Tuesday, February 17, 2009

One Song In Words

Sitting in front of the computer drinking beer and smoking cigarettes, alone again, with nothing to fill this blog with. I wish there was a good Cleveland distro that would send me free music every week to write about when I’m stuck in moments such as this. Of course there is nothing like that or, at least, anyone willing to give me things in return for my writing. Oh well. Not everyone can make a living doing what they love and I’m unluckier than most so it makes sense I can’t even get a few demos on CD-R.

Then it hits me, right? Yes, it does (or did). The internet is full of free shit and I owe my success in the blogging world to the internet. So we should work together and make a child. I stress that I am drinking and alone right now.

I’m deciding to spend this free time I have so much of to check in on some myspace pages and playing a weird little game of catch-up with some of my favorite Cle bands. It’s probably easier for me this way: I can only come up with so many clever things to say about one band alone and describing an entire record in biting, hip and irreverent fashion is akin to walking to the liquor store. Too much work, I’d rather take the short route or drive.

Long Story Short
I had heard rumors that these guys were taking a different direction these days, something more Nashville influenced rather than the usual New York or wherever over and undertones. They remain to me the most intelligent and overtly catchy band in Cleveland and this song literally dares you not to move your feet with its stomping rhythm. At once a modern indie rock take on Johnny Cash and a lower-fi Black Lips garage sound. Nicks vocals are extra raw here, maybe taking cue from the great story tellers before him. Whatever they are doing, it works.

This Moment in Black History
Oh jeez, just what the world needed. I have to wonder if TMIBH was the first hardcore band to write an ode to Obama or did Municipal Waste and Spazz beat them to it. Maybe they’ll be the last to walk such a strange route too because this is pretty damn awful. I’m all for some experimentation and I voted Barack as well but I could go the rest of my life without ever hearing this song again. I will note that the guitars sound brutal. Bad Brains type of brutal but that ridiculous chant of ‘Obama! Barack Obama!’ is more than enough to make me vote Kucinich.

Hail Satan! I don’t know what to write other than my head has been pummeled and my heart stolen with a few minutes of this most earth shaking Metal. Some of my fondest Cleveland metal memories have been sparked by these evil suburbanites and this, heathens, is proof that where there are bullet belts and pentagrams there is talent and the smell of burning meat on the grill. Excellent.

Sun God
Bailin’ Out
This tune not only plays host to a bitching song title but it lives up to it by busting open my brains like a baseball bat of pure adrenaline. Reeking of all of my favorite 90s punk, Sun God posses an unbelievable amount of ability to riff away while staying melodic and metallic without any notion of cheesy post-punk reminiscing. If this is post anything its post-shitty Cleveland bands (their respective past projects withstanding. I mean Nine Shocks is Cleveland music to me). For some reason I always knew they were good, if not great, but today I stand here to proclaim them fucking KILLER. Inspiring enough to make me actually start a distro just to stock pile all of their new shit.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Cle Food Fetish Vol1

It’s almost been two years since I moved from my comfortable but stagnant life in Cleveland to a consistently strange and changing existence in Los Angeles. The first few weeks felt like I was just passing through; like neither the city or my heart wanted me to stay for long. Then came the new friends, the shit jobs, the long nights and boring days. Life had gotten normal and just recently I realized that I wasn’t home sick any more. I didn’t have the desire, late at night, to move back to Tremont or get the old band back together. I had gotten through the hard part like a junkie who finally ditches the spins and is only puking a few times a day.

It feels good that I no longer have that pinch in my chest when I see Lebron James throw resin in the air. Or a tear in my eye when I watch the opening montage in Major League. But there is one thing I cannot replace, cannot forget and will not turn my back on. The food.

I miss Cleveland food. Lake Erie Perch (deep fried), Walleye, perogies, corned beef and sauerkraut, beer, sausage, chili and meatloaf. I’m sure some of these foods can be found in southern California but not EVERYWHERE like back home.

Take in point Sokolowskis. Heaven. Pure European magic in all it's German, Polish and Irish glory. The gut busting portions, the overheard office gossip when standing in that long line, the polka, the beer in buckets, the PORTIONS.

Over my last four trips home, I have visited this gem at lest six times. That’s more than I ever did in 28 years of living in Cleveland. What was I thinking all of those years? The meat loaf is better than any of your mothers could ever make, the perogies a rite of passage as a Midwesterner, the Salisbury steak acting like insulation for your body: helping you survive the last few months of winter.

It’s no wonder the walls are lined with 8x10s of every Cleveland legend you can remember. It’s home within home. A stroll away from downtown, stones throw from Tremont, Ohio City and Lakewood. An institution and now, sadly, a memory for me and my empty stomach that has been holding on to a dream that Los Angeles could have something as greasy, homely and truly amazing as Sokolowskis. So far… no go. But it’s not enough to make me home sick, no, just really hungry and a little nostalgic. I could get off of this lap top and cook myself something instead of complaining and strolling down this beaten up memory lane. But there's always In N Out Burger or the taco truck parked down the street. I guess somethings change but my poor eating habits just find other places to get their fix.