screams, whispers and songs from planet earth

Month: March 2012

The Parson Red Heads’ “Murmurations” Out March 20; SXSW shows and beyond

There are few sounds more soothing than the upbeat, hopeful tunes and 3-part harmonies of The Parson Red Heads. Last I saw them, they were in the middle of a grueling tour to support their wonderful album Yearling, the band (and Evan in particular) valiantly fighting a nasty cold that was in full bloom for their Great Scott appearance. On their new EP, the 6-track Murmurations (out March 20 on Timber Carnival Records), there’s some somber thoughts and a wistful quality that adds considerable depth to a band I’ve already greatly admired.

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A Unique Evening with Jonathan Spottiswoode and Amy Correia at the Lizard Lounge

Spottiswoode (solo – ‘sans Enemies’) with Amy Correia and band
The Lizard Lounge
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
show at 8:30pm | 21+ | $10 ::purchase tickets::

In April of last year, Jonathan Spottiswoode & his Enemies released Wild Goosechase Expedition, depicting the travels of a rock band on a doomed tour. It’s an eclectic album full of sprawling big band blues, gentle balladry, somber piano pieces, flat out rockers, and some wacky ‘novelty type’ numbers with sharp social commentary. And then there’s the title track, which defies description. Totally over the top, but delightfully so. In part due to his distinctive, theatrical vocals and the crazed carnivalesque jazzy feel, at times he can invoke a little Frank Zappa. Frank Zappa fronting a free jazz band.

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Expanding Awareness: Sacred Geometry and Pendulum Dousing

On this morning’s Expanding Awareness program, Victor and his guest will be discussing will be discussing sacred geometry and pendulum dousing. They’ll be on 10-11am on 90.3FM in the Boston area, but this show can also be heard after the fact on the WZBC Archive. All of ‘ZBC’s shows are online for two weeks.

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On The Outside, Looking In –The Story of Baby Hawk

As told by Rademacher

On the cusp of South by Southwest, excitement is building – stoked bands who’ve been awarded one of the coveted showcases, madly swirling PR campaigns, masses of fans and bloggers that descend on Austin, the parties, the mythical RSL Outlaw Roadshow

For a band to play SXSW, whether by official invitation or sheer determination to land a gig somewhere on the periphery, is considered a badge of honor. The days of being “discovered” by a label and given a big money record deal are long gone, but it’s still a great music festival and a place to make connections. Musicians back in their hometown watch the flurry of activity and make their own plans to “get there next year.”

And then there’s Rademacher. A wonderful little indie rock band from Fresno, California — within close enough tossing range of L.A.’s Eastside to be considered part of that scene. They just released the third installment of their ‘EP triology,’ Baby Hawk, which tells the tale of a struggling indie band on the verge of great things, though just a hair shy of arrival — a day late, a dollar short, if you will. It’s a DIY primer, their musical autobiography.

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My Best Fiend’s debut album – In Ghostlike Fading

It’s unfortunate I just missed posting this in time for their appearance in Boston a few days ago; such is my current state of affairs. But have a listen to some really nice music below. Released about two weeks ago was the debut album from Brooklyn quintet My Best Fiend, In Ghostlike Fading (Warp Records). The first single from that album, “Cracking Eggs,” has this soaring exhuberance that makes the blood rush through the veins. Have a listen below. “Higher Palms” is rich and atmospheric, with hypnotic, dreamlike vocals. Very pretty.

They’ll be at SXSW, and will then be off on their first European tour in April and May. Hopefully I’ll get another chance when they get back.

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Introducing The Darcys, and their suprisingly cool take on Steely Dan

Toronto art rock band The Darcys released the second in their trilogy of releases, Aja. Yes, that’s the name of the platinum-selling Steely Dan album from 1977. They’ve reinterpreted the entire album, and I have to say (and this is coming from not much of a Steely Dan fan), this is totally surreal and quite good! It’s a spacey, psychedelic and dreamlike take on these painfully familiar songs. It’s quite odd to listen to, having heard them over-and-over-again so many years ago. It’s kind of like a disturbing memory from your long-lost youth, as played over a top-40 radio station, but through a rather pleasant, smoke-induced haze. Here’s the best part: it’s available as a free download (as is their debut). For you vinyl lovers, it’s available on limited edition 180-gram colored vinyl from

They’re currently on tour with UK indie folk-pop quartet Bombay Bicycle Club. The Middle East show on Friday night is unfortunately sold out, but if you’re in Philly, those are still available (Sat. 3/10). They’ll also be headed to SXSW, Toronto, the UK, and the West Coast. See their complete tour schedule for details.

Have a look at their great apocalyptic video for the first single off their debut album, released back in October of last year (on Arts & Crafts).

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Introducing: Warm Weather (and their new EP, Looking Through)

photo: shot and styled by Emily Westervelt of Bite of Chic

photo: shot and styled by Emily Westervelt of Bite of Chic

This is rather new for me, as I typically don’t like anything this… upbeat. It must be the unseasonably mild winter we’ve been having here in New England this year, and the fact that spring is just around the corner. Kinda makes you want to break out in joyous song. Ok, so obviously I wrote that first bit a week ago, before our “leap day storm,” and since then, it’s suddenly winter, after all this time. Go figure. Guess I should have posted it when I had the chance. The Los Angeles trio Warm Weather released Dances in June of last year. They just released Looking Through in January. These L.A. kids have a happy, tuneful, light sound, without sounding “lightweight.” Incredibly pretty harmonies, too. Really good stuff. They’re looking to possibly play “house parties” on the East Coast in May, so we’ll stay tuned. It’ll definitely be warmer by then.

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