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Concert Reviews

ShamRocked!

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It was a dark and stormy night.  And there was no parking to be found.

There I was driving down Monroe, wondering what I was doing out on a night like that. “I’m the Nerd Rock guy,” I told myself, “I write about Cons and dream of interviewing Felicia Day.  I don’t parallel park.”

Then I saw a girl walking down the sidewalk wearing a white yacht captain’s hat and I figured everything would be okay.

‘Yacht Rock’ is a term for the soft rock of late seventies and early eighties.  The name came about because some guys on Channel 101 made a show fictionalizing the drama and rivalries that they imagine took place between the soft rock legends.  And for some reason they imagined that all of this drama took place on or near yachts, and that everyone was wearing a white captain’s hat.

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And now thanks to the Yacht Rock Revue, anyone in Atlanta can go rock out to some smooth tunes and maybe don a yacht cap and a mustache.  I promise you won’t be the only one.

I’ve seen the Yacht Rock Revue play bars before.  For a while they were a favorite of my hipster friends (Hipster girls are always looking for an excuse to wear a fake mustache.), but this time they were playing at ShamRock fest at the Park Tavern.

The place was packed.  Despite the rain, physical limitations of reality, and the fact that it wasn’t even St. Patrick’s day yet, hundreds of people had come out to drink, dance, and perhaps wear a funny costume of sorts.

It wasn’t just hats and leisure suits of course.  The leprechaun’s far out numbered the yacht rock devotees and while I saw quite a few women in white hats (and one green yacht hat), men seemed much more likely to put on a kilt or go as a leprechaun in drag.

The Yacht Rock Revue was spot on as usual.  They (softly) rocked out classics the classics, ranging from songs like “Stuck in the middle with you” and “Jive Talkin'” to “Baker Street”.  They had whatever the song needed, whether it be sax man, tambourine man, or cow bell man.

It’s the kind of music couples feel comfortable dancing to in the middle of a concert crowd, but also appeals to the single male who wants to make an idiot of himself in a public place.  If for some reason you aren’t busting it out to the song that’s playing, just wait: your turn is coming up next.

All in all, Yacht Rock Revue is perfect for St. Patrick’s day. I guess that’s why they started early.

Pictures by Ashley Staley:

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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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