musings from boston

screams, whispers and songs from planet earth

Month: July 2013 (Page 1 of 2)

The Happy Hollows and their intoxicating “Amethyst”

There’s something else I’d like to commemorate today. The Happy Hollows have unleashed their second album, Amethyst (on Pesky Fruit Music). It was produced by Lewis Pesacov (Best Coast, Fools Gold), mixed by Eric Palmquist at Palmquist Studios at Infrasonic Sound, and mastered by Joe Laporta at Sterling Sound NYC. I’ll do a full review upon my return from mecca with an actual physical copy in hand. They’ll be at Echo Park Rising in August.

For now, have a listen to “Endless” and “Galaxies.” Strong, powerful and driving, yet heavily laced with Sarah-woven fanciful magic. “Endless” really highlights her otherworldly voice. It’s shiver-inducing, beautiful stuff, and classic Happy Hollows.

The name amethyst comes from ancient Greek for “not” and “intoxicated”, which is ironic, since that is exactly the sort of reaction Happy Hollows’ music elicits. However, in the spiritual world, amethyst is said to enhance psychic powers and intuition by connecting the earth plane and other worlds, and opening one’s channels to telepathy, past lives and spirit communication. It is often used in meditations and for lucid dreaming. Now that makes perfect sense!

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::: BUY AMETHYST! ::: iTunes | amazon

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On my Airborne Toxic Event anniversary…

(from The Beantown Bloggery, posted 7/30/2008)

(from The Beantown Bloggery, posted 7/30/2008)

A brief commemoration is in order today. On this very evening five years ago, I first saw The Airborne Toxic Event. It was upstairs at an Irish-Mexican bar in downtown Boston called Jose McIntyre’s, a curious gathering called “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” sponsored by WFNX. I actually just stumbled upon an advertisement of this event on The Beantown Bloggery. How cool. here’s my review of that pivotal event in my life. Sadly, this was before I started documenting, but you can see my first video of the band from later that year at Knott’s Berry Farm (see below). And be sure to check out (sorry, can’t seem to embed) this extremely cool video I unearthed of an old interview with the ‘FNX guys backstage at their Miracle on Tremont Street show in December ’08, where they talk about the show back in July. Good times.

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The Boston Calling Festival: Okkervil River & Deer Tick; Flume & Flosstradamus

Okkervil River ~ photo by Ben Sklar Photography

Okkervil River ~ photo by Ben Sklar Photography

Flume ~ photo by Patrick @ HOBOGESTAPO

Flume ~ photo by Patrick @ HOBOGESTAPO

Deer Tick ~ photo by Anna Webber

Deer Tick ~ photo by Anna Webber



Here are four more bands that will be performing at Boston Calling, Boston’s own music festival, coming up September 7 & 8. On Saturday, following after Lucius will be Okkervil River and New England favorites, Deer Tick. On Sunday, to keep everyone dancing after Big Black Delta, is a beat-maker from Sydney, Flume and Chicago-based DJs J2K (Josh Young) and Autobot (Curt Cameruci), who go by the name of Flosstradamus. The line-up for this second Boston Calling festival is such that you have a stellar indie rock line-up on Saturday and the best of electronic, hip-hop, house and dance music on Sunday, for those who have a specific preference and can only make it for one day. Have a look/listen below at these four, and stay tuned for more of these “mini profiles” leading up to Boston’s big weekend.

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The (Infamous) Eastside L.A. 2013 Midyear Round-up! (part II)

Haunted Summer ~ Photo By: Sarah Sitkin

Haunted Summer ~ Photo By: Sarah Sitkin

Here is the second installment in my four-part Eastside L.A. midyear band round-up. I’ve decided this will be my “last hurrah,” so let’s make it a good one. These are all fine bands and are highly recommended. Have a listen and see them live if you can. This time I feature Fort King, George Glass, Halfbluud, Haunted Summer, Ima Robot, Leslie Stevens, Local Natives, Many Embers, Marvelous Toy, Nightmare Air, Northern Youth and One Trick Pony (or rather, Randolph Williams’s solo projects). Here we go then, marching bravely on.

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The Henry Clay People ~ End of an Empire

Some sad news today, as I continue work on my final Eastside L.A. Roundup, and realize that there are now at least a dozen truly wonderful Los Angeles bands I enjoyed so much who are no longer with us since I first started these little band updates back in 2009. The Henry Clay People, one of my “top ten,” announced today that they would be playing one final show (at the Echo Park Rising Festival) and then going their separate ways. This is a band that has so much heart; for me, they’re what rock ‘n’ roll is all about. Fortunately everyone is leaving on good terms and with some exciting future plans, but I’m still going to miss them. I can’t help thinking that the HCP are one more fine band that the music industry shit-show has chewed up and spit out. The music biz just plain sucks on every level, whether you’re playing little bars and setting up your own gear, or with a manager, booking agent and publicity people, trying to get to the next level and not lose what you worked so hard for and thought you had.

Lots of fine memories though, even as a relatively new fan of theirs. I’ll wish them all the best, and include today’s announcement below. Plus a couple of videos. First up, something from their last wonderful release, Twenty-Five for the Rest of our Lives. And then one of my fondest memories, from a very special gathering back in 2009 of a handful of awesome L.A. bands, at a little Clifton Park, NY dive called Northern Lights. Bands break up, bars change names, but we’ll always have our YouTube videos. Thanks so much for all the wonderful music, guys. See you one last time in Echo Park!

Status Update
By The Henry Clay People
Hello friendos-

The Henry Clays play August 17th at Echo Park Rising music fest. It’s free. We’ll be playing in the early evening…

In the past, we have been sort of doomsdayish with our “this could be it for the band” insinuations. Yet here we are.

This one may be different. This may actually be “it” for the following exciting reasons:

Eric is now a proud papa bear and one test away from being a legit architect.

Andy is going back to school.
Joey is moving to the east coast to go back to school.
Harris is currently touring the country/world with other rock and roll bands.
Noah has a rad new band called The Pretty Flowers.

If the August 17th show sucks, then we will probably have to do another to redeem ourselves, but it might not be until 2020: Thirty-Five for the Rest of Our Lives.

It’s been fun. We miss you. We miss playing. It’s kinda sad and happy at same time. Let’s make this one special.

The Henry Clay People

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The (Infamous) Eastside L.A. 2013 Midyear Round-up! (part I)

College Kids Kim Haden and Malcolm Sosa

College Kids Kim Haden and Malcolm Sosa

Wow, is it July already? Those of you who have been here before will know that I’ve had “a thing” for musicians who live and work on the Eastside of Los Angeles — Silver Lake, Echo Park, Los Feliz, Eagle Rock, etc. — whom I first discovered back in 2008 when I came across this little indie rock band on MySpace called The Airborne Toxic Event. It started with a few of their friends, and as they say, the rest is history. Let’s see what everyone’s up to.

I’ve decided this will be my last round-up, though I’ll continue to try to keep up with my favorites separately, of course. I’m also excited to be taking a long-overdue trip to my “musical mecca” next month and will hopefully be able to catch a lot of these folks in their natural habitat. Musings to follow.

Dearly Departed: unfortunately, two of my favorites are definitely gone — The Union Line and Voxhaul Broadcast. I would give links to their goodbye pages and songs to remember them by, but it appears they’ve both taken down their sites. Bummer. Bands who plan on breaking up this year: please leave something up, ok? Whatever shit happened, you still have fans.

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Outside The Box, part 4: The Grand Boston Finale

Saturday at the Outside The Box Boston music festival is like the grand finale of the fireworks. It begins in the early afternoon with Joe Fletcher & The Wrong Reasons, Americana from Providence, followed up with the highly celebrated (and deservedly so) Boston 60s-flavored powerhouse Jenny Dee & The Deelinquents. The music winds elegantly along with the string-infused chamber folk-pop of Northampton-based Darlingside, and what is bound to be an absolutely delicious cabaret-classical adventure with Mary Bichner and Triple Strung Trio, with special guest UnAmerika’s Sweetheart Karin Webb (very special indeed).

After this, you might have a tough time deciding between rootsy world-class acts who you likely will never again see performing on the same bill at City Hall Plaza (Coyote Kolb, Blind Boys of Alabama, Taj Mahal Trio) — and a homegrown hoedown on the Boston Common featuring Buffalo Tom, The Lemonheads and Mighty Mighty Bosstones. Whew, what a party!

Saturday, July 20 ~ Boston Common & City Hall Plaza

Joe Fletcher & The Wrong Reasons (Providence RI)
Boston Common: Park Street Stage ~ 12-12:30 pm

Jenny Dee & the Deelinquents (Boston MA)
City Hall Plaza: Main Stage ~ 1-2 pm

Darlingside (Northampton MA)
City Hall Plaza: Main Stage ~ 3-3:45 pm

Mary Bichner and Triple Strung Trio (Somerville MA)
Boston Common: Spiegeltent at Tremont ~ 3:45-4:45 pm

Coyote Kolb (Boston MA)
City Hall Plaza: Main Stage ~ 5-5:40 pm

Buffalo Tom (Boston MA)
Boston Common: The Beacon ~ 5-6 pm

Buffalo Tom – Tail Lights Fade by jesus_lizard

Blind Boys of Alabama (Alabama, obviously)
City Hall Plaza: Main Stage ~ 6:30-7:30

The Lemonheads (Boston MA)
Boston Common: The Beacon ~ 6:30-7:30 pm

Taj Mahal Trio (based in Berkeley CA)
City Hall Plaza: Main Stage ~ 8-9:15pm

(thank you Randy Kohlenberger)

Mighty Mighty Bosstones (Boston MA)
Boston Common: The Beacon ~ 8-9:30pm

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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…

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Outside The Box, part 2 ~ Wed. & Thurs. bands of note

While I’m busy preparing the first of a several-part “Eastside L.A. Midyear Roundup,” here are some more local highlights. Performing at the FREE Outside The Box festival on Boston Common and around town are Boys Like Girls (Wed, 6:30-8pm at the Beacon stage) — and at the City Hall Plaza Main Stage on Thurs, Bearstronaut (Thurs, 3-3:45pm), David Wax Museum (6:30-7:20pm) and Gentlemen Hall (8-9pm). All Boston-area bands. So there.

Boys Like Girls


David Wax Museum

Gentlemen Hall

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Introducing… Japanther (well, not really)

The Japanther duo of Matt Reilly and Ian Vanek (from Brooklyn, NY) have actually been around since 2001, but this is their debut in my musical consciousness. They recently released Eat Like Lisa Act Like Bart on Recess Records, and are in town TONIGHT at that hipster hotspot, the Cambridge Elks Lodge (55 Bishop Allen Drive, Central Square). If you enjoy noisy, rambunctious sophisticated garage-punk that gets your heart racing and blood circulating, have a listen.

Japanther is not just a band but also performance art — their shows have included appearances on the back of a moving truck and from the top of the Williamsburg bridge. They’ve performed with synchronized swimmers, BMX bikers, puppets and dinosaurs. They’ve collaborated with artists such as Gelitin, Gee Vaucher, Eileen Myles, Raymond Pettibon, Dan Graham, robbinschilds and Penny Rimbaud.

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