- Walter Novak
- Singer-songwriter James Blunt, at the Lakewood Civic March 23.
After stints as an espresso bar and gentlemen's club, Akron's Daily Double (370 Orleans Avenue) has returned, with a schedule full of local bands.
"I want to get newer bands into Akron," says Billy Ludwig, whose Sygyl Productions books the club and Annabell's, one of Akron's best no-frills rock bars. "I'd like to grab the Canton, Akron, and Cleveland bands, get them together, and get the scene going again."
During the '90s, the Daily Double hosted large local bands like Dink and the TwistOffs. In recent months, the venue had a short run as the Silhouette cabaret. After a stable of exotic dancers proved unmanageable, the owners decided to revive the storied Daily Double name.
Cleared for a capacity of 620, the new incarnation is in the same location, but twice as big. The stage has moved from the front room to a cavernous black-and-gray rear area. The jukebox is weighted toward R&B, but the club specializes in eclectic bills, with edgy rock bands from the metallic Stoneslinger to the punk-emo Spare Change. For now, the Double is open on weekends, with a DJ every Thursday, followed by live bands on Friday and Saturday. After a few shows, the club decided to claim any instruments broken onstage and use them as decorations. A fractured Whitechapel guitar was the first piece bolted to the wall of fame.
"The club has a great sound system and is a really cool venue to play at," says Whitechapel guitarist Ben Childs. "Billy Ludwig really works hard to put together great shows."
· In related news, the broken guitar was part of Whitechapel's larger strategy to force a live hiatus and write new material. "I couldn't take it anymore," explains Childs. "If I hear the old songs one more time, I'm going to kill somebody. We're not playing again until we have a new set list."
· Queensryche.com is sponsoring an offical CD release party for Operation: Mindcrime II at the Maple Grove (14832 Old Granger Road, Maple Heights) Monday, April 3. Queensryche tribute band Dr. X will play, and an official Queensryche tour T-shirt is free with the purchase of a CD.
· The Jigsaw Saloon and Stage (5324 State Road, Parma) will host a 10-week high-school-band competition, starting Sunday, April 2. The dry shows will start at 5 p.m. and wrap by 9 p.m. Interested bands can contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
· Cleveland-based Videogame Pianist has posted a performance clip of Virgil Thomson's Double Glissando Étude at www.videogamepianist.com. The website also features clips of the classical pianist playing music from Super Mario Bros. blindfolded.
· After two hot albums, Chimaira shows no signs of stopping. The hometown metal favorite joins Machine Head, Mastodon, and seven other bands covering Metallica's Master of Puppets. (Chimaira rips up the classic "Disposable Heroes.") The disc will be included in the April issue of the U.K. metal mag Kerrang!
Before heading out on a tour with Arch Enemy and God Forbid, the group will perform Friday, March 31, at Peabody's (2083 East 21st Street). They'll warm up for that show with a special set for 50 lucky fans at Lava Room Recording (1305 West 80th Street) Thursday March 30; tickets are available exclusively from 92.3 WXRK's The Metal Show, via www.themetalshow.com. With 13 tracks for its next album in an embryonic stage, Chimaira has yet to pick a producer.