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Concert Reviews

Dax Riggs

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I accidentally stumbled upon the music of Dax Riggs at the SXSW Festival in
Austin, Texas. My friend Jen kept talking enthusiastically about this guy Dax
Riggs who had been the singer of the Acid Bath but was now solo. He was
scheduled to play SXSW but due to our schedule we would not be able to see
him. Jen and I were walking around Austin, acclimating ourselves with the
huge music event. She and I walked into a venue just to check it out and low
and behold there was the man himself, Dax Riggs. He was playing an surprise
set right before our very eyes. Jen was beyond thrilled and I have been a
fan ever since.
When I read that Dax Riggs was coming to the Atlanta, I immediately
contacted Jen and invited her to be my date for this show. Sadly, she could
not attend due to family obligations. Lucky for me, I had no obligations
that night, other than an evening rejoicing in the genre bending sounds of
Dax Riggs yet again.
Thursday May 12th, I joined an eclectic audience at The Earl, all of us
ready for the to hear music that has tones of Iggy Pop, Jack White, Neil
Young as well as others. Dax appears to be a simple man but the sound he
creates is complicated.
Dax took the stage with the help of a drummer and bass player and together
the trio started the set with a “I Hear Satan”. The front row of nearly all
ladies sang along with every word and gyrate danced with their boyfriends
that were standing behind them making me think , “this is baby making
music”.The emotional, sultry feel of the music of Dax Riggs definitely lends
itself to a certain amount of sex appeal.
At times the crowd literally howled like wolves in appreciation and Dax
would calmly respond by saying “I love You. I love You”. There seemed to be
a significant increase in howling for the songs “Say Goodnight to the
World” ( the title of the current album), “Grave Dirt On My Blue Suede
Shoes” and “Let Me Be Your Cigarette”.
The best description I can give of this show was and the music of Dax Riggs
is “dark rock haunted tonk”.

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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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