screams, whispers and songs from planet earth

Tag: Explosions in the Sky

My Musical Highlights of 2013

(clockwise from upper left): A blessing to see all my favorites this year - The Henry Clay People, The Happy Hollows, Malcolm Sosa's 123Death and The Airborne Toxic Event

(clockwise from upper left): A blessing to see all my favorites this year - The Henry Clay People, The Happy Hollows, Malcolm Sosa's 123Death and The Airborne Toxic Event

I’ll be honest — 2013 was a bitch of an “all work and no play” year, but the times I did get to cut loose with some fine music were pretty spectacular. There were a few really nice festivals (not a format I’m typically fond of), an intimate backyard deck show in Echo Park and the swan song of a beloved L.A. band. What might have lacked in quantity was well compensated in quality. Due to my work circumstances, I had to select carefully, so what you’ll find here are mostly old favorites. As the year winds down, it does so on a rather ominous note, and I’m not entirely certain what the future holds. Ok, no one is ever certain; I’m especially not certain. If there’s anything in a musical vein that I hope for in 2014, it’s that however my life changes, it does so in a way that I can experience a wider range of musical delights in the new year. For a comprehensive overview of top recordings released in 2013, visit Ryan’s Smashing Life for his ’50 Best Albums of 2013.’ Meanwhile, here are six of my personal live performance highlights, in chronological order.

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The NINES Festival: 1 Day of Peace & Music (plus stand-up comics, recycled art and people who like to play with hot flames)

If you’re a wannabe hippie like me who didn’t go to Woodstock because you were too young — or if you were at Woodstock and have been wondering where all the East Coast hippies went, most of them were at the glorious NINES Festival in Devens, Massachusetts earlier this month. Although an embarrassing three weeks have elapsed, warm and strong remembrances of a pleasant and peaceful day in the sun with a truly stellar musical line-up, beautifully organized event and super-cool vibe is still putting a big smile on my face. This was the first year for this newly-minted festival that was presented by 3Rivers Arts and Great Northeast Productions, Inc., and I hope it’s just the first of a many-year tradition. If these fine folks can be accused of anything, it’s being overly ambitious for their first time out — but those lucky enough to be in attendance benefited from being at the best-kept secret in Massachusetts that weekend.

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The NINES Festival, part II ~ Saturday, August 10

Before I continue with the rest of the wonderful bands at next Saturday’s NINES Music + Art + Discovery Festival, here’s a little info about the other happenings there, as it’s more than just great music. It goes without saying that with all the interactive art, comedy and music (plus quality crafts, great food and beverages – both for kids and adults), this is going to be a great time for the whole family. The “Stich” comedy tent is curated by Harvard Square’s The Comedy Studio, hosted by impresario Rick Jenkins. Two of the featured performers are Erin Judge (Comedy Central’s “Live at Gotham”) and pop culture maven Ken Reid.

There will be art installations, exhibits, and interactive art projects curated by art director and RISD alum Christopher Cyr and “art with a re-purpose” visual design visionaries Fireseed Arts.

Parking lots open @ 11:00am, gates at noon, music from 1-11pm. BUY TICKETS

If you like to “go in style,” they have very special Patron of the Arts” VIP tickets, which include many cool perks. This is going to be a beautiful event, in bucolic surroundings. So then, on with the music!

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Don’t miss The NINES ~ music + art + discovery festival ~ Devens, MA – Saturday, August 10

The NINES Music + Art + Discovery Festival
featuring: Walter Sickert & the Army of Broken Toys, Air Traffic Controller, Shuggie Otis, Matt Pond, Walk Off The Earth, K. Flay, Delta Spirit, Kid Koala, Dr. Dog and Explosions in the Sky
Saturday, August 10 at Willard Field, Devens MA
1:00 PM – 11:00 PM (parking lots open at 11; gates at noon)

COOL EVENT ALERT! The sleepy little village of Devens, Massachusetts is going to be the home of a dazzling cornucopia of musicians, multimedia artists and comedians on Saturday, August 10th. Because that’s the day that The NINES Music + Art + Discovery Festival rolls into town. In all the flurry of concerts and bigger-name summer festivals, one might inadvertently skip over this brand new music and arts gathering, but that would be a mistake, as it features an impressive line-up of both internationally-known and up-and-coming artists.

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