North Canton native Kristy Lee Miller and her new glam group Arrogant Rex (arrogantrex.com) make their debut at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Beachland Ballroom when they open for Starz and Bazooka Joe. Miller met her bandmates last fall when they were all working in a theater production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, but they didn't start playing together until this summer. Miller says Arrogant Rex will perform a mix of songs written by her and other group members, who used to gig around town as the glam band Vanity Crash. "We have a good set right now, and we're working on new material," says Miller. The rest of the band approaches the music from a 1970s perspective, but Miller says she's going for something a little more modern. "I was born in the '80s, and there's a certain nostalgic feel I have for some music that they don't have," she says. "They have a glam-rock style, and I have a performance style. I don't play to win. I play to have fun. That's one thing about my personality that's totally me." Tickets are $20, $18 in advance.
Akron rockers Mockingbird (myspace.com/6mockingbird6) just released their self-titled EP on the Pittsburgh label Innervenus. The four-song record features guttural vocals and heavy, sludge-like riffs that will melt your mind. It's good music, but perhaps more significantly, the band hooked up with California artist Mike Fisher, who runs the graphic-design company Maximum Fluoride. They designed Mockingbird's cool new vintage-looking T-shirts, which you can see on their MySpace site.
Promise Hero singer-songwriter Daniel Weiss, who also performs under the name Context Quote, recently released a new album, &, as a free download. The precious indie-pop songs are characterized by Weiss' fragile, Elliott Smith-like vocals. Go to contextquote.com to get it.
Hard-rock band BMZ (bmzmusic.com) hosts an album-release party at 9 p.m. Friday at the Winchester. Fans in attendance will receive a free copy of the limited-edition CD, which includes four bonus tracks. Local blues-rockers Sugarboy Jackson open the show. Tickets are $10.
Classical pianist Christopher O'Riley — known for his instrumental interpretations of Radiohead, R.E.M., and Elliott Smith songs — performs at 8 p.m. Friday at Tri-C's Black Box Theatre. It's the first show at the new venue. O'Riley, who also hosts NPR's popular classical-music program From the Top, will play selections from last year's Out of My Hands album. Tickets are $25, $20 in advance. Find more info at tricpresents.com.
Indie rockers Safari (myspace.com/wearesafari.com) celebrate the release of their third album, Maybe Tomorrow, at 10 p.m. Saturday at the Grog Shop. The CD — the band's best yet — was recorded over the summer at Exit Stencil Studios. After the Grog Shop show, the band will launch a 15-date tour of the Midwest and East Coast. Filmstrip, Swarm of Bats, and Company open Saturday's concert. Tickets are $3.
Singer-songwriters Kristine Jackson, Rachel Roberts, and Zach team up to play the Akron Peace Project's Peace Fest, taking place at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Musica in Akron. Akron folk rockers A Band Named Ashes are also on the bill. Proceeds benefit the Battered Women's Shelter of Summit and Medina Counties. Tickets are $10. Find more info at akronmusica.com.
The B-Side Liquor Lounge, the dance and DJ club underneath the Grog Shop, celebrates its seven-year anniversary starting this week with a series of special DJ shows, including Innerparty System and Midnight Conspiracy on Sunday, K-Nyce (on Wednesday, October 6), DJ Real Juicy and the Godfather (October 7), and Mick Boogie (October 9). Go to bsideliquorlounge.com for more info.
North Olmsted's Sly Fox hosts this year's Tommy Amato Rock Relief Show at 6:30 p.m. Sunday. An annual event put together by Amato (a former Cleveland rock drummer and cancer survivor who now lives in L.A.), the concert benefits local musician Roger Latham, who's battling breast cancer. The Headliners, Grand Illusion, BMZ, Champagne, Time Traveler, and View From Everest will perform. Menopause the Musical's Jean Zarzour is the night's MC. Tickets are $10. Find more info at myspace.com/tommyamato.
Akron rapper Ampichino (myspace.com/familyfirstrecords) — a onetime member of hip-hop crew Devilz Rejectz — and former Clevelander Shoboat (myspace.com/shobeezy) release Dead Presidents on Tuesday. They take apart Eminem and Lil' Kim on the album. They also incorporate Chicago's '70s chestnut "25 or 6 to 4" for a track. Send feedback to [email protected].