Video: Cleveland Hardcore Scene, Circa 1986

knifedance

Knifedance

In 1986, Brad Pedinoff (b. mossman) and I were paired to do a project for our ethnomusicology class at Oberlin College. Seizing on our shared interest in alternative music we decided to make a video of the Cleveland hardcore scene, with which I was familiar from growing up outside of Cleveland. We trekked into the city for the weekend and ran around town filming as much as we could. It was a productive 48 hours. We interviewed record store owners, fans, bands (The Guns, Spike in Vain, and Knifedance) – and filmed Knifedance in their practice space.

It was the first video either of us had made, so the filming and editing is rough — and it is somewhat awkwardly narrated from an enthnomusicological perspective. But it captures a moment in Cleveland’s music history that has received little documentation.

Since then, much has happened. Sadly, some of the people we interviewed died at young ages. Dave Araca, drummer for The Guns and Knifedance, a talented tattoo artist, and really nice guy, suffered a brain aneurysm in 1994 at age 26. Scott Eakin, guitarist for The Guns and Knifedance (and a childhood friend of Dave’s) died in 2007 of a heart attack at age 38. On the brighter side, Bob Griffin (Spike in Vain) went on form the band Prisonshake and to become the president of Scat Records, a successful label that produced Guided by Voices and My Dad is Dead among other notable bands. I’m not sure what became of the other people we interviewed. Please share an updates you have.

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Diary of Anne Frank String Quartet Documentary

Shortly after graduating from college in the late ’80s, I moved to Minneapolis where a number of my fellow Oberlin alums had migrated. Three of them (Josh Feit, Jeff Tolbert and Laura Harada) had formed a strange pop band that traded drums for violin and cello. Another (Barry Madore) shared an interest  in music and cameras, so we teamed up with the local cable station to make a documentary about the Diary of Anne Frank String Quartet. I finally got around to digitizing it and breaking it into two parts so that Youtube can handle it. The video features interviews with all the members and live performances of their wonderful, haunting music. (And, yes, some of the early moments in the film are intentionally silent.)

Part 1

Part 2