Friday, April 18, 2014

Getting ready for Record Store Day 2014

What I'll be looking for....

Record Store Day 2014 is tomorrow and who isn't pumped to head out to their local record stores to pick up rarities and have a blast hanging out?  Being in Cleveland is a curse and a blessing in many ways.  Some times I feel the curse outweighs the blessing a wee bit more.  Especially when it comes to anything music related.  I have blogged about Cleveland's concert struggles in the past and how the city that built rock and roll continues to have issues pulling in quality, mid-level (popularity, not talent) acts.  There are so many great small venues across the northeastern Ohio area, but we still can't pull in decent shows.  I'd like to emphasize across northeastern Ohio too.  Everything is so spaced out.  The same goes with the record stores in the area.  Its going to be a struggle to get to all of the record stores I'll set out to tomorrow morning.  That's why its good to have a game plan to start the day.  Knowing what you want will be important because time is of the essence, especially in a city like Cleveland where I'll be traveling 20-30 minutes to get from one place to the next.  I took a look at the official list on (official list here) and did a run-through of what I absolutely wanted.  I'll probably pick up a few others and set my limit at about $80, but these will be the must have exclusives:

The JB's - Food for Thought: The Get On Down Edition - 12" vinyl

I absolutely NEED to get my hands on this.  The Godfather of Soul's backing band and Fred Wesley set the funky tone in the 70s.  If you pop a record on by the JB's, make sure you're ready to groove.  Its impossible not to.  I'll be looking for anything JB's tomorrow, not only this.  A recommendation for those who haven't heard the JB's, pick up Doin' It To Death.  Enjoy.
Details from Record Store Day 2014 website:
Format: 12" Vinyl
Label: Get On Down
Release type: RSD Limited Run / Regional Focus Release
More Info: 
This reissue of the inaugural release from James Brown’s People Records from 1972 is pressed on 150 gram vinyl, features a 70s style tip on jackets and is housed in an 8 gauge custom bag with an embossed People Records logo. Also included in this deluxe offering: a 22” x 22” poster of the original cover art and a bonus 45 of The Grunt Parts 1 & 2 pressed on purple vinyl.

Gig Poster Thursday - Avett Brothers - Jacobs Pavilion at Nautica, Cleveland - 9.20.13

Artist: Jermaine Rogers

At the time of this show, I was just a so-so fan of the Avett Brothers.  I loved a few of their songs, but for the most part I found their music slow and a bit too folky.  As you might have noticed, if I even love a song or two of an artist, I'll go to a show of theirs.  When the tickets went up for sale I saw the price at around $50 and I decided not to buy them.  Turns out my birthday came around a few weeks later and my buddy bought tickets for me.  I was thankful I had this first opportunity to see the Bros., because it changed my opinion of them immediately.  I was destined to go this show and I'd have to say it was one of my favorite shows of the last several years. 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Record Store Review - Alphabet City, NYC

A recap of my recent visit to record stores in the famous NYC neighborhood

As I mentioned I was in NYC for work last week and tried to get the most out of my trip.  In my mind, getting the most out of a trip now has a lot to do with music and visiting local record stores.  Thursday night of my trip took me to the famous neighborhood, Alphabet City.  I'm not really sure how to explain Alphabet City, but I'd say its much like every other neighborhood in NYC, but with a hipper vibe.  I'd still choose Williamsburg in Brooklyn in a heartbeat over it, but Williamsburg is just more my style.  At any rate, the record stores I visited had the feel of NYC.  Lets get to them... 

Turntable Lab
120 East 7th St.
New York, NY 10009

Turntable Lab had the feeling of NYC and is definitely a must-go-to for vinyl freaks.  Specifically catered to DJs of all kinds of music, it has a decent selection of vinyl, but also a ton of turntables and DJ equipment.  It was a very cool setup.  Clean and crisp with really the feeling of a lab, the path to the register was lined with rows of records.  With more electronic, EDM, hip-hop and house music, it still had a nice selection of rock, jazz, funk and soul.  In fact I found two records that were great finds, one rare, the other just badass.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Black Keys release single 'Turn Blue'

The second single and title track off yet to be released album

The Black Keys released the second track off of their new album 'Turn Blue' today.  They kept the pace slow and left many of us wondering when they're going to bring it heavy like we've known them to.  After hearing the psychedelic beat of the first released track 'Fever' last month, I thought it was a set up to the upcoming tracks that would be heavier and more accustomed to what we've known from the duo.  However, with the title track they went slower and brought back vibes from Attack and Release. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Brew Review - Thirsty Dog Brewing Co., Akron

Dog Gone Good Beer

Thirsty Dog Brewing Co. sits in an industrial area of downtown Akron, not too far from night life, restaurants and bars, but just far enough away to maintain the feeling of residing in an old warehouse.  You walk in to the tasting room through the brewery entrance which is the coolest part of the place.  The bar sits in between two main rooms of kettles, filled with brewery workers who are moving back and forth with fork lifts from room to room, honking each time they cruise through. The bar itself is pretty utilitarian, without food or flare, but with just an area to serve great beer and sit and enjoy it.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Concert Review #9 - Patrick Sweany @ Musica, Akron - 4.11.14

Sweany jams with the full band

Patrick Sweany is one of the best kept secrets in blues rock.  Created from the same gritty soil as northeastern Ohio greats The Black Keys, his sound has its own uniqueness.  Influenced by heavy blues rock, soulful chops and a hint of old country, Sweany has made a name for himself nationally.  His home is Ohio though and he owns Akron.  He proved that Friday night with a roaring night of jam sessions and intense story telling.