Fiddle About 

Apollo's Fire at St. Paul's Episcopal Church on Friday, April 17

The latest program by Apollo's Fire is all about weather. David Greenberg — who plays Cape Breton fiddle music as well as baroque violin — says composers like Vivaldi, Rebel and Rameau weren't the first to evoke storms, oceans, volcanoes and earthquakes in their music, but they were among the first to have success with it. Greenberg (pictured, who performs with Apollo's Fire this week) says the vibrato-free baroque style forms emotional narratives in the music. "To me, if you take away vibrato as a de facto part of the sound, you open a range of extra emotional possibilities — the whole expressive palate is available," he says. "If I were to talk to you in a loud voice, you'd go away wondering, why is he screaming at me? I think this opening the palate to the widest range is exactly what the baroque is about." Greenberg will solo on Vivaldi's concerto La Tempesta di mar and on an arrangement by music director Jeannette Sorrell that mixes and matches movements from several baroque violin concertos — something composers of the period routinely did. The program, titled "Earth, Wind & Fire: Vivaldi and Rameau Do Battle With Nature," also includes J.F. Rebel's "Les Elémens," J.P. Rameau's Suite From Les Indes Galantes and R. Duchiffre's La Beauté de la terre. Performances are at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday at St. Paul's Episcopal Church (2747 Fairmount Blvd., Cleveland Hts.), 4 p.m. Sunday at Rocky River Presbyterian (21750 Detroit Rd., Rocky River) and 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 22, at Fairlawn Lutheran Church. (3415 W. Market St., Fairlawn). Call 216.320.0012 or go to apollosfire.org. Tickets: $10-$60. Michael Gill


Cleveland Orchestra

There's a whole lot going on at Severance Hall this week, now that the Cleveland Orchestra has returned from Miami. Cellist Alisa Weilerstein — who grew up here, playing with the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra and studying at the Cleveland Institute of Music — comes home to perform "Azul," a new work by Osvaldo Golijov. After premiering the piece at the 2006 Tanglewood Festival (where Yo Yo Ma played it outdoors), the composer decided he wasn't finished with it yet, so he made some major revisions. He asked Weilerstein to give it an "indoor premiere" at the Lincoln Center in 2007. "Azul," which is infused with tango and klezmer music, brings a few new twists to Severance Hall — like a little amplification (just enough to boost the cello so it can balance against the orchestra's volume) and world-style percussion by Clevelander Jamey Haddad. Plus, there's something called "hyper accordion," played by Michael Ward-Bergeman. The program also includes Charles Ives' Ragtime Dances and Sergei Rachmaninoff's Symphonic Dances. Ludovic Morlot conducts. Showtime is 8 p.m. tonight and Saturday, and (without the Ives pieces) 11 a.m. Friday at Severance Hall (11001 Euclid Ave., 216.231.1111, clevelandorchestra.com). Tickets: $31-$87. Gill


Fleetwood Mac

Like the Eagles (who played a packed show here a few weeks ago), Fleetwood Mac is one of those bands that'll be around until the end of time. Probably even after that. The veteran group brings its Unleashed tour to town this weekend, and they're promising hits and nothing but hits (which really isn't all that different than the last few times Mac played here, but why quibble?). Still, with no new album to promote — frontman Lindsey Buckingham released a typically tricky solo record last year, and Stevie Nicks has a new live CD — chances are pretty good that you'll recognize every single song they play onstage. Christine McVie quit a decade ago, so you probably won't hear too many of her songs. But who needs 'em when Fleetwood Mac's catalogue includes such radio faves as "Go Your Own Way," "Dreams," "Big Love" and dozens of others? The core quartet is bringing a half-dozen other musicians onstage to polish the sound, so things should sound exactly like those records you listened to back in the day. Showtime is 8 p.m. at Quicken Loans Arena (One Center Ct., 216.241.5555, theqarena.com). Tickets: $49.50-$149.50. — Michael Gallucci

Ray LaMontagne

Budding musicians around the world might be inspired by raspy-voiced singer-songwriter Ray LaMontagne. He was working at a shoe factory in Maine a decade ago when he heard Stephen Stills' "Treetop Flyer." He immediately bought the record, quit his job and pursued music as a career (while doing some carpentry on the side). He's been busy ever since, with several of his songs featured on ER, One Tree Hill and Rescue Me. LaMontagne is now on the road working his latest album, Gossip in the Grain. He's backed by the same band that plays on the record, but expect a few solo numbers by LaMontagne when he plays the State Theatre (1501 Euclid Ave., 216.241.6000, playhousesquare.com) at 8 tonight. Tickets: $29.50-$40. — Ernest Barteldes

Look Out Cleveland: Bob Dylan & the Band

Kokoon Arts Gallery proprietor William Scheele spent years on the road with Bob Dylan and the Band, working as a roadie and taking pictures. This weekend, Scheele unveils Look Out Cleveland: Bob Dylan & the Band: 1969-1976, a collection of photos and memorabilia. It opens with a reception from 5:30-9 p.m. tonight, and 1-5 p.m. tomorrow at Kokoon Arts Gallery (1300 W. 78th St., 216.832.8212, wgsproductions.com). It's free. Gill

The Marriage Play

Edward Albee has better-known plays (Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?) and more recent ones (the Pulitzer-winning Three Tall Women), but his 1986 The Marriage Play really hits audiences with a portrait of a husband who, after 30 years of marriage, comes home from the office and tells his wife he's leaving her. They fight — a lot. But they also realize that they've invested a lot into their three decades together. After postponing the production last fall, Cesear's Forum finally opens it tonight. Dana Hart and Julia Kolibab play the feuding couple, Jack and Jill. The company's artistic director, Greg Cesear, directs. Performances are at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 3 p.m. Sundays through May 23 at PlayhouseSquare's Kennedy's Cabaret (1501 Euclid Ave., 216.241.6000, playhousesquare.org). Tickets: $15. — Gill

Slam U Finals

Having Shihan the Poet MC tonight's Slam U finals at PlayhouseSquare is kinda like having LeBron calling plays for a high-school basketball tournament. Shihan is one of the rare few who, against all odds, turned his poetry into a lucrative career, with Reebok TV spots, MTV's Rock the Vote campaign and a Nike Battlegrounds tour. He's also snagged National Poetry Slam Championship titles in 2000 and 2001. Tonight, he hosts a competition that pits four local kids in a battle of words (they've already survived two rounds of fierce competition). The winner will go on to July's Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Slam Festival in Chicago. It starts at 7 p.m. at the Ohio Theatre (1260 Euclid Ave., 216.241.6000, playhousesquare.com). It's free. — Gill

Sleepytime Gorilla Museum

The Stooges and the Ramones have rightly received props as watershed bands. It's now time King Crimson got their due. Many bands have picked up King Crimson's gauntlet — combining formidable technique, artful dissonance and attitude that's equal parts adventurousness and aggression — and did it their way. But few have done it as successfully as Sleepytime Gorilla Museum. Hailing from the San Francisco Bay area, the group embraces the aforementioned attributes, adding death metal and Frank Zappa's sense of the absurd to the mix. The members typically dress in costumes evoking an acid-fueled Tim Burton re-imagining of The Wizard of Oz. Bubbling over with manic gusto, SGM often sound like a different band on each song. Some folks will find it baffling, others will find it outrageously invigorating. And in an era where far too many bands can be summarized in three words or less, that's a good thing. Dub Trio opens at 9 p.m. at the Beachland Ballroom (15711 Waterloo Rd., 216.383.1124, beachlandballroom.com). Tickets: $12. — Mark Keresman

Susan Werner

Many indie singer-songwriters stay away from interpreting other people's material. On her latest album Classics, Chicago-based folksinger Werner re-reads '60s- and '70s-era tunes by Paul McCartney, Paul Simon and Stevie Wonder from a somewhat classical point of view. This might be kinda challenging for less gifted artists, but Werner (who's also an accomplished arranger) has successfully jumped genres before — on 2004's Great American Songbook-inspired I Can't Be New and 2006's The Gospel Truth. Onstage, she pairs her proficient piano and guitar skills with a sharp sense of humor. She opens for folkie John Gorka at 8 p.m. at the Kent Stage (175 E. Main St., Kent, 330.677.5005, kentstage.org). Tickets: $25 advance, $30 day of show. — Barteldes


Art House Garage Sale

When a neighborhood cultural center Like Art House puts out the call for a fundraising garage sale, you can bet they'll get items that typical spring cleaners would never find in their attics. Coordinator Elizabeth Emery says that in addition to the usual pots, pans, clothes and other household items, Art House's annual garage sale yields things like paintings donated by a church. "Really interesting," says Emery. See what else the Old Brooklyn neighborhood dragged in when the sale runs from10 a.m.-4 p.m. at Art House (3119 Denison Ave., 216.398.8556; arthouseinc.org). It's free. Gill

Bach Christmas Oratorio

Every year around this time, the Baldwin-Wallace campus resounds with brass fanfare as the three-day Bach Festival — touted as the oldest collegiate Bach fest in the country — gets underway. You'll find brass and chamber performances all over campus this weekend. But the centerpiece is one of the composer's major works: the Christmas Oratorio. First performed on Christmas Day 1734 at St. Nicholas Church in Leipzig, the story tells of Jesus' birth and his first weeks on the planet. Bach's piece is huge, with full orchestra, chorus and vocal soloists. Performances are at 4 and 8 p.m. at Gamble Auditorium, (96 Front St., Berea, 440.826.8070, bw.edu). Tickets: $20-$30. Gill

Tim Barry

For 15 years, Tim Barry fronted Avail, mixing hardcore and melody for a catchy, sharp-cornered and high-intensity attack. Always a genre-defying no-boundaries bunch, it was perhaps unsurprising that, after Avail's last album in 2002, Barry took up acoustic guitar. He's released three albums since then, wrought with the same fiery spirit and inimitable gruff vocals. More threatening than all but a few of his singer-songwriter peers, Barry's no-bullshit/no-apologies/no-quarter attitude produces a hard-charging sound that shares a pretense-free straightforwardness with old country and a populist belligerence with protest folk. Whether reflecting on an old flame in a stinky Motel 6 (the cello-abetted "Avoiding Catatonic Surrender") or justified homicide in a case of domestic abuse ("Dog Bumped"), Barry's raw, unvarnished honesty tastes like several rounds of whiskey in a workingman's bar. Show opener Austin Lucas is a fellow hardcore graduate who cut his teeth on crusty punk before heading into Americana. Unlike Barry, Lucas favors a more traditional style, with a strong bluegrass undercurrent to mesh with his lonesome tenor. He released his third album, Somebody Loves You, earlier this year. Josh Small starts things off at 9 pm. at the Beachland Tavern (15711 Waterloo Rd., 216.383.1124, beachlandballroom.com). Tickets: $8 advance, $10 day of show. — Chris Parker


Mainstream audiences may not know Philadelphia DJ and producer Diplo's name, but it's a pretty safe bet they've heard his music. His most famous cut is "Paper Planes," the Grammy-nominated, Clash-sampled single he wrote with M.I.A. Before that, Diplo released dozens of mixtapes and remixed artists like Spank Rock, Modest Mouse and Gwen Stefani. (His hilarious reworking of "Do the Bartman" may not seem impressive, but it's actually quite brilliant.) Diplo keeps his music fresh by maintaining a sense of humor — whether it's silly remixes or dropping Bell Biv Devoe's "Poison" into his DJ sets. He also distinguishes himself by incorporating other cultures' music into his tracks. He was turned on to baile funk after a 2004 trip to Rio de Janeiro and began incorporating it into his sets, sparking somewhat of a trend in the U.S. In addition to his solo work, Diplo is a member of two side projects — Hollertronix and Major Lazer — and runs his own label, Mad Decent. As a producer, he may often be the man behind the curtain, but Diplo's talents are certainly the main event. His show starts at 9 p.m. at the B-Side Liquor Lounge (2785 Euclid Heights Blvd., Cleveland Hts., 216. 932.1966, bsideliquorlounge.com). Tickets: $15-$20. — Eddie Fleisher

Everything Is Broken

Lane Cooper's foundation drawing class at the Cleveland Institute of Art took on an ambitious assignment: Create an exhibit featuring the students' work. They made the art, found a venue, funded the project, promoted it and launched it with a splashy opening. Kiera Kordes — who's responsible for promoting Everything Is Broken — says each person in the class created three works for the show. The only requirement was that the piece had to have a theme, and it had to be a drawing. Kordes wants to be an illustrator and says "interpretation of drawing is any mark on a surface." Her work is on view with 17 of her classmates at the opening reception, which runs from 6-9 p.m. tonight at Loren Naji Gallery (2138 W. 25th St., lorennaji.com). Call 330.727.5583 for more info. It's free. Gill



To say that Bayside has had a tumultuous nine years is understating the case. During their first half decade, the N.Y.C. emo-pop quartet swapped members like George Steinbrenner changes managers (only frontman Anthony Raneri remains from the original lineup), while garnering piles of press for their first two albums, 2004's Sirens and Condolences and 2005's self-titled release. The band's resolve was severely tested when a van accident took the life of drummer John "Beatz" Holohan and seriously injured bassist Nick Ghanbarian in 2005. But Raneri and guitarist Jack O'Shea hit the road as an acoustic duo until Ghanbarian was sufficiently healed to return to action. Since then, Bayside have kept recording (on 2007's The Walking Wounded and last year's Shudder) and touring relentlessly with new drummer Chris Guglielmo. The band joins a bill that includes New Found Glory, Set Your Goals and Verse at 7 p.m. at House of Blues (308 Euclid Avenue, 216.523.2583, hob.com). Tickets: $19-$22. — Brian Baker

Dr. Dooom vs. Dr. Octagon

Kool Keith has been making hip-hop records since 1984. Even more impressive is that he's still relevant. When his group Ultramagnetic MCs dropped "Ego Trippin'" in '86, it was obvious they weren't like other rap crews. Sure, they were down to party, but they were doing it on their own terms. The lyrics were strange; the beats were slightly off. Keith was clearly the star, and in the mid-'90s, he went solo, releasing a slew of records under various monikers, most notably Dr. Dooom and Dr. Octagon. His obsession with aliens, chemistry and sex spawned some of hip-hop's weirdest tracks. Little surprise that rumors surfaced regarding Keith's sanity. In 1999, Dooom killed Octagon on First Come, First Served, but the doc re-emerged on 2006's The Return Of Dr. Octagon, only to be killed again on last year's Dooom 2. Got all that? The ongoing soap opera has become another element of Keith's already bizarre world. Fans are now getting a chance to see the two personalities slug it out on the same stage. If the idea of watching a pair of fictional musical aliases battle doesn't sound sweet to you, you should probably stay home. Otherwise, grab your freak flag and head to the Grog Shop (2785 Euclid Heights Blvd., Cleveland Hts., 216.321.5588, grogshop.gs) where Kutmasta Kurt and Muamin Collective open at 8 p.m. Tickets: $13 advance, $15 day of show. — Fleisher



Over the past several years, everyone has been so captivated by Coldplay that they've forgotten that the fertile soil that produced so many similar-sounding bands was softened by Travis' 1997 debut, Good Feeling and its 1999 follow-up, The Man Who. The Scottish group (which began as a quintet in 1991 before settling into a quartet four years later) has crafted a solid catalogue over the years, including last year's Ode to J. Smith, which made a slobbering fan out of Oasis' Noel Gallagher. Still, Travis just doesn't get the love like its moody brethren. Go figure. The Republic Tigers open at 8 p.m. at House of Blues (308 Euclid Avenue, 216.523.2583, hob.com). Tickets: $23-$70. — Baker


Amon Amarth

As great as it was to see Metallica inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, they're the last of the giants. Given the state of the music business, it's unlikely that any metal band will ever get that big (worldwide arena tours, multi-multi-platinum album sales) again. The plus side of this is that you can see some of the planet's greatest metal bands in small clubs — like Amon Amarth, burly Swedes who've been pumping out anthemic tales of viking adventure since the early '90s. And they keep getting better: Last year's Twilight of the Thunder God was legitimately epic. Live, the band cranks out one melodic-but-punishing riff after another, as vocalist Johan Hegg barks lyrics, stopping periodically to drink beer from a horn on his belt. It's guaranteed to put a grin on your face and get your horns in the air. Goatwhore, Skeletonwitch and Lazarus A.D. open at 6:30 p.m. at Peabody's (2045 E. 21st St., 216.776.9999, peabodys.com). Tickets: $20 advance, $23 day of show.

Phil Freeman

Neko Case

Neko Case has charted a fascinating career path — from punk drummer to roots-pop singer-songwriter. The New Pornographers have provided Case with many memorable vocal moments. But she's excelled in her impeccable solo work, which reached its zenith on her third studio album, 2006's brilliant and broadly brushed Fox Confessor Brings the Flood, an almost impossible melding of classicism (Dusty Springfield, Patsy Cline) and contemporary translation (Emmylou Harris, Kate Bush). On the new Middle Cyclone, Case retains the elements that made Fox Confessor infinitely listenable — linking rootsy tradition with pop modernity, lyrics that engagingly blend head-scratching obfuscation with mountaintop wisdom and clarity — and folds in an extra level of sonic exploration, moving from pure roots-pop purveyor to slightly more esoteric musical provocateur. Crooked Fingers opens at 8 p.m. at the Allen Theatre (1407 Euclid Ave., 216.241.6000, playhousesquare.com). Tickets: $30-$35. — Baker

Jennifer Hudson

The fact that Chicago-born singer Jennifer Hudson was once an American Idol contestant is now only a footnote to a career that's catapulted her far past that hit TV show. She won an Oscar for her terrific performance in the musical Dreamgirls and has a Grammy under her belt too. Evoking the old-school soul of Aretha Franklin and Patti LaBelle, Hudson is a strong-minded woman who doesn't take no for an answer. Despite the fact that she didn't win American Idol, she's gone on to have one of the most successful careers of any of its alumni. Her new tour, which she co-headlines with Robin Thicke, is proof of just how resilient she is. The show starts at 8 p.m. at the State Theatre (1501 Euclid Ave., 216.241.6000, playhousesquare.com). Tickets: $10-$69.50. — Jeff Niesel


The title track of The Double-Cross, the last studio album by the San Francisco-based Tempest, relates the misfortunes of Captain Kidd, the British sailor who went from profiteer to pirate only to be betrayed and hanged (twice) for his crimes. The lyrics even incorporate part of Kidd's farewell message. The band mixes traditional Celtic instruments with rock guitars, drawing inspiration from various musical forms — possibly because members hail from countries like Norway, Cuba and (no surprise here) Ireland. Listen to "Black Eddy," a multi-part suite that kicks off with a traditional-sounding groove and ends on a Norwegian polka. Showtime is 8 p.m. at the Winchester (12112 Madison Ave., 216.226.5681, thewinchester.net). Tickets: $10 advance, $12 day of show. — Barteldes


Haunting Valley

Michael Seese was a reporter for the Chagrin Valley Times before he got into information security; William Devol was editor of a weekly paper in Bedford. They've taken their experiences and applied them to the time-worn tradition of ghost-hunting, and they've written a book about them. Haunting Valley collects 58 spooky stories set in the towns and townships east of Cleveland. Seese and Devol discuss and sign the book at 7 p.m. at Joseph Beth Booksellers (24519 Cedar Rd., Lyndhurst, 216.691.7000, josephbeth.com). It's free. — Gill

Juilliard String Quartet

No matter what kind of music they play, groups that last more than a decade often turn out like small businesses — especially when it comes to personnel changes. Sometimes it isn't a big deal (think Spinal Tap's drummers). But for the Juilliard String Quartet, the departure of first violinist Joel Smirnoff is a historic moment. Founded in 1946, the ensemble has changed members only eight times in 60 years together. Smirnoff joined the quartet in 1986 and has been first violinist since 1997. He's leaving to become president of the Cleveland Institute of Music. He gives his final Ohio performance with the quartet tonight on a program that places familiar works — Beethoven's String Quartet in E-flat Major and Haydn's String Quartet in C Major — alongside a relatively new one, Henri Dutilleux's Ainsi la Nuit (which the JSQ premiered at the Library of Congress in 1978). It's also the final concert in Oberlin College Conservatory's Artist Recital Series this year. Showtime is 8 p.m. at Finney Chapel (90 North Professor St., Oberlin, 440.775.8169, oberlin.edu). Tickets: $10-$26. Gill

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