screams, whispers and songs from planet earth

Month: March 2009

Friendly Fires and White Lies at Paradise Rock Club, Boston, March 28, 2009

These bands made me wistfully sentimental of the ’80s, but not being what I’ll call a music scholar, this was purely an emotional response. White Lies brought to mind bands I really liked – Echo and the Bunnymen, Joy Division/New Order, The Cure. Friendly Fires’ territory I’m less familiar with. While not opposed to European-style dance music (or even, in some cases, what was once called “house music” and “dub” but I’m pretty certain isn’t anymore), I know nothing of this genre or the multi-splintered sub-genres this mutated into throughout the late ’80s up until now. So I figured I’d better do a little research so I didn’t feel like a complete idiot.

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Expanding Awareness with Victor Robert Venckus on WZBC 90.3 FM

I’ve been terribly remiss in announcing my buddy Victor’s wonderful Expanding Awareness shows on WZBC 90.3 FM (Boston College Radio). He presents interviews (with audience callers) every Saturday morning from 10-11am, on paranormal, holistic heath, environmental and sometimes animal rights topics. Before which he plays really good ambient, world, and New Age music (from 7am – 10am). He also has an astrology report for the week ahead from Dietrich Pessin at 9:30.

I’m about to announce a show that already aired, which may sound rather stupid, but happily WZBC is now streaming them for the past two weeks. So you can listen to his shows after the fact (as well as other shows on WZBC).

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Not at SXSW

This, apparently, is Wyatt. Used entirely without permission.

This is Wyatt. Used entirely without permission.

Here are some bands who are not at SXSW. Instead, they’re playing at various clubs around the Boston area. I have to work tonight, so I can’t even go out and see ’em perform, say hello, buy their stuff, and show my support. But what I can do is write up brief profiles and give links so you can learn more about them. So that’s what I’m doing.

Bitter? Morose? Cynical? Who, me?

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The audacity of hope – and the power of negative thinking

So with a title like that, this is either about Barack Obama, or it’s a compendium of all those self-help books from the 1970s, right? Well… no. Or maybe yes, but in a way that is filtered through the warped mind and understandings of someone who was brought up amidst the rantings of child psychologists, people trying to “find themselves” and “better themselves”, and then the media onslaught kicked into overdrive in the 1990s with the introduction of Internet For The Poor Huddled Masses. I’d never been a happy person. No, that’s wrong. Let me rephrase it. I’d always found it excruciatingly difficult to be a happy person. Some people just flow through life. I writhed and scraped and twisted and clutched.

Ironically now, I find myself the happy one, or at least the hopeful one, bookended by two very important people in my life – my best friend, and my dad – who are burdened by their own sense of truth and weighted down by what they see to be immovable realities in their lives. I feel the heaviness in their vocal tones and inflections, as I bounce exuberantly towards them in our conversations and am walloped in the head with a brick wall. The i-Ching, of which I am sometimes a reluctant student, teaches that in all our life situations and relationships, there are times to advance and times to retreat. Not to give up, mind you, but more a thoughtful and knowing “waiting it out”.

A forward motion, without ambition or striving.

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