Music » Makin' the Scene

Greetings, Death

Celebrated metal guitarist in town to produce Chimaira.

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Al Green, gettin' joyful at the Palace Theatre, March - 24. - WALTER  NOVAK
  • Walter Novak
  • Al Green, gettin' joyful at the Palace Theatre, March 24.

James Murphy, veteran guitarist for thrash-metal greats Death, visited Strongsville's Spider Studios last week to produce a track by the Cleveland-based metal band Chimaira. The song, a cover of Death's "Symbolic," is slated for an upcoming tribute album to the band, whose founder died of cancer in 2001. Within the Mind: In Homage to the Musical Legacy of Chuck Schuldiner will also feature performances by Slipknot's Mick Thomson and Paul Gray, Six Feet Under's Terry Butler, and Testament's Chuck Billy.

The last year has been a busy one for Chimaira, which has enjoyed continual rotation on MTV2 since before the May 2003 release of The Impossibility of Reason, its third album and second for Roadrunner. Nielsen SoundScan reports nearly 60,000 copies sold, and the band plans to begin writing its follow-up in late summer.

Chimaira has been consumed of late with constant touring: They've been on the road since last April, playing around 200 shows without a break of more than 10 days. They sold out 14 shows in a recent European tour and plan to return in the summer, co-headlining festivals with Killswitch Engage. In the meantime, they'll support Slipknot on the spring-summer Jägermeister Music Tour, including their first gig at Tower City Amphitheater, on April 17.

"It's great to be able to wrap up this part of supporting the album as part of such a high-profile tour," says bassist Jim LaMarca from a cell phone in Ft. Collins, Colorado. "It's beautiful here, but as much as we're away from Cleveland, we love coming home. Even if there's snow on the ground."

· Nighttown has been named one of the world's 100 great jazz clubs in Downbeat's International Jazz Guide for the second year in a row. The April issue of the monthly jazz bible ranks the Cleveland Heights venue alongside New York City's Birdland, Washington, D.C.'s Blues Alley, and London's Ronnie Scott's. Named after the red-light district in James Joyce's Ulysses, Nighttown (12387 Cedar Road) has also been ranked among America's top 10 Irish establishments by Tom Horan's America's Top Ten Club.

· Punkabilly trio Lords of the Highway is disbanding after five albums and widespread touring over the past 12 years. Their skank into the sunset will include goodbye shows Thursday, April 1, at the Beachland Tavern and Saturday, April 3, at Akron's Lime Spider.

· Before Kelis warms up the stage for Britney Spears on April 1 at Gund Arena, up-and-comer Skye Sweetnam gets her chance to move the crowd. The 15-year-old diva-in-training, who will meet with fans on the arena concourse immediately following her set, sings the theme to Nickelodeon's Radio Free Roscoe. Each will receive a download card that grants access to a secret website containing a photo and other exclusive content.

· Speaking of Britney, fans can catch an appearance by the post-teen sensation at the official after-concert party at the Warehouse District's smoldering Tramp (1360 W. 9th St.). It runs from 9 p.m. to 2:30 a.m., and admission is limited to ages 18 and over. Cover's $15 if you're over 21, $20 if you're 18-20. Steep, but you may never get a better chance to form an opinion on whether they're real.

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