Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Crooked River Blues Band @ The ABC Tavern

You may remember when we posted Cleveland's Best New Rock Bands Of 2009 back in December, we chose the CRBB as one of those bands and now they're performing at the ABC Tavern on West 25th this upcoming Thursday night [April 28 9pm]. This will be their first performance [outside of private & open mic nights] since their debut at the DoubtingThomas in 2009.

CRBB [facebook] has added a couple new members and has a show scheduled for the HouseOfBlues this upcoming summer so this will be your best shot to catch the band in a comfortable, non-corporate environment.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Lottery League: The Big Show MMX

It has been two full months since the draft where 144 musicians were assigned to a group randomly to make up 33 bands. None of the particapants have ever performed with their new bandmates previous to the draft but all 33 bands will be performing this Saturday at the Beachland Ballroom. Specially priced Big Show MMX tickets are available at the Beachland, Visible Voice Books, Big Fun & online here for a measly 15 dollar prior to the day of the show [Saturday] where they will be priced at twenty bucks.
The lineup for Saturday night is below, the list of members for each band can be found here.

2010 LL blog [TheSissybar] | official LL blog | BIG SHOW tickets

Props to Jake Kelly  and JohnG for the sweet flyer!

Friday, March 5, 2010

The Elks - 2010 Lottery League

The Lottery League posts here at the ClevelandSeen will be sporatic from here on out, one can still follow my updates of band practices complete with photos, video & mp3s, here [sissybar.blogspot.com].

I was chosen [via the letter L] in the *bonus* round of the 2010 Lottery League by band #27 now known as "The Elks". Our second practice was this past tuesday evening, this night consisted mostly of refining the two songs that were written during the first practice and creating a third ballet-type song.
It appears that the longest song is going to come in at the 3 minute range with the others being approximately half that length.

The video below has The Elks working on that 3rd song, keep in mind that any video/audio I post here are rough takes, the structure of these songs have changed from practice to practice [yes, both of them].

Our band consists of Nate Scheible [drums], Matt Jauch [guitar], Chris Rood [bass], Greg Miller [lead vocals] & me, Lou Muenz [visuals, theramocals, other].

"New Fez, New Suit" was the first song the band worked on and practiced together, Greg had the idea of the band being Pseudo-Elks as in the mens fraternal social club that meet up at gathering places called "Lodges". The video below is the latest rendition of the song, the Mp3 below that was the first practice rendition.

New Fez, New Suit [Mp3]

here are some photos from the two practices we have had so far.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

2010 Lottery League Draft

The 2010 version of the Lottery League Draft that took place last Friday night at the Beachland Ballroom went off nearly as flawless as the 2008 version that was held at Asterisk Gallery in Tremont. Most of the kinks were worked out beforehand and The Council of Chiefs learned some valuable lessons from LL2008.

Not unlike 2008, names were pulled out of a bingo-hopper with the first round reserved for drummers, half of those being drummers with practice spaces. The drummers without practice space would be paired with a musician from the second round that has a practice space. The next two rounds would be for the remaining musicians not yet picked.

One of the new changes in this year's LL2010 is that the fifth round would be a bonus round of sorts, a representative from 12 randomly picked bands chose a letter or number that spelled out LOTTERY LEAGUE 2010, each of those letters/numbers were assigned a "prize" or a bonus member that may or may not be a musician [I fell into this category/round]. Prizes included a Melt gift certificate, a Rock Hall package and four admissions to the Cleveland Zoo. Bonus members beside myself included Jae Kristoff [The Head Chief of Council], Tony Erba, PJ Doran, Matthew T & Nick Traenkner are a few that I remember.
Also new to this year's draft was a Lottery League Hall Of Fame commemoration that awarded certificates to those Lottery League bands that continued as bands after the 2008 season ended, those bands were: Anal Cheetahs, Mohammad Cartoon [both bands performed at this years draft], Gandhi SS, Stimulus Package & The Valley Of Life. Veteran LL participant and former Tremont Art Auctioneer Joe Milan did a great job as the emcee, I did not hear one complaint about mispronunciation from 150 or so names he called this night. Guest bingo-hopper operators included: Cindy Barber, Kathy Simkoff, Mark Leddy & the Beachland Lady cop. Next up for each band is finding a name and configuring a practice schedule.

LL2010 Draft photos
Lottery League [Official blog]
Lottery League Facebook
Lottery League 2008 Diary

The couple short videos below are from the *bonus-round* that took place in the 5th and final round of the night.

Roxanne and Team 33 won the coveted Tony Erba, not sure if Roxanne was elated or that that She realized that her band drafted another "alpha dog" just like in '08 when Konya was her power drummer in Born Raped.

Rocky takes a club to the pinata only to find Jae Kristoff inside.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Lottery League 2010

By Lou Muenz

Lottery League was started back in 2008 and came from a concept Jae Kristoff created. Long story short: you gather 130+ local musicians together, throw their names into a bingo hopper and create 30+ new bands from the names picked from the hopper. No two people can be in a Lottery League band that performed together previously.
This year's version of Lottery League plans to be just as rewarding and large as the 2008 version but with quite a few new particapants as well as having the draft night open to the public at the Beachland Ballroom this friday night at 9pm.

I spent an iconceivable ammount of time in 2008 documenting nearly every aspect of Lottery League including sitting in on over 60 band practices of 29 of the 33 bands [a handful of bands made it nearly impossible to reach my goal of all 33 bands].
This year Jae has asked me to be part of the process by including myself in the roster of folks that will be in the draft and in a new LL band before the sun rises on saturday. With that said, it was an easy choice for the ClevelandSeen staff to chose me as their Lottery League correspondent.

Within a few days, I will be posting here with photos & video of the draft as well as the rosters of the newly formed bands. You can find the draft list of particapants on the Lottery League blog Jae started in 2008, that is here.

My full documentation of LotteryLeague-I from '08 is here.

Lottery League Draft Night
Friday February 5, 2010
9pm @ The Beachland Ballroom

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Stellar Om Source + Daniel Higgs + Mark McGuire @ The Cool Ranch

Sunday January 31st @ 6pm:

Christelle Gualdi is Stellar Om Source, a synthethizer driven experimental band on the Agitated Atmosphere label.
Daniel Higgs is mostly known for his leading role in the near-legendary band Lungfish. Higgs has been performing with a banjo in his solo stints as he will on this Sunday night.
Mark McGuire is the guitarist for the ubiquitous cleveland outfit known as the Emeralds.
Cloud Nothings will open the night with a Lo-Fi Garage set.

The Cool Ranch is a 'choad' free DIY space on the eastside, Sam would like to keep it that way and is not publicly announcing the locale. If you are interested in attending this show, send a message here and we'll send you the address of the Cool Ranch if you clear our douche-detectors.

Roky Erickson At The Beachland, March 6

The Cleveland Seen was the first media outlet [in the world] to announce that Roky Erickson of '13 Floor Elevators' fame will be playing the Beachland Ballroom [Beachland's 30th Anniversary Weekend} on Saturday March 6th 2010. We announced this back in October because of two very good resources [our confidential 24/7 tip line is: 216.367.2175], both turned out to be 100% correct despite being without knowledge of the specific date.

Though not confirmed, Roky Erickson is expected to be performing with 'Okkervil River' as the backup band on this March night when they will be performing music from 'True Love Cast Out All Evil' that's due out on 'Anti' Records on April 20th and will be Erickson first album in 14 years.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Founding Fathers, Beaten Awake & Friendly Foes @ Cranky's

Fear Of A Black Planet II

This Moment In Black History, San Goodee, November Hotel, LeRoi Da Moor, Vigatron at Now That's Class [11213 Detroit Ave. CleveOH] this Friday January 22, 2010. This show is being presented by ClevelandTapes.
You heard us speak volumes of ClevelandTapes, TMIBH [Public Square], LeRoi Da Moor & San Goodee, before any other Cleveland publication! Check them out live @ NTC and you won't be disappointed!

Video flyer by CK1.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Vic Chesnutt Final Show In Cleveland

I was fortunate enough to make it out to the Beachland Ballroom on June 27, 2009 to see Vic Chesnutt open up for Jonathan Richman. Little did I know that this would be the final time I would see Chesnutt.
Vic Chesnutt passed away on Christmas day after taking an overdose of muscle relaxers.

The last memory I have of Chesnutt is of him hanging out on the sidewalk outside the Beachland making small talk to anyone that would approach him.

Three weeks before his death Chesnutt gave an Interview with Terry Gross of NPR, below is a small part of that interview where Vic explains to Gross the thought process of "Flirted With You All My Life", a song off of his new album "At The Cut" that was recorded with Fugazi's Guy Picciotto and members of Thee Silver Mt. Zion.

GROSS: Vic, let's talk about the lyric. The song [Flirted With You All My Life] is about flirting with suicide, but from what I've read, you've done more than flirt with it. It's something you've tried.

Mr. CHESNUTT: Right. Well, this song is a love song. It's a suicide's breakup song with death. You know, I've attempted suicide three or four times. It didn't take. And this is really a breakup song with death. You know, it's talking about flirting with, you know, flirting - I had flirted with death my whole life, you know. Even as a young kid, I was sick and almost died a few times. And then suicide attempts - it's a kind of - you know, it's a breakup song.
--Lyrics from "Flirted With You All My Life"--
I am a man. I am self-aware, and everywhere I go, you're always right there with me. I've flirted with you all my life, even kissed you once or twice, and to this day, I swear it was nice, but clearly I was not ready.
When you touched a friend of mine, I thought I would lose my mind, but I found out with time that really, I was not ready, no, no, cold death, cold death, oh death, really, I'm not ready. [NPR.ORG]

Monday, January 11, 2010


RA Washington
There is something to be said for commitment, whether it be familial or theoretical - commitment seems to be the one detail missing from today's cultural landscape. Make no mistake, The Cleveland based punk band, THIS MOMENT IN BLACK HISTORY are committed. They are committed to the dialogue created in quartet-that space where it will be heavy, sacred - the future leaning back to grab the past. On their third full length, Public Square you can clearly see where this visionary "commitment" to a historical dialogue has taken their art.

Confused? its okay, that happens when you might have touch apathy "lens".
Forgive yourself and move on. Lets be clear here, you will not find a more emotionally charged record length statement than Public Square, the record starts in the tradition of forward jazz records - a sharp stab of keys, into Gospel tinged hum. You realize that it is time to pay attention, much like the World B. Free preamble on their last record, "It Takes A Nation of A**holes To Hold Us Back" - a call to arms has been made. You stand up, only to smack in the f-ing face with one of the sickest riffs recorded in the last fifteen years. Hyperbole? Perhaps, but you will be hard pressed to not agree. While the riff in the rock context often is meant to describe a guitar lick, this "RIFF" of Bim Thomas kick in immediate dialogue guitarist, Buddy Akita's dynamic stanza propels you right into vocalist Chris Kulcsar's compelling vocal. This a band of drummers in mind, simply because the rhythm created by the quartet is so Hank Shocklee.

And they know just how bad ass "FOREST WHITAKER (in an uncompromising role)" is for at the end of the song, you hear a distinct, and steady YEAH as they launch into a quintet "suite" (if you will) of some of the most compelling songs I have ever heard in a group context. Beginning with " THEOPHYLLINE VALENTIME" - the title a reference to Asthma- and ending with "90% TONE".

The second side continues to amaze, even as they break into a beatbox instrumental, complete with one of the most hilarious double entendre rhymes ever recorded. So tongue in cheek is that you begin to wonder after a couple of listens if he really is imploring the band to give his "NOTES" space. I think of this band in the context of sample artists like The Dust Brothers, or Madlib - conceptual in approach, but each side bringing their strong will to the proceedings. Not one member of THIS MOMENT seems to be giving ground. Its what makes them so masterful, and what makes you question what is wrong with a culture that is intent on turning its most brilliant artists into villain - for you know there are millions of people who believe what this band does. Your mind will not allow for you to let go of the fact that you and yours are being hidden from the masses, while the "big brother watching" give them shit dressed ala punk[e' ] , and piss bling[ed] as hip hop.

Recorded by Paul Maccarrone at the recently defunct - Zombie Proof Studios, and printed onto recycled colored vinyl, the music hits - i don't think they have ever been recorded better than this. Bim Thomas' drums sound as if they could swallow entire marching bands, and Lawrence Daniel Caswell's bass thump like a dozen 808s. Beat makers will be in heaven. I must say that it was Buddy Akita's playing on this particular record that i found awe inspiring.

Described by other reviewers/bloggers as blues and garage tinged - and while that holds weight - I found him to be playing both as an ensemble player, and a the exact same time floating over the entire record in an explosively subtle way. Much like Dolphy, in the context of Coltranes' now infamous quartet. It makes the title, PUBLIC SQUARE metaphor almost meta-textual in its satirical, but sincere homage to Cleveland, for while there must be communication from all sides to be a "square" the intent of any public space must be present. This where gather to give the news- here is where we rally for our own. Akita's guitar is this intent.

This Moment In Black History - Theophylline Valentime

TMIBH: Public Square is available on recycled color vinyl [w/download code], through their record label Smog Veil Records and locally at Music Saves.