musings from boston

screams, whispers and songs from planet earth

Month: June 2009

Band Profile: Red Cortez

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Originally known as The Weather Underground, the group formed mid-2004 with singer/guitarist Harley Prechtel-Cortez, bassist Ryan Kirkpatrick, drummer Diego Guerrero and guitarist Sho Bagley. Sho left around the middle of last year, and was replaced by Edmonton native Calvin J. Love. Adding a Canadian to the mix made the band even more diverse, as they already have Guatemalan, Mexican, and Irish ancestry, which comes out at times in beautiful ways, in their sound and subject matter. The new band member, new songs, and inevitable linking to the ’60’s/’70’s leftist group (often as important to journalists as their songs) inspired them to change their name to Red Cortez. Their first show was Nov. 11, for the debut of Indie 103.1’s “Check One Tuesdays” night at the Echoplex, opening for Earlimart and Afternoons (good heavens, what a lineup).

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Expanding Awareness: Native American Spirituality

On Saturday’s “Expanding Awareness” program, Victor and his guest will be discussing Native American spirituality. If you’re not in the Boston area, you can listen online. His shows are also archived for two weeks.


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: Alan Watts “The World As Just So”

On this morning’s “Expanding Awareness” program (happening as I write this), Victor will be airing a previously unheard (on his show, anyway) Alan Watt’s lecture entitled “The World As Just So”. If you miss this ’cause I’m posting so late, you can catch it online for two weeks.


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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not a good day…

transcendental meditation, crystals, sun salutations, i-ching, tarot cards, past life regressions. crying, screaming, dancing. consultations with psychics, with astrologers, with psychologists, with charlatans. clean diet, exercise, qigong, drugs, drinking, no drugs, no drinking. live music, bird-watching, getting lost in the woods, getting lost in a book. self-analysis, mindlink, manic mind, empty mind. gardening, ouija boards, going to the movies, long drives, walking around in a crowded city, sitting in a darkened room. i have a home depot full of fancy tools, and sometimes i can’t hammer a fucking nail into a board.

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Review: Sharon Robinson – “Everybody Knows”

cover art by Leonard Cohen

cover art by Leonard Cohen

My first introduction to Sharon Robinson’s music was at Leonard Cohen’s amazing performance at the Wang Theatre a few weeks ago. He had brought with him a stellar collection of musicians, each one fascinating in their own right. Sharon, I learned, is not just a gifted vocalist, but has collaborated with Mr. Cohen for many years, and has written quite a few songs with him, including one of my all-time favorites, “Everybody Knows”. She, along with the Webb Sisters, contributed lovely backup vocals, and she did an amazing solo performance of “Boogie Street”, to enthusiastic cheers from the audience.

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Local Natives & Blind Pilot at T.T. The Bear’s Place, Cambridge, MA June 10, 2009

Blind Pilot @ T.T. the Bear's Place

Blind Pilot @ T.T. the Bear's Place

The last time I saw the wonderful Silverlake band The Local Natives (also at T.T.’s, with The Union Line & Voxhaul Broadcast) was back in January, and I was amazed at how good they were. It was a Sunday night, the weather was cold, slushy and miserable, and there were maybe 20 people in the audience, most of them the other band members and their friends. Even so, and considering they had come from L.A. cross-country to play for us, they put on an enthusiastic, fantastic show, and this really impressed me.

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Expanding Awareness: Open House at the Theosophical Society in Arlington

On Expanding Awareness tomorrow morning, Victor will be interviewing practitioners at an Open House at the Theosophical Society in Arlington, Massachusetts.


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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Label Profile: JAXART Records

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It was one of those odd moments of serendipity. This morning, I was thinking it was high time to begin writing what I’ve been thinking about for nearly a month now – my first “label profile” of a small but wonderful and prolific enterprise out in L.A. called JAXART Records. Since they’ve put out releases by a few of my favorite bands from that astonishing “Silverlake scene” (Rademacher, The Henry Clay People, Mezzanine Owls…), I decided to put on a bit of music to get me in the mood. I plucked out another one of my favorites, “Our Tears Have Wings” by the Monolators. Then I proceed to dig around for some background information. I come across an interesting and informative interview from LAist with JAXART founder Ashley Jex . Reading along, I discover she’s in the Monolators, first joining them on the brilliant “Don’t Dance” album, which has been sitting for a while on my turntable. And that she publishes a blog that I include in my blogroll and regularly frequent, Rock Insider. It was one of those “ohhhhhhhh” moments (stop that chuckling out there; I’m on a computer day and night, so I have short-term memory issues. Sometimes it just takes me a while, ya know?). She’s deeply immersed in L.A.’s local music scene, having done a stint as a KROQ intern, worked at a few indie labels, and even DJ’s and books shows. She started Rock Insider in 2005, and JAXART Records in 2007.

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Expanding Awareness: Opening of the third eye

Victor’s guest tomorrow on Expanding Awareness will be discussing the opening of the Third Eye.


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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Leonard Cohen at the Wang Theatre, Boston, May 30, 2009

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I recently introduced my parents to Leonard Cohen’s music; needless to say, they’ve become huge fans. Upon hearing that I would be seeing him in person, my mom said to me “make sure you bring a handkerchief”. Which is like telling someone to bring a teacup, in the event of a tsunami. At first glance, some might see Leonard Cohen’s music as dark, cynical, or at the very least, melancholy. But there’s a quiet joy that runs through his songs. A reverence and deep respect for the mundane – and quite often the bawdy – aspects of everyday life. Tears, yes. But more of release, rather than sadness.

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