musings from boston

screams, whispers and songs from planet earth

Tag: Julia Christgau

Seeing Out The Year That Was: My 12 Favorite Shows of 2012

A last minute addition: The Magnetic Fields at Symphony Hall for First Night (last night)

A last minute addition: The Magnetic Fields at Symphony Hall for First Night (last night)

It’s a good thing I held off posting this, because I’ve just made it an even dozen in honor of the year that just flew by, 2012. The last one? A band I had the immense pleasure of seeing for the first time, on First Night just last night at the majestic Symphony Hall. [Why do they call it “First Night”? Shouldn’t it be “Last Night”?]

I saw a total of 24 shows this year. Not a whole lot for a music blogger, but I’ll tell you—nearly all of them were spectacular. That’s damn good odds. I’ve heard some people say that 2012 was an awful year. What I’ll say, from my personal perspective, is this: 2012 was a year of massive challenges and difficulties, but the rewards, if you were prepared to step up, and I mean step up in a major way, were equally impressive. It was most definitely not a year for lightweights. But it’s all moving forward, and it’s moving forward quickly. Hold on to something sturdy, because I have a feeling 2013 is going to be just as intense. Remember, with challenge comes opportunity. Happy New Year, everyone.

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Christopher Paul Stelling begins his East Coast/Midwest tour

C.P. Stelling and his partner-in-crime, Julia Christgau (photo by Clarence K. Photography)

C.P. Stelling and his partner-in-crime, Julia Christgau (photo by Clarence K. Photography)

You’re unlikely to find a more ‘timeless old soul’ singer-songwriter, nor a more mind-numbing acoustic guitar picker than Mr. Christopher Paul Stelling. He melted my brain back some months ago at Precinct, and he’s in town again to begin a month-long tour on the East Coast and around the Midwest. His debut album, Songs of Praise and Scorn only hints at the unbridled intensity of his live performances. Tomorrow night he’ll be at Lizard Lounge, opening up for the lovely cello/guitar duo and gentle harmonies of Tall Heights. They’re in the midst of a month-long Tuesday night residency at Lizard Lounge, with the grand finale and their EP Release Party for The Running of the Bulls on 9/25.


Upcoming Shows
9/10- Providence, RI- House show
9/11- Cambridge , MA- The Lizard Lounge w/Tall Heights
9/12- New Haven, CT- BAR
9/14- Utica, NY- Utica Music Fest
9/15- Saratoga Springs, NY- Cafe Lenna
9/17- Portsmouth, NH- The Red Door
9/22- Rochester, NY- The Bug Jar
9/23- Erie, PA- The Crooked I

Plus shows in Ohio, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Virginia, DC and Pennsylvania. See site for full details.

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Music for the Soul: An Evening with Christopher Paul Stelling and Julia Christgau (at Precinct in Somerville)

CPStelling_Julia_Precincta
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It’s a testament to this fine performer that eleven days after Christopher Paul Stelling’s mid-evening set at Precinct, I still have a vivid memory of it. I’d written about him a few times here, marveling at his lightening-fast finger picking style and impossibly warm and soulful vocals, but wasn’t able to get out to see him the last time he was in town (also at Precinct).

CP’s music and his live performance has this religious fervor that’s both deeply moving and overpowering. It’s in his eyes – wide and piercing, as if remembering some especially vivid night horror. I was instantly drawn in and fascinated by this solitary figure standing on a piece of plywood, stamping out a beat with his boots, fingers flying fluidly across his beat-up acoustic guitar, and vocals compelling like a hellfire-and-brimstone revivalist but without the preaching and damnation.

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