Thursday, May 31, 2012

Thirsty Dog Beer Tasting — by Scott Recker

Akron-based Thirsty Dog Brewing Company is good at striking that perfect balance. They have bold beers that aren't overwhelming, fruity beers that aren't too sweet and high alcohol percentage beers that are surprisingly smooth. A company rep swung into Doc Watson's last night to present a tasting of their six flagship beers.

Labrador Lager - 6%

They take this classic German style seriously, even to the point of mimicking the water of the Dortmund Region. It's a smooth year-round classic that is perfect for casual drinking and complementing spicy food.

Raspberry Ale - 3.9%

Too many breweries mess up fruit-oriented beers. But I would imagine that is because it's hard to get a full flavor without making the brew too sweet. This one's certainly bold, but not in a bad way. Very light; very refreshing.

Whippet Wheat - 5.2%

This German Weizen makes one fine summer beer. With a refreshingly subtle banana and vanilla initial taste, followed by a subtly spicy finish that kind of dances around your mouth, this beer is very bold in flavor, without being a one-and-done type beer.

Cerberus Belgian Tripel - 10%

Here is the heavy-hitter of the bunch. Made with five different kinds of yeast, the alcohol content is as high as it can possibly be without freezing the mix or adding sugar. It has a mellow fruit kick and a bubblegum finish. And it's very drinkable.

Hoppus Maximus - 5.9%

A hop-loaded, bitter, carmel-flavored gem that's not too intense. I'm an IPA lover and, if you are too, this one's for you.

Old Leghumper

A dark, rich porter with a bitter/sweet coffee/chocolate taste that goes well with cake — or really any other sort of dessert. Like all good porters, it's incredible light for how dark it is.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

TCP's Lunch Break Live dishes out local music

Every Friday this spring the Toledo City Paper is hosting Lunch Break Live, featuring music from great local musicians while you enjoy a casual lunch. Here are some shots of last week's awesome set at The Oliver House where we saw What's Next perform.

Members of the band What's Next gave an awesome performance to kick off Toledo City Paper's
first Lunch Break Live event of the season. The band members include
Steve Steel (left) and Petr Karchenko (right) with guest artist Ben Barefoot on vocals.

Ben Barefoot on vocals.

A casual dining atmosphere in the Oliver House was the perfect setting
to break from the office and catch a taste of some great local music and food.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Concession Stand

by Jason Webber

A Separation (4 stars)

What It’s About: A traditional Iranian couple must make a difficult decision—leave Iran to pursue a better life for the sake of their child…and stay behind and fulfill their “obligation” to look after a family member with Alzheimer’s Disease.

What We Like: Wha…?! Subtitles? In Toledo? Whodathunkit? This winner of the 2012 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film may have earned director Asghar Farhadi one of those coveted gold nude bald guys, but it’s also given him an almost Salman Rushdie-like stigma in his native Iran by certain arts and religious organizations that find “A Separation” culturally offensive. One prominent Iranian critic said this film is “the dirty picture of the Iranian people that westerners are wishing for.” Don’t believe him. At a time when prejudice against Middle Easterners is still a serious social problem, “A Separation” is not only an enjoyable film but a necessary one.

Now playing at Rave Motion Pictures Levis Commons 12

Jeff Who Lives At Home (3 stars)

What It’s About: Jeff (Jason Segal) who—you guessed it—still lives at home in his mom’s basement gets thrown into a series of nutty existential-tinged screwball situations involving his older brother (Ed Helms) and his bro’s possibly adulterous wife.

What We Like: OK, here’s the thing. This film from the Duplass Brothers—the guys who did that “Cyrus” movie”—is fun. But the big problem with this otherwise enjoyable film is that it simply tries too hard. Not all the gags work and ultimately the character of Jeff is just another self-righteous, hipper-than-thou, poor-man’s Jeffrey Lebowski. At this point the Adorable Philosophical Slacker is a movie stock character…and he’s getting old and tired very quickly. Having said that, is the movie good? Yes. But it’s anything but groundbreaking.

Now playing at the State Theater in Ann Arbor.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

A three-day party, 12 bands and a chance to break a guitar. What else could you want?

by Scott Recker

Through the recent years, a lot of us have seen quite a few good bands at the Ottawa Tavern — and the thing is, we've seen 99% of them for free. (I remember when Vandaveer and Sean Rowe played at the OT — it was free, when every other stop on the tour was a minimum of $15.) Sure, it's done wonders for their business, but, without a cover, the band's pay comes right out of the venue's pocket, not leaving much for any sort of new equipment. And as what often happens in this community, someone stepped in. Local musician and graphic designer Brandon Scott wanted to give back, so this weekend — Thursday, Friday and Saturday — he is throwing a fundraiser/birthday party. The target: replace that ancient sound system. The event: Adams Sattler's Three Day Birthday Bender — Brandon's OT Audio Fund Drive; three nights of music, drinking, raffles, donating, booths and whatever other shenanigans you can get yourself into. It's all free; just contribute what you can to help these guys keep kicking out the jams. (Also, enter the raffles — a lot of stuff has been donated — and you might even get to break a guitar on stage).

"I've lived in Toledo since summer of 2010, a short time compared to a majority of my friends and peers that share the thriving music and arts scene along with me," says Scott. "From day one there has never been a shortage of hands to help out one another to accomplish their goals. I've been inspired by people — Jerry Gray, Ryan Bunch, Maxwell Austin, and of course Adam Sattler — who all take it upon themselves to propel each other towards excellence in their endeavors. None of those people waited for an invitation to do the great things they're doing. They saw how they can make a difference, coordinated a considered plan and took action. I want to provide this community with something that it provided me: A comfortable place and a hand whenever I want to get something done."

Here's the line-up:

Hemline Theory
The Leles

DJ What The Bleep
Black Book Theory
DJ Abyss

Prize The Doubt
The Forrest
Room & Board

For descriptions of each band and more details, check out the event page:

Here are TCP's Adams Street Sessions from two of the bands:

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

PeelanderZ Invades Toledo!!!!!

by Julian Garcia

Photography by Amanda Holman

Once again T-Town was invaded by the super hyper, super fun band of wandering Japanese-looking aliens from PeelanderZ on Monday, March 5 at Frankie's Inner City. And once again a large crowd turned out on a weekday night to make contact with the theatrical "anime-punk" group and not one soul in the room was idle. They must have brought down a contagious fun disease from outer space because unlike any other band that has come through Toledo, at least in recent months, PeelanderZ gets everybody to participate. The crowd was banging on steel drums, doing the limbo and collectively singing "E-I-E-I-O" to a punked-out version of "Old MacDonald" — and this wasn't necessarily a recreational-drug-infused festival crowd. Sure there was plenty of cheap PBR being sloshed around, but the main intoxicant of the night was pure wholesome F-U-N!

On his planet Peelander Yellow is handsome!

In the interview I did to promote the show (2/22/12 issue of TCP) with the band's leader, Peelander Yellow, he said their mission was to collect smiles, because his planet uses smiles as an energy source. Well, they hit the motherlode here in Toledo, perhaps because everybody seems so desperate for good time.

Another high energy Japanese band opened for PeelanderZ, they went by the anime-sounding moniker, Electric Eel Shock. I happened to just miss their set but everybody was buzzing not so much about the shredding style music, but because of their almost nude drummer. Sources told me at one point he was "helicoptering" and playing the drums with a particular lower extremity. I think the proof is in the pics below....

Yikes! Electric Eel Shock Drummer "Helicopters!"

One of the main features of a PeelanderZ show are the costumes. The performance heavily relies on their theatrical presence. Their tunes are the classic sound one would attribute to punk, so there is a good deal of three chord shredding and garbled screaming. However, behind trite lyrics like "Taco, taco, taco' repeated with audience participation, there is a clear sense of self-mocking and satirization of American pop-culture.

Peelander Pink proves "girls just wanna have fun!"

Ok, now bear with me as I attempt a conversational analysis of an otherwise silly NYC, Asian punk band. With their whole anime persona they embrace and control Japanese stereotypes—really they come out like Power Rangers. And their lyrics lovingly make fun of Japanese stereotypes of Americans. One of their more popular tracks is "So Many Mike" in which they point out there are a lot of people in the America named Mike. They even have a song to sell merchandise, "Get Glasses" which did sell a lot of fake Ray Ban looking PeelanderZ shades. Everyone seems in on the joke — and more importantly everyone has a blast.

But enough said about that. The audience really comes to PeelanderZ shows for the Giant Squid or human bowling. So the next time they come through Toledo on their interplanetary tours be sure to check them out for an extraordinary evening of careless revelry.

Giant Squids also make great bowling balls

P.S.—Rumor has it PeelanderZ will be back in Toledo this summer. Until then they have a big showcase show at this year's SXSW. Stay in the loop with the Toledo City Paper for more details.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Experience the syndrome

Phantom Limb Syndrome. One might think of something other than an a blossoming indie band about to take Toledo by storm, but get ready T-town — this new band is right on with haunting lyrics and soothing melodies. Phantom Limb Syndrome (Chris Antalek, Jamie Carlin, Justin Fuller and Matt Klein) recently dropped an EP that has local music gurus talking. Recorded at Little Elephant Studios, the four-song EP talks about great escapes and Indian summers, and let’s not forget the first track “Interlude In C Minor” which is surprisingly soothing with its electro-phonic tones. Phantom Limb’s album release party is Saturday (January 28) at 10pm at the Ottawa Tavern (1817 Adams St.)

Monday, January 16, 2012

Hundred year hall

It started as two rented rooms in the Gardner Building in Downtown in 1901, now the Toledo Museum of Art is maybe the most recognizable and world-renowned building in the city. It was a long road, with many generous donations along the way — most notably the Libbey fortune — but maybe the biggest stride was on Jan. 17, 1912 when people passed through the iconic Greek columns into the main TMA building for the first time. And since that means tomorrow is the 100th anniversary of those historic doors opening, it means one thing: we must celebrate. From 1-2pm in Libbey Court a commemorative ceremony — including a reading from a text by a person who was present at the opening —will take place with light refreshments, including a cake replica of the building.
"The building has become such a landmark, so it's important we celebrate the first hundred years," Kelly Garrow, director of communications, said.
Besides an extensive and exciting schedule of exhibitions and events, the TMA has serious plans of preservation in the next few years; cleaning and renovating the galleries, updating the restrooms and any other repairs that will increase the building's longevity.
"Our strategic plan for the next 4 years — our director calls it polishing the gem —is basically taking this 100 year building and cleaning it up the best we can."