MEET THE BAND: Jack Rugan (vocals, guitar), Jerry Rugan (drums, vocals) and Adam Zieleniewski (bass, vocals)
HERE COME THE '80S: Just in time for its 25th anniversary, this local band has released its 10th studio effort, North on Broadway. The album celebrates the Broadway/55th Street neighborhood where Rugan grew up, covering a time period from 1970 to 1980, and the songs reference that time period. Lyrics include references to places such as Arcade Pizza, JP Snodgrass, Morgana Park, Our Lady of Lourdes and Holy Name grade schools and Central Catholic High School. "I was reading the book Trouble Boys: The True Story of the Replacements and reading about their Midwestern lower-middle-class upbringing really connected with me," says Rugan when asked about the inspiration for the album's theme. "I sat at the piano and started banging out these chords, and the songs just started coming to me."
THE 'GIRL' SONGS: Rugan confesses that he's had crushes on girls since he was 5 years old and figures he wrote about 100 songs for his first real girlfriend. The band finally recorded one such song from that period, "If I Could," for North on Broadway. "That was written for my first serious girlfriend back in 1979," says Rugan. "I didn't have the equipment to do any real recording back then, but I always had the melody in my head and sat down at the piano, and it just came out as I envisioned it as I wrote it 40 years ago."
WHY YOU SHOULD HEAR THEM: The album's first single, the Cheap Trick-like power pop number "Here Come the '80s," shows off Rugan's songwriting chops. This lineup of the band works particularly well too. Rugan, the one constant in the band, had written a song reflecting on "the stupid things we say to our parents when we're teenagers" and thought his brother Jerry, a former bandmate, would be the right person to sing lead vocals. "I asked him to sing the one song as a last-minute favor and I sent it to him, and he wanted to sing more. I missed his voice. Some songs we share lead vocals," says Rugan when asked about how he put the band's original lineup back together for the new album. "We thought Adam [Zieleniewski] might want to be part of it too. It was fun to work with them again. I have a song cycle called Lazy Summer Evening, and we're finally going to finish that and put it out next year. It's 70 percent done at the moment."
WHERE YOU CAN HEAR THEM: saulglennon.com.
WHERE YOU CAN SEE THEM: Saul Glennon performs with Rumbling Spires at 9 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 16, at Yorktown Lanes in Parma Heights.