- Walter Novak
- Syn singer Steve Nardelli, at the Beachland Ballroom, January 15.
After a year as a late-night techno-and-java after-hours spot, the Remix Lounge closed last weekend.
"It just wasn't working," says owner Michelle De Frasia. "It wasn't making any money. Basically, we're going turn it into a bar. We'll probably reopen in February."
Formerly the Symposium, the Lakewood club is the smallest part of the Phantasy complex and previously specialized in live music. The Remix's final night might have been its best: Saturday, January 14, regulars including DJs Nomad and Txtbeak spun everything from electroclash to classic alternative for a full house.
Its owners and planners had hoped that the new club would give the West Side a representative of the ongoing lounge trend and create a late-night spot for the area. Its low lighting and eclectic mix of mellow music drew some loyal customers, but not many. After a moderate initial buzz, business settled down. In recent months, the Remix had become a popular spot for scenesters to hold birthday parties, which were virtually private, but lively. Management says that the times made it possible, but the times killed it.
"Once gas hit the $3 mark, it was almost like someone hit a shut-off valve," says General Manager Ted "DJ Cable" Carter, who helped create the Chamber. "We lost a lot of regulars, and the ones that did come out didn't spend nearly as much. In the last couple months, we saw [business] go up a bit, but not enough to make ends meet. It was a very homey place. A cool place."
· Cleveland bluesmen the Rick Ray Band have contributed a cover of "Poppy" to Second Hand Smoke, a tribute to Mahogany Rush guitarist Frank Marino, which features such notables as Ronnie Montrose and George Lynch. Bandleader Ray has opened for Marino several times, and some of the guitarist's handlers recruited Ray for the project. The album is available now on California label Wild Mess.
· Jason Popson has signed ex-Carcass frontman Jeff Walker to his Fractured Transmitter label. The barking vocalist's new solo album will be a reverent collection of country covers, tackling songs by outlaw pioneers like Hank Williams and Johnny Cash. The disc is slated for a March release.
· Mushroomhead industrial-rock side project Ventana has an abrasive new demo track available online at www.myspace.com/ventanaband. The band plays a free live show with Who Killed Marilyn? at Peabody's (2083 East 21st Street) Friday, January 20.
· Akron-Kent electronic-music icons Devo have added five new vocalists. The band has re-recorded some of its classic subversive pop with preschoolers behind the microphone. A disc titled Devo 2.0 is slated for a March 14 release on Disney Sound, with two all-new tracks and an accompanying DVD of videos overseen by bassist Jerry Casale.
· Indie rock assault squad Team Fright has disbanded. "I felt bad about letting the band simmer while I was off doing other stuff," says captain Fred "Wred Fright" Wright. "So I just decided to call it quits." Wright is concentrating on finishing a novel about a hapless garage band, tentatively titled The Pornographic Flabbergasted Emus. Team members 75 and Kong are playing in the indie-rock group Kong Sauce and may join Wright in future projects.