musings from boston

screams, whispers and songs from planet earth

Month: March 2009

Friendly Fires and White Lies at Paradise Rock Club, Boston, March 28, 2009

These bands made me wistfully sentimental of the ’80s, but not being what I’ll call a music scholar, this was purely an emotional response. White Lies brought to mind bands I really liked – Echo and the Bunnymen, Joy Division/New Order, The Cure. Friendly Fires’ territory I’m less familiar with. While not opposed to European-style dance music (or even, in some cases, what was once called “house music” and “dub” but I’m pretty certain isn’t anymore), I know nothing of this genre or the multi-splintered sub-genres this mutated into throughout the late ’80s up until now. So I figured I’d better do a little research so I didn’t feel like a complete idiot.

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Airborne Tox. Update: Pomona! a few more NYC comments… and a European tour.

The Glass House, Pomona, CA, March 26, 2009

by Henry Ruiz

We walk in the glass house. It was real small and old, it reminded me of the old shows that I used to go to. Nice intimate venue.

Rademacher opens with an amazing set. The crowd was pretty good, all were nice because I was up front and I walked in and out of the building twice and still was allowed to go back up front :]

The Henry Clay people were simply amazing. Interacting with the crowd, talking about concerts that they have been to at The Glass House. The last song was amazing because The Henry Clay People Invited Rademacher and The Airborne Toxic Event to jam with them for one last song. It was cool to see everyone on that stage smiling, laughing and have a great time with one another.

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Expanding Awareness with Victor Robert Venckus on WZBC 90.3 FM

I’ve been terribly remiss in announcing my buddy Victor’s wonderful Expanding Awareness shows on WZBC 90.3 FM (Boston College Radio). He presents interviews (with audience callers) every Saturday morning from 10-11am, on paranormal, holistic heath, environmental and sometimes animal rights topics. Before which he plays really good ambient, world, and New Age music (from 7am – 10am). He also has an astrology report for the week ahead from Dietrich Pessin at 9:30.

I’m about to announce a show that already aired, which may sound rather stupid, but happily WZBC is now streaming them for the past two weeks. So you can listen to his shows after the fact (as well as other shows on WZBC).

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Not at SXSW

This, apparently, is Wyatt. Used entirely without permission.

This is Wyatt. Used entirely without permission.

Here are some bands who are not at SXSW. Instead, they’re playing at various clubs around the Boston area. I have to work tonight, so I can’t even go out and see ’em perform, say hello, buy their stuff, and show my support. But what I can do is write up brief profiles and give links so you can learn more about them. So that’s what I’m doing.

Bitter? Morose? Cynical? Who, me?

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The Airborne Toxic Event w/The Calder Quartet at the Bowery Ballroom, NYC, March 11, 2009

“I catch a cab outside on 7th Street and the cars fly by through the Bowery…”

The Bowery & Delancey Street, New York City

The Bowery & Delancey Street, New York City

The Bowery Ballroom

The Bowery Ballroom

I knew this would be a special evening, even without the full moon.

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The audacity of hope – and the power of negative thinking

So with a title like that, this is either about Barack Obama, or it’s a compendium of all those self-help books from the 1970s, right? Well… no. Or maybe yes, but in a way that is filtered through the warped mind and understandings of someone who was brought up amidst the rantings of child psychologists, people trying to “find themselves” and “better themselves”, and then the media onslaught kicked into overdrive in the 1990s with the introduction of Internet For The Poor Huddled Masses. I’d never been a happy person. No, that’s wrong. Let me rephrase it. I’d always found it excruciatingly difficult to be a happy person. Some people just flow through life. I writhed and scraped and twisted and clutched.

Ironically now, I find myself the happy one, or at least the hopeful one, bookended by two very important people in my life – my best friend, and my dad – who are burdened by their own sense of truth and weighted down by what they see to be immovable realities in their lives. I feel the heaviness in their vocal tones and inflections, as I bounce exuberantly towards them in our conversations and am walloped in the head with a brick wall. The i-Ching, of which I am sometimes a reluctant student, teaches that in all our life situations and relationships, there are times to advance and times to retreat. Not to give up, mind you, but more a thoughtful and knowing “waiting it out”.

A forward motion, without ambition or striving.

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Boston Love Fest: The Airborne Toxic Event at the Paradise Rock Club, March 7, 2009

I’m not sure if it was because it’s been such a long, cold, snowy and icy winter; or because things have been rather stressful for me lately and I desperately needed to tear loose; or because The Airborne Toxic Event are the best band in the world… but in my not-so-objective opinion, Saturday night’s show at the Paradise Rock Club was transcendental. Bands have good nights and not-so-good nights, TATE being no exception I’m sure, but ultimately, I think, it’s up to the audience whether or not a particular performance reaches the level of religious experience. And this audience was off the charts. On only a few occasions during my concert-going lifetime has the vibe of a place been so high that it’s given me chills, and this was one of those times.

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Indie Bands, Rock Gods, and the Music Biz

I first saw this great photo of The Airborne Toxic Event and thought “this wants for a caption.” And now I have one: “The Airborne Toxic Event Signs with Island Records.” Fantastic news for frustrated overseas fans listening to tracks on their MySpace page, unable to purchase their debut album, and wistfully wondering when if ever they’ll have a chance to see a live performance. Worrying news for fans in the U.S. and the UK who have been fortunate to be able to see the band “up close and personal” at small, intimate venues. And the debate (yeah, another one) is on. The TATE fans I wonder about are those lucky few who regularly hung out with them at the Echo or Spaceland, and what they might be thinking about now. Hopefully most share the views of L.A. blogger Rocket / Rock It, who says “I’m being positive about this because I really want them to succeed, and I need to face that success doesn’t mean playing at Spaceland for locals forever (even if that is exactly what I want out of all my favorite LA bands, selfish me).”

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Airborne Toxic Event @ Mr. Small’s Theatre, Pittsburgh PA, March 2

By Matt Clark, guest blogger

The show last night was absolutely amazing. Got there an hour early to make sure we were close to the stage, and stood outside for over an hour until 20 minutes after the doors were supposed to be open before anyone else showed up and they finally opened the doors.

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