Music » Makin' the Scene

Jesus Rocks

A new church in Mayfield Heights will host concerts.

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Nashville Pussy's Karen Cuda, September 28 at the Grog Shop. - WALTER  NOVAK
  • Walter Novak
  • Nashville Pussy's Karen Cuda, September 28 at the Grog Shop.

Northeast Ohio's newest concert venue is on a mission from God. The Word of Grace Church (921 Mayfield Road) in Mayfield Heights will hold its first contemporary Christian concert Wednesday, October 11, welcoming headliner Superchic(k), a female-fronted power-pop group whose music has been featured on MTV and NBC.

"We think that music is a perfect vehicle to communicate a positive message, truth, the gospel," says Senior Pastor Michael LoPresti.

The new church's general-admission worship hall features $250,000 worth of concert-quality sound and lighting equipment, and can accommodate touring groups' productions. With no crosses, bricks, or pews, the beige-and-black room looks like an all-purpose auditorium. It seats 600, providing unbroken sight lines. Groups will perform on a stage 3 feet high and 40 feet wide, flanked by two giant video screens.

The all-ages rock concerts won't be drastically different from the church's contemporary worship services, which feature bracing uptempo rock that wouldn't be out of place on the Warped Tour. The evangelical Assemblies of God congregation skews young, creating a relaxed atmosphere, welcoming guests with tattoos, Harley-Davidson T-shirts, and ripped jeans.

"A lot of people hear this kind of music on the radio, and they want to play or see it, but there's no place to do it," says booker Jeff Roberts. "This is a church for people who would never go to church. This is not boring."

· Members of Chimaira are in Florida for preproduction on their next album, tentatively titled Resurrection. Jason Suecof (God Forbid) and Andy Sneap (Machine Head) will co-produce the disc, with Sneap mixing. In an online post, programmer Chris Spicuzza called the new thrash thoroughly contemporary, writing, "It doesn't sound like Metallica in '88 or a Swedish band." The band is posting regular live footage and in-studio updates at YouTube.com/ChimairaTube. The metal free agents haven't settled on a new label yet, but they'll contribute "Threnody," a leftover track from last year's self-titled LP, to the Masters of Horror II soundtrack, which is due in stores October 24.

· The lethal metal teens of To Live Is to Die have posted two live tracks at MySpace.com/toliveistodie. The band headlines Peabody's (2083 East 21st Street) Friday, October 6.

· Cleveland alt-rock quintet the Morning After will record a set at its CD-release party Friday, October 6, at Lakewood's Phantasy (11802 Detroit Avenue). After tracking the entire LP, the group re-recorded the new album, On the Rocks, in a six-hour flurry at Cleveland's On Tap studios with Scott Miker (the Lake Effect, Saint Andrew). "We thought it sounded good before," says singer Ryan Rini. "But now it sounds great."

· Friends of Cleveland blues-rock veteran AJ Robey will pay tribute to the late singer-saxophonist at Wilbert's (812 Huron Road East) Sunday, October 5. During the '70s, he fronted some of the city's bigger bands, and the show will include material from Heaven, Bluestone, Lovers Lane, and others.

· Westside rhymer A-One has recorded some tracks with producer Ben Schigel (Chimaira, Drowning Pool), tapping siren Gata for some R&B hooks. The rapper connected with Schigel through Chimaira bassist Jim LaMarca, who is working with him on his new LaMafia Records production company. Hear them at MySpace.com/aoneauthentic.

· Visit Scene's new C-Notes blog (www.CleveScene.com/blogs) during the week for expanded versions of your favorite items, exclusive online content, updated stories, and "Death to False Cowbell," Dropgun/You Have Ten Seconds guitarist Paul Hooper's in-depth analysis of the new Jet single.

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