Music » Livewire

Eef Barzelay

With Elvis Perkins and Mike Uva. Wednesday, May 10, at the Beachland Tavern.


As frontman and songwriter for the country/folk-inflected Clem Snide, Eef Barzelay has always kept his ironic tendencies poignant enough to avoid smarminess. Whether he's singing about Enrique Iglesias' mole, covering Christina Aguilera's "Beautiful," or eulogizing horn-dog actor Bob Crane, Barzelay's focus is on his subjects' humanity, and their pitfalls and peccadilloes are never far removed from our own flawed characters.

Barzelay is on tour in support of Bitter Honey, his first solo record, released earlier this year. Full of the memorable metaphors and witty aphorisms that characterize Clem Snide's songs, Bitter Honey is a sparse, often painfully honest look at love and relationships -- another Barzelay strong suit. It's not without its lighthearted moments, tinged as usual with melancholy and world-weary wisdom: "The Ballad of Bitter Honey," told from the point of view of a rump-shaking dancer in a video, opens with the memorable line, "That was my ass you saw bouncin' next to Ludacris," and ends with the caution not to dismiss anyone lightly, "Don't hate me 'cause I know just what this world's about."

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Cleveland Scene works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Cleveland and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Cleveland's true free press free.