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November 26, 2011

Live @ The Beachland

Yeah, it's great that we can download virtually all of the world's music to our iPods, but nothing beats hearing it live.

I didn't know much about Ronnie Baker Brooks before tonight, but now I'm a fan. He did two great sets last night at the Beachland.

The Beachland Ballroom is a great place to hear music. It has a comfortable vibe that dates back to its earlier use as a Croatian social hall. Big enough to be lively, small enough that you can see the stage from nearly anywhere.

We got there just in time. The seats were nearly full, but we were able to grab a couple two rows from the back. As you can see from the video, they couldn't have been more perfect.

The folks in front of us wandered off to the bar just before Ronnie put on his wireless mic and strolled out into the crowd. He ended up hopping up on their empty chairs, giving us a VIP view of his guitar technique. He played for several minutes, outlasting the memory of my camera.

Pretty terrific way to experience his music.

Thank you, college radio

We were at the show because I won free tickets while listening to my Monday night favorite show on WCSB-FM, Blue Monday.

If you love music and hate what you hear on commercial radio, by all means check out the college stations at the low end of the FM dial. The shows are staffed by volunteers wholove a particular kind of music: blues, punk, classical, reggae, metal, you name it.

Best of all, to thank you for listening, most shows regularly give away free tickets to upcoming concerts. Since the radio audiences are relatively small, your chances of winning are good. I call in every few months, and am successful ("The tickets will go to Caller Number Two") at least half the time. Can't beat that.

In Cleveland my favorites are WCSB, 89.3 (Cleveland State) and WRUW, 91.1 (Case Western Reserve).

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