Kid Cudi: It... Like the Clown

I've been mentally building this post for several months now, ever since I discovered Kid Cudi's mixtape: A Kid Named Cudi. The excitement for him keeps buillding and I figured I best let this cat out of the bag. I've been listened to this album in my car for almost 4 weeks straight - it's that good.

As you may know, I'm not a huge rap fan, but once in a while something will come along that just blows me away. The last time this happened was Lauryn Hill's Miseducation. It just kind of transcends the genre.

I don't even know that I can relay how great I think Kid Cudi is, so I'm just going to barrage you with stuff. First is his new video. (Not even my favorite track on the mixtape.)

Now that you have a taste, download the Mixtape for free.
After listening to it, I realized I had heard of him some time back, when I saw this trailer for it. Thought it was great then, and even more so now.

Now, here are my two favorite tracks on the mix. Unstoppable.

Down & Out - KiD CuDi

Unfortunately, this isn't the version on the album, but it'll do.

Embrace The Martian (Round Table KnightsE-V Remix) - Kid Cudi

Pretty Much Amazing is also a huge fan. They've posted 2 tracks you can download:
Kid Cudi - ‘09 Freestyle
Kid Cudi on LCD Soundsystem

Didi I mention he's from Cleveland - and loves it? I'm looking for him to do for Cleveland in music what LeBron is doing in Sports. That's enough for now, but you'll be hearing more in the future.

ERROR: Oberlin Folk Music Festival

Thanks to the commenter pointing out that this is last year's schedule. Forget that the dates were wrong, that they had 2008 on the page, and that Girlyman didn't actually appear on the schedule, but the biggest oversight being Odetta's passing. Hopefully Oberlin will get a new schedule up soon.

I found out about this festival because Girlyman posted they were going to be in the area. I had no idea Oberlin had a Folk Festival, their 10th Annual.

I checked the schedule and it looks like a great couple days of music - all free! Just glancing at the list, seeing Odetta and Anais Mitchell on Saturday alone in Finney Chapel is worth the drive!

Here's the Schedule (which I'm quoting, and think they messed up their dates):

Thursday, May 1st, Wilder 101:

7:30 PM: Screening of "The Power of Song," the documentary about Pete Seeger [sponsored by Program Board]

Friday afternoon, May 2nd, Cat in the Cream:

12:00-1:30 PM: "A Moderated Conversation with 'Living Legend' Odetta"

Friday night, May 2nd, Bandstand on Tappan Square (rain space: Cat in the Cream Coffeehouse):

6:00 PM: David Greenberg
6:25 PM: Swanee White
6:50 PM: Kevin Jones
7:20 PM:
Soul PropRioters
8:00 PM:
Small Potatoes

Saturday, May 3rd, Bandstand on Tappan Square (rain space: Finney Chapel):

12:00 PM: Alex Birnie and Jamey Arent
12:40 PM: Backbone
1:20 PM: Ethan Robbins and Rowen Caplan
1:55 PM: Eli Conley
On the steps of Finney Chapel, 2:00 PM: Oberlin Gamelan ensemble
2:20 PM: Asha Tamirisa
2:50 PM: Rafi Bivas
3:15 PM: Emily Hultman
3:50 PM: Danny Cohen
4:25 PM: Lionel O
5:00 PM: Laurel Fuson
6:00 PM:
Anais Mitchell
7:00 PM: Odetta
8:00 PM:
Railroad Earth


Another Ra Ra Riot Take Away Show Posted

I'm as enamored with the videography & production as I am with the music. Perfect compliments.
(Seems like there might be a problem with the embedding - if it doesn't work for you, click the link below it)

Turn on HD and watch full screen:

Ra Ra Riot - Oh la - A Take Away Show from La Blogotheque on Vimeo.

New Feist / Ben Gibbard Track - "Train Song"

My friend Dan just pointed me to a great track posted on Kanye West's blog... It's "Train Song" by Feist & Ben Gibbard (Death Cab for Cutie) which is off the newly released Dark Was the Night - probably one of the most impressive Red Hot collections yet.

Listen to it below or download it for free from his blog.

Train Song - Feist and Ben Gibbard

Ra Ra Riot does a Take Away Show

Thanks to PMA for pointing me to this... The La Blogotheque site proves to be yet another great video website for music. Make sure you check out their other stuff.

Ra Ra Riot Does A Take-Away Show!

La Blogotheque’s Take-Away show series continues to be the best way to watch your favorite bands play music. Every video is fantastic, from Arcade Fire playing “Neon Bible” in a cramped elevator, to Zach Condon singing “Nantes” with Beirut on the streets of France, to Fleet Foxes harmonizing in a gymnasium, and now Ra Ra Riot jamming in a skate park. The shows always fill me with joy- you’re able to watch a raw performance with no studio layers, just your band playing their heart out. Check out Ra Ra Riot’s “Dying Is Fine” below.

Share and Enjoy:

RaRaRiot - Dying is fine - A Take Away Show from La Blogotheque on Vimeo.

[From Ra Ra Riot Does A Take-Away Show! at Pretty Much Amazing!]


Brett Dennen (2/21/09)

This is my second time seeing Brett Dennen. For some reason I thought I was one of the few people aware of this jem of a singer/songwriter. Guess I was wrong - the show was sold out! Good for him.

Opening were The Little Ones. A solid, fun, kind-of jangle pop band. Almost had this Snow Patrol / Death Cab melodic sound. I haven’t been able to score their new album “Morning Tide” yet, but I’ll be excited to give it a spin when I do. I would definitely see them again too.

Lovers Who Uncover - The Little Ones

Brett Dennen took the stage and the cameras came out in force like I’ve never SEEN! Crazy!! He started performing and barely said a word to the audience, though his slight groove on stage spoke volumes - and the crowd reacted. It probably wasn’t until his 5th or 6th song did he even talk to the audience, but you barely noticed. It was a positive, high energy show. He reminds me of a mix between the positive message of Xavier Rudd, the smoothness of Jack Johnson, and had more soul than any white guy I’ve ever seen. This show really amplified my appreciate for him, his music, and his message. You need to check him out.

Unfortunately, I left my camera battery at home, so I’m borrowing a photo from Flickr. Though I'm baffled why none of the 200 photo-takers posted any pics on Flickr yet.

Brett Dennen

Hope for the Hopeless

Thermals Coming in May

The Thermals are coming back to the Beachland on May 1st! I had such a great time seeing them live back in 2007 that I'll definitely be back for this show. Also keep an eye out for their new album on April 7th.

The Thermals Book Massive Spring TourThe Thermals at The Bell House

Hope you've been exercising those sing-along muscles

It's never a bad idea to go see the Thermals. Five years ago, I saw the Portland ragers play a converted auto body shop in Baltimore with the Hold Steady opening, and they wrecked. They're playing slightly larger venues these days, but it's safe to say that they will bring the same bouncing-off-walls basement-punk energy and accidentally-spitting-on-mics urgency to every show on their huge North American tour this spring.

Bands generally don't book gigantic cross-continental odysseys for no reason, so you probably won't be surprised to learn that the Thermals have an album coming out. On April 7, their new label Kill Rock Stars will release Now We Can See, their fourth full-length. And on April 18, Record Store Day, the Thermals and KRS labelmates Thao With the Get Down Stay Down will release a limited-run split 7" that you can only get at independent record...
[From The Thermals Book Massive Spring Tour | Pitchfork]
Also, pick up a free MP3 from their new album over at My Old Kentucky Blog!


Von Bondies (2/20/09)

Another Friday night, another show at the Grog Shop. This night Detroit's own Von Bondies were headlining, but I was as much if not more interested in the openers. First up was Cleveland's own Other Girls. Very impressive, a solid indie pop/rock band. I definitely want to hear more from these guys. I'm disappointed they didn't have any music for sale, but I'll just have to plan on going to their CD release show at the Matinee (Cleveland location) on May 15th.

Nico Vega was next. I had heard of these guys a couple weeks ago when I noticed their new album was partially produced by Linda Perry (yes, I have a soft spot in my heart for her). The songs I heard on their MySpace page were good, something a little different than what I've been listening to lately. Heavier, with a booming female lead. I wasn't quite sure what to think when they first took the stage, neither did the rest of the audience. They came out full-blast with a front woman on fire. The audience warmed up and Nico Vega responded, putting on a spirited performance. The guitarist is also a Toledo native, which I thought was interesting (even more so that he admits it... I KID). Overall I was very pleased and bought both their albums.

Nico Vega (2/20/09)

Check them out:

Gravity - Nico Vega

At this point of the night, gong out for happy hour after work was catching up with me, but I was committed to staying for the Von Bondies. They took the stage and sported two more females on electric guitar and bass. This was definitely a night highlighting some women rockers. Great to see. They were good, but I was done.

Von Bondies (2/20/09)


Laura Marling: Indie-Folk Darling

NPR is definitely doing something right with their music coverage... Another great NPR session. Laura Marling has been one of my favorites these past couple months.

Ghosts - Laura Marling


The Selby

This is an amazing photography site, and I just loved seeing Michael Stipe's place (and his bf). They have a beautiful place... Thought I'd share.


You'll Have to Wait to Clap Your Hands Say Yeah

Boo!! Clay Your Hands Say Yeah have been one of my favorite bands of the last couple years. Luckily there are many other great releases coming up to take my mind off this.

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah abandon plans to head into the studio
But manager suggests to NME.COM that band aren't splitting

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah have declared they will not be heading into the studio in the immediate future, though their manager has refuted suggestions the group are splitting.

Although he stopped short of confirming they were definitely breaking up, Nick Stern from the band's management said the Brooklyn-based five-piece are unlikely to work together in the immediate future.

[From Clap Your Hands Say Yeah abandon plans to head into the studio | News | NME.COM]

Sea and Cake (2/14/09)

I unfortunately attended this show after a day of day-drinkin' in Kent. Going home after such festivities and then going back out is not a way to be motivated. Still, I purchased the ticket in advance so I was committed. Part of the problem was I just started listening to the new album that day and I wasn't very impressed. Still, so many people were excited about this show, I just assumed I wasn't spending enough time with the album or that they had a killer live show.

Brian Straw opened the night performing from the sound booth. He said he wasn't making a statement, but that it was just easier to manage his own sound... I kinda liked it better had it been a statement. ;-) During his set, I was in the bathroom and heard the guy from Good Touch Bad Touch talkin' shit about Brian being too dreary and how they'll actually do some rockin' to lift the crowd up. Whatever asshole. That already put me in a bad mood for their set. I went back to read up on what I wrote about seeing them before and saw I wasn't a fan then either. I think this means GTBT is officially on my shit list. I think they have the arrogance without the talent to back it up... I'd rather see Brian Straw anyday of these guys.

The Sea and Cake finally took the stage and they sounded just as good as their CD. Unfortunately, that didn't do much for me. I think if you were a fan of the album that they'd be great live. I was just done. I left after a couple songs. Don't get me wrong... they don't suck, just not my thing.

Sea & Cake (2/14/09)

Fox Hunt (2/13/08)

This was day 3 of my 4 day concert streak. Magpies were playing at Brother’s Lounge with Fox Hunt opening. I was also planning on going to a party with my roommate, but wasn’t sure how the timing was going to work out. Turns out she wasn’t in any hurry to leave the house, so I decided to head on out to catch Fox Hunt opening, who’s songs I was really enjoying online.

I showed up at Brother’s, realizing that I’ve never been there before. I was even more surprised when I walked past the front bar to see a whole music venue in back with a sizable stage. But I have to say, after an amazing night prior at the Happy Dog, I was already turned off by the polished patrons and interior. I was hoping for some grit.

The place was busy and I saddled up to the bar to order a beer from what looked to be a college girl with super tight shirt, too much makeup, and who I thought was going to offer me a shot with a glow stick. I’m not sure why I’m turned off by such things (the bar and the people). However, these experiences are a truly personal preference. Everything else was fine. The people were nice, decent beers on tap… I would in no way want to dissuade people from patronizing this establishment. Just not my bag.

Anyway… I was ready to leave and the band hadn’t started. I got a text from the roommate saying she was leaving for the party. I had half a beer left and then Fox Hunt started playing. Damn… they were GOOD! But then I’m a sucker for a young group of cute guys jammin’ out some hard-core hillbilly. I stayed for several songs then started working my way out when I ran into Roger Hoover (Magpies lead singer). I chatted with him for a bit, apologizing for not being able to stay for their set, but also expressing my dilemma with wanting to get CD’s for Fox Hunt, but they were still performing (and the CD’s were *right* in front of the stage). He said no problem and took me up there and sold them to me. Score. Roger is so cool… It’s probably in the name.

I hope Magpies are able to bring them back around. Maybe to the Beachland next time. ;-)


Greg Laswell coming to the Winchester

Just got off the air with Christine and Tom, guesting on her show (Stone Cold Bikini) on WRUW. What a GREAT time...

While I think some people consider me a semi-music guru, I was definitely humbled by being with some true afficiandos in the bowels of WRUW. What a magical place. This really makes me consider getting a show on the air.

Anyway, one of the songs I played was Greg Laswell's "I'd Be Lying" which I think is one of the most romantic songs I've heard - even if it is a bit "Grey's Anatomy-ish." :-) (the lyrics are better than the song) I've been really enjoying his album "Three Flights from Alto Nido" and I'm even more excited to see him performing at The Winchester on Monday, March 9th.

The amazing Laundro Matinee site just posted some live tracks of his that I thought I'd share, just to give you a taste of what's to come.

Greg Laswell - How The Day Sounds from LaundroMatinee on Vimeo.

Greg Laswell - What A Day from LaundroMatinee on Vimeo.

Greg Laswell - Sing, Theresa Says from LaundroMatinee on Vimeo.


I'll Be On WRUW Tomorrow Morning!!

Tomorrow I will be a guest on Christine's show, Stone Cold Bikini from 9:00am to 11:00am. I've never been on radio before, so I'm really looking forward to it.


Back in BGSU days I started the process to become a college DJ, but having 2 jobs and a tight schedule kept me from completing it. Though the thought of it has always been very appealing.

We're going to be discussing how people label music, and the differences between Indie Rock and Rock & Roll labels in general. I can't say I'm an expert, but luckily I'll be on with people who are. Maybe I'll even get to play a couple songs. You should listen and find out.

(FYI, if you can't catch me live in the morning, WRUW stores each show for a week after the broadcast)

Oh... and if you don't know, that's 91.1 on your radio dial.

Bill Fox (2/12/09)

Wow. First off, let me sing the praises of the Happy Dog. I love this bar... the look & feel, the clientele, the food, everything. It's what I would call a true Cleveland experience, unpretentious yet cool. This is also how I would describe Bill Fox. I arrived and took a seat at the bar, right in front of the stage. Not by choice, but one of the few spots left. The bar was filled with some of the most interesting characters I've seen. I see that Bill brings out some of Cleveland's older hipsters, some of the best people watching ever.

Bill took the stage without an introduction or even a hello. He set out some wrinkled pieces of notebook paper and started playing. He had this slightly raspy, but very appealing voice. I'm not even really sure how to describe his music, but if you appreciate the likes of Steve Earle and Bruce Cockburn, you'd really like Bill Fox. He played one song right after another, without a moment for applause or appreciation, but the audience still found a way.

During the show I wanted to take a photo, but being that I was sitting 3 feet from him, it didn't feel appropriate. I also thought how I'd like to have some of his music, either via download, CD or something. But then I realized I really liked this "in-person only" experience. Almost no record of it happening except your memory, just like the old days.

Just another local artist I'd see again in a heartbeat. Now if only there were a reliable way to know when he's playing again. Here's all we really got: http://www.myspace.com/billfoxfans


Jennifer O'Connor (2/11/09)

This night was quite a change for the Spot. Previously I've only seen bands perform (Supersystem, Ra Ra Riot, Birdmonster, Passion Pit), so to see two women with guitars was an unexpected surprise. This shows they have the ability to diversify their programming.

I ran into Hayle outside before the show and chatted with her about the unconventional venue, and how strange it was to be doing a soundcheck in a room with a bunch of kids on laptops. About 15 minutes later she was on stage, standing solo in a room of people who seemed like they could care less. This is one of the things I respect most about performers, their ability to push on and perform when no one seems to care. Overall, she was sweet and she sounded good. I think I'd have to see her in a more appropriate venue to really appreciate her live.

Hayle Bonar (2/11/09)

Jennifer brought a little more sound to the stage, accompanied by a bass player. The more I hear her, the more I like her. She's just so unassuming, with a rich, genuine sound. I feel like it's my sister up there performing. No pretension what-so-ever. Every song was great and I was surprised how many I recognized. Definitely will see her again.

Jennifer O'Connor (2/11/09)

The Church And The River - Jennifer OConnor

Live Nation / Ticketmaster Merger

I know this is all over the news, and I imagine this deal couldn't be anything but bad. But I have to say, this is really only affecting the big name shows. I can't remember the last time I used Ticketmaster to buy tickets for a show. Maybe a positive spin will be that people will start going to local shows, buying tickets from local record stores, etc. One can only hope.

Justice Dept. To Probe Live Nation / Ticketmaster Deal

The Justice Department says it will investigate the proposed merger of ticketing giant Ticketmaster Entertainment Inc. with Live Nation Inc.
Department spokeswoman Gina Talamona said Wednesday the department will vigorously enforce antitrust laws and therefore thoroughly investigate the proposed deal. Some lawmakers are already calling on the government to reject the deal. The deal would match the world's dominant ticket seller, Ticketmaster, with Live Nation, which was once it's biggest client and is the world's No. 1 concert promoter. A Justice Department investigation could take months or longer, and the department has probed Ticketmaster in the past.

[From Justice Dept. To Probe Live Nation / Ticketmaster Deal - Pollstar -- The Concert Hotwire]

Junior Boys are Coming to Cleveland!!

23This is turning out to be one hell of a Spring (yes, it's on it's way)! This will be an *amazing* show. Not sure about Max Tundra, but I could care less if he just sat on stage and painted. Junior Boys will rule the night. Monday, March 31st at the Grog Shop.

Junior Boys and Max Tundra Announce Joint Tour
Lighters up

It's been a long day, you've been working hard, money is tight, and you need to blow off some steam finally. So get ready for a night of hazily romantic idiosyncratic homespun synthpop!

Two of the form's finest purveyors, Canadian bloop-sigh duo the Junior Boys and British ADD bedroom-pop auteur Max Tundra, are set to tear up the road together this spring. Both of them have new joints on Domino, so it only makes sense. Begone Dull Care, the third Junior Boys album, will be out on April 7 (March 24 in Canada), and Max Tundra will drop "Which Song", the second single from his album Parallax Error Beheads You, on March 31. ("Which Song" will be backed by the B-sides "Gumiknuppel" and "Which Song [Silverlink Remix]"). Synergy! Junior Boys and Max Tundra: 03-28 Toronto, Ontario - The Mod Club 03-29 Toronto, Ontario - The Mod Club 03-31 Cleveland, OH - Grog Shop 04-01 Pontiac, MI - Crofoot (Pike Room) 04-02 Chicago, I [From Junior Boys and Max Tundra Announce Joint Tour | Pitchfork]


Bill Fox at the Happy Dog (Thursday)

Tonight kicks-off 4 days straight of shows... Tomorrow night I'm going to see Bill Fox at the Happy Dog. I can't even remember how I heard about this show, but checked out his MySpace page and instantly liked I what heard. However, it isn't even his page, but a fan page for him. As far as I can tell, there's nothing official for him on the internet.

The last couple days I've been trying to get some background on him. I found this interesting story on I Rock Cleveland about the man, the mystery, and his history in the Cleveland music scene.

I see he's playing at the Beachland Tavern again tonight. All of this background makes me even more excited to see him at the Happy Dog tomorrow night. Here's the deets from the Beachland site:

Bill Fox was lead singer and guitarist of the three-piece Cleveland, Ohio, garage pop band The Mice, which existed from January 1985 to 1988. They released two albums, For Almost Ever and Scooter (re-released by Scat Records as For Almost Ever Scooter in 2004), and were a major influence on the burgeoning Ohio power pop scene, including Dayton's Guided by Voices. Fox released two solo albums, Shelter from the Smoke (originally released in 1996 on Fox's Cherry Pop label and re-released by SpinArt in 1997) and Transit Byzantium (SpinArt, 1998), did a brief West Coast tour for the latter, promptly quit the music business and remained disconnected from all media contacts regarding his music for a nearly decade.

I also found this older The Mice video on YouTube (of course). I agree with one of the commenters, it seems ahead of it's time and has a sound I'd go see today. Thankfully I can still go see Bill Fox.


Jennifer O'Connor & Hayle Bonar at the Spot

LOGO's NewNowNext just posted an interview with Jennifer O'Connor & Amy Ray, which is a great segue to remind you that Jennifer O'Connor will be at the Spot here at Case Western tomorrow night (2/11).

It wasn't too long ago that I saw Jennifer perform at the Beachland Tavern, but it wasn't the greatest experience. However, she was good and I have bigger hopes for this performance. I also received a recommendation for the opener Hayle Bonar from Christine (Stone Cold Bikini). I just download her new album from eMusic and I'm liking it already. Should be a GREAT night.

Gay music and video from NewNowNext.com

Ryan Adams on the Black Cab Sessions

This post was originally to highlight an article that pointed me to Ryan Adams performing for Black Cab Sessions. But once I went to their site, I saw a treasure trove of great artists!! Sure Ryan Adams is a highlight, but it's hard to not mention the many others... New Pornographers, Bon Iver, Calexico, Martha Wainwright, Fleet Foxes, Lykki Li, Okkervil River, Noah and the Whale... I mean holy hell - where did this site come from??