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| clevescene.com | June 26 - July 2, 2019


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*5.% *5,9 s6/,.O 52

Dedicated to Free Times founder Richard H. Siegel (1935-1993) and Scene founder Richard Kabat Group Publisher Chris Keating

CONTENTS Upfront

Publisher Andrew Zelman

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Armond Budish clearly knows what he’s doing

Editor Vince Grzegorek Editorial Music Editor Jeff Niesel Senior Writer Sam Allard Staff Writer Brett Zelman Web Editor Laura Morrison Dining Editor Douglas Trattner Visual Arts Writer Dott von Schneider Copy Editor Elaine Cicora Interns Alexandra Sobczak , Evey Weisblat

Feature

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A group of black women on living, working, and surviving in Cleveland

Advertising Senior Multimedia Account Executive John Crobar, Shayne Rose Multimedia Account Executive Kiara Davis

'ET/UT

Creative Services Art Director/Production Manager Steve Miluch Staff Photographer Emanuel Wallace



All the best things to do this week in Cleveland

Business Sales Assistant/Receptionist Megan Stimac Controller Kristy Dotson Circulation Circulation Director Don Kriss Euclid Media Group Chief Executive OfďŹ cer Andrew Zelman Chief Operating OfďŹ cers Chris Keating, Michael Wagner VP Digital Services Stacy Volhein Digital Operations Coordinator Jaime Monzon

Art

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All about circles with Susan Squires

www.euclidmediagroup.com

Film

National Advertising Voice Media Group 1-800-278-9866, vmgadvertising.com

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A clever rom-com imagines a world without the Fab Four

Cleveland Scene 737 Bolivar Rd., #4100 Cleveland, OH 44115 www.clevescene.com Phone 216-241-7550 Retail & ClassiďŹ ed Fax 216-241-6275 Editorial Fax 216-802-7212 E-mail scene@clevescene.com

Eat

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Blu, a new ďŹ sh house, will take the spot of Moxie in Beachwood

Cleveland Scene Magazine is published every week by Euclid Media Group. VeriďŹ ed Audit Member Cleveland Distribution Scene is available free of charge, limited to one copy per reader Copyright The entire contents of Cleveland Scene Magazine are copyright 2019 by Euclid Media Group. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission of the publisher is prohibited. Publisher does not assume any liability for unsolicited manuscripts, materials, or other content. Any submission must include a stamped, self-addressed envelope. All editorial, advertising, and business correspondence should be mailed to the address listed above. Subscriptions $150 (1 yr); $80 (6 mos.) Send name, address and zip code with check or money order to the address listed above with the title ‘Attn: Subscription Department’

Music

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Young the Giant and Fitz & the Tantrums brings their co-headlining tour to Jacobs Pavilion at Nautica, plus all the other shows to catch

3AVAGE,OVE



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UPFRONT LOBBYING CONTRACT FOR BILL MASON’S BUDDY’S LAW FIRM FALLS THROUGH AFTER CONCERNS ABOUT OPTICS

Photo by Eric Sandy

SCENE REPORTED LAST WEEK, based on confirmation from two independent sources, that Cuyahoga County planned to contract with the law firm of McDonald Hopkins for state lobbying work. The contract was rumored to be in the neighborhood of $210,000 per year. The purported contract was significant because McDonald Hopkins’ public law division includes among its attorneys Dean DePiero, former Parma mayor and longtime ally of former county prosecutor Bill Mason. Mason was announced earlier this month as county executive Armond Budish’s chief of staff. He’ll depart the law firm of Bricker and Eckler and officially begin his new position July 1. A county spokesperson told Scene last week that no contract with McDonald Hopkins, or any firm, had been “signed” — a clever non-answer — but we’d heard that a contract could be finalized as early as this week and that all parties involved understood it to be a done deal. As of Friday, multiple sources said that the agreement had crumbled. The implication was that Scene’s reporting, and perhaps inquiries from other reporters, alerted the county to the bad optics of hiring DePiero’s firm, especially so close on the heels of Mason’s appointment. The county may now try to pretend that they never planned to contract with McDonald Hopkins — nothing was on paper, after all — but the facts directly refute that. Benesch, the firm that has lobbied in Columbus on behalf of Cuyahoga County for the past eight years, confirmed to Scene that the county informed them that their contract would not be renewed. The county conveyed this information to Benesch on Tuesday, June 11, the same day that the Bill Mason news broke. Benesch’s contract, via the county’s online checkbook, was a monthly retainer of $8,500, a total of $102,000 per year. Benesch confirmed the contract’s value to Scene. If the purported McDonald

Hopkins contract was $210,000 annually, that would have been more than double what the county had been paying for state lobbying in recent years. (Contracts like these are suspect anyway, not least because entities like the Grand Old GCP are down in Columbus lobbying against county legislation like the recently passed plastic bag ban.) County spokeswoman Mary Louise Madigan told Scene Friday that she had no updated information on the McDonald Hopkins contract, but said she believed the online county checkbook was accurate. When we pursued confirmation on the $210,000 figure via text message, Madigan responded, cryptically: “There is no contract.” “There is no spoon,” we were tempted to respond. And so the contract has apparently run aground. It’s difficult to say how directly Bill Mason was involved in the attempted firm switcheroo, or whether McDonald would have secured a contract without Mason’s new position, but the timeline is, or was, very interesting. The county will now have to determine whether to go back to Benesch, or to consult Armond Budish’s campaign contributions to find another suitable firm for “lobbying.” If Mason had managed to get the McDonald Hopkins contract on the books — which it looks like he would have, if not for Scene’s reporting — it would have been exactly the sort of behavior he became (in)famous for as prosecutor. In its glowing promotional piece celebrating the hiring of Mason, the Cleveland.com editorial board (likely Chris Quinn himself) noted that Mason was “known in his prosecutor days for building a huge Democratic Party machine, with many elected officials beholden to him. We hope he sets politics aside in the new job, and we’ll be watching to make sure patronage does not rear up during his tenure.” This is surely one of the dumbest lines in the annals of Cleveland journalism: We hope he sets politics aside?

Even Brent Larkin, longtime PD editorial page director, had the decency to note, in his generally favorable column on the Mason appointment, that a great number of “people who pay attention to these things” were “appalled” by Budish’s decision. (That’s an observation consistent with our reporting.) But Larkin ultimately decided that compared to Budish’s vegetative leadership, a known politico like Mason was a step up. Mason had “world-class” political instincts, Larkin reminded us. And as he grew into his prosecutor role back in the aughts, he even “took some responsible positions.” (HOW LOW IS THE BAR?) The upshot, for Larkin, was that Mason couldn’t make things worse. Fair enough. Mark Naymik, too, on a recent episode of This Week in the CLE said Mason had the ability to “be a jerk” if need be, which would serve him well as chief of staff. (We note for the record that rumors have been swirling that Naymik had the story of Mason’s appointment ready to go June 11 or earlier, but that Quinn suppressed it. Enough people are griping about this — even Roldo donned his muckraker’s cap again! — that we presume it’s true. It’s a serious abrogation of Quinn’s role as

editor of the largest media outlet in town.) But it’s stunning that the PD and Cleveland.com seem to have fully adopted the position that Budish — a candidate they endorsed for a secondterm as “a good manager of county money,” if prone to secrecy — is now incapable of serving as county executive. Why, then, has the editorial board not called for his resignation? At the very least, why has no one rescinded the endorsement, which was published only weeks before the U.S. Marshals’ report that documented inhumane conditions at the county jail? Why are the pundits and columnists at the PD/Cleveland. com weighing the wisdom of key appointments when they’ve decided that the guy doing the appointing is a “deer in the headlights” with “no discernible political skills”? But if Quinn is in Mason’s corner, Larkin, at least, should be able to sniff out the fact that Mason took the position for a reason. And it’s not “out of the goodness of his heart.” Nor is it for the paycheck (though Mason will be collecting an unprecedented $220,000, plus bennies, to serve as Budish’s chief). Suffice it to say, there are reasons other than money. For one thing, | clevescene.com | June 26 - July 2, 2019

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UPFRONT Mason surely sees this as an opportunity to choreograph the next wave of leaders at the county level. The region is “essentially leaderless,” in Larkin’s assessment, and the Democratic Party’s Parma Boys smell blood in the water. Expect the dramatis personae of the next few years to include folksy standup guys like DePiero, current Parma mayor Tim DeGeeter, council president Kevin Kelley and

current prosecutor Mike O’Malley (Mason’s former “right hand man”). The chess pieces are already in motion. As chief of staff — which everyone seems content to admit is a position that now functions as de facto county executive — Mason gets to pull strings. Among other things, he gets to award lobbying contracts to his buddies. And if he can clean up even a fraction of the county jail train wreck, he’ll have a ready-made stump speech when he pursues higher office, which has been his ambition since his days on Parma City Council. — Sam Allard

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The Paradox Prize Aims to Address the Gap Between Transportation and Jobs in Northeast Ohio. But Is the Problem Really a Paradox? The folks at the Fund for Our Economic Future and other organizations want to hear from you. Well, more specifically, they want to hear your ideas for new and innovative solutions for one of the region’s most wicked problems — spatial mismatch. Over the next few years, the Fund plans to allocate up to a million dollars

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in the Paradox Prize for projects that seek to resolve a “paradox” they’ve identified within Northeast Ohio: the fact that many people cannot earn a living without a car, but they cannot purchase a vehicle without a job. The organization, which last year released its Two Tomorrows report documenting the divergent paths the region can take over the next several years, is made up of a coalition of local funders, businesses, universities and civic groups. In January, the Fund received a large grant from the National Fund for Workforce Solutions to encourage this work. In a conversation with Scene, the Fund’s vice president Bethia Burke noted that, “The way that we came into this work is through the recognition that job access really matters to the overall long-term competitiveness of our economy.” Burke told Scene that the Fund promotes an extensive strategy that involves bringing jobs back to people as well as getting people to the areas where jobs are available. Transportation is at the root of the problem, no doubt. Since the beginning of the twentieth century, advances in transportation technology have driven development patterns, creating highly inequitable spaces. With the growth of the automotive industry, business owners could purchase cheap, undeveloped land. Housing developers created suburban communities free of commercial interest where residents could live outside the city and commute in for their high-paying jobs. Over time, these actions can create a mismatch between where people live and where quality jobs can be found — leaving those without the funds to purchase a vehicle at risk of not being able to acquire and retain a job. In Northeast Ohio, “because of the way that development has occurred,” says Burke, “good jobs are growing more in places that are farther away from core cities but also further away from people of lower income, which makes it harder to access them.” Burke and the Fund’s director of Mobility Innovation, Dominic Mathew, agreed that the Paradox Prize is not a complete strategy in and of itself, but they hope it will get important conversations started. Burke hopes the prize will bring attention to the “notion of changing the long-term development patterns of Northeast Ohio so that we are mitigating sprawl, aiming to bring incentives back and being thoughtful about land use, so that we have less of a people-to-jobs problem.” Mathew added that they would welcome proposals from existing transportation agencies, such as RTA, and that the prize may allow organizations to try new, innovative ideas. But, here’s the thing. Is this really


a “paradox?” Spatial mismatch has been an issue for decades and we know exactly why it has occurred: because those with power, money and access to resources have actively created this reality. Development patterns haven’t simply occurred. They’ve been created. By people. Without any significant deterrence from state or local public agencies. Indeed, some cities have bent over backward to attract these “development patterns” that create and sustain inequities. And that’s not to say that the Fund, or at the very least Burke, suggests that the issues have occurred by chance or that the solution will just magically arise. Indeed, Burke stated that, “In the long term, our fund is working with others like Team NEO, NOACA, Cuyahoga County and the Greater Cleveland Partnership to think about how the variety of decisions that we’re making, and the incentives we’re offering, have driven the development patterns that we have

DIGIT WIDGET 21 Number of additional Catholic Diocese of Cleveland priests who have been credibly accused of sexually abusing minors but who have not previously been publicly named, as detailed in a list the Diocese released late last week. Most notable among the names: Rev. Anthony Schuerger of St. Malachi, who was immediately placed on administrative leave.

1,597 Annual job postings for truck drivers in Ohio, making it the eighth most in-demand job, according to the Sandusky Register ’s report on rising wages in the industry.

46 Years WKYC’s Tom Meyer has worked in local TV, a tenure during which he’s won 69 Emmys. He announced his retirement last week.

$3,000 Grant awarded to Scene contributor Hannah Lebovits by the Center for Community Solutions for environmental justice reporting over the next year. Three other proposals also received funding.

and the negative consequences to the economy.” But, are the 15 local pilot projects set to be funded over the next three years likely to include progressive political action groups, union organizing efforts or civic leaders who will attend city council meetings to advocate for change? Perhaps if they include the words “micro,” “disruption” and “innovation,” they’ll have a better chance. The Fund also hopes that the attention to the issue will be enlightening for business owners. According to Burke, months of extensive research within companies in the Northeast Ohio region, particularly those in Solon, have indicated that CEOs and HR professionals may not be aware of the constraints their employees face when it comes to transportation. Burke recounted that, in conversations with these professionals, many saw tardiness or days off as a behavioral issue as opposed to an institutional one. The Fund hopes that the Paradox Prize will shed more light on the reality that many carless employees face and the barriers to job access for those without a vehicle. Hmmm. Curious. Company leaders, and those coordinating their hiring, firing and benefits packages, aren’t aware of the reasons why folks find it difficult to get to work? Or, perhaps, they do not care to know. More specifically, do they feign ignorance and hide behind the behavioral excuse to defend their own choices? Land-use patterns, public transit disinvestments and local/regional policies are some of the ingredients of the toxic sprawl cocktail but the active, direct and unabashed way that businesses have directly added to this reality is clear: Wages are not high enough, pathways to promotion are stymied and overt and covert racism can create inequitable and unhealthy work spaces. The Paradox Prize might prove to be a valuable endeavor. On their end, the Fund appears to be genuinely invested in promoting quality ideas about how to mitigate the negative externalities of sprawl. But, while we continue to rely on the philanthropic sector to promote social welfare, maybe we can begin to talk about the paradox of public agencies promoting economic development over social sustainability, the fight for a $15 minimum wage and the insecurity of tying healthcare to a job.

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| clevescene.com | June 26 - July 2, 2019

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“We Are Enough” A group of black women share their stories of living, working and surviving in Cleveland By HANNAH LEBOVITS

It seems that most coverage of black women in Cleveland is on the low end, where we’re talking about the disparities,” says Lauren Welch, the director of marketing and communications at Karamu House. “Or it’s C-Suite. But there really isn’t quite as much knowledge about the day-to-day women who aren’t C-Suite but who also aren’t poor. There’s no in-between.

Top row from left to right: Tiffany Hollinger, Sharisse Edwards, TerDawn Deboe, Chinenye (ChiChi) Nkemere, Shemariah Arki. Bottom row from left to right: Khalida Sims, Lauren Welch, Latoyia Jones | Photos by Jef Janis | clevescene.com | June 26 - July 2, 2019

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FEATURE WELCH IS ALSO THE EXECUTIVE director of the Women’s Leadership Guild, where she works tirelessly to promote and advocate for black women. If that wasn’t enough, she recently cofounded the Scarlet Letters project to shine light on workplace harassment. In that role, she works to provide a safe space for people to share their stories and be heard. And that’s exactly what she’s provided on this May evening. She has gathered 10 black women together for an informal roundtable. With few preset guideposts, the ensuing hours of discussion ebbed and flowed from somber topics to ebullient stories of success; from what’s missing in their lives to strengths they hold dear;

Khalida Sims jumps in. “We can unpack so much, but it’s more like, what do you want to know versus what do we share,” she says. “I think everyone can spend days talking about their perspective. I am a daughter, I am a sister, I am an auntie, I am a cousin and I am one of two black women who work for the county at the public defender’s office. My narrative also comes from being a dark-skinned black woman. That doesn’t mean that I’m trying to disconnect from my light-skinned sisters, but my narrative is different because of how I am approached. Also, I have locks and I have a gap. I am undeniably black.” Sims quickly points out the obvious. “It’s interesting the lack of representation at Scene as far as black women, and yet you’re doing a piece on black women,” she says. (I am, for the record, a white, Jewish woman.) “Not

Khalida Sims

Chinenye Nkemere from professional to personal and the interplay between; from the many dimensions of self to a narrowly defined identity. “I think that white people only see black people as related to them when we are like down in the dumps or when we have power and leadership,” Welch says. “Why do you only think of me when I’m here or I’m here?”

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to minimize. I appreciate the position that you are in, but I think we also have to recognize that that’s a part of the problem, that’s why you have this piece being done.” The table collectively nods in affirmation, because it’s true. It’s also true of every single newsroom in Cleveland. Bishara Addison, the senior manager

| clevescene.com | June 26 - July 2, 2019

of policy and strategic initiatives at Towards Employment, follows the thread. “I would hope that you have a balanced article,” she says. “I bitch all the time about what I’m upset about, but black women are the most educated group in America; we have a lot to celebrate. It’s easy for me to just tell you all the things that are bothering me, but we also want to be able to tell the story of the people who supported us. “A lot of the support that I’ve had in my professional career [has come from] white, Jewish women and white men who have done a lot for me. But there have also been some white folks who have made it really difficult for me to do my job. I have black women in my life who have really modeled excellence and helped me, but then when I think about [a recent job], my most problematic people were black men. But then we have to unpack that. There’s a historical context of why this relationship is so toxic. So, I can be mad interpersonally, but then when I look at the broader picture … .” Tiffany Hollinger, a real-estate agent and small business owner, cuts in. “I’m sorry, but we always empathize with everyone,” she says. “Like, she’s not allowed to be angry. She rationalized her anger. We don’t get to

just be angry, we have to nurture and compartmentalize. So if anything, I think that, tearing back the onion here, there is a profound story of how we don’t just get to be.” That experience of not being able to just be, of doing so much for everyone else, is a physical and mental danger to black women, according to Sharisse Edwards, a mental health professional and a licensed clinical counselor who is at the forefront of the mental health crisis in Cleveland. “I worry about black women because we have too much sometimes, and we feel like we have to do too much,” she says. “But we are enough. We’re selling ourselves short. We put everyone else ahead of us, but when we fall down with diabetes, high blood pressure, even cancer, illnesses and things that can be preventable, everyone’s like, ‘Mom’s sick, what are we going to do?’ And no one knows what to do to help her, because we don’t take care of this ourselves. We’re too busy taking care of everyone else.” Everyone nods. Several women mention John Singleton, the Oscarnominated director of Boyz n the Hood, who recently passed away at the age of 51 after suffering a stroke. “It’s like we’re dying of the same things,” Edwards says, “stuff that’s


| clevescene.com | June 26 - July 2, 2019

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FEATURE preventable. And I don’t know exactly what to do but the conversation has to start.” Latoyia Jones is intimately familiar with the subject, having founded Alive on Purpose, a nonprofit dedicated to suicide prevention through systems of support and self-discovery. “I was raised by three strong black women,” she says. “My mother died of a crack addiction and my job is to stop the perpetuation of dysfunctional families. If I can raise healthier girls, who know how to raise themselves, who know how to get access to resources, who know how to build healthy lives, then we can one day turn around the future of our community.” Jones works as a trainer at a large corporation in Cleveland where she too

Across the table from Latoyia is Khrys Shefton, director of real estate development at Famicos Foundation. “In and of itself, what I do for a living is hard for people to swallow because I am a gentrifier,” she says. “I’m not mincing words and I’m not ashamed of it either, because when you look at the history of Hough and Glenville, the black people who lived in these neighborhoods, they were not poor black people. They were black people of means. They were educators and attorneys; they were powerbrokers, movers and shakers in the city. So, when we have these conversations about gentrification, it becomes really complicated because we want to talk about it from a race perspective and we want to have a conversation about why people are taking our stuff. But, actually, we’re giving away our neighborhood actively. It is a choice that we make every single day. “When I took this job five years

Lauren Welch

Latoyia Jones is an Only in her space. “I took that job while I was doing Alive on Purpose to be a representation to the hundreds of black people who will be employed [there],” she says, “so they can see a face that looks like them while they’re trying to make their money.”

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ago, one of the first questions I asked was, ‘Why don’t we sell houses to black people?’ And all of my white counterparts looked at me and said, ‘I don’t know. We don’t have to [sell only to white people] but those are the people who buy.’ Well, why?” she says. “There

| clevescene.com | June 26 - July 2, 2019

becomes this larger narrative about how we, as black people, as black women, how we love ourselves, how we view ourselves, how we look at things that belong to us and we don’t look at them as being of value. But, when a white person has it, we love it, we covet it. So, this neighborhood, now it’s valuable because white people are interested, but it had value all the time.” Chinenye “ChiChi” Nkemere calls herself a gentrifier as well. She grew up far from the neighborhoods that Shefton works in but has decided to make the city of Cleveland her home. “My black story is a little different in the sense that my parents came to the United States from Nigeria,” she says. “Growing up in Pepper Pike, I thought I had lots of black friends, because there were like seven of us and we were just rocking it. When your parents come from a majority-black country, even a country that was colonized so heavily and brutally as Nigeria, there’s no separate idea of black. That was not a thing that I grew up with. I was very Nigerian. But the idea of blackness, that did not hit me — and when I say hit me, I mean hit me directly in the throat — until I went to Ohio State.” The other Buckeyes in the room give a cheer. ChiChi nods. “It was the best decision I ever made.

I loved college but almost immediately, I was like, ‘Is this what this black stuff is?’ Within a week, a girl that lived down the hall said she wanted to lynch me. And it was fucking wild to me because I’m coming from an extremely privileged area where the only thing that mattered growing up was money. And then I go to Ohio State and I’m thinking everything is like that. But, they’re like, ‘No, you’re a nigger.’ They were like, ‘You got into school because of affirmative action.’ I was like, ‘I actually didn’t get the black scholarship.’ “I became very angry for years. And I have this very triple consciousness now. I am very Nigerian, but the older I get the more I realize that I am also very black. And I’m blessed, in the sense that the black American community not only welcomed me with open arms, but I get to pick the things I like. And then I also am very much a womanist. I wish I could care about what’s going on for men, but I feel like I have my own things. We do so much as black women, rationalizing men’s behaviors. I’m very open that I’m going through a divorce, because there a lot of black women who are quiet and hush-hush about it. I don’t need to be. I don’t have to be ashamed about it at all.” Addison, who also grew up in a


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suburban community, jumps in. “One of the key takeaways,” she notes, “is that black women in Cleveland are not a homogeneous group. So, I have different experiences from what I’ve heard. I would say that Shaker is different than Pepper Pike and some other suburbs. Shaker and Cleveland Heights are bubbles with a totally different group of white people. And white people are not a homogeneous group either. When I got

black people and you don’t like Jewish people, you probably don’t need to move to Shaker.” “There are different kinds of Cleveland black,” says Shefton. “There’s your sorority girls and then you got … the opposite. There’s city black, which is a term I’ve come to hate so much. But it just refers to the people who have been here for generations and have never been out. And it’s not about economics, because I know plenty of black people who grew up in the city of Cleveland who now live in Twinsburg or Macedonia. And they love it so much. But it’s like, don’t you feel terrible every day when you go outside and you don’t

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Sharisse Edwards to George Washington, where I went to undergrad, I was like, ‘These aren’t my Shaker white people!’ I was so used to my liberal Jewish white people. And there are issues in that group too, and there were plenty of racial issues in Shaker, but they totally played out differently. Because in Shaker and our little bubble, everyone loves each other, and we are prioritizing diversity and inclusion. White people and black people who move to Shaker, where we have the highest property taxes in the state, move to Shaker because we care about diversity. So, if you don’t like

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| clevescene.com | June 26 - July 2, 2019

see any black people?” “I grew up in California,” says TerDawn DeBoe, a digital marketer who runs a 10-person agency, who is also a partner in Dream Creative Complex, a space for creatives, and who additionally aims to soon open the Cleveland Experience Center, a 25,000-squarefoot event center in Bratenahl. “I lived in a place with a lot of different races, but it’s so black and white here. I was so confused when I moved here. Everything is so segregated and so separated and it makes things difficult. I’ve walked into a lot of conferences


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Tiffany Hollinger being the only, or one of the few, black people there and then not being taken seriously there. It’s like, ‘Who do you work for?’ No, I own this. “I was trying to create a show called What’s Good Cleveland, and I wanted to have more than just black people on it so I could show what’s going on in all of Cleveland. But when I pitched it to people and they found out I’m the owner, then it became ‘A Black Business.’ Then it becomes ‘A Black Show.’ And then it becomes ‘A Black Thing.’ Why do I always have to prove that I deserve to be doing this? Or that this concept is great? Because it always comes back to it being a black-owned company and so no one else wants to be involved.” Dr. Shemariah Arki, a professor of Pan-African studies at Kent State University, is also a committee member at the Ellipsis Institute for Women of Color in the Academy, where much of their work is centered on helping women unleash their potential. “What we do is create space for women of color to come together across lines of differences to pursue a common goal,” Arki says. “It’s so that we can kind of take a break from being ‘the Only’ in the space. Instead, we’re at the space like this where you say, ‘Hey!’ and everyone says ‘Hey!’” Women who have been part of the

Ellipsis Institute have gone on to share their ideas with larger platforms, allowing them to make their voices heard, even when they remain ‘the Only’ in the room. But Arki is dedicated to more than institutional platforms. She works with creative entrepreneurs to help them develop their capacity to translate their internal strength into a finished product: “to do the work on yourself, in order to make your work successful.” That work — being vocal and advocating for oneself and one’s community — is something Welch has worked on too. “Two years ago, I just decided to stop playing nice with racist and sexist people in the community, because I kept feeling like, if I’m in this seat and I’m at this table and I’m the only one and I say nothing, I can’t make room for someone else to come and fill this seat after me,” she says. “But it’s hard because Cleveland will retaliate. Because people want to treat you differently when you talk about these issues. People want to hide behind and not take responsibility or accountability for these types of behaviors. But it comes at a cost, because if I’m mad at you all the time and we’re at each other’s neck, we will never learn anything from one another. “And I want you to understand that

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15


INDOORS THURSDAY, JUNE 27 Tower of Power 7:45 p.m. | KeyBank State Theatre

FRIDAY, JUNE 28 Tribute to Tadd Dameron with Dianne Reeves and the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra 6 p.m. | Ohio Theatre

Béla Fleck & The Flecktones/John Scofield’s Combo 66 7:45 p.m. | KeyBank State Theatre

Akiko/Hamilton/Dechter B-3 Trio 10:15 p.m. | Allen Theatre

SATURDAY, JUNE 29 Regina Carter and Xavier Davis/Helen Sung and Michela Marino Lerman 1 p.m. | Ohio Theatre

Dominick Farinacci’s Rhapsody in Blue: Revisited/Matthew Whitaker 3:30 p.m. | Allen Theatre

Tribute to Bobby Womack with Christian McBride, Avery Sunshine, Nona Hendryx and Nigel Hall 6 p.m. | Ohio Theatre

Jazz Funk Soul/Sax to the Max 7:45 p.m. | KeyBank State Theatre

Jamey Haddad’s Under One Sun

JUNE 27-29 2019

10:15 p.m. | Allen Theatre

SUNDAY, JUNE 30 Jazz Brunch with Diego Figueiredo and Jeff Hamilton Noon | Nighttown

#TriCJazzFest

Festival happens rain or shine!

Fran &

Call 216-241-6000 or visit www.tri-cjazzfest.com for tickets and info.

16

| clevescene.com | June 26 - July 2, 2019

THE GE FOU


OUTDOORS LIVE MUSIC

U.S. Bank Kids Club

3 p.m. – midnight | Strassman Insurance Stage

3 - 7 p.m. | Hanna Theatre

Friday Happy Hour

FRIDAY, JUNE 28 Dan Bruce’s :beta collective Rachel Brown & The Beatnik Playboys The Armstrong Bearcat Band Cleveland Jazz Orchestra (CJO) The Airmen of Note The Mike Cady Experience Dave McMurray Trio Collin Miller & the Brother Nature Carlos Jones & the P.L.U.S. Band

SATURDAY, JUNE 29 Tri-C JazzFest Academy Summer Camp Bobby Selvaggio Quartet Nathan-Paul & The Admirables Orlando Watson Herb Wilborn Jr. Band Red Light Roxy Cats On Holiday Sammy DeLeon y su Orquesta

& Jules Belkin

EORGE GUND UNDATION

5 - 7 p.m. | Playhouse Square

Saturday Morning Yoga 10 a.m. | Under the GE Chandelier

Chemical Bank Jazz Talk Tent 3 - 8 p.m. | Talk Tent

After Hours Jazz Sessions 10 p.m. - 1 a.m. | Bin 216, Cowell & Hubbard, Crowne Plaza

JACK y CLE Brew Garden Food Trucks Cooking Demos Shopping Free Massages Dancing Street Performers

Char & Chuck Fowler BALOGH BROTHERS

| clevescene.com | June 26 - July 2, 2019

17


FEATURE black women are very valid about being angry. When I came in the gate, I was like, we are just going to play nice with these people real quick and see what happens. I was just happy to be there. But then the climate changed. The climate got worse and then as it got worse, Cleveland got worse. You can feel the impact of it more and I’m talking about people being real bold about it. I feel that more now.� Khrys Shefton doesn’t feel angry, but she’s not shy about speaking the truth.

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away, Jones says, “ChiChi said she likes getting on the inside of things. She said she was angry. You heard that, right? Well, when I look at ChiChi, I imagine a ďŹ reball which literally needs the energy around it in order exist. You need that energy in order to do what you do. The anger is not misplaced. It’s not, ‘I’m angry and I’m black.’ It’s, ‘I’m ChiChi and I need this ďŹ reball to be able to do what I do’ When you sat down you brought magic. You are overowing and giving it away. You can’t do that when you are empty. You gave us life; you gave us energy; you gave us wealth. “Being black is being able to know that we can’t do it alone,â€? she continues. “Because we don’t know what tomorrow

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Shemariah Arki “I’m not angry,� she says. “I’m aggressive and I’m not afraid of you. I’m tired of people assuming that since I’m not gonna take your bullshit, I’m angry and we need to call me into HR.� “It’s okay to be angry too, though,� Arki says. “We have a right to be angry!� Nodding, Nkemere adds, “And I am so angry because I know I’m degreed and I’m pedigreed, but I still feel like shit. Because I’m watching America go to shit. A country I feel so patriotic about but, essentially from 2003 on, it’s not the America my parents showed us in the ’90s.� Looking at Nkemere a few seats

brings. We have to be able to say, ‘Hey black girl, I see you.’ We are facing a world that is so heavy, and as black women we have to be able to say, ‘Here, here’s some armor.’ I’m sitting here listening to you all and you’re saying a lot of words that I don’t know. And I don’t want to know, because it’s heavy. But even though I don’t understand it, I do know what a black woman needs in order to carry it.�

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| clevescene.com | June 26 - July 2, 2019

AUG 14


GET OUT everything you should do this week Photos by style “Art Credit”

Photo courtesy Tri-C

Tri-C JazzFest returns to Playhouse Square. See: Friday.

WED

06/26

THEATER

Dear Evan Hansen The Tony Award-winning Broadway musical Dear Evan Hansen makes its way to Cleveland this month amidst lots of hype. The story centers on a high-schooler who wants to fit in at any cost and features a book by Tony Awardwinner Steven Levenson, a score by Grammy, Tony and Academy Award winners Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (La La Land, The Greatest Showman) and direction by fourtime Tony Award nominee Michael Greif (Rent, Next to Normal). Tonight’s performance takes place at 7:30 at Connor Palace, where performances run through June 30. Tickets start at $39. (Jeff Niesel) 1615 Euclid Ave., 216-241-6000, playhousesquare.org. COMEDY

Chris Franjola Best known for his appearances on late-night’s Chelsea Lately, where he was known to take abuse from host Chelsea Handler, or in the scripted comedy series After Lately, comedian Chris Franjola regularly

works the standup circuit. “My material is basically anything I can’t say on TV,” he once said. Expect a raunchy show when he performs tonight at 7 at Hilarities. Tickets are $13 and $18. (Niesel) 2035 East Fourth St., 216-241-7425, pickwickandfrolic.com. FOOD

North Union Farmers Market North Union Farmers Market returns to U.S. Bank Plaza today with an urban-desert oasis of fresh and sustainable local farm foods. Come and stock up on the season’s best fruits and vegetables from 4 to 7 p.m. This NUFM location will be up and running each and every Wednesday through Sept. 4. Find out more on the website below. (Niesel) East 14th St. and Euclid Ave., 216-771-4444, playhousesquare.org. FUNDRAISER

Rock the Lead Out The Ohio Student Association has teamed up with the Cleveland Lead Advocates for Safe Housing (CLASH) to host Rock the Lead Out: A LeadSafe Housing Fundraising Concert. The event takes place at 8 tonight at Mahall’s 20 Lanes in Lakewood. CLASH is in the midst of collecting

signatures for local legislation that would require that all city rental properties and day care center buildings built before 1978 be tested for lead hazards and certified as “lead safe” by 2021. Local groups Bonnie Clydeman, Taylor Lamborn, the Alyssa Boyd Quartet and Evan Bloom will perform at the event. They’ll likely play some appropriate Clash cover songs in honor of the organization’s namesake, and there will be live painters, an art show, raffles, tarot card readings, mini-massages and more. The $5 admission underwrites the printing of petition booklets, supports the legal services required to run the campaign, and increases the outreach potential for the campaign. (Niesel) 13200 Madison Ave., Lakewood, 216-521-3280, mahalls20lanes.com.

schedule is on the website. (Niesel) 11440 Uptown Ave., universitycircle.org.

MUSIC

FESTIVAL

Uptown Out to Lunch Series At today’s Out to Lunch concert, on Toby’s Plaza in the Uptown district, you can grab lunch from your favorite Uptown eatery and have a seat at the great picnic table while listening to local bands. Today, Jen & Anthony play from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The free concert series continues through Sept. 11. The

Asian Lantern Festival Taking over parks and zoos across the country, the traveling Asian Lantern Festival shows off thousands of colorful handmade paper lanterns in open, green spaces. This year’s Cleveland edition, which runs through July 28 at the Metroparks Zoo, brings 40 brand new light-up displays. The event

FOOD

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

THU

06/27

| clevescene.com | June 26 - July 2, 2019

21


GET OUT

liberty

also includes authentic bites from local spots Li Wah, King Wah and Thai Thai, and there will be an interactive zone, open-air market and live performances. Running after zoo hours, the lantern exhibit is open Thursday through Sunday only, from 6:30 to 10 p.m. Same-day tickets are $20.50, or you can score four for $60. (Kids age 2 and younger are free.) Those purchasing tickets early get a discount. (Laura Morrison) 3900 Wildlife Way, 216-661-6500, clemetzoo.com.

crocker park

FEATURING FUNK WORTHY

FILM

FRONT PORCH LIGHTS

Can’t Stop the Music As part of its Pride Month film series, the Capitol Theatre will screen Can’t Stop the Music, a film that stars Caitlyn Jenner, Steve Guttenberg, Valerie Perrine and the Village People. Billed as “one of the gayest screen musicals of all time,” it shows tonight at 7:30, and tickets cost $9.75. (Niesel) 1390 West 65th St., 216-651-7295, clevelandcinemas.com.

ST. EDWARD TRASH TALKERS OLD SKOOL

FAMILY FUN

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

Edgewater Live Time again for Edgewater Live, the Cleveland Metroparks’ extremely popular series of Thursday-night happy-hour concerts held at Edgewater Beach. In addition to live musical performances, you’ll find yoga, standup paddleboarding and cornhole. Those ubiquitous food trucks will be on hand, of course, and the Beach House will sell drinks and food as well. Hours are 4:30 to 9 p.m. Admission is free, but bring some bucks for food and drink. The fun continues weekly through August 1. (Niesel) 6500 Cleveland Memorial Shoreway NW, clevelandmetroparks.com.

ticket holders, the doors open at 8:30 p.m. DJ Zoë Lapin will man the turntables. (Niesel) 2785 Euclid Hts. Blvd., Cleveland Heights, 216-321-5588, grogshop.gs. THEATER

Sister Act A musical comedy smash based on the hit film of the same name, Sister Act features original music by Tonyand Oscar-winner Alan Menken (Newsies, Beauty and the Beast, Little Shop of Horrors). Hilarity ensues when an eyewitnesses to a murder is put in protective custody in a convent. Tonight’s performance takes place at 8 at the Akron Civic Theatre, and performances continue through Saturday. Tickets cost $20. (Niesel) 182 South Main St., Akron, 330-253-2488, akroncivic.com. COMEDY

Dan Soder His natural delivery is what makes standup comic Dan Soder so funny. Add to that his spot-on impressions — like when he jokes about his grandmother casually discussing death or the random interactions he has with strangers — and you have one entertaining entertainer. The veteran funny guy has appeared on Inside Amy Schumer, The Half Hour and Conan. You can see him tonight at 8 at Hilarities, where he has shows scheduled through Saturday. Tickets start at $23. (Niesel) 2035 East Fourth St., 216-241-7425, pickwickandfrolic.com. PODCAST

The Great Love Debate Hosted by director and producer Brian Howie, the author of How to Find Love in 60 Seconds and the subject of features on FOX, ABC and CNN, the popular podcast The Great Love Debate comes to the Music Box Supper Club tonight. Doors open at 6 p.m., and tickets start at $15. (Niesel) 1148 Main Ave., 216-242-1250, musicboxcle.com.

DRAG

See You: This Friday June 28 Mulligan’s & Slim & Chubby’s (Strongsville) Next Friday July 5 Wild Eagle (Broadview) & Mr. Divot’s

22

| clevescene.com | June 26 - July 2, 2019

GlamGore Monthly Drag Show Each month, GlamGore, a monthly drag show at the Grog Shop, features a variety of performance artists under one roof. The shows feature everything from “beauty queens” to “drag monsters.” Anhedonia Delight hosts, and performers include Aurora Thunder, Dr. Lady J Martinez, Carly Uninemclite and Bea Brat. The theme of June’s show is Ahhh! Queer Monsters, and tickets cost $10, or $12 for VIP tickets that give you early access to the Grog starting at 8 p.m. along with a special photo opportunity/meet-and-greet with the cast. For general admission

MUSIC

Tower of Power At noon today, just prior to their performance at Tri-C Jazz Fest, the iconic soul group Tower of Power will come to the Rock Hall for an interview on the Rock Hall’s PNC Rock Hall Live Stage. The band will talk about the songs that inspired and influenced its music, and the event will also include a brief horn performance. It’s free, but if you want to tour the museum, you’ll have to pay the admission fee. (Niesel) 1100 Rock and Roll Blvd., 216-515-8444, rockhall.com.


FRI

06/28

BOOKS + MUSIC

Blues Musicians of the Mississippi Delta Local photographer Steve Mannheim will be at Mac’s Backs Books on Coventry tonight from 6 to 7 to sign copies of his new book, Blues Musicians of the Delta. The book includes photos of the late, great Robert Lockwood Jr. Blues guitarist Tim Matson, a guy who began his career with the Mr. Stress Blues Band and has played with Aces & Eights, Natural Facts, Becky Boyd, and the Supernatural Band with Anthony Lovano, will perform. Admission is free. (Niesel) 1820 Coventry Rd., Cleveland Heights, 216-321-2665, macsbacks.com. FAMILY FUN

Euclid Beach Live This live concert series offers great music, delicious food and fun for the whole family. The setting couldn’t be better either: The site overlooks the scenic Euclid Beach State Park on Lake Erie, and the 285-foot rebuilt pier gives the events a throwback feel and harkens back to the glory days of Euclid Beach amusement park. The fun takes place tonight from 6 to 9. The series continues through Aug. 2. (Niesel) 16301 Lake Shore Blvd., 216-635-3200, clevelandmetroparks.com.

He can easily break into Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing’” and then segue into Billy Joel’s “The Piano Man,” which he tends to alter with a few of his own ribald lyrics. Expect rowdy sing-alongs and a boisterous performance. Matt Johnson’s Dueling Piano Fiasco! takes place tonight and tomorrow night at 8 at MGM Northfield Park’s Neon Room. Tickets are $10. (Niesel) 10705 Northfield Rd., Northfield, 330-908-7793, mgmnorthfieldpark. mgmresorts.com/en.html. NIGHT MARKET

Night Market Cleveland Taking place on the last Friday of each month during the summer, Night Market Cleveland is part farmers market, part art/makers’ market, part concert series and part food festival. Occurring only four times a year, the market includes more than 200 retail and food vendors and numerous bands and performers. Located on Rockwell Avenue near the historic heart of Cleveland’s original Chinatown, Night Market Cleveland was inspired by a tradition in several Asian cultures, and designed to connect the diverse peoples of Cleveland’s Asia Town, St. Clair-Superior and Campus districts while “energizing an often-overlooked corner of Cleveland.” It goes down tonight from 5 to 11 p.m. Admission is free. (Niesel) nightmarketcle.com.

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This Magnificent Cake! Filmmaker Barry Jenkins has said that This Magnificent Cake!, a stopmotion animation flick directed by Marc James Roels and Emma De Swaef, was the best movie he saw last year. Featuring five interconnected stories of colonial Africa — all set in the Belgian Congo during the late 19th century — the film received acclaim when it screened at major film festivals. It makes its local debut at 7 tonight at the Cleveland Museum of Art. Two animated shorts, Niki Lindroth von Bahr’s 17-minute film The Burden and Roels and de Swaef’s 14-minute Oh Willy ..., will also screen. Tickets cost $10, or $7 for CMA members. (Niesel) 11150 East Blvd., 216-421-7350, clevelandart.org.

JIM BRICKMAN A Christmas Celebration December 14

PATTON OSWALT July 13

ART

Corey Holcomb After debuting at an open mic night in 1992, comedian Corey Holcomb has gone on to take top honors at numerous comedy festivals, along with appearing at the Montreal Just for Laughs Festival and the Chicago Comedy Festival. A physical comedian, Holcomb has said he practices his “stage faces.” He speaks with candor about romantic relationships, admitting that “sensitive people” might find his jokes offensive, but that “confident people” will like him just fine. Recently, Holcomb appeared in the film Think Like A Man Too and Adult Swim’s TV series Black Jesus. He performs at 7:30 and 10 tonight at the Improv, where he has shows scheduled through Sunday. Tickets start at $30. (Niesel) 1148 Main Ave., 216-696-IMPROV, clevelandimprov.com.

Radicle Clothing Company Exhibit Created by Akron natives Kinsey Sandford and Robin Berry, who seek to “connect, uplift, and empower others in the Akron community and beyond through compelling messaging, artistic apparel and accessories, and engaging content on their website, blog, and social media outlets,” Radicle Clothing Co. has collaborated with Lululemon Akron to bring a community and connection focused art experience to Akron’s westside throughout the months of July and August. An opening reception takes place at 5:30 p.m. today at the Lululemon Akron showroom. Some never-beforeseen items will be on display, and refreshments will be served. Framed design concepts, full-color designs and original photography will be available for purchase. (Niesel) 1711 West Market St., Akron, radicleclothingco.com.

MUSIC

MUSIC

Matt Johnson’s Dueling Piano Fiasco! Judging from the YouTube videos of pianist Matt Johnson’s dueling piano concerts, it’s safe to say the guy caters to bachelor and bachelorette parties.

Stiv DVD Release Party with Frank Secich Lords of the Highway, Make It Stop, The Legendary X_X Punk pioneer Stiv Bators left behind a remarkable legacy in the wake of his

COMEDY

untimely death in 1990. Bators, who sang with acts such as the Dead Boys and Lords of the New Church, is the subject of Stiv, a new documentary by Danny Garcia (The Rise and Fall of the Clash, Looking for Johnny, Sad Vacation). The film had a theatrical release last year; it arrives on DVD today. Acts such as Lords of the Highway, Make It Stop and X_X are slated to perform, and the film will screen at midnight. It’s all happening at the Beachland Tavern. Tickets cost $10. (Niesel) 15711 Waterloo Rd., 216-383-1124, beachlandballroom.com.

JAZZ FEST

Tri-C JazzFest Outdoor Festival The 40th annual Tri-C JazzFest Cleveland hits Playhouse Square today, and in addition to the ticketed events, there will be free performances from 3 p.m. to midnight today and tomorrow at Playhouse Square. A jury of music industry professionals vetted more than 100 bands while putting together the lineup. The chosen bands represent a variety of musical genres, including jazz, funk, blues, reggae and swamp pop. Acts such as Cleveland Jazz Orchestra, the Mike Cady Experience, the Airmen of Note, Rachel Brown & the Beatnik Playboys, Carlos Jones & the P.L.U.S. Band, Red Light Roxy, Bobby Selvaggio Quartet and Sammy DeLeon y su Orquesta are slated to play. A happy hour with discounted drinks takes place on the plaza at 5 p.m. today. The night will also feature street performers, the Cleveland Museum of Art’s Parade the Circle puppets and line dancing. Other free outdoor activities at the festival include the U.S. Bank Kids Club, cooking demonstrations, food trucks, vendors, games, the Chemical

TRISH YEARWOOD Every Girl On Tour October 27

Welcome to Night Vale July 14 Daniel Sloss July 28 Small Town Murder Aug. 3 Pat McGann Sept. 20 Kathleen Madigan Sept. 28 David Sedaris Oct. 19

216-241-6000 Group Sales 216-640-8600 playhousesquare.org | clevescene.com | June 26 - July 2, 2019

23


GET OUT Bank Jazz Talk Tent with artist interviews and a morning yoga session. (Niesel) East 14th St. and Euclid Ave., 216-771-4444, playhousesquare.org.

N OPE DAY W I O N Y FR OR F R EVE NOON H C T A LUN

SAT

06/29

MUSIC FEST

SPRING HOURS:

MON - THURS: 5:00PM - CLOSE | FRI - SUN: 11:00AM - CLOSE

WHISKEY ISLAND MUSIC SERIES Every Wednesday Evening Wednesday, June 26 6-10pm

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Chardon Love Fest Chardon Love Fest, an annual openair music festival, will return to the historic Chardon Square in Chardon today for its ninth consecutive year. The free festival will kick off at noon, and it’ll feature 20 bands, including acts such as Steve Wright, Brandon Postman, Olivia Martinez, Lucky is the Lion, Chloe and the Steel Strings, and Thor Platter. A nonprofit organization, Love Fest aims to “give a stage to the up-andcoming heroes of the next generation of music.” In addition to live music, the festival will also feature a special gallery in the Heritage House with art from across Northeast Ohio. Installations and interactive pieces will be scattered throughout the square, and there will be activities for all ages, including a yoga tent and painting classes. There will be nearly 35 vendors and booths featuring local artists, crafts and local nonprofits. The festival also features local food trucks and pop-up kitchens. Hours are noon to 10 p.m. Details are on the website. (Niesel) chardonlovefest.com. MUSIC

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Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in Concert At 7:30 tonight and tomorrow night at Blossom, the Cleveland Orchestra will perform John Williams’ score to the 2001 film Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. The concert kicks off this year’s Blossom Music Festival and, as usual, the Cleveland Orchestra’s “Under 18s Free” program will be in effect to encourage families to attend. Consult the orchestra website for more info. (Niesel) 1145 West Steels Corners Rd., Cuyahoga Falls, 216-231-1111, clevelandorchestra.com. MEMBERS ONLY

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| clevescene.com | June 26 - July 2, 2019

Member and Donor Appreciation Day Today from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, members and donors can select a time to view the Rock Hall’s new

interactive Garage exhibit and participate in an entire day of programming, tours and more. (Niesel) 1100 Rock and Roll Blvd., 216-515-8444, rockhall.com. ART

Waterloo Arts Fest The 17th annual Waterloo Arts Fest returns to Collinwood today and takes place from noon to 7 p.m. It’ll feature more than 40 local bands playing a great mix of music, and there will be local handmade art vendors, food trucks, and innovative and interactive art experiences for all ages. This community event is produced by Waterloo Arts, a nonprofit art center whose mission is to enrich the neighborhood by creating a stimulating arts environment through exhibits, performances, special events, and educational programming for people of all ages. It takes place on Waterloo Road between Calcutta Avenue and East 161st Street. Details are on the website. (Niesel) waterlooarts.org/fest.

SUN

06/30

FILM

Chasing Portraits In Chasing Portraits, director Elizabeth Rynecki documents the journey she took as she set out to find the long-dispersed paintings by her Polish great-grandfather who lived in Warsaw prior to his death in the Holocaust. She refers to the paintings as if they were “family members” in the moving film. It screens at 1:30 p.m. today at the Cleveland Museum of Art. Tickets cost $10, or $7 for CMA members. (Niesel) 11150 East Blvd., 216-421-7350, clevelandart.org. MUSIC FEST

Liberty Rocks The pop-punk band Plain White T’s will headline Liberty Rocks, Crocker Park’s annual Independence Day music fest. The event takes place from 3 to 9 p.m. today. Liberty Rocks will feature activities, a beer garden and food trucks. Acts such Funk Worthy, Front Porch Lights and St. Edward High School Trash Talkers will all perform in addition to Plain White T’s. Since forming in 1997 in the Chicago area, Plain White T’s have released a number of popular singles, and the group released its newest album, Parallel Universe, last year. Next to the main stage, Vendor Village will feature


an array of exhibitors including Graffiti HeART, Lake Erie Crushers, Cleveland Monsters, Cleveland Cavaliers, Cleveland Browns and St. Helen’s Unicycle group as well as family-friendly entertainment like stilt walkers, face painters, jugglers and more. Admission to Liberty Rocks is free, and parking will be available in the main garages for $10. A portion of the parking and beer garden proceeds will benefit University Hospitals Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital. (Niesel) 189 Crocker Park Blvd., Westlake, crockerpark.com. DRINK

Mad Hatters Gin & Tea Party Today from 1 to 4 p.m. at the EY Penthouse, Extremely Social presents a special Mad Hatters Gin & Tea Party. According to a press release, the event will feature “tantalizing cocktails and teatime mayhem.” Part of the Ernest and Young building on the East Bank of the Flats, the EY Penthouse overlooks the city and features great views. The event will “take you on a adventure down the rabbit hole and into a garden of magic.” The $20 ticket includes four drink tokens to be used at any of the specialty cocktail stations, small bites, and

entertainment. The event is 21 and over. (Niesel) 950 Main Ave., eventbrite.com/e/mad-hatter-gin-teaparty-tickets-63068759357. DRINK

Sloppy Sundays in the Sun On select Sundays throughout the summer, Now That’s Class will host Sloppy Sundays in the Sun, an event that appeals to day drinkers. Bartender Juliet will serve up her special Pimm’s drinks and Aperol Spritzs and both patios will be open. The club will even set up an outdoor basketball hoop. The bar opens at 3 p.m., and happy hour takes place from 5 to 8 p.m. It’s free — other than the cost of your drinks, of course. (Niesel) 11213 Detroit Ave., 216-221-8576, nowthatsclass.net. THEATER

The Try Guys The Try Guys, of YouTube fame, bring their first tour, cheekily dubbed Legends of the Internet, to the State Theatre tonight. The live show promises to deliver “a thrilling evening of comedy, spectacle and friendship.” Each city will experience a completely unique, interactive show. Grab a VIP

package, and you can meet the guys too. The performance takes place at 7:30 p.m. at the State Theatre. Tickets start at $32. (Niesel) 1519 Euclid Ave., 216-241-6000, playhousesquare.org.

MON

07/01

TRIVIA

Lunchtime Trivia Today from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. on U.S. Bank Plaza, Last Call Trivia hosts a live show that allows teams to compete for prizes by answering trivia questions. Last Call games also incorporate a distinctive point wagering system, giving teams the ability to choose their own strategy which ensures every team has an equal chance to compete. Teams can range from 1 to 8 players and prizes are awarded to the top teams at the event’s conclusion. (Niesel) East 14th St. and Euclid Ave., 216-771-4444, playhousesquare.org.

TUE

Stars at U.S. Bank Plaza. Beginning at 6, Valerie Salstrom of Get Hep Swing will give lessons; then it’s on to the dance party, with live music provided by the Skatch Anderssen Orchestra. The dancing begins at 6:30 and continues until 9 p.m. Admission is free. The weekly dance party continues through August 27. (Niesel) East 14th St. and Euclid Ave., 216-771-4444, playhousesquare.org. FILM

Working Woman A married woman struggles against persistent sexual harassment at work in Working Woman, a new thriller from director Michal Aviad, a senior lecturer at Tel Aviv University’s Department of Cinema and Television. The film makes its local premiere today at 1:45 p.m. at the Cleveland Museum of Art. Tickets cost $10, or $7 for CMA members. (Niesel) 11150 East Blvd., 216-421-7350, clevelandart.org.

07/02

DANCE

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scene@clevescene.com t@clevelandscene

| clevescene.com | June 26 - July 2, 2019

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ART FLAT CIRCLES Susan Squires spins a beauty in Circling at 1point618 Gallery By Dott von Schneider Photo courtesy of Susan Squires

WE’VE OFTEN WONDERED IF encaustic painter Susan Squires is a secret alchemist. By the sheer nature of her medium, she is. Encaustic is a painting technique in which the artist uses dyes, beeswax and heat to create layers of imagery and color. Circling, Squires’ latest solo show at 1point618 gallery, seems to beckon us into an underground world, which makes the works such fun to look at. Take the painting titled “Everything Is Transformed,” one of the few pieces that are not circlecentric — at least not in the literal sense. Taking pages from a 1970s electrical engineering journal that she found at a flea market in Rome, Squires created an artwork that is mystical as the language it was written in. “As I covered the pages with hot encaustic, the opposite side began to show through with images and writing. I really liked the shapes that appeared,” she states. The painting is augmented with black forms that reflect some of the shapes within the journal. It’s a fascinating piece. “I was collaborating with ‘m.f.’, the Italian journalist, who was such an exquisite draftsperson. I like the idea that the strong black forms draw the viewer in so that they can appreciate the nuances and beautiful drawings that inhabit the pages.” “Solstice” hugs us with the sumptuous warmth of hot red and flaming tangerine despite the looming storm at the top of the painting. Scoring into the wax, Squires creates a solar map that is balanced with muted gray latitudes and longitudes, giving the illusion of dynamism as well as stasis. In a series of paintings that, on the surface, are very different from one another visually, “Circling Study” (#1 through #5) is based on the Cleveland Coast Guard Station. “I spent many summer hours with my grandson and granddaughter, who sail and race out of the Coast Guard Station. I am particularly interested in the architecture, the rounded and rectangular forms together, the white of the buildings, the atmosphere at different times of day and evening and the layout of the buildings on the land

“Circling Study #5,” Cleveland Coast Guard Station

juxtaposed with the water,” reveals Squires. “I printed the plans from a site online and used the Xerox printouts as a substrate for three of the works: ‘#1,’ ‘#3’ and ‘#5’ (which is pictured above). Painting ‘#2’ uses photographs of the interior

structure and excavates full on, circular works such as “Sound of Silence,” “Three Circles” and “Naples Encounter,” to name a few. These paintings are developed directly on thick discs of wood. Somehow, they posit a kind of

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of the main building, which, at the time, was in total disrepair, rusty and peeling.” “Circling Study #2” continues with the warm palette, but also hints at the rust and peeling she references above. The photograph Squires embedded into the painting is a haunting and almost looks like it’s underwater. Squires reaches within the box

legerity despite their size. Finally, “My Father’s Machine” is based on an invention by Squires’ father. “In the late ’40s, my father patented a card-sorting machine,” Squires says. Having found the exact patent online, she used the photocopies as the basis for the series of paintings. “In ‘#3,’ his drawings are visible. In ‘#2,’ the underlying images are

mostly hidden. In ‘#4,’ I connected several of the round gears to form the “linear configuration” which resides on the surface.” The result seems to tie in with the previously mentioned, “Everything is Transformed.” What I enjoyed most about this exhibition is how it relieved me from having to go through the gallery in a linear sense. I bounced around from painting to painting, upstairs and down, to try and find hidden messages or secrets. I truly related to this excerpt from the artist’s statement: “I am a stranger exploring these sacred places, places of architecture and byzantine frescoes, Cosmatesque floors, and landscape space, of science and geometry, of growing things.”

scene@clevescene.com t@clevelandscene | clevescene.com | June 26 - July 2, 2019

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| clevescene.com | June 26 - July 2, 2019


MOVIES BEATLEMANIA ALL OVER AGAIN Clever rom-com Yesterday imagines a world without the Fab Four By Jeff Niesel IT’S ARGUABLY TOUGHER THAN ever to become a successful musician. While social media can help spread the good word, there’s way more competition than there was in, say, the 1960s. That’s certainly something that Jack (Himesh Patel), the main character in Yesterday, and his manager Ellie (Lily James) understand all too well. At the film’s start, we see Jack finally get a festival gig only to play in a remote tent to a small handful of fans. Jack’s had it and tells Ellie he’s ready to give up the game. But then, something crazy happens. He gets in an accident while riding his bike and wakes up to a world where the Beatles never existed A Google search for “beatle” only comes up with references to “beetles” and Jack has the opportunity of a lifetime because he can pass off their songs as his own. If you can accept its rather preposterous premise, Yesterday comes off as a remarkably clever, feel-good romantic comedy. The movie opens area-wide on Friday. Once Jack realizes that the Beatles have somehow never existed in the world in which he

Photo courtesy of Universal Pictures

now lives, he tries to reintroduce their songs. He plays “Yesterday” at a picnic, and his manager is taken aback because she’s never heard him play the song before. Eventually, a record executive hears him playing a few Beatles

songs and recognizes the quality of the songwriting. He records a couple of tracks and posts them online. They go viral, and before you can say “internet sensation,” Jack befriends Ed Sheeran (who loses a songwriting battle to him

in one funny scene) and jet sets off to L.A. to record his debut LP. In one hilarious segment, Sheeran even convinces Jack to change the lyrics of “Hey Jude” to “hey dude.” Predictably enough, Jack winds up with a mercenary manager (Kate McKinnon), who wants to turn him into a superstar at whatever the cost. “You make a ton of money and then we take most of it,” she tells him. Stardom, of course, comes with complications, and Jack becomes estranged from Ellie, who tells him she’s always had feelings for him but felt they wouldn’t be reciprocated. Jack doesn’t know how to handle this news. He also grapples with his conscience since he feels guilty for playing Beatles tunes and pretending they’re his. The film wraps things up a little too neatly at the end, but Patel deserves praise for deftly handling the singing and guitar playing and making his character believable at the same time. It’s an impressive performance especially given that it’s his first major film role.

jniesel@clevescene.com t@jniesel

SPOTLIGHT: TONI MORRISON, THE PIECES I AM TONI MORRISON MAY BE THE most hypnotic speaker among any living writer. It’s not only the precision and care with which she chooses her words; it’s the quality of her voice — both authoritative and light. When she reads her own work, it doesn’t sound like contemporary fiction. It sounds like she’s reciting from memory some ancient myth. It’s timeless and elegant in its simplicity. And yet her work is urgent and potent and endlessly revealing in its excavation of the human experience. She speaks a great deal in the new documentary devoted to her life and work, Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am, from director Timothy GreenfieldSanders. It opens Friday at the Cedar Lee. In old interview footage and in new recorded interviews, the 88-year-

old Nobel laureate is relaxed in her position as literary royalty. The twohour film is a celebration of her ideas and her impact. Following the trajectory of a standard biographical documentary, The Pieces I Am follows Morrison from her childhood in Lorain, Ohio, to her collegiate days at Howard University, to parenthood, to professional life to literary success. It tackles both the craft and content of her award-winning fiction and chronicles the controversies that her novels often instigated. Even after winning the 1993 Nobel Prize, Morrison could not rid herself of critics who argued that her work was “too narrowly focused” on the black experience, that she was “too talented” to remain a “recorder

of black provincial life.” Morrison has pushed back against those who would qualify her acclaim, who say that she’s a pretty good writer “for a woman” or “for a black woman.” These are pejorative, racist categorizations, and Morrison says so. “You would never ask an Irish writer or an Italian writer to move beyond their own experience.” Morrison worked for years as an editor at Random House, ushering important black books into the literary mainstream, including Gayl Jones’ Corregidora and the autobiographies of both Muhammad Ali and Angela Davis. The film shows the remarkable ability of Morrison to write in stolen moments, jotting down thoughts on scraps of paper as she’s sitting in traffic or cooking

breakfast for her two sons. Featuring an array of talking heads — Oprah Winfrey, Angela Davis, Hilton Als, Walter Mosley — the film shows not just how certain books or achievements were important moments in the life of Toni Morrison, but how Toni Morrison and her books have been pivotal in the history of American literature — and America itself. The experience of the film is unlikely to be vastly improved upon on the big screen. But who could deny oneself the opportunity to hear Toni Morrison’s golden voice in surround sound? — Sam Allard

sallard@clevescene.com t@scenesallard | clevescene.com | June 26 - July 2, 2019

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EAT THE NEXT ACT Blu, a fish house from Cleveland pioneer Brad Friedlander, will debut in the former Moxie space this summer By Douglas Trattner Photo by Emanuel Wallace

WHEN WE TALK ABOUT Cleveland’s robust dining scene, names like Symon, Sawyer, Boccuzzi, Small, Vedaa and Katz invariably pop up. For those with a deeper comprehension, so too do the names Quagliata, Abramof, Bosley, Minnillo, Bruell and Lucarelli, on whose collective shoulders the entire framework rests. It’s forgivable that the name Brad Friedlander isn’t often part of the discussion; after all, he’s not a chef. But one can argue that he’s had just as much of an influence on the current state of affairs as any of those other culinary pioneers. Over the past 40 years, he’s been the architect behind a dozen different restaurants, some of them positively groundbreaking. At a time when Cleveland diners were smugly cracking into deepfried chimichangas at Chi-Chi’s, Friedlander and partner Craig Sumers opened Lopez y Gonzalez, where a fresh-faced Rick Bayless dished up ceviches, tacos al carbon and authentic moles in a dining room blessedly devoid of kitsch. Bayless was the first of many, many chefs who eventually left Friedlander’s employ for free agency, going on to start restaurants of their own, either here or away. Lopez opened in 1980, a full seven years before Bayless would open his own first restaurant, the now-iconic Frontera Grill in Chicago. “A lot of the success that I’ve had over the years has been based on the fact that I had Rick Bayless as my chef,” says Friedlander. “It was like having van Gogh in your kitchen — the way he taught me, and us and everybody around him to treat food; how to take care of food.” When Moxie opened, with an equally fresh-faced Doug Katz in the kitchen, it immediately set the eastside ablaze with its ripped-from-Tribeca interior and gutsy American bistro fare. That Friedlander and Sumers managed to finesse that spectacle out of a flavorless office-park space further cemented their reputation as visionary restaurateurs.

“I used to be in the film business and so, when I went into the restaurant business, it was just like show business,” Friedlander says. Moxie was put to bed this past April after an impressive 22-year run. Its name, along with those of Lopez, Cafe Brio, Boca, Red and other Friedlander-attached projects, will be memorialized on graffitiwrapped columns outside Blu, the restaurant that will replace it. After countless tweaks, overhauls and adjustments at the Beachwood bistro, the decision was made to make a fresh start. “Moxie was an exciting restaurant for many years, but it just ran its course,” he explains. “Kids have grown up eating at Moxie and they kind of want something new. I’m always trying to appeal to a younger clientele.” Friedlander says that the idea for Blu came to him soon after he opened Red in 2005. Moxie had always been a seafood-heavy restaurant, but it continued to inch in that direction with each additional steak sold next door.

Come early July, it will become a full-throated fish house. To prepare for the metamorphoses, the interior of the restaurant has been largely reworked. A sea of tables in the dining room has been replaced by sexy half-moon booths. The effect is to increase style and comfort while trimming seating by nearly 25 percent. Other treatments, like slatted ceilings, will make the space feel smaller. Also taking up real estate in the dining room will be a raw bar, with seven feet of ice proudly displaying the season’s freshest catch. Oysters, clams, shrimp, lobsters, crab and other pristine luxuries will be available by the piece at both the raw bar and tables, where a separate menu will be available. While still a work in progress, the menu will offer small plates, shareable appetizers, a la carte entrees and composed dishes. All will be overseen by executive chef Joe Lang. Diners can look forward to starters like shimmering seafood towers, charred octopus, scallops St. Jacques, crab cakes and stuffed

clams. Larger plates might include bouillabaisse, lobster Thermidor, Dover sole, king crab and live lobster. There will be lighter fare like lobster rolls and shrimp Po’ Boys and heavier mains like racks of lamb and grilled steak. After 40 years in the cut-throat restaurant industry, one might expect Friedlander to want to coast gracefully into his golden years, especially after a few high-profile misses like 811 and the recent closures and restructuring of Red. But the man simply is powerless to resist the siren song, even when the path is rocky. “Things go wrong every day, but it’s part of what I love about this business,” he says. “It’s allconsuming. If you want to be successful at this business, you have to give it everything. I’m here 18 hours a day and I love it. It’s never been about money for me; it’s always been about the food.”

dtrattner@clevescene.com t@dougtrattner | clevescene.com | June 26 - July 2, 2019

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EAT BITES Chef Jonathon Sawyer reveals plans for upcoming projects in Cleveland and Columbus By Douglas Trattner

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JONATHON SAWYER HAS BEEN pretty tight-lipped about his forthcoming projects, but the James Beard Award-winning chef is ready to go on the record about a pair of distinct concepts that will be rolling out in late summer/early fall in two separate cities. Sawyer’s presently is taking shape at the Van Aken District in Shaker Heights while SeeSaw is coming together in the Short North neighborhood of Columbus. “Where Sawyer’s and SeeSaw have commonality is what we’ve learned and loved at Trentina, where I think we were doing the best food that we’ve ever cooked,” the chef says about his now-shuttered fine-dining spot in Cleveland. “What we were doing with wood-fired cooking there was really unique, I think, and really unique to us.” Both kitchens will be anchored by custom-built grill suites that will be fueled by wood and charcoal. The livefire rigs will have multiple cooking zones that can deliver everything from searing heat to gentle smoke. Sawyer can roast root vegetables buried deep in the ashes while coldsmoking fish high above the coals. Dripping juices from roasting meats will rain onto the embers, creating a tempest of smoke that seasons everything in sight. “Wood-fired cooking makes the simple food that we like to cook taste even better,” Sawyer says. “The customers can see and smell the wood fire before they even taste and enjoy the food. The theater of it all helps create the experience.” Sawyer’s (3386 Tuttle Rd.) at Van Aken is like “a more polished” version of Greenhouse Tavern, he reports, with more vegetarian and seafood dishes. At just 80 seats, the space is small, sharp and exquisitely tailored in white tile, burnished copper and polished concrete. A central dining platform will offer guests seated at leather banquettes views of both the grill space and green space outside. In one corner, a 12-stool white terrazzo-topped bar holds court while additional seating rings the room. As at Greenhouse, there will be “kitchen seating” just feet from the line. A rooftop cocktail bar, which will open after the restaurant, will have

its own identity, drinks list and food menu, says Sawyer. In Columbus, Sawyer is teaming up with FWD Hospitality Group (in partnership with the Tribe’s second baseman Jason Kipnis) to open SeeSaw (906 North High St.) in the former RAM Brewery space in the Short North. The two-level, 9,000-square-foot structure is only two years old. “The building has great bones,” Sawyer reports. “It’s essentially a freestanding building with a private rooftop.” After extracting millions of dollars’ worth of brewing equipment, relocating the bar and pouring a new floor, the space is nearing completion. Once the dust settles, the restaurant will seat 200 indoors with room for more outside. Sawyer describes the concept as “Greenhouse Tavern goes to college,” with a mix of classics plucked from both that eatery and Trentina making the trip south. “The menu will be super vegheavy, small plate-focused,” he explains. “The goal is to have more than half of the menu be sharable items that will come out when it’s perfect.” For now, the goal is to have SeeSaw open its doors in July or August with Sawyer’s following in August or September. After a decade in business, the Greenhouse Tavern (2038 East Fourth St., 216-443-0511) still is merrily rolling along, notes Sawyer. He hopes to give “the old ship” a major renovation in the near future. Customers at all Team Sawyer restaurants present and future will be seeing more of the exuberant chef, he promises, as his priorities are shifting in the right direction. “I want to get back to just cooking food and not being the CFO, and to building concepts that are simple and relatable,” he says. And just to set the record straight, the name Sawyer’s was chosen over the chef’s objection. His choice of Cardoon was unanimously vetoed.

dtrattner@clevescene.com t@dougtrattner


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| clevescene.com | June 26 - July 2, 2019

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Photo by Luke Dickey

TWO BANDS FROM SOUTHERN California known for their highenergy live shows, Fitz & the Tantrums and Young the Giant have teamed up for a co-headlining tour that brings them to town on Sunday to perform at Jacobs Pavilion at Nautica. A neo-soul group, Fitz & the Tantrums are currently finishing a new album and have just issued “123456,” a jittery pop gem with a propulsive bass line. The alternative rock act Young the Giant is touring behind last year’s Mirror Master, a well-crafted album that veers from atmospheric pop tunes like “Superposition” to heavier, guitardriven tracks such as “Oblivion.” In separate phone interviews, Fitz frontman Michael Fitzpatrick and Young the Giant drummer Francois Comtois talked about the tour. How will the two bands complement each other? Fitzpatrick: I think it’s going to be an awesome co-headlining tour.

We’ve known them forever just from the festival circuit and running into each other on tour. We became friends several years back. You want to be out with people you love and are friends with because the road is a hard place to be. Musically, it will be a great pairing. We have COIN opening for most of the dates. I think we have crossover fans and then we have some that might not know each other’s bands that well. For both bands, musicianship is high on the list. They’re incredible musicians. It’ll be a great summer night of rocking out and dancing. Comtois: We’ve known each other as artists for a very long time. There’s so much touring going on nowadays, it’s pretty much impossible not to run into each other at some point. Both bands take production very seriously. We make sure that, if you’re coming to a show, you’re going to walk away feeling that you got something out of it. They’re fantastic musicians and great songwriters, so it made sense for us.

Does the fact that both bands are from California have anything to do with the fact that you’re touring together? Fitzpatrick: That’s how we came to know each other. You can never leave where you are from completely. It wasn’t in the forefront of the decision, but we do think we’re going to bring our Cali vibes across the country. Comtois: I wouldn’t say so. Most of the times we met up haven’t been in the L.A. area. We have some common places we like to go to, but it’s not something we took into consideration. What kind of music did you listen to while growing up? Fitzpatrick: I think like anybody from the iPod generation, you’re no long attached to any one style of music. You can listen to a ’90s hip-hop track and then a pop song and then an electronic song. And that’s been my thing always. I love so many different types of music. I’ve

never been beholden to one style of music. That’s influenced the sound of our band. It’s a modern interpretation of all those influences coming to together into one album and one song. Comtois: Oh, I listened to a broad mix of stuff. I listened to lots of French pop and French folk. My parents introduced me to Queen and David Bowie early on. My mom was a huge Green Day fan, so I listened to all of their early stuff. More importantly, that made me curious about different artists and groups. How did the band first form? Fitzpatrick: As with most great albums, it all starts with a broken heart. I was trying to work through that and started writing some songs. I had acquired this crappy organ for 50 bucks and could tell that there was something unique about what was happening. I brought in my classmate from college, James King, and quickly started working. After you’ve been doing this for a while, Above: Fitz & the Tantrums | clevescene.com | June 26 - July 2, 2019

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Photo courtesy of Elektra Records

on our toes. We are very ADD when we write music. We jump all over the place and we have so many different influences and moods, and I think that shines through.

MUSIC you can recognize when there’s a chemistry between people. We went in for one rehearsal. It was instantaneous. The energy was there. We played one song and I was blown away. I booked us a show for the next week. We have not stopped playing since then. That was 10 years ago. Comtois: Basically, we were all doing the high-school garage band thing. We were in 10 or 15 bands that we shared members with. At a certain point, we decided to form this group, and it turned into something we never imagined it would. We took time off school and decided to put together an album. That was 11 or 13 years ago. You’ve got such a great live show. Talk about what your first-ever gig was like. Fitzpatrick: It was pretty darn good and that’s a credit to the guys in the band. They’ve dedicated their whole lives to learning their instruments. When the six of us get together, all of that cumulative time put in, you can see the benefits of that. It wasn’t a perfect show, but it had that raw kinetic energy and I could tell from the reaction of the crowd that we were onto something. Comtois: I replaced the bass player for the first iteration of the band. I thought I was only going to play the one show, and it went really poorly. It was not a good show. We had technical issues. It was when you had to sell tickets and if you didn’t sell tickets, you had to make up the difference. Over the course of a year or so, we started writing our own music, and it became a lot more fun. You recorded your first album about 10 years ago. What was that experience like? Fitzpatrick: That was pretty easy. We didn’t have any money or a label or anything. We just made it in my living room and it launched our whole career. We did the second record on an indie label and were lucky enough to sign to Atlantic/ Elektra for it. “HandClap” was on this whole other level for us. That song has streamed 1.7 billion times in China, and I can’t wrap my head around it; and the response from the audience was insane. Korea was one of the best shows we’ve ever had in our lives. The crowd knew all the songs. They knew the new songs. It was crazy. We’re now releasing songs leading up to the release of the album this fall. We’re going to play some

38

Young the Giant

songs that aren’t even out yet. This is one of those exciting things when you’ve worked so long on a record and finally get to play the songs for an audience for the first time. Comtois: That was a little bit of a learning experience. We went from producing and engineering our own stuff in our parents’ houses with basic rigs. All of a sudden, we were paired with Joe Chiccarelli at Sunset Sound Studios, and I had a lot of butterflies. Working with someone who had such high standards showed us what it takes to make it, and that was a great first experience. The record turned out really well, and I really wouldn’t do it any other way; but I had some serious anxiety attacks going into it.

about when you get some confidence back after suffering insecurity and you wake up and feel the confidence and security in that day and want to hang onto it and let it carry you. We just released “I Need Help,” which is pretty pure and honest. As men, we’re told, don’t ask for help. Do it all on your own. It’s not weak to ask for help. I put my heart on my sleeve for that song, and I can see it’s connecting with people. That shit is real. I don’t think anyone can not relate to that idea. With “123456,” we worked with John Hill. I wrote it with K.Flay. That was that moment when I was so deep in the middle of making that record that I couldn’t tell my head from my ass anymore. Sitting with K.Flay, who was toward the end

FITZ & THE TANTRUMS, YOUNG THE GIANT, COIN 7 P.M., SUNDAY, JUNE 30, JACOBS PAVILION AT NAUTICA 2014 SYCAMORE ST., 216-622-6558. TICKETS: $29.50-$54.50, LIVENATION.COM

Talk about your approach on your latest album. Fitzpatrick: We always try to push the sound and find new hybrids and new connections. There are lots of diverse influences. I wanted every song to dig deep on an emotional level. It was a hard record to make. It took a year. Part of it was that albatross of “Handclap” and having that hang over our heads. I had to put that out of my head. There were ups and downs and I wanted to talk about real shit like insecurity and depression. At the same time, people know us as a band that makes you want to dance and go dance. It was like, “How did you write about those things and still make people want to shake their booties?” “123456” is

| clevescene.com | June 26 - July 2, 2019

of finishing her record, she got it. She could feel my pain. We started working with the beat and that sound, and we all felt like it was pulling me out of my funk. We were all dancing in the room to it. That’s where the energy took us. That’s the magic to me of music and the power of it. I was so sick of being in the grind and not knowing what’s what anymore. Comtois: It was a continuation of the past two records. We wanted to look at different ways of writing. We were more open to working with different producers, and discomfort can be great for creative minds. In the past, we always stuck with one producer and we wanted to jump around this time around, and that helped keep us

The band has had a good 10-year run with a pretty stable lineup at a time when bands come and go pretty quickly. What’s been the key? Fitzpatrick: Being a band is tough. It’s a marriage. You go through all your ups and downs. You love each other and then you can’t stand each other. The reality is that when you’re out on the road, it’s your little tribe. Everything changes every day — the city and venue and faces you see. You’re not sleeping in your bed and you’re not at your home or with your wife. You’re just out there. It’s a tough thing to explain to people who don’t live it. It is truly a nomadic lifestyle. We’ve had people who had heartbreak in the middle of a show. You’re sitting there driving after the show and someone just lost their father and they’re sitting there weeping. It’s making me emotional talking about it. That moment that happened — we just all held him in some random limousine bus with a stripper pole in the bus. It was so fucking random. We all just held him because we were the only people he had in the moment. Ten years in, you fuck up and make mistakes and argue and eat like shit. You party too hard. You’ll kill yourself, so you better figure out how to do it in the right way. That’s been the real benefit to something like this tour when we’re playing songs you haven’t heard yet. We’re so grateful for everything we have. We know how lucky we are. That’s been one of the hallmarks of this band. We have gratitude and a love and appreciation for each other. We want to make this thing fun. We love Young the Giant as musicians but even more so as people. Life is too short to be around shitty people. They’re amazing people. Sameer is such a light and we’ll give our combined audiences a kickass show that’ll celebrate life. Comtois: The biggest thing is that we have remained friends throughout all of this. It’s a lot of time away from home and family. It’s a lot of people with different opinions about how to do things. If you’re not able to communicate and have everything come from mutual respect and understanding, it’s so easy for things to run away. We were friends before we were bandmates. The fact that we’ve come from the same place has had a lot to do with our longevity.

jniesel@clevescene.com t@jniesel


@masoniccle @hobcleveland

@masoniccleveland

J U S T A N N O U N C E D - O N S A L E F R I DAY HARDY

AUG. 27 ON SALE FRI. 10AM

SCOTT Y SIRE

OCT. 11 ON SALE FRI. 10AM

CA

w/ JD SIMO

CA

AUG. 19 ON SALE NOW

M RO BR O IDG M E

M RO BR O IDG M E

w/ HUNTER PHELPS

OCT. 11 ON SALE FRI. 10AM

w/ Toddy Smith, Bruce Wiegner, Chris Bloom

ALEJANDRO ARANDA SCARYPOOLPRT Y

OCT. 19 ON SALE FRI. 10AM

OCT. 26 ON SALE FRI. 10AM

SHADOW OF DOUBT THE DEAD SOUTH

TRIBUTE TO TOM PETT Y

w/ ACROSS THE UNIVERSE (TRIBUTE TO JOHN LENNON)

NOV. 15 ON SALE FRI. 10AM

WHISKEY BOUND: A Celebration of Country playing all your favorites

JAN. 5 ON SALE FRI. 10AM

JULY 5

In Association with Grog Shop

BELLE AND SEBASTIAN w/ MEN I TRUST

JULY 18

JULY 19

THE STRUTS

w/ FALLING STARS

June 26 June 26 June 27 June 29 June 30 July 3 July 11 July 12 July 13

BUY TICKETS AT

AUGUST 18

Mir Fontane w/ Chanelle Kazadi, Visual 9, Young Cap Cambridge Room Car Seat Headrest w/ Naked Giants In Association with Beachland Ballroom The Midnight w/ Automatic Weapons The Purple Madness – Tribute to Prince Ziggy Alberts w/ Garret Kato Cambridge Room Anberlin w/ I The Mighty LOW TICKET ALERT O-Town w/ Ryan Cabrera Cambridge Room SOLD OUT Wanted – Tribute to Bon Jovi w/ Theatre of Crüe (Tribute to Mötley Crüe ) Summer Chilled ft. 2:16, Konium, Jesse Trillet

SEPTEMBER 15

July 14 July 16 July 20 July 26 July 21 July 31 July 31 August 4 August 7 August 9

Carly Rae Jepsen w/ Mansionair LOW TICKET ALERT Michigan Rattlers w/ Oliver Hazard Cambridge Room Women Rock CLE ft. Maura Rogers and The Bellows AJ & The Woods, Madeline Finn, Kid Tigrr + More! Guster w/ Mikaela Davis Mystery Skulls w/ Phangs, Snowblood Cambridge Room J. S. Ondara w/ Jamie Drake Cambridge Room Hellyeah w/ Nonpoint A CELEBRATION OF THE LIFE OF VINNIE PAUL Ace Frehley W/ Like It John Butler Trio+ w/ Trevor Hall Earth To Mars – Tribute To Bruno Mars

Buy tickets at Ticketmaster.com or 216-523-BLUE

TO MASONIC CLEVELAND

COMING SOON

AUGUST 3

COMING SOON

JULY 6

Sept. 14 Sept. 21 Sept. 24 Sept. 27 Oct. 2 Oct. 8 Oct. 15 Oct. 26

Adam Ant Norm Macdonald 91.3 The Summit presents Andrew Bird w/ Madison Cunningham Anjelah Johnson An Evening with Steve Hackett Theo Von Little Feat Little Steven and the Disciples of Soul Featuring Steven Van Zandt of The E Street Band

MASONIC CLEVELAND: 3615 Euclid Ave, Cleveland OH 44115 HOUSE OF BLUES: 308 Euclid Ave, Cleveland OH 44114 masoniccleveland.com / houseofblues.com | clevescene.com | June 26 - July 2, 2019

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| clevescene.com | June 26 - July 2, 2019


A Lasting egacy L

MUSIC

Photo courtesy of Tri-C

Jazz bassist Christian McBride talks about Bobby Womack’s incredible influence By JEFF NIESEL

C

HRISTIAN McBRIDE, WHO’LL pay tribute to the late, great soul singer Bobby Womack next week as part of Tri-C’s annual JazzFest, had an opportunity to meet Womack, but he chickened out. “I came very close to meeting Bobby Womack, but I got nervous,” he says via phone from his New York office. His tribute to Womack takes place at 6 p.m. on Saturday at the Ohio Theatre. “I got cold feet and didn’t say anything. I saw him in a restaurant in L.A. He was walking out as I was walking in. I just got cold feet, and I feel bad. I should’ve said something to him.” While known as one of jazz’s great bassists, McBride wasn’t immediately drawn to jazz. “My bone marrow is soul and rhythm & blues,” he says. “I always tell people that there’s great irony that I’ve been identified mostly as a jazz artist. People I grew up with are probably wondering when I took this turn.” He says the “turn” probably took place when he started playing the acoustic bass in middle school. “I identified the acoustic bass with jazz,” he says. “I was indifferent about jazz when I was 11, as most 11-yearolds are. My great uncle, who’s also a bass player, got so excited [that I was playing bass] that he gave me a stack of albums to listen to. They were all jazz albums. He’s one of the

greatest mentors I could’ve ever had. He explained things to me in such a wonderfully entertaining way. I thought he was the coolest guy in the world. I thought if jazz makes a person that cool, I wanted to be that cool. I fell in love with not only the music but the personality it gave my uncle.” The acoustic bass doesn’t appear in much old R&B and soul, but an album McBride cut with Questlove in 2000 tried to change that. That album, The Philadelphia Experiment, features funky tunes that showcase the acoustic bass. “We did all these funk grooves, and the album is probably a 50-50 split, part acoustic and part electric,” says McBride. “I was surprised at how many people were turned on by the acoustic funk. I also did a record that year with George Duke called Face the Music. Out of the 10 tracks on that album, I played, like, eight of them on the acoustic bass. People told me they had no idea the upright bass could be that funky. Before that, only on rare occasions would you hear upright bass on funk tracks. You might hear it on an old Jackie Wilson record or maybe some James Brown pop records from the early ’60s. Once the music started getting downright funky, it was all electric. But if the acoustic guitar and the piano can be funky, why not the upright bass?” McBride says he first heard

Womack’s music when he was a kid. Later, he’d delve deeper into the music of the man he refers to as a “triple threat.” “He was a great singer, obviously, and that’s how most people know him, but he was also a great guitarist and writer,” says McBride. “That’s a rare find.” Womack, who grew up in

Tribute to Bobby Womack Featuring Christian McBride 6 p.m. Saturday, June 29 Ohio Theatre, 1511 Euclid Ave. 216-241-6000. Tickets: $30-$50 playhousesquare.org

Cleveland, lived in abject poverty while he was a youth. That upbringing is reflected in tunes such as “Across 110th Street,” a song driven by Womack’s soulful vocals and a funky guitar riff. “Trying to break out of the ghetto was a day-to-day fight,” Womack sings on the tune. “So many great blues and soul musicians that we admire came up like that,” says McBride. “They had that pain and that passion to change their scenery and change their situation. Where they come from plays

a part in who they are. They never tried to run from that, not in the cultural or spiritual sense of it. They never wanted to live like that again or go through that suffering. But at the same time, they were acutely aware of how their suffering made their music sound the way it sounded.” For the upcoming show at the Ohio Theatre, McBride says he and a backing band that includes vocalists Nona Hendrix, Avery Sunshine and Nigel Hall and Akronbased guitarist Dan Wilson will play “every hit Womack ever had.” “I hope that, for those who know the genius of Bobby Womack, we do a good job in saluting him; and for those who don’t, I hope they get curious to find his music right away,” he says, adding that he expects the concert to be a joyous occasion, something that’s definitely needed in these troubled times. “[Music can turn] anger into creativity, and you can reverse it the same way those great artists did. Bobby Womack took all that pain and anguish he experienced while growing up and made this great music. James Brown did that. Aretha Franklin did that. Miles Davis did that. Charlie Parker did that. Whitney Houston did that. They all did that.”

jniesel@clevescene.com t@jniesel | clevescene.com | June 26 - July 2, 2019

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| clevescene.com | June 26 - July 2, 2019


LIVEWIRE

all the live music you should see this week Photo by Chris Sikich

WED

06/26

The Bobby Lees/Xanny Stars/Fair Weather Friend: 9 p.m., $7. Now That’s Class. Car Seat Headrest/Naked Giants: 8 p.m., $22-$25. House of Blues. Thomas Comerford/Doug McKean/ Grand Trine: 8:30 p.m., $5. Happy Dog. Mir Fontane/Chanelle Kazadi/ Visual 9/Young Cap: 9 p.m., $15 ADV, $18 DOS. House of Blues. Mykal Rose Featuring Sly & Robbie/Outlaws I & I/DJ Packy Malley: 9 p.m., $26 ADV, $30 DOS. Grog Shop. Marc Lee Shannon (in the Supper Club): 6 p.m., free. Music Box Supper Club. Dan Stuart/Tom Heyman: 8:30 p.m., $10 ADV, $12 DOS. Beachland Tavern. Jimmie Vaughan/Bob Frank: 7:30 p.m. Music Box Supper Club.

THU

06/27

5j Barrow/Brendan & Caitlin Hearn (in the Supper Club): 5j Barrow’s Eryn Murman has said her upbringing in “a really creative, very supportive-of-the-arts family” gave her the motivation to pursue a career as an actress and singer. Murman formed 5j Barrow in 2011 when she met bandmate Jason Hite in San Jose, California. They had worked on a play together and discovered they had much in common. They took their talents to New York and released their debut album, From the Dim Sweet Light, in 2014. Now based in Asheville, North Carolina, the band just released its debut EP, The Journey: Vol. 3, an album of beautiful folkinspired tunes that show off the group’s harmony vocals. (Jeff Niesel) 7:30 p.m., $15. Music Box Supper Club. Peter Asher & Jeremy Clyde: 7 p.m., $40. Nighttown. August Burns Red/Silverstein/ Silent Planet: 6 p.m. Agora Theatre. Black Magic Flower Power/Oregon Space Trail of Doom/Zip-Zapp: 8:30 p.m., $10 ADV, $12 DOS. Beachland Tavern. Cavetown/Chloe Moriondo: 8 p.m., $18 ADV, $22 DOS. Mahall’s 20 Lanes. Delta Rae/Lucette: 8 p.m., $20 ADV, $22 DOS. Beachland Ballroom.

Indie rockers Dressy Bessy play the Beachland Tavern. See: Saturday.

ELEET Tapes Night Out #4 with Derek Deprator/Heartlily/Hex Reymann: 8 p.m., $5. CODA. Good Reverend/Slug Fest/ Sophie Brown & the Bush Administration: 8:30 p.m., $5. Happy Dog. The Midnight/Automatic Weapons: 8 p.m., $20 ADV, $25 DOS. House of Blues. Tower of Power: 7:45 p.m. State Theatre.

FRI

06/28

Bela Fleck & the Flecktones/John Scofield’s Combo 66: They’re back! The iconic bluegrass fusion outfit returned to the road in 2016, and tonight’s gig as part of Tri-C JazzFest is sure to be a fun time. Bela Fleck and the Flecktones (Victor Wooten, Roy Wooten, Howard Levy) built a strong catalog of tunes and live performances throughout the 1990s and 2000s, and this show gives them and their fans a chance to revisit all that they’ve accomplished. These cats are masters of their instruments — see “Big Country” and “Flight of the Cosmic Hippo,” for instance — and it’s hard to imagine a more blissful way to spend a Friday night. (Eric Sandy) 7:45 p.m. State Theatre. FM-84/Jessie Frye: 8 p.m., $15 ADV, $17 DOS. Beachland Ballroom. The Nick Wolff Band: 8 p.m., $5. The Winchester. John Pizzarelli Trio: 7 p.m., $40. Nighttown. Self Taught No Lessons Album Release/The Torments/The Venus

Flytraps: 9 p.m., $6. Happy Dog. Smell My Fingers/Swisher/Victory Lapse/Shed Dwellers/Andrew Kirschner: 9 p.m., free. Now That’s Class. Smoking Popes/The Ataris/The Beyonderers: 9 p.m., $15 ADV, $17 DOS. Grog Shop. Tom Petty Tribute by Shadow of Doubt (in the Supper Club): 7:30 p.m., $10 ADV, $12 DOS. Music Box Supper Club. Jackie Warren: 10:30 p.m., free. Nighttown.

SAT

06/29

Regina Carter and Xavier Davis/ Helen Sung and Michela Marino Lerman: 1 p.m. Ohio Theatre. Dressy Bessy/Potty Mouth/Colleen Green: Dressy Bessy, an indie rock band out of Denver, celebrates its 20th anniversary with a tour behind its seventh studio album Fast Faster Disaster. Oddly, the album starts out slow. But it soon picks up with “Fearless,” a striking, upbeat electric tune landing somewhere between indie and pop while still holding onto rock. “Mon Chéri” highlights a smoother sound with lead vocalist Tammy Ealom’s Joan Jett-like vocals on display. The punk trio Potty Mouth opens the show. The band’s latest album SNAFU features guitar-led, driving songs. (Alexandra Sobczak) 9 p.m., $12 ADV, $14 DOS. Beachland Tavern. Dominick Farinacci’s Rhapsody in Blue: Revisited/Matthew Whitaker: 3:30 p.m. Allen Theatre. Mark Farina: 8 p.m., $20. The

Winchester. Gay New Wave Night with DJ Guilala: 9 p.m. Now That’s Class. Jamey Haddad’s Under One Sun: 10:15 p.m. Allen Theatre. ITEM/NIIGHTS/Royal Beasts: ITEM, a local indie rock band, will showcase its latest album, Sad Light, as members part ways at what will most likely be its last show. Listening to Sad Light means immersing yourself in dream-like synth and guitar sounds that seem like they should be listened to in the middle of the foggy woods. “Somersault” draws listeners in, blending a light sound with sad descriptive lyrics into something you can almost see and feel. Expect to feel the energy at this farewell show. (Sobczak) 9 p.m., $8 ADV, $10 DOS. Beachland Ballroom. Jazz Funk Soul/Sax to the Max: State Theatre. Lil’ Ed & the Blues Imperials (in the Supper Club): 7 p.m., $12 ADV, $15 DOS. Music Box Supper Club. MC Chris/MellowXZACKT/Sankuro: 9 p.m., $12 ADV, $15 DOS. Grog Shop. New Planet Trampoline/Ceiling Fan/Stems: 9 p.m., $6. Happy Dog. John Pizzarelli Trio: 7 p.m., $40. Nighttown. The Purple Madness: 8 p.m., $13 ADV, $15 DOS. House of Blues. Tango Moms/Zip-Zapp/The Boom Shakalakas: 8 p.m., $7. CODA. Tribute to Bobby Womack Featuring Christian McBride: 6 p.m. Ohio Theatre. Tropical Cleveland: Noche en Blanco (in the Supper Club): 11 p.m., $10 ADV, $15 DOS. Music Box Supper Club. Jackie Warren: 10:30 p.m., free. Nighttown.

SUN

06/30

Ziggy Alberts/Garrett Lato: 8 p.m., $25 ADV, $30 DOS. House of Blues Cambridge Room. Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo: When Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo, a Cleveland native, performed at Hard Rock Live a couple of years ago, we wrote that they played nearly all of their hits during a show that opened with the harmonysoaked, synth-driven “Shadows of the Night” and included numbers such as “Promises in the Dark” and “Everybody Lay Down.” Our review noted that “Benatar had and still has the powerful lungs and Giraldo | clevescene.com | June 26 - July 2, 2019

43


LIVEWIRE has no shortage of riffs — seeing the pair do their thing, it comes through that while they could have easily gotten dragged down by an overload of successful sappy ballads, they instead kept things generally in a more guitar-focused direction.” Expect a similar performance when the duo returns to town tonight. (Niesel) 7:30 p.m. MGM Northfield Park – Center Stage. Conan/Witchkiss: 8 p.m., $15. Now That’s Class. Dogs on Shady Lane/Dire Wolf/ Pirate Committee/Jacob Boarman: 8:30 p.m., $5. Happy Dog. Diego Figueiredo & Jeff Hamilton Duo: 12 p.m., $25. Nighttown. Grumpy Plum/Punch Drunk Tagalongs/heyohwell/The Dollyhoppers: 8 p.m., $10. Grog Shop. Reggae Sundays: Umojah Nation (in the Supper Club): This special Reggae Sunday Happy Hour concert series began earlier this month and continues every Sunday through Sept. 1. The indoor/outdoor concerts take place rain or shine with live music from 4 to 7 p.m. Music Box will also offer food and drink specials exclusive to the series. Today, local heroes Umojah Nation will perform. (Niesel) 4 p.m., free. Music Box Supper Club. Hannah Wicklund & the Steppin Stones/Beachweek: 8 p.m., $10 ADV, $12 DOS. Beachland Tavern. Young the Giant + Fitz & the Tantrums/COIN: 7 p.m., $29.50$54.50. Jacobs Pavilion.

MON

07/01

Grayling + Post Saga/Fair Weather Friend: 8 p.m., $7 ADV, $10 DOS. Beachland Tavern. Maneka/Sonny Falls/King Buu: 9 p.m., $7. Now That’s Class.

TUE

BOP STOP CLOSED FOR SUMMER VACATION JUNE 26TH- JULY 2ND 7/3 | 7PM | $12

ANDREW HARTMAN 7/5 | 8PM | $15

WHIRLYBIRDS 7/5 | 11PM | FREE

JAZZ JAM SESSION 7/6 | 8PM

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Empower the Future/The Gentz/ Mood Bored: 8:30 p.m., $6. Grog Shop. School of Rock - Highland Heights: 7 p.m., free. Beachland Tavern. Third Eye Blind + Jimmy Eat World/ Ra Ra Riot: 7 p.m., $39.50-$99.50. Jacobs Pavilion.

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| clevescene.com | June 26 - July 2, 2019

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45


BAND OF THE WEEK SELF TAUGHT NO LESSONS By Jeff Niesel Photo by Amber Patrick

MEET THE BAND: Anna Fullmer (vocals, harmonica), Johnny Fullmer (bass), Joel Lefkowitz (guitar), Ashley Reddick (drums) A HAPPY ACCIDENT: Singer Anna

Fullmer says the band formed a couple of years ago by happenstance. “We were all hanging out drinking tequila and watching a Cavs game one night,” she says. “They were losing, so we went to the basement and started jamming together. That was when we realized Ashley [Reddick] could keep a beat and play the drums. We went from there and started playing covers.” Initially, the group played songs by acts like the White Stripes and Tom Petty. “We have a little bit of country and some punk rock influence too,” says Fullmer. “Joel [Lefkowitz] used to play in punk rock bands.” FIGURING THINGS OUT: Last year, the group issued a three-song EP that served more as a demo than a proper release. It helped pave the way for its latest EP, Packin’ Up. “We were just trying to figure out what we were doing with that first EP,” says Fullmer. The band then spent a solid year working on Packin’ Up. ALL ANALOG: After Lefkowitz bought a

46

| clevescene.com | June 26 - July 2, 2019

Tascam tape recorder at a gear swap, the band hooked it up for fun “just to see if it would work.” It did, and the band wound up using it to record Packin’ Up. The goal was to make a record that would “sound like the records we grew up listening to,” as

Fullmer puts it. It was cut to lacquer at locally based Well Made Music in Cleveland. WHY YOU SHOULD HEAR THEM: “Time Waste” features a gritty guitar riff and primitive drums as Fullmer adopts a menacing sneer. The cowpunk-y album opener “Slow Song” finds Fullmer adopting a drawl. “We like to party and that’s half of our reason for having a band, and I wanted to have a song where I’m just yelling at the band,” says Fullmer. “That song is a reenactment of real life. It’s a fun party song.” The band has almost met its Kickstarter goal to cover the costs of printing the vinyl version it’ll have for sale at the upcoming Happy Dog release show. It’ll also issue the album on cassette. Fullmer says the group has plans to record a full-length next. “We don’t know if we want to go through the pain and suffering we went through this time around by recording onto tape,” she says. “Rolling out this record was a lot of work, but it was also a lot of fun.” WHERE YOU CAN HEAR THEM: facebook.

com/SelfTaughtNoLessons WHERE YOU CAN SEE THEM: Self Taught No Lessons performs with the Venus Flytraps, the Torments and DJ Alejandroid at 9 p.m. on Friday, June 28, at the Happy Dog.

jniesel@clevescene.com t@jniesel


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RUSSELL PETERS Deported World Tour

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Poco & Pure Prairie League

Thu September 5

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The Bacon Brothers The Shaky Ground Tour Sat August 17

TERRY LEE GOFFEE The Ultimate Johnny Cash Tribute

Fri August 30

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Marc Broussard

Pat Metheny Side Eye Part Deux

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| clevescene.com | June 26 - July 2, 2019

47


SAVAGE LOVE TIE POINTS

KARAMU SUMMER FILM SERIES & EVENTS!

PHOTO BYDRED GEIB

by Dan Savage

Grab your friends. Stop by for an event and happy hour at our newly renovated bar. Experience Karamu 2.0! JULY 1

KARAMU FILM SERIES:

Spike Lee’s Do The Right Thing A conversation on community policing and mass incarceration.

JULY 12

JULY 8

KARAMU FILM SERIES MATINEE SHOWING: The Green Pastures (1936)

JULY 15

FOR THE CULTURE FRIDAY: Room In The House Residency Performance and Exhibition

KARAMU FILM SERIES: Spike Lee’s Mo Betta Blues JULY 22

JULY 19TH

FOR THE CULTURE FRIDAY: GALLERY VIEWING JULY 23

2019/2020 SEASON Open Call for Actors JULY 27

2019/2020 SEASON CALLBACKS

KARAMU FILM SERIES MATINEE SHOWING: Claudine (1974)

JULY 24

2019/2020 SEASON Open Call for Dancers

JULY 25

JULY 27

2019/2020 SEASON OPEN

THE HAPPY HOUR SUITE HONORING STEVIE WONDER

Call for Singing JULY 29

KARAMU FILM SERIES:

JULY 31

Welcoming all historically Black greek organizations!

OPEN CALL AND AUDITIONS FOR THE KARAMU COMEDY SHOWS

AUGUST 1

AUGUST 3

Spike Lee’s School Daze

SUMMER ARTS EDUCATION PROGRAM Final Performances

SECOND LINE PARADE AND SNEAKER BALL at Lakeview Cemetery

Visit us online at KaramuHouse.org for more information and follow us on social media for news and updates @KaramuHouseInc.

48

| clevescene.com | June 26 - July 2, 2019

I’m a single gay guy in my late 30s. I’m quite introverted and a bit shy, yet I have a big sexual drive and a rich libido. I’ve always found the gay scene overwhelming, and my several attempts at online dating were not very successful. I feel my quiet ways tend to put people off and I hardly ever get the chance to show my more playful or crazy sides, as it takes me a bit to feel comfortable to show those. Whenever I was able to, my partners were usually pleasantly surprised and we could enjoy plenty of fun, but I can count these occasions on the fingers of one hand. I feel most guys just stop at my gentle disposition and assume I must be a bit boring if not a prude altogether. Turns out I actually have quite a few kinks — bondage being one of them — but so far I have hardly been able to explore them with a partner. Often those drawn to me haven’t really been of the sexually adventurous kind. By my looks I don’t really fit into any of the “tribes” that a lot of gay men identify with. Part of me doesn’t care, but at the same time I find myself on the outside looking in when searching for a nice guy for a date or more. Would you have any kind of advice to crack this shell of mine open? — Always Looked Over, Never Embraced Next time you find yourself on the outside looking in, ALONE, take a moment to look around. Because that small scrum of guys who fit neatly into whatever gay tribe happens to be dominating the bar/pool/whatever — the guys on the inside looking at themselves or looking at their phones or looking at themselves on their phones — are usually surrounded by a much larger group of guys who don’t fit neatly into that particular tribe or any other obvious tribe. And if the guys looking longingly at the easy-and-obvious tribe would look around, they’d see a whole lot of guys like them — guys who might be feeling a little awkward or out of place, guys who are attractive in perhaps less conventional or immediately apparent ways, guys with hidden depths, etc. In other words, ALONE, guys like you. And speaking of guys like

you, did you know you have a motherfucking superpower that makes you a member of all gay tribes and your own unique tribe? “Bondage is the great unifier among kinksters,” said Joshua Boyd, a gay bondage “enthusiast,” as they say, in his mid-30s who lives and ties in the Seattle area. “Bondage guys are from all walks of life, and they range from twinks to muscle guys to bears, cubs, jocks, and average Joes.” So just as you’ll find gay guys in every race, ethnic group, economic class, faith community, etc., bondage guys can be found in every gay tribe and bondage guys make up their own unique tribe. “ALONE should put any search for a long-term relationship on hold and look for more casual kinky fun,” said Boyd. “Recon (recon. com) has always been a good place for me to start conversations with fun guys — I even met my husband there. The bottom line is there are others who share his interests, and they are waiting to connect with him.” But you’re shy! You’re introverted! Connecting is hard! Boyd describes himself the same way — shy, introverted, difficultly connecting — and not only is he married, ALONE, he doesn’t lack for casual play partners and he’s got play pics all over the internet to prove it. Tyger Yoshi also describes himself as shy and introverted — and I recently watched shy, introverted Yoshi do a bondage demo at Trade, a gay leather bar in Denver, where he suspended a guy from the ceiling. “When I first started exploring my interest in bondage, I was lucky enough to be in a city where opportunities were plentiful, even for a shy, introverted person like me,” said Yoshi, who’s also in his mid-30s. “There were people who wanted to mentor me, but I struggled taking that first step of accepting help.” The kind of help Yoshi is referring to — the kind of help he eventually accepted — can most easily be found at munches, i.e., casual meetups where kinky people, both queer and straight, socialize


and connect with other like-minded kinksters. (Munches & play parties.) Spend five seconds on Google, ALONE, and you’ll also find kinky educational organizations that offer classes for people who want to hone their bondage skills while learning about consent, safety and other best practices. And whether you’re a bondage top (you want to tie) or a bondage bottom (you want to be tied) or a switch (tie and be tied), you’ll make friends in bondage classes. And if you wind up clicking with someone, that person isn’t going to assume you’re a prude (they met you at a bondage class) and that person will definitely be sexually adventurous (you met them at a bondage class). And unlike gay bars or clubs, a person’s skills are just as important as their looks at gay bondage parties and events. “After you start making

on your skill set, be friendly and open — be the nice guy — and you’ll meet lots of men you have something in common with. Trust me, your tribe is out there. You can follow Joshua Boyd on Twitter @seabndgsadist. You can find Tyger Yoshi on Twitter and Instagram @tygeryoshi.

***

Is having sex with multiple partners something prevalent in the gay community? If so, why? It seems that having sex is a pretty big deal with gay men. Why? — You Won’t Answer Gay men are men, YWA, and let’s not kid ourselves: Yes, the average gay guy has more sex partners than the average straight guy. But straight men would do everything gay men do if straight men could,

“When I first started exploring my interest in bondage, I was lucky enough to be in a city where opportunities were plentiful, even for a shy, introverted person like me.” connections and building your circle, find local fetish/kink events that are happening around you — you may need to reach out to the pansexual community — and see if one of your new friends from the munch or the class or Recon is willing to go with you to check it out,” said Yoshi. “And as you start exploring more of your kink side, consider the possibility of separating kink and sex at first. Let people know that you are interested in bondage but haven’t tried much and you want to practice. Having an exploratory or practice session is much different than having a bondage sex session, and people may be more willing to facilitate that exploration. And from my experience, if you’re able to get up the courage to go out to a kink play party (with a friend for support), the likelihood of finding someone who’s willing to assist in new or first time experiences increase.” So, ALONE, that thing you’ve been holding back until you get to know someone? Your interest in bondage? Lead with that. Get involved in the kink scene, work

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but straight men can’t because women won’t. It’s not that straight guys are any less interested in sex than gay guys are or that sex is any less of a “big deal” for straight men. And you know what? Women are just as horny and just as interested in sex as men — gay, straight, or bi — and that includes sex with multiple partners. But women have to weigh every choice they make and every truth they tell against the very real threat of sexual violence at the hands of straight men and the lesser threat of being slut-shamed by straight men and other women. (Shoutout to the asexual gay, straight, and bi men and women out there who aren’t interested in sex with anyone — I don’t mean to erase you, but I’m talking averages here, the centers of various bell curves, not deviations.) On the Lovecast, this show is soooo gay: savagelovecast.com.

mail@savagelove.net t@fakedansavage

| clevescene.com | June 26 - July 2, 2019

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Scene June 26, 2019  

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