Last year, the Akron indie folk band Bethesda initiated a Kickstarter campaign to fund the making of its new album Reunion. While it generated enough revenue to fund the making to the CD, it didn’t have enough money to put the album out on vinyl. But band members didn’t give up on issuing the disc on vinyl. They decided to save whatever money they made from gigs and put that toward the vinyl release.
“We saved our money from every gig between May and now,” says singer-guitarist Eric Ling. “Because we’re doing vinyl, we wanted to go all out and we put it on red vinyl. It’s a lot money and there are a lot of expenses along the way. When you see a band that’s put out their album on vinyl, you can tell that they care.”
"I'll be talking to everybody who won't run away from me about what makes this town tick," he writes in his introductory piece, "about the history, about the bars, the restaurants, about how hard it is to get something to eat after 8 p.m. around here, and about Bernie Kosar a lot, probably. This is my first trip up here, so don't trust my judgement. I'm only here to learn."
Today, the final installment of his Cleveland series was posted. Here's what his "legitimately pleasant weekend" in Cleveland produced in the order his stories were published (click the links for the full stories):
September 9: "Leitch Across America: Cleveland" — Leitch's first story after 24 hours in the city.
CLEVELAND — A man is wearing a Joe Jurevicius jersey, sitting in the lobby of the Doubletree By Hilton hotel in downtown Cleveland, sipping out of a thermos, leaving everyone the damn well alone. The Cleveland Browns have just lost 23-10, at home, to a Miami Dolphins team that's not particularly good, and the hotel is as bustling as anything in down Cleveland gets, mostly with Dolphins fans checking into their rooms after the victory, doing so politely and quietly, with little fuss. Cleveland is not a place to crow about your victories over the home team, partly out of a sense of personal safety, but mostly out of respect or sympathy.
September 10: "The Fans They Don't Deserve" — written after 48 hours in Cleveland.
Browns fans deserve more than Standard Generic Stadium, and they know it. But then again, this is the central conflict of today's Cleveland Browns: They are a replacement for, a symbol toward and a simulacrum of a franchise that meant everything to this city … but they're not exactly that old franchise. These Cleveland Browns are a monument to the old Browns, but they're not the old Browns. For the sake of continuity, convenience and civic clarity, these Browns share a name, and a record book, and a fanbase with those old Browns. Their fans share memories between the two, and they've decided to connect them, to pretend that it's all seamless, to pretend that 1996-98 never happened. But they're not the same thing. The Cleveland Browns are a cover band making inferior music. They're an avatar. They're Jimmy Stewart in Vertigo, desperately trying to remake Kim Novak back into Madeleine.
The Esquire writer, Cleveland native and author of "The Whore of Akron" talks about the compliant local media in Cleveland, how cynical Cleveland sports can make you and, yes, LeBron.
Podcast: "The Will Leitch Experience Episode 2.32" — a 26-minute podcast with Joe Posnanski.
The NBC Sports columnist — and former Sports on Earther — talks about his hometown of Cleveland and how it has changed since he was a kid.
September 11: "Downtown Dilemma" — a long piece on downtown Cleveland, Dan Gilbert, Lebron and development.
CLEVELAND — You can't necessarily judge a city by the quality and vibrance of its downtown area, but it's not the worst place to start. When you look at major American cities, it's insane how difficult it can be to get a sandwich after 10 p.m. We built these cities, constructed whole sprawling communities surrounding them, and then watched as we burnt a hole in the middle. Millions of people organize their entire lives around the opportunities a city provides and yet won't step foot in the place after 6 p.m. You look at these cities, so lovingly mapped out and plotted, and they're abandoned, incredible views with no one looking at them.
Podcast: "The Will Leitch Experience Episode 2.33" — a 25-minute podcast with author James Frey
The author of "A Million Little Pieces" is a diehard Cleveland Browns fans, and talks about just how much pain that has caused him.
September 12: "The Indians Are No Joke" — written after Leitch took in games at Progressive Field.
You don't feel forlorn at an Indians game: This is not like Miami, where not only are there few people in the stands, they're not paying any attention to what's going on either. Indians fans are as loyal as Cleveland's reputation would make you think; everyone in my section on Wednesday had been to every game of the Royals series and looked at me with suspicion, like I'd murdered the person who regularly sat in my seat rather than merely having bought his/her ticket on StubHub. (The mock sneer the woman gave me when I mistakenly sat in the wrong seat was joking, but only sort of.) There are Indians fans who adore this team. There are just a lot fewer of them than there used to be.
September 13: "Cleveland By The Numbers" — Leitch's wrap up piece on his trip to Cleveland. You'll want to read this one. As he'll do with the other cities he visits, he ranks Cleveland on six categories: Facilities, history, icons, loyalty, passion, recent success, and category he calls "Completely Objective, Catch-All, Make Sure the Final Tally Is Precisely The Number I Want It To Be."
CLEVELAND — As with San Francisco, the purpose of the Leitch Across America tour is to understand cities and specific areas in ways that are as close to how the locals see them as possible. These trips are learning experiences. It was legitimately refreshing to just sit and talk to Cleveland sports fans all week. These are passionate people, as eager to tell their stories as I am to hear them. I came into Cleveland knowing little more about the city — which I'd never visited — than the "Cleveland Rocks!" song and some "30 Rock" jokes. Now I find myself cheering for their teams when they play. I'm can't wait to get back here again.
Podcast: "The Will Leitch Experience Episode 2.35" — a 26-minute podcast with blogger Rick Greyshock.
Rick Greyshock, Cleveland Browns blogger and one of the founders of the "Waiting for Next Year" site, wraps up Cleveland week, talking with Will about blogging in smaller markets, covering the Browns and what needs to happen to improve Cleveland teams.
An Ohio State Trooper is under fire after allegedly ramming his cruiser into the back of a motorcycle and sending a local couple to the hospital with grave injuries.
Newly released dash-cam footage shows the terrifying moment when 2012 State Trooper of the Year, Jacob Daymon, crashes into the motorbike of Beavercreek, OH couple Amy and Corey Waldman. The two riders are thrown onto the hood of Daymon's car before hitting pavement on the night of the Aug. 17 accident.
Thanks to the exclusively-minded planning of folks like Dan Gilbert, Mayor Frank Jackson and Ward 3 City Councilman Joe Cimperman (repping downtown, Ohio City, Tremont, et al.), the skywalk will connect what city leaders champion as the savior of downtown economic development (gambling!) with the parking garage located across the street. It also completes the cycle that began when Rock Gaming totally altered its original development plans and knocked down the Columbia Building to erect that very parking garage.
From a June 26 Scene article:
On the surface, the whole skywalk thing is kinda innocuous. But greased by city stakeholders and championed by those precious few, it's yet another step in a corporate catering direction. Really, the crowd using Horseshoe's valets and the casino's impending skywalk are a fringe and suburban bunch. But the red carpet almost makes it seem like this is Cleveland's most prized demographic.
Now that the job is on the clock and under way, the city's all-in bet on casino revenue (which has been shaky at best since opening) and the glamor of 20th-century civic development is on full display. At its heart, though, this skywalk business can be chalked up to a vast disparity between city leaders' overzealous use of the rubber stamp and the vocalized desires of downtown residents (at the very least a willful minority, though dissenting chatter online and IRL seems fairly widespread).
More than 500 people signed a petition to halt the project. That effort, helmed by Cleveland resident Joe Baur and OurCLE, fell on deaf ears down at City Hall and within the gilded confines of the casino.
The whole thing - all $5.6 million of it - is slated to be completed by Jan. 1, according to General Manager Marcus Glover.
On last year’s Honest Enough, local singer-songwriter Taylor Lamborn shows off her terrific voice with a collection of 11 tunes, at least a handful of which could be called break-up songs. She came by the office yesterday for a Scene Session and played a few songs from the disc. She has a number of upcoming gigs: on Sept. 20 she plays Black Squirrel Gifts in Kent as part of the Round Town Music Fest; on Sept. 28, she plays Musica in Akron as part of the PJFW EP release party; on Oct. 11 she plays Visible Voice Books in Tremont as part of Tremont Art Walk; on Oct. 12 she plays the Sweet Truth Local Artist Showcase at Around The Corner in Lakewood; on Oct. 18 she brings her full band to Brothers Lounge for a headlining gig; and on Oct. 26 she plays Frontier Ranch in Kirkersville.
This week for Q104 our food critic dishes on the best restaurants in Cleveland for a first date.
Here are his suggestions for where to eat, what to do, and- most importantly- how to get that second date.
Early on, we knew something was wrong at last night’s Keith Urban concert at Blossom. The concerts at Blossom run like clockwork, so when opener Dustin Lynch took the stage some 25 minutes late, we suspected things weren’t in order. Then, we heard rumors that the country star hadn’t even arrived yet. Little Big Town came on stage about an hour behind schedule. They delivered a good long set that showed off their sharp vocal harmonies (and they nailed a cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “The Chain”), but it appeared they were trying to fill time. So just after 10 p.m., Urban, who was stuck at an airport in New York, sent a video message apologizing to the fans for his absence. We’re wondering how he ever hoped to pull off the gig without any sort of sound check but that’s beside the point. Unfortunately, the announcement came just as heavy rains hit the venue and fans had to trudge to their vehicles in a downpour. The show has been rescheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Sunday and will be an “evening with” Urban, who has promised to play an extra long set. Tickets from last night’s concert will be honored and anyone seeking a refund will have to wait until Monday to find out how concert promoters will handle those requests. You can check out his apology here:
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