musings from boston

screams, whispers and songs from planet earth

Month: March 2011 (Page 1 of 2)

Richard Ashcroft @ The Villa Victoria Center for the Arts 3/24/11

The United Nations of Sound (Richard Ashcroft's new album)

The United Nations of Sound (Richard Ashcroft's new album)

What a wonderful solo acoustic performance from singer-songwriter Richard Ashcroft (The Verve) at a venue that usually does not host rock shows, The Villa Victoria Center for the Arts in the South End. Also that night, a great acoustic set from Mike Fiore of Faces on Film. Read my review on melophobe.

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DeVotchKa (& Mariachi El Bronx) tomorrow night at the Paradise!

DeVotchKa performing at the House of Blues last April.

DeVotchKa performing at the House of Blues last April.

Really looking forward to this one – a musical smorgasbord encompassing the globe and defying genres… DeVotchKa! And they’re performing at the Paradise Rock Club as well, such a nice treat after their larger show at the House of Blues last time. Joining them will be mariachi (and sometimes hardcore punk) band Mariachi El Bronx. For a little background, check out my article on Ryan’s Smashing Life. I’ll see ya’all there.

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New Song from The Henry Clay People ~ “California Wildfire”

HCP-desert-400

A trifecta of new music from some of my favorite L.A. bands today. Last but certainly not least is the latest from The Henry Clay People, whom I’ve had the great pleasure of seeing. Several times, in fact, and always a great rock ‘n’ roll celebration. The song is “California Wildfire,” the first offering from their upcoming five track EP, This Is A Desert, due out in May from TBD Records. There’s lots of noisy guitar, some wacky effects, frenetic drumming, and Jordan’s rollicking honky-tonk piano. Serious fun. Can’t wait to see these guys again! For those of you lucky enough to attend Coachella, they’ll be performing April 15th.

The Henry Clay People – California Wildfire by One Thirty BPM

official site | facebook | twitter | TBD Records

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New (FREE!) music from Walking Sleep: Tarp Sessions, Vol. 1

Walking Sleep (formerly known as The Flying Tourbillon Orchestra) just released Tarp Sessions, Vol. 1, the first of three FREE EPs they’ll be releasing, leading up to their month-long residency in April at The Satellite (formerly known as Spaceland). The EP is named for their “recording studio” – an old industrial tarp factory in downtown Los Angeles – that lends a lovely spacious ambiance to their expansive 60s sound (hints of The Zombies, Motown soul, Fleetwood Mac) and a bright, vibrant live feel.

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College Kids and Rademacher demos! (such a tease)

old Rademacher press photo. maybe it'll embarrass them into getting a new one. maybe not.

old Rademacher press photo. maybe it'll embarrass them into getting a new one. maybe not.

UPDATE: (from press release) “Rademacher, will be playing several dates in Southern and Central California during the month of April and will return to the studio to record the follow up to their full length debut, STUNTS…. The new record, titled BABY HAWK, will be engineered by Josiah Mazzachi (of Los Angeles band Light FM) at his Eagle Rock, CA studio, The Cave. The band will be releasing Baby Hawk on their own label, Hot Mess Magic, in three parts, with material being released digitally in June, August and a final and physical release slated for December of 2011.”

Two yummy treats from College Kids and Rademacher. Finally getting around to posting these. Enjoy.

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Musical Voodoo with Zoë Keating with Walter Sickert and the Army of Broken Toys @ Cafe 939

Walter Sickert and Zoë Keating

Walter Sickert and Zoë Keating

There are decent rock shows, where the bands are solid, the venue’s sound quality is at a good level, and the audience is appreciative. And then every so often there’s an event, some random evening, a moment captured in time and space, when the planets align and something quite magical happens. I suppose in this case there were two such evenings, back to back, as Zoë Keating and Walter Sickert and his ever-enlightening Army Of Broken Toys managed to sell out two shows at what’s rapidly becoming one of my favorite venues to truly appreciate fine music in, Cafe 939. Last Saturday night, it was a potent combination of sophisticated artists, exquisite venue with perfect sound and ambiance, and the audience? Well, put it this way: it was the sort of crowd that made it difficult to ascertain where the spectators ended and The Army of Toys’ Bunny Collective began. Everyone and everything intermingled, boundaries melted away, and we were all performers and performance.

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“Changing”… into what, exactly?

After posting about two massive fatal earthquakes, I am now following up with thoughts about a rock band’s 3:49 video. How incredibly stupid and unimportant in comparison. Yet I’ve been meaning to weigh in on The Airborne Toxic Event‘s official video for their new song, “Changing”. After seeing comments from two L.A. bloggers who have had a profound effect on the music I’ve been listening to since 2008, and then the L.A. Times (all of whom were among the first to introduce this great band to Los Angeles locals, long before anyone else knew about them), I knew the time was now.

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Thoughts and Prayers to Japan (and Christchurch NZ) – & A Reality Check from the East Coast

[As I was trying to finish this up, I got word of a massive earthquake that has struck Japan, along with a subsequent tsunami affecting much of the Pacific basin. My thoughts go out to everyone in its path.]

Two and a half weeks ago on February 22, a 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck Christchurch, New Zealand’s third largest city. They were hit last September by a 7.1 quake, but this time it was just three miles from the city, at a shallow depth. My first reaction was a very personal one – a deep concern for my dear friend Lizi, who started as an online ‘pen pal’ and quickly became, by virtue of her down-to-earth nature and wicked sense of humor, the sister I never had. I visited her in 2003, she visited me several years later one summer, and we pop in and out of each other’s lives from time to time with lengthy emails. Thankfully she and her family were ok, though dealing with an enormous mess and the tragedy of many lost lives. What followed once I heard back from her was that terrible realization of the fragility of our lives, dancing on the head of a pin as we all are, deeply immersed in the silliest of concerns, and how in an instant, our world can be turned upside down and we’re living inside of a news story instead of watching it passively on CNN.

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Introducing string-rock quintet, Darlingside

Northampton-based Darlingside has a sound seeped in tradition, yet with a spritely pop momentum. Cello, violin, acoustic and bass guitar blend together elegantly, with crisp front-and-center percussion driving it forward, and soulful, impassioned vocals that break out into glorious 5-part harmony. Featured at times are are violin and cello duets; mandolin and pennywhistle add to the traditional and timeless feel.

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Expanding Awareness: Geomancy and Dowsing

On this morning’s Expanding Awareness show, Victor and his guest will be discussing Geomancy and Dowsing. Tune in at 10am to WZBC 90.3fm or wzbc.org. If you miss it, you can also listen after the fact by visiting the WZBC Archive (all of ‘ZBC’s shows are online for two weeks).

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