Drug Runners

Indie rockers reach out to fans to fund their new record

Michael Shepard formed atmospheric indie rockers Lovedrug in Alliance nearly 10 years ago. Since then, the band has released albums on both indie and major labels (Lovedrug were signed to Columbia for a short time). They're completely independent now and launching a campaign to generate dough to help release the third record in a series of EPs, due later this month.

The campaign, "I Am Lovedrug," encourages fans to make cash pledges. "In return, they receive something from us — a signed CD or a chance to hang out with us and go bowling or drink some beers," says Shepard. "It's been going terrific so far. We have quite a number of pledges. We're on our way to making this new record a possibility."

The bandmates plan a move to Nashville next month, but their hearts will always be in Northeast Ohio. "Akron has been great to us," Shepard says. Before shipping out, the band is shooting a video around Akron for the new song "Teardrops in the Well." No word on plans for a goodbye show, but you can follow their exploits at lovedrugmusic.com.

Lorain rapper Nelson "Neo" Ramirez (reverbnation.com/neoda1), who runs the Elevated record label, made some noise with his debut album, Progression, late last year. It's a socially conscious work that recalls classic hip-hop artists like Ice Cube and 2Pac. He performs with B.B.M.A. and Exile at 8 p.m. Friday at RocBar. Tickets are $12, $8 advance.

The 15th-annual Rockabilly Holiday takes place at 9 p.m. Friday at the Beachland Tavern. The lineup includes Chicago's Krank Daddies and local psychobilly group Scarlet Fever. "Yo-Yo artist extraordinaire" Steve Brown will also be on hand. Tickets are $10, or $8 if you donate dog or cat food. Go to beachlandballroom.com for more info.

Prog-rocker Chris Cuda's trio plays the Winchester at 9 p.m. Friday as a warm-up gig for his appearance at NAMM. The annual music conference hosted by the National Association of Music Merchants takes place in Anaheim in a couple of weeks. Winchester tickets are $5. Follow Cuda at myspace.com/chriscudamusic.com.

Because the first week of January is typically a dismal time of year for the concert industry, the Grog Shop is hosting its Annual Free Weekend of shows starting on Thursday, kicking off with performances by the Scoundrels, Aliver Hall, Wanyama, and Funk You. On Friday, Sun God, Founding Fathers, Wooly Bullies, and Spacer Ace play. It all wraps up on Saturday with a show featuring Afternoon Naps, the Modern Electric, Mike Uva & the Bad Eyes, and Brian Straw. Showtime each night is 8 p.m.; go to grogshop.gs for more info.

The Ante Up recording studio hosts a showcase at the Beachland Ballroom and Tavern at 8:30 p.m. Saturday featuring Gentleman Hall, Hazard Adams, Nicholas Megalis, Leah Lou, Ceterum, Champion Bubblers, and the Vig. Tickets are $8. Go to beachlandballroom.com for more info.

The metal band H.A.T.E. has finished recording its new album, which should be out by the end of the month on Auburn Records. Learn more at auburnrecords.com.

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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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