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Concert Reviews

X @ House of Blues (Hollywood, CA)

Bruce Birch

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X in Los Angeles … 33 years from when it started.  30 years from their debut album,“Los Angeles”, X played the House of Blues to a packed house.  Many of who roamed these same streets without worries of a self-imposed curfew 30 years ago.   Was this a period of reflection or a chance to see one of America’s greatest rock bands?  Both.

X started off the evening by showing their 1985 documentary “The Unheard Music” in it’s entirety, which chapped the hides of some of the concert goers who more than likely had an early start the next day.  X came on around 11pm and played, in entirety, their debut album “Los Angeles” front to back.  Stellar!  The band sounded as fresh and angry as they did back then.  From “Los Angeles” to the classic “The Unheard Music” they simply rocked.  John and Exene sounded great while DJ Bonebrake kept it all together and guitarist Billy Zoom was well… as usual cool.

After playing Los Angeles, the band went on to play a blistering set including “In this House I Call Home, We’re Desperate, White Girl and Hungry Wolf.  John and Exene also shared the stage for a mini-acoustic set of “See How We Are” which is still a relevant portrayal of American life after 23 years.

X Live : Beyond And Back

[pro-player repeat=’false’ width=”480″ height=”320″]http://www.thebackstagebeat.com/Video/XBeyond And Back.mp4[/pro-player]

This was a night worth the wait and a reminder of how important this band is to American Rock and Rock and Roll in general.  If you have a chance to see them as they tour this year and next, do.  You will not be disappointed.

X Live: Motel Room In My Bed

[pro-player repeat=’false’ width=”480″ height=”320″]http://www.thebackstagebeat.com/Video/XMotel Room In My Bed.mp4[/pro-player]

Great show in Hollywood Thursday night (12.16.2010)!  TBB contributors Ramon Montoya and Bruce Birch of Pub 1917 captured the evening with these great shots. Enjoy!

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Pub 1917 is an L.A. based Creative Services and Production Company born in the digital era and nurtured on multi-platform media.  At the risk of sounding less than humble, they’re as dynamic as the marketplace itself.  Yet, they love nothing more than creating work that connects with people… and of course satisfying their clients.  The Pub develops TV shows, offers production and post-production services as well as unique delivery methods and mediums.  Check em out @ Pub 1917

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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