Music » Livewire

Ben Kweller

With My Morning Jacket and Adam Green. Monday, August 12, at the Beachland Ballroom.


Ben Kweller
  • Ben Kweller
A natural-born romantic, Ben Kweller boasts a new album, Sha Sha, that bubbles over with the solfège of love -- the bop-bops, the do-do do-dos, and the ba-ba-ba-ba-ba-bas that give voice to the heart's joy and yearning. From piano ballads to acoustic pop to raved-up rockers, there's a spirited innocence on his album too often missing from rock. Like the Beatles singing "I Wanna Hold Your Hand," Kweller taps the sunny rambunctiousness of his youth (he's barely old enough to drink). "We can't let it change, our lives can braid," he sings on "Make It Up," acknowledging that "we're constantly afraid." But that's just what it is, Kweller says, and despite it, "There's people meeting on Mars and people crashing in their cars and kids are kissing under the stars." Kweller's moptop optimism leans on his hard-earned resilience and echoes like a clarion call with the recognition that anger, frustration, and despair are backward-looking emotions, while love and hope turn our ass to the past and our face to the future. Let's hope pop music follows that lead.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Cleveland Scene works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Cleveland and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Cleveland's true free press free.