musings from boston

screams, whispers and songs from planet earth

Tag: You Won’t

Boston Calling, Day 1 ~ beautiful vibes, pretty music

Daren Taylor, Mikel Jollett and Noah Harmon of The Airborne Toxic Event at Boston Calling

Daren Taylor, Mikel Jollett and Noah Harmon of The Airborne Toxic Event at Boston Calling

Despite it being a rather corporate affair and priced out of the reach of many of this city’s music fans, the Boston Calling Festival did a lot of things right, as large outdoor concerts go. They made an effort to include two more local bands and support a Boston charity through their Sonicbids contest, with a portion of proceeds from the submission fee donated to Boston Children’s Hospital (VIVA VIVA! played on Saturday and Royal Teeth on Sunday). Though they served alcohol (naturally), they did so in a special “beer garden” set away from the stages, which I think contributed to the fact that most of those close to the music were there for the music, and not just to get shitfaced with their friends. This was no small thing, and was greatly appreciated. The downtown setting was unique, convenient and was I’m sure a great sales boost to local businesses. There were a few problems at the start (mostly to do with what was and wasn’t allowed on site and consistency between various entities), but as they sorted out the stage placement, I’m sure they can deal with this as well. I still believe the cost is prohibitive, considering that festivals elsewhere with more performers and stages are similarly priced. I’m disheartened by all shows that cost more than $20-25, but the whole “concert-going elite” subject is a much larger topic.

Boston Calling, City Hall Plaza, at high noon.

Boston Calling, City Hall Plaza, at high noon.

People begin to gather at the blue stage.

People begin to gather at the blue stage.

Onto the music, which was absolutely superb. They wisely divided up the bands between the more “indie rock” types and the “dance/hip-hop/electro” types, which made sense and helped those who could only afford to go one day. I planted myself in front of the blue stage for most of the day, so my photos are of those bands. Everyone was clearly energized by the audience, which was among the best I’ve seen at something like this. Extremely engaged, friendly, supportive… just great. I’m sure this might not have been the case further back or as the night wore on, but my experience was very positive, and typically I’m not a lover of large music events, far preferring the small sweaty (more intimate) club scene. But I have to say, this was a lovely day. Onto the photos and my personal favorites.

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Boston Calling Music Festival 9/7 & 9/8: Tickets On Sale Now

Tickets have just gone on sale TODAY for the Boston Calling Music Festival which takes place September 7 and 8 at City Hall Plaza, so I thought I would commemorate the occasion by having a brief look at the Boston bands that will be opening up the festivities on each day. Over the weeks leading up to it, I’ll be doing little profiles about some of the “non-headliners” performing, since that’s how I am here, and it’s actually a pretty diverse and interesting line-up.

I’ll begin by profiling the two Boston bands who open things up on each day. I’ve heard some people comment that it’s a little odd not to have the Boston music scene more strongly represented at a festival that calls itself “Boston Calling.” While I tend to agree, this is also the first festival we’ve had here in Boston, right downtown no less, and there’s always a future (one hopes) to grow and improve. The first festival had two local bands, this one has three (yay Passion Pit!). Maybe the line-up can be expanded, extended into before and after-parties, whatever. Better not to boycott, but to engage in discussion. Off soapbox, on to the music.

You Won’t :: Saturday ::

I’m really happy to see the Boston-based duo of Josh Arnoudse and Raky Sastri a.k.a. the totally charming and really great indie folk outfit You Won’t opening things up on Saturday. The band came into existence in 2011 and released their debut album Skeptic Goodbye (Old Flame Records) in February 2012. This was followed by a U.S. & Canadian tour, a bunch of glowing reports in places like NPR and The New York Times, and more touring this year supporting the likes of The Lumineers, The Joy Formidable and Josh Ritter. Nice to see they’ll get some more high profile exposure with this festival.

Upcoming shows: 6/17 Toad’s Place, New Haven, CT (w/The Joy Formidable) | 6/18 Port City Music Hall, Portland, ME (w/The Joy Formidable) | 6/20 House of Blues, Boston, MA (w/The Joy Formidable) | 7/31 Downsview Park, Toronto, Canada (Edgefest)

Bearstronaut :: Sunday ::

There really isn’t a more perfect band to kick off Sunday’s dance party than Boston’s own Bearstronaut. Polished and well-produced synth-pop with hints of electro, R&B, Britpop, the 1980s… basically a bouncy, happy affair. They released their debut EP in 2009 and were the inspiration for a homegrown record label, Vanya Records, founded by Michael Marotta (the pill, WFNX). Their Moniker single was released on vinyl by Vanya, as was last year’s EP Paradice. Bearstronaut have perform with Passion Pit, fun., Bad Rabbits, St. Lucia, Surfer Blood and others. And in September, they’ll get to kick off quite an inspired Sunday line-up for dance music, hip-hop, R&B, electro and synth-pop aficionados.

Boston Calling: web | facebook | twitter

You Won’t: web | facebook | twitter | bandcamp | soundcloud

Bearstonaut: web | facebook | twitter | bandcamp | tumblr | soundcloud

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Introducing (to myself anyway) Pearl and the Beard

PearlAndTheBeard-500

I’ve literally just discovered this wonderful little threesome that features brightly colored three-part harmonies, guitar, cello, melodica, drums—and sometimes glockenspiel and accordion. But just because I’m out of the loop doesn’t mean you have to be. You can head right over to the Middle East (downstairs) in Cambridge NOW and catch Pearl and the Beard live, as they’re performing tonight with Boston indie folk duo You Won’t and Brooklyn-based Lucius. If you’re seeing this after the fact, or you’re nowhere near Cambridge, Mass., have a listen and pick up their latest 4-track extended single The Prodigal Daughter.

Pearl and the Beard – “40K” by Girlie Action Media

Who Knew by YouWontMusic

Lucius – “Genevieve” by ilovelucius

Pearl and the Beard: web | facebook | twitter
You Won’t: web | facebook | twitter
Lucius: web | facebook | twitter

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