Local indie label Exit Stencil opens studio

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New Pornographers got dirty at the Beachland. See a slideshow at clevescene.com. - Walter Novak
New Pornographers got dirty at the Beachland. See a slideshow at clevescene.com.

Collinwood's new Exit Stencil Studio is run by the same Cleveland indie impresarios behind the Exit Stencil record label, the sadly defunct Parish Hall venue, and Miller Weitzel art gallery. The studio is at East 161st Street and Waterloo Road, near the Beachland and Music Saves.

"I have a notion of inviting touring groups in for a Cleveland session, because of our proximity to the Beachland," says Ryan Weitzel, Exit Stencil's main engineer. "But for now I'm just focused on reaching out to the Cleveland scene."

Located in the former Lawson's food mart, the small studio has a control room and a soundproof tracking room with nonparallel walls, which help create a nice drum sound.

With 12 years' DIY experience and an Ohio University bachelor's degree in audio production, Weitzel has tracked, mixed, and mastered Exit Stencil groups like Roué, the New Lou Reeds, Hot Cha Cha, the Dreadful Yawns, Home and Garden, and Mystery of Two, in which he also sings and plays guitar.   

The studio features both analog and digital equipment. Digital devices include a MOTU system, Digital Performer software, and Universal Audio expansion cards. A pre-amp purchased from Waylon Jennings' soundman and a half-inch Otari eight-track — the same kind of machine used on some of the Pixies' recordings and Nirvana's first album — make up the analog gear.

The base rate is $35 per hour, with a flexible scale for larger projects. Weitzel says he doesn't plan to open a new venue to replace the closed Parish Hall.

"Things seem to be energized in Cleveland as of late," he says. "I am excited and grateful for the opportunity to own a studio in town, and hope it is a resource that Cleveland musicians will embrace."

• The annual anti-war Activemuse.org Peace & Music Festival on Sunday, May 4, may be the last. "I'm losing my job," explains organizer Mary Mosher. "I've been putting these on with my income-tax return — no job, no income-tax return."

The festival takes place at the Kent Stage (175 East Main Street, Kent) at 3 p.m. Cleveland folk icon Gusti will host performances by David Ullman, Sue Jeffers, Ian Penter, the TwistOffs' Kristoffer Carter, the Screaming Smouldering Butt Bitches, and others.

Zero Defex will also play. The reunited '80s punk band recorded 22 new songs last November for a new 24-minute CD. The tracks were mastered at Mars Studios by Bill Korecky (Mushroomhead, Integrity). Zero Defex will also play Pat's in the Flats (West Third and Literary Streets) with This Moment in Black History on Saturday, April 3. Defex bassist Brad Warner's Cle-punk documentary, Cleveland's Screaming, will screen at 3 p.m. Saturday at Kent's Last Exit Books (Main and Water Streets).

• Cleveland punk clearinghouse Smog Veil Records has released Teacher's Pet's self-titled album on CD, making the record available in its entirety for the first time. The new edition includes three live songs from the Akron band. The CD features five professionally filmed live songs shot at Kent State in 1979. The download version features two extra tracks from a Clone Records single. The band plays Chuck's Steak House (456 E. South St., Akron) Saturday, May 3.

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