musings from boston

screams, whispers and songs from planet earth

Month: May 2009

Expanding Awareness: Dowsing

Victor’s guest tomorrow on Expanding Awareness will be discussing dowsing (in olden times called water witching).


Victor Robert Venckus 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 on paranormal, holistic health, environmental, animal rights and occasionally human rights topics, with listener call-in participation. The broadcast is now archived for two weeks. Victor has been on the air, in some guise or another, since 1975.

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A Camp at the Middle East Downstairs – Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A Camp (from MySpace)

A Camp (from MySpace)

It was a quote from a song off their new CD, “Colonia”, that was quoted in last week’s Phoenix that piqued my interest and got me out to see this show. “Love is stronger than Jesus. Don’t you know that love can kill anyone? So bring it on.” The tracks I heard on MySpace sounded quite promising, poppy and yet with that darker tinge that instantly reels me in. But that’s all I knew. I never heard of Nina Persson‘s previous band The Cardigans (with whom she gained worldwide popularity, though of course that passed me by completely). So I saw this band without knowing really anything at all about them, and maybe that’s the best way to first see someone. It was a smallish but enthusiastic audience (120-130?). I knew this would be interesting when I saw their stage setup – a few intriguing looking floor lamps, small tables with tablecloths on which various pieces of their equipment were placed… as I was enveloped in this mood of cabarets and salons, I was thinking it would not be out of place for her to sing while stretched out on a divan.

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Band Profile: The National

The National (from their myspace)

The National (from their myspace)

Well, I was going to drive into Boston to see if I could scalp a ticket to see The National at the sold out House of Blues, but 1) I’m still getting over a cold, 2) if I was in the mood for anything, it would be something “low-key”, which the newly opened HOB on Lansdowne Street clearly isn’t (yes, I’m still smarting a bit over the loss of Avalon and Axis, and haven’t been there yet), and 3) Leonard Cohen is in town next weekend, and I absolutely don’t want to be sick for that! So, to assuage my guilt, I’m going to do a mini-band profile for them.

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Expanding Awareness: Homeopathy for swine flu and lyme disease

Victor’s guest for tomorrow on Expanding Awareness will be discussing homeopathic treatments for the swine flu and lyme disease.


Victor Robert Venckus 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 on paranormal, holistic health, environmental, animal rights and occasionally human rights topics, with listener call-in participation. The broadcast is now archived for two weeks. Victor has been on the air, in some guise or another, since 1975.

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Expanding Awareness: Beautiful Food Coaching

Victor’s Expanding Awareness program on Saturday featured Fiona Barrett of Beautiful Food Coaching, speaking about holistic nutrition. Extremely knowledgeable, she provided a lot of information about various foods for specific ailments and purposes, and this was probably one of the busiest “call-ins” for any program.


Victor Robert Venckus 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 on paranormal, holistic health, environmental, animal rights and occasionally human rights topics, with listener call-in participation. The broadcast is now archived for two weeks. Victor has been on the air, in some guise or another, since 1975.

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Happy Mother’s Day: Thrashy, Garagy Fun at the Middle East Upstairs, May 10, 2009

Vivian Girls at the Middle East Upstairs

Vivian Girls at the Middle East Upstairs

One relatively new band I have been hearing about who I “would have seen had I been able to go to Coachella” is the Vivian Girls. When I heard they’d be playing at the Middle East Upstairs, I couldn’t believe my good fortune, as I assumed they were already playing places much larger than that. They were supported by the Libyans and Stupid Party, and judging from the quick listens on MySpace, I was prepared for a thrashy, garagy, ear-bleeding good time. I was not disappointed.

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Kirtan Love with Jai Uttal at the First Church in Cambridge, May 7 2009

Jai Uttal performing at the First Church in Cambridge

Jai Uttal performing at the First Church in Cambridge

It’s probably best to begin this review with a description of what Kirtan is. From its Wikipedia page: “Kirtan (Sanskrit: “to repeat”) is call-and-response chanting performed in India’s devotional traditions.” I was first introduced to the spiritually uplifting Kirtan at one of Mirabai Devi’s public Darshans back about a year ago, so I knew I had to be here.

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Expanding Awareness: Herbs, part 2

On Expanding Awareness (WZBC 90.3 FM @ 10:00 a.m. or from their two-week archive) right now are Katja Swift and Mischa, once again discussing herbology with host Victor Robert Venckus. Katja Swift has been practicing clinical herbalism since 2001. 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.


Victor Robert Venckus resents 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 on paranormal, holistic health, environmental, animal rights and occasionally human rights topics, with listener call-in participation. Victor has been on the air, in some guise or another, since 1975.

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A Weekend In Somerville: Jonathan Richman Tribute/Arts Council Benefit & Somerville Open Studios

This past weekend turned out to be “Focus on Somerville”, a little stomp around my old neighborhood. I mourn the loss of The Someday Cafe and cheap apartments (long, long gone), but some of the bohemia of yore remains, and there’s still cool stuff going on.

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Band Profile: Radars To The Sky

photo by Callie Schneider, February 2009

photo by Callie Schneider, February 2009

Another of the great, great bands on the Silverlake scene, Radars To The Sky has that wonderful sophisticated folk/pop indie sound with really smart lyrics that I was immediately attracted to when virtually exploring those bands regularly performing at places like Spaceland and The Echo. The husband and wife due of Andrew and Kate Spitser (guitar and keyboards) compliment each other beautifully, especially when also sharing the vocal duties, such as on the lovely “I Might”.

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