When Los Angeles-based power-pop singer-songwriter Adam Marsland played at Cleveland’s Barking Spider on October 4, he mentioned that he was planning to spend one of the his upcoming two days off in Cleveland recording a “noisy punk-rock album all my fans will hate.”
He followed through, and the album, Hello Cleveland, is in the can. Marsland dashed off lyrics in the van dashing to gigs in Pittsburgh and Columbus a few days prior to the Cleveland gig. His band — bassist/vocalist Teresa Cowles, keyboard player Charlie Zayleskie and drummer Jon Braun — tossed in some songwriting contributions.
They booked Bill Korecky’s Streetsboro studio Mars Recording and recorded the whole thing in one marathon nine-hour session. The band’s longtime friend, Bill Stone of the late Cleveland band Paranoid Lovesick, joined Korecky in the control room and pitched in backing vocals.
The result is a batch of 14 off-the-top-of-the-head songs about stuff that gets on Marsland’s nerves. Titles include “40-Year-Old College Student,” Dave Matthews Again,” “A Town Called Asshole,” “My Name Is Jonas Brothers,” “Sports Bar” and “Radio Hell.” (They must have hit that same patch I did between Columbus and Cleveland, where the only thing you can get is Rush Limbaugh — on four stations.)
Marsland writes on his blog:
“As we drove through the Ohio darkness on our way to a midnight meal (since none of us had had time to eat, either), I felt like the experience had changed me somehow. GO WEST was the album I had been trying to make for 20 years, and now I felt like I had done what I had set out to do when I was a kid. Now here was something new, something that came out of nowhere, and I didn’t feel like I had to explain it to anybody, or that I owed anybody anything. I spent most of my life trying to acclimate to the rest of the world, and now at the other side of the process, I felt like I was standing apart from everybody else once again, but this time, it was from a position of strength and independence, not from weakness. That's kind of what the recording represented to me.”
You can read a lengthy description of the album’s creation and Marsland’s thoughts about it here. Scroll down to the October 6 entry. —Anastasia Pantsios