Like the White Stripes, the Moaners have only a guitar player and a drummer. Unlike the Stripes, Melissa Swingle and Laura King were never married. Nor do they claim to be siblings. And King is a helluva better drummer than Meg White. On their debut album, Dark Snack, the Moaners display a swaggering sexuality swathed in a Stripes-like blues-rawk bluster. Badass leader Swingle dabbled in southern gothic with her previous band, Trailer Bride. Her new group is twice as tough. The Moaners are at the Beachland Tavern (15711 Waterloo Road) at 9 p.m. Tickets are $7; call 216-383-1124.
Friday, July 15
You gotta love a vehicle-racing event that bills itself as Eve of Destruction. From the get-go, you just know that tons of metal will be sacrificed in the name of entertainment. Hell, the folks at Lorain Speedway are promising it! In addition to a couple of car races and a school-bus race, there's something called a "steel-wall crash" (which is exactly what it sounds like). Plus, monster-truck Aftershock will be destroying everything in its path (except for the kids who pay to take a spin on the big-ass ride). But the night's biggest thrill has to be the Jet Truck Meltdown, in which a super-patriotic dude backs his jet-powered truck into an import car and literally fires it up. It'll have you chanting "U.S.A.! U.S.A.!" all the way home. Action starts at 7 p.m. at Lorain Speedway (Route 58, south of Route 113, in Amherst). Admission is $12, $5 for kids; call 216-447-7888.
The Constantines ply their songs with so many angular guitar lines that's it's easy to get caught up, and eventually lost, in all the slants and chops. Sub Pop re-released the Canadian band's self-titled 2001 debut last year. The band gears up for a new CD (due in a couple of months) by playing working-class punk spiked with Dischord-style discord at the Beachland Tavern (15711 Waterloo Road) at 10 p.m. Tickets are $8; call 216-383-1124.
Saturday, July 16
Louisville's Five.Bolt.Main aren't good ol' boys, but they'll still kick your ass just for something to do. These Kentucky hell-raisers are metalheads, not mulletheads. The band formed after its previous incarnation, Flaw, was dropped from its label last year. The core members of Flaw (including singer Chris Volz) are still onboard, but the music is a bit more intense this time around. Five.Bolt.Main's debut album isn't hitting stores till September, but the quintet is touring the States, with a stop at the Agora Ballroom (5000 Euclid Avenue) at 7 tonight. Tickets are $10; call 216-241-5555.
The tagline to Nina's Tragedies calls the award-hogging Israeli film "a very sad comedy." Ain't that the truth. The movie -- a coming-of-age tale about a 14-year-old boy pining for his aunt -- certainly contains tragic elements: death, divorce, terminal illness. But the kid's distractions -- like watching a neighbor get it on or listening to his mom's boyfriend talk about how "shit-hot" she is -- are wry slabs of comic achievement. It's at the Cinematheque (11141 East Boulevard) at 8:45 tonight and 7 p.m. tomorrow. Admission is $8; call 216-421-7450.
Sunday, July 17
Cain Park claims to be hosting the World's Best Block Party today. Unless free booze, the Drive-By Truckers, and dancing monkeys are there, we say the claim is disputable. Still, the family-friendly event offers plenty of live performances (by Carlos Jones & the PLUS Band and Cats on Holiday), hands-on activities for big and little kids (Clayworks will be there, in case you and your honey want to recreate that very special scene from Ghost), and balloon animals, which may or may not include monkeys. It all happens from 2 to 5 p.m. at Cain Park's Evans Amphitheater (at Superior Avenue and Lee Road in Cleveland Heights). Admission is free, but tickets are required, available by calling 216-932-3600.
Monday, July 18
The Canton Palace Theatre's Summer Movies for Kids series has a pretty sweet deal: For a mere buck, you can drop off your older kids, and they can spend a couple of hours watching a flick (if they're under 12, however, a parent must stick around). Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius screens today, and this is one that certainly looks better on the big screen. The 2001 animated film features some super-sized action, a heroic kid, and CGI that embraces its cartoon roots. Show time is 1 p.m. at the Canton Palace Theatre, 605 Market Avenue in Canton; call 330-454-8172.
Tuesday, July 19
A couple of guys from the University of Minnesota recently spent time researching lions' manes. Apparently, they're more than just hair. In the natural history museum's The Lion's Mane: Science in the Serengeti, the link between biology and behavior is explored through models, interactive displays, videos, and "touchable objects." It turns out that manes are a good measure of a lion's luck with the ladies, among other things. We're not sure how the king of the jungle feels about being put under the microscope (or on the psychologist's chair; take your pick), but lions sure are cool, as this summer-long exhibit makes roaringly clear. It's at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History (1 Wade Oval Drive) through September 25. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. It's free with museum admission ($7, $5 for kids); call 216-231-4600.
Wednesday, July 20
Tony Hawk's Boom Boom HuckJam features some of the world's very best skateboarders, BMXers, and Motocross racers jumping ramps, scaling walls, and performing a bunch of potentially limb-injuring tricks we're way too scared to try. DJ Aero provides the soundtrack for all the potential bone-breaking. This is one of the finest displays of extreme-sports action happening this season. It starts at 7 p.m. at Gund Arena, 100 Gateway Plaza. Tickets range from $25 to $85; call 216-241-5555.
Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.