About eight years ago, Justin Markert and a buddy opened Cellar Door Coffee & Music in Madison. Indie bands on their way to Cleveland would play the small club, which also promoted plenty of local music. Encouraged by the artists' DIY approach, Markert started Cellar Door Records, which released local music compilations in 2003 and 2007. The third set launches this weekend with a CD-release show at 8 p.m. Friday at the Grog Shop, featuring Joshua Jesty, Humble Home, Rob Greer, and Frozen Hellsicles. It's also Markert's birthday. "This started as me wanting to throw a show on my birthday," he says. "I put the word out, and it came together pretty quick."
The compilation is a great overview of the local indie-rock scene, opening with "Ghost" by Humble Home. Indie poppers the Lighthouse and the Whaler ("Under Mountain, Under Ground") and Frozen Hellsicles ("Everybody Gettin' Naughty") also check in. There's even a hip-hop number: E.React's "Patience Slays the Beast." "I'm more excited about the compilation than I've ever been," says Markert, who's also a singer-songwriter (you can hear one of his songs on the album). "It's a great group of bands. If this is successful, maybe I'll even devote more attention to the label." Tickets to the show are $10 and include a copy of the album. For more information, go to cellardoorrecords.com.
Canton indie rockers Via Lotus play a CD-release party at 8 p.m. Friday at Musica in Akron. As If, Mary Mee, and Rachel Roberts open the show. Tickets are $7, available at akronmusica.com.
The Down Fi are a rock band from Indianapolis featuring Craig Bell, an original member of Cleveland punks Rocket From the Tombs. They come to the Happy Dog at 9:30 p.m. Saturday. The Drexel and Deezen share the bill. Tickets are $5.
Musica will host a benefit for Cystic Fibrosis featuring Put-in-Bay singer-songwriter Mike "Mad Dog" Adams at 2 p.m. Saturday. The Flying J's and Moose will also perform. Tickets are $20, available at akronmusica.com.
Hard rockers Typhoid Mary just released a heavy new single, "Request Denied," which will be on their upcoming album Infected. You can hear the song at youtube.com.
Crop chef Steve Schimoler brings his band Cream of the Crop out of the bistro and into the Happy Dog at 9 p.m. Friday. Tickets are $5.
Alt-country singer-songwriter Brent Kirby and his band the Lost Fortunes are recording their new album, Coming Back to Life, at C-Town Sound Inc. Kirby is self-releasing the record, which should be out in mid-May. He's also putting together an acoustic album due by the end of the year. You can find more info at brentkirby.com.