“Helm & Anchor”—Seafair
Fusing the beauty of chamber strings with the grit of garage rock, Seafair are one of Cleveland’s best and brightest talents. “Helm & Anchor” is a musical rollercoaster that capitalizes on every ounce of the group’s diverse musical talent. Spinning the gorgeous vocals of Chayla Hope with strings and a galloping riff, this tune is a transfixing medley of tempos. Seafair will perform at the Happy Dog at the Euclid Tavern with Worship This! and Ledges on Feb. 27. Tickets are $8 and doors open at 8 p.m.
“Guilt Tripping”—FrnkIero andthe Cellabration
Stomach pains have always plagued My Chemical Romance’s Frank Iero, but in 2012 they became drastically worse. Choosing to pit his musical creativity against his illness, Iero set up a basement studio to record his new album, “Stomachaches,” a record born purely from physical frustration. “Guilt Tripping” is one of the album’s most compelling tracks, blending the spontaneous charm of a homemade record with the finesse of an alt-rock veteran. Iero will appear at the Grog Shop on Feb. 27 in support of “Stomachaches.” Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and tickets are $15.
“Pay Attention”—Colleen Green
Colleen Green is back with her latest offering, “I Want To Grow Up,” available Feb. 24 on Hardly Art Records. “Pay Attention” is the first single off that album, providing a sweet brand of introspective punk pop with the help of band members from JEFF the Brotherhood and Diarrhea Planet. “I can’t hold a conversation,” sings Green. As long as she can craft pop ditties like this tune, she won’t ever need to.
It’s tempting to label the return of Blur after more than a decade as the return of Britpop, but the sad truth is that bands like Blur are unlikely to dominate the mainstream with Oasis as they once did. Whatever the case may be, it is a treat to hear Damon Albarn and company back in the game. The group’s new single, “Go Out,” is as captivating a piece of syncopated guitar rock as one is likely to hear this year. Look for it on “The Magic Whip,” due out April 27.
In their second proper LP for Sub Pop Records, Stasia Irons and Catherine Harris-White present a compelling entry into the modern R&B, hip-hop and emerging Afro-futurist canons. “EarthEE” is not an immediately gratifying listen, but the all-around sonic richness of this track is undeniable. “EarthEE” is available Feb. 24.
Retro Pick of the Week:
“Night Flight”—Led Zeppelin
On Feb. 24, Led Zeppelin’s “Physical Graffiti” turns 40: a milestone birthday for one of rock’s most sprawling, ambitious and perhaps still underappreciated albums. Every element of Zeppelin’s mammoth influence is present in full force on songs like “Night Flight,” a tune that showcases the softer side of these heavy metal pioneers. Albums like “Physical Graffiti” are the reason rock music has survived for over four decades and the reason that listeners will continue to find Led Zeppelin compelling forever.
Teddy Eisenberg is a third-year programmer at WRUW-FM 91.1 Cleveland. He hosts The ’59 Sound, an exploration of rock music, every Thursday morning from 8-10 a.m. and co-hosts the variety talk show Max and Teddy in the Morning at Night (Sometimes) on Mondays from 5-6 p.m. The crackle of vinyl warms him on cold Cleveland nights.