And You Don't Stop

Ohio Hip-Hop Awards celebrate 5 rhyme-bustin' years

The fifth Ohio Hip-Hop Awards return this weekend, with related events taking place at numerous clubs around town. Things kick off on Thursday with the Duck Down Records 15th Anniversary Party at the Grog Shop. The Earth club hosts a hip-hop battle and fashion show at 8 p.m. on Friday. A free open-mic battle takes place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday at downtown's Landers Edge Parkway. The awards ceremony starts at 6 p.m. on Saturday at Dream nightclub. After-parties are slated to take place later that night at Anatomy and View. It all winds down at 11 a.m. on Sunday with a brunch at Prime 75. You can find details at

Speaking of Duck Down, madcap rapper Vigatron ( opens the Cleveland stop of the label's 15th Anniversary Tour at the Grog Shop on Thursday. The flamboyant rhymer promises to have some serious visuals in tow: "In conjunction with the performance, I will continue to promote the new artistic venture I have embarked upon with the C-Town Film Factory," he says. The local production crew will show some of its movies during Vigatron's performance. Tickets are $20, $17 in advance.

Cleveland/Akron psychedelic rockers Flowers in Flames ( recently inked a distribution deal with Minneapolis-based Shinto Records for their self-titled debut. Produced by Todd Tobias (Guided by Voices), the album draws equally from David Bowie and the Velvet Underground. The band hopes Shinto, which is run by painter (and onetime Trent Reznor collaborator) Oni Sakti, will also release the forthcoming album it's now recording.

Singer-songwriter Chris Castle ( has teamed up with Norwalk's Womack Family Band ( for the Drenched Earth Tour. They plan to hit a few local folk-friendly clubs, including the Winchester, where they'll play at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, September 15. The concert doubles as a CD-release party for the Womack Family Band's new self-titled album, which is heavily influenced by Bob Dylan and the Band. Tickets are $10.

Solon-born trumpet player Dominick Farinacci ( lives in New York these days, but he returns to town this week to open jazz singer Jane Monheit's concert at Cuyahoga Community College's Metro Campus Auditorium at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, September 15. The show is part of the school's Center for Creative Arts' grand-opening celebration. Tickets are $30. Find more info at

American Rockstar ( just released a new unplugged album called Along the Way. The hard-rock band plays a CD-release show at 9 p.m. on Friday at Akron's Musica. The album will be available for $5. Stateside and Usersetsmode+ share the bill. Tickets are $5.

Singer-songwriters Patrick Motika and Doug Higgins team up for Waits Up, a revolving group featuring local musicians playing Tom Waits songs. They make their debut at 8 p.m. on Friday at the Barking Spider. Go to for more info.

Daydream Radio (, the band fronted by the Promise Hero and Reprieve's Jeff DiLorenzo, hosts an album-release party at 9 p.m. on Saturday at the Grog Shop. The group recently unveiled its self-titled debut, a terrific collection of indie-pop songs. Smoke Screen and the Plastic Hearts open the show. Tickets are $8, $6 in advance.

Singer-songwriter Brian Lisik ( will perform with his backing band the Unfortunates this weekend for the first time in more than a year. They'll play a benefit show for the National Alliance for Mental Illness at the Happy Dog at 7 p.m. on Saturday. Skydragster, the Waynes, and Oldboy are also on the bill. Tickets are $7.

Fascist Insect's Mitch Ribis has assembled a group of local noisemakers to play the Survival of the Loudest festival at Bela Dubby this weekend. Mirror Maze, Cunting Daughters, Arsonist's Prayer, Inerds, Snuff Film, Bridesmaid, Murderous Vision, Black Mayonnaise, and Dead Peasant Insurance are all scheduled to play on Saturday. Doors open at 6 p.m. There's no ticket price, but donations are requested. Bring earplugs. Go to for more info.

Singer-songwriter Tom Evanchuck ( couldn't be more excited that he's opening Ramblin' Jack Elliott's concert at the Beachland Ballroom on Saturday. "I met him last year when he played the Kent Stage, so to be opening for him this time around is great," says Evanchuck. "I just wrote a few new songs, and I hope to have them ready. I'm just trying to pump out as many songs as I can." Showtime is 8 p.m. Tickets are $20, $18 in advance.

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About The Author

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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