There are reasons to dislike Third Eye Blind: the derivative alt-rock sound (circa 1997), the songs' single-minded simplicity, and singer Stephan Jenkins's misogynistic arrogance, for instance. Then again, it's also hard not to like them. The guys write super-catchy songs, they never reach beyond their limited ability, and they seem pretty damned earnest about what they do. As with their three previous albums, the new one, Out of the Vein, is mostly about sex: Jenkins is stalking an ex in one song, ready to unzip in another. The songs are big and bombastic -- which is both a gift and a vice, semi-charming at every turn. Third Eye Blind is at the Odeon (1295 Old River Road) at 8 p.m. Tickets are $22.50. Call 216-241-5555 for more information.
Friday, November 7
Tonight's Fast Forward party at the art museum is an after-hours celebration of contemporary art, centered on the work of avant-garde video artist Bill Viola, who is on hand to talk about his short films. In addition to viewings of Viola's work, the museum's permanent collection and major exhibitions are on display; there will also be poetry readings, food and drinks, and music by Soul Samba. It all happens from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. at the Cleveland Museum of Art (11150 East Boulevard). Tickets range from $10 to $20. Call 888-262-0033 for more information.
Saturday, November 8
Frankly, Madagascan Hissing Cockroaches scare the hell out of us. And when the Lake Erie Nature & Science Center says the bugs are "actually quite adorable," we have to wonder what they're smoking over there. The center is opening its roach cages today and giving folks the opportunity to hold and cradle the bugs. Staff will be on hand dispensing info, answering questions, and applying first aid to victims of the spitting beasts (if necessary). They're unleashed at 3 p.m. at the Lake Erie Nature & Science Center (28728 Wolf Road in Bay Village). Admission is free. Call 440-871-2900 for more information.
Scarface holds the distinction of being the most referenced film ever in hip-hop history. It's also noteworthy for Al Pacino's riveting performance as a mush-mouthed Cuban gangster. The film's relentless bloodletting influenced everyone from the Coen brothers to Quentin Tarantino. The Cinematheque is showing a new, 20th-anniversary print tonight, perfect for picking up each and every drop of blood and speck of coke spilled from Pacino's ravaged body. Scarface shows at 8:50 p.m. at the Cleveland Cinematheque (11141 East Boulevard). Admission is $8, $5 for members. Call 216-421-7450 for more info.
Sunday, November 9
Former Archers of Loaf frontman Eric Bachmann's Crooked Fingers project makes Americana that optimistically bridges the Beach Boys' orchestral pop and Tom Waits's seedy, booze-soaked torch-folk. "My songs tend to take me in some direction, rather than me taking them to some predetermined place," Bachmann says. "I don't think it's productive to intentionally plan. I prefer documenting where my head and heart are, at a particular point in time, rather than treating it like some sound I've been hearing in my head for a year." The new album, Red Devil Dawn, continues down the same morose path as its two predecessors. Why the blue mood? "I don't know," Bachmann says. "To me, [the songs] aren't all that sad." Crooked Fingers and the equally cool Azure Ray co-headline at the Grog Shop (2785 Euclid Heights Boulevard in Cleveland Heights) at 10 p.m. Tickets are $10, available by calling 216-321-5588.
Monday, November 10
Monday nights are free time for most NFL players. Browns defensive back Robert Griffith spends his hosting the weekly Monday Night Football party at Spy. He gives away Browns booty, the bar gives away drink specials and appetizers, and the action unfolds on a 12-foot screen with Surround Sound. Tonight's matchup pits Philadelphia against Green Bay. It starts at 9 p.m. at Spy (1261 West Sixth Street). Admission is free; call 216-621-7907 for more info.
Tuesday, November 11
Remember Flickerstick, the guys who won VH1's Bands on the Run reality series a few years ago? The Dallas alt-rockers, who are fond of big, ringing guitars and lyrical wordplay, were awarded a Sony-released CD -- which was really just a revamped version of their self-released debut -- in 2001. Now they're back in indieville, with a new self-released EP, "To Madagascar and Back," which continues along the same route its predecessor followed. They're also on the road -- this time, without the pesky cameras following them around. Flickerstick is at the Agora (5000 Euclid Avenue) at 6:30 tonight. Tickets are $12 and $15. For more information, call 216-241-5555.
Wednesday, November 12
The lantern-making workshops that take place Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday through November 23 at the Cleveland Museum of Art are a family-friendly tuneup for its annual Winter Lights Lantern Festival, which happens next month. "Lanterns are a really old tradition that is a part of every culture," says workshop coordinator Robin VanLear. "All cultures have some sort of celebration utilizing light, fire, or candles." Japan, China, and Mexico are among the regions whose illuminating histories are represented. "There are tin lanterns, there are dogwood lanterns, and there are paper lanterns," VanLear says. "Some of them are very Zen-like. Others are more organic and not very precise in shape." Tonight's workshop starts at 8:30; the Cleveland Museum of Art is at 11150 East Boulevard. The workshop costs $20, which includes materials to make one lantern; additional kits can be purchased for a small fee. For more information, call 888-262-0033.
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