Upon entering 529 I was not sure what to expect this night, being that I had never been to a show of this sort before, thankfully I was not let down.
Standing around in 529 before the show allowed me to take in the atmosphere of the club itself; worn, smoky, welcoming and very personal, what I would call a perfect setup for a show. After waiting for a while, the first band ventured on stage, and from the first notes of Mirror Mode I knew that the bands on that stage would be fully utilizing the atmosphere of the club with their music to make a blend that would be mesmerizing. The openers Mirror Mode and Factory North came out with a mood not seen in many first timers, they weren’t trying to push it to ridiculousness or be something bigger, they were just themselves and pulled it off with an efficiency that was beautiful for something new. I can say that these hometown groups, Mirror Mode with a Dark Wave flavor and Factory North with an Alternative style that embraces late 50’s and early 60’s Pop into it, are something to look out for in the near future.
As the night started to draw near 12:30 Memoryhouse had gathered upon the stage and were setting up as I stood there waiting to experience them for the first time with much curiosity. I felt the first notes with a warming sensation that surprised me; their purpose was to not make someone dance yet to get a feeling in the listener that means much more. Memoryhouse only continued to impress me throughout their set with a passion that really shines. Watching Denise Nouvion sing was something in its own, bringing about the idea of a person who has a lot of passion and lets it build up, only to let it out when they feel comfortable. The crowd response was reserved, but it seemed to be that everyone in the room was really into the band, feeling their music at an emotional level, and by the end of the show everyone seemed pleased that they attended. Memoryhouse truly seemed grateful for those who came out to see them, even though it was a free show. The members seemed to be glad that they were being recognized by people and respected. When the night came to a close it was clear that Memoryhouse are going to be something to look out for in the near future.
The show overall was really nice, with the music and the feeling of the venue mixing together the show was just right. Also, the bands that preformed that night showed that there is a lot of passion in the music they play and would make anyone who thinks otherwise take a second listen.
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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