Saturday, March 24, 2007

A Cleveland Tradition?

Horriblefest 2006 was a fucking mess. I’m not referring to the mics being stolen from the Beachland or any in-scene shit talking; I mean it was a fucking mess. It was a mess of drunken idiots stumbling around in circles, no-good prankster bands and broken glass. In essence, exactly what Russ Romance and Ryan Horrible had in mind when they drank the idea into existence. Thanks, Dudes. We all had a blast.

Even though I remember very little, the highlights are brutal. Clockcleaner making a big splash in Cleveland as we all watched Sharky turn into a man. Human Eye making a mess of the evening afterward with a greasy-packed Black List getting lost in whatever the fuck that band was doing. Saturday starting hard with an electric eel lying dead on the floor of Moe’s as I first walked into the venue. This was early in the afternoon. Everyone was drunk, so drunk that I HAD to join in; pissed that I again missed a rare gig by the Mcshitz. From there it gets immediately sketchy. Columbus rippers, The Feelers sharing the same bill as Cuntpuppet and Functional Blackouts. Um, the Jabbers. I don’t know what to say, many apologies to hand out. But it’s been a year.

Memories don’t always last a lifetime when you live as most of us Clevelanders do. Therefore it is totally excusable if you don’t remember a fucking thing from this year’s fest either. Ryan has given us some nice material to look forward to as the show graces both the Tower and Now That’s Class. American Cheeseburger, Candy Snatchers, Shoot it Up, Southern Ohio rednecks Brody’s Militia and Detroit heroin addicts Bill Bondsmen are a few bands I expect to see and then forget all in the same moment. Don’t forget to bring your own beer in the afternoon and then tip your bartenders in the evening.
The flyer is pretty righteous too. --Chernus
Oh yeah, the shit goes down Thursday, April 19th-Saturday, April 21st at The Tower and Now That's Class.

Friday, March 16, 2007

old river road used to rule

I don’t know how many of you read Michael Heaton’s Minister of Culture column in the 3/09 Plain Dealer (I don’t actually know if anyone is reading this blog at all. But most people in my life would agree that’s it’s ‘all about me anyway’ {it’s usually said after sex}. So I’ll digress and just continue the thought for myself). It was about the ‘revitalization’ of the east bank of the flats from the perspective of the baby boomer generation. The generation that, arguably, had the most fun on the river, saw the coolest shows there and then left it in the fucking dust.

Heaton spoke of a time when any young drunkard could catch live music up and down the bank, through the steel mills and along into Tremont, with ease. From the old Peabody’s to Pat’s. The Odeon in its heyday or the original Pirate’s Cove. It was a nice trip down a memory lane that I never got to publicly urinate onto. But I feel the pain. I miss the Euclid Tavern where my mother would drop me off so I could see a hardcore show. I miss Speak in Tongues; bushes ripped from the soil and then hurled in the air during the final Gordon Solie show. But the grit still remains where those places once stood. You can walk down Lorain and still see the damage being done, if only in your minds eye. Meanwhile, the memory of the east bank is going to die with the boomers and the few of us who got to catch shows there before it was too late.

Soon someone will sip on an iced coffee, in their six figure residence, and enjoy the lakes breeze. They’ll being doing this right where Pere Ubu played, where The Spudmonsters and Mushroomhead cut their teeth. Or maybe, down the street, some teenage girl will be buying a top at the Gap and the sale will take place inches from where Metallica played the ‘MMS Coffee Break gig. Where legend has it, Lemmy and Blackie Lawless once tangled. The joint that hosted the place I saw both Rollins and Keith Morris play Black Flag songs in the same night. And I bet her dad used to hold back her mothers hair as she puked her guts out right there on Old River Road. I guess it really does belong to them.

As more of us move on, the legend fades. My generation has different places to house the memories. Remember the Black Eye? Those were good times too.--Chernus

Sunday, March 4, 2007

It's a Tragedy...not really

It’s weird to stand in a sea of straight edge teenagers, tall can of beer in hand and many poor life choices behind you. Admittedly, it makes you think a little differently of yourself; uninvited soul searching comes into play. And, fuck, I hate thinking about myself. I’m a drunk; I smoke, eat shit and think too much about professional wrestling. It soon comes to me why I don’t attend more hardcore shows at a place like Peabody’s: I don’t like young kids and the ideals they carry.

Well, suck it up. I was there to see a little bit of Cleveland history. Hardcore Idol, Tony Erba was debuting his post-Nine Shocks Terror project, Cheap Tragedies. Erba has been pissing on the Cleveland musical landscape for a long time. If you’re reading this lame blog about our cum stain of a city, I would hope the name Face Value would hold great weight with you. If you’re memory is as wrecked as your looks, it might be easier if I reference Nine Shocks Terror and Gordon Solie Mother Fuckers. Three bands that are still talked about, from Parma to Tremont; stories of shitty behavior, fireworks and manic rants from Erba during song breaks abound.

Through this ugly lineage of thrash and hardcore bands, a little bit of legend and mystique has formed; surely enough to make Cheap Tragedies worth rubbing elbows with some serious suicide candidates.
The band kicked into to some solid youth-crewy riffs that were nothing more than expected, then a clash of cold steel made me jerk to my right; Erba was wiping several links of heavy chain like a fucking animal as he crept through the crowd, giving many kids in attendance their first whiff of Cleveland panache. Cue the black cats!

Tragedies play fast, they play few songs and it’s over before your mind begins to wander. That’s a backhanded compliment. It’s what I’ve come to expect from this style of music but with a little more Revelation Records to it and more rock and roll than punk hostility. Bassist Christopher Rager wasn’t afraid to get into your face while keeping up with the quick gunned drumming of Ian Thomas. Granted this is a scene I don’t often wander through, but I have never seen these fuckers and here they are inciting a circle pit (though it will be noted that this was a McDonalds circle pit, manufactured and friendly…until the end when some rad stage dives sent me ducking like a retard). Erba was his scary,
whipping his chain like a phallic symbol gone horribly wrong.

‘Going Going Gone’ left and impression; an eager look back on our city, referencing everything Cle, from Super Host to Chippewa Lake. The opening riff is simple, like something Fall Out Boy would write and then dismiss, then the shit kicks in giving Erba a couple of minutes to wonder what exactly happened to the Cleveland of his suburban youth. Yeah, I hear you man.

If I may, I’ll end with a lame device: let’s hope that Cheap Tragedies don’t end up a memory as many fondly remembered Clevo hardcore acts before them (Puncture Wound, anyone?). Yeah, I’m gonna say it. Let’s hope their run won’t be going, going…oh fuck it.--Chernus

check em out, if you'd like: