Over the past few years I’ve not only seen the Cleveland music scene produce some of the most unique and talented bands that I can think of, but also stand up and support each other when the time comes.

We’re all bartenders, servers, cooks, hosts, barbacks, and food runners for the most part, which means no one has insurance, and if they do it’s garbage.

Therefore, when something terrible happens to one of us we come together and help the only way we know how, drinking and playing music.

This thursday May 18th there is a benefit for Cassie Trainer (you may know her from Mahall’s industry brunch) at the happy dog west. Cassie fell and broke her leg over winter and is now struggling to pay for her medical expenses and make a full recovery. In classic Cleveland form her friends organized a benefit full of awesome bands and gift cards akimbo. The band I want to talk about is Mapache.

Started only sixish months ago by Joe Penzvalto, Jeff Steinwachs, Sam Hunt, and Ryan Sandy, Mapache is  a straightforward rock and roll band. A rarity in a scene where everyone and their grandma is in some sort of triple hyphenated style band that takes longer to describe than anyone really has time for. Mapache’s songs clock in at about three minutes and have you singing the chorus by the second time around. I went to their very clean and smoke free practice space to talk to them about playing their first show together as a band.

“I’m sick of playing music for musicians, that is not what I want from this band”, drummer Ryan Sandy tells me with a very earnest tone. I understand what he’s saying, and it’s obviously reflected in the band’s song writing, mostly done by singer and guitar player Joe. Lyrically Joe describes his songs as “dream logic americana” or “suburban teenage love stories where weird shit happens”, I’ll take his word for it and hope their upcoming album has a lyric sheet in it. I can say for myself, I was hooked even without being able to understand what exactly dream logic is.

Set to go into the studio this june with J.P. Pasternick, Mapache has a full length written and rehearsed. This is no surprise seeing that the bulk of the band has been playing together for six years. It very much so seems these these guys are just ready to have a shit ton of fun and want you to come along on the ride with them. When asked if there was any sort of stage schtick planned drummer Ryan Sandy said “I saw Beach House the other day and it was so fucking boring, I don’t want to do that.” I couldn’t agree more.

The benefit for Cassie Trainer starts at eight pm this thursday the 18th. Also playing are NIghts and Times Ten. Please come and support local music as well as one of cleveland’s sweetest bartenders.

Platform Beer Co
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