Your Complete Guide to Cleveland Concerts (January 2 - 8)


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

The Delphines/Cheap Clone/GoldMINES: 9 p.m., $5. Happy Dog.

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

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

Sophistafunk/Uptown Buddha: Garnering a name for themselves across upstate New York and beyond, Sophistafunk have done much to blend diverse strains of funk, electronica and hip-hop. Back in October, the band dropped its new six-song EP Freedom Is, and it's a tight little combo of tunes. Album opener "Gotta Walk" shows you all you'll need to know about the band's sound. Emanuel Washington, Adam Gold and Jack Brown work their way across an upbeat tune that straddles acoustic and electronic worlds. Washington spits fire the whole way through it. Twentyeleven (2011) is another great place to pick up the band's funk canon. Everything contained within their studio output promises strong translations onstage, which you can check out tonight. 8:30 p.m., free. Beachland Tavern. (Eric Sandy)

Spyder Stompers/The Progressives: 8 p.m. Barking Spider Tavern.

Tiny Moving Parts/Motives / The Heel/I Love You. I Know./The Spectators: 7:30 p.m., $6. Grog Shop.


Chris Black/Jamil/Mana: 8:30 p.m., $8. Beachland Tavern.

Becky Boyd and Real Life (in the Wine Bar): 8 p.m. Brothers Lounge.

The Brother's Band/Acid Cats/Jovan Wilder & the Wild Things: 9 p.m., $7. Musica.

Jay Epstein Trio: 8:30 p.m., $10. Nighttown.

Faith and Whiskey: 9:30 p.m. Brothers Lounge.

Neutron Rats/Lucha Eterna/Hysteria: 9 p.m., $5. Now That's Class.

Angela Perley & the Howlin' Moons: Angela Perley & the Howlin' Moons' hard rocking new single, "Hurricane," sounds like a cross between Joan Jett and Patsy Cline. It's the lead track from the Columbus-based band's full-length debut Hey Kid, an album that singer Perley says is "a rock record with country roots influences." Perley, who grew up in Hilliard, started writing songs when she was still in high school and initially put together an all-girl pop-punk band. Then, while attending college at Ohio University in Athens, she began to develop an alt-country bent. She put the alt-country act together in 2009, and the band's been going strong ever since. 9 p.m. Mahall's 20 Lanes. (Jeff Niesel)

Pleasure Leftists/Royal Blood/Ultrasphinx/DJ Nig Champa: On the first weekend of each year, the Grog offers a weekend of free shows featuring entirely local and mostly new acts. If you can only go one night, pick tonight. Headliners Pleasure Leftists, a bass-heavy post-punk group, just put out an EP, which finds the band challenging the monotony to which punk bands can succumb. Hayley Morris, their frontwoman, can croon, shriek and work the stage with equal aplomb. The openers ain't too shabby, either: Royal Blood sport a hi-NRG, Stooges-esque sound while Ultrasphinx churn out '90s-style loud guitar/soft vocal jams with a prog twist. 9 p.m., free. Grog Shop. (James Helmsworth)

Terrain/Steve & Rik Williger/George Foley & Friends: 5:30 p.m. Barking Spider Tavern.

Turkuaz/Boomslang: Bedecked in full-body painter coveralls, the 10 members of Turkuaz transformed the tiny Beachland Tavern into a massive party with an energetic set earlier this year. The rapid-fire lyrical delivery of "Smarter than the Speaker," for instance, dizzied up the room as the backing music pounded melodic funk into the atmosphere. It's clear that the band draws on a wide spectrum of influences, including James Brown, Talking Heads and John Brown's Body. From the first note of the set, the band made sure the whole room was gettin' down and enjoying the night. There are a lot of things happening onstage during a Turkuaz show. The brass section, held down by Greg Sanderson, Josh Schwartz and Chris Brouwers, applied a killer combo of robotic dance moves and soulful washes of tone. On the other side of the stage, Geneva Williams and Sammi Garett laid down some sultry, feminine vocals to balance frontman Dave Brandwein's funk swagger. 9 p.m., $10 ADV, $12 DOS. Beachland Ballroom. (Sandy)


Against Me!/The Sidekicks/The Shondes: As longtime fans of Against Me! know, lead singer Tom Gabel (now Laura Jane Grace) came out publicly as transgender in 2012. As the title of the band's new album, Transgender Dysphoria Blues, suggests, Grace addresses many of the issues she has encountered before and after her transition in this song as well as on the songs on the rest of the album. While the content of Grace's lyrics offer some profound and heartbreaking observations, it's hard to really get into the music without feeling like you're stuck in the pop-punk of 2002. However, that may not be such a terrible thing as there's lots of anticipation for tonight's show. Expect to hear some tunes from the new album, due out later this month. 8 p.m., $17. Beachland Ballroom. (Liz Trenholme)

Beach Stav/Outburst Jr./The Erienauts/Mermantula Lansbury Syndicate: 9 p.m., $6. Mahall's 20 Lanes.

Big Leg Emma/Brittany Reilly Band: Big Leg Emma's latest album, 2012's Revival, expands on the traditional-meets-contemporary sound the band has exuded for more than a decade. The harmonies are wonderful throughout the album, and album opener "Back to NY" gives the listener a terrific starting point. The instrumental breakdown during "Rain's Gonna Fall" will have anyone with ears and a couple of feet hitting the dance floor and getting down all night. The whole album, in fact, carries that sense of motion. It's a great collection of tunes to toss in the center console for a road trip out west. And if you've got a co-pilot, cue up "The Two of Us" for a happy little love tune for the outstretched freeway. Vocalists Steve Johnson and Charity Nuse complement each other perfectly. A good sense of harmony is one of the most cherished elements of songcraft. Enjoy it. 8:30 p.m., $10 ADV, $12 DOS. Beachland Tavern. (Sandy)

Carlos Jones and the P.L.U.S. Band/Winslow/Rhodes Street Rude Boys: 9 p.m., $10. Musica.

Bill Lestock/Dale Galgozy: 8 p.m. Barking Spider Tavern.

Secret Soul Club/Ma Holos/Shitbox Jimmy: Still in the partying mood? Secret Soul Club, the same people who put a regular end-of-the-month dance party at the 5 O'Clock Lounge, host tonight's shindig at the Grog Shop. The DJs play only 45 rpm vinyl and focus on soul, R&B, funk and garage, with the rarer the better. Ma Holos (calling themselves "flower punkz") and Shit-Box Jimmy (describing themselves as having one of the worst band names ever) are on the bill too, and they will play rock 'n' roll, psych and garage rock. The event is free and begins at 9 p.m. Grog Shop. (Trenholme)

The Spicy Draculas/Super Awesome Macho/Aurora del Sol/C-Level: 9 p.m., free. Now That's Class.

Wish You Were Here: 9 p.m., $16.50 ADV, $18 DOS. House of Blues.


Author/Bygone Days/Ray Flanagan/Midnight Passenger: 7 p.m., $6 ADV, $8 DOS. Mahall's 20 Lanes.

Dream Journal/Running Dog Labor Exchange/Cereal Banter: 9 p.m., $5. Now That's Class.

Kate Kooser: 5:30 p.m. Barking Spider Tavern.

Polka Bash with the Polka Pirates: 3 p.m. Brothers Lounge.

Sarah Clanton Schaffer/Rebekah Jean/Ty Kellogg: Folky, jazzy and cool, Sarah Clanton Schaffer's songs burn with a great musical passion. Whether she's playing folky ballads like "Just One Kiss," rocking tracks like "Don't Make Me Go" or jazz numbers like "Chasin' A Feeling," Schaffer delicately orchestrates the songs in a thoughtful fashion. While it might be strange to rock out to just a cello and drums, she brings an intensity to her cello playing that more than makes up for a lack of distorted guitars. Schaffer skillfully demonstrates the versatility of her cello playing, proving to be just as capable in a folk, rock or jazz setting. Her debut album, Chasin' a Feeling, skillfully explores a variety of sounds. 8:30 p.m., $10. Beachland Tavern. (Patrick Stoops)

Tiger & Boy / Noon / John Kalman/Carrie Ryan/True Stories: 9 p.m., free. Grog Shop.


George Foley & Friends/Lee Chilicote: 8 p.m. Barking Spider Tavern.

Knucklewagon/Hands!: 9 p.m., free. Now That's Class.

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

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


Beartrap/Dead Words/Cruelster/Dweller/Heart Attack (in Club Atlantis): 8 p.m., $5. Now That's Class.

Lyrical Rhythms: Poetry & Soul Open Mic: 9 p.m., free. Grog Shop.

Open Mic Night with Gary Hall: 8 p.m. Barking Spider Tavern.

Joe Rollin Porter/Paul Borger/Noah Shull: 8 p.m. Beachland Tavern.

Sink Tapes/Palaces/New Age Remedies: 9 p.m., free. Now That's Class.


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

Boy = Girl/Adam Luhta: 8 p.m. Barking Spider Tavern.

Jay Z: Magna Carta World Tour: Though his new album, Magna Carta Holy Grail, received lukewarm reviews, Jay Z is still one of hip-hop's best rappers. Consider these crowning achievements: He's sold more than 50 million albums worldwide; he's a certified NBA and MLB sports agent; he holds the record for most No. 1 albums by a solo artist. He penned a terrific memoir about this life and he's married to the super-hot Beyonce. He's got it going on. The set will be heavy with Magna Carta tracks, but you can still expect to hear hits such as "99 Problems" and "Big Pimpin'" as Jay Z will play nearly 30 tunes during the course of the set. 8 p.m., $80-$275. Quicken Loans Arena. (Niesel)

Riz Leigh / Common Ave. / Wiseguy / Treazon/J. Leshelle/Larry Chan/Marvin Price: 8:30 p.m., $5. Grog Shop.

Ultra Bide/Weakwick/Fertile the Drip: 9 p.m., $5. Now That's Class.

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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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