Lots of events hitting Cleveland over the next few days. We won't keep you from planning out your weekend. Enjoy, folks.
Honest, the chart-topping album from Atlanta-bred rapper Future, features a host of guest stars, though none seem to overpower Future's hard edge. His unique flow — sometimes short and choppy, other times slow and melodic — separates him from a lot of other rappers in the game right now. He lived up to the hype at last night’s sold out show at House of Blues.
That's right, private flight... Money stacked to the highest height! 💯🙌😍 pic.twitter.com/YeZyO8fs7R
— Brian Jones (@Undefined_Jones) May 26, 2014
Brian "Photoshoot fresh" Jones, the quarterback for the Shaker Heights football team who will be taking his talents to John Carroll University next fall, and then "wherever the money takes [him]" thereafter, intended to arrive at his high school prom at the Cleveland Museum of Art last Saturday in a helicopter.
All Jones and his date could do, however, was circle the museum ("five to seven times," via Mark Naymik) because officials in University Circle and the City of Cleveland felt that the landing logistics would be too tough to coordinate on short notice during the busy holiday weekend.
Jones, who communicated with Naymik via text message, argued that there was "no real reason" he wasn't allowed to make the grand entrance on Wade Oval. He also indicated that those who called his planned helicopter entrance excessive should instead focus on the world's more important problems.
Naymik, for his part, viewed the chopper as another example of excess in an era of over-the-top prom rituals, nurtured by "over indulgent parents."
Responses to Naymik's piece on Cleveland.com were split: Many applauded Jones' originality and presented rhetorical questions on the order of: "Who among us didn't do outrageous things when we were 18?" Another contingent agreed with the overindulgence narrative and thought city officials were right to deny Jones the helicopter entrance on the grounds of safety and taste.
Brooke Siggers is a senior at Shaker Heights High School. She attended prom on Saturday and said she wasn't surprised by Jones' attempt.
"He is an extremely confident person to say the least," Siggers wrote in an email to Scene. "Everyone knows who he is, and he is a pretty cool person toward most people. He definitely can be obnoxious at times and does take some getting used to, but he does well in school and still gets along with most."
Siggers, who admitted the entrance was "luxurious," also called it "pretty cool" and "original." She said that she's seen much of the social media reactions, but doesn't think the negative press has affected Jones.
"He is 'Brian Jones' and he does not care what other people think about the things that he does," wrote Siggers. "I doubt that anyone in our class was surprised to see something like that from Brian. Brian's ego is enormous and I know he loves the attention that his helicopter is getting him."
DON'T FORGET TO KEEP CHECKING CLEVELAND.COM FOR LIVE, UP-TO-THE-MINUTE SUBURBAN PROM COVERAGE!
Plenty of musicians attend open mic sessions. Few end up forming national acts. The Head and the Heart is the exception. Band members first met years ago at an open mic night at a Seattle pub. They formed a group and then recruited drummer Tyler Williams, a friend of singer-guitarist Jonathan Russell’s who was living in Richmond at the time, to join them. Now, the indie folk band known for its sharp vocal harmonies and brittle anthems has two well-received albums under its belt. It performs tonight at Masonic Auditorium and then plays in Nelsonville, Ohio on Saturday as part of the Nelsonville Art & Music Festival.
“I thought [the demo Jon sent me] was more mature than the stuff that he had been doing back in Virginia,” says Williams when asked what made him want to join the band in the first place. “It was what I was gravitating toward at the time.”
Update: This story was originally published Tuesday, May 29. SB 310 was passed by the Ohio House and Senate on Wednesday and now awaits Gov. Kasich's approval or veto.
Ohio’s renewable energy standards, approved in 2008 to much fanfare on both sides of the proverbial aisle, are set for a proposed two-year freeze, per the latest draft of the state’s dubious Senate Bill 310.
At issue is the fact that Ohio was buzzing along relatively nicely under its 2008 provisions. Among statewide innovations under way, Cleveland’s LEEDCo is still planning on developing the state’s (and, while it’s a longshot now, the country’s) first offshore wind farm. SB 310 would halt the state’s requirements that an expanding ratio of energy must come from renewable sources, effectively putting a regulatory kibosh on new, green ideas.
Gov. John Kasich, who is eyeing what should be an easy slide into reelection in November, could now be facing backlash against his legion of supporters if things don’t go well. House Speaker William Batchelder (a Medina-based buddy of Kasich’s) has slowed SB 310 deliberations in the General Assembly after the bill passed out of the State Senate with a 21-11 vote. The Plain Dealer’s Thomas Suddes rightfully pointed out last weekend that if Batchelder had the votes, he’d have taken care of business. Such delay points to broader misgivings in Columbus.
The delay also opens the window for compromise, which fits in sweetly with Kasich’s vision of crafting a more dynamic and, frankly, interesting Republican Party. (Go read Henry Gomez’s clutch five-part Plain Dealer series on Kasich’s career if you missed it the other week. It’s worth the five hours it’ll take you to deal with cleveland.com’s search algorithm. Helpful direct link is at Cleveland.com/Kasich) Kasich is being given a prime opportunity to shepherd a more reasonable alternative to SB 310 into the Statehouse.
The bill as it stands does nothing but stall progress in Ohio’s energy industry. Any notions of returning to the drawing board and studying long-term impacts of green benchmarks can surely be done in media res with the renewable requirements in place, yes?
Then prior to the House vote, this becomes Kasich’s opportunity to win or lose votes.
Just four short weeks after having a gallery event shut down and becoming the talk of the Cleveland arts community, Loren Naji was at the center of the battle between artists and the city of Cleveland again after a Friday evening event was shut down by the fire department over occupancy issues.
Around 6 p.m., Naji opened his gallery doors for the closing reception of an exhibit entitled “Undercurrents” and the kickoff of a launch party for the summer edition of CAN Journal, a quarterly news and criticism magazine. The party was a dry event, in case you were wondering, after the first installment of #thisiscleart where liquor control agents arrived to confiscate hundreds of dollars of beer and wine.
Since then, Naji had been working with the city to fix various compliance issues — recently buying fire extinguishers and installing exit signs on doors. His occupancy certificate was in the process of being approved and he understood that it was enough to cover him for the event.
Around 7:40 that evening, a rep from the fire department showed up to shut the affair down over the aforementioned occupancy permit.
Speaking with the fire department rep, Michael Gill, editor and publisher of CAN, floated the question whether the party—then attended by several dozen people—would be permissible if it were a private event attended only by people invited by the magazine. The suggestion was shot down and Naji and Gill agreed to comply. The two offered quick remarks to patrons.
“There’s not an occupancy permit. There’s no argument, there’s nothing we can do without the police coming here, and we don’t want that,” Gill said.
Afterwards, Naji said that he’d been visited twice by Cleveland police that day. The first time, he says, one officer came to his gallery and said Naji “may or may not” have a warrant out for a parking issue unrelated to his recent gallery troubles. Naji said he took care of that issue right away. Later, he said he was visited by a pair of cops asking if everything was in order for that night’s event. At the time, the police seemed satisfied.
Councilman Joe Cimperman was the target of many questions from concerned artists on Twitter and replied that he had been working with Naji to make sure he was in full compliance with city law. “I am working on why he was visited by the Cfd - he is clues to compliance, I agree this is a poor use of city resources,” Cimperman wrote, (sic) throughout.
The closure of his gallery left Naji rushing to salvage the “Drawn and Quartered” drawing competition event that had been scheduled to take place in his gallery May 24. At the last minute, organizers had to scramble to secure the Great Lake Brewing Company’s tasting room as an alternative venue. That event, in turn, was incredibly fun, as has been the intent of all of Naji’s contributions to the community. (A story about the “Drawn and Quartered” event specifically is available at clevescene.com.)
Naji said that his recent legal troubles have become a trend sourced directly to one person. “I’m definitely getting harassed by someone using the legal system and city hall against me,” said Naji, doing everything but mentioning Henry Senyak by name.
Gill said that the fire department representative did not mention any new complaints filed against the gallery the night of May 23, but that it appeared Senyak had been the one to draw the law’s attention to Naji in the first place. Without naming him explicitly, Gill had alluded to someone using the law as the cause of Naji’s recent disruptions during his pre-dispersal remarks to gallery attendees.
“You know there’s been some legal challenges here because of someone in another neighborhood who has in a systematic way made some problems for us, and those problems continue tonight,” Gill said.
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