Friday, February 9, 2007

Cleveland Sound? Part Two?

Normally I prefer not to write things on the weekend, but I decided to give Cleveland the benefit of the doubt and look it up online. I mean, isn't Cleveland the Heart of Rock N' Roll??? What happened...
So I think I understand a little better - but I'm being sarcastic. I learned The Cleveland Sound is credited to bands like Pere Ubu (duh, that's all I ever hear), the Electric Eels, Rocket From the Tomb, The Cramps, the Mirrors. These aren't exactly great namesakes, Cleveland. Liverpool at least has two bands that were famous. Step it up.
I think why Cleveland bothers me so much is that it's such a big Ohio city. But it's completely devoid of a personality.
Here's a quote from
"The Cleveland “sound” is hard to articulate. The city’s bleak industrial foundations gave a unique rise to the punk rock approach much like in the English city of Sheffield, but unlike the Sheffield “sound”, which largely experimented with synth textures (giving rise to such bands as The Human League and Cabaret Voltaire), the Cleveland sound is comprised mainly of experiments in taking the rock form to its noisiest and most deconstructed levels. Aside from the more well-known bands Pere Ubu and The Dead Boys, the Cleveland underground scene was awash with music more “raucous” than “rock”. Says Scott Stemple of the Cleveland band Defnics, quoted from a great article from the Cleveland Free Times from 2001: “Cleveland really does have a unique sound…[i]t’s very sarcastic. It goes back to being the butt of the country’s jokes. People who live here, grew up here, have a good sense of humor about themselves. So even in Rocket from the Tombs and the Eels, you had a lot of sarcasm. When we grew up, the river was burning and downtown was a shithole. We learned to laugh at ourselves.”

OK, but it still says nothing abut the current scene! It's 2007 now. Are any bands actually FROM Cleveland anymore? If so, what the fuck do they sound like? And besides, if deconstructed noisy rock is all the rage in Cleveland, how come only Columbus bands are doing it? Plus, every band mentioned above was from DECADES ago. I seriously can't recall the last time I've seen a Cleveland band on a bill anywhere near Central Ohio. If they are, it's usually some national band, or some band that's actually made up of Columbus musicians. Or they are from "just outside" of Cleveland (aka Kent).
I'm TRYING Cleveland.
Help ME help YOU.

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