- Walter Novak
- Dave Molnar of the Artifical Sweeteners at the Beachland, August 10.
Downtown Cleveland's newest nightclub takes some effort to find, but it's worth the walk. Underground (75 Public Square, www.itsunderground.com) is named for its location and musical agenda.
The bar, which sits behind sidewalk construction and beneath the Santa Fe Café, will host its first major show Friday, August 17. Rap-rock groups R.I.A. and Third Union will headline. The night will also double as a launch party for No Wear, a new clothing line from Mushroomhead/Hatrix vocalist Jeffrey Nothing, who will DJ.
Owner Don Dzina says he wants the subterranean red-and-black room to be a cross between Peabody's and Cheers.
"During a show, there's not a lot of communication between people," says Dzina of typical clubs. "The music's playing, and you can't really talk. Then everybody leaves. I want a place where people from the scene can meet and hang out during the week."
The venue was formerly Club 75, a hip-hop nightspot. It's still decorated with leather sofas and high-top tables, and has a big elevated stage. During the week, a VIP area is open to first takers. The jukebox selection includes Avenged Sevenfold, Led Zeppelin, Fall Out Boy, and 311. Dzina plans to host comedy nights, but music is the main attraction.
"We're going to have heavy metal, rockabilly, some bands with a classic-rock feel -- all original music," he says.
· Steve Makita, vocalist of Cleveland power-violence legends Apartment 213, has joined Agoraphobic Nosebleed, grindcore gods from Massachusetts. Nosebleed's releases include the Altered States of America EP, a 21-minute, 3-inch CD that features 100 songs. The two bands have released a new split EP on Relapse Records, whose roster includes High on Fire and Pig Destroyer. The Domestic Powerviolence EP has a limited-edition run on 12-inch vinyl. Apartment 213 will play the Davenport (6287 Pearl Road, Parma Heights) on Sunday, August 19.
· Keelhaul's Will Scharf and Chris Smith have a new side project, Sir Pincer. The improv group also features Cleveland expatriate Bourbon Zeigler and Abdullah bassist Ed Stevens. Scharf, who plays alto sax, says, "We don't know what's going to happen. It could be a total train wreck -- something I'm not unfamiliar with." Pincer plays Now That's Class (11213 Detroit Avenue) on Saturday, August 18.
· Jib Machine Records' Pat Zelenka Project and Hot Ham & Cheese are recording new LPs. Both are slated for release early next year.
· Original Fistula vocalist Steve Barcus has rejoined the band, whose new lineup now features drummer Keith Double (also of Dopus) and bassist Scott Stearns (guitarist for mainman Corey Bing's Necrodamus and formerly of Die Hard). The grating metal group's in-progress full-length debut will include a ragged electric cover of Nirvana's "Something in the Way." Then, Bing promises, "We will be playing live -- to piss on everyone in our way."
Until then, Fistula and Bing's Son of Jor-el can be seen in Live Free or Die Hard. Sort of. Corley Records graphic artist Jason Sweers was the assistant art director for the film, and he placed posters of those bands in the lair of Warlock, the villain played by Kevin Smith.
· Visit blogs.clevescene.com for online exclusives, including early concert announcements, last-minute cancellations, and an interview with Behemoth frontman Nergal.