MIXTAPE MASTERPIECE: Joshua Jesty
Justin approached yours truly about writing for this Mixtape Masterpiece series but the initial pitch I got from him was for music videos from great Cleveland bands. The problem is, Cleveland has a lot of great music, but I don’t know that we as a scene have really gotten the whole music video concept down. Certainly not me… I mean, I gave it the old college try but the fact that it didn’t go “chocolate rain” viral means that the video isn’t incredibly terrible or incredibly amazing, or you’re all still playing words with friends… which brings me to my next sidetrack- when are we gonna have a “Words With Enemies?” or would that only be about 20 words used over and over?
I digress. Since the Cellar Door folks demanded I share my favorite videos I combed the internet and I present you my favorite Cleveland based artists music videos
1. Nights – “Rosebud”
This video has a great visual feel to it and manages to compliment the song. I kept waiting for a wolf and some kung fu action, but thankfully Jenna threw my video treatment in the gutter after lighting it on fire… I’m kidding, she never asked for a treatment for the song because she knew better. Nights is really one of the only Cleveland bands I know well who go out of their way to create a unique visual/video stamp for themselves, all their videos are worth giving a look to. Fun fact: Jenna has no problems acting like Richard Nixon in background shots of other music videos.
2. John Kalman – “Little Baby Blue”
John Kalman is one of many singer/songwriters in this town that should be getting way more praise. I suppose I could name several others and if I was doing streaming music I’d be happy to point you to them all. I was pleasantly surprised when I Youtube stalked John and found this simple driving footage to one of my favorite songs of his. This kind of shows my ignorance, I’ve heard him play the song a handful of times over the years and I love it, but I’ve never thought to look for it online. Whenever I see the guy he’s never a shameless promotion machine like some people, (and by some people I’m referring to me ) so I never leave a conversation thinking “what a jerk, I should check his music out though”.
I guess what I’m saying is this song is great and I want it on my itunes about 20 times more than any U2 record. Fun fact: John Kalman had a beard long before it was cool… I think he’s had one since he was 4.
3. Marcus Alan Ward – “You Do”
Marcus and I just became twitter friends, and so I continue our exclusively internet based friendship by sharing this video to a song that I think is amazing. Maybe one day I’ll move the friendship to that weird uncomfortable “I’m looking at you from the back of the room at a dirty venue but you don’t know” level… but I don’t want to rush things. Is this getting awkward? Here, let’s watch some other people look awkward on tv.
4. Runaway Brother – “Blueberries”
Simple good rock and roll and binge eating is what this video is all about. If that’s not Cleveland then why didn’t someone tell me I was in Portland? See what I did there? I’m a treat. These guys are one of many bands that I didn’t hear of until I met the lead singer and we started arm wrestling. Fun Fact: the order of the bands on any rock bill is determined by who wins the arm wrestling match. So the Black Keys may be a great rock band… or they may just be really good at arm wrestling. I’d say get out and catch Runaway Brother live but I think they’re avoiding playing in Cleveland for a little bit until their new record drops.
5. “We Are Lebron”
I always appreciate when Cleveland tries its damndest. It’s kind of cute when we stop our bickering and our chest puffing out to admit that we function better when we all work together. Look at it this way, this video illustrates that when we come together and all push for something, we all don’t win… but at least we all don’t win TOGETHER.
6. The Most important video collection people in Cleveland don’t know about:
Alright, I’ve been my typical jerk self and rambled so I should make it clear that other than the Lebron video, I think the videos I’ve posted are great and I love the artists who are in them and you should too. There are a lot of bands I went searching for to see if they had videos, and some of it could be the rushed nature of my compiling, but I could find a lot of footage of those bands other than from this one Clevelander who I’ve met several times. He is awesome. I’ll keep his name anonymous for now as I’m not sure how much he wants to be known. He simply shows up to tons of Cleveland shows, video tapes the bands and asks them for set lists and permission to post the videos online. As a result this man has captured a significant piece of clevelands live history in the last several years. He’s got footage of so many great national, and regional bands as well as multiple performances from great local bands. No one band is given priority, just simply documented song by song with details of the club and date of each performance. It is spectacular and I’m grateful for kingofthecastle7 ‘s incredible and steady documentation of the Cleveland live scene and you should be too.
Take care of yourselves, and each other
Joshua Jesty isn’t the kind of name you want to google. You’d do best to just go to www.thejoshuaweb.net or www.joshuajesty.bandcamp.com
Joshua will have an EP release show November 14th at Mahall’s for his newest EP “Now is the time of our awkwardness” released by Old Greedy Men Records. It is the 3rd in a series of 4 Eps he has been working on and steadily releasing since last year.