A few years ago, the New Lou Reeds were one of the most promising indie-rock bands in Cleveland. But it took them more than four years to follow up 2006's Top Billin'. They finally got around to releasing their third album, Hit Songs, last year, and they're starting to rebuild some of that lost momentum. "You get to working on something for a while, and it takes a lot of time and effort," says bassist Ed Sotelo. "We thought we could make a really good-sounding record. We worked our asses off. We were a little bit drained from that, and real life just happened. We just stopped doing things."
The band has played a few shows in support of Hit Songs, which wraps blues-inspired rock & roll around raspy-throated frontman Stephe DK. They've also written some new songs, which they'll debut in front of an audience on Friday when they play the Happy Dog with Tadpoles and the Very Knees.
"The energy has been good," says Sotelo. "We look at the band as a long-term project. We've been around long enough to know that there are ebbs and flows in popularity. But that's all cyclical, whereas our enthusiasm for working together isn't. As long as it's fun, we're not going to go away." The Happy Dog show starts at 9 p.m. Tickets are $5, available at happydogcleveland.com.
Organist Eddie Baccus Sr., a fixture on the local jazz scene since the early 1960s, kicks off the 32nd annual Tri-C JazzFest with a free performance at 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 27, at Karamu House. The JazzFest runs through May 8 and features both local and national artists playing a bunch of venues around town. Go to tricpresents.com/jazzfest for a complete schedule.
Jazz combo Case Sensitive hope to have their new five-song EP ready by the time they play the Barking Spider at 8 p.m. Friday. Guitarist Lucas Kadish, a sophomore at Hudson High School, says that even though some band members are graduating and heading off to college, the group will keep playing together. A small donation gets you into the Barking Spider.
The North East Ohio Blues Association hosts a blues showcase/contest at noon on Saturday at Don Pancho's in Alliance. Regional bands will vie for prizes and the chance to compete at the 2012 International Blue Challenge. Go to myspace.com/neoba for more info.
Exhibit A, Hillbilly Idol, and State Road play a benefit concert for PetFix (a local nonprofit that advocates the spaying and neutering of pets) at 5:30 p.m. Sunday at the Beachland Tavern. Tickets are $15, $12 in advance.
Charlie Mosbrook, Avin Baird, John McGrail, and Chris Volpe present Songwriters in the Round at 8 p.m. Tuesday at the Beachland Tavern. The singer-songwriters will discuss their influences and play some songs. Tickets are $5, available at beachlandballroom.com.