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Cat Music Band Shirt
The owners and co-workers from the concert venue put together a band over the pandemic. It’s appropriately called, “The Owners.” WASHINGTON — It has been more than a year since live music shows took place anywhere. D.C.’s vibrant concert halls have tried to weather the storm to reopen when the pandemic ends. A legendary D.C. Music venue will commemorate the unhappy anniversary with a virtual concert put on by the owners themselves. A year ago, The Black Cat in D.C. Shut down because of the pandemic. Since then, its owners Dante and Catherine Ferrando spent the last year balancing the books and applying for grants to make sure the venue can reopen. But, they also spent the time doing something else–playing music. The couple joined with friends and co-workers to start their own band. Its appropriately named, “The Owners.” On the anniversary of the day the club’s doors shut, The Owners will have a virtual performance from inside the Black Cat. It is at 8 p.M. On March 12 and streaming on the club’s YouTube channel. The band said through the uncertainty of last year, they made something positive: music. “One of those sorts of silver linings of this whole epidemic that I’ve had Cat Music Band Shirt time to do something like wanting to do for a long time and have a chance to do since I was a kid,” singer Catherine Ferrando said. “So it’s been really fun. A great creative outlet,” Catherine added. In addition to working at The Black Cat, all four members are veterans of the D.C. Music scene. They’ve each played in various bands for years. But, this is the first time they sat down to play together in a long time. The Owners are, Dante Ferrando on drums, Catherine Ferrando on vocals, Al Budd on guitar/vocals, and Laura Harris on bass/vocals. If you want to see the concert click here. Cleveland Still Rocks Cleveland’s Coventry Village, a neighborhood lined with vintage shops, restaurants, and bars was once the hippest area in the city. Located in leafy Cleveland Heights on the city’s east side, the once-bustling area has been quiet since the pandemic hit. Few more so than one of the area’s few constants: independent music venue The Grog Shop.
Nestled between a movie theater and coffee shop, The Grog Shop’s exterior makes you think you’re entering a restaurant or café, not one of the best concert venues in the Midwest. It can go toe-to-toe with such other regional tastemaking venues as the Empty Bottle in Chicago and Magic Stick in Detroit. Yet once the door swings open and you pass security, it just feels like a music oasis. Dimly lit with sticky floors and a barely-above-ground stage, The Grog Shop captures the essence of what a great music venue should be. The first step to stardom First opening its doors on the other end of Coventry in 1992, The Grog’s history is power-packed with artists on the brink of superstardom playing its stage. Oasis performed there on their first North American tour in 1994 and the hits just kept on coming: Elliott Smith in 1997; a babyfaced Conor Oberst took Bright Eyes there in 2000 as did At the Drive-In; Cat Music Band Shirt a memorable Bob Mould show in 2008 where 50 people braved a blizzard to see the former Hüsker-Dü frontman perform; and during a three-year stretch on Thanksgiving from 2008-2010, the venue hosted a murderer’s row line-up of regional hip hop powerhouses Kid Cudi, Wiz Khalifa and Machine Gun Kelly. An on-the-brink Bruno Mars played there in 2010. Walking into The Grog, it’s eerily quiet and when you look up, its concert calendar from March 2020 remains on its upcoming shows listing, adding a different ominousness.
With its 420-person standing room capacity, the room has the rare balance of being at once intimate and spacious. On a cold winter afternoon, owner Kathy Blackman, a petite energetic middle-aged woman with long curly black hair, who has been the club’s owner since its beginning, should be directing her staff to prep for the night’s show: making sure the sound is dialed-in, the bar stocked and merchandise ready as bands file in ahead of the crowds. But this is the era of COVID, and only Blackman and venue manager John Neely is around in the venue’s office. The duo is working on booking shows for fall 2021 and early 2022, waiting, like the rest of the music world, for a time when things will go back to normal. As the spring became summer, fall, and now winter, and with another spring on the horizon, Blackman quickly adjusted. Cat Music Band Shirt She’s managed to buckle down and keep costs and utilities tight while planning for the time when bands will hit The Grog stage again. Prior to the pandemic, The Grog was a self-sustaining entity: cost-wise, the little things would never have been a consideration. “I obviously paid all the bills and did all that, but you never think about, ‘Oh, my God, how, what exactly do I need to make this month.’ I’ve never lived that way,” Blackman says. As the pandemic wore on, she had to pare down expenses to the bare minimum. The venue’s cable, phone, and partial internet, waste removal have been cut down to a fragment of what it was.