7/31: President of the United States at Grog Shop

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The Presidents of the United States of America have never taken themselves all that seriously. Whether writing songs about peaches and, um, whatever “Lump” was about, the Seattle trio are a pretty lighthearted bunch. The Presidents have a special connection to Clevelanders, thanks to their cover of Ian Hunter’s “Cleveland Rocks,” which became The Drew Carey Show’s theme song. After meeting Carey backstage at The Rosie O’Donnell Show in 1996, the group was surprised to find out the comedian was an admirer. “He was an authentic fan,” says drummer Jason Finn. “We could tell because he quoted back to us a bunch of our lyrics.” Though they came from the same scene as dirty-grunge bands like Alice in Chains, PUSA gained success for standing out, not fitting in. They knew they made it when “Weird Al” Yankovic parodied their best-known song on “Gump.” Finn says it was a “huge honor,” noting that any musician who’d be offended by such a thing would have to be “pretty precious.” These days, the guys tour at their own pace, not when a record company tells them to. “We’re sort of a full-time part-time endeavor,” says Finn. “We like to fly into a place, play a gig, go home and still have the whole week to get yelled at by our wives and girlfriends." The Holes and Picklefight! open at 8 p.m. at the Grog Shop (2785 Euclid Heights Blvd., Cleveland Hts., 216.321.5588). Tickets: $15 advance, $18 day of show. — Eddie Fleisher

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