Listening to the new self-titled album by young Cleveland export Cloud Nothings, we thought about how foreigners who've never been to Ohio might imagine it. We concluded it might look to them like a golden parking lot, and may in reality have a lot of ignored sweet spots and couch-slashing kids tucked in its folds. Turns out that even though Cleveland is the home of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Cloud Nothings' songwriter Dylan Baldi hasn't known his hometown as a well-loved music capital in his lifetime. In spite of this, he's got a spiritual connection to the city's musical ghost life (evidently Cleveland had an "answer to the Velvet Underground") that's still kicking on Geocities web pages. To share it, Baldi's compiled a half-hour mix that plays like a 7-inch sampler of the local weirdo ’70s and ’80s party scene that "was fragmented and small, with shows that were sparsely attended at best." We come from another mid-capacity city/town that was kind enough to its punk freaks 20 years ago—there's a movie about it. The subcultural lives of places like this may be neglected and uncool. But they may breed a unique understanding and particular confidence behind the mic among their own too, a legacy Baldi's new album likely benefits from. Cloud Nothings is out now on Carpark.
February 01, 2011