Resolutions aren’t my thing. I’ve always believed real change has to come from something more than a day on a calendar. And, if this change is something important like better finances, a better diet, or more excercise, you’ve gotta ask yourself, why did I wait to the single most depressing time of year in Cleveland, when the skies turn grey for months at a time, to begin this new life? Why did I wait until the chance of a real, lasting change has to go up against bitter winds and lake effect snow? No, I’m sorry, your resolution will neither survive winter nor will it help you win winter.
Instead, the key to thriving during the grey season, is to have a full calendar of events.
Oh, the grey season is gonna suck, and you’ll probably gain weight on your new diet, and your dreams of sound finances will be dashed by a muffler rattled to pieces by the less than smooth Cleveland roads, but do you know what won’t suck? New Jersey indie rock stalwarts, Yo La Tengo have a new album on the way (1/15 on Matador Records) and their live date on February 7th at the Beachland will feature the band playing two separate sets. Take that Channel Five Storm Center and stick it up your Dual Doppler XL. Also, Jeff Mangum of Neutral Milk Hotel will be at the Cleveland Masonic Auditorium on January 11th and Father John Misty plays the Beachland on the same night.
As for recorded music, 2013 is set to see new releases from The Men, Kurt Vile, Purling Hiss (recorded in a real studio), a new Sunn 0))) and Boris collaboration, Queens of the Stone Age, Guided by Voices, Mudhoney, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Factory Floor, Cloud Nothings, Arcade Fire (podcued by James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem), and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Not all of them are scheduled to hit before the next sunrise, in April or May, but we’ll surely start to hear new music and see new videos from these bands soon. Hell, we may even see the long delayed, as in delayed longer than Chinese Democrary, album from the influential UK shoegaze band, My Bloody Valentine. It’s been mastered and the new website hints something’s coming soon.
If local music is your thing, Scene Magazine recently ran down 13 bands to watch in 2013 and there’s one name on the list which will surely top them all: Wesley Bright and the Hi-Lites. This soul man has a smile to melt the biggest glacier in Crocker Park’s outdoor lots and his band will get your blood pumping and temperature rising in no time. There is no choice but to dance when Wesley Bright is commanding the stage. See for yourself on New Year’s Eve at Mahall’s 20 Lanes or Saturday, January 19th when the band opens for Melvin Davis at the Beachland.
Staying local, Brite Winter Festival will return to Ohio City on February 16th and Cellar Door will take over both rooms in the Beachland on March 9th for Cellar Door Rendezvous, a showcase of Cleveland musicians.
Moving westward, and on in to the Spring, Metallica’s Orion Music Festival has just announced Detroit will host this year’s event on June 8th and 9th. Metallica really did put together a strong lineup for Atlantic City, NJ in 2012, one that was light on the legacy metal acts you might expect from a Metallica curated event and heavy on contemporary rock and indie rock. Check out some the names who turned out for the first edition: Torche, Titus Andronicus, The Black Angels, A Place to Bury Strangers, Modest Mouse, The Gaslight Anthem, Lucero, Baroness, Best Coast, Gary Clark, Jr, The Arctic Monkeys and Fucked Up. The first announcement of artists for this year’s edition should happen in early February.
Fill your calendar with just few of these things and you, too can win winter in Cleveland without even trying (and failing) to get skinny and strike it rich.