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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Bridges and Powerlines - Eve

March 2011
Album of the Month
This One You Need to Own


It gets harder and harder each month to pick the one or two songs - the best album - to bring to your attention. 2011 has been a great year so far for new music. And I know you people are reading and listening. I know you are digesting and I hope you actually help the artists by purchasing the music and the merchandise that helps them continue to make this sensational, heartfelt music. I have had a copy of Eve by Bridges and Powerlines for months now. The band entrusted a copy to me back in the fall and I fell for it almost the very second I popped it in and hit play. There's so many reasons... First off, know that I have been a big fan of the band's quirky, melodic and plodding sound for 4 years now. (Here's one of my two or three favorite BAP songs from Ghost Types.) Basically as long as I've been writing this website. The band has grown, as have we, but one truth has remained constant despite our trajectories - the emotion and songwriting in their pieces have always stood atop the shoulders of giants. This shit is brilliant.


And while it was really kind of nerdy of me to know who Bridges and Powerlines were in 2006, having caught them at dark music halls and assorted music festivals - YOU should definitely know about this top East Coast band here in 2011. They are amongst the very best indie rock bands east of the Mississippi, maybe in the country.


The material on the new album, Eve, is rich, diverse, and deep. As a music promoter, it has been my distinct pleasure to be able to work with Bridges and Powerlines - always a treat to work with those you admire - but the tables were turned at this year's CMJ Music Festival as Bridges and Powerlines could have been the best band (live photos) to play our stacked Beast of the Northeast showcase. Then we had them back to play RSL's 4-Year Anniversary Party. This is my round about way of making it clear that I'm certainly not doing these guys a favor anymore, their ability shines brightly and I'm merely happy to be singing their well-deserved praises. The new video for Mirabell is below. Tour dates, including another RSL show in the near future, lie ahead. Buy the album. This is what's coming up next.





Bridges and Powerlines
Tw / Fb / My / Web / Blog


St Patty's Day at Church of Boston

Photographic Evidence
by Billy Korecki
Thoughts on Shows
by KristaJane

The Scene: Church
Boston, MA - 3/17/11



Clearly St. Patrick’s Day this year was like no other. Everyone was Irish, and Church of Boston was packed with revelers to the back of the room. The intense festive energy and good cheer propelled 6 great local acts (representing the schools of punk, rockabilly, old school hardcore, Celtic and country) as shots of whiskey were handed out to deliver us all to that special place.




Not expecting much from such a young band, the BarRoom Heroes opened up the evening with some good, old, classic punk rock. All between the ages of 10yrs -13yrs old, they proved that while young, they were not beginners. Each had a good command of their instruments. They played a few original songs as well as some classics from bands such as the Dropkick Murphysand the Sex Pistols to name a few.


BarRoom Heroes were very well received by the crowd, many yelling out requests of hits not usually played live anymore. The Weymouth, MA, three-piece is a band to follow and they still have that punk rock sparkle in their eye. They are already opening up for huge Bands like The Dropkick Murphys. I foresee this band being a Warped Tour Headliner in the future.



Next up was another nice surprise, were Dressed for the Occasion (video from St. Patrick's Day, above). I would compare this band to a cross between The Sadies meets The Supersuckers country album meets the humor of Ween and a dash of Tom Waits. A little bit of that rock n roll mixed with clever country Riffs and sick basslines. They are all dressed in what I would call fancy outfits for a Boston band, not taking themselves seriously and not afraid laughs were infectious with this 4 piece straight out of Boston. Couldn’t get enough of this act and the response from the crowd was welcoming as they seem to want more even after the band was finished. I personally will be watching this band in the future.


A change of pace in the line up came from Taxi Driver a Hardcore/Punk band who play simple, straight up old school Hardcore tunes that speak honor and pride along with that good ol’ I don’t give a fuck attitude. If you are a fan of Blood For Blood or Hatebreed type of bands, you should you check out Taxi Driver. As the set went on, the crowd became more energized and the sing-a-long anthems and fist pumping only became more prevalent as the night went on. Taxi Driver is a 5 piece, Guinness-drinking machine that get the blood flowing. Good ol’ Boston Hardcore is what people want to see and that is what they have received. No frills whatsoever, just pure brutality, Boston style.


Playing between each of the band sets was an amazing pipe and drum group called Cu Dubh group specializing in World/ Celtic music, based out of Quincy, MA. Was a perfect fit to the night. Unbelievably powerful and infectious and intense sounds of thundering drums and dual bagpipes, the crowd at church could not help themselves but cling to each other in a wave of what looked like a hundred drunk people trying to dance like Irish step dancers. Everyone laughing and helping keep each other up as the crowd bounced, fell and shouted along to the music. Not a frown in the room, a very happy place. Every person within earshot was dancing. What better way to enjoy the holiday?!


One band in particular had a very special night, The Parasites celebrated their official CD Release at the St. Patrick's Day show. A Three piece from Boston, a mix of members of other bands, Ricky Magic (The Beantown Boozehounds, Pine Box Retards, Photon Torpedo’s, Zippo Raid, Post Mortem) on Drums and vocals; Jesse Cabbage (Calamity, Pine Box Retards) on Upright Bass and vocals; and Tim Gagne (Pine Box Retards) on Guitar and vocals.



The Parasites are an emerging psychobilly band on the Boston scene. A touch of horror, psycho, talent and lowbrow humor all helped shape their set. They played all eleven songs on their new album entitled Make You Sick. The crowd moved and grooved as the set went on. Things got intense and sweaty but the Parasites kept up the momentum with the upright bass shaking the room that commanded attention from the crowd. Fantastic energy. According to their bio on their site, they “were conceived upon the hood of a hearse by a moaning retard gypsy with a seven day curse.” Somehow this strangely is a good description of their music if your imagination will allow. If you love powerful sounds of psychobilly yet have the humor of what one may call “of poor taste” then this band is for you. The belt out songs entitled “Achy Breaky Hooker Heart”, “Midget Porn Boogie”, “Make you sick” and “Knob Gobblin Girl”. They have a fresh new Psychobilly sound that this town has not seen in my opinion since the late 90’s.

You can see The Parasites and pick up their new album at their upcoming show this April 2nd at the Plough N Stars in Cambridge - don’t miss it!

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Headliner of the Blowout was none other than our hometown favorites, the Beantown Boozehounds - As usual the entertaining starts as early as the jokes at sound check and the screams from the crowd in anticipation. This hometown 4 piece always delivers an amazingly foot stompin, get your heart going sing-a-long display of Classic Boozehound Drinking anthems. Knowing this band has a reputation for having “feel good” shows where the audience can’t help but sing a long and dance to the hard workin drinkin songs, I was pleased to see they delivered tenfold.


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Boozehounds include Chad on Guitar, Mandolin & vocals, Josh Ayola on guitar and vocals, the forementioned Ricky Magic on drums and vocals and Rob Bruce on bass & vocals. These guys have energy that is hard to come by. Crowd participation is welcomed and beer showers are very prevalent. Many up front patrons were beer soaked and smiling by the end of the set. If you absolutely must have a great time then you must see a Beantown Boozehounds show. Great night, great bands. Can't wait until next year!

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New Music Video - COLD

Brand New Music Video:
Our Favorite Bands...




NEW! - When You're a Robot moving through life it's hard to find the right missing pieces. That's the theme to the new music video for "Cold" released this month by Austin's The Black and White Years - one of my personal favorite live acts of all time. The track comes from the LP Patterns, one you should definitely be owning. We also love the band's eponymous debut - think you will agree there's nobody out there like this band!




Over the last few years, The Black and White Years have worked with legends such as Jerry Harrison of Talking Heads and Steve Ferrone of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers/Duran Duran, shared the bill with DEVO, Tricky and Datarock, been featured on Kanye West's blog, and even reached Top Ten on several radio stations throughout the country including Austin's own 101X. Since they formed the band in 2007, they've played festivals such as CMJ Music Festival, Fun Fun Fun Fest, Austin City Limits Music Festival, MIDEM, Wireless Festival.


The Black and White Years
Myspace / Facebook / Twitter

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Grace Potter at the House of Blues

Photographic Evidence
by Jeff Topping

The House of Blues
Boston, MA - 3/25/11













Grace Potter & The Nocturnals
Web / Fb / My / Tw


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Sebadoh at the Paradise

Photographic Evidence
by Mark Jenko

The Paradise
Boston, MA - 3/24/11



Lou Barlow on guitar!


Sebadoh - Old Daze




Jason Loewenstein in Control



I experienced perhaps the best rock performance to date this year in Boston at the Paradise last Thursday (*our most worthy preview by writer Nick Parker) as Sebadoh dished out polished versions of their old low-fi masterpieces and some wild, fiery favorites. The band still has criminal leaning... they still wanna tear down the house and burn up the night, but the realities of playing for years best defines them as marksmen - not spastic kids. Jason Loewenstein's screaming vocals transported the audience to different, simplier times. One could readily envision the band ripping up Boston much the same two decades earlier. Lou Barlow, who plays the counterpart to the madness, is just absurd on his guitar - he really has his own personality with the instrument. And, notably, Barlow was his talkative self - telling stories and anecdotes that tickled fans between numbers up on the stage. A couple of times his banter seemed to lose the band, but he deviated back and the rock resumed.

Bob D'Amico was amazing


A big tip of the hat to Bob D'Amico, who played flawless throughout. You could definitely hear him synced up with "Jake" Lowenstein, who he has played with for years - most notably with the Fiery Furnaces. The Sebadoh songs have never sounded better with D'Amico behind the drums. Purists may prefer the dissonance, fuzz (and sometimes even slop) from the earlier recordings, but I really have a hard time denying the obvious: the band is playing exceptionally well. What unfolded for us was a gift of a night - and with many dates still ahead, that's great news for those of you finding yourself reading this.

RSL STREAMING PHOTO ALBUM
Sebadoh in Boston - 3/24/11



Complete Tour Dates

Tonight: Orlando @ The Social 

03/31 Birmingham @ Bottletree 

04/01 Nashville @ Mercy Lounge 

04/02 St Louis @ Off Broadway 

04/03 Chicago @ Lincoln Hall 

04/04 Cleveland @ Grog Shop 

04/06 Toronto @ Lee's Palace 

04/07 Montreal @ La Sala Rossa 

04/08 Northampton @ Pearl St 

04/09 New York @ Bowery Ballroom 

04/10 New York @ Bowery Ballroom




Sebadoh
Web / Fb / My / Tw


The Wandas

Recorded Live
3/19/11 - Austin, TX




The Wandas - Please Come Home (live 3-19-11)
recorded live at SxSW 2011 at #smokeandsand - rslblog.com


The Wandas have a new album - which doesn't have a name yet. They happily report the recording process was a huge success. After tracking in Montreal, Quebec with producer Patrick Krief, Dave Schiffman (Tom Petty, Johnny Cash, RHCP) came onboard to mix the album in Los Angeles, CA. The album will also be tracked north of the border by Ryan Morey (who did The Wandas' "New Wave Blues" album.) Morey also worked on Arcade Fire's grammy award-winning latest release. With a devotion to making this album more live-friendly (the band excels on stage), it's clear that the golden future of this band lies ahead in the immediate future. Stay tuned for more!

The Wandas
Web / Fb / Myspace / Tw


Monday, March 28, 2011

Wakey! Wakey! at the Brighton Music Hall

Photographic Evidence
by Mark Jenko

Brighton Music Hall
Boston, MA - 2/5/11






THOUGHTS FROM THE PHOTOGRAPHER: - It was a full house with bright and young faces sipping through straws and taking shy looks around the room. Lead Singer/Songwriter Mike Grubbs was surprised to see how many people had turned out and recognized a couple of people in the audience since the last time they were around. You could tell Grubbs was having a good time; he spoke freely and openly with the audience. He compared a good show to a good date; when you realize you are only on your first beer and you are already having a good time. Banter with the touring band went from the "That's what she said" to the hilarious "Your Momma" jokes. Half way through the set Grubbs delivered a solo set of piano songs that commanded attention and respect. When I left later that night, outside I could still hear them playing and saying "just one more song, but then really we have to go." - Mark Jenko

RSL Streaming Photo Album
Wakey!Wakey! in Boston, MA - 2/5/11


A Look Ahead:
*w/ Jukebox the Ghost!
4/22 – Fredericksburg, VA – Eyeclopes Studios*
4/23 – Washington, DC – The Black Cat*
4/25 – Charlottesville, VA – The Southern*
4/26 - Covington, KY - The Mad Hatter
4/27 – St Louis, MO – The Firebird*
4/28 – Chicago, IL – Schubas*
4/29 – Indianapolis, IN – Earth House*
4/30 - Cleveland, OH - The Grog Shop
5/2 – Boston, MA – Middle East (Downstairs)*
5/3 – Burlington, VT – Higher Ground*
5/4 - Brooklyn, NY – The Rock Shop*
5/5 – New York, NY – Bowery Ballroom*
5/6 – Philadelphia, PA – First Unitarian Church*
5/7 – Baltimore, MD – Sonar*

Michael Grubbs


Wakey! Wakey!
Web / My / Fb / Tw

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Burning Up Austin!

Photographic Evidence
3/19/11 - Austin, TX

images by















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FREE DOWNLOAD the entire
SMOKE & SAND ALBUM!







Movies: Red Riding Hood

Thoughts on Film
Movie Review




Who’s afraid of the big, bad, wolf? Ladies and gentlemen, we have ourselves the textbook definition of a rhetorical question. Why? Well, let’s take a moment and learn about our friend, the wolf. In case you can’t tell, I’m being sarcastic here. The wolf is never our friend, nor should they be treated as such. In fact, I see them as Nature’s way of telling us to screw ourselves with a surgical laser. Wolves average 41-63 inches long, 32-34 high, and weigh as much as 85 pounds. They’re pure muscle, armed with razor-sharp fangs and claws, and have flesh-tearing, bone-crunching, murderous rage dancing the Lambada in their heads 24/7. Oh, and they hunt in packs, using coordinated attack patterns to bring you down. If these things had wings and a larger brain mass they’d be ruling the world in a week, 10 days, tops.

As terrifying as this concept may be, it’s nothing compared to the beast featured in Red Riding Hood, directed by Catherine Hardwicke and produced by Leonardo DiCaprio. If Satan had a demonic pooch guarding his fiery homestead, it’d get eaten by the nightmare in this movie.






The film follows Valerie (Amanda Seyfried), a young woman living in the village of Daggerhorn, which is plagued by a wolf. It seems the town has a pact with the beast: they leave it a goat or a pig on the night of a full moon, and in return the wolf doesn’t turn them into cold cuts. Personally, I would just move to Florida. I’ll take gators and Mickey Mouse over wolves any day of the week. However, when Valerie’s sister Lucy is found minus a few organs, the townspeople feel understandably slighted that the wolf hasn’t kept to the arrangement. Hey, it’s spelled out clear as day in Paragraph Seven: No eating people, even if they’re stupid enough to go out on what is affectionately known as Wolf Night.




They send out a party of hunters to take down the creature and, surprisingly, fail miserably. When it becomes clear they can’t take down this monstrosity, they bring in another monstrosity - Gary Oldman, who reprises his role of generic villain with a penchant for dramatic speeches. Oh, he also carries around his dead wife’s hand. You’d think that thing would start decaying after awhile, but no, it’s nice and plump. He quickly turns the villagers against one another by revealing that the wolf could be one of them, and sets up camp with his band of wolf-hunters, who seem about as capable of bringing down the beast as I am of lassoing a cyclone with dental floss.



Amidst this wolf-hunting and Oldman-style drama, Valerie is torn between two would-be lovers—Peter (Shiloh Fernandez), a local woodcutter she’s been friends with since childhood, and Henry (Max Irons), a rich doofus she’s been betrothed to. He’s good with a smithy’s hammer, but not so slick at wooing the ladies, as quickly becomes evident by Valerie’s desire to mount Peter like a deer’s head the second they’re alone.

All in all, this movie is an interesting twist on an old children’s tale. The love triangle doesn’t dominate the story, and in fact weaves itself nicely with the plot, that being the numerous attempts to turn the wolf into a nice rug for Oldman’s living room. Seyfriend gives an impressive performance, though the remainder of the cast fail to shine as brightly. Oldman manages to stand out, though only by completely overdoing his role time and again (and again and again). The sudden turn in the story caught me by surprise, and while the ending is a little cheesy, I’ve seen worse. The setting for this film, the wooded depths of Vancouver, was perfectly scouted. The village’s location right next to a deep, dark forest creates the perfect atmosphere, and gives us a feeling of foreboding throughout the film. As long as you don’t expect a whole lot, you won’t be asking for a refund.



Red Riding Hood
WEB / IMDB



Saturday, March 26, 2011

Movies: Win Win

Thoughts on Films
Movie Review





Like many people, attorney Mike Flaherty (Paul Giamatti) is struggling to make ends meet. Between clients, he juggles duties as a family man while moonlighting as a high school wrestling coach. And his team is terrible. When Leo Poplar (Burt Young), a man in the early stages of dementia, is on the verge of becoming a ward of the state, Mike sees an opportunity to supplement his income by taking over guardianship. The plan seems fool-proof as Leo is placed in a nursing home while Mike collects the $1500-a-month stipend, but a potential kink arrives in the form of Leo’s never-seen-before grandson, 16 year-old Kyle (Alex Shaffer).








After much contemplation, Mike and wife, Jackie, (Amy Ryan) reluctantly take in the troubled, but polite, teen while trying to locate the boy’s mother back in Ohio. Kyle takes the opportunity to connect with the grandfather he never knew, but also solves Mike’s other problem by proving to be an explosive and talented wrestler. With the team winning and the extra income easing his financial burdens, Mike has no guilt about his win-win situation, until Leo’s derelict daughter Cindy (Melanie Lynskey) shows up, fresh out of rehab, to reclaim not only her son, but the monthly $1500 she believes she’s entitled from the father she hasn’t seen in twenty years. Cindy’s arrival throws Kyle into turmoil right before he’s to wrestle in the biggest match of his young life. Without much effort, Mike exposes the young mother’s motives, but Cindy’s acquisition of a court document threatens to reveal the attorney’s questionable business decision. Mike is then stuck between doing what’s right for Kyle and Leo and exposing himself as an unethical opportunist and causing harm to his own family.





My impression of the film is a stellar, if not underrated, cast delivering understated performances of humor and emotion. Giamatti and Ryan have great chemistry as husband and wife, while newcomer Shaffer holds his own amongst season professionals. The biggest surprise is the laughs provided by secondary characters, like Stephen and Terry, played by Jeffery Tambor and Bobby Cannavale, respectively. The humor is subtle and smart and is tempered by tender, heart-warming moments.

Writer/director Tom McCarthy (THE STATION AGENT, THE VISITOR) has managed to create a moving portrait of simple people leading complex lives, showing sometimes good people make poor choices with the best of intentions, but in the end, true character will always be a win-win.

[Editor's Note: The film also boasts a new song; "Think You Can Wait" by The National.]


Win Win
WEB - IMDB



Friday, March 25, 2011

Deerhoof

Photographic Evidence
photos by Kira Doucette


The Scene: The Middle East
Cambridge, MA - 2/10/11




RSL Streaming Photo Album
Deerhoof at The Middle East - Feb 10th, 2011


Deerhoof

O.M.D. in Boston

Photographic Evidence
by Marc Beaulieu


Paradise Rock Club
Boston, MA – March 7, 2011




With nearly 30 years of music under their belts, OMD are on their first US tour in Years - their first here representing last year's big-comeback, History of Modern. Photographer Marc Beaulieu, a fan from his youth, was eager to pick up his lens and capture the set. Here are his images. A few US West Coast dates remain and are listed below.




RSL Streaming Photo Album
Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark - Boston - 3/7/11



March 25 - Los Angeles, CA - The Music Box
March 26 - Oakland, CA - The Fox
March 27 - San Diego, CA - 4th & B
March 29 - Los Angeles, CA - The Music Box