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Cleveland’s robust cover and tribute band scene remains thriving, which is good news for fans and musicians alike


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UPFRONT COUNTY CORRUPTION PROBE NETS THREE, INVESTIGATION CONTINUES Photo by Tim Evanson/FlickrCC

THE PUBLIC CORRUPTION investigation that began in the realm of the county’s IT department has expanded, now covering a broad range of county actions, including those which may have directly precipitated recent deaths at the county jail. In a Friday press release, county Prosecutor Michael O’Malley announced the indictments of three current and former officials. Of those, the most serious was probably former jail director Ken Mills, who is indicted for lying twice — to county council about blocking the hiring of necessary nursing personnel at the jail, and to investigators about his interactions with an unnamed “high-level county official. He is also charged with other misdemeanors and felonies, including records tampering and telecommunications fraud. Mills “abruptly resigned” from his post in November. While his lying to council on May 22 is one of the marquee criminal acts referenced in the indictment, county residents should be more disturbed by what he was lying about. That it was Mills who blocked the hiring of nurses is known. In fact it was revealed later in the May 22 council meeting that Mills was interfering, and that the likely reason for chronic vacancies on the nursing staff was low wages. The question now is (or should be) whether Mills was blocking the hiring of medical personnel at the behest of someone else. Budish has been on a crusade to cut costs at the jail for some time. His desire to do so, while also adding revenue from suburban jails, was pegged as the root cause of the jails horrific conditions by Courtney Astolfi and Adam Ferrise at Cleveland.com. In an almost unbelievable act, worthy of public outcry, Budish demanded the firing of Gary Brack, who oversaw medical care at the jail. It was Brack who, at the May 22 meeting, said that Mills had been obstructing the hiring of nurses. Budish went to MetroHealth CEO Akram Boutros the very next day to demand that Brack be axed. Boutros complied. The first death at the county jail

occurred two weeks later. There were seven more before the end of 2o18, conditions which prompted a US Marshals Report. Even under this intense scrutiny, an inmate died after a suicide attempt on Dec. 27. And there was yet another suicide attempt last week. The other two indictments Friday were: Emily McNeeley, former general counsel for the county’s IT department. She had been one of the first targets of subpoenas in 2018 and is indicted, among other things, for steering contracts to Hyland software, where her wife is an employee and has an ownership stake, which McNeeley never disclosed. Douglas Dykes, current chief talent officer. Dykes’ indictment is somewhat confusing. The “corruption” he’s responsible for, per the indictment, is paying $15,000 to Chief Information Officer James Hay as a “signing bonus.” Evidently, Dykes didn’t receive authorization to

redesignate Hay’s “improper moving expenses” as a signing bonus, so he lied and said that then-law director Robert Triozzi had given him the okay to do so. This is a clear overstep, but State Auditor Dave Yost had already ruled that these signing bonuses, which were hatched and implemented by both Dykes and Budish, were illegal. Hay agreed to repay the $15,000 last year. The issue seemed to have been resolved. So why a criminal indictment? And why Dykes, but not Budish? (Perhaps we’re to believe that it was Dykes, and not Budish, pushing for the county’s selective personnel perks all along?) The criminality and malfeasance here, while indicative of Armond Budish’s disappointing track record in choosing leaders to surround himself with, also seems to fall partially under what would normally be tackled and handled by the Inspector General. Which helps explain why the news has been met thus far with reactions somewhere

between trumpet and fart noises. But there may be more news coming in the future. O’Malley said in Friday’s press release that his investigation was ongoing, so these indictments may only have been a prelude to the criminal prosecution of bigger fish. — Sam Allard

“Daytime Pyrotechnics” for the Q’s Final Steel Beam; Silence for the Ongoing Debt Officials convened across from the Quicken Loans Arena last week to celebrate the completion of structural steel work on the Q’s expansive new Huron Road facade. The public subsidy for the construction project, now with a price tag of $185 million after Cavs owner Dan Gilbert announced earlier this year that he’d be chipping in $45 million on top of his original alleged $70 million contribution, was the subject of much political theater and community | clevescene.com | January 23 - 29, 2019

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UPFRONT opposition in 2017. Familiar plaudits prevailed at the press event. County Executive Armond Budish, Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson and City Council President Kevin Kelley joined Cavs President Len Komoroski and others in their worship of the facility. “I don’t think anything does more for this region than The Q,” Armond Budish said in prepared remarks. “People come and spend money at our bars, hotels, restaurants and shops.” A press release announcing the event teased that it would conclude with some light “daytime pyrotechnics.” The tone of these officials — that is, the tone-deafness — to say nothing of the fireworks, in light of recent county events, boggles the mind. Two related newsworthy items went unmentioned in the (thankfully limited) coverage. The first is that the steel beam event occurred on Jan. 16, one day after the county paid $8.7 million in debt service for original construction costs on the Gund Arena. Thanks

to significant overruns, the county will be paying that off until 2023. This annual payment has been in the $8-10 million range since 2014, and according to projections provided by a county spokeswoman last week, the debt service is likely to remain at about $8.7 million each year until the final year of the repayment schedule (2023), when it will drop to $6.6 million. In July of that year, the regular season admissions tax on tickets for Q events will immediately shift to begin funding the debt service on bonds taken out for the Q’s current renovation. But the county is paying off investors every six months in the meantime. On Jan. 1, according to the 17-year repayment schedule provided by KeyBank, the county made its second installment payment on the three bonds that were used to fund the public portion of the Q Deal: $635,000 in interest on its Series A bonds; $600,000 in interest on Series B bonds; and $2.7 million, ($1.7 million in principal and $1 million in interest) on Series C bonds. The first installment occurred, coincidentally, on the day LeBron signed a four-year contract with the Los Angeles Lakers. That the region is encumbered

by so much overlapping debt on these sports facilities — to say nothing of the Sin Tax, which funds capital improvements; or the county parking tax, which ought to be funding public transit but instead funds First Energy stadium — must be noted repeatedly. Why? To demonstrate the cruelty of the region’s fiscal priorities, and the miserable social and economic outcomes they generate. The other newsworthy element related to the press event was that it occurred only two hours before the latest suicide attempt at the Cuyahoga County Jail, which has become a grotesque scandal in recent months. The inmate survived, and therefore did not become the facility’s ninth death since June, which would have given the County Jail the same number of prisoner deaths in seven months as Guantanamo Bay since it opened as a detention center in 2002. These jail deaths, especially the suicides by inmates with known mental health disorders, are directly related to the Q Deal. One of the issues that the deal’s opponents emphasized in their efforts to incorporate community spending into the deal was mental health crisis centers.

When the Greater Cleveland Congregations, one of the main opposition groups, ultimately caved to elite pressures, thereby sabotaging the enormously successful opposition coalition, they did so on the grounds that Armond Budish would make a good-faith effort to “explore best practices” related to the crisis centers. GCC had initially wanted two new crisis centers, one on the west side, one on the east, in addition to workforce training pipelines and capital investments in neighborhoods, as part of a community equity fund. They were content to settle for the county’s vague and non-financial commitments. It is superfluous to note that nothing ever came of these commitments, and GCC doesn’t appear to have held the county to them, as they assured Scene they would. -Allard

Cleveland Becomes a “Say Yes” City, But Questions Remain Cleveland was last week officially named a Say Yes to Education city, which, thanks to a $90 million endowment fund, means that eligible four-year graduates of CMSD high

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schools will have access to “last dollarâ€? scholarships to 117 private colleges and universities and all 37 public Ohio colleges and universities. The total fundraising goal for the endowment is $125 million. The program aims to boost high school and college graduation for inner-city youths and includes “wraparoundâ€? services that will address emotional and social well-being as well. “Beginning this year,â€? said CMSD CEO Eric Gordon, “students who live in the CMSD footprint and attend CMSD high schools for their full four years of school will be eligible for a last dollar scholarship that will pay the balance of their tuition and fees (after Federal and State aid). And, thanks to a community effort that has already raised nearly $90 million for this scholarship fund, it means we will be able to offer those scholarships every year for the next 25 years! That’s two full generations of CMSD scholars! It also means that, beginning next school year, CMSD will begin implementing the Say Yes wrap-around services in 15 percent of our schools with a goal of implementing those services in every CMSD school by school year 202223!â€? Founded in 1987, the nonproďŹ t Say Yes to Education ďŹ rst worked with small groups in Philadelphia, New York City, Cambridge and Hartford. Expansion in 2008 to communitywide chapters encompassing entire districts included Syracuse, Buffalo and Guilford County, North Carolina. Cleveland is the fourth community-wide location. The City of Cleveland, CMSD, Cuyahoga County, the Cleveland Foundation, the United Way of Greater Cleveland and College Now Greater Cleveland have worked diligently to meet the requirements set forth by Say Yes to Education and to raise the scholarship endowment. Questions remain about some aspects of the plan, which will include lead-testing students, as well as how the wrap-around services will be provided (i.e. shifted by Cuyahoga County from where staff and money is deployed currently, for instance). And as the Brookings Institute found last year, underlying inequalities in housing, segregation and poverty may mean Say Yes doesn’t achieve all that it promises. “Unless accompanied by deeper reform of the education system as a whole, and of the inequality underlying it, even the most ambitious, innovative and sustained efforts will have, at best, modest results,â€? it read. All students who reside continuously in Cleveland for those

four years of high school and graduate are eligible. A further process on the eligibility of charter school attendees and approved partnerships between CMSD and those schools will be announced sometime in 2019, according to the Say Yes to Education Cleveland website. (Cleveland has far more charter schools than the other three participating cities.) Family incomes of $75,000 or less will mean a scholarship that covers the full cost of tuition, minus state and federal aid and grants. Family incomes above $75,000 will mean $5,000 a year to help cover tuition. The median household income in the city of Cleveland, if you were wondering, is somewhere around $26,000 a year. And while high school graduation rates have climbed 20% for CMSD students, only 20% of Cleveland residents have a two or four-year college degree. –Vince Grzegorek

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FEATURE

THE HIT PARADE Cleveland’s robust cover and tribute band scene remains thriving, which is good news for fans and musicians alike By Annie Zaleski Photo by John Faddis

“WELL, IT LOOKS LIKE WE HAVE a whole lot of Journey fans out there!” says Jason Kelty, the lead vocalist of E5C4P3–The Journey Tribute. Using his hand like a visor, he’s peering out at the sold-out crowd of New Year’s Eve revelers at Hard Rock Live at the Rocksino. We’re still in the 10 p.m. hour, but the audience is clearly already feeling frisky as E5C4P3 rolls through their first set. A man and woman wearing festive shiny bowler hats playfully hold on to one another and dance around during “Feeling That Way/Anytime,” breaking only when the man, clearly overcome by the sheer awesomeness, starts air-drumming. Several feet in front of them, two women dressed alike in matching silver tops wave their hands in the air throughout “Lovin’ Touchin’ Squeezin’.” During the ballad “Lights,” a nearby couple— her sporting a sleeveless glittery top and a “Happy New Year” headband; him rocking yellow and green leis—slow dances like no one else is in the room. As the set winds down with the fistpumping anthem “Any Way You Want It,” the pair starts making out like lovelorn teenagers. As these scenes unfold, a jeansclad Kelty is busy belting out these hits and swapping shirts—a red tailcoat, a white overcoat with tails over a black T-shirt, a leather jacket. Journey fans will recognize these items of clothing as similar to ones worn by former vocalist Steve Perry, which is no accident. Onstage, Kelty’s vocal cadences and range are dead ringers for the beloved rock icon’s pipes, and the same goes for his appearance. Even his hair— a pin-straight shag—mimics the ‘do worn by early ’80s, MTVsuperstar-era Perry. Behind him, the band supplies booming synths and rippling, jagged guitar tones in topnotch emulation of Journey. E5C4P3 celebrated 25 years as a

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E5C4P3–The Journey Tribute

band in 2018—an impressive feat for any group, but doubly so for a tribute act. “We’ve gone [from] place to place, and it’s all because everybody loves Journey,” Kelty says a few weeks later. “It worked like that back in the ’90s—and today it’s even way stronger.” Tribute and cover bands— and, make no mistake, the terms shouldn’t necessarily be used interchangeably—are big business in Northeast Ohio. Head to nearly any outdoor event or festival during the warmer months and, chances are, these groups are providing musical

| clevescene.com | January 23 - 29, 2019

entertainment. Cover and tribute acts permeate the club and bar scene as well, both at long-time usual suspects (Westlake’s Time Warp, North Olmsted’s Sly Fox Lounge, the Rocksino’s Club Velvet) and venues that book a mix of originals and touring acts, such as the Music Box Supper Club and the Winchester. Northeast Ohio’s cover scene is vast and varied. Decade- and genrespecific groups proliferate, from the ’90s- and ’00s-leaning Top 40 troupe Pop Fiction to hip-hop-centric Old Skool to ’80s-heavy 80s proof for new wavers. Fans of ’80s hard rock and

metal can go see Juke Box Heroes or the long-running troupe Cleveland’s Breakfast Club featuring Paul Sidoti, the local native who’s been Taylor Swift’s lead guitarist since 2007. Even the local original music community gets in on the fun— notably on Halloween, when rock, punk and indie musicians work up elaborate covers sets for an annual show at the Beachland Ballroom. Other tribute acts focus on individual bands, such as the Cars (Moving In Stereo), David Bowie (Diamond Dogs), the Beatles (The George Martins) and Pat Benatar


Photo by Mara Robinson

The Boys From County Hell

(Invincible). Metal fans have acts dedicated to AC/DC (Dirty Deeds), Van Halen (Panama) and Iron Maiden (Maiden Voyage). Several years ago, there was even a shortlived tribute to the Sensational Alex Harvey Band, a British rock band adored here in the ’70s thanks to WMMS airplay. In short, no matter what era or style of music you’re into—chances are, there’s a band in town catering to your interests or hitting that perfect nostalgic sweet spot. For the musicians playing in these groups, motivations also vary. Covers-centric gigs can pay very well, and function as a reliable additional revenue stream. Some covers or tribute bands are simply an outlet for low-pressure musical fun. Others give musicians a chance to stay on their toes or hone additional instruments. In short, there are many reasons to be in—or see—a cover or tribute band, and every one of them is valid.

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Cleveland’s tribute band patriarch is the late Bill Pettijohn, who fronted Moonlight Drive, a Doors tribute. “He created that aura of Jim Morrison,” says Eric “Eroc” Sosinski, bassist/ vocalist for the popular Pink Floyd tribute Wish You Were Here. “He was channeling Morrison; he was living

the part.” Sosinski himself is a tribute band veteran who performed with Harvest Pink Floyd Revue for five years starting in 1988 before co-founding Wish You Were Here with Jim Tigue in 1995. “There really weren’t very many tribute acts at that point,” Sosinki says. “We came out of the gate right away with sold-out shows.” Lance Horwedel started the Fleetwood Mac tribute act Rumours with his then-girlfriend back in 1997, around the time the real band’s golden-era lineup regrouped for a well-received tour. Rumours’ first gig, at the Huron River Festival, also drew well, he says. Kelty says E5C4P3 had a slightly tougher go of it in the ’90s, when they were weekend warriors racking up miles doing out-of-town gigs. “It really took a toll on us because, back then, tribute bands were not respected like they are today,” Kelty says. “There were a lot of tribute bands that were trying to play [then], but a lot of them were not really that great. They were just sort of garage bands that were playing the same music of the band they were tributing. They weren’t really good at sounding just like who they were tributing.” Indeed, the major difference between tribute and cover bands is execution. The latter has more

leeway to be casual. The former, however, are held to much higher standards, especially performancewise. “You try and get it as close to the record as possible, because that’s the way people know it,” Kelty says. “When people hear it the way they remember it from the radio, that makes people go, ‘These guys are great!’ If there [are] lots and lots of wrong notes, then people are going to go ‘Ehh, they’re okay.’ Getting the stuff as close to the record is really what makes a tribute band truly a tribute band, makes us worth our salt.” Kelty is lucky in that he bears a striking resemblance to Steve Perry, and has a sense of humor about tributing Journey. For example, at the Rocksino, he prefaced the Perry solo cut “Oh Sherrie” by paying homage to several plot points in the song’s video, like when the rocker grabs a broom and also sports a jaunty hat. Of course, not every musician is a rock star doppelganger, although there are plenty of ways to create an authentic experience. Wish You Were Here, for example, has Floydian stage props—including an inflatable pig with glowing green eyes and a mini version of the famous whitebricked Wall—and focuses on instrumentation. “I’m very big on the details,” Sosinski says. “That’s what

makes a tribute band successful: It’s all in the details. Using the vintage instruments that the acts used, getting those little things like the sound effects, the phrasing of the vocals. That’s really what sets apart the bar-level tribute bands with the concert-level tribute bands.” Yet replication isn’t a hard-andfast rule, according to Tom Prebish. That’s why his Grateful Dead tribute band, Sunshine Daydream, looks more to capture the improvised, loose spirit of the famed group. Each show has a different setlist—in fact, it’s a point of pride that Sunshine Daydream never plays the same Dead gig twice—and is always rotating new tunes into their repertoire, which currently numbers between 75 and 80 Dead songs. “The comment I get most is that ‘You guys aren’t trying to be the Dead, but you channel that feeling of exploration, live performance,’ things like that,” says Prebish, a self-proclaimed life-long Deadhead. “There’s a pretty wide range of ages of people that come to see us— younger people that never even saw the Grateful Dead to people that have seen the Dead hundreds of times. And they all seem to say the same thing. ‘You guys have a reverence for that music. You’re not trying to replicate it.’” Tapping into that well of | clevescene.com | January 23 - 29, 2019

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FEATURE nostalgia certainly explains the appeal of cover and tribute bands. “People miss the richness of music from the past,” says Monique Orban, who handles Ann Wilson’s parts in the Heart tribute Straight On. “I feel like people are searching for music with meaning, like we all grew up with.” Tribute acts are also filling a live-concert void, she adds. “A lot of these beloved musicians and bands are no longer with us, or are currently not touring—like Heart, for instance,” Orban says. “People miss the live music experience of their favorite bands that they grew up with. With a good tribute band, it’s as close as you can get to experiencing the real thing all over again.” Sosinski concurs. “People want to communally celebrate their favorite bands. They want to recreate going to the concerts that they used to go to in the ’70s and ’80s. Tribute bands fill that void.”

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It’s two days before Christmas and Pogues tribute band The Boys From The County Hell are amping up the rowdiness at their annual pre-holiday House of Blues show. A smattering of Santa hats can be seen in the crowd, alongside more punkish attire, such as a U.S. Bombs jacket. Vocalist and ringleader Doug McKean, his gravelly voice echoing Pogues’ ringleader Shane MacGowan, exults the crowd. “We’ve been looking forward to this for 364 days,” he exclaims after finishing “Greenland Whale Fisheries.” During the two-hour set, The Boys From The County Hell mix original Pogues classics and traditional Irish tunes popularized by the band, as well as a few Clash tunes and (appropriately) a riproaring encore run-through of the Kinks’ “Father Christmas.” Yet the range of dynamics on display gives the concert nuance. During the ballad “Rainy Night In Soho,” McKean turns in a laconic, sad-bastard performance while sipping a beer to match a muted trumpet. In contrast, “The Galway Girl” made the crowd spring to life and sing along lustily, and the speedy, “The Sick Bed of Cuchulainn” spawned mass hollering and clapping. Of course, the night’s centerpiece is a melancholy re-arrangement of

the now-holiday classic “Fairytale of New York.” After kicking off with a slow and sad intro from a live string section, the song soars as McKean teams up with guest Ashlie Sletvold, a bold and brassy singer who handily takes on Kirsty MacColl’s parts. The pair slow dance together to the end of the song, while people in the audience also similarly throw their arms around one another’s shoulders and sway to the music, tipsy on drink and emotion. Since playing their first show on St. Patrick’s Day in 2000, The Boys From The County Hell have grown into one of the most wellrespected tribute act in the area and beyond; they’ve even toured as the backing band for an original Pogues member, Spider Stacy. When they’re not raging through Irish punk, however, many members of The Boys From County Hell spend their time playing original music. For example, both McKean and Prebish, as well as guitarist Chris Allen, perform with holiday troupe Ohio City Singers. “I certainly wouldn’t say that being in a cover band is free of drama, but it’s different drama,” McKean says about the differences between cover and original groups. “The pressure on what to do creatively, how to promote it, and the way people’s egos get tied up in what an original band creates— there’s none of that. For the most part, it’s much easier for that reason.” He also has his own theories on why people enjoy cover and tribute bands. “They’re hearing the version of the song in their head that they’ve heard a thousand times as you’re doing it, so I think you get an automatic boost to how you sound to a listener,” he says. “They like the music and don’t get to see it performed often—or ever. They’re curious about how someone does playing songs they love, so they want to check it out to sort of grade it.” Still, getting fans to care as much about artists playing original music can be tougher. “There’s a lot of people who really enjoy hearing songs they’re already familiar with rather than wanting to check out something new, honestly,” says Beth, bassist/vocalist in the lowkey, classic rock-leaning Lynyrd Skynflute. For Brent Kirby, coming up against this mindset can be frustrating. He’s one of the most forceful champions of original music in Cleveland, between his own projects and his tenure hosting the


weekly 10 X 3 Songwriter Showcase at Brothers Lounge, which requires participants to perform a song they’ve written. Typically, if Kirby is playing a cover at one of his own shows, it’s a song written by one of his local musician friends, such as Ray Flanagan, Ed Bridge or the late Larry Trupo. Yet he also helms the popular Gram Parsons cover band The New Soft Shoe, which recently celebrated nine years together by launching a 2019 residency at Forest City Brewery. The troupe’s parameters are rigorous, and center on historical accuracy. “We get kind of nerdy about it,” he says. “Our rule is if Gram played it—and there’s evidence that Gram played it, like on a setlist or recording—then it’s fair game.” That means setlists might touch on the Byrds’ Sweetheart of the Rodeo and Parsons’ own Grievous Angel, as well as outtakes, hotel tapes and even unfinished tunes. Still, Kirby stresses that the New Soft Shoe is a low-stress musical endeavor. “We’ve rehearsed three times in nine years. Everything that we’ve done has just been through repetition and unsaid musical communication,” he says. And it “was never ever for anything but our own amusement, honestly. It’s lasted for nine years because the musicianship is so good in that band that you can’t deny it when you hear it. I’m happy to be a part of it. All those guys are so talented, and we’ve raised the level of each other’s playing.” And Kirby feels very strongly that there is a difference between cover and tribute bands. “Tribute bands are trying to be exactly like… they’re trying to look, they’re trying to act, you know, even if it’s a British accent, they’re doing the British accent, whatever it is,” he says. “That stuff has never interested me. I’d much rather people go out and interpret those songs. And I understand that the public can’t see those bands anymore and they want to see those bands. But it just doesn’t interest me. It’s not authentic.”

Escape album,” Kelty says casually afterward. “Oh, wait, there’s one more.” Cue, of course, the opening piano chords of “Don’t Stop Believin’,” and the attendant exuberant mayhem of cheering and singing. After the countdown to midnight, things start winding down, and the crowd is noticeably more subdued. Kelty too is in a reflective mood. “Twenty-six years ago, someone gave me the idea of being in a Journey tribute band,” he told the crowd. “What a life-changing idea that was.” This is E5C4P3’s first time

playing the Rocksino. Their 2019 calendar is already looking busy — April shows at the Akron Civic Theatre and Music Box Supper Club are both reportedly selling like hotcakes, and several out-of-town concerts in Pennsylvania are already on the docket. On the surface, cover and tribute bands function a lot like original bands, with a steady slate of shows and stellar production values. Wish You Were Here, for example, has a lighting director who puts together elaborate videos, as well as lasers and other effects. In tribute band

circles, as with the original music community, you’ll find plenty of lineup overlap. Kelty drums in an ’80s-centric act called Rubix Cubed, and also sings for the classic rockoriented Juke Box Heroes, while Orban is also in First Snow–A Tribute to the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Many players in tribute bands also play original music; for example, Horwedel books steady gigs under his own name and releases albums with a band called Bar 61. Sosinski, meanwhile, is a bassist in Michael Stanley & The Resonators and the covers project

***

It’s about 12 minutes to 2019 at the Rocksino and E5C4P3 have just powered through a series of Journey smashes. First comes the epic ballad “Open Arms”; next, the soaring, melancholic rocker “Still They Ride”; then finally, the 1981 Top 5 hit “Who’s Crying Now,” replete with a faithful guitar solo by Steve Raz. “That was all the hits from the

| clevescene.com | January 23 - 29, 2019

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Photo by Emanuel Wallace

FEATURE Midlife Chryslers. For the latter, having these other outfits is a welcome outlet. “With Wish You Were Here, I’m wearing all these different hats—tour manager, production director singer, bass player, chief cook and bottle washer,” he says with a laugh. “So it is kind of liberating, in a way, when I play with Michael, because all I have to concentrate on is the bass and my performance.” Still, it’s a myth that every cover or tribute musician wants to do original music. Kelty, for one, cut his teeth in a half-originals, half-covers band Heavens Reign before joining E5C4P3, but says he since realized he’s “always been a cover bands guy.” “Over time, it became pretty evident to me that I really am just not interested in trying to become a songwriting rock star,” he says. “I just always gravitated towards covers material, just reproducing what I’ve grown up hearing.” For Kelty, this mindset is rooted in pragmatism. At 47, he’s under no illusion that mainstream fame is looming, and he’s okay with that.

Fake ID

“I already know that my time has passed trying to get into an original band and making it big as a rock star. If that was going to happen, it would’ve happened back in the early ’90s,” he says. “Some people want to become the rock star by writing their own songs, and some people just prefer to just copy what they’ve heard. It’s two different mindsets—

and I think my mindset is more lucrative, as a working musician.” He’s not wrong: Multiple artists interviewed admit that compensation for original music pales in comparison to fees for cover or tribute bands. (Original music does pay dividends elsewhere, however. For example, Howerdel says his original band project Bar 61 has

placed music in TV shows, including Daredevil and Nashville.) Yet original musicians see non-monetary benefits for having a cover band side hustle. “Having this band that plays in front of big crowds consistently has made me a much better performer,” McKean says. “I get pretty sensitive about feeling rejected when I do my own stuff for people who talk over it,

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| clevescene.com | January 23 - 29, 2019

or if no one is there at all. I’ve gotten quite a confidence boost by playing in a band that people always love.” Prebish, a bassist by trade, uses Sunshine Daydream as an outlet to hone his lead guitar skills. Lynyrd Skynflute “started as a half-jokey, ‘Let’s get a band together and do a set of Skynyrd for the Beachland Halloween show’” thing, Beth says. “We’ve all played in punk and stoner rock bands and none of us take ourselves too seriously, or were really going for anything remotely resembling playing the all the hits or doing the material verbatim.” (Video from gigs where they’ve played Skynyrd’s “The Needle and the Spoon” and “Don’t Ask Me No Questions” bears this out.) However, what was supposed to be a one-time performance led to several other gigs, and the band reassessing their future. “It ended up being some of the best times I’ve ever had playing music with people and it was nice to not have the pressure of ‘making it,’ or scene points, or fighting over the creative process, because that was already done way before any of us were born,” Beth says. “As much as my younger self would be snarky and that’s so dad rock about a lot of this, I really get why it’s a thing. People enjoy it, and we’ve had a lot of fun, so we’re still hanging out, playing together, and branching out into some other songs we love and seeing where it goes from here.”

***

The level of professionalism and ambition evident in Northeast Ohio’s cover and tribute band circuit is impressive. For example, Orban says one of the biggest challenges with Straight On is “performing the music as precisely as Heart would have. Each of us goes out on stage and says, ‘Okay, let’s do this like members of Heart are out there in the audience.’ I at least do that. If Ann [Wilson] ever showed up to a show or saw a video of us performing her material, I’d hope that she’d enjoy it.” These bands are also always striving for better (and bigger) shows. Straight On is revising its setlist for 2019. In April, Sunshine Daydream plans to perform the Grateful Dead’s Workingman’s Dead and American Beauty LPs back to back at the Winchester. And Wish

You Were Here is launching what Sosinski calls the band’s “biggest multimedia production” to date at the Masonic Auditorium on April 27. Dubbed the Any Brick You Like Tour 2019, it’ll feature selected cuts from The Wall to commemorate the album’s 40th anniversary and other choice hits, as well as new inflatables. These shows are a reflection of how much the tribute band circuit is thriving. “If you told me 20 years ago I was still going to be Lindsey Buckingham 20 years from now, I’d have said, ‘There’s no way,’” says Rumours’ Horwedel. “I saw it as maybe a five-year thing.” Adds Sosinki: “We’ve got our biggest crowds that we’ve ever played to, 24 years going.” The reason for this longevity is clear to him, however: “The music is timeless. That’s one of the great things about Pink Floyd: Each new generation discovers Dark Side Of The Moon.” Each new generation is also embracing classic rock—and some are even taking an openminded perspective on the sonic opportunities afforded by cover bands. “People like seeing them because it’s music that they can relate to that they’ve heard before,” says Norah Hyman, the 12-year-old vocalist for Fake ID, a cover band that’s booked gigs at the Symposium and Stella’s Music Club. “Some cover bands play [music] how they hear it, but other bands can shift [music], and it can give the listeners a new perspective on the song.” Formed in September 2017, Fake ID—whose members first met at local School of Rock classes—focuses on hard rock and classic rock. Although the band is working on original music, their existing covers repertoire is robust, encompassing acts such as AC/DC, Muse, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and, their favorite song to play, Rage Against the Machine’s “Killing In The Name.” And, perhaps unsurprisingly given Hyman’s generous perspective, Fake ID are putting their own spin on things. “We tend to change in the songs to make it more difficult for us,” Hyman says. “A lot of the vocal stuff, [my bandmates] let me decide what I want to do with it.” Such freedom has helped improve her vocal technique, namely by showing her she doesn’t have to add “grit” to her singing voice. “Now I’m able to put my own touch on the songs instead of copying them.”

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| clevescene.com | January 23 - 29, 2019

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| clevescene.com | January 23 - 29, 2019


GET OUT everything you should do this week Photo by Emanuel Wallace

WED

01/23

SPOKEN WORD

Cleveland Stories Dinner Parties Cleveland Stories Dinner Party is a weekly series that pairs fine food with storytelling. Through it, the folks at Music Box Supper Club hope to raise awareness of the mission of the Western Reserve Historical Society’s Cleveland History Center. The goal of the Cleveland Stories Dinner Party is to “bring to life some of the fun, interesting stories about Cleveland’s past — from sports, to rock ‘n’ roll, to Millionaires’ Row,” as it’s put in a press release. Admission is free, with no cover charge, although a prix fixe dinner, designed to complement the night’s theme, is $20. Tonight, sportswriter Dan Coughlin will talk about the most outlandish people he’s known during the course of his career. Doors open at 5 p.m., dinner is served at 6, and the storytelling starts at 7. (Jeff Niesel) 1148 Main Ave., 216-242-1250, musicboxcle.com. LECTURE

An Evening with Claudia Rankine As part of Case Western Reserve University’s Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities lecture series, poet Claudia Rankine will read from her new book, Citizen: An American Lyric, a book about “mounting aggressions in ongoing encounters in 21st century daily life and in the media.” The event takes place at 7:30 tonight at the Cuyahoga County Public Library Parma-Snow Branch. Admission is free. (Niesel) 2121 Snow Rd., Parma, 216-661-4240, cuyahogalibrary.org. CATEGORY

An Iliad With An Iliad, the Cleveland Play House takes on Homer’s classic story, and the theatrical rendition of the epic narrative will feature “vivid storytelling” and live cello as two women transform a bare stage into a “raging battlefield where gods, heroes, and empires clash in a quest for vengeance and glory.” Tonight’s show takes place at 7:30 p.m. at the Outcalt Theatre, where performances continue through Feb. 3. Tickets start at $25. (Niesel) 1407 Euclid Ave, 216-241-6000, playhousesquare.org.

The Cleveland Winter Beerfest returns to the Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland. See: Friday COMEDY

Stand Up Science with Shane Mauss Since they both change our perceptions of the world, standup comedy and science have plenty in common. That’s something that comedian Shane Mauss exploits with his podcast Here We Are. Tonight, Mauss brings his Stand Up Science show to Hilarities. The show won’t be your typical standup comedy concert. Mauss will start the night with a set on “brainy topics” and then hand the stage over to his guests. At the end of the night, Mauss will bring the guests back onstage and host a Q&A and interactive discussion. Guests for the Hilarities show include Jeremy Genovese, Liz Blanc and Andrew B. Slifkin. An Associate Professor of Human Development and Educational Psychology at Cleveland State University, Genovese specializes in things like cognitive evolution, the Flynn Effect, memory improvement, behavioral learning theory, evolutionary psychology, the psychology of belief, and the cognitive effects of meditation and yoga. A local comedian, Blanc has performed all over the Midwest.

Slifkin is currently an associate professor in the Department of Psychology at Cleveland State University where he studies understanding motor control processes in health and in disease (e.g., Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis). The show begins at 7:30 p.m., and tickets start at $15. (Niesel) 2035 East Fourth St., 216-241-7425, pickwickandfrolic.com.

THU

01/24

COMEDY

Capone Comedian Derrick “Capone” Lee served nine months in jail in the early ‘90s, He successfully left that life behind, however, when he turned to comedy. He performed for the first time ever at Columbia University and hasn’t looked back. His material often centers on subjects such as racism and social inequality. Capone has shared the stage with big-name comics such as Mike Epps and Tracey Morgan. He performs tonight at 7:30 at the Improv and has

shows scheduled at the club through Sunday. Tickets start at $12. (Niesel) 1148 Main Ave., 216-696-IMPROV, clevelandimprov.com. COMEDY

Erik Griffin A regular contributor to the hit TV comedy Workaholics, Erik Griffin plays cubical co-worker Montez Walker, a friend of three drugged-out party idiots. Montez often interrupts their grand schemes while telling them all about the explicit sexual acts he performs with his wife. Griffin has also released the comedy album Technical Foul Volume One. Indie/ punk label SideOneDummy Records put it out, making it the label’s first comedy album. Griffin performs tonight at 8 at Hilarities, where shows continue through Saturday. Tickets start at $23. (William Hoffman) 2035 East Fourth St., 216-241-7425, pickwickandfrolic.com. SPORTS

Monsters vs. Chicago Wolves For all non-holiday weekday games, the Cleveland Monsters will offer a special Hockey Hoppy Hour | clevescene.com | January 23 - 29, 2019

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GET OUT promotion. Starting at just $11, the ticket includes a lower-level ticket and a beverage. Tonight at 7, the team faces off against the Chicago Wolves at the Q. The two teams play again at 7 on Saturday when it’s Cleveland Heroes Rock day. The game will honor everyone from parents to first responders, and the first 10,000 fans will receive a Cleveland Heroes Rock T-shirt. (Niesel) 1 Center Court, 216-420-2000, theqarena.com.

FRI

today and continues through Sunday at the I-X Center. Even if you’re not shopping for a bike, there’s plenty to do and see. Today’s hours are 3 to 8 p.m. Check the website for Saturday and Sunday’s schedule and for more information, including ticket prices. (Niesel) 1 I-X Center Drive, 216-676-6000, ixcenter.com.

Select Wednesdays

01/25

cello, violin and banjo and draws from Newgrass, rock and classical. The three musicians have degrees from respected institutions like Indiana University, Oberlin and Eastman School of Music. Part of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park Concert Series, tonight’s concert starts at 8 at the Happy Days Lodge. Consult the Cuyahoga Valley National Park website for ticket

from 6 PM to 9 PM

Step inside the exhibits with the Rock Hall crew, grab a drink and bring out your musical fandom.

SPORTS

Cavaliers vs. Miami Heat The Cleveland Cavaliers and the Miami Heat used to have a rivalry that stemmed from the fact that Cavs star LeBron James once took his talents to South Beach. But now that James plays for the Lakers, those days are over. And given that the Cavs occupy the cellar of the Eastern Conference, this game will likely go to the Heat, a team vying for a playoff space. Tipoff is at 7:30 p.m. Check the Cavs site for ticket prices. (Niesel) 1 Center Court, 216-420-2000, theqarena.com.

FEBRUARY 13 ROCK & ROLL VALENTINE

Groove to some classic slow jams, test your knowledge of rock’s most notorious couples and take on the Love Hurts Scavenger Hunt.

MARCH 6 ROCK OFF THE RACK Explore some of the coolest fashion pieces in our collection and see how our favorite artists have inspired looks through the decades. Rock star dress code optional!

FOOD + DRINK

Cleveland Winter Beerfest An annual event that takes place each January at the Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland, the Cleveland Winter Beerfest will feature hundreds of beers from more than 120 breweries. The event takes place at 8 tonight and tomorrow night. The $55 ticket includes 25 samples in a 5oz. souvenir acrylic mug. VIP tickets are also available, and they include early admission to the event. Some of the proceeds benefit the Music Education Society and its mission to support music programs in underfunded schools. (Niesel) 300 Lakeside Ave., clevelandbeerfest.com.

APRIL 3 PUT THE NEEDLE ON THE RECORD TICKETS $

20 event admission & drink combo ($34 value)

In Advance at rockhall.com/nights General Admission Rates at Box Office

FREE admission for Members & CLE VIP (event admission only) presented by

1100 Rock and Roll Blvd., Cleveland, OH 44114 • 216-781-ROCK • rockhall.com

SAT

01/26

FAMILY FUN

International Motorcycle Show Spring is still a couple of months away, but it’s never too early to think about getting the bike out of storage or — even better — buying a new ride. All the local motorcycle dealers will show off their newest products at this annual event, which starts

18

MAY 1 WOODSTOCK

prices. (Niesel) 500 West Streetsboro Rd., Peninsula, 330-657-2909, ConservancyforCVNP.org.

MUSIC

Harpeth Rising Harpeth Rising, a group featuring three classically trained musicians uses three-part vocal harmonies reminiscent of both Appalachia and Medieval Europe. The group uses

| clevescene.com | January 23 - 29, 2019

COMEDY

Sebastian Maniscalco Sebastian Maniscalco puts a secondgeneration twist on everything he talks about, and it’s pretty funny. He observes how 50 years ago, his Italian

mom would save a cake “just for visitors” and leave the crap muffins for the family to eat. Nowadays, his mother cusses and pulls out a sword every time the doorbell rings. You won’t ever catch this guy playing basketball because Italians “don’t play sports” in America. Give him a meatball sandwich instead, and he’ll paint your whole ceiling. You’ll feel right at home if you happen to come from an Italian family; but even if you don’t, this guy’s observations are hilariously spot-on. He performs tonight at 7 and 9 at Connor Palace in Playhouse Square, where he also performs tomorrow night at 5 and 8 p.m. Tickets are $46 to $68. (Liz Trenholme) 1615 Euclid Ave., 216-241-6000, playhousesquare.org. FOOD

North Union Indoor Farmers Market Until March 30, the North Union Indoor Farmers Market will take place on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon at Crocker Park. Local farmers and bakers will be on hand to sell seasonal greens and vegetables, fruits, meats, cheeses and bakery items. The market is located at 228 Market Street between the Gap and Cyclebar. Though Crocker Park is home to just about every national retail chain you think of, Comet Alley, which is located between Yard House and Hyatt Place Hotel, features locally owned businesses and shops that’ll appeal to anyone with a “shop local” approach. (Niesel) Continues through March 30. 189 Crocker Park Blvd., Westlake, crockerpark.com. MUSIC

Tri-C High School Rock Off When the annual High School Rock Off launched some 20 years ago at the Odeon, the promoters at the locally based Belkin Productions (now Live Nation) saw it as a way to reach out to area high schools and provide the kind of outlet that students might not have. Two decades later, the event, now held at the Rock Hall, continues to thrive. Thirty-six bands will participate in this year’s competition. A total of 147 band members, including six solo artists, will represent 64 schools Three performance rounds will take place at the Rock Hall, leading up to the Final Exam that takes place on Saturday, Feb. 16 when the 2019 Best Band in the Land will be awarded by music and entertainment industry judges. Prizes include three scholarships to study in the Creative Arts program at Cuyahoga Community College. PNC Bank will help high school seniors launch their careers in music by providing the scholarships. Tonight’s


competition takes place at 6, and tickets are $10. (Niesel) 1100 Rock and Roll Blvd., 216-515-8444, rockhall.com.

SUN

01/27

MUSIC

Following the Crumbs An American cartoonist and musician, R. Crumb displays a nostalgia for American folk culture of the late 19th and early 20th centuries in his artwork and music. He also effectively satirizes contemporary American culture. Crumb is truly an American original. Today, Roots of American Music (ROAM) will honor the man with Following the Crumbs, a free tribute concert that takes place at 5 p.m. at the 78th Street Studios. Crumb’s early career began at American Greetings, which was located in what is now the 78th Street Studios. Singer-songwriter Tim Easton will headline, and opening acts include locals such as the SpYder Stompers, Sugar Pie and Brent Kirby. As part of the event, Easton will record earlier in the day at the locally based Earnest Tube using direct-to-lacquer technology. (Niesel) 1300 West 78th St., 78thstreetstudios.com. FILM

More Art Upstairs An unusual international art competition, ArtPrize takes place every fall in Grand Rapids. More Art Upstairs, a new documentary from Jody Hassett Sanchez, focuses on the way the festival essentially takes the town over and draws audience members from all over the country. It makes its local debut today at 1:30 p.m. at the Cleveland Museum of Art, where it screens again at 1:45 p.m. on Tuesday. Tickets are $10, or $7 for CMA members. (Niesel) 11150 East Blvd., 216-421-7350, clevelandart.org. FILM

Time Remembered Tonight at 6, the Bop Stop pays tribute to jazz great Bill Evans with a screening of the documentary ďŹ lm Time Remembered. The movie covers the artist’s entire life and chronicles the time he spent playing with Miles Davis. Following the screening, the David Thompson Trio will perform music composed by Evans. Tickets cost $15. (Niesel) 2920 Detroit Ave., 216-771-6551, themusicsettlement.org.

FILM

The Wizard of Oz Fathom Events kicks off its 2019 TCM Big Screen Classics series today with special screenings of The Wizard of Oz in honor of the movie’s 80th anniversary. The classic ďŹ lm will play on nearly 700 movie screens nationwide. Screenings of the ďŹ lm, which stars Judy Garland, Frank Morgan, Jack Haley, Ray Bolger, Bert Lahr, Margaret Hamilton and Billie Burke, will take place at area theaters today, Tuesday and Wednesday, Jan. 30. Consult the Fathom Events website for times and ticket prices. (Niesel) fathomevents.com.

MON

5,000 YEARS OF CIVILIZATION REBORN

01/28

FILM

Movie Mondays Every Monday, Cleveland Cinemas hosts $5 Movie Mondays, where ďŹ lm fans can catch up on the latest Hollywood icks for signiďŹ cantly reduced prices. Bring your friends and family and make Movie Mondays a weekly tradition — many theaters even offer discounted concession stand items. Participating theaters include Apollo Theatre, Capitol Theatre, Cedar Lee Theatre, Chagrin Cinemas, Shaker Square Cinemas and Tower City Cinemas. Unfortunately, additional charges apply for 3-D movies. (Alaina Nutile) clevelandcinemas.com.

TUE

01/29

“Incredible... Groundbreaking!� —MSNBC

  ĆŤĆŤÄ‚Ä€Ä ÄŠĆŤ ĆŤÄ‘ĆŤ ĆŤ ĆŤ

Playhouse Square March 2 & 3 216-241-6000 SHENYUN.COM

SPORTS

Cavaliers vs. Washington Wizards The Washington Wizards have had a disappointing season so far and appear like they might miss the playoffs. With John Wall and Bradley Beal, they have a great tandem of guards, but they also play some of the worst defense in the league. And yet, the Wizards still have a much better record than the lowly Cavs. The two teams face off at 7 p.m. at the Q. Check the Cavs website for ticket prices. (Niesel) 1 Center Court, 216-420-2000, theqarena.com.

BREAKING NEWS. HOT OFFTHE INTERNET PRESS.

scene@clevescene.com t@clevelandscene

Only at clevescene.com SCENE | clevescene.com | January 23 - 29, 2019

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STAGE FLIPPING THE SCRIPT Less is more in Cleveland Play House’s powerful production of An Iliad By Gwendolyn Kochur THE ROSTER OF HEROES OF OUR past, both historical and fictional, are dominated by men, and so too are the tellers of those stories. They are the warriors, the knights, the soldiers, the slayers of dragons, the harbingers of peace and honor. Men triumph across our bedtime stories, the movie screens and throughout the pages of history books, and as storytellers, they have dominated for centuries. An Iliad, the play based on Homer’s epic poem about the Trojan War, is no exception. But Cleveland Play House’s production certainly is. By casting an incredibly talented woman in a role written for a man, CPH presents a unique perspective to an age-old story, making an already thought-provoking play doubly memorable. Written by Denis O’Hare and Lisa Peterson, An Iliad opened off-Broadway in 2012. Drawing from Robert Fagles’ translations of the ancient Greek piece, the story features a pivotal moment of the 10-year-long siege of the city of Troy by the Greeks. An Iliad tells the tale of Achilles, a demi-god seeking to siege the gilded city for the Greeks, and Hector, an honorable family man and Troy’s staunch defender. Directors Tara Flanagan and Andrew Carlson’s production brings to life thousands of ships off the shore of Troy, effectively translating the bloody battles that result in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of men and illustrates the emotional hardships derived from the terrors of war. And they do so with the talents of a single actress aided by a cellist. This actress, billed as the Poet, is co-director Tara Flanagan. She strides into the Outcalt Theatre, weathered traveling bag in hand and an aviator’s cap upon her head. Addressing the audience sitting on three sides of her, she confides that she has been singing this story of the Trojan War across the ages. The Poet is conversational, not only summarizing Homer’s story, but also making it accessible by relating the ancient saga to today. For example, she compares a killing rage with being cut-off in traffic.

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When she isn’t in direct conversation with the audience, she will embody the main characters of the story, employing differing accents and postures to convey the arrogance of King Agamemnon or the eagerness of Achilles’ young friend, Patrocius. Flanagan is phenomenal. She crafts illustrations of war using little more than her words, sand she pours upon the ground and a ladder. Designer Ian Stillman’s simple set, consisting of a gray brick wall, and almost stagnant lighting by Michael Boll, puts emphasis on the powers of the storyteller to convey imagery. And what a powerful storyteller she is. Despite the taxing nature of retelling an ancient Greek epic, Flanagan is very entertaining. However, the 100-minute show isn’t a brainless narrative audiences can coast through — it requires focus and diligence on the part of the observer — but the reward of experiencing one of the most authentic forms of storytelling is well worth the effort. The Poet spreads the tale with the aid of the Greek gods who send her muses to complement her story with music. The Muse sent to CPH’s production is the wonderful Eva Rose Scholz-Carlson, a cellist who composed an accompaniment for An Iliad and has performed it in multiple other productions across the country. Scholz-Carlson uses her cello in beautiful ways, beating her hand rhythmically against it as

Photo by Roger Mastroianni

of the Greeks and Troy, just as tired as the soldiers in her story were of fighting. To her, this isn’t just a story of war. Those hundreds of thousands of soldiers who died? They are more than a number. Each one was an individual, with a name, a life and a family. She knew them and she watched them die. Flanagan’s Poet seems to especially relate to the women — whether it be the wives or mothers — who were left to wait inside the city walls, praying that their sons, fathers, brothers or husbands would

AN ILIAD THROUGH FEB. 10 AT THE CLEVELAND PLAY HOUSE OUTCALT THEATRE, 1501 EUCLID AVE. 216-241-6000, clevelandplayhouse.com

percussion, scraping her bow across the strings to emit screeching to represent screams and plucking at various cords to create a tantalizing sort of battle-march. But the Muse isn’t only providing music to supplement the story, she is keeping a watchful, often concerned, eye traced on the Poet. For you see, as entertaining as it is, this story has taken its toll. Flanagan’s Poet is tired. She is weary of telling the tale

| clevescene.com | January 23 - 29, 2019

survive that day’s battle. And this is where the casting of a woman as the Poet adds an interesting perspective to the narrative. Prior men in the role have acted out the battle scenes with such vehemence, bloodlust and a sense of PTSD that it appears they were in the battle themselves. Flanagan mimes the battles with more of a frenzied choreography, not as if

she was a warrior herself, but an omnipresent spectator—much like the many women who felt powerless as they were forced to watch the men in their lives die. Flanagan expresses her anguish over these casualties with staggering authenticity, conveying the sense that she wished she could have stopped the senseless killing, or could have defended her friends herself. Flanagan may be portraying this epic battle of men, but she is also effectively shedding a much-needed light on the less represented but just as important vantage point of the women. And these horrors of war have withstood the test of time, as the Poet expresses when she (very impressively) lists what seems like almost every major war throughout history. And in turn, perhaps we can relate to a centuries old story after-all. Men may be the heroes of An Iliad, and so many stories that follow, but in this show, the two powerful women storytellers make this production one for the ages.

scene@clevescene.com t@clevelandscene


ART ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: LAURA WIMBELS After Faces of Cleveland, the photographer tackles new project on erotic dancers By Dott von Schneider Photo by Laura Wimbels

LAURA WIMBELS’ NEW SUBJECT matter might give her a pile of grief. Social media can be an artist’s best friend, but, in this day and age, it can turn against one faster than listeria riddled meat. The author of the photo documentary book Faces of Cleveland recalls how warmly and well received the book had been. Her work was being enjoyed in print and on television and the sky was the limit for its popularity. Then the 2016 election happened and the guy on the book cover turned out to be a Trump supporter and that’s when things went weirdly sideways. The backlash was completely unexpected. Wimbels recounts, “I was labeled a racist as the book was being picked apart because it didn’t feature enough people of color nor LGTBQ persons. Some people assumed I was a white male, despite my name clearly in print on the cover.” Wimbels is a person of color, by the way. The book happened organically, according to Wimbels. She had just gone through a traumatic breakup and moved into her own place. She started shooting portraits of friends to hang on the walls of her new pad and began posting those photos to Instagram. She created an account specifically for Faces of Cleveland and it garnered 200 followers in two days. “It started gaining traction and I felt brave enough to connect with people I had admired from afar,” she says. “I would cold call via email or messenger to get subjects. I would go to them. The photos are all shot with natural lighting.” She is mostly self-taught with a two-year degree from Tri-C, which helped her immensely in the area of studio photography. “My stepfather was a photographer,” she says. “I learned how to develop film in our laundry room.” Feeling discouraged, the artist put the continuation of the project on hiatus. She went back to school to study criminology where she can probe further into forensic photography, a subject the artist

has wanted to examine for some time. In our conversation, Wimbels revealed that she has been developing a project that began 10 years ago — a photo-documentary on strippers/erotic dancers. Wimbels had located a woman who retired from a career in pornography at age 24 and was performing as a feature dancer. For those not in the know, a feature dancer is an individual who is well known in the pornography or men’s club world and gets booked for the highly lucrative weekend circuit. “I met this woman at the Hustler Club when she was in town,” she says. “It happens that she is First Nation (Native American) and a classically trained singer with a college education. I wondered what led her into porn and dancing, so I looked up her schedule and flew to St. Louis to learn more about her.” Upon her arrival, Wimbels approached the bar manager and asked if she could speak with the young woman. “I asked permission to do a photo-documentary on her and she immediately agreed,” she says. “I spent the rest of the weekend photographing her as she got ready, while she worked her set, etc.” Her thoughts on the whole strip club experience evolved as she spent more time with the subject and in her workplace. “At first I had the mindset of, ‘Oh these poor girls. They have such low self-esteem. I feel so badly for them that they have to do this sort of job,’” she says. “Then, after two nights working on the project, my outlook completely changed. These girls are empowered women. They are business savvy and steadfast in their sights. They are very smart. The script was

flipped for me. Now I feel badly for the guys who go to these clubs that think the dancers really like them and pour out all of their money.” It is a fascinating subject that the photographer is tackling. Incidentally, she is seeking out other dancers for this new book, which she has set a deadline to finish and release. The light at the end of a tragic tunnel, the experience of a close friend’s untimely death is causing her to look again at expanding the Faces of Cleveland collection.

“After Nikki [Delamotte] died, I realized that I had to continue forward,” she says. “People are going to say what they want to say about you and sometimes you gotta let yourself become stagnant, but I’m ready to move forward and do more. I love talking with people, photographing them and listening to their stories. Everyone else be damned.”

scene@clevescene.com t@clevelandscene

| clevescene.com | January 23 - 29, 2019

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| clevescene.com | January 23 - 29, 2019


MOVIES OUT WITH A BANG Stan & Ollie captures the magic of the comedy duo’s farewell tour By Jeff Niesel TOWARD THE END OF THEIR career, the comedic duo Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy embarked on a UK tour with the hopes of convincing a British film company to finance their next movie, a comedic retelling of the Robin Hood story. It would be the last time the duo would ever perform together. Stan & Ollie, a new biopic starring Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly, captures that time period and the indescribable magic of their comedy. It opens areawide on Friday. The film commences in 1937 as Stan (Coogan) and Oliver (Reilly) are finishing up a Western. Unhappy with their contract with Hal Roach (Danny Huston), Stan parts with the studio, leaving Oliver to try to make a movie on his own after he fails to follow Stan out the door. Flash forward to 1953, and the two have landed in a small British town where they’re about to embark on a tour that will culminate with a show in London where a producer will hopefully see the act and go ahead with the financing of the Robin Hood project. The tour gets off to a rocky start as promoter Bernard Delfont (Rufus Jones) has booked smaller theaters, and only sparse crowds show up to see the two perform. “We thought you had retired,” one woman tells the men as they check into a hotel, nearly deflating their enthusiasm for the

venture. In order to boost ticket sales, Delfont has the men make some publicity appearances. The two are naturals and can turn something as simple as opening a car door into a comedy routine. As a result, the crowds pick up, and the shows begin to sell out. Stan continues to develop the script for Robin Hood even though he can’t seem to get a firm commitment from the film company that initially expressed an interest in the project. While on the tour, Oliver experiences some health issues. He has a bad knee that makes it difficult for him to dance, and he quickly gets out of breath during more physical routines too. In fact, he expresses his concern about whether he’d be able to handle one particular scene in Robin Hood where he has to fall backward into a river. While on tour, the two also air their dirty laundry. Stan still resents Oliver for making a movie without him, and Oliver is still angry with Stan for leaving Hal’s studio. The dispute serves as the film’s most dramatic moment, but it doesn’t define the duo’s relationship. On stage and off, the two have a remarkable chemistry, and Coogan and Reilly capture that with their terrific performances. Much of the movie centers on recreating

Photo courtesy BBC Films

the skits from the theater tour, providing a glimpse of what it must’ve been like to see the dynamic duo perform live. By the time they get to the tour’s end, Laurel and Hardy have generated so much word-of-mouth buzz that audiences are clamoring to see them. The film’s postscript informs us that even after Oliver’s

death in 1957, Stan continued to write bits for the two of them to perform. That revelation only deepens our appreciation for the way these remarkable comedians participated in what Reilly has referred to as a “comedic ballet.”

jniesel@clevescene.com t@jniesel

SPOTLIGHT: THE KID WHO WOULD BE KING WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY Joe Cornish, (who introduced the world to John Boyega with Attack the Block in 2011), The Kid Who Would Be King retells the Arthurian legend in contemporary England. The twohour family film opens Friday in wide release. A 12-year-old boy, Alex (Louis Ashbourne Serkis, youngest son of motion-capture legend Andy Serkis) discovers that he is King Arthur’s true heir and must save a lost and leaderless world from the predations of Arthur’s half-sister Morgana (Rebecca Ferguson), who’s been interred deep beneath the earth’s surface for centuries, but now senses

that the time is right for her to attack. Alongside his best friend Bedders (Dean Chaumoo) and two school bullies Lance (Tom Taylor) and Kaye (Rhianna Dorris), Alex must survive several consecutive nights of attack from Morgana’s minions, a flaming calvary who prove no match for the dexterity and swordsmanship of elementary schoolers. The children are guided in their quest by Merlin (a spotty Patrick Stewart), who generally assumes a teenage form (Angus Imrie) to monitor and hang with the kids. One senses that Imrie, a giraffe-like comedic presence who recalls Ferris Bueller’s Alan Ruck,

may be on the cusp of wider stardom. Director Joe Cornish seems to have a knack for spotting emerging talent. And Imrie, with his goofy face and impossible body, is a delight on screen. Scenes come alive when he shows up. The story itself is a tad long and meandering, and occasionally reliant (in scripted dialogue and visual stylings) on the likes of Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings. Some will recognize that the dramatic personal revelation near the film’s end is a carbon copy of one that appeared in 1993’s Rookie of the Year. The climax, in which a student body goes toe to toe with Morgana and her army of

bad guys, is full of fun, creative PG action that’s endlessly more original and entertaining than the over-thetop CGI clashes that have degraded the superhero film genre. Though the script tends toward moralizing and over-explanation, there are a handful of quite moving scenes. Among Cornish’s gifts is working well with young actors, and it should come as no surprise that he has coaxed some punchy, memorable performances from his leads. — Sam Allard

sallard@clevescene.com t@scenesallard | clevescene.com | January 23 - 29, 2019

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EAT TRACKING RIGHT A new chef has elevated the Ironwood Café’s menu far beyond its pub roots By Douglas Trattner Photos courtesy Ironwood Café

JUST ACROSS THE RAILROAD tracks from Bay Village sits a modest little tavern called the Ironwood. It is unremarkable in every single way except for the food, which is prepared by a chef with a strong desire to please his customers, many of whom have been warming the barstools for longer than he’s been cooking. Since the dawn of time, the bill of fare at the Ironwood looked, smelled and tasted nearly identical to what slides across the pass at countless saloons; that is to say, generic pub grub. But ever since Lloyd Foust tied on the apron about a year ago, this pub has been ever so slowly transitioning to more of a gastropub. There are still wings, burgers and nachos, but those nachos are now made with real cheese sauce, dotted with feta, and garnished with a flush of celery leaves, a point of pride that the chef is quick to highlight. “The original menu has been in place for nearly 10 years, with only small changes,” explains Foust, who admitted to receiving some initial pushback from regulars. “But eventually they welcomed me and began to trust me, and now they’ll come up to the window to thank me.” I’ve encountered lesser wedge salads ($8) at steakhouses than the one rolled out here. Two quarters of bracingly crisp, clean and cold iceberg are painted with thick, creamy and assertive Caesar

dressing, golden brown croutons, oven-roasted cherry tomatoes and a snow squall of freshly grated Parmesan. Despite the pub setting, the salad arrives with a sturdy steak knife for effortless carving. Sandwiches like the club, gyro and cheeseburger are grandfathered in from that long-standing menu, but now they’re joined by a fried bologna sandwich ($12) starring thin-sliced meat, spicy pickles and gooey American cheese. Like all sandwiches, it arrives fresh from the griddle. I don’t recall seeing a Cubano ($12) on the menu of many neighborhood taverns, and if I had, I’m pretty sure it didn’t come fortified with thick ribbons of house-smoked pork shoulder. The hot-pressed sandwich was further

crumble. Underneath, a small streak of strawberry aioli provides a sweet little surprise. Bright, fresh and full of lemon, the hummus ($9) is a wholesome alternative to the spinach and artichoke dip. It’s paired with cucumber rounds and plenty of warm pita. Of course, Foust couldn’t write checks for quality products from Mediterra bread, Ohio City Pasta, Ohio City Farm, Green City Growers and Morningside Farm if he didn’t have the blessing of his bosses. The

When we ordered it, it was cooked to a perfect al dente, tossed in just enough Alfredo sauce, and embellished with crisp-tender pieces of broccoli raab and meaty roasted mushrooms. Other recent preps featured Italian sausage and butternut squash, and chorizo and napa cabbage. On Fridays – and every other day – the Ironwood prepares a pub-perfect fish and chips platter ($13) with copper-colored planks of beer-battered cod, its flesh milky and

Ironwood is owned by the same folks who run Market and Wine Bar in Rocky River and Southside and Hi and Dry in Tremont, so they understand food. “I wanted to use the relationships that I had with small farms from

flaky. The fish sits atop a mound of skin-on fries that the kitchen has thoughtfully seasoned with salt and malt vinegar. Other mains include meatloaf ($12) with real roasted garlic mashers and un-frozen vegetables, maple-glazed salmon ($17), and a complete grilled sirloin steak dinner for $15. On game days, the pub fills to capacity thanks to cheap drafts and enough bottles to pacify all but the most persnickety of ale drinkers. The space is far from cozy, with cold tile floors, dozens of flickering screens and rigid wood stools pulled up to high-top tables. But the volume is such that conversations can be held at normal volume, a quality rarer even than great grub at sports bars.

IRONWOOD CAFÉ 688 DOVER CENTER RD., WESTLAKE | 4440-835-9900 ironwoodcafe.com

stuffed with ham, Swiss, mustard and pickles, and even flaunted appropriate bread. I’m not sure how many orders of Brussels sprouts ($7) the kitchen moves through compared to, say, the chili-and-cheese-smothered tater tots, but they’re cooked right, laced with strips of crispy-fried salami, and dusted with an addictive granola

working at the Black Pig,” says Foust, who slowly worked his way up the ranks of that Ohio City bistro over a five-year tenure. “With the freedom that I have, it feels almost like my own restaurant as far as creativity goes – within reason.” That Ohio City Pasta fettucine ($14) is always around, but the preparation changes weekly.

dtrattner@clevescene.com t@dougtrattner

| clevescene.com | January 23 - 29, 2019

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EAT BITES Sittoo’s, the fast-casual version of Aladdin’s, to open in Playhouse Square By Douglas Trattner FADY AND SALLY CHAMOUN opened their first Aladdin’s Eatery in 1994. Since then, they›ve grown the operation to 40 locations in four states. The restaurant group also offers a higher-end Middle Eastern dining experience at two Taza locations in Woodmere (28601 Chagrin Blvd., 216464-4000) and downtown (1400 W. 6th St., 216-274-1170). And they unveiled a quicker-paced fast-casual Lebanese option called Sittoo’s, with locations in Parma (5870 Ridge Rd., 440-885-2525) and North Olmsted (24930 Lorain Rd., 440-7168755). For Sittoo’s third location, Chamoun has chosen downtown Cleveland. “Sittoo’s is similar to Aladdin’s, but the food is lighter with smaller portions, but also lower priced, with an average of $4-5,” Chamoun explains. Despite the fast-casual setup, the menu size and food quality are consistent with what diners have come to expect from Aladdin’s. All the classics are here, from hummus, baba and tabbouleh starters, to fattoush, shawarma and shish tawook salads. Rolled pita sandwiches are stuffed with falafel, chicken shawarma, spicy kafta and grilled beef tenderloin. Entrees starring those same items along with rice, salad and pita are also available. The new downtown location (1350 Euclid Ave.), which should open its doors sometime in February, is in Playhouse Square, in the former home of Raving Med. “We turned the whole place around,” Chamoun notes. “It’s going to be really cute, like going into somebody’s living room or kitchen.” The relaxed, casual eatery will have couches and communal seating. “I think Playhouse Square and Cleveland State needed us in there,” says Chamoun. “They needed some good food.”

‘Lucky Number 10’ for Yours Truly: Next Up, Solon “Today, on the day of this announcement, we are celebrating 38 years,” said Larry Shibley, Chairman of the Board of Yours Truly Restaurants, last week. “I’m guessing

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| clevescene.com | January 23 - 29, 2019

that we’re the oldest ongoing local chain.” Shop number one opened in Beachwood in 1981. Since then, Yours Truly has expanded its reach across the suburban Northeast Ohio landscape, with outposts in Chagrin Falls, Hudson, Mayfield, Medina, Mentor, Shaker Square and Valley View. Two years ago, the company opened its first urban location in the historic Halle Building (1228 Euclid Ave.) downtown. “This is lucky number 10,” Shibley said, referring to the new Solon restaurant, which will open sometime this year. “We’ve been interested in Solon for a long time, maybe since as early as the `80s. I’ve looked at this plaza multiple times.” The location is the former Donatos Pizza (6141 Kruse Dr.), a 5,000-squarefoot building that will undergo significant renovations to create the same look and feel as new shops like downtown and renovated ones such as Chagrin Falls. “These new locations, like downtown and Chagrin Falls, are what we have dubbed ‘the YTR Kitchen & Bar’ concepts,” said Shibley. “This one will be along those lines, but with many enhancements and tweaks.” The larger footprint will accommodate approximately 150 seats. There will be a large indoor-outdoor bar attached to an all-seasons patio. A designated vehicle pick-up window will make take-out a breeze. Down the road, there are plans to install a kiosk at which customers can place an order and wait for it to be prepared. Also, a “bag and dine” system will allow guests to order in advance so that when they arrive, they can grab their food, sit down, and enjoy it immediately. Shibley says that it’s too soon to deliver any precise completion dates. “It’s a big project,” he admitted. Meanwhile, following a significant expansion and renovation project in Chagrin Falls, that restaurant continues to exceed expectations. “It’s doing phenomenal,” said Shibley. “It’s now the lead store of the company, probably a 45-percent increase.”

dtrattner@clevescene.com t@dougtrattner


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| clevescene.com | January 23 - 29, 2019

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| clevescene.com | January 23 - 29, 2019


AST YEAR WAS A GREAT YEAR FOR singer-songwriter Carly Pearce, but with her first headlining tour, a sophomore album and a wedding all on the horizon, 2019 is looking just as good for the 28-year-old Northern Kentucky native who grew up just outside of Cincinnati. Pearce dropped out of high school when she was 16 and took a chance on a job as a singer in a country show at Dollywood, a theme park in Pigeon Forge, TN. She proceeded to move to Nashville and chased her country music dreams for nearly a decade until 2017 when “Every Little Thing,” an emotional breakup ballad Pearce released independently, went all the way to No. 1 on country radio. “I honestly wrote [‘Every Little Thing’] for myself…but it was the most special thing in the world, to have something so painful end up being so beautiful,” says Pearce in a recent phone interview. She performs with co-headliner Russell Dickerson at 7 p.m. on Thursday at House of Blues. “I was able to share that each night with fans that maybe are going through a heartbreak or are going through a hard time…I’m a living example that sometimes the things that hurt us the most bring us to the most joy.”

The single caught the attention of Scott Borchetta, CEO of Big Machine Records. Borchetta signed Pearce to Big Machine, where she would join the likes of Taylor Swift, Thomas Rhett and Florida Georgia Line. She released her first full-length, Every Little Thing g, in 2017. Upon signing her, Borchetta told Pearce that she reminded him of himself when he started Big Machine because she ran her own business and didn’t want to wait for anyone else to make her dreams come true. “I think I gained his respect from the beginning, and I think he views me as a partner, not as his artist that he controls. That’s a really beautiful thing that a lot of artists don’t get to experience, and I’m really grateful to him for that,” says Pearce of Borchetta. With the help of Borchetta and Big Machine, last year proved to be a year of dreams coming true for Pearce. The highlight of her year, Pearce says, was winning Breakthrough Video of the Year at the CMT awards for “Every Little Thing.” “That was by far the craziest moment of my life,” Pearce says. | clevescene.com clev cl eves escceene.cco om m | January Jannuaary r y 23 23 - 29, 2299, 20 2019 0199

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| clevescene.com | January 23 - 29, 2019

The single also earned Pearce her first ASCAP award, honoring her as a songwriter on the track. Performing at the Macy’s Day Parade was another item that Pearce checked off her bucket list in 2018. “I’m getting to do things that I used to think if I could just do one of them it would be cool, and I’ve done damn near all of them in one year,” says Pearce. “I’ve watched the parade my whole life, and to be a part of something that iconic was truly crazy. It took me a minute to even understand that that’s what I was doing.” In December, to top off her fairy tale year, Pearce got engaged to fellow country music star Michael Ray while on a romantic getaway in Tulum Beach, Mexico. The couple made their relationship public in July with matching Instagram posts shot backstage at the Grand Ole Opry. The Opry is the backdrop of many nights that Pearce holds close to her heart. In 2015, she stepped into the

“A lot has changed for me this year,” Pearce says, “I hurt someone; I broke someone’s heart, and I learned a lot about myself. I fell in love. I was very overwhelmed this year with my career. So there’s gonna be all kinds of songs on there. It’s just me telling my story. And it’s not all love, but a lot of it is love.” Pearce promises to get just as personal as she did with “Every Little Thing,” only this time, the tables have turned. The most personal track on Pearce’s sophomore album is an apology to the one she hurt. As for the style of the new album, Pearce says that there will be no drastic changes as she has no aspirations to explore anything outside of the country genre. “You have your whole life to write your first record; you have 20 minutes to write your second record,” Pearce says, admitting to feeling some pressure to strike while the iron was hot. But she says she’s still taking the time to perfect the record, which has challenged her. “I think it’s harder to write about being happy,” Pearce says with a chuckle. “I don’t have a problem writing

circle as an independent artist, joining a small group of country artists who reached this milestone without the aid of a record label. Pearce hasn’t forgotten the Opry’s early nod to her and plays there the majority of her nights off to show her gratitude. “The Opry is my favorite place in the world. It’s the heartbeat of country music,” Pearce says. “I want to invest in the Opry because I feel like we, as a country music community, wouldn’t be where we are without the Grand Ole Opry.” Ray shares Pearce’s love for the Opry; the pair shared the Opry stage for a cover of Johnny and June’s “Jackson” in August. Pearce’s fiancé is the muse for the first single off her sophomore record, “Closer to You,” a poppy number that finds Pearce crooning about a lover. The song is currently climbing the country charts. “This relationship [with Ray] has just given me so much joy and confidence and honestly, been an inspiration for my next record. [‘Closer to You’] just felt like the right song and the right opening to the next chapter of my life and of my musical career,” Pearce says. The new album is an evolution, but also a continuation.

sad songs. It’s harder to be happy. It’s hard to emote any emotion, but for some reason, hurt is a little easier for me to tap into. I think I’ve always been the girl that really likes sad songs, and I really like to be sad.” And yet, Pearce is all smiles these days, and her fiancé is a big reason why. Pearce confirmed that the two have already been into the studio together. As 2019 kicks off, Pearce will kick off a co-headlining tour in Cleveland with longtime friend, Russell Dickerson, whom she met nearly a decade ago at a Nashville club the pair was playing in hopes of being discovered. They quickly became friends and made a pact to join forces if they ever “made it.” Pearce and Dickerson both got their first record deals and lost them around the same time. The two also had their first No. 1 singles from releasing independent singles within a month of each other. “That’s why we called it the Way Back tour. It’s because we really do go way back,” says Pearce, “It’s a beautiful thing we’re doing — having success at the same time.”

scene@clevescene.com t@clevelandscene


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MASONIC CLEVELAND: 3615 Euclid Ave, Cleveland OH 44115 HOUSE OF BLUES: 308 Euclid Ave, Cleveland OH 44114 masoniccleveland.com / houseofblues.com | clevescene.com | January 23 - 29, 2019

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MUSIC ALL THAT JAZZ Lettuce pays tribute to Miles Davis with its latest album By Jeff Niesel Photo by Alex Varsa

MANY BANDS THAT FORM WHEN band members are in their teens don’t stay together long enough to see band members enter their 20s or even 30s. That fact makes Lettuce’s story all the more remarkable. The guys in the psychedelic funk/ jam band first met when they were teenagers at a summer music program at Berklee College of Music in 1992. They clicked and have been steadily recording and performing ever since. The band performs at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 23, at House of Blues. “From the first second we all hung out and played, we knew it was special,” says drummer Adam Deitch in a phone interview. “Then, when we started school there a year or two later, we were already friends. We were like a posse. We always knew we’d be friends together, but we didn’t necessarily know we could have a career together.” Given that the band plays a mixture of funk and jazz, it wasn’t easy to find an audience early on. A few like-minded acts helped pave the way. “In 1995, when we started, there wasn’t really a revival funk scene,” says Deitch. “We’re thankful for the Greyboy All-Stars and Medeski, Martin and Wood and Soulive, who were like our uncles so to speak. Those three bands gave us the inspiration to do it at that time. There wasn’t a huge fanbase but over the years, people have started to dig it.” The band’s first album, Outta Here, didn’t come out until the early 2000s. They recorded at a friend’s studio in New York and signed a deal with Velour Recordings, a respected New York-based indie label. “It’s hard for a young band to find structure and find a manager,” says Deitch. “Once we found that, we started releasing albums on a regular basis.” The band has been particularly prolific in recent years. “We have the ability to play with anyone under the sun,” says Deitch. “Our bass player has played with every rapper you could name, I was doing the John Scofield thing. Our guitar player has played with Lady

32

Gaga. Once we concentrated on the band in the past seven to eight years, that’s when everything started to take shape.” With its latest album, Witches Stew, the band pays tribute to the late, great Miles Davis and specifically references his 1970 album Bitches Brew. “That was our trumpet player

Miles created. We’re happy to pay tribute to the master.” With its funky guitar riff, pummeling drums and atmospheric trumpet riff, the album’s final tune, “Black Satin,” sounds like it could’ve been on the soundtrack to a ’70s blaxploitation flick. “It has that James Brown cold sweat kind of beat,” says Deitch.

LETTUCE 8 P.M. WEDNESDAY, JAN. 23, HOUSE OF BLUES, 308 EUCLID AVE. 216-523-2583. TICKETS: $26-$36, HOUSEOFBLUES.COM

Eric ‘Benny’ Bloom who came up with the concept,” says Deitch when asked about the release. “He’s a devoted Miles Davis fan as we all are. We gave it a shot at a festival called Catskill Chill. It was low pressure. We had a relaxed yet intense attitude, and the recording shows that. The recording captures that spooky, funky and mystical vibe that

| clevescene.com | January 23 - 29, 2019

“Miles was listening to that a lot. He was a huge James Brown and Prince fan. A lot of those beats he was using at the time were derived from James Brown.” The group currently has cut about 30 songs it plans to release on a series of new studio recordings. “We’re going to release ten

songs at a time,” says Deitch. “We kept it close to what we’ve always done. We recorded with a great engineer/producer Russ Elevado, who engineered a lot of the D’Angelo Voodoo stuff and a lot of the Erykah Badu stuff. He’s an amazing analog engineer. It’s a very organic record. It was recorded on tape. We also explore more psychedelic elements of funk that we haven’t gotten into. We’re really excited to drop it.” The live show continues to evolve, and Deitch says that recording the shows helps ensure the band gives its all each time. “Blood, sweat and tears; we go all out,” he says. “People love to dance and vibe out. All our shows go online. Each show is not just a show. It’s a recording session that will last forever. By doing that, it’s made us step up our shows and make sure they are up to par.”

jniesel@clevescene.com t@jniesel


| clevescene.com m | January 23 - 29, 2019

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| clevescene.com | January 23 - 29, 2019


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WED

Band (in the Supper Club): A staple in the Cleveland blues scene — and in the American music circuit writ large — Travis “Moonchild” Haddix has always brought the heat to the stage. He also surround himself with great musicians — like a tight, tight brass section. What he has always done so well has been his steady merger of classic blues structures with smooth R&B-style singing. He makes the blues accessible to anyone willing to listen and, inevitably, dance. And having been playing guitar since he was 7, the dude can tear it up quite nicely. He once told a music writer, “I am the best that I can be, and since no one else can be me, there’s none better.” Right on. (Eric Sandy), 7 p.m., $8. Music Box Supper Club. Jackie Warren: 10:30 p.m., free. Nighttown. Window Dogs/The Worn Flints/ King Buu: 8 p.m., $7 ADV, $10 DOS. Beachland Tavern. Womantra/No Why/Mallows/Boxed Wine Mom: 8:30 p.m., $5. Happy Dog.

01/23

10x3 Singer/Songwriter Showcase hosted by Brent Kirby (in the Wine Bar): 8 p.m. Brothers Lounge. Charlie Ballantine: Music of Bob Dylan: 7 p.m., $15. Bop Stop. Lala Lala/Sen Morimoto: The Lamb, the latest effort from Lala Lala, the Chicago-based project of Lillie West, centers on some pretty serious stuff. West wrote the songs in the wake of a home invasion and of the death of loved ones. The band, which also features bassist Emily Kempf and drummer Ben Leach draws from post-punk and dream pop. The droning-yetmelodic album opener, “Destroyer,” features hushed vocals and “Water Over Sex” finds West adopting a falsetto as the song ventures into Cocteau Twins territory. Expect to hear plenty of songs from the album at tonight’s show. (Jeff Niesel), 7 p.m., $10 ADV, $12 DOS. Mahall’s 20 Lanes. Lettuce: 9:15 p.m., $26 ADV, $30 DOS. House of Blues.

THU

Russell Dickerson/Carly Pearce: 8 p.m., $27 ADV, $32 DOS. House of Blues. Jam Night with the Bad Boys of Blues: 9 p.m., free. Brothers Lounge. King Tuff/Stonefield/Part-Time Lover: 8 p.m., $18 ADV, $20 DOS. Beachland Ballroom. Pedigo’s Magic Pilsner: 8 p.m., $8. CODA. Howie Smith: 7 p.m., $12. Bop Stop. Tart: 9 p.m., $5. Now That’s Class. Two-Vibe Thursday featuring Chris Hatton (in the Wine Bar): 8 p.m., free. Brothers Lounge.

FRI

SUN

01/24

01/25

AHI: 8 p.m., $12 AD, $15 DOS. Beachland Tavern. Classic Stones Live: 8 p.m., $22 ADV, $28 DOS. Music Box Supper Club. Daley + JMSN: 8:30 p.m., $20 ADV, $25 DOS. Beachland Ballroom. Dueling Pianos with Cleveland Keys (in the Supper Club): 8 p.m., $15 ADV, $18 DOS. Music Box Supper Club. JanFest with Leaders of the Shift/

Indie rockers Lala Lala come to Mahall’s 20 Lanes. See: Wednesday.

Stormy Chromer/Conscious Pilot/ Coup De Grace: 8 p.m., $7 ADV, $10 DOS. The Winchester. Sammy Slims/Kiernan Paradise/ Perverts Again: 9 p.m., $6. Happy Dog. Dylan Scott/Seth Ennis: At only 18 years old, singer-guitarist Dylan Scott wound up signing a record deal with the country label Curb Records. He would move to Nashville to cut his first album after he graduated from high school. The husky-voiced singer has been busy ever since. For his forthcoming EP, Nothing to Do Town, Scott says he wanted to write songs about things he’s lived. As a result, a tour stop in a small Iowa town actually inspired the album’s punchy title track that finds Scott giving a shout out to country icon George Strait and singing the refrain, “Who says there’s nothing to do in this nothing to do town?” over a nasty kickdrum. Scott says the live show that’s coming to town features

more production than previous tours, so fans can expect to be wowed. (Niesel), 9 p.m., $28 ADV, $32 DOS. House of Blues. The Sublets/Lilieae/Doaks/Lone Thuder: 8 p.m., $10. Mahall’s 20 Lanes. Jackie Warren: 10:30 p.m., free. Nighttown. The Whiskey Hollow / The Hollow Roots: 8 p.m., $8. CODA.

SAT

01/26

The Allman Brothers Tribute by Revival: 8 p.m., $15 ADV, $18 DOS. Music Box Supper Club. Deep Sigh/Youth Pallet/forage & wander: 7 p.m., $10. Mahall’s 20 Lanes. Gringo Stew: 8 p.m., free. CODA. School of Rock: 12:30 p.m., free. Beachland Ballroom. The Soft Moon/HIDE/Lingua Ignota: 9 p.m., $15. Grog Shop. Travis Haddix Blues Band/KC Harmon & the Unique Blues

01/27

The Amity Affliction/Senses Fail/ Belmont/Silent Planet: 7 p.m., $25 ADV, $30 DOS. House of Blues. Mutts/Shawn & Shelby/Sans Rebellion: 8:30 p.m., $8. Grog Shop. Mike Petrone (Piano Sing-a-Long): 5:30 p.m., free. Brothers Lounge. School of Rock: 12 p.m., free. Beachland Ballroom. Zilched/Joey Sprinkles: 8 p.m., $5. Now That’s Class.

MON

01/28

Bluegrass Jam: 7:30 p.m., free. Beachland Tavern. Skatch Anderssen Orchestra: 8 p.m., $7. Brothers Lounge. Velvet Voyage (in the Wine Bar): 8 p.m. Brothers Lounge.

TUE

01/29

Telltale (in the Locker Room): 7 p.m., $10. Mahall’s 20 Lanes.

scene@clevescene.com t@clevelandscene | clevescene.com | January 23 - 29, 2019

37


BAND OF THE WEEK Photo by Jamie Bradley

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By Jeff Niesel

1/31 | 7PM | $15

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| clevescene.com | January 23 - 29, 2019

MEET THE BAND: Matthew Clement (vocals, drums), Dave Busch (guitar) and Jason Robinson (bass) VARYING INFLUENCES: This local band

formed in 2012 when Clement teamed up with Busch and Robinson, who had played with him in other bands but had never played with each other. “It worked out really well,” says Clement. When asked about the group’s influences, he admits he doesn’t have an easy answer. “We like shoegaze music, but we also like hard rock. We like New Wave of British Heavy Metal and punk too. I saw [the stoner rock band] Kyuss back in the day, so that’s an influence as well.” ATMOSPHERIC AND ANTHEMIC: Initially, the band released a self-titled album on cassette. When the run of cassettes sold out, the band issued it on vinyl, but it didn’t call too much attention to the releases. “We put it out quietly both times,” says Clement. A second album, Plum Island, came out in 2016. For its latest effort, Underground and Passed Around, the band didn’t concern itself with how the band would play the songs live so the production is a bit more complex. The album also went in a different musical direction. “We divided it into a Side A and Side B,” says Clement. “It doesn’t sound like the first two records. It’s more atmospheric and drawn out on the first side, and the second side reflects our unashamed love of anthemic hard rock.”

Boys) and enlisted locally based GottaGroove Records to press the vinyl, which includes 3-D glasses to enhance the album art. “The color scheme has a lot of red and blue to it,” says Clement of the artwork. “There happened to be a pair of 3-D glasses in the room, and when we tried them on, the artwork looked great, so we decided to include a pair with the album. We have a gimmick of some sort with each record.” WHY YOU SHOULD HEAR THEM: The

tune “Down Below” features a gritty guitar riff and comes off as a Queens of the Stone Age-inspired rocker, and the hard-hitting “Passed Around” features soaring grungeinspired vocals. “We’re not a metal band,” Clement explains. “We don’t meet the strict guidelines for being a metal band. We draw from too many different influences. Someone once described us as ‘desert rock dragged through the snow.’ I like that. Someone else once said were’ like Husker Du meets My Bloody Valentine. That’s good too. Our first album has hard songs, but there’s a lot more melody going on. It’s not that aggro.” WHERE YOU CAN HEAR THEM:

bwakdwagon.bandcamp.com. WHERE YOU CAN SEE THEM: Bwak

Dragon performs with Meanderthal, Vivora and Burnin’ Loins at 9 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 24, at the Grog Shop in Cleveland Heights.

A GOOD GIMMICK: The band recorded

the new album with local producer Paul Maccarronne (engineer for Obnox, Ricky Hell & the Void

jniesel@clevescene.com t@jniesel


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SAVAGE LOVE FURRY ROAD by Dan Savage I’m an early-30s hetero woman in a monogamous relationship with my mid30s hetero guy. We’ve been together 10 years, married seven, no kids. We have a lot of fun—traveling, shared hobbies, mutual friends, etc. We have sex fairly regularly, and it’s not bad. However, his primary sexual fetish and main turn-on is furry porn—namely, cartoon images. He doesn’t self-identify as a furry; he doesn’t have a fursuit or fursona. To his credit, he was up front about this with me once we started getting serious. However, I think at that younger age, I conflated the emotional openness and acceptance of his sexuality with actually being satisfied with the sexual component of our relationship. He seems only marginally attracted to me, and it bums me out that his more intense sexual drives are funneled into furry porn. I feel somewhat helpless, as his fetish doesn’t allow me to meet him halfway. Real-life furry action (fursuits and the like) does not interest him (I’ve offered). We have sex regularly, but I always initiate, and his enthusiasm is middling until we get going, at which point I think we both enjoy ourselves. But I’ve found that this turns into a negative feedback loop, where his lack of initial interest leads to me being less attracted to him, and so on. I consider myself a fairly sexual person and I get a lot of pleasure out of being desired. We’re talking about starting a family, and I’m scared that the pressures that come with parenthood would only make this worse. Fretting Under Relationship Shortcomings Nothing I write is going to fix this—and nothing I write is going to fix him, FURS, not that your husband is broken. He is who he is, and he had the decency to let you know who he was before you married him. But nothing I write is going to put you at the center of your husband’s erotic inner life. Nothing I write is going to inspire him to initiate more (or at all) or cause him to be more enthusiastic about sex. Nothing I write is going to make your husband want you the way you want to be wanted, desire you the way you want to be desired, and fuck you the way you want to be fucked. So the question you need to ask yourself before you make babies with this man—the question I would have urged you to ask yourself before you

married this man—is whether you can live without the pleasure you get from being desired. Is that the price of admission you’re willing to pay to be with this man? Maybe it once was, but is it still? Because if monogamy is what you want or what he wants or what you both want, FURS, then choosing to be with this man— choosing to be with someone you enjoy spending time with, who’s “not bad” at sex, whose most passionate erotic interests direct him away from you—means going without the pleasure of being wanted the way you want to be wanted, desired the way you want to be desired, and fucked the way you want to be fucked. Your husband was up front with you about his sexuality before you got married. Everyone should be, of course, but so few people are—particularly people who have been made to feel ashamed of their sexuality or their fetishes or both— that we’re inclined to heap praise on people who manage to clear what should be a low bar. At the time, you mistook “emotional openness” and your willingness to accept his sexuality for both sexual compatibility and sexual satisfaction. I think you owe it to yourself to be up front with your husband before you have kids. He’s getting a good deal here—decent sex with the wife and the freedom to take care of needs his wife can’t meet. And you’re free to ask for a similar deal—decent sex with your husband and the freedom to take care of needs your husband can’t meet. There’s a far greater degree of risk involved in you going outside the relationship to feel desired, of course; you seeing another man or men comes bundled with emotional and physical risks that wanking to furry porn does not. This isn’t an applesto-apples comparison. But if your shared goal as a couple is mutual sexual fulfillment—and that should be every couple’s goal—and if you want to avoid becoming so frustrated that you make a conscious decision to end your marriage (or a subconscious decision to sabotage it), FURS, then opening up the relationship needs to be a part of the discussion.

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Scene January 23, 2019  

Scene January 23, 2019