Jane Scott Memorial at Rock Hall, August 28, 2011

30 08 2011

Jane Scott, hard at work

I was among the many speakers at the Rock Hall on Sunday, August 28 to honor and pay tribute to Cleveland’s legendary rock writer Jane Scott…I got through my prepared remarks but skipped a few lines under the pressure…so posting here as they were originally written:

 The very first time I bumped into Jane Scott was at the Rolling Stone Teen Club in Brookpark for a Bob Seger and the Last Heard show. I was a teenager seeking out rock and roll. There might have been 20 other kids there. To us, she looked out of place. But what I learned was that Jane never was out of place. Like so many of you, over the years, I encountered that silly giggle of Jane’s in countless situations. When I worked for MCA Records, Jane would saunter in in her white gogo boots to listen to some advance release in Mr. Green‘s office. And all the girls in the order dept would whisper, Jane Scott’s here. At some point in our friendship, I got to be on her annual Christmas party invite list and join the inner sanctum, and it was a huge thrill going there the first time, seeing pictures of her with famous rockers scattered about her small apartment with her collection of scarves and cool hats. And like a polite hostess she always introduced you to everyone in the room.

To me that’s symbolic of what Jane did for an entire generation. Jane stood as the fearless observer, notebook in hand, really listening, and telling us all the behind the scenes stories of every performer’s life, which made us want more. And she also reached behind her, turning to ask the audience what they thought, wondering who these kids were showing up to listen to that crazy Persecution Smith song, validing our right to assemble at the alter of rock and roll.

Today, when I look back at Jane’s style, she was sort of the newspaper equivilant of Facebook wasn’t she? But she encouraged you to leave your house and find the front of the stage. The first t-shirt we made at the Beachland I had Derf create a cartoon scene of some rocker on our stage shouting out Hello Cleveland, like so many of them do, but I asked him to specifically put an image of Jane standing right in front of the action. The thing I hope we always remember, and that we find a way to pass on in this city, is her undying dedication to live music.  Just put a peanut butter sandwich in your purse or in your pants pocket…and go. –Cindy Barber





It’s A Vintage Weekend: Roy Loney (from the Flamin’ Groovies); The Hesitations

18 01 2011

Roy Loney, former Flamin' Groovies frontman, this Friday

Hello, Cleveland and Parts Beyond!  It’s been a while since we’ve utilized our Beachland blog, as we’ve shifted the heavy online PR lifting to social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.  We’re saving this blog space – and your precious time and attention – to shows we feel are truly special and worth more than a quick post or tweet.  This Friday and Saturday are filled to the brim with great musical acts – Roy Loney, from legendary 70s rockers The Flamin’ Groovies, and Cleveland soul group The Hesitations – that you couldn’t really see anywhere else.  So we’ve taken the time to get you hip to the sounds that are going down this weekend!

In many circles, Mr. Roy Loney needs no introduction. But to many others, he seems like a footnote in the annals of rock and roll.  Fortunately for Loney neophytes, we’ve got some Cleveland friends helping us tell the story of Loney and his band, The Flamin’ Groovies.  Former Mirrors drummer and CLE alum Michael J. Weldon shares his insights into Loney via the site for his shop, Psychotronic and Mia’s Bead Shop, which sells a wide variety of far-out rock and roll collectibles.  Please note that this is a thorough interview with Loney , so make sure to settle in a comfy chair!  http://www.psychotronic.com/psychotronic-interviews/roy-loney

Loney as new waver

For those of you readers pressed for time, here’s a quote from the Flamin’ Groovies’ bio, provided by the ever-essential Trouser Press, that sheds light on these San Francisco forerunners of punk, roots rock, and DIY record labels:

Starting out in San Francisco as early as 1965 (actually predating the Grateful Dead!), the Flamin Groovies were always out of step with the rock world. Ten years before bands routinely released their own independent records, the Groovies issued a 10-inch mini-album, Sneakers; in the ’70s, when that same do-it-yourself spirit was inspiring countless innovative bands to try and challenge the old boundaries, the Groovies retreated to make albums of beat group nostalgia, wearing period clothes and refusing to acknowledge that times had indeed changed.

Always more cult-popular and influential than commercially successful, the Groovies, led by irascible but talented guitarist/singer Cyril Jordan and (until 1971) singer/guitarist Roy A. Loney, always embodied the rebellious, youthful spirit that fueled punk, but held tenuously to their musical roots — ’50s American rock’n’roll and ’60s British pop. In effect, they provided inspiration for countless bands (how many covers of “Slow Death” can you name?) and are legendary for good reason.

So you’ve got your Groovies lesson, then. Let’s fast-forward to 1979, whereupon Mr. Loney solo career boasted a blasting sound akin to punk rock (warning: cute kid alert at the end):

Here’s a 2010 updating of a classic Loney tune, served up for the madwomen and madmen of Madrid, Spain:

Loney plays this Friday, January 21st, backed by former CLE surfoholics The Purple Knifs (Waitresses and Walkin’ Clampetts guys who’ll be playing a set of their own).  Also on the bill are Living Stereo, most recenly remembered for a powerhouse Halloween set covering the Sonics.

The Hesitations in their heyday. Performing 1 / 22.

Saturday night, we’ll have a homecoming of sorts for Cleveland’s very own Hestiations.  This 60s soul group’s brief career got them not only airplay in the States, but in Europe and especially in Great Britain.  That nation’s Northern Soul fans gobbled up singles like “Soul Superman”, “The Impossible Dream”,  “Who Will Answer”, and “You Can’t Bypass Love”:

“….the Hesitations are ready to work again; reunited in 2006 for a show at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, the four singers and five musicians discovered last March that they can indeed draw a crowd, headlining the Northern and Modern Soul Weekender in Prestatyn, North Wales and pulling 3,000 to 4,000.

The Hesitations will perform at the Beachland Ballroom on January 22, helping Beachland manager Mark Leddy celebrate his 51st birthday. A long-time fan of Northern Soul, Leddy says: ‘I generally use my birthday as an excuse to book some kind of show. Often, it’s a soul-oriented show, so it seemed like the thing to do.'” Carlo Wolff’s great, four-page article on The Hesitations on OhioAuthority.com

John Benson, writing for CoolCleveland.com, has also penned a profile of The Hesitations that’s brief and concise.  However, for the purposes of you, The Blog Reader, we’ll go back to YouTube vids that show the Hesitations in front of an enthusiastic UK crowd, having a good bit of cheeky fun with their hit, “Soul Superman”:

The Hesitations will perform on Saturday, January 22nd, with help from DJ Charles McGaw, and DJ Racecard, aka Lawrence Daniel Caswell, one of the voices on local NPR affiliate WCPN, bassist for the bands This Moment In Black History, Vernacular, and National Suicide Day, and all-around polymath.  It’s also the birthday party of Mark Leddy, one of the Beachland’s co-owners. Expect nothing but good tunes and good times.

Tickets are available at http://www.beachlandballroom.com.

EAS





Look Out! Soul is Back – Eli “Paperboy” Reed, Melvin Davis at Beachland

6 10 2010

Eli "Paperboy" Reed and the True Loves this Sunday. Click for tix!

Soul music fans can’t fail in October.  This coming Sunday, we’ve got Eli “Paperboy” Reed, one of your best Beachland bets if you’re looking for blue-eyed soul backed by a powerhouse band. Here’s a cut from several years back on UK TV:

NPR, as always, provides us with a pretty comprehensive look-see at this young cat who’s reinterpreting soul for 2010 and beyond. They write:

With a big sound and upbeat songs, Eli “Paperboy” Reed and his band, The True Loves, play bright, ’60s-inspired neo-soul. While Reed may be reminiscent of another era, it’s more as if he was born at just the right time to absorb all of his influences — Sam CookeRay Charles, O.V. Wright — and make his own style.

Listen here to NPR’s “Weekend Edition” interview with Paperboy Reed.  Much less brainy is an interview conducted by none other than that immortal women’s mag, Cosmo.  This is from their “Cosmo Girl” section, which means it’s loaded with genius bits like this:

CG caught up with Eli to find out where he gets his suave sense of style, what he was like in high school and what it takes to win his heart!

It’s nice to know that some things don’t change, huh? To find out more about ‘dreamy’ Eli, who’ll be playing at the Beachland Ballroom and Tavern on Sunday, October 10th, read this funny and lighthearted Cosmo Girl interview HERE. Now, hide your daughters!

Though we love Eli and obviously want you to come hang out on Sunday, we realize that some of you fine folks out there are doing your best not to get hit by today’s “trying times”. That is, ya’ll got jobs, and we’d like to thank you for keeping America working. That also means Sunday night boogaloos are out of the question.

But for those of you who crave live soul music played with the love, swagger, and reverential funk of years gone by, we’ve got Melvin Davis and the United Sounds coming on Saturday, October 16th.

LIVE SOUL with Melvin Davis on Sat Oct 16. Click for tix

We’ve already written about Mr. Davis and his career in a previous blog entry, dating back to last January.   Let’s cut right to the chase, however, and play you some of his tunes:

And here’s Mr. Davis throwing down at that very same Beachland show, compliments of our friend, videographer tizzyplanet:

(careful, it’s a bit on the loud side)

To get you ready for these two hot shows, we’ve made a Pandora.com station chock full o’ soul that you can listen to right now online. To keep you stoked on Saturday night, your hosts for this show will be Lawrence Daniel Caswell aka DJ Racecard, and Mark Leddy aka DJ Mr. Fishtruck.

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





Got Funk If You Want It – Trombone Shorty, this Friday

1 04 2010

Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue, this Friday

Hailing from New Orleans’ 6th Ward Tremé district comes Trombone Shorty aka Troy Andrews and a hornful of funk.  And what says summertime more than some hot, wave-your-hands-in-the-air-like-you-just-don’t-care grooves?

Let’s drop back a bit time-wise, 2001, where we can see a very young Andrews choppin’ it up on an Armstrong number alongside Cleveland native Dominick Farinacci.  Andrews kills this one on trumpet:

Fast forward many years, where Shorty is sharing the spotlight with one of his NOLA musical kinsmen, Wynton Marsalis:

And here’s Mr. Shorty and his totally dope group, Orleans Avenue. Don’t bump this too loud at work–or maybe you should, depending on who really needs a pick-me-up: 

Who Dat? Trombone Shorty. This Friday, at the Beachland Ballroom and Tavern.

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