Support Local Journalism. Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club.


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

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Speaking of Previews

Latest in Livewire

More by Benjamin Leatherman

Read the Digital Print Issue

November 17, 2021

View more issues

Most Popular

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


Staff Pick Events

  • The Temptations and the Four Tops @ MGM Northfield Park

    • Sun., Nov. 28
  • Songs of the Polka King Release Party with Joey Miskulin & the KTB @ Beachland Ballroom

    • Sun., Nov. 28
  • Jokes on You @ Hilarities Comedy Club

    • Last Sunday of every month

© 2021 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 505-8199
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.

Website powered by Foundation