Wednesday, December 27, 2006

The Year in Music

Posted By on Wed, Dec 27, 2006 at 2:52 PM

Joan Jett
Walter Novak: Action Rock Photographer uses his magical powers to capture the Year in Rock Cleveland-style. See his photo gallery here.
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A Plea from Michael Stanley

Posted By on Wed, Dec 27, 2006 at 2:33 PM

Last Call Cleveland, the local comedy troupe, will be performing "Michael Stanley Superstar," its shrewd and hilarious tribute to local rocker Michael Stanley, at the House of Blues this weekend. The Friday and Saturday shows will start immediately after the real Stanley rocks HOB (probably around 11:30). All proceeds — the suggested donation is five bucks — will benefit the Cleveland Food Bank. If you're not convinced, check out Michael Stanley's personal and passionate plea for your attendance here. -- Joe P. Tone
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A Bigger, Better Elephant Exhibit

Posted By on Wed, Dec 27, 2006 at 2:29 PM

No word on whether the zoo will also be housing cartoon elephants
The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo has given the city a big ol' Christmas present — but we're gonna have to wait till 2010 to open it. The zoo's new African Elephant Crossing exhibit — said to be a "model for zoos nationwide" — will begin construction in 2007. But the $25 million project won't be complete until some time in 2010. That's a long wait, but the world's largest land animal has never been the speediest of creatures. (A tiny version of African Elephant Crossing is now on display at the zoo's Exhibit Hall.) While zoo visitors gasp in awe every time one of the mighty beasts moves an inch, the elephants themselves have reason to smile: African Elephant Crossing doubles as a conservation center. The exhibit — designed to look like the elephants' natural habitat but with gazing Clevelanders replacing grazing lions -- will greet guests as soon as they enter the zoo. More than five acres of wooded grassland will house 10 elephants. For those keeping score at home, that's four times the space the zoo currently doles out to the animals. Plus, special viewing areas will put giant elephant asses even closer to visitors' faces. We can't wait. --Michael Gallucci
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The Top 10 Scams of 2006

Posted By on Wed, Dec 27, 2006 at 12:13 PM

Via the exciting new field of stuffing envelopes, you can now be wicked rich while working at home
Although 2006 wasn't the best of times for Cleveland (poorest city in America, snubbed by the Republican National Convention, Sam Fulwood still has a job), local thieves and low-rent con-artists had one of their best fiscal years in history — poor people with a glimmer of hope left make especially good targets. And that's why the Cleveland Better Business Bureau has compiled its list of Top Ten Scams of 2006: 1). Counterfeit Check Scam: Phony company mails you phony check saying you've won a phony lottery. You, being an idiot, deposit phony check in bank account, wire real money to Canada, and wait for winnings to arrive (Insert cymbal crash here). 2). Advance Fee Loans: Phony company promises to get you a loan even though your credit is about as good as Osama Bin Laden. But first you must pay hundreds of dollars in credit insurance up front. 3). Foreclosure Rescue: Losing a home can be the lowest point in someone's life. It's also a great opportunity to screw them. Offer to bail them out for a nominal fee, then abscond with the money, park behind a Get-Go, and drink the last pennies of their life-savings in Mad Dog 20/20. 4). Bogus Employment Offers: Phony company places classified ad for a "dream job." You call all your friends and tell them you're going to be a flight attendant and still be able to make it home every night in time for dinner. All you have to do is send $300 to your future boss to pay for your plane ticket to the job interview. The money disappears, and you find work bagging groceries at Marc's. "Paper or plastic?" 5). Phishing: Your bank sends you an e-mail requesting your account information. You send it to them. Then you realize that it wasn't your bank, but some 14-year-old hacker from Pepper Pike, who just bought himself a collector's set of Pokemon cards. 6). Door-to-door contractors: There's an easy way to tell a good contractor from a bad one: good contractors don't need to go door-to-door. 7). Identity Theft: If you don't know what this is, your identity is probably safer with someone else anyway. 8). Fake Stock Tips: In between e-mails advertising penis enlargement and mail-order xanax is one tipping you off about a hot new stock. It sounds credible so you invest. Sure enough the stock price skyrockets. Unfortunately that's only because a bunch of jackmos like you bought it. The scammers promoting the stock then dump it, causing the price to plummet. 9). Phony Government Grants: Congratulations! You've been awarded a government grant worth thousands. AIDS research? Education? Helping the needy? That can wait. Helping out 35-year-old guys working at Blockbuster and raiding their parents' fridge on the weekends is the government's new priority. Just send in a few hundred dollars processing fee and the money is yours. 10). Work-at-home Scams: Ahh, the convenience of working from home. You can walk around in your slippers, make your own schedule, take a nap. Gee, it's like getting paid for being unemployed. As soon as those $50 instructions on how to stuff envelopes get here, you've pretty much got it made. Maybe they just got lost in the mail . . . -- Jared Klaus
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My Fourteen Top Ten Albums for 2006

Posted By on Wed, Dec 27, 2006 at 11:58 AM

Teeth of the Hyrda's "Greenland" comes in at No. 2 on the X-man's list.
12) Youngblood Brass Band, "Is That A Riot?" (Layered Music) NOT a brass band. Not even close, really. More like rap-rock meets a marching band. Like Rage Against the Machine unplugged, with a sousaphone. Seriously. 11) Jucifer, "If Thine Enemy Hunger" (Relapse) Jammy co-ed stoner-rawk duo. Big, smart sex. 10) Converge, "No Heroes" (Epitaph) Epic metalcore that arrived just when you thought the genre was completely spent. "Plagues" will kick your ass. 9) Split decision: Neko Case, "Fox Confessor Brings the Flood" (Anti) Jenny Lewis & the Watson Twins, "Rabbit Fur Coat" (Team Love) Cat Power, "The Greatest" (Matador) Three-way tie for this triple-shot of Southern-gothic girl power; they're all flush with mesmerizing storytelling and lulling ambiance. 8) Battle of Mice, "A Day of Nights" (Neurot) Underground all-star group cracks instro-metal wide-open by adding a frantic female singer and rendering the genre's prefix obsolete. 7) Johnny Cash, "American V" (American) It ain't perfect, and it has some shaky moments, but all of Johnny's discs did. Even American I. At least this one doesn't have sappy strings and yodeling background singers. 6) Glenn Danzig, "Black Aria II" (Evilive) Evil Enya meets the Phantom of the Opera. Maybe some of it's a little cheezy — maybe — but it's good. And "Lamenta Lilith," improbably, is a touching piece suitable for a funeral mass. A pagan funeral mass. 5) TV on the Radio, "Return to Cookie Mountain" (Interscope) Like Radiohead after Kid A, but interesting. 4) My Chemical Romance, "The Black Parade" (Reprise) Emo icons go classic-rock and write an oddly touching concept album. Don't tell anyone this is on my list. 3) The Black Keys, "Magic Potion" (Nonesuch) You've probably read plenty about how explosively awesome this Akron blues-rawk duo is. It's all true. The band recorded this disc in their basement, and if their band ever goes south, they can make a killing as engineers. The album is raw, son. Raw. 2) Teeth of the Hydra, "Greenland" (Tee Pee) This doom-metal disc initially disappointed; the Columbus-Cleveland band retreated from its earlier thrash tendencies and slowed down. But it's ultimately a hypnotic disc about the evil that runs rampant through mankind, nature, the afterlife, and pretty much everything and everywhere. 1) Fistula, "For a Better Tomorrow" EP (Corley Music) These sick bastids released eight albums and EPs this year, all of the variations on deadly sludge. Fistula is best. Killer stoner metal. The title track is like "Sweet Leaf" with a nose full of black tar. -- D.X. Ferris
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Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Romeo's Press Conference, Translated

Posted By on Tue, Dec 26, 2006 at 5:02 PM

Sunday's home finale was particularly tough for Coach Romeo Crennel — not so much because he and the Browns were planked by God-awful Tampa Bay, but because he knew the team's nougat-headed beat writers would have an extra day to scribble their monkey best in rhetorical questions for his weekly press conference. And, unlike the scoreboard, they didn't disappoint. No less than eight times was Coach asked about Braylon Edwards, whose performance - two catches, seven yards, more drops than an Amazon cloudburst — has somehow become less relevant than his being benched into the second quarter. Four times he was asked about Joe Jurevicius, too, for what's bound to become a week's worth of stinky ink comparing the two — as if Edwards' immaturity alone has kept the Browns from playing into January... As a late gift to you, C-Notes offers his translated remarks... Question: Why didn't you start Braylon Edwards? (First time asked) Romeo's response: "I did not start Braylon Edwards and it was my decision. I think he sat for a quarter and a half before I put him into the game. It was a coach's decision and I'm leaving it as a coach's decision. As a coach, I can do some of those things at times." Romey Keeps It Real ("The Real"): I've got a pretty good feeling I'm going to hear this question at least twice more before we're done today, but I'm hoping that each time I answer it'll register with the more evolved of you that I don't want to talk about this. Maybe the guys who don't walk on all fours, you know, can help me out. All that you need to know, people, is that this isn't the NBA — I can bench people if I want. I wish I could kick you to the practice squad, Bill Livingston, for some of the crap you write. Q: How did Edwards react to the decision? Romeo: "I think he was disappointed, but I think it got his attention. Then, Dennis (Northcutt) playing in his spot, he catches two balls — one down the middle of the field that helped us move the chains. Sometimes, you realize that the game goes on." The Real: The truth is we got kind of lucky -- the only guy left was the one with worse hands and two of the three times we threw to him I think the ball got stuck up his sleeves. If I hadn't already told Northcutt he was getting clipped after the season, I could have made a real good point. Q: Will rest take care of Kellen Winslow's knee? Romeo: "I'm not sure what it's going to take. Maybe rest will improve it. I don't know if minor surgery will improve it, but he says there is minor scar tissue in there. I think it probably will be re-evaluated after the season is over and a determination will be made." The Real: I'm so sick of this question, I don't know what to say. How about this? I wish Winslow would learn to play on his head, because his mouth is always open. -- Jason Nedley
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New Trend in Thieving: Cheese Sandwiches

Posted By on Tue, Dec 26, 2006 at 3:19 PM

On November 28, C-Notes reported a rash of cold cut robberies stretching from the West Side to Akron. According to a story in The East Liverpool Review, this recent trend in thieving has stretched as far south as Wellsville, a small Appalaichan village next door to Salineville, where To Rob a Predator took place. It appears that, aside from robbing pedophiles, Southeast Ohioans are also fans of stealing sandwiches. On December 16, a burglar broke into the home of David Palmer. Aside from lifting a watch and 35mm camera, the robber also stopped to make himself a cheese sandwich. -- Denise Grollmus
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