By Pete Kotz
on Wed, May 30, 2007 at 1:26 PM
The Blossom Time Festival in Chagrin Falls last weekend was filled with all the comforting signs of summer: funnel cake, ferris wheel, greasy pizza, $2 bottled water. On Saturday night, despite the rain, hordes of teenyboppers swarmed through the mud, trying not to trip on electrical cords as they wandered from the dart booth to the lemonade stand.
All was peaceful and serene, as long as you didn’t look too hard at the sponsorship signs. For it appeared that the company bringing you The Scrambler and other beloved children’s rides was none other than Anthony Allega Cement Contractor.
This is the company that, after allegedly participating in a massive front company scam at Hopkins airport [“Black on Black Crime, February 21] has now been barred indefinitely from all public work in Cleveland.
Clearly, the company is trying hard to win back its good name. Cotton candy, anyone? – Lisa Rab
By Pete Kotz
on Wed, May 30, 2007 at 1:17 PM
It’s better than the real thing: Once rivals, Metallica and Megadeth didn’t share a stage until both of them had seen better days. Tribute bands Alcoholica (Metallica) and Degameth (Megadeth) recreate the clash of the titans the way it should have been, presenting sets primarily comprising old-school classics.
Featuring former members of MSOD and Mo Rage, Cleveland’s Degameth nails some of the sickest, gnarliest guitar songs ever. Frontman George Hartwig - thankfully - sings deeper than Megadeth’s Dave Mustaine’s trademark piercing vocals, leaving the shrieking to lead guitarist Jon Perroti. Alcoholica is a side-project for drummer Opus and guitarist Ross, whose main gig is playing in Dead by Wednesday, a metalcore on the roster of Jamey Jasta’s Stillborn Records. As Mustaine once asked, “Can you put a price on peace -- or a show like this?”
Alcoholica drummer Opus didn’t want to ruin the surprise, but here’s what he had to say about his band:
“I can tell you that we do not play anything past …And Justice For All, and we call ourselves a CLASSIC METALLICA tribute band, so that gives you a hint for sure. We do a bunch of the old classics that everyone wants to hear, and some obscure old ones, as well as some of the covers they did too, from the Misfits and more. We do it out of respect for the band, so we try an play it like they did when they were kids.”
And the kids sure were alright.
Alcoholica and Degameth. 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 31, $6, 21 and over/$10, 20 and under (all ages). Peabody’s, 2083 E. 21st St., 216-776-9999. - D.X. Ferris
By Pete Kotz
on Wed, May 30, 2007 at 1:14 PM
Chuck D visited the main branch of Akron’s public library last week as part of its excellent series of free lectures. The introduction described his hip-hop squad, Public Enemy, as “arguably the most important rap group in history.”
The frontman took the stage to the soulful chorus sample from PE’s “By the Time I Get to Arizona,” an anthem of sociopolitical disenfranchisement. He got a standing ovation for just taking the stage – maybe a little of it was for wearing a navy Cavaliers cap, even though he’s a lifelong Knicks fan. Chuck quickly explained that he’s not a bandwagon fan, and said LeBron James “seems like a fine young man, who comes from a place that’s about some values.”
The Quotable Chuck D, Part Two of Three: RaceOn his graying goatee: “I’ve got some gray in my face… There’s no Grecian formula for this; as a black man in America, you’ve got to earn this.”
On race in America, and his failure to distinguish between black and Latino cultures’ contributions to hip-hop: “If you’re non-white in America, you’re a person of color.”
On white people in rap: “Can a white person be hip-hop? Yeah. Hell yeah, because it’s a culture.”
On black women: “Black women are treated the worst in society. Black women are superwomen.”
On the post-Imus controversy regarding use of the N-word in hip-hop: “Everything on the street ain’t meant to be broadcast. The N-word, the B-word, if it has its place, it’s in dark corners.”
On hip-hop’s revival of the N-word: “You cannot turn the word ‘nigger’ around, because the first time it was used, it like, ‘Nigger, get on that boat.’” [Followed by a pantomime of a whip crack].
On accepting the N-word: “If you let people call you anything, you’ll let them call you everything.”
On Barry Bonds’ chase for the home run record: “I’ve never seen so much blatant racism in my life.”
On Roger Clemens’ light work schedule and general pampering: “Roger Clemens is the worst thing ever for baseball… What does that tell you? ‘You’re the best, so you get provisions’?”
On race: “Race is still misunderstood in America. There’s only one race: the human race… Don’t applaud for me – I didn’t make this up.”
No, but he has the best way of saying it.
Part 1 of the Quotable Chuck D, Part I: On Rap – D.X. Ferris
By Pete Kotz
on Wed, May 30, 2007 at 1:06 PM
Chaos may be the plat du jour come June, when long-time Cleveland chef Heather Campbell opens her Ohio City deli and catering ops, Dish Global Deli (1834 W. 25th St., in the former Opa space). The name is frightfully similar to the one already in use by long-time Cleveland chef Donna Chriszt, at her recently opened Tremont deli and catering ops, Dish Deli & Catering (1112 Kenilworth Ave., in the former Take-A-Bite space).
Chriszt, whose credits include Jeso, J Café, and OZ, says she has given Campbell a “friendly” notification that the name is taken.
Campbell, whose resume includes a four-year stint at the Fulton Bar & Grill, as well as at Johnny Mango, Heck’s Café, and the Waterstreet Grill, says she isn’t concerned. “If the State of Ohio doesn’t care,” she said, referring to the business registration process, “I don’t either.”
Launching a new biz is tough enough. Confusing your potential customers doesn’t seem like it would make it any easier. -- Elaine T. Cicora
By Pete Kotz
on Tue, May 29, 2007 at 5:36 PM
Don’t look now, but the raging Grady vs. Brady forest fire is spreading.
If you haven’t been paying attention, you’re a loser. But don’t worry. I’ll be your guide through this philosophical conundrum of hotness. Basically, The Plain Dealer recently posed a very meaningful question, the sort of thing Kant would have considered if his cable package included the ESPN 2: Who’s hotter: Tribe centerfielder Grady Sizemore or Browns quarterback Brady Quinn?
Vexing, I know. I spent all last week breaking this down with my old TI-82 calculator. But then today, I stumbled across a copy of the Seven Hills News, the newspaper put out by the suburb’s mayor, David Bentkowski. In it, Bentkowski, who's always viewed modesty as a communicable disease, adds himself to the equation, putting his photo next to the two sex symbols’.
He then spends an entire page on a side-by-side-by-side comparison. Under “job duties,” for instance, he writes that Grady must “serve as catalyst of team.” Brady must “lead entire offense.” And the mayor? Well, he must “manage entire city.”
Bentkowski also breaks down the “accomplishments on behalf of the community.” Grady hit .270. Brady lost in the Sugar Bowl. The mayor? “Since Bentkowski took office,” he writes, “city coffers have $1.5 million more in, crime remains almost non-existent,” etc.
As for athletic feats, the mayor brags that he “throws out 5,000 Seven Hills News papers in one night all alone. Stands in front of K-Mart for 12 hours for the Salvation Army. Plays second base for The Casket Store in Parma Rec. League.”
Bentkowski closes with a plea to the people of Seven Hills: “The fact is I am as big a Grady or Brady fan as you are and I am glad they play for our home teams. My point is I wonder how much more I could accomplish for you and Seven Hills if more people took an active interest in our community the way they do for sports. Just as they play for ‘the love of the game’ – I work for my love of Seven Hills. I don’t need the money they make – I don’t need all the perks they receive. All I need is to know I am making a positive difference for my home town and for you. Cheer for Grady … Cheer for Brady … and doesn’t it make sense to Cheer for your Mayor?” – Joe P. Tone
By Pete Kotz
on Tue, May 29, 2007 at 3:04 PM
It was a close call for riders of the Magnum XL-200 rollercoaster at Cedar Point Saturday, after a train coming into the station failed to brake, smashing into a departing train.
Luckily the ride was only traveling at about 10 miles per hour at impact, so no one was seriously injured, although two people were treated for minor injuries at the park’s first aid station. Unfortunately, not all amusement park mishaps have such happy endings.
To celebrate the start of this year’s rollercoaster season, we’re rolling out C-Notes’ Top Five Amusement Park Disasters of All Time.
5). July 9, 1980. At an amusement park in Missouri, a 26-year-old man was killed when a rollercoaster operator, unaware that the man was still aboard the ride, diverted the train into a service area with a low-hanging wooden beam. You can guess how that one ended. Ouch!
4). May 22, 1981. This hurts just to think about. A 14-year-old girl was killed at a park in Rochester, New York, after she fell off of a ride where electric cars move along a track. The girl fell into a rotating barrel, which then forced her body through a 5-by-7-inch gap into the area underneath the track.
3). May 11, 1984. Eight teenagers were burned alive inside the Haunted Castle at a Six Flags in New Jersey. After a light-bulb burned out in one of the rooms of the haunted house, one of the teenagers lit a cigarette lighter to find his way out. The lighter ignited some foam padding on the walls and the whole place went up like a piece of flash paper.
2). August 23, 1988. A 26-year-old man was killed at Astroland in Coney Island after he decided to stand up on the Cyclone rollercoaster as it was descending down the first hill. He fell 30 feet and landed on a cross-beam, dying instantly. That’ll leave a mark.
1). June 2, 1997. One teenager was killed and 32 were injured on a slide at Waterworld USA in Concord, California. The group of high school seniors was trying to break the record for the number of people going down the slide at once. The slide buckled under the weight, sending the teenagers falling 30 feet into a pile of bodies. -- Jared Klaus
By Pete Kotz
on Tue, May 29, 2007 at 2:58 PM
With point guard Larry Hughes sidelined with a foot injury, the Cavaliers will start forward LeBron James at point guard in tonight’s Game 4, team sources say. It will mark the first time in league history that one player will start at two positions in the same game.
The Cavaliers struggled with the decision, but eventually decided that they would be better off playing with only four players. “This way, LeBron will get the ball, like, 20 percent more,” a high-level source stated. It also saves the Cavs from having to start Eric Snow, Damon Jones, or Daniel Gibson, keeping them available to towel off James during timeouts.
Cavs GM Danny Ferry also has petitioned NBA Commissioner David Stern for a last-minute rule change to allow James to pass the ball to himself. Stern is expected to make a decision by tonight’s game. According to an email obtained by C-Notes, Ferry believes that “such a rule, while unorthodox, would be pretty cool, especially for alley-oops and stuff.”
The Cavs also considered benching center Drew Gooden in favor James, but scratched the idea when they realized they wouldn’t have enough room on the bench. – Joe P. Tone