How do we support the overlooked, the under-recognized, the off-kilter energy in a community? At CoolCleveland, we’ve made a habit of it over the past 17 years. John & Jane Panza started a foundation to do just that, and support deserving local independent artists; check out their showcase this week at Happy Dog. The Offbeat Song Project is the newest Cleveland group to take classical music to nontraditional venues and audiences, appearing at BOP STOP this week.
How do we address the shortage of talented workers in the restaurant industry in our region? Now a year-long program plus a 4-month internship begins January 6 at the new North Coast College, having recently acquired the New England Culinary Institute, which should provide support to our stellar and growing culinary culture.
And how do we celebrate the birthday of David Bowie, one of the most offbeat yet influential artists of our time? The only way we know how: by throwing a Big Bowie Birthday Bash at Brothers Lounge, with trivia, giveaways, contests and door prizes on Wed 1/8 as we raise a little praise with rare video, recently uncovered tracks, and back stories throwing the spotlight on Bowie’s epic Ziggy Stardust era, accompanied by Cleveland’s far-out Vanity Crash, all part of David Bowie Month. Get off the beaten trail. –Thomas Mulready
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On Wednesday, January 8, 2020, David Bowie would have been 73 years young. Join the celebration with a Big Bowie Birthday Bash at The Brothers Lounge in Cleveland with giveaways, contests, trivia, and door prizes, all focused on Bowie’s most iconic persona: Ziggy Stardust. And the show isn’t over until Cleveland’s glam punk superstars Vanity Crash take the Brothers stage to bring the noise. Due to the intimate nature of the venue, online advance tickets are recommended. It is all part of David Bowie Month.
We’ll take a deep dive into the intensely creative period leading up to David Bowie’s groundbreaking and phenomenally successful Ziggy Stardust era, with rare music, live clips, videos and the stories behind the phenomena that swept Bowie to stardom. We’ll peek at the demo package that got Bowie signed to RCA Records, the formation of his balls-breaking band The Spiders From Mars, early sessions for the BBC where he worked out his arrangements, and his prescient music video work that influenced generations. We’ll trace how his heroes Andy Warhol, Lou Reed, Bob Dylan and Jacques Brel, plus collaborators like costume designers Kansai Yamamoto and Freddie Buretti and guitarist Mick Ronson, shaped his look and sound. We’ll marvel at how his Midas touch turned Mott The Hoople, Lou Reed and Iggy Pop into stars, and how the Ziggy Stardust tour spanned 18 months, criss-crossed the globe and climaxed with Bowie pronouncing his “retirement” from live performing. Which lasted 3 months. All ages. Parental warning. He took it all too far. But, boy, could he play guitar.
In 2015 local musician John Panza looked around and saw a lot of his fellow indie rockers having a hard time scraping together money to fund a project. So he did an unusual thing: he and his wife Jane started the nonprofit Panza Foundation which makes microgrants to four bands each year for something such as touring, pressing a record or making merchandise. There’s no application process; they find the bands through word of mouth and keeping track of what’s going on in the music scene.
As in past years, the foundation is hosting a showcase for the 2019 bands (such as Punch Drunk Tagalongs, pictured) at the Happy Dog, where it will announce the class of 2020, the sixth group of recipients. He’s also promising a HUGE announcement about the foundation. Sat 11/23.
Anyone who knows anything about northeast Ohio’s growing culinary scene knows that one constant headache for restaurants is finding trained, reliable kitchen staff; people with skills and a strong work ethic will have their pick of positions.
Lakewood’s North Coast College, which grew out of the longtime Virginia Marti school, recognized that, and after acquiring the New England Culinary Institute in Vermont in 2017 as a sister institution, it looked to bringing some of those programs to Cleveland. Now classes launch January 6, offering associate degrees in baking and pastry arts, as well as culinary arts. Each course is 12 months long, followed by a four-month internship. These graduates should be a welcome addition to the local food scene.
SPONSORED: The thought of battling crowds or searching the internet for the perfect gift got you down? We’ve got the answer! Cleveland Independents’ gift cards. Redeemable at nearly 90 locally owned independent restaurants, these cards are perfect for everyone on your list. Available at ClevelandIndependents.com. Ecards also available for last minute gift giving.
Don’t listen to those climate deniers who oppose wind turbines because they claim they kill too many birds. What kills the most birds is windows and buildings which birds fly into when disoriented by lights. That’s something that the Audubon Society’s Lights Out program is trying to address.
The program’s local wing, Lights Out Cleveland, works with the Cleveland Museum of Natural History and the Lake Erie Nature & Science Center to get buildings such as City Hall and Progressive Field to adopt light amelioration initiatives. Learn more today at CMNH’s Scientist Saturday where a curator will be on deck to talk about the program and display some of the birds that didn’t make it. Sat 11/23.
The late entry of former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg into the Democratic presidential race wasn’t widely welcomed. While the billionaire has been a champion for gun safety and climate action, so have many of the other candidates who have been running since early this year.
And Bloomberg brings baggage, our columnist C. Ellen Connally points out. For one, no NYC mayor has ever successfully vied for the presidency. But “aside from history,” she says, “the real noose around Bloomberg’s neck is the stop-and-frisk policy that he instituted within the New York City Police Department.” His policy was overturned in the courts as racial profiling. With black voters essential to ANY democratic victory, that makes him too toxic to win.
The 7th annual Station Hope, a one-day festival of performances & art installations about racial and social justice, takes place Sat 5/2/20. It’s organized by Cleveland Public Theatre, which is soliciting proposals from artists, teams and organizations for next year. There’s an informational meeting at CPT Sat 11/23 for those who want to learn more about what they’re looking for in submissions.
* The lineup for next year’s Tri-C JazzFest, which takes place 6/25-27/20, will be announced in late January or early February. But for those with confidence that the lineup will be great as usual and who want to save a ton of money, all-performance festival passes go on sale Mon 11/25.
The 1893 opera Manon Lescaut was Giacomo Puccini’s first “hit” before he wrote La Boheme or Madama Butterfly. But the Cleveland Opera, which performs the work this week at the Tudor Arms’ Crystal Ballroom, could find no evidence it’s ever been performed here. Now’s your chance, opera buffs! Fri 11/22 & Sun 11/24
12-year-old Tamir Rice never had a chance to live his full life, thanks to a trigger-happy police officer. But his legacy is taking shape in the Tamir Rice Afrocentric Cultural Center his mother is creating. Tonight at the Cleveland Museum of Art, she’ll provide an update, with performances, speakers & a panel discussion as well.
This week the monks from Tibet’s Drepung Loseling Monastery are creating a sand mandala at CWRU’s Tinkham Veale Center. Tonight, they’ll take the stage at Maltz Performing Arts Center for a free performance of the traditional sacred music and dance they perform at festivals back home.
NE Ohio is becoming a burlesque mecca. Only in its second year, Nerdlesque, which features burlesque, drag & variety performers doing acts inspired by pop culture icons from film, TV, comics and more, has expanded to two nights featuring 65 performers from Cleveland and beyond. It takes place at the Kent Stage. Also tomorrow.
Enjoy the thrill of skiing down nearly vertical slopes and plunging off cliffs without the risk of broken bones or death when the latest Warren Miller Entertainment ski film Timeless hits the Akron Civic Theatre. If it inspires you to want to replicate the feats shown, there’s a SkiFest in the lobby prior to the film where you can check out gear and maybe win a ski trip.
The Offbeat Song Project is the newest Cleveland group to take classical music to nontraditional venues and audiences. This evening at the BOP STOP, they’re offering a program of German lieder by seven composers, and during intermission, the audience can vote on which they want to hear more music by in the second half.
Mopi Dykk’s music melds rock, hip hop and funk into a whiplash journey that takes lots of unexpected turns. The relatively new Cleveland ensemble is releasing an EP called Tongue Numbness with a barnburner of a Monday night show at Mahall’s that also features Beach Stav, SexyPigDivas and the Village Bicycle.
Now through January 4 at the Cleveland Botanical Garden, you can bask in Glow, the latest iteration of CBG’s popular holiday show, filled with decorated trees, lights, gingerbread houses, mini train rides for the kids and hands-on special activities. It’s open Tuesdays-Sundays.
Cleveland native Mike DeCapite hasn’t lived in NE Oho since the mid 80s, moving from London to San Francisco to NY. But there’s industrial rust in his blood and in his writing which reeks of his roots. He’ll read from his newest work tonight at Tremont’s Visible Voice Books.
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So, are some young, ill-raised black men simply crazy? Yes, to some extent they are. They’ve been driven crazy by being in a lifelong box our racist society has build for them and placed them in, with no discernible way out. Is there a solution? Of course there is…
* Sharper White Image More than most catalogs, Sharper Image uses adult and child models throughout its whopping 75 pages, but alas, they are all white. No blacks, Hispanics or Asians are depicted using and enjoying their products. This is not by accident…
Read other stories from Mansfield Frazier here
A look back at the last week
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