musings from boston

screams, whispers and songs from planet earth

Month: April 2009 (Page 1 of 2)

The East Coast Music Festival Blues (Feel Like I’m Fixin’ To Move Rag)

After my failed attempt to win tickets to Coachella, and hot on the heels of recent announcements that The Airborne Toxic Event (and a host of other wonderful indie rock bands) are playing Austin City Limits and the Fuji Rock Festival this year, I find myself bemoaning the fact that the East Coast really doesn’t have a decent indie music festival. Well, apart from I guess what is now only the second annual All Points West in New Jersey, which seems to be the only festival Airborne Tox isn’t performing at. Of course. There are plans, apparently, for a festival in upstate NY, but that wouldn’t be until 2010, so who the heck knows. Yes, here it comes — it’s Julie’s weekly rant.

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Review: Arthur’s 60th Birthday Concert / Party, April 25, First Parish Church, Watertown MA

Yes, I suppose it’s rather unusual to review a birthday party, but Arthur is a pretty unusual (and immensely talented) guy. The invitation read:

As many of you know, besides teaching martial arts and doing healing work, I write music. But only a few of you ever heard me play the piano. Ten years ago, on my 50th birthday, I decided to give a party/recital and play the piano. People seemed to enjoy the music, so I said I would do it every ten years. Well it has been ten years.

So on Saturday, April 25th at 6pm I will give my ‘every ten years’ party recital.

This special event was held at Watertown’s First Parish Church, and if you think this is an usual venue for a party, well, the church also regularly hosts Mirabai Devi’s public Darshans, so no, not unusual at all.

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Expanding Awareness tomorrow morning: Herbs!

Victor’s guests for tomorrow on his Expanding Awareness show (WZBC 90.3 FM @ 10:00 a.m.) will be Katja Swift and Mischa, and they will be discussing herbs. Katja Swift has been practicing clinical herbalism since 2001. Katja worked actively to help pass anti-GMO legislation in Vermont: the Right to Know Seed Labeling Bill, which became the first such law in the nation, as well as the Farmer Protection Act. She teaches regularly at the Boston School of Herbal Studies, and is presenting an ongoing herbal series in Brookline. Mischa offers herb classes at the Cambridge Center for Adult Education and is an adjunct faculty at the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.


You can listen to Victor Robert Venckus as he presents his Lucid Sounds/Expanding Awareness program on WZBC 90.3 FM (Boston College Radio) every Saturday from 7am – 11am. He begins with New Age, ambient, Native American and world music, with a weekly astrology report from Dietrich Pessin at 9:30 am. Expanding Awareness is at 10am, featuring interviews with a wide variety of guests speaking on paranormal, holistic health, environmental, animal rights and occasionally human rights topics, with listener call-in participation. An extremely popular show, Victor has been on the air, in some guise or another, since 1975.

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The Break Mission, Midatlantic, and Youth Group @ T.T. The Bear’s Place, Cambridge MA, 4/19/09

Youth Group @ T.T. The Bear's Place

Youth Group @ T.T. The Bear's

On a Sunday night at T.T.’s, there were only about 20 people when The Break Mission came on (I’m guessing mostly other band members and their friends). Which is a shame, because these guys are incredibly good. [What is it with Boston residents and really great indie pop bands who come to play here?] From Brooklyn, NY, there’s Matt Hershey, drums, percussion; Jeff Knowlton – guitar, piano, vocals; and Ben Lindell – bass, keyboards. They’ve been compared to Elbow, Death Cab for Cutie and Doves (as well as early Shins and Band of Horses). Even without the piano that features prominently on their excellent “The Prospect” EP, they have a very full, complex and engaging live sound. As much as I love live shows, I often feel that the subtlety of a band’s material gets lost in your average bar setting, but I didn’t feel that way with these guys.

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Boubacar Diabaté of SambaLolo and Don’t Kill Antz @ Toad, April 17, 2009

Don't Kill Antz

Don't Kill Antz

I managed to get a Friday night off and headed to Toad again to catch a few bands. I’m hesitant to repeat what a nice, cozy place this is to see music in, because it gets packed enough as it is. But it is a cool little venue, and they have some really great performances – albeit some noisy and clueless patrons. But more about that in a minute [yes, it’s going to be another one of Julie’s rants, so buckle up.].

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Coachella for poor people, part 7

Hooray, this will be my last “couldn’t afford to go to Coachella” post. Yes, I do know it’s Monday and the festival is over and everyone has gone home. But I had an opportunity to go see some live bands last night at TT the Bear’s place in Cambridge, so I jumped on it, figuring Virtual Coachella could wait. Reviews of those sets (and another night out at the infamous Toad) coming up within a few days. Plus a profile of the very cool L.A. band Radars to the Sky. They’re all stomping their hooves impatiently, so I’d best get on with it.

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Coachella for poor people, part 6

Sunday in Coachella. On this final day, here are some more cool bands that most people will likely miss.

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Coachella for poor people, part 5

Here’s another bunch of Saturday bands peforming at Coachella.

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Coachella for poor people, part 4

Day 2 at Coachella. I managed about 2/3 of the “tent acts” yesterday. I’m going to pick and choose from my favorites today, but I’ll try to get to at least half.

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Coachella for poor people, part 3

Just jamming along here, seeing if I can get to all of Friday’s “Tent People”. Welcome to part 3 of my Cochella mini band profile series.

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