Wednesday, March 31, 2010

4/2: Tim Barry at the Beachland

Posted By on Wed, Mar 31, 2010 at 4:39 PM

Avail haven’t been very busy the past 10 years — two albums in a decade is nothing to brag about for a punk band. So it makes sense that frontman Tim Barry went solo. His early material sounds like Avail without the distortion (rather than the Americana he was shooting for), but his latest album, 28th and Stonewall, is a career-defining record. Barry ditched the clunky cowpunk that relied more on raw energy than actual songwriting and has moved on to authentic-sounding, dust-covered folk. Lush instrumentation, varied tempos and relaxed singing are shifts in the right direction. Even Barry’s lyrical tales have become more vivid and entertaining — like he’s been giving those old Woody Guthrie LPs a workout on the turntable. Avail always had a Southern-rock tinge; Barry’s solo work cuts right to the heart of that tradition. He plays the Beachland Tavern (15711 Waterloo Rd., 216.383.1124). Red Clay River, the Not So Good ol’ Boys and Audra Mae open at 9 p.m. Tickets: $10. — Matt Whelihan

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4/1: Stan Hywet Hall

Posted By on Wed, Mar 31, 2010 at 4:26 PM

When F.A. Seiberling made his (and Akron’s) fortune after founding Goodyear Tire & Rubber at the tail end of the 19th century, he built a lavish country-style estate called “Stan Hywet,” which is Old English for “stone quarry.” The age of industrial barons is long gone, and Seiberling’s descendents donated the building in 1957, to be overseen by a nonprofit and enjoyed by the public. These days, Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens (714 N. Portage Path, Akron, 330.836.5533) is an architectural and landscaping showcase that hosts teas, plant sales, car shows and al fresco Shakespeare in the summer. It opens for the season from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. today. Admission ranges from $4-$20, depending on which parts of the facility you want to visit and whether you take a guided tour. — Anastasia Pantsios

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4/1: Seabear at Grog Shop

Posted By on Wed, Mar 31, 2010 at 4:22 PM

With Björk and Sigur Rós as its best-known musical exports, it’s easy to understand why some people might have a knee-jerk reaction to hearing about a “new band from Iceland.” As it turns out, Seabear would appear to be from a part of Reykjavik a tad closer to planet Earth — with a chamber-pop-meets-indie-folk sound more akin to Iron & Wine or Sufjan Stevens than any of the band’s eccentric countrymen. Not to be confused with Panda Bear, Bear in Heaven, Grizzly Bear or Bears, Seabear have been making music for a few years now, originally starting as a solo project for frontman Sindri Már Sigfússon. Gradually, the band expanded into a seven-piece touring act, earning buzz with its cottony-soft 2007 debut The Ghost That Carried Us Away. But it’s only now that Seabear are finally invading the U.S. as part of a long world tour in support of their latest album, We Built a Fire. They may not be as unpredictable as Björk or as epic as Sigur Rós, but Seabear could certainly craft out a solid niche for themselves among fans of indie-rock’s poppier, more introspective artists. They play the Grog Shop (2785 Euclid Heights Blvd., Cleveland Hts., 216.321.5588) at 9 p.m., with Via Tania and Soley opening. Tickets: $10. — Andrew Clayman

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4/1: HIM at House of Blues

Posted By on Wed, Mar 31, 2010 at 3:45 PM

It would be too easy to dismiss Finland’s HIM as a lighter, prettier side of doom rock. If we’re going to use analogies, you could consider HIM, with photogenic frontman Ville Valo, as doom rock’s Twilight, while Type O Negative are more like pioneering bloodsucker pic Nosferatu. But the comparison doesn’t quite work out, mainly because HIM have the musical chops to back up their dark romantic aesthetic. Their combination of Black Sabbath-inspired dirge, goth and New Romantic slickness has cut through genre barriers over seven albums. A HIM concert regularly attracts anemic goth kids, surly bikers and strippers who have the night off. The band’s latest album, Screamworks: Love in Theory and Practice, is its most rock-oriented record, and “Heartkiller” is a near-perfect synthesis of HIM’s influences. The recent focus on the “rock” part of the group’s equation means a more solid live show this time around, with Vallo living it up as the charismatic leader. HIM play House of Blues (308 Euclid Ave., 216.523.2583), with We are the Fallen, Dommin and Drive-A opening at 7 p.m. Tickets: $26 advance, $28 day of show. — Norm Narvaja

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4/1: Daughtry at Wolstein Center

Posted By on Wed, Mar 31, 2010 at 3:41 PM

You gotta wonder what makes Chris Daughtry sing with such anguish on Leave This Town. Did a girl break his heart? Did his grandma die? Did his dog run off and leave him for another scowling, baldheaded American Idol alum? Whatever it is, Daughtry shreds both his heart and larynx to bring you his pain on his second album of overwrought ballads. It’s easy to figure out his widespread popularity. His band plays enough crunchy riffs at room-rattling volume to draw in fans of, say, Three Days Grace. His heart-on-the-sleeve approach snags generations of women whose matronly instincts kick in the second he opens his mouth. And that Idol upbringing can’t be discounted: Millions of viewers spent valuable text minutes to keep Daughtry in the running week after week. Unless you’re Justin Guarini, even a fraction of those voters guarantees some sort of commercial success. But there’s an overwhelming cheesiness to Daughtry’s music — like it’s all being staged as a backdrop to a greeting-card ad or phone commercial. Or maybe dog food. Either way, we’re not buying. Daughtry plays the Wolstein Center (2000 Prospect Ave., 216.241.5555). Lifehouse and Cavo open at 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $29.50-$39.50. — Michael Gallucci

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4/1 & 3: Cleveland Orchestra

Posted By on Wed, Mar 31, 2010 at 3:25 PM

It’ll be homecoming for Christoph von Dohnányi this week, when the erstwhile Cleveland Orchestra music director returns to Severance Hall for only his second appearance since stepping down in 2002. Since then, the octogenarian maestro has hardly slowed down. He was principal conductor of the Philharmonia Orchestra in London until 2008, and is still chief conductor of the Hamburg-based North German Radio Symphony Orchestra, which he’s taken on tour to South America, Europe and China. He’s also a regular guest conductor of most of our nation’s “big five” orchestras. For his return, Dohnányi will lead some of the music he’s best known for, including Brahms’ Symphony No. 1 and Mozart’s Sinfonia concertante. The orchestra has added lots of new players since Dohnanyi’s departure, but the Mozart soloists will be familiar faces: concertmaster/violinist William Preucil, whom Dohnanyi hired in 1995, and violist Robert Vernon, whose tenure with the orchestra precedes even the returning maestro’s. Performances are at 8 p.m. tonight and Saturday at Severance Hall (11001 Euclid Ave., 216.231.1111). Tickets: $40-$106. — Michael Gill

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3/31: CIM Orchestra

Posted By on Wed, Mar 31, 2010 at 3:24 PM

If U.S. audiences know anything about Armenian composer Aram Khachaturian, it’s because of “Sabre Dance,” the relentlessly driving fragment of ballet music that’s added drama to so many cartoons and circus performances. But the rest of the Soviet composer’s work is mostly unknown here. Khachaturian came up during the Cold War era, but he was denounced by the Communist Party for being interested in structure rather than relating to the people — which is ironic, since his music is steeped in folk-dance idioms. Cellist Yuriy Leonovich will give a taste of Khachaturian when he performs the local premiere of Concerto-Rhapsody for Cello and Orchestra with the Cleveland Institute of Music Orchestra tonight. Also on the program is Camille Saint Saens’ “Bacchanale” from Samson et Delila and Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Scheharazade.” Kimbo Ishii-Eto conducts. Showtime is 8 p.m. at CIM’s Kulas Hall (11021 East Blvd., 216.791.5000). Admission is free, but seating passes are required. — Michael Gill

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