Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Defend Music Night Supports Small Clubs

Music clubs and bands have a symbiotic relationship. The bands need somewhere to gig and get their music heard, and the clubs depend on the bands to draw people to shows. Without each other, their existence becomes bleak.

Kristen Klehr understands this. One of the "Sexy Singles" in this month's issue of Cleveland Magazine, Klehr is also a musician, a concert producer, co-chair of Cleveland Young Arts Professional Network and a Cleveland Orchestra concert assistant. She understands how vital live music is to the culture of a city.

Klehr is the young professional representative for the Cleveland Music Club Coalition, a group that supports proposed legislation to exempt smaller clubs from Cleveland's 8 percent admissions tax. The coalition is putting on a concert this Friday, Feb. 10 — or really, several concerts all in one night. Defend Music Night takes place at small music clubs all over the city, including the Happy Dog, the Beachland Ballroom and the Garage Bar. More than a dozen bands will play, including Herzog, Restless Habs and Tenafly Viper (featuring members of Mushroomhead).

Klehr is trying to drum up support for her cause among other young professional groups she's involved in. Her hope is to have different young professional groups host each venue.

"The young professional community really has a lot of power because they are people that are energetic and ambitious about these things," she says.

Klehr points to April's upcoming Rock Hall induction ceremony as a chance for supporters of Cleveland's small clubs to attract more support. She hopes it will shed a national spotlight on the issue.

"Some of the people that are in the Rock Hall right now wouldn't be there without having gigged in places like the Agora," Klehr says.

The full list of venues and bands can be found here. Our coverage of the admissions tax debate in November is here.

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