A family's Sisyphus Stone gets moving
The Womack Family Band move a Sisyphus Stone.
"Sometimes you paint a song, and sometimes you want to start off with every color there is, you just want to put everything on the canvas and then take it away, because that's one thing you can do with music," says Tony Schaffer of The Womack Family Band.Read more
A strategic installation at the Cleveland Public Library
An artist explores the connections between chess and life.
Because of the connection between chess and his father, Black started seeing the entire world as a possible chess board and began constructing strategies for how to deal with life through the ways that different chess pieces move on the board.Read more
I'm Bleeding Now
How Lamont 'Bim' Thomas proclaims I'm Bleeding Now.
The recording is deliberately crude, dotted with Blaxploitation-worthy dialogue samples, and the unscripted nature of it captures the fun to be had in playing music with friends, of sweltering summer days in Cleveland, and the foggy memories they invite. It's visceral, gritty and affecting...Read more
Ernie Krivda returns a favor to a friend
A Cleveland jazz legend pays tribute to another North Coast luminary: Harvey Pekar.
Unlike the gregarious and loquacious Krivda, Pekar was not that social: “Harvey was not a club goer. He liked to listen to records. Clubs, of course, were social situations. I don’t believe he drank. He didn’t go into clubs, (because) in my opinion he couldn’t suffer fools at all, so he didn’t even want to take the chance he would encounter one,” says Ernie Krivda.Read more
Q&A with actor Rory O'Malley
Cleveland-raised, Broadway performing actor Rory O'Malley gets to the point.
Here, O'Malley reflects on being nominated for a Tony, working with the creators of South Park, growing up in Cleveland, the lows of being an actor, the highs of being on stage and coming out for gay rights...Read more
Cranked up really high in Cleveland
Living Stereo turn up the volume, "Live From Bad Racket."
"I think Cleveland is about to really have something happening. There are a few new bands who are doing great things, and if the public decides to latch onto it, there might be no stopping us..."Read more
Derek Hess Contemporizes Playboy
Carlo Wolff finds refreshing newness in Derek Hess' old issues of Playboy.
Hess, whose first Busta exhibit in the mid-‘90s featured his rock ‘n’ roll posters, updates Playboy magazine covers from the ‘60s and ‘70s, maturing an iconography that in its time seemed liberating but now seems dated, if not quaint.Read more
A band with a view to the North Coast and Above
Ivan J. Sheehan meets the band behind one of 2011's most dynamic releases, Dreamtiger & Other Tails, as they perform "Live From Bad Racket."
"As a local band, when you're first starting out, you know nothing," says singer Shanna Delaney. "No one really tells you, and you just figure it out along the way as you go along..."Read more
A legendary dance company at PlayhouseSquare
Parsons Dance brings its exceptional athleticism to PlayhouseSquare.
Called "athletic, entertaining and mesmerizing" by The New York Times, Remember Me combines East Village Opera Company's signature operatic arias with Parsons' choreography to create a modern retelling of a tragic love story.Read more
Artist and designer Matthew Richards
Why artist Matthew Richards spent two decades in Japan before discovering Cleveland.
"His name is Yutaka Tsuji. He is now 56 years old and was 38 at the time I met him, if my math is correct. Why did he take a liking to me? I am not sure. We just became good friends..."Read more
Lou Ragland warms up with Hot Chocolate
Carlo Wolff learns how to mix Hot Chocolate with Cleveland funk.
The Cleveland Hot Chocolate performed from Pensacola, Florida, to Montreal and “almost every state in between,” says Lou Ragland. “Everything east of the Mississippi, we probably covered. The 'chitlin’ circuit,' as they called it.”Read more
The Cleveland jazz legend plays "Thunder From the Heartland"
A legendary Cleveland musician plays from the heart at a historic landmark.
With Cleveland as its epicenter, the performance was a nuanced, optimistic and stylized rendering of life on the North Coast, each player binding impeccable technique to a strongly emotional narrative approach.
The singer-songwriter gets to "San Francisco"
Nick Zuber performs "San Franciso" at Bad Racket Studio.
"All my lyrics come from personal experience. It's so much easier to write that way. I feel if I write a song and I'm not being honest with me, not only can I tell, but everyone else around me can as well."Read more
A cross-cultural psychedelic chorus
Carlo Wolff finds a French jazz orchestra exploring British psychedelic musician Robert Wyatt's catalog at Cleveland's Rock Hall.
On the last gig of a week-long, three-date tour, these fearless and sophisticated French musicians transformed the songs of English rock eccentric Robert Wyatt into the elegant, the alarming and the surprising.Read more
Herzog's Search gets a long overdue re-release.
Tolar builds an impressive guitar-driven series of soundscapes that undulate over 11 tracks and 35-plus minutes, drowsily drifting, blurring notes in a wash of resplendent noise that will make more than a few listeners happy that music like this is still being churned out in bedrooms (or anywhere, for that matter).Read more
Illustrious at Wall Eye Gallery
An illustrated guide to an Illustrious exhibit at Wall Eye Gallery.
"This show gives the viewer just about everything: comic book art, fine illustration in paintings, posters, prints, traditional drawings and even toy designs and prototypes. It's a seriously solid exhibition."Read more
Columbus' Times New Viking chart a new course with Dancer Equired.
Whereas earlier efforts were sneering, unyielding musical dervishes, spinning raw ratcheted-up racket of the highest order, Dancer Equired has shelved some of the crude character.Read more
Dreamtiger & Other Tails
Ivan J. Sheehan listens to Bethesda's Dreamtigers & Other Tails.
The varied instrumentation and delightfully curious orchestration are bound by a talent for colorful narrative that speaks of scattered ashes, farmer's hands, river banks, cattail whips, Mother, hearts, empty halls and handwritten letters, dreamers and lovers.Read more
The group plays "It's All Right"
Cleveland's legendary Alarm Clocks play Live From Bad Racket.
"I think that's kind of unprecedented for any '60s band. Usually, those bands went on from playing through the '70s and '80s, and changing their direction… when they try to go back and play the old stuff it doesn't sound right; too much nostalgia. These guys never learned how to play any other way. They never played after the '60s."Read more
13 Most Beautiful... Songs for Andy Warhol's Screen Tests
José Feliciano Jr., Warhol films, Dean & Britta music and the Cleveland Museum of Art.
One of the most stirring performances of the evening came during screen test featuring Ann Buchanan, who holds the same blank stare for the duration of her piece. I first thought it was simply a loop; yet Ann ultimately sheds a few tears trying to remain stone faced and solemn, not blinking.
Five minutes with the director of TRUST
A discussion with CIFF filmmaker Nancy Kelly.
Some of the most exciting and educational parts of the Cleveland International Film Festival are the FilmForums - moderated panel discussions that offer audience members the opportunity to learn more about the issues brought up in the film they have just seen.Read more
The horrors of progress are real
Carlo Wolff discovers a horror movie unfolding in real life.
Defined by Heikki Farm’s stately cinematography, Into Eternity unfolds slowly, and it’s talky. Some might say it raises more questions than answers, and it’s telling that the authorities involved – from nuclear safety gurus to theologians to blasters to governmental policymakers from Finland and Sweden – traffic in trust more than certainty.Read more
Perspectives on manhood from East to West
Two movies, two very different countries, one sex.
Not only did he give manhood a bad name (stabbing the first of seven wives isn’t a plus), he almost singlehandedly generated modern feminism, trivializing even the notion of infidelity.Read more
Wrapping up the 35th Cleveland International Film Festival
Another record-breaking year for the Cleveland International Film Festival.
The festival continues to grow in numbers every year, and this year, it hit record attendance highs for every day of the week. Overall, more than 78,000 people attended.Read more
A virile cinematic gem
Carlo Wolff reviews the latest from acclaimed Run Lola Run director Tom Twyker.
The sex in 3 is earthy, passionate and spontaneous. Simon and Adam, too, eventually make love after an amazing scene in which Adam restores Simon’s potency, awakening Simon to his own bisexuality...Read more
A wakeup call from your seven-year-old self
A sweet story to remind you of your seven-year-old self.
Anyone who has fallen out of touch with - or recently rediscovered - their childhood self will love this film.Read more
An interview with the director of Outside the Wire
OhioAuthority interviews Outside the Wire director Anthony Hornus.
We're inundated with the casualties of war, which is reality, of course, but we're not seeing the good that is being accomplished… It was my job, it was my duty to go over and tell the other side of this, the human story.Read more
A multi-layered masterpiece at the Cleveland Play House
Andrew Samtoy peels back the layers of the Cleveland Play House's latest main stage production.
You would be forgiven for thinking that My Name is Asher Lev is simply a play about a young, gifted Orthodox Jewish artist who is caught between his artistic ability and the Orthodox community.Read more
A Cleveland cultural phenomenon
Polka! fails to hit all the high notes, according to Carlo Wolff.
There’s plenty to cover, from the history of the Slovenian migration to the U.S. in the 19th century to the taxonomy of Slovenian gathering places like the Polka Museum, social halls and old-age homes. In addition, there’s musical history to explore, showing how the smooth Cleveland style of polka draws on jazz, pop, even Broadway musicals.Read more
Director Laura Paglin's Cleveland-spun knockout
Carlo Wolff reviews a gripping documentary about Cleveland.
These people do good, incomprehensibly difficult work in a building at East 105th Street and St. Clair Avenue in Collinwood... It details how she hired a gang to beat Tyree up, prompting him to bring a knife to E-Prep, prompting the school to kick him out for weapons possession.Read more
The benefits of all-access
Elizabeth Weinstein flashes her credentials at a screening of Vincent Wants to Sea.
What would happen if three patients in a mental institution – one with obsessive compulsive disorder, one with Tourette’s Syndrome, and another with anorexia nervosa – decided to make a run for it and drive a stolen car cross-country, in search of the sea?Read more
Sex, toys and Beijing morals
Carlo Wolff finds the amusing side of sex toys in Beijing.
When Shunzi’s wife cuckolds him and throws him out of the house, he goes to stay with his elderly parents, so sexually insatiable their sounds keep him up at night. Shunzi hooks up with old buddy Jiang, a smooth sex toy entrepreneur who introduces Shunzi to Mr. IggyRead more
An interview with the director of My Kidnapper
OhioAuthority interviews My Kidnapper director Mark Henderson.
"When I was released, I was approached by a lot of companies wanting to make a documentary about the story, and I wasn't that interested in doing it… then I get an email from one of my kidnappers."Read more
The story of a Cleveland folk hero
Carlo Wolff reviews the true story of Danny Greene.
The material is sensational, the film dynamic. After Greene, Kovacic is by far the most interesting character, “sort of” a friend of Greene’s, a man who could have been his conscience.Read more
Why I love - and can't wait for - CIFF
Writer and film buff Elizabeth Weinstein's reviews and observations from the Cleveland International Film Festival.
For me, the festival is the perfect way to say goodbye to the final throes of winter – from the warmth and comfort of a movie theater – and emerge from this cinematic cocoon to find the beginning of spring.Read more
Cheap thrills, shot in Cleveland
Carlo Wolff tries to make sense of Aardvark.
Why do he and Andris smash windows in an abandoned warehouse? Does Larry subdue Candy Jiu-Jitsu style or rape her, as her screams indicate? What the hell is that scarlet bar behind the upholstery warehouse on Lee Road where Larry goes to find out who killed Darren? Why did the little girls in the final scene not jump out of their skins?Read more
The music of a native son from outer space
Carlo Wolff reviews a trophy crop of jazz musicians tackling the works of Albert Ayler at Cleveland Museum of Art.
Some say Ayler couldn’t navigate the changes and chords any professional jazz musician must know. Others rank him with contemporaries like Ornette Coleman and Coltrane, less divisive but still controversial jazz pillars. His death remains unexplained. His music, meanwhile, marches on.Read more
A local boutique label speaks volumes
Cellar Door Records celebrates another collection of fresh favorites.
Realizing they were experiencing firsthand a music scene many never see, Markert and Fike decided to establish tangible evidence of their venue's eclectic roster, and Cellar Door Records was born.Read more
Preview of The Cleveland International Film Festival
Carlo Wolff shares a preview of best bets at this year's Cleveland International Film Festival.
Bracketed by films about athletes who overcome daunting hurdles, replete with ones about the ever-unfolding complexity of World War II, the 35th annual Cleveland International Film Festival promises a smorgasbord of cinematic delight. If that sounds fatuous, no apologies.Read more
A long, cool woman in her bare feet comes to Oberlin
Elizabeth Weinstein reviews Esperanza Spalding's performance in Oberlin.
Then, to the tune of hushed string music by Spalding’s supremely talented backing musicians - her “Chamber Music Society” - a small lamp was lit, revealing the singer/bass player/composer slouched on an oversized chair, barefoot and sipping a glass of wine with her eyes closed. So much for a grand entrance.Read more
A fictionalized account hits home via Detroit
Carlo Wolff reviews Kill The Irishman.
Jonathan Hensleigh’s film about Danny Greene, the legendary Irish criminal from Collinwood who proved so hard to kill, is a solid B movie, and Ray Stevenson, as Greene, gets an A. The link between Sean Connery and Liam Neeson, Stevenson is better than the movie.Read more
Different Gear, Still Speeding
The king of Brit Pop returns with his Beady Eye.
The whole package is arrogant, rife with boyish bravado and unapologetically derivative. Yet, in the face of overly polished, disposable studio-manufactured pop icons and indie darlings who trend unique by sounding alike, Different Gear is refreshing and sounds new.Read more