Music » Livewire


With Brian Straw, Blk Tiger, and Arch Villains. Sunday, November 13, at the Grog Shop.


Good band names can be hard to come by. Budding groups have to come up with something catchy and unique that nails their sound exactly. For instance, there's San Diego-based indie group Tristeza, whose moniker sticks in your brainpan and also describes the emotional makeup behind many of its songs. (The word is Spanish for "sadness.")

This all-star quintet has gained quite a following with a number of CDs and 7-inch singles filled with melancholy instrumental melodies that fuse ethereal electronica, groovy guitar, and subtle backbeats. In songs like the eerie and airy "RMS 2000," Stephen Swesey's keyboards are at the forefront, punctuated by the haunting guitar work of Jimmy LaValle (who's also behind the Album Leaf). The resulting mix is moody music fit for a pity party or lovelorn letter-writing. But before you reach for pen and paper, upbeat guitar work on songs like "Golden Hill" and "Are We People" radiates a more energetic and hopeful sound.

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.