Studio-A-Rama brings solid lineup & headliners for 32nd year

Tracy Boachie, Arts & Entertainment Reporter

On Saturday, Sept. 7, Case Western Reserve University’s radio station WRUW-FM 91.1 will be bringing 11 acts from Cleveland and beyond to the Mather Memorial courtyard for a day filled with good ol’ DIY punk.

For the past 32 years, WRUW-FM 91.1 has organized Studio-A-Rama, a free day-long music event, as a gift to all of the fans of the station in the Cleveland area.

This year, nine local acts will be taking the stage, and Merge Record’s artist Mikal Cronin is scheduled to headline the event, with legendary Cleveland punk band Mirrors performing directly before Cronin.

Several of the bands on the bill are regular performers at music venues in Cleveland such as the Beachland Ballroom, Mahall’s 20 Lanes and Now That’s Class.

“Some of the venues these acts usually play at are venues that are farther away from campus and hard to get to without using the RTA,” said event organizer and CWRU alumnus Adam Spektor. “Studio-A-Rama gives students the chance to check out what the rest of the city has to offer in terms of music, without having to leave campus.”

Spektor was involved with WRUW-FM 91.1 during his undergraduate years and has been involved with the planning of the event for the past two. This year, Spektor took on the responsibility of coordinating the event.

“Finding a headliner is a bit of a challenge,” Spektor said. “Going through agencies to find someone can be really tough, but it’s relieving to finally find someone who you love. I was really excited when we were able to book Cronin and Mirrors for the event.”

From the San Francisco Bay area of California, Cronin’s music has a pop-rock sound that is nearly impossible to hate.

Cronin’s artistic style and approach to producing fresh rock ‘n’ roll tunes has garnered him a high amount of recognition this year. He performed at internationally renowned music festivals like SXSW and Pitchfork, and his sophomore album “MCII” has received positive reviews from music critics.

Spektor describes “MCII” as a “great power pop record with the sort of songwriting that sounds timeless.”

“This album is definitely a lot cleaner than his earlier stuff,” said Spektor. “Cronin is the type of artist who creates music that will still sound good years from now, and there aren’t a lot of artists you can say that about.”

Cleveland-based act Mirrors will also be taking the stage on Saturday evening. Mirrors is well-known for being one of the bands that shaped the punk music scene in Cleveland in the 1970s.

“Before we started playing together as Mirrors, we used to do covers of the Velvet Undergound and Pink Floyd at shows,” said Mirrors frontman, Jamie Klimek, “I think our music is similar to the Trogs and earlier The Who.”

This will be Mirror’s second performance on the Mather Memorial courtyard, their first being in 1975.

“One thing that will be challenging is trying to fit 80 minutes of material into a 60 minute setlist for Saturday,” said Klimek. “We wanted to keep the setlist big for all our fans who will be attending the show and know all our music.”

Klimek continued, “I heard that if we do really well this time, they’ll invite us back in another 38 years!”

Studio-A-Rama kicks off on Saturday at 1pm. Coverage of the whole event will be on broadcast on WRUW-FM 91.1 and webcast online at the station’s website.