Weekend Preview: Radney Foster, Asylum Street Spankers, Cleveland Bachelor, and more

19 11 2009

Radney Foster, this Friday

Country fans who read this blog might wonder, “Where’s the country?” Well, here’s our Beachland response.

Singer/songwriter Radney Foster, who’s written tunes for the likes of Sara Evans and Keith Urban, rolls up to Cleveland this Friday, November 20th.

Foster started out in the late 80s as part of the hitmaking duo Foster and Lloyd.  After their split, Foster kept his writing pen sharp, his feet in Nashville, and the hits a-flyin’.  Here’s a young Radney Foster, humorously chronicling his adventures in the music industry:

Foster’s  tunes have been taken to the charts, such as “Again” (Brooks & Dunn); “Somebody Take Me Home” (Kenny Chesney); and “A Real Fine Place to Start” (Sara Evans).   He’s got loads of other talented friends, too, such as the ones that attended his musical 50th birthday this past July.  Though Foster’s not playing arenas and touring nightly in high-tech tour buses, he’s still lucky enough to do what he loves, and lucky enough to have enough country fans to appreciate him. You might just be one of those folks, too.

Asylum Street Spankers, this Saturday

If the Asylum Street Spankers got any more ink, the makers of the Kindle would really have to start upping the ante. Paper would be practically gone if the Spankers were loved any further, and we’d all be thumbing those ballyhooed digital doohickeys instead of magazines. 

The reasons the Spankers aren’t filling stadiums might at least be twofold: 1. they’re an old-timey string band, and 2. they don’t use amplification.  Not exactly conducive to filling up Cleveland Browns Stadium–though we’re sure that big, drafty bowl by the lake could use some company these days. 

But the reason the Spankers are beloved by many is their buoyant sense of humor; their topical, sometimes raunchy humor; and their ineffable sense of swing. They’ve got songs about drugs, songs about beer, songs about right-wingers, songs about sex, songs about more drugs, beer…you get the idea. 

And sometimes they’ll have songs like this, the famed Muppets “Ma Nuh Ma Nuh” (or however you spell it):

Read a 2008 interview with the Asylum Street Spankers on the blog of Seattle radio station KEXP.  It’s informative, and you can always tool around the KEXP site, listening to great new music.  The Spankers play Saturday, November 21, in the Ballroom.

In classical Greece, a laurel wreath was presented to exemplary citizens of the polis (city) for the excellence in various fields: athletics, oratory, and the like.  We here feel that Justin Vaughn, who cheerleads weary Cleveland with his voluminously thorough Cleveland Bachelor blog, should receive some visible sign of merit. If not a crown of leaves, then perhaps a ring of Slavic sausages from R&D, down the road from the Beachland.

For Cleveland Bachelor not only details how to properly fun and frolic in our city, but also now helps curate (a fancy hipster term for ‘sponsor’, but without spendy advertising) shows at the Beachland, this Saturday the 2st of November, in the Tavern. Witness the debut of “The Cleveland Bachelor Show Of The Month”:

This show features the wildly eclectic Evangelicals (from Norman, Oklahoma, home of The Flaming Lips), Holiday Shores, and locals Mother Country Madmen.  Cleveland Bachelor does a much better job that we do exploring the bands on this bill, that we’ll just hand over the floor to him. Here he is, discussing Holiday Shores; follow his links, and you’ll hear Evangelicals take it over the top with ADDish prog rock that should appeal to Lips fans as well as late-night smokers still groovin’ on Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here.  This should be a good one to take meds to.

BLK TYGR returns to the Beachland. Photo: Lou Muenz (loumuenz.com)

While Evangelicals bend minds and ears with layering and wild arrangements, Amherst MA duo Matt Valentine and Erika Elder (known as MV and EE) go for a foresty folk drone that invoke Indian ragas, Celtic reels, and Appalachian hoedowns.  Now, run that through layer upon layers of effects, and prepare to get soothed.

What’s also very neat about this Sunday night show is the ‘return’ of experimental CLE duo BLK TYGR, which features Michael Pultz (host of radio show “Defend Cleveland”) and writer/musician/ “art hero” R.A. Washington (proprietor of ClevelandTapes.com)

This duo were active a few years ago, when the Near West Side jumped with short-lived venues like Inside/Outside Gallery and The Church, when bands like Sunburned Hand of the Man and Six Organs of Admittance seemed to practically live in Cleveland.  BLK TYGR maintains they never really broke up, but took time off to live life, make music, and eat a few sandwiches along the way.  When a group makes music this distinctive and indescribable, breaking up is damn near impossible.   Their sound isn’t solely a product of skill, but rather two singular personalities coalescing into one presence.

BLK TYGR, live @ Beachland:

Also on this bill is Brian Straw, one of Cleveland’s best singer-songwriters, who now fronts new group The Buried Wires. This show takes place Sunday, November 22nd.





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