The new book Hang on Sloopy: The History of Rock & Roll in Ohio catalogs national and local musicians and their connections to the Buckeye State - from the Your Hit Parade big-band era to Alan Freed, through the emo-punk age of Alternative Press magazine. The story begins and ends in Northeast Ohio.
"Easily 40 percent of the book covers the Cleveland-Akron region," says author Nick Talevski, an Akronite. "It's because this area has spawned and nurtured a number of adventurous radio stations, nationally respected DJs and innovative musical performers."
The handy history also functions as an Ohio music encyclopedia. With chapters about the Columbus and Cincinnati scenes, it spotlights acts like the Afghan Whigs and Macy Gray. From classic soul to modern metal, Talevski covers homegrown exports like Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Devo, Filter and Relient K. The book also touches on big names that passed through the state, like Warren native Dave Grohl, former Canton resident Marilyn Manson and onetime Oberlin student Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.
"I really like local music history," says Talevski, who honed his research skills as a psychology academic. "And every now and then, I would be shocked by things I found."
With an index and bibliography, Hang on Sloopy is Talevski's fourth book. The self-published volume is the first release from his Guardian Express Media, which he plans to use for upcoming rock books and bios. His previous books include The Unofficial Encyclopedia of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Knocking on Heaven's Door: Rock Obituaries, published by Omnibus, the world's largest rock publisher. Visit GuardianExpress.com for more information.
¥ Author Deanna Adams literally wrote the book about Cleveland-Akron rock in Rock 'n' Roll and the Cleveland Connection. She'll be hosting two launching parties for her new book, Confessions of a Not-So-Good Catholic Girl. On Friday. December 12, the author will be at Willoughby Brewing Company (4057 Erie St., Willoughby) from 7 to 9 pm. And on Tuesday, December 16, Adams will be at Brother's Lounge (11609 Detroit Ave.) from 5:30-8 p.m. Autobiographical and essay chapters recount her life in and out of music.
¥ CJ Szuter's Failing Grace plays the Hi Fi (11729 Detroit Ave.) on Thursday, December 11. The modern-rock band's set marks Szuter's return after a stint with Magna-Fi. Also returning for the show is veteran drummer Trent Anderson, who's playing with the Chicago-based Dogs Divine. The Billy Morris Band opens. The headliner is Chicago's D'Molls, who were signed to Atlantic in the hair-metal halcyon days; frontman Desi Rexx later played guitar for David Lee Roth. Doors 8 p.m., cover $5 over 21, $8 under (all ages).
¥ Return of Simple opens for Margot and the Nuclear So and So's Thursday, December 11, at the Beachland Ballroom (15711 Waterloo Rd). Drummer Justin Hofmann has joined Return and will continue playing with soul-rock group Winslow. The pop-rock band plans to record its full-length debut with Michael Seifert (Mr. Gnome, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony) at Ante Up Studios this spring.
¥ Ghost Laboratories is giving the gift of free music at its Christmas Party Saturday, December 13, at the Hi-Fi. The micro-indie label will release a free sampler CD, Arcade Volume 1, which has tracks by Ventana, Who Killed Marilyn and others. WKM frontman and Ghost Lab head honcho Chris Marinin will play the show with heavy band Horror Madonna, indie band the Missing and Misfits tribute Onethirtyeight. Indie-rockers Shake It! headline. Doors 8 p.m., cover $5.
¥ Lough-Dow Chaos: Apartment 213, the Cheap Tragedies and friends play Now That's Class (11213 Detroit Avenue) on Saturday, December 13. Admission to the noise-hardcore-rawk extravaganza is just $.50, "It's our helping out the economy show," says 213 mainman Steve Makita.