A Word from Beachland Co-Owner, Cindy Barber

30 12 2009

from Esquire Magazine's review - click to read

(reposted from the Beachland Mailing List. Sign up for it HERE and get weekly updates on our shows!)

“So it’s the end of ’09, the end of the first decade of the new century, and the Beachland is looking at its 10th anniversary in March. It’s hard to believe we’ve been doing this for an entire decade!

This year has been particularly tough. The Cleveland economy is not making it easy for independent stores, restaurants or venues like ours. Job cutbacks and forced furloughs make it harder for our longtime supporters to come out as often to see live music. But to all of you who have been so loyal, we thank you for every dollar you have spent at our establishment. There were a few times these past few months when we thought, “let’s just do our 10th anniversary shows and call it quits, this is too hard.” However, there seems to be a greater force at work, whispering in our ears that we will find a way. People have been coming out of the woodwork with both financial and emotional support (though we could always use more)! And we, like many of you, still believe in the healing and inspirational power of music.

Even though the music industry today is in deep trouble, there are so many redeeming points and we certainly had many this year. Highlights included Paul Thorn with his band transforming the tavern into a rapture, Brave Combo creating a frenzy of dancers and energy in the ballroom, St. Vincent pulling us all into her fascinating artsy musical world and the upbeat and generous Bootsy Collins sitting in with the Crop Bistro band when we hosted the Cleveland Food Rocks benefit in our parking lot this past summer.

We were proud to see acts we have watched from their musical infancy like Josh Ritter, Dr. Dog, Eli Paperboy Reed, and Trampled by Turtles, grow into major acts at the Beachland. We got to host old friends this year like Neko Case, the Bellrays, Jack Oblivian, Bonnie Prince Billy, Jon Spencer’s Heavy Trash (which was amazing by the way), both Black Keys’ side projects, Cadillac Sky (which now features Northeast Ohio’s talented David Mayfield) plus an almost instantly soldout Sufjan Stevens show (thanks Sufjan and Ali for that). We were able to present truly special concerts by elder statemen like Van der Graaf Generator, Os Mutantes, Hugh Cornwell, Magic Christian, Lonnie Brooks, Jimmy Webb, Big Brother and the Holding Company, Jonathan Edwards, and old school Detroit performers like Scott Morgan, Death and Rodriguez (who IS a musical shaman).

We were inspired by newer acts like Dent May, Phosphorescent, and Shilpa Ray. And got to see alot of personal friends of the Beachland like Glenn Tilbrook and the Fluffers (who even wrote a song about the Beachland!), the Sadies and the Waco Brothers, Fred Eaglesmith, Roger Clyne, Asylum Street Spankers, Holly Golightly, Raul Malo, Katy Moffatt, Lucy Kaplansky, Ronnie Baker Brooks, Chuck Prophet, Reigning Sound, Bill Kirchen, Southern Culture on the Skids, The Hi Risers, Joe Buck, The Hold Steady, Dale Watson, and Los Straitjackets (who were one of the first bands to start telling other performers about the Beachland in 2000).

And then there is all the wonderful local bands we’ve gotten to watch and support like Mr. Gnome, The Numbers Band, The Schwartz Brothers, Unsparing Sea, Afternoon Naps, This Moment in Black History, Bill Fox, Lighthouse and the Whaler, HotChaCha, Mystery of Two, Whiskey Daredevils, Uncle Scratch, Chuck Mosley, Hot Rails, Beaten Awake, and on and on…All in all it was a great musical year.

Since we’re facing a decade, we’d like to hear from you about a favorite show you saw in the last 10 years or a band you discovered at the Beachland…. send your tale to cindy@beachlandballroom.com and we’ll start putting your testimonials up on our blog as we move toward March and the anniversary. As we enter 2010, remember Music Saves is more than the name of our favorite indie record store! For that reason we hope to keep the Beachland going for another decade.”

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