Scott Hanson — a veteran of the local music scene who's played with Boy Wonder, Slam Bamboo, Hanson: The Movie, and Son of Slam — struck up a friendship with Trent Reznor in the late '80s, shortly before Nine Inch Nails released their debut album. But Hanson pretty much gave up music around 1999, after Son of Slam "fizzled," and opened Scotti's Italian Eatery.
"I said I was done and reassessed my life and retired," he says. Two years ago, Gunnar Nelson (of the band Nelson) and Cleveland-based manager David Spero dined at Hanson's restaurant and inspired him to listen to some songs from the early '60s. "I just started writing again," recalls Hanson. "I didn't even know I was making an album. I thought I would record a couple of songs and give them to my father-in-law as a Christmas present."
The album that came out of those sessions, Revival, evokes a bygone era of vocal-driven pop, with some Americana twists. It was recorded in Mentor with Mike Miheli, and mixed and mastered in Nashville with Clevelander Jeff Koval. "Instead of trying to reinvent myself and become the new next big thing, I wanted to look back," says Hanson. "Just because it's old doesn't mean you can't create new things." Hanson and the Champagnes perform at 9:30 p.m. Saturday at Brothers Lounge. Tickets are $5, available at brotherslounge.com.
Concert promoters Blazing Flame Entertainment have lined up a pair of hip-hop showcases for this weekend. The first takes place at 8 p.m. Friday at the Symposium with local rappers Young Spitta, Big Squeeze, and Scar. Esham headlines. Tickets range from $12 to $15. The second show, which features Young Spitta and Big Squeeze, starts at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Agora. Tickets are $10. Find more info at blazingflameproductions.com.
The Youngstown jam band Jones for Revival hosts its annual daylong JonesFest at Nelson Ledges Quarry Park at noon on Saturday. Sultans of Bing, John Welton, and Dutch Oven are also on the bill. Tickets are $20, available at nlqp.com.
The House of Swing celebrates its 34th anniversary with a party at 9:30 p.m. on Saturday. Butterscotch and Wayne Bell & the Superstars perform; go to myspace.com/thehouseofswing.
The sixth-annual Prom of Ages comes to the Beachland Ballroom at 8:30 p.m. Friday. Crash Street Kids, Oldboy, and Grandview will perform cover songs all night. Tickets are $7, available at beachlandballroom.com.
The Blue Drivers, Sweeteven & the Abydos Studio Band, and the Covert Operation play Taking It to the Bank, a benefit concert for Cleveland Foodbank's Harvest for Hunger food drive. It starts at 8 p.m. Tuesday at the Beachland Ballroom. Tickets are $15.
New age and ambient instrumental guitarist Doug Wood celebrates his birthday with a show at Nighttown on Wednesday, May 25. It starts at 7 p.m.; tickets are $10, available at nighttowncleveland.com.