Thursday, January 19, 2017

Canadian Producer and DJ Datsik Bringing Monster Sound System to House of Blues

Posted By on Thu, Jan 19, 2017 at 3:44 PM

Last year, Troy Beetles, a Canadian producer and DJ who records as both Datsik and Ephwurd, brought his Spring Loaded tour to House of Blues. It featured a massive sound system and light show.

This year's tour will be even bigger. As Datsik explains in a phone interview from a Burlington tour stop, the Spring Loaded tour only helped pave the way for his extravagant Ninja Tour 2017, which includes a stop at House of Blues on Jan. 31.

“It was dope,” he says when asked about last year's jaunt. “I got to travel with my buddies Ookay and Drezo, and it was pretty awesome. We had a super good time it was five weeks, and we ran minimal production, so I could save up for this tour. It was a bit more crazy only in terms of it being intimate and turning into a house party. We had waterguns and would have fun with it.”

The Ninja Tour comes in support of his new Sensei EP. The tour and the EP both have an Asian theme.

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The Galleries at CSU Open Four New Exhibitions, Each Telling a Stirring Story

Posted By on Thu, Jan 19, 2017 at 11:56 AM

As the spring semester begins, the Galleries at Cleveland State University are ready to debut the first four exhibitions of 2017 with an opening reception this Friday, Jan. 20. The evening begins with a gallery conversation with the artists at 4 p.m., and continues with an opening reception following until 8 p.m. At 6 p.m. in the North gallery, dance artists Kathy Diehl, Jenna Hanlon and Lisa Yanofsky perform Illuminations of Identity with musical artist Mike McNamara.

“There is no thematic thread that holds this group of exhibitions together other than the intense individuality of each artist’s vision, and the resolute conviction of their artistic pursuit,” says CSU Gallery Director Robert Thurmer. “Each of the presenting artists operates in a method distinctive to their practice; each is deeply committed to their interests, and each is masterfully engaged with their subject and their medium. Whereas there is much diversity in method and medium, as well as content and concept in these exhibitions, all of the artists engage our senses, our sensibilities and our minds in the pursuit of understanding the human condition. There is much here to be seen, felt and understood, both on a deeply personal level and on the scale of universal truths. We hope that these exhibitions will cause you to pause and contemplate the artists’ vision and that your experience with these works of art will enhance your life in a positive way.”

The South Gallery, viewable from the building’s storefront on Euclid Avenue, features Susan Squires’ From There to Here, showcasing her geometric abstractions created by painting with encaustic wax.

“As the title suggests, Susan Squires’ process of making the pictures is a journey of discovery,” Thurmer says. “Her production method is a happy alignment of her physical and mental practice as she develops her images through meditative layering of color, texture, and other meaningful elements such as pages from books, while oil stick and bees wax engender musings full of feeling, mood, and an intuitive interpretation of her subject.”

Meanwhile, Miriam Norris Omura’s Ghosts and Strangers features the artist’s dyed Tensel weavings, which utilize the artist’s personal history as a starting point for her exploration of how memories are layered in our mind, and the abstraction of our past.

Elaborating on Omura’s exhibition, Thurmer says, “In Ghosts and Strangers, Omura adapts a weaving – dying – re-weaving technique pioneered by Hildur Asgeirsdóttir Jónsson who she studied with while living in Cleveland. Using personal, historic photographs as a starting point, she explores her family history and what gets lost in translation. As each image is transformed in the process of re-weaving, a new, perhaps more personal, interior aspect of the subject is allowed to reveal itself.”

The Media Room hosts a special screening of local independent filmmaker Robert Banks’ latest project, Paper Shadows. Using our city’s contemporary urban landscape as its setting, Paper Shadows explores issues of race, class, gender, exploitation and the often distorted images of these subjects across the mass media of contemporary culture.

“Using both old-fashioned and state-of-the art filmmaking techniques, Robert Banks creates a moody and insightful testament to unseen and largely unacknowledged aspects of life in Cleveland in the second decade of the 21st Century, says Thurmer. “With a gripping original score and the emotional power of Black and White photography, Banks drives home the frustration and alienation of the contemporary urban landscape.”

Lastly, the North Gallery hosts Riparazioni, an installation by Anne Kmiek of hand-embroidered christening gowns juxtaposed by other symbolic, handcrafted items paying homage to 11 historic women who made significant contributions to society and the Church.

“In exploring their brave and fortitudinous, and in some instances, tragic lives, Anne Kmieck gives further meaning to the women’s existence by allowing the viewer to be touched in a deeply spiritual, as well as a genuinely aesthetic way,” says Thurmer. “The women’s stories have largely gone unappreciated, however, in this presentation, their legacies resonate with our notions of justice, beauty and truth.”

The exhibitions remain on view through Feb. 25 during regular gallery hours: Tuesday through Thursday from noon to 5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday from noon to 7 p.m. and by appointment.

(The Galleries at CSU) 1307 Euclid Ave., 216-687-2103,

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This Looks Like the Definitive Cleveland RNC Documentary

Posted By on Thu, Jan 19, 2017 at 11:13 AM

Holy George. Watch the trailer for A More Civil War, a documentary about the RNC in Cleveland, above.

Produced by the local outfit Think Media Studios, the documentary features some of the best footage of the convention we've seen. And while the four-day assault on the city in July was notable for a lack of violence — more civil, indeed — the trailer shows just how many protests and philosophical collisions occurred on the downtown streets.

Can't wait for this puppy. 

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Pop/Rock Act Train to Play Blossom in June

Posted By on Thu, Jan 19, 2017 at 11:08 AM

You can bet the pop/rock act Train will “play that song” as well as the rest of its many hits when it performs at Blossom on Saturday, June 24.

The San Francisco-based band has just announced dates for its summer tour in support of its tenth studio album, a girl a bottle a boat, which has already yielded the hit “Play That Song,” a catchy number about wanting a DJ to play a popular tune.

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Two Suspected Overdoses, Four Assaults on Officers in Last Week at Cuyahoga County Jail

Posted By on Thu, Jan 19, 2017 at 10:37 AM

Two inmates were treated for suspected drug overdoses at the Cuyahoga County jail over the weekend, a county spokesperson confirmed yesterday, and investigations are underway on four assaults on corrections officers in the past week.

Such safety concerns are not a surprise to officers working in the facility, which has of late been the subject of a variety of troubling headlines. Two officers have spoken out publicly on Facebook about a variety of issues including understaffing (one officer supervising two pods/96 inmates at a time) and faulty doors in Jail II that inmates can unlock with spoons or magazines. Despite protestations from the county that those doors have been fixed, officers have filed grievances in recent weeks through their union arguing that the doors in fact have not been fixed and citing as evidence multiple incidents in which inmates have unlocked their doors during lockdown since December.

Further evidence that the officers are right and the county is full of it: An inmate popped a cell door last night in the 7A pod of Jail II.

Assistant warden Eric Ivey is well aware of that. He was at the facility yesterday evening and has taken to working a second-shift night schedule due to the recent string of safety and staffing incidents, a county spokesperson confirmed to Scene yesterday, though the county did add that Ivey typically works more than 40 hours a week and maintains a flexible schedule.

Still, the fact that safety issues and violent assaults have led  him to alter his schedule to be present in the evening, weeks after jail officials instituted a policy of assigning SRT (Special Response Team) officers to floors in the troubled Jail II facility, indicates the severity of the problem.

The union also recently filed a grievance suggesting that the general public — school tours, grand jury visits, social workers — should not be allowed in the facility given recent safety issues.

We'd relish the opportunity to ask Warden Ivey about that and other things happening in his jail but a county spokesperson declined, after repeated requests by Scene, to make Ivey or Associate Warden Victor McArthur available for an interview.

For his part, the county's director of regional corrections Ken Mills will be doing an interview with Fox 8's Ed Gallek today. We also have a request in to speak with him. Someone, after all, should answer questions at this point, and that should probably be someone in charge of the jail, not a spokesperson sitting in an office at county headquarters.
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Cleveland Transit Group Reiterates Call to Open Public Square in Light of FTA Extension

Posted By on Thu, Jan 19, 2017 at 9:40 AM

Transit advocates on Public Square Saturday. (Councilman Zack Reed and ATU Local 268 Prez Ron Jackson front and center.) - SAM ALLARD / SCENE
  • Sam Allard / Scene
  • Transit advocates on Public Square Saturday. (Councilman Zack Reed and ATU Local 268 Prez Ron Jackson front and center.)
Clevelanders for Public Transit, the local coalition representing transit riders, has called once again for Public Square to be opened immediately.

In light of a Jan. 12 letter from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) granting RTA a 30-day extension on a $12-million debt, Clevelanders for Public Transit issued a press release reminding RTA of its only two options in the matter.

"If the specific breach was unclear before, it is crystal clear today," the release stated. It went on to cite the FTA letter, which presented RTA with two acceptable outcomes. RTA may: 1) Reopen Public Square to bus traffic... thereby repairing the breach of a 2004 funding agreement, or 2) Reimburse FTA for the "loss of the federal investment."

Though the FTA letter acknowledged "ongoing discussions," there was no mention of the city's and RTA's traffic study, which had been scheduled for completion on Jan. 18, one day before the original deadline (which was today). The deadline for repayment is now Feb. 21.

RTA did not immediately respond to a question regarding the traffic study's status. But Clevelanders for Public Transit argued in its press release that the study almost certainly will not affect FTA's position, which it has communicated explicitly on multiple occasions since August.

From the press release:

"The City of Cleveland is attempting to mitigate various impacts to bus service caused by the closure of Superior Avenue through an analysis of operational and financial impacts to GCRTA and is requiring GCRTA to create a safety mitigation plan before allowing bus service to resume on Superior Avenue. These address impacts of the closure of Superior and the City’s concerns, but fail to address the breach itself."

This is correct. The breach is the closure of Superior Avenue through Public Square.

Clevelanders for Public Transit has organized on behalf of riders, and the root of its opposition to the city's Public Square decision has always been a concern for them. Riders are often left out of discussions by city leaders, who reference "delays" and "operational impact" almost euphemistically, as factors somehow independent from the people who experience them.

"Regardless of delays and operating costs," read the statement, "closing Superior also introduces an additional million turns per year and increases the distance that many connecting riders have to walk between stops and between rail and bus service. The City’s plan fails to address these negative impacts to transit riders."

The group once again stated that Jackson's unilateral decision-making was out of order, in violation of an interagency agreement between RTA and the City. That claim, though Scene has brought it up to City Council, has yet to be meaningfully explored, even by those council members who have decried Jackson's maneuvers.

Though the next step is framed by FTA as an RTA decision — RTA was the recipient of the Federal dollars — the ultimate decision on Public Square will be Mayor Frank Jackson's. It was Jackson who insisted on closing the Square and Jackson who insisted on keeping it closed.

RTA has made it clear that it has no intention of paying the $12 million debt to FTA. Nor, the RTA legal team has written, is it legally obliged to. RTA board members (at least those not appointed by Jackson) are prepared to take injunctive action against the city.

The City will be forced to pay the debt — the full amount or an agreed-upon settlement — if Jackson sticks to his guns. That payment will come at roughly the same time that Jackson is forcing a $2+ million Motocross track down the gullet of City Council (via some very suspicious maneuvering and the apparent cooperation of Council leadership). That project, despite good intentions, tends to be viewed negatively by residents and certainly by some city councilmen, including new Mayoral candidate Jeff Johnson.

The Public Square debt. The motocross track. The publicly subsidized Q Transformation. All of these large, dubious expenditures were announced or mobilized in the immediate wake of the Cleveland income tax hike, which voters passed by a slim margin in November.

It makes for ghastly public relations in an election year.
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Country Megatickets to Go on Sale on Jan. 27

Posted By on Thu, Jan 19, 2017 at 8:53 AM

Luke Bryan performing at Blossom in 2014. - JOE KLEON
  • Joe Kleon
  • Luke Bryan performing at Blossom in 2014.
Now in its 10th year, the Country Megaticket offers local country fans the opportunity to buy one concert ticket to six of the biggest country concerts taking place this summer at Blossom Music Center, including Jason Aldean (May 12), Lady Antebellum (July 21), Dierks Bentley (July 27), Florida Georgia Line (Aug. 11) and Brad Paisley (Sept. 22).

The ticket also includes admission to the Luke Bryan concert that takes place on July 15 at Progressive Field.

Country Megatickets go on sale at 10 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 27. They’re only available online at A Platinum, Gold or Bronze Megaticket guarantees a reserved seat for all of the shows. The Lawn Megaticket guarantees a lawn ticket for all the shows at Blossom Music Center and a reserved seat ticket at Progressive Field for the Luke Bryan concert. 

General parking for every show at Blossom is included with the Bronze, Gold and Lawn packages. The Platinum Megaticket package guarantees parking in the paved lots for every show in the series at Blossom. Parking isn't included with the Luke Bryan concert at Progressive Field.
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