Music » Band of the Week

Rip Smops

Songs to Get Depressed About (


Rip Smops' Songs to Get Depressed About starts with a tune about chasing cows and ends with him writing off everything as "all fucked up, so fucking shitty, and getting worse." On one hand, it's easy to understand why you probably haven't heard the moody troubadour before, no matter how long you've been around town. On the other, the album has all the lyrical variety pop's been sorely lacking of late.

Rip Smops -- the singer-songwriter formerly known as Erik Von Rippy -- has been penning songs for the past 30 years and recording intermittently for 20. The bulk of this disc was originally laid down in 1983 on a two-track tape of the same name, with Smops rerecording the songs over the last 12 years. He sings, drums, and plunks his own keyboards like a lo-fi Ben Folds, sorting through his daily life in search of something he can peg his hopes to, writing songs that vary from upbeat to downright thrashy. If he can land a couple of shows at the Grog Shop and finally share his songs with an audience, things could finally take an upturn.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Cleveland Scene works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Cleveland and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Cleveland's true free press free.