One of the best things about going to as many rock shows as I go to is discovering the buried treasure of a band you’ve never heard of before. I did just that several months ago when I stumbled upon a treasure trove of indie rock otherwise know as Tesla Rossa. I was actually covering another band that night and Tesla Rossa was opening up. I remember being irritated because the line up was way behind schedule and I had other shows to cover that night at other venues. The scheduling conflict ended up being a happy accident. While waiting for my assigned band, I was treated to the garagey rock sounds of the Nashville band Tesla Rossa. Within seconds I was in love with their sound. I shoot some great photos of them that night then went home and immediately friended them on Facebook so that I could follow them. This band was a keeper.
Last Thursday, July 28th, Tesla Rossa played another show in Atlanta. My months of waiting had paid off! As I had hoped, the Nashville boys brought the rock! Jason Lee Denton has a somewhat raspy vulnerability in his voice. The drums, guitar and bass all come together to form a blues infused with tribal marinated in good old american rock and roll. Tesla Rossa did an original set and ended the show with the song Kinetic, currently one of my favorite videos.
This is a band I will keep my eyes on for sure. They have the “it” factor and I expect big things for them.
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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