"Since Touch closed, there's been a major void in the city's nightlife," says Touch promoter Jude Goergen, aka DJ Jugoe. "If people want to dance, they have to go downtown and fight the traffic and clientele. The thing that made Touch was how eclectic it was -- black, white, Asian, straight, gay, old, young, and rockers were all able to hang out comfortably, with no pretense."
The club reopened on Friday, September 16. DJs Onit, misterbradleyp, and Ruckus Roboticus entertained a dressed-to-the nines crowd. Saturday, the Afrocubist combo played a live set, and DJs Jugoe, Onit, and Neil Chastain spun for a more varied group.
Split into a lounge/dining-room area with a dance floor upstairs, the two-level club looks much the same as it used to, despite being gutted and empty since it closed. New proprietor Robert Ivanov, also owner of downtown's Wish, refinished the rough basement floor and replaced the upper level's carpet with hardwood. In coming weeks, the club will add a new sound system for a schedule that will feature salsa, techno, reggae, a rock night, and national artists. Touch will resume a seven-day schedule effective October 1.
"We're just trying to recapture the essence that was there," he says. "Anyone and everyone is welcome. They should expect to find quality food, great music, and good people."
· Dwid Report: Integrity is back, yet again. The group is scheduling an East Coast tour for the fall, with confirmed dates available at Integrity's new website, www.theblackestcurse.com. The band also plans to record an EP of songs that frontman Dwid describes as "more metal" than 2003's well-received To Die For, to be released through Boston label Rock Vegas. In early 2006, Fractured Transmitter Records will re-release a 15th-anniversary expanded edition of Integrity's seminal metalcore album, Those Who Fear Tomorrow. Also, Europe's Goodlife Recordings has just issued the new Sliver in the Hands of Time, a 21-track compilation of singles and rarities, with liner notes by Dwid.
Dwid is planning a Halloween release for Roses Never Fade, an eclectic multimedia project centered on a dozen short horror stories, also through Rock Vegas.
· Peabody's (2083 East 21st Street) will host a benefit honoring the deceased Brook Park marines Sunday, September 26. Proceeds will go to the Cleveland USO's Fallen Heroes of Ohio fund. Performing acts include Jaded Era.
· Nightbreed, the horror-themed post-hardcore rock group that rose from the ashes of Allergic to Whores, has split with bassist Eric Mzik and changed its name to Kill the Fall. Frontman-guitarist Ray Terry, who has led both previous incarnations, says the new band will be a full creative partnership between him and drummer Kevin Hopkins. "It's pretty much in the same vein, but a little heavier," says Terry. "A little faster and a little more diverse. In my opinion, the songwriting's better now." Stay posted at www.killthefall.com.
· Paul Wall, the gold-grill king of Houston hip-hop, will make two in-store appearances in the area on Friday, September 23. The People's Champ will sign autographs, meet fans, and possibly sit sideways at the Elyria Exchange (1545 West River Road) from 4 to 5:30 p.m., followed by another meet-and-greet at Akron's 2 Live Music (1286 Wooster Avenue) from 7 to 8:30.