musings from boston

screams, whispers and songs from planet earth

Tag: Walter Sickert and the Army of Broken Toys (Page 1 of 3)

Walter Sickert & The Army of Broken Toys Get Cozy Under Your Covers

Having been released at the start of this fast-moving year, this one nearly got by me. I’d glad it didn’t. Boston’s own Walter Sickert & The Army of Broken Toys has always been a personal favorite. This charming collection of cover tunes, appropriately (and somewhat menacingly) titled Under Your Covers, is a loving tribute to a diverse selection of fan favorites — from Iggy Pop’s “The Passenger” to Destiny’s Child’s “Bills, Bills, Bills” to “The Toys Go Winding Down” by Primus. The choices were specially requested by the band’s Come Black Magic Kickstarter backers.

Having pulled up some of the originals to hear how the Broken Toys’ re-imagingings compare, I can happily report that these songs are performed with due reverence, yet with the Toys’ trademark Gothic elegance and ominous magnificence. It’s “all hands on deck,” with Mr. Sickert on vocals, piano, guitar, effects and programming; Edrie playing with her ‘broken toys’: Rachel Jayson wielding viola and melodica; jojo the Burlesque Poetess making magic on uke and flute; Matt Zappa on percussion; Brother Bones on guitar; Mike Leggio with both stand-up and electric bass; and the legendary Mary Widow lending her vocals and mandolin. It’s a potent witches’ brew.

The Who’s “Baba O’Riley” is given a harsher modern industrial makeover, with male and female warrior vocals making this 47-year-old song seem starkly relevant. Powerful vocals and strings plus driving percussion adds immense tension to the disturbing lyrics of “Chaos & Confusion.” In “Bills, Bills, Bills,” the Army conjures a completely different song and mood, threatening serious damage and retribution. One can hardly expect to improve on Iggy Pop’s masterpiece, “The Passenger,” and in fact, I would normally cringe at the very thought of a cover of one of my Top 10 songs EVER. However, Mr. Sickert and Company do this song justice and are very faithful to the original and respectful of the Master. Rachel’s mournful gypsy viola is a gorgeous addition that I’m sure Jim would highly approve of.

At the risk of insulting hardcore fans, I won’t say which cover versions are, in my humble opinion, far superior in style and depth to the original. Several of them are. Run, don’t walk, to their Bandcamp page, name your price and download this eye-opening yet nostalgic and loving tribute. And be sure to click into each song’s page, so you can enjoy Walter’s mind-melting original art. They’re the perfect visuals for this magical mystery tour through our musical past.

Track Listing

Who We Are, from The Hunger Games: Catching Fire – Original Motion Picture – Imagine Dragons (2013)

The Toys Go Winding Down, from Frizzle Fry – Primus (1990)

The New Zero, from How We Quit the Forest – Rasputina (1998)

Baba O’Riley, from The Kids Are Alright – The Who (1971)

10538 Overture, from The Electric Light Orchestra – Electric Light Orchestra (1971)

Chaos & Confusion, from Space Age Senior Prom – Zerobot

Bills, Bills, Bills, from The Writing’s on the Wall – Destiny’s Child (1999)

The Passenger, from Lust for Life – Iggy Pop (1977)

Trip, from Wake No More – Porcelain

Don’t Come Around Here No More, from Southern Accents – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (1985)

Kingdoms & Castles, from The Triples – Abbie Barrett

Freaks, from Secret Samadhi – Live (1997)

web | facebook | twitter | bandcamp | youtube

share this: Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Walter Sickert and The Army of Broken Toys – Up to their Old (New) Tricks with Come Black Magic!

Walter Sickert & The Army of Broken Toys (Courtesy of Jenny Bergman)

Walter Sickert & The Army of Broken Toys (Courtesy of Jenny Bergman)

Performing LIVE at The Sinclair on Friday, September 9 with Ruby Rose Fox and Mount Peru == ::: BUY TICKETS NOW!! :::

Now for something entirely different. Well, not so different if you’ve been a regular reader of Musings from Boston, as we’ve often spoken fondly of Walter Sickert and The Army of Broken Toys. As always, they’ve been up to crazy big doings. Their amazing new album Come Black Magic will be officially unveiled at The Sinclair in Cambridge in what promises to be one of those legendary events that people will bragging about having been at years from now. The new album was premiered with a fascinating profile of and interview with the band by WBUR’s The ARTery.

As I’m racing to get this posted, all I will say about this fine music is 1) It’s ever bit as powerful and completely overwhelming as anything this phantasmagoria of a musical theatre troupe has ever done, and then some and 2) you might not want to listen to it just before you go to bed.

Get thee to The Sinclair on Friday night in your most exotic finery. And sweet dreams.

web | facebook | twitter | bandcamp | soundcloud | instagram | youtube

share this: Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Walter Sickert & The Army of Broken Toys – Kickstarter for New Album! Come Black Magic!

Call it good timing, but as I write this to tell you about Walter Sickert & The Army of Broken Toys’ new Kickstarter campaign, tardy as always, I now see that they’ve just reached their goal. Never mind though; let’s just boldly continue on, as I’m sure they could always use more support, right? Right.

These guys are old friends of ours here at ‘musings’, and once again, they’re up to big doings. They’re about to embark on a new studio album entitled Come Black Magic. Here’s a tantalizing taste in the form of the official video for “Where’s Your Ghost.” The music is dramatic, epic and otherworldly, but then again, by now they have us well and truly spoiled. The visuals are of Mr. Walter Sickert bringing to life his infamous Inkdrips.

“Where’s your ghost, when you need her most?”

Kickstart It!

So here we are then. Walter Sickert & The Army of Broken Toys welcomes you to the Kickstarter for their new studio album COME BLACK MAGIC! (#ComeBlackMagic)

If you’re a Kickstarter virgin, this is basically like pre-ordering the new album, along with your choice of goodies depending on what level you choose for your pledged support. This cash will cover the band’s expenses so they can create a bouncing baby album for you. And here’s how they set the scene for their new musical progeny.

“On the night the dead return to mingle with the living, lost connections are made,
wolf packs mingle, coffins are shared and cold sticky love permeates the night air as Where’s Your Ghost spins on a forgotten Vicktagraph in a tucked away corner of the haunted house.”

Let’s get to it, people — just 13 days to go!

::: THE ARMY OF BROKEN TOYS KICKSTARTER PROJECT :::

web | facebook | twitter | soundcloud | bandcamp | youtube

share this: Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Walter Sickert and The Army of Broken Toys – Recent New Arrivals

Photo by Liza Voll Photography, for Company One's SHOCKHEADED PETER

Photo by Liza Voll Photography, for Company One's SHOCKHEADED PETER

It’s been quite a while since we checked in on our favorite darkly enchanted Salvador Dali house band, Walter Sickert and The Army of Broken Toys. They’ve had a busy year so far.

Earlier this month they finished a successful run on their second musical, Shockheaded Peter, and prior to that, while in production, they managed to find time for their tenth anniversary offering in the annual RPM Challenge. It was recorded, mixed and mastered by Walter himself in their home studio. Have a listen to this cornucopia of unearthly delights from deep within their curious jungle.

They also found the time to welcome a new member of The Army into the WireForest, Wednesday Alice Agnes Edrie! We look forward to her future musical and theatrical contributions. No pressure, kid.

web | facebook | twitter | bandcamp | youtube | Walter’s InkDrips

share this: Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

New(ish) from Walter Sickert and the Army of Broken Toys: Toys of Future Past

(and some shows)

Good evening. There’s been big doings from Walter Sickert and The Army of Broken Toys. I’ve popped on quickly to tell you of a few things, as one happens tomorrow. The other is a big 3-day Halloween Extravaganza. The third thing is new music. Make that new FREE music (though you should donate a little something to support starving musicians, if you can) (ok, maybe not starving, but still in need of your money, if you’ve got any). Anyway, this is a cool and curious collection of covers. Enjoy.


TOMORROW NIGHT – 10/3 at Oberon (Harvard Square) Kissing Oscar Wilde – “The Best Book Release Part EVER for Jade Sylvan” at Oberon. Featuring music from Walter Sickert and The Army of Broken Toys and The Michael J. Epstein Memorial Library; performances from Jane Doe, Claude Kitten and UnAmerika’s Sweetheart Karin Webb; readings from poet Krysten Hill, the author herself and more; and staged performances of sections from the book. ::: GET TICKETS HERE :::

10/31, 11/1 & 11/2 – THREE NIGHT HALLOWEEN EXTRAVAGANZA “There will be awesome FOOD, spectacular DRINKS, dancing, shenanigans, revelry and maybe even a MARIACHI band (not kidding). Watch FB and Twitter for more info – we will announce this show SOON! (don’t worry, you can come for one night, two nights or ALL THREE!).” Yup, this is going to be utter madness. No question about it. And take from me — you’d better start planning your costume NOW.

share this: Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

The NINES Festival: 1 Day of Peace & Music (plus stand-up comics, recycled art and people who like to play with hot flames)

If you’re a wannabe hippie like me who didn’t go to Woodstock because you were too young — or if you were at Woodstock and have been wondering where all the East Coast hippies went, most of them were at the glorious NINES Festival in Devens, Massachusetts earlier this month. Although an embarrassing three weeks have elapsed, warm and strong remembrances of a pleasant and peaceful day in the sun with a truly stellar musical line-up, beautifully organized event and super-cool vibe is still putting a big smile on my face. This was the first year for this newly-minted festival that was presented by 3Rivers Arts and Great Northeast Productions, Inc., and I hope it’s just the first of a many-year tradition. If these fine folks can be accused of anything, it’s being overly ambitious for their first time out — but those lucky enough to be in attendance benefited from being at the best-kept secret in Massachusetts that weekend.

Read More

share this: Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Outside The Box, part 3: A weekend blowout (and some fine Boston bands)

Those of you willing to pry yourself away from the AC and head to Boston Common are in store for a real treat this weekend. Outside The Box, Boston’s FREE festival, has been going on all week. They’ll finish things in grand style with a stunning lineup. Quintessential Boston singer songwriter Will Dailey & The Rivals perform their rootsy rock in the afternoon on Friday. On Friday night, all the interesting creatures will definitely be out on the town for the dramatic and theatrical tour de force that is Jaggery and Walter Sickert and The Army Of Broken Toys — *performing together*!!


They’re calling it The Looking Glass Revival, as if the thought of these two amazing bands on the same bill isn’t terrifying enough. Definitely make it to this one, if you know what’s good for you. Things get even crazier on Saturday with a “Boston Homecoming” so you’ll want to get there early. See the ::: MAP OF EVENTS ::: for stage locations.

Friday, July 19

Will Dailey & The Rivals
Boston Common: The Beacon ~ 12:30-1:30pm

Jaggery, Walter Sickert and The Army of Broken Toys
Boston Common: Spiegeltent at Tremont ~ 8:30-10:30pm

To be continued…

share this: Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Walter Sickert and the Army of Broken Toys & Jaggery are off to the Wild West

I can think of no better way to come out of semi-hibernation than to promote two of my favorite Boston bands as they hit the West Coast (and Texas, whatever one calls that) — and to indulge in some pony/bunny/unicorn madness. The fact that this uber-strange video (by the inimitable Walter Sickert) seems to fit my current frame of mind is worrying indeed.

So anyway, Walter Sickert and the Army of Broken Toys have a haunting new album out mere days from now called Soft Time Traveler. It was inspired by Walter’s chance magical encounter with a deer while in Block Island, while reading about the battle between natives and American Colonists. As one might imagine, the music is filled to the brim with beauty and angst. But then, isn’t that always the case with the Army of Toys? They’re heading off with the equally awe-inspiring Jaggery. Have a listen to a few songs from the new offering, which includes one of my live favorites, “Devil’s In The Details.” And let the trance-inducing pony video revert you back to an earlier life form. If you’re not familiar with the epic productions of these two stunning bands, do see them if you can.

Also, a full stream of the entire album is available for a limited time only on American Songwriter.

Musical tornado warning for the following areas:

4/13 Seattle, WA – The Royal Room
4/14 Portland, OR – The Hollywood Theatre
4/15 San Francisco, CA – Cafe Du Nord
4/16 San Diego, CA – Queen Bee
4/17 Scottsdale, AZ – Rogue Bar
4/19 Victoria, TX – JAM Fest
4/20 Austin, TX – Swan Dive


Note: Jaggery will be doing shows as a duo (Singer Mali & Tony Leva) on their way back; check the Jaggery site for more details.

share this: Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Help Walter Sickert and the Army of Broken Toys Sow 28 Seeds

Ok, so what the heck is/are 28 Seeds?? It’s an “apocalyptic, sci-fi, steampunk collaboration” between experimental theater company Liars & Believers and the steamCRUNK band Walter Sickert & the ARmy of BRoken TOys. According to the Merry Pranksters Broken Toys, 28 Seeds “tells the story of how greed and ignorance destroyed the world. This is HP Lovecraft meets rock music and 1000 channels of cable TV; it’s government conspiracy, burlesque, ray guns, and tentacles; it blends a live rock show, science fiction, dance, theatre, video and sound into an immersive performance experience.”


The show premieres April 19, 2012 at the Boston Center for the Arts, with over 25 Boston artists and performers taking part in the extravaganza. They promise innovative theatre, musicians, actors, dancers, video artists, sound artists, graphic artists and more.

Here’s where you come in. They NEED HELP to put on this wildly ambitious project, so they have a Kickstarter campaign to raise the cash – and there’s just 13 days left for them to meet their goal! Some of the goodies available for your donations include a digital download of the soundtrack, poster, a wicked cool-looking comic book designed by Mr. Sickert himself, pins, VIP tickets, meet and greets with the band… and even those paupers among us who can only afford a $10 donation can get a limited edition signed ‘art card’ from Walter. Anyone not familiar with his bizarre and delightful artwork should have a look right now. So get crackin’!

share this: Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Walter Sickert & The Army Of Broken Toys: A few songs at Church

That would be Church of Boston back on September 25, when they supported The Humans, not your usual Sunday service – though could you imagine that? I uploaded this recently, but never mentioned it, so as I recover from my band resources and prep my ‘Favorite Shows of 2011’, here’s a little video treat for you.

Take Note! If you’re doing First Night, they’ll be bringing their “posse” once again to the Hynes Convention Center, 900 Boylston Street, starting at 7:30 and going until 11pm.

share this: Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Page 1 of 3

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén