Playing mostly with a jazz trio, pianist Matthew Skitzki offers genteel diversity on his self-titled debut. "Sigoly Blues" rides a meditative groove, with Skitzky backed by bassist Roger Hines and drummer Elijah Vazquez. You can hear Skitzki's influences — from romantic pianists like Chopin to masterful trio pianists like Vince Guaraldi. The CD also includes compositions by Thelonius Monk and Cole Porter. Skitzki performs in an easy, fluid style, and while it isn't groundbreaking, it's well done and should move him along toward a busy career.
— Michael Gill
The Matthew Skitzki Trio performs at 8 p.m. Thursday, March 11, at Nighttown (12387 Cedar Rd., 216.795.0550, nighttowncleveland.com). Tickets: $10.
Trap House Rave!
Grab the Audience by the Crowd!
Led by a guy who calls himself Kolgate!, this band's overuse of exclamation marks should tip you off that they have enthusiasm to spare. That's apparent from opener "Revive," one of 10 tracks. Between dunderheaded raps and ostentatious guitar solos, it offers the kind of rote nü-metal that hasn't been popular in a decade. The same goes for "Party With Us!," a summertime jam that provocatively asks "Where's the sluts?/Where's the sluts?" "N-Double Zero- D-Z!" has a carnivalesque sound, but it's hampered by singing that's so off-key and out-of-tune (where is Auto-Tune when you need it?), it sounds like the guys were drunk when they recorded it. Other tunes aspire to evoke Linkin Park's call-and-response vocals, but come up woefully short. — Jeff Niesel
Traphouse Rave! performs with the Missing, Snipez and Curse the Gods at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 17, at Peabody's (2045 E. 21st St., 216.776.9999, peabodys.com). Tickets: $6.