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Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Cleveland Metal Band Craw's Reissue Campaign Gets a Makeover

Music News

Posted By on Wed, May 6, 2015 at 2:26 PM


Updated: Last year, a Kickstarter campaign aimed to generate enough revenue to reissue the back catalog of the Cleveland metal band Craw. That campaign fell short of its goal but Hank Shteamer, the guy behind the campaign, hasn't given up. He's just launched a new Kickstarter campaign with a much lower price. As a bonus, he's offering Cleveland folks the option of avoiding shipping charges and picking the finished product up in person at a Cleveland recording studio. 

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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Update: It's Now a Misdemeanor to Use Your Cell Phone While Driving in Shaker Heights

Posted By on Tue, May 27, 2014 at 11:09 AM

Update: After three months of warnings, Shaker Heights police will begin issuing tickets today to folks using their cell phones while driving.

As we mention below, drivers caught using any kind of mobile device while operating a vehicle could face a first-degree misdemeanor charge, as well as a fine and jail time.

So, if you're heading out that way today, or to Beachwood, South Euclid, University Heights, or Pepper Pike, for that matter, do your phone fiddling ahead of time and put it away until you've parked.


(Originally posted 03/26/2014)

Back in February, the Shaker Heights Council passed an ordinance banning the use of cell phones while driving. Today, that law goes into effect.

Folks caught texting, emailing, or fiddling with any kind of mobile device while driving through Shaker Heights can now be pulled over and slapped with a first-degree misdemeanor charge. At it's maximum penalty, that could mean a $1000 fine and six months behind bars. At it's minimum, it could mean a regular traffic citation and a fine similar to that of a speeding ticket.

Shaker Heights joins Beachwood, South Euclid, University Heights, and Pepper Pike in their treatment of driving while using a cell phone as a primary offense (state laws treat it as a secondary offense, except in the case of minors).

The Shakerite reports that although the law goes into effect today, drivers pulled over for this offense will only be issued a warning until May 25. After that, police will begin issuing tickets.

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Monday, March 31, 2014

Riding high on sudden success, SKATERS to play Grog Shop tonight

Posted By on Mon, Mar 31, 2014 at 5:18 PM


When SKATERS drummer Noah Rubin first met guitarist Josh Hubbard, he didn’t care for the guy. But singer Michael Ian Cummings convinced him that once he got to know him, he would like him. And he was right. Rubin, Cummings and bassist Dan Burke all gelled quickly after they formed the band in 2012 with Hubbard, who's British.

“I was having a conversation with [Josh] and asked him if he wanted to jam,” recalls Rubin, who brings SKATERS to the Grog Shop tonight. “He said, ‘Maybe. I came here to start a fucking rock ’n’ roll band.’ It turned me off because I didn’t know we were starting a band together. I didn’t like him. I thought he was too forward. Mike said, ‘Trust me. This guy’s cool.’ The next day, we booked three shows for the following three weeks. We learned the five songs we knew. We covered five Pixies songs. We sold out all three shows so the band was off and running.”

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Butcher & Brewer Adds Executive Chef Jim Blevins to Growing Roster of Talent

Posted By on Mon, Mar 31, 2014 at 2:06 PM


As the Butcher & the Brewer closes in on its summer opening in the former Dredger's Union space on East Fourth Street, management continues to add key personnel to the team. The latest addition: Executive Chef.

Jim Blevins is leaving his post as executive chef at Hodge's, which he held for just over a year, to join the B&B team. His last official day is Sunday, April 6. Before that position, Blevins was executive chef of Downtown 140 in Hudson and is an alum of Lola.

"I think he's going to be a good fit; he knows his food and is going to be a great team player," says owner Jason Workman, who along with partners Chris Lieb and Jeff Leonard is behind the ambitious project that when complete will boast a restaurant, brewery and retail butcher shop.

Workman says he was attracted to Blevins' maturity, as well as his chops in the kitchen. The 38-year-old chef has been working professionally for roughly 20 years. He lives in Cuyahoga Falls with his wife and two young daughters.

"The biggest thing that excites me is going to work with a team of passionate, caring people that really want to put a lot of love into a product, whether it's beer, the food or the service," Blevins explains. "A group of people that really love what they do."

Blevins has a daunting task awaiting him. At full capacity, the brewpub will seat approximately 185 diners — more when the lower-level speakeasy is complete. What's more, he's joining a culinary strip populated by some heavy hitters, including Michael Symon, Zack Bruell and Jonathon Sawyer.

"It's somewhat intimidating," he admits. "I'm on a block full of Cleveland's best chefs. But I'm not sure I'd call it competition, though. I'm hoping we'll be the place where all those people come after work for a beer — a lot."

The concept alone will set B&B apart from its neighbors, Blevins says. The very informal venue will feature a large number of communal tables from which guests will order from various menu categories and share with their tablemates. Rather than a traditional starter-salad-main-dessert-style menu, B&B will encourage grazing.

"The biggest departure will be how the food is going to come out," says the chef. "We want something interesting to eat on the table at all times."

Menu categories such as Bar Snacks, Cured and Cultured (charcuterie and cheese), Veg, Meat and Fish will be populated by creative, chef-driven items. Of course, many of the items will be coming from the onsite butcher shop.

"I'm thrilled to work with an extremely talented group of butchers, who will be feeding me some really neat products to play with," he says.

Going forward, Blevins says he'll work with management to build a culinary team and craft an appealing, ambitious menu. For now, though, he's just thrilled to have found a group of passionate, like-minded people with whom he can help build an exciting new downtown Cleveland restaurant.

"I was looking for a place I could call home and this just felt good to me," he says.

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Bad Dates play Scene Session

Posted By on Mon, Mar 31, 2014 at 1:40 PM

Detroit-based indie rockers Bad Dates recently drove down from the Motor City to play a Scene Session at our office. The group played a few songs from its new self-titled album.

Check out previous Scene Sessions with the Promise Hero, Zach, Stephanie Trivison, Diana Chittester, One Day's Notice, Taylor Lamborn, Unsaid Fate, Hey Monea!, Joshua Jesty, Hazard Adams, Dan Bankhurst, Joe Moorhead, Erica Blinn, the Ohio City Singers and Kelly Zullo.

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Cloud Nothings’ Dylan Baldi offers a track-by-track take on his new album

Posted By on Mon, Mar 31, 2014 at 12:06 PM


A couple of years ago, the local indie rock outfit Cloud Nothings’ manager suggested the group make an album with producer John Congleton (Modest Mouse, St. Vincent). That manager no longer works for the band, but the band finally got to work with Congleton. He produced its new album, Here and Nowhere Else, which the band recorded in Hoboken at Water Music over an 8-day period. Last week, we met singer-guitarist Dylan Baldi at his small apartment on Edgewater Dr. to talk about the songs on the new album, a poppier, cheerier effort than 2012’s Attack on Memory. Baldi had just flown in from Los Angeles, where he was writing some material for a side project with Wavves Nathan William, and he was still a bit groggy from the cross-country flight. (He also confided that he’s contemplating a move to Southern California, assuming he can convince his Parisian girlfriend to relocate).

The new album comes out tomorrow and then the group hits the road on Friday and will tour for most of the year (the band plays a CD release show on May 9 at Mahall’s) and will even play in Europe and in Asia. The bushy-haired 22-year-old walked us through the album’s eight tracks and talked about the inspiration for each tune.

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There's a 70 Percent Chance that it's Going to Rain on Opening Day in Cleveland

Posted By on Mon, Mar 31, 2014 at 11:15 AM

According to, there's a 70 percent chance that it's going to rain on Opening Day in Cleveland.

Well, shoot. 

Still can't say it's the worst Opening Day weather we've had.

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