Your Complete Guide to Cleveland Concerts (January 16 - 22)


Bad Boys Jam: 9 p.m. Brothers Lounge.

Cleveland Foodbank Benefit with the Grace Sturmberg Band/Oldboy: 8:30 p.m., $5. Beachland Ballroom.

Chris Hatton (in the Wine Bar): 8 p.m. Brothers Lounge.

Hillbilly Idol/Rebekah Jean/Chartreuse: 6:30 p.m. Barking Spider Tavern.

Jam Night with Tower City Blues: 8:30 p.m. Grillers Pub.

Joe Lovano and Kenny Werner: A Cleveland native, sax man Joe Lovano has lived in New York for years but still loves coming back home to Cleveland to perform. Last year, the guy added to his extensive discography with the terrific Cross Culture. The album opens with the somber title track but still provides an opportunity for Lovano to really groove, which he does on mid-tempo tracks such as "Blessings in May" and "Royal Roost." For tonight's show, long-time colleague Kenny Werner will join him. The two started collaborating way back in the '70s when they were both students at the Berklee School of Music. 8 p.m. and 10 p.m., $10. Nighttown. (Niesel)

Milagres/Sammy Slims: For the past decade or so, Brooklyn's churned out indie band after indie band. Every so often, one comes along that's not as ironic. Replacing insincere hipness with legitimate songwriting, Milagres focuses its attention on opening new doors to beautiful soundscapes. Their 2011 release Glowing Mouth carefully blends elements of electronics, folk music and indie rock. Like indie rockers Grizzly Bear, the guys occasionally get a little spacey but not without grounding their listeners with a solid beat or guitar line. Their new album, Violent Light, isn't out until next month, but the album's first single, "The Letterbomb," shows the band's going in a little heavier direction. Full of punchy drums and choppy, distorted guitars, the track's simpler but not worse for the change. Undoubtedly, a new slew of songs from the upcoming album will make its way into the set list for tonight's free show. 7 p.m., free. Beachland Tavern. (Patrick Stoops)

The Whigs/Sweepyheads/Silent Lions/Mobley Hits Back: After the Whigs self-recorded and independently released 2005 debut, Give 'Em All a Big Fat Lip, critics called them one of the best unsigned bands in America. After opening for fellow buzz-worthy acts such as Kings of Leon and Drive-By Truckers, they started to live up to the hype. On 2012's Enjoy the Company, they seem particularly self-assured, throwing horn arrangements into the mix and displaying an incredible amount of range while staying true to the garage-y, alt-country vibe of the early albums. 9 p.m., $10. Grog Shop. (Niesel)


18th Annual Tri-C High School Rock Off: Now in its 18th year, the annual Tri-C High School Rock Off pits high school bands against each other for prizes that, in the past, have included recording studio time and the chance to open for a national act. Last year, bands from as far as Erie, Pa., came in to compete. The event kicks off tonight at 6 at House of Blues; several preliminary rounds follow. The top three acts from tonight will make it to the Final Exam, which takes place at House of Blues on Feb. 1. A panel of judges rates the bands at each concert. 6 p.m., $10. House of Blues. (Niesel)

The Alarm Clocks: Norton Records' 2000 reissue of

Yeah! was the first official pressing of the Alarm Clocks release since the band put out its one and only single, "Yeah!"/"No Reason to Complain," in 1966. About a month after cutting "Yeah!," the Alarm Clocks, a garage-rock band from Parma, went to Sound Ideas recording studios to cut a demo tape that it could give to local promoters. In one take, the group recorded several tracks, among them raucous covers of "Louie Louie," "It's All Over Now," and "It's Alright." At the time, the group thought the tape would help take it beyond the high school party circuit, but in retrospect, the band's unhinged performance has had a more lasting effect. Both "Yeah!" and "No Reason to Complain" were recorded live in the studio, and only 300 copies were made (the original pressings have since become collectors' items that sell for up to $1,000). The band reformed in 2006 but doesn't play Cleveland often, so be sure to catch the group before it slips into hibernation once more. Plus, tonight's concert celebrates Beachland co-owner Mark Leddy's birthday so that makes the show extra special. 9 p.m., $10. Beachland Tavern. (Niesel)

Cuda Renko & Cuda/Velvet Voyage: 8 p.m., $10. The Winchester.

Festivus: 9:30 p.m. Brothers Lounge.

Colin John and the Jukehounds: 8 p.m., $20. Akron Civic Theatre.

Liquor City Buddahs/Rio Neon/George Foley & Friends: 5:30 p.m. Barking Spider Tavern.

Joe Lovano and Kenny Werner: 8 p.m. and 10 p.m., $10. Nighttown.

Neulore/Stereovox/Allen Ilg: 8 p.m., $8. Musica.

Pries/Neffy/Thwag Lord/Andre Fabre: Tapping into the college-aged angst of his own generation, Pries has been garnering a solid reputation as he tours the country. His mixtapes — dynamic and frequent affairs — showcase a young talent hellbent on showing the world what he's got to say. His latest outing, Honey Jack, begins with the telltale sound of drinks being poured. It's a not-terribly-subtle nod to Snoop's "Gin and Juice," but it serves as an entryway motif for the rest of the mix. His lyrics sometimes run around well-trodden territory in the youthful hip-hop game, touching on the partying life while waxing wise on contemporary issues like school shootings and the like. Nonetheless, Pries boasts a dedicated flow. As long as he keeps the music coming and the live shows buzzing, he'll be a killer listen now and then — if not an outright name on the broader hip-hop circuit. 9:30 p.m., $15-$25. Beachland Ballroom. (Eric Sandy)

Purveyors of Fiction/He-Chaw Frunk/High Titles/Yelloh/Derek Deprator Band: On their debut record, Invisible Ink, Purveyors of Fiction offer up a heady mix of distorted static and intense and chunky rock 'n' roll. Loud, heavy and relentless, their grinding guitars and splashy drums come at you like a runaway semi. Amidst the grunge, the band's real talent shines through. Lead singer Nick Pecone's vocals reverberate with soulfulness and add an unexpected-yet-welcome melodious element to the record, blending perfectly with Drew Minor's notable guitar work. Tracks like "Darling Darla" demonstrate skillful syncopation and rhythmic changes driven by Luke Heberle's wild drumming. The album's overall "order amid chaos" vibe comes across well as the three talented guys let go of their inhibitions. Tonight's show is a CD release party, and the guys will have the 6-track EP for sale. 8:30 p.m., $7. Grog Shop. (Stoops)

The Rebel Rock Reunion: 7:30 p.m., $7.75. Phantasy Nite Club.

Spooky Action Space Captain: 9 p.m., free. Now That's Class.

Surf Night Residency with Dan Shaw/Jesse Michael Barr/Nathan Parker (in the Locker Room): 9 p.m. Mahall's 20 Lanes.

Travis Tritt: 8 p.m., $34-$74. Canton Palace Theatre.


18th Annual Tri-C High School Rock Off: 3:30 p.m., $10. House of Blues.

ABK: 7 p.m., $12 ADV, $15 DOS. Agora Ballroom.

Capricorn Party featuring Terry Lee Goffee: 8 p.m., $10 ADV, $12 DOS. House of Blues.

Reese Dailey Band: 9:30 p.m. Brothers Lounge.

The Kelly Richey Band/Freekbass: Singer-guitarist Kelly Richey has been playing since she was a kid. She initially studied piano and then drums before she picked up the guitar at age 15 and started practicing furiously. Once out of high school, she hopped in her pick-up truck and hit the road. Initially, she joined the country-ish act Stealin' Horses and signed a deal with Arista Records that didn't pan out despite the fact the group sold some 100,000 albums. She then went solo and started issuing blues-rock records that she supported with relentless touring. After a break in 2010, she went back to the studio in 2011 with a fresh perspective and a new band that now features funk bassist Freekbass, a legitimate artist in his own right. As a result, her new CD, last year's Sweet Spirit, delves into funk in addition to offering the usual quotient of high-octane blues riffs. 9 p.m., $15. The Winchester. (Niesel)

Mikaela Davis/Leah Lou & The 2 Left Shoes: Maybe "indie harpist from Rochester" isn't the most enticing label; maybe it's just right. Either way, a spin of Mikaela Davis' latest EP, Fortune Teller, reveals a songwriter who can weave the gentle strings of the harp into upbeat indie pop tunes with aplomb. "I Wouldn't" is a jaunty, lovely little tune. Davis' harp seems to work simultaneously as a gliding background melody and as the centerpiece — the spotlit start of the song. By the time the EP concludes — after crossing through the fuzzy "Feels Like Forever" and landing the bubbly title track — there's this overarching sense of having listened to something unique. Davis fits in nicely with the downtempo indie crowd, but she's also staking out a path of her own. 8:30 p.m., $10 ADV, $12 DOS. Beachland Tavern. (Sandy)

The Felice Brothers/Austin Craig: 8 p.m., $15. Musica.

Carlos Jones and the P.L.U.S. Band/Umojah Nation: 9 p.m., $10 ADV, $12 DOS. Beachland Ballroom.

John Krautner: 9 p.m., $5. Happy Dog.

Mary Martin & the Tune Band/Second Hand Dogs: 8:30 p.m. Barking Spider Tavern.

Joe McBride Quartet featuring Kenny Blake: 7 p.m., $20. Nighttown.

Old Gray/Love Child/Ages/Harvey Pekar: 8 p.m. Now That's Class.

Outlaws I & I/Revolution Brass Band: 10 p.m., $7. Grog Shop.

School of Rock: 1:30 p.m. Brothers Lounge.

Janis Siegel: 8:30 p.m., $25. Nighttown.

Stage Pass Now Cabaret: Jonah Koslen: Jonah Koslen is best known as a key member of two of Cleveland's biggest bands — the Michael Stanley Band and Breathless. While he's put together a decent solo career in their wake, he's not afraid to revisit the past. For the last several years, he has gone back to the Michael Stanley Band's 1977 live album Stage Pass. Koslen, who played on the original album and wrote some of its songs, will perform the record in its entirety at this special show. 8 p.m., $20. Akron Civic Theatre. (Niesel)


18th Annual Tri-C High School Rock Off: 3:30 p.m., $10. House of Blues.

The Dazz Band: 7 p.m., $35. Tangier Cabaret.

Tom Evanchuck/Rebekah Jean/Grayson Michalski: 7:30 p.m., $8. Beachland Tavern.

Hot Jazz Seven: 3 p.m. Barking Spider Tavern.

Hybrid Shakedown: 7 p.m. Brothers Lounge.

L.A. Project: 6 p.m. Barking Spider Tavern.

Nipsey Hussle/Ducky Smallz/DJ Ceven: 9 p.m., $20. Grog Shop.

Residency NIght featuring the Luckey Ones/Broken Stranded/Ugly: 9 p.m., free. Mahall's 20 Lanes.

Justin Roberts and the Not Ready for Naptime Players: Plenty of indie rockers have recorded children's albums. But you can't accuse singer-songwriter Justin Roberts of jumping on the bandwagon. After playing in a Minneapolis-based indie-rock band during the early '90s, Roberts made his solo debut with 1997's Great Big Sun, his first album of tunes geared toward tykes. The former pre-school teacher was so successful, he ditched the indie-rock gig and moved to Chicago, where he spent a couple of years in graduate school and simultaneously honed his G-rated songwriting craft. At that point, his career as a guy who can play to both parents and kids was born. Roberts and his band, the Not Ready for Naptime Players, regularly play Cleveland and this marks a welcomed return. 3 p.m., $10 AV, $12 DOS. Grog Shop. (Niesel)

School of Rock: 2 p.m. Brothers Lounge.


Mojo Big Band: 8 p.m. Brothers Lounge.

Neighborhood Night with Manhattan Beach/Dan Bode/Al Moses Duo: 7:30 p.m., free. Beachland Tavern.

Velvet Voyage (in the Wine Bar): 8 p.m. Brothers Lounge.


Classical Revolution Cleveland: 8 p.m., free. Happy Dog.

Sheela & the Others/Jonn Ones: 8:30 p.m. Barking Spider Tavern.


10 X 3 Hosted by Brent Kirby (in the Wine Bar): 8 p.m. Brothers Lounge.

Action Bronson: At first glance, Action Bronson doesn't look like he's one of the best emcees in hip-hop right now. In fact, with his enormous beard, he looks more like a slightly unkempt version of Henry VIII. He's the consummate poster child for that old adage about judging a book by its cover. When he opens his mouth to rhyme, he has the delivery and tone that hordes of rappers could only wish to have. With his seemingly endless exotic food references and stream-of-consciousness lyrics that tend to come out of left field, Bronson's style often reminds listeners of Ghostface Killah. But the toilet humor that can be found on songs like "Jackson & Travolta" and "Contemporary Man" help to differentiate the two emcees. His recently released Blue Chips 2 project with Party Supplies has been lauded as one of the best to come out last year and his profile is only increasing by the moment. Still, we don't expect Bronson to end up tossing fans off the stage. 8:30 p.m., $20 ADV, $22 DOS. House of Blues. (Emmanuel Wallace)

Extinction A.D.: 9 p.m., $5. Now That's Class.

Jody Getz & Friends/John & Jackie/Luke Wesley: 7 p.m. Barking Spider Tavern.

Paul Cebar & Tomorrow Sound: 8:30 p.m., $12. Beachland Tavern.

Preston Rhyse/The Willow Tree: 8 p.m., $8. Grog Shop.

Abigail Williams/Erimha: 6:30 p.m., $10. Agora Ballroom.

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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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