Mike Uva

MIKE UVA is a Cleveland-based songwriter and singer. He was born in Central New York and, after bouncing around points east, moved with friends to Ohio. He liked it (low-key, near the lake) and set down roots. He has worked as a cook, editor, writer, and court reporter.

Uva learned his way around a multi-track cassette recorder and self-released a number of albums on his own Collectible Escalators imprint. The online magazine Blurt described 2012’s LADY, TELL ME STRAIGHT as “smart, understated pop, couching wry observations in offhandedly catchy melodies,” and the record was named a “Best of 2012” by the Chicago Independent Radio Project.

LIGHTS COMING UP (2018) features MIKE ALLAN (bass), NICK and TONY CROSS (elec. guitars, percussion), STELIANOS SIMANTIRIS (telecaster), MIKE LYFORD (piano, elec. organ), and DAN PRICE (drums, noises). It was recorded at Price’s PRIMITIVE EARTH RECORDING STUDIO in Cleveland.

Limited-edition 12” vinyl by Cleveland’s GOTTA GROOVE RECORDS is available from mikeuva.com, local independent record stores, and at the LP release show at the Beachland on June 15.

From the shadowy shore of Lake Erie, LIGHTS COMING UP explores solitude, crime & punishment, light & dark, recurring dreams, family trips, and the 1993 Branch Davidian siege. A melodic mix of folk, country, and other, more nebulous sounds, 2018’s LIGHTS COMING UP was described as “unassumingly excellent” (Dusted). A mix of real and imagined, Mike Uva’s characters are tramps and loners, going about their day-to-day in America's new dark age. His songs will make you nostalgic for lives you’ve never lived.

Much of LIGHTS COMING UP is simple three-chord songs with a tunefulness that belies a dark humor. Uva describes them as “songs that sound good strummed at the side of a crumbling highway, two nickels to your name.”

On stage, Uva performs both solo and with a full electric band, and he has shared stages with Lydia Loveless, Sharon van Etten, the Avett Brothers, the Decemberists, and Cat Power, among many others.

** TOP PICK ** “Inspired and real. . . . LIGHTS COMING UP immediately stands out. . . . the same kind of cerebral long–lasting appeal as songs by other classic artists like Tom Waits, Ben Folds, and Leonard Cohen. . .” —Babysue

“. . . on the rare occasion that [Uva] releases a record, it’s really worth hearing and LIGHTS COMING UP is no different.” —Dagger Zine

"The clear highlight is 'Waco,' a driving, slanting, amber–lit time–capsule. . . . Like all of Uva’s best work, the song has an off–handed grace . . ." —Dusted

****

"Every couple of years, Cleveland songwriter Mike Uva tosses off an album of sublime jangle pop, tangled with wry, self-observant lyrics, melancholy chord progressions and encased in warmly lo-fi production values. . . . as catchy as Bob Pollard, as slyly subversive as Lou Barlow, as effortlessly melodic as Nick Salomon.” —PopMatters

“[Uva’s] songs stick around like old friends, their warmth, accessibility and unshowy intelligence always welcome” —Blurt

"You know that scene in Heartworn Highways, when all those guys are sitting around at Christmas drinking and playing songs and having a good time? LADY TELL ME STRAIGHT . . . is like the summer barbeque version of that scene. Wise and witty lyrics with the low-fi acoustic pop accompaniment. Mike recorded this with a handful of musicians, two microphones and an 8-track recorder. With songs this good you don't need much else." —Clocktower Nine

Istvan Medgyesi

Istvan Medgyesi is a working musician in Cleveland, Ohio. He plays somewhere between the dark heart of song in the tradition of the 1970's greats and the experimental urges of the seriously avant-garde. His work is urgent and immediate. One gets the sense that he's living the songs as much as playing them.

Performing on various acoustic and electronic instruments, listeners can hear the echoes of an array of musical traditions intertwined with modal explorations and occasional forays into noise and drone. From raga based acoustic compositions to random voltage generated melodies, the focus is on the unifying factors of sound and style.

Sleepykid

Four years after the Revelers' disbanded, singer-songwriter Andrej Cuturic emerged reborn from his suburban basement in Cleveland, Ohio as Sleepykid.

Dismantling the Revelers' Beatles-/Who-/Kinks-inspired garage rock and coming up with something new is easier said than done: sometimes you try ignoring Lennon/McCartney while still playing guitar and writing songs. It’s not easy--but Sleepkidy worked through it in the home studio and on-stage, with gigs opening for Spoon, the Lilys, the Apples in Stereo and the Brian Jonestown Massacre. The result: Monday Morning Smile.

Monday Morning Smile is not the complete reinvention of rock 'n' roll, but it is a departure from the three-chord cannon. Monday Morning Smile is quiet rock songs layered with strings and piano. Monday Morning Smile is bittersweet reflections. Monday Morning Smile is a hopeful step forward into the darkness of a new day. So all of you do yourselves a favor, and and go and put on a Monday Morning Smile!
credits
released July 30, 2004

SLEEPYKID is
Andrej Cuturic
Mike Uva
Jon Csicsila
Dave Swanson
Matt Charboneau
Chris Frohring
Chris Klasa
Frank Miller

$5.00

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