Tonight: Los Lobos / Jorma Kaukonen @ Masonic Auditorium!

4 11 2010

 

Los Lobos - Tonight @ Masonic Auditorium

To celebrate tonight’s very special joint effort between the Beachland Ballroom and Visible Voice Books–Grammy-award-winning Latino rockers Los Lobos (media player) at The Masonic Auditorium–we’ve brought in a guest blogger.  Annie Zaleski, a native who now makes her living as music editor for a St. Louis weekly, chimes in on what makes the Beachland and Cleveland so gosh-darned special:

I lived in Cleveland for the first eighteen years of my life, went away to college in Boston and currently live in St. Louis. (This is my day job. ) I’ve seen bands at venues around the world – from the Dandy Warhols in London and Morrissey in L.A. to Bjork in Boston and LCD Soundsystem in Chicago. But in the past year or so, I’ve been reacquainting myself with Cleveland venues, because I’m dating someone who lives here. Seeing as both of us are huge music fans, I’ve spent a ton of time at the Beachland seeing shows. (And oh yes, having brunch!)

What stands out to me – besides the abundance of delicious, delicious Great Lakes beer they stock – is the caliber of bands playing at the venue. Clevelanders are lucky when it comes to touring bands – really lucky. No, really: The city’s location makes it an ideal place to stop between Chicago and New York City, and the Beachland capitalizes on geography with their booking. (To put this in perspective: St. Louis is a place bands often drive through on their way from Chicago or Nashville to Kansas City/Lawrence. It’s not known as the Gateway to the West for nothing.) They’re also still willing to book artists with a career, not just ones with a blog buzz; a few notables that pop up in my mind include Grant-Lee Phillips, the Gories (at Beachland Nov 27), Josh Ritter (Nov 15), Eddie Spaghetti (Nov 9) and Leon Russell. The fact that these artists have a place in Cleveland is comforting.

It’s also something not to be taken for granted.  For instance, I recently rearranged a vacation so I could see Alejandro Escovedo at the Ballroom (read a review). To put it in perspective: Escovedo recently played at a big outdoor festival in St. Louis, and is popular enough to play our 2300-seat theater. The idea that he would be playing the relatively intimate Ballroom boggled my mind. And he certainly delivered a fiery set, even on a Monday.

At the same time, the Beachland’s sense of adventure is also evident. I love that on Thursday, they’re co-presenting Los Lobos at the Cleveland Masonic Auditorium. Cleveland has so many interesting, underutilized spaces – I’m rediscovering that as well – and using them to showcase intriguing musical artists is a smart, dynamic move. Cleveland often doesn’t get enough credit outside of Cleveland for the way it encourages art and culture to thrive.

But taking a unique, multicultural band such as Los Lobos and placing them in a unique performance space engages the audience in an intriguing, smart way; it elevates the show into something special, an event worthy of immersion, not just attendance.

Los Lobos, enhanced with Spanish:

Los Lobos, en ingles, peforming “Angel Dance”, re-recorded and turned into a hit by former Led Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant:

“Good Morning Aztlan”

In the opening slot of the show is Jorma Kaukonen (Hot Tuna, Jefferson Airplane). Pretty sweet, eh? This Rock Hall-caliber show is TONIGHT at the Masonic Auditorium, 3615 Euclid. Doors are at 6:30 pm, show starts at 7:30 pm.   All tickets are general admission at a cost of $35.00 and can be purchased at www.ticketweb.com or 866-468-3401. The Masonic Auditorium is a one hundred year old former opera house and location of Cleveland Orchestra recording and practice sessions.

EAS

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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





Wednesday January 13th: Alejandro Escovedo

11 01 2010

Escovedo, from vastate.wordpress.com

Don’t tell us you’re going to NOT attend this week’s Alejandro Escovedo show.  If you’re gonna do that, just log off right now.

You mean you’re not going to check out not only one of the Beachland’s favorite artists, but a bona fide rock n’ roll treasure? A master magician whose tunes can take the shape of angrily coiled jams full of punk venom, to sweetly lonesome ballads? A voice that invokes post-boozy pathos, Mexican-American heritage, and by-golly, real transcendent hope and love?

You say you just don’t know? Escovedo’s hometown paper, The Austin Chronicle, has done a pretty extensive biography on him, which you can read right HERE, written by critic Dave Marsh.  If you want to hear some of his considerable and acclaimed discography, here’s a Lala.com link to Escovedo.  Be forewarned that after a few listenings, you’ll have to sign up. But it’s free, and totally worth it.

Here’s an interview on Q TV with Escovedo:

Alejandro Escovedo “Castanets”, a classic from a few years back.

Here, Escovedo performs “Always A Friend”, from his latest, Real Animal, with some folk singer named Bruce Springsteen:

and a lovely number, entitled “I Wish I Were Your Mother”. Bit of an informal video, but you’ll have that, on Youtube…

Youngsters Lighthouse and The Whaler open. Buy tickets from the Beachland right HERE.

EAS

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