It was a wondrous and hilarious clashing of cultures in the House of Blues restaurant on Lansdowne Street after Evelyn Evelyn’s tour finale in the big room. Jaggery brought a huge helping of class to this section of town best known for baseball, burgers and beer. And Walter Sickert and The Army of Broken Toys, with a wicked gleam in their eyes, tried to see just how far they could go before having the plug pulled. Pretty damn far, I’m happy to report. Jaggery harpist extraordinaire Petaluma Vale commented after their classical and gothic-inspired ethereal set, “I think I’m overdressed for this place,” as she glanced down at her elegant long skirt, appearing for all the world like a fairy princess lost in Walmart. I argued that the Lansdowne Street eatery was lucky to have such a classy event grace their establishment.
Month: June 2010 (Page 1 of 2)
Three nice shows to help everyone officially kick off their summer. First up, there’s the Narragansett Summer Concert Series TONIGHT at the Hard Rock Cafe, with an evening of rootsy Americana featuring Jimmy Ryan and Hayride, Sam Reid & the Riot Act and others. Then tomorrow, an actual “Summer Kick-off Party” at T.T. the Bear’s Place, featuring Plushgun, The Appreciation Post, Vivian Darkbloom, and Mr. Fyner & the Tech Ed Room. And straight off their East Coast tour and epic evening at the House of Blues Evelyn Evelyn afterparty (review forthcoming), Jaggery will be performing on Sunday with Mary Bichner/Box Five and Ginger Ibex at the venerable folk establishment, Club Passim.
Sometimes it’s nice to ditch the loud rock club in favor of something a bit more low-key and relaxed, and spend an evening focusing on the songs and heartfelt singing accompanied very simply by acoustic guitar. Such was the case Thursday night at the legendary and venerable Club Passim, in the company of Portland, Oregon singer-songwriter Shelley Short and from L.A., aficionados of American songwriting – both traditional and modern, Les Shelleys.
One of my favorite bands, The Happy Hollows, are embarking on a little tour beginning tonight in Washington, D.C., stopping off at O’Brien’s Pub in Allston next Monday. Psychedelic, experimental Boston-based The Dead Marxist Trio will be performing with them, which promises to be a nice evening for a mystical foray to another world.
I present to you two evenings of stark contrast: a theatrical spectacular of epic proportions – the closing night of Evelyn Evelyn‘s whirlwind worldwide tour, with special guests Amanda Palmer, Jason Webley, and Sxip Shirey), followed by an ultra-special afterparty featuring Walter Sickert and the Army of Broken Toys and Jaggery at the House of Blues Saturday night; and For the Sake of the Song, a stripped-down, unplugged acoustic showcase founded by Boston musician Patrick Coman, also featuring local singer-songwriters Dan Emino and Levi Schmidt, and indie folk duo Flightless Buttress, which touches down on Sunday at O’Brien’s Pub in Allston.
On the cover of their brand new CD, Steam Ship Killers, there is a portrait of a multi-tentacled sea creature, ominous and threatening. But the curiously inviting keyholes at its base suggest that if one has the necessary fortitude, one might unlock its secrets. The same could be said of its protectors, Walter Sickert & The Army Of Broken Toys. A ‘Toys’ virgin might well be confounded and overwhelmed at first – what to make of this motley gathering? Marionette and puppetmaster, musicians and dancers, a bawdy and boisterous mistress, the uke player with the filthy mouth… At the center, the master of ceremonies himself, Walter Sickert, who, on this special night, took us on a shamanistic journey. It was an inspired extravaganza. It was also my opportunity to finally see Jaggery, and they were every bit as marvelous as I thought they would be. With their orchestral gothic brilliance, Singer Mali’s ethereal and acerbic vocals, and a dark, extra menacing rendition of “O Scorpio”… what’s not to love?
Argh! Just found out about this. Singer/songwriter Angela Correa (a.k.a. Correatown) is in town tomorrow night at Passim, performing with Tom Brosseau as Les Shelleys. Seriously, it was a tweet from Angela, saying they were “maybe a little lost in a warehouse district somewhere in Brooklyn” that kicked my brain into sudden awareness. My Eastside L.A. peeps are all over the place! How wonderful. Acoustic guitar with singular focus on their delightful harmonies, they perform arrangements of traditional folk songs and American standards from the past century. Joining them on this tour is Portland, Oregon based Shelley Short, no musical slouch herself; a clever songwriter with a sweet little voice, singing in an intimate, sleepy & wistful alt-country style.
I’m not usually in the habit of reviewing parties, but I must make an exception in this case and say a few words. It was a ridiculously cool event put on by Boston-area bloggers – Boston Band Crush, Bradley’s Almanac, Exploit Boston!, Playground Boston, Ryan’s Smashing Life, Tea Party Boston, Zed Equals Zee, and Agent Bishop Productions – and hosted by the fine folks at the extremely classy production facility The Bridge Sound and Stage (formerly home to the legendary Fort Apache Studios).
How exactly is it that it took me 14 years to see these guys live? That was the question looming in my head at the cozy Lizard Lounge, as Club D’Elf‘s adventurous jazz/dub/fusion excursions ran rampant and unchecked through my electrified, buzzing brain. This was a special occasion – part of a Memorial Weekend ‘guitar orgy’ which, on this particular night, was presided over by special guests Randy Roos and Reeves Gabrels. Reeves I have seen before, and it was good to see him again. Mr. Roos I wasn’t familiar with, but he’s a wildly impressive guitarist as well, and there was some good-natured ‘sparring’ (and at times delightful interplay between the two) which added even more enjoyment to a heaping helping of aural ecstacy.
Two Three interesting events to profile this week. The first is actually a three-day musical extravaganza to celebrate The Boston Phoenix’s Best Music Poll, with some very cool local bands in free performances at Downtown Crossing. This includes everything from psychedelic to lo-fi punk, synth-propelled New Wave and dance, indie pop, folk, and Americana. Secondly and a late addition because I just realized they’re performing at the Milky Way in JP Friday night, Audrey Ryan and Shepherdess, two highly talented singer-songstresses. The third promises to be a fun and adventurous evening of cabaret and music from Bent Wit Cabaret. They present a full collaborative theatrical production on the second Sunday of every month at OBERON in Cambridge (Harvard Square). For this particular show (“Identity”) which commemorates the end of Pride Week, they’ll be exploring race, sex, and gender, with lots of music, from rock to jazz to pop.