Before the Goldrush: Teach for America

I've been sitting on this for a while... It's a pretty impressive list of covers and definitely worth checking (Neko Case, Okkervil River, Ana Egge, etc.) - and it's for a good cause.


Okkervil River and Joni Mitchell, before the goldrush

Since you know you’re probably not gonna quit your job and Teach For America (unless you are one of my idealistic college-student readers in which case: DO it!) there’s a new compilation out that will let you toss them a few kopeks instead to help them carry on their noble educational goals.

Before The Goldrush is a benefit album of freshfaced up-and-coming types (along with some moderate heavies like The Swell Season and Neko Case) covering some of the very best songwriters of the halcyon days gone by. The song selection is spot-on fantastic, and all the proceeds benefit Teach For America.

[From Okkervil River and Joni Mitchell, before the goldrush | I AM FUEL, YOU ARE FRIENDS]


We Will Prevail

Clevelanders have had their panties all up in a bunch because of this "miserable cities" Forbes article... Rather than address the lameness of the article directly, I thought I'd post a response from Cleveland's own Mr. Gnome.

Cleveland: My Home Sweet Miserable Home
Hello Friends,

Hope your winter has been treating you wonderfully. It seems to never stop snowing here in beautiful northeast Ohio, which forces us to hibernate, participate in substance abuse, experiment in group sex, and write schizophrenic music. Sounds like fun, right? Well, according to Forbes.com, Cleveland is not so fun. Check it below - Cleveland is America's Most Miserable City for this year:


This is mean and untrue and us Clevelanders do not appreciate these harsh accusations...so as we're busy slashing our wrists and drinking ourselves into alcohol-induced comas we will laugh at what the rest of America thinks of us, because in the end, we will prevail!

[From mr. Gnome's Sweet-Ass Blog: Cleveland: My Home Sweet Miserable Home]

They have a great visual message to Forbes on their blog.


Brite Winter Festival this Saturday

Loving these Pop Up City events! How cool does this sound??

Video Tuesday

So I don't really have a "Video Tuesday" segment of this blog... in fact I don't really have any schticks like that, but maybe I should. Anyway, I've been receiving a bevy of new videos and thought I'd share them all together.

Though to start - I'm throwing in a Ani DiFranco video - celebrating the fact that I'm about to see her TWO nights in a row. First at Kent Stage tonight, then at Finney Chapel in Oberlin tomorrow night. Epic.

The rest of these are all worthy bands / songs / videos. Spend a couple moments with them

Tunng - Hustle

Frightened Rabbit - Nothing Like You

Bowerbirds - Northern Lights


Gotta Groove Records

Since the purchase of my new turntable, I'm becoming enamored the vinyl revolution. And what better place to be than in Cleveland, which boasts both a kick ass Record Store (Music Saves) and one of the few Record Presses in the country (Gotta Groove Records). Check it out below.

Gotta Groove Records - "Groove With Us" from Nick Cavalier on Vimeo.


Too Far Gone

Just catching up with life... in the meantime, check out Tom Evanchuck covering Neil Young at the Beachland Tavern. He'll be at the Barking Spider next Thursday. I can guarantee a great show!


Kid Cudi Keeps On Comin'... w/ Dan Black

I'm pretty excited about this new Dan Black album... Check him out: http://www.myspace.com/danblacksound

LOTS of FREE Downloads from Exit Stencil

Get free stuff from a great local label... February only.

New discovery for me: Like Bells
Download their entire self-titled 2009 album!

Yeti from Like Bells on Vimeo.


Are You Listening Yet? 107.3 Boom!

Are you listening yet?? You should be...

Anatomy of a radio station format change
Published: Sunday, February 7, 2010 / By John Benson

Over the past two decades, the radio market has become a very corporate place, featuring three players — Clear Channel, CBS and Radio One — battling for dominance.

And there’s not much room for the little guy.

There is at least one local entity — Elyria Lorain Broadcasting, which is owned by Lorain County Printing and Publishing — that has not just eked out a living but thrived, thanks to smooth jazz station The Wave WNWV-FM 107.3.

After years of success, however, late last month ownership pulled the plug on the niche format in favor of a brand-new adult album alternative (AAA) station, which finds “Rocco” Ric Bennett, erstwhile WMMS-FM 100.7 disc jockey and WENZ-FM 107.9 program director/disc jockey, resurfacing as the visionary of the new direction.

[From Anatomy of a radio station format change - The News-Herald Life : Breaking news coverage for Northern Ohio]


First Pitchfork Music Festival Bands Announced!

Woo Hoo!!! From their website:

P4k Festival!

The Pitchfork Music Festival will hit Union Park in Chicago July 16-18. And this year's lineup is seriously amazing. We've got the reunited Pavement! Holy shit! Not to mention indie godheads Modest Mouse, James Murphy's dance-punk juggernaut LCD Soundsystem, Wu-Tang Clan master chef Raekwon, St. Vincent, Lightning Bolt, Cass McCombs, Sleigh Bells, and Here We Go Magic.

All that is only the beginning. This year's Pitchfork Music Festival will feature more bands than ever before and a longer day of music on Friday.

Tickets go on sale at noon Central time today at TicketWeb. Single-day passes cost $40, and three-day passes cost $90. (There are no two-day passes this year.) Keep watching this space for more details.

Here's the three-day lineup so far:

Friday, July 16:

-- Modest Mouse

Saturday, July 17:

-- LCD Soundsystem
-- Raekwon
-- Here We Go Magic

Sunday, July 18:

-- Pavement
-- St. Vincent
-- Lightning Bolt
-- Cass McCombs
-- Sleigh Bells

[From Pitchfork: Pavement, Modest Mouse, LCD Play P4k Festival!]

Some Joe Pug Updates...

Get a free download of "The Sharpest Crown" from his new release, Messenger, coming out on February 16th, 2010. I'm very excited about this release, and hopes he comes back to Cleveland again.

Also, he's got a new YouTube channel if you're you're into that kind of thing... http://www.youtube.com/user/joepugmusic

Soundcheck Sessions

We finally made the dubious purchase of a video camera, so we'll be posting some updates from the tour on my You Tube Channel. The first installment is something called "Soundcheck Sessions". On tour your nightly sound check ends up functioning as your rehearsal, so it's your time to try out new ideas, new songs, etc. It's also your time to screw up mightily. We're going to post a few nuggets from time to time, for good or for ill. The first installment is a version of "Nobody's Man" from Des Moines, IA last night. My full band made the trip to Chicago, and it's always a nice treat to play with them, so we dialed in the "loud" treatment of the song. You can check it out here.


Local Music Scene: Ante Up Studio

Great Article! Link below...

Some Quotes:

"The bustling, 20,000-square-foot complex is home to 14 full-time employees. In addition to two recording suites, it houses a performance space for small concerts and rehearsals, as well as the offices of Reversed Image Unlimited, Seifert's record label and artist-development company. Under the same roof, he also operates a music-publishing firm and a post-production facility for film and television projects."

"Friends questioned his sanity. Yet where others saw folly, Seifert saw opportunity. The question I got the most was: 'Why are you building a studio at all, and if you're going to do it, why in Cleveland?' A lot of big studios in other cities are closing, but I think a lot of them are closing because they couldn't afford to have that much space in Los Angeles or New York City."

[Continued... Michael Seifert's Ante Up Audio recording studio lures big names to Cleveland and puts local talent on the map | Pop Music with John Soeder - cleveland.com - - cleveland.com ]


RIP Enoch "Trey" Tims III

I received some terrible news this past Saturday, that a new and exciting friend of mine passed away. A car crash... Why am I writing about it here? Well, because Trey was quickly becoming one of my new best friends in music. He had an insatiable appetite that of which I could relate - and he had impeccable taste and style. We had just started going to shows together, and had many more planned.

This makes me incredibly sad... though I can't even image the effect this has on people that have known him longer. He had an indomitable spirit and a happiness about him that was infectious. It was hard to not love Trey.

He was often the first person I thought of when going through my music news and links, though I often learned more from him than any online news source... There are just so many things that I know he'd be super excited about. Here are just a couple, which I'll share with you.

Stream the new Hot Chip album (out on Feb. 9th) in it's entirety on their MySpace page now (though I know he already had it): http://www.myspace.com/hotchip

I'd also like to send this song out to Trey. I think he'd love it:

Major Lazer covering Beyonce's Halo:

(Catch Major Lazer at the House of Blues on Wednesday, April 7th)

Here's his obituary. Peace.