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

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 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.


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 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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The Full-Court Holiday Press: Parties, Reunions, and Shindigs

15 12 2009


Some of you sitting cozily in Blogsville might have experience the rush and the push of holiday hubbub: rehearsing for a Christmas pageant, gearing up for Hannukah hijinks, finding new footie pajamas for the Baby Jesus, and the like.  Cooking, shopping, cleaning, and making travel plans seem to be inextricably tied to the season of Peace on Earth and Goodwill To All. Yeah, peace and goodwill can wait–we’ve got work to do! 

Likewise, the Beachland is rolling and tumbling through the prep work needed to insure that this year’s seasonal shows work flawlessly, like a certain mythological character’s sled.  We do the work, so you don’t have to.  Just lively up yourself and we’ll nice up the dance,  as Bob Marley and reggae greats Mitchigan & Smiley both wisely said.  Just bring your ID, your admission fee, and your cheer; we’ll do the rest. 

Mr Gnome CD release show, Friday December 18 

Though they’re based in Cleveland, this duo’s been slowly but surely acquiring a national buzz with spookily heavy albums such as Deliver This CreatureMr. Gnome’s newest release is called Heave Your Skeleton, which you can read about at the Dallas Observer

Mr. Gnome, “Night of the Crickets”

Music Saves & Square Records 6th Annual Holiday Get Down, Saturday December 19 

When money is lacking, let love be your commerce, says indie record stores Music Saves and Square Records. Hailing respectively from Cleveland and Akron, these two establishments put together a bill of fine young bands from their towns.  Akron’s Walkies bring to mind a lot of the weird beardo folk that’s currently on the zeitgeist’s holiday shopping list; on the other hand, their spiky guitar and banjo duets sound pretty cool: 

The Walkies, “Going Down the Valley”

 Yulesville Pre-Holiday Bash w/ Bears, Unsparing Sea, and a shload more bands, Wednesday, December 23What doesn’t this bill have? From Bears’ candy-flavored, buzz-worthy indie pop and the reptilian metal drones of the mysterious Terminal Lovers, this should have it all.   Dig the Japanese monster riffery on the Lovers’ “Mr. Astronaut Glenn”, and put those toys on your wish-list! 

If anyone asks, this show is sponsored in part by Beachland bud Cleveland Bachelor.

 7th Annual Old Home Night featuring California Speedbag, Kidney Brothers, Home and Garden, and Nicholas Deveney

Memories of Cleveland punk and new wave, grimy but drunkenly hopeful in the 70s and 80s, will belly up at the bar during this 7th Annual Old Home Night. OHN was created by a group of veteran bohemians–among them, the writer Michael DeCapite–who wanted to throw a very special party for ex-pats and current residents of our fair town who hailed from a time when the underground was freshly dug.  Tonight we’ll have an apperance by cowpunk pioneers California Speedbag, avant-lords Home and Garden, the Kidney Brothers (from The Numbers Band), and if you’re not careful, you might see a Pere Ubu or Dead Boys member floating around. Good times, great memories, such as this of CLE punks Numbskull tearing Sabbath’s “Supernaut” to ribbons at the old Variety Theatre (still there on Lo-rain Road!): 

 Cowslingers Reunion Wednesday December 30

If Old Home Night isn’t proof enough that “Cleveland punx not dead”, this two-night stand of total rock should convince doubters.  Rock N’ Roll’s a sure bet, solid as the Hope Memorial Bridge, unyielding as the Cuyahoga.   The Cowslingers were ambassadors for that aesthetic throughout Europe and the US, playing very fast and very loose with sounds pioneered by Link Wray, X, Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, and other immortal troublemakers. Here’s the kind of trouble the Cowslingers caused, shot at the Beachland many years back (note the difference in decor): 

After their breakup, the ‘slingers formed different bands, such as the Whiskey Daredevils and Jack Fords.   Yet the demand for that special Cowslinger brand of fun never wavered; in fact, tickets are flying out the proverbial door for this near-New Year’s humdinger with Lords of the Highway. ACT NOW. 


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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 (

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

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.


This Saturday: Big Sandy vs. Devo

27 08 2009
Big Sandy and the Fly-Rite Boys, this Saturday

Big Sandy and the Fly-Rite Boys, this Saturday

Ah, as the sleepy rains that announce fall’s advent bathe our sweaty, summery selves, we look forward to another weekend on Waterloo. In our last post we told you about the Walk on Waterloo party that’s going on tonight (Thursday) and this weekend’s Cracker-bash (which has gotten more press care of the Cleveland Scene).

This time around, we’ll point you in the direction of the seemingly unstoppable Big Sandy and the Fly-Rite Boys, who’ve been brandishing their wild Western swing and rockabilly blend for close to twenty years now.  Look, this Saturday night gig isn’t straight kitsch–although, we could use to redefine that oft-abused term.  Cornpone, maybe? But holding hands, falling in love, feeling like you’re over the moon, and dancing are kind of “corny”, aren’t they?

We’re through being cool.  If you are too, we suggest you toss yourself willy-nilly into Big Sandy’s pool of timelessly written/arranged/played 40s-50s music:

Now, if you are truly through being cool, there’s always the DEVOtional 2009, which will be happening the very same night as the Big Sandy show. Surely a match-up of Big Sandy playing “Through Being Cool” by the famed Akron punks would be great.   Now there’s a concept: Devo rendered in rockabilly grease?  DEVOtional 2009, in the Ballroom on Saturday night, will certainly have folk renditions of Devo, electronica renditions of Devo, Devo-oriented food, and more Devo than even the voluminous Beachland basement can hold.

Big Sandy and the Fly Rite Boys will be in the Tavern; Devotional 2009 in the Ballroom, this Saturday.  For more info, go to


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This Tuesday Night: Those Darlins / Alan Madej / Real Dogs

13 07 2009
Those Darlins - this Tuesday

Those Darlins - this Tuesday

Here’s a heads-up, hot stuff:   If you’ve been following the solo trajectory of a certain Dan Auerbach, you’ll find that he’s been playing time and again with a group called Those Darlins.  That’s when he’s not putting in hours with a little duo from Akron by the name of The Black Keys.

Those Darlins throw in a little more sass and pizzazz than your average folk rock trio.  Maybe it’s because they’ve got a little more style? Yet, they’re not leaning strictly on gimmicks.    Is it the unforced push and pull of their songs? Is it their thrilling harmonies, and thumping guitar?

You decide.  And when you’ve made that decision, come round Tuesday night for Those Darlins / Alan Madej / The Real Dogs

And keep coming ’round this blog, too.  BIG NEWS awaits.  Seriously.

 “The Whole Damn Thing” (from

“Who’s That Knockin’ At My Window” ( session)

“Drivin’ Nails Into My Coffin”

For this and other shows–as well as to purchase tickets–go to


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Wed July 8: Dave Alvin & The Guilty Women; Everyday Visuals

8 07 2009
Dave Alvin, from his days in The Blasters

Dave Alvin, (from his days in The Blasters) TONIGHT @ Beachland

By the time some of you 9 to 5ers get done with work, you’ll be checking your blog feeds and your Facebook posts.  So we at the Beachland take this time to invite you to tonight’s very special Dave Alvin and the Guilty Women show in the Ballroom.  Here’s a video of what Dave and his cohorts will have cooking tonight:

That, friends, is some fine American roots rock!  And for you fans of Alvin’s old band, The Blasters, here’s those boys tearing through their classic, “Marie, Marie”:

If you’re feeling more indie-rock tonight, we have The Everyday Visuals, whose video “Dance And Holler” is one of the best we’ve seen in quite some time:

Opening this Tavern show are very special guests Tinamou, from Cleveland.  Here they are, sharing some musical insight with video interview on

Tickets are available at, or by calling 216-383-1124.