“SOLD OUT“, is what the sign read on the door of The Drunken Unicorn the night of August 17th. There was a larger than usual crowd for a Tuesday night. Standing outside, the spillover from inside was wall to wall with people. This mass of humanity was all here to see the band The Dear Hunter. A six piece indie band heavy on the flannel and light on the footwear. The Dear Hunter describes their genre on Facebook as “dunkaroo“. I’ve never been good at keeping up with all the different genres but if I had to describe them, I would say garage rock that is one barefoot step away from being a jam band. So, I guess dunkaroo works too. I was actually surprised at the sounds coming off the stage once the band started playing. They were much closer to garage than jam, which is what I expected. This surprisingly rock and roll feel could be in part due to frontman Casey Crescenzo’s past experience with the post hardcore band The Receiving End of Sirens. Casey brings a heavy, loud and bluesy vocal styling. He is accompanied by a band that has a thick full sound with many layers of percussion, grooving bass and a combo of screamy, reverb guitar. At times the band seemed to ride a wave of very 80’s bass lines and shoe gaze guitar. The room packed out with fans seemed to know every word to every song and many times throughout the set burst into yells of approval and applause at the bands song selection.
The Dear Hunter began in Rhode Island in 2005 and has just released their 4th album, “The Color Spectrum”, a conceptual album that has 9 parts each one dedicated to a different color with 4 tracks on each part. This band has taken some unique approaches to not just album concept but also to marketing with a spotify contest and an offer for a lifetime membership to the fan club promising a pass to any show for the rest of the band’s career. The band recently announced on their website that they had just sold out of their vinyl album. Sold Out seems to be a term that TDH hears a lot. Much like the Atlanta show, they have been selling out clubs all across the land this summer.
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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