Mike Kochan approaches today's Bloody Valentine Music Massacre with the same mind-set he brings to his day job at the Cleveland Clinic. The Badd Intent guitarist -- supervisor of the hospital's blood bank -- calls the 12-hour concert a "rock-and-roll bloodbath." It includes his band's bulldozed covers of songs like Tommy Tutone's "867-5309/Jenny." "It's as if the Ramones were going to do it," he explains. "We put it in the blender and regurgitate it. Our [cover of Bad Company's] Feel Like Making Love' is like Bob Marley meets Korn. I can't tell you how many times we're asked to play Sweet Home Alabama' or Brown Eyed Girl.' We do it, but put our own feel into it."
After more than two decades of playing guitar around Cleveland, Kochan created the annual concert last year to give lesser-known bands some stage time. This year's lineup includes bluesmen Feedback, alt-rockers Altered, blues trio TBS, southern rockers Kismet and Frantic, '80s metalheads Kellerhanna, prog-rockers Hatecore Inc., and Kochan's quintet.
Each band is slotted for a one-hour set. "I don't want to be like these shows where you get a time slot based on how many tickets you sell," says Kochan. "We're not about that. It's not like if you don't sell this many tickets, you'll only play a half-hour."
The way Kochan sees it, the concert offsets the dwindling number of clubs that reserve at least one night a week for performances by local bands -- especially those that play original tunes. "It's easier to put a DJ in, or what I call vaudeville bands," he says, referring to karaoke-like performers. "What we do is all us. Good, bad, or indifferent, there are no tricks here. All our special effects were given to us at birth."
Sat., Feb. 18, 2 p.m.-2 a.m.