Cleveland is a much stronger music town. Consider:
Rocket From The Tombs
And if you include Akron (which is 45 minutes south of Cleveland) you can add The Black Keys, Devo and Chrissie Hynde. Good stuff.
Cleveland is a great place for food. It’s hard to pass up a bowl of pho noodle soup at either #1 Pho or Pho Hoa, a steamed barbecue bun from KoKo Bakery, the hash browns at the West Side Market Cafe, a pastrami sandwich from Superior Deli, a cup of soup and a hunk of fresh bread from The Souper Market, the chunky handmade chocolate bars from Lilly’s, the insanely good Lolita happy-hour burger or a chili cheese dog at 2 AM from Steve’s Lunch, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg…
Cleveland has all four seasons – a hot summer, a chilly winter, and a brief (but lovely) fall and spring. What you will need to pack will depend on when you visit, but I would make sure to bring tough boots (in case you want to climb around crumbling warehouses photographing the ugly beautiful urban decay – one of my favorite past-times) and a jacket that can withstand any weather. Layers are a good idea – a sweater for over air-conditioned places in summer or sudden winter freezes and a long scarf that can double as a shawl. Most of the more interesting places to eat, drink and visit in the Cleve are pretty casual, so you can get pretty far with a good pair of jeans and a cute pair of flats, but I always like to have something a little dressy on hand for shopping expeditions or just in case I feel like making my dinner an occasion.
I would also plan on renting a car – the public transit is adequate but not time-efficient, and taxis are hard to come by. Cleveland is not densely developed anymore – little pockets of cool things are scattered like an archipelago across the city, and even if you are a champion urban walker, you will be hard-pressed to get from place to place. It’s not a terribly difficult city to navigate by car, but you will want to get a good map. If you happen to visit in nicer weather, a bike is a good option – the Ohio City Bike Co-op rents some of their fleet.