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Picture Perfect 

Photog-turned-folkie recounts Euro-fiasco in song.

In "Downtown Train," North Royalton guitarist Kyle Lanzer croons about his 2000 trip to Scandinavia, where the cops nearly threw him in the clink. The trouble started on a train ride through Denmark, during which the 31-year-old Sun newspaper photographer fell asleep with a planted box of heroin under his seat. Lanzer's brother and Swedish-born girlfriend saw the officers wake him up and take him to police headquarters. "They stopped the train, took me to the station, and interrogated me. I also had my hat on backwards, which means you're in a gang," says Lanzer. "Basically, I went there to take pictures, and this happened to me. I could have been arrested."The police let him go after they traced the package to a band of teen dealers. But the clash didn't stop Lanzer from shaping the story into one of the "happy-beat" songs his audience will hear tonight during his hour-long concert at the Barking Spider. He'll be joined onstage by his newlywed wife, Sara, who'll lend backup vocals on "Blue Hole," about a backwoods retreat near his alma mater, Tennessee's Milligan College. That's where Lanzer was a standout baseball player, who abruptly set athletics aside to focus on schoolwork, photography, and music. "I put down my glove and picked up a guitar. I had an opportunity to go to the minor leagues, but it wasn't the right fit," says Lanzer. "I'm more of the creative type, and music is my passion." The Lanzers perform at 8:30 tonight at the Barking Spider, 11310 Juniper Road. Admission is free. Call 216-421-2863 or visit
Sat., Dec. 8, 8:30 p.m., 2007

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