I am no expert when it comes to music. I know what I like when I hear it,
but extolling the virtues of said music is not my forte. But Ange, being the
wonderful friend that she is, sent me on he my merry way(despite my
shortcomings) to see Pinback. Escaping from my brood typically involves
an elaborate exit strategy, with multiple contingency plans. It tends to
become ridiculous.It was the usual challenge, shaking the kids, dogs, and
spouse off of my legs. (sorry honey, wish you could’ve come. ;) ) I had an
old friend to go in my man’s place at least, who just so happened to have an
open bar workplace kitchen, located within walking distance from The
Masquerade…what more could a gal with constantly changing plans (aka: any
mom ) ask for? Shows are not meant to be attended alone. ;) Thanks to
Eric Garlinghouse (and his beautiful wife, Lindsey for lending me the
After an exhilarating walk, sans tippy-tap shoes( Thank God), we arrived via
the back(south end) of the venue. We go right in, after being stamped and
wrist banded, up none other than the stairway to Heaven. Considering the 3
levels that comprise the Masquerade- Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory- It was all
too fitting. What did we see next??
We are greeted by signs for Judgement Day. No really, I’m serious!….
The opening band was Judgement Day, and they were amazing!
String Metal-What a concept! I’ve never heard of this genre of music, which
is surprising, considering strings are my absolute favorite orchestral
instrument. It was beautiful and intense. Their video parody of Guitar Hero
played on a screen behind them. There were more than a few chuckles heard.
Violin Hero would actually be a fun game. Who knew a violin, cello and drums
could be so rockin’? :) Oh, I could totally workout to this. And yes, I do
have a narrow focus at times. ;)
Sadly, I am terribly shy, otherwise I might have spoken with the band. They
are unsigned and totally independent. Cd’s were sold at the show. You can
order from their website, I believe. Some cool videos here too…
From the band’s own website bio…
“Brothers Anton and Lewis Patzner of Judgement Day have been bringing their
unique, high-energy brand of “string metal” to rabid audiences for over half
a decade now. Their innovative style and shredding chops on violin and cello
have earned them US and European tours with buzz bands like Mates of State
and dredge and guest spots on the albums of heavy-weights from Bright Eyes
to Slash. Add to the line-up the heavy-hitting, double-kick-pedaling drummer
Jon Bush and an extensive array of vintage effects pedals and you’ve got a
highly unique concoction that TheBayBridged.com calls “a distinctly
progressive, experimental take on the guitar-less metal band, taking full
advantage of the strengths of the strings while pushing the sound in
Opening bands seem to me like Pandora or Slacker in real life. The band is
within the same genre and expands upon what you already like. I guess that’s
probably the entire point of opening bands, but that was lost on me until
recently. I don’t get out much I guess. ;)
So what led me to this show? Pinback! I was so excited when I heard they
were coming to The Masquerade! This band has been the soundtrack playing in
the background of my life for the last year or 2.
So what is Pinback exactly? An earful of goodness, I think.
Here some info from Pinback’s website-
“Hailing from San Diego, Pinback is a band comprised of two principal
players: Armistead Burwell Smith IV (Zach) and Rob Crow. Pinback started as
a part-time endeavor back in 1998, when Zach’s band Three Mile Pilot went on
an extended hiatus and Rob found time away from his other musical interests
(mainly Thingy and Heavy Vegetable). After recording their self-titled
debut, released by Ace Fu in 1999, Pinback became a fully realized project.”
“Although it may seem like gentle pop music at first encounter, its
brilliance is slowly revealed upon repeated listens. Songs are buoyant and
lively at times, melancholy and dark at others, and always resonate with an
underlying intensity. Between two musicians, Pinback lays out beautiful
melodies that are deceptively complex, layering sounds and instruments upon
one another and trading contrasting vocal parts with ease.”
The albums Summer in Abaddon, Autumn of the Seraphs, and Blue Screen Life
have been the staples in my music rotation. There are a few more to check
out, but that’s a good starting point for new Pinback listeners.
When I went to this show, I went with a sense of hopefulness and
apprehension. Youtube performances from the past have not impressed me much.
The tempo seemed to be consistently up. Not the brooding, melodic, auditory
pleasure that I’ve become accustomed to. The live performance in Atlanta
2011 however, did not disappoint me. It was an eclectic crowd of an
audience, by the way. Young people that made me feel old, and middle-aged
white guys dancing that reminded me of my own demographic’s lack of cool.
But I digress…
We weaseled into the perfect spot, one person back(as latecomers’ manners
dictated) and dead center. We enjoyed most of the show from that vantage
point, and then moved back, ensuring that the singer would jump into our
exact spot in the crowd. Yes, Eric and I did indeed perform a synchronized
face palm at this point.
Some of my favorite songs were included in the set list- Good to Sea,
Penelope, Devil You Know, and Fortress- It was a crowd pleasing kind
of show. :)
Pinback sounded great! They didn’t sound as if they were rushing through
songs at a faster tempo. The set was true to the albums.
I wasn’t disappointed in the least, and would love to see them play live
So hurry and check out these bands, as we all have one more day before this
hand basket arrives in hell. The actual Judgement Day is tomorrow according
to some, and the band would provide a fitting soundtrack for the event. Hope
everyone has a great weekend! ;)
Jonah Parzen-Johnson at Lilypad
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.
Speedy Ortiz “riiiiise above and gliiiiiide away” at The Sinclair
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.
Years & Years at Royale Boston
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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