Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's Library and Archives Announces Two New Author Series Events

Posted By on Tue, Apr 29, 2014 at 2:18 PM

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  • Greg Kot

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s Library and Archives regularly brings music journalists to town and it’s announced to two new Author Series event. The first features veteran music journalist Greg Kot, who’ll read from his book I’ll Take You There: Mavis Staples, The Staple Singers and the March Up Freedom’s Highway at 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 3. The second event features Richie Unterberger, who’ll read form his 1960s folk-rock history, Turn! Turn! Turn!/Eight Miles High at 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 31. The events are free but reservations must be made through the Rock Hall website.

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Mayfield Heights Man Beats Previous Soap Bubble Record

Posted By on Tue, Apr 29, 2014 at 1:54 PM

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  • Wikimedia Commons

Gary Pearlman of Mayfield Heights challenged a lofty and official Guinness World Record this past weekend, and most likely now has his name in the books.

For what, you might ask?

A bubble. A really, really big bubble.

It takes a few weeks to be verified as a world record holder, so for now Pearlman's victory isn't set in stone. However, even Megan Parker, the previous outdoor bubble-making record holder, admitted that her title will have to be passed on to Pearlman. And that's impressive praise, since her award-winning bubble, created about a year ago, had a volume of 729.25 ft³.

According to The News-Herald, Parker wasn't too upset about the challenge. "He's using my bubble solution to do it, so it is a win for me either way," she said.

Pearlman has been working with bubbles for a few years now, and goes by the entertainer name Dr. U.R. Awesome in his science shows. On top of his recent challenge of the outdoor bubble record, he plans on beating the biggest indoor soap bubble, too.

After Sunday's bubble blowing, Pearlman was happy with the audience he'd had in the morning. “Turnout was great," he said. "I am pleased everyone got up at this ungodly hour to come see a bubble."

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Video: Downtown Mannequins to Raise Awareness about Youth Homelessness

Posted By on Tue, Apr 29, 2014 at 1:42 PM


In a campaign to raise awareness about youth homelessness, the child welfare agency Bellefaire JCB will place two dozen mannequins in high foot-traffic locations downtown starting Wednesday. The faceless mannequins will be donned in hooded sweatshirts with slogans that capture their experience.

"Survival sex is how I find a place to sleep," reads one. "I'm missing and my parents don't care," reads another.

In a recent study completed by Case Western Reserve (at the behest of the U.S. government) roughly 400 youth were found to be homeless in Cuyahoga County. But most people simply aren't aware of them.

Here's a short promotional video by Bellefaire JCB, showing Clevelanders' reactions when mannequins were set up temporarily on and around Public Square.

The campaign will last 30 days in downtown Cleveland. The NEOMG's Mark Naymik reports that Bellefaire JCB wants to set up mannequins in the suburbs as well. "But its requests have been turned down," writes Naymik, "which only underscores the need for such a campaign."

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VIDEO: Cleveland's Got it All

Posted By on Tue, Apr 29, 2014 at 10:42 AM

Back in February, we told you about local singer-songwriter Allan Licht's mission to re-imagine Cleveland's theme song with the original tracks — "Cleveland's Got It All" and "Have a Merry Cleveland Christmas."

The first of the two tunes hit YouTube last month, offering up a healthy dose of locally inspired lyrics and accolades abound for "the city with soul and rock and roll."

Give Licht's tune a listen and let us know in the comments below if this jingle has what it takes to be Cleveland's new theme song.

"Cleveland's Got It All" was recorded by Frederick Davis, featuring Dwayne Dickman on guitar, Michael Fisher on trumpet, Tim Keehn on trombone, Bob Esterle on sax, and Kickie Taylor on background vocals.

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New Brewery Brick & Barrel on Tap for the Flats

Posted By on Tue, Apr 29, 2014 at 9:56 AM

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The industrial Flats soon will be home to a new brewery called Brick & Barrel, launched by partners Karl Spiesman, Jason Henkel and Mike Dagiasis. Located at 1844 Columbus Road, the rough-and-ready space seems ideally suited to an upstart Cleveland brewery.

"Around the country, where I have worked and lived, the brewery spaces that have been really fun and successful have been in those industrial areas," explains Spiesman. "We love it down there."

Spiesman describes B&B as a "small European-style community brewery — not a universe brewery."

The team has been working on the space since January and brewing equipment is trickling in as we speak. Next comes water analysis and test batching, says Spiesman.

First up for the brewery will be a small, localized distribution to area bars and restaurants, which can happen as soon as June. A taproom will follow roughly a month later, where beer fans can come down and drink on site or purchase beer to go.

"It will be comfortable enough to watch an Indians game or listen to music and sample some beers."

As for the types of beers the team will be producing, Spiesman says, "I love every traditional style from Europe as well as what the Americans have been doing." That means everything from a classic Kolsch and Saison to a series of IPAs. In fall, drinkers might enjoy a porter aged in a bourbon barrel that once contained maple syrup.

Spiesman has a dozen years in the beer brewing and wine making industry. He has worked locally at Willoughby Brewing Co. and elsewhere at Harpoon and Full Sail. He also has held positions as a beer buyer and draft installation and maintenance guy. Unlike many other upstart brewers, however, he's managed to keep his plans largely under wraps.

"I've been so busy with my other jobs that I have to work to support me and my family that I haven't been able to sit down and draw up a logo or talk to the media," he says. "I'm a brewer and a winemaker — marketing isn't really my cup of tea."

Look for the first Brick & Barrel brews to hit the market this summer.

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Chatting Beer with Winking Lizard Co-Owner John Lane

Posted By on Tue, Apr 29, 2014 at 8:16 AM

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When the craft beer trend in Northeast Ohio was still in its infancy, John Lane was helping to educate our palates beyond choices like Budweiser.

Lane is the co-owner of the Winking Lizard brand, Winks Bar & Grille and Lizardville. He's also a student of beer, as can be easily surmised by the extensive and eclectic offerings at his various establishments. European brewing has informed his tastes and he's tried to bring those sensibilities and beers to Cleveland.

"I learned the beer culture from Europe and have tried to bring much of that here. I think it starts from the fact that here beer is regulated by liquor commissions and in Europe it is considered a food item," says Lane. "I fell in love with beer from the historic European heritage angle. The breweries there are run by people who have inherited the operations over many generations."

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Free Comic Book Day is This Saturday, Celebrate Accordingly

Posted By on Tue, Apr 29, 2014 at 7:59 AM

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And there came a day unlike any other, when publishers and comic book shops were united to give out free comic books. On this day Free Comic Book Day was born.

Founded by Joe Field in 2001, Free Comic Book Day is Saturday May 3 this year and has become a holiday for publishers, comic book stores and fans. In the Greater Cleveland Area, it has become even bigger than the founder could have possibly imagined.

Each year, for Free Comic Book Day, Carol & John's Comic Shop at Kamm's Plaza on Cleveland's westside hosts one of the area's biggest Free Comic Book Day events. It is so big this year the shop is taking over an empty retail location in the plaza to help hold many of the events they will have for their hugely popular midnight sale.

However, Free Comic Book Day events do not stop at Carol & John's Comic Shop or other local stores. Co-owner John Dudas is supporting every Cuyahoga County Public Library branch. For those counting, that's 28 libraries.

“We have supported the county branches for three years now and we provide the branches with 100 copies of one comic book,” Dudas said. “My shop resonates well with libraries because we are both living off of print media.”

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