It’s easy. Count the beat out loud: One, Two, Three, Four. The offbeats are the notes in between each beat. One-AND-Two-AND-Three-AND-Four-AND. Not the most obvious, but it’s something you can feel. Offbeats make things interesting. They give life its groove.

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 can 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. Get off the beaten trail. –Thomas Mulready

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CoolCleveland is dedicated to George Nemeth
Photo by Aaron Bound, courtesty Cleveland Photo Fest

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