When Breaking Benjamin singer Ben Burnley founded the hard rock band back in Wilkes-Barre back in 1999, he probably didn’t imagine the group would sustain such a lengthy career.
Having weathered the rise and fall of nu-metal, a movement with which the group was loosely associated, the band continues to top the charts even as many of its musical peers have faded into obscurity.
The band’s 2015 album, Dark Before Dawn, which was recently certified gold, debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top 200 chart. The album’s first two singles, “Failure” and “Angels Fall,” both became No. 1 rock radio hits; “Failure” was the most-played song at rock radio in 2015.
The group continues to tour in support of the release and plays at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 28, at House of Blues.
Local R&B singer MAZ says that she's been creating since birth. Her mother was a portrait artist and her father a producer, so it would seem almost predestined that she would always follow a creative path in her life. She was always auditioning — mimicking her favorite artists at the time, Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey.
"It wasn't until high school when I started to try and carve my own aural footprint," she says. "I didn't release anything as MAZ until my 21st birthday."
MAZ credits her father for constantly exposing her to music at such a young age.
Influenced by exotic Latin American music, singer-songwriter Sondre Lerche started writing songs in his early teens; growing up in Norway, his influences were much more varied than they might have been if he had been born in the U.S., where radio stations adhere more strictly to formats.
Living on what he has called the "outskirts of popular culture," he was introduced to a wild mix of music that has subsequently informed his pop sensibilities.
By Eric Sandy
on Fri, Jan 20, 2017 at 1:27 PM
Cuyahoga County Sheriff
Even as he faces a litany of charges, local rapper Lil Cray was allowed to film part of his latest music video in a Cuyahoga County Juvenile Justice Center courtroom. It was "probably not one of the better choices that I made,” Judge Michael Ryan said.
Crayshaun Bates — "Lil Cray" to his pals — was indicted last summer amid a wide-reaching gang sting in Glenville. He's a member of the LTB gang ("Loyal to Brothers"), and the charges he's facing stem in part from an early 2016 shootout with a rival gang connected to the Heartless Felons, according to Cory Shaffer's work at Cleveland.com.
He was free on bond last week when he drunkenly offered two sheriff's deputies $35,000 not to arrest him. (They arrested him.)
As far as the music video, Ryan says he let a music producer friend use his courtroom — and didn't initially realize that Cray would be involved.
“Last time I checked the Constitution, everyone is innocent until proven guilty,” Ryan said. “I’m always about helping young people especially when I see that they have promise. They have talent.” The music video was for a song called "Indicted." (Scene in unsure that we'd use the word "promise"; it's a fairly basic rap tune.)
Shortly after the UK alt-rock band Keane went on hiatus in 2013, frontman Tom Chaplin started writing songs for a solo album. A drug habit would get in the way of any real progress, but after hitting rock bottom, Chaplin would kick his habit, and the songs would just pour out.
Now, Chaplin, who released his debut solo album, The Wave, earlier this year, has embarked on his first solo tour of the States. He plays House of Blues Cambridge Room on Wednesday.
So far, he says the solo tour has been a great success.
Local indie rockers Signals Midwest are among the group of local acts performing at this concert which will also feature a print sale of artwork from local artists, a raffle with prizes from area businesses and nonprofit organizations providing information about their services to the community. The purpose of the event held on this darkest of days? Promoters hope to "raise awareness and funds for organizations that will be greatly affected by non-inclusive and regressive social policies" that President Trump and his confederacy of dunces plan to put into place. All proceeds benefit the Refugee Response, the LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland and Preterm. Promoters also hope to "provide a platform for individuals to discuss opportunities for civic and political engagement that benefits the community and people around them." (Jeff Niesel) 6 p.m., $8. Mahall's 20 Lanes.
Last year, Troy Beetles, a Canadian producer and DJ who records as both Datsik and Ephwurd, brought his Spring Loaded tour to House of Blues. It featured a massive sound system and light show.
This year's tour will be even bigger. As Datsik explains in a phone interview from a Burlington tour stop, the Spring Loaded tour only helped pave the way for his extravagant Ninja Tour 2017, which includes a stop at House of Blues on Jan. 31.
“It was dope,” he says when asked about last year's jaunt. “I got to travel with my buddies Ookay and Drezo, and it was pretty awesome. We had a super good time it was five weeks, and we ran minimal production, so I could save up for this tour. It was a bit more crazy only in terms of it being intimate and turning into a house party. We had waterguns and would have fun with it.”
The Ninja Tour comes in support of his new Sensei EP. The tour and the EP both have an Asian theme.