This isn't to single out the Grog Shop. Club owners all over town need to examine the practice of turning concerts into endurance tests. Someone who pays for a national show, especially, shouldn't have to sit through two openers and not see the main attraction until midnight. Club owners will say that opening slots are great opportunities for local acts, which is true, but it's unlikely their motives for cramming bands on bills are purely altruistic. Could it be that more bands means a longer show, which means more time spent at the bar, which means bigger drink tabs?
Some of us aren't as spry as we used to be, and staying out until two o'clock in the morning is a challenge, especially if we live on a side of town opposite the club. Bar owners are used to the hours (up until 4 a.m., sleep until noon), so perhaps they forget that many of their customers run on different rhythms.
That's right: customers.
Seems funny to use that word in this context, but it shouldn't be. The people who come to the clubs don't have to be there. They could be doing a thousand other things with their time and money, so it's in the club's best interest to make sure they enjoy themselves (or at least don't feel like they've been beaten with a mallet). Send them home grouchy, next weekend they will be more inclined to go to a movie or a dance club or a putt-putt course. I shouldn't have to say this it's Business 101 but too often music fans are treated with an indifference that borders on contempt.
Annette Keys felt well enough to go dancing. Earlier that day, she sold her piano to an older couple who didn't bother to hire professional movers. So Keys helped push the piano across the carpet. She felt something tug in her back, but didn't think it was anything a couple of Advil couldn't handle. She woke in the middle of the night virtually paralyzed. After spine-fusing surgery, she spent a year in a hospital bed that was parked in her living room. "I learned how to play guitar lying down," she says.
This happened to Keys while she lived in San Francisco. The singer/songwriter left Cleveland for the Bay Area twelve years ago. She moved back to Lyndhurst last year to help her mother after her stepfather's death.
Since she's been back, Keys has been happy to see how far the city has come since its days of bankruptcy and burning rivers. "And I'm blown away by the acoustic scene," she says. "This is a great place for me to be now." Keys has been working the coffeehouse circuit and has a new CD of contemporary folk tunes, Standing on the Edge. The release party is Saturday, August 14, at the University Circle Arabica.
Not that she'd ever want to spend another year staring at the ceiling, Keys says that her convalescence helped her grow as a person and as a songwriter. "When you get laid up like that," she says, "you're stuck with yourself."
Synchronize your ovulation before Tuesday's Lilith Fair at Fem Fest '99, featuring a host of mostly regional female-fronted bands on Saturday, August 14, at Peabody's DownUnder and Patio. Adrenaline Rocket, Alexis Antes, Mary Cutrufello, Double X, Falling Blind, Figure of Speech, Honest Opinion, La La Land, Miko, Pepper McGowan, Margo O'Breslin, Shouting Mountain, Squib, Strip, the Trade, Tender Blindspot, Toehead, Tracy Marie, Anne E. DeChant, and others perform. The show, which benefits breast cancer research, starts at noon.
Speaking of Lilith, Marilyn Kopp, executive director of the Ohio chapter of Feminists for Life, is still upset with Lilith for its handling of her group's request for table space for the run of this summer's festival. Feminists for Life is a "pro-woman, pro-life" organization that promotes alternatives to abortion. Feminists for Life didn't hear an answer from Lilith until reporters started asking questions (the request was denied). Kopp believes that Lilith does not want the pro-life view represented at the festival. "They're avoiding the whole thing," Kopp says. "They don't even want to deal with it."
Kopp says that she has asked Blossom Music Center, site of Tuesday's show, to ask Lilith again if Feminists for Life can participate. If the group can't get into the amphitheater, she says, it will be virtually impossible to get its message across. "It's not like we can stand on the sidewalk and leaflet."
Ted Pecchio and Leroy have left Mr. Tibbs to form a new band. A name hasn't been settled on yet, so Pecchio is reluctant to describe the sound. "It's still growing," he says. "I would say it's more rock and psychedelic and blues influenced" than the funk-oriented Mr. Tibbs.
Pecchio, who played bass and shared lead vocals, handled many of Mr. Tibbs's business affairs. Those duties, he says, infringed on his creativity. "I was spending so much time with that that I kind of lost track with what it is I do." Pecchio and keyboard player/singer Foley founded Funkomatic, a precursor to Mr. Tibbs, in Georgia five years ago. The two are parting amicably, Pecchio says, and Foley will continue on with the remaining members of Mr. Tibbs.
Pecchio debuts the new band, a three-piece, at an August 28 show at the Robin Hood headlined by Sultans of Bing. The drummer is some guy named Pete (Pecchio couldn't remember his last name). For now, they're calling themselves Some Henrys.
After a kitchen mishap, the Quadrajets had to cancel their tour. The band was scheduled to play Pat's in the Flats August 18. Singer/guitarist Chet Weise suffered burns on his arms while frying fish at his home. "He managed to do a number on himself," says band booking agent Dave Kaplan. The Quadrajets hope to reschedule their tour when Weise's burns have healed.
It's common for venues like Blossom to reduce the price of lawn seats or offer two-for-one deals when ticket sales are lagging. Last Friday through Sunday, Blossom offered $10 lawn seats for the Jewel/Rusted Root show. A nice deal for procrastinators but what about those who shelled out $26.25 for a sod seat weeks ago? Tough. Those tickets cannot be exchanged for the cheaper ones.
The Savannah Bar & Grille is taking its act to the animals. The club's first Blues at the Zoo festival is Sunday, August 15, at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. Local bands will play in the afternoon, beginning at 1 p.m. The Travis Haddix Band, Colin Dussault's Blues Project, TSB, and Robert Lockwood Jr. & the All Stars are scheduled to perform the afternoon show, beginning at 1 p.m. The triple harp attack of Billy Branch, Carey Bell, and James Cotton headlines the evening show at 8.
Local guitarist Jim Tigue, who plays with the tribute bands Sugar Magnolia and Wish You Were Here, recently broke not one but two guitar necks. Bandmate Eroc Sosinski is hosting a benefit to cover the repairs of Tigue's fallen swords at Duffer's Friday, August 13. Members of Sugar Magnolia and Wish You Were Here will jam along with Cy Sulak, Colin Dussault, and others.