By Pete Kotz
on Mon, Jan 29, 2007 at 6:02 PM
Cleveland's resurrected improv-comedy troupe, Something Dada, chose a fitting theme song for last week's inaugural performance in its new digs. As the house lights dimmed, the audience heard the strains of "Movin' On Up" from the '70s sitcom, The Jeffersons.
Like George and Weezie, the 10-member cast has relocated to the East Side. The comics are now holed up in the Wooltex section of the Tower Press Building at the corner of Superior Avenue and East 19th Street. The move comes a year after they were forced out of their underground theater, Cabaret Dada, on West 6th Street, where they fell behind in the rent after thieves broke into their safe and ran off with $2,000. And 12 years of dealing with chronic plumbing leaks and noise from the nearby bars didn't help matters.
In their Tower Press debut, the cast revived many of their onstage games, like "World's Worst," in which audience members bark out different professions. The comedians take on the roles of the most incompetent workers in the list of suggested occupations. Take Russel Stich's portrayal of a pot-smoking pilot: "Hey, everybody, I'm high," he bellows to the audience. "You know when you're high when your mouth is too dry."
Opening night filled up three-quarters of the 96-seat theater. The company will continue to perform every Friday and Saturday night. And Stich doesn't regret the comeback. "It's hard to see something like this fall to the wayside and just die off," he says. "We're not getting rich from this by any stretch. But it's something that's unique to Cleveland." — Cris Glaser
By Pete Kotz
on Mon, Jan 29, 2007 at 1:59 PM
Our correspondent was ridiculed by a hot Russian waitress (see example above) for not ordering Russian vodka
Took a road trip to our nation's capital this weekend in an effort to reduce the unexplained surplus in my checking account. As a service to you, dear reader, I have produced this Zagat Guide to a Weekend in Washington. Cut it out and bring it along for your next trip east!
This "bustling metropolis" is "deceptively close," only a six-hour drive if your car isn't a "haggard piece of shit" and you don't get "totally cracked out" directions from Yahoo.com. Otherwise, "it takes seven and a half."
Once in D.C., "beware of Irish Car Bombs," a "frothy beverage" that will have "bouncers escorting you to a cab" and will make standing upright "excessively difficult."
On Saturday, dine in "ecclectic and energetic" Georgetown, where purchasing a cheeseburger requires "a small bank loan." And "be sure to stop in Urban Outfitters." This "trendy, chic" retailer will afford you the chance to hear a "trust-fund, polo-playing punk" declare his intention to "run for office one day." This future leader will then "buy a $30 t-shirt" that reads, "I'd hit that."
That night, be sure to "pay six dollars" for an Amstel Light, and "be ridiculed by a hot Russian waitress" for not ordering "Russian vodka," you "fucking pansy." Later, "work overtime" to court a "friendly Democratic staffer," only to lose out to a "toothless bastard named Igor," who happens to work for "the freaking Brookings Institute."
On the Sunday drive home, make sure you "feel like you've been mainlining Cuervo for a week," try to "doze off somewhere in Pennsylvania." — Joe P. Tone
By Pete Kotz
on Mon, Jan 29, 2007 at 1:54 PM
Stomp comes to Akron
This week's top arts and entertainment picks around town, from the guy who's paid to pick them:Monday: The Cleveland Cinematheque screens Sunset Boulevard, one of the best movies ever made. Part noir, part black comedy, all scathing hatred for the Hollywood machine.
Tuesday: Reggae singer Pato Banton plays Wilbert's. Back in the early '90s, he scored a college radio hit with a cover of the Police's "Spirits in the Material World." He's been searching for career resuscitation ever since.
Wednesday: Check out the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's new Warped: 12 Years of Music, Mayhem, and More exhibit [http://clevescene.com/search/events.php?eventSearch=1&date=2007-01-31&event_occurance=both] tonight, when the Rock Hall stays open till 9 p.m. Young punks finally take over the graying hall.
Thursday:Singer-songwriter David Martin makes your Valentine's Day gift look totally lame. Martin wrote a bunch of songs, recorded them, and put them on an iPod for his wife. The songs became his debut album, Something in Your Eyes, which Martin will perform at Wilbert's.
Friday: Stomp comes to Akron, proving once and for all that you can make a career beating on all that shit your mom has in her cupboard. --Michael Gallucci
By Pete Kotz
on Mon, Jan 29, 2007 at 1:17 PM
Time was when Korn offered cutting-edge shit -- raucous, down-tuned, grinding songs like "Blind." If properly marketed, "A.D.I.D.A.S" could have been as been as big as Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit." Follow the Leader, their 1998 LP, could be rap-metal's high-water mark. Even the subsequent studio albums have had their moments.
Now Korn's just sad.
The band's new MTV Unplugged is unintentionally hilarious. You could easily mistake it for a Mad TV sketch. It has some of the funniest musical moments since Justin Timberlake's "Dick in a Box" and the Avril Lavinge-Sum 41 tribute to Metallica. Spinal Tap might be funnier, but that's just because it's longer.
Korn Unplugged sees the rap-rock kingpins making a desperate bid for artistic cred by aping their heroes in Nirvana, going way the hell off the reservation into music styles better left to... hell, anybody else. This is the quintessential drop-tune band. You can't go down to D in acoustic set. So what do they do? Bring along some cellists, a pianist, and some baffling guest stars, including the Cure's Robert Smith and Evanescence frontwoman Amy Lee, as seen above in "Freak on a Leash."
Lee adds some vaguely world-musicy howls, proving once and for all that Korn may be nu-metal godfathers, but when you cut to the quick, they're just a buncha emo pussies.
The special is set to make its on-air debut February 17, with a set-list slated to include:
02. Freak on a Leash (feat. Amy Lee)
03. Falling Away From Me
05. Love Song
06. Got The Life
07. Twisted Transistor
08. Coming Undone
09. Make Me Bad / In Between Days (feat. Robert Smith)
10. Throw Me Away
"Creep" may be a cover of the Radiohead alt-rock classic, but if we spend another second researching this, we're gonna hurl. — D.X. Ferris
By Pete Kotz
on Fri, Jan 26, 2007 at 4:19 PM
The Homo Police Blotter for the week of January 21, 2007:
Homo Police arrested Jim Simpson, 24, of North Royalton at Border's Book Store, after shoppers alerted security that he was in the self-help aisle, leafing through a copy of a Suze Orman book. Simpson claimed he was merely seeking financial advice from the female investment guru, yet his alibi fell apart after he admitted reading Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul while in high school.
Frank Miller, 31, of Lakewood, was pulled over by the Homo Police on Lake Road on suspicion of driving a hybrid Toyota Prius while jamming to Michael Buble. A roadside gay test showed that he knew the titles to 10 songs by The Fray, which is 10 times over the legal limit. He was booked on charges of aggravated gayness and is awaiting deportation to Johnny Mango's.
A Cleveland Heights man called the Homo Police to report that his best friend was exhibiting disturbing behavior. According to the man, his friend once baked his girlfriend a cake for her birthday. Police trailed the couple to Beachwood Mall, where the man was spotted holding his girlfriend's Express bag while she picked out a scarf for him at the Gap. The complainant declined to press charges, electing to handle the matter privately.
Several patrons of Regal Cinemas at Crocker Park reported two men sitting next to each other during a matinee of the romantic comedy Holiday. Homo Police approached the men, questioning them about the whereabouts of their girlfriends. "Um, it's a good movie?" said one man. The men left the theater without incident, and were safely escorted to a showing of Apocalypto. -- Jared Klaus
By Pete Kotz
on Fri, Jan 26, 2007 at 3:38 PM
It's nice to know that if smokers have to take the fall, the anti-smokers can go right down with us.
This week, the Ohio Department of Health released the details of its SmokeFree Workplace Act, which will have go before the General Assembly. The beauty of this bill is not that it calls for fines of up to $2,500 for businesses, but that it also calls for $1,000 fines for people make false reports.
That's right. If you have a vendetta against your ex-boyfriend bartender and you try to rat him, you can get lit up for $2,500 for the second false claim. That should keep the rats at bay. -- Denise Grollmus
By Pete Kotz
on Fri, Jan 26, 2007 at 3:34 PM
If you tuned into the State of the Union last week, you may have seen an elf trying to borrow the President's spotlight.
Dennis Kucinich -- who's made his name as a lapdog barking at the president's heels -- made sure he was stationed near the entrance when President Bush emerged to take the podium, with Kucinich embracing the president warmly, witnesses say. It's doubtful Denny has new devotion for Bush. But it's certain Kucinich was working the moment to woo his one true love: camera time.
"He was smiling awfully big," one blogger said of Kucinich. "I don't think he was saying, 'Drop dead.'
Another excited writer suggested that Kucinich's embrace of the president was in the same vein as Lieberman's "kiss" of President Bush, which helped cost him the Democratic primary for the senate seat he now holds as an independent.
"This could sink his presidential candidacy!" wrote one excited blogger.
But Kucinich's campaign was quick to knock down the rumors. "It was not a Lieberman moment," said spokesman Andy Junkiewicz. "He's totally opposed to the president's policy and plans ... and he's certainly not moving in the direction of supporting the war."
Our guess: the Ego Formerly Known As Dennis was hitting up Bush for advice on how to weather a second presidential term. -- Kevin Hoffman