Courtney Love's in Cleveland on Friday with Hole, but her ex-husband, Falling James Moreland of the Leaving Trains, stumbles in today for a show at Pat's in the Flats. Are there enough broken bottles to go around? Should be, since according to Hole's latest effort, the sugary Celebrity Skin, Love no longer chews on glass and spits blood. But though the Leaving Trains' heyday was the late '80s, Falling James still slashes, burns, and sleeps it off under a 3 a.m. bridge. The Leaving Trains perform at ten; Pat's in the Flats is located at West Third Street and Literary Road. Tickets are $5; call 216-621-8044.
Artist Douglas Lucak's relationship with his former neighborhood, Cleveland's Slavic Village, is as intimate as a kick in the head from a close relative. Shot with pinhole cameras made from cigar and oatmeal boxes, his black-and-white (and silver all over) photographs peep at the outside world through a bullet hole in the window. Lucak's work is on display with Clevelander Lawrence Channing's nostalgic charcoal renderings of urban desolation in Dream Streets, through August 8 at the Cleveland Center for Contemporary Art, 8501 Carnegie Avenue. The show opens tonight with a free reception from 7 to 10 p.m.; for more information, call 216-421-8671.
Peace, love, and other vicarious memories take up space at the Hessler Street Fair, the annual hippie block party on Cleveland's only surviving wood-block road. They'll be cramming dulcimer players, macrobiotic-banana vendors, a tie-dyed cake, and a kids' play area into the tree-lined cul-de-sac, with room left over for people to actually attend the event. A VW Beetle show, poetry reading, and area hams jumping through flaming hula hoops in a vaudeville performance should rile things up. Folkies can pluck their beards to Cats on Holiday and the First String Band, with caller Becky Hill leading the Birkenstock cowhands in a square dance on Sunday. The fair runs from noon to dusk today and Sunday; admission is free. Hessler Road is located off Ford Road, between Bellflower Road and Euclid Avenue near University Circle. For more information, call 216-791-8433.
They're hauling in the oats for Horsefest, a weekend of seminars, performances, and activities tailor-made for amateur equestrians and anybody under seventeen who sleeps in a purple bedroom. World Endurance champion Valerie Kanavy--who won her title for riding, not for listening to her colleagues talk shop--will chat about one of her fiercest competitors, Sheikh Mo-hammed bin Rashid al Maktoum (the Crown Prince of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates), and her sore butt. And Dan Sumeral, an animal behavioral expert, will discuss the yeas and nays of horse training. Kids can partake in roping demonstrations and storytelling by Cowboy Bob, pony rides, a petting zoo, and ice-cream making. Saddle up on Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Lake Farmpark, 8800 Chardon Road in Kirtland. Admission is $6; call 440-256-2122.
The masterpiece can wait. It's Poetry Slam time again, a chance for local writers to shout their stuff to the folks in the cheap seats. Anybody with two words to rub together (a healthy dose of testosterone helps, too) can compete in the literary equivalent of bear wrestling--all you have to do is sign up at the door. A word of caution: You'll be judged by a jury of your beer-swilling peers, so be prepared to bitch and moan about how you've been robbed when the scores are posted. It's a Cleveland tradition, and winners head to the finals in June. Besides the shameless glory hogs, innocent bystanders are also admitted; they don't have to read--they just have to cheer in all the appropriate places, and (we hope) a few inappropriate ones, too. This week's slam is at 8 p.m. at the Humidor, 1214 West Sixth Street; call 216-574-9300. Admission is $6.
Jack Logan crafts faraway songs that follow the ribbon of highway headlong into the horizon, where at once they persist and disappear. His music's somewhere between country and power-pop, and his clear voice holds steady like the red light on a radio tower. The former swimming-pool pump repairman from Athens, Georgia, was "discovered" in the early 1990s after he'd written and home-recorded some six hundred songs, enough to make his two-CD debut release, Bulk, a sort of greatest-hits package. Buzz Me In, which hit the shelves just last week, is a trip to nowhere with a detailed map. Logan performs tonight at 9:30 at the Euclid Tavern, 11629 Euclid Avenue. Tickets are $6; call 216-241-5555.
Spider-men-in-training not ready for skyscrapers can scale the heights of a really tall wall during First Experience Night at Cleveland Rock Gym. Beginning climbers get instruction, a body harness to go with their rope, and an experienced people-catcher at the bottom to reel in the slack as they hike up the thirty-foot-high route. The sissy climbs are more straight and narrow than the he-man approaches, with the holding-on-for-dear-life handles larger and closer. Vertigo takes hold every Tuesday from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the gym, 21200 St. Clair Avenue. Cost is $75, call 216-692-3300.
Writing inane lyrics that are also profound is a lost art that progressive rock band Spock's Beard is trying to revive. And they're doing a pretty good job: "Children yet to be born/Don't you mourn me now/'Cause the crows are in the corn/Lay it down, lay it down." That sure beats the Mighty Mighty Bosstones' "Never had to knock on wood/ But I know someone who has"--which succeeds at meaning absolutely nothing, but ultimately fails because it lacks crows and doesn't lay it down, never striving for that false sense that something really important is just out of reach. "We built this house of cards; we can tear it down," quoth the bearded ones, when they bring their leaden rhetoric to Peabody's DownUnder, 1059 Old River Road at 8 p.m. Tickets are $12, call 330-945-9400.
Zero gravity is just a phone call away at the Tours of NASA-Glenn Research Center, where visitors can check out infrared airplanes able to detect mineral deposits and gaze into a man-made titanium shaft that's 510-feet deep (sorry, no rides). The Microgravity Research Center, which subjects banana peels and other everyday objects to weightlessness, and the Icing Research Tunnel, which tests ways to melt or break ice off an airplane, are the two indoor sites on the tour agenda today. To register for the free 2 p.m. tours, call 216-433-2000 at least an hour in advance. NASA-Glenn Visitors' Center is located at 21000 Brookpark Road, 216-433-4000.