Concert Calender 

Shows you should see this week


As band names go, "Cabinet" is about as wooden as it gets. But one listen to their recent live album, This Is Cabinet, will change any initial perceptions you may have. Cabinet are a bluegrass band — and damn good at it. Hailing from Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, the sextet has built its career onstage, stretching more traditional-sounding songs into lengthy, virtuosic jam sessions. The action bounces back and forth between cousins J.P. and Pappy Biondo (on mandolin and banjo, respectively) and fiddle player Todd Kopec on straightforward cuts like "Old Farmer's Mill" and the borderline psychedelic "Treesap." Cleveland is a favorite tour stop for the group (Pappy Biondo lived here before moving to Pennsylvania). In fact, one track on the live album was recorded in town. You can expect a whole mess of music when they play the Beachland this weekend. — Bill Delaney

With Hoots & Hellmouth and Holy Ghost Tent Revival. 8 p.m. Saturday, February 12. Beachland Ballroom. Tickets: $10; call 216-383-1124 or go to

Streetlight Manifesto

New Jersey's Streetlight Manifesto don't sound all that different from many of the ska-punk bands that came out in the '90s. And like so many of those groups, they're a hit with college crowds. The difference? Streetlight didn't get together until 2002. Everything Goes Numb, the septet's debut, came a year later and featured a hyper mix of folk, funk, classical, and jazz running beneath all the usual horny sounds. Their latest, last year's 99 Songs of Revolution, includes covers that range from Paul Simon's "Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard" to Radiohead's "Just" to the Postal Service's "Such Great Heights." It's an eclectic bunch, to say the least. Streetlight Manifesto are working on an album of new songs that should come out sometime this year. You'll probably hear a few of them when they play Peabody's this weekend. — Chrissy Niehaus

With Terrible Things, A Loss for Words, and Lionize. 7:30 p.m. Sunday, February 13. Peabody's. Tickets: $17, $15 in advance; call 216-776-9999 or go to

The Robert Cray Band

When it comes to modern blues artists, it doesn't really matter why they're on the road. Albums are more or less a formality to keep record companies happy, and new material is often just a vehicle for an artist's instrumental virtuosity. They tour so much because they do their best work onstage. And while Robert Cray is one of the few guys working in the genre who's released a studio album worth a damn in the past quarter-century — for the record, he also issued a live record and DVD last year filled with some of his best-known songs — he positively smokes in concert. He's one of the few bluesmen who can tear off a guitar solo that doesn't sound like it's a rip-off or tribute to one of the masters. Cray has lost little of the spark since his commercial breakthrough on 1986's Strong Persuader. If anything, he may be an even more commanding presence onstage these days.— Michael Gallucci

8 p.m. Tuesday, February 15. House of Blues. Tickets: $25-$45; call 216-523-2583 or go to


California pop rockers Hellogoodbye have gone through a lot since the release of their 2006 debut, Zombies! Aliens! Vampires! Dinosaurs! In fact, they've gone through a lot of members — only frontman Forrest Kline remains from the original lineup. The band's long-awaited follow-up, Would It Kill You?, was released late last year (a nasty split with their former record company contributed to the delay). They finally seem to be settled into a groove. Would It Kill You? moves away from the young-adulthood emo whining of their first album and into a more mature place, both lyrically and musically. Hellogoodbye are still poppier than most of their peers, riding waves of shimmering guitar riffs made for top-down days. Of course, that's not gonna do a whole lotta good in the middle of winter, but maybe they can bring a little sunshine to these cold, cold days. — Gallucci

With Jukebox the Ghost, Gold Motel, and Now, Now Every Children. 6 p.m. Tuesday, February 15. Grog Shop. Tickets: $15; call 216-321-5588 or go to


Los Angeles alt-rockers Rooney have been doing it the old-fashioned way since the release of their third album, Eureka, in June. They've been on the road almost nonstop, building buzz for their tightly packed and hook-filled record of three-minute songs about girls. Then again, they really can't afford not to. After cutting ties with their record company after 2007's underwhelming Calling the World, the band (led by Robert Schwartzman, the younger brother of actor Jason Schwartzman and son of The Godfather's Talia Shire) self-released Eureka, managing to pick up some of the buzz it lost during a three-year break. Rooney sound an awful lot like other bands — including Weezer and the group his brother played drums for, Phantom Planet — but their bite-size chunks of guitar pop rarely get too fussy. Onstage, the quartet's songs are more direct, cutting through the pop and leaving mostly the power. — Gallucci

With Eisley and the Chapin Sisters. 7:30 p.m. Saturday, February 12. Grog Shop. Tickets: $17, $15 in advance; call 216-321-5588 or go to

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