Sunday, June 12, 2011

Alessi's Ark Club Passim 7th June 2011

Alessi's Ark performed a very low key under attended concert at Club Passim last week.
A sublimely intimate setting and a wonderfully warm pewrformer.
Forgive me I recorded the set and put it on youtube. You should have been there.

Martin Rushent RIP

11 July 1948 – 4 June 2011
I am not a huge producer person, I hate remixes but the death of Martin Rushent hit me in a way I can't explain. OK major admission I was there listening to music when Dare came out and changed our lives. I was struck dumb in admiration when Love and Dancing came out and I took my first steps to actually majorly fan girling on a remix album that stood on its own. OK now those who know math (or maths if you come from my native UK) understand I am the major old fogey around.
Dare really hit me, it hit most everyone I knew, music taken to a new level then on his death I find he did the Pete Shelley album Homosapien. Major admission here I remember listening to Homosapien the single and even at 15 feeling the need to jump on furniture and go crazy. The rest of the album was supremely sublime though not the soul crazing epic that I found Homosapien. He produced Altered Images for those songs that I danced like a loon too, he produced T-Rex can you say more. The Stranglers also owed him production credits. One of my obscure but loved artists Intaferon, yeah I know you haven't heard of them but go look up 'get out of london' or 'steamhammer sam', and now I know why their 12' mix of 'get out of london' broke my trend of not liking remixes. The Associates, yes you guessed it his finger was in there.
I can honestly say this man engineered my musical memories and I couldn't be more grateful. if you go to the facebook page of memories I defy you not to be touched.
Oh and his son is the lead singer in Does It Offend You Yeah!, it seems so fitting.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

The Wombats New york - part two

So recovering from the two gigs in one night, we packed our bags and left('bats song title reference in there) for NY. After setting into the hotel and heading down to Manhattan and Bowery, we saw the Wombats stuff being loaded in but took a break to eat some Chinese around the corner. after we decided just to hang out in the sun waiting for doors to open, about 5:30 the guys turned up looking rushed and late as normal.
Its kind of nice for the guys to take the time to say hi even in such cases making the others in line wonder at our familiarity.
despite Bowery making a complete bollocks of letting people in, GRRRR, why have people line up if you want to stab them in the back. We still managed to get where we wanted to be, at the front where Tord would be playing. The support band were pretty dire, very pretty lead singer but that really didn't make up for waek soings and off tune vocals.
THe 'Bats started with Our Perfect Disease, a song I am liking more and more from MG, then slipped into Kill The Director , at which point it is hard to see where more havoc was happening teh stage where Murph and Tord were ripping it up or the audience singing along as if their life depended on it.
The set included old and new, while I am instantly loving Fog , Tokyo,Techno Fan anti-D and Disease I am sure 1996, Schumaker will grow on me. In Boston we got patricia while in NY we got My first wedding. seeing those two hit my favorite great but not the usual old songs count me a very happy, exhausted physically wrecked fan.
The whole audience was utterly up for this gig to the point all three wombats went crowd surfing at the end, though Dan really should have removed his in ear monitor rather tahn losing it - OOPS!!!!!!
People think the wombats only do poppy songs but when you see them live you see Tord ripping hell on stage and Murph and Dan giving their all.
And while the first album discussed teenage angst the second under the pop and fluff discusses some debauched and serious topics. Lets face it over prescribing anti depressants, dysfunctional relationships, losing oneself by using prostitutes are not exactly sweet love stories but if it loses the bimbettes hopefully the second album with its increased depth will help sustain the fans they had and gain even more.

Friday, June 03, 2011

The Wombats Boston & New York May 30/31st May 2011

ah the wombats, one of the bands which have a real soft spot in my heart. Why not? Three very real very genuine, friendly decent guys who kick ass on stage and have a plethora of amazing songs, what more could you ask for? (Well apart from Johnny Marr leaving them alone, please.....)
The 'Bats played a free WFNX show at Hurricane O'Reilly's in Boston on Monday. Despite it being memorial day there was a solid turn out and an enthusiastic crowd. Such a small stage but they still managed to evoke sheer havoc on stage.
It was so nice to see the guys again and a relief to see them revitalised and no longer hurting compared to last time.
despite it being a free show and them having to run off to catch a bus to New york (Bad Simon Bad...) the boys dis a full hour long show even returning for an encore.
as always they gave their all.
seeing it was only 10:15 we then ran off and saw Johnny flynn. He was amazing, the rude drunk frat boys should have been euthanized. Oh and I loved the irony of people singing along to Barnacled Warship, a vehemently anti - war song on Memorial day.

The Wombats Tokyo

The Wombats Jump into the fog

The Wombats Our Perfect Disease

Stornoway Boston May 28th 2011

When Stornoway played BMH on Saturday we decided sound was more important than closeness and considering the sound we manged to hear on Saturday I was really happy with our decision.
Sea of Bees was interesting but she was a bit weird, nice in small doses but not normal in any way.
Stornoway mostly played their album but the inter song dialog was charming and seeing their politics play right into my heart , Stellwagen bank & whales being mentioned as the real reason to come to boston, I bought right into this.
During a minor technical issue break we got to hear an acoustic version of a new song The Bigger Picture, quite an emotional song.

but then this is from a band that sings about the London bombing hidden under 'Here comes the blackout' - a song most Americans really don't dig into the back story for.

We also got treated to a rendition of a song written for their visit to Yale Natural Museum and its 'Blood suckers exhibition'. This may be the only version that people get to hear.

Finishing with acoustic versions of The Battery human, a song written to tell folks sitting in an office is not a life Stornoway finished a concert under attended but very well received.

Friendly Fires Boston 27 May 2011

Friendly Fires is an aberration in our music taste. We don't do disco BUT we do buy into amazing live acts and fantastically catchy songs and this is where Friendly Fires fall into our taste.
Wise Blood as a support band was just dire but thankfully they were off the stage relatively quickly.
Friendly Fires did not disappoint, the first time i saw them I danced until I thought I would die, then the second I wasn't as enthused, this third time I fell back into dancing until I felt I would drop. Pela is a good album though to me only Hawaiian air stood out. Despite that each songs provided an amazingly danceable experience and Ed manages to incite crowd fervor by his dancing and general interaction.
I just can't imagine another band who would not play as fantastic a song as Photobooth. With live acts like this who needs to go to the gym. Paris, Jump In The Pool, Hawaiian Air, paris, Lovesick this band played an impressive set to keep anyone happy.
Friendly Fires Lovesick

Friendly Fires Hawaiian Air

Glasvegas- Boston May 26th 2011

Glasvegas hasn't had it easy recently, James has admitted a coke habit and popular belief is its not over and his current physique doesn't suggest life is good. Then we have to consider the venue, For Brighton Music Hall you have to choose do you get close to the band, try to get decent photos or stand behind the bass speakers from 'Avalon' be three feet from the stage and be almost aligned to where the house speakers are, this venue is just the pits.
We chose the stage for this and suffered by having major issues hearing any of James' vocal.
The new album really isn't that good, I keep starting to listen and then forgetting it is on. James looks wrecked, emaciated and just in poor shape, I felt sorry for him, not the prime emotion a lead singer is supposed to evoke. The songs played early in the set just basically died but at least two new songs, Shine Like Stars & Lots Sometime, gained life when played live. The older songs held up, well except for Flowers and Football tops which was done in a semi acoustic method which really lost all potency. But enough of the old songs - Geraldine, Go Square Go and Daddy's Gone managed to get the crowd going and saved the night from disaster.

Glasvegas Shine Like Stars

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Seven shows in seven days - Hey Rosetta!

So tired, so beat up excuse me if I fall asleep while I write this but very happy and kind of glowing feeling too.
People wonder why I go to so many shows and I can honestly say the past week was a great a example of why.
On Wednesday we went to see Hey Rosetta!, they are a promising band from Newfoundland, Canada. They have done two support shows in Boston before (that I know of) and have been developing quite a following quietly by being a solid live band with enjoyable indie folks songs. This was their first headline show and at our favorite venue, Great Scott.
The support band despite being from Boston was actually quite enjoyable though I wouldn't go see them as a headline act.
Hey Rosetta! were very well received with a large crowd, it may even have been sold out, but the audience gave attention when warranted and some silence when asked.
Despite relatively young, (mea culpa my initial facts were proved false, this band has three albums thanks sheppard_ryan11 for pointing out my error in only referencing their album I had been listening to) the band played for over an hour leaving a very happy audience.
This band is worth watching and if you havent seen them before I would suggest you put them onto your watch list.

Hey Rosetta!Yer Spring

Hey Rosetta! Bandages