29th Annual Studio-A-Rama festival to host Black Angels, nine regional acts


Austin, Texas-based The Black Angels, who take their name from a Velvet Underground song, are on the verge of releasing their latest record, Phosphene Dream, due on Tuesday.

Rachel Craft, Staff Reporter

Tomorrow, WRUW will host its 29th annual Studio-A-Rama (SAR) festival, an 11-hour celebration featuring local, regional, and national musicians. WRUW (91.1 FM) is Case Western Reserve University’s official student radio station—although a considerable fraction of its contributors are alumni and other community members. It is not-for-profit, commercial-free, and entirely volunteer-staffed, and it operates 24/7/365. SAR is WRUW’s yearly outdoor rock concert intended to show the station’s appreciation for its fans, and to demonstrate its ongoing commitment to live, free, and local music.

SAR primarily features guitar rock music, although it is designed to represent a wide variety of styles within that genre, such as indie, pop, punk, hardcore, metal, garage, psychedelic, and noise. It has grown over the years into a popular Cleveland tradition, the last major event of the summer for many local musicians. Past SARs have seen anywhere between 750 and 1200 guests coming and going throughout the day-long event.

The show always features a national headliner (past years’ include Mission Of Burma, The Sadies, Enon, Guided By Voices, The New Bomb Turks, U.S. Maple, and Naked Raygun) supported by a number of groups from northeastern Ohio and the vicinity. This year’s headliner is The Black Angels, a dark psychedelic rock band from Austin, Texas that performed at New York’s All Tomorrow’s Parties Festival last weekend and is gearing up for a September/October tour in Europe. The Black Angels will be supported by nine other rock bands, including local talents Afternoon Naps, Prisoners, and Teenage Grandpa.

Event coordinator and host of WRUW’s “Night at the Movies” Steve Barrett says that this year’s is “definitely one of the strongest line-ups overall” of any recent SARs. It features several well-established local bands, as well as some more up-and-coming groups that already look promising. For instance, Fawn—a brand-new Detroit supergroup comprised of musicians from Kiddo, Von Bondies, Thunderbirds Are Now!, Child Bite, Javelins, and Nice Device—will be making its Cleveland debut tomorrow. Other bands include The Ethiopians (lo-fi/no-fi garage punk), Nick Riff (known for his riff-heavy psychedelic tunes), and Sloth (a blend of brutal gore-grind metal and Gallagher-style stand-up comedy, complete with bizarre costumes). The local/regional bands will serve as openers for the Black Angels, who will play from around 10:30 p.m. to the end of the night.

The show is free and will be held from 1 p.m. to midnight in the courtyard of the Mather Memorial building on Ford and Bellflower (or, in the event of inclement weather, the Jolly Scholar). It will also be broadcast live on 91.1 WRUW, and webcast on wruw.org.