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 […]

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 […]

The elections

| October 23, 2010

Nearly two years into the presidency of Barack Obama, the country seems ready to backpedal. It looks Dubya Lite John Kasich will be governor of Ohio despite decreasing unemployment and glimmers of creativity. Rand Paul might be governor of Kentucky, Sharron Angle the senator from Nevada. The mind reels. The country—hell, the world—is rocky. England […]

For the record

| September 5, 2010

I’m on my way to the Detroit Jazz Festival yesterday to cover it for Jazz Times and the tire pressure warning light on my Scion xB is on. Car’s riding OK, but still. I try to inflate the tires myself, but I’ve never been good at that (I’m even less mechanical than my father was). […]

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 […]

Up in the air

| April 22, 2010

I’m off to Europe on a hotel trip today, back May 1. Didn’t think I’d go because of the Iceland volcano, but the Continent seems to have quieted down, and the trip is on. I’ll be in Brussels, Barcelona, Toulon, Marseille, Chantilly and Munich. More train than plane is in the plans; it’ll be interesting […]


| 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: