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Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Blossom to Offer Questlove's Vegetarian Cheesesteak This Summer

Posted By on Tue, Mar 19, 2019 at 11:19 AM

  • Courtesy of Live Nation
Vegetarians will be happy to know that Blossom Music Center will offer Questlove’s Cheesesteak made with Impossible plant-based meat this summer.

Later this month, the James Beard Foundation Book Award nominee will make his first proper foray into the food industry as he introduces the sandwich at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia on opening day. The sandwich will be sold at all 81 home games for the Phillies.

It'll also be available on the menu at Blossom when Live Nation's summer concert season starts.

“We first tested out this product at our annual Roots Picnic music festival in Philly in 2018," says Questlove in a press release. "Without any forewarning, we offered the Cheesesteak in our VIP area, which was mainly populated with friends and family, and no one believed me when I told them the 'meat' was not beef, but plant-based. My team and I saw an opportunity to roll out the product on a much larger level. To have the Phillies and Live Nation as our initial partners is great as it speaks to my love for my hometown of Philadelphia combined with my love of music. However, the goal for this product is to create a global network of restaurants, venues and retail locations where Questlove's Cheesesteak can be purchased.”

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Beto O'Rourke Does NOT Want to Take Away Your AR-15!

Posted By on Tue, Mar 19, 2019 at 11:06 AM

Beto O'Rourke at Gino's in Cleveland, (3/18/19). - SAM ALLARD / SCENE
  • Sam Allard / Scene
  • Beto O'Rourke at Gino's in Cleveland, (3/18/19).
The joke at Gino's Cento Anno, a blue-collar dive on the south and windward side of Cleveland's industrial valley where Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke made a pit stop Monday, was that two hours before his scheduled arrival, the TVs were all playing Fox News. By 3:30 p.m., the planned start time for O'Rourke's remarks, they'd been switched to CNN. And by 4:00 p.m., right before the erstwhile punk rocker and Texas Senate candidate began to gesticulate before a jam-packed crowd, they'd been tuned to MSNBC.

[GOP's STEVE KING SHARES MEME OF MODERN-DAY CIVIL WAR], the chyron read, as Beto was welcomed by Cuyahoga County Democratic Chair Shontel Brown. Hopped-up members of the crowd, chanting "BAY-to, BAY-to, BAY-to," were coaxed by frantic, Patagonia-vested campaign volunteers to please chant "BEH-to, BEH-to, BEH-to."

"They keep moving to the Left," a wisecracking cameraman observed above the din, nodding to the TVs.

Beto's political movement is less clear, in large part because his initial position is still somewhat vague. But in a high-energy campaign speech framed as an in-person introduction to local voters, and in answers to questions from the crowd, he presented much as he did on the Texas trail: an "authentic" charismatic Gen-Xer who absolutely loves Rock 'n' Roll and wants to make America a better place. O'Rourke spent 20 minutes earlier in the day at the Rock Hall, in fact, and opened his speech with a celebration of the ingenuity of America's musicians.

No one could argue with the things this tall, lean man said he wanted: affordable trips to the Doctor for everybody; a fairer criminal justice system; humane immigration policies that welcome refugees and don't lock children up in cages; a belief in science (!) and the need for bold action on climate change, etc.

But the criticism from the Left that O'Rourke is a bit of a nothingburger — "neither a bold progressive nor a distinguished legislator" — was difficult to dispel on first blush. He advocated for very few specific policies, though he did gesture toward the full legalization of marijuana and a bunch of stuff concerning "the VA," and in many areas where Democratic candidates have staked out aggressive progressive positions, he proposed what might be deemed "pragmatic" lesser measures. 

On gun control, for example, speaking to a cohort of Moms Demand Action attendees in their trademark red shirts, O'Rourke said he wanted universal background checks — obvs — but then said something extremely weird and contradictory.

He talked about what a bad idea it is to have military-grade assault weapons in our communities. These are weapons, he said, that "could blow a hole out of your back so large, destroy the insides of your systems so much, that you'll bleed to death before [a doctor] can save your life."

O'Rourke warned the crowd that what he was about to espouse was a "much more difficult" issue than something palatable like universal background checks. It was this: "If you own an AR-15, I don't want to take it from you. Keep it. Use it responsibly. All I'm saying is that we don't need to sell any more of them in our communities."


O'Rourke's from Texas, "a responsible, proud gun-owning state." And he said there's "nothing wrong with" gun ownership for hunting, collecting, etc. "In fact, there's so much right with the way we take that responsibility seriously." And yet, what a lame non-stance. It's no surprise that "use your assault weapons responsibly" didn't quite generate the same applause as, "I believe in a woman's right to choose." And why would it? He'd just spent an impassioned minute-and-a-half talking about what a senseless and irresponsible death-machine an AR-15 is. 

On health care, he doesn't want Medicare for All, necessarily. He just wants it to be a bit more affordable, maybe by putting the Medicare option on the public exchanges for people who don't have, or aren't happy with, their employer insurance. On college affordability, he doesn't want free public college, necessarily. He wants to refinance student loans at lower rates. 

When asked about the structure of the Supreme Court, he literally threw out a few rhetorical questions — Do we let an equal number of current Democratic and Republican justices select new members? Do we expand the body? Do we impose term limits? — and said he was partial to the option (term limits) that had generated the most applause.

But the Gino's crowd was largely receptive. (What he proposed would be improvements!) The chatter among attendees before Beto arrived, though, seemed to describe curiosity more than ardent support. Given the current occupant of the White House, local Democratic voters are ready to be energized by national politics. And honestly only upon review did the candidate's wishy-washy positions become clearer (other than the AR-15 comment, which was instantly a head-scratcher). In the moment, and in the excitement of the crowd, he sounded courageous and idealistic and hoarse from the fervor of his beliefs. He was a handsome, sweating politician in peak physical shape who had no qualms whatsoever about repeatedly name-dropping Sherrod Brown for the Cleveland crowd. And people were enjoying themselves. 

Even the Gino's regulars, even the blue-collar Cuyahoga County "Democrats" who prefer Fox News, sipped their domestics approvingly now and again. 

Shontel Brown warming up the crowd. / Beto O'Rourke at Gino's in Cleveland, (3/18/19). - SAM ALLARD / SCENE
  • Sam Allard / Scene
  • Shontel Brown warming up the crowd. / Beto O'Rourke at Gino's in Cleveland, (3/18/19).
Beto O'Rourke at Gino's in Cleveland, (3/18/19). - SAM ALLARD / SCENE
  • Sam Allard / Scene
  • Beto O'Rourke at Gino's in Cleveland, (3/18/19).
"I don't want to take away your AR-15s! Use them responsibly!" / Beto O'Rourke at Gino's in Cleveland, (3/18/19). - SAM ALLARD / SCENE
  • Sam Allard / Scene
  • "I don't want to take away your AR-15s! Use them responsibly!" / Beto O'Rourke at Gino's in Cleveland, (3/18/19).
Beto O'Rourke at Gino's in Cleveland, (3/18/19). - SAM ALLARD / SCENE
  • Sam Allard / Scene
  • Beto O'Rourke at Gino's in Cleveland, (3/18/19).
Beto O'Rourke at Gino's in Cleveland, (3/18/19). - SAM ALLARD / SCENE
  • Sam Allard / Scene
  • Beto O'Rourke at Gino's in Cleveland, (3/18/19).
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The Brasil Guitar Duo of João Luiz & Douglas Lora and the Rest of the Classical Music to Catch This Week

Posted By on Tue, Mar 19, 2019 at 9:08 AM

  • Photo by M. Stone

Curating thoughtfully-programmed, politically-inspired concerts has become a calling card for the innovative, Cleveland-based ensemble Burning River Baroque, and you can count on soprano Malina Rauschenfels to bring out every thread of drama in the music. Under the auspices of Fresh Perspectives, she’ll join harpsichordist Paula Maust, baroque flutist Sarah Lynn, and baroque cellist Glenna Curren in “The Other Side of the Story” at Glo in Cleveland on Wednesday, March 20 at 6:30 pm. The program draws on ancient mythology, literature, and Biblical passages, highlighting characters whose viewpoints are underrepresented, and includes the world premiere of Aaron Grad’s Honey-sweet we sing for you. A pre-concert discussion starts at 6:45 pm, and the evening includes a dj, bar, and light snacks. Name your own ticket price at the door, from $0 to $15. If you can’t make it to Glo, you can catch the same program in three different venues between March 21 and 23 (check out concert listings for details.)

Igor Stravinsky’s opera The Rake’s Progress is based on 18th century engravings of the same name by William Hogarth and boasts a libretto by W.H. Auden. Baldwin Wallace Opera Theater takes on this entertaining tale of Tom Rakewell and his pact with the Devil in the shape of Nick Shadow from March 21-23 at 7:30 pm and March 24 at 2:00 pm at the Klais Drama Center in Berea. Scott Skiba directs, and Domenico Boyagian guest conducts. Reserve your seats online.

Next up on the Cleveland Classical Guitar Society series is the Brasil Guitar Duo of João Luiz & Douglas Lora, who will bring an interesting program of original music and transcriptions by Rameau, Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Gismonti, and Brouwer to Plymouth Church in Shaker Heights on Saturday, March 23 at 7:30 pm. Tickets here.

Trobár, the trio of Allison Monroe, voice and vielle, and Elena Mullins and Karin Weston, voice, will present a concert of songs by the medieval troubadours in both the original Occitan language and in English translation on Saturday, March 23 at 7:30 pm at St. Alban’s Episcopal Church in Cleveland Heights. Tickets will be on sale at the door for $15 ($10 for seniors and $5 for students.)

Married couples make for great duo-piano teams, as Antonio Pompa-Baldi and Emanuela Friscioni will demonstrate on Sunday, March 24 at 2:00 pm in Gartner Auditorium at the Cleveland Museum of Art. Their free concert is part of Tri-C’s Classical Piano Series, and a great event to combine with a museum visit.

Also on Sunday, and also free — though you’ll surely want to make a donation at the door — is a 3:00 pm concert at Rocky River Presbyterian Church by former Detroit Symphony bassist Rick Robinson and his Cut-Time Symphonica. It’s called “Making Classical Music Work Everywhere,” and includes a mix of symphonic standards, crossovers into jazz and rock, and new music for string quartet and drums by Robinson himself.

Check out details of these and other events on our Concert Listings page.

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Report: Many Poor Ohioans Lack Safe, Affordable Place to Call Home

Posted By on Tue, Mar 19, 2019 at 8:59 AM

  • (cocoparisienne/Pixabay)
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Housing is a foundation for living, and a new report suggests it's an unstable foundation for hundreds of thousands of Ohioans.

"The Gap: A Shortage of Affordable Rental Homes" by the National Low Income Housing Coalition, finds that 67 percent of the state's extremely low-income renter households are spending more than half their income on rent.

Bill Faith, executive director of the Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio, explains that's more than 290,000 families that have to make difficult decisions in order to keep a roof over their heads.

"So that just means for those folks that other needs of the household are going to go wanting," he states. "Whether or not they have enough food to eat, gas money to put into the car, health care costs and things of that nature."

The coalition considers people "extremely low-income" if they make only 30 percent of their area's median income, and in Ohio, only 43 rental units are available and affordable for every 100 of these households.

Gov. Mike DeWine is calling for increased investments for affordable housing, and his budget proposes increasing funding for the Ohio Housing Finance Agency by 4.5 percent over the next two years.

Faith commends DeWine for prioritizing investments in children during his administration. However, he notes that children are among the fastest growing segments of the state's homeless population.

"Last year, over 21,000 children entered the homeless system in the state including 3,000 babies under the age of one, which is a 53 percent increase over the last five years," Faith points out.

The coalition is calling for a $20 million annual expansion of the Ohio Housing Trust Fund, which helps low-income Ohioans secure safe and affordable housing.

Faith says the Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio also has asked the governor to allocate $25 million in Temporary Assistance for Needy Families funds for local programs that quickly move families in crisis into permanent housing.

"If we're really serious about providing a decent, safe, affordable place for people to recover from addiction problems, to raise a healthy baby, or even folks that need to hold down a job or to do better in school, there's nothing that helps more than to have a safe, decent place to call home," he states.

The report also notes that federal investments are needed for programs such as the National Housing Trust Fund, Housing Choice Vouchers and public housing.

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Browns Hype, Headaches, and Spring Training — The A to Z Podcast With Andre Knott and Zac Jackson

Posted By on Tue, Mar 19, 2019 at 8:58 AM


Andre and Zac are back for a discussion about the Browns' national profile, Duke Johnson's future, what happens at the end of spring training and more. Go to AmericanFireworks.com to join their annual bracket challenge.

Subscribe to A to Z on iTunes here or stream below.

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New 'Where the Hell is Akron, OH?' Compilation Due Out on Record Store Day

Posted By on Tue, Mar 19, 2019 at 8:48 AM

Akron Recording Company (ARC) has just announced that it’ll release volume two of Where the Hell is Akron, OH?, a compilation of songs by musicians from Northeast Ohio, for Record Store Day on Saturday, April 13. The album will be available on all streaming services and for sale on CD at local record stores.

Eventually, it’ll come out on vinyl too.

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Monday, March 18, 2019

Artists 4 Autism Benefit to Take Place at CODA on Thursday

Posted By on Mon, Mar 18, 2019 at 5:21 PM

Artists 4 Autism, a benefit that takes place at 7 p.m. on Thursday at CODA, will raise funds for S.U.C.C.E.S.S. for Autism, a local NPO that promotes “an integrated multi-disciplinary approach to treatment for individuals on the autism spectrum.”

The suggested $10 entry donation will include food (while supplies last), visual art and raffles.

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