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Jam on It 

Big Summer Classic puts fans on ass-numbing alert.

The String Cheese Incident serves up some noodle - soup at Sunday's Big Summer Classic.
  • The String Cheese Incident serves up some noodle soup at Sunday's Big Summer Classic.
SUN 7/17

Jam-band music is all about songs that exceed radio's traditional three-and-a-half-minute time limit. Sunday's Big Summer Classic at Blossom Music Center (1145 West Steels Corners Road in Cuyahoga Falls) features some of the genre's giants. (Show time is 3 p.m. Tickets are $25 to $37.50; call 216-241-5555.) To help you figure out when to take a potty break, here are some of the band's per-song-average noodling times, based on their latest CDs:

· The String Cheese Incident (pictured): Surprisingly, an economical four minutes.

· Yonder Mountain String Band: Five minutes, but the aptly titled "Traffic Jam" on Mountain Tracks: Volume 3 clocks in at twice that length.

· Keller Williams: Five minutes, but that includes some short goofs on Stage (like a cover of Michael Jackson's "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough" and a prelude to "Cracker Ass Cracker").

· New Monsoon: Seven minutes -- and it would've been even more, if not for Live at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival's two-minute "Tabla Solo." -- Michael Gallucci

House of Glass

7/20-7/24

What musical style is known for its drama, elaborate visuals, and 20-minute-long songs? We'll give you a hint -- it's not prog-rock. Opera has seen a steady decline in popularity over the years, mostly due to its rep for being boring, elitist, or both. It's an attitude that Lyric Opera Cleveland hopes to change with its relatively unstuffy production of The Fall of the House of Usher, a gothic chiller based on an Edgar Allan Poe tale and featuring music by Philip Glass. "It's a very moody [score]," says managing director Donald Bernardo. "It's a perfect accompaniment to the oppressive atmosphere of the story." The Fall of the House of Usher is at the Drury Theatre (8500 Euclid Avenue) Wednesday through July 24. Show times are 7 p.m. Wednesday and Saturday, July 23, and 2 p.m. Sunday, July 24. Tickets range from $15 to $45, available by calling 216-685-5976. -- Katherine Fulton

Kind of Blues

WED 7/20

I'm From Phunkville -- that's what bluesman Mem Shannon claims in the title of his latest CD. And from the very first track, it's quite clear that Shannon isn't foolin'. The singer and guitarist (who based his 1995 debut album on 15 years of cab-driving experiences in New Orleans) funks up his fifth album with twisty and beat-savvy tunes loaded with hard-working percussion, bottom-heavy bass, and plenty of swerving guitar riffs. Live, Shannon turns the blues into a butt-shaking party. He plays the Savannah (30676 Detroit Road in Westlake) at 9 p.m. Wednesday. Admission is free. For info, call 440-892-2266. -- Michael Gallucci

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