Jane Scott Memorial at Rock Hall, August 28, 2011

30 08 2011

Jane Scott, hard at work

I was among the many speakers at the Rock Hall on Sunday, August 28 to honor and pay tribute to Cleveland’s legendary rock writer Jane Scott…I got through my prepared remarks but skipped a few lines under the pressure…so posting here as they were originally written:

 The very first time I bumped into Jane Scott was at the Rolling Stone Teen Club in Brookpark for a Bob Seger and the Last Heard show. I was a teenager seeking out rock and roll. There might have been 20 other kids there. To us, she looked out of place. But what I learned was that Jane never was out of place. Like so many of you, over the years, I encountered that silly giggle of Jane’s in countless situations. When I worked for MCA Records, Jane would saunter in in her white gogo boots to listen to some advance release in Mr. Green‘s office. And all the girls in the order dept would whisper, Jane Scott’s here. At some point in our friendship, I got to be on her annual Christmas party invite list and join the inner sanctum, and it was a huge thrill going there the first time, seeing pictures of her with famous rockers scattered about her small apartment with her collection of scarves and cool hats. And like a polite hostess she always introduced you to everyone in the room.

To me that’s symbolic of what Jane did for an entire generation. Jane stood as the fearless observer, notebook in hand, really listening, and telling us all the behind the scenes stories of every performer’s life, which made us want more. And she also reached behind her, turning to ask the audience what they thought, wondering who these kids were showing up to listen to that crazy Persecution Smith song, validing our right to assemble at the alter of rock and roll.

Today, when I look back at Jane’s style, she was sort of the newspaper equivilant of Facebook wasn’t she? But she encouraged you to leave your house and find the front of the stage. The first t-shirt we made at the Beachland I had Derf create a cartoon scene of some rocker on our stage shouting out Hello Cleveland, like so many of them do, but I asked him to specifically put an image of Jane standing right in front of the action. The thing I hope we always remember, and that we find a way to pass on in this city, is her undying dedication to live music.  Just put a peanut butter sandwich in your purse or in your pants pocket…and go. –Cindy Barber


The Reigning Sound, Ian McLagan, and a chicken in every pot

16 11 2009

As the Cleveland winds blow their chill inside the marrow of our bones, a simple soup is often our only bulwark of autumn resistance.  One of the easiest and most timeless of these, chicken soup, is a belly-warming balm for those of us who live by Lake Erie.  It’s hallowed yet malleable, consequently making it ideal for culinary contests, namely the 2009  “Better Than Your Bubby’s” chicken soup challenge, which was hosted by celebrity chef Jeff Nathan of Abigael’s, on Broadway in New York City.

The variations on chicken soup are seemingly endless, but the desired goal is a meal that, aside from spicing and cooking techniques, is truthfully filling and delicious.  This is likewise the case with The Reigning Sound’s singer/songwriter/guitarist Greg Cartwright.  Cartwright and his band start with the simmering broth of rock music: straight soul and country, mixed with those two sounds’ curious hybrid that brewed a 50s croon and a 60s jangle.  The Reigning Sound perform at the Beachland on Wednesday, November 18th.

Greg Cartwright of the Reigning Sound, from blog.sailorjerry.com

To this easily recognizable concoction Cartwright adds greasy, overfried electric guitar, a spicy punk rock backbeat, and the vocals of a man who sounds stricken by love, possessed by lust, but also in the grip of an existential mania.  At times, The Reigning Sound is simply too much rock for one:  too sloppy, too loud, and out of tune.  Too Much Guitar, from a couple years ago sounds like an amplifer turned to meltdown, in contrast to the near-CCRisms of Time Bomb High School and their latest, Love and Curses.

But for those who hunger for classic sounds boiled in furious distinction, The Reigning Sound satisfies.  Here are a few streaming mp3s from Lala.com to stoke the palate:

 “Debris” (from Love and Curses
“Time Bomb High School” (from Time Bomb High School)
“Your Love Is A Fine Thing” (from Too Much Guitar)
“Carol” (from Home for Orphans)

“Bad Man” (Reigning Sound, a tune by Cartwright’s old band, The Oblivians):

SIDENOTE: Cartwright’s Oblivians bandmate, Jack “Oblivian” Yarber, has released a new album with his own band, the Tennessee Tearjerkers.  This full-length is called The Disco King, and should like to hear Oblivian’s own take on southern soul/punk/rock and roll, you can tune into the Little Lighthouse podcast, or this humble but informative documentary, part of the $5 Cover series on MTV:

Jack Oblivian and the Tennessee Tearjerkers play the Beachland with Cleveland’s Short Rabbits on Tuesday, November 24th.   

While Cartwright and Yarber tastily updates long-gone sounds with a one-night-stand’s worth of sweat, Mr. Ian McLagan brings the real flavor on Thursday, November 19th.    Former organist/keyboardist for The Small Faces, The Faces, The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, this living legend will perform a solo set full of tales and tunes, perhaps a little like this:

Ian McLagan and The Bump Band, with special guest Patti Griffin on Letterman:But here’s Mac as many of us know him, stoking up the electric piano on a live rendition of “Stay With Me” by The Faces from ’72:

If everything we’ve just discussed doesn’t whet your appetite…uh, go see a doctor or somethin’.


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