Drive Time

Yiddishe Cup's frontman — and his driver — premiere a new show at Cain Park

By Jeff NieselYiddishe Cup's Bert Stratton brings his new comedy and music project, Driving Mr. Klezmer, to Cain Park's Alma Theater at 7 p.m. on Thursday. Stratton will play the clarinet and provide some spoken-word while his "chauffeur" Alan Douglass performs on the piano. Stratton calls Driving Mr. Klezmer a "nudnik/beatnik mix of comedy and music." Tickets are $23, $20 in advance. has more information.

Even though power-poppers You're Among Friends have "never even had a hit song," that isn't stopping them from releasing The Best of You're Among Friends, a hand-picked compilation featuring some of their favorite cuts from earlier records. You can stream it for free at, or you can download it there for $6.

Youngstown-based gospel and R&B singer Karla Agee-Seldon just released her debut CD, No Regrets. The songs are autobiographical, telling the story of Agee-Seldon's not-so-easy life (for one thing, she was a young mother). The new single "Too Late (I Got Love)" is a tender ballad that spotlights the singer's Whitney Houston-like vocal acrobatics. Find more info at

Is Kristen Baumlier Cleveland's answer to M.I.A.? Her recently released album, Deplete Me, features nine dance-pop songs all about the energy crisis. In cuts like "Sea Plants and Animals Die and Sink Man (Or How Oil Is Made)" and "Oil Embargo," Baumlier sings about the evils of oil production and complains about "thirsty SUVs." There are some good beats here, but the message is a little too heavy-handed. You can learn more at

Trumpet player Josh Rzepka celebrates the release of his new classical CD, Baroque Music for Trumpet, with a performance at 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 28, at the Akron Main Library Auditorium. He'll play a mixture of jazz and classical pieces. Tickets are $12, $10 in advance. Go to for more information.

The B-horror movie The Dead Matter will be released on DVD Friday, featuring music by local goth group Midnight Syndicate. Extras on the three-disc set include a video from local metal band Eternal Legacy (which has a song on the soundtrack) and two discs of Midnight Syndicate music, including a greatest-hits set of Halloween-themed songs. The DVD will be available exclusively at Hot Topic — or online at

The local nonprofit Runners Feeding Others helps provide 25,000 meals each year to destitute Northeast Ohioans. The group is hosting a benefit concert at 7:30 p.m. on Friday at Akron's Musica, with cover bands Off the Record and DiveBand performing. Tickets are $10. Find more info at

The all-girl punk band the Hey Yoos celebrates the release of its new album at 6 p.m. Friday at Wilbert's. The group's old-school punk recalls the Vandals and early Hole. Sour Patch Kidz, Read Between the Lines, and Flashy Got Even open. Tickets are $5. Learn all about it at

Singer and guitarist Jonah Koslen — a founding member of the Michael Stanley Band — plays his old group's 1977 Stage Pass album in its entirety at 8 p.m. Friday at the Kent Stage in Kent. Tickets are $15. Go to for more info.

Former Clevelander Josh Rosen brings his self-described "freak-funk power trio" Mos Scocious to the Grog Shop at 9 p.m. on Friday. Chicago Reader just voted the group the Best Local Band of 2010. Il Phonic and Doxx open the show. Tickets are $8. Find more info at

Now in its fifth year, the Bandango Festival returns on Saturday with a lineup of jam-friendly regional bands, including Losanti, Woovs, Eclyptic, Zach, the Corduroy Mason Band, Matthew Hoover & the Supersaints, Winters Warm, and Physical Rockett. The daylong fest takes place on a campground in Wellington. Tickets are $15, $10 in advance. Go to to get the scoop.

One of the area's best punk bands, the Facials are hosting a benefit concert on Saturday for the West Memphis 3, a trio of Arkansas teens who were convicted of murder in 1993. The show starts at 9 p.m. at Now That's Class. The band also has a new album, Minutes to Live. Heads Held High and Plaid Disasters open. You can find more info at

New Orleans-based blues guitarist Jack La Botz makes his annual stop at 252 Tattoo at 9 p.m. on Sunday. For the past several years, the singer and actor (who's had small roles in Ghost World and Rambo) has made Cleveland a part of his annual tattoo-shop tour. His latest album, I'm a Crow, came out last year. Get more information at

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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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