Notable shows in the greater Cleveland area & a PSA from the Felice Brothers

Shows worth checking out this week in and around Cleveland:

The Beachland Ballroom & Tavern

  • Sat, Feb 13| 9 PM (8:30 PM door)
    The Whiskey Daredevils
    CD Release Show!
    Uncle Scratch’s Gospel Revival / Scoliosis Jones
    $7.00
    Tavern | All Ages
  • Thu, Feb 18| 8:30 PM (7:30 PM door)
    Cory Chisel & The Wandering Sons
    Dawes
    Jason Boesel
    $10.00
    Tavern | All Ages
  • Sat, Feb 20| 8:00 PM (7:30 PM door)
    Bluegrass Barn Dance
    Pete McDonald & The Wax Wings String Band / JP & The Chatfield Boys / Hiram Rapids Stumblers / Heelsplitter / Misery Jackals / Timber Wolves / One Dollar Hat
    $5.00 adv / $7.00 dos
    Ballroom | All Ages

House of Blues

  • Tues, Feb 16| 9:00 PM (8:00 PM door)
    George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic
    $32.00 – GA- Standing Room Only – Advance
    $35.00 – GA- Standing Room Only – Day of Show
    $45.00 – Reserved Seats
    All Ages
  • Thurs, Feb 18| 8:00 PM (7:00 PM door)
    Snoop Dogg w/ The Constellations, DJ Steph Floss
    $35.00 – GA Standing – Advance
    $38.00 – GA Standing – Day of Show
    $59.50 – … Continue reading

Festival Round-Up: The Lesser-Knowns

It’s festival line-up announcing season. NTSIB trusts that you can find your own way to the artist listings for Coachella, Bonnarroo, etc., because we’re going to focus on some lesser-known but just as worthy festivals and concert series.

Aside from Oxford, Mississippi’s annual Double Decker Arts Festival and Gulf Shores, Alabama’s first Hangout Music Festival, which we’ve mentioned previously, there is:

  • NoisePop, February 23-March 1 in San Francisco, California (taking place at various venues all over the city), will have the Magnetic Fields, Atlas Sound, the Mumlers, Thao Nguyen, Mark Eitzel, Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, Mark Kozelek and so many more
  • Pickathon, August 6-8 in Portland, Oregon, featuring Billy Joe Shaver, the Heartless Bastards, Bonnie Prince Billy & the Cairo Gang, Langhorne Slim, the Cave Singers, Megafaun and more
  • The Black Keys and Pavement will play New York’s SummerStage
  • The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, April 23-May 2, will feature so many huge acts that it would be an exercise in futility to try to list all the notable artists here
  • Jim Jarmusch, NTSIB’s favorite filmmaker, is guest-curating … Continue reading

Rebirth of the Cool: John the Revelator

This is the first installment of what may become a regular feature focusing on covers or different takes on a single song.

One of the much bandied about cliches of modern music is that the devil gets all the good music. But anyone who has delved into the different forms of sacred music knows that that is a very arguable statement. (There is some damn fine gospel music out there, and the gospel influence can be heard in some of today’s more exciting bands, like The Builders and the Butchers.)

I would posit the theory that the best music is performed by those whose ultimate fate (if one is given to beliefs of the spiritual) remains in question. Take the blues classic “John the Revelator” as an example. The first noted recording of the song was recorded by Blind Willie Johnson in 1930. While he played in the blues style and has been covered by artists such as Led Zeppelin, the White Stripes and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, all of Johnson’s lyrical content centered on the sacred, and he was known to preach to anyone who might listen.

 

Blind Willie Johnson – John the Revelator

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The Preservation Hall Jazz Band: Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans?

I was about 13 years old when I visited New Orleans. I was with my parents, visiting family in Alabama and Louisiana, and I was in the throes of a Harry Connick, Jr., fixation, so it was a well-timed visit. I remember that Connick’s father, then the District Attorney of New Orleans, was on the T.V. news due to allegations of corruption. I remember the cute bellhop at the Marie Antoinette Hotel. I remember a riverboat to Chalmette. I remember walking through Jackson Square in a light rain while a group of young boys played jazz on a street corner. I remember walking a few paces behind my parents because I didn’t want them to see me crying. New Orleans was so true to my daydreams of it that it overwhelmed me.

But the best memory I have of New Orleans was visiting Preservation Hall. Even though it’s just off of Bourbon Street, the Hall seems like its own universe in the midst of the lights, tourists and infamous debauchery that punctuates (or blankets, depending on what time of the year you’re there) Bourbon Street. It’s boards are worn, and it is narrow. The benches inside are hard and uncomfortable. … Continue reading

Friday Fun: On the Day You Were Born

Inspired by a Facebook meme, of all things, I was reminded of the Billboard #1 hit at the time I was born. “Love Train” by the O’Jays. Note the presence of a slo-mo’ing Fred “Rerun” Berry at the 1:08 mark.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r7MiG2fe8lE]

And because I can never hear the O’Jays without wanting to listen to my favorite O’Jays’ song: “Backstabbers”

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yzjziKqVp6k]

What was the Billboard #1 when you were born?

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Simone Felice: Long May You Run

Simone Felice is a wonder. In 33 years, he seems to have experienced enough highs and lows to fill a few lifetimes, and he still manages to radiate the kind of sunny, loving air one would expect only from someone who has remained innocent of the depth and variety of pain the world has to offer. He came to prominence on the music scene as the drummer and rabble-rouser of the Felice Brothers (“prominence” being a term used loosely here as there are some still ignorant of the glory of the Brothers), given to off-kilter rhythms, whiskey-fueled antics and declarations such as “All ya’ll didn’t think there was any more churches left in New York City, did ya? This is the Felice Brothers Scumbag Church where you can fuck your cousin in the bathroom.” But even in the midst of the backwoods anarchy of the Brothers, the softer light in Simone still came shining through when he’d take the helm on songs like “Your Belly in My Arms” and “Mercy”.

When tragedy struck, not for the first time in Felice’s life, in the form of the still-birth of his daughter in the winter of 2008, instead of becoming hardened by … Continue reading

A.A. Bondy: My Funny Valentine

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9AuLEfFQG6Q]

Two of the great joys of seeing A.A. Bondy play are hearing new arrangements and variations of his songs and seeing what great covers he’ll pull out. To that end, here are two slightly different versions of his heartbreaking cover of the Rogers and Hart classic “My Funny Valentine” (a song which, interestingly, he’s been pulling out for encores since the Verbena days).

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v-KBMs0XPvI]

Hearing him sing this song mere feet away from me at his show last month in Akron was the first time I’ve been left speechless during a show. It seemed I wasn’t the only one having that reaction as it took a few moments for the applause to start once the song was finished. From the back of the room, someone called out, “Well done.”

I’ll be heading up to the Blind Pig in Ann Arbor, Michigan, to see him play on December 2nd. I’m excited to see what he has in store for us this time.

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Nicholas Megalis: 216 Reasons to Live

Two words come to mind when thinking how to describe Cleveland/NYC artist Nicholas Megalis: sassy and sexy. Some of his songs carry a mad carinval air, some are enveloped in warm industrial fuzz, but most of them will make you rotate your hips in an unseemly manner.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LE0Q03vV38Q]

I discovered Megalis, or rather, he discovered me when he began following my personal account on Twitter a while back, perfectly illustrating how the internet has changed the whole game for music.

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Now This Sound Is Brave: The Inauguration

A few things about me:

  • I have been told that my taste in music has a wider range than it has any business having.
  • My favorite bands are the Afghan Whigs and Morphine.
  • I am currently loving on A.A. Bondy so hard that it makes my eyeballs roll back in my head.
  • Other favorites include a range from Cab Calloway to Shudder to Think to Paolo Conte to Modest Mouse to Hank Williams, Sr. And, obviously, the Clash.
  • It is difficult to recommend music to me because my taste is idiosyncratic, but I love it when people try.

Why start yet another music blog when the internet is positively glutted with music blogs? Partially for myself, partially for my long-suffering friends. Music has long been one of my top obsessions. I love to listen to it, to go to shows, to find new music, to discover old music, to fall in love with artists and to write about it all. Endlessly. So much so that I could almost feel the metaphorical pushing and boots-to-the-ass of friends when the idea of concentrating my music mania into a central blog first came about. “Do it!” they … Continue reading