Ale Fest returns to Tremont in July. Early bird tickets are available right now!

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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