Music » Livewire

The Ataris

With Asobi Seksu and Wax on the Radio. Thursday, March 8, at the House of Blues.


Ataris main man Kristopher Roe may have named his band in a bout of videogame nostalgia, but there's nothing bloopy about the music he makes. It's dream-pop with fuzzy, melodic guitars and a sweetly crooning falsetto served straight up. Unfortunately for Roe's celebrity dreams, it's a sound made far more famous by the oft-bedraggled My Bloody Valentine and Oasis, and even Don Henley . . . kinda.

The Ataris began in 1997 when Roe -- merely looking for a drummer to jam with -- attended a Vandals show in Cincinnati and gave a demo tape to a roadie. To his surprise, the Vandals wound up releasing Roe's music, even though Roe could never maintain a steady lineup.

But Roe isn't a struggling bandleader so much as a struggling songwriter. That's why it's got to gall him to know that once he did jump to Sony/Columbia in 2003, the only song radio touched was a cover of Henley's "The Boys of Summer."

Now, after 12 years, the Ataris are about to release the forbiddingly titled Welcome the Night, the first disc for their very own Isola imprint. Has Roe modified his dream, or is he finally taking charge of it? Only those who listen can find out.

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.