musings from boston

screams, whispers and songs from planet earth

Month: October 2012

Your Samhain/Halloween Plans: Walter Sickert’s SquidHouse of Horror

Walter Sickert’s SquidHouse of Horror
with Walter Sickert & The Army of Broken Toys, Moe Pope, Darling Pet Munkee, XNY
Hosted by Johnny Blazes
Wednesday, October 31
Doors at 8 PM; Show at 9 PM; 18+ Show
Advance Box Office Price $15 | BUY TICKETS


There’s something about this show that makes perfect sense right now, with how positively loony life has been lately. It’s the combination, you know, of time exponentially speeding up, pent-up mass frustrations bursting at the seams and boiling over, crazy ranting lunatics running for public office, full moons, high tides, and bizarro ‘biblical end times’ weather. It all makes a person kinda nuts. Tell me, what kind of world are we all living in, at this very moment, than a Squidhouse of Horror? So it’s especially apropos that the master and mistress of that Victorian carnival funhouse of the apocalypse, Mr. Walter Sickert and Miss Edrie (along with the Bunny Collective, I presume), are hosting this ominous and not-to-be-missed event.

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The Drowning Men at T.T.’s Tomorrow Night!

Rory Dolan and Nato Bardeen of The Drowning Men in Hartford, Ct last year

Rory Dolan and Nato Bardeen of The Drowning Men in Hartford, Ct last year

The Drowning Men (11:30pm) with The Yoni Gordon Orchestra (10:30pm) (NYC), Banditas (9:45pm) (Somerville) and Sails (9pm) (Vermont)
at T.T. the Bear’s Place – Central Square, Cambridge
Friday, October 26, 2012
8:30pm doors | 18+ | buy tickets

Crazy times. It’s scary how fast this year is whirling past, but the one piece of good news is that we’re already on the eve of The Drowning Men’s show at T.T.’s, as they make a stop in Cambridge midway through their tour. They’ve been celebrating the release of their extremely fine new album, “All of the Unknown” (Borstal Beat Records), which I reviewed on Ryan’s Smashing Life. Last time I saw these guys, it was almost a year ago at the Orpheum Theatre, supporting The Airborne Toxic Event, whom I definitely have to thank for introducing me to these wonderful musicians. I’m really looking forward to Nato Bardeen’s ‘grasping wildly at a life raft’ vocals, keyboards and mandolin, the band’s sheer exuberance and their ‘pirates on the high seas’ vibe. And oh yes, the theramin, which gives their Eastern European, wistful Americana, sea shanty rock an off-kilter carnival air. If you begin to feel dizzy, put your head between your knees.

Be there when The Drowning Men come careening onto the stage of T.T.’s. And find me up at the front sometime around midnight to wish me a happy birthday.

10/26 Fri – Cambridge, MA – T.T. the Bear’s
10/27 Sat – New York, NY – Mercury Lounge
10/28 Sun – Pittsburgh, PA – Club Cafe
10/30 Tues – Chicago, IL – Schuba’s Tavern
11/1 Thurs – Denver, CO – Lion’s Lair
11/2 Fri – Salt Lake City, UT – Kilby Court
11/3 Sat – Las Vegas, NV – Palms Hotel Lounge – FREE SHOW

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Sea Wolf returns to Boston (Saturday night at Church)

Sea Wolf with Hey Marseilles
at Church of Boston
Saturday, October 20, 2012
EARLY SHOW – Doors at 6pm | 21+
$12 advance; $15 at the door
BUY TICKETS

If I wasn’t going to be out of town, I would very likely be at Church Saturday night to welcome back to town Alex Brown Church and Sea Wolf, one of my L.A. faves. Seattle’s Hey Marseilles, with their charming string-based orchestral old-timey folk, makes for a marvelous pairing. This will be a really lovely evening.

Alex Brown Church of Sea Wolf

Alex Brown Church of Sea Wolf


Earlier in the year, Sea Wolf released their third full-length on Dangerbird Records, Old World Romance. It’s an aptly titled release. The music is warm, flowing, timeless, and yes, very romantic. Just beautiful. If you like what you hear, you’ll definitely want to see them in this intimate setting. Last time I saw them, it was a few years ago supporting The Album Leaf at the Paradise.

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Brian Carpenter & the Confessions ~ new song/video, and Lizard Lounge tomorrow night

Brian Carpenter and the Confessions CD single release party with Animal Hospital, Alec K. Redfearn & the Eyesores (CD release party) and The Wrong Shapes
at the Lizard Lounge, Cambridge
Friday, October 19, 2012
8:30 doors; show at 9 | $10
BUY TICKETS


The wonderful Brian Carpenter & the Confessions has a new song by the name of “Blind”, and they’ll be celebrating at the Lizard Lounge tomorrow night. This band is mesmerizing in their live performance – highly recommended. As is the video for the new offering below, directed and animated by Maricor/Maricar.

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Introducing Boston String Players (one string quartet x 3 = some really fine music)

Boston String Player at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Remis Auditorium, 161
Friday, October 19, 2012 – 7:30-9:30 pm
$16 MFA members, seniors & students, $20 non-members
purchase tickets online or by phone at 1-800-440-6975 or in person at the MFA ticket desk.

Think of how lovely a top-notch string quartet sounds. Now multiply that by about three, and you’ll have Boston String Players, an artistic ensemble comprising current students and recent alumni of over a dozen music schools in the Boston area. Founded in 2007 by artistic director and conductor Motoki Tanaka, their performances combine traditional classical pieces with contemporary (and decidedly non-classical) works and original compositions.

They’ll be kicking off their sixth season at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, for a multimedia program that will premiere new choreography and an arrangement of Björk’s Unravel for strings, electronics and visuals.

The full program is as follows:
1. Johann Sebastian Bach – Brandenburg Concerto No.3
2. Benjamin Britten – Simple Symphony (From the film “Moonrise Kingdom” by Wes Anderson)
Featuring the premiere of a new choreography by Andrea Higgins
3. Béla Bartók – Divertimento for Strings
4. Björk – Unravel
Arranged for strings and electronics by Chad Gray
Featuring visual art by Christopher Saunders

These “kids” are really, really good. Have a look and listen below.




If you’re so inclined, you can join the ensemble for a cocktail hour at Taste (a cafe and wine bar across from the auditorium) preceding the performance, for an informal ‘meet and greet.’ You can also check out the Linde Family Wing for Contemporary Art.

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Silversun Pickups in NYC tonight & tomorrow; Orpheum Theatre on Wednesday!

Sarah Negahdari, from a Happy Hollows show at O'Brien's Pub in Allston in 2010. Brian Aubert, from Silversun Pickups' performance at the WFNX Clambake in 2010.

Sarah Negahdari, from a Happy Hollows show at O'Brien's Pub in Allston in 2010. Brian Aubert, from Silversun Pickups' performance at the WFNX Clambake in 2010.

Silversun Pickups with Cloud Nothings and Atlas Genius
at the Orpheum, Boston
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
7:30pm | All Ages | BUY TICKETS

Silversun Pickups have been busy touring to support their beautiful new album, Neck of the Woods, which I reviewed recently on Ryan’s Smashing Life. Tonight, they’re performing their first (sold out) show at Terminal 5 in New York City. Tickets are still available for tomorrow night’s show. On Wednesday, they’ll be here in Boston at the Orpheum Theatre. As bassist Nikki Monninger is currently on maternity leave (expecting twins), Sarah Negahdari of The Happy Hollows (another of my favorite bands) will be filling in. This is definitely a show not to miss.

10/15 New York City, NY – Terminal 5
10/16 Upper Darby, PA – Tower Theatre
10/17 Boston, MA – Orpheum Theatre
10/19 Hartford, CT – The Webster
10/20 Clifton Park, NY – Upstate Concert Hall
10/21 Cleveland, OH – House of Blues
10/23 Royal Oak, MI – Royal Oak Music Theatre
10/24 Indianapolis, IN – Egyptian Room
10/25 Nashville, TN – Marathon Music Works
10/27 New Orleans, LA – Voodoo Music Experience


For Australian dates and U.S. holiday shows, see their site.

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Malian Blues Comes to the Paradise Rock Club Saturday Night… Tinariwen.

Photo: Thomas Dorn

Photo: Thomas Dorn

Tinariwen with Atlas Soul
In Association with World Music/CRASHarts
Saturday, October 13, at the Paradise Rock Club
Doors at 8 PM | 18+ | Advance Box Office Price $20 (@ the Paradise) or ticketmaster

Tinariwen, comprised of Tuareg-Berber musicians who come from the Sahara Desert region of Northern Mali, are not your typical indie rock band. Though truth is, they are probably the ultimate indie rock band. With their roots in a war-ravaged part of the world, and the conditions and challenges they have had to overcome, they take the “DIY” concept to an extreme level. Their music alone, without the historical and biographical context, is an emotionally stirring blend of guitar rock, American blues and traditional South African folk music, with lyrics that speak of the struggles of their people and their fight for independence and freedom. However, their personal story is tightly woven into their music, which is what gives it such depth of spirit. Their heritage is what makes them who they are, and it is what guides their musical vision. You cannot separate one from the other. At a time when Mali is once again in the news, as al Qaeda fighters are taking over the country, killing innocent civilians, destroying sacred sites, and imposing Sharia Law, Tinariwen is on tour. Hopefully people will not only hear the wonderful music these gifted musicians create, but will also hear their message.

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Highly recommended tonight: Family of the Year at Great Scott

Family of the Year

Family of the Year

White Arrows (from CA) with Family of the Year (from CA) and New Cassettes (from the UK) at Great Scott – TONIGHT (Tuesday, October 2, 2012)
doors at 9pm | 18+ | $10

Pretty pop music alert – plus some psychedelia with an electronic beat from White Arrows, who are headlining. Especially recommended – Boston-bred, L.A.-based Family of the Year, and their new album, Loma Vista.

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Philadelphia’s Luther at Charlies Kitchen *tonight*

Weak Teeth, Natural Disasters, Luther, Choke Up, and Luau
at Charlies Kitchen, Eliot St. (Harvard Square), Cambridge
Monday, October 1, 2012 at 8pm | 21+ | $5?

Nothing like a last minute recommendation. If you’re going to be in Harvard Square tonight, run right over to Charlies Kitchen (at 10 Eliot Street) for a full night of raucous (and probably hideously loud) rock ‘n’ roll. From the line-up, it looks like hardcore punkers from Providence, Weak Teeth, are headlining, which is probably as it should be, because really, how does one follow an over-the-top, full-on pummeling screamfest?

But never mind about that; the band I want to talk about is smack dab in the middle of this 5-band extravaganza. Together just since 2010, Philly-based Luther has already toured with The Bouncing Souls, Cheap Girls, The Menzingers, Hot Water Music, The Smoking Popes, and have performed at SXSW. Rambunctious and bursting with energy with nice, noisy but tuneful guitars and pleasantly exuberant vocals, it’s a good sound. How’s that for a quick assessment? They’ll be releasing their debut full-length album, Let’s Get You Somewhere Else, on October 9 on Chunksaah Records. It was recorded and produced by Pete Steinkopf of The Bouncing Souls.

If you like what you hear, they’ll also be performing in Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Philly, Asbury Park, and in parts South. See their site for details.

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