In this week’s issue:
* Cool Cleveland Party Holidaze Hullabaloo 12/14!
* Comment Our “Windustrious” Cleveland
* Appreciation Cool Cleveland reflects on Robert Lockwood, Jr.
* 2006 Holiday Buying Guide
* Sounds The Essential Whiskey Daredevils from Whiskey Daredevils
* Reads Cleveland Rock & Roll Memories by Carlo Wolff
* Cool Cleveland Kids podcast click here, CC podcast click here, CC Blog click here

We’re all about economic development here at Cool Cleveland. You may think we’re all into arts and culture, and we certainly are—just check the succinct links below—but even those recommendations stimulate our economy. What really gets us going is making Cleveland a center for wind power, and pointing you to our special Holiday Buying Guide, so your gifting benefits our region. Stimulate your own personal economy by registering for our Cool Cleveland networking party on Thu 12/14 at Fat Fish Blue, where you can converse with hundreds of interesting cool Clevelanders. Talk about wind power. —Thomas Mulready

Holidaze Hullabaloo 12/14
Super low price until midnight Thu 11/23 here!

When Cool Cleveland started our after-work networking soirees, the e-blast only reached a few hundred of Cleveland’s tragically hip. Now tens of thousands of NEOers receive our weekly dose of e-mail cool and hundreds more come to our monthly parties hosted in emerging Cleveland neighborhoods. With Euclid Avenue torn up for the Euclid Corridor Project, many people have avoided the main Downtown intersections. This get-together is designed to bring us all back into the city center. With Fat Fish Blue hosting, you can count on a scrumptious and sizzling Cajun buffet fix–filled with Jambalaya, Catfish lollipops, gumbo, red beans and rice, and more. Add our patented open bar with beer & wine, non-stop live entertainment from swamp popsters Cats On Holiday, and cool Clevelanders from all parts of town to the mix, and you have a happy hour not to be missed!! Thu 12/14 from 5:30-7:30PM at Fat Fish Blue, corner of Prospect and Ontario MAP

Ticket prices go up after midnight Thu 11/30 so score now by clicking here:

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$23,000! Fast Track that College Degree and join those who earn, on average, $23,000 more per year with a bachelor degree than those who never finished college. Learn how to finish that degree and increase your professional success with Cleveland State University’s Adult and Transfer Workshop. It’s ideal for anyone thinking of transferring or returning to college. Join us Wed 12/6 from 4-7PM at our Office of Undergraduate Admissions in Rhodes Tower West, room 204, 1860 East 22nd Street. Find out about new programs in business, health care, digital media, criminology and more. Meet with counselors about financial aid, scholarships, transfer credits, career development and other support services. You can do it! Visit or call 216.687.5411.
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Our “Windustrious” Cleveland

Over the past few months, the media have noted the growing interest in wind power generation for Cleveland, and for other parts of Ohio as well. The most dramatic aspect of wind power’s potential importance for Cleveland has, however, not been mentioned: A wind farm, off-shore from Cleveland, would actually be THE WORLD’S FIRST FRESH-WATER WIND FARM.

There will eventually be wind turbines producing power out on the Great Lakes, and the opportunity to be the first to do that is staring us in the face. Europeans have led the way in exploiting powerful maritime off-shore winds, and we can take the lead in the next phase of this cutting-edge technology – by putting up those first turbines in fresh water. We can grab that role, and all the branding and business opportunities that will accompany it, or we can just watch it slip by, while we content ourselves with erecting wind and solar devices on land – all worthy and very useful, but not headline-creating around the world.

Let’s not play catch-up to Michigan or Ontario by building our turbines out on the lake only after their communities have taken the initiative on their own Great Lakes. Let us be out in front. We should be expressing our great support for those in Cleveland who are working to install a wind farm a few miles out from shore, where the winds are strong and steady – as opposed to the weak and unreliable breezes on shore. Those turbines on the lake will symbolize our city’s commitment to addressing our, and the nation’s, future energy needs. They will also act as a constant and gentle reminder that we must all do our part in conserving our environment, and making the most of our clean natural resources. Cleveland will be providing bold and far-sighted leadership, as it has done in the past.

For a 30 second synopsis (!) of Cleveland’s great past, present and future, check out

From Cool Cleveland reader Sarah Taylor

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Get in on the Conversation at Spectrum: The Lockwood Thompson Dialogues, a collaborative effort between the Cleveland Public Library and Cleveland Public Art, Fri 12/1 at 7:15PM. This partnership has brought some of the country’s most influential and innovative thinkers in art and technology to talk about their work, ideas and theories. The 2006 series topic is Cultural & Creative Migrations. This original program engages the diverse Cleveland community in a series of public conversations focusing on issues that impact visual and popular culture and is supported by CPL’s Lockwood Thompson Fund. This event has no admission fee, is open to the public and will be held in the Main Library, Louis Stokes Wing Auditorium, East 6th Street and Superior Avenue. Contact (216) 623-2800 or
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CWRU student is Rhodes Scholar One of only 32 in the country, biochemistry and chemistry student Shaan Gandhi will pursue a Master of Science in Integrated Immunology while at Oxford University on his fellowship. He has alreaddy received research grants from Memorial Sloan-Kettering and the National Institutes of Health, has been a Merit Scholar, participates in a long list of philanthropic activities, and wants to become a cancer researcher. Read

Sterling Lindner tree(s) return Now the home of hi-tech companies BlueBridge Networks and Foundatia Technology, the Sterling Building, 1255 Euclid Avenue, formerly the location of the Sterling Lindner department store and it’s famous 70-foot live x-mas tree, will light up 2 smaller trees in their window displays, courtesy of Beth Schreibmen Gehring of Foundatia, with the decorations provided by the Cle Orch, CMA, CBG, Beck Center, ROAM and others, starting Thu 11/30. 496-1479

A Christmas Story House gets national press Reuters mentions Superman, Rock Hall and A Christmas Story as Cleveland’s own “Americana”. Read

Steelyard Commons economic impact may be different than first thought. Some neighborhoods, like Clark Ave, Old Brooklyn could see a boost in traffic coming in and out of Steelyard. Ohio City could focus on “progressive new urbanites”, and the Dave’s there may not suffer because half of its business is in the immediate neighborhood. Read

Issue 18 was only the start Now that Cuyahoga voters have passed the arts levy and put in motion public funding to the tune of $20 million a year, the Community Partnership for Arts and Culture has a few more tricks up their sleeve: teaching artists how to be entrepreneurs, and building a site to help them find affordable housing in NEO Read

Cool Cleveland Podcast Cool things to do this week in Cleveland, at the click of a button. Add the CC Podcast to iTunes using this link. Don’t forget, you can subscribe to this podcast by saving this link in your favorite program that catches podcasts.

You Turn Me On, Baby, If we “do” it for you, please introduce us to your friends, neighbors, mailman, hairdresser and second cousins. Each of you will be eligible to win a Video iPod compliments of Cool Cleveland. No purchase necessary. Enter as many friends as you wish. The more friends you enter, the greater your chances of winning. Sign up by going here. For another chance to win, take our reader’s survey here

Cool Cleveland Kids The problem with winter is that it gets dark early, so the kids are indoors more. To keep them from going crazy, you’ve got to get them outta the house. Take a hint from 10-year-old Cool Cleveland correspondent Max Mulready who has scoured the Internet looking for a few good events to recommend. Hear his short podcast here even if you don’t have special software. If you’re a whiz kid, you can download it to your iPod or your computer and listen with your own kid. Check below to see the events tagged CC KIDS under Cool Cleveland This Week for our recommendations for a fantastic family week. Add the CC Kids Podcast to iTunes using this link. Adding this link to your program that catches podcasts will keep you up-to-date on the latest audio.

To ensure you receive Cool Cleveland every week, take a moment now and add to your address book, trusted sender list, or corporate white list.

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A Salute to James Taylor kicks off a musical weekend on WVIZ/PBS beginning Sat 12/2. David Crosby, Sheryl Crow, Bonnie Raitt, Sting and Bruce Springsteen honor James Taylor in “Great Performances: A Tribute to James Taylor” this Sat 12/2 at 7PM. Then stay tuned for the four charming, sexy, talented young men known as Il Divo when “Il Divo: Live at the Greek” airs on Sat 12/2 at 9PM. The musical journey on WVIZ/PBS continues with “Celtic Woman – A New Journey” on Sun 12/3 at 9PM. Watch this all-new performance special recorded at the historic Slane Castle in Ireland for your chance to obtain tickets to see Celtic Woman perform live in Cleveland at Playhouse Square in April 2007. Visit for additional information and the complete program schedule.
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Every week, all of us here at Cool Cleveland pour through gads of fantastic things happening in CLE and NEO, all in an effort to answer that ever-nagging question: “What’s cool to do this week?” Submitted for your approval, here’s a snapshot of what we found. Got a unique event coming up? Know of something that is a totally Cool Cleveland worthy event? We want to hear from you about it; our tens of thousands of readers do, too. Be a civic and cultural activist and turn on your fellow readers.

Send your cool events to:

Gingerbread Dreams at Cleveland Botanical Garden now through Sun 12/31.

CC KIDS Blossom Holiday Lighting Festival Take in a sprawling light display spread across Blossom’s grounds in a 2-mile drive-through of more than 300 individual, lighted displays now through Sat 1/6.

Appetizers and Advocacy with Eve Ensler Author of The Vagina Monologues promotes her new book, Insecure at Last: Losing It In Our Security Obsessed World, speaks on ending violence against women at Sheraton Suites, 1989 Front St, Cuyahoga Falls on Wed 11/29 from 6-8PM

CC KIDS Holidays On The Harbor at the Great Lakes Science Center, with new outdoor polymer SK8ing rink, Polar Express on the Omnimax screen, and new membership upgrades. Now open. 621-2400,

Cloning Terror: The War of Images, 9-11 to Abu Ghraib Dr. W.J.T. Mitchell explores the logic that connects cloning and terrorism as the twin phobias of our historical epoch in a lecture that explains why the war on terror is actually “cloning terror” by breeding more terrorists on Thu 11/30 at 11:30AM.

News Media Newly Delivered The new luncheon series will explore how technological media developments are altering news coverage. Four Cleveland newsroom managers will discuss “The Future of the News” and how the worldwide web is transforming mainstream news media on Thu 11/30 at 12 noon.

CC KIDS Light Up Lakewood Don’t miss a holiday celebration of events, shopping and dining that kicks off with a lighting ceremony, on Thu 11/30 at 5PM at Sinagra (City Center) Park, featuring St. Ed’s Trash Talkers garbage can percussion ensemble. Activites run through Sun 12/3. Call 521-0655 for list of events.”’

A Christmas Survival Guide holiday cabaret by James Hindman & Ray Roderick at Actor’s Summit, 86 Owen Brown Street, Hudson, opens Thu 11/30 at 8PM, runs thru 12/23. Offers tips on how to enjoy the season without going postal or resorting to drugs. 330-342-0800

Cuyahoga Community Land Trust Happy Hour Benefit Support affordable housing in the Cleveland area and have a great time on Thu 11/30 at 5:30PM. Santina will be on the turntables spinning a mix of funk, soul and Latin grooves. Call 334-1620 for info. McNulty’s Bier Markt.

Building a Green Economy for Today and Tomorrow Cleveland owes much to the industrialists of the past whose vision and drive put Cleveland on the map. However, it can be argued that their vision was not environmentally or economically sustainable. What will it mean to be sustainable going forward? Weigh in with a panel of local entrepreneurs on Thu 11/30 at 6PM. Nature Center at Shaker Lakes, 2600 South Park Drive, Shaker Heights.

The Northcoast Jazz Collective performs on Thu 11/30 from 8 – 11PM for the release of their second CD, Changing Times, on sale at the show. Nighttown, Cle Hts.

CC KIDS CMA Winter Lights Lantern Festival Inspired by the centuries-old cross-cultural tradition of ceremonial lighting displays, festival runs Fri 12/1 thru Sun 12/10.

Ingenuity Off The Grid fundraiser at McNulty’s Bier Markt, 1948 W. 25th on Fri 12/1 5-10PM with snacks & fun & jazz pop by Eric Selner. 791-7538, 246-7407

Christmas at Maxwell’s Premiere of Clevelander Bill Laufer’s inspirational Dove Foundation award winning film, shot in Chagrin Falls, Cleveland, and Lakeside, with Clevelanders Andrew May & Helen Welch, in an exclusive all-digital presentation at Cinemark At Valley View, 6001 Canal Road, 447-7900, starting Fri 12/1. Download the digital trailer to your iPod at

Looking for Ways to Impress Your Clients? Here’s the scenario: You have a new client that you want to impress with hot, new concepts for their PR campaign. Or you have an established client that is tired of the same old, same old. What do you do? Mix it up by offering them an Internet-savvy option with And follow that up by offering them the ability to sample some of Cleveland’s finest at one of our events. This is what a sponsor had to say about our last event in Lakewood on 8/11/05: “All I can say is ‘Wow!’ We loved participating in the last Cool Cleveland party! The crowds were nonstop and the feedback was tremendous. It was a very positive, fun way to promote the Rockport Square development. I would definitely sponsor another CC party again.” — Heather Muro, Residential Sales and Marketing, Rysar Properties. Contact for info about advertising.

Raquy and the Cavemen Progressive Middle-Eastern Music, Arabic Percussion, and the hottest belly-dance music on Fri 12/1. Drumming workshop at 6PM (bring your own drum). Show at 8PM. Special guest performers: fusion bellydance troupe, Hareem Shar’eem. Wilbert’s Music.

Ellington/Strayhorn’s Nutcracker Suite is both unique and iconic. This year, the holiday masterpiece meets up with two CLE’s jazz originals: the gorgeous Bop Stop club and the venerable Cleveland Jazz Orchestra, whose roster is a who’s who of NEO music educators. Revel in the spirit at 8PM (repeats Sat 12/2)

The Rocky Horror Show Celebrate the holidays with the world’s favorite rock and roll musical on Fri 12/1 thru Sat 12/23.

Springboard Artists New and upcoming Cleveland artists presenting works including jewelry, pen and ink, mixed media, acrylic and more. All work will be for sale by cash or check at affordable prices on Fri 12/1 and Sat 12/2 from 6PM – 11PM. Asterisk* Gallery, 2393 Professor Ave, Tremont.

CC KIDS Beauty & the Beast at Beck The Cleveland version of the classic tale brings the music of Allan Menken and the lyrics of Howard Ashman to life in an epic love story the whole family will enjoy on Fri 12/1 at 7:30PM through Sun 12/31 at 3PM.

WCLVnotes Tonight at 8PM, WCLV 104.9 FM will broadcast a CIM Live concert from The Cleveland Institute of Music that celebrates the 250th anniversary of Mozart’s birth. Lucas Waldin conducts members of the CIM Orchestra with Sergei Babayan, piano. The program ranges from solo works to two piano concertos. The concert is also a tribute to the late Martha Joseph, long time supporter of CIM and one of the co-founders of the Cleveland International Piano Competition. Complete details on all of WCLV’s programming can be found online at WCLV is a Cool Cleveland partner.

Open Studio Holiday Sale at the ArtCraft Builing 2570 Superior on Sat 12/2‘ from noon-9PM, & Sun 12/3 from noon-5PM, featuring dozens of artists’ lofts & studios open to the public 579-9263

Bazaar Bizarre returns to 1300 Gallery, 1300 W. 78th St., on Sat 12/2 from noon-9PM,

Photographic Society Holiday Workshop Discover What to Look for When Buying a Digital Camera; How to Take Better Holiday Photos and How to Improve Your Photos in the Computer during complimentary workshops on Sat 12/2 and Sun 12/3 from 1 – 4PM.

Authors Sara Holbrook and Michael Salinger conduct workshop based on their recently published book, Outspoken: How to Improve Writing and Speaking Skills Through Performance Poetry on Sat 12/2 at 2PM on the 2nd floor of the Main Building at Cleveland Public Library.

Cleveland Rock and Roll Memories Attend the Sat 12/2 launch for Carlo Wolff’s new book from 4 – 7PM at Gallery 324 (1301 East Ninth Street).

Listing Tip of the Week Don’t bring a knife to a gun fight. We appreciate the fact that you’ve added Cool Cleveland to your mailing list. We so rarely get snail mail that doesn’t come with a payment slip, these days. Yet, keep in mind that we’re an e-zine. So your e-mail list is where we really want to be. Send us your latest event info in a text-based format – not a graphic format – and it becomes much easier to include your listing in Cool Cleveland. Get a checklist of info to include by clicking here and scrolling down to Hints. Send your electronic listing to us at or submit online.

Northside Arts and Cultural District Art Walk Bundle up and hit Akron for an evening of art, entertainment and refreshments on Sat 12/2 from 6 – 10PM. Visit 12 or more locations and you can enter a drawing to win an original piece of art. Call 330-253-8050 for participating galleries.

Gigfest 06 presented by Crooked River Groove to benefit the Tri-C RAT Recording Arts and Technology Program, featuring Frankie Starr, Alan Green, Colin John, Cats on Holiday, Blush, 71 North, and Ghetto Wisdom, at the Beachland Ballroom Sat 12/2 9PM.

Brunch Concert with Piano Prize Winners Elegant brunch followed by moving performances by international prize winning pianists, Grace Fong and Hong Xu, and soprano Jung Oh, in a program of “Piano and Song,” with works by Brahms, Mozart, Schubert and Stravinsky on Sun 12/3 at 12 noon. Six Continents Lounge, InterContinental Hotel Cleveland. Call 378-1887 for reservations.

HOT Tower Press X-Mas kick-off party Enter a winter wonderland of animatronic displays that will enchant the senses and stir the spirit. Search for the Gingerbread Man in the Candy Cane Forest; meet the North Pole Gnomes as you pass by the 15 foot Toyland Clock Tower and more during this complimentary event. Kick-off party is Sun 12/3 from 12 – 5PM.

CC KIDS Holiday High Tea Enjoy excerpts from Act II of The Nutcracker, with original choreography by Melanie Szucs on Sun 12/3 at 1PM & 4PM. Holiday High Tea will include olfruit punch, baked goods, sandwiches, fresh fruit, and of course, tea. Advance ticket purchase is required. Call 521-2540. The Beck Center, 17801 Detroit Avenue.

CC KIDS University Holiday CircleFest A day of seasonal music, gift shopping, workshops and refreshments on Sun 12/3 from 1 – 5:30PM. Sample UC museums of gardens without charge. Lantern procession at 5:30PM.

The Woodchoppers Ball A benefit for the Northeast Ohio Coalition For The Homeless featuring nine of the best acoustic guitarists in the universe on Sun 12/3 at 7PM. The Kent Stage, 175 East Main Street, Kent.

Carols and Choruses of Christmas Concert by the West Shore Chorale and Orchestra on Sun 12/3 at 7:30PM. Magnificat Center for the Performing Arts, 20770 Hilliard Blvd., Rocky River.

Peter Mayer, whose father co-founded International Partners in Mission, has been compared to Paul Simon, Dave Matthews and Sting, and he performs Sun 12/3 at 7PM at Messiah Lutheran Church, 21485 Lorain Rd., Fairview Park, in a benefit for IPM. 932-4082.

Conrad Pope The composer of works from films like Harry Potter, Star Wars, King Kong, Minority Report, War of the Worlds and more discusses the art of composing and orchestrating within the film industry on Mon 12/4 at 4PM.

Ecologically and Environmentally Friendly One of the things people like about reading Cool Cleveland is that we deliver this week’s news without cutting down a single tree. And there’s no recycling necessary. Feel free to pass your “green” copy onto friends or family members today.

Tokyo String Quartet performs on Tue 12/5 at 8PM.

Geeks & Gurus: Photographic Explorations Photo journeys to Katrina’s Gulf Coast by Tri-C’s Daniel Levin & Jonathan Wayne on Tue 12/5 7:30PM at Tri-C West Rm. WBT235. RSVP to:

Brownbag Concerts Hear the Trinity Chamber Players accompanied by violin, cello and piano on Wed 12/6; The Ganassi Ensemble performs early Tudor music from the reign of Henry VIII on Wed 12/13 and the Annual Messiah Sing on Wed 12/20 at noon.

Small Better Greener Cheaper Learn about sustainable, affordable, innovative housing design in Cleveland on Wed 12/6. Reception at 5PM, panel discussion at 6PM. Reinberger Galleries, Cleveland Institute of Art, 11141 East Blvd.

Warehouse District Annual Holiday Tour Enjoy some of the finest food in town from some of Cleveland’s hottest restaurants while touring Cleveland’s original neighborhood on Wed 12/6 from 5:30PM to 11PM. Festivities begin in the Atrium of the Bridgeview Apartments and continue on with either guided or self-guided tours of dramatic condominiums, beautiful apartments, and penthouse suites. Get into a holiday mood with a performance by “The Dickens’ Carolers”, and enjoy festive entertainment by the Prayer Warriors.

Summer Nights in Winter CityMusic Cleveland no-cost classical music performances begin on Wed 12/6 through Sun 12/10, 2006, in Elyria, Rocky River, Slavic Village, Cleveland Heights, and Willoughby Hills.

Apollo’s Fire performs Handel’s Messiah Wed 12/6 through 12/10 in Canton, Akron, Cleveland Heights, Shaker Heights and Rocky River. Request a season brochure at 320-0012.

Send your cool events to:

“I never looked up to nobody, but I never looked down on nobody either.”
– Robert Lockwood, Jr.

So went an exchange between the legendary bluesman Lockwood and blogger Adam Harvey (“organic/mechanic”), who recently shared this exchange with Cool Cleveland readers on our blog: Cleveland has lost some of its very best “good guys” this month (see also Gerald LeVert, Shirley Hawk and Casey Coleman) and all of them were straight-talkers… none of them more pronounced in such language than Lockwood.

Born in 1915 in Turkey Scratch, Arkansas, Lockwood started playing guitar as an understudy to fabled bluesman, Robert Johnson—a legend who purportedly sold his soul to the devil so that he might play anything he desired. (Johnson had moved in with Lockwood’s mother for a time).

When I asked Lockwood about that mythology at Fat Fish Blue, during one of his FFB residency gigs, he just sorta looked at me sideways and replied with a smile, “It’s always the devil with you kids, eh?” (I’d like to think the answer came in a 2005 interview with the Plain Dealer: “[Johnson] never showed me nothing two times,” Lockwood said. ‘Nuff said.)

Many have already eulogized Lockwood, who passed away on November 21 of respiratory failure at University Hospitals Case Medical Center. All of those who have done so concur that Lockwood never went for the pretzel logic approach to music or communication. He was an expectedly raw, honest straight-talker; a man who left an impression on everyone he crossed paths with.

A staple in the Chicago scene during the 50s, Lockwood was a sought-after session player for many well-known blues musicians there. Though he stuck by the Delta blues, Lockwood did explore jazz and funk briefly, before moving to Cleveland in 1960. And here he would stay for the remainder of his career and life. Not in Chicago, St. Louis, Atlanta, or Memphis. Cleveland.

The Grammy-nominated Lockwood also became a musical mentor to no less than the “King of the Blues.” Riley “B.B.” King praised Lockwood at King’s recent 80th Birthday Celebration show at Cain Park this past summer. “There aren’t many of us left,” King told the crowd, motioning to his colleague… seated in the front row of the audience. “[There’s] one of the greatest guitarists ever, right there.”

I, for one, couldn’t have been more proud by (or humbled in) his presence.

From Cool Cleveland Managing Editor Peter Chakerian

Thinking outside the (big) box

Last week, more of you clicked through to our Holiday Buying Guide than any other feature in Cool Cleveland. Odds are, you steered clear of the Big Box “holiday” called Black Friday, too. Like it or not, that sudden hustle and bustle of holiday shopping is eternal, but that doesn’t mean it has to be bland and expressly corporate, either. For something unique and original, we decided to revisit our annual “Holiday Shopping Guide” to help you think outside the (Big) Box (stores). We have compiled a list of local shop owners, purveyors and proprietors to help you support NEO’s artisans, neighborhood Mom & Pop shops and crafty/creative types across the region. Best of all, we will have it UPDATED FOR EACH WEEK’S ISSUE leading up to the end of the month. Print it out, take it with you, or pass it on to others who might be struggling with Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Festivus, and New Year gifts. Buying local is a smart, equitable and sustainable business practice, so support your local economy today. Click here. — Peter Chakerian, Managing Editor

A wild and wonderful array of hot tech and business news & events from around Cleveland and around the region. Send your business news and events to:

Congrats to 40 Under 40 stellar young business people- read their profiles here
Akron drops suit against Sherwin-Williams but ACORN protestors continue picketing SW internationally Read Read
P&G leads Ohio for patents then GE, SmithKline, Lexmark, Goodyear, Lucent, Delphi, PPG Read
Predatory lending task force created by FBI, Cuyahoga County, city, state & federal cops Read

HOT Start Up Cleveland: Launching a Web Business in Northeast Ohio on Wed 11/29 is focus of CSU Urban Affairs/Web Association forum. Register
Mtrl/Wksp Material for Materials Workshop by ASM Intl on Thu 11/30 & Fri 12/1 @ Ideacenter, touring Moen & Don Drumm Studios Details
Media Relations Workshop for Bioscience Co. Learn how effective media relations can accelerate growth on Thu 11/30 at 4PM. Register
Building a Green Economy Entrepreneur panel at Shaker Lakes Nature Ctr Thu 11/30 co-spnsrd by CLE Social Venture Partners. No-cost. Info: 231-2300.
B2B Com Tools & Tactics in direct mktg wrkshp @ Taylor Institute, UAkron Fri 12/1. Mktg strategies to touch/retain prospects & customers. Register
Pick PD Pres./CEO Terrance Egger’s brain at 5PM Wed 12/06 as Myers Univ hosts Annual Leadership Seminar. Chester Hall, 3921 Chester Ave. No-cost. Registration required. Info: 361-2746

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One Amazing Day, 20 Incredible Places to check out at University Circle’s CircleFest – all with no admission fee (open to the public). ‘Tis the Season to see the much anticipated open house of lights, music, activities, ice sculpting, and shopping, presented by University Circle, Inc. CircleFest will take place Sun 12/3 from 1-5:30PM with over 20 University Circle museums, gardens, galleries, churches, and schools opening their doors at no charge for one amazing day of fun for the whole family. All institutions will close at 5:30PM to encourage visitors to join in a dramatic lantern parade led by dancers, giant puppets, musicians, and guest lantern artists at The Cleveland Museum of Art’s Winter Lights Lantern Festival on Wade Oval. For more information contact 216-707-5033 or
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Links to interesting NEO blogs

Bill Callahan posts What the Steelyard Commons impact report really says “to make MJB’s actual findings — as opposed to the PD’s questionable summary of them — available to other local bloggers and readers. Cleveland Diary is read by a number of public officials, press folks, labor and neighborhood activists — as well as other local bloggers — many of whom were intensely interested in the Steelyard Commons controversy back in 2004. The MJB report directly addresses that controversy, so I thought all those people should see it.”

Frank Mills writes about turning Urban Planning on its head. Why? “As I look around me, especially in Northeast Ohio, although the problem is not limited to this region, I see a history of failed urban planning going all the way back to at least the urban renewal projects of the late 50’s and early 60’s. This raises the question of why? This post is a continuation of my “thinking out loud” about alternative ways of going about urban neighborhood revitalization, about ways that we might frame space as a tool in such revitalization… My hope is that my essays will be a catalyst to stir up neighborhood residents to reclaim the process, transforming it into a grassroots effort. My observation of Cool Cleveland readers is they are people, who for the most part, want to make a difference. Hopefully essays such as these will stimulate their thinking about how to bring about sustainable change in our neighborhoods. Although my essays are directed toward the urban milieu, almost all of it has application to neighborhoods everywhere, even in suburbia. While many of your readers are directly involved in neighborhood revitalization, the opportunities for hands-on involvement are limited only by our lack of creativity. I do receive a large number emails that place my comments in a specific context that my correspondent is dealing with. When I get those, even when they are negative, I know that the essays are stimulating thought. It always amazes and humbles me to see how many of my essays have been excerpted and linked to, especially when it is a professionally related blog or online forum.”

Check the Cool Cleveland weblog here, where Peter Chakerian talks up a NEO nature conservancy’s award, wonders why NEO Universities might be leery of collaboration, sees Kent gov’t looking to “Issue 18”-esque measures because they apparently can’t use a checkbook accurately, remembers Casey Coleman and scratches that nearly bald head of his about the “Suburban Panhandler” phenomenon. When you’re through, add your own comments, questions and attitude.

The Essential Whiskey Daredevils
Whiskey Daredevils
Knock Out Records (GER)

Those Daredevils are at it again, folks. Their greasy boogie sound is back, too. This cleverly-titled Essential package is a follow-up to Whiskey Daredevils’ debut, Greatest Hits… and yet, both would-be compilations sound like they’ve been slaved over for years. These guys play it precise, but always fast and loose—describing themselves as a “no frills” American rock & roll band. Their mélange of punk, garage rock, rockabilly and alt-country is nothing if not infectious.

Some of Essential revisits the Greatest hits from album number one; sizzling renditions of “AMC Hornet,” “Mickey’s Bigmouth,” “Greasy Box” and “Ida Jane” all sport Greg Miller’s razor-sharp attitude and tongue-in-cheek wit. “Ironic Trucker Hat” also repeats, tackling that lame, “Von Dutch” phenomenon with deadpan precision.

The leadoff track “Bacon Martini” (a drink at the famous Double Down Saloon in Vegas) provides rollicking snapshot of drugs, dames and desperation in Sin City. “Devil’s Radio” goes out of its way to bastardize the Robyn Hitchcock (!!) original with the same spirit that the Daredevils did with the DK’s “Let’s Lynch the Landlord” on the last go-around. But perhaps the sharpest of the new cuts is “Wichita Buzzcut,” powered by a spicy Bobby Lanphier guitar groove. You can almost see the song’s Ghost Rider-esque protagonist in your head, as Leo P. Love (drums), Ken Miller (bass) and Dave Bowling (rhythm guitars) stoking it up with a touch of brimstone and treacle.

Whiskey Daredevils celebrate the release of The Essential Whiskey Daredevils (and a healthy Bobby Lanphier) with Uncle Scratch’s Gospel Revival and Four Barrel Ghost this Saturday, December 2 at the Beachland Ballroom. For more info, visit, or

From Cool Cleveland Managing Editor Peter Chakerian

Do you rock? Wanna get reviewed? Send your band’s CD (less than 1 year old, please!) to: Cool Cleveland, 14837 Detroit Avenue, #105, Lakewood, OH 44107

Hey Writers! Wanna write about Cleveland music? We’ve got a slew of recently-released CDs and DVDs by Cleveland-area musicians that could use your critical commentary for Cool Cleveland Sounds. If you’re interested, send us a note at

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Beer Can Steak and Chocolate Sin? Fat Fish Blue, celebrating 10 years of success in downtown Cleveland, recently introduced a new Executive Chef, Gary “JR” Grady, and new lunch/dinner menus inspired by his Alabama heritage. In addition to infusing the FFB Louisiana-Creole menu with authentic “big easy” know-how, JR incorporated southern staples like Alabama Shrimp and Grits, Jenny Pennie’s Chicken and Biscuits, VooDoo Mussels, Beer Can Steak (served with Guinness demi-glace and candied yams) and Chocolate Sin Cake, inspired by his upbringing. “I loved the FFB menu, but after 9½ years, I thought it needed something extra,” stated JR. “These new items compliment FFB favorites like Gumbo, Jambalaya, Pulled Pork and Catfish your way.” I know guests are going to love the new choices – so far the response has been overwhelming.” Visit
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Cleveland Rock & Roll Memories
Carlo Wolff
Gray & Company

Music fans who grew up in Cleveland hear a lot about the “golden age” of Rock and Roll. Sometimes, it’s downright inescapable: from endless classic rock on the radio, to the glass menagerie at the end of East Ninth, every signpost in town points back to that era. Noted rock critic Carlo Wolff has documented those signposts and paired them with historical perspective and first-person narratives for his new Cleveland rock nostalgia book, Cleveland Rock & Roll Memories.

This book collects memories of Clevelanders who were entrenched in the music scene: musicians, reporters, jocks, reporters, club owners, and the fans. Some memories seem to meander with ubiquitous zeal; others (including those of PD Minister of Culture Michael Heaton) are spot-on and laugh-out-loud funny. When Heaton leaves the over-attended Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon gig at Blossom, you know he’s not as “invisible” as he thinks he is.

Wolff, who writes about music, pop culture and literature for an impressive list of outlets including Village Voice, Goldmine, and Boston Globe, covers a great deal of territory in one small volume. Rock clubs like the Agora, stations like WIXY and WMMS and emerging bands like Devo and Pere Ubu join launched careers (Meat Loaf) and cherished shows (Coffee Break Concerts, World Series of Rock, Michael Stanley Band at Blossom, etc.) as the beginning of this long, strange, time capsule trip.

Acknowledgements of rock writer Jane Scott are also well done. She gets knocked by one fan as not really being a critic (can’t really argue that), but all have fond reverence for her. Put on the “teen beat” as an afterthought, she ended up experiencing a cultural phenomenon in its entirety. Without Jane, there’s no Jancee Dunn, Edna Gundersen, Lorraine Ali… just like there’s no Madonna without Akron’s Chrissie Hynde. It’s not a stretch at all, people: Cool rock chicks beget cool rock chicks.

Wolff’s best move with Memories is letting the participants speak for themselves. It is great fun to absorb so many voices and unique perspectives and it absolves the author of others’ occasionally fuzzy memories.

Sadly, there’s no postscript for after the mid 1980s in Memories. What about Rock Hall, the Concert for the Hall of Fame, gads of live performances, Alternative Press and the Northeast Ohio natives who continue(d) to add to the cultural landscape? Trent Reznor, the Black Keys, Tracy Chapman, Scott Weiland, Maynard James Keenan, Marilyn Manson… the list goes on.

Perhaps Wolff, one of three principal authors of The Encyclopedia of Record Producers, is planning a Cleveland Rock & Roll Memories II: Back Into Cleveland sequel. Unless Jim Steinman and Meat Loaf make up and get the call first, I’m guessing Wolff’s publisher is already on notice.

Carlo Wolff and other Northeast Ohio rock writers help celebrate the launch of Cleveland Rock & Roll Memories this Saturday, December 2 at Gallery 324 in the Galleria from 4-7PM. Visit for more information.

From Cool Cleveland Managing Editor Peter Chakerian

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Looking for Incredible Holiday Gifts from Upcoming Local Artists? Give unique gifts that include ceramic tableware, glass housewares, jewelry, clothing, ornaments, paper goods, enamelware, fine art, and accessories for sale by some of the most talented students in our region at the Cleveland Institute of Art’s annual Student Holiday Art Sale. It starts Fri 12/1 – Sun 12/3 in the Ohio Bell Auditorium in the Gund Building at CIA, 11141 East Boulevard, with an opening celebration on Fri 12/1 from 6:30PM – 9PM, continuing through the rest of the weekend from 10AM – 8PM on Sat 12/2, and 12PM – 6PM Sun 12/3. Those looking for unique, handcrafted holiday gifts will not be disappointed! For more information, call 216-421-7000. For info about the Institute visit
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Quick reviews of recent events
Going out this weekend? Take along your PDA and your digital camera. Scratch out a few notes to send us with a picture of it for our Instant Karma real-world reviews of what’s really happening. We’d love to hear from you. Send your stuff to

Ground Works @ Trinity Cathedral 11/16 We went to see Ground Works Dance Theater at Trinity Cathedral a week ago last Saturday; a nice chance to see one of our favorite local dance companies as well as to admire the exquisite interior of this Gothic Revival Cleveland landmark. As if to increase our pleasure, before the program started we watched Damien Highfield, one of the dancers, warm up on the uncurtained portable stage as he worked on what looked like material from ballet class. “Ah, to be young enough to jump again,” one of us sighed, remembering when the challenge of taking ballet class felt fun; “Oh, for professional ballet performance in Cleveland again,” sighed the other. Alas, neither of our wishes seems likely to find fulfillment. The postmodernists seated behind us over our left shoulders had an entirely different wish list, not to be satisfied until the evening’s final dance.

The concert began with a revival of Artistic Director David Shimotakahara’s “Before With After,” which we watched as a ballet blanc, a white ballet; not a totally inappropriate perspective, given the beautiful white contemporary costumes by Ray Zander and the way the piece touched tenderly on human emotions. Admittedly, “Before With After” contains not a single ballet step that we can remember; nevertheless, the entire piece is informed by the Ground Works dancers’ proficiency as ballet technicians with many quick changes of direction and deft changes of weight; no soggy pedestrian performance aesthetic here.

Another way to describe “Before With After” is as a music visualization that superimposes contemporary gestures and emotions on Shimotakahara’s selection of short pieces by J. S. Bach. It begins, appropriately enough, with a prelude whose counterpoint corresponds to the dancers’ crossings up and down stage – crossings which are later embellished by high-fives. A sarabande, a slow court dance for couples, is choreographed as a duet between Jennifer Lott and Mark Otloski with many slow, melting movements and tender embraces. A playful rivalry between friends is depicted in another duet danced by Felise Bagley and Amy Miller. A dance for 5 strikes a courtly note despite the contemporary movement vocabulary.

One of our favorite moments in this dance comes at the concluding chords of the final fugue when Miller puts-her-hands-in-her-back-pockets-Betty-Davis-style and saunters into center stage and a blackout. Here is postmodernism’s predilection for pedestrian movement providing an apt conclusion – as we like it. Not least among this dance’s pleasures is the dancers’ mutual respect and genuine pleasure in each other, a quality hard to fake.

But an entire evening of baroque music and courtliness might be hard to take and fortunately Ground Works has other flavors on tap. As we remarked in Cool Cleveland last March, we had long been wishing for less of the intellectually abstract and more of the concretely funny and sexy from Ground Works when they tapped into the dark and sexy work of Keely Garfield, who created “Iron Lung” (world premiere at the Akron Ice House, 9/16/05) on the company. Perhaps Ms. Garfield popped the cork, for soon after the premiere of “Iron Lung,” Shimotakahara followed up with the premiere of his own funny, darkly sexy “Inside Out” (see our Cool Cleveland review of the March 2006 premiere at CPT). And Miller did what we see as her own take on the possibilities opened up by “Iron Lung” with her choreographic debut, “eleveneleven,” (premiered June and July of 2006) the second dance on the Trinity concert.

Most Ground Works program notes tend toward the abstract and Miller’s note on “eleveneleven” is no exception. By referring to “interaction,” “observation,” “taking stock” and “seeing one another,” one anticipates a dance much more distant, cooler in tone and calmer in effect than that delivered. That program note scarcely prepares one for the many long embraces, the intent and searching looks, and some pretty sexy rolling on the floor, or the dance’s emotional edginess and eventual hyper-kinetic surge. Call us obsessed with sex, but when “eleveneleven” begins with two heterosexual couples, covetous looks and much snatching of one partner out from under another’s nose, we both find ourselves in soap opera land with its emphasis on desire and serial infidelity. Or maybe it’s more like “Tristan and Isolde” or “Anna Karenina,.”

“Eleveneleven” is a classy piece, just the kind of thing we’d wished for, and certainly not a dance that errs on the side of abstraction. Miller’s and the dancers’ sure handling provides a convincing demonstration of how right this subject matter is for Ground Works. Costumed by Janet Bolick in ankle length dresses of fluid fabric that clings most enticingly to their slender womanly curves, Felise Bagley and Jennifer Lott do their share of initiating embraces and changes of partners. In our highly subjective interpretation of “eleveneleven,” the men’s emotions and motivations did not emerge so clearly in this performance; they do, however, appear sympathetically conceived and portrayed.

Whatever your interpretation of “eleveneleven,” its dancing certainly provides many concrete instances of what the program note so abstractly refers to. The embraces of “eleveneleven” are not the formal positions of the ballroom, parallel, proximate but definitely apart; rather, the dancers embrace with the full length of their bodies pressed together. And in the dance’s many daring and highly original lifts, the women are not held at arms length but are propelled over and around in close proximity to their partners.

Miller’s long tenure with Ground Works and her familiarity with its dancers paid off handsomely in Saturday’s performance, wherein the dancers seemed comfortable in the technical as well as the emotional challenges.

One other successful aspect of Miller’s extremely accomplished choreographic debut is her choice of Ryan Lott as score composer. We’ve remarked before on how Lott’s music provides choreographers with a clear structure and his original score for “eleveneleven” is no exception, literally turning the dance toward its conclusion with that clearest of climactic devices, accelerando.

The final dance of Ground Works’ Trinity Cathedral concert was the evening’s featured premiere, “Through the Lens,” created on the company by Art Bridgman and Myrna Packard, the piece our postmodernist friends had really come to see. Bridgman and Packard are well known nation-wide as performers and teachers as well as choreographers. Older Cleveland audiences know their work from several pieces in the defunct Repertory Project repertoire.

“Through the Lens” is built around shadow-theater and reminds us how effective that ancient theatrical device can be. Beginning with a blue screen and a red screen lit from behind, we initially see Bagley’s larger than life silhouette undulating sensuously; then the choreographers appear to explore the possibilities of the medium: big and small, behind the screen and in front of the screen. Thoroughly entertaining for every one of its 20 minutes, “Through the Lens” seems to aspire to no intellectual statement. Its program note acknowledges and thanks the various contributors but offers no interpretation, nor can we. For all its novelty, this final piece in the concert gave us less to think and talk about than either of the others; when it’s over it’s over, and that’s all right. With its bright colors and entertainment value it provided an agreeable leavening to an otherwise cerebral evening.

From Cool Cleveland contributors Elsa Johnson and Victor Lucas

Mozart 250th Celebration @ CSU 11/21 We certainly do take excellent music-making for granted in this community. How else to explain a less-than-full house for a recital of four works by an acknowledged master of chamber music in celebration of his 250th birthday as performed by five local exceptional musicians, three of them members of the Cleveland Orchestra? And with no parking fee and no admission fee, either?

We’re spoiled here, no doubt about it.

Those in attendance Tuesday evening at Drinko Recital Hall at Cleveland State University heard an absolutely marvelous recital – one that inhabitants of other cities would have paid mucho bucks to hear, and been grateful for the privilege.

Angelin Chang is head of keyboard studies and professor of piano at CSU, where she is also coordinator for chamber music, and she puts together some exceptional programs, with equally exceptional performers. The four gentlemen who appeared with her are all on the faculty of CSU—an indication of the quality of education available at this urban State-supported university.

Sean Gabriel is a busy free-lance flutist who joined Dr. Chang for two early Sonatas by Mozart, which were originally written for violin, and in contrast to the usual sonata structure, have only two movements each. The Sonata in A Major, K.12 and its mate in B-flat Major, K. 15 were both bright and chipper little pieces, indicative of the youth of the composer. There was nothing juvenile or amateurish about either, however, in structure or actual performance. In the former work, there was a beautiful slow trill engaged in by both musicians that will linger in memory. In the latter they played tag with each other; Mr. Gabriel’s big broad sound expertly matching the piano of Ms. Chang, who played the entire evening with the piano lid up full, yet never once overpowering her partners. There was a touch of Magic Flute in the latter work, although that opera was not written until more than 25 years later.

The Piano Sonata in C Major, K. 330 followed in a marvelously sensitive performance by Ms. Chang. It was playful and lilting and very familiar-sounding to anyone who ever took piano lessons! Overall this is a joyous work, but also had a bit of bite to it, when necessary.

The second half began with the Trio in E-Flat Major, K. 498 in which Ms. Chang was joined by Erich Eichhorn, violin and Art Klima, viola. Long-time members of the Cleveland Orchestra, Mr. Eichhorn and Mr. Klima are accustomed to playing together and it showed, especially in the various dialogues between the two of them, and then in matchups with the piano. Even in the very fast passages, the strings, especially the viola, were clearly articulated and not at all murky. The rondo was taken at a truly brisk tempo, generating an equally brisk response from the audience.

Cellist Bryan Dumm (also from the Cleveland Orchestra) joined the trio for the Quartet in g minor, K. 478. In spite of the minor key, the players appeared to be having a great deal of fun in this performance, as all wore smiles throughout. They took turns matching the strings against the piano, in what could almost be called conversation. After a solo piano introduction, there were gorgeous harmonics at the beginning of the Andante and an invigorating tempo was taken throughout the final Allegro Moderato.

A reception was held at the conclusion of the recital, in which all the participants happily chatted with friends and guests. It was a wonderful birthday party! Angelin Chang will present another recital on March 27, 2007. If past performances are any indication, it’ll be another very special event. For more information, write to her at: or visit the CSU site:

From Cool Cleveland contributor Kelly Ferjutz

Cleveland Orchestra 11/24 Friday evening at Severance Hall was one of those nights when everything worked just as it ought. The weather was great to begin with, the Hall warm and welcoming after the Thanksgiving holiday, the orchestra rested and in fine fettle, a young conductor making his subscription concert debut, and a soloist of international renown in a dazzling and familiar work. It was a concert-goer’s dream come true.

Assistant conductor Andrew Grams displayed sterling qualities on the podium, conducting the opening and closing works from memory, as though he’d been doing such for years and years! Felix Mendelssohn wrote mostly sunny, happy music, and Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 3 in A minor, known as the ‘Scottish’ actually falls into that category. True, at the very beginning, although it wasn’t exactly damp and cold, it was a bit chilly in tone, but midway through the first movement it turned sunny and brisk. Throughout, Mr. Grams paid careful attention to dynamics and little details which could be easily misplaced, but were not in this performance.

It was good to see and hear Franklin Cohen back in his principal clarinet chair again, although Daniel McKelway was an able and competent substitute in his absence. The clarinet solos near the end of the second movement were very reminiscent of the scherzo in Midsummer Night’s Dream. The third movement Adagio was broad and majestic, while the Scottish flavor of the fourth was bright and enticingly crisp. A lovely bit of tag by the principal flute (Joshua Smith) and oboe (Frank Rosenwein) led into a perfectly splendid fanfare from the horn section. It was a wonderful travelogue—no passport needed.

During the pre-concert interview with Stephen Hough, the piano soloist for Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, it was said that this work had been performed so many times that one would think they were trying to get it right. Well, it doesn’t get much better than this performance, but that does not mean that the piece should be retired. Oh, no! Mr. Hough is possessed of a formidable technique and poetic sensibilities—qualities necessary to meet the composer’s demands.

Whether crashing octaves from one end of the keyboard to the other, or lyrical and songful interludes, every note was clearly discernable, even when the pianists fingers were little more than a blur. There were wonderful bitey notes from the woodwinds and a melodious trumpet solo to accompany the ripples and cascades of notes from the piano. It was marvelous throughout, so hardly to be wondered at that the audience jumped to its collective feet almost before the sound had drifted away. Whistles and stomps and cheers went on and on and on.

But there was still more to come!

Richard Wagner’s overture to his opera Tannhäuser was almost anticlimactic, but not quite. The chorale in the winds and brass which open the work led to a stately, very maestoso march by the brass and horns, and when the strings enter, with their sturdy tremolo, you know that something wonderful is about to happen. This kind of portentous music cannot lead into nothing! It was big and broad and lush-sounding, exactly the perfect way to end a concert. Especially a debut concert.

This weekend features guest conductor Sakari Oramo making his debut with the orchestra in Symphony No. 3 by Kokkonen, and Mahler’s great Symphony No. 5. For tickets or more information, call 216-731-7300 or visit the web-site:

From Cool Cleveland contributor Kelly Ferjutz

Pere Ubu, The New Lou Reeds, Catie Curtis, The Schwartz Brothers, Blue Cheer @ Beachland 11/24

No one craving musical sustenance had to go hungry on Thanksgiving weekend in Cleveland. As if Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini by the big C.O. at Severance Hall wasn’t enough, last Friday night the Beachland Ballroom and Tavern dished out a cornucopia of gourmet specialties – five acts, in two rooms, all under one roof. You could have made a meal of the appetizers alone.

In the Tavern, folkie Catie Curtis served up an informal spread, flavored with her endearing “airbrush falsetto” (in the words of fan Bob Delvalle). Her first Cleveland appearance in eight years was an intimate, sitting-around-the-campfire affair, laced liberally with requests and singalongs.

Then the room turned around 271 degrees as a new crowd rushed in to hear the Schwartz Brothers trio put down spicy, off-the-wall variations on classic blues recipes. The manic Glenn Schwartz (formerly of the original James Gang, and Pacific Gas & Electric) plays in a world all his own, on the funkiest-looking guitar you’ve ever seen, while brother Gene tenderly supports on bass. The recent passing of Gene’s longtime bandmate and mentor, the legendary Robert Lockwood Jr., brought an extra layer of poignancy to the offering.

Last up on the Tavern buffet was San Francisco’s original psychedelic power blues trio Blue Cheer, still hairy after all these years, still shaking road house roofs from coast to coast with a wall of tube amps, and maybe a dash of magic mushrooms in the mix. At the end of a long road tour, they still get (and deliver) a charge out of their work – you could hear why they continue to draw hard rock fans of all ages.

Meanwhile, next door in the Ballroom, art-rock gourmands were gathering for a rare appearance of proto-punk industrial pioneers Pere Ubu. After a warmup set of distortion-slathered hook-grinding by the New Lou Reeds, the five-piece Ubu unit stepped up to deliver the goods in support of their new album, “Why I Hate Women” (it’s a story, not a testimonial). Guitarist Keith Moliné, the newest Ubuite, draws on an astonishing array of textures; synthesist Robert Wheeler works his analog gear with twin theramin-style sensors like a demented wizard; vocalist David Thomas dominates as he groans, wails, whispers, snarls and squawks his way through countless images that challenge the imagination, sparking wonder and delight. All of this is served over a tight wall of rhythm from bassist Michelle Temple and drummer Steve Mehlman. From spare, feathery moods to tight jabs of rhythmic assault to blast-the-factory uber-noise, this band explores the fractal recesses of forgotten sonic landscapes, laying waste to musical & lyrical clichés of all kinds. It seems random, but it’s tight. Every ingredient is perfectly prepared.

David Thomas, at once both the eye, and the source, of the Pere Ubu hurricane, was cantankerous as ever, yet also deftly amusing, as ever. A few stage highlights: Thomas tying his shoe. Thomas taking off his shoes. Thomas taking a piercing, vengeful drag off of a cigarette, then pounding out the butt with his shoe. “Sonic Reducer.” “Final Solution.” Bob Kidney playing harp through the phone on “Blue Velvet.”

Lucky ticketholders could move freely between ballroom and tavern for a mere 5 bucks extra, and browsing for vintage vinyl and threads in basement shop This Way Out is free all night. I wouldn’t want to live in Cleveland without Severance Hall. I wouldn’t want to live here without the Beachland either.
from Cool Cleveland contributor Jordan Davis

The Santaland Diaries @ CPT 11/25
What: A one-man show based on humorist David Sedaris’ darkly comic riff about the perils of working as a Christmas elf inside Macy’s “Santaland”.
Reasons to go: Andrew Tarr regaling the audience with “Crumpet the Elf”‘s scathing encounters with hyperenthusiastic co-workers and aggravating parents in line to see Santa is a fun antidote to Christmas shopping frenzy. Tarr works with the audience seated at nearby cabaret tables to a nice comic effect.
Caveats: Tarr doesn’t seem to have the natural edge that the role requires, and he’s a little slow getting started. The show starts to cook when he tears into the other characters’ voices — by the end it’s a crowd pleaser.
Backstory: The original 1992 broadcast was Sedaris’ breakthrough as an NPR commentator. The sardonic 75-minute one-act, adapted by director Joe Mantello, is now the second most performed holiday show in the US, nearly edging out A Christmas Carol.
Details: Cleveland Public Theatre, 6415 Detroit Ave., Cleveland. 216-631-2727. Thru 12/23.
from Cool Cleveland contributor Linda Eisenstein

The Long Christmas Ride Home @ The Bang & the Clatter 11/24
What: Paula Vogel’s elegant, artful look back at a Christmas that forever transformed a family and their 3 kids, done with life-sized puppets as the children.
Reasons to go: In a world where holiday sugar is piled on top of saccharine, you’re unlikely to see another show that exposes the heart of a family in conflict at Christmastime with such depth, truth, and compassion. A simmering Ron Cuirle and a tight-lipped Teresa McDonough are exactly right as the tense parents on the verge of divorce, and Ryan McMullen is both funny and poignant as their adult gay son, through whose memory we see the event. The actors handle their puppet selves beautifully.
Art alert: With Sean Derry’s set influenced by Japanese cherry blossom screens, a slide show of Japanese woodcuts from the “Floating World”, a bit of dance, Asian music with a haunting taiko drum, stagehands in colorful kimonos, and the blank yet strangely expressive Noh masks on the Bunraku puppets, this is a very visually engaging show.
Caveats: The two adult monologues by Sara Cutlip and Heather Irwin as the sisters aren’t up to McMullen’s brilliant final monologue, and Tom Barnes is a little awkward as the minister, although he has some nice moments as the grandfather.
Details: Thru 12/23 @ Summit Arts Space, Akron.
from Cool Cleveland contributor Linda Eisenstein

The Cleveland Museum of Art is Open! The Barcelona Exhibition 11/26 Could art revitalize a city? The Barcelona exhibit at the Cleveland Museum of Art proves it can. The major players during Barcelona’s Renaissance at the turn of the century (two turns ago) from 1868 to 1939, included Picasso, Gaudi, Miro and Dali. Barcelona’s Renaissance was spearheaded in part by these artists and others, and their creative plans for architecture (exposition centers), interior design, sculpture, painting, sketches, jewelry and photography as practitioners of Modernisme. The Cleveland Museum of Art showcases 300 artworks from this time period. The burning question when looking at this exhibit: What can this teach us about our own city? Can the production of high art lead to successful, spirited city planning and economic revitalization? Can artists lead a revolution-turned-renaissance into fertile ground and possibly turn it all around? My favorite pieces in the exhibit included Gaudi’s two-seated sofa, Miró’s Portrait of Ricart next to Ricart’s portait of Miro, and anything and everything from Picasso’s blue period. Check out Barcelona, the first exhibition in North America to examine a remarkable 71-year period when Barcelona transformed itself into one of the most dynamic centers of modernist art and architecture in Europe. Cleveland is the first stop in North America before the Metropolitan Museum of Art gets their hands on it. From now until January 7, 2007. Do yourself a favor and go. From Cool Cleveland correspondent T. L. Champion Read

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On Carolyn Jack’s career move (See Carolyn Jack joins rock band here) You go girl! I love Carolyn, she’s real and she’s sincere, and I bet she can sing too! Good for you, follow your dream, take your buyout money and hit the road! See ya in Hollywood!
from Cool Cleveland reader Sista Jewel (Adama Conteh)

On loving Cool Cleveland and Sushi in NEO (See article here) I just read through the latest Cool Cleveland. I love reading it but I always get caught up in it… Thanks for the tips on the sushi restaurants. My husband & I are always looking for great sushi. We live in Willoughby and when we want a quick bit of sushi, we travel down the street to Lure Bistro, 38040 Third Street, Willoughby. They have ½ price rolls on Tuesdays and cooking classes on Wednesdays. The atmosphere is cool, too. I do have a request. I love Greek food too. Do you know of any good Greek restaurants in the Western Lake County or Eastern Cuyahoga County area?
from Cool Cleveland reader Marla K. Gasser-Mog

On Cool Cleveland’s new design Great design!! I have been reading your Cool Cleveland for years now, and really enjoy it. This should be a web site for anyone visting or living in Cleveland. Just wanted to send you a note on all you do and the new design is great. Thanks for all you info,
from Cool Cleveland reader Dwight Kaczmarek

On Pere Ubu and the Six Degrees of Cool Cleveland I have had an incredible week. It is really insane the kind of sequence of linkages that brought me to that Pere Ubu concert on Friday… I just caught the new Cool Cleveland email and wanted to say thanks for the CD review. I literally just discovered Pere Ubu while checking out if anyone in Vancouver was driving back to Chicago (which is where I am set up at now) on craigslist. A girl responded, “I am driving to Chicago to see the most amazing band in the world, Pere Ubu!!!” After this eureka, I come to find out that the Beachland Ballroom is having their show on Friday when I will be home for Thanksgiving. So, I invited everyone I knew to meet me there!

Since leaving Cleveland, I am working 3 jobs up here in Chicago. One of them is at the Trader Joe’s on Lincoln and Grace. This couple is checking out through my line and I started asking them about Thanksgiving plans. They throw back to me, “We are heading to Ohio,” in disappointed voices. And I go, “I’m heading to back to Cleveland guys! That’s awesome.” All of sudden, the girl does a complete 180 and is like, “Yeah, we are going to Kent”. She’s from Kent and draggin’ her new boyfriend back to Ohio… to me, this exchange represents so much about the inferiority complex Cool Cleveland is helping to extinguish!

So, after they say they are going to Ohio, I let them know about the Pere Ubu concert, and the boyfriend is like, “no shit!” The girlfriend looks at him and says, “Hey, they are your favorite band!” The look was amazing… because what it was actually saying was, “See, I told you how cool Cleveland was!” and her face just showed so much pride in where she was from. That should be the look everybody from Northeast Ohio gives to anybody when someone mentions home! I think Cool Cleveland is a great catalyst for developing this.

Thanks for letting me rant to you for a little bit. I appreciate what you’re doing and others do, too. Keep us posted on what’s up in Cleveland’s sustainability world, too… that’s what I am focused on up here in Chicago. And by the way, Cleveland is a star in the Urban Sustainability world. Whenever I mention that I am from Cleveland, it is pretty well known what great stuff that is going on there. That was a pleasant surprise. Keep up the awesome writing!
from Cool Cleveland reader Adrian Marti

On Ohio’s reproductive rights (See Ohio ranks 50th in reproductive rights here) I have wondered for a long time how it is legal for the State of Ohio to sanction a pro-life standpoint by allowing state residents to buy a “Choose Life” license plate, but not offer the same version to pro-choice advocates. If Ohio would offer license plates that represent both standpoints, I would not have a problem with this. However, I feel it is grossly one-sided and extremely political to have only a pro-life license plate. Where does the money from the sale of these plates go? Who benefits? It is practically impossible to separate the pro-life, pro-choice debate from religion. Are we sanctioning the religious right by only offering the pro-life license plate? It seems that way to me.
from Cool Cleveland reader Megan French

On Steelyard Commons (See A Steelyard Paradox here) I would like to respond to Lee Chilcote’s recent article entitled “A Steelyard Paradox.” Chilcote mentions the “hillbilly shacks” situated on the sides of the hills surrounding the Steelyard Commons site, and not only is that term and all it implies offensive, it is an inaccurate and rather ignorant label if one considers the age of these homes and their original builders. As a 46 year old life-long resident of Tremont–whose parents arrived here in 1959 from the coal camps of West Virginia–I can tell you with complete assurance that those “hillbilly shacks” were already there when my parents and other Appalachians arrived in Tremont in the 50’s and 60’s. If Chilcote insists on being colorfully offensive in his writing, he should at least have the courtesy to be accurate. I believe that “Pollack hovels” would be more appropriate in this case, or perhaps “Mick shacks.”
from Cool Cleveland reader Tammy Layton

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Blowin’ in the Wind The Answer, they say, is in there. The Hard Corps like to catch that breeze for you every week and push it into your sails. And they call Chicago the Windy City? We beg to differ. Support the winds of change happening right here at home. Thanks to Peter Chakerian, Roxanne Ravenel, TL Champion, George Nemeth, Kelly Ferjutz, Victor Lucas, Elsa Johnson, Linda Eisenstein, Jordan Davis, Sarah Taylor and everyone who partners with us. Want to volunteer and contribute your writing to Cool Cleveland? Send your reviews, articles, or story ideas to:

Download the Cool Cleveland podcast each week at Click on the Cool Cleveland Blog here. Read the Cool Cleveland column each month in Cleveland Magazine here. Listen to Cool Cleveland on WCLV-FM 104.9 twice each Friday during drive time. Send your cool events to:, and your letters to: For your copy of the free weekly Cool Cleveland e-zine, go to

Get Windustrious, Cleveland,
–Thomas Mulready

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