JC Koszewski has been a concert promoter for about nine years, usually putting on shows by Mushroomhead and other local metal acts. Because he felt that "any festival that uses the Cleveland name only offers false promises," he set out to create a concert that would "unite all the local musicians."
"I wanted to have hip-hop, metal, dubstep," says Koszewski, who also asked bands from Cleveland's past to come back to play the UNITE CLE festival, which takes place Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at the Phantasy Theatre & Niteclub, the Symposium, and the Foundry.
Hardcore groups Face Value, Kung Fu Grip, and the Spudmonsters are reuniting for the event, and Mushroomhead will perform one of their popular old-school shows. "Roxy, one of the original Mushroomhead dancers who now owns a beautiful tattoo shop about an hour south of town, and Bronson, who was a male dancer who then became a guitar player, are both coming back to perform with the band," says Koszewski. "It will be a great show." The rest of the lineup features a bunch of metal, hardcore, and hip-hop artists. Koszewski estimates a total of 80 rappers on the bill. Plus, several of the artists will be on a compilation that will be sold at the concert. Tickets range from $15 to $25; three-day passes cost $45.
Mo' Mojo Rising
Indie folk-rockers Mo' Mojo have always mixed a bit of zydeco in their music. But for their new album, Together in Love We Drown, they added some authentic flavor. "We have friends down in New Orleans, so we sent the record to them for mixing," says multi-instrumentalist Jennifer Mauer. "It turned out great." The album features a wide range of instruments, including fiddle, accordion, and even a "kerosene heater." Guest musicians from both Northeast Ohio and New Orleans make appearances on the LP. Mo' Mojo will premiere songs from the record at the Northside in Akron at 9 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $5.
Mmmm ... Donuts
Indie rockers the Strange Notes, the New Lou Reeds, and El Grande Historia del Rock will perform at 10 p.m. on Saturday at Mahall's in Lakewood as part of the Old Husher's Rock 'n' Roll Donut Show. The donuts aren't just your run-of-the-mill pastry either: They're fried vegan sweet potato donuts from Old Husher's Farm and served with a maple syrup glaze. Tickets to the show are $5. Donuts will cost you $2 each.
For the past 10 years, Roger Hoover has established himself as one of the area's top Americana singer-songwriters. The Kent-based Hoover and his band the Hurt celebrate the release of their new album, Lay My Rituals Down, with a show at 9 p.m. on Saturday at Musica in Akron. The album sounds a bit grittier and more raw than Hoover's previous outings. My Oh My open the show; tickets are $8.
After playing out for a few years, indie rockers Founding Fathers have finally recorded their full-length debut. The band plays a CD-release show at 9 p.m. on Saturday at the Grog Shop to celebrate the release of Rapid Transit. GoldMINES, Library Time, and DJ Lawrence Daniel Caswell open. Tickets are $5. You can pick up a copy of the new album at the show for $5.
Missing in Action
Hard rockers the Missing celebrate the release of their new album, White Gold, with a show at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Beachland Ballroom. Secret Stones, Shred Rot, Cantankerous Dingos, and BattleStar open. Tickets are $12, $10 in advance. Admission includes a copy of the new CD.