Even with her busy music schedule -- she's recording a new CD and performing gigs from New York to Chicago -- folk-rocker Anne E. DeChant finds time to host Round at the Winchester, a weekly songwriters' showcase in Lakewood. It's attracted the likes of R.E.M. cohort Don Dixon and Rosavelt's Chris Allen, who have tested new material on audiences. "The [performers] are often off the beaten path and actually help introduce the audience to songwriters or songs they may never have heard of," DeChant says.
Some of the unknowns include musicians who make the trip from surrounding states. DeChant puts them up for their stay, and the performers split the door's take. "Nothing sucks more than spending your wages on parking and a place to sleep," she says. Round at the Winchester happens from 9 to 10:30 p.m. Saturday at the Winchester, 12112 Madison Avenue in Lakewood. Admission is $8; call 216-226-5681. -- Cris Glaser
Erstwhile jingle writer Jim Brickman returns home for the holidays, and the Shaker Heights native has new tunes to accompany the valentines that have made him the Prince of New Age. He plays the Palace Theatre (1519 Euclid Avenue) at 8 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday. Tickets are $35 to $55; call 216-241-6000. -- Michael Gallucci
The Grateful Dead may be deceased, but their spirit lives on in Dark Star Orchestra, a seven-piece tribute band that re-creates entire Dead shows onstage. Good news for fans of that 1977 gig in Pembroke Pines, Florida. Dark Star plays the Odeon (1295 Old River Road) at 8 p.m. Monday. Tickets are $17; call 216-241-5555. -- Michael Gallucci