8 Concerts to Catch This Weekend


Hiram Maxim

Recorded and mixed by John Delzoppo at Negative Space in Cleveland and mastered by Chris Keffer at Magnetic North, this band's forthcoming debut mixes elements of noise, post-rock and punk. An ambitious effort, it's the first release of 2015 to come out on Aqualamb Records, the imprint run by graphic designers Eric Palmerlee and Johnathan Swafford. In lieu of standard album packaging, Aqualamb's releases take the form of printed, bound, 100-page books. Cleveland-based graphic designer Ron Kretsch provided the artwork, and each book also includes a download code for the music. The album will also be out on vinyl — the local pressing plant Gotta Groove handled those duties. (Jeff Niesel) 9 p.m., $8. The Euclid Tavern.

Winter Reggae Fest Featuring Carlos Jones and the P.L.U.S. Band

Roots reggae rocker Carlos Jones puts forth a positive vibe in his music, which he’s said is inspired by a slew of different reggae acts. While Bob Marley is the most obvious point of reference, Jones is a fan of roots reggae acts such as Culture, Burning Spear and Jimmy Cliff, and it shows in his own music, which stays true to reggae’s spiritual tradition of messages. Jones has got the musical chops and songwriting skills to back up his impeccable rep. He should warm things up nicely at tonight’s Winter Reggae Fest. (Niesel) 9 p.m., $15 ADV, $20 DOS. House of Blues.


The Admirables

The Akron funk/soul band the Admirables came together when singer Wesley Bright (of the equally awesome Akron-based traditional soul group Wesley Bright and the Hi-Lites) asked Nathan-Paul Davis to put together a group to play at his birthday party. The latest single “Listen Up!” is an infectious tune that thrives on its funky riffs. “[It] can be described as funky, fun, constantly building in intensity until the very end,” says band leader Nathan-Paul Davis of the tune. “I write songs with a feel in mind. I picture people smiling and dancing. That's all ‘Listen Up!’ is really. Composing is a gift that I'm blessed to have. I heard a bass line and chords. I woke before rehearsal and started writing what I heard; it just came from, well, who knows. But it came. I title the tunes after they've been written. It's like having a kid. You nurture them and teach them in the ways to go and then they are free, their own person.” 9:30 p.m., $8 ADV, $10 DOS. Music Box Supper Club.

Paul Collins Beat

Formerly of the Nerves, the power-pop band that would help launch singer-songwriter Peter Case's career, Paul Collins has seemingly made it his life mission to preserve power-pop. For his current tour with his backing band the Beat (not to be confused with the ska act the English Beat), he has said he's working "almost exclusively with up and coming talented rock 'n' roll bands" that play with a ear for hooks and an old-fashioned sense of showmanship. His 2010 album King of Powerpop still holds up as the stellar songwriting recalls Buddy Holly. This tour will represent round two of "Garageland Presents" and five vendors will be on hand to sell records prior to the concert's start. (Niesel), 9 p.m., $12 ADV, $14 DOS. Beachland Tavern.

Ekoostik Hookah

The grandfathers of Ohio’s expansive jam band scene — culturally and musically — have always maintained close ties to the Cleveland area. From 1991’s Under Full Sail to last year’s sweetly groovin’ Brij, Ekoostik Hookah have kept their fire burning across time. Check out “Whiskey Woman” for a fine example of the hookah-laden chops still hooked around each of the band’s compositional outings. Given the band’s personal history, rife with small shows and Hookahville festivals alike, every chance to be a part of the fun is a necessary diversion from life out there. The band isn’t working on a new studio album but will play a few new songs at the show. “We never know what we’re going to play,” says band leader Dave Katz. “We could play the same venue four nights in a row and you’d never hear the same song.” (Sandy), 8 p.m., $12 ADV, $15 DOS. The Kent Stage.

The Expendables

The Expendables have rolled through town several times in recent years, always offering up a fun evening of soulful reggae, punk and balls-to-the-wall shredfests. It’s that amalgamation that has kept the band exciting for more than a decade. To the uninitiated, 2004’s Gettin’ Filthy is a worthy intro to the music. Cue up “Let Her Go” and/or “Sacrifice” for a taste of the touchstone. Guitarist and singer Geoff Weers puts enough transformative emotion into the lyrics to nearly bring you to the Pacific shoreline. Clearly, the band’s Santa Cruz roots play out nicely in the music. To illustrate, one of the band’s more iconic songs, the lovely “Bowl for Two,” is always a sublime moment during Expendables shows. Dig the acoustic take on 2012’s Gone Soft. It’s amazing. (Sandy), 8:30 p.m., $15. Grog Shop.

Nick D' and the Believers

In 2013, Columbus-based Nick D' and the Believers put out its first EP; things have slowly snowballed since. "We didn't have any goals or hopes or aspirations," drummer Joseph Barker told us at the time. "We did a lot of work in my home studio and created all this new stuff. We really liked recording that way. All three of us challenged our preconceptions about what's possible, and that allows us to create something new. The group is part of a burgeoning Columbus indie rock scene that includes acts such as Twenty One Pilots and the Floorwalkers. "It's been interesting for me coming from Minneapolis which has a great music scene," says Barker. "But I think Columbus is up and coming. I feel like I came here at a cool time when everybody is figuring out how to make the scene the scene of their dreams." Like previous efforts, the band's new EP Wanted sounds a bit like a cross between MGMT and Foster the People as the terrific title track features call-and-response vocals and percolating synthesizers. (Niesel), 9 p.m., $10. Mahall's 20 Lanes.

Railroad Earth

These guys have been helming the burgeoning newgrass scene to some degree since the early 2000s. They quickly became known for an exciting live show that stretches the boundaries of whatever genre they happen to be tapping at the moment. Elko, Railroad Earth’s first live album, is mandatory listening. Top-tier versions of some of their best tunes appear on this one, and it’s the perfect entry point for the uninitiated. “Mighty River,” in particular, is just incredible. Andrew Altman weaves a groovy bass line beneath the band’s dynamic strings team (acoustic and electric guitar, banjo, mandolin, violin). Bear in mind, though, that you’re in jam band territory with this crew. This song, like so many others in their repertoire, blossoms into a full-throttled shakedown with Tim Carbone throwing feral violin riffs into the mix with abandon. Lastly, props are due for one of the coolest band names on tour these days (culled from Jack Kerouac’s short story “October in the Railroad Earth”). (Sandy) 8 p.m., $22.50 ADV, $25 DOS. House of Blues.

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Jeff Niesel

Jeff has been covering the Cleveland music scene for more than 20 years now. And on a regular basis, he tries to talk to whatever big acts are coming through town, too. If you're in a band that he needs to hear, email him at [email protected].
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