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Poetry in Commotion 

New film festival highlights whacked-out music vids.

A little tongue action at the Beachland's Videokronik film fest.
  • A little tongue action at the Beachland's Videokronik film fest.
FRI 4/23

After Michael T. and Marcel DeJure put out a call for obscure and absurd music videos, the creators of the annual 20,000 Leagues Under the Industry Film Festival didn't have to wait long for a deluge of entries for their new Videokronik.

The four-hour fest features more than 60 music videos -- including stuff from indie rockers Broken Social Scene and Cop Shoot Cop and art-noise collective Negativland, as well as clips from local bands like Cobra Verde, Uptown Sinclair, and Machine Go Boom. "Music videos have been deemed the bastard child by popular media," explains Matthew T. "In time, [they] will be looked at as art, much in the same way people now respect kitsch, old comic books, and lunchboxes."

And it cost about as much as the price of a lunchbox to produce most of these low-budget videos. "[They're] a lot more interesting than the big-budget, overproduced fluff that passes as programming content in the larger media outlets," Matthew T. says. "Silly and ridiculous can be oh-so-fun." Videokronik takes place at 9 p.m. Friday at the Beachland Tavern, 15711 Waterloo Road. Tickets are $5. Call 216-383-1124 for more information. -- Cris Glaser

Heart of Dorkness
Three-day conference is filled with stuff geeks love.

4/23-4/25

Nerds unite! This weekend's Notacon (Northern Ohio Technological Advancement Conference) "incorporates both the creative side and the technical side of what geeks are involved in," says event organizer Paul Schneider. The fest features digital art displays, movies, games, DJs, and bands. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own computers, especially if they plan to enter some of the contests (like the one that awards a prize to the first person to hack into the Notacon network). Schneider hopes the event -- which will stay open all night Friday and Saturday -- will build a lasting community. "Computer geeks are not just about sitting in front of a computer 18 hours a day," he says. "They're also about the music they listen to and the art they create." Notacon starts at 9 a.m. on Friday and ends at 2 p.m. Sunday at Holiday Inn Select, 1111 Lakeside Avenue. Admission is $60 for all three days (students get in for $30). Visit www.notacon.org for more information. -- Diane Sofranec

Play Ground
Karamu's theater festival unveils some new work.

4/22-4/30

The 10 works chosen for Karamu House's annual parade of new plays, ArenaFest, center on the black experience in America. Some are traditional tales about troubled kids growing up impoverished; others are modern parables about homelessness and hip-hop. The stage readings include two plays each night. And the pairings are often as inspired as the stories: Elizabeth Brown-Guillory's The Break of Day and J.e Franklin's Mannish Boychild, which close the festival, look at African-American males and their ties to the past and future. ArenaFest takes place through April 30 at Karamu's Arena Theatre, 2355 East 89th Street. Show times are 8 p.m. Monday through Friday. Tickets are $5. Call 216-795-7070 for more information. -- Michael Gallucci

The Baa-bershop Is Open

SAT 4/24 Pack up the kids! Today's Sheep Shearing Day at the zoo! In addition to all that wool-trimming action, crafty people will be spinning, carding, felting, and knitting piles of wool into practical stuff. Live music, petting stations, and hands-on activities are also planned. It all starts at 11 a.m. at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, 3900 Wildlife Way. Admission (which gets you into the rest of the zoo) is $9, $4 for kids; call 216-661-6500. -- Michael Gallucci

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