Friday, August 05, 2016

Half Cleveland Live at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

Once again, through the marvels of the intarweb, I was able to vicariously attend a gig by Akron, OH-based geezer hipsters Half Cleveland, in real time, this time via the Facebook page of Dolli Quattrocchi Gold, tech savvy bride of HC tunesmith-singer-guitarist-keyboardist Harvey Gold (who points out that her maiden name means "four eyes" in Italian). The occasion was an event curated by Devo founder/visual artist Mark Mothersbaugh, featuring Half Cleveland and their Rubber City homeskis the Numbers Band and Bizarros, at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. (Never been there, but I once ate lunch with a cat who was, at the time, one of the top people in that organization, at a Thai place where the server helpfully provided me with chopsticks while bringing the two Jewish guys at the table silverware. Fun fact: Thais don't use chopsticks. Was I being profiled?)

As is their wont, the boys in Half Cleveland -- the current vehicle for Harvey and his former Tin Huey bandmate Chris Butler -- opened their historically-minded set with a cover: in this case, Devo's "Uncontrollable Urge" (which I once played in a band in Colorado in the winter of '79-'80; what were we thinking?), complete with Devonian headgear (Harvey gets extra points for knocking his own off at the end of the song) and a guest appearance from Booji Boy (or his twin). They continued with a couple of as-yet-unrecorded numbers, and had Numbers Band saxophonist Jack Kidney join them on Harvey's "Your Side of the Room." (My note says "Roxy meets Diddley." You get the idea.) Chris took the mic for his newie ("Thief") as well as "This Isn't Just A Car" from his '97 outing I Feel A Bit Normal Today.

Biz was gotten down to with a Tin Huey mini-set that revealed the Hueys as the prog band hiding in the new wave bin, and included "Squirm You Worm" (which Harvey dedicated to Muhammad Ali) and their epochal cover of Robert Wyatt's cover of the Monkees' "I'm A Believer" (whew!). Half Cleveland next tipped their collective fedora to Chris' post-Huey successful (for a minute) pop band, the Waitresses. A long-service Rock Hall employee, Meredith Rutledge-Borger, stood in for the late Patty Donahue, singing "No Guilt (It Wasn't the End of the World)" and "I Know What Boys Like." She did 'em up fine, too. For Half Cleveland's final encore, Chris took the oppo to chide the Rock Hall (why is it that hearing this appellation always makes me think of Gang of Four?) for not having yet inducted the quirky Brit pop-rockers XTC, by way of introducing HC's cover of XTC's "Towers of London."

As one with limited opportunity to get out and see bands, this live streaming stuff is the best thing to happen to my eyes since VHS. Hopefully Dolli will continue to beam Half Cleveland into my living room until such time as they have another recorded artifact available.


Blogger kc said...

wonderful rundown & great review!

9:09 AM  

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