Monsters of Metal
Gorgeous Frankenstein at Peabody's on Thursday, September 4Gorgeous Frankenstein is the new act featuring former Misfits guitarist Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein and his wife, former WCW/ECW wrestling gal Gorgeous Frankenstein (née George). Doyle still takes the stage in full 'Fits fatigues, standing like 6-foot-14, chiseled from 34 years of religious weight-lifting, face glowing white in corpse paint. He'll lead his undead squad through the band's entire 2007 eponymous debut album, selections from the two albums by the resurrected Misfits (including tunes such as "American Psycho" and "From Hell They Came") and choice covers (Motšrhead's "Ace of Spades" and Zeppelin's "Immigrant Song"). Gorgeous doesn't sing or play, but Doyle says she's the star of the show. "She was a featured [dancer], and I used to be her stripper tech," explains Doyle. "I [would] watch her dance to Marilyn Manson and Rob Zombie and Pantera, and she was great at it. Everyone was like, 'If this was a rock band and if she was in it, I would really fuckin' like this.' Everybody likes to watch strippers, so we might as well have one while we're rockin'."
Some of the Gorgeous Frankenstein record rips like 'roid-rage rockabilly. The rest is a hybrid of the nu Misfits' speedy punk and the riff-tastic recent material from original Misfits mastermind Glenn Danzig - understandable, since Danzig produced the disc. Doyle and his mentor reunited for the singer's 2005 Blackest of the Black tour, when the two paired up for a set of Misfits artifacts that had been long untouched by their dark creator.
If you're not a fan or gave up on the soap opera long ago, the Misfits are one of the great Behind the Music-style stories. The group practically invented melodic punk and metallic hardcore, but Danzig put his monster down in 1983. After years of litigation, bassist Jerry Only revived the band in 1995, with younger brother Doyle and without Danzig. The guitarist departed under mysterious circumstances in 2000. Only kept a new lineup on the road, occasionally stoking interest with talk of a reunion with Danzig - something Danzig always vehemently denounced as pure bullshit. But, Doyle reveals for the first time, the rumors were nearly true.
"We were actually going to do a Misfits reunion with Glenn," says Doyle. "But Jerry put a fuckin' monkey wrench in it. [In] 2002, we had meetings ... And [Jerry] kind of fucked it up, him and his manager. We were going to do a record, do a tour and everything. So let all the Misfits fans put that in their pipe and smoke it."
A sculpted blonde shaking it to "Scarecrow Man" won't make you forget the original Misfits classics, but a reunion tour wouldn't have looked nearly as hot. Bella Morte and Car Bomb open at 7 p.m. at Peabody's (2083 E. 21st St., 216.776.9999). Tickets: $12 advance, $15 day of show. - D.X. Ferris
Nightwish, the Scandinavian leaders of symphonic metal, have already passed through the area once this album cycle. But fans are expected to come out in droves again to show their support for the second time through town. After all, the band's latest studio album, Dark Passion Play, introduces Anette Olzon of Sweden as the beautifully angelic female shepherd of her Finnish flock of musicians and their global fan base. Nightwish's operatic vocals, soaring guitars and extravagant keyboards make for a fanciful musical experience. Rounding out the folklore and power-metal billing, Finnish melodic metallers Sonata Arctica open. The show starts at 8:30 p.m. at the Agora Theater (5000 Euclid Ave., 216.881.6700). Tickets: $25 advance, $30 day of show. - Hannah Verbeuren
Alex Skolnick Trio
Now that skunk-striped shredder Alex Skolnick is back with Testament, the Bay Area thrash band that brought him to worldwide fame, he might not have as much time for this project. That'd be a shame. The Alex Skolnick Trio is an instrumental outfit, but calling it "jazz" would do its innovative and unique sound a disservice. Not only does the guitarist nod to his other career on the Trio's latest album, Last Day in Paradise (it reworks Testament's "Practice What You Preach" and Rush's "Tom Sawyer"), but on tracks like "Western Sabbath Stomp" and "Mercury Retrograde," he proves himself a master of tone and technique, easily the equal of Bill Frisell or any other post-jazz six-stringer. His bandmates, bassist Nathan Peck and drummer Matt Zebroski, are no slouches either, expertly switching up rhythms and grooves to keep listeners guessing and rocking at the same time. You might be drawn in by the novel prospect of seeing a metal hero play "jazzy" versions of "Iron Man," "Detroit Rock City," "Don't Talk to Strangers," et al., but by the end of the set (or one of the three CDs), it'll be the originals - and the Trio's overall originality - that earn your respect. The show starts at 9 p.m. at Wilbert's (812 Huron Rd. E., 216.902.4663). Tickets: $10. - Phil Freeman
Thirty years into a continuous - if not constant - career, G.B.H. now seems as permanent as a neck tattoo. The British punk legends formed in 1978, and the Birmingham boys who launched the group are pretty much what you'll see onstage now; drummer Scott Preece is the only non-original member, and he's been in the lineup for 15 years. The band just wrapped a run on the Warped Tour, and reports of set lists say the group still plays songs from its entire career, occasionally peppering sets with covers like the Clash's "White Riot." In the '80s, G.B.H.'s early records barged into the U.K. indie charts' Top 10. Skankable early tracks like "Slut" had their roots in Oi! In '86, they released the Midnight Madness and Beyond LP, which was metal in all but name. A Trouser Press review of the later Oh No It's G.B.H. Again! EP described the song "Malice in Wonderland" as "a revelation that pairs the old sound of Generation X and the [Sex] Pistols with Megadeth production." A decade later, thrash gods Slayer covered the hard-charging "Sick Boy." Later releases, from 1987's No Need to Panic to 2002's Ha Ha (which, somewhat surprisingly, wasn't terrible), saw G.B.H. return to its roots, which the band's website describes as "proper hardcore brummy punk rock" that you can sing and drink along to. Whole Wheat Bread, the Krum Bums and the Shams open at 8 p.m. at the Agora Ballroom (5000 Euclid Ave., 216.881.6700). Tickets: $13. - D.X. Ferris
1st Akron Hip Hop Showcase
In booking old school-rappers Doug E. Fresh and Slick Rick to perform at what they're calling the "1st Akron Hip Hop Showcase," the guys at the local nonprofit advocacy organization Keepers of the Art hope to hark back to hip-hop's founding principles. "The idea came from just wanting to share true school hip-hop with our peers in Akron and Northeast Ohio," says Keepers Executive Director Ismail Al-Amin. "The true hip-hop isn't showcased on mainstream radio and on MTV. The idea is to educate, innovate and inspire. Lock 3 does a good job of diversifying its program, but there is a socially conscious young professional who's also been inspired by hip-hop, and we want to provide an outlet for them. We're telling parents to bring their children and children to bring their parents." Given that the showcase will also feature DJ Mick Boogie manning the turntables while a slew of graffiti artists and B-boys do their thing, there should be plenty for fans of all ages to enjoy. Doors open at 3 p.m. at Lock 3 Live (200 S. Main St., Akron) and tickets are $5. - Jeff Niesel
The Suicide Dolls
Not to be confused with either the Suicide Kings or the Suicide Girls, the Suicide Dolls are a Connecticut-based garage punk band. Their rough-and-ready album Thank You Trooper features sneering vocals and strange, experimental segues in the middle of songs (see, for example, the psychedelic freak-out in the middle of "Cigarettes"). And yet, though the recordings are a bit fuzzy, you can hear elements of the Clash and classic British punk in tunes such as "Funtime Safari." The band makes its Cleveland debut tonight at 8 at Now That's Class (11213 Detroit Ave. at W. 112th St., 216.221.8756), where it shares the bill with Machine Go Boom and Babylon A Go Go. Tickets: $5. - Niesel
Inconsistent though the lineups might be, WRUW's Studio-A-Rama has persevered over the course of 27 years. Held in Case Western Reserve's Mather Memorial Courtyard (11220 Bellflower Rd.), the annual free concert offers a fine enough sample of local talent and usually boasts a decent headliner. This year, the Sadies - the Toronto-based alt-country act that's backed everyone from Andre Williams to Jon Langford and has a terrific catalog of its own - plays the final time slot. But you could also argue that the offbeat pop-punk band Beatnik Termites, reuniting for the first time in three years, deserves top billing too. Filling out the rest of the lineup is a grab bag of local talent, including Lines Across Lines, the Lindsay, City Breathing, Pale Hallow, Mohammed Cartoon, Miss Melvis & the Buford Pusser Experience and OwnWeatherOne. The whole shebang starts at 2 p.m. You can bring your own booze, as long as it's not in bottles. - Niesel
It's a wonder (and a crying shame, actually) that Radney Foster isn't more well-known. Perhaps that's the burden of all Americana artists equipped with really good material and a great voice. In this talentless reality-television hit-making world, if you're not into taking "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" and sustaining random notes for no reason, or look hot in a pink hoodie and short shorts, you're not going to play Quicken Loans Arena anytime soon. The thing is, Foster has hit material. His songs, although twangy, have many influences. While his tunes range from rootsy barroom swagger to classic rock-tinged, all have just enough pop sensibility to make them, well, incredibly listenable. "Drunk on Love" from his most recent effort This World We Live In and "I'm In" from the acclaimed See What You Want to See prove it. And, while you may not realize it, chances are you've heard Foster's smart lyrics coming from the mouths of artists more in the spotlight than he is - people like Keith Urban, Kenny Chesney, Brooks & Dunn, the Dixie Chicks, Jack Ingram and Sara Evans. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. at the Beachland Ballroom (15711 Waterloo Rd., 216.383.1124), and tickets are $15 advance, $17 day of show (or throw in a 9:30 p.m. performance by the Derailers in a package deal for 20 bucks). - Samantha Fryberger
You've probably heard of Matt Pryor. He started out as frontman of the Get Up Kids, one of the groups famous for spreading "emo" (you may have heard of it) while touring with bands like Dashboard Confessional. They were known for songs like "Campfire Kansas," a storybook glimpse into youthful rebellion and nostalgia for days lived in reckless abandon. Pryor later headed up the New Amsterdams and recently released a children's album under the moniker Terrible Twos, giving his own young ones an alternative to Kidz Bop. Co-headliner Kevin Devine has also been in a few other bands, but he is better known for his solo work. The Brooklynite isn't lauded only for his guitar work - he writes introspective lyrics that deal with heavy topics many artists wouldn't even go near. Still, he keeps his act lighthearted with his charismatic personality and a random sense of humor that keeps the crowd smiling. At a recent show, when a fan asked him to play a song he had already played, he sang those lyrics to the melody of "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air." Local singer-songwriter Nicholas Megalis opens at 8 p.m. at the Grog Shop (2785 Euclid Heights Blvd., 216.321.5588). Tickets: $10 advance, $12 day of show. - Danielle Sills
Regardless of how much acclaim this multi-instrumentalist might have gotten as a session musician, sideman and bandleader, you'll definitely not find him shopping for new gear at some overpriced boutique guitar shop. Instead, you might run into him browsing through the local Sears store - he gets his unique sound by using bargain stuff that most professionals wouldn't be caught dead using onstage. Lindley is probably best known for his collaboration with Jackson Browne's band, but there's a lot more to him than you'd think. An accomplished guitarist in his own right, he's also skilled on the banjo, lap steel guitar and more obscure instruments like the oud and the bouzouki (a mainstay in Greek music). These abilities have landed him gigs alongside luminaries like Rod Stewart, Ry Cooder and James Taylor (to name a few), and with the growing popularity of world music, he's found a medium that he could embrace and build a successful solo career on. In the live setting, he takes audiences through a musical trip around the globe, featuring tunes that blend the Middle Eastern, Caribbean and American sounds that he painstakingly mastered throughout the years. With an uncanny sense of humor, he seamlessly glides through songs, both entertaining and educating his eclectic-leaning fans. The show starts at 9 p.m. at the Winchester (12112 Madison Ave., 216.226.5681). Tickets: $12. - Ernest Barteldes