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Concert Reviews

Mayer Hawthorne and The County

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A friend told me of a band I had to go and see Friday night at The Masquerade. I hit my car and drive straight to the venue. Walking in I see several people around and feel the buzz of excitement coming from the crowd. I find a spot and wait for Mayer Hawthorne & the County to come onto the stage.


The band appears and I spy a slender, cute guy with glasses who looks like he morphed straight from the seventies to perform for us tonight. Out of his mouth comes the soulful sound of yesteryear and his music reminds me of  a mix of old time pop, R & B, jazz, and has a sound that astounds me. Mayer bursts out with Maybe So, Maybe No and cheers abound from the audience and I do not see a single person sitting still . Everyone is singing along and dancing.  I hear Just Ain’t Gonna Work Out and feel instant connection to the words coming from the stage.  Not all relationships click and when you have to let go use Mayer words and say, “I’m sorry baby it just ain’t gonna work out.” Green Eyed Love plays and I am smitten.

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What an awesome performance! This band is fun, original, and well worth the drive! How I have never heard of them before beats me, but I will be forever grateful for the tip. This is definitely one of my new favorite artists. Mayer Hawthorne I want to say thank-you for coming to Atlanta. I am so happy I took the advice to come see you play. PLEASE come back! I would go and see you again tonight, tomorrow, and the next day.  I am in love.

Concert Reviews

Jonah Parzen-Johnson at Lilypad

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Jonah Parzen-Johnson has an innate ability to make the baritone sax sound like bagpipes, and maybe that’s why I cried.

Mostly I cried because Jonah tells radiant stories with his saxophone and analog synth, working the brass and pedals to recreate the framework which surrounds his album Remember When Things Were Better Tomorrow: Parzen-Johnson wanted to make “something of myself that’s for everybody else.”

Jonah opened his set with “Stay There, I’ll Come to You,” showcasing the harmony between synth and sax right off the bat. With haunting lilts, the two combined into a ribbon of melody, pulsating inside the ear as well as the heart. Much like the song’s title, Jonah was the one approaching the audience as an experimental troubadour of tête-à-tête.

The back stories and thoughts behind each song tied in so well with the raw, almost throaty sax, developing such strong, emotional resonance with the musical layers. The skeleton shook.

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Concert Reviews

Speedy Ortiz “riiiiise above and gliiiiiide away” at The Sinclair

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The Sinclair was a packed house Wednesday night for the Speedy Ortiz CD release party; as a hometown gig for the Northampton, MA-based band, kinetic warmth buzzed through friends and fans alike as Sadie Dupuis and crew played their freshly-release Foil Deer track-by-track.

What’s a party without some guests, though? That’s where Krill and Mitski come in.

Krill kicked off the night with some tracks from A Distant Fist Unclenching, other goods from Lucky Leaves. Lead singer/bassist Jonah Furman brought to mind early (read: good) Billy Corgan, which I’m not sure he will appreciate. But I think he’ll appreciate this: I couldn’t stop laughing because then I kept thinking about Marilyn Manson telling Billy Corgan that he looked like Charlie Brown.

Opening with “Theme from Krill,” the Boston trio has a knack for rhythm and melody that burrows into your brain. The dreamy bleakness of “Purity of Heart.”  The discordant garage rock and hiccupping guitar and warbly Scooter-ness of “Foot.” Krill’s sound is a good, comfy noise that keeps you wiggling and all that good stuff. Be sure to catch the band at Boston Calling.

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Concert Reviews

Years & Years at Royale Boston

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During winter storm Juno, UK electro pop group Years & Years were forced to cancel the first show of their two-night stint in New York City back in January. After the snow finally melted, they made the rounds again this past March, playing several shows in California, South by Southwest before finally landing in Boston.

Due to popular demand, the show was moved from The Sinclair to the Royale in downtown’s Theater District.

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