Nicole Delamotte


Written by Nicole Delamotte.

Record Rendezvous, Scene Magazine

Scene Magazine

Cellar Door Cleveland at its heart, is an amalgamation of musicianship, promotion, arts writing and much more. The Markerts, who operate the arts space and store from their loft on East 40th Street and Payne Avenue, are flanked by writer Nikki Delamotte and co-founder Rick Fike, who now finds himself working out of Massachusetts. Other writers contribute to the blog, as well, fleshing out the wide array of coverage.

Delamotte brings her excellent writing to the blog, where she highlights local hot spots like the new pop-up Cleveland Flea, offers sharp takeaways on some of the area's finest artistic events and showcases kick-ass local music — as in a recent interview with Rendezvous performers So Long, Albatross

Via Delamotte's outreach work and the rest of the blog, Cellar Door collects more than a decade of personal brand history and distills it into the present day, which, to reiterate, is an exciting time to be getting into local Cleveland music. - Eric Sandy



5 Songs, The Cleveland Plain Dealer

Nicole in The Cleveland Plain DealerThis was part of a new series in the Plain Dealer where four locals are asked to submit two songs to a playlist then asked to submit their comments, critiques, and social commentary on the entire playlist. The panel included:

Ryan Kelly, Seafair

Jenna Fournier, NIGHTS

Charles Hill Jr., solo artist and Spacer Aces

Emmet Smith, Plain Dealer Pop Critic


Part one of the series / Part two of the series

Curating The Pop Soundscape: EMP Conference Examines The Role Of Music In Cleveland

Written by Nicole Delamotte.


Over the weekend of April 12-20, I attended the EMP Pop Conference at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum and recapped the event for The GRAMMYs blog. You can read it in entirety below or on {here}.

Curating The Pop Soundscape: EMP Conference Examines The Role Of Music In Cleveland

(Launched by the Experience Music Project in Seattle in 2002, the EMP Pop Conference is designed to convene academics, critics, artists, and fans in a collective discussion. This year's EMP Pop Conference took place April 17-21 in Seattle, Cleveland, Los Angeles, New Orleans, and New York.)

The very opinionated public notions about how we should preserve and honor the roots of pop culture are a reality the staff of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame faces every day. In the museum's inaugural hosting of the Cleveland installment of the EMP Pop Conference April 19–20, scholars and fans gathered to discuss, debate and sometimes dismantle how we curate the popular music standard and its potential to shape a city.

It was a weekend spent tracing the way we retell the stories of songs that have transcended generations and the uncertain future of the digital age. That means deconstructing the use of Public Enemy's "Fight The Power" to teach social force or tracking the evolution of blues from Muddy Waters to Adele, explained Rock Hall education instructor Kathryn Metz, and examining how Pandora recommendations, dueling online blogs and YouTube comments influence our tastes. And with the advent of a digital age, the floodgates of information have been opened to both rock archivists and casual consumers.

"We're not just going to preserve things in a dark room forever," said newly appointed Rock Hall President/CEO Greg Harris. "We want to make things accessible so you can take it further, beyond what we're doing."

Within the walls of the Rock Hall's recently established Library & Archives where the conference began with a tour, boxes of documents from the files of eminent punk label Kill Rock Stars share shelf space with those of Elvis Presley and indie 'zines sit snugly near vintage issues of Rolling Stone.

"The garage where people play music — the fan 'zine, the club, the street corner — those spaces of subculture have always existed in relationship to official institutions," said Northwestern University faculty member Michael J. Kramer, "and I think we can continue in our teaching to help our students think about those relationships without posing them against each other."


Misfits & Makers: A Year of Tales from Cleveland

Written by Nicole Delamotte.

A year of tales from Cleveland by Nikki Delamotte


Over the past year, I’ve had the incredible opportunity to help tell the stories of a number of equally incredible people through Cellar Door Cleveland, Ingenuity Cleveland, Weapons of Mass Creation conference, Brite Winter and the GRAMMYs.

To say the Midwest has a nation trying to tell our story for us is an understatement. This is a small selection of Clevelanders rewriting those narratives and redefining what it means to be from our city. Like all interviews, these started as local artists explaining their work but ended up teaching me about technology, race, feminism, comic books, punk rock landmarks, Cleveland counterculture, and the past, present, and future of where we live.


short form q&a posts for WMC Fest 2012 can be found here.

(Endless gratitude for letting me be a part – Justin and Allie at Cellar Door, James and Jamie at Ingenuity, Jeff and Jesse at WMC Fest, Tom at Brite.) All Cellar Door graphics by Justin Markert, all others by me.


AllGoSigns: How the Underground Art Event is Redefining Public Space at Arts in August

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Underground Art

Now approaching ten years of operating primarily below the radar, the experimental art warehouse in Near West Cleveland has spent the last decade producing some of the city’s most visually astounding projects. “When I first started, I was just trying to do that memorable event,” Karnak explains, “and the first people that I found that supported what I was doing was the DIY artist community. I wanted something that was positive and social, and the artists just came to me because I think they recognized that I was going to respect what they did.”

TurnStyle Films

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“I love Dag House because it’s so tucked away,” explains Nix on both filming and countless times bringing friends to the Cleveland landmark. “You get down this hill and it’s magical. Like Narnia.”

“The Narnia of punk rock,” Andrego cuts in.


Rob Sherwood

Rob Sherwood

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“That was every club I did; people came to look at freaky but not to pick on it, or make fun of it, or cause trouble.”

If the Kokoon Arts Club that Bal Ingenieux is inspired by marked a turn-of-the-century bohemian art community, Sherwood may have been their reincarnated hero of the new wave underground. “But the people who came to support me on a funky Tuesday night were ten times as cool as the people who came to the Saturday night party that was the big thing.”


Red, White, and Blueprints: A Rust Belt Documentary

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“I think having these people in a room shifts how we talk. The vocabulary we use is designed to alienate people that actually live in a city — acronyms, giant weird words, you can’t just call something a street. That’s an incredible misstep because we’re not simplifying this,” says Storey. “And how can you anticipate solving an actual problem that includes people without bringing people to the table? We can complain all day long that they’re not there, but we’re having meetings about meetings about meetings about meetings using code names and we’re so secretive about what we’re doing. It’s really problematic.”