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Strings Attached 

The Velvet Teen plays symphonic pop.

The Velvet Teen looks for success with new sounds.
  • The Velvet Teen looks for success with new sounds.
TUE 8/17

There are no guitars on the Velvet Teen's new album, Elysium. There is, however, a 12-minute song called "Chimera Obscurant." Is the formerly plugged-in California pop-rock trio getting all proggy on us or what? "We'd been wanting to add more instrumentation and production elements to [our sound]," explains frontman Judah Nagler (pictured, center). "Most of the songs we were working on were piano-based. They just didn't need guitars. We recorded some, but they ended up making it sound muddy." Elysium's big, glorious sound (complete with a string section) is the result of an EP project that snowballed. "We decided it was well worth the effort to just make it into a full-length recording," Nagler says. "We didn't really set out to do anything. It just kinda turned into what it turned into." But don't get used to it. "The next [album] could be all-banjo." The Velvet Teen is at the Grog Shop at 9 p.m. Tuesday. Tickets are $7, available by calling 216-241-5555. -- Michael Gallucci

Spicy Songs

SUN 8/15

Karen Austen says the first Fiesta Latina was a disaster. The vendors didn't show, and she had to order fast-food tacos. Seven years later, there'll be plenty of traditional eats, art, and music at Stanton Park (at Chapel and McMacklin roads in Madison) from noon to 8 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $5; call 440-428-1674. -- Cris Glaser

Peace Hog

SAT 8/14

Arlo Guthrie (pictured) has one request: Wear tie-dyes and bell-bottoms to the Easy Rider Festival. The folkie joins Woodstock alumni John Sebastian and Melanie at Saturday's concert and motorcycle show. It happens from 3 to 10 p.m. at Lock 3 Live! on Main Street in downtown Akron. Tickets are $10; call 330-253-2488. -- Cris Glaser

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