screams, whispers and songs from planet earth

Category: Show Previews Page 3 of 21

The Motion Sick’s 3-year reunion

Poster by Nicole Anguish

Poster by Nicole Anguish

Ok, so it’s not like Boston’s own The Motion Sick has been gone for 20 years, and they’re coming back “Rip Van Winkle-like” into a different time. But it has been a little while (three years, in fact) since their last show, so they’re celebrating with a 4-song EP and an opening band line-up where each one features one of their members. So have a listen below and if you like what you here, go celebrate with them the The Brighton Music Hall tomorrow night (Saturday 7/13).

Brighton Music Hall – Saturday, July 13, 2013 at 8:00 p.m.
18+ | $12 | Facebook Event | ::: TICKETS :::
11:00 The Motion Sick
10:15 Parks (feat. Matthew Girard)
9:30 The Michael J. Epstein Memorial Library (feat. MJE)
8:45 This Blue Heaven (feat. Travis Richter)
8:00 Wash Pool (feat. Patrick Mussari)

The Motion Sick: web | facebook | twitter | bandcamp – listen to all their music!

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Outside The Box in Boston! (starts Saturday 6/13 – 9 days of FREE performances)

I wanted to commemorate a beautiful event that’s happening here in Boston starting on Saturday. Called Outside The Box, it’s a 9-day performing arts festival that will feature over 200 events throughout Boston Common and City Hall Plaza (and other places). Designed to bring together various neighborhoods, residents and artistic communities from the Boston area, this amazing festival is completely FREE. With theater, dance, performance art, puppets and music performances of all shapes and colors, there will be absolutely something for everybody. Here’s a few of the notable musical happenings that caught my eye. We’ll start with the first 3 days, and stay tuned for more.

Saturday July 13

Alejandro Escovedo ~ 1-1:45pm ~ Boston Common: The Beacon
His new album Big Station (Fantasy/Concord) is out now.

web | facebook | twitter

Tallahassee ~ 7-8pm ~ Boston Common: The Commonwealth Stage
Their newest album is Old Ways
web | facebook | twitter

Sunday July 14

Emperor Norton’s Stationary Marching Band ~ 4:30-6pm ~ Boston Common: The Commonwealth Stage
Boston’s favorite HONK!ers.
web | facebook | twitter

Monday July 15

Air Traffic Controller ~ 2-3pm ~ Boston Common: The Beacon
web | facebook | twitter

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Outside The Box: web | facebook | twitter

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The Drowning Men roll in to Boston tonight! (JP)

The Drowning Men, from their Hartford, CT show w/Airborne in 2011

The Drowning Men, from their Hartford, CT show w/Airborne in 2011

Here’s some sweet music to commemorate a “family reunion” tonight — The Drowning Men are back in town, stopping off at Midway Cafe in Jamaica Plain, as part of their current tour. Supporting them tonight will be Cradle to the Grave, The Old Edison and Alen of Dale. I first fell in love with The Drowning Men when they toured with The Airborne Toxic Event a few years ago. Their music is difficult to describe, but I’ll give it a shot: wayward sailors adrift on a treacherous sea with a musical maelstrom that blends gypsy Americana, Eastern European melodies, eerie otherworldly sounds, rollicking sea shanties and ferocious rock ‘n’ roll, underpinned by Nato Bardeen’s heartfelt and pleading “man grasping wildly at a small life raft” vocals. All Of The Unknown was released last year. Check it out. And meanwhile, a beautiful acoustic performance of a particular favorite of mine, “I Am the Beggar Man.”

thank you “Lightning 100” for uploading this lovely tune.

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A cool convergence ~ Krief, The Grownup Noise, Modern Miracles of Science @ Cafe 939


Here’s a quick mention of some cool musicians who happen to be converging for a performance at Cafe 939 Saturday night. From Boston, it’s The Grownup Noise, who are busy at work on a new album and because of that, this will be their ONLY show this summer. So be sure to catch ’em. Opening that evening (8 pm) is a Montreal musician with a Boston connection, Krief (Patrick Krief, guitarist of The Dears). His show this evening is part of his summer tour to showcase his new album, “Hundred Thousand Pieces.” He’s worked quite a bit with well-known Boston band The Wandas, having recorded/produced a few of their albums, and playing shows with them as part of The Dears.

Rounding out the bill is New Jersey-based Miracles of Modern Science, and any band that involves a mandolin, cello, upright bass and fiddle and does a Daft Punk cover automatically gets blessings bestowed here. This looks to be a good one, folks.
Saturday, July 13 at 8:00 p.m. ::: facebook event ::: tickets :::


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Miracles of Modern Science

The Grownup Noise

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The Boston Calling Festival: Lucius and Big Black Delta

Lucius, photo by Peter Larson

Lucius, photo by Peter Larson

Big Black Delta

Big Black Delta

Continuing my plan to cover at least all the “non-headliners” for The Boston Calling Music Festival coming up September 7 & 8, here’s a little taste of Lucius (performing Saturday) and Big Black Delta (who are playing Sunday). I heard great things about the first Boston Calling festival, so this second one is definitely not to be missed. Especially not one that features bands like Boston’s You Won’t and Bearstronaut, Okkervil River, Deer Tick, Bat for Lashes, Major Lazer, Passion Pit, Local Natives… oh yeah, and The Airborne Toxic Event.

Lucius — is a fairly new Brooklyn-based quintet (just started last year), recently signed to Mom & Pop Music. It features the dual vocals of Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig, and the dual guitars of Peter Lalish and Andrew Burri.

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Big Black Delta is the solo project of vocalist and bassist Jonathan Bates (Mellowdrone). He’s collaborated with several artists including Morgan Kibby, War Widow and Alessandro Cortini.

Get your tickets now for Boston Calling, as it’s liable to sell out just like the last one did.

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Endation, Schooltree, and The Burners @ Precinct 7/6

If one night of getting drunk and blowing shit up isn’t enough for you, Schooltree and friends invite you to continue the theme two days later this Saturday, July 6, at Precinct in Union Square, Somerville.

I can personally recommend Schooltree, and especially for those who miss the 1970s and the classic rock opera. They’re art rock cabaret and campy delight but absolutely heartfelt and genuine. This is a Broadway musical for the off-kilter and slightly deranged.

The Burners, hailing from Portland, Maine, will be bringing their fine gypsy Americana, which is a great way to celebrate American musical tradition. These guys seriously jam on guitar, violin, bass, harmonica and accordion. It’s serious “kick up your heels” music.

Headlining will be Endation, who describe themselves as “stripped down and raw, heavy with bombastic rhythms, a fusion of complex and simple while also melodic, serene and emotional.” Um… “melodic, serene and emotional”?? Seriously?? Ok, so maybe there’s a place in the cacophony where you will enter unexpectedly into a peaceful, trance-like state, but I probably wouldn’t recommend this band to someone looking for a tranquil string quartet. You’ve been warned.

Set times: The Burners – 9ish; Schooltree – 10ish; Endation – 11ish | Facebook event. Be careful out there, kids! And happy holiday weekend.

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Dead flowers, living legends and big arenas

Why? Because 1) it’s late, I haven’t posted anything today, I’m tired and I got a ton of work to do in the morning; and 2) because a certain rock ‘n’ roll band that has been around since the time of Jesus is in town tomorrow. ‘Nuff said.

thanks, toji2004

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Introducing… American Authors


Here’s a band that at first listen was maybe a little “mainstream alternative” for my tastes, but damn, this is pretty contagious stuff. I was about to write that American Authors was “Brooklyn-based,” and indeed they are now, but apparently they are actually Boston escapees, having met while all the members were students at Berklee. Ok, so I won’t hold that against them [that’s a JOKE, Bostonians…]. Previously known as The Blue Pages, they went through a name change in 2010.

They signed with Mercury Records in January and released their debut single, “Believer,” in March and another single called “Best Day of My Life” was used in a Lowe’s ad. Nice start, guys. Album forthcoming. They’re on tour; click on the photo above for dates.

web | facebook | twitter

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Boston Calling Music Festival 9/7 & 9/8: Tickets On Sale Now

Tickets have just gone on sale TODAY for the Boston Calling Music Festival which takes place September 7 and 8 at City Hall Plaza, so I thought I would commemorate the occasion by having a brief look at the Boston bands that will be opening up the festivities on each day. Over the weeks leading up to it, I’ll be doing little profiles about some of the “non-headliners” performing, since that’s how I am here, and it’s actually a pretty diverse and interesting line-up.

I’ll begin by profiling the two Boston bands who open things up on each day. I’ve heard some people comment that it’s a little odd not to have the Boston music scene more strongly represented at a festival that calls itself “Boston Calling.” While I tend to agree, this is also the first festival we’ve had here in Boston, right downtown no less, and there’s always a future (one hopes) to grow and improve. The first festival had two local bands, this one has three (yay Passion Pit!). Maybe the line-up can be expanded, extended into before and after-parties, whatever. Better not to boycott, but to engage in discussion. Off soapbox, on to the music.

You Won’t :: Saturday ::

I’m really happy to see the Boston-based duo of Josh Arnoudse and Raky Sastri a.k.a. the totally charming and really great indie folk outfit You Won’t opening things up on Saturday. The band came into existence in 2011 and released their debut album Skeptic Goodbye (Old Flame Records) in February 2012. This was followed by a U.S. & Canadian tour, a bunch of glowing reports in places like NPR and The New York Times, and more touring this year supporting the likes of The Lumineers, The Joy Formidable and Josh Ritter. Nice to see they’ll get some more high profile exposure with this festival.

Upcoming shows: 6/17 Toad’s Place, New Haven, CT (w/The Joy Formidable) | 6/18 Port City Music Hall, Portland, ME (w/The Joy Formidable) | 6/20 House of Blues, Boston, MA (w/The Joy Formidable) | 7/31 Downsview Park, Toronto, Canada (Edgefest)

Bearstronaut :: Sunday ::

There really isn’t a more perfect band to kick off Sunday’s dance party than Boston’s own Bearstronaut. Polished and well-produced synth-pop with hints of electro, R&B, Britpop, the 1980s… basically a bouncy, happy affair. They released their debut EP in 2009 and were the inspiration for a homegrown record label, Vanya Records, founded by Michael Marotta (the pill, WFNX). Their Moniker single was released on vinyl by Vanya, as was last year’s EP Paradice. Bearstronaut have perform with Passion Pit, fun., Bad Rabbits, St. Lucia, Surfer Blood and others. And in September, they’ll get to kick off quite an inspired Sunday line-up for dance music, hip-hop, R&B, electro and synth-pop aficionados.

Boston Calling: web | facebook | twitter

You Won’t: web | facebook | twitter | bandcamp | soundcloud

Bearstonaut: web | facebook | twitter | bandcamp | tumblr | soundcloud

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Breaking News: Literary Luminaries Converge in Little Rock ‘n’ Roll Dive

photo by Kirsty Bennet

photo by Kirsty Bennet

featuring Dan Kennedy, Ophira Eisenberg, Ben Greenman and Christopher Monks
The Middle East (Upstairs)
Saturday, June 8, 2013
7pm (6pm doors) | $10 | ::: BUY TICKETS :::

Boston has an illustrious intellectual and literary tradition. Among those who have lived and written in and around the city are Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (Cambridge), Anne Bradstreet (Salem, Charlestown, Boston, Cambridge), Sylvia Plath (Boston), e.e. cummings (Cambridge), Ralph Waldo Emerson (Concord), Nathaniel Hawthorne (Salem), Robert Frost (Lawrence), Anne Sexton (Newton, Lowell, Boston, Cambridge), Jack Kerouac (Lowell), Oliver Wendell Holmes (Cambridge), Kahlil Gibran (Boston) and though Baltimore claims Edgar Allan Poe, he was in fact born in Boston. Our city also has a rich rock ‘n’ roll history: Nervous Eaters, Mission of Burma, Pixies, Morphine, Jonathan Richman and The Modern Lovers, Human Sexual Response, Willie Loco and the Boom Boom Band, Rob Zombie, Tracy Chapman, Dresden Dolls, Aerosmith, The Real Kids, Passion Pit… So it’s strangely appropriate that such a distinguished group of fertile minds would be gathering at one of our skanky rock clubs to read from their works.

Dan Kennedy

The missing link between indie rock club and high brow literature might well be New York-based writer Dan Kennedy’s 2008 memoir “Rock On”, about his marketing job at one of the music industry’s corporate monsters, Atlantic Records. He’s a contributor to GQ and McSweeney’s, and is host of The Moth storytelling podcast. His most recent novel is “American Spirit”. :: twit ::

Ophira Eisenberg

Ophira Eisenberg hosts NPR’s rambunctious weekly trivia game show, Ask Me Another, is performer and host of The Moth and has performed on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, VH-1, Comedy Central, E! Channel and Oxygen Network. Her writing has been featured in “I Killed: True Stories of the Road from America’s Top Comics,” and US Weekly’s Fashion Police. This year, she released her debut memoir, “Screw Everyone: Sleeping My Way to Monogamy”. :: twit ::

Ben Greenman

As an editor of the New Yorker and renowned author, Ben Greenman has written essays, music criticism and fiction that has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Paris Review, McSweeneys, Zoetrope: All Story and Opium. His books have included “Superbad”, “Superworse”, “A Circle is a Balloon and Compass Both: Stories About Human Love” and his rock star novel, “Please Step Back”. He also contributes to the audioblog His latest work, recently released, is “The Slippage”. :: twit ::

Christopher Monks

Christopher Monks is editor of McSweeney’s Internet Tendency and author of “The Ultimate Game Guide To Your Life”. His writing has appeared in print and online journals including The Morning News and McSweeney’s, and yes of course, he tweets as well.

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