Thursday, June 19, 2008

Al Franken heads to Shaker Heights for Senate fundraiser

Posted By on Thu, Jun 19, 2008 at 7:08 AM

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"What? There's no direct flight to Shaker Heights?
In an election year, celebs who ordinarily couldn’t locate Lake Erie on a map suddenly seem to find our humble swing-state mecca irresistible. A few months ago, Don Cheadle stopped by to support Barack Obama, and even Sean Penn has stopped by, to lend some Hollywood credence to Dennis Kucinich regularly scheduled ego-stroking. Next week, it’s Al Franken’s turn. Franken, known for his comic genius as Stuart Smalley on “Saturday Night Live” and his progressive radio show on Air America, has finally switched over to the dark side of politics, officially making him way less funny than he used to be. He’s running for a U.S. Senate seat in Minnesota, and quickly learning that trying to be a politician is way harder than just making fun of them. ...

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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Mic Check: Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers at Blossom on Sunday

Posted By on Wed, Jun 18, 2008 at 3:00 PM

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Tom Petty’s coming to town on Sunday. Again. Seems like the dude plays Blossom every single summer. It’s gotten to the point where we’re sorta taking him for granted. Sure, that’s easy to do, especially with recent crappy albums like The Last DJ and Highway Companion. But go back and revisit his Greatest Hits album, and you’ll realize how durable the guy is. So go see Petty for the rock legend he’s become. Here are his Top 5 songs – perfect for that pre-concert mix you’ll be making. 5. “Even the Losers” – Almost every song on Damn the Torpedoes is killer. It’s his most consistent and best album. But this super rocker – about smoking cigs and coming out on top – is archetypal Petty: tough and to the point. 4. “Don’t Come Around Here No More” – Southern Accents is Petty’s most underrated album, a concept record about the south. Dropped in the middle of all the songs about rebels and broken-down trucks is this psychedelic mind-fuck produced by Eurythmics’ Dave Stewart. 3. “The Waiting” – A jingle-jangle love song that sounds like summer. It’s got a killer hook and still shows up in Petty’s live sets a quarter century later. 2. “American Girl” – Petty’s first great song pretty much set his standard: cool opening riff, solid verse-chorus-verse, and terrific guitar solo by Heartbreaker Mike Campbell. It still rocks 30-plus years on. 1. “Free Fallin’” – Petty’s biggest album and most popular song come from his first solo album without the Heartbreakers. It’s about L.A. vampires, wide-open spaces, and some girl who really digs Elvis. It doesn’t get more American than that. --Michael Gallucci Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers play Blossom Music Center (1145 West Steels Corners Road in Cuyahoga Falls) at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, June 22. Tickets range from $29.50 to $95, available by calling 216-241-5555. For a preview, listen to “American Girl” below.

Slide Show: Death Cab for Cutie at the Plain Dealer Pavilion

Posted By on Wed, Jun 18, 2008 at 12:27 PM

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Beat it.
Death Cab for Cutie played the Plain Dealer Pavilion over the weekend. You may have already read our review. Now you can look at some pictures taken by Wanda Santos-Bray. Check out her slide show. –Michael Gallucci

With help from Supreme Court, Alex Arshinkoff keeps sweaty paws in Summit County politics

Posted By on Wed, Jun 18, 2008 at 11:31 AM

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It’s a good thing we never participated in one of those celebrity death pools. Although we’re pretty sure British soulstress/black-tar-heroin-fan Amy Winehouse isn’t going to make it through the summer, our track record might suggest otherwise. Take Alex Arshinkoff, for example. The Gayest Straight Guy Ever™ has ruled the Summit County GOP with an iron (and diamond-studded) fist for three decades now, using his unnatural gifts for fundraising and back-room political chicanery to keep Republicans afloat in heavily Democratic Akron. ...

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Highland Heights demotes Mark Joseph, the sergeant who yapped about teen suicide attempt

Posted By on Wed, Jun 18, 2008 at 10:34 AM

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"Hosing your dad's career is educational and fun!"
Something tells us Peter Joseph has been grounded indefinitely. Perhaps even had his driving privileges revoked. The son of Highland Heights sergeant Mark Joseph, Peter gave Dad an early Father’s Day present a few weeks back when he posted on his facebook page that a schoolmate had attempted suicide. To make matters worse, the kid divulged his source unprompted, prefacing the info with, “As many of you may know, my father is a police sergeant in the city of Highland Heights and he gets the whole scoop on most things.” Yo, son: stop snitchin’. ...

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Last Night in Cleveland: Jack Johnson

Posted By on Wed, Jun 18, 2008 at 9:43 AM

For a concert that’s as calm as the still waters of an empty pond, you sure don’t expect a crowd to be trembling with excitement. And with Jack Johnson’s reputation as one of the most relaxing acoustic musicians of the decade, you’d certainly anticipate a laid-back live show. But somehow, the most chill dude ever managed to incite screams and ear-to-ear grins from a Blossom Music Center audience that ranged from tweens to grandparents. It must be Johnson’s magic touch – an ability to turn a cold, rainy Cleveland night into a sunny Hawaiian paradise – that gives his fans an instant happy-go-lucky vibe. As if his songs about living life to the fullest weren’t enough to warm the hearts of every fan, he brought along six TV screens that beamed photos of waves, birds, and palm trees behind him ...

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Earthquake, Johnny Sanchez leads the week’s big comedy shows

Posted By on Wed, Jun 18, 2008 at 9:24 AM

Unless you recognize a comedian’s name as That Girl From that Movie or the Dude from That One HBO Special, it can be hard to tell whether a stand-up is worth seeing. Lucky you: C-Notes did the legwork, and the skinny on this week’s big comedy shows, video included, is just a click away. -- D.X. Ferris

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