At first, Winters Warm singer and guitarist Joe Yezbak was a drummer. "When everybody at school went to recess, I went to drum lessons," he recalls. But once his uncle showed him a few chords on a guitar, he was hooked. "I never put it down," he says. "The first stuff I started listening to and trying to play was John Lee Hooker."
Yezbak moved to Los Angeles and tried to make it in a few different bands. When that didn't pan out, he came back to Cleveland and started playing in a duo with his cousin, Corey Keller.
That was two years ago. Yezbak (pictured, top) played drums and Keller sang, but they've since switched roles. While holding down a residency at the Tree Huggers Café in Berea, the duo gained a following that led to bigger shows at indie-rock clubs in town and even a few gigs in New York. The group's debut record, Crooked Road (recorded at Ante Up Audio), has just been released.
The four songs include a low-key, Wilco-type ballad ("Glass House") and the shimmering title track, which ends with a rigorous jam. Winters Warm recently added bassist Erik Kemme and plan to focus on more electric material. You can hear them play with Shivering Timbers and Triggers at the Happy Dog at 9 p.m. on Thursday. Tickets are $5. Find more info on the band at myspace.com/winterswarm.
Jib Nation — the local radio program that's part of the online Scrub Radio network — will broadcast its 200th episode from 7 p.m. to midnight on Tuesday. Charlie and Regi, co-owners of Jib Machine Records, record the show at Studio 13 above Gillespie's Map Room in the Warehouse District. Interested in getting some airplay? Send an e-mail to email@example.com. You can hear the show at scrubradio.com.
Eighteen-year-old rapper C-Ro just released his Dream On mixtape and is featured on Elvis Freshly's new mixtape, Next Level Music Vol. 6. You can catch him when he opens for Twista at Peabody's at 6 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $20, $15 in advance.
Dru Striecher, who records as _node, has made his new album, d3ad_form4t, available as a pay-what-you-want download on his website (nodetransmission.com). He says the eight-song EP — which he wrote on an old-school Nintendo video-game console — is a "mashing of 8-bit game sounds with hard-hitting electronic sounds." The album is also available as a cartridge that will play on your old Nintendo system.
Green Abyss, Qix, Beach Stay, Madame & the Moist Towelettes, and Highland play the Beachland Tavern at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, February 2, as part of the club's first-ever 2 Man Band Festival. Tickets are $2. Learn more at beachlandballroom.com.
Yoga instructor Aryn Youngless debuts her weekly Rock & Roll Yoga program at 6:30 p.m. Monday at Lakewood's 5 O'Clock Lounge. Youngless has played in many local bands over the years. The hour-long sessions cost $10. A live musical performance follows at 8:30 p.m. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.