Here’s a few very cool local band events this week. There’s a three-day benefit for Haiti at The Middle East Downstairs; a three-day Jonathan Richman encampment at the Middle East Upstairs (which are all sold out, but you never know); and H.U.M.A.N.W.I.N.E. along with Walter Sickert and the Army Of Broken Toys, Do Not Forsake Me, Oh My Darling, and Sarah RabDAU at the Church of Boston. On Saturday, Feb. 20, Asa Brebner and his Family Jewels grace the stage (such as it is) of the Plough & Stars in Cambridge for an afternoon show.
Monday – Wednesday, February 15 – 17
A Benefit for the Victims of the Haiti Earthquake featuring performances by: Big Bear, Ketman, Chris Brokaw, Monique Ortiz, Art Decade, and The Dirty Dishes @ the Middle East Downstairs – Monday Feb. 15. 18+; $10 minimum donation; 7pm doors.
A Benefit for the Victims of the Haiti Earthquake featuring performances by: Once Beloved, Mongrel, Feral Children, and Meat Hammer @ the Middle East Downstairs – Tuesday Feb. 16. 18+; $10 minimum donation; 7pm doors.
A Benefit for the Victims of the Haiti Earthquake featuring performances by: Topheavy, Death by Fame, Bearstronaut, The Callous Stars, Cult 45, and Josh Klein @ the Middle East Downstairs – Wednesday Feb. 17. 18+; $10 minimum donation; 7pm doors.
Here’s a three-night extravaganza for the most worthwhile of causes. I’ll give a quick rundown of the bands with my first impressions based on quick MySpace listens (so yeah, you know how that goes – my sincere apologies to all involved). Monday night features Big Bear (noisy, rambunctious, thrashy), Ketman (frenetic punk energy w/some sax, trumpet and trombone mixing in; voted ‘Best New Band in Boston’ by the Phoenix in ’08), Chris Brokaw (nice folky singer-songwriter), Monique Ortiz (bluesy, ballsy chanteuse w/a dangerous bass guitar – note: might be her last area appearance, as she’s relocating to Austin, Texas), Art Decade (cites The Mars Volta, Muse, and Radiohead as influences), and The Dirty Dishes (dreamy with pretty vocals from Jenny Tuite). On Tuesday, it’s (mostly) punk/metal night with Once Beloved (thrashy, screachy and metalic), Mongrel (predictably punk and scrappy), Feral Children (not what I expected – delightfully off-kilter and musically meandering with wistful and darkly-tinged vocal harmonies. Nice! From Seattle – P.S. they just released Brand New Blood (Dig)), and Meat Hammer (predictably punk and scrappy. thrashy also.). On Wednesday, it’s Topheavy (Powerpop), Death by Fame (melodic punk), Bearstronaut (synth-pop, punkish new wave), The Callous Stars (singer-songwriter Bilvox and friends; melodic folkish-pop/rock), Cult 45 (frenetic punk with Texas barroom vocals courtesy of Tai Heatley), and Josh Klein (funky jam band).
Tuesday – Thursday, February 16 – 18
Jonathan Richman, @ the Middle East Upstairs – Tuesday, Feb 16 – Thursday, Feb 18.
Legendary Boston-based musician Jonathan Richman will be performing three sold-out shows at the Middle East Upstairs this week. Very briefly… he’s been writing and performing music since the mid-60s, and founded the garagy, Velvet Underground-influenced The Modern Lovers in the early 1970s, recording such instantly recognizable songs as “Pablo Picasso” and “Roadrunner” [which I just heard fellow Modern Lover Asa Brebner perform with gusto last night – review of that coming up soon]. He has a wonderfully quirky and unique style of storytelling. Really great stuff. You can hear some of his music on this fan page.
Wednesday, February 17
I’ve had the pleasure of seeing H.U.M.A.N.W.I.N.E. before, at Cafe 939, and though I’m not too familiar with the others on this bill (other than hearing of them), this sounds like a great and interesting evening of music. Joining H.U.M.A.N.W.I.N.E.’s socially-conscious gothic cabaret will be the hauntingly twisted sounds of Walter Sickert and the Army Of Broken Toys, the mesmerizing beautiful onslaught of Do Not Forsake Me, Oh My Darling, and Sarah RabDAU, who will be performing an acoustic set. Not sure if she’ll be alone on vocals and keyboard or if she’ll be joined by her “Self-Employed Assassins” (a.k.a. Matt Graber on drums), but with her alternately drifting/angelic and powerful/biting vocals (and possessed piano), it should be lovely. Looking forward to this.
Saturday, February 20
Hell of a good time with rollicking R&B, doo-wop and roosy Americana (not to mention some mean guitar from Asa Brebner, awesome vocals from Fred Griffiths, and serious jamming (and great vocal harmonies) courtesy of Steve Sadler, Andrew Mazzone and Kevin Shurtleff) – the Family Jewels grace the cozy Plough & Stars for a Saturday afternoon show. These guys are a lot of fun. Definitely check them out sometime. In the evening, the Andrea Gillis Band continues their Saturday Plough & Stars residency, with soulful, rocking R&B singer-songwriter Andrea Gillis – and it looks like Asa performs with them sometimes. Cool stuff.share this: