DJ J-Boogie stood in a San Francisco studio last year and listened to a pair of rappers spit rhymes on his latest track.
"Here, the politricktions care less about addictions/The war that's on the television seems more like fiction," they rhymed on the Bush-bashing "You're the Murdera." When the session ended, J-Boogie (aka Justin Boland) had made his political statement. "Our policies haven't changed," says the 32-year-old Boland. "And everything's gone downhill."
Politics aside, Boland's been turntabling soul, funk, and Afrobeat on the West Coast with his band Dubtronic Science for eight years. But he's going solo this week in Cleveland, where he's spinning at the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland's opening party for its new exhibits, Out There: Landscape in the New Millennium and Alicia Basinger: Shiver and Craze. "It's a little bit harder putting a band together and hitting the road," he notes. "This way, I can pack my records and go." DJ J-Boogie performs from 7 to 10 p.m. Friday at the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland (8501 Carnegie Avenue; call 216-421-8671) and at 10:30 p.m. at B-Side Liquor Lounge (2785 Euclid Heights Boulevard in Cleveland Heights; call 216-932-1966). Admission to both is free. -- Cris Glaser
Greg Morton told jokes in school, but in an orderly fashion.
Greg Morton performs stand-up comedy with a cartoon-like energy. Not so surprising, seeing that the funnyman used to make his living as an animator. "I always thought I'd be doing cartoons," he says. "And then I looked at one of my paychecks, and it was, like, $60. I went, 'I don't think this is it.'" Morton honed his comedy skills at the same place many of his contemporaries did: in school. "I had good timing," he notes. "I was a sniper. I would wait for that opportune moment. I wasn't really overly disruptive." And while Morton has no interest in creating and starring in a sitcom, an animated series is right up his alley, he says. But he won't share any ideas. "That's the quickest way to kill your baby creatively," he says. Morton is at Hilarities 4th Street Theatre (2035 East 4th Street) Wednesday through Sunday. Show times are 8 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, 7:30 and 10:15 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $10 to $18; call 216-736-4242. -- P.F. Wilson
Cinematheque's new summer film series travels abroad.
The Cleveland Cinematheque is opening its doors for weekday-afternoon screenings this summer for the first time in its 19 years. It coincides with the Summer in Europe series, which includes such classics as The Third Man, M, and Beauty and the Beast. Kicking off the program is Masculine Feminine (pictured), Jean-Luc Godard's 1966 romantic comedy about discontented youths and the Paris they make into their playground. Or, as the director called it, a tribute to "the children of Marx and Coca-Cola." Masculine Feminine shows at 7 p.m. Friday, 9:05 p.m. Saturday, and 1:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Cinematheque, 11141 East Boulevard. Admission is $8; call 216-421-7450. For a complete schedule of Summer in Europe films, visit www.cia.edu/cinematheque. -- Michael Gallucci
Deaf and Blind, but Not So Dumb
"The Who helped to elevate the album to the level of art," says the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's vice president of education, Warren Zanes. "You have to study Tommy to understand how rock performers achieved the status of serious artists." Fans will have a chance to do just that on Wednesday at the free Rock and Roll Night School class, "Tommy and Rock Opera: A Genre Emerges," at 7 p.m. at the Rock Hall, 1 Key Plaza; call 216-515-1930. -- Katherine Fulton