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.


It Feels Like Heaven: Beachland 10th Anniversary Weekend!

4 03 2010

late 70s / early 80s Pere Ubu

Dear Readers,

The Beachland’s 10th ANNIVERSARY WEEKEND is upon us.  It goes without saying that with you, city of Cleveland, and many other amazing audiences and artists, the last ten years would have never happened!

Now, we could sit and wax poetic about what all of this means to us at the Beachland; instead, we’ll let you, the people, offer your insights and input:

A couple great gigs come to mind. Band of Horses was outstanding! Those guys really brought it a few years ago. I would love to see them come back. Nada Surf was also a great show. I remember the lead singer coming out into the hallway with his acoustic guitar after the show and planning more for the fans who were still hanging out. Nobody wanted to leave that one. I just got back from seeing the Dawes and Cory Chisel both were great and very intimate. To think you can see bands that talented with 35 of your closest friends for $10 bucks is just nuts! That is why Beachland is so great. Awesome bands in close quarters with the coolest folks in C-town hanging out, dancing around and drinking a few beers. See you again soon! Long live Beachland and long live live music! – Keith Gardner


Saw your request for memories of shows. First, let me say that there is nowhere, NOWHERE, that I would rather see a show. The atmosphere, the mix of artists. Most of the people I listen to are either dead, or they would never get booked at the House of Blues. The Beachland is Cleveland’s Mecca for the obscure, the up and coming and the uncompromising music that thankfully still exists in a world of Lady Gaga, Beyonce and John Mayer.

There are two many great shows to mention, but a few come to mind. Little Stephen’s underground garage tour with the Supersuckers and the NY Dolls, Chris Knight in the Tavern and Robbie Fulks in the Tavern. Also recently the Pat Dinizio of the Smithereens show. I had met Pat last summer sitting on a bench outside of a hotel in downtown Atlanta. We were both waiting for a cab. I didn’t recognize him because of all of the weight he had gained. We started talking and when I asked him why he was carrying a guitar and he told me he was a musician and that he used to be in the Smithereens. Needless to day I was embarrassed and star struck at the same time.

….there is one more that stands out in my mind. I saw Split Lip Rayfield play what I’m told was their last show with Kurt Lundstrom. While it was of course sad to see him in that fragile state of his advanced illness. From what I remember, he died shortly after.  Nonetheless, he played that night with the passion and energy of a man who was going to live forever. In my memory of that night, he will. It was quite moving and inspiring.  Long live the Beachland!!!!!!!!!!!!

Paul Hido
Genesis Fibers LLC

Not only have we posted your testimonies over the last few weeks, but we’ve also got some special guests chiming in, such as our very own Rock Hall of Fame:

In the spirit of rock and roll and pride for the Cleveland music scene, the Rock Hall frequently partners with area venues in celebration of rock and roll as an art form, and one such venue is the Beachland Ballroom and Tavern. In its now 10 year run, the Beachland has become one of the most renowned places to perform at and see live music. Rock Hall Assistant Curator Meredith Rutledge shares its history and hopes with Beachland co-owner Cindy Barber.

Read this interview HERE.  Veteran music journalist Carlo Wolff has also contributed a piece on the Beachland’s history for online news site Ohio Authority, which mentions some of the Beachland’s legendary shows, such as Los Lobos, Gillian Welch, and the infamous Hives performance of ’02, that rocked so hard it knocked our AC out of commission!

Enough talk. More rock! Here’s a preview of this weekend’s amazing shows and events:

This Friday, March 5, underground rock legends Pere Ubu performs the entirety of their debut album, The Modern Dance, reviewed by Ken Tucker at Rolling Stone. If you’ve never heard this slab of art / prog / punk / rock, go buy it. And feel it!

A nasty little Pere Ubu cut from their album Why I Hate Women that might give you a sense of their live intensity:

Brooklyn Vegan writes about this band’s upcoming audio/visual event, “Long Live Pére Ubu–The Spectacle”. provides us with various Ubu audio as well.

On this very same Friday, Cleveland bands This Moment In Black History and Sun God celebrate the release of a split 12″ on Smog Veil Records.  Watch them crush it in the Tavern before they head out to play annual music festival South By Southwest.   This will truly be a homegrown throwdown that you don’t want to miss if you like it loud and Cleveland proud!

Psychedelic rocker and former lost soul / rock tragedy Roky Erickson triumphantly rolls into the Beachland on Saturday, March 6th.  Want to know more? Here’s the fine folks at NPR sharing Roky’s story; we also have a Plain Dealer feature on Roky and more input from I Rock  If you don’t know Roky’s role as psychedelic godfather in 60s group 13th Floor Elevators, read about him HERE.

Again, we’ll let Roky and his friend and Texan musical descendent Billy Gibbons (of ZZ Top) rip up a version of the Elevators’ “You’re Gonna Miss Me”:

Sunday’s Beachland Brunch–perfect for a Sunday morning coming down–is hosted by radio hostess / foodie ’round town Katherine Koenig, co-host of WRUW’s Maximum Consumption show.  Every Friday, she and Jen Stiles discuss local food and music with great enthusiasm; we know she’ll bring some of that infectious energy to the tunes she’ll spin from 11 – 3 pm.

As usual, the key to your questions — and happiness — can be found at


10th Anniversary and This Week In Preview

10 02 2010

Jemina Pearl. This week, at Beachland

Let’s kick off this week’s blog with some more of reader-provided testimonials saluting the Beachland in time for our 10th anniversary, coming up the first weekend in March. 

One of my favorite shows at the Beachland was- I’m guessing at this time thing, sorry- about 7 or 8 years ago in the Ballroom: Jonatha Brooke! What an awesome show! There were long rows of seats set up across the room, about 2/3 deep, all filled, and the audience was mesmerized by her lovely voice, her tremendous songwriting. I had to get up and stand off to the side so I could bop a little better- I couldn’t sit still, she really rocked it 🙂
 A year or so later, I brought my niece to the Ballroom to hear Spoon, which was also an amazing show, and shoulder-to-shoulder on the floor.
 My favorite Tavern show was around the same time: Jeff Black. What a great songwriter and engaging performer! I’ve been hoping to see him return some time.
 Thank you for all the music I’ve loved there over the past ten years: Lost State of Franklin, Carlos Jones and the PLUS Band, Kasim Sulton, Cats On Holiday, Dreadful Yawns…it’s all been grand!
Anita Herczog

Besides knowing the Beachland Staff is Awesome because of my band playing there (The Makebelieves, @2006/7), I Love it bcuz I’ve seen Kristin Hersh there TWICE (and I live 4 hours away: Solo in the Tavern (Where I Met Her and so did my 6 yr. old Son!) but also in the Ballroom w/band+strings, both shows were AWESOME. At the Ballroom show, I was able to mention to the soundman that I thought of Kristin as Mainly a guitar player, so would he mind turning her guitar up in the mix, and he did so right away! Yay!  What a great place all around.  I am from Cleveland originally and I wish the Beachland would’ve been open while I was living there; I would’ve never left!
Al Schmidt

Hey Cindy:I always remember the first date Black 47 played at the Beachland.  We had been on the road for a while and you cooked us the most wonderful pasta dish.  You made us feel like we were home.  I later smashed a glass in your little offstage dressing room in an argument with a couple of band members but we all made up with copious shots of Jameson’s at the bar after the show.A day in the life…Congratulations and another 20 years to you and the warmth of your staff.larry kirwan
Black 47

Our 10th Anniversary series starts on March 5th, with the return of great Cleaveland band Pere Ubu doing the entirety of their immortal debut, The Modern Dance.  While they rock the Ballroom, Ubu’s kindred souls, This Moment In Black History, will crush it in the Tavern with their good friends Sun God. They’re playing a release party for their new vinyl split-single, which they’ll be selling to help them defray the cost of traveling down to this year’s South By Southwest in Austin, Texas.  On Saturday, March 6th, reclusive psych-rock legend Roky Erickson stops by (has he ever played in Cleveland before?) and lays down some Texas n’ acid-bent rock’ roll with the help of Clevelanders Living Stereo and The Alarm Clocks.  If you’re a vintage rock conoisseur or audio archeologist, this is one show you can’t miss.

Pere Ubu, “Birdies” (1980)

a trailer for You’re Gonna Miss Me, the Roky Erickson biopic:

Taking it back ’round to this week, we’ve got the snarling sexitude of Miss Jemina Pearl, who sings punk rock with cheeky hostility; Mississippi blues with R.L. Burnside’s grandson, Cedric, and his guitar-picking pal Lightnin’ Malcolm; hillbilly chaos with Uncle Scratch’s Gospel Revival and the Whiskey Daredevils; and a Sunday night of folk with genderbenders Girlyman and the appearance of Lucy Wainwright Roche, whose last name(s) will obviously mean quite a bit to many of you familiar with American singer-songwriters of the last 30 years. 

This Valentine’s Day Beachland Brunch has inspired our upcoming guest DJ, Mr. Lawrence Daniel Caswell (WCSB, This Moment In Black History, WCPN) to have a special “For Lovers Only” set.   If any of you remember Cleveland station WZAK station back in the day, “For Lovers Only” was their special segment full of slow jams and hot love-makin’ tunes.  Caswell, with his considerable reach and recall, will attempt to bring back the vibe of those amorous airwaves.

General Caine, “For Lovers Only”

All this, and more, are prominently displayed on


A Serious Sunday: Death / Rough Francis / This Moment In Black History

23 09 2009

Yeah, we’re more than a few days ahead of time on this one.  Perhaps, inspired by Charles Walker and the Dynamites, we’ve decided to dabble in the outer fringes of what we call “soul music”, to test its elasticity, and to boldly go where no one has gone before (nerd foul); we’re finding that ill-defined border between soul, rock n’ roll, and yes, punk rock.  That border will be in full effect this Sunday, when the Beachland features Death (not the metal band of the same name), Rough Francis, and proud Clevelanders This Moment In Black History.

African-American rockers Death originally walked the streets of Detroit in the mid 70s, when bands like the Stooges and MC5 had, in prior years, achieved a dominance over stoned minds and uncontrollable libidos in the Motor City.    Punk was starting to peck away from inside its grimy shell.

As the New York Times so thoroughly puts it:

Forgotten except by the most fervent punk rock record collectors — the band’s self-released 1976 single recently traded hands for the equivalent of $800 — Death would likely have remained lost in obscurity if not for the discovery last year of a 1974 demo tape in Bobby Sr.’s attic. Released last month by Drag City Records as “… For the Whole World to See,” Death’s newly unearthed recordings reveal a remarkable missing link between the high-energy hard rock of Detroit bands like the Stooges and MC5 from the late 1960s and early ’70s and the high-velocity assault of punk from its breakthrough years of 1976 and ’77. Death’s songs “Politicians in My Eyes,” “Keep On Knocking” and “Freakin Out” are scorching blasts of feral ur-punk, making the brothers unwitting artistic kin to their punk-pioneer contemporaries the Ramones, in New York; Rocket From the Tombs, in Cleveland; and the Saints, in Brisbane, Australia. They also preceded Bad Brains, the most celebrated African-American punk band, by almost five years.

The rest of the article’s a great primer to this Sunday night show.  Learn all about the rise and fall of this lost band, and their resultant musical offspring, Rough Francis.

For more hype, check out Time Out Chicago’s article; Detroit’s own Metro Times gives their commentary as well.  A perusal of this record brings to mind the following: “Let the World Turn” invokes a Hendrixian intro leading into mindbendery travels like some garage-psych Nuggets single; “You’re A Prisoner” and “Keep On Knockin'” bear the stamp of the MC5’s anthems; “Freakin’ Out” might even invoke a bit of Black Flag here and there–years before that band even existed.  Likewise, with the speedy gnarliness of “Rock N’ Roll Victim”, whose spazzy technicalities bring to mind the nascent Bad Brains on their Black Dots record.

Here at Beachland Blog HQ, our locally owned and operated grunts have dug up the following links that will enhance your rock n’ roll pleasure this coming Sunday night:

1. a bitorrent link to  “…For The Whole World To See” (though you really should buy it from Drag City. Brothers gotta get paid)

2. an IMEEM page where you can get your ass kicked by cuts from this record

3. and the webpage of the Death documentary, entitled Where Do We Go From Here?

4.  the blazing blow-yer-house-down This Moment In Black History and “Public Square”:


Good Morning Valentine Motorcycle Tour, Chuck Mosley, Free Poster

10 08 2009

Monday’s seemingly fierce storm has blown over.  Now we can get back to business.

This week we have:

Good Morning Valentine‘s Bon Voyage show, where Joey and Wendy of this Cleveland band, mount bikes and head out for a Western rock n’ roll adventure, just like our forebears did.  Read ilikethatbike for updates. GMV plays at the Beachland this Tuesday night, with Brian Straw and Trouble Books also on the bill.

Our neighbors Blue Arrow Records and Books will be hosting the Lawton Brothers and Prisoners for an in-store performance on Thursday, August 13th at 7 pm. Kid Flamingo, from, will DJ. The show is free, and there’ll be beverages and appetizers, too.

This Moment In Black History, repping their new cassette-with-download-code release, Public Square, will perform at the Beachland with the ass-kicking Ghandi SS (which features Matt Fish, owner of Melt Bar and Grilled), Methodist (featuring members of Columbus bands Bob City and the Means), and punk band All Dinosaurs.  Download the totally sweet John Greiner flier for this show by clicking HERE.  See and hear Ghandi SS here:

On Friday, August 14th, former Faith No More frontman Chuck Mosley, a Cleveland resident, releases his long-awaited solo CD.  Sure, the Scene wrote about it, but so did Rolling Stone.