Roots Rock in the ‘Summertime’; real Mothers (of Invention) for ya

11 02 2011

According to the ever-reliable Weather Underground site (home of some nifty, near-psychedelic graphics), it’s practically going to be summertime this weekend, people, with highs in the 30s. Get crazy! Doff that winter cap! Shuck those long johns! Hell, you might even turn off your infrared space heater and save some pennies in the process.

 

This Moment In Black History, Friday night. From Hillytown.com

This heat wave’s a timely one, too, as we have quite a bit you should come and enjoy. On our Facebook page, the Beachland and her friends have been chatting up this weekend’s  Walk All Over Waterloo: Valentine Day’s Edition. We weren’t quite keen on bringing up the “v-word”, but there it is, lonelyhearts, you can’t escape it, you might embrace it, and if not, there’s some cheap n’ easy fun to be had on our block.  This Friday night features The Davenport Ball (with CLE bands covering Black Sabbath, The Replacements, Wilco, and others) at the Beachland, The Waterloo Alley Cat Fundraiser, and a special apperance by This Moment In Black History at Arts Collinwood.  Think of it as a rugged counterpoint to Tremont’s ArtWalk, but with cheaper drinks, easier parking, and actual rock n’ roll.

 

Hoots and Hellmouth, this Saturday

If hoedowns and throwdowns are more your style – that is, if twang’s your thang – our entire Saturday’s filled with variations on roots rock. Our 7 pm Tavern show features Long Road, a bunch of serious local singers and strummers with their take on 60s-style folk. Long Road features cats like Ray DeForest, Kevin Richards, and David Budin, all of whom have played a role in Roots of American Music, a music and education non-profit.  At 10 pm, the Tavern gets grimier with honky-tonk, hillbilly, and hardrock compliments of The Not So Good Ol’  Boys with Detroiters Doop and the Inside Outlaws.   Meanwhile, Beachland favorites Cabinet rock the Ballroom with the energetic and magnetic Hoots and Hellmouth:

ZAPPATISTAS: Sunday night features the return of a certain Bunk Gardner to his native home of Cleveland, Ohio. He’s performing with his old Mothers of Invention bandmate Don Preston under the straight-ahead moniker of  “The Don And Bunk Show”.  If you know anything about Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention, though, this music will be anything but straight-ahead:

And here they are, much grayer, but without a single musical misstep:

Curious? Read this AllAboutJazz.com article on these two ex-henchmen of the legendary Frank Zappa, and come by on Sunday night for The Don and Bunk Show, with opening act Cuda, Renko, and Cuda.

We hear it’s going to be warm on Sunday.
EAS





Harvey Pekar Benefit, Saturday August 7th

2 08 2010

Unless you’ve been living at the semi-abandoned Coast Guard Station on Whiskey Island, you probably know that one of Cleveland’s great figures, Harvey Pekar, had recently passed into immortal curmudgeondom and enlightenment.  His death triggered not only mourning, but a sense of local pride and a renewed urgency in seizing the Cleveland summer in all its warm, joyful diversity.

In a sense, his demise–and subsequent recognition–couldn’t have been timed better.  Should such a dear soul exit this plane, at very least he should make a statment.  Recognition of Pekar–and all things good, gruff, and Cleveland–ended up overshadowing the Lebron James fiasco named “The Decision”, which had even non-sports fans holding their heads shamefully as James and his marketing team nationally hung us all out to dry.  “Screw him,” we said, “at least we had Harvey.”

Certainly Pekar couldn’t average a triple double per game.  But he and his work represented our culture’s gritty resiliency, more so than one of the NBA’s ballyhooed stars who folded in the post-season and cashed out.  Harvey wouldn’t have folded; though he definitely would have appreciated a healthy pay-out, like any good Cleveland workingman should.

To that end, the Beachland’s decided to help Pekar’s payout in the afterlife. To quote Beachland co-owner Cindy Barber,

“Okay, here’s the deal. Things are complicated in the aftermath of our friend Harvey’s life. According to his wife/writing partner Joyce Brabner  he didn’t really finalize a will, and there was no burial plot. So one Coventry do-gooder went to Lakeview Cemetery and found what he thought was a perfect spot, next to an old friend, but things happened and that ended up not working out….but now Harvey’s sort of moving on up and the urn carrying his cremated remains will be laid to rest close to Eliot Ness thanks to the Lakeview folks. Some friends have talked to Joyce about creating a statue of Harvey (hands in his pockets, shoulders shrugging no doubt), but she says it will have to be inscribed with “What Do You Want From Me?” There is indeed something very poetic and Cleveland about the idea of tourists in Lolly the Trolley coming by Eliot Ness’s grave, and finding out favorite homegrown curmudgeon. So Joyce is not broke of course, but cashflow is an issue and we want to help. We have this Saturday night open and are bound and determined to celebrate Harvey’s honest down-to-earth spirit and raise a little cashflow since he just spent time at the Beachland on July 3 when his pals Brave Combo played. This is not the official send off, but just an effort to lend a hand.”

To this end, the Beachland has booked friends Cats On Holiday, Yiddishe Cup, and a very special performance by Pere Ubu’s David Thomas on Saturday, August 7th at 8 pm. It’s a late breaking event, folks, so we don’t have all the particulars yet. Let’s just say if you’re feeling charitable, come on down, and either buy a ticket to this event ($10) or make a donation.  Updates will be posted on http://www.beachlandballroom.com, or call the club at 216-383-1124.

If you haven’t heard this yet, local NPR affiliate WCPN did an excellent feature on the life and times of Harvey Pekar.  Listen up!  Here’s an interview with Pekar about his passion, avant-garde jazz; and here’s a piece that sheds light on “The Pekar Project”, which deals with Pekar’s still-unpublished works.


What You Missed:

Not always the most up-to-date section, but hey, feel free to repost pics of Beachland shows you’ve attended on our Facebook account.  Or at very least, tag us, won’t you?





Drive By Truckers wrap-up, gospel singers, and lusty ladies

26 07 2010

gospel singer Naomi Shelton, Wednesday July 28th.

Last Monday’s surprise Drive-By Truckers gig, a very special treat after our Old 97s show and in lieu of the Tom Petty / DBT gig being nixed at Blossom, was the stuff of Beachland legend.  Here are a handful hastily-taken pics for your pleasure. The point is, you’re getting to see just how packed and how manic it was…but it’s also a testimonial to how much people not only love the band, but the Beachland as well.  If you’ve got pics of that very memorable night, find us on Facebook, and cross-post away!

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Our upcoming Wednesday offers another show that could also be legendary, not unlike our early Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings gigs.  Another artist on the Daptone label, Miss Naomi Shelton and the Gospel Queens, will arrive amidst great fanfare.  And they sure do deserve it, too. Look alive, and listen:

While you’re here, listen to this WNYC  interview with Miss Shelton.


Much less holy, but no less fiery, is Friday night’s Burlesque-A-Pades show, featuring the Pontani Sisters (who’ve played here before with Los Straitjackets), featuring other national performers like Kitten Deville, and regional performers like Bella Sin.


Naturally, we’ve got plenty more in the coming months, as we cast out our reel and pull up a nice, juicy August from Lake Erie: Sarah Borges and the Broken Singles, Russian superstars Mumiy Troll, and unstoppable Latin funk band Ozomatli. It’s all at http://www.beachlandballroom.com. We make it nice and easy for ya.

– Beachland





Friday: Zinmeister Parker at Arts Collinwood / Mountain Goats Film on Saturday

15 04 2010

Heavenly Bodies, a new show of work by Zinmeister Parker at Arts Collinwood

It’s easy to imagine the John Darnielle / Mountain Goats of 1995’s Nine Black Poppies translating into the Mountain Goats as they are now–an indisputably established musical presence that’s far outgrown the basic indie-rock label.  Darnielle still writes mini-movies, or mini-novels, if you will, that reel with emotional and metaphorical tension.  He’s kept this up with the latest Mountain Goats release, The Life of the World To Come, a series of songs based on certain verses in both the Old and New Testament of the Bible.  Accompanying this album is a performance film featuring cuts from this new album. It’s directed by Rian Johnson and features Darnielle in performance; it will be screened at the Beachland this Saturday at 1:15 pm and 2:45 pm.

As Popmatters.com writes, 

Certainly there’s more open love and affection to be found here than on We Shall All Be Healed, but one of the reasons Darnielle is the best American songwriter currently working is that he refuses to settle for the easy emotional beats in whatever story he’s telling. He uncovers the same desperation, doubt, and grace in Biblical narratives that he did in a squalid, shut-in house of meth addicts, because people in Darnielle’s songs, whether loving or hateful or outright psychotic, are always first and foremost human

And here’s a blow-by-blow analysis of The Life of The World To Come by blog Heavy Soil

This film screening is brought to us by our good friends at Music Saves. 

 This Friday, Arts Collinwood has a special exhibit by artist Zinmeister Parker entitled Heavenly Bodies.  This opening runs from 6 – 9 pm. Parker writes,

As a woman, as a  painter and educator,  my perspective is colored by my experiences in the world of academia and in the art world at large.  Some of the figures have dismembered or missing various body parts, which symbolize a sense of alienation or an  awareness of gender bias, an intransigent status quo  which has  existed in the art world historically and even today —certainly in terms of the number of exhibitions for women artists versus male artists in the major museums in the United States. The good news is that women artists will always pursue their commitment to making art and eventually with the passage of time and a little luck, we’ll have achieved an even playing field.

EAS





Comedy Night @ Beachland: Wednesday, January 27th

26 01 2010

This Wednesday, you’ll find ample laughs at the Beachland, with this grouping of comedians, local boys making good on the national scene. We’ll spare you the hype, and let some of their live work speak for itself:

Jim Tews:

Clevelander, and ClevelandYucks.com vanguard Mike Baker kicks in with a bit about his baldness:

Infamous comic Mike Polk discusses his least impressive work ever, most of which landed him in the midst of talk-show shenanigans:

Here, Polk bumps up his famous “Hastily Made Cleveland Tourism” skit (which you’ve seen, so we won’t post it) with a jab at TNT basketball commentator Charles Barkley:

Also on this bill are Ryan Dalton and Chad Zumock, who’ve both seen action on WMMS’ Maxwell show.

For more information, head to www.beachlandballroom.com.

EAS





Beachland Weekend, Cleveland-style

13 01 2010

  

In this ish of the Beachland blog, we keep up with the compliments, following from our New Year’s series of posts regarding the upcoming 10 YEAR ANNIVERSARY. Submitted by you, the public:  

As some of the others who have posted about their experiences, it’s very difficult to pick the best musical moment from my many visits to the Beachland.   I have never been truly disappointed with any show; I’ve always heard (or seen) something that made the trip worthwhile; sometimes it was an opening band that I had never heard, other times it was some of the, well, interesting people in the audience.  

One such moment does stand out- several of us went to the Tavern to see Rosie Flores and Katy Moffatt.  It was one of the rare two shows in one night bills.  Rosie and Katy were great (the shots of tequila we did with Rosie didn’t hurt that impression).   The second show was Chuck Prophet.  I was vaguely aware of Chuck from Green on Red, but was not familiar with any of his solo work.  Our original intent was to leave after the first show, since I believe it was a weekday, and we also thought we might have to pay for the second show.  When it became apparent that we were not going to get kicked out before Chuck came on, and seeing that he had a full band, along with a funky microphone from what looked like the 1940’s in addition to the more typical gear, we decided to stay.
What a revelation.  There is nothing like seeing a live act for the first time that is able to rise above the listeners’ unfamiliarity with his songs, and yet immediately get them over in a memorable way.  The band was tight, Chuck was engaging, and the songs were fantastic.  We stumbled out at the end of the night commenting about how it was just another example of the Beachland magic.  

I’ve been a believer in the redemptive power of live music since seeing Eli Radish in the front of a Chesterland shopping plaza at the age of 12.   I’ve never stopped going to shows, but there was a bleak period of time in Cleveland for roots music after the original Wilbert’s closed and the Beachland’s opening.  It is without question my favorite place to see live music, and I’ve been fortunate enough to go to plenty, both here in Cleveland and in other cities across the country.  

Since you are reading this, you are probably already a fan of the Beachland.  Make it your New Year’s resolution to drag some friends out to see some live music-you know who I’m referring to, the people who were once into music, but just can’t find the time or energy to get out to shows anymore.  I guarantee they will thank you later.   The Beachland and the other live venues in town are as worthy of our support as the other cultural institutions in our city- the museums, orchestra and theaters, all of which get more attention and public funding.  And, I would argue, the support of venues like the Beachland is more important to the 20 to 35 year-olds that this region desperately needs to retain, and to attract.
So, step out with your buds, and feel the redemptive body and soul experience of live music.  Music Saves, indeed.  God bless Cindy and Mark-here’s to another 10 years!  

Vince Slusarz, Gotta Groove Records 


 

There are SO many musicians who deliver an absolutely transformative experience on your stage, but hands-down, my personal favorite was:
 
Nick Lowe (acoustic)–It was in the ballroom, but it felt so intimate…like he was in a living room, singing to you, only.  And he has such an ease with a guitar in his hands…he is truly a master of his craft.
 
Runner up is Greg Cartwright.  No matter what he’s belting out, he really makes you feel it, too 

Karen Downie


Railroad Earth just sounds so wonderful in the Beachland Ballroom. I just love the venue. Great acoustics and all. But then of course I would love Railroad Earth if they were playing under a bridge. 

Mary Lynn Pirtz


 

Tonight, we’ve got one of our favorites, Alejandro Escovedo, who you might’ve read about on this very blog.   This Thursday, we’ve got the feisty pop of Sarah Borges and the Broken Singles, written about in Scene Magazine, and who’ve been in steady rotation on new Cleveland radio station 107.3 The Boom.  

Saturday’s a soul session, celebrating the birthday of Beachland co-owner Mark Leddy, with noisy blues breakers The Bassholes and northern soul colossus Melvin Davis.  Don’t be afraid of the dance floor, friends.  

 Pro-Cleveland blogger Cleveland Bachelor has helped us push this Sunday’s upcoming Rural Alberta Advantage / Buried Wires / The Octagon show, which you can read about HERE.  

As Bryan Ferry once crooned, “Don’t stop the dance”: even the coiffed and laquered Mr. Ferry might have to cut a rug at this Sunday’s Beachland Polka Brunch!  Co –sponsored by The Cleveland Style Polka Hall of Fame, the price of admission also includes a delicious brunch and a free polka dance lesson by world dance champion Valerie Salstrom from Get Hep Swing.  Polka’s a family affair, so grab the crew for a twirl and a tipple:  

EAS





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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