The Cleveland-born, New York-based avant-garde jazz trio Birth has been tapped to headline WRUW-FM 91.1's 22nd Studio-A-Rama, the Case Western Reserve station's annual celebration of local music. One of the city's best music events, Studio-A-Rama takes place in the Mather Courtyard on the Case campus, where an abundance of beer, coolers, blankets, and eats makes for a loose, lively happening. This year's show will take place on Saturday, September 6.
"It started as a thank-you to our listeners, during our telethon," says Studio-A-Rama director Jassen Tawil. "Over the years, it's maintained that tradition, and it's been a way to get live music on the air." The concert, which will be simulcast on WRUW, has featured Guided by Voices and the New Bomb Turks in past years.
Rounding out the 2003 lineup are rockabilly cut-ups the Cap Gun Cowboys, electro rockers Furnace Street, hip-hopper Iyan Anomalie, pop favorites Kiddo, hardcore stalwarts Victory Flag, and a trio of others. The all-day show begins at 3 p.m., and admission is free. "This year represents the musical diversity of Cleveland," says Tawil. "In the past, this has been kind of a hard-rock show. This year, we have hip-hop, electronica, jazz, and more."
"As nü-metal and rap-rock limp toward slow deaths, the Bedroom Allstars plan to breathe fresh life into their sound. That move required a sacrifice: The Cleveland band has parted with programmer Scott Rose. A veteran of hard rockers Erase the Grey, Rose had been punching keys for the Allstars the past several months.
"It was something we were trying," explains bassist Changley Leffel. "He was a good guy. We just decided to get rid of the samples and screaming. We're getting away from that constant in-your-face approach. We're looking to let the music breathe a little, like early Rage Against the Machine."
In nearly five years, the Allstars have independently released a string of EPs, but have yet to issue a full-length. The band hopes to remedy that by winter's end, recording two new songs for an expanded re-release of its self-titled EP.
"We're clearing house, and we're going to start taking the business thing more seriously," says Leffel. "I think the product is there."
"Akron's Krank has qualified for the American Music Awards/Coca-Cola New Music Awards 2003 Competition, selected among 50 other unsigned bands from across the country. The female-fronted, hard-driving rock band's cover of the Doors' "I Looked at You," which appeared on Skipping Discs Records' Love Her Madly tribute album, caught the ear of CMJ writers and editors, who selected the acts for the competition.
Ten semifinalists will be chosen to perform live at a playoff event in Los Angeles. Three of those bands will be selected that evening to compete in the final at this year's CMJ Music Marathon in New York City in October.