The Warrior Mentality

Two radically different local rappers team up for regional tour

Local rappers Dex the Passion and Nyland have embarked on a regional road trip dubbed the Weekend Warrior Tour that stops at Peabody's (2045 E. 21st St., 216.776.9999, at 6 p.m. Friday, May 7. The two are virtual opposites. Dex is a devout Christian, and his new album, In God We Trust, makes that quite clear right from the Auto-Tuned first notes of opener "Take Em to Church." Featuring cameos by Tech N9ne, Bizzy Bone, and David Banner, the album — clearly influenced by Bone Thugs N Harmony and Tupac — has gotten national exposure on BET. Just released from prison, Nyland (who attracted attention as part of underground rap act R.I.A.) is in the studio working on The Living Tabloid. His music is much darker and has more in common with Insane Clown Posse and the Psychopathic Records roster. "I think they match up as far as their talent matches up, and it gives us an opportunity to draw from different audiences," says promoter Gregg Kelley, who put the tour together. "I think they're both real crossover artists." Tickets: $10 advance, $12 day of show.

Now That's Class (11213 Detroit Ave., 216.221.8576, owner Paul Shlach has had a rough year. After undergoing surgery to remove a blood clot in his leg, he's been on crutches for the past month. "I don't like to sit still," he confides one afternoon at the club, his bandaged leg propped up on a barstool. Initially, he thought he'd scale back this year's Horriblefest, the weekend-long blowout that brings together a variety of punk and noise bands. But not even a bum leg could keep him from booking a full schedule of weird and offbeat acts for the annual event, now in its fifth year. "We were originally going to make it short, and now it's much longer," he says. "It's going to be torture. Not torture. Yeah, torture." The festival starts with a free show at 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 5, that'll feature local noisemakers Sloth, playing a rare live show, and Joya de Mexico, a mariachi band straight out of Mexico City (it's Cinco de Mayo, after all). Thursday's headliners are veteran garage punks the Mentors. Friday night kicks off with local Mr. California, who will perform in the dumpster in front of the club. "We haven't figured out if he will be on top or inside the dumpster," says Shlach. "He's stupid enough that he might perform inside it."

The evening's highlight will likely be Minnesota's Cock ESP, slated to play a ten-minute set. "They're a noisy, dramatic act, and you never know what they're going to do," says Shlach. "It's pretty entertaining." And on Saturday, Cleveland punk rockers TKOs play their first show in 13 years, while the Bassholes, the garage-punk duo anchored by local drummer Bim Thomas headline. The festival winds down with a Sunday brunch at the Parkview Nite Club, followed by performances by Uno Lady and Spider Bags. "It's a lot of fun, but it's not for everyone," says Shlach. Daytime events are free; tickets to Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night shows are $10.

Local emo rockers Attack Cat, the relatively new band headed up by Reliant K drummer Dave Douglas, will be in the studio to perform live on Inner Sanctum this weekend. Catch the show when it airs at 10 p.m. Sunday, May 9, on 92.3 FM.

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About The Author

Jeff Niesel

Jeff has been covering the Cleveland music scene for more than 20 years now. And on a regular basis, he tries to talk to whatever big acts are coming through town, too. If you're in a band that he needs to hear, email him at [email protected]
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