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Cobra Verde provides a little `Easy Listening'
Malcolm X Abram
Akron Beacon Journal
Feb. 20, 2004

As Jack Frost slowly begins to loosen his grip on the collective 'nads of Northeast Ohio citizens (break out the shorts, it's over 30 degrees!), I say we show him our fortitude and go out and see some live music. Here are a couple of suggestions to get you started!

Tomorrow night at the Lime Spider, venerable Cleveland rockers Cobra Verde play their first show ever in Akron. The band's fun fourth CD, Easy Listening, released on former MC5 guitarist Wayne Kramer's MuscleTone Records, has been garnering raves in several of the big magazines and the band was Scene magazine's best rock band of 2003.

The band's '70s-rooted hard/glam rock is making a comeback but the band's members (vocalist and best drunken pogoing frontman ever John Petkovic, drummer Mark Klein, guitarist Frank Vazzano and bassist Ed Sotelo) are all grown-ups who actually remember when glam rock and the 1970s were brand new.

Additionally, the band's testosterone is balanced by Petkovic's (formerly of the unhinged Death of Samantha) literate, image-laden lyrics and as the group's leader/evil mastermind, he's been honing Cobra Verde's sound since the early '90s, when most of the young revivalists were still squeezing blackheads and trying to figure out what Smells Like Teen Spirit really meant.

In addition to the rocking record, the band also has a new star-studded video for the album's lead track, Riot Industry, that features former Minuteman Mike Watt as a flannel-robe-wearing, cereal-eating, channel-flipping schlub whose television is taken over by the band. He tries to turn away but winds up being sucked into the boob tube and finds himself in some surreal situations, including being a contestant on a reality show called Idle American.

As if having a punk icon weren't enough, the video also features George Wendt (Norm from Cheers) as the host of a fishing show who reels in a couple of band members while old-school comedian Rudy Ray Moore turns up in all his Dolemite glory.

Of course they won't be showing the video tonight (check it out at cobraverde.com) but they will be rockin' along with the Brian Lisik Band and Invisible Satellites.

Afterward you can ask Petkovic, a dedicated sports fan about the Cavs, Indians or Browns and watch him go.

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