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Local Band In Focus 

The Commonwealth

Meet the Band: Andrew Kuhar (vocals, guitar), Nick Kuhar (percussion), Mark Kuhar (bass), and Patrick Burke (guitar, bass, trumpet, strings, and percussion)

Houses of the Holy: The Commonwealth are crazy about Led Zeppelin and the National, bands with "driving rhythm sections" and "loads of melody." "We feel as though we're providing that sort of dynamic in Cleveland," says Nick. "Loud pop."

Starving Artists: At one show, an organizer tried to pay the band in enriched white bread. And there weren't any functioning outlets. "We were cool with the bread, but the no-electricity was a deal breaker," says Nick.

Sex, Drugs, and PhDs: The Commonwealth aren't your typical hard-living rock & rollers. They have more degrees than band members, and they bring an intellectual quality to their music. "Billy Collins once said that trying to write is like walking into a dark room and feeling along the walls for a light switch," says Nick. "Learning to record was like that." Did someone just swoon?

Why You Should Hear Them: They're making a solid attempt at good old-fashioned indie rock — smart, poppy, and pretension-free.

Where You Can Hear Them: thecommonwealth-music.bandcamp.com

Where You Can See Them: At the Beachland Tavern on August 24, the Grog Shop on September 20, and at Visible Voice books on September 24. — Lydia Munnell

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