Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Radiohead at Earl's Court

London, UK - Nov 26 '03


Radiohead - Everything In It's Right Place
The best version of this song in my collection!

Earl's Court - Nov 26th, 2003

01 - 2+2=5
02 - My Iron Lung
03 - Where I End And You Begin
04 - Kid A
05 - I Will
06 - Myxomatosis
07 - I Might Be Wrong
08 - Sail To The Moon
09 - Lucky
10 - Paranoid Android
11 - Go To Sleep
12 - Sit Down, Stand Up
13 - Just
14 - Idioteque
15 - Fake Plastic Trees
16 - There There (encore break)
17 - You And Whose Army
18 - The National Anthem
19 - A Wolf At The Door
20 - Street Spirit [Fade Out] (encore break)
21 - We Suck Young Blood
22 - Karma Police
23 - Everything In It's Right Place

Wolf Parade wrap album tour

from the World of Music
Is this the End of the Band?

Dan Boeckner of Wolf Parade and Handsome Furs

THE BEST BAND IN CANADA STEPS AWAY Just months after I announced to the world that Wolf Parade are probably my favorite contemporary act, the band is no more... at least in any cognitive sense right now. Just hours after the band left the stage on the scheduled album tour wrap in Toronto on 11/26 - the members announced they were taking an "indefinite hiatus." As reported by Spinner, keyboardist Spencer Krug (also of Sunset Rubdown and Swan Lake) told the audience from stage in Toronto; "This will be our last show for a long time." Such news is not entirely surprising. The band is wickedly talented and sometimes artistry comes at a cost. The talented members each have their own side projects. And the word leaked out at the end of a long tour. Let's hope that this isn't a forever thing.

I am of the mind that it's not how many albums you make, it's how many exceptional records and songs you release. Qualitatively, this band is hard to beat. In solid news, Boeckner who is a founding member of Handsome Furs (with his charming wife Alexei) will be working on a new album in January with Arlen (a drummer and a celebrated Canadian producer) in his studio, Mt Zoomer. More when we have it, but don't anticipate a lengthy wait on the Handsome Furs sessions. Those two are always animated and synched-up. I expect them to jam it out and then head on the road! As one already asked, "What can this mean for Spencer Krug's Sunset Rubdown?"

Wolf Parade
My / Sub Pop / Fans

(Jian Ghomeshi CBC podcast on 11/26/10)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Gentlemen Hall

Photographic Evidence
by Mark Jenko
10/18/10 at Harper's Ferry
Boston, MA - Sonic Preview

Red-Hot New England: Gentlemen Hall

Gentlemen Hall - Gravity

RSL Streaming Photo Album
Gentlemen Hall at Harper's Ferry - Allston, MA - 10/18/10

are one to watch
My / Fb / Tw / mp3 DL

Leslie Nielsen

Remembering to Laugh
Celebrating a Life in Movies

Leslie William Nielsen 1926 - 2010

full trailer for Airplane!

The Best of Frank Drebin:

Leslie Nielsen
Wikipedia / IMDB / More Videos

Sunday, November 28, 2010


RSL's Song of the Day
Last Day to Vote for the BMAs

Everyone Wants to Be A Winner

Eels - Prizefighter

It's Sunday and we find ourselves down to the last 12-24 hours in the balloting for several categories for the 23rd annual Boston Music Awards. There are so many bands we have written about eligible for the prize. And our team at RSL find ourselves up for our first award in the Best Blog category.

Take a minute, if you will, to review the numerous music-related categories and all those bands. Vote for those you know and in our category, visit all the sites and make your decision. It's a very good thing to have an opportunity to be honored by your peers and contemporaries. If you can make it, the award ceremonies will be conducted on Sunday, Dec 5th at the Liberty Hotel. I will be there. Here's your chance to decide which prizefighters take home the trophies... (You knew this thing was going full circle, right?) This is the Eels.

Web / My / Fb

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Dawes at Royale

On Further Review
by Julie Stoller

Dawes at Royale
Boston, MA - 11/6/10

w/ Vetiver & Peter Wolf Crier

Leave it to a band like Dawes - They turned a large New York-style club like the Royale into a cozy and warm loving embrace. That they brought two such musically complimentary bands with them - Peter Wolf Crier and Vetiver - added to the personal, intimate feel of the evening. Good times. All that was missing, I suppose, were candles and a roaring fireplace.

My second time seeing Dawes live... these guys are really getting under my skin. The spiritual quality of their music is further enhanced by Taylor Goldsmith's poetic lyrics and those delicious 3 and 4-part harmonies. Plus something I didn't fully notice the first time around - he really pulls out some serious, and at times psychedelic, guitar licks (my friend, a new Dawes convert, thought his playing style was similar to David Gilmour).

There had been mention of some time spent in the studio during a touring break in September, and sure enough, we were treated to three new songs which, by the sound of it, portend great things for the new album, due out next Spring. Dawes' songs are the kind which make one smile and shed tears at the same time.

"If I wanted someone to clean me up, I'd find myself a maid
If I wanted someone to spend my money, I wouldn't need to get paid
If I wanted someone to understand me, I'd have so much more to say
I want you to make the days move easy."
- "If I Wanted Someone"

Sprinkled amongst crowd singalongs (and that would be every song they played from their exquisite debut "North Hills"), were this and two other new treats - "Fire Away," performed in an exuberant manner, in response to an audience member who requested (joking, I'm sure) that they "get rowdy"; and another sweetly comical and deeply touching song, "A Little Bit Of Everything." This one is especially phenomenal, highlighting Taylor's elegant way with words.

"An older man stands in a buffet line
he is smiling and he's holding out his plate
and the further he looks back into his timeline
that hard road always had led him to today.
Making up for when his bright future had left him
making up for the fact that his only son is gone
and letting everything out once his server asks him
'have you figured out yet what it is you want?'
I want a little bit of everything
the biscuits and the beans
whatever helps me to forget about the things
that brought me to my knees
so pile on those mashed potatoes
and an extra chicken wing
I'm having a little bit of everything."
- "A Little Bit Of Everything"

Also performed, to my great delight, was a song they don't always play, "Time Spent In Los Angeles," which knocked me sideways when I first heard it as a new song they'd just written, at their Great Scott show back in February.

"When people ask me where I come from
To see what that says about a man
I only end up giving bad directions
That never lead them there at all

It's something written in the headlights
It's something swimming in my drink
And if I were the moon
It'd be exactly where I'd fall

Cause you got that special kind of sadness
You got that tragic set of charms
That only comes from time spent in Los Angeles
Makes me wanna wrap you in my arms."
- "Time Spent In Los Angeles"

Dawes has a way of being sentimental and heartwarming, creating a communal bond with their audience without being overblown or at all sappy. A neat trick.

They ended with their classic closer, the beautiful audience-enhanced choral of "I've Got A Feeling (It's Gonna Be Alright)", and Taylor's happy pronouncement, "We'll be back to Boston sooner than you think." Definitely be on the lookout for that new album next year!

My Girl To Me / When You Call My Name / If I Wanted Someone (new song*) / That Western Skyline / How Far We've Come / Love Is All I Am / Time Spent In Los Angeles / Bedside Manner / Fire Away (new song*) / Peace In The Valley / When My Time Comes / (encore) / A Little Bit Of Everything (new song*) / I've Got A Feeling (It's Gonna Be Alright)

Peter Wolf Crier.
Wow, what a huge psychedelic onslaught for two guys! Peter Pisano on vocals, guitar and a myriad of pedals, creating some serious guitar magic; and Brian Moen on quite majestic percussion - at times rambunctious, at other times inventive, tasteful flourishes. Pisano sings in this "pleading falsetto" which carries an air of desperation, occasionally opening up into full-on wailing, which, when combined with the crashing drums and guitar frenzy, took us all off to someplace special. Plagued by the usual "opening band, early show time curse," the audience wasn't yet to full strength, but those there clearly enjoyed what they heard. Alex and Taylor from Dawes made cameo appearances on a few songs, for some piano accompaniment and impressive dual guitar dueling. They ended with a crazed, psychedelic rendition of Nick Drake's "Place To Be," startlingly different from the original... and wonderful. They're off now for some dates in the U.K.

Vetiver greatly impressed with their warm and dreamy, rootsy indie-folk. Andy Cabic's soothing vocals and acoustic guitar (with welcome touches of harmonica) interwoven with some truly stunning lead guitar riffs from Daniel Hindman and sweet harmonies came across surprisingly well in the cavernous room. I had some doubts about folk bands in such a setting (in particular Dawes, whose lyrics I was very interested in actually hearing) but the sound quality and volume level were just right, and the vocals nice and clear. Vetiver plays beautifully together, gliding in and out of country and blues-laced melodies with subtle flourishes, slowly expanding into some nice jamming. The set was a mix of old and new; Cabic mentioned that they would soon be headed into the studio, and they shared a few of the new songs with us (such as "Heartbreak"), which sounded very promising. They finished their set with "Wishing Well," a charming country-flavored song with pleasant harmonies, from their Record Store Day single.


My / Fb / Blog / Tw

Friday, November 26, 2010

5 Best Live Acts in America: Sharon Jones

Best Live Acts in the USA 2010
Someone You Need to See Live!

A Best of 2010 Album Selection, Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings have become renowned mostly thanks to their incredible live show, not to mention their relentless touring. (Ten-plus years now of live performances have won over true believers the world over.) And though it’s certainly no easy task to keep such a vast ensemble on the road, the band continues to pack hundreds of clubs worldwide, from legendary venues like New York’s Apollo Theater, Beacon Theater and Central Park’s SummerStage to their show-stopping sets at Coachella, Lollapalooza, SxSW, Newport Folk, Roskilde, Bonnaroo, Austin City Limits and WOMAD. Fans everywhere have seen the goods up on the stage ... and these goods are just insane.

Live at SxSW 2010 [Full Photo Album]

Web / My / Fb / Tw

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thank You Note

Pause For a Moment

THANK YOU - I think we have some good times together, listening to songs, getting inspired and sharing our ideas. Well today's the one time a year we can all actually set aside time to pause and think on some of the goodwill people steer our way. I don't often get sappy or emotional, it's not my way, but I just want to thank you all for reading the page and supporting my efforts here (and those of our contributors as well.) Most importantly, I want to thank the musicians and visual artists for their creative spirit and dedication to work. Without you, we would have nothing at all of interest to while away our days.

I can find no better way to share the spirit than this great track from The Wandas. These guys were one of the best live acts from SxSW last year and they continue to impress. The band are up for a Boston Music Award right now.

The Wandas at SxSW 2010 [Full Photo Album]

The Wandas
Web / Myspace

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Best Live Acts in America: Delta Spirit

Best Live Acts in the USA 2010
Someone You Need to See Live!

Don't let Delta Spirit singer Matt Vasquez's bikini tee shirt fool you, this is some serious business. We've followed the band closely since 2006 and have seen them close to a dozen times (never, ever a let down). We are confident in again, naming the Delta Spirit to the illustrious Best Live Bands in America list.

2010 has seen the release of not one but two new albums from the band. The first, a full-length record named, History from Below, is another series of stories about people and places. Here the band plays to its strengths: telling stories by setting the table for listeners, while letting them finish for themselves. Tone, Pacing, Instrumentation, Emotion - they all feed into the songs and the live shows. It's interesting to think of the band as modern rock historians - the title of the album is play on words and an homage to recently deceased author and historian Howard Zinn - who Vasquez dedicates songs to from time-to-time during live sets. Like Zinn, Vasquez and Delta Spirit, helps audiences rationalize their place in time. And there is an element of escapism through the storytelling, even though the basis for the stories themselves are about the oft hard, difficulties - the unfairness of life. Some of these beautiful numbers seemingly tell audiences, "life can be unforgiving.. let's get on with it. Here is my story."

This month, the band are on a series of shows which bring them here to Boston this Friday. They are toting a new album's worth of material. The Waits Room EP is on more of an experimental track. With the exception of one song, the album explores the lighter side of things. While a little melancholy, the songs here are clean, simple and true. This new collection of songs does two very important things for a band-about-town like Delta Spirit... It allowed them to flex their creative muscles (quality songwriting) while doing something fun and different, but at the same time - it allowed them to expand on the breadth of their live material and will let them "bring it down" with audiences. That level of intimacy, while not needed to be successful, was lacking in some of the bands more live, frenetic sets. In other words, the great just got better. Waits Room is only available online through digital download and on vinyl.

11/26/10 Paradise Rock Club
Boston, Massachusetts
11/27/10 The Met Cafe
Pawtucket, Rhode Island
11/29/10 OttoBar
Baltimore, Maryland
11/30/10 Brillobox
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
12/01/10 The Mad Hatter
Covington, Kentucky
12/02/10 Grey Eagle Tavern & Music Hall
Asheville, North Carolina
12/03/10 Mercy Lounge Nashville, Tennessee
12/04/10 Metro
Chicago, Illinois
12/07/10 Fillmore
San Francisco, California
12/08/10 The Music Box
Hollywood, California
12/09/10 SOHO Music Club
Santa Barbara, California
12/10/10 House of Blues
San Diego, California

Web / My / Fb / Tw

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Son of the Sun at CMJ

Photographic Evidence
CMJ festival coverage in NY
by Mark Jenko

10/22/10 at Arlene's Grocery
Beast of the Northeast
Sonic Preview / Video Blog

"Son of the Sun are one of the best new bands in America.
Get In on this Now!" - Ryan Spaulding,

the New Album: 'The Happy Loss'

RSL Streaming Photo Album
Son of the Sun at Arlene's Grocery - Oct 22, 2010

Son of the Sun
Web / My / Fb / Tw


Hot New Music Video
the Los Angeles Scene

DATELINE: LA - Meet Funeral Party, a noteworthy band of wild, punk spirited musicians proving, yet again, that exciting things can come from small beginnings. F.P. began gigging on the weekends in East LA without actually owning their instruments & gear. They borrowed from the other bands that played backyard parties and warehouses where hundreds of local party-going dancers were exposed to their sound. This did not go unnoticed by law enforcement.

Many Funeral Party gigs were shut down, usually before they played their first note, adding fuel to the fire for these underground rock heroes. Funeral Party's debut, Golden Age of Knowhere, set for release Jan 25th on RCA.

Funeral Party
Web / My / Fb / Tw

Monday, November 22, 2010


RSL's Song of the Day
from a Recommended Album

We bloggers do a lot of lists and speak in a lot of superlatives. (You know how it is, I'm probably as guilty as any.) But when I tell you that AM is one of my favorite artists of the last three years, I couldn't be more square with you. We really like AM's songwriting and presentation - his intelligent lyrics, and ironic rock mix well on his new album, Future Sons & Daughters.

AM's new LP draws from the singer-songwriter's own classic record collection: heavily anchored in 1960s albums, and interestingly - obscure Brazilian music to Italian soundtracks! There are more upbeat songs on the new album than "Leavenworth," but none are arguably so beautiful or well written.

Jessica Holmes photo

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Kingsley Flood at CMJ

Photographic Evidence
CMJ festival coverage in NY
by Mark Jenko

10/22/10 at Arlene's Grocery
Beast of the Northeast
Sonic Preview / Video Blog

RSL Streaming Photo Album
Kingsley Flood at Arlene's Grocery - Oct 22, 2010

Kingsley Flood
Web / My / Fb / Tw


Sunday at the Middle East
8pm $12

Pretty damn sure, that while I haven't seen it all, I have a decent idea of the scope that's out there music wise. Performance art in music is just an area where even the most grizzled and experienced hipster can get blown away unexpected. Tonight is just one of those evenings. I'm not really sure what to make out of costumed merry-making, frenetic rock and pop Japanese culture overload... I'm not sure you can get ready for this type of wild madness. Head to the Middle East tonight and see what I mean. This is the perfect sonic escape before the work week resumes.

Web / Myspace

Saturday, November 20, 2010

David Wax Museum at CMJ

Photographic Evidence
CMJ festival coverage in NY
by Mark Jenko

10/22/10 at Arlene's Grocery
Beast of the Northeast
Sonic Preview / Video Blog

RSL Streaming Photo Album
David Wax Museum at Arlene's Grocery - Oct 22, 2010

Web - Myspace - Twitter - Album

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster

Moving You through Song & Video
by Nick Parker

photograph by Guy McKnight

In case you missed it, TEMBLD were one of our picks for the ‘best of the first half of the year’ at RSL. Disturbing is something they do very well. Their new video for So Long from this year’s Blood and Fire album isn’t the heaviest song from the new set, nor does it demonstrate how truly strange their song construction can sometime become. This selection of random and graying images from past and present though, snapping in and out of view, does showcase their oddly sinister inclination, making the innocent just a little unnerving.

I think it must be the jumble of musical styles and tones that intrigues me about this band. An alchemy of indie hooks, goth guitar, metal bass, operatic vocals, and some parody of all the above, makes for an addictive concoction. Perhaps though, it’s simply that TEMBLD don’t seem to fit my expectations for a band that look like yet another gang of furious young metal-ers. The theatrics they bring to their music is played (mostly) straight-faced. The humor in their sudden changes of pace and strange song builds is always subtle and ironic. There are very dark moments too, but even these are qualified by being placed next to their exact opposite.

Sofiane Boukhari photograph

TEMBLD are a perhaps closest to The Horrors at times (though they predate them by some years), and that is certainly a good thing. In the end though, it’s not easy to find a real match for what they do, and that is why we should treasure them.


Web / My / Fb / Blog

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Boston Live Pick of the Week


Movie Trailer: GREEN LANTERN

This One is On The Way.....

For somebody that grew up reading a lot of comic books, I don't really know too much of what's going on these days. Looking back I had three early heroes in tights: Batman, The Flash and Green Lantern. There's a part of my brain that is absolutely delighted to see a Green Lantern movie (and I'm equally as glad that they held off until SFX advanced enough to do the stories justice.) Let's just hope that Ryan Reynolds doesn't muck things up too much and the movie doesn't last too long. Geek out.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Bodega Girls at CMJ

Photographic Evidence
CMJ festival coverage in NY
by Mark Jenko

10/22/10 at Arlene's Grocery
Beast of the Northeast
Sonic Preview / Video Blog

"One of the most most emotionally charged and rewarding shows I have seen in ages.
Bodega Girls must be experienced live!"
- Ryan Spaulding,

RSL Streaming Photo Album
Bodega Girls at Arlene's Grocery - Oct 22, 2010

Web / My / Fb / Tw

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Music for Billy Ruane

the Character of Music
RIP Billy Ruane
Veteran Music Promoter, Boston Legend

Wednesday Night 11/17/10
Middle East / TT the Bears
2 Venues - Cambridge, MA

Billy Ruane at the Paradise for Buffalo Tom on 6/11/10

Modest Mouse - People As Places As People

CHAMPION OF THE SCENE - I saw more than just one stage get stormed by the recently departed Billy Ruane since I moved to Boston, and it's a pity that Billy's going to miss the birthday shows in his honor this Wednesday - these are the big-name loud rocking emotional gigs that Billy would be sure to attend. He was a barometer for the scene and a huge supporter of musicians. He helped make lasting memories for generations of concert-attending kids and longtime scenesters. [Quality Read from the Boston Globe ~ ed.]

EVERYBODY'S GOT A STORY - Having sat down with Ruane for drinks just a few weeks ago, I find myself looking back on that night in a new light. While a bit clouded by booze, my thoughts of Billy from that night remain centered on his unbridled enthusiasm (about everything we talked about.) He was buying the drinks. "Just one more," he said, without expectation. Then he would find a reason for that drink. He then sealed the deal by mentioning something anecdotal but important that before I knew it we were half through the next. Good times. The stories, like mine - and others who knew him better, go on and one and.... [More thoughts on Billy Ruane from the Herald and a terrific piece from Bradley's Almanac ~ ed.]

An Epic Night of Music
Performances at 2 Venues:

the Middle East
472 Mass Ave in Cambridge - tickets

7:00: Drew O'Doherty
7:15: Eric Martin
7:30: Rockin Bob Cenci
7:45: Randy Black
8:00: Linda Viens and Catherine Coleman
8:15: Jimmy Ryan and Sean Staples
8:30: Joe Harvard
8:45: Willie Alexander
9:00: Chris Brokaw
9:15: Hilken Mancini and Thalia Zedek
9:30: Reid Paley
9:45: Pat Mc Grath, Stephen Fredette, Peter Wolf
10:15: Michael Patrick Macdonald (speaking) and Billy stories/roast
10:45: Slideshow
11:00: Tanya Donnely and Skeggy Kendall
11:20: Jenny Dee and the Deelinquents
11:35: Buffalo Tom
12:00: Lady Lamb the Beekeeper
12:20:Closing song, everyone on stage

TT the Bears Place
10 Brookline St. in Cambridge - tickets

7:00-7:10 Emily Forsythe
7:20-7:30 Nina Violet
7:40-7:50 Fred the Donkey
8:00-8:10 The Raging teens
8:20-8:30 Belle and the Bees
8:40-8:50 Drug Rug
9:00-9:20 SLIDESHOW plus possible speakers
9:25-9:40 The Neighborhoods
9:50-10:20 Chris Mills
10:30-11:30 John Langford
11:40-11:50 Hallelujah The Hills
12:00-12:10 Banditas
12:20 Frank Morey

The Hush Now - On Holiday

Season's Greetings mp3
Someone You Should Know

Boston's The Hush Now are pretty much one of the best pop-influenced rock bands in the Northeast today and definitely one of my favorite acts right now. As we have said before (check the associated links at the end of the post for more.) One of our favorite things about The Hush Now is that they have fun making music and it shows, as every season that passes, they offer up a holiday track that helps keep peoples' souls stirred and blood moving.

Nov 24 – Boston, MA
Great Scott

Pre Thanksgiving Spectacular.
with the Fatal Flaw and the Sheila Divine.
9pm – Tickets

The Hush Now
Web / Myspace / Facebook / Twitter

Monday, November 15, 2010


Someone You Should Know

WITH GOOD REASON: One of the noisemakers we keep hearing about these days is New Haven native NOTAR - an accomplished and stylistic MC with rich lyrical ability and a commanding stage presence. Now operating out of New York, NOTAR caught the ear of Adam Duritz (Counting Crows) who signed NOTAR to a record deal with his label, Tyrannosaurus Records. Just months later NOTAR was added to this year's critically praised Traveling Circus and Medicine Show tour with Counting Crows and Augustana this year. The dynamic, free-flowing style of the 3 different acts was very well received by fans and won this emerging talent invaluable exposure.

TWO INSANE VIDEOS - On Nov 3, NOTAR killed at R Bar for the EP Release of Devil's Playground before a very appreciative audience. Here are some photos (& more). The first video is a completely amazing freestyle which is sure to bring much praise. The second is a wild jam version of Stranger in which Duritz jumps into the fray before a very surprised audience. This is some craziness!

NOTAR freestyle

Stranger - NOTAR & Adam Duritz

Web / My / Fb / Tw

Aloud at CMJ

Photographic Evidence
CMJ festival coverage in NY
by Mark Jenko

10/22/10 at Arlene's Grocery
Beast of the Northeast
Sonic Preview / Video Blog

Aloud - Old Soldier
from the band's incredible new album; Exile

RSL Streaming Photo Album
ALOUD at Arlene's Grocery - Oct 22, 2010

Now On Tour
Current Dates:

Nov 16 - The Mint
Los Angeles, CA
Nov 17 - The Blue Cafe
Huntington Beach, CA
Nov 18 - San Diego State University
San Diego, CA
Nov 20 -The Bunkhouse Saloon
Las Vegas, NV
Nov 22 - The Hut
Tucson, AZ
Nov 24 - Copper State Tavern
Glendale, AZ
Nov 26 - Burt's Tiki Lounge
Albuquerque, NM
Nov 27 - Cowgirl BBQ
Santa Fe, NM
Nov 28 - The 806
Amarillo, TX
Nov 30 - Lakewood Bar & Grill
Dallas, TX
Dec 1 - Hole in the Wall
Austin, TX
Dec 2 - Stafford Main Street
Bryan, TX
Dec 4 - HGTG Thrfit
Baton Rouge, LA
Dec 9 - Sticky Fingerz
Little Rock, AR
Dec 10 - Lemon Drop
Springfield, MO
Dec 14 - Smith's Olde Bar
Atlanta, GA

Web / My / Fb / Tw

Sunday, November 14, 2010

You Can Be A Wesley

What I'm Listening to Right Now:

WORTH SHARING - I am completely shamed that we have never (fully) written up the brilliant You Can Be A Wesley. I thought we had but there were only mentions in show lineups. This gifted and most promising Boston local are reaching music that will be heard far beyond these borders - definitely One to Watch in the year ahead.

What You Seek - You Can Be A Wesley have a 2009 album called, Heard Like Us - which you can get on the cheap right now on Amazon. There's new material ahead - including today's beautiful little number, "Talking Science" provided to me by the band. New live video follows:

Tonight in Boston: If you find yourself in Boston tonight, catch You Can Be A Wesley with Magic Magic tonight at the Eat Your Heart Out Boston benefit at the Paradise. Brilliant!

You Can Be A Wesley
Web / Myspace / Fb / Tw

New Collisions

New Album / Music Video!
Someone You Should Know

ONE TO WATCH - It's been more than a year now since we first heard the New Collisions bring the modern new-wave pop on their Invisible Embraces EP. The buzz around them still grows. Having toured with the likes of Blondie, B-52's, and appearing with countless others since their baptism by fire last year - the magma-hot New Collisions just released their debut full-length, appropriately titled; The Optimist. And with it, the album's first music video for a track called, "Dying Alone."

[editor's note: the intro to this track, interestingly, reminds me a great deal of Boston vintage band Big Dipper - think it's very cool.]

About the video: Dying Alone was filmed guerrilla style on the streets of NYC by director Andrew Nisinson. You will see the New Collisions appearing to perform at normal speed, while one break dancer and thousands of unsuspecting NYC residents buzz about in the foreground and background. Over seven nights, the band went to the busiest areas of Manhattan and performed the song in slow motion. When the footage is sped up, the band appears at normal speed, while the color and chaos of the city flies past around them.Catch this meteoric band on the rise when you can.

New Collisions
My / Fb / Tw / Sb / Mx

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Roky Erickson

Everybody's Got a Story:
by Julie Stoller

Tonight in Boston - 6pm
Bowery Presents at Royale
w/ Lyres & The Happen-Ins

INTRODUCTION - One of the earliest psychedelic electric blues-rock bands, The 13th Floor Elevators were wildly innovative, credited as pioneers of the psychedelic rock genre, and the first to make heavy use of reverb, echo and electric jug in their unique sound. At their creative center was Roky Erickson, singer-songwriter and guitarist, who had been playing music since the age of 5; one of his early bands was The Spades, when he was about 15. Though "You're Gonna Miss Me" was the Elevators' sole chart hit, they were extremely influential. ZZ Top, Television, R.E.M., T-Bone Burnett, The Jesus and Mary Chain, The Cramps, Television, The Minutemen, Lyres and Radio Birdman have all performed Roky's songs, and he's influenced many others (The Damned, Pere Ubu, The White Stripes, and Patti Smith, to name just a few).

STRUGGLE - Roky's life is an astonishing story of survival and resurrection against all odds, his immense personal struggles giving his recent songwriting a richness that speaks of great loss but with the enduring hope of a enduring spirit. We're very fortunate to have him here at all. In addition to he and the Elevators' exuberant drug use in the '60s (which led to periodic legal troubles), Roky had a long-term struggle with mental illness. These two situations came to a bad crossroads, which led to him being committed to a state hospital for the criminally insane (a ridiculous sentence for the possession of a single joint, but those were the times and worse still, Texas was the place). The dangerous experimental psychiatric treatments that ensued caused further emotional damage, and we might have lost him forever, were it not for his brother, singer/songwriter Sumner Erickson, intervening and getting him the help he needed.

CHARACTER - Even in the throes of his schizophrenia, Roky continued to write and record, battling his personal demons and monsters internally and giving them voice externally in his music, which took a turn from the psych-electric-blues of the '60s, to heavy metal and songs about vampires, zombies and aliens in the '70s and '80s. Fortunately, with his brother's help and quality medical care, he was eventually able to recouperate well enough to make a few public appearances, including a set at the Austin City Limits Festival in 2005, backed by The Explosives, which then led to other shows in Austin, New York, Coachella, and then in Europe.

MODERN - Erickson first teamed up with fellow Austin, Texas-based Okkervil River for performances in 2008 and 2009, who join him on his latest album (released in April), True Love Cast Out All Evil, his first CD of original material in 14 years. It includes autobiographical and introspective songs written while in the hospital, produced by Okkervil River's Will Sheff, who was inspired by Roky's heartfelt songwriting and personal story. Okkervil River are also performing with him on this tour; a wonderful opportunity to see a legendary, innovative musician collaborating with very cool and highly-regarded indie folk-rockers.

TONIGHT - Also performing at the Royale on Saturday night will be Boston's Lyres, legendary in their own right, and Austin's garage rock and R&B purveyors, The Happen-Ins. Both bands cite the 13th Floor Elevators as influences and are wonderfully scrappy and bluesy, with lots of heart... all the makings for a terrific evening.

Roky Erickson
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