Some Blakroc updates…

•11/17/2009 • Leave a Comment

Three more Blakroc songs have leaked.

The first, “Stay Off the Fuckin’ Flowers,” features Wu-Tang’s Raekwon.

The second, “Dollaz & Sense,” features Pharoahe Monch and Wu-Tang’s RZA.

The third, “On the Vista,” features Mos Def (one of my personal heroes).

Only ten days left, kids…

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This Moment in Black History

•11/17/2009 • Leave a Comment

Last Tuesday night, for reasons I will not disclose here, I was feeling down.  My friend Kate, although 40 miles away, sensed this (’cause that’s what friends do) and convinced me to come to Cleveland (well, Lakewood, if you’d like to argue semantics).  Cleveland’s  This Moment in Black History was playing at Now That’s Class and she thought that might cheer me up a tad.

So, despite only having enough gas to get there and back to the Falls, I made the journey.

And how could I not?

1.) Now That’s Class is spectacular: in addition to the magnificent beer selection, you can get yourself a bottle of MD 20/20 for $5 or a 40 oz of some “bum-brew” if you’re feeling like “slumming” it.  Plus, they have swings!  That’s right, kids, there is a swingset on the patio!

2.) This would be my first opportunity to see This Moment in Black History (on my way up to Lakewood, however, I thought this was to be my second time seeing them.  Sometime in early 2006, me and Kate went to see the Yeah Yeah Yeahs at the Agora…TMIBH was one of the opening bands.  However, we had to wait in line for tickets for the better part of an hour and missed the first opener.  Despite this, we did make it in in time to catch the second openers…and up until last week, I thought it was TMIBH.  They were not.  This makes me feel awful because for the last three and a half years I had pictured this particular band to be TMIBH…and now I have to find out who they actually were [because they were pretty awesome]).

We arrived late to the show.  This was due to a few reasons: 1.) this was the day after Christmas Ale was released for the season (after many years of drinking, I had only come around to drinking beer this past January…so I had yet to experience the splendor of Great Lakes’ Christmas Ale…Kate felt this should be remedied), 2.)  we were waiting for Kate’s co-workers to close up the Phoenix, and 3.) Kate had received an advance copy of Tin Huey’s live/rarities disc, Before Obscurity: The Bushflow Tapes (her dad, Mike, is a Huey)…so, I made her play it for me (more on this sometime this week).  I feel, however, that all the above reasons were more than okay.

By the time we arrived, This Moment in Black History had only 20 minutes left in their set.  This was perfectly fine, though.  Twenty minutes in TMIBH time equates to roughly ten songs…plus, instead of paying $5 a piece, we both got in for $5 (again…very good due to my current impoverished state.  Thanks Kate…even years after breaking up, you’re still my “sugar mama”).  Needless to say, my first (half of a ) TMIBH show was grand.  Their spastic brand of punk was just enough to make me feel much better about the previous day’s transgressions (I think the Christmas Ale helped a bit, too).

This Moment in Black History – “Wiggly World” (Devo Cover)

It’s Everything, and Then It’s Gone/If You’re Not Dead, Play!!!

•11/09/2009 • Leave a Comment

Akron U’s very own Dr. Phil Hoffman wrote and directed these documentaries on the late-70s/early-80s Akron music scene a few years back.  I never knew they could be viewed online.  They’re definitely worth your time.

P.S. Make sure you check out Dr. Hoffman’s newest doc, “Turn Blue: The Short Life of Ghoulardi.”  It aired a couple weeks ago, and I don’t think you can watch it online yet, but I’m sure it’ll be on Channel 49 again soon.  “Check your local listings,” as they say.

Dead Boys – Sonic Reducer

•11/08/2009 • Leave a Comment

Ahh, The Dead Boys.  True punk rock from the mean streets of 1970s Cleveland.  Enjoy.

Stone Stock 2009

•11/05/2009 • Leave a Comment

If you’re not doing anything this Friday evening, you should check this out.  Tickets are $10 and The Bizarros and Tin Huey are playing…so, that’s pretty sweet.

Now, I don’t have $10…but, I will sell a few CDs so I can get in and write about it (and of course, so I can finally see The Bizarros live).  Damn…if only my alma mater would do something this kick-ass…

(more on this this weekend…)

In case you haven’t heard…

•10/27/2009 • Leave a Comment

Devo’s new album, Fresh, should be dropping some time next year.  This will be band’s first album of new material in twenty years (the last being 1990’s Smooth Noodle Maps).

Check out the video for “Don’t Shoot (I’m a Man)…

They Might Be Giants: 10/15/09 @ The Beachland

•10/21/2009 • Leave a Comment

Last Thursday, I was finally able to fulfill a dream I have had since the tender age of seven: seeing New York’s They Might Be Giants live.  From the first time I heard “Istanbul (Not Constantinople)and Particle Man on the music video episode of “Tiny Toon Adventures,” I have loved everything about the band – the unabashed geekiness, the spectacular use of my third favorite instrument, the accordian, the clever subject matter and (of course) the music.

So, you can imagine my disappointment when I thought I would be unable to write about this momentous event in my life (it’s only something I’ve waited 19 years for).  This blog is supposed to focus on Akron/Northeast Ohio music, after all.

However, as the band began playing the first song of what would end up being a two-hour set, I noticed a familiar face on the right side of the stage: Akron’s own Ralph Carney (Tin Huey, Tom Waits, The B-52s)!  Huzzah! Thank you for not being the bastard that you usually are, Mr. Fate.

Sure enough, Mr. Carney played on nearly 2/3 of the night’s set, his mastery of all reed/woodwind instruments perfectly complimenting the childlike insanity of 25+ years of Giants tunes.

I wish the video function on my Blackberry worked…that way I could have shared with you all the awesomeness of Carney’s clarinet solo at the beginning of “Constantinople” or his sax work on “Birdhouse in Your Soul,” but, apparently I need a media card for that.  So, my apologies…but, I assure you it was amazing.

I spent most of the night alternating between dumbstruck awe and an unusual reversion to my seven-year-old self, jumping around like an idiot who was high on a million Pixie Stix as the band played their classic 1990 major label debut, Flood, in its entirety (my friend Joel gave me a dubbed copy of the album shortly after seeing them on Tiny Toons).  In fact, due to this (and the fact that I didn’t think I would be writing about it, so I wasn’t taking notes or anything), this is about all I can write about the show.

…but, I will tell you I can die happy now.