Mike Farley fans prepare to get Blue: The esteemed local singer-songwriter is leaving town for Nashville.
"If you're a songwriter, it's good to be where the publishers are," says Farley, a native of Long Island, New York, who spent the last six years in Cleveland. "You can pursue things from anywhere, but there's just some opportunities that are more accessible if you live in an industry hub."
Known for his stirring, radio-friendly modern rock, Farley grew into a regional favorite, thanks in part to opening shows for the likes of Jewel, Tori Amos, and the Dave Matthews Band, with whom he is often compared. Farley's music occasionally mingles with his love of sports: His song "Play Ball" was co-opted by both ESPN and the Houston Astros, who used it in a team video. He has self-released four solo LPs, most recently Blue in fall 2002, and he was nominated for a 2003 Scene Music Award in the singer-songwriter category.
In Nashville, Farley will concentrate on his new publicity company, the Michael J. Media Group, along with further developing his music career. He's hoping for a boost in his new town.
"There are songwriters' circle-type gigs almost every night of the week, sometimes two shows a night at clubs," he says of the Nashville music scene. "From there, you get to network with other writers, develop co-writing opportunities and publishing avenues. People go out to see new writers emerge there, and you just don't see that happening here."
Farley says he'll miss the Tribe as well as his many Cleveland fans. "This city has been awesome to me," he says. "But we're going to try and take that next step. And if it doesn't pan out, we can always come back." He will perform a farewell show on Sunday, August 24, at Wilbert's.
·Electro-rockers State of Being are in the studio, finishing up their third full-length, which is being produced by former Stabbing Westward drummer Andy Kubiszewski. The album follows last year's Implosion, a pulsing, well-crafted effort that noted goth/industrial mag Outburn gave a 5-out-of-5 rating. Expect the new album to drop this fall.
·Kent's sublime instrumentalists the Six Parts Seven have cut a split-CD EP with rancorous Akron blues duo the Black Keys. Due out September 9 on Seattle's Suicide Squeeze Records, the disc features an epic cut from the Six Parts Seven, as well as three tracks by the Keys from an on-air radio session. In the meantime, you can catch Kent's finest at the Grog Shop on Thursday, July 24, with the Magic Magicians.
·The Cleveland Orchestra is looking for volunteer ushers, greeters, ticket takers, and tour guides for its 2003-2004 season at Severance Hall. Volunteers will be required to attend a two-hour training session before the beginning of the season, which runs from September until June. Interviews will be held August 12, 13, and 21 from 5 to 7 p.m. It is not necessary to make an appointment for an interview. For more information, call the house manager's office at 216-231-7425.