screams, whispers and songs from planet earth

Category: Gigs Page 2 of 10

Christopher Paul Stelling ~ from False Cities to small towns

Christopher Paul Stelling

Christopher Paul Stelling

Tyler Lyle

Tyler Lyle

So this is how it goes when I’m trying to get something up quickly before the entire day goes by. I’ve been previously astonished by Christopher Paul Stelling in these pages, and he’s just released False Cities, which is once again a heart-stopper of an album, filled to the brim with ageless, timeless desperation, passion and hell-fire fury. I don’t have the time to do this justice, but for now — it’s an earth-shattering cry for salvation with furious fiddling and finger-picking and a voice conjuring all spirits from their not-so-final resting places for one last desperate dance.

Breathtaking music, Beer and BBQ ~ The Brew Session welcomes Christopher Paul Stelling and Tyler Lyle (Jessica’s apartment) – ::: tickets :::

What’s the rush? It’s to let everyone know about CP’s tour, currently in progress and touching down in Boston on Saturday, June 15, for one very cool and crazy intimate event at “Jessica’s apartment” (which I believe actually is some woman named Jessica’s apartment). It’s called The Brew Session, and it’s one part ridiculously fine music and another part beer & BBQ party. This sounds like something that would appeal to most Bostonians, so it would probably be wise to get your tickets quickly. The evening also features, direct from Santa Monica, singer-songwriter Tyler Lyle. I’m just listening to him now for the first time, but he sounds pretty great as well. He has a new EP out called Expatriates. Have a listen below. This is something you won’t want to miss.

Upcoming Shows

Christopher Paul Stelling
Jun 06 – The Living Room, New York, NY
Jun 11 – Cafe Nine, New Haven, CT
Jun 15 – Jessica’s Apartment, Boston, MA (Brew Session)
Jun 17 – Divan Orange, Montreal, QC
Jul 12- Bunbury Music Festival, Cincinnati, OH,br />
Jul 17 – The Shitty Barn, Spring Green, WI
Jul 20 – Ace Bar, Chicago, IL
Jul 23 РRumba Caf̩, Columbus, OH

Tyler Lyle
Jun 08 – Hotel Cafe, Los Angeles, CA
Jun 14 – The Living Room, New York, NY
Jun 15 – Jessica’s Apartment, Boston, MA (Brew Session)

Christopher Paul Stelling: web | facebook | bandcamp
Tyler Lyle: web | facebook | bandcamp

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Sea Wolf’s Spring Tour (Brighton Music Hall Friday 6/7)

I was first captivated by Alex Brown Church and Sea Wolf when I heard their wonderfully warm and melodic EP, Get To The River Before It Runs Too Low, their 2007 debut full length, Leaves In The River and its follow-up in 2009, White Water White Bloom. Gentle and flowing like their namesakes, the personal storytelling in these recordings pulls you right in.

In September of last year, Sea Wolf released Old World Romance. Once again true to its name, there’s an elegance and timelessness in their music, with lush strings and Church’s soulful vocals.. Enjoy this loveliness in an intimate setting as they make their way East to West this Spring. And for now, enjoy a stripped-down acoustic version of “Miracle Cure,” from Old World Romance.

Alex Brown Church of Sea Wolf

Alex Brown Church of Sea Wolf

Sea Wolf Tour

Jun 05 Sundown Music Series (Presented by WXPN), Haddon Heights, NJ – FREE
Jun 06 Valentines Music Hall w/ Savoir Adore, Albany, NY
Jun 07 Brighton Music Hall w/ Savoir Adore, Allston, MA
Jun 08 Bowery Ballroom w/Savoir Adore, New York, NY
Jun 09 Rock and Roll Hotel w/ Savoir Adore, Washington, DC

From there, it’s on to the South, then Texas, Arizona and back to California, with a date at the El Rey Theatre with Savoir Adore, presented by KCRW. For details, see their website.

web | facebook | twitter | bandcamp | dangerbird records

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More from Haunted Summer (& today in Pasadena)

Continuing on the Eastside L.A. theme, Haunted Summer is a band I talked briefly about back in February. At the time there were just demos; now there’s a proper single which you can listen to below. The tracks feature Sheridan Riley (of Avi Buffalo) on drums, Scott Bassman (Kind Hearts and Coronets) on bass and a live string trio. The single was produced by Raymond Richards (Local Natives) and mastered by Mark Chalecki (Karen O and The Kids).

If you’re in or around Los Angeles, they’re performing TODAY in Pasadena with Taken by Trees at Levitt Pavilion, Memorial Park. It’s part of a big (andFREE) shindig that features a lot of bands, including We Are Scientists, YACHT, Tanlines, Youngblood Hawke, Radar Brothers, Fort King and Downtown/Union. Full line-up here. Bejeebers! Other shows are June 6 at Detroit Bar in Costa Mesa and the KCRW & Buzzbands LA Present Chinatown Summer Nights Festival on July 20 in Los Angeles.

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Introducing Hands (from Los Angeles) ~ Synesthesia & tour

photo courtesy of David Morrison

photo courtesy of David Morrison

Looks like we’ll be on a little “Eastside L.A. kick” for a few days. Hands actually began in Philadelphia with Geoff Halliday on vocals and keyboards and Ryan Sweeney on guitar, but then migrated to Silver Lake, where Sean Hess (drums) and Alex Staniloff (bass) joined them and all apparently partook of those mystical underground spring waters that make bands in this particular neighborhood of Los Angeles really, really good. This is exuberant synth pop that wouldn’t be unwelcome by fans of Passion Pit, Foster the People — or the 1980s, for that matter. This is some good bouncy stuff for moving around to in a sweaty club.

Although they only just became a band last year, they’ve already played at SXSW, CMJ and DeLuna Fest, and have had some considerable mainstream media attention. This includes ABC News’ “7 Emerging Artists On The Rise,” The Guardian’s “New Band Of The Day” and Time Magazine’s list of “11 bands you don’t know (but should).” Last month, they released their debut full-length, Synesthesia on Kill Rock Stars.

One stand-out track for me is “Brave Motion,” which also comes with a pretty awesome video. Check it out. They’ll be stopping off in Boston (Allston) at Great Scott on Tuesday night. See their East Coast tour dates below.

And speaking of Passion Pit, living in the Boston area as I am, I would be remiss in not including Hands’ remix of Passion Pit’s “It’s Not My Fault.” So here it is.

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Upcoming Shows

6/1 New York City, NY @ Glasslands
6/2 Philadelphia, PA @ Kung Fu Necktie Doors @ 8pm
6/3 New York City, NY @ Pianos Doors @ 7:45pm
6/4 Allston, MA @ Great Scott Doors @ 9pm
6/5 Montreal, QC, Canada @ Il Motore Doors @ 8:30pm
6/6 Toronto, ON, Cananda @ The Drake Hotel Doors @ 8pm
6/7 Pittsburgh, PA @ 6119 Penn Avenue
From there, it’s on to the Midwest and West Coast. For their complete schedule, see their website

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The Bats – Spring 2013 U.S. Tour!

Heads up, New Zealand Flying Nun indie pop fans! We have a real treat coming right up on the horizon. Direct from Christchurch, The Bats are here for a 12-date tour across the U.S., stopping off in Boston at the cozy Great Scott this Sunday (June 2). Not only are The Bats one of the legendary bands from back in those heady ’80s. Along with bands like The Clean, The Chills and The Verlaines, they defined that classic “Flying Nun sound” — pretty, chiming, jangly guitar-based pop music that dances happily around positively dismal lyrics. Love it.

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Walter Sickert and the Army of Broken Toys & Jaggery are off to the Wild West

I can think of no better way to come out of semi-hibernation than to promote two of my favorite Boston bands as they hit the West Coast (and Texas, whatever one calls that) — and to indulge in some pony/bunny/unicorn madness. The fact that this uber-strange video (by the inimitable Walter Sickert) seems to fit my current frame of mind is worrying indeed.

So anyway, Walter Sickert and the Army of Broken Toys have a haunting new album out mere days from now called Soft Time Traveler. It was inspired by Walter’s chance magical encounter with a deer while in Block Island, while reading about the battle between natives and American Colonists. As one might imagine, the music is filled to the brim with beauty and angst. But then, isn’t that always the case with the Army of Toys? They’re heading off with the equally awe-inspiring Jaggery. Have a listen to a few songs from the new offering, which includes one of my live favorites, “Devil’s In The Details.” And let the trance-inducing pony video revert you back to an earlier life form. If you’re not familiar with the epic productions of these two stunning bands, do see them if you can.

Also, a full stream of the entire album is available for a limited time only on American Songwriter.

Musical tornado warning for the following areas:

4/13 Seattle, WA – The Royal Room
4/14 Portland, OR – The Hollywood Theatre
4/15 San Francisco, CA – Cafe Du Nord
4/16 San Diego, CA – Queen Bee
4/17 Scottsdale, AZ – Rogue Bar
4/19 Victoria, TX – JAM Fest
4/20 Austin, TX – Swan Dive

Note: Jaggery will be doing shows as a duo (Singer Mali & Tony Leva) on their way back; check the Jaggery site for more details.

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Silversun Pickups in NYC tonight & tomorrow; Orpheum Theatre on Wednesday!

Sarah Negahdari, from a Happy Hollows show at O'Brien's Pub in Allston in 2010. Brian Aubert, from Silversun Pickups' performance at the WFNX Clambake in 2010.

Sarah Negahdari, from a Happy Hollows show at O'Brien's Pub in Allston in 2010. Brian Aubert, from Silversun Pickups' performance at the WFNX Clambake in 2010.

Silversun Pickups with Cloud Nothings and Atlas Genius
at the Orpheum, Boston
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
7:30pm | All Ages | BUY TICKETS

Silversun Pickups have been busy touring to support their beautiful new album, Neck of the Woods, which I reviewed recently on Ryan’s Smashing Life. Tonight, they’re performing their first (sold out) show at Terminal 5 in New York City. Tickets are still available for tomorrow night’s show. On Wednesday, they’ll be here in Boston at the Orpheum Theatre. As bassist Nikki Monninger is currently on maternity leave (expecting twins), Sarah Negahdari of The Happy Hollows (another of my favorite bands) will be filling in. This is definitely a show not to miss.

10/15 New York City, NY – Terminal 5
10/16 Upper Darby, PA – Tower Theatre
10/17 Boston, MA – Orpheum Theatre
10/19 Hartford, CT – The Webster
10/20 Clifton Park, NY – Upstate Concert Hall
10/21 Cleveland, OH – House of Blues
10/23 Royal Oak, MI – Royal Oak Music Theatre
10/24 Indianapolis, IN – Egyptian Room
10/25 Nashville, TN – Marathon Music Works
10/27 New Orleans, LA – Voodoo Music Experience

For Australian dates and U.S. holiday shows, see their site.

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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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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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