Signs of spring

| March 30, 2011

It’s March 30, and it snowed. Just a few inches, but still. Goes against what I’m doing, which is reviving, getting a full head of steam: writing for Lodging Hospitality again, rejoining the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra board (there are some wrinkles to work out) and producing a lot for ohioauthority. I’m also developing a proposal […]

Getting better all the time

| January 29, 2011

I went to a show at Beachland Ballroom Jan. 22 that made me think there are second chances, ways to start all over again. It starred the Hesitations, a nine-piece soul group from Cleveland’s 1960s. The singing Hesitations are in their 60s and are prime exponents of Northern Soul, a variant of Motown with a […]

Music 2010 and before

| December 30, 2010

I didn’t want the year to end without mentioning the Horse Flies, an upstate New York band I’ve been following for 20 years. The band played at Beachland Ballroom Dec. 17 and generated a gang of encores. They worked through material from “Until the Ocean,” their latest album, and they’re beginning to focus on a […]

Random thoughts

| November 7, 2010

Musings of a peripatetic thinker. Ponderings without a point. Catching up. Intellectual laziness. Call it what you will, I figure I should capture some mind wanderings, given the week past, last night’s entertaining Cleveland Jazz Orchestra concert “The Cleveland Scene,” and upcoming travels. I’ve never been great at headlines. I’m depressed about the elections, though […]


| August 29, 2010

August has been an important month. The key events: I severed my ties with the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra following a process that resulted in my feeling I no longer could contribute to the board, and we delivered Katy to the University of Colorado at Boulder. The CJO decision continues to weigh on me, and I’m […]

Over too soon

| July 31, 2010

Haven’t written anything for my blog it seems like forever, and it’s the end of the month, a change. July was hot, indeed. It was also great: I can’t remember a nicer summer in Cleveland, which is indeed getting warmer. But this evening there’s a coolness, a dryness absent all July, suggesting fall is in […]

Lylah goes worldwide

| July 9, 2010

My daughter, Lylah Rose Sandstrom Wolff, has her first global photo credit. It’s a picture of me that she took in New Orleans in January, in color. Slacker genius that she is, Lylah decolorized it, giving it a gritty, black-and-white treatment. It’s not permanent—I believe in updating, at least seasonally—but it’s cool. It’s on page […]

Cleveland rocks again!

| June 11, 2010

Yes, that’s a cliché, but Justin Carr has given it new life with a 17-minute DVD about Cleveland’s role in rock. In it, I talk about the city and its rock tradition, along with Rock Hall head Terry Stewart, legendary promoter Mike Belkin, and Billy Bass, a remarkable DJ known for his farsightedness at WMMS […]


| March 29, 2010

I just started Week Two of mental stimulation marked by seeing six movies at the dazzling Cleveland International Film Festival, a great, too-short concert by John Zorn’s Masada Sextet (here’s my preview) and, this morning, reading “Atomic Age,” Martin Benjamin’s first, long-overdue book of photography. Karen and I went to the film festival for the […]

Rock lives

| March 7, 2010

In rock ‘n’ roll, comebacks are by no means a sure bet. Some bands never go away, even when they should, like the Stones and the Who. Some go acoustic and minimal, like Ray Davies of the Kinks. Others devolve into their leader, like Roky Erickson, whose 13th Floor Elevators yielded the barbed-wire breakup song, […]

About the author

I'm a veteran critic and business writer who reads and listens and writes about music, books, hotels and travel. I've been in the business for many years and still enjoy it. My pride and joy is my book, Cleveland Rock & Roll Memories. Follow me on Twitter: