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Friday, March 24, 2017

The Nightlight in Akron to Screen Documentary Film about Rock Photographer Mick Rock

Posted By on Fri, Mar 24, 2017 at 8:22 AM

As part of the New York Film Critics Film Series, a regular series of ongoing preview screenings that takes place in about 50 selected major markets, SHOT! The Psycho-Spiritual Mantra of Rock, a new documentary about rock photographer Mick Rock, will screen at 6:30 p.m. on April 10 at the Nightlight in Akron.

The movie centers on the British photographer best known for his photographs of classic rock acts such as Queen, David Bowie, Syd Barrett, Lou Reed, Iggy Pop and The Stooges, The Sex Pistols, The Ramones, Talking Heads, Roxy Music and Blondie. A fascinating figure in '70s rock 'n' roll, Rock admits he never felt like a voyeur but considered himself an insider. His photos reflect that mentality.

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Thursday, March 23, 2017

Local Artist Whose Twisted Paintings Appear in Horror Flick Will Introduce Film at Capitol

Posted By on Thu, Mar 23, 2017 at 2:39 PM

Ethan Embry in The Devil's Candy, playing Friday and Saturday at the Capitol Theatre.
  • Ethan Embry in The Devil's Candy, playing Friday and Saturday at the Capitol Theatre.
This Friday and Saturday, the Capitol Theatre will screen the indie satanic possession flick The Devil's Candy, which we reviewed this week. A local artist whose paintings play a central role in the film will give an introduction before the Saturday screening at 9:45 p.m.

In the film, the main character, Jesse (Ethan Embry) is a heavy-metal-loving visual artist in Texas. In the real world, painter Stephen Kasner, a native of Old Brooklyn, produced nearly 30 paintings for the film, at least one of which was more than seven feet tall.

Kasner suffers from chronic pain due to an unusual medical condition, and had been inactive in the art world since 2010. He released a statement this month saying that his work on The Devil's Candy was therapeutic — in fact, life-saving — for him.

"I’m extremely proud of the work I produced for the movie," Kasner said. "And I believe that the paintings, particularly the central ‘transforming’ painting, is extremely unique as it becomes one of the main characters in the story. This is a scenario only realized in a handful of films throughout cinema history, and I am grateful to have my work connected to that great legacy."

The painting in question is indeed transformed: Jesse, under Satanic influence, turns a bucolic butterfly scene into a fiery hellscape, complete with howling children and Sauron-ish eyeballs.  

Tickets to see The Devil's Candy are $9.75 for adults and $8.75 for students with valid ID. Tickets are on sale at the Capitol Theatre or online at

Additionally, Kasner has scheduled an exhibition of new original work to be shown at the HEDGE Gallery at 78th Street Studios from July 21 - September 2. He'll share the floor with local artist Justin Brennan.
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City Council President Kevin Kelley to Begin Holding Regular Press Sessions

Posted By on Thu, Mar 23, 2017 at 1:56 PM

Councilman Brancatelli (sporting a Cavs championship tee on the right) approves of a Kelley's silly poses for the camera. - SAM ALLARD / SCENE
  • Sam Allard / Scene
  • Councilman Brancatelli (sporting a Cavs championship tee on the right) approves of a Kelley's silly poses for the camera.
Hey look! Transparency!

The Cleveland City Council communications team has announced that council president Kevin Kelley will be holding a question-and-answer session with the press Monday morning, one day before a committee hearing where the proposed Quicken Loans Arena renovation deal will be discussed.

Kelley will give remarks on the proposed deal, and on the proposed 2017 operating budget, and will then open the floor to questions from the media on any topic.

The session is being positioned as the first in a series. Kelley will soon begin holding these press sessions one hour before every City Council meeting Monday evenings.

"Members of the media are welcome to raise any issue," said a press release.

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Singer-Pianist Andrew McMahon Adopted a New York State of Mind for His Latest Album

Posted By on Thu, Mar 23, 2017 at 1:48 PM

  • Brendan Walter
When Andrew McMahon takes the stage at this summer as the opening act for Billy Joel’s sold-out show at Progressive Field, it won’t be the first time that the two have crossed paths.

McMahon was in the audience on April 1, 1994 as a fan, watching Joel’s concert at the grand opening of Gund Arena. Living in the Columbus area at the time, where he was still in grade school, he commuted to the show, his first ever, and it became something he would later look back on as an important trigger.

“It changed my life completely. I had been writing songs at that point for about a year, maybe two,” McMahon, now 34, recalls during a recent phone conversation from his California home. “I think that passion for writing moved from just a passion for writing into, you know, ‘I want to get on a stage somehow and find a way to do this professionally.’ It was one of those moments and I think we have a handful of them in our lives where all of the sudden you sort of see a little bit more of your path. I was awfully young for that, but it was defining. And certainly, years later, going back to see him, it occurred to me how many of my moves I had actually stolen. [Laughs] They were sort of embedded from that very first concert and had just stuck with me.”

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Indie Rockers Local Natives Embrace Electronica on Their New Album

Posted By on Thu, Mar 23, 2017 at 1:11 PM

  • Nathaniel Wood
After the release of their debut album, 2009's Gorilla Manor, Local Natives drew comparisons to big-time indie acts like Arcade Fire, Fleet Foxes and Grizzly Bear.

The band’s first album feels bigger than a five-piece band, featuring Beach Boys-esque harmonies, skittery folk arrangements, and even a cover of a Talking Heads B-side. Now, the band has just released its third album, Sunlit Youth, and while the music is a little different, the goal is still the same.

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Rood Food and Pie to Open this Summer in West Madison

Posted By on Thu, Mar 23, 2017 at 12:43 PM

Brian Ruthsatz is a Cleveland native who’s been itching to get back into the restaurant game since his days as an operator in Chicago. He’ll do just that come June, when Rood Food & Pie (17001 Madison Ave.) opens in the West Madison neighborhood of Lakewood.

“We’re on the far west end of Madison; we’re pioneers,” he says. “A lot of people don’t even know this area exists, but hopefully we’ll change that. We’re hoping to create a space with a great feel and atmosphere, good service and, of course, really great food.”

When we spoke, Ruthsatz was on an R&D trip with his chef, Mark Wilson, in the artsy Wynwood district of Miami. The eclectic cafes and restaurants of that neighborhood offer just the sort of funky vibe that the owner intends to introduce to his little patch of the city.

“We want to take food that’s been out there for a while and challenge it,” he says. “We’ll start with a small, concise menu and grow with the neighborhood.”

Rood Food will be an all-day café that straddles the line between breakfast and dinner, sweet and savory, classic and contemporary. What attracted Ruthsatz to this particular piece of property – a 3,000-square-foot double storefront – was the roomy back area that will serve as the on-site bakery. Up front, the dining room will seat about 90 guests.

In the morning, Rood will serve light breakfasts of coffee, espresso and tea with pastries, overnight oats, scotch eggs, and pie. Lunch might feature biscuits, savory chicken potpies with fresh herbs, and smashed toasts creamed with avocado, basil-tomatoes and/or meats.

Dinner will offer small plates like build-your-own slider flights on house-baked rolls, “Where the bread is just as important as the protein inside.” Items like refried jerk chicken, brisket and sloppy tofu will be paired with fresh-baked milk bread rolls or punchy curry rolls.

A handful of mains might include American barbecue, grilled homemade sausages, shrimp with toasted pasta.

“The other piece of this, obviously, is the pie,” says Ruthsatz. “We want people to segue into pie. When you talk about pie, people smile.”

An in-house pastry chef will put a modern spin on classic pie recipes.

“We want to challenge some classic pie recipes. There’s some really fun stuff out there right now.”

A few seasonal options might include peach with a green tea crust, blueberry chamomile, apple with Ohio maple syrup, and lemon meringue with a raspberry bottom. Salt and Honey features light and dark honey custard and is served with a small vial of bee pollen.

“When you sprinkle it on top, it gives the pie a really great salty, butterscotch finish to it,” says Ruthsatz. “We want the food to be social.”

Pies will also be sold at retail.

As for the unconventional name, the owner explains that “rood” means red in Dutch, and is often used in conjunction with fruits like raspberries, strawberries and currents.

“We were looking for a fun, bold, in-your-face name,” he says.

Look for Rood Food and Pie to open this June.
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The Director of the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless is Resigning

Posted By on Thu, Mar 23, 2017 at 12:37 PM

Brian Davis, the director of the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless, will resign this summer. According to a message he published today, NEOCH seems intent on aligning itself more with the private sector and religious organizations — rather than, e.g., Cuyahoga County — to achieve its housing and protective services goals.

Most recently, Davis spoke out against the county's apparently inevitable decision to award the women's shelter operations contract to Frontline Services, which currently operates the shelter and which has drawn strong criticism for its management over the years.

At monthly Homeless Congress meetings downtown, Davis presided over an engaged community that most recently has been turning its attention toward lobbying for a separate shelter for the "severely mentally ill" in Northeast Ohio.

According to recent estimates, there are more than 20,000 people who classify as homeless in the city of Cleveland. NEOCH works with the area's various service providers to ensure progress on matters like emergency and transitional housing, civil rights, education and health care. The coalition is run by a nine-member board, which Davis insists will oversee a smooth transition.

Davis's message, however, points to a growing rift between the county government, which runs much of the spectrum of homeless services, and NEOCH.

"I worked with NEOCH for 22 years and have often rubbed the establishment the wrong way," Davis wrote. "A new person can try to build bridges and downplay the advocacy piece until there is a better time for social justice. The agency can always use your volunteer assistance or your support in talking to elected officials on the importance of emergency housing assistance. NEOCH is only as strong as its membership."

He spoke with Scene this afternoon and elaborated on that point.

"We haven't seen eye to eye in most things for about 10 years," Davis said of Cuyahoga County government. "It's been a strained relationship with the county for homeless policies. By the end of this year, we'll have lost 520 beds in Cuyahoga County. We don't think that's a good strategy for how to reduce the population, especially when we're going to see massive budget cuts."

Davis has had a role with NEOCH since his volunteer days in the mid-90s, helping to run the Cleveland Street Chronicle and partnering with the Cleveland Tenants Organization before taking NEOCH independent in the 2000s.

"I stepped down as director hopefully to encourage people who I've annoyed — to try to get them back on board," Davis said. "If you are doing advocacy and no one is listening, are you really serving a purpose in the community? Nobody listens down in Columbus. Nobody is really listening in Washington anymore. It's really rough times."

Davis's resignation is effective June 1. Until then, the monthly Homeless Congress meetings will continue, and he's hopeful that they'll exist beyond his tenure at the helm. "It's certainly very popular among the population," he said.

The board remains committed to the newspaper, its outreach program and the process of bringing religious organizations back into the fold.

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