Author Archives: Amber Patrick

TVD Recommends:
San Cisco at the Grog Shop, 3/27

We get it. The snowy weather has you down, and you’re just plain tired of clearing off your car and driving fifteen miles per hour under the speed limit on your way to work. Really, we understand. We’re tired, too. What we need is something that’s going to take us from frigid to cheerful as fast as the weather changes here in Northeast Ohio.

Dripping with a washy and infectious sound layered with direct, exposed vocals, the Australian four-piece San Cisco is sure to warm up our cold Cleveland hearts tonight at the Grog Shop. The band comprises Jordi Davieson (guitar/lead vocals), Josh Biondillo (guitar/vocals), Nick Garner (bass/vocals), and Scarlett Stevens (drums/vocals).

Don’t read this book by its cover. Yes, they may be completely adorable, but their sound is intelligent pop that has memorable hooks and catchy guitar lines that will stick in your head longer than that to-do list you’ve already forgotten.

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Weekend Shots!

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Hey, Cleveland. We’ve been a little dead—and for that we sincerely apologize—so we thought we’d remind you just how much you’re loved with a double-whammy edition of Weekend Shots. That’s right, we can’t pick just one great show because honestly, there are two things you have to be at this weekend in Cleveland. Hell, they’re probably more than two, but we’re trying to keep it simple.

First up, on Friday there is a recruitment event and party at Bad Racket for the upcoming Brite Winter Festival. There will be free food and drinks as well as a sweet dance party going down to get you jazzed up for Brite Winter. Come out, sign up and dance, dance, dance!

If you’re miffed because you missed out on getting tickets to see Walk the Moon this weekend at the Beachland, never fear—we’ve got a show for you that will fill up your Saturday night. The Beachland presents at the Grog Shop, Why?, Astronautalis, and Dream Tiger. Headliners Why? hail from our sister city Cinci and comprises brothers Jonathan and Josiah Wolf, Doug McDiarmid, and Liz Hodson. The band is a hip-hop indie-rock band that’s going to have you moving. Rounding out the bill are alt-hip-hop artist Astronautalis and new-kid Dream Tiger, who is slated to release her first album this spring.

What’s better? The Grog Shop is hooking you up with two tickets to this show. Comment on this post with why you should be at Why? We’ll select a winner and let them know this evening. All love, Cleveland.

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Weekend Shots!

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This year’s whizzing by at a fast pace, isn’t it? Hard to believe we’re almost to February. The weather’s been pretty good here in Cleveland, but you’re not here for weather updates. Which is fine. We’ve got what you’re after, which is a weekend full of good music, no doubt. 

We can’t settle on just one show that you have to be at so we’re shouting out to the Beachland Ballroom & Tavern for having the best shows this weekend. Friday night kicks off your weekend with Freakwater in the Tavern. The alt-country band will have you tippin’ back whiskey sours and nodding along as their lyrics notoriously hit close to home.

Saturday night we’re suggesting some soul in the Ballroom for Wesley Brite and the Hi-Lites who are playing two sets and two fantastic local DJs, Partysweat and Alr!ght. Be sure to say happy birthday to Mark (the owner) if you catch him. Sunday, we’ll see you in the tavern for Jenny Owen Youngs, an upbeat singer/songwriter who’s destined to leave you in a good enough mood to face even Monday morning.

Not your cup of tea? Here’s the rest of the best!

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Matt and Kim: On the Precipice of Big Things

Matt and Kim have been steadily gaining an audience since their formation in 2005. With four albums under their belt, the duo’s energetic performances have crowds moving, and their witty banter creates an atmosphere of pure joy.

And yeah, they’re in love, too. You get that vibe from the way they catch each other’s eye on stage, Matt’s references to Kim’s sex appeal, and the way they find an opportunity to grind on each other mid-set. The point is, Matt and Kim are true performers. Live, you won’t know what to expect and honestly, isn’t that the best part of a show?

Matt was kind enough to field some questions for us via email.

How do you challenge each other to continue to grow and evolve your sound?

I don’t know if we challenge each other.  I will say, when starting this band, we were just learning to play our instruments, so for many years it was evolving because we were actually figuring out how to play.

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TVD Recommends: Dessa at Beachland Tavern, tonight, 1/9

Dessa possesses a compelling balance of brazen aggression with delicate, songstress-style crooning which creates her own unique and sublime niche. It’s not her voice that sets her apart, although it’s evident that the Minnesota native can sing.

It’s her delivery. When Dessa begins rapping and gaining speed, she spits fire, serving your ears with her unique brand of intelligent lyricism; her background in slam poetry proving a potent weapon.

Dessa’s newest album, Castor, the Twin, offers remixed versions of previously released works with the integration of live instruments. It’s got a jazz element that melds seamlessly with her sly vocals, but don’t get too cozy. Right when you’re vibin’ to it, she’ll switch up and spit something that makes you really tune into what she’s saying. We’re anxiously awaiting the next album. In the meanwhile, we’ve got this show to look forward too, right?

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Weekend Shots!

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As the world is scheduled to end today, we struggled with actually suggesting shows to see this weekend. Since we survived Y2K, we think we’ve got this one covered, too. Cleveland, here is our final edition of Weekend Shots for 2012.

The show of the weekend is undoubtedly mr. Gnome at the Beachland Ballroom on Saturday night. Everything about the duo grabs our attention: the darkness they create on stage, the obscurity as they slip into the shadows or play behind a curly mess of hair; the high-striking drumming of Sam Meister, to the tiny but terribly strong body of Nicole Barille, which delivers a powerful voice coupled with some intense guitar work.

The band will take you on a trip as they mix tempos and meters, keeping their crowd guessing and sending it swimming through thoughts, bodies, or physical planes. It’s an unparalleled experience. If the world were to truly end this weekend, mr. Gnome is the perfect psy-rock, post-apocalyptic sound to rise from the rubble. See you out there.

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TVD Recommends: David Ullman at Blue Arrow Records, 12/22

About a year ago, we met David Ullman when he was in the process of raising the funds to produce his album, Light the Dark, which from the outset was intended to be released on vinyl.

Now, the recently relocated Ullman returns to Cleveland for the first of what will hopefully be many independent record store performances to celebrate the album’s release, which occurred on December 4.

“While it’s not entirely fair or accurate to say ‘if it’s not on vinyl, it doesn’t matter,’ I’m releasing these songs on this medium because they matter a great deal to me,” the 33-year-old Northeast Ohio native says. “And Blue Arrow is the perfect place to celebrate this record, as they have the best collection of vinyl in Cleveland.”

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Weekend Shots!

Can you believe it’s the second weekend of December? We’ve been pretty fortunate with the weather here in Cleveland, as well as with a plethora of great live music opportunities that can treat our ears. 

This week’s featured show was a three-way tie. I know, unheard of. But we can’t pick between them.

The first show occurs tonight and Saturday at Severance Hall and features Bela Fleck on banjo with the Cleveland Orchestra. Fleck, who has been in town performing with the Cleveland Orchestra since Thursday, will feature a banjo concerto written by the musician himself, Adams’ Short Ride in a Fast Machine, and Gershwin’s An American in Paris.

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TVD Recommends: Ensemble HD at the Happy Dog, 12/5

The bar setting is usually reserved for fledgling bands who are trying to “make it,” or bands who are touring and looking for an intimate venue. It’s not every day you get to see members of a world-renowned orchestra performing in a saloon. Yes, you read that sentence right. Members of the Cleveland Orchestra performing ensemble pieces in one of Cleveland’s hottest bar spots. In tee shirts and jeans.  Recording a live vinyl record. 

The ensemble in question is known by the name Ensemble HD and was created by Cleveland Orchestra member and principal flutist, Joshua Smith. The bar in question is none other than the Happy Dog, which usually hosts music that fits more into the punk, rock, or experimental genres. The album will embrace the juxtaposition of the bar setting—its clinking glasses and shouting patrons—with the delicacy and intimacy that only classical music can demand.

“I think what I’m feeling is that there’s this kind of internal problem that all of us should do this,” said Smith, “those people who run art institutions are worrying about the aging and declining of their main audiences and everyone’s always worried about arts in the school system. How do we connect to anyone that makes what we do sustainable? Those are big thoughts that are always in place.

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TVD Recommends: Six Organs of Admittance, Blues Control, Nights at the Beachland Tavern, 12/5

Cleveland, if you’re looking for music that is intellectual, guitar-laden, and dripping with effects pedals, come on out to the Beachland Tavern this evening for Six Organs of Admittance, Blues Control, and Cleveland band, Nights. 

Six Organs of Admittance is the brainchild of Ben Chasny. The project has spanned ten years with differing structures—from a short-lived rock version, to a solo project which was more psych oriented with folk accents, and finally a setting which offers Chasny at the forefront with an electric band backing him.

Chasny has been involved in a variety of projects—from Comets of Fire, to Rangda, to duo 200 Years, and the band recently released the well received, Ascent.

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Weekend Shots!

The first week in December can be a scary time. We understand. There’s that daunting fear of lake-effect snow on the horizon, and although you’ve lived in Cleveland all your life, you are still terrified. Okay, we honestly don’t understand that. What we do understand is good music and we’ve got your weekend all figured out. That is, if you can get yourself out of the house, into your car, and to the venue. 

Though it was a tough decision, this weekend’s pick of the litter has to be The Modern Electric‘s single-release show with support from Tom Evanchuck, Bethesda, The Ruby Spirit, and The Moxies. The Modern Electric is a band of guys who love Bowie and provide their own blend of music that they call cinematic pop. We simply adore them because of their catchy beats, beautiful orchestration, and the atmosphere they create on stage.

Their live show is always a good time, with the band dancing around and often people taking the stage from the crowd to dance. Their following is strong and when these boys come to your town, you better clear your evening to catch them live. Saturday night they’re releasing their new single, “All We Have is Now.” See you there, Cleveland!

Not your cup of tea? Here’s the best of the rest.

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TVD Recommends:
Matt & Kim at the
House of Blues, 11/13

Maybe the weekend kicked your ass, Cleveland. It’s okay. You had an extra day off, right? Thank the music gods for working that out for you because the Matt & Kim show at House of Blues is going to be a dance party. Don’t fret about recovering afterwards; we’re so close to the weekend that you can just coast through the rest of the week.  

Matt & Kim are touring to promote their most recent album, Lightning, which the band self-produced and released at the beginning of October. This album is a bit parred down from the usual busy sound Matt & Kim have delivered on previous albums. That said, this album is just as upbeat and energetic as the rest, perhaps even more intelligently composed because with less layers it has to be more engaging to capture the attention of its audience.

Doors are at 7, but the show will kick off at 8 with the effervescent pop/rock sound of Oberhofer, a five-piece band hailing from Brooklyn.

If you’re looking for a good time on a Tuesday night, you’ve found it. Tickets can be picked up through the House of Blues. Trust me: you’ll want to do that in advance because this bombastic duo has been selling out venues across the country. See you out there!

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Allen Stone:
The TVD Interview

Rarely will you meet someone who can abandon the ideal of finding a career that yields guaranteed financial stability in favor of following a passion that may or may not make ends meet—a passion that is so deeply rooted in their being that they couldn’t do anything else. They’d be at a loss without that something that makes their eyes light up and their voice lift when speaking of it. 

For Allen Stone, that something is music, and thankfully the soulful Washington state native has decided a life spent performing music is what he must pursue.

Stone has caught the attention of the world with his nuanced performances that delicately showcase a range of emotion from behind thick glasses, wild blonde hair, and a guitar. The man has a true gift, and we were able to chat with him about his music before he visits Cleveland’s Grog Shop on Sunday, November 11th.

“You got some time to do a little chit-chattin’?” Allen Stone asked.

I’ve got some time to do a little chit-chattin’. Why don’t you tell me how you got involved in music?

I first got involved with music when I was a little kid. I grew up singing at my dad’s church, actually. My father was a minister for about thirty-five years. I was first introduced to music, and singing, and song, at a very young age.

How influential would you say church music was to your sound?

Not very, as far as sound goes. I didn’t grow up in a gospel church or anything. I think how church influenced me was it taught me how to feel music, rather than view it from a technical side. It just helped me to feel it better. It made me feel the spirit of song in the music. That’s the most major influence it had on my life.

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Weekend Shots!

Whew, Cleveland, we nearly blew away! Let’s celebrate Sandy’s departure by heading out to a show this weekend. We think it’s best you find something that’s going to get your blood pumping and let you get out all the fury related to the power outages, closed venues, and lack of D batteries in our fine city. 

Our suggestion? Andrew Jackson Jihad at Grog Shop. Why? Because these boys have tongue-in-check lyricism that will have you in stitches as they’re delivered in a folk/rock sound that leaves you wanting more.

Not hard enough for you? You need to thrash around and maybe break some shit? Check out Vince Roy‘s record release over at Mahall’s. Or pick a show from the one’s below. You know what you like.

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TVD Live: Silversun Pickups at House of Blues, 10/21

Last week’s lineup was straight from a dream. There was some sort of voodoo involved, I’m sure, to bring such a talented group of people together on a tour, with a stop at Cleveland’s House of Blues along the way.

The combined aural experience of Silversun Pickups, Cloud Nothings, and Atlas Genius was amazing, as it seemed that each supporting band possessed a little bit of the magic that makes Silversun Pickups so enthralling. All three bands were phenomenal in their own right and are not to be missed when they come to a town near you.

Silversun Pickups enchanted the crowd the moment they took the stage. The lighting lent a gritty feel: unrefined and eerily industrial. Opening with “Skin Graph,” the band exploded live, lights bright behind them. Frontman Brian Aubert beckoned the audience in, a come hither twitch from his spindly fingers.

On this tour, the band has a substitute bassist with them since their regular bassist, Nikki Monniger, is home with twins to which she recently gave birth. Of the situation, frontman Brian Aubert joked, “Nikki got super, super fat. She knew she couldn’t face you guys because you’re judgmental, so she went to the fat farm in Costa Rica. We thought it was chicken quesadillas and pad thai. Turns out it was two baby girls.”

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  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


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