screams, whispers and songs from planet earth

Category: Boston Bands Page 3 of 20

Introducing… Boston’s Earth Heart

Are you up for some noisy garage rock? Of course you are! Earth Heart hails from Boston, and at the risk of seeming trite when I say “of course they do,” let’s face it, Boston is rather legendary for this kind of rambunctious bravado, and proudly so! While their name might suggest a new age ensemble, once you hear their new single, you’ll realize they’re most certainly not.

No deep sentiments here, but then, there doesn’t have to be. Not when the thrashy guitar, boisterous drumming and acerbic juvenile delinquent vocals of Katie Coriander and Matt Axten sound this good.

The duo met at that premiere Cambridge hot spot, All Asia Cafe in 2013 and, as chance would have it, Katie was in the market for a drummer. In fact, she needed one for a show the next day. He came through despite no rehearsals, and the rest, as they say, is history. Since then, they’ve self-recorded and released five EPs and have played extensively around town. They’re set to release their debut full-length album Homesick on August 5. It was recorded by Shaun Curran at Napoleon Complex in Somerville. Yes, a professional recording studio — a first! Though no worries; their music still has that brashy edge, influenced in part by bands like The Melvins, Mouldy Peaches and Cat Power. Following their debut album, they were joined by Natan Keyes on bass.

They plan on local shows and a proper tour for the first time this summer, so stay tuned!

facebook | bandcamp | soundcloud

share this: Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Jaggery Takes Us to the Crux of the Matter

CREDIT: Matt Samolis

CREDIT: Matt Samolis

It’s a last-gasp attempt to be timely, to be sure, but I feel I must mark the occasion. A favorite Boston band — no, let’s call them a musical art ensemble — by the name of Jaggery is officially releasing a new album today. It’s called Crux. This evening, they’ll be hosting their record release party at ONCE Ballroom at Cuisine en Locale, with what will most certainly be a stunning performance by this wonderful group of musicians. Because, truth be told, I have yet to see a performance by them that isn’t stunning. And that includes the one at the dearly departed Church, which was done in darkness with people shining their smartphones onto the stage when the club suddenly lost power.

I’m listening to Crux as I write this. Beginning with Singer Mali’s ‘War Cry,’ like an eagle warning the planet of imminent catastrophe, the album embarks on a mysterious journey through jungles and tropical rain forests, deserts and savannas, open tundra and grasslands. Such is the breadth and depth of these musical passages, like unique, self-contained acts of a life-long, epic musical. I’m quite used to Mali’s playful, threatening, taunting and soaring vocals being jaw-dropping, but she has reached new heights (and depths) here. It’s the voice of a million colors.

The musical accompaniment provided by Mali’s exquisite piano and her insanely talented mini-orchestra — Daniel Schubmehl (drums, percussion), Tony Leva (upright bass), Rachel Jayson (viola), Dylan Jack (drums, percussion) and Petaluma Vale (harp, vocals) — is downright kaleidoscopic, begging for a thousand dancers to be flinging themselves around, under and over each other on a vast Broadway stage.

In this incomprehensible world we now find ourselves in, with so much discordant noise and nonsense all around, there are thankfully those extremely rare occasions of brilliance. Think of it as a tiny glistening diamond in a sea of shit. A sensible and sophisticated environment in endless rows of tacky used car lots and strip malls. And for that moment, as we behold that impossibly perfect gemstone forged from the chaos that surrounds it, against all odds, we are simultaneously taken out of ourselves and back into our center.

And that’s the crux of the matter.

video filmed by SKMDC777

Tour Dates

04/29 Somerville, MA — ONCE Ballroom — album release party
06/21 Kingston, NY — BSP Lounge
06/22 Philadelphia, PA — TBA
06/23 Baltimore, MD — The Crown
06/24 Washington, DC — 16th Street House
06/25 Reidsville, NC — Brad & Tammy’s Listening Loft
06/27 Indianapolis, IN — 10 Johnson Avenue
06/28 Chicago, IL — Martyr’s
06/29 Detroit, MI — TBA
06/30 Toronto, ON — Transaz Club, Southern Cross Room
07/01 Buffalo, NY — Hickory Sanctuary
07/02 TBA
07/03 New York, NY — TBA

web | facebook | twitter | youtube, | bandcamp | soundcloud

share this: Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Introducing… The Relevant Elephants

If you’re looking for deep revelations and the answer to life, you likely won’t find it in the music of Boston-based The Relevant Elephants. But that’s OK sometimes. If you’re looking for an entertaining diversion or you’ve got an itch that can only be satisfyingly scratched by some loud, raucous screaming guitar and pounding bass and drums, part alt-rock ’90s and part classic Led Zeppelin, then these guys can help you out. Lyrically (because we’re all about that here), there are definitely some tongue-in-cheek Weezer moments here (“Allston and Brighton are for Drinkin’ and Fightin’,” “Starving Artist,” “Rock ‘n’ Roll Band”), but it’s cleverly done and the the highly evolved and sophisticated gonzo musicianship brings the proceedings to a higher level than just throwaway novelty songs. These guys are reverent in their irreverence.

The Relevant Elephants came on the scene with their debut EP back in the spring of 2015, hitting places like New York, Detroit and Chicago with live shows, in addition of course to the Boston area. They released their debut album, Paper Walls last month, and it certainly didn’t hurt that Stephen Colbert name-dropped the band at a Q&A session. The band features Zack Hankins on vocals and guitar, Adam Khalil on bass, Mack Suhre on drums and Drew Lucas on lead guitar and vocals. They’re currently collaborating with visual artists from TV shows “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” “Archer” and “Aqua Teen Hunger Force,” so keep a lookout for plenty more to come.

web | facebook | twitter | bandcamp | soundcloud | instagram | youtube

share this: Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Introducing… Dead Trains

photo by Humar Miranda

photo by Humar Miranda

If anyone out there is feeling the winter blues or feels otherwise frozen in their lives, here’s something that’ll kick out those cobwebs. Dead Trains are from Boston, but their country blues stomp sounds more Mississippi Delta than Mass. Ave. There’s a rambunctious hyperkinetic edge, though, that fits right in to this town’s punk rock traditions. In their official video for the first single from their upcoming album Country Road Bound, they take us around town and show us basement band life, Boston’s approach to sanitation pick-up and the city’s nighttime entertainment choices.

“County Road Bound/Mean Town Blues” begins with the album’s title track and then seamlessly morphs into the band’s interpretation of Johnny Winter’s “Mean Town Blues.” Their music features fast tempo changes, irregular chord progressions and adept pacing that gets the blood flowing. Plus the fact that I’ve always been a sucker for slide guitar.

The band debuted in 2013 with their Break ‘Em On Down 4-track EP, following it up with another EP in 2015 called 32/20, while touring extensively on the East Coast and beyond. On the new album, which they’ll be releasing independently on February 26, they continue their edgy/shuffling Delta punk-blues style with decidedly down-on-their-luck lyrics (what else would you expect from a punk rock/blues trio, love songs?). The album includes their take on Suicide’s 1977 track, “Rocket USA.” On the closing song, “Fire Next Time,” they drop the tempo down for a gorgeous slide guitar bluesy lament. The album title itself is a nod to traditional blues lingo. “Country road bound” means that you’re likely to do time in a road prison due to crimes you’ve committed (or those you plan on committing).

The second single from the album, just released a few days ago, is “Going Down To The River.” The trio (Matt Axten – guitar and vocals, Natan Keyes – bass and Steve Olsen – drums) will be performing at the Out Of The Blue Gallery on February 26 for their record release show, along with Miracle Blood, Dirt Naps and Crow Feeder.

facebook | bandcamp | soundcloud

share this: Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Introducing… Tristan Bouchard

Photography by Stephanie Burgos Rodriguez

Photography by Stephanie Burgos Rodriguez

Sometimes it takes a catastrophic event to put one’s life into suddenly sharp focus. For Boston-based Tristan Bouchard, it was witnessing a fatal accident of a fellow college student on Commonwealth Avenue. The experience was traumatic for him, leading to a struggle with PTSD, which he was only able to alleviate through his music.

But this talented singer-songwriter didn’t just stop with self-healing. He took it one step further, allowing the pain to inspire and fuel his music. The need to share what he was feeling helped him to overcome crippling stage fright. After performing these new songs for audiences, he recorded a 3-song EP, Little Nights. “I Will Not Go To Paris,” both the song and the sweet homegrown video, feels like a young man discovering himself, figuring out his boundaries and deciding what’s important to him and what’s not. Bouchard’s warm vocals are beautifully accompanied by his expressive piano playing and soft melancholy violin.

Last year, he started an Indiegogo campaign to raise funds for a full-length album, to be called Blue Nights. Part of the proceeds will be donated to support McLean Hospital where presumably he received some important support of his own during his time of crisis. Though he did meet his funding goal, it appears you can still become involved in this extremely worthwhile project.

Just released yesterday was the first single and video from the forthcoming album. Warning: it’s not for the faint of heart. This stunning acapella performance piece is like a modern-day Appalachian dirge or old negro spiritual set in today’s incomprehensible world.

Tristan Bouchard will be performing at the Middle East Corner on Wednesday, April 6. See him if you can and show your support for this fine artist.

web | facebook | twitter | soundcloud | instagram | youtube

share this: Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Introducing… brmfthsstm*

What do you want to be when you grow up? Boston native Owen LiPuma, going by the name of brmfthsstm* (Broom of the System) has been working all that heavy stuff out in the solitude of his bedroom with his wistful lo-fi song, “Honest.” As he explains it, “it is a song about my struggle with finding myself and my growing up to become me.” I have news for you, son — that struggle never ends.

In the time it has taken for me to post this, he has released another song, called “Mute,” which he says “touches on my own anxieties about the world and myself.” Yup. I hear ya.

facebook | twitter | instagram | soundcloud | bandcamp |

share this: Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Introducing… Eternals

photo by Liz McBride

photo by Liz McBride

Here are some pleasing melodies with a touch of dreaminess for your Monday morning. The music of Eternals is described as “atmospheric Americana,” and that’s not far off the mark. Bands like Wilco, Sparklehorse and Spoon are mentioned alongside Brian Eno, Daniel Lanois and John Cale. On their latest song “Out of Context” (from their upcoming album Isn’t That Anyone (due out next spring) they meld early Eno-esque vocals and folksy acoustic guitar, piano and pedal steel with soft ambient synth sounds in the background. Lyrically, it’s introspective and thought-provoking. Very pretty!

After all of my making fun of Boston’s predominance of hardcore and punk bands, here’s another group of musicians that bucks the trend. Based in Somerville, Eternals members have a musical pedigree that includes collaborations with Boston musicians such as Passion Pit, Thalia Zedek, Titus Andronicus, Lucius and Marissa Nadler. They started working on original material in 2013, with their debut album released in May 2014 (recorded at the Soul Shop in Medford; truly a homegrown effort). They’ve toured regionally, opening for Bishop Allen, Caveman and Wild Nothing.

Their forthcoming album continues their exploration of their unique atmospheric Americana. “Out of Context” was co-produced with engineer Aaron Bastinelli, who has worked with many artists such as Bono, The Roots and The Hold Steady. It was recorded at Q Division Studios and Rubber Tracks. Yep, definitely homegrown.

Eternals features songwriter, arranger and multi-instrumentalist Stephen Konrads; bassist Wayne Whittaker; drummer Harrison Seiler and guitarist Eric Bolton. They’ll be following up their spring release with a summer tour, so be on the lookout for them!

facebook | twitter | soundcloud | bandcamp | instagram

share this: Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Introducing… The BoxBerrys

Listening to the BoxBerrys’ new EP, Maria For The Last Time, one might find it hard to believe that they’re a current band. That they’re a current Boston-based band is even harder to believe. Let’s face it — Boston isn’t exactly known for its gentle, sunny pop music (unless, of course, your idea of gentle sunny pop music is Pixies, Gang Green or Mission of Burma). But the BoxBerrys, with a nod to The Beatles and Elton John (and, on “Holly Rollers In The Sky,” Chuck Berry, Little Richard and those ’50s doo-woppers), are bringing their upbeat, retro-sounding pop to Boston’s mean streets.

The trio started in 2012 with their Sleepy Jesus EP, and this latest EP is the follow-up. Bits of wistful melancholy and sweet heartache keeps things from getting sappy, and the gentle harmonies and soft strumming is a nice way to wind down from a stressful day. Check ’em out!

web | facebook | twitter | soundcloud | bandcamp | instagram | youtube

share this: Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Looking For New Year’s Eve Festivities? First Night Boston, Andrew W.K., Hallelujah The Hills and a NYE Celebration @ ONCE!

Holy crap, it’s the end of the year already!? If you’re like me and the closing of this crazy year has caught you flat-footed, you might appreciate a few suggestions of how to regain your equilibrium and get 2016 started off in grand style. We’re taking a little break from introducing you to new bands to check in with a few old friends and see what they’re up to on New Year’s Eve.

First Night Boston is alive and well, and though stripped down from its former self, it’s now completely free! This family-friendly event actually begins at noon on New Year’s Eve and runs through the next day. Check out the schedule. Even if you have NYE plans, you still have time to catch the annual “People’s Procession” that moves from Copley Square to Boston Common, culminating in everyone’s favorite early-bird “Family Fireworks” right on the Common.

If you don’t have plans for later in the evening, there are some cool events happening in the Boston area. The few things I’ve caught wind of in the midst of my mad work mode are Hallelujah The Hills at Great Scott, the inimitable Andrew W.K. at the Paradise (performing I Get Wet in its entirety, certain to be a wild and woolly adventure) and something that especially caught my eye — an evening of four top-shelf bands at ONCE Ballroom (Cuisine en Locale).

Cuisine en Local, if you haven’t been there, is an extremely cool caterers featuring locally sourced food. In addition to top-notch catering and meal delivery, they also opened their ONCE ballroom, which is a really nice function hall with a lounge upstairs that overlooks it. This is a prime location for concerts, and they’ll be celebrating their 10th anniversary with a huge blow out on New Year’s Eve. It’s a tremendous lineup featuring Eastern European Gypsy Party Punk band Somerville Symphony Orkestar, Ruby Rose Fox, Cask Mouse and Cactus Attack. I’ve had the great pleasure of seeing the Orkestar and Cask Mouse over the years, and I can attest to the fact that these are top tier bands. The others sound great as well, so if you’re a local music aficionado, this looks like the place to be.

If that’s not enough to entice you, ONCE will be designing a special menu of munchies centered around “traditional local foods” and tickets will include a complimentary champagne toast at midnight. So ::: purchase tickets now ::: and you’ll have a warm, cozy and fiddling place to ring in the New Year with great, festive music!

Cactus Attack | Cask Mouse | Ruby Rose Fox | Somerville Symphony Orkestar | Cuisine en Locale | New Year’s Eve Facebook Event | ::: TICKETS! :::

share this: Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Walter Sickert & The Army of Broken Toys – Kickstarter for New Album! Come Black Magic!

Call it good timing, but as I write this to tell you about Walter Sickert & The Army of Broken Toys’ new Kickstarter campaign, tardy as always, I now see that they’ve just reached their goal. Never mind though; let’s just boldly continue on, as I’m sure they could always use more support, right? Right.

These guys are old friends of ours here at ‘musings’, and once again, they’re up to big doings. They’re about to embark on a new studio album entitled Come Black Magic. Here’s a tantalizing taste in the form of the official video for “Where’s Your Ghost.” The music is dramatic, epic and otherworldly, but then again, by now they have us well and truly spoiled. The visuals are of Mr. Walter Sickert bringing to life his infamous Inkdrips.

“Where’s your ghost, when you need her most?”

Kickstart It!

So here we are then. Walter Sickert & The Army of Broken Toys welcomes you to the Kickstarter for their new studio album COME BLACK MAGIC! (#ComeBlackMagic)

If you’re a Kickstarter virgin, this is basically like pre-ordering the new album, along with your choice of goodies depending on what level you choose for your pledged support. This cash will cover the band’s expenses so they can create a bouncing baby album for you. And here’s how they set the scene for their new musical progeny.

“On the night the dead return to mingle with the living, lost connections are made,
wolf packs mingle, coffins are shared and cold sticky love permeates the night air as Where’s Your Ghost spins on a forgotten Vicktagraph in a tucked away corner of the haunted house.”

Let’s get to it, people — just 13 days to go!


web | facebook | twitter | soundcloud | bandcamp | youtube

share this: Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Page 3 of 20

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén