I'm hardly the one to recommend the best movies at the Cleveland International Film Fest. I'm only catching 10 of them while I know others who have director's passes, watching upwards of 50 films over the course of 10 or so days. Still, I've seen two movies in which I voted as excellent for the Roxanne T. Mueller Audience Choice Award.
Fiddlesticks - The German comedy is like a modern day Little Rascals where the kids are far too young to really take good direction resulting in precious moments. Add to that the endless slapstick throughout and I can't remember the last time I laughed so much during a movie.
Here's the original German trailer
Here it is dubbed in English. The showing was German with English subtitles.
Mr. Kaplan - A film from Uruguay which starts off as comedy but turns serious as the human condition becomes inescapable. Superb acting from the two main characters makes me wonder how many foreign actors there are in the world deserving of a bigger stage.
Jim Clevo was everywhere in the Cleveland local music scene. After the news of his passing early yesterday evening due to heart failure, he'd had a bad ticker for a few years, the number of musicians who paid tribute to him on Facebook was astonishing. There's been a call for all musicians to post a photo of Clevo on their website in honor.
Jim Clevo Presentations was a bit like CD Baby in the pre-internet age. Jim Clevo set up a network of low cost vendors to create a kind of CD creation house. Cleveland bands who were not used to navigating their way through the business side of things would come to Clevo in order to make their album a reality. Here's a story from 2002, Music man.
Clevo also produced compilations of local Cleveland artists in order to help promote these bands both here and nationally. The Killer Blow, released in 1989 featured acts such as Home & Garden, Hot Tin Roof, Terrible Parade, Oroboros and others. A year later he put out Clearing The Air, another comp CD, with music by Hostile Omish, The Beatnik Termites, Jehova Waitresses and many others on this two disc set.
Clevo also wrote a book to help musicians, Networking in the Music Industry, back in 1993. Anything he could do to shine more light on a local musician was his goal.
You can read more about Clevo in Deanna Adams comprehensive book, Rock 'n' Roll And The Cleveland Connection. Here's an excerpt.
I came to know Clevo, a West Park native, a bit better in recent years through friends and family who grew up with him. Clevo had a strong opinion on many things and agendas to champion those beliefs. Carrying on his local music legacy is a way for me to pay tribute to an important figure in Cleveland music.
Correct me if I'm wrong but I believe the last time Robert Earl Keen played Cleveland was at the House of Blues on June 14, 2007. The reason I know the date is that it was the same night as the final Cavaliers vs. Spurs game in the championship series. I recall walking down Prospect after the show as the clock ticked down, the Cavs about to be swept at home, and hearing the moaning and groaning in bars.
I was on a high though, having just seen Robert Earl Keen for the first, and only, time. The show was poorly attended and probably explains why he rarely tours this area. In all fairness the guy just doesn't venture too far north except on the east coast once in awhile.
So when I saw the ad for Robert Earl Keen's appearance at the Kent Stage I was thrilled. I'd been considering going down to North Carolina for The Merle Fest just to see Keen. Well, and visit my sister who lives nearby. But now the Texas troubadour is coming here and I couldn't be happier.
The Wrecking Crew documentary opens today at Cleveland's Cedar Lee Theater in the Heights. The movie was released back in 2008 but couldn't get wide release distribution because the record companies wanted way too much money for the songs used in the film. And you have to have the songs.
Here's a playlist of songs done by the Wrecking Crew. You will be amazed.
What is Spotify thinking? In a few months Apple will unleash a streaming music service that is sure to give Spotify the fight of their life. You'd think the current top dog would be doing everything possible to keep customers happy.
Last week Spotify pushed a new desktop/laptop app to their subscribers. It's a bit clunkier and in my short time using it is prone to song lag. Then there's the fact that they removed the ability to embed a song, album or playlist on another website. If you're a regular reader to this blog you'll notice that the top of the main page no longer has the embedded daily music session. It's now merely a link to guide you to your own player where you can play it.
Radio Hannibal isn't the only website that has come to find the emnbedding of Spotify music engaging. Almost every music site has been using Spotify embedding including Pitchfork and major newspapers.
Why they've done away with it is beyond me. And they've not given a reason for it. It's going to make moving to Apple's new service easier.