Cleveland Scene - June 19,2024

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46 S Summit St, Akron, OH 44308


3840 Greentree Ave SW Unit 4, Canton, OH 44706


115 Vine St, Columbus, OH 43215


3865 Lakeside Ave E, Cleveland, OH 44114


June 19 - July 2, 2024 | | 3 RECREATIONALLY? RECREATIONALLY? When can I purchase Coming
to a Botanist dispensary location near you! thebotanist.oh
30133 Euclid Ave Unit C, Wickliffe, OH 44092 To get updates about adult use sales, scan the QR Code to sign up for our text and email communications - which will provide up-to-date announcements regarding recreational sales.
| | June 19 - July 2, 2024 4 ASLYUM ROOM TEMPLELIVE CLEVELAND CLEVELAND MASONIC 3615 EUCLID AVE. CLEVELAND TICKETS AT TEMPLELIVE.COM CLEVELAND’S HISTORIC MUSIC & EVENTS VENUE CAT POWER SINGS BOB DYLAN: THE 1966 ROYAL ALBERT HALL CONCERT SEPT. 15 THE MCELROYS JULY 20 LAKE STREET DIVE WITH ALISA AMADOR JULY 9 THE LOX 30TH ANNIVERSARY TOUR SEPT. 28 HOWARD JONES & ABC WITH HAIRCUT ONE HUNDRED AUG. 31 MY BROTHER, MY BROTHER, & ME GOOD TOGETHER TOUR Scanfor Tickets DADA: RETURN TO DIZZ KNEE LAND TOUR W/ SLAG GENIE JUNE 25 AZ: TRUTH BE TOLD TOUR JULY 18 THE BUTTERTONES: SELF-TITLED 10 YEAR ANNIVERSARY JULY 26 HENRY CHO: FROM HERE TO THERE TOUR JULY 27 AUSTIN MEADE W/ LOCONTI, TWO MILE MOON JUNE 28 SUPERSUCKERS & THE LORDS OF ALTAMONT JULY 7 THE SIDE CARS: A TRIBUTE TO THE CARS JULY 13 THE BLACK MOODS AUG. 1 JESTERS LOUNGE AT TEMPLELIVE CLEVELAND THE USED WITH STORY OF THE YEAR JUNE 29 107.3 ALTERNATIVE CLEVELAND PRESENTS COVER DESIGN BY ANA PAULA GUTIERREZ Dedicated to Free Times founder Richard H. Siegel (1935-1993) and Scene founder Richard Kabat Publisher Denise Polverine Editor Vince Grzegorek Editorial Music Editor Jeff Niesel Staff Writer Mark Oprea Dining Editor Douglas Trattner Stage Editor Christine Howey Advertising Sales Inquiries (216) 505-8199, Senior Multimedia Account Executive Shayne Rose Creative Services Creative Services Manager Samantha Serna Creative Team Ana Paula Gutierrez Staff Photographer Emanuel Wallace Business Traffic Manager Kristen Brickner Circulation Circulation Director Burt Sender ...The story continues at Take SCENE with you with the Issuu app! “Cleveland Scene Magazine” Upfront 7 Feature 8 Get Out 12 Music 15 Eat 17 Livewire 20 Savage Love 22 Cleveland Scene is published every other week by Omit the Magazine. Cleveland Scene is a Verified Audit Member Great Lakes Publishing President Lute Harmon Jr. Finance Director Perry Zohos Operations Manager Corey Galloway Cleveland Distribution Scene is available free of charge, limited to one copy per reader Subscriptions - $170 (1 yr); $85 (6 mos.) Email Megan - - to subscribe. Cleveland Scene 1422 Euclid Ave. STE 730 Cleveland, OH 44115 CONTENTS Copyright The entire contents of Cleveland Scene Magazine are copyright 2024 by Great Lakes Publishing. 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 $170 (1 yr); $85 (6 mos.) Send name, address and zip code with check or money order to the address listed above with the title ‘Attn: Subscription Department’ JUNE 19 - JULY 2, 2024 • VOL. 54 No 25 REWIND 1978: Earth, Wind & Fire, plus a typo, made it on the Scene cover 44 years ago 1970-2024
June 19 - July 2, 2024 | | 5



OHIO SHOULD BE AN EASIER state to drive in for Tesla, Rivian and other EV owners by the end of the decade.

That’s the overall goal underlying an announcement of a massive funding package by state electric vehicle advocates Wednesday morning, one that intends to inject hundreds of millions of dollars into bringing Ohio’s lackluster EV charging station stock up to speed.

And the data doesn’t lie.

Just in April, a report from S&P Global Mobility ranked Cleveland well near the bottom of the top 50 U.S. cities for registered owners of electric vehicles, a stat owed to both the high point of entry for said vehicles and, undeniably, the deficit of charging stations across the state.

On Wednesday, in a lecture room at Tri-C’s Advanced Technology Training Center , Grace Gallucci, the director of the Northeast Ohio Area Coordinating Agency, and experts on alternative energy infrastructure spoke promisingly to a packed room about how $169 million in federal grant dollars would be doled out across Ohio in the next five years.

Priorities in that spending money—spread out amongst NOACA, the Sustainable Ohio Public Energy Council and the Ohio Department of Transportation—were made clear: power stations for Ohio EV drivers should be conveniently placed. That is to, one day, have 9 out of 10 Ohioans within a 25-mile radius of an EV charging station.

“We have a pretty extensive alternative fuel corridor network,” Breanna Badanes, a spokesperson for DriveOhio, said. “But it’s clear that there are still plenty of gaps throughout the state, particularly in Southern Ohio, some in Northwestern Ohio. So that’s kind of what we’re here to talk about: planning for these future phases when we can build outside of the alternative fuel corridors, what we

still need to prioritize as a state.”

Ohio currently has 1,578 stations in sum, those mostly on private land and relatively close to highways and shopping centers. Many are in areas with higher income levels, an issue of equity speakers on Wednesday said its charging station spending plans to address.

As of June, there a dozen new charging stations planned in the greater Northeast Ohio area, and only one so far in construction, a station west of Akron. A Pilot EV station, funded in part with federal dollars, opened off I-71 in Columbus in December.

These future stations, for which $56 million has been spent thus far, follow guidelines listed by the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure program, which dictates a state must build a station every 50 miles off major transportation corridors and include at least four Fast Chargers of at least 600 kilowatts of combined power.

Katie Zehnder, vice president at HNTB, a transportation infrastructure firm, reminded attendees on Wednesday that Ohio’s push to become more EVfriendly is based on—just like bike lines and crosswalks—the premise that infrastructure creates culture.

The same goes, she said, for encouraging more electric usage at commercial enterprises, such as equipping UPS and DHL trucks with the on-road power they need to make the switch sustainable.

A recent survey of freight riders testing out new electric trucks showed Drive Ohio that driving EVs led to employees taking fewer sick days, less gas engine vibration, and led to “less back issues.”

“Which I was admittedly kind of shocked by at the time,” Zehnder said about the study. “Ride and drives, just exposure to EVs, that’s really the best thing. Because once people get into these vehicles, they really seem to enjoy them.” –

Illuminate CLE Lighting Installation in Downtown Will Debut in August

Illuminate CLE, the $7-million large-scale lighting installation from Destination Cleveland that has now been in the works for about a year, will make a soft launch in Public Square this August during the Annual Meeting of the American Society of Association Executives, the organization announced this week at its annual meeting.

Envisioned to eventually include soft light displays on buildings and aerial visual effects not only in Public Square but also in Playhouse Square, down Euclid Ave. and on Mall B, the installations will get additional previews during Rock Hall induction week and during downtown’s WinterLand festival, an event that served as inspiration to expand activation during the


| | June 19 - July 2, 2024 6
Photo Mark Oprea

rest of the calendar year.

Destination Cleveland has pointed to Indianapolis, Montreal and other cities that have deployed lighting installations to showcase their cities in a different shade come nightfall, with the added benefit of improved safety conditions thanks to well-lit areas and more pedestrian traffic.

But don’t get Destination Cleveland wrong, the main motivation is to create something memorable.

“How do we take a place that already is wonderful and make it more desirable to be used after dark?” David Gilbert, Destination Cleveland’s CEO, told last year. “We want to take advantage of the architecture that we already have, with something as beautiful as Public Square and Euclid Avenue and put icing on the cake.”

After the three preview exhibitions, Illuminate CLE is scheduled to debut in full form next spring. Residents and visitors can expect not only soft lighting but thematic “shows” tied to various events and holidays.

Vincent Lighting Systems, which is based in Solon and installed the Terminal Tower’s artistic lighting, is creating the Illuminate CLE project.

Funding has come from Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, KeyBank, the Cleveland Foundation and Sherwin-Williams.

– Vince Grzegorek

Globe Iron Concert Venue Coming to Flats West Bank

The Flats West Bank, the more industrial and less developed side of the Cuyahoga River, has long been ripe for development. Nautica Entertainment is set to kick some of that in motion as plans for its new music venue, the Globe Iron, were approved by the Cleveland Planning Commission late last week.

Named after the foundry that once operated in one of the buildings at the intersection of Elm and Main streets, the mediumsized venue will be built on three parcels owned by Nautica, which lays claim to about half the land on the West Bank.

Globe Iron will, according to renderings presented at the meeting, include a large stage, general admission area, three bars, two BIP areas and an upstairs mezzanine area with a VIP-only lookout. AEG Presents, the concert promoter for both the Agora and Jacobs Pavilion, will runs shows at the new venue.

In the CPC meeting June 7, Justin Miller, VP of operations for AEG’s Great Lakes division, sold the Globe Iron to the Commission as a concert hall ripe with industrial chic and Midwestern appeal, with both its anachronistic gear facade and its string-lit courtyard. (Where, we’re told, weddings would fit nicely.)

Miller did not mention what exact genre of shows the Globe might host, but emphasized the Globe’s design—and usage—would have a general appeal to most Cleveland concertgoers.

“I think people are going to enjoy both the uniqueness and the cool space, and the intimacy that’s going to come from the acts,” CPC President Lillian Kuri told Miller in the meeting. “And it’s still going to have that Cleveland—I mean, it’s not all the way cleaned up and Disneyland. Which I’m so glad you didn’t do.”

“Yeah, we want the character,” Miller said.

The Globe Iron’s approval marks a continual-but-steady climb for the Flats neighborhood in general. Earlier this year, Bobby George’s plans for a chic River Garden concept, and attached restaurant, in the Flats East Bank was approved for build out.

And last summer, the East Bank announced plans to seek permission from the state to become Cleveland’s second (!) designated outdoor refreshment area, commonly known as a DORA. (Where outdoor booze is legal.)

Scene reached out to AEG Presents, along with Nautica Entertainment and Flats Forward for comment, yet did not receive calls back.

James Carol, a talent buyer for AEG, declined to comment when asked how the Globe Iron would fit alongside other music venues in Cleveland’s repertoire.

Three of the four buildings that will make up Globe Iron were bought by Nautica Entertainment in 2017 for a combined $2.9 million.

According to the now approved designs, produced by Jesse Sweigart of LDA Architects located in the Offices of the Agora, at least two of the buildings off Elm and Center streets will be demolished to make way for 74 parking spaces. (“We need almost 300 spots,” Miller said in the meeting.)

Downtown Cleveland has had parking minimums eliminated for about two decades; recent legislation incentivizing development catering to alternative forms of transportation not on four

wheels was passed by City Council last August. – Mark Oprea

Cleveland Okays $2 Million to Try and End Unsheltered Homelessness by 2025

Whether encamped on the northern edge of Superior Avenue downtown or under a highway overpass, roughly 150 Clevelanders spend a great bulk of their days and nights outside, either refusing to seek shelter or mentally unprepared for the pressures of communal living.

It’s this population of 150 that, the city argued in Monday’s marathon Committee of the Whole meeting, need outside experts to decide how to best place them in housing. And do it sooner than later.

That’s why council worked to allocate $2 million for consulting work that would address the situation.

The cost to pay for such consultants, named as the Houston-based Clutch Consulting and Cleveland Mediation, was approved by the committee, yet not without scrutiny.

Solving Cleveland’s homeless issue, as local nonprofits and advocates have shown in the past, is a Rubik’s Cube, leaning on a precise orchestration of on-thestreet outreach coordinators, landlords or hotel owners, along with sizable funds at the city and county level to carry out a long pathway to residency.

Emily Collins, Mayor Bibb’s special advisor on homelessness, sold the initiative to City Council as a house-first, ask-questionslater process banking on what seems to be specific data pinpointing where most homelessin-need spend their time.

“Because we’re facing not just an increase in homelessness, but an increase in people living in unsheltered spaces,” Collins told Council. She looked around the room: “I’m sure you all know this,” she said.

According to data from the Mayor’s Office, roughly 10 percent of the homeless in Cuyahoga County are unsheltered, a stat that’s doubled since 2020. Experts tend to attribute this fact to an increasing demand for and lack of affordable housing around the city, along with landlords skeptical of Section 8 vouchers, or housing the formerly unsheltered in the first place.

What Collins proposed on Monday would tackle this directly, she said. Such “Home for Every Neighbor” program would reuse

leftover surplus funds at the city to do “intensive engagement and outreach” at the street level, supposedly with volunteers or hired coordinators.

Each unsheltered person would, Collins said, get bespoke help to best link them with appropriate housing in or outside city limits. A full-time staff members would spearhead this process over the next year and a half—with, Collins suggested, the goal of lining up apartments for those on the street by the end of 2024.

Danielle Cosgrove, the director for the Cleveland Mediation Center, which leans heavily on family connections to take in the unhoused, believes that the $2 million upfront cost would suffice as a usable model in the future.

“We’re hoping that proof allows us an avenue to ensure that we can make the appropriate ask for more private dollars into a similar sustaining effort,” Cosgrove said.

Because, it seems, Cuyahoga County released its own plan to solve the unsheltered dilemma in 2022—and set the idealistic goal of doing so by the end of the 2024—many on Council felt that it was somewhat encroaching to ask Cleveland to bear six figures to solve what they painted as an issue county-wide. (Though Collins suggested four members at the County Office of Homeless Services would be involved.)

“This is what the county’s supposed to be for,” Ward 16 Councilman Brian Kazy told Collins. “The city of Cleveland shouldn’t be doing social work. This is not how we were set up.” For Ward 13 Councilman Kris Harsh, who supported the legislation, spending the $2 million was a necessary pathway to keeping Cleveland’s—especially Downtown Cleveland’s—image consistent as a welcoming, clean place for tourists and locals alike.

He recalled a story from a tourist friend of his as example.

“He said the Convention Center was beautiful, City Hall was beautiful, but he got to Public Square, and there was human feces. And that’s unacceptable to us as a city,” Harsh said.

“We cannot have our front yard be littered by remnants be littered with people who have no other place to go.” – Mark Oprea

June 19 - July 2, 2024 | | 7 t@clevelandscene



Why some Northeast Ohio communities are banning recreational marijuana dispensaries, and why others are buying in

IT’S POSSIBLE TO SAY THAT Brian Adams’ journey into the world of cannabis activism began with a film canister.

It was March 11, 2006, and Adams was an introverted 22-yearold working at a restaurant in Bedford. As an east side teenager, Adams had indulged in marijuana but was certainly not immersed in the world.

Regardless, a dishwasher gifted him a film container’s worth of bud as Adams was ending his shift for the night.

Outside in the parking lot he was met by two police cruisers. He

was arrested, and later convicted of “drug abuse” in the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas and fined $255. Because possession of marijuana—a Schedule I narcotic at time—was classified as a fourthdegree misdemeanor, Adams spent the following decade managing the lingering spoils of a drug charge: cold shoulders by landlords, stigma when dealing with HR departments, a fate dealt to tens of thousands of other Ohioans.

“It could keep you from getting a job,” he said. “Even in the cannabis field!”

Today, thanks to the actions of Ohio voters this past November,

Adams’ pocketful of weed—and its smoking—warrants no more than a shoulder shrug in the eyes of law enforcement and city and state legislators. A process that’s taken years as Ohio voted in favor of Issue 2 and legalized recreational weed and decriminalized small possession following a string of failed attempts stretching back decades.

Issue 2, the second attempt to legalize recreational pot in the state, passed with 57% of the statewide vote (roughly 3 million Ohioans) in November.

But the following law that went on the books in December came with

an interesting dilemma for cities from Toledo to Athens: individuals could possess weed, up to 2.5 ounces, and could even grow a half dozen cannabis plants in their bedroom or “secured closet.” But actually supplying THC gummies or weed vapes for the public, that would be a decision left to the cities themselves. Who, lawmakers said, “may adopt a resolution, by majority vote, to prohibit, or limit the number of adult-use cannabis operators.”

With the state set to, finally, allow recreational sales beginning with established licensed medical dispensaries, the question of where

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Nirvana dispensary| Mark Oprea

Northeast Ohioans will be able to buy weed is one still coming into focus. Some cities, as when medical marijuana was legalized, have wanted nothing to do with the sale of weed. Others were gung-ho.

Some bucolic suburbs have used the opportunity as a chance to stand in favor of “preserving values” and legislating morals. But those moves have stood against the majority of voters.

In Northeast Ohio, where 98% of cities and towns voted to legalize recreational usage, only Linndale, a tiny village of just 109 people, actually said no to Issue 2. From January to mid-June, 55 towns and cities across Ohio issued indefinite bans or temporary moratoriums on adult-use dispensaries, citing needed zoning law updates or so-called incompatibility with town values. Fourteen of those are in Northeast Ohio—Avon Lake, Beachwood, Elyria, Hudson, Middleburg Heights, Kirtland, Medina, Richmond Heights, North Olmsted, North Ridgeville, North Royalton, Orange, Strongsville and Westlake.

There will be dispensaries in Cleveland, however. City Council passed legislation in May ensuring that adult-use dispensaries don’t pop up within 500 feet of any sensitive areas—schools, churches, playgrounds, parks—but in appropriate retail districts. (Which was pretty much just a copy-paste of Ohio law.)

But the bans and temporary moratoriums on dispensaries elsewhere came in quickly. In May, Elyria City Council passed a temporary moratorium by an 8-2 vote on adult-use dispensaries, citing issues with current zoning laws. The same thing happened In Beachwood. “If the thrust is to treat marijuana like alcohol,” Beachwood Councilwoman Ali Stern told Scene, “we need to treat marijuana like alcohol. And I think make our decisions accordingly.

The same mentality pervaded the vote in Elyria’s council: we’re not rejecting weed sales, but just asking for more time to “study” the issue at hand. (“Study what?” Adams told me. “You’ve had seven years to study.”)

“We do need to get the proper legislation in place as to where and how these things can operate,” Councilman Jack Cerra, who voted for Elyria’s moratorium, told Scene. “You know, it’s no secret that the state’s running way behind the eight ball on this thing, getting their stuff together.” Cerra clarified his stance. “It was really just to buy us some time. And who knows what the next

comment is coming out of Columbus.”

Paula Savchenko, the founder of Canacore Group, a multistate cannabis and psychedelic licensing firm that has aided weed entrepreneurs in navigating laws in Colorado and California, said she tends to see through Ohio’s wave of springtime pot moratoriums. Even when local laws say nothing about dispensary builds in the first place. “A lot of the time, they are just using [moratoriums] as an excuse. They just want to kind of kick the can down the road and deal with it later,” Savchenko said. “It’s somewhat of a cop out. I mean, there’s some truth to it. But it is a cop out.”

Similar political skepticism exists in Lakewood, where eight out of 10 residents voted for Issue 2 last November. In Councilman Tristan Rader’s mind, the adult-use tax benefit, which could be triple that of what Lakewood sees from its two medical dispensaries, outweighs any uneasiness with social mores.

Medical, he said, is the best buffer to gauge how a city’s going to respond to recreational sales. Having RISE on Detroit Avenue, arguably Northeast Ohio’s most prolific dispensary thus far, should dispel any preconceived notions about adult-use corrupting societal norms. (Especially when, he said, they open for rec in “late June, early July.”)

“I think others cry NIMBY, or fear that this is something that’s gonna get out of control,” Rader told Scene. “But in reality, it’s not half as scary as people think it’s going to be.”

Including some in Avon Lake in the batch of those who think so.

“Here’s how I look at it,” Avon Lake Councilman Rob Shahmir, who voted back in May for an indefinite ban on adult-use dispensaries, told Scene. “Having the ability to utilize marijuana is one thing. But having it get sold in a community that’s very family-centric is a totally different thing.”

When reminded that 60% of Avon Lakers voted to legalize recreational use, Shahmir doubled down on his dichotomy. “It’s legal for you to possess and use,” he said. “It’s having a facility that’s close to children, where children are the cental point of the community. That’s the problem.”

Fellow Avon Lake Councilman David Kos, who voted against the ban, balked at Shahmir’s suggestion. “I just can’t square the two in my mind,” he said. “You can be family-friendly and still have a well-regulated dispensary that has rules in place to ensure the safety of

the community.”

In Middleburg Heights, where 45% of households are families, Council stepped in almost immediately, in January, to attempt to preserve the pristine character of its family centrism. By May 28, a law was passed 8-2 outlawing any regulated sales of gummies or loose bud, despite both the slim margin—52% of Middleburg went for pot—and the estimated income tax perk of $230,000 a year.

“What is our reputation worth?” Councilman Dan Sage questioned at the May meeting. “What is our public safety worth? What would the cost be of increased DUIs, of increased police, fire and EMS calls?”

On a recent Thursday in June, four days after the DCC opened its portal for adult-use applications (which would solely be for medical dispensaries for now), Scene drove to Middleburg Heights to meet with Councilman Tim Ali to hear more of his reasoning behind his push to outlaw adult-use sales. It was a sunny day in the beginning of an inviting summer, so kids were running around the waterpark of Middleburg’s gargantuan rec center. Moms pushed strollers down the Big Creek Parkway. Dads leaned on roaring lawnmowers.

A Middleburg resident for 61 years, and on council for 31 of those, Ali carries the kind of hometown protectionism one might expect from a postwar mayor. Ali is bald and wears a red-and-blue tie over a tucked-in white shirt that suggests he might be out on the campaign trail. When asked why he voted to ban recreational weed, Ali was quick to remind that his wife is a doctor. “And she was against it also,” he said.

“But 52% of residents here voted for it.”

“I mean, the election was close,” he added, standing in a driveway of one of his rentals he manages off Big Creek Parkway, two blocks down from City Hall. “It’s like anything else. When something is that close, you know, 2%, that’s pretty darn close to being 50-50. Half of the people want it; half of the people don’t.”

Ali readjusted his tie, and worried at the Canon DSLR camera he uses to snap photos of his properties. “Bottom line here,” he said, “we don’t want to make it easier for folks to get recreational weed.”

Out of the 23 other states that have legalized marijuana over the past two decades, Ohio has, as one might expect, some of the tightest regulations for adult-use weed. (Ohio “really came out the gate swinging,” Adams said.) Such a

cautious push played out at Gov. Mike DeWine’s podium and the state legislators that sought, through proposed rewrites, to curtail Issue 2’s fruits in some way—limit homegrown plants, bolster the adult-use tax from 10% to 15%.

And such rules, overseen by the DCC and approved in June, seem to put dispensaries, both medical and adult-use, in the same level of surveillance as a federal bank or the Louvre. For one, every single piece of a dispensary—from its name to its logo on its business card—must be vetted and approved by the DCC. All visitors, who must sign in before entering the sealed off showroom, must display a visitor’s badge and be escorted “at all times.” And every inch of the store, from its restricted access areas to waste receptacles where expired stock is tossed out (sometimes with kitty litter), must be “constantly monitored and video surveilled” in a 24-hour feed viewable by, if he so pleases, an officer of the DCC in Columbus.

“Every single thing that you see here, every sign, every package, every piece of advertising that we have,” Muhammad Warraich, an operations manager at the Nirvana Center off Cleveland Street in Elyria, told Scene on a tour of the facility in June, “has been submitted and approved by the state.”

Warraich, a soft-voiced man in a ballcap that says “STOP AND SMELL THE FLOWER,” spent five years at dispensaries in Maryland and Arizona before flying to Ohio to open the state’s first Nirvana Center. Like dozens, if not hundreds, of out-of-state cultivators, growers, distributors, or operators, Warraich was a part of this massive influx of those looking to leverage new state law to make a buck, all while tiptoeing carefully towards adultuse sales—Nirvana is med-only now—as city councils made up their minds about weed’s value as a commodity in their backyards.

It’s why, one could say, he turned to Brian Adams. After six years as head of the Cleveland School of Cannabis, and campaigning for Issue 2 with the Sensible Movement Coalition, Adams felt hungry to return to the retail floor. He had worked years back for Ashtabula’s first drive-thru med dispensary, Italian Herbs, but felt compelled to be a part of Ohio’s transition into adult-use culture. Warraich hired Adams as his assistant general manager. “He just had the experience,” he said.

And, of course, be that liaison to government skeptics. “I mean, I’m still dragging folks to city council

June 19 - July 2, 2024 | | 9
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meetings,” Adams said. “Like, I’m still doing the honorary advocacy part of this. Because that’s how we protect the existence.”

On June 11, a week or so after Elyria City Council passed a temporary moratorium on adult-use dispensaries, and three days after Nirvana’s medical soft opening, Warraich, Adams and Roberta Rosa, Nirvana’s general manager who worked for three years at Lorain’s RISE dispensary, gathered on the retail floor to both continue their shop set-up and discuss the somewhat nebulous future, even if the state awards Nirvana an adultuse license. (Like some 130 others, they applied on June 7.)

Three members of council had stopped by, presumably out of both duty and curiosity, to tour Nirvana, which didn’t seem to completely sell Nirvana’s management. “They keep

on moving the goalposts,” Rosa said. “You know, like, people already voted, so just let it happen. I mean, all the research, in my mind, has already been done.”

Adams himself possessed biggerpicture optimism, despite the kind of legal limbo Nirvana’s in. Half of the country is now legal, Adams said, and this fact implies that Ohio, with all its qualities as a swing state, could be what it takes to bring legal rec on the federal level.

“As soon as we did it, the whole nation is going to look at it,” Adams said. “You think Pennsylvania’s not? Indiana? If Indiana’s not thinking about it now, then I can’t wrap my head around why not.”

“It’s a big domino to fall,” Warraich said. “It could happen.”

“Could you imagine how Indiana feels?” Rosa added. “Ohio is going. Illinois. Michigan.”

“Look at Kentucky!” Adams said. “They’re working on medical right up under us.”

“They have cannabis FOMO.”

Adams smiled. “Exactly,” he said. “As might the rest of the country.”

But will Elyria? Will Middleburg Heights one day? Any observers of Elyria’s Ely Square, with its turn-of-the-century fountain and memorials, might be able to imagine a dispensary filling one of its many vacant retail spaces. Or not, depending on its council’s underlying motives. “It’s like they’re saying, ‘We agree, but we don’t want it around us,’” Della Anthony, 33, a mother of three, said eating McDonald’s at a picnic bench in the square. “Come on. It’s something that comes out the ground. It should’ve been legal a long time ago.”

Over at the Mystical Moon Boutique is shop owner Jennifer

Jones, who sells CBD oils and glass pipes under the impression they’re used for “tobacco products.” “It’s all just ridiculous,” she told Scene. “We put it on the ballot. And they’re gonna try and undermine us like they’re our parents. Why are we voting if that’s how it’s going to happen?”

Vicki Wall, 74, a retiree from Flint, Mich., approached the counter with three bags of clothing and paraphernalia. When informed of the cultural shift in Ohio weed, Wall smiled, then revealed she’d “smoked twice since 1968.” Michigan went legal. She wanted to smoke. So, she did.

“And now I love it,” Wall said. She leaned in for a whisper: “Behind closed doors, I can say that. Just don’t tell my grandchildren.”

June 19 - July 2, 2024 | | 11 t@clevelandscene
Elyria City Hall| Mark Oprea

GET OUT Everything to do in Cleveland for the next two weeks

WED 06/19

Back to the Future

This musical based on the film of the same name about a certain Marty McFly who transports himself back to 1955 in a time machine comes to the State Theatre tonight at 7:30. Performances continue through July 11. 1519 Euclid Ave, 216-771-8403,

Laugh Out Loud Again for Sickle Cell

Held in conjunction with World Sickle Cell Day, this event that takes place at the Funny Bone aims to increase awareness of the impact caused by sickle cell disease at a national and international level. Doors open at 5 p.m. at Cleveland Funny Bone with a special happy hour. A silent auction follows. 1148 Main Ave., 216-696-4677,

THU 06/20

Get Groovy with Lucy

This event at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History will feature ‘70s-themed cocktails, a disco DJ, conversations with museum scientists and astronomers, encounters with replicas of Lucy’s fossils, up-close looks at specimens from the museum’s paleontology collection, demonstrations of ancient stone tools, Lucy-themed trivia in Murch Auditorium and access to the Ralph

Perkins II Wildlife Center & Woods Garden. The event begins at 6 p.m. 1 Wade Oval Dr., 216-231-4600,

Horror Hotel Film Festival

This year, this annual film festival has new owners, all of whom are local award winning filmmakers. It’s made a difference too. They’ve received more than 240 submissions for only 130 available slots. In addition to the screenings, several guest speakers will be in attendance as well. The event begins today at the Crowne Plaza Hotel Airport, and it runs through Sunday. 5300 Rockside Road, Independence, 216-524-0700,

Third Thursdays

Third Thursdays, this new local music series at Cleveland Museum of Art’s Transformer Station, features a mix of live local music and interviews with the artists. Curated and hosted by Ideastream Public Media radio personalities, each event pairs a different show host with a band. The events, which take place from 7 to 8:30 p.m., are free, but a ticket is required. The indie rock act Talons’ performs tonight. 1460 West 29th St., 216-938-5429,

FRI 06/21

Guardians vs. Toronto Blue Jays

The Guardians take on a solid Toronto Blue Jays team tonight at 7:10 at

Progressive Field. It’s the start of a three-game series. A Josh Naylor bobblehead giveaway is planned for tomorrow’s game, and DJ Diesel (aka NBA superstar Shaquille O’Neal) will perform a post-game concert after tomorrow’s game as well. 2401 Ontario St., 216-420-4487, mlb. com/guardians.

Ohio Scottish Games & Celtic Festival

More than 60 vendors will be on hand for this annual event that features competitive jousting, a falconry exhibit and demonstration, and border collie demonstrations. Entertainment includes traditional Celtic music as well as the Brass Band of the Western Reserve. The event runs today through Sunday at the Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds. 19201 East Bagley Rd., Middleburg Heights, 440-243-0090,

Third Friday

From 5 to 9 p.m., many of the 78th Street Studios resident artist studios and galleries will be open as part of this monthly event. There will be live music, and Local West, a Gordon Square sandwich shop, will serve food. BARneo will have a selection of adult beverages as well. Admission is free. 1300 West 78th St.,

SAT 06/22

All proceeds from this benefit concert go to Heal Palestine. The lineup features locals Tobyraps, Jinari Kemet, M.O.O.K.Y. and Fox Ears with Malik X. The concert begins at 8 p.m. at the Happy Dog. Tickets cost $20. 5801 Detroit Ave., 216-651-9474,

Visual Art Showcase

The Ingalls Library at the Cleveland Museum of Art presents a day celebrating the talents of local artists Gary and Laura Dumm and Joe Zabel. The event takes place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. It’s free. 11150 East Blvd., 216-421-7350,

SUN 06/23

Reggae Sundays

This special Reggae Sunday Happy Hour Concert series is a summertime tradition at the Music Box Supper Club The indoor/ outdoor concert series will take place rain or shine with live music from 4 to 7 p.m. Music Box will also offer food and drink specials exclusive to the series. 1148 Main Ave., 216-242-1250,

TUE 06/25

Lyrical Rhythms Open Mic and Chill

This long-running open mic night at the B Side allows some of the city’s best

| | June 19 - July 2, 2024 12
Gazan Kids for the Heal Palestine Charity Local indie rockers Talons’ kick off Third Thursdays at the Transformer Station. See: Thursday, June 20.|Courtesy of Cleveland Museum of Art

rappers and poets to strut their stuff. The event begins at 8 with a comedy session dubbed 2 Drinks & a Joke with host Ant Morrow. The open mic performances begin at 10 p.m. Tickets cost $5 in advance, $10 at the door. 2785 Euclid Heights Blvd., Cleveland Heights, 216-932-1966,

WED 06/26

World Series of Rock Exhibit Opening

At 3 p.m. today at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Library & Archives, the Rock Hall will celebrate the opening of a new exhibit commemorating the 50th anniversary of the World Series of Rock concerts that took place at the old Cleveland Municipal Stadium. The opening event includes light food and a cash bar. 2809 Woodland Ave., 216-515-1956,

THU 06/27

Summer on the Square

This bi-weekly series of community events takes place every other Thursday throughout the summer on Shaker Square’s green space. The family-friendly events will showcase some of Cleveland’s finest artists and local businesses. The events are free. 13000 Shaker Blvd., Shaker Heights,

FRI 06/28

A Doll’s House, Part 2

Set 15 years after Nora Helmer slammed the door on her stifling domestic life in Henrik Ilbsen’s A Doll’s House, this play both continues that “complex exploration of traditional gender roles” and provides a contemporary take on “the struggles inherent in all human relationships across time.” Tonight’s performance takes place at 7:30 at Beck Center for the Arts in Lakewood. The play runs through June 30. 17801 Detroit Ave., Lakewood, 216-5212540,

SAT 06/29

Fam Jam

This annual Rock Hall event will feature live music and activities with more than a dozen community partners. The free event takes place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

1100 Rock and Roll Blvd., 216-5158444,

Fourth Annual Grand Slam Beerfest

This annual event returns to

Progressive Field today. Expect to sample from a selection of nearly 200 craft beers and specialty drinks. There will also be food and live entertainment throughout the day. The event features a day session that commences at 2 p.m. and a night session that begins at 8 p.m. 2401 Ontario St., 216-420-4487, mlb. com/guardians.

Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark

At 7 tonight and tomorrow night at Blossom, the Cleveland Orchestra will play the score to Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark while the movie shows on the big screen. 1145 W Steels Corners Rd., Cuyahoga Falls,

SUN 06/30

Concerts at Lakeview Cemetery

The annual summer concert series at Lake View Cemetery offers locals yet another great opportunity to savor some free outdoor performances. Lake View Cemetery has partnered with locally based Jim Wadsworth Productions to set the lineup. Tonight’s concert features the contemporary jazz ensemble Horns & Things. It takes place from 4 to 6 p.m. 12316 Euclid Ave., 216-421-2665,

MON 07/01

Memorial Monday

Every Monday through Sept. 30, Fort Huntington Park hosts food tracks and live music between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. for this special event. Admission is free, but the food will cost you. West 3rd St. and West Lakeside Ave.

TUE 07/02

Guardians vs. Chicago White Sox

The Guardians take on the Chicago White Sox, one of MLB’s worst teams, today at 6:40 p.m. at Progressive Field in the start of a three-game series. The White Sox took three of four games from the Guardians when the two teams played in Chicago in May, but those losses lit a fire as the Guards then went on a winning streak. 2401 Ontario St., 216-420-4487, mlb. com/guardians.

June 19 - July 2, 2024 | | 13 t@clevelandscene



Local musician Adam Rich reflects on his 30-year career

LOCAL MUSICIAN ADAM RICH launched his Love Muffin Records way back in 1994 when he wanted to put out a cassette he’d recorded in his basement. In the wake of that initial release, he’s kept the label going all this time and has also managed to put on an annual festival dubbed LoveMuffinPalooza too (this year’s version of the festival takes place on Sunday, Aug. 11, at the Bop Stop).

To celebrate Love Muffin’s 30th anniversary, Rich has enlisted local acts Shake Ground, Blue Antidote, State of Being, Spirit of 74, Flowers Love Being Kurt, Mallory SanMarco, SweetSour, Saints and Eerie Invaders to perform on Sunday, June 30, at the Beachland Ballroom.

In this interview, Rich talks about the label’s history and what to expect from the anniversary concert.

What made you want to start your own record label?

I wanted to release my own music. When I was a senior in high school, I heard about these instrumental guitarists Joe Satriani and Eric Johnson. I bought [Satriani’s]Flying in a Blue Dream and [Johnson’s] Ah Via Musicom Both were different from the hair metal I was into. Satriani grabbed me more, mainly because he played nearly every instrument on his first few releases. At this point, I played drums and guitar and was just starting bass. So I bought the entry level Tascam four-track at that time and recorded a four-song EP in my basement. My dad, who was a photographer, took the cover photo. I remember buying blank tapes and putting the labels on myself. I hadn’t come up with the name Love Muffin yet; I used the name Rich Records. I made about 20 copies and took the cassette to college my sophomore year. I ended up writing more songs and put a blank sheet of

paper on my dorm room door asking for album titles. The result was my first full length eight-song cassette, Virgin Freak. I had upgraded to the next level Tascam 4-track, got better mics, and had it professionally mastered at Modern Recording Services while mixing it myself at home. I had 100 copies made and took them to college. In 1997, I released another cassette, Flavor Savor, before I graduated college and moved back home. I would go on to release my first CD in 2001, and new CDs in 2005, 2014, 2018 and 2021.

What made you want to start your annual showcase, LoveMuffinPalooza?

I wanted to do my own version of Undercurrents, the music festival from the mid-1980s to late-1990s. I loved attending it, going to the educational events during the day and then bar hopping at night making out my schedule of which bands I wanted to see. I even got John Latimer [of Undercurrents] to

be the MC for it last year. At first, it was a multi-evening event running Thursday thru Saturday nights. The Barking Spider was kickoff night on Thursday for several years until they closed. At one point, I tried running two venues on one night at the same time. I probably tried every small venue in Cleveland at one point. I’ve had it at the Grog Shop, Wilberts, Brothers Lounge, Symposium, Euclid Tavern, Bop Stop, Beachland, Phantasy, Winchester, Maple Grove, etc. When the Spider closed, I moved to a Fri/ Sat/Sun format. Then, just Sat/Sun. I tried in the afternoon and evening. When Covid hit in 2020, I had to get a new job delivering The Plain Dealer. I could no longer do it on the usual Fri/Sat when I had to be up at midnight to deliver. So since 2021, it’s been a Sunday night at the Bop Stop. I also wanted to book bands I

liked, so I could see them and give exposure to newer bands.

What will the 30-year anniversary concert at the Beachland be like?

Fun! It’s really the last 30 years of my life, and I turned 50 this year. For starters, there will be a looping montage of photos from past concerts and events on a screen going all night. One of my high school friends will be selling his artwork there. I have printed up more copies of all of my CDs as well as the DVD of my college band to sell.

June 19 - July 2, 2024 | | 15 t@jniesel
ADAM RICH. | Courtesy of Adam Rich
| | June 19 - July 2, 2024 16


As delis disappear from the landscape, Davis Bakery keeps bucking the trend

THERE’S NOTHING LIKE walking into a great Jewish deli like Davis Bakery. Northeast Ohio has no shortage of places to grab a hot corned beef sandwich, but a real delicatessen offers so much more. Display coolers are filled with cold cuts like salami, roast beef and turkey. Filling in every nook and cranny are appetizing snacks and sides like dill pickles, knishes, potato latkes, lox, macaroni salad and coleslaw. Across the aisle are fresh-baked breads and pastries that fill the air with a distinctive aroma of rye, cream cheese and raspberry.

As the number of Jewish delis continues to decline at a depressing rate, Davis Bakery keeps bucking the trend. The family-owned operation has been a fixture in Cleveland for a staggering 85 years – and it shows no signs of wear or decline. Many of the bakery’s most popular items today – delicacies like Jewish rye bread, coconut bars, and Russian tea biscuits – are direct links to the past, crafted from recipes dating back to the company’s inception and even earlier.

Davis Bakery started small, with a single bakery in Cleveland Heights. Brothers Carl, Ben and Julius Davis launched the business

in 1939 after gaining experience elsewhere. Additional locations soon followed, including a flagship bakery at Cedar Center that supplied the satellite shops with breads, pastries and cakes. Following the purchase of two failing competitors in 1961, Davis skyrocketed to 39 retail stores.

“Our bakery boxes used to say, ‘North, east, south and west, Davis Bakery is the best,’ because we had stores all over Greater Cleveland –from Great Northern and Fairview Park to Mentor and Painesville,” says second-generation owner Carl Davis.

The decline began with the arrival of large chain grocery stores, which instead of buying local products like their independent predecessors began offering their own bakery items at lower cost. Yet as most of the small Davis shops around town closed, the Cedar Center location soared thanks to its deli component, which the other locations lacked. And while other delicatessens of the


day operated as full-service, sitdown restaurants, Davis opted for an over-the-counter style of service that exists to this day.

The Davises added the Woodmere location in 1981 and, when eminent domain was bearing down on the Cedar Center location after more than 50 years, they built a production bakery and deli in Warrensville Heights. If you visited the Woodmere shop 30 years ago like I used to do, you would notice very few changes in food, layout and service. The principal change came eight years ago, when they added a small dining room and patio for onsite enjoyment.

Despite its long, storied history in Cleveland, Davis has maintained a lower profile than full-service restaurants like Sand’s Deli, Jack’s Deli and Corky & Lenny’s. Located at the end of a shopping plaza, the modest storefront belies the quantity of culinary delights within. Corned beef is king, but there are dozens of hearty sandwiches on the menu, from classic deli cuts like pastrami, braised brisket and tongue to specialty combos that pair various meats, cheeses and condiments. The only thing better than a hot corned beef sandwich is one built on uber-fresh seeded rye bread. Other house-baked breads include buttery challah, glossy egg knots, sourdough and bagels. All sandwiches include – free of charge – a Don Hermann pickle, chocolate chip cookie, “and a smile.”

Matzo ball soup is available every day, paired with daily specials like

mushroom beef barley, chicken noodle and vegetarian split pea. There are a handful of fresh and heathy salads and a dozen different deli sides. It isn’t a holiday, celebration or shiva without a deli platter or pastry tray from Davis. I can picture my late grandmother standing before Davis Bakery’s colorful pastry counter, the scene likely unchanged from what it is today. Striking black-and-white cookies, cream-filled lady locks and chocolate-dipped pretzels fill the glassy displays. Signature items like airy coconut bars, flaky rugelach and fruit-filled Russian tea biscuits are unchanged from decades ago.

One of the main reasons delis around the country are closing –along with increased competition, changing diet and shifting demographics – is the lack of generational succession. Selling off to a non-family member often results in a decline in quality, a fate Davis has been lucky to avoid thanks to sons Jayson and Stuart.

“I’m fortunate in many ways,” says Joel. “Number one, that both of my boys wanted to come into the business, and number two, which makes me even luckier, is the fact that they have a great work ethic. That’s one of the things I have always tried to instill in my sons – something my dad and uncles instilled in me.”

June 19 - July 2, 2024 | | 17
DELI 28700 Chagrin Blvd., Woodmere 216-292-3060 I
Photo by Doug Trattner t@dougtrattner
Photo by Doug Trattner
| | June 19 - July 2, 2024 18


Cleveland Bagel Café opening in Lakewood in late June


2021, the Lakewood location of Cleveland Bagel (16300 Detroit Ave.) is now just days from opening. Set in the sunny corner storefront formerly home of Streat Burger Bistro, the shop will open before the end of the month.

A lot can happen in two and a half years, and that’s the case with this business. Originally, this shop was destined to become the third location of Cleveland Bagel, the bagel biz that was launched a decade ago by Dan Herbst and Geoff Hardman. Now it’s called Cleveland Bagel Café, a separate entity operated by Erika Durham and John Antolik in partnership with Herbst and Hardman.

Durham, who has been a member of the Cleveland Bagel family since inception, says that equipment necessary to fabricate bagels from scratch on site could not be worked into the construction plans. The obstacle forced the partners to adjust the game plan. What they landed on was the Cleveland Bagel Café, which will serve as a prototype for future expansion.

“The idea behind this, once we landed on the plan, was that this project would create the model for what we do going forward,” says Durham.

Cleveland Bagel Café will look and feel like the Cleveland Bagel shops in Ohio City and Midtown, but the bagels will arrive par-baked and frozen, then baked fresh daily.

Those bagels will be sold as is, topped with schmears, or used as a base for sandwiches. The café will have a more robust sandwich menu than the other shops, with additions like turkey club and vegan sausage and egg, and will sell house-baked pastries like muffins, cookies and scones.

A coffee program starring Six Shooter will include espressos, cappuccinos and lattes. A cooler will stock schmears for retail sale. And there will be seating for about a dozen guests.

Cleveland Bagel Café will be open 6:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. seven days a week.

All that separates Rey Galindo from the opening of his latest Cilantro Taqueria are a few inspections and permits, which should happen by July, he says.

Galindo and his partners purchased the former Fahrenheit property at 2417 Professor Ave. in late 2023. After building a few walls and leasing out some adjoining space, the restaurant is about half the size of the original footprint. The beautiful old bar is gone, purchased and relocated by a private buyer. In its place is the familiar quick-service layout at which diners work their way down the line.

When Tremont opens it will be the sixth location for this fastgrowing restaurant group. Galindo opened the first, just off Coventry Road, in 2019. Since then, they have been expanding at a rate that exceeds one new restaurant per year. While simple, the formula of offering quality Mexican food in an efficient and customizable fashion continues to resonate with diners.

The menu has changed very little since 2019, with a roster of street tacos, bowls, burritos and fajitas.

A couple years ago, the restaurant added quesabirrias starring slowbraised beef brisket. A new chicken al pastor currently is being tested at some locations. Margarita slushies are offered in half a dozen fruit flavors.

The Tremont location will seat approximately 60 guests inside and another 25 on the front patio.

Galindo grew up eating and working at his family’s restaurant, Luchita’s, which closed in 2022 after 40 years. He says that the search is on already for location number seven, which likely will be in Akron or Columbus.

“We’re going to stay in Ohio,” he says. “I was born and raised in Cleveland, so I’d love to stay here.”

Bad Medicine, a ‘Listening Bar’ Opening This Summer in West Park, to Merge Vinyl, Cocktails and Food

by Doug Trattner

Listening bars, like dive bars and cocktail bars, are all over the map in terms of vibe. Some are serious-minded jazz libraries while others are trippy dens sticky with electronica. What they have in common, however, is an obsessive commitment to audio quality while providing a welcoming space for guests to connect with the music and each other.

When Bad Medicine (13334 Lorain Ave.) opens this summer in the West Park neighborhood, it will bring a distinctly Cleveland perspective to the Japanese invention.

“Some of them are going to be jazz bars, some are just playing Johnny Cash or Elvis, we want this to be uniquely Cleveland,” explains co-owner Bryan Tetorakis. “Cleveland is the birthplace of rock and roll, so we’d be doing ourselves a disservice if we weren’t trying to play some great classic rock –but we do want to throw in some surprises too.”

Tetorakis and partner Adam McDaniel are planning on an August opening for the bar, which will focus equal attention on music, cocktails, food and service.

Tetorakis, a beverage professional with coast-to-coast experience, says that he stumbled upon the vinyl trend like many others.

“I got bit by the vinyl bug during the pandemic when there was nothing to do,” he says. “I lived right next door to a great used record store in downtown LA – and that was our way of keeping sanity. Since then, I’ve been buying and collecting records, and I have a basement full of gear.”

Bad Medicine will feature a custom backbar with built-in speakers and ample storage for records. Two turntables will sit on

the main bar, within easy reach of the bartenders, who will curate the music at all times.

“Everything customers hear will be played on vinyl through vintage Hi-Fi equipment, most of it from our own personal collection of gear,” adds McDaniel.

To go with the tunes, there will be a roster of classic and modern cocktails including Manhattans, Old Fashioneds, Mojitos, Mules and seasonal creations. The drinks will be made using custom spirit blends, cold-processed cordials, freshsqueezed juices, in-house bitters and crystal-clear ice.

From the small but mighty kitchen, chef Dennis Davis will prepare creative bar snacks, gourmet sandwiches and composed salads. Likely items include a fried Brussel sprout Caesar; scallop BLT on toast; and peppercorn-crusted Italian beef sandwich.

“Bad Medicine is a cocktail bar first, but we put the same amount of thought and effort into our food as we do our cocktails,” says McDaniel.

Bad Medicine might be “a cocktail bar first and vinyl bar second,” as McDaniel says, but the ultimate goal is to be a welcoming watering hole for all guests regardless their initial motivation.

“We are going to try and do everything at an exceptional level,” Tetorakis says. “We really want to be part of the neighborhood, but also somewhat of a destination. We are incredibly inspired by places like Never Say Dive and LBM, and how they’ve been able to really bring everybody in and buy into what they’re doing.”

June 19 - July 2, 2024 | | 19
Cilantro Taqueria to Debut in Tremont in July

LIVEWIRE Real music in the real world

THU 06/20

Walker Hayes

The country singer-songwriter who had a hit in 2021 with “Fancy Like,” a catchy tune that finds him speaking/ rapping more than singing, performs tonight at 6 at Jacobs Pavilion. Matt Schuster and Tigirlily Gold open. 2014 Sycamore St., 216-861-4080,

Take 6

The award-winning vocal group that pays gospel, pop, jazz and R&B comes to the Mimi Ohio Theatre tonight at 8 as part of Tri-C JazzFest. 1511 Euclid Ave., 216-241-6000,

Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue

You don’t have to like jazz to like Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue. The group’s spirited live performances have won over crowds at alt-rock festivals like Lollapalooza. They perform tonight at 8 at Cain Park. OutKast’s Big Boi opens. 14591 Superior Rd., Cleveland Heights, 216-371-3000,

FRI 06/21

Marcus Miller & Bob James Quartet

These two veteran jazz musicians have won numerous awards over the course of their length careers. Miller, a bassist who’s worked with acts such as Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock and Luther Vandross, and James, a keyboardist who released his free jazz debut, Bold Conceptions, in 1963, will perform at this concert that’s part of Tri-C JazzFest. It begins at 7:45 p.m. at Connor Palace. 1615 Euclid Ave., 216-241-6000,

Jason Moran and the Bandwagon Pianist and composer Jason Moran brings his Bandwagaon Trio to the Allen Theatre as part of Tri-C JazzFest. Moran has composed scores for Ava DuVernay films and for a staged version of Ta-Nehisi Coates’s Between the World and Me. The concert begins at 5 p.m. 1407 Euclid Ave., 216-241-6000,

Cécile McLorin Salvant Winner of three consecutive Grammys

for Best Jazz Vocal Album, this singer draws from the vaudeville, blues and folk traditions for her music. She performs tonight at 6:30 at the Mimi Ohio Theatre as part of Tri-C JazzFest. 1511 Euclid Ave., 216-241-6000,

Scary Goldings

This funk supergroup that features guitarist Ryan Lerman and keyboardist Jack Conte performs tonight at 10 at the Mimi Ohio Theater. The show is part of Tri-C JazzFest. Mimi Ohio Theatre, 1511 Euclid Ave., 216-241-6000,

Hank Williams Jr.

On the road to mark the 45th anniversary of the release of his hit album Family Tradition. the veteran country singer-songwriter performs tonight at 7 at Blossom. Marty Stuart & His Fabulous Superlatives will open the show.

1145 W. Steels Corners Rd., Cuyahoga Falls, 216-231-1111,


Founded in 2017, Artemis features a multinational and multigenerational group of female jazz musicians. They’ll perform today at 2:30 at the Mimi Ohio Theatre as part of Tri-C JazzFest. The concert will also celebrate Tri-C JazzFest Jazz Academy alumni such as Sean Jones, Dominick Farinacci, Curtis Taylor and Tom Lehman. 1511 Euclid Ave., 216-241-6000,

Harold López-Nussa: Timba a la Americana

This Cuban-born jazz musician made his Blue Note debut with Timba a al Americana, an album of funky instrumentals that possesses a Latin vibe. He performs today at 5:15 p.m. at the Allen Theatre as part of Tri-C JazzFest. Brazilian jazz guitarist Diego Figueiredo opens.

1407 Euclid Ave., 216-241-6000,

Charles Lloyd Ocean II

Having recorded with the Doors, the Birds, the Grateful Dead and the Beach Boys, Charles Lloyd is a jazz icon

| | June 19 - July 2, 2024 20
Artemis with Flying Home: A Trumpet Summit Take 6 kicks off the annual Tri- C JazzFest. See: Thursday, June 20. |John Abbott

who’s also known in the rock world. He brings the second iteration of his Oceans trio to the Mimi Ohio Theatre tonight at 7:30. It’s part of Tri-C JazzFest.

1511 Euclid Ave., 216-241-6000,

Bonnie Raitt

The bluesy singer-guitarist who enjoyed some commercial success in the ‘90s comes to the Akron Civic Theatre tonight at 8. Her latest album, Just Like That, features narrative tunes such as the title track that feature Raitt’s low-key vocals and restrained guitar playing. British soul singer James Hunter opens the show. 182 South Main St., Akron, 330-2532488,

SUN 06/23

Los Lonely Boys

The Texas trio became a sensation shortly after forming in 1996 and delivering a major hit with the bluesy Latin ballad “Heaven.” The group performs tonight at 8 at Cain Park. 14591 Superior Rd., Cleveland Heights, 216-371-3000,

TUE 06/25

Janet Jackson: Together Again Famous for her theatrical, heavily choreographed live performances, Rock Hall Inductee Janet Jackson brings her Together Again tour to Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse tonight at 8. The tour celebrates Jackson’s 50th anniversary in entertainment and spotlights three of her best albums: The Velvet Rope, janet and Rhythm Nation. Nelly opens. One Center Court, 216-420-2000,

Dave Matthews Band

On tour to promote its latest album, 2023’s Walk Around the Moon, the jam band makes yet another appearance at Blossom tonight at 7:30. The album, the band’s first studio release in five years, features a handful of tracks that had already made their way into the band’s live sets.

1145 W. Steels Corners Rd., Cuyahoga Falls, 216-231-1111,

WED 06/26

Niall Horan

A former member of the Boy Band supergroup One Direction, Niall Horan brings his tour in support of his new solo album, The Show, to Blossom tonight at 7:30. Originally from Mullingar, Ireland, Horan has

sold over 80 million records. His 2017 full-length solo debut, Flicker, included the hit singles “Slow Hands” and “This Town.” New singles “Heaven” and “Meltdown” feature shimmering synths and anthemic choruses that should translate well to the stage even if the tunes reek of overproduction.

1145 W. Steels Corners Rd., Cuyahoga Falls, 216-231-1111,

THU 06/27

AJR: The Maybe Man Tour

The skinny jeans weaning indie rock act performs tonight at 6:15 at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Inspired by Broadway, the current show features CGI/effects, narration and set design. Mxmtoon (aka singer-songwriter Maia) opens; last year, the indie rocker released plum blossom (revisited), a reconsideration of the early songs that propelled her to fame.

One Center Court, 216-420-2000,

SAT 06/29

Brothers Osborne John and TJ Osborne grew up writing and playing songs for friends and family. After moving from Maryland to Nashville, they launched Brothers Osborne, a self-described “twang-andcrunch duo” that blends country and rock. The band’s been a huge success, and the current tour supports last year’s self-titled LP and this year’s EP, Break Mine. The group performs tonight at 7 at Jacobs Pavilion. Stephen Wilson Jr. opens.

2014 Sycamore St., 216-861-4080,



Is for Lovers & Hawthorne Heights Presents: 20 Years of Tears

The “Is for Lovers Festival” launched in 2022 with Hawthorne Heights, the founders and curators of the annual outing, bringing the touring trek to three cities for its inaugural run. In 2023, “Is for Lovers” expanded to 10 cities. Named after Hawthorne Heights’ iconic song, “Ohio Is for Lovers,” this year’s tour features Hawthorne Heights, I See Stars, Anberlin, Armor for Sleep, Emery and This Wild Life. The concert begins at 5 p.m. at Cain Park in Cleveland Heights. 14591 Superior Rd., Cleveland Heights, 216-371-3000,

June 19 - July 2, 2024 | | 21 t@clevelandscene



My question could come across as kink shaming. That is not my intent. I am a habitual self-harmer who is planning to seek therapy. However, I find myself unable to stop comparing attitudes towards the kind of self-harm I’ve engaged in with attitudes toward BDSM pain play. When I was a teenager, I would describe myself as a masochist because I was unaware of the sexual connotations of the word, and I bought into the stereotype that self-harm was only self-harm when it was done by an emo kid cutting themselves with a razor blade. My method was different: blunt force. In my view, the self-harm I engage in is no less ethical or healthy than the kind of “pain play” I’ve read about others engaging in.

My self-harm provides catharsis for the sadness and anger I feel. Sometimes when my negative emotions are intense, I feel as if they will burst my body and I am desperate to release them. In these times I find relief in turning emotional pain into physical pain. I haven’t always done this as safely as I could. Last year, during one of the most difficult years of my life, I failed to consider how the visible marks on my body might bother others. I wound up upsetting my coworkers and now I am facing disciplinary action at work, which has only added to my stress.

I’ve read that people into BDSM engage in pain play in seek of catharsis. I also do it for catharsis. The only difference seems to be the motive. Mine is to cope, and theirs is sexual gratification. I now know how hard I can hit myself without causing lasting injuries. I typically do it alone and discreetly, so non-consenting parties are not involved, and I of course consent to the pain I inflict on myself. Yet what I do is perceived as unhealthy and BDSM pain play is considered healthy. Am I wrong to wonder why that is? I feel that people are told not to judge others for their kinks while I am judged and shamed for what I do safely, consensually, and in private.

Perplexed About Intensely Nebulous Esoteric Distinctions

P.S. I have very little sexual experience personally due to almost no one finding me attractive.

Before I bring in the big guns — before I roll out our guest experts — I wanna encourage you to follow through on your plan to see a therapist. Advice columns are great, of course, and the insights and/ or dick jokes of a halfway decent advice columnist can help. But your issues — your physical and emotional safety — require more thorough analysis than I could possibly provide for you in this space.

Alright, PAINED, with that said…

I shared your letter with Leigh Cowart, the author of Hurts So Good: The Science

and Culture of Pain on Purpose, a terrifically entertaining and insightful book about the different ways different kinds of people seek out different kinds of pain.

“I don’t think PAINED is seeing similarities where there are none,” said Cowart. “What people who practice BDSM do and what PAINED is doing are both ways of using aversive sensation and the brain’s reward system to create a desired emotional state.”

Americans, as Cowart argues in their book, assess consensual suffering — and so much else — using moral judgments that aren’t always consistent or logical. People who seek out pain in socially sanctioned ways, e.g., long-distance runners, mixed martial artists, celebrities who go on chat shows and eat chicken wings slathered in extreme hot sauces, are looked up to — particularly when their pain-seeking behaviors out, “[come] draped in the dignity of athleticism,” as Cowart puts it — while BDSM players are subjected to a lot of judgment and shame.

Now, numerous studies have shown that BDSM players are just as emotionally healthy as vanilla people, which is why mental health professionals no longer pathologize people into consensual sadomasochism. But kink muggles don’t admire kinksters the same way they admire, say, long-distance runners. A masochist and a marathoner may push themselves to their limits for similar reasons — both may be seeking the rush of endorphins freely chosen pain can induce, both may be seeking the kind of emotional catharsis freely chosen pain can provide.

“While pain on purpose for emotional benefit is common and normal, and while it is not inherently harmful,” Cowart said, “it can be harmful — so it deserves a thoughtful risk analysis to assess for avoidable dangers.”

To that end, PAINED, Cowart wants you — they want any person seeking out pain on purpose — to think about these questions:

• “Am I emotionally regulated enough to safely give myself catharsis through pain?”

• “Am I looking to feel pain that is temporary or am I risking harm with lasting effects?”

• “Do I feel like I can stop or does this feel compulsive?”

No one wants to see of themselves as damaged, PAINED, which means you’ll have to be on your guard against rationalizing behaviors that actually might be compulsive and harmful — and if you’re showing up to work covered in bruises so alarming you might lose your job over them, that points to compulsive and harmful. So, I would urge you not to engage in solo pain play — if that’s how you wanna think of it for now — while you think about Cowart’s questions and wait for your first appointment with your therapist.

Cowart had another suggestion for you: If you are emotionally well-regulated, if you aren’t doing yourself lasting harm, and you — and your therapist — don’t think this is compulsive behavior, you should find some like-minded friends.

“Generally speaking, in potentially risky situations — be it BDSM or rock climbing or swimming or fight club — humans mitigate risk with the buddy system,” said Cowart. “If you’re going to do something dangerous, you

want to be able to say, ‘Hey watch this!’, before you jump, in case someone needs to save your life. If PAINED explored pain catharsis in a more social, structured environment, where there are more explicitly defined boundaries for engagement, he may find deepening catharsis through pain shared.”

Your local BDSM group is a good place to find the kind of social, structured environment Cowart is talking about. Most people at the munch you’ll attend first and the play party you might attend later will be sexually aroused by BDSM, PAINED, but in every large kink group there are serious players who are seeking emotional release, not sexual release.

Now, for a second opinion, we turn to another Leigh: Leigh Wakeford, a Californiabased psychotherapist who specializes in shame-resilience work with queer and kinky or kink-curious couples and individuals. “I am sorry to hear that PAINED feels judged and shamed for the way in which they have learned to cope with their sadness and anger,” said Wakeford, “and how their relationship to pain compares to the kind of pain experienced by partners engaging in BDSM pain-play, is a valid thing to contemplate.”

There are, however, easily identifiable makers that can help to distinguish healthy BDSM play — which may or may not include consensual and controlled pain play — from emotional or physical abuse.

“Pain-play in BDSM operates within clearly defined boundaries and collaborative parameters that allow for pain to be safely expressed and experienced between the consenting partners,” said Wakeford. “These ‘rules’ make the interaction with pain playful, pleasurable, and potentially transformative. And there’s a greater degree of safety when these things are experienced with another than is possible when engaging in these things alone. What comes to mind for me here are the numerous kinksters who have lost their lives during solo ‘breath control’ play due to the very fact that another was not present to safely assist and witness.”

So, it’s unanimous: Cowart, Wakeford, and Savage all vote for finding friends who share your interest in safe, sane, and consensual impact play. Connecting with others who share your need for for release through pain — even if it takes some effort to find them — will not just make you safer, PAINED, it will transform something that currently isolates you from others into something that helps you connect with others. Good luck.

P.S. Kink scenes tend to be more welcoming spaces for people who don’t feel conventionally attractive. For many in the kink scene, PAINED, it’s your ability to safely dish it out (your skill set as a Dom) and/or your ability to take it (your appetite as a sub) that matters most, not your jawline or your waistline. Follow Leigh Cowart on Instagram, Threads, and Twitter @voraciousbrain.

I had a sexual experience that’s leftme feeling shitty. Met another gay man on an apps, got wasted together at a leather bar, fucked at his place on a number of

substances. He stopped when I was too out of it to proceed, he played some music, and let me crash with him until I’d sobered up enough to get a Lyft. When we fucked, I’d asked him to degrade me. I asked him to do and say things an abusive ex had often done to me without consent. Why, when wasted and fucking, did I try and recreate sexual assaults I had experienced? In the moment: hot. In the aftermath, I feel as horrible as I did when those events first happened to me.

Super Upset Boy

While I had him on the line, SUB, I asked Leigh Wakeford to weigh in on your question as well.

“Recreating a traumatic sexual experience is not uncommon among survivors of abuse,” said Wakeford, “So, most importantly SUB needs to hear that he is not alone. And he also needs to know that one of the beautiful offerings of BDSM play is the potential for revisiting and re-narrating traumatic encounters in a safe, consensual and empowering way, which can help us reclaim things that were taken from us without our permission.”

What your abusive ex took from you is a kind of consensual D/s sex play — involving humiliation, degradation, verbal abuse, etc. that you may not have been consciously aware you were into before his abuse started. Right now, these things may be tainted by their association with your ex, SUB, but that doesn’t make them bad things. Just as sex in the missionary position in the absence of consent will be experienced as assault by someone who might otherwise enjoy sex in the. Missionary position, kinky like humiliation and degradation in the absence of consent will be experienced abuse by someone who might otherwise enjoy them.

“SUB had some shitty and bad things happen to him,” added Wakeford “but he is not a bad or shitty person for wanting to experience pleasure in ways that are uniquely exciting to him.”

Which may be exactly what you did that night, SUB: In an effort to create new and positive associations with your kinks, you went out and found some you intuitively felt you could trust — and your intuition proved to be correct, as evidence by the way he took care of you when you had to tap out.

“But in my experience, the most effective and safest to create a new narrative around a past traumatic encounter is also the most sober possible way,” said Wakeford. “Being in a less conscious state can interfere with the clarity and level of control required to heal and grow.”

Follow Leigh Wakeford is on Instagram and Threads @LeighWakefordTherapy. His website is

Got problems? Yes, you do! Email your question for the column to mailbox@savage. love!

Or record your question for the Savage Lovecast at!

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