Isabella Basile, former owner of the defunct Major's Club Isabella, is bringing the spirit of music past to her new establishment, That Place on Bellflower (11401 Bellflower Road, University Circle). Major's closed last year after hosting acoustic tunes and jazz for two decades. The cozy club wasn't forgotten.
"Every place I go, people say, 'Oh, I wish it wasn't gone,'" says Basile. "So we're turning [That Place] into, we hope, Club Isabella."
Basile's new club feels a lot like her old one. The L-shaped carriage house resembles a cottage, with brick walls, dark colors, and old paintings gracing its various areas. On Saturday evenings, musicians move from room to room, playing for guests. After dinner, the unplugged acts settle into the bar near the entrance. In the spring, artists will play outside in the courtyard.
"As a performance venue, it's nicely set up," says Scott Ryan of Crooked Timber, an acoustic duo that recently wrapped a standing engagement at the venue, regaling guests with standards, folk nuggets, and original indie tunes. "The acoustics in each room are good. The bar is a comfortable place to hang out in the evening."
• MTV once again named Mick Boogie in its year-end list of top mixtape DJs. Boogie is the only DJ to repeat from 2006. Read more at MTV.com.
• The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum has a new address, though it's still located at the same place. You can now MapQuest the Rock Hall at 1100 Rock and Roll Boulevard.
• Cleveland's Guttervamps have returned after a two-year absence. The glam-goth rockers plan to release their long-delayed Rock and Roll Whorror Show album (which has been in the works since 2003) sometime this year. Get a preview at www.myspace.com/guttervamps. The band might be the only act to open for both Jackyl and the Genitorturers. The Vamps play Annabell's (784 West Market Street, Akron) on Saturday, January 5.
• Youngstown rapper Pryslezz cracked Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles Top 10 to close out 2007. "More Than a Love Song," featuring Detroit singer Dwele, peaked at No. 2 last month.
• Akron's Waitresses have released a B-sides/rarities compilation on their website at www.hardcafe.co.uk. The tracks are available as downloads on the honor system: Fans can pay whatever they want for the songs by leaving a deposit in the band's tip jar. The web page features liner notes by guitarist Chris Butler, also known for his work in Tin Huey and Half Cleveland.
• Speaking of Half Cleveland, its long-overdue debut, Live @ the Wi-Fi Café, has been released by Crooked River Groove Records, the label run by Tri-C's Recording Arts Technology department. The band features other members of Tin Huey and Chi-Pig.
• Crooked River Groove has also released a Live @ the Wi-Fi Café by jazz singer-pianist Jackie Warren, who teaches at Tri-C's Jazz Studies program.
• The hard-rocking ladies of Cleveland's Rebel Girl are running a contest on their website, www.rebelgirlmusic.com. Winners receive a DVD of live clips and get to meet the band. The band is now writing its second album.
• Akron's In Fear of Roses played a reunion set on Thursday, December 27, at Annabell's. The alt-rock band played its first show at the bar in 1985. "We initially planned on a three-set, full-costume-change spectacular," said bassist Gerard Dominick. "But after one dress rehearsal, and the fact that we could not find a shoehorn large enough to get me into my vintage '80s garb, we [opted for] one set of music instead."
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