At sundown, the curious city of Cleveland takes on many forms. Open your door and pick a direction: You'll find something wonderful or bizarre or stimulating anywhere you look. You'll probably also find a drunk guy taking a leak behind that dumpster over there. But the fact remains that you could do something different each night if you wanted to. Cleveland is a wonderful city. It's also a music-loving city.
There's a special event for every twisted interest 'round these parts. Hell, if you tried hard enough, we're sure you could find "Hamburger Hat" Night or "Southern Accents and Clown Shoes" Night somewhere in town.
...We'll stick with these fan favorites for now. Hope you like dancing!
SUNDAY | Rockin' Brunch at Beachland Ballroom
We all love brunch, right? Right. And nothing pairs better with brunch -- trust us here -- than freshly spinning vinyl. This Sunday event in Cleveland's North Collinwood neighborhood doesn't happen every Sunday, so do check in at beachlandballroom.com (although, either way, the Beachland kitchen kicks out some of the best food on the city's east side, so you're in luck with or without the music). If you happen to catch the likes of DJ Shawn from Oldboy or DJ Ron Kretsch at the turntable, well, that's all the better.
MONDAY | Music Mondays at Great Lakes Brewing Co.
So this one is almost a weekly thing. Every second, third, and fourth Monday of the month, Great Lakes Brewing Company in Ohio City kicks off its week with a little live music, craft brews and delicious pub eats (we recommend the housemade pizzas, which are half-off during their 4 to 7 p.m. happy hour). Guests can grab a beer and meander down to the Beer Cellar on the basement floor to enjoy the laid back tunes of local musicians. Here's how the events break down each month: Second Mondays feature Becky Boyd's blues, third Mondays feature Francis Quinn's Irish music, and fourth Mondays feature Kristine Jackson's blues. The show runs from 6 to 8 p.m., and there's no cover charge.
TUESDAY | Karaoke at Tina's Nite Club
If you have never visited Tina's Nite Club in the Detroit-Shoreway neighborhood, then you should really try to remedy that. The dive features an excellent and/or bizarrely enticing karaoke session nightly, but Tuesdays are one of the nights when Billy Wayne hosts. Fun abounds in all directions, but watch out for that one-armed man in the corner who's staring you down and muttering Gil Scott-Heron lyrics under his breath. Listen, you just sorta have to fall into the vibe at Tina's; its a dump, sure, but it's our dump. Karaoke is probably the best route in. Oh, and at 3 for $1, the Jello shots flow like wine in this joint. (That makes the karaoke even better.)
WEDNESDAY | Jam Night at Iggy's in Lakewood
There's no better way to dig into the jam scene than via the Grateful Dead's iconic catalog. The cats who set up shop here have ties to Dead Ahead Ohio and they love launching into 20-minute communal journeys through "Franklin's Tower" and songs like that. In fact, we all love 20-minute jams, so this spot might be the perfect hang session for you midweek music cravings. Bring your gear and set up shop near the stage if you want to play, or just bring your best billiards game and shoot around during the jam. All sorts of music are welcome.
THURSDAY | Bad Boys of Blues Jam Night at Brothers Lounge
There aren't too many places these days where you can sidle up to the bar and check out unrelentingly good live music -- with no cover charge to speak of. But that's just the surface-level description of the goods dished up each Thursday night at Brothers Lounge, which holds court just east of West 117th along Detroit Avenue. Within, the Bad Boys of Blues set up shop, invite special guests onstage, and rip into the hottest set of real, authentic blues music you've ever heard. Guitarist Michael Bay, bassist Michael Barrick and drummer Jim Wall are not only among the most talented in the local scene, they also happen to be unbelievably nice guys. Hang out for a bit, talk shop with the musicians and tip your server well! Hell, bring your ax sometime and join the fun. The jam runs all night (and the whole thing kicks off at 9 p.m.).
FRIDAY | MIX at CMA
One of the greatest parties in the city goes down in one of the coolest rooms in the city on the first Friday of each month. (Again, so, yeah, this isn't totally a weekly event, but it's awesome!) From 5 - 9 p.m., the Atrium at the Cleveland Museum of Art transforms into an engaging festival of colors and sounds and good eats. Normally a quiet, contemplative sanctuary, the Atrium opened in the fall of 2012. It's a vast space that welcomes visitors by day - offering a complementary respite from the museum's archives elsewhere - and reels in revelers monthly for the much-loved MIX at CMA events.
SATURDAY | DJ Chris Wright at B-Side Liquor Lounge
Top off every weekend with a night of "throwback party jams" with DJ Chris Wright, who spins indie tunes from the 80s and 90s at B-Side on Saturdays. This is another cool opportunity to just get everyone together for a fun night of drinks, arcade games and all the Stephen Malkmus verses you can handle (you know, that's what you were going to be doing anyway, right?).