Cheap Thrills

A once-promising hardcore band comes together again this week

Two years ago, Cursed and Burning Love frontman Chris Colohan — a major figure in Toronto's hardcore scene — signed Cleveland hardcore band Cheap Tragedies to his High Anxiety 416 label and released the group's self-titled single. Sadly, Cheap Tragedies broke up before Colohan got to see them onstage. So at his request, they're getting back together to open Burning Love's show at Now That's Class in Lakewood on Wednesday, September 22. "Actually, we've been throwing around the idea every now and again, but nothing ever came of it until Chris Colohan asked about playing Cleveland," says bassist Max Monter. "He never got to see the band play, so I figured we kinda owe him that. Plus, I just love those songs, and they're best in a live setting." Another local band, Little Sister, opens the show at 9 p.m. Follow Cheap Tragedies' exploits at

Rockstar, the club located inside Peabody's, hosts a night of local underground hip-hop at 9 p.m. on Thursday. Tickets are $5. There's more info at

The Outpost in Kent hosts Rock the Post II, a three-day battle of the bands starting on Thursday and featuring groups from all over Northeast Ohio. Go to for more info.

Cleveland native Matthew Rybicki ( comes home with his jazz quartet to play two shows at Nighttown this week. At 8 p.m. on Thursday, the group celebrates the release of its new album, Driven! It returns at 8 the following night to back singer Hilary Kole. Rybicki, who plays bass, has lived in New York for the past 15 years. Tickets to Friday's show are $20; Saturday's show costs $25.

Singer-songwriter Ryan Humbert ( has booked folk icon Judy Collins to play the Canton Palace Theatre at 8 p.m. on Friday as part of a benefit concert he's organized for the Wilderness Center, a nonprofit nature center in Stark County. Local singer-songwriter Tracey Thomas opens the show. Tickets range from $40 to $60. You can also purchase $100 VIP tickets, which include seating in the first three rows and a meet-and-greet with Collins. Find more info at

"Grindpunk" band Gomorrahizer ( formed a mere eight months ago, but they've already released an album. You can hear songs from the new record when they perform at 10 p.m. Friday at the 5 O'Clock Lounge in Lakewood.

Columbus alt-rockers Red Wanting Blue ( play Cleveland so often, it's easy to mistake them for one of our own. The group, which recently signed with the New York-based Fanatic Records, is touring behind These Magnificent Miles, its 2008 album that Fanatic just reissued. Red Wanting Blue are back in town to play a United Way benefit show at 7 p.m. Friday at the Barley House. Tickets range from $15 to $25.

The Grog Shop ( celebrates its 18th anniversary this weekend with a series of special concerts. Canadian electro-poppers Holy Fuck headline on Saturday, and beloved indie rockers Built to Spill return to the club on Sunday. Friday night's show with Talking Heads spin-off Tom Tom Club has been canceled, as the band has postponed some of its current tour. You can see a short, infomercial-like documentary about the history of the Cleveland Heights venue at

Akron indie-pop band the Singular ( plays Kent's Professor's Pub on Saturday to celebrate the release of its debut album, The Sad Machine. Comedian Anthony Savatt will host the show. The 4-Qs and the Ground Is Lava open at 8 p.m. There's no set ticket price, but the club is asking for donations.

More than a dozen local punk bands from back in the day are getting back together to play the Debacle Concert at the Kent Stage on Friday and Saturday. Germ Free Adolescents, the Attitude, In Fear of Roses, and Zero Defex are among the groups scheduled to perform. Tickets are $5 for each 7:30 p.m. show. Go to for more info.

Schoolteacher-turned-soul-singer Conya Doss ( came out of Cleveland's School of the Arts the same time as R&B star Avant. She hasn't conquered the national charts the way Avant has, but she's gotten some love outside of Cleveland (for starters, Entertainment Weekly reviewed her last CD). Doss just released her fifth album, Blu Transition. The sultry first single "All in You" is a pretty piano ballad that recalls Erykah Badu and Jill Scott. Doss performs at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Beachland Ballroom. TaRee and Tommy Johnson open. Tickets are $20, $18 in advance.

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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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