Cleveland is gearing up for one of its biggest local shows as garage rockers Ottawa prepare to release their debut album, Random Lights, this Friday at the Beachland Ballroom. Joining them for the evening are some of Cleveland’s finest musicians–Press Play alums Johnny La Rock & Furface, Midnight Passenger and Cities & Coasts, who provided this week’s Press Play. Cities & Coasts, whose album we previously reviewed, has a beachy, 60s vibe that we can’t get enough of! The band is Nathan Hedges (vocals/guitar), Tony Zaro (vocals/aux. percussion), Mike Drury (bass) and Mikey Gould (drums).  If you’re ready for a party that can barely be confined, we’ll see you Friday at 8:00pm. Don’t miss out!

PRESS PLAY: CITIES & COASTS – TRACKLIST & WHY THEY PICKED ‘EM:

1. “Your Ex-Lover is Dead” – Stars

Tony says: “I chose this song because there is such a classical influence laced alongside of indie pop that to me is a hard feat to pull off. Also having a male and female vocal really creates a solid relationship with the lyrics. I was able to see Stars at the Beachland Ballroom about 7 years ago and they’re absolutely fantastic. As a singer myself I try to value all aspects of singers, especially female vocalists. It’s cool as a guy to have male influences because well…you’re a guy, but I feel women usually have a stronger more dynamic range and that for me has always been far more influential. Hell, one of my biggest vocal influences is Bjork.”

2. “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?” – The Shirelles

Nathan says: “I love the simple catchy melody and background vocals of this song and the contrast of how happy the music sounds but somehow still conveys a much heavier emotion through the lyrics and vocal delivery. It’s no surprise that I am a huge Beatles & Beach Boys fan, but I was also a really big fan of the 60s girl groups growing up.  As a songwriter, in my pursuit to be a better writer, I wanted to find out who inspired my favorite songwriters, Lennon & McCartney. I read that Carole King was one of their biggest influences, so I looked her up. While researching Carole King’s song credits and realizing how many amazing songs she had written, I found out she wrote this song that I had heard so many times before. This re-ignited my love for the sound of the 60s girl groups, which still sticks with me to this day. Of all of Carole King’s songs and all of the songs from the 60s girl group era, this is my favorite song and in my opinion, one of the best songs ever written.”

3. “New Mistake” – Jellyfish

Mikey says: “I first heard of this group about 10 years ago at one of Michael Seifert’s infamous vinyl nights. Michael loved this band so much that we subsequently named our band “the New Mistakes.” Great harmonies and what always threw me for a loop was the drummer (Andy Sturmer) would play drums standing up behind a cocktail kit.”

4. “Power of Soul” – Jimi Hendrix

Mike says:  “This track is appropriately titled. It has soul and is extremely powerful. This recording is one of the last Jimi did before he passed. Lucky for us he was on his “A” game that night. Backed by Billy Cox and Buddy Miles on drums and bass, this trio steamrolls through this blues rock jam. With a pocket deeper than Warrens Buffett’s laid down by Cox and Miles, Hendrix is free to explore every nuance and sonic capability of his six string, and the outcome is incredible. Jimi was such a talent and it’s a real shame that he went at such a young age. Especially when he was  performing at such a high level towards the end of his career. I feel the world was robbed of some incredible music, but at least we have some of his genius to enjoy forever.”

5. “Stay” (live version) – Erykah Badu

Mikey says: “I first got into Erykah Badu when I was 11 years old. The first beat I ever learned playing drums was “Rimshot”. Though technically this is a Chaka Khan song… Her vocal delivery is Insane! on this song. Also the rhythm section holds down such an awesome groove.”

6. “Game of Love” – The Redwalls

Nathan says: “The first time I heard The Redwall’s was when our drummer Mikey introduced me to them while we were drinking beers and listening to records at his apartment close to 10 years ago. I remember being blown away at how cool and vintage their sound and songwriting was. It was so different from anything else out at the time, but reminded me of all my favorite bands and influences. I remember thinking to myself, “That’s what I want to sound like!” but I don’t think I had the balls or the band to try to be that different from the “mainstream” back then. I hope someday our record influences some aspiring musician to go outside their comfort zone and stay true to the music that comes from the heart, like this band reminded me.”

7. “Dissolve Me” – Alt-J

Mike says: “An ode to chemically assisted journeys through the mind, Alt-J do the title justice. Syncopated rhythms, textures of synth and guitar tracks coupled with cascading vocal harmonies make this a trance inducing slow burn of a song. The fact that Alt-J made the three different movements of this song work so well together is a testament to their studio sorcery as well. I am a huge fan of this bands work and am glad to see their popularity grow. I highly suggest picking up both their records, getting cozy with some headphones and exploring the sonic landscapes of this great track and the rest of their work.”

8. “Rano Pano” – Mogwai

Tony says: “I chose this song mainly because it’s from a predominantly instrumental band. I feel sometimes with vocals being the forefront of music the writing and movement of just the instrumentation get lost in the attention of vocals and lyrics. This song particularly creates such a lift and downfall it makes the listener pay close attention. The beauty of not having vocals is that you can create your own experience throughout the song. As a musician, it’s very important to pay attention to detail. Mogwai makes that detail blatant and loud.”

We hope this playlist got you jazzed for Friday’s show at the Beachland Ballroom. Doors open at 8pm, with the show beginning at 8:30pm. Tickets are available here.

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