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Friday, April 9, 2010

The Council of Chiefs

Posted By on Fri, Apr 9, 2010 at 3:30 PM

Through the last ten weeks or so, I’ve talked a lot about bands, process and, um, haters, but I’ve said very little about the organizers of the Cleveland Lottery League - "The Council of Chiefs" - except in passing where I’ve written about their bands (and, um, haters). So for the last post before The Big Show, I want to give them their due, complete with shitty Photoshopping.

There was (is?) this band called Land of Buried Treasure, you see. Land of Buried Treasure was (is?) three guys, Jae Kristoff, Nate Scheible, and Mike Wilkinson, all of whom had been members of Self Destruct Button (which, for the nth time, I hereby disclose: I am currently in that band) at one time or another. But Land of Buried Treasure wasn’t really just those three guys, it was those three guys and whoever they invited to be in the band for one show, recording, event, what-have-you. Once, they made an album by opening a recording studio to literally anyone who wanted to sign up, to record anything they wanted to record for one hour. Over 40 people took them up, and all those recordings were edited down to the album “East 36th and Celebrity Weather Report.” (Another disclosure, I designed the packaging for that album — there’s going to be some copious disclosing in this post.) When it came time to do the album release party, they put together a live band (disclosure: I was in it) that intentionally excluded everyone who recorded material for the album. What I’m getting around to: LoBT was all about forcing connections between previously unconnected artists and then moving on. Two of the members of that band, Scheible and Kristoff, were founders of the Cleveland Lottery League.

Now as I understand it, the point at which LoBT morphed into the Lottery League was when Ed Sotelo (disclosure: I’ve been in like four or five bands with this guy over the last twelve years or so), bass player for Cobra Verde and the Jack Fords, among many, many others, bewailed the tendency of musicians to just stick to their cliques, and proffered the notion of a rock ‘n’ roll draft to mix things up. That remark, made to the LoBT folks, effectively birthed the League, though a literal draft implied too much human agency, so the focus shifted from musicians choosing other musicians from a pool of available talent to a random lottery selecting from that pool. And so Scheible, Kristoff and Sotelo began recruiting musicians — and other organizers, those being Matt Majesky, John Delzoppo and Michael Pultz — into the talent pool. As word about the undertaking spread, more and more musicians expressed an interest, and what, as I understand it, was intended to be a smallish event doubled or tripled in size. The rest of the history of this thing has been sufficiently well-documented that I needn’t rehash it here. My purpose here is to call attention to this organizing body, the self-dubbed Council of Chiefs.

From the original six, the Council is down to four members, Delzoppo, Kristoff, Pultz and Sotelo. It can’t be noted enough that the League is a MASSIVE undertaking — I daresay it’s one of the biggest strokes of genius to hit ANY music scene ever - and the resourcefulness and sheer labor it must take to pull it off are beyond impressive. The Big Show is tomorrow, as of this writing, so what better time to introduce to you The Council of Chiefs? I guess a lot earlier would have been good. Shut up. —Kretsch


COUNCIL OF CHIEFS PROFILE: JOHN DELZOPPO

johnd.jpg

AGE
10,922 days

DAY JOB(S)
Copy Jockey / Recording Dude

HOBBIES
Internet chess, pinball, eating pizza, watching the movie Wayne's World, and playing ping-pong whenever possible for as long as possible.

LAST BOOK READ
33 1/3: ABBA Gold

LAST ALBUM PURCHASED
Telecult Powers Orgone Freakout c40

LATEST ACCOMPLISHMENT
I kind of know the guy who just set the new world record for continuous hula hooping. 75 hours! Way to go, Aaron Hibbs!

LIST EVERY BAND YOU’VE EVER BEEN IN
Oblongata, The Emma Peel Advocates, Clan of the Cave Bear, Yeti Scalp, Shitty Baby, Cleveland Public Power, Land of Buried Treasure, Wooden Skin, Beat Vikings, Skullface Unit

FAVORITE MUSIC
I'm a sucker for most things that fall into the late 80's / early 90's dirty, noisy rock category which took on the unfortunate title of "pigfuck"

FUNNY BAND STORY
Intentionally left blank

WHY YOU’RE IN THE MUSIC SCENE
To fulfill my lifelong dream of winning a Scene "Best Of" award.

WHY YOU DO THE LEAGUE
I was once an aspiring scientist before I dropped out of college. This gives me an excuse to wear a lab coat.

COUNCIL OF CHIEFS PROFILE: JAE KRISTOFF

jaek.jpg

AGE
23

DAY JOB(S)
Cleveland State U student/worker, and Now That’s Class door guy

HOBBIES
Travel, Various Recreation, Organizing recreation with friends, visiting Baseball Parks

LAST BOOK READ:
33 1/3 on the Wire Pink Flag album and I am half way through The Many Lives of Tom Waits, a long-ass biography.

LAST ALBUM PURCHASED
Berezovyj sok-Pesni by Eduard Khil' and Veniamin Basner

LATEST ACCOMPLISHMENT
I need to do my laundry.

LIST EVERY BAND YOU’VE EVER BEEN IN
Deathers, Self Destruct Button, Land Of Buried Treasure, Washout Corporation, Blue Ribbon Band, McShitz, Dick Salad, Rad Bathhouse, Sausage Pilot, The Pathetics, The artist formerly known as A.I.D.S.

FAVORITE MUSIC
I like the "Happy Birthday Song" especially when my name is in it.

FUNNY BAND STORY
Around 95' or 96', in the early days of the McShitz we were playing a house show in Oberlin. While we were performing our bass player Vic could not see through the beer box he had on his head and and tripped over a house fan naked. I was singing and looked back and saw him "spread eagle" flailing on the floor. I stopped singing so I could puke when a crowd pushed into me and I went flying towards Vic. While he was getting back up my guitar went up his ass and broke. Unfortunately to this day I am not sure why I had on a guitar, for I do not play guitar. And secondly the guitar was not mine. I spent the whole summer paying back Dan Majesky $800 for his new guitar I borrowed and broke.

WHY YOU’RE IN THE MUSIC SCENE
I probably could have answered that question better when I was 18 years old. These days it would be because most of my friends are either musicians or groupies or a combination of the 2...just kidding! I am in the "music scene" it's because I live here "silly".

WHY YOU DO THE LEAGUE
The league offers me a chance to use skills that I learned as an under appreciated office worker. I work with a few guys within the Council who are very pro-active and we inspire each other, . As a group we get to turn what-ifs into reality whereas with out each-other and contributions from others each piece it would be hard.. I enjoy seeing how creative all of the participants have been in the situations they have each been dealt and there willingness to put themselves out there.The big pay off will be several Lottery Leagues down the road when we can all look back on the documentation that is left.Think about it,Next Lottery League in 2012 we will pass the 100 band mark and it will keep going. It is not the Council whom makes this possible it is the 230 odd musicians and artists whom have risen to the challenge and shown amazing creativity and class working together.

COUNCIL OF CHIEFS PROFILE: MICHAEL PULTZ

mikep.jpg

AGE
23

DAY JOB(S)
Currently a research scientist at the VA Hospital, long time veteran door guy at the Beachland Ballroom and Tavern, and host of "The Defend Cleveland Show" sports talk radio show on WRUW 91.1 FM Monday mornings at 9am.

HOBBIES
Booking shows, help in booking shows, promoting shows, help in promoting shows, organizing shows, putting on shows, record collecting, frisbee golf, drinking espresso, and whenever the mood hits me everso in such the right manner, which happens often and anywhere, dancing.

LAST BOOK READ
I'm always reading multiple books at the same time, the last ones i just finished would be Chris Ballard's, The Art of a Beautiful Game, and Terry Pluto's, False Start: How The New Browns Were Set Up To Fail. Do comic books count? They should. I just finished a handfull of those too.

LAST ALBUM PURCHASED
I picked up 3 at the same time last week, Willie Nelson's amazing Phases and Stages out on Atlantic back in 1974, Psych Funk 101 - A Global Psychedelic Funk Curriculum compilation out on Stones Throw, and Talk Normal's Sugarland out on Rare Book Room.

LATEST ACCOMPLISHMENT
Learning how to smoke ribs to perfection, and thinking I've totally got figured out finally what exactly is going on with the TV show, "Lost."

LIST EVERY BAND YOU’VE EVER BEEN IN
The Newdicals, Falling Rock, blktygr, Seers, Semper Fi, Fuzzhead, and Eigenstate.

FAVORITE MUSIC
That would be whatever I deem to be good music, and I'm very diverse yet also very particular and often think that what I like is the best music, and everyone else had better recognize.

FUNNY BAND STORY
Playing one show in Virginia and driving to DC immediately after to play another in the same night and realizing upon our arrival at the club in DC, and with only about 30 minutes until it was time to take it to the stage, that I had left my guitar at the last gig which was too far to return to and retrieve in time. Then, convincing the Japanese, totally non-English speaking band we were sharing the bill with to let me borrow their guitar so we could still perform. Trying to convey to a guitar player from another country who didn't know a word of English that I would like to borrow his guitar without making it seem like I was just making air-guitar gestures towards him was not easy, however I did end up being able to use it and the show went quite well.

WHY YOU’RE IN THE MUSIC SCENE
The best and most entertaining conversations and ultimately friendships I've always ever had are with artists and creative people in general, and my wheelhouse in the art world has always been within music moreso than any other medium, so basically, I didn't give the music scene a choice in the matter.

WHY YOU DO THE LEAGUE
Because I was given the opportunity to be apart of something from the ground up back in 2007 when we the Council created all of this and I knew instantly it to be one of the most interesting, fun, exciting and relevant things to ever have happen in Cleveland creatively, and it simply would be foolish not to do it. Nuff said.


COUNCIL OF CHIEFS PROFILE: EDWARD ANGEL SOTELO

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AGE
38

DAY JOB(S)
Bookstore Detective

HOBBIES
books / food / NBA / dogs / walking, watching, and wondering

LAST BOOK READ
Blink, by Malcolm Gladwell

LAST ALBUM PURCHASED
Taraf de Haidouks, by Taraf de Haidouks. I had a hankering for Romanian Gypsy music that day. It's served me well ever since!

LATEST ACCOMPLISHMENT
Remembering how to swim.

LIST EVERY BAND YOU’VE EVER BEEN IN
You sure about that? Even I can't remember those early days of '97, when I truly started lugging my bass around to joints like the Euclid Tavern, Pat's In The Flats, and Speak In Tongues. But from that point on, I recall: The Conservatives, Viva Caramel, Hoobajoob, The 13 Days, Sneakoscope (two whole gigs!), Proletarian Art Threat, Lives of the Saints, Mike Uva and Hook Boy, Cobra Verde, The New Lou Reeds, The Fuzzy Stones, The Jack Fords, and The All Comers.

FAVORITE MUSIC
Over the last year, anything by Brazilian songwriter Jorge Ben wins.

FUNNY BAND STORY
John Petkovic (of Cobra Verde) and I were driving to Chicago one day. As we were approaching the line between that city and Gary, Indiana, we suddenly spotted a family of ducks crossing the ever-lovin' highway. John hit the brakes hard, and we skidded to a white-knuckled stop, with teeth gritted as both of us nearly flew through the windshield. The birds then blissfully crossed the road, safe and sound. John, pale as a sheet says, "Oh, man. At least the duckies were safe!"

WHY YOU’RE IN THE MUSIC SCENE
Call it a symptom of an overextended adolescence.

WHY YOU DO THE LEAGUE
Honestly, the League found me. In retrospect, I'm glad about that. Over the last few years, it seems that Clevelanders are always up for some mass social activity. Whether it's volleyball on Whiskey Island, the annual Ingenuity Festival, the recent Brite Winter Festival, or even rooting for Cleveland's pro sports teams, we're always ready to grab friends and seize on any opportunity for fellowship, food, and drink. I'd like to think that the Lottery League serves such a need not solely to the musicians involved, but to the music-loving community at large.

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