musings from boston

screams, whispers and songs from planet earth

Category: Band Profiles (Page 2 of 7)

Introducing Jeff Beam (solo) – “Be Your Own Mirror” & East Coast Tour

Jeff Beam

Jeff Beam

Jeff Beam, bassist for Lady Lamb the Beekeeper’s musical comrades, The Milkman’s Union, and 1/3 of The Stereo Flys, has released his debut solo album, on which he adeptly plays the role of one-man-band, inviting us into his magical electronic-acoustic forest. Madly veering from a mildly psychedelic whispered daydream (“Part One”) to full-on space prog (“Congratulations on your Latest Achievement,” it’s a pretty, mind-melting journey. Accompanying the spacey sounds are some equally spacey thoughts. “Destroy All Solutions,” apart from its Zen riddle of a title, has these cryptic words – “Just before the planets realign / Fix yourself a faulty new design / One that’s interested in all our fears / One we can appreciate in 40 years.” The vocals are stretched out near the end into something that feels like aural silly putty. And that is how we are left. Curious, drifting, and wondering where he went off to.

Formerly of the cultural enclave of Allston but now based in Portland, Maine, Jeff will be playing some shows around the East Coast, starting with NYC’s The Knitting Factory and stopping off at Church, where he’ll be joined by the US/UK duo of Soft Bullets, The Radium Girls, and The Sour Doo-Dahs. Jeff’s on first, at 8pm, so get there early!
::: facebook event :::

East Coast Tour
6/19 @ the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn, NY w/ Soft Bullets & Wintersleep
6/20 @ the Barley Pub in Dover, NH – FREE SHOW w/ Soft Bullets & Tan Vampires
6/21 @ Church in Boston, MA w/ Soft Bullets
6/22 @ The Firehouse in Worcester, MA w/ Soft Bullets, Sexy Neighbors, Broadcaster, & Graywolf
6/23 @ Empire in Portland, ME w/ Soft Bullets & Sea Level

Jeff Beam: web | facebook | twitter
Soft Bullets | The Radium Girls | The Sour Doo-Dahs

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Introducing Ruin/Renewal: debut album in October; new EP now

John and Josh Pritchard

John and Josh Pritchard

Boston-based Ruin/Renewal released their debut EP just last year, and the first single, “Proverbs,” was named by Boston Emissions as “Favorite New Local Song” for the week of December 3. Two other tracks were lauded by WMBR’s “Pipeline!” show. A mix of acoustic and electric with low, breathy vocals, their music is moody and atmospheric, swelling up and then receding into quieter passages. They just released their second EP, Chess Club (on Burst & Bloom Records), and are working on their full-length debut album, to be titled “Unknown You,” due out in October.

Chess Club contains some of the band’s earliest material. Founded by songwriter/guitarist Joshua Pritchard and his twin brother John, they were joined by producer Tom Eaton, who recorded them in his Boston studio, Universal Noise Storage. Drummer Jon Glancy (A Bit Much, Mount Peru) has been performing with them since April of this year.

Those of you in NYC can see Ruin/Renewal this Saturday (6/16) in an acoustic performance with poet Tommy McCaffrey upstairs at The Living Room on Ludlow Street at 8pm.

web | facebook | twitter | Burst & Bloom Records

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Amy Correia – Free 3-song sampler and Independent Music Award Winner!

photo by Jeff Fasano

photo by Jeff Fasano

Lakeville, Massachusetts native Amy Correia, whose latest album, the sultry and sassy You Go Your Way, recently scored an award for Best Folk Singer-Songwriter Album at the 11th Annual Independent Music Awards. The competition is judged by such music luminaries as Suzanne Vega, Ozzy Osbourne and Tom Waits.

Amy spent some time on New York City’s Lower East Side, performing alongside songwriters Jesse Harris, Jeff Buckley and jazz singer Rebecca Martin. She’s recently moved back to Massachusetts to take part in the vibrant Boston music scene. Boston’s Session Americana recorded her song “Love Changes Everything,” and she’s made guest appearances on Rose Polenzani’s and John Powhida International Airport’s new albums. She refers to Massachusetts as her “spiritual home base.”

To celebrate her award win, she’s sharing a 3-song sampler with her fans and friends, free of charge. It features “Love Changes Everything” and “Powder Blue Trans Am” (from her latest album You Go Your Way), and the title track from “Lakeville.”

Amy will be performing at the NightCat in Easton, Maryland on Friday, June 15.

web | facebook | bandcamp | twitter

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Introducing Omara “Bombino” Moctar, Tuareg songwriter, guitarist and activist

photo by Ron Wyman

photo by Ron Wyman

Musician, Omara “Bombino” Moctar (Goumar Almoctar), has a pretty incredible background. One of 17 siblings, he was born and raised in Niger among the nomadic Tuareg people, whose ancestry is traced to to the North African Berbers. The Tuareg, also known as the Kel Tamasheq, are warriors as well as travelers and traders, fighting against colonialism and strict Islamic rule.

After a severe drought in the early 1980s killed off their livestock and forced the Tuareg people to leave the countryside and move to cities or to Algeria or Libya, these displaced communities organized uprisings against local governments that were ignoring them. Omara was forced to flee his homeland when violent rebellion raged, as people fought for their rights and preservation of their culture. The local musicians played a vital role in telling the story of their plight through song, in a style known as ishoumar (taken from the French “chomeurs,” meaning “unemployed”). He taught himself to play guitar, inspired by this music of his people. In addition to developing a passion for preserving his Tuareg heritage, he would also develop into a formidable guitarist and songwriter.

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Introducing Randall Kromm

photo 2010 by Dan Tappan

photo 2010 by Dan Tappan

Here’s something a little different from me, in amongst all the existential angst and bitter regrets. Well ok, it’s a song about a lost love, but it’s sung in such a sweetly reminiscent way, you almost don’t feel so bad for him.

Randall Kromm, lawyer by day, folk singer by night; it seems like a strange dichotomy, but his songs are about real life experiences and everyday challenges, and what can be more real and challenging than balancing the life of a musician with another life as a lawyer, husband and father of four? He’s performed at coffeehouses, open mikes, and clubs in the Boston area, including a sold-out show at the legendary Club Passim, and released his debut album, Water Wheel, earlier this year. He also has a collection of seasonal songs called Holidays and Homecomings. He counts among his fans seasoned performers Christine Lavin and Don White.

Randall has two shows coming up – a performance of holiday songs with other local musicians at Main Streets Market and Cafe in Concord on December 22 at 7pm, and at an open mic at Emerson Umbrella on January 9, 2012, along with songwriter Laura Gold.

official site | facebook | myspace | youtube

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An Introduction to Walt Whitney

New Jersey-based Walt Whitney has been performing his down-home blues, R&B and funky ‘old school’ rock ‘n’ roll for some years now. His influences range from Louis Armstrong to Hank Williams and Elvis Presley, and he’s supported such notable musicians as Jorma Kaukonen (Jefferson Airplane, Hot Tuna), David Johansen (New York Dolls, Buster Poindexter), and Southside Johnny (& the Asbury Jukes). Performing solo acoustic or with a full band, his music can be slow and soulful, or juke-joint rockin’. Here’s a few samplings of the different sounds of Walt Whitney.

official site | facebook | twitter


Michelle Michelle by The Walt Whitney Band

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Introducing… The Irrepressibles

I begin what I hope will be a slew of band profiles and a few updates from old favorites with something that should warm the hearts of any fans of early Bowie and Roxy Music, Kate Bush and Laurie Anderson, Marc Bolan and T.Rex, ’70s glam and theatrical, symphonic pop.

The Irrespressibles are a 10-piece orchestral ensemble led by creative director, conceptual artist, composer, lead vocalist and choreographer Jamie McDermott, whose beautifully gliding and soaring, operatic voice brings to mind another brilliant entertainer and huge favorite, Klaus Nomi. Based in England (no surprise there), they’ve been performing for rapt audiences all over Europe for seven years, though have only just last year released their debut studio album, Mirror Mirror, which had its U.S. digital release this past summer, with a special edition coming out October 25 that features exclusive remixes from Röyksopp, Hercules & Love Affair and Zero 7 amongst others.

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George Glass: Welcome Home

Coming out of their previous incarnation as Death To Anders, in Autumn 2009 Nicholas Ceglio (guitar, vocals) and Peter DiBiasio (bass) joined forces with a “mysterious Bay Area drifter,” drummer Nathan Kondor, to become George Glass. They released their debut self-titled EP in October 2010, and performed around Silver Lake and Echo Park, Los Angeles. This is their debut music video from their self-titled EP released in October of last year. The Buster Keaton-style video features the effervescent Sarah Negadhari of The Happy Hollows.

I’m not feeling terribly clever today, so I’ll just say that I first came across these guys as Death to Anders, in the midst of my Silver Lake Awakening a few years ago, and mentioned their George Glass rebirth back in February of last year, when Web in Front first streamed their demo “Call it Whatever.” Since their self-titled debut, they also released a 3-track EP called Sunshine.

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The Ames Sessions: A *Free* Music Series in Woodward Park at Boston’s Ames Hotel 9/20, 9/27 & 10/4

(clockwise from top left): Anna Rose, The Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players, and Kim Boekbinder (photo by Shami Kiely)

(clockwise from top left): Anna Rose, The Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players, and Kim Boekbinder (photo by Shami Kiely)

Presented by Morgan’s Hotel Group, The MuseBox and DigBoston

There’s an exciting new showcase for up-and-coming bands, a free music series called The Ames Sessions, taking place on three consecutive Tuesday evenings in Woodward Park at Boston’s Ames Hotel. Not to be confused with The Ames Sessions that were in collaboration with WFNX (which was indoors, very limited capacity, and you had to win tickets), this one is completely free and open to the public. The performances are September 20th (this coming Tuesday) with Anna Rose and Leo Blais, September 27th with The Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players and Supercute, and October 4th with Kim Boekbinder and Audrey Ryan. In addition to hearing some fine music in an intimate setting, there will be specials and prizes to coincide with each event.

It seems the Ames Hotel is requesting that people R.S.V.P. for the shows they’d like to attend. This is probably because Woodward Park is actually the outdoor patio area of their Woodward Tavern (meaning, it’s *very* small and intimate). It looks like an amazing setting for live music.

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Sun Boxes Live at deCordova

Sun Boxes vacationing at the Vineyard.

Sun Boxes vacationing at the Vineyard.

Here’s something nice for your yoga or meditation hour: Sun Boxes, a solar-powered sound installation by Craig Colorusso. Peaceful, dreamy, and eco-friendly. What more could you ask for? Here’s the nuts & bolts of the operation, as described on his blog:

“Sun Boxes are an environment to enter and exit at will. It’s comprised of twenty speakers operating independently, each powered by the sun via solar panels. There is a different loop set to play a guitar note in each box continuously. These guitar notes collectively make a Bb chord. Because the loops are different in length, once the piece begins they continually overlap and the piece slowly evolves over time.”

The Sun Boxes will be “performing” at Artscape in Baltimore, Maryland July 15-17, and at deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum in Lincoln, Mass. on Saturday, August 6.

official site | youtube | WCAX.com interview

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