musings from boston

screams, whispers and songs from planet earth

Month: December 2009 (Page 1 of 2)

Band Round-Up, Part Two – December 30, 2009

some amazing ladies - Theresa Andersson, Erin McKeown, Alicia Jo Rabins, Nomi Ruiz of Jessica 6, and Shilpa Ray.

some amazing ladies - Theresa Andersson, Erin McKeown, Alicia Jo Rabins, Nomi Ruiz of Jessica 6, and Shilpa Ray.

Part two of three in my band round-up to clear the decks before 2010. I’ll start with a truly astonishing “one-woman-band”, Theresa Andersson, who completely blew me away when I saw a performance she did for Morning Becomes Eclectic. There’s also singer-songwriter Erin McKeown, and Girls in Trouble (a.k.a. Alicia Jo Rabins) whose two years living in Jerusalem inspired her self-titled debut album. From the psychedelic and dreamy Farewell Republic to the bluesy garage punk of the Willowz, and the pop punk/electro of Jessica 6, centering around Nomi Ruiz’s haunting vocals. Oh, and Shilpa Ray and Her Happy Hookers. You just know you’re in for something good with a name like that.

I’m also featuring Sake Of The Song.com, a very cool site where musicians sell their own hand-crafted merchandise to raise money for recording projects. It’s an awesome time to be an indie musician right now, with so many DIY opportunities and a wide-open playing field – it’s a great time to be a fan as well!

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Boston Bands This Week (12/28/09)…

So I thought there might just be a handful of New Year’s Eve shows this week, but alas, there are tons of Boston-area bands playing. Trying to get this up and out, so my apologies if I miss stuff (and feel free to let me know if I do). We got everything from hardcore to synth pop to soul to a Bim Skala Bim NYE’s bash at the Middle East (sold out, but maybe there’ll be a ticket or two outside). Quirky folkies (and I just love quirky folkies) at PA’s Lounge. And a shockingly cool line up with The Boston Pops this year. Wow, Amanda Palmer?! Really?? Happy 2010, and more Boston bands in the new year.

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Band Round-Up ~ part one ~ December 28, 2009

Whole lot of catching up to do, and some really fine music. From Memphis-based Star & Micey, to the experimental Inca Ore and Japanese psychedelic band Yura Yura Teikoku, Scottish folk/pop of Frightened Rabbit, and a flashback to the 1980s with Relation and Pylon. Moody pop with Scanners, alt rock of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, and a Motown-inspired chanteuse from New Zealand, Gin Wigmore.

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the haircut

If you’ve visited my “about” page, you’ve already been sufficiently warned. Consider this a first dipping of my toe into a very cold and curious ocean. There will be more, muse willing. Have no fear; I’ll continue to promote musicians I like, and to make feeble attempts to keep up with Boston-area bands as well as, inexplicably, those 2,983 miles away from me. But for now…

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Artists in Aid Benefit with Red Cortez, and members of Delta Spirit and The Airborne Toxic Event – Friday, December 18, 2009

by Tammy Asaki – Huntington Beach, CA

I had the pleasure of attending the Artists in Aid Benefit on Friday. It was held at Edgar Varela Fine Arts Junglerush gallery in Los Angeles, which was a very cool venue for this event. There was a cozy outdoor patio where people could hang out on couches and chat and smoke under red paper lanterns and moonlight. Upstairs was the loft where the bands played surrounded by pieces of art from artist, Tommy Mose Abbot. An open bar and free wine tasting provided for a lively atmosphere.

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Boston Bands This Week (12/21/09)…

Happy winter solstice. Now go out, freeze your ass off, and see some bands.

Happy Winter Solstice. Now go out, freeze your ass off, and see some bands.

With snow on the ground (about 8″ on the North Shore; less I think in Boston?), we officially welcome the season of braving the elements and navigating around snow mounds for parking spaces to support our local bands.

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Holiday and Charity Shows in L.A. 2009

Why do I torment myself? Because it’s fun. I can’t go to these, but if you’re anywhere – and I mean anywhere – in the area, I highly recommend that you do.

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Boston Bands This Week…

The Elevator Drops, Cassavettes, Your Favorite Ex, Harry & The Potters

The Elevator Drops, Cassavettes, Your Favorite Ex, Harry & The Potters

Well, I guess this isn’t going to be a weekly feature, but here’s some Boston-area bands playing this week anyway.

You can see The Secret Sea at Great Scott on Wednesday. Also on Wednesday, Supa Dupa! plays T.T. The Bear’s. On Thursday, Hallelujah The Hills is at the Middle East (downstairs). On Friday, Monique Ortiz performs at Toad, and Elevator Drops plays at the Middle East (downstairs) for, apparently, a one-time-only reunion. On Saturday, Your Favorite Ex does an afternoon show at the Middle East (upstairs) as part of a “Boston Music Spotlight”, and Street Dogs play the Paradise. At Toad on Saturday, folk-rock/Americana group Cassavettes are performing with the rootsy Don’t Kill Antz. There’s a cool show on Sunday at the Middle East (downstairs) – The 5th Annual Yule Ball, a Harry Potter-inspired extravaganza featuring Harry and the Potters, Draco and the Malfoys, Whomping Willows, MC Kreacher, and more. And Street Dogs are at the Paradise again.

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An Evening With Switchfoot at the Paradise Rock Club, Boston 12/9/09

Switchfoot_Paradise01

Amidst crackling bolts of lightening, swerving madly to avoid large lakes forming in the streets, I was careening down from the North Shore in a torrential downpour to see Switchfoot at the Paradise in Boston. I amusingly thought of biblical analogies, apocalyptic epic floods and such, but given the band’s Christian rock beginnings, as much as I appreciate a helping hand when facing down that scary first paragraph, that was just too easy.

This is not the sort of band I would normally trumpet praises for. It’s less the “Christian rock” bit that puts me off, but rather phrases like “mainstream major label success” and “certified double platinum – 2.6 million copies sold”. There are plenty of mainstream artists I enjoy listening to – U2.. Bob Dylan.. Bruce Springsteen.. Lifehouse, even. With those artists, though, I don’t feel the need to add my voice to the chorus, as it were. But after seeing Switchfoot’s breathtaking performance at the Paradise, I’m impressed with these guys on so many levels, I can’t help myself.

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Review: The Happy Hollows ~ “Spells”

SpellsArtwork1

What I had in mind was a review of The Happy Hollows’ NEW release Spells, rather than an article of historic interest. Before we’re into a new year, let me just do this. The Happy Hollows – Sarah Negahdari, Chris Hernandez, and Charles Mahoney – are quite incredible live, but to truly appreciate the range of Sarah’s expressive vocals, the cornucopia of moods and styles, and fun/ferocious experimentation, you have to sit down at leisure with their amazing debut album, Spells. Which I finally did, jotting down my initial impressions upon hearing it, uninterrupted and at the forefront of my spinning but focused mind. I’m not promising that any of this will make any sense whatsoever, so I’ll summarize: they’re wonderful, it’s hard to believe this is just their first full-length release, and you should buy one. You should also see them, when they come back around. I felt privileged to be at T.T. The Bear’s that night.

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