The Rocking Class of 2012


The Rocking Class of 2012

Posted by Peter Chakerian and tagged with Cleveland, concert, history, music, party, rock; 12:00am, September 3rd 2010

People in Northeast Ohio love to debate when Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominee time rolls around. Everyone has their favorite artists who have been slighted and maligned time and again come voting time. With the induction ceremonies returning to Cleveland in 2012, excitement could get remarkably high, especially as it relates to the ceremony itself. The possibility for an extraordinary live show at Cleveland Public Auditorium - perhaps even a revered event like The Concert for the Hall of Fame - exists.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum President and CEO Terry Stewart is never one to predict such things, although he and his staff are working diligently on making the events surrounding the 2012 Inductions every bit as exciting as last year’s to-do at Public Hall. Regarding who'll be honored, Stewart won't speculate. “There are no slam-dunks,” Stewart told Ohio Authority about the potential Class of 2012. “I’ve been doing this for 11 years and you can never bet on a particular act getting in because of the voting process. At this point, it’s undeterminable. I wouldn’t even venture a guess at this point.” 

With respect to Stewart, that won’t stop intrepid crystal ball readers like me to attempt just that.

Submitted for your approval (and cross-referenced mightily through the Rock Hall website and the fan blog/discussion forum Future Rock Legends) here are some of the possibilities for the Class of 2012”that might be rocking (or rapping) in a historic venue near you.

First Time Inductees

N.W.A., the Pixies, Jane’s Addiction and Public Enemy are among that year’s first-time eligibles. N.W.A. basically invented gangsta rap and Public Enemy perfected socio-political rap. Both groups remain viable and influential, with a test for echo appearing in a lot of rock music long after their first records. If Grandmaster Flash and Run-DMC are in, these groups are likely to get in early. (Also, Anthrax just reformed, so the rock-rap summit “Bring Tha Noize” can happen, too).

As for the Pixies and Jane’s Addiction, both acts were hugely influential on the breakout of alternative rock in the 1990s. Jane’s leader Perry Farrell also re-imagined the touring festival concept, introducing mainstream America to Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Nine Inch Nails, Tool, Primus and Smashing Pumpkins. We’re not sure if Kurt Cobain and Nirvana (see also “the most influential band of the 90s”) happens if not for Black Francis and Co. Cobain even said as much in print. Play that chaos theory out: does Warren, Ohio native Dave Grohl end up drumming for Nirvana if Cobain doesn’t hear Surfer Rosa?

On the flip side, do Nickelback or Stone Temple Pilots have a career if not for the Pixies? Only a butterfly flapping its wings in the Amazon knows for sure.

Still in Play

They haven’t been eligible for that long, but the likes of Tom Waits, The Cure, Depeche Mode, The Replacements and the Beastie Boys are all possibilities.

All are alive and kicking, and all have been a peak of influence in their respective genres, although we believe that it would take an act of God to get the Replacements back together on stage for the night. Still, if anyone can perform said divinities, it’s the Rock Hall.

Speaking of divinities, if Guns N’ Roses are still on the board after 2011, expect a full-blown reunion like The Eagles and Fleetwood Mac before them.


This is where it gets interesting. In some instances, these bands have been eligible for more that ten years and always inspire a rallying cry from their respective fan bases.

Would a lion’s share of us even be alive to read (or write?) this if it wasn’t for Neil Diamond? (OK, maybe that’s just me.)

Still, Alice Cooper owes some of his macabre to Cleveland’s “Screamin’” Jay Hawkins, but he has been an influence on bands for four decades. Everyone from Kiss to Slipknot owes a debt to Cooper, who proved that rock concerts could (and should, at the edge of sanity) stand as events and spectacles. Then there’s Kiss, who invented music marketing long before Hall of Fame inductee Madonna did.

Does orchestral rock, dreampop or the bands-with-orchestras phenomenon happen without The Moody Blues? Do air guitar-and-drumming, or marathon Dungeons & Dragons weekends happen without Yes, King Crimson, Todd Rundgren, Roxy Music, Peter Gabriel and the ultimate canuck trio, Rush? (OK, maybe it’s just me on that last one, too… but, c’mon! It’s Rush!)

Consider that in April of 2012, you might see any combination of these acts live and on-stage at a public induction ceremony, right in the very heart and soul of downtown Cleveland and beamed around the world for everyone to see. Stewart looks to build upon the success of 2009, offering that the days and events leading to and including the induction ceremony “seemed to work pretty good” for everyone involved.

“Regardless of who is inducted, we’ll be looking to base 2012 on that experience,” Stewart says. “Probably some seven, eight days of activities and some free stuff for residents leading up to the inductions.” Just like that show at the ol’ stadium that happened 15 years ago this weekend? It’s possible. I just hope someone brings the lasers, greasepaint and flashpots that night. Seriously.

For now Stewart is concentrating on the Rock Hall Ball celebrating the Rock Hall’s esteemed 15th Anniversary on Cleveland’s lakefront this Friday, September 3, and a speaking engagement at the City Club of Cleveland beforehand. Details for both events can be found online. Check out Fresh Start for details.

“We’re expecting a great night,” Stewart says. “And we’re happy to be celebrating 15 years of success - beyond which was predicted.”


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Movie Moments


Movie Moments

Posted by Ivan Sheehan and tagged with blog, culture, date, family, film, theater; 12:00am, August 23rd 2010

As a little boy, the one exception to television during dinner time came during one week in late fall, when a cable channel featured nightly broadcasts of classic Bond films. I sat at the top of the table, eyes glued to the screen. Doing something that was otherwise taboo only added to the films' appeal. 

My father was a fan, and my mother likely approved purely on the grounds of it keeping me wholly enthralled. I quickly became enamored with Sir Connery's role as Bond in Dr. No, From Russia with Love, Thunderball, You Only Live Twice, Diamonds are Forever and, to an admittedly lesser extent, Never Say Never Again. However, Goldfinger changed everything in less than two hours. 

Whereas McQueen and Dean had an everyman appeal, Connery offered something different. Like a debonair Buddha under the Bodhi Tree, he'd achieved perfect coolness enlightenment, though under the cover of Bond. 

In Goldfinger, Bond travels to then-exotic Mexico, lively Miami Beach, sophisticated England, beautiful Switzerland and Fort Knox, Kentucky. He shares the company of beautiful women each stop of the way, last seen with Pussy Galore. He plays golf, chills Dom Perignon '53, enjoys martinis, sips a "30-year-old fine, indifferently blended ... with an overdose of Bon Bois". He wears a Rolex Submariner, and perfectly tailored suits, tuxedos and shoes from Saville Row. He carries a sly Walther PPK. He flies in private jets and drives a gorgeous Aston Martin DB5, with the added bonus of Q-approved machine guns, oil slick, rear deflector, ejector seat and more. He chases bad guys, and always wins. He always keeps cool, no matter how dire things become. He is witty, humorous and supremely confident. He filled my formative years with dreams of elaborate espionage.

As puberty came bumbling, it became clear through the acne and braces, that I was not growing into Sean Connery. Instead, I bore an uncanny resemblance to Fred Savage's character of Kevin Arnold from The Wonder Years. That would've been fine if I were interested in chasing Winnie, but I wanted to chase bad guys through the Swiss Alps in a fully optioned sports car. With MI6 issuing a freeze on "00" hires, I went the high school and college route. I took up a more mundane profession, though the nature of it allows me access to places and people many would be denied, and I'm encouraged to be inquisitive and meet some of the world's most interesting people. I never fully got over Bond, though. My collection of Bond ephemera will attest to this.

This past Saturday, thanks to PlayhouseSquare's Cinema at the Square series, I saw Goldfinger on the big screen for the first time, for $5. I own the book (along with all the other Fleming Bond books), I owned the VHS version, I own the DVD, and I've seen the movie no fewer than 300 times, but I'd never seen it in a theater. Despite the opulent environs of the Palace Theatre, a truly stunning venue, I was again that boy at the dinner table. My thoughts raced to traveling, exploring distant lands; to blindingly fast mountain road passes in an Aston Martin; to craftily dispensing with the bad guys and saving the day; to fittings for bespoke suits and hand-stitched dress shoes; to sipping fine spirits at lunch. It was, and always will be, wonderfully transportive – as a great movie should be. I already had a starring Bond girl. Sometimes, reality wins.

Gone Gaga


Gone Gaga

Posted by Sarah Sphar and tagged with artist, Cleveland, club, concert, downtown, party; 12:00am, July 14th 2010

If you couldn't score tickets to tonight's Lady Gaga show at The Q, you can head downtown anyway and inhale some of her cast-off glitter at FORTRESS Nightclub. The "Filthy Glamour Party" will feature special DJ sets by Semi Precious Weapons as well as Gaga's DJ and "very close personal friend" Lady Starlight. 

Gaga has acknowledged Starlight (for the sake of simplicity, we'll do away with the honorifics; our apologies if either Lady actually is landed gentry), an influential figure in the New York City club scene since the early 2000s, as a welcoming presence in the world she's come to dominate. "My friends that I made downtown in New York really welcomed me into this society of freakish kids that band together. I was actually talking to ... Lady Starlight today, and I just said, without you guys, I wouldn't be where I am today, for sure," said Gaga in the July 8 issue of Rolling Stone.

Also appearing will be FORTRESS house DJ Kosher Kuts. Doors at 9; the event is free until 11pm and $10 after. 21 & over.

Rage on, little monsters!

Blogging Detour: Part 4


Blogging <i>Detour</i>: Part 4

Posted by Eleanor LeBeau and tagged with art, artist, exhibit; 12:00am, July 14th 2010

These are the last few days to view Detour at SPACES Gallery, presenting the work of five artists rerouted by an obstruction. Prior to the exhibit's opening, the artists met to discuss their practices and share their areas of comfort and discomfort. By the end of the evening, each was assigned an obstacle by his or her peers. Their challenge was to create work for the exhibit while dealing with the assigned obstacle, all the while paired with a documentarian who would provide "color commentary" on the process. OhioAuthority arts writer and critic Eleanor LeBeau was asked to participate; this is the second in a series of her blogs - originally published on SPACES' website - documenting the experience of artist Arzu Ozkal. Detour closes July 16.


9:29 a.m.

I email James Luna, who lives in SoCal.

HELP! Please send advice about my upcoming performance score/script and possible live performance.

[Addendum 05.11.10:  Did you notice how fear prevented me from seeing beyond my own navel? And, most importantly, I’m not focusing on Arzu’s process. Pedagogical moment # 17.]


9:54 a.m.

As promised, Arzu sends her morning email:

Good morning! 

I got some rope yesterday; will try a few things today. Will let you know how it goes. :)



10:12 a.m.

I email Arzu to ask what she intends to do with the rope. 


11:47 a.m.

Arzu responds by email:

Hi Eleanor, 

Lygia Clark's performance is an inspiration: Lygia Clark "Propositions," 1966-1968.

Will write more tonight.


12:27 p.m.

Luna responds. The minimalist, as always, but right on point:


The moment you stand up and turn to the audience you are performing.

Communication can take many forms if you are not a public speaker. You can prerecord your statement, you can write it out, you can hand out notes or pass one around. Whisper to each one: Don't do Bob, Bob did it.....

Think about how you would like to be communicated to. 

Be yourself. 

I have no idea as to subject. That is between you and the artist.

Mr. Luna


11:52 p.m.

All day I’ve been wondering how the work of Brazilian artist Lygia Clark (1920-1988) might influence “Love At First Si/ght/te.” The trajectory of her oeuvre in one sentence: She transitioned from Constructivist painting to sculpture to relational art (for lack of a better word) and finally to what has been called “therapy.” 

She is not a household name in the U.S. (how many female visual artists are?), but very much respected in the art world. Maybe Clark is not well known because her entire oeuvre thwarts fetishization of the object and thus presents major curatorial challenges. “She attempted to escape both the notion of artist as ‘genius,’ and the supremacy granted to the object which implicitly forces the viewer into a role of passive contemplation,” Juan Vincente Aliaga notes in a 1998 issue of frieze

After 1965, she labeled all of her works “propositions”: a set of rules created by the artist, using easy-to-find props, that are activated (or “made”) by others. The propositions only exist in the “now” and cannot be documented or sold or exhibited post-activation. You should also know that many of Clark’s propositions emphasize non-visual experience (auditory, kinetic, haptic, olfactory) and attempt to collapse the mind/body duality. Said another way, the maker of a proposition may have an experience that compels him/her to reconsider the way s/he’s been taught to think about the body/self. I don’t know for sure. I’ve never made a proposition. I’m only imagining. Indeed, Clark, like Arzu, is binary terrorist who collapses dichotomies: mind/body; intellect/senses; objective/subjective; author/spectator; object/spectator and so on.

What does Arzu plan to do with the rope and elastic bands? Is she using other props that she’s not telling me about? Clark’s propositions require the makers to wear plastic boiler suits and Mobius-strip handcuffs. 

Is Arzu’s last email a proposition for you and me, the spectators? She’s set some parameters (or rules) - the performance’s title and Lygia Clark, for example -and now I use what I think I know so far about “Love At First Si/ght/te” to produce color commentary about Arzu’s artistic process. 

Am I not making my own “Love At First Si/ght/te”?

Image: Lygia Clark, Sensory Masks, 1967

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Blogging Detour: Part 2


Blogging <i>Detour</i>: Part 2

Posted by Eleanor LeBeau and tagged with art, artist, exhibit, gallery; 12:00am, June 7th 2010

Through July 16, Detour at SPACES Gallery presents the work of five artists rerouted by an obstruction. Last month, prior to the exhibit's opening, the artists met to discuss their practices and share their areas of comfort and discomfort. By the end of the evening, each was assigned an obstacle by his or her peers. Their challenge was to create work for the exhibit while dealing with the assigned obstacle, all the while paired with a documentarian who would provide "color commentary" on the process. OhioAuthority arts writer and critic Eleanor LeBeau was asked to participate; this is the second in a series of her blogs - originally published on SPACES' website - documenting the experience of artist Arzu Ozkal. Join SPACES for Detour through July 16.


6:08 a.m.

I wake excited and panicked. How am I going to pull off this play-by-play color commentary? I have obstacles, too:   

  • Day job
  • Distance from here to Oberlin
  • Access to Arzu

Plus another big one: Is it even possible to document the creative process? Especially the creation of a performance? All I know is what Arzu tells me verbally and in writing. In the name of mischevious play, she could very well mislead me. There are no sketches or maquettes to give snapshots of her thoughts. 

How does she work? Does she make notes? Write a performance score? Does it happen all in her head? I drink three cups of coffee (milk, no sugar). I listen to music—not NPR’s morning news—on my commute to work. I don’t need anything else to fill my head.

2:53 p.m

I’m at my day job. Arzu beams an email while she’s in class at Oberlin: I have some ideas forming. Shall we meet tomorrow night to discuss? I have to meet with a choreographer at 4 (yes for Detour), so it would have to be after 6, if that’s okay with you.

A choreographer! What kind?

7:38 p.m.  

I hit Arzu’s Web site to learn more about her work. I watch a half-dozen videos. I read everything, except for an article written in Turkish. Slam! I’m shut out. Now that’s a pedagogical moment. Here’s a CliffsNotes version of her practice.  Keep in mind that form and content are inextricably intertwined: 


  • New Media: video, Web sites, sound
  • Public interventions
  • Objects: original and appropriated
  • Graphic Design
  • Lectures
  • Teaching


  • The body as a site of social and political discourse.
  • The body as a site of state surveillance and control.
  • How is “knowledge” produced?
  • What is the relationship between “knowledge” and myth?
  • Semiotics: The processes of signification: How do words and objects accrue and produce meaning?
  • Strategies used by the “state” to inculcate feelings of  nationalism—i.e. a collective identity and goals—in its citizens. How and why do national symbols like flags evoke profound feelings of nationalism? How is language used to inculcate identity?
  • What is the purpose of nationalism?
  • Homogeneity is a consequence of nationalism. What are the consequences of homogeneity?
  • Personalized digital technologies can be used as a form of government and corporate surveillance. Arzu writes in “Technology Hijacking the Public Sphere,” a 2006 paper delivered at a symposium in Istanbul: Today, everyone in the world—even the youngest member of the populace—is encouraged to connect and stay connected to the network 24/7. It looks great to see those mini-laptops-for-children campaigns in the name of supporting education. Certainly, there will be many positive imapcts. But on the other hand, one should not dismiss that every computer hooked up to the network, every IP address assigned to a person will identify another traceable individual to be surveyed for national security and/or corporate interest.  
  • The effects of war on children.
  • Strategies for breaking down socioeconomic and racial/ethnic barriers in communities.
  • The power of passive resistance.

Good night.


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Sweet Time of Year
Posted in Region on 11/03/2010
Convencion Hispana
Posted in Region , Health & Education on 10/13/2010
Sweet on Birthdays
Posted in Food & Drink on 09/17/2010
The Rocking Class of 2012
Posted in Arts , Region on 09/03/2010
Movie Moments
Posted in Arts on 08/23/2010