It was 1986, I was 14 and. I was dressed in my cutest mall clothes and headed to Lenox Square movie theater to see “Pretty In Pink.” Much like Molly Ringwald’s character Andie, I was quirky and desperate to gain attention from a boy who was way out of my league. The end of the movie gave me hope that some day, I too would get to make out with the crush of my dreams. The title of the movie was also a song by the band Psychedelic Furs. The song Pretty in Pink was track #2 on album Talk Talk Talk released in 1981. I had been a proud owner on the cassette for a couple of years prior the movie. I listened to the tape repeatedly alone in my bedroom dreaming of the day that some boy would find me pretty in pink or any other color for that matter.
Twenty plus years later, dressed in my cutest concert clothes, I headed to The Masquerade to see the Psychedelic Furs. A band that is known for a sound that is like velvet and cigarettes and songs about many subjects but most noticeably about love. The Furs got a start in the late 70s british punk scene and like many bands with their history have gone through different changes and stages. Richard Butler is the smooth front man who started the band so many years ago, he is joined with him brother and bassist as the only two remaining original members of the band.Talk Talk Talk was once a big part of the soundtrack that played in my romantic teen ears and now is the basis for the bands current tour. The Furs are touring the U.S. playing the album in sequence and entirety as well as other favorite songs and hits.
Live video of The Psychedelic Furs earlier this year performing “Heaven”
[pro-player width=’530′ height=’353′ type=’video’]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nRKNFPAdLMg[/pro-player]
Butler was as dapper as ever and appeared to be gracious to the happy crowd. He moved back and forth, forward and back across the stage with moves that reminded me of Mick Jagger doing ballet. The biggest challenge I had of the night was trying to photograph and sing and dance at the same time. I was transported back in time. I was that 14-year-old girl again, this time though I was armed with confidence that I lacked as a youth and a cute boy by my side. I melted when Butler sang “Sleep With You” and “Love My Way” but my all time favorite was the song that opened the second set of the show “Sister Europe.” The Psychedelic Furs haven’t let time hurt them in any way. They are by far one of my favorite bands to see live due to the fact that they still are full of real passion for performance. There is absolutely no going through the motions for them. They joy emanating from the stage is infectious.
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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