Articles and Reviews
Essential summer reading/listening to get you schooled on the overlooked history of
Cleveland rock (yes, you need to know this stuff, especially if you think "Sonic Reducer" is
a Pearl Jam original): Rock 'n' Roll and the Cleveland Connection (Kent State University Press);
Pere Ubu's Terminal Tower compilation; and Easy Listening, the third glam-punk throwdown from
latter-day Cleveland rockers Cobra Verde. Fronted by former Guided By Voices accomplice/Plain
Dealer arts writer/Cleveland rock vet John Petkovic, Cobra Verde carries the three-chord
politically agitated torch lit by rustbelt punks like the Dead Boys and Pere Ubu, and more
melodic Cleveland-loving English dandies like Ian Hunter (see his "Cleveland Rocks").
The album's 11 songs ring familiar, playing like underground radio hits from 1981
("'Til Sunrise") and Alice Cooper at his most garage-psych ("To Your Pretty Face").
But this is not a slavishly retro record or band. It's simply
four shaggy-haired blokes (plus J. Mascis, who joins the band on guitar for this tour)
who believe so deeply in the liberating powers of rock 'n' roll, they regularly leave
the sanctity of their day jobs to take it to the 50 or so people in each town who
still give a damn. Consider yourselves lucky.
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