As the weather turns chillier and recreation shifts to indoor locations, the NEO scene is responding with a clambake of compelling offerings this week. Touring artists and local luminaries are throwing down. That’s a challenge for those who like to map out their musical itinerary, but what a nice problem to have, right? Supporting live music is always the right choice, but for a little advice, scroll down. You’re sure to find something interesting.
At Ari Hoenig’s website, you’ll find several items of apparel for sale. One of them is a t-shirt, black, of course, with a photo of Hoenig at the drum kit and the legend, “I’m not angry. That’s just my face!”
Intensity has been a hallmark of Hoenig’s career. For the New York Times in 2009, Ben Ratliff wrote, “Ari Hoenig has a slightly compulsive relationship with his drum set.” If you’ve seen him play, you’ll know what Ratliff meant, and if you haven’t, Hoenig’s weekend appearance at Bop Stop offers a fine introduction to his imaginative, highly interactive and yes, intensely committed style.
Eleven months ago, A.J. Kluth was at New York’s New School at a conference presented by Black Quantum Futurism, the literary and artistic collective created by Philadelphians Rasheedah Phillips and Camae Ayewa, the composer and poet who performs as Moor Mother.
“That was my first time meeting Camae and really feeling like the work that the collective was doing [and] that she was doing as a musician was deeply important and urgent,” Kluth said on a video call earlier this month. “I said, ‘I would love to bring you to Cleveland sometime.’ She’s like, ‘That sounds cool. I’ve never been to Cleveland. Let’s do that.’ But she’s really busy. She’s got a really heavy touring schedule and it didn’t seem plausible.”
Several months of phone calls, planning meetings and grant applications later, the Case Western Reserve University musicologist’s implausible idea has become reality, and a reality greater than even he imagined.
On Friday evening, Moor Mother will be joined on the stage of Gartner Auditorium at the Cleveland Museum of Art by Lonnie Holley, Lee Bains, and the Cleveland-based collective Mourning [A] BLKstar for a presentation Kluth called “Toward a Different Kind of Horizon, an extraordinary collection of artists who to varying degrees are associated with the cultural movement known as Afrofuturism.
Saxophonist Jim Snidero was born in May, but a January birthdate would have provided an appropriate mythological backstory for his career. Like the two-faced god who gave the month its name, Snidero’s alto saxophone style looks forward and backward simultaneously.
Perhaps that is inevitable for the native of the Maryland suburbs who, at 65, has aged out of young-lion status but is a long way from being considered a wizened master. When he returns to the Bop Stop Saturday, Snidero will demonstrate how a mastery born of more than 40 years on the scene can be endlessly refreshed by restless musical curiosity.
Philadelphian Nick Millevoi is best known for the post-industrial guitar grime of his Desertion Trio. Keyboard player Ron Stabinsky is one-third of the jazz arsonist squad Mostly Other People Do the Killing (MOPDtK), and every punk fan knows Derrick Bostrom as the founding drummer of the Meat Puppets. So it stands to reason that when the three come together as Grassy Sound Sept. 8 at Cleveland’s Bop Stop, they’ll be playing lounge music.