When Exit Stencil Records' Ryan Weitzel suggested that the Dreadful Yawns come out of hibernation to play a show, he thought it would be a good opportunity for one of the label's best bands to revisit its 2007 album Rest. Steeped in Byrds-like harmonies and Flying Burrito Brothers-inspired alt-country, the disc marked the arrival of the local band, which changed its lineup almost immediately after its release.
"I collected almost everybody that played on that album," says Yawns frontman Ben Gmetro, who'll be joined by guitarist Dave Molnar, bassist Mike Allan, and drummer Charlie Drusedow onstage this weekend to play Rest in its entirety. Elizabeth Kelly will play keyboards and sing, and Laura Simna will add violin. It isn't exactly Springsteen playing all of Born to Run, or even Steely Dan performing Aja, but it's a notable local event.
"Everybody still remembers everything," says Gmetro. "It's only three years ago, but we've become better musicians. It's kind of weird, but it sounds good. It's nice because it's the only time we've ever played some of the material."
The band performs with Mystery of Two and Prisoners at 10 p.m. on Friday, May 28, at the Beachland Tavern (15711 Waterloo Rd., 216-383-1124, beachlandballroom.com). Tickets are $5.
From 1988 to 1993, local funk/rock band Mr. Sensible was a major player on the local music scene. After a 17-year hiatus, the band is back together and playing a reunion show at 9 p.m. Saturday, May 29, at Wilbert's (812 Huron Rd. E., 216-902-4663, wilbertsmusic.com). "Fans are coming out of the woodwork, requesting songs and taking their 'Fishy Shirts' out of the closet," says drummer Frank Musarra, now a teacher at Monarch School. "We have a lot of wacky things planned for the night. I can't tell you the details, but we always have a lot of fun at our shows." Singer Shannon Carey is now married to former Cleveland councilman Michael Dolan, who just lost his primary race for a judgeship, but you can bet that won't stop her from partying like it's 1989.
Before moving to Cincinnati in 2005, singer-guitarist Robert Cherry was a fixture on the local music scene. A former editor of Alternative Press, Cherry played in the band Ether Net, which released three albums. He was still living in Cleveland when he recorded his solo debut. Now he's formed the Plastic Ants, a new-wave-sounding group that celebrates the release of its self-titled debut EP with a concert at 9 p.m. Sunday, May 30, at the Beachland Tavern (15711 Waterloo Rd., 216-383-1124, beachlandballroom.com). The band, which also includes Cincinnati-based bassist John Curley and Toronto-based drummer Andrew McMullen and guitarist Calvin Brown, made the album at Curley's Ultrasuede Studios — the same place where regional bands Wussy and Buffalo Killers have recorded. "The tunes come together quickly when we're together, even though it seems so impractical [to play with a couple of Canadians]," says Cherry, who inked a deal with the Cincinnati imprint All Night Party. "As the name suggests, this band is more about having fun." Swarm of Bats and Safari open the show. Tickets are $6.
The Cleveland Music Fest returns this weekend with the usual mish-mash of local talent and second-tier national acts. Organized by the locally based Gorilla Productions (which is headed up by former Peabody's owner Dan Cull), the event kicks off at 8 p.m. Thursday, May 27, when local rockabilly heroes Madison Crawl perform at the Garage Bar (1859 W. 25th St., 216-696-7772, thegaragebar.net). The fest continues on Friday, May 28, and Saturday, May 29, with shows at various venues around town before concluding with a Sunday-afternoon volleyball tournament at Battery Park, which is followed by a free pig roast at the Redd Stone Tavern (1261 West 76th St., 216-651-6969, thereddstone.com). Four-day passes cost $10. Go to clevelandmusicfest.com for more information.
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