.com.

SPORTS

Indians vs. Texas Rangers When the Indians played the Texas Rangers earlier this season, they split a four-game series. A three-game series against the Rangers concludes today at 1:10 p.m. at Progressive Field. The Rangers have gotten better as the season has progressed and should be a formidable foe for the Tribe. Tickets start at $15. (Niesel) 2401 Ontario St., 216-420-4487, clevelandindians.com. FILM

Jimi Hendrix: Electric Church Guitarist Jimi Hendrix performed in front of the largest U.S.

SPOKEN WORD

Keep Talking Keep Talking is a monthly storytellers’ series that offers attendees the chance to grab a drink and a dog while listening to some of their Cleveland neighbors tell tall tales. Tonight’s show revolves around the theme, “Animals.” The hosts are Adam Richard and Zachariah Durr. The program starts at 8 p.m. sharp at the Happy Dog. Admission is $5. Want to be a storyteller at a future session? See details on the website. (Jeff Niesel) 5801 Detroit Ave., 216-651-9474, happydogcleveland.com.

MUSIC

Sunflower Bean You can now head to the Rock Hall plaza on Wednesday nights to see the “bands you need to hear right now.” Part of the Rock Hall’s Summer in the City series, the free concerts begin at 7 p.m. on the PNC main stage. There will be an onsite All-Access Cafe, a bar and food trucks, and the weather turns, portions (or the entirety) of the event may be moved inside, delayed, and/ or cancelled at the discretion of the Rock Hall. Today, indie rockers Indie rockers Sunflower Bean will perform with Dreemers, who’ll open the concert. (Niesel) 1100 Rock and Roll Blvd., 216-515-8444, rockhall.com. MUSIC

Uptown Out to Lunch Series At today’s Out to Lunch concert, on Toby’s Plaza in the Uptown District, you can grab lunch from your favorite Uptown eatery and have a seat at the great picnic table while listening to local bands. Today, local singer-songwriter M. Moody performs from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The free concert series | clevescene.com | August 7 - 13, 2019

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GET OUT continues through Sept. 11. The schedule is on the website. (Niesel) Continues through Sept. 11. 11440 Uptown Ave., universitycircle.org. FOOD

Walnut Wednesday Walnut Wednesday is one of summer’s great traditions. Today from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Perk Plaza at Chester Commons — at East 12th and Walnut streets — food trucks once again gather to serve up lunch to area residents and employees. Follow the Downtown Cleveland Alliance on Facebook for weekly updates on vendors, entertainment offerings and more. The series continues through Sept. 4. Admission is free, but the food will cost you. (Niesel) downtowncleveland.com.

THU

but fans should be able to see them at least for a quarter or two. Consult the Browns site for tickets prices. (Niesel) 100 Alfred Lerner Way, 440-891-5000, clevelandbrowns.com.

he has shows scheduled through Saturday. Tickets start at $18. (Niesel) 2035 East Fourth St., 216-241-7425, pickwickandfrolic.com. MUSIC

COMEDY

Drew Lynch After a softball injury left him with a debilitation stutter, Drew Lynch, an aspiring actor who moved from Indianapolis to Los Angeles when

New Soft Shoe Nine years ago, on what local singersongwriter Brent Kirby calls a drunken dare, a group of Cleveland friends and musicians showed up at the Happy Dog to play a couple

08/09

Bruce Bruce A larger-than-life personality makes comedian Bruce Bruce a hard act to forget. Even with his adult humor, Bruce prides himself on not relying on vulgarity to get a laugh out of the crowd. His personality and humor will be enough to keep you laughing the entire time. He also previously hosted the BET series Comic View, where the show achieved its highest ratings ever. You can catch Bruce at the Improv tonight at 7:30 and 10; performances are scheduled through Sunday. Tickets are $25 to $35. (Martin Harp) 1148 Main Ave., 216-696-IMPROV, clevelandimprov.com.

FAMILY FUN

Asian Lantern Festival Taking over parks and zoos across the country, the traveling Asian Lantern Festival shows off thousands of colorful handmade paper lanterns in open, green spaces. This year’s Cleveland edition, which runs through July 28 at the Metroparks Zoo, brings 40 brand new light-up displays. The event also includes authentic bites from local spots Li Wah, King Wah and Thai Thai, an interactive zone, openair market and live performances. Running after zoo hours, the lantern exhibit is open Thursday through Sunday only, from 6:30 to 10 p.m. Same-day tickets are $20.50, or you can score four for $60. (Kids age 2 and younger are free.) Those purchasing tickets early get a discount. (Laura Morrison) Continues through Aug. 11. Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, 3900 Wildlife Way, 216-661-6500, clemetzoo. com.

FAMILY FUN

FRIDAY, AUGUST 9TH • 8PM

ROCK & ROLL HALL OF FAME 1100 ROCK & ROLL BLVD, CLEVELAND, OH

TICKETS ON SALE AT ROCKHALL.COM NOW INCLUDES ADMISSION TO THE MUSEUM

SPORTS

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FRI COMEDY

08/08

Browns vs. Washington Redskins The beginning an anticipated Browns season commences tonight at 7:30 at FirstEnergy Stadium where the Browns take on the Washington Redskins in a preseason game. Starting quarterback Baker Mayfield and star receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry aren’t likely to play the entire game,

Byrds and Flying Burrito Brothers. It also plays songs from Parsons’ solo album GP/Grievous Angel. Tonight at 8, the band performs in the Waldorf Hall at Forest City Brewery. Admission is free, but a donation is requested. (Niesel) second Thursday of every month. 2135 Columbus Rd., 216-228-9116, forestcitybrewery.com.

he was 19, had to really struggle to get any opportunities to show off his acting skills. So he turned to standup instead, and in 2015, he made it to the finals in season 10 of America’s Got Talent. Now, he has a YouTube following of more than 1.6 million subscribers. He performs tonight at 7 p.m. at Hilarities, where

| clevescene.com | August 7 - 13, 2019

sets of tunes by the late, great Gram Parsons. Dubbed the New Soft Shoe, the group has been at it ever since, spreading the gospel of what it refers to “Gram’s Cosmic American Music.” Anything that Parsons played, the New Soft Shoe covers. As a result, the group plays tunes from the International Submarine Band, the

Flat Out Fridays The East Bank of the Flats features a slew of great bars and restaurants. To take advantage of the terrific riverfront location, the venues have partnered for Flat Out Fridays, a summer music series by the waterfront that includes sweet treats, beverages and other outdoor entertainment. Tonight’s Flat Out Friday runs from 6 to 11 p.m. and features local favorites the Spazmatics. Admission is free; details are on the website. (Niesel) 1055 Old River Rd., flatseastbank.com. MUSIC

Freakstomp Music Festival Tropidelic formed in Kent in 2008 and built a following after selfdistributing over 10,000 free copies of its self-produced first EP, Rebirth of the Dope. After releasing its second EP, Tree City Exodus, and relocating to Cleveland, the group gained some traction and opened for acts like Slightly Stoopid, 311, Pepper, the Dirty Heads, Sublime w/ Rome, Soja, the Wailers and Flobots. This weekend, the band headlines its annual Freakstomp Music Festival. Today through Sunday at the Clear Fork Adventure Resort in Butler, the festival features acts such as Bumpin’ Uglies, Sun-Dried Vibes, Jon Wayne & the Pain, Little Stranger


and Quasi Kings. Tropidelic headlines two nights. There will also be ďŹ re performers, dunking booths and other carnival-inspired attractions. Consult the website for a schedule and for ticket prices. (Niesel), 341 Resort Dr., Butler, thefreakstomp.com. FILM

Veronika Voss In Veronika Voss, director Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s reworking of Sunset Boulevard, a movie actress popular during the Third Reich struggles to come to terms with the end of her career. Living in Munich, she’s regressed and become a drug addict, and the ďŹ lm follows her decline. Part of Fassbinder’s BRD Trilogy, it screens today at 7 p.m. at the Cleveland Museum of Art. Tickets cost $12, or $9 for CMA members. (Niesel) 11150 East Blvd., 216-421-7350, clevelandart.org. FAMILY FUN

Walkabout Tremont Walkabout Tremont, which takes place on the second Friday of every month from 5 to 10 p.m., showcases the best of this smart neighborhood, with art openings, extended hours at galleries and shops, restaurant and bar specials, street performers, live music, pop-up vendors, neighborhood walking tours, and much more. This month, the theme is Let’s Luau. See the event’s Facebook page for more info. (Niesel) facebook.com/WalkaboutTremont.

SAT

08/10

MUSIC

Brahms First Symphony Asher Fisch conducts the Cleveland Orchestra tonight at Blossom as it plays selections from Liszt, Barber and Brahms. Violinist Jung-Min Amy Lee will perform with the orchestra as well. The concert begins at 8. Consult the orchestra’s website for ticket prices. (Niesel) 1145 W. Steels Corners Rd., Cuyahoga Falls, 216-231-1111, clevelandorchestra. com. FAMILY FUN

Cedar Fairmount SummerFEST The Cleveland Museum of Art and the Music Settlement will participate in this year’s incarnation of the Cedar Fairmount SummerFEST that takes place from 1 to 6 p.m. today. The Cleveland Museum of Art will feature Studio Go, a dance painting artist working with DayGloTM paints and two chalk

artists. The Music Settlement will be featured on the grassy knoll adjacent to Nighttown with guest performers Guerrieri/Perrine Duo, an electric bass and tenor saxophone pair playing jazz and blues. It will also bring Thorne Musica to Cedar Fairmount with Paul Kovac and Caroline King, and there will be a table with instruments available for all to try. Local musicians Blue Lunch and Harry Bacharach will perform during the afternoon while children have the opportunity to build their own designs with Faber Castell kits available at the Cleveland Heights Church. Praxis Fiber Workshop will introduce attendees to the beauty of fabric dying in addition to selling unique scarves. Historians may take advantage of tours of the district made available through the Cleveland Heights Historical Society. Cedar Fairmount merchants will be on hand with Sale in the Alley, which will offer select items from Still Point Gallery and Pavilion Home and Floral. Appletree Books will host numerous authors who will be on-hand for meet-and-greets and book signings. Local artists Ralph Solonitz, Eric Silverman, Animal Zen and Cleveland Henna will also participate in the festival while both the Cleveland Heights Police Department and Fire Department will be on hand with informative pamphlets and answering questions. (Niesel) cedarfairmount.org.

SummerFEST 2019      CEDAR FAIRMOUNT MERCHANTS AND RESTAURANTS ARE GOING ALL-OUT FOR THIS SUMMER CELEBRATION!

MUSIC

Corona Electric Beach Matt Halper and Eli Sones, the guys in the electronic dance duo Two Friends, have delivered viral remixes of “Trap Queen,� “I Miss You� and “Mr. Brightside.� The two have a slew of original releases due out this year, and they’re currently headlining Corona Electric Beach, an EDMcentric pop-up experience that takes place at noon today at FWD Day + Nightclub. Organizers boast they have “the ability to deliver the beach anywhere� with more than 80 tons of beach sand, palm trees and wood decor elements. Admission is free, but a RSVP is required. Consult the FWD website for more info. (Niesel) FWD: Foward Day + Night Club, 1176 Front St., 216-417-6282, fwdnightclub. com.

Also Featuring: CLEVELAND MUSEUM OF ART Chalk Artists Hector Castellanos and Robin Heinrich Meghann Hennen featuring DayGloÂŽ Paint Studio Go THE MUSIC SETTLEMENT Instrument Discovery Thorne Musica Guerrieri/Perrine Duo

MUSIC Harry Bacharach Blue Lunch CLEVELAND HEIGHTS POLICE DEPARTMENT CLEVELAND HEIGHTS FIRE DEPARTMENT TRIKEABLE TREATS And More!

FABER-CASTELL FAMILY ART PROJECTS CLEVELAND HEIGHTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY Walking Tours with Ken Goldberg PRAXIS FIBER WORKSHOP

Sponsored by:

FILM

The Room Thanks to The Disaster Artist, the James Franco movie about the making of the cult classic The Room, the ďŹ lm’s popularity has soared. The ďŹ lm that features writer, director and star Tommy Wiseau screens at

Heights Medical Building

THE STRATEGIC PROPERTY CEDAR-GRANDVIEW COMPANY SERVICES CLEVELAND HEIGHTS CHURCH . O R G

For more information visit cedarfairmount.org | clevescene.com | August 7 - 13, 2019

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GET OUT 10 tonight at the Cedar Lee Theatre. Tickets are $6. (Niesel) second Saturday of every month. 2163 Lee Rd., Cleveland Heights, 440-528-0355, clevelandcinemas.com. FILM

Show Me the Picture: The Story of Jim Marshall Amelia Davis, the longtime assistant to photographer Jim Marshall, will be on hand at the Rock Hall today for a Q&A session that follows a screening of the documentary film Show Me the Picture: The Story of Jim Marshall. Marshall’s photography is part of the Rock Hall’s Woodstock at 50 special exhibit celebrating the festival’s anniversary., The first screening begins at 1 p.m. in the Foster Theater and after that screening, Davis joins Woodstock at 50 Curator Nwaka Onwusa for the Q&A and signing of the book that shares the movie’s name. Regular admission rates to the Rock Hall apply. (Niesel) 1100 Rock and Roll Blvd., 216-515-8444, rockhall.com.

MUSIC

Silent Disco Dance Party Attending a silent disco should be on everyone’s summer bucket list, and today is your chance to check it off. Grab your friends and head down to Playhouse Square this evening to dance about in silence while wearing wireless headphones. Tonight’s theme: Rave the Roof. Expect to hear music from the classic 90’s underground raves to the EDM festivals of today. Admission is free, but you’ll need to have an ID to receive a pair of headphones. The disco takes place from 9 to midnight on U.S. Bank Plaza. (Niesel) East 14th St. and Euclid Ave., 216-771-4444, playhousesquare.org.

SUN

08/11

FOOD

Gospel Brunch The monthly Gospel Brunch has been a spiritual Sunday staple for years at the House of Blues. The recently reinvigorated show puts a bit more emphasis on the music. As for the food, the all-you-can-eat musical extravaganza features Southern classics like chicken jambalaya, biscuits and gravy,

and chicken and waffles. Seatings are available today at 11 a.m. Detrich Burgess & Company will perform. Tickets are $40 and can be purchased online, by phone or at the box office. (Niesel) 308 Euclid Ave., 216-523-2583, houseofblues.com. FILM

Mary Magdalene Rooney Mara, Joaquin Phoenix and Chiwetel Ejiofor star in Mary Magdalene, the second feature from Garth Davis, the director of Lion. Davis uses the film to assert Mary Magdalene’s importance among Jesus’s early disciples. The movie features the final film score by the late Jóhann Jóhannsson. It screens at 1:30 p.m. today and at 1:45 p.m. on Tuesday at the Cleveland Museum of Art. Admission is $10, or $7 for CMA members. (Niesel) 11150 East Blvd., 216-421-7350, clevelandart.org.

speakers, and Family & Community Services will team up to host the Opioid Awareness Music Festival today at Kent’s Hometown Bank Plaza. Local acts such as 15-60-75 (The Numbers Band), The Dog Friendly Band, Gaetano’s Underworld Blues Band, Hubb’s Groove, Outlaws I & I, Sam Hooper Group, the Outside Voices and Thieves of Joy will perform at the event, and speakers and experts will give short talks between bands. Multiple recovery agencies and resource programs will be on hand as well. There will also be food vendors, and proceeds from the event will benefit the addiction recovery programs of Family & Community Services, including Root House, the Portage Area Recovery Center (PARC) and the On Track to Recovery (OTTR) program. The event runs from noon to 9 p.m. (Niesel) 142 N. Water St., Kent, facebook. com/events/545395712649979/.

MUSIC

Opioid Awareness Music Festival Clearly at the center of the opioid crisis, Ohio has the second highest rate of fatal overdoses in the United States. As a result, local musicians, knowledgeable

DRINK

Sloppy Sundays in the Sun On select Sundays throughout the summer, Now That’s Class will host Sloppy Sundays in the Sun, an event that appeals to day

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drinkers. Bartender Juliet will serve up her special Aperol Spritz and Pimms cocktails, and both patios will be open. The club will even set up an outdoor basketball hoop. The bar opens at 3 p.m., and happy hour takes place from 5 to 8 p.m. It’s free. (Niesel) 11213 Detroit Ave., 216-221-8576, nowthatsclass.net.

Shit Show Karaoke, a weekly event at the B-Side Liquor Lounge wherein patrons choose from “an unlimited selection of jams from hip-hop to hard rock,” and are encouraged to “be as bad as you want.” Fueled by drink and shot specials, it all goes down tonight at 10 p.m. (Niesel) 2785 Euclid Heights Blvd., Cleveland Heights, 216-932-1966, bsideliquorlounge.com.

MUSIC

Brian Wilson Celebrates Pet Sounds Tonight at Blossom, Brian Wilson, the man behind the Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds, one of the greatest rock albums of all time, will perform tracks from the album with the accompaniment of the Cleveland Orchestra. Beach Boys bandmates Al Jardine and Blondie Chaplin will join the group as well. The concert begins at 7. Consult the Blossom website for ticket prices. (Niesel) 1145 W. Steels Corners Rd., Cuyahoga Falls, 216-231-1111, clevelandorchestra.com.

MON

08/12

TUE

08/13

FAMILY FUN

Dancing Under the Stars Time again for Dancing Under the Stars at U.S. Bank Plaza. Beginning at 6, staffers from Viva Dance will dish the salsa lessons; then it’s on to the dance party, with live music provided by Orquestra Sonora. The dancing begins at 6:30 and continues until 9 p.m. Admission is free. The weekly dance party continues through August 27. (Niesel) East 14th St. and Euclid Ave., 216-771-4444, playhousesquare. org.

SPORTS

Indians vs. Boston Red Sox In the midst of a significant stretch against some of the American League’s best teams, the Cleveland Indians take on the defending champion Boston Red Sox tonight at 7:10 at Progressive Field. It’s part of a three-game series that should be a tough one for the Tribe given that the Red Sox have started playing in the season’s second half. Tickets start at $15. (Niesel) 2401 Ontario St., 216-420-4487, clevelandindians.com.

Tiki Tuesday To celebrate the warm weather, Music Box Supper Club launched a special Tiki Tuesday event earlier this summer. All tiki drinks are just $6 and some of the food specials are $6 too. There’s even a playlist of classic Caribbean music from the ‘40s and ‘50s. The party takes place from 4 to 8 p.m. (Niesel) 1148 Main Ave., 216-242-1250, musicboxcle.com.

FAMILY FUN

FOOD

Lunchtime Trivia Today from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. on U.S. Bank Plaza, Last Call Trivia hosts a live show that allows teams to compete for prizes by answering trivia questions. Last Call games also incorporate a distinctive point wagering system, giving teams the ability to choose their own strategy which ensures every team has an equal chance to compete. Teams can range from 1 to 8 players and prizes are awarded to the top teams at the event’s conclusion. (Niesel) Continues through Aug. 26. East 14th St. and Euclid Ave., 216-7714444, playhousesquare.org.

Truck Stop Tuesday Crocker Park in Westlake has launched its seasonal Truck Stop Tuesday, a weekly food truck gathering that takes place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Main Street. Needless to say, admission is free, but the food will cost you. Truck Stop Tuesdays continue through Sept. 24. You can find a lineup of upcoming food trucks on the website. (Niesel) 189 Crocker Park Blvd., Westlake, crockerpark.com.

DRINK

NIGHTLIFE

Shit Show Karaoke Local rapper/promoter Dirty Jones and Scene’s own Manny Wallace host

scene@clevescene.com t@clevelandscene

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DISCO INFERNO www.facebook.com/whiskeyislandstillandeatery www.whiskeyislandstillandeatery.net | clevescene.com | August 7 - 13, 2019

23


ART

BELOW THE SURFACE Photo Courtesy Susan Danko

Susan Danko tackles the surface beauty and hidden damage of invasive species in Beautiful Intruders By Dott von Schneider

Serpentine 1

WE CAN ONLY BLAME OURSELVES for the bane of invasive species over the globe. Cane toads were brought over to Queensland, Australia in order to kill off the sugar beetle, another experiment gone wrong. The toads took over without killing a single beetle. Then there’s the invasive flora. Kudzu was introduced from Japan at the Centennial Expo in Philadelphia in 1876. Americans were bedazzled by the vine’s beautiful color and planted it all over the south. Unfortunately, kudzu has no natural predators outside of Asia, and so it propagates a foot every month over the summer, causing collateral damage to power lines, buildings and native species. And, of course, who can forget Dutch elm disease, carried by an exotic bark beetle that devastated a huge portion of American elm trees. Some invasives hitched their way to North America in crating materials, such as the Emerald Ash borer, which can kill trees in one to four years depending on their size. Artist Susan Danko decided to take a closer look at this phenomenon when all the ash trees died in her yard. “I learned about the ash borer beetle and I thought what the larvae do under the bark is visually interesting and awful.” This birthed Danko’s “Serpentine Series” that reference the trails created by said

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larvae. “They’re mostly made out of stencils that I had mono-printed and built up in layers,” states the artist. “Some of them I used a wooden plate to get that texture. I did a month at Zygote (Press) knowing that this was the beginning of the series.” The result is a mesmerizing series of woodcuts in Danko’s signature haunting hues. The repetition of the ash borer’s intricate path is incredible to look at and we can see why it so appealed to the artist’s eye. Danko dived head first into researching other personalities in the world of these intruders, such as garlic mustard. Her painting

wildflowers. If you ever pass through the park during early spring and mid-summer, you can smell the plant’s overwhelming garlic odor. In the woodcut print titled “Rootbound 1,” Danko perfectly translates the visual of what happens when Phragmites, such as the common reed, get out of control. Imagine a bird’s nest, how it is meticulously woven and intertwined. Now imagine that bird’s nest is half an acre in size and underground, a rhyzomatic labyrinth that is so difficult to exhume it chokes out the roots of other plants. In fact, it was the common reed that choked up the Mentor marsh, a project that

BEAUTIFUL INTRUDERS ON VIEW THROUGH AUG. 30, 2019 THE EXHIBITION IS FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC MONDAY THROUGH FRIDAY FROM 8:30 A.M. TO 4:30 P.M. 1403 W. HINES HILL ROAD, PENINSULA, 44264.

“First Sprouts” educates us on the effects of the delicious smelling (and tasting) plant. Danko depicts its wispy branches holding court over a landscape devoid of wildflowers. Garlic mustard was introduced by settlers from Europe for food and medicinal purposes. It propagates thousands of seeds after its second year of growth and chokes out native

| clevescene.com | August 7 - 13, 2019

took two years of work to at least partially eliminate. Danko’s paintings and woodcuts have a haunting delicateness to them despite the heavy subject matter. We are particularly enamored by “Weaving Vines,” a large yet delicate painting in blues and greens that shows the rhyzomatic mass underneath the water, revealing the

danger that lurks beneath its lovely façade. In “Autumn Olive,” Danko strikes quick with muted primary colors and fragile leaf contours. Solid red dots depict the fruit of the tree in the foreground, while the background is riddled with a wave of droppings that, perhaps, allude to the birds that eat the fruit and disperse it throughout the region. All in all, Danko has researched twelve different specimens of harmful flora and fauna. Next to several works is a card with talking points on the various paintings and woodcuts derived from her research. These invasive species are indeed beautiful, hence the exhibition title, “Beautiful Intruders.” It’s difficult to see what damage is being done by them, because, frankly, they are pretty to look at. It just proves that one cannot judge a book by its cover. Susan Danko reveals an educational and stunning body of work that, if you’ll pardon the pun, is perfectly planted at the John F. Seiberling Gallery, smack dab in the middle of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

scene@clevescene.com t@clevelandscene


MOVIES TOUGH TO TACKLE Brian Banks tells true story of one man’s journey from prison to the NFL By Sam Allard IS IT STILL DISPARAGING TO remark that a major motion picture feels like a “made-for-TV movie?” Are “made-for-TV movies still even made? Brian Banks, the uplifting new drama starring Aldis Hodge as the eponymous football player who spent six years in prison for a rape he did not commit, feels like one. It’s not so much the production design or even the actors themselves, (both of which are solid). It’s something about the pacing of the script, the tenor and unambiguousness of the line delivery, the way that everything feels like a dramatization of a true story. There is an F-bomb dropped midway through the film – “Fuck the system,” Banks tells his lawyer during an explanation of ostensibly insurmountable legal hurdles – and it detonates with more force than usual because until that point, the whole thing had felt like something you might show a middle school social studies class. (For the record: This one’s still worth showing to young people.) The film opens at area theaters, not on ABC or FOX, this Friday. Brian Banks is trying to get back into football at the start, playing linebacker for Long Beach Community College, when his parole officer tells him that a new California law will require him to wear an ankle bracelet 24/7. His

Photo courtesy of Bleecker Street Studios

dreams of playing in the NFL are dashed all over again. It’ll be another year before his parole is up and he can try to make another team. “No one starts playing football at 27,” he dejectedly tells his mother (Sherri Shepherd.) Banks must become his own advocate. He attempts to overturn his conviction on his own, expanding on the knowledge of the legal system he acquired while locked up. He eventually enlists the sympathy – and more importantly, the legal resources — of the California Innocence Project, led by Justin

Brooks (Greg Kinnear), and a team of hungry young lawyers. The CIP usually only takes on cases of prisoners who are still in jail, Brooks tells Banks; and even then, only when there’s slam-dunk evidence to overturn a conviction. But Brooks reluctantly agrees to let some of his staff help Brian out. The case seems egregious. None of the facts in the accuser’s story were substantiated by police or prosecutors. And Banks was faced with a pressure-cooker plea deal in which he thought he’d only get probation. Instead, he got a harsh judge and six years in prison.

The film is a painful reminder that our legal system prioritizes expediency over truth. And, as the CIP well understood, sometimes it takes an extraordinary, high-profile defendant to wake people up to a system’s injustice. The strongest aspect of Brian Banks is its portrayal of the various hardships ex-felons experience as they reintegrate into society. Seeking employment is naturally a nightmare – a montage shows Banks’ many rejections – but his personal life is scattered with land mines too. In one memorable scene, Banks is getting coffee with a woman who’s clearly attracted to him. The date is going well until she asks why he stopped playing football. Banks begins a speech he’s clearly delivered many times before. He was convicted as a teenager of something he didn’t do, he says. It was a rape conviction. The girl lied. As Banks talks, the audio is muffled and the camera focuses on the face of his date. Her smile disappears. Her eyes glaze over. She immediately makes some excuse – she has to get back to work, she says. And Banks can only smile politely and say, “Of course. It’s no big deal.” But you can see the pain and the anger in his eyes.

sallard@clevescene.com t@scenesallard

SPOTLIGHT: MAIDEN LESS THAN A MONTH REMOVED from the U.S. Women’s National Team victory in the Women’s World Cup, the documentary Maiden, which opens Friday at the Cedar Lee, chronicles another historic athletic feat by a team of women. It’s the story of Tracy Edwards, a young woman in Britain who assembles an all-female crew for the Whitbread Around the World Race, a grueling, multi-leg, nine-month nautical marathon that pits the world’s best sailing crews against each other every three years. In 1989, the voyage of “Maiden” was the first all-female crew in the race’s history.

Directed by Alex Holmes (Stop at Nothing: The Lance Armstrong Story), the documentary consists almost exclusively of archival news footage from 1989-90 interspersed with interviews with the crew. The format produces a faithful chronology of events but can feel, at its driest, like a summary of the live coverage. But for folks in their twenties and thirties, the Maiden voyage will be breaking news, and learning about this pivotal moment for gender equality in sports feels as relevant as ever. The most interesting thematic territory, in fact, is the degree to

which Edwards herself discovers the feminist significance of her feat. In one archival interview, she declares quite adamantly that she is not a feminist. She hates that word, she says. She’s just out to prove that she should be able to do whatever she wants, regardless of her gender. In fact, all girls should. (She discerns retrospectively that this is a feminist position indeed. Through her courage and perseverance, she opened doors for girls all over the world.) Though the middle of the doc begins to feel much like the race itself – monotonous – it is enlivened by reporters and competitors who

admit to putting little stock in “the girls.” Barroom bets were wagered on how far Maiden would make it. Most of the men assumed that the crew wouldn’t even finish the first 30-day leg, from England to Uruguay. So when they start not only finishing but winning subsequent legs, there are moments of supreme validation. The finale is every bit as lovely and joyous and tearjerking as the nautical climax of Dunkirk. -Allard

sallard@clevescene.com t@scenesallard | clevescene.com | August 7 - 13, 2019

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EAT MOVING ON UP Indian Flame sparkles in its new Uptown home By Douglas Trattner IT’S HIGH NOON ON A TUESDAY and there’s a short wait for a table while staffers clean up after recently departed guests. Most of the diners are here for the lunch buffet, but I also spot a few couples enjoying a la carte options ordered off the regular menu. In place of thrifty university students, the folks filling every seat in the house appear to be fully formed adults, most likely medical, educational or cultural professionals from nearby institutions. There’s been plenty of handwringing going on about the state of affairs in and around Uptown, the neighborhood that continues to take shape in University Circle. While observers discuss various shortcomings as related to wayfinding, parking and the proliferation of “bland fast-casual restaurants,” Indian Flame is quietly sprinting towards its 10th birthday. A decade in business is a mark of distinction for a restaurant located anywhere on a map, but it feels especially noteworthy on the unpredictable restaurant row that has formed along Euclid Avenue. In 2010, after a work visit to Indian Flame, I wrote the following: “As the Uptown project in University Circle begins to take shape… some of the existing restaurants are bound to be swept away in the revamp. Here’s hoping Indian Flame won’t be one of them.” As it turns out, that’s precisely what happened – nearly. An expired lease at its original location almost spelled doom for the mom-and-pop Punjab shop. Instead, the owners found refuge in a larger, brighter and infinitely more agreeable space one block west, in a property made vacant by the relocation of Piccadilly Artisan Creamery. There are few dining experiences more immediately gratifying, roundly satisfying and value-conscious than a wellprepared Indian buffet. The one dished up at Indian Flame ($10.99) is among the best in town, fueled by a fresh and bottomless selection of vegetarian and non-vegetarian Northern Indian dishes. On that particular Tuesday I counted

Photo by Doug Trattner

approximately eight different main selections, in addition to two types of rice, salad, raita, chutneys, pickles and an endless supply of fresh-baked buttery naan. Mildly spiced dishes were built around chickpeas, lentils and mixed

Dinner is a more civilized affair, with the buffet line cleaned, stowed and readied for the following day, replaced by servers and a large menu flush with familiar and notso-familiar options. Meals now can begin with an ice-cold Indian beer

INDIAN FLAME 11623 EUCLID AVE., CLEVELAND 216-791-5555

vegetables in a creamy butter sauce. There also was crunchy deep-fried veggie pakora, lipstickred tandoori chicken and airy biryani studded with tender boneless chicken.

like Taj Mahal or glass of white or red wine thanks to an eight-seat bar that was installed in the new space. That bar also happens to be a fine perch on which to wait for take-out orders while watching

mesmerizing Indian pop music videos. A nice place to start, especially if you’re knocking back one of those beers, is with a basket of wafer-thin papadum ($2.99) and some street food-style snacks like papri chaat, pani puri or aloo tikki chaat. These crispy, crunchy, savory treats are topped with various sauces and chutneys, resulting in a riot of flavors and textures. The aloo tikki chaat ($5.99) arrives with three seasoned and pan-fried potato patties beneath a flurry of chickpeas, fresh herbs and sweet, tart and tangy chutneys. Indian Flame’s curries are resplendent, with the goat curry ($15.99) leading the pack. Lurking in the fragrant, intensely flavored and deeply spiced sauce are succulent pieces of slow-cooked meat. The goat is on the bone, but just barely, falling off with a gently nudge from a spoon. All that’s needed is some aromatic steamed rice and a dish of cool, refreshing yogurt-based raita to counter the heat. On the opposite end of the spectrum is the shahi paneer ($12.99), firm cubes of fresh cheese bathed in a rich, creamy and nutty gravy. This vegetarian dish makes chicken tikka masala seem boring by comparison. Large, festive and the color of the setting sun, a glorious platter of shrimp biryani ($17.99) is always a good idea. We count about a dozen large, plump and perfectly cooked shrimp buried in the fluffy, intoxicating rice. If you like things hot as Hades, the neon-green cilantro and mint chutney is your best friend. The fact that Indian Flame survived for a decade in a dark, cramped space at the far end of a road that always seemed to be under construction should be proof enough of its quality and value. Now that stellar food shines brighter still in a cheery, sun-lit space deeper into the main drag. That’s great news for both Indian food fans and observers looking for a University Circle success story.

scene@clevescene.com t@dougtrattner | clevescene.com | August 7 - 13, 2019

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EAT Photo by Emanuel Wallace

BITES Gibbs Butcher Block to expand brand with restaurant in Olmsted Falls By Douglas Trattner FOR 20 YEARS, JIM DIXON WAS content with running Gibbs Butcher Block (9858 E. River Rd. N., 440-235-2766) in Columbia Station, home to an endless array of gourmet sausages, hotdogs and burger blends, among many other meaty delicacies. The next thing you know, he’s getting into the restaurant business. “This all came about really fast,” Dixon says. “The place closed two weeks ago and we bought it the following week.” “The place” was the former Taqueria Junction, which closed a couple weeks ago after a solid eight-year run. The property (8154 Columbia Rd.), located just two miles from Gibbs Butcher Block in neighboring Olmsted Falls, was simply too good to pass up, notes Dixon.

“I’ve always had it in the back of my mind that it would be cool to have a restaurant that used all the stuff that we have here at Gibbs – and then this one came up right up the street,” he explains. “It’s a cool little place that came with everything I needed.” When it opens in a month or so, Gibbs Butcher and Brews will utilize many of the products that customers have come to know and love at the butcher shop over the past 20 years, foods like homemade sausages, gourmet hot dogs, burgers and Amish-raised chicken. Stop by and wish him well on his new adventure.

Thai Thai Restaurant in Lakewood to Relocate to Roomier Digs Down the Road

It’s no secret that Thai Thai (13735 Madison Ave., 216-961-9655) restaurant in Lakewood has captured the hearts and stomachs of Thai food fans pretty much from the day it opened its doors three and a half years ago. The wildly popular eatery, which is run by Siriphan “Kiwi” Wongpeng and her mother, father and brother, features authentic versions of the foods the family enjoyed back home in Thailand. By focusing on a stripped-down menu of exciting street foods and Thai classics, the kitchen manages to hit every dish out of the park. The one downside to Thai Thai? Its size — a puny 15 seats, most of which are gobbled up by eager diners before you arrive.

All that changes come December, when Thai Thai 2.0 opens two blocks east on Madison. The move was a long time coming, says management. “We were ready for a bigger home with more table and chairs for our people,” reports Kiwi. Construction has begun on the new property, with the goal of a December opening. The larger space will allow the family to expand its repertoire, adding more noodle soups and other favorite dishes from back home. We’ll keep you posted about opening day.

dtrattner@clevescene.com t@dougtrattner

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Arts in August in Tremont’s Lincoln Park Presented in Partnership:

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Friday August 9 8:30pm

Saturday August 10 8:30pm

Photography of Inlet Dance Theatre by Suzanne Sherbundy.

Dr. Margaret Carlson, Producing Artistic Director Richard Dickinson MFA, Associate Director

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$UWVLQ$XJXVWis a special time of year in Tremont. The community gathers in Lincoln Park for artistic performances using professional lighting and sound to bring magic to Tremont. All Arts in August events are FREE and are held in Tremont’s Lincoln Park. Please visit tremontwest.org for up to date information, rain locations/dates and program details, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @artsinaugust Bring a picnic, order take-out from one of our Tuesdays in Tremont participants listed below. You definitely want to bring a chair or a blanket to sit and remember you are in a park at dusk, so you might want to bring bug spray too!

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FRI, August 23 @ 7pm – Summer Music Mix (Sugata Chatterjee with Amit Chatterjee, Global Connections, The Village Bicycle)

SAT, August 24 @ 7pm – Cleveland Jazz Orchestra presented in partnership with Arts Renaissance Tremont SUN, August 25 @ 4pm – Kombilesa AsÊ Thank you, Civilization, Ty Fun, Fat Cats, Treehouse, The Flying Monkey Pub, The Clark Bar, La Bodega, Crust, The Rowley Inn, The South Side, Tremont Tap House, Parallax, Bourbon Street Barrel Room, Dante, Grumpy’s Cafe, %HYLDPRDQG3URVSHULW\6RFLDO&OXEIRUKRVWLQJEHQH¿WVLQ$SULO0D\-XQHDQG-XO\

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PHO HO OTO BY ALI ALICE C BAX CE B LEY EY

AD A D RE EL LIG GIO ION GU UIT TARIST IST BRIA IS AN BA BAKE ER waassn w n’t ’t a me mem mbber of th he pu punk nk k roc ock k ba b nd n whe hen n itt forrmed med in me n Los Ang ngel eles es in 19 1980 80.. Bu But he wasn’t just sitting g idle. Rather, hee pla laye yed in ye M no Mi norr Th T re reat at, th thee gr grea eatt Wa Wash shin ingt g on gt o D.C .C.C.-.-ba b seed haard dccoorree act ct tha hatt had had a sh ha hor o t bu ut im impaact ctfu f l ru fu un. n Affte A t r movi mooving ving vi ng to Los Los An Lo Ange gele les, s,, he lo l bbbie i d to joi oin n B d Re Ba R liigi gion on,, a gr g ou o p tth hatt, li lik ke Minor inor in o Threa hreat, hr eat, ea t wrote roote ssoong gs tth hat add d re ress ess ssed e polit ed olitic ol ical al and d soocciaal is issu s es e . “[[Mino Mino Mi norr Th Thre reat re a and at d Bad Relig gion] ioon] n wer e e on on oppo op poossiitee sid i es of thee country, but it’’s like kee I’m k in the he same class, like Punk Rock k ’8 ’80, 0 ” he he say ays ays viia phone from m a Por o tl t and, ME tour stoop. p Bad Religion performs with the Lawrence A Arrms m at 8 p.m. on Saturday at the Agora Theatre. “I waas a huge Bad Religi hu g on fan. I was a working g in a re rehe hear he arsa ar sall sa stud st udio io at th thee ti t me me. I di didn dn’tt hav avee a ba band nd and sta tart rted rt ed d

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| clevescene.com | August 7 - 13, 2019

Baker says Ronald Reagan inspired the same response from the punk rock community in the 1980s. And yet, even Reagan wasn’t as callous as the current POTUS. “The difference is that pretending to give a shit is gone now too,” he says. “It’s even more offensive. They don’t have the sense to lie a little smoother. That’s what made American politics this whole time. [Former U.S. President] Calvin Coolidge wasn’t interesting in regulating big business either, but he didn’t take a picture of his inaugural parade and announce that there were 17 million there. The arrogance [of Trump] is what I’m touching on. It’s palpable, but maybe that’s just a product of the 21st century.” The group’s first studio release in six years, Age of Unreason commences with “Chaos From Within,” a song that features the guttural vocals and driving guitars for which the band is known. “Do the Paranoid Style” comes off as a call-to-arms as it advocates standing up to oppression. “There are a number of songs that are Trump songs,” says Baker. “They’re not just ‘fuck Trump’ either. [Singer] Greg [Graffin] and

produced, so it’s more like adding to the team rather than handing over the reins to one particular guy,” he says. “Having Carlos [de la Garza] this time brought a modern understanding of how to update Bad Religion sonically without in any way pandering. It’s interesting what he did with the soundscape. He had nothing to do with arrangements or lyrics, all the traditional roles of a producer. I like what he did. It sounds great. It’s fun to listen to. It’s not an onslaught. I’m an older gentleman. I like things that are fun to listen to. I don’t need to be challenged.” The band recorded at Sunset Sound Recorders, an L.A. studio where many classic rock acts have cut albums. “One day, you’re in the room where Van Halen 1 was recorded, and the next day you’re in the room where Led Zeppelin II was recorded,” says Baker. “It’s pretty vintage. You’re steeped in that history. It’s a beautiful spot. I recorded there and at Electric Lady [in New York]. It’s part of all the books you read when you were kid. Now, you’re actually there. That alone was exciting. I loved it. “ Even though many of the songs take aim at how democracy has fallen into decline, a sense of optimism comes through in songs such as the title track and the album closer “What Tomorrow Brings.”

BAD RELIGION | THE LAWRENCE ARMS 8 P.M. SATURDAY, AUG. 10 AGORA THEATRE, 5000 EUCLID AVE., 216-881-2221. TICKETS: $32.50-$55 AGORACLEVELAND.COM.

[guitarist] Brett [Gurewitz] have a lot of experience. This is after a five-year gap between records. If you think about the difference between now and five years ago, it’s pretty astonishing. I wouldn’t say this record is a product of the Trump administration because these songs came together along a non-specific time line but what a great time to put out a record about this. We’re pretty happy about it.” Joe Barresi produced Bad Religion’s last few albums, but Carlos de la Garza helmed this release, and Baker says he helped give the songs their sonic edge. If anything, the album might be more melodic than past efforts. “My Sanity,” a song that references Trump’s use of the term “alternative facts,” features harmony vocals and has a great hook, and a gorgeous guitar riff carries “Candidate.” And “Downfall” is downright infectious and ventures into pop-punk territory. “Bad Religion is basically self-

“The basic tenant through all of this criticism is that people are basically good,” says Baker. “We’re very hopeful. There’s a theme that these pitfalls need to be combatted. Science is a widespread topic [on the album], but it’s about being successful. We’ve always had that undercurrent even in our most scathing criticisms of a momentary glitch.” Bad Religion has been through numerous lineup changes over the decades, so what’s held it together all this time? “Good songs. That’s it,” says Baker. “If you don’t have songs, you don’t have a band. We realized long ago that the band is much more important than any one member. That’s the key. You have to respect the material.”

jniesel@clevescene.com t@jniesel


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| clevescene.com | August 7 - 13, 2019


MUSIC SIMPLY SUPERNATURAL Singer Andy Vargas reflects on performing with Santana for the past two decades By Jeff Niesel Photo by Rogers and Cowan

AFTER THE LATIN ROCK BAND Santana released Supernatural in 1999, bandleader Carlos Santana put out a casting call that he needed a singer. Andy Vargas, a guy who grew up listening to both mariachi music and R&B responded, thinking he had the right kind of musical background to get the gig. He figured right. He’s now been singing with the band for almost 20 years and comes to Blossom with the group when it performs with the Doobie Brothers on Wednesday, Aug. 7. Vargas clearly remembers that first audition. “I was recording an album with RCA/BMG,” he says via phone from a Los Angeles tour stop. “I was working with [producer] Lou Adler. He put the connection together. I walked into Carlos’ office. Everyone was rehearsing in the back. They wanted to see if I could cut it. It all went by really fast. I met everyone in the office, and I loved that rehearsal space there. It was a quick hello. [Santana] said, ‘Let’s start something.’ He gave me a microphone, and he played the introduction to [Supernatural’s] ‘Smooth.’ They just went for it. I had to get in there and find my space within the music.’” The audition went well, and Vargas joined the band for a three-week East Coast tour. Supernatural became a massive hit, and Vargas stayed on with the band as it embarked on a world tour in support of the album. “That was surreal,” he says of the world tour. “I was getting on tour busses and seeing the country and playing in front of large audiences. I have to give my love and band members to the other band members who took me under their wing. At the time, Tony Lindsay, who was also singing with Carlos took me under his wing and so did Raul Rekow, the conga player. He took me under his wing as a little brother. They all took me under their wings. These guys became my family. Looking in their eyes on stage, you see the humility and a relaxed musician who’s not nervous or pretentious or worries or concerned. Looking in their eyes and feeling comfortable gave me the opportunity to build

my own personality and my own musical chops. Carlos gave me that opportunity. It brought me into a level of musicianship and spiritualism that now follows me everywhere I go.” The current tour celebrates both the 20th anniversary of Supernatural and the 50th anniversary of Santana’s performance at Woodstock. “It’s been great,” Vargas says of the jaunt that started earlier this summer. “It’s refreshing to sing some of those [Supernatural] songs. You can see that everyone is waiting to hear the songs. You can see the smiles and

Vargas adds that the group will also use some visuals from its performance Woodstock during the show at Blossom. When he’s not performing and recording with Santana, Vargas plays with Souleros, a group that plays a blend of soul and boleros influenced by classic funk and R&B/soul music. After the Santana tour, Vargas will release a full-length solo debut album that’s been preceded by several singles, including a guest appearance from Santana on a new version of “Oye Como Va.” Vargas’ previous single,

SANTANA | DOOBIE BROTHERS 7 P.M. WEDNESDAY, AUG. 7 BLOSSOM MUSIC CENTER, 1145 W. STEELS CORNERS RD., CUYAHOGA FALLS 330-920-8040. TICKETS: $47-$173, livenation.com

feel the energy in the audience. The songs are amazing. [Producer] Clive Davis was involved in helping Carlos choosing the songs and pairing him with the artists. Those songs are hit songs. Every single one of them can stand alone. Those artists had such an audience and were such major artists. They sing and speak the truth. If you take all of that and put it under Carlos’ leadership, it’s designed for greatness.”

“The Beat,” was featured by ESPN’s Music of the Month and was released in both English and Spanish versions. A collaboration with R&B/soul singer Frankie J, “We’re Still Here Together” just came out this summer too. “He’s a good friend of mine who has been on the scene for a long time,” Vargas says of Frankie J. “The song, as we wrote it, rose to the surface because of its message. There’s so

much music out there that talks about being players and breaking up and money and greed and gangs and violence and things. We wanted to write something current that had a classic soul/R&B feel. It’s about falling in love with someone and being able to withstand the trials and tribulations of being in a relationship these days. There are so many divorces and breakups and maybe marriage and relationships aren’t for everyone, but we wanted to write a song about the success of a relationship.” Vargas also runs a music education program in San Bernardino that he sees as his extension of how he inspires people through his solo career and his performances with Santana. “My purpose is to inspire endangered youth through what inspires me,” he says. “I aim to educate and inspire music production and recording and writing collaborations with youth and with the city of San Bernardino and with the city college. We have a lot of eyes and help. I want to start these music programs throughout the United States. We’re also focusing on scholarship programs for high school grads going to college. Kids are following their mentors. Their heroes are preaching negative viewpoints. There needs to be more hope.” Both on his own and with Santana, Vargas makes music that crosses many borders. It mixes genres and appeals to both Latin and non-Latin audiences alike, something that’s key at a time when the U.S. president seems obsessed with constructing walls. “Personally, it’s important for us to unify and not separate,” says Vargas. “Music is a universal language, and now in the digital realm, it’s worldwide. I’m a firm believer of spreading a positive message. I’m grateful to have this opportunity to make a difference. Music is the universal language, and if we can unify and try to find solutions to our problems, that will make for a better future for our children.”

jniesel@clevescene.com scene@clevescene.com @clevelandscene t@jniesel | clevescene.com | August 7 - 13, 2019

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| clevescene.com m | August 7 - 13, 2019


LIVEWIRE

all the live music you should see this week Photo by Amy Harris

WED

08/07

Arms Race/Game/Personality Cult/ Pine Taar/Shit Blimp: 8 p.m., $8. Now That’s Class. John Butler Trio+/Trevor Hall: 8 p.m., $39 ADV, $44 DOS. House of Blues. The Chestertons (in the Supper Club): 6 p.m., free. Music Box Supper Club. Austin Lucas/Dan McCoy: 8:30 p.m., $12 ADV, $14 DOS. Beachland Tavern. Santana/The Doobie Brothers: 7 p.m., $47-$173. Blossom. Alex Schrock Trio: 7 p.m., $15. Bop Stop. $uicideboy$/Denzel Curry/City Morgue/Germ/Night Lovell/ Trash Talk: 5:30 p.m. Agora Theatre. Tessa Violet/Chloe Lilac: 8:30 p.m., $15 ADV, $17 DOS. Grog Shop.

THU

08/08

Beast of Nod/Aversed/Inoculation/ Where Angels Rot: 8 p.m., $8. Now That’s Class. Glen Burtnik’s Summer of Love Concert: 8 p.m., $20-$35 ADV, $23-$38 DOS. Cain Park. Cary & the Dissidents (in the Supper Club): 6 p.m., free. Music Box Supper Club. The Damn Torpedoes: $10. The Winchester. Dead Letter Office — A Tribute to R.E.M.: 8:30 p.m., $10 ADV, $12 DOS. Beachland Tavern. Amanda Fish Band/Alan Greene Band: 8 p.m., $12 ADV, $15 DOS. The Kent Stage. Peter Frampton/Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Evening: Singerguitarist Peter Frampton will “come alive” one last time tonight at Blossom. Earlier this year, he announced the dates of Peter Frampton Finale — The Farewell Tour. Frampton, who started his career at age 16, just celebrated the 43rd anniversary of his fifth solo album, Frampton Comes Alive!, one of the top-selling live records of all time, and his session work includes collaborations with acts such as George Harrison, Harry Nilsson, David Bowie, Jerry Lee Lewis, Ringo Starr, John Entwistle, Mike McCready and Matt Cameron (Pearl Jam). Expect to hear all his hits at tonight’s performance. (Jeff Niesel), 7:30

Peter Frampton will come alive at Blossom one last time. See: Thursday.

p.m., $29.50-$129.50. Blossom. Chris Isaak: 7:30 p.m., $43.50$57.50. MGM Northfield Park – Center Stage. M. Moody/Uptight Sugar/ LikeMeLikeYou/Madeline Finn: 8 p.m., $8. CODA. Lauren Mitchell: 8 p.m., $15. Bop Stop. Mozzy/Lil Poppa/Kent Archie: 8:30 p.m., $18 ADV, $20 DOS. Grog Shop. Pash & the Kindred Spirits/The Magnavox’s/Fan Fiction: 8:30 p.m., $6. Happy Dog. Lucinda Williams: 8 p.m. Music Box Supper Club.

FRI

08/09

Jason Aldean/Kane Brown/Carly Pearce/Dee Jay Silver: Not as good looking as Luke Bryan or as physically fit as Tim McGraw, country singer-guitarist Jason Aldean nevertheless remains one of the genre’s biggest stars. That much was certainly apparent last year at Blossom where fans packed the place for his concert. The bill also Lauren Alaina, Luke Combs and Dee Jay Silver, who will man the turntables between sets. On tour in support of his last year’s Rearview Town, Aldean returns to the venue with some new tunes that are designed to be crowd favorites. Tunes such as the guitar-driven, “Dirt to Dust” and the shimmering, mid-temp “Set It Off” will undoubtedly go over well tonight. (Niesel), 7:30 p.m., $45$99.75. Blossom. Bella Donna/Hacky Turtles/Shawn

Brewster: 8 p.m., $8. CODA. Becky Boyd and the Groove Train: 5 p.m., $15. Bop Stop. Tyler Cassidy (aka Froggy Fresh) / Mayor Wertz / Clapper The Rapper: 9 p.m., $15 ADV, $17 DOS. Grog Shop. Chicago Tribute by Beginnings: 8 p.m., $20 ADV, $25 DOS. Music Box Supper Club. Vanessa Collier (in the Supper Club): 8 p.m., $10 ADV, $12 DOS. Music Box Supper Club. Common/Maimouna Youssef: 7 p.m. Agora Theatre. Earth To Mars - Tribute to Bruno Mars: 8 p.m., $12 ADV, $15 DOS. House of Blues. Richie Furay: 8 p.m., $25-$30. The Kent Stage. JP Harris/Lost State of Franklin: 8:30 p.m., $12. Beachland Tavern. Interpol/Surfbort: 8 p.m., $26. Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Jared & The Mill/Window Dogs/ Spirit of the Bear: 8 p.m., $12 ADV, $15 DOS. Beachland Ballroom. Joyce Manor/Saves The Day: 7 p.m., $23. The Phantasy Nite Club. Lords of the Highway/Burnin’ Loins/ Missile Toe: 9 p.m., $6. Happy Dog. Off With Their Heads/Single Mothers/Heart & Lung: 8 p.m., $14 ADV, $16 DOS. Now That’s Class. Read Southall Band: 9 p.m., $12. The Winchester. Jackie Warren: 10:30 p.m., free. Nighttown.

SAT

08/10

138 Fest Featuring Parasite/ Rotten UK/Outline/Sukkussu/Non Residents: 7 p.m., $20 ADV, $25

DOS. Now That’s Class. 15 60 75 The Numbers Band (in the Supper Club): 8 p.m., $8 ADV, $10 DOS. Music Box Supper Club. Lou Armagno’s Sinatra Selects/ Moises Borges: 8:30 p.m., $15. Nighttown. Bad Religion/The Lawrence Arms: 7 p.m. Agora Theatre. Dan Baird & Homemade Sin/ Rumbling Spires: 8:30 p.m., $15 ADV, $18 DOS. Beachland Tavern. Marc Broussard: Singer-songwriter Marc Broussard isn’t as wellknown as Ray Charles or Joe Cocker, the guys to whom he is most often compared, but he most assuredly shares a good amount of soul with them. Many critics have noted traces of their music in Broussard’s passionate presentation - from his rasp-to-riches vocals to the rafter-rattling intensity of his live shows. Broussard doesn’t take these potentially intimidating comparisons lightly, by any means, because he understands the respect and affection that comes with them. On releases such as 2002’s Momentary Setback, 2004’s Carencro and 2007’s SOS: Save Our Soul, Broussard has tried to remain true to his Louisiana roots and the influences that guided him His latest album, 2017’s Easy to Love, again shows off his soulful voice and vibrant arrangements. (Jeff Niesel), 8 p.m., $25. The Kent Stage. Judy Collins: 8 p.m., $20-$40 ADV, $23-$43 DOS. Cain Park. Courtney From Work/Frontier/The Boom Shakalakas: 8 p.m., $7. CODA. Metal Fest Featuring Ringworm/ Embalmer/Homewrecker/Ancient VVisdom/Gluttons/Estuary/ Deathcrawl/Great Iron Snake: 6 p.m., $15 ADV, $18 DOS. House of Blues. Parker Millsap/Tom Evanchuck: 9 p.m., $15. Grog Shop. Up Next Fest Featuring YSN Flow/ Freshie/Foreign Jay/Runitup Ryan/Tropp/Owen River: 8 p.m., $20-$30. Beachland Ballroom. Jackie Warren: 10:30 p.m., free. Nighttown.

SUN

08/11

24/7 Lo-Fi Hip-Hop Chill Beats to Study To Featuring Pablo Amor: 9 p.m., free. Now That’s Class. Happy Together Tour 2019 starring The Turtles, Chuck Negron Formerly of Three Dog Night, | clevescene.com | August 7 - 13, 2019

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LIVEWIRE Gary Puckett and The Union Gap, The Buckinghams, The Classics IV and The Cowsills: 7:30 p.m., $44.50-$85. MGM Northfield Park – Center Stage. Jack Name/House Panther Diadem Ensemble/Aunteater: 8:30 p.m., $6. Happy Dog. Laundry Day: 7 p.m., $12 ADV, $15 DOS. Beachland Tavern. Prophet Massive: 9 p.m., $10. The Winchester. Reggae Sundays: Ras Khalifa (in the Supper Club): This special Reggae Sunday Happy Hour Concert series began earlier this month and continues every Sunday through Sept. 1. The indoor/ outdoor concert series will take place rain or shine with live music from 4 to 7 p.m. Music Box will also offer food and drink specials exclusive to the series. Today, the local act Ras Khalifa will perform. (Niesel), 4 p.m., free. Music Box Supper Club. Summer Bummer ft Corry Michaels / Alexander Wright & The Collective: 8 p.m., $10. Grog Shop. Vansire: 8 p.m., $10 ADV, $12 DOS. Mahall’s 20 Lanes.

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| clevescene.com | August 7 - 13, 2019

OHIO BOYS: A tribute to Tom Petty, the

Damn Torpedoes formed some ten years ago when singer-guitarist Ty Hurless, who grew up in the Canton/ Massillon area, graduated from Perry High School in 1981 and got his degree in accounting from the University of Akron, moved to Austin, where he met singer-bassist Geno Stroia. Also from Northeast Ohio, Stroia grew up in Alliance and graduated from the University of Akron. The two met each other in Austin by happenstance. “It was just an odd set of circumstances,” says Hurless. “I was in a band with a mutual friend who knew Geno, who was going to join our band. He joined the band, and it didn’t come up immediately, but at some point, we found out that we were both Ohio boys who grew up there and went to the University of Akron and graduated in 1991 and all of this stuff. We’ve been friends ever since.” In 2007, Stroia opened Red Leaf School of Music in Austin, where he still teaches today in addition to touring, writing and producing. Hurless gives guitar lessons there too. PETTY WOULD BE PROUD: In 2009, Hurless and Stroia put together the Damn Torpedoes, a Tom Petty tribute act. Hurless says another Austin-based tribute act, Skyrocket, inspired him to put together something similar. That group featured local musicians who played original music in other acts. “The Tom Petty thing seemed

like a good way to go for me,” he says. “He has an insane number of hits.” The group played its first gig on Tom Petty’s 59th birthday. “That show was very nerve-wracking because I had never been the full-time front man of a band up to that point,” says Hurless. “We were new and not as tight back then, but the spirit was always there, and it hasn’t changed all that much. The excitement and enthusiasm and spirit for the music was there from that very first show. We didn’t even know that first show was on his birthday. It just happened that way.” WHY YOU SHOULD HEAR THEM: The band’s version of “Don’t Come Around Here No More” sounds like a carbon copy of Petty’s and even includes the snarling vocals and shimmering synthesizer riff. The band currently knows about 70 Petty songs. “There’s so much to mine from, it’s really crazy,” says Hurless. “Making the set list can be daunting. I have to throw songs out but then I want to bring ones we haven’t played in a long time. It’s a good problem to have.” WHERE YOU CAN HEAR THEM :

thedamntorpedoes.com. WHERE YOU CAN SEE THEM : Damn

the Torpedoes perform at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, August 7, at West Side Bowl in Youngstown, at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 8, at the Winchester in Lakewood, at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 10, at the ninth annual Rockin’ Out Cancer event in Alliance and at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, August 11 at Musica in Akron.

jniesel@clevescene.com t@jniesel


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I’m a 42-year-old single, straight female who recently started dating a 36-year-old man in a somewhat exclusive, long-distance relationship. We have known each other for a short time, but have clocked hours upon hours on the phone. I have specifically stated many times I don’t want kids of my own (he does), am extremely safety conscious (only when I see someone’s STI results and know we’re 100 percent monogamous will I go “bareback”), and am against hormonal contraception. Therefore, I’ve insisted on the use of condoms since our very first encounter, which he at first reluctantly agreed to, but has since obliged without incident. He is expressively into me and treats me better than any guy I’ve dated; cooks for me, gives me massages, buys me gifts, showers me with compliments, listens to me at any hour of the night, and has shown nothing but respect towards me since Day 1. Until our last sexual encounter. He woke me up in the morning clearly aroused and ready for sexy time. He asked if he could enter me, and after I said yes, I grabbed a condom for him and he put it on. We were spooning at the time so he entered me from behind. At one point early in the encounter, I reached back to grab his hand, and all of a sudden, felt the condom he had been wearing laid out on the bed. Shocked and outraged, I immediately stopped and turned to him asking, “Why did you take this off?” To which he replied, “Because I wanted to cum faster.” All I could muster back was, “Do you have any idea how bad that is? I can’t even look at you.” I covered my eyes and cried uncontrollably for a few minutes. After getting dressed, showering, and exiting without a word, I started to process the atrocity of his actions. It’s clear that he does not respect me, my body, my health, or my reproductive choices, and made his physical pleasure as top priority. He has apologized profusely, been emotional about his actions, and has definite remorse. After sending him several articles on how it’s criminal (including the one about the German man who got eight months in jail for stealthing), he now seems to grasp the severity. It’s hard to reconcile his consistent respect for me with a bold

and disrespectful act like this. The best case is that he’s a dumb-ass, the worst being that his respect and care for me is all a façade and I’ve been a fool. Is there any reason I should consider continuing to see this guy? Is it remotely forgivable? Stealthed On Suddenly Nope. The obvious (and objectively true) point is that anything is forgivable. People have forgiven worse—I mean, there are mothers out there who’ve forgiven the people that murdered their children. But moms who’ve found it within themselves to forgive their children’s murderers... yeah, they don’t have to live with, take meals with, or sleep with their children’s murderers. I’m not saying that forgiving the person who murdered your kid is easy (I wouldn’t be able to do it), but most people who’ve “forgiven worse” never have to lay eyes on the person they forgave again. So while it may be true that people have forgiven worse, SOS, I don’t think you should forgive this. And here’s why: You only just started dating this guy and all the good qualities you listed— everything that made him seem like a good, decent, lovely, and possibly loving guy (the cooking, the massages, the compliments, etc.)—is the kind of best-footforward fronting a person does at the start of a new relationship. Not only is there nothing wrong with that, SOS, but you wouldn’t want to date someone who didn’t do that at the start… because the kind of person who doesn’t make the effort to impress early in a relationship is the kind of person who can’t be bothered to make any effort later in the relationship. We all erect those façades, SOS, but some people are slapping those façades on slums you wouldn’t wanna live in, while others are slapping them on what turns out to be pretty decent housing. And if I may continue to torture this metaphor: when the first cracks appear in the façade, which they inevitably do, and you get a peek behind it, you aren’t a fool if it turns out there’s a slum

there. You’re only a fool if you move in instead of moving on. Anyway, SOS, everybody fronts, but eventually, those façades fall away and you get to see people for who and what they really are. And the collapse of your new boyfriend’s façade revealed him to be a selfish and uncaring asshole with no respect for your body or your boundaries. He was on his best behavior until he sensed your guard was down, at which point he violated and sexually assaulted you. Those aren’t flaws you can learn to live with or actions you can excuse. Move on.

*** I am a 27-year-old man in an open marriage with a wonderful partner. They’re my best friend, I smile whenever they walk into the room, and we have a ton in common. We don’t, however, have that much sex. I’m currently seeing someone else and our sex is great. We’ve explored some light BDSM and pegging, and I’m finding myself really enjoying being a sub. I’m kind of terrified that, as a man, I might accidentally violate someone’s boundaries. I’m also autistic, which makes navigating cues from partners rather difficult. Completely submitting to someone else weirdly makes me feel totally safe and free for kind of the first time. The problem is, my spouse is also pretty subby. When they do try to initiate sex, it’s often so subtle that I totally miss the signals. In the past month, I’ve had sex with my spouse maybe once, compared to four or five times with my other partner. My question is this: have you seen examples of people in open marriages who essentially fulfill their sexual needs with secondary partners, while still maintaining a happy companionable partnership with their primary? Sexually Understanding Butt-Boy I’ve personally known people in loving, happy, sexless marriages who aren’t leading sexless lives; their marriages are companionate—some can even be described as passionate—but both

halves seek sexual fulfillment with secondary, tertiary, quaternary, etc., partners. But companionate open marriages only work when it’s what both partners want… and your partner’s feelings are conspicuously absent from your letter. How do they feel about being in a sexless or nearly sexless marriage? Your spouse would seem to be interested in having sex with you—they occasionally try to initiate—but perhaps your spouse is just going through the motions because they think it’s what you want. So… you’re gonna need to have a conversation with your spouse about your sex lives. If you’ve found being told what to do in unsubtle ways by your Dominant second partner to be sexually liberating, SUBB, you could ask your spouse to be a little less subtle when they want to initiate—or, better yet, ask them not to be subtle at all. Nowhere is it written that subs like you and your spouse have to be subtle or sly or stand there waiting for others to initiate. “I am feeling horny and I’d really like to have sex tonight” is something submissives can and do say. Hey, Everybody: The deadline is right around the corner to submit short films—five minutes or less—to HUMP!, my dirty little film festival! Your HUMP! film can be hardcore, softcore, liveaction, animated, kinky, vanilla, gay, straight, lesbian, trans, enby: everyone and everything is welcome in HUMP! And HUMP! films are only screened in theaters—we don’t release anything online—so you can be a porn star in a movie theater for a weekend without having to be a porn star for eternity on the internet! The deadline to submit your film is September 13! Go to humpfilmfest.com to find out more about entering HUMP! On the Lovecast—Some medical causes for excessive horniness: savagelovecast.com.

mail@savagelove.net t@fakedansavage | clevescene.com | August 7 - 13, 2019

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