musings from boston

screams, whispers and songs from planet earth

Month: June 2012 (Page 2 of 2)

Introducing Zula: a pleasant interlude for your Friday morning…

So here’s some really nice trancy sort of indie pop psychedelia for you this fine morning. This is the sort of music that can really take you away on a pleasant little trip, so if you have someplace you need to be today, you may want to set an alarm clock. The band is Zula, centered around the songwriting of cousins Henry and Nate Terepka. They’re based in Brooklyn, NY, and are currently recording their debut album and playing a few local shows here and there (see below).

Have a listen to something from their debut EP released last spring, Crescent Intake Session.

Upcoming shows around NYC:
6/10/12 @ Astoria Park
6/15/12 @ Trash Bar
6/29/12 @ The Rock Shop

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Happy Silversun Pickups Day in Boston!

photo by Autumn De Wilde

photo by Autumn De Wilde

Silversun Pickups Acoustic Performance & Autograph Signing
TODAY! – Wednesday, June 6th @ 6:30 PM
Newbury Comics, Faneuil Hall – Boston, MA location

We welcome the Silver Lake-based band, Silversun Pickups, who are in Boston today doing some promotional stuff to celebrate their wonderful new album, Neck Of The Woods on Dangerbird Records (my review is ‘coming soon’ over at Ryan’s Smashing Life). There were two competitions (Radio 929 and WFNX) for acoustic appearances, and at 6:30pm, Brian and Nikki will be over at Newbury Comics (Faneuil Hall store) for an acoustic set and signing. The Newbury Comics folks will be handing out wristbands starting at 10am, so if you want to catch it, I strongly recommend that you head over as early as possible, since it’s limited to the first 200 people. No word on any proper shows in the area; so far, only a handful of festival dates are mentioned on their site.

Check out their recent appearance on David Letterman…

(thanks to IdolXfactor2)

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Tally Ho! The Clean Conquer Allston!

Hamish Kilgour of The Clean, at Brighton Music Hall

Hamish and David Kilgour of The Clean, at Brighton Music Hall

It’s easy to be cynical about music these days, with so many bland, mediocre bands that commandeer the increasingly homogeneous radio airwaves and mainstream media. But there are those rare moments when a group of musicians have that special synergy and love of performance, that can transcend everything else and make all those years seem to instantly vanish. We’re all back at the beginning, when everything was fresh and exciting. The joy of discovery, and of rediscovery. All Hail The Clean!

For those who can catch one of their few remaining shows here on the East Coast, they’re also selling a very limited edition 2LP vinyl pressing of “Oddities,” their 1994 Flying Nun release. Rolling Stone talks about it in their article today. The first 200 pressings of the 1000 total are on very pretty yellow vinyl. Really nice.

See my loving appreciation – and the rest of their handful of U.S. tour dates – on Ryan’s Smashing Life.

Robert Scott

Robert Scott

Robert Scott and Hamish Kilgour

Robert Scott and Hamish Kilgour

This is pretty close, though they (sadly) didn't play Beatnik

This is pretty close, though they (sadly) didn't play Beatnik


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Robert Francis – Strangers In The First Place

Just a few words in honor of Robert Francis’s lovely new album, Strangers In The First Place (Vanguard Records). It’s personal and romantic, with finely-crafted arrangements of strings and horns, lap steel and harmonica, and Robert’s timeless, smooth and soaring vocals. Watch and listen as he describes the recording process and sample tastes of this wonderful work. | KCET Interview

Honest and straight-from-the-heart, on this, the follow-up to 2009’s Before Nightfall, there is a perfect integration of words and music and a lyrical sophistication that suggests a songwriter much further down the road. A class act. Robert’s playing U.S. dates through the end of this month; then it’s off to Europe through July.

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Amy Correia – Free 3-song sampler and Independent Music Award Winner!

photo by Jeff Fasano

photo by Jeff Fasano

Lakeville, Massachusetts native Amy Correia, whose latest album, the sultry and sassy You Go Your Way, recently scored an award for Best Folk Singer-Songwriter Album at the 11th Annual Independent Music Awards. The competition is judged by such music luminaries as Suzanne Vega, Ozzy Osbourne and Tom Waits.

Amy spent some time on New York City’s Lower East Side, performing alongside songwriters Jesse Harris, Jeff Buckley and jazz singer Rebecca Martin. She’s recently moved back to Massachusetts to take part in the vibrant Boston music scene. Boston’s Session Americana recorded her song “Love Changes Everything,” and she’s made guest appearances on Rose Polenzani’s and John Powhida International Airport’s new albums. She refers to Massachusetts as her “spiritual home base.”

To celebrate her award win, she’s sharing a 3-song sampler with her fans and friends, free of charge. It features “Love Changes Everything” and “Powder Blue Trans Am” (from her latest album You Go Your Way), and the title track from “Lakeville.”

Amy will be performing at the NightCat in Easton, Maryland on Friday, June 15.

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Introducing Omara “Bombino” Moctar, Tuareg songwriter, guitarist and activist

photo by Ron Wyman

photo by Ron Wyman

Musician, Omara “Bombino” Moctar (Goumar Almoctar), has a pretty incredible background. One of 17 siblings, he was born and raised in Niger among the nomadic Tuareg people, whose ancestry is traced to to the North African Berbers. The Tuareg, also known as the Kel Tamasheq, are warriors as well as travelers and traders, fighting against colonialism and strict Islamic rule.

After a severe drought in the early 1980s killed off their livestock and forced the Tuareg people to leave the countryside and move to cities or to Algeria or Libya, these displaced communities organized uprisings against local governments that were ignoring them. Omara was forced to flee his homeland when violent rebellion raged, as people fought for their rights and preservation of their culture. The local musicians played a vital role in telling the story of their plight through song, in a style known as ishoumar (taken from the French “chomeurs,” meaning “unemployed”). He taught himself to play guitar, inspired by this music of his people. In addition to developing a passion for preserving his Tuareg heritage, he would also develop into a formidable guitarist and songwriter.

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