By now, most everyone is aware of the highly offensive "review" of a Cubensis show by Ryan Beachkofski of the South Bay Easy Reader. He actually did everything BUT review our show, and he crossed the line when he talked shit about the Dead and about our fans. Instead of constructive critique of our performance and musicianship, he trashed Cubensis, the Grateful Dead and devotees of both bands.
Ironically, he had the audacity to tell our fans to “keep
their opinions to themselves” while voicing his own in the most distasteful
As an experiment, I decided to see if Ryan Beachkofski was capable of writing an honest review, if he ever said anything positive about a band. I read some of his other reviews about local bands, and surprisingly he was very complimentary, which goes to show how hypocritical he can be; traits he criticized in our scene were praised in other bands.
The following statements are culled from his write-ups for bands other than Cubensis. The boldface statements are my reaction to Beachkofski’s quotes. It’s interesting that he saved the journalistic equivalent of hate mail and scorn for us, with the full and willing cooperation of his editors, who found his article “silly” and “somewhat amusing.”
Responding to protests, the Easy Reader entertainment editor tried to play it off, claiming the story was so ‘over the top’ that no one would take it seriously. That’s very convenient for him, but the truth is that the article was offensive, and he needs to admit it and apologize to those inflicted. He also needs to publicly rebuke Beachkofski, at least as visibly as he did us.
credit, the Easy Reader printed excerpts from some of the letters they received
regarding the offensive Cubensis review. They received over 75 messages in all,
and they are still arriving. I wonder if Beachkofski is proud of himself
yet...or ashamed. Click:
http://www. easyreadernews. com/story. php?StoryID=20033718 Part 1
http://www. easyreadernews. com/story. php?StoryID=20033719 Part 2
Previous music reviews by Ryan Beachkofski:
Beachkofski: “This very entertaining young act must have captured the readers attention as well because the votes for best under-21ers came in droves. Their popularity is clearly rising as well for the brass/ska/rock ensemble. The music is driving and the fans are responding. “
Our response: Cubensis fans had to line up outside of the Lighthouse to get in because the crowd reached capacity early in the performance, yet Beachkofski was blind to this.
“Mixmaster has gained a legion of dance hall regulars that book their weekends based on his attendance. That’s the real accomplishment.”
Cubensis has done the same thing for years, but it’s no accomplishment according to Beachkofski. People rearrange their work schedules and days off to be able to attend Cubensis events. Cubensis played weekly for 8 years straight at 14 Below in Santa Monica, and is going on 5 years straight in Huntington Beach at the Marlin.
“This white collar foursome from Palos Verdes can be heard weekly in the South Bay almost everywhere...literally. Their bookings are as much as six nights a month, but it may seem like more from the ringing in your ears after you see them.”
In June, Cubensis played 13 shows. Beachkofski is impressed by their mere 6 shows, but our 13 shows a month doesn’t count.
“On any given night, Beaches has a room full of beautiful people entwined in dance, rhythm and song. But on a Friday or Saturday night, there may be no other place to be in all of LA that is more fun than the dance floor at Beaches.”
The same could be said of a Cubensis show, if the reviewer had been fair and impartial. Oh, and our fans are not beautiful, but instead ‘unwashed.’
“Joe’s Band - In a category of quality cover acts, including some that play in lieu of the originals, Joe’s Band was the clear frontrunner. Joe Middler, founder, namesake and talent coordinator extraordinaire, seems to have a lock on the complete cover scene. He takes the concept of the tribute band and multiplies it by 30. He puts together a stage full of professional musicians (I have seen as many as 12 at one time) who specialize in particular genres...”
Apparently cover acts in and of themselves don’t upset Mr. Beachkofski, just when they play a type of music he admittedly despises. As far as a stage full of professional musicians, everyone in Cubensis falls into that category. Several teach, and Cubensis guitarist Nate LaPointe is featured in a number of instructional videos.
"Bonfire (1974-Feb. 19, 1980 AC/DC doppelganger), the most impressive tribute band these eyes and ears have ever bore witness to, will be playing at McMurphy’s Tavern in Pasadena on the day of your rebirthing. My baptism to the Bonfire was last Thursday at the Lighthouse where I sat in absolute awe of this anachronism."
capable of writing flattering reviews of bands he likes. His “live music
review” of Cubensis, was not a review of the music or the musicianship of the
players, but a prejudiced, relentless, insulting attack against the band, the
scene, and the attendees.
“Bonfire is a tribute band by which all other similar acts may need to question whether they are actual trib bands, or are they merely covering the songs. Bonfire is objectivity.”
Too bad Beachkofski uses the word “objectivity,” a concept he knows nothing about. Apparently, being a tribute band was not our “crime” in Beachkofski’s view, just the fact that we picked a band he hated (the Dead) to tribute.
“If imitation is the finest form of flattery, Orange County’s own No Doubt has been paid the ultimate compliment by a local foursome of talented musicians and thespians that call themselves No Duh.”
Imitation is flattery except when the band is Cubensis.
“The fan following for No Duh has been relentless for some time and the celebrity sightings don’t hurt. Having benefited from covering one of music’s hottest international selling acts, and doing it well, the band is in great demand. As such, the Lighthouse was in solid form last Friday with the dance floor full to capacity.”
But when Cubensis fills the dancefloor to capacity, it doesn’t count. Ask manager CJ at the Lighthouse what our numbers are...they must be good...they invite us back once a month.
“I have a great deal of respect for tribute bands that can play up to their mentors’ high standards.”
However, NO respect was shown for Cubensis, who received Jerry Garcia’s express permission to play the Dead’s music. Stars of the rock world who have sat in with us include Vince Welnick (Grateful Dead, Tubes), Chris Robinson and Marc Ford (Black Crowes), Warren Haynes (Allman Bros, Gov’t Mule), Mark Karan (Bob Weir’s Ratdog), Barney Doyle of the Mickey Hart Band, and John Molo of Phil and Friends to name but a few.”
“AWOL, a group of hired guns who rent their talents out to the best paying or best possible venue, come together often to hone their stage presence and have a little fun at the same time.”
It’s ok for AWOL to seek the best pay for their performance, but Cubensis is criticized for doing so. Why didn’t Beachkofski publicize AWOL’s asking price, like he did for Cubensis?
“... a set list full of classic rock standards is the ‘in’ thing this season...”
Isn’t the Grateful Dead considered ‘classic rock’? According to KLOS and the rest of the world, they are.
“This night, however, was AWOL spreading the gospel of classic rock to the smiling sweaty patrons who sat along the long bar and glided across the now-slippery dance floor.”
AWOL’s fan sweat, and Beachkofski praises them, while missing the smiles on Cubensis fan’s faces while they dance hard in a hot room like the Lighthouse, but they aren’t allowed to sweat because they might smell too bad for Mr. Beachkofski.
“Everyone needs a good cover band to turn to for nostalgia’s sake.”
As long as it’s not Cubensis. Would the House of Blues invite us back over 40 times if we weren’t good?
“A simple song from your youth can take you back to the memories of having a reasonable waistline, having confidence without accountability, and the reminiscence can quite simply put you in a good mood.”
The Grateful Dead began their career around 1967, when many of us were ‘youths’. Beachkofski’s law says Cubensis fans aren’t entitled to be in a good mood.
“There are a lot of different music styles that try to mimic, and do well in cover band work. With memorizing all the nuances, changes in sound and tone and silly lyrics that people come up with, CMP is four sets of fun.”
For doing covers, “CMP” is four sets of fun, but Cubensis doing covers is a heinous crime in Beachkofski’s book.
“Music is music when it finds its niche.”
Cubensis has found their niche, and have been entertaining people for over 20 years, apparently a useless accomplishment to Beachkofski.