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Sunday, January 31, 2010

What to Do Tonight: Matt Hires

Posted By on Sun, Jan 31, 2010 at 8:11 AM

Matt Hires comes by his musical passion honestly — his first guitar was homemade, given to him by his father. The Tampa native still plays the instrument. Fronting a group called Brer, he caught the attention of a major label. With influences like Bob Dylan, Sufjan Stevens and Wilco, Hires’ debut EP, Live From the Hotel Cafe, earned comparisons to Jack Johnson, Matt Kearney and John Mayer. His first full-length, last summer’s Take Us to the Start, attracted a growing fan base through opening gigs with Dave Matthews, O.A.R and Marc Broussard, as well as high-profile song placements on Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice and Cougar Town. With an atmospheric blend of traditional folk and contemporary pop (not to mention a string of sold-out dates on his current tour), Hires’ future is so bright that shades are a given. He plays the Beachland Ballroom (15711 Waterloo Rd., 216.383.1124, beachlandballroom.com) at 8 p.m. Jason Castro and Caitlin Crosby open. Tickets: $10. — Brian Baker

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Saturday, January 30, 2010

What to Do Tonight: Ray Fogg

Posted By on Sat, Jan 30, 2010 at 9:08 AM

Much like Jimmy Buffett, local singer-songwriter Ray Fogg espouses the virtues of living the life of a beach bum. On his latest CD, last year’s Island Life, he takes a slightly more serious approach than what you’ll find on his previous albums. Sure, there are the requisite party tunes (“Shorts, Sandals and Shades,” “Porch Party”) and silly songs about living on the lake (“Fish Are So Stupid”). But then there are tracks like “Lemonade,” a tender tribute to a bartender with a heart of gold. And “Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow (The Campfire Song)” and “It Pleases Me” are gentle love songs that have more in common with James Taylor than Jack Johnson. Produced by Frank Romano (who’s played with Rob Thomas and Justin Timberlake), the disc shows Fogg’s range, shifting from goofy blues-rockers to sensitive ballads. Fogg performs at 7:30 p.m. at Put-in-Bay Lakewood (18206 Detroit Ave., Lakewood, 216.228.1442, putinbaylakewood.com). Tickets: $5. — Jeff Niesel

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What to Do Tonight: The Antlers

Posted By on Sat, Jan 30, 2010 at 8:06 AM

In a rare coup for Akron’s struggling live music scene, one of indie rock’s most fawned-upon acts of 2009 will headline a special show at Musica (51 E. Market St., 330.374.1114, akronmusica.com), a week before embarking on a national tour with U.K. post-punkers Editors. The Antlers went from anonymity to adoration last year with the release of the dark, delicate and often moving Hospice. Much like Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon a year earlier, Antlers frontman Peter Silberman became a poster child for the creative use of isolation. But rather than holing up in a cabin in Wisconsin, Silberman recorded Hospice’s intimate tracks over a two-year period in his Brooklyn apartment. The album was self-released last spring, and after taking off via Internet buzz, it was re-released by an indie label in August. While it seems the Antlers came out of nowhere, Silberman had previously released a pair of solo LPs as well as two EPs with the expanded Antlers lineup of drummer Michael Lerner and keyboardist Darby Cicci. The trio will perform tonight, and it’s a safe bet that it won’t be a show with a great deal of goofing around. After all, the songs on Hospice follow a rather heavy thematic thread of death, helplessness and loss. That’s not to say it’s entirely depressing; sometimes a good cry can leave you feeling better at the end of the day. Just bring tissues. Wild Boy of Averyon and Annabel open at 8 p.m. Tickets: $10. — Andrew Clayman

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Friday, January 29, 2010

Ali-Fest Happens This Weekend

Posted By on Fri, Jan 29, 2010 at 8:00 AM

Walkin Cane plays benefit on Saturday.
  • Walkin' Cane plays benefit on Saturday.

We got a bunch of additional information on Ali-Fest, the benefit for Ali Porter, daughter of the Town Fryer’s owner Susie Porter. It takes place from 2 p.m.-2 a.m. tomorrow at the Town Fryer in the front of the Agora building.

In mid-December, Ali fell down a flight of stairs and broke her neck. Ali had just moved back to town with her one-year-old daughter and had not started working yet, so of course, she had no insurance. And being sidelined for a minimum of six weeks meant she wasn’t able to start working yet to pay for her basic needs.

But in her time working as a bartender for her mom’s restaurant, which had become a hub for the local roots-music scene, Ali had made many friends in that scene. A whole bunch of them have stepped up to play the benefit. Randy Daniels will kick off the day at 2 p.m., followed Austin “Walkin’ Cane” Charanghat (3 p.m.), Brent Kirby (4 p.m.), the Craic Brothers 9 p.m.), Open Range Torch Songs (6 p.m.), the Binge Brothers (7 p.m.), Kristine Jackson and Rob Muzick (8 p.m.), the All Corners (9 p.m.), Jane Dough (10 p.m.), Kind Highway (11 p.m.) and the Jack Fords (midnight).

There’s no fixed cover; attendees are being asked to donate whatever they feel moved to and whatever they can afford. There will also be raffle prizes including concert posters, photos, CDs and musical gear from Guitar Center North Olmsted. The Town Fryer will have its full menu of beverages and southern food available. —Anastasia Pantsios

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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Thursday Music News Roundup

Posted By on Thu, Jan 28, 2010 at 1:38 PM

This is as close to one of these Heidi Montag  will ever get.
  • This is as close to one of these Heidi Montag will ever get.

Looking forward to the Grammys on Sunday? Me neither.

I'd actually pay to watch these two ladies grapple.

Haiti, Haiti, Haiti! Can't we talk about me for a change? (Relax, I'm kidding.)

Whew! Joe Jonas says he and his brothers aren't breaking up. Good thing. What would the ugly and untalented one do?

Metallica do the right thing. —Michael Gallucci

Joe Walsh Doesn't Want Joe Walsh Singing His Song

Posted By on Thu, Jan 28, 2010 at 12:58 PM

Cleveland rocker Joe Walsh isn't too happy with Republican congressional candidate Joe Walsh these days. Why? The politician has recorded his own very, very terrible version of the musician's song "Walk Away," reworked, of course, as a campaign ad. (You can watch it above.)

Head over to Rolling Stone for the whole story. But here it is in a nutshell: Walsh the Politcian's "Lead the Way" blatantly rips off Walsh the Rocker's "Walk Away" (which he recorded with the James Gang). Rocker Walsh, understandably, doesn't want some a-hole Republican using his song — especially since the dude has the same freakin' name!

Both sides are snipping back and forth now, with Politcian Walsh claiming he isn't doing anything wrong, since his song is a parody. Says the pol: “I’m beginning to think that because I’ve been out there for a few months as a ‘tea party conservative’ candidate, all you liberals out in Hollywood are using this to attack someone whose beliefs you don’t understand and always disrespect (can you say Sarah Palin?). I hope the Democratic National Committee and Nancy Pelosi didn’t put you up to this.”

Like I said, an a-hole. —Michael Gallucci

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Lil Wayne's Young Money Crew: 6 of the Top 10 Worst Rappers

Posted By on Thu, Jan 28, 2010 at 10:00 AM

Gudda Gudda in the house!
  • Gudda, Gudda in the house!

As Lil Wayne preps for a yearlong prison stay on weapons charges, he's busy getting things in order with his hip-hop empire.

Next week, his long-delayed "rock album," Rebirth, will finally be released. And last month, he released the We Are Young Money compilation featuring cuts by a bunch of mostly unknown rappers on his Young Money label.

But these are the clowns he's leaving his dynasty with while he's gone?

Of the Top 10 worst rappers working today, six of them are collecting a paycheck from Young Money.

I may be exaggerating ... but just a little. After hearing the album, you can pick and choose which half-dozen are the worst. They're all awful (except Drake; I'm not sure what he's doing here. I like his singles).

Then again, maybe you like songs that go, "Open up her legs then filet mignon that pussy/I’ma get in and on that pussy/If she let me in I’ma own that pussy."

Or songs by a guy named Gudda Gudda.

Or songs by a crew that has no flow and rhymes "can't continue" with "gang member."

In that case, you'll probably like Young Money. I just hope Weezy likes what's left off his empire when he gets out of prison.—Michael Gallucci

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