After playing in a Doors tribute band for so long, Moonlight Drive guitarist Teague Purtell had to find out what it was like to write his own songs. So he founded the all-original foursome Trip Fuse. "Moonlight Drive is fun, because every night onstage I get to grow as a player with all the improvising and all-out jamming," he explains. "But being in a cover band doesn't satisfy that one part of me that wants to write and create songs."
It didn't take long for Purtell to recognize that songwriting wasn't that easy. "I had never written lyrics before," he admits. "I thought it would not be that hard or take that long, but it did. It took me a while to tap into that side of my creativity."
By the end of 2003, Purtell had put the finishing touches on the band's self-titled, 13-track album. And for its first live performance last May, it opened for -- who else? -- Moonlight Drive. "The first CD has given me a much-needed confidence boost in writing lyrics," he says. "So the words seem to be pouring out." Trip Fuse performs at 9 p.m. Friday at Pit Cleveland, 4309 Lorain Avenue. Admission is $5; call 216-939-1863. -- Cris Glaser
CityMusic Cleveland brings music to the masses.
If people won't go to a classical concert, take the concert to them. That's been CityMusic Cleveland's mantra since last July, when the 24-piece orchestra took its shows on the road for those who'd never heard Bach or Beethoven live. "People watch TV with 300 channels," notes the orchestra's executive director, Eugenia Strauss. "You go to the movies. You go to the ballgame. They're wonderful things to do, but we say, 'You know more about classical music than you thought.'" For its spring-themed concerts this weekend, the group is performing Copland's Appalachian Spring, Haydn's Violin Concerto #1 in C Major, and Schubert's Symphony #4 in B-Flat Major. "Schubert's music has been used in more than 200 movies," observes Strauss. CityMusic Cleveland performs at 2 p.m. Friday at Judson Manor, 1890 East 107th Street; 8 p.m. Friday at the United Methodist Church, 34201 Eddy Road in Willoughby Hills; and 8 p.m. Saturday at the Shrine Church of St. Stanislaus, 3649 East 65th Street. Admission is free; call 216-321-8273. -- Cris Glaser
Cartoonist Art Spiegelman illustrates in the wake of 9-11.
As if his Pulitzer-winning Maus (in which the Holocaust was depicted with Nazi cats and Jewish mice) wasn't enough to earn him a place in the annals of comic-book greats, Art Spiegelman reflects boldly and brilliantly on 9-11 in his latest work, In the Shadow of No Towers. In it, he muses on his connection to N.Y.C. before and after the tragedy, and the comfort he found in the comics of his youth. Spiegelman discusses "Comix 101: In the Shadow of No Towers" at the Cleveland Institute of Art's Aitken Auditorium (11141 East Boulevard) at 4:30 p.m. Friday. Admission is free, but a ticket is required (you can download one at www.case.edu/artsci/bakernord). Call 216-368-2414 for more information. -- Michael Gallucci
Prince of Persia
As one of the Masters of Persian Music, M.R. Shajarian is considered the Pavarotti of classical music in his native Iran. Four years ago, the singer teamed up with his son Homayoun, lutist Hossein Alizadeh, and fiddler Kayhan Kalhor to set Persian poetry to music on Faryad, an album featuring traditional music first heard in the 7th century. They perform at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Cleveland Museum of Art, 11150 East Boulevard. Tickets are $28 to $35; call 216-421-7350. -- Cris Glaser