Band still cooking in traditional Thanksgiving
By Charles Cassady
Published Nov. 23, 2005
a Thanksgiving tradition, the JiMiller Band performing a pre-Turkey
Day jam-music show that's dead-icated to the Grateful Dead. It happens
the Winchester Tavern and Music Hall in Lakewood.
"We were the first band in the Midwest to do the jam band and the
Grateful Dead kind of a thing," said Jim Miller, of Cleveland Heights
not about the JiMiller Band, but his previous outfit, Oroboros,
which he managed and fronted for nearly two decades. Now he's at
the head of the JiMiller Band, playing guitar and mandolin (along
with Rick Davison on guitar, Brett Miller on bass, Steve Scheff
on keyboards and drummer Fred Perez-Stable) to continue the tradition
of freeform, jazz-infused improvisation-heavy rock that was made
famous by Jerry Garcia, Bob Weir, Mickey Hart, Phil Lesh and - come
on, you can name them all, right? If "the Professor and Mary Ann"
pops into your head, maybe you've been to too many Grateful Dead
Jim Miller confesses to having seen the Grateful Dead perform live
55 times ("What a knucklehead," he says of himself). A few times
per year the JiMiller Band does an "all Dead all night" tribute,
featuring Miller time variations on famous Dead arrangements and
favorites. In a noble jam-band tradition, audience members will
be permitted to tape the show for their own enjoyment, but bring
some change for Cds of the JiMiller Band's own recordings, including
"Family Roots," "Not Necessarily Dead" and the recent "Rock and
Roll Always Do," which was recorded live at such Cuyahoga County
and Akron venues as the Rhythm Room, Peabody's and the Dusty Frog.
It is an all-ages show, starting at approximately 9 p.m. The Winchester
islocated at 12112 Madison Ave. in Lakewood; phone (216) 226-5681
for tickets and more information. The Web site for the band is www.jimillerband.com.
FRIDAY THE 13TH + 12: It's also a Thanksgiving tradition,
albeit one even further removed from starving pilgrims and generous
American Indians (who don't know what's in store for them) that
Nov. 25, is known as "Black Friday," the busiest and maddest shopping
day of the year. The trick to staying sane might be to go to just
one marketplace where all your needs will be met, rather than driving
all over town.
As a metaphor, let me present a unique night of entertainment on
Friday on the near west side of Cleveland that hits all the targets
at once -- movies, music, dancing, beer and pizza.
It's a "multi-level multimedia performance art and music fest solar
light show," or the Sachsenheim Ball, for short. Taking place at
the Transylvanian Hall at 7001 Denison Ave., its latest announced
lineup features the local bands Sultans of Bing (who also play the
Winchester on Thursday, Thanksgiving night, by the way - busy guys)
, Sano Ceven, Task Daze, Mifune, Smiley Baldazar, and DJ Xe La,
providing the tunes.
At 9 p.m. there will be a live display by the the Cleveland-based
experimental dance troupe SAFMOD (SubAtomic Frequency Modulation
OverDose), founded in 1991 in Ann Arbor, Michigan, by dancer Young
Park and percussionist Neil Chastain. They combine performance art
and avant-garde visuals and multimedia-technology with the spoken
word, hip-hop and maybe even some martial-arts acrobatics.
And in another room, you can view a double-feature of two locally-made
horror movies from the gore-crazed brother act of Andy and Luther
Campbell, of Kent, who made cinema art on video under the name Speed
Freak Productions. "Midnight Skater" is a comedy-thriller about
a slasher-killer of the "Halloween" variety stalking a college campus.
"The Red Skulls" is a $5,500 feature about a biker gang. The Red
Skulls, rumbling against their dreaded rivals, the Rats. The Skulls,
however gain the advantage when their drinking a strange brew turns
them into undead zombies. It's likely that both
features would be considered R-rated.
Plus pizza and beer, don't forget, as well as on-site video gaming
and a tavern-style bowling machine. Admission to the entire evening
costs only $10. That's probably the only bargain anyone's going
to find on Black Friday. You can phone (216) 651-0888 for more information.
Xela310 maintains a Web site at www.luvmotha.com,
while the Campbells promote fine art at www.speedfreakproductions.com.
SAFMOD's website is www.safmod.org.