Spotlight on Danish band Efterklang

8 09 2010

Efterklang, September 9 @ Beachland

This time ’round on the Beachland blog, we hail the lovely sound of Danish collective Efterklang, who’ll play the Beachland Thursday, September 9th. Eftkerklang’s exotic but thoughtful compositions are pretty but capable of laid-back fun, always willing to take a walk in the Metroparks and on the Lake Erie shorelines, but also up for a glamorous night out painting the town red.  Efterklang keeps itself in shape, but also doesn’t mind binging on beers and a good cookout!  Efterklang’s looking for someone cool to hang out with–no headcases, please–between 21 – 35 years of age…ah, we’ve been on too much of late, haven’t we?

Learn more about this band in this great Aurgasm interview.

Let’s take the time to also talk about Denmark and showcase its capital, Copenhagen, which also happens to be Efterklang’s home.

1. Copenhagen is home to the world-famous music Roskilde festival, one of Europe’s biggest.  Last year’s festival features such headliners as The Pet Shop Boys, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, and Grace Jones.

Tivoli Gardens at night

Image by Jamie Barras via Flickr

2. It’s also home to the famed Tivoli Gardens, the world’s second-oldest amusement park.

3. You can rent bikes in Copenhagen for free. Take that, gas-guzzling America!

4.Fueling up your bike trip, chow down on pølser (Danish hot dogs, essentially). If you choose dinner instead, you could have every kind of pickled herring dish imaginable–the Danes love this stuff–and complement it with beloved potato and bacon dish, Brændende kærlighed, which for all you Elvis fans, translates into “burning love”.

polser, the danish hot dog

5. Danes are pretty strict about obeying traffic lights. So should you jaywalk, they might think that you “træde i spinaten” (literally ‘trod on the spinach’, i.e. made a mistake) or even that you have “rotter på loftet” (‘rats in the attic’, which translates roughly into ‘crazy’)

6. If you just can’t get enough of Danes, check out this Danish Fun Fact Twitter Feed, where you might learn about sports like bunny hopping:

Oh, and they also love curling. They REALLY love curling:

Also on this bill–brought to you by our friends at the Grog Shop–is the wondefully noisy and unpredictable guitar duo of Buke and Gass, and Cleveland fave Leia Alligator’s Music Box.

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Keep On The Sunny Side: A Benefit for WRUW’s Cuzin’ Dave

23 08 2010

Clevelanders: Here’s a chance to help a friend who’s moved beyond ‘fixture’ and into ‘pillar’. Cuzin’ Dave, WRUW DJ and host of “When The Roses Bloom Again”, a show focusing on roots music, needs our help.  He’s been hospitalized over the last month with a serious illness, so in order to cover his mounting health costs (sound familiar, everyone?), the Beachland, various friends and WRUW listeners, and musicians who’ve been on Cuzin’ Dave’s show, have pitched in to throw him a benefit this coming Monday, August 30th in the Ballroom.  If you don’t know Cuzin’ Dave, a swell guy, absolute music lover, and a consummate gent, you should check out his playlist archives to see the kind of tunes and artists that have bent his ear and warmed his heart.

Let’s first take a look up at this splendid lineup of folk / country / roots/ whachamacalit performers. Of course, as more people pitch in, this is subject to change.  Bookmark for updates!

Hillbilly Idol
Hey Mavis
Jane Dough
Waxwings String Band
Rob Bliss Trio
Take This Hammer
Matt Harmon
Doug Wood
Quinn Sands
John McGrail

If you can’t make this benefit, but would like to help out with a monetary contribution,  send check or money order to:

Cuzin Dave Wilson
11220 Bellflower Road
Cleveland, OH 44106

Additionally, if you have items to donate, volunteer time to share, or any thoughts and action that could be helpful, don’t hesitate to call the Beachland at 216-383-1124.

Doors for this event are at 7 pm, and the music starts at 7:30 pm. Be there early, regardless, as we’re certain more artists will join in this celebration of all things Cuzin’ Dave!

Cuzin' Dave and Mom

Big Shows Coming Up: Ozomatli, Shellac, Breeders

20 08 2010

Though these shows are a couple weeks away, we simply must tell you about these real gems.  We’re letting you know that each of these is a potential sell-out–so act fast, and grab your tickets via the Beachland website, or call the club at 216-383-1124.

Ozomatli, Sunday August 29th

Sunday, August 29th – Yeah, we know it’s a Sunday. But where else you gonna get this much Latin rock n’ funk. It’s gonna fill your soul like arroz y habichuelas, alcapurrias, empanadas, y mas.  Come down to the Beachland on August 29th and get nourished by the flavorful soul of Ozomatli, a multi-racial band that can seemlessly move from funk, rock, hip hop, to acumbia / salsa / reggaeton matched by very few bands in our hemisphere.  These cats bounce with G-Funk LA prowess, roll like Parliament, bring it like Fishbone, and leave no musical stone unturned in search of The Total Summertime Party.

“Elysian Persuasion” off their latest, Fire Away, as performed on the George Lopez Show:

“La Gallina” from their breakthrough record, Don’t Mess With The Dragon. For all you hip urban farmers out there:

To commemorate this exciting show, the Beachland’s offering a live digital recording of show for the first 50 ticket buyers.  Call 216-383-1124 for details on that one.  Furthermore, paying $35 at the door not only gets you a ticket, but an Ozomatli messenger bag, a copy of Fire Away, and various other goodies like stickers and a bandana. Consider that a DEAL.

Warming you up before Ozomatli’s set is an Ozo Tailgate party, complete with a Tropical BBQ and tunes by DJ Felix from  This outdoor feast starts at 6 pm; the concert starts at 8 pm.  It’s all been brought to you by the Beachland, Clamato (good for bloody marys, and hangovers!), Brazilian restaurant Sergio’s Saravá, non-profit arts education group Passport Project, and Latin entertainment company

Shellac, September 1

Shellac, September 1 / Breeders, September 2 – Flip from Ozomatli’s bounce to a two-night 90s underground buzz with a two-night stretch highlighting some of the nastiest and the nicest of that era in rock.

No one, for the last rocks quite like Shellac. Classic rock and punk riffs are stripped down to a true ‘heavy metal’ essence; that is, electric bass and guitar are made to sound probably akin to drywall saws, instead of the creamy, thick sound we’re all so familiar with.   Albini shouts, whispers and cajoles like an irritated PBS narrator; meanwhile, drummer Todd Trainor anchors this mechanical reimagining of rock with big, propulsive drumming.

Here’s the band, live in Serbia, playing their not-quite hit single, “Steady As She Goes”. Don’t think for a minute they don’t know this song’s main riff is mere notes away from Deep Purple’s “Highway Star”:

On the flip side, we have one of the many bands Shellac’s Steve Albini’s recorded throughout his career as recording engineer: The Breeders, still featuring the Deal Sisters (Kelly, and Kim, who played in some one-off band called The Pixies).

Yeah, you’ve heard this one on the radio before:

And here’s what the Deals have been up to. Here’s a tune from their latest, Fate To Fatal:

The Breeders are irrepressible live–it’s like your stoner punk rock aunts and their best friends, crashing your party.  Other good friends will be celebrating that night as well; pro-Cleveland pals The Founding Fathers–currently one of CLE’s most beloved bands–will be performing after the Breeders in the Tavern.  And if you get there early–as you should–we’ll be having food and drink specials in the Tavern before the Breeders show, with special hosts, DJs like Pat the Producer from 92.3 FM’s Inner Sanctum.

Need tickets? Get thee to

Talking Heads tribute bands, Sarah Borges, and more

9 08 2010

This Must Be The Band--a Talking Heads tribute--Wednesday August 11th.

Who could argue against the placement of Talking Heads concert film Stop Making Sense as one of the essential works in that genre? The Chicago-based Talking Heads tribute band This Must Be The Band certainly won’t dispute that; they bring their tightly drilled stage show to the Beachland on Wednesday, August 11th.

Opening is this guy, Justin Coulter, who’s chucked aside the pedals and amps he used in Roué to summon a new kind of Cleveland freakazoid:

If you’ve been listening to one of Cleveland’s radio newcomers, 107.3 FM, you’ve probably heard this sexy rocker from Sarah Borges and the Broken Singles:

Borges and her band  take the Beachland Ballroom stage this coming Thursday, August 12th, playing tunes that’ll make the boys swoon and the girls blow them off at the bar.

Far more off the radio radar is experimental folk group Lower Dens (helmed by singer Jana Hunter, whose history you can dig into, starting back to the thrilling days of ‘07), whose sound is nonetheless sensual and lovely in their own way. This video’s great if you blow it up to full-screen and indulge in a bottle of robitussin:

Lower Dens, Inoculist, and singer-songwriter Brian Straw will perform on the magical, mysterious night of Friday, August 13th.

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, 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?

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 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.


Storm Is Comin’ Through: Cleveland Lottery League 2010, Drive By Truckers, and The Hold Steady

9 04 2010

The Drive By Truckers AND The Hold Steady

Over the next few days, the Beachland will have big shows the way Cleveland’s got potholes.  We mean BIG.

If you haven’t seen all the Facebook ballyhoo, the local musical extravaganza known as the Cleveland Lottery League.  (Full disclosure here: the author of this here blog is also one of the zookeepers in the animal house known as the Lottery League.) So why should you go? It’s a reflection of musical civic pride, not unlike The Rock Hall’s “Summer In The City” events; or even the DIY fests Horriblefest and Compound Fest.  The Lottery League attempts to sum the sensation of these and many other musical gatherings that make our city’s scene one of the most vibrant around.   The Lottery League aspires, much like many of the fests and gatherings in this city, to be an incubator and generator of critical mass whose objective is to make Cleveland a bigger and better musical hub than ever before.  Even our very own Rock Hall has taken note of this special event!

On top of that, you have 140 musicians, 33 bands, 3 stages (!) a lot of beer. Read what Scene magazine’s Lottery League Blog has been saying, and follow these bands as they journey together towards Saturday night’s BIG SHOW. Tickets are $15 adv / $20 DOS.

Here’s footage of merely one of the highly anticipated Lottery League 2010 bands, Beat Vikings:

Speaking of musical celebrations, we’ve got two whoppers coming up within mere days of each other at the Beachland.  The Drive-By Truckers arrive on Sunday, and if you snoozed, you lost, pal.  This show’s sold out.   And on Tuesday, mighty Midwesterners (never mind the Brooklyn) The Hold Steady arrive.  To quote Thin Lizzy: “the drinks will flow and the blood will spill”. 

To make you feel even worse (or better), here’s a real cool find:  The Hold Steady join the Drive By Truckers to perform a raucous version of The Band’s “Look Out Cleveland”. One of the best jams EVER, and hey, isn’t it appropriate?

Tickets to these events and more are available at