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Saturday, May 31, 2014

Straightforward Approach Works Well for Singer-songwriter Jack Johnson

Concert Review

Posted By on Sat, May 31, 2014 at 10:28 AM


Nothing too fancy. That’s the best way to describe singer-songwriter Jack Johnson’s approach. The guy’s sparse, often-acoustic songs have lullaby-like qualities to them (and they were even used in the soundtrack to the kids’ flick 2006 Curious George). Despite their seeming simplicity, the songs have caught on with a generation of young listeners that often gravitates toward much flashier stuff. So it was remarkable to see Blossom packed to the gills last night for Johnson’s concert. The guy didn’t disappoint either. He mixed things up enough — switching from acoustic to electric guitar throughout the night — to remain engaging.

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Friday, May 30, 2014

One Cleveland Patrolman, Five Supervisors Indicted in Infamous Police Chase and Shooting Case

Posted By on Fri, May 30, 2014 at 5:54 PM

Today, the Cuyahoga County Grand Jury voted to indict Patrolman Michael Brelo on two counts of voluntary manslaughter for the killing of Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams in November 2012. Sgts. Randy Daley, Patricia Coleman, Jason Edens and Michael Donegan and Lt. Paul Wilson were also charged with dereliction of duty.

Read the full statement from County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty's office. Here's an excerpt:

Under Ohio Revised Code Section 2903.03, Manslaughter is a felony of the first degree, carrying a mandatory prison sentence of from three to 11 years.

Officer Brelo fired 49 shots at driver Timothy Russell and his front-seat passenger, Malissa Williams. This shooting took place in the parking lot of Heritage Middle School in East Cleveland at 10:53 p.m., following a lengthy, high-speed police chase that began in downtown Cleveland.

Evidence shows that a total of 137 shots were fired by Cleveland Police officers in the schoolyard. Investigators established that the victims were unarmed.

After more than 100 shots were fired at Mr. Russell’s car, it was trapped by police cruisers in a narrow lane and came to a full stop.

All officers at the scene saw fit to cease fire.

Then Officer Brelo started shooting again and fired at least 15 shots, including fatal shots, downward through the windshield into the victims at close range as he stood on the hood of Mr. Russell’s car.

This was now a stop-and-shoot — no longer a chase-and-shoot.

The law does not allow for a stop-and-shoot.


Here's the statement from the family of Malissa Williams:

The Williams family would like to sincerely thank the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office.

We feel there is an opportunity for justice to be served. We also plan to move forward with our Complaint against the named defendants. But more importantly, we would like to reiterate that this is an opportunity for the community to collaborate and come together—not to be divided.

Now is the time for us to join and have positive dialogue about solutions. We need to figure out how the police department can work better with the community and not against them.

This is a time for community solidarity in Northeast Ohio. We miss Malissa every day. We also extend our sympathies to the family of Timothy Russell.

But as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., once said, “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.”

Dr. King also said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

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Cleveland's Brewnuts Named Among Best Donut Shops in the Country

Posted By on Fri, May 30, 2014 at 2:43 PM

  • Photo via Brewnuts, Facebook

We've known for a while that Cleveland's only craft beer-based donut shop is something special and now, it seems, others are recognizing that too.

Yesterday, Brewnuts was named on USA Today's list of 10 best donut shops in the country, alongside other major donut players in L.A., Chicago, and Minneapolis.

"We just choked up. We were just named one of the ten best donut shops in the US by USA TODAY," Brewnuts founders Shelley Fasulko and John Pippin posted on the Brewnuts Facebook page earlier today. "We admire each and every single shop on this list. In fact, they scare us, we admire them that much. We. Can't. Even. Begin. To. Handle. This."

So what exactly did the folks over at USA Today have to say about the Tremont-based gem? All good things, of course:

The inevitable melding of beer and donuts has been taken to the next level at the newly opened Brewnuts. Craft beer is infused into seasonal creations like "The Symon" (a chocolate peanut butter donut, with Peanut Butter Coffee Porter, topped with a peanut butter beer sauce and pork rind dust), "The Bumbler" (a Honey Blueberry Ale donut with whole blueberries, topped with a lemon glaze, poppy seeds and sanding sugar) and "The Dub Choc" (an Oatmeal Stout donut with a combination of 70% and 85% cocoa chocolate ganache). Due to the all-consuming attention they give to their product, they usually only have about six flavors at any given time.

If you haven't yet tried one of these magical creations, now really is the time. (We recommend the Bernie.)

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Comedian Eddie Izzard Brings Ambitious 'Force Majeure' Show to Palace Theatre

Concert Preview

Posted By on Fri, May 30, 2014 at 12:42 PM


There might not be a comic currently working the circuit who has more international appeal than Eddie Izzard. The history-obsessed Brit is currently on a tour that will take him to some 25 countries. He’s in the midst of playing 51 shows in 32 cities in 63 days and performs tonight at the Palace Theatre.

“I want to play all 50 states,” he says via phone from a Boston tour stop. “If you’re doing anything creative, you’re trying to create a bit of noise and excitement. That’s why I do gigs in multiple languages and run the marathons. It all adds to making it a circus coming to town. I’m always trying to move forward and go to different places.”

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Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum Opens 2014 Inductee Exhibit

Posted By on Fri, May 30, 2014 at 11:20 AM


HBO’s special on the 2014 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductions airs tomorrow at 8 p.m. ET and that same day the Rock Hall will also open an exhibit dedicated to the new crop of inductees. Held at the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn, New York on April 10, this year’s ceremony featured appearances by Chris Martin, Glenn Frey, Michael Stipe, Questlove, Stevie Nicks, Bonnie Raitt, Bruce Springsteen, Lorde, Kim Gordon, St. Vincent, Joan Jett, Peter Asher, Carrie Underwood, Emmylou Harris, Tom Morello and Sheryl Crow. The new Rock Hall exhibit will include items from inductees.

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Guitarist Carlos Santana Still at the Top of His Game

Concert Review

Posted By on Fri, May 30, 2014 at 10:56 AM

Professional athletes often need time to warm up. While a team might stumble a bit in the first half of a game, it can often get it together in the second half. Sixty-six-year-old blues guitarist Carlos Santana, however, needed no time to turn it on last night at Jacobs Pavilion at Nautica. Right from the start of the nearly three-hour concert, Santana, who looked distinguished in his signature fedora and designer jeans, was hitting on all cylinders. Backed by a terrific band that included keyboards, percussion and horns, Santana showed that he’s still at the top of his game — songs from his terrific new album, Corazon, even sounded sharp next to classics from the ‘60s and ‘70s.

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Cleveland Artist Dana Depew's Thoughts on Frank Jackson's Commitment to Cleveland Art, or Lack Thereof

Posted By on Fri, May 30, 2014 at 9:10 AM

Fabulous local artist Dana Depew posted this picture and little note on his Facebook page this morning and the combination of the visual with the latest round of nonsense involving the Cleveland arts scene and Loren Naji is too perfect to not bring to a larger audience. Thanks to Dana for letting us do that.


In Sept 2009, I had a booth at the Tremont Arts and Cultural Festival in which I exhibited a series of new chenille paintings. Next to me was a booth for Frank Jackson's reelection campaign. Throughout the day there was a steady stream of people lining up to take photos with the mayor and take advantage of the opportunity to discuss their problems directly to him, such as "my neighbor puts his garbage out two days before trash day, I want something done about this now" I spent the whole day in a chair enjoying this rotisserie of nonsense. The mayor would come over and apologize to me for all the people that were blocking my booth in order to get a picture with him and I told him "No problem, your a popular guy". Throughout the day we would talk about various issues, like the Browns and the weather. I asked him " Do you really want to do this again for four more years, having to listen to people's problems all day and complain?" He replied " I like helping people and making this city better". At the end of the day I gave him a shirt and had a passerby take a picture of us together. I always wondered what he ever did with that shirt. It seems pretty clear now he merely wiped his ass with it and moved on to more important things.

Well said, Dana.

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