This weekend, Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald added a little fuel to the fire of speculation that he’s looking at running for governor in the near future — like 2014.
Democrats from across the state gathered at the Columbus Convention Center Saturday night for the Ohio Democratic Party’s annual state convention and dinner. The three-hour dinner program featured awards, speeches from officeholders like Senator Sherrod Brown, a musical performance by former First Lady Frances Strickland, and a folksy, amusing keynote address from Montana rancher-turned-governor Brian Schweitzer.
Afterward, attendees headed out to the lobby to find it strewn with flyers inviting them to extend their evening by stopping by a post-dinner celebration at 89 Fish and Grill around the corner from the convention center — hosted by FitzGerald. He probably wasn’t reaching out to Democrats from places like Adams and Darke County for advice on how to run things up here.
After the much ballyhooed public auditions at the Beachland Ballroom July 21, which brought out more than 100 aspiring radio stars and comedians, as well as veteran local radio personalities Lisa Dillon and Marty Sobol, Ohio Media Watch is reporting that the station has found its morning host elsewhere. OMW says they've tapped Archie Berwick.
Berwick is a former CBS Radio Cleveland promotions staffer, who we’re told has been doing similar work with the New York Mets. As far as we know, though we could be wrong, Archie has no significant on-air experience.
A little digging reveals that Berwick is an African-American Christian rapper in his late 20s whose online bio touts his eagerness to “follow his dreams" by leaving Cleveland. Since Embrescia has been promoting that the station will be all about boosting Cleveland and told Channel 3’s Good Company Today host Hollie Strano that the music format will be adult album rock (Triple A, like the late V107.3), it’s hard to figure what this particular radio rookie brings to the table.
But word is he was a promotions assistant for former CBS Cleveland radio exec Chris Maduri, who’s involved in the new station headed by former Cleveland radio moguls Tom Wilson and Tom Embrescia.
It's unclear exactly when the station — which was supposed by be broadcasting by now according to earlier projections — will be on the air so we can judge Berwick's latent talents for ourselves. However, OMW also reports that the station will broadcast from the Agora building at 5000 Euclid, which once housed WMMS and WHK in the ’70s, back when WMMS was developing into the radio powerhouse it became. I guess we’ll see if any of the magic rubs off.
Singer-songwriter Josh Krajcik became a sensation after placing second on last year’s X Factor, the American Idol-like reality show designed to launch new talent. Since then, the Wooster native has signed a record deal with a Sony subsidiary and been busy splitting time between studios in L.A. and London as he records his major label debut. But Krajcik, who currently lives in Columbus, says he has been “craving some gigs,"so the soulful singer will play at 8 p.m. Wednesday, August 1 at the House of Blues. Here’s a timeline of how he went from the corner bar to national TV with his recollections of the important stops (including one at Cleveland’s Brothers Lounge) along the way. Tickets to Wednesday's show are $15 advance, $20 day of show.
It was appropriate that the areas closest to the stage at last night’s Brothers of the Sun show at Browns Stadium were called the “sand bars.” While they weren’t literally coated with sand, they might as well have been. The concert featuring co-headlining country singers Tim McGraw and Kenny Chesney was as much beach party as it was musical concert. Fittingly, Corona was the beverage of choice, and frozen margaritas were a popular option, too. Too bad the security personnel didn’t get the memo — for some reason, they confiscated beach balls throughout the evening. Still, that hardly put a damper on the festive vibe.
Cleveland lawyer and energetic people-connector Andrew Samtoy pioneered the concept of the “Cash Mob” — a tool for supporting local businesses and making new friends — late last year. Last February Scene wrote about how he turned out 50 people on a cold winter night to descend on Coventry Road’s Big Fun with the stipulation that each person spend at least $20 and meet at least three new people.
The events are engineered via social media; Samtoy tells people where to meet and once there, reveals where they are going. Today nearly two dozen people, most of whom work downtown, met on Public Square for a “lunch mob” event which turned out to be across the street at Pura Vida.
Tables with goodie bags and a prix fixe menu with soup, salad, three sandwich choices and beverages were preset for the group. (Even if the mob doesn’t know where it’s going, the business owner is alerted in order to prepare for the group.)
A video crew was on hand for today’s event, making a promotional film for the Downtown Cleveland Alliance. Samtoy’s concept has already spread internationally. This should raise his already high profile even more.
There’ll be new local music pouring out of Cleveland’s clubs this weekend with five bands celebrating new releases with shows.
Tonight the Commonwealth and the Hedgehog’s Dilemma combine forces for dual release party at the Beachland Tavern. The Commonwealth, a trio of melodic modern rockers with a little bit of a Coldplay feel especially in Andrew Kuhar’s sweet, achey vocals, follow up last year’s EP Souvenir with their first full-length Emerald City Blues. The Hedgehog’s Dilemma underlay their infectious music with a folk/country vibe on their new release, The Shallows, thanks to Doug Wyatt’s lap steel accents and Anthony and Samantha Touarti’s harmony vocals that recall classic country duos from Johnny and June to Gram and Emmylou.
Tomorrow night Debussi headlines the Beachland Ballroom to introduce their new EP All the Same, blending influences from classical to jam bands to prog rock. They recorded the disc at Painesville’s SUMA Recording with Paul Hammann, longtime engineer for Pere Ubu, among others. Eclectic Mayhem and Friendly Ghosts open.
Read more here.
Next door in the Beachland Tavern tomorrow, All Dinosaurs will be cranking it up and cranking it out as they launch their limited edition vinyl LP, Rules of Civility and Decent Behavior, an undoubtedly deliberate misnomer for their aggressive and impolite post punk. Two Hand Fools and Natural Disasters are also on the bill. More here.
And tonight over at the Happy Dog, Shitbox Jimmy, a hard-rocking punk-influenced trio, will showcase their new vinyl LP Alive at the Door. They’ll be playing with Prisoners and Wooly Bullies.
Both All Dinosaurs and Shitbox Jimmy had their records pressed right here in town at Gotta Groove Records, a key player in the vinyl comeback.
Earlier this week, Misha Gabriel, one of the stars in the new dance flick Step Up Revolution, came through town on a promo tour. He hosted a flash mob (in the film, the dancers stage flash mob performances throughout Miami) on Tuesday night at Southpark Mall and then introduced an advanced screening of the film that played to a packed house at the theatre inside the mall. “We've been working with local dance studios across the country to put on an even that will tie in with the film and that was one of our best turnouts,” says Gabriel from the Renaissance Hotel the next morning.