During a lunch-hour concert on Star Plaza last month, Brad Yoder scanned the gathering in front of him. The Pittsburgh singer-songwriter felt right at home in downtown Cleveland. "I had children coming up listening," he recalls. "Somebody took their picture with me. I sold a couple CDs. I love playing random, unexpected places, where people sort of stumble across you."
That's why Yoder will come to town again on Friday for an encore session of the summer-long Street Beats performance series. While the size of the audience may not match the throngs in the bars and cafés where he typically performs, Yoder still looks forward to playing his arsenal of originals from the four CDs he's recorded over the past 14 years.
"I'm really energized by the small interactions, like when a child dances around," he says. "People I've never heard of buy a CD from me, then I get an e-mail from them later. Those kinds of things are as satisfying as being on the cover of a magazine or being played on the radio." Yoder performs from 7 to 9 p.m. in front of Starbucks, 1374 West Sixth Street. It's free; visit www.cleveland.com/sparx. -- Cris Glaser
Techno duo finds happiness in urban blight.
Jassen Tawil claims that T3 is part of Cleveland's "second wave of techno." We didn't know there was a first wave. But considering that Tawil and music partner Tom Perica have about 20 years of turntable experience between them, it's safe to assume they know the scene. Some say that techno originated in Detroit as a response to urban decay and economic decline, and Tawil notes contemporary parallels in Cleveland. "This is the perfect environment where techno lives and grows and pushes forward," he says. The group's gigs include vinyl, looping, and digital effects, but Perica hopes the music can be about something more than just beats. "When techno is presented in the right way, it can be amazing," he says. "It can move you emotionally, spiritually, and physically." T3 plays the Abbasso Lounge (1222 Prospect Avenue) at 10 p.m. Saturday. Admission is free; call 216-566-7278. -- Katherine Fulton
Bob Marley didn't shoot the sheriff, but he knows some funny jokes.
Comedian Bob Marley (not to be confused with the ganja-toking reggae legend) never held down a real job. "Much to my parents' chagrin, I kept doing stand-up [after college]," says the Portland, Maine-bred funnyman. During the past 15 years, he's kept busy touring, releasing albums, and taking roles in such movies as Boondock Saints, which starred Willem Dafoe. "He's been nominated, like, three times for an Oscar," says Marley. "I'm looking at him, thinking, I was at Yuk Yuk's in Boise last week." Marley performs at Hilarities 4th Street Theatre (2035 East Fourth Street) Thursday through Sunday. Show times are 8 p.m. Thursday and Sunday, and 7:30 and 10:15 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Tickets are $10 to $18; call 216-241-7425. -- P.F. Wilson
Chrome and Foam
On Outlaw Sundays at the Garage, the pulled-pork sandwiches aren't the only thing sizzling. Outside on the new patio bar, the Bikini Bike Wash Team sponges down Harleys at 10 bucks a pop. "It's just fun watching them wash bikes," says Jeff Allison, the club's owner. "G-rated, totally. Just a little bit titillating." It starts at 1 p.m. at the Garage, 1859 West 25th Street. Admission is free; call 217-595-7772. -- Cris Glaser