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Nelsonville Music Festival 2014 In Pictures, In Words

2014 Nelsonville Music Festival - Images by Mara Robinson   Editor's Note: While I wasn't able to make this year's Nelsonville Music Festival, my good friend and damn fine photographer, Mara Robinson was there with her husband Jason Robinson. This is the report they filed, in pictures and words.     This year marked the tenth year anniversary of the Nelsonville Music Festival, and our return to the...READ MORE
The War On Drugs by Mara Robinson

Live Rock Action: The War on Drugs @ Grog Shop Cleveland Hts.

  How, exactly, did Philadelphia band, The War on Drugs manage to sell out the Grog Shop on Saturday night? Many were curious, especially those who either had to scramble down their contact list to get in or were turned away at the door before show time. Sure, the abstract Americana of Adam Granduciel and hs mates has been highly rated by the influential website, Pitchfork, for a couple years now, and that helps. But a...READ MORE
The Men by Mara Robinson

Live Rock Action: The Men @ The Happy Dog Cleveland

  To judge by appearance, the Brooklyn five-piece band, The Men, aren't very distinctive men. If pressed, the man standing in the middle of the stage could have been an extra in the '90s movie Singles. He had the slight frame and stringy hair to fit in. But put them in a corner bar and put jerseys on them and they could be sports fans. Put them in button down shirts, and they could be your co-workers. It's only when they ...READ MORE

The Burger Records Caravan of Stars Came to Cleveland and All I Got Was 30 Minutes of Gap Dream and a Hangover and That’s Alright

Hours before taking the stage, Cleveland ex-pat Gabe Fulvimar of Gap Dream was bouncing off the walls of the Happy Dog. There were high fives and hugs, and he was always the first one to hop up and down to the four opening bands during Burger Records' Burgerama Caravan of Stars stop in Cleveland. For Fulvimar, a veteran musician who had spent over a decade in the Cleveland and Akron music scenes, whose biggest claim to fame before...READ MORE
The Replacements at Riot Fest Chicago 2013 by Mara Robinson

Riot Fest Sunday Night: The Replacements

The abridged history of The Replacements goes something like this: Beloved underground rockers from Minneapolis have a real shot at greatness, but whether it was the booze, discomfort with high expectations, or just bad luck, they never fully delivered on their potential. One night they could be brilliant. Paul Westerberg's tales of longing and disillusionment set to rowdy, blues-based bar rock and ragged punk stuck to the hea...READ MORE
Bob Mould and Jon Wurster at Riot Fest 2013 Chicago by Mara Robinson

Riot Fest Sunday: Not the Replacements

I'm sorry, Bob. I'm sorry, Laura Jane Grace. I'm sorry, Rocket From the Crypt. I don't know your names, but your matching mariachi outfits were sweet. I'm sorry Frank, and I'm sorry, replacement Kim Deal. Sunday night at Riot Fest was always going to be about the Replacements. Don't get me wrong. Against Me! and Laura Jane Grace have a captivating back story. Since announcing to the world that she was no longer Tom Gabel in ...READ MORE
Blondie @ Riot Fest Chicago 2013

Riot Fest Saturday Night: Blondie, Rancid, and Violent Femmes

First off, I haven't a clue what Debbie Harry was wearing when she took the Roots Stage on Saturday night. It looked like a graduation gown. She also had on a large, conical hat. Was this some sort of secret Catholic sect? At Riot Fest? Now, putting aside Harry's sartorial choices, Blondie's performance exceeded all expectations. The fear of going to a festival like Riot Fest, one so heavy on legacy acts, is that some o...READ MORE
GBV @ Riot Fest Chicago 2013

Riot Fest Saturday: Dinosaur, Jr, Guided by Voices, and FLAG

Coming into Riot Fest Chicago, I had planted all of these clever alternate festival names in my mind, like Who Let the Olds Out, Moms-And-Dads-in-Bands-a-Palooza, and The Bands That Time Forgot. But my favorite was, Our Band Could Have Been Your Life, LIKE 20 YEARS AGO, a play on Michael Azzerad's quintessential retelling of the early days of indie rock in the 1980s, Our Band Could Be Your Life.  My itinerary for my two days in ...READ MORE

About That Cloud Nothings Show at the Beachland Last Night

* The big news coming in to last night's Cloud Nothings, Protomartyr, and Two-Hand Fools show at the Beachland Ballroom was impending move to Paris of Cloud Nothings founder Dylan Baldi. In an interview with John Benson at, Baldi also confirmed the band are recording this fall and will likely release a new album in early 2014. * Baldi's relocation isn't the only factor impacting the future of the popular Cleveland ...READ MORE

2013 Pitchfork Music Festival: R MFN Kelly

R. MFN Kelly, the R&B legend. R. MFN Kelly, the first R&B artist to headline the Pitchfork Music Festival. R. MFN Kelly, the man who pees on underage women. R. MFN Kelly, the creative genius (?) behind the hip-hop opera, Trapped in the Closet. The big question on many minds leading up to the 2013 Pitchfork Music Festival, was how exactly would R. Kelly fare as a headliner. Your answer was awesomely. How awesome was R. ...READ MORE