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Concert Reviews

The Freaks, Nerds, and Romantics Love The Bouncing Souls

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If I had to name off bands that formed my life’s soundtrack, then The Bouncing Souls definitely made that list. Actually they probably touched all my teenage relationships – from a mixed tape with Maniacal Laughter’s “The Freaks, Nerds, and Romantics” on it to my first love picking “Quik Check Girl” as a song that reminded him of us “having a laugh at the people in their suits” – it’s all there, hopelessly romantic on mixed tapes, CDs, and MP3s. I haven’t been to a Bouncing Souls show in years, so I jumped at the chance when I saw they were coming to the Masquerade on Thursday, June 14. Plus, their new album, Comet, was released only two days before the show. So, it was a race to hear the whole album before seeing the band! Challenge gladly accepted.

The crowd was lively and energy was high as The Bastard Suns, Luther, and The Menzingers opened up the punk rock show. Before the Bouncing Souls took the stage, the crowd began to chant, “¡Olé! ¡Olé! ¡Olé!” (Yes, they were totally ready to rock out!) The stage was set with several TV’s all turned on to static and a big Comet banner behind Michael McDermott’s drum set. As the band took the stage, the TV’s turned on. Throughout the show, the TVs showed footage of the band’s different exploits. After all these years (20+), you could tell that they really enjoyed playing together. Greg Anttonio was charming as ever as he sang and he has traded in his trademark cabbie hat for a tie. Rounding out the group, Pete Steinkopf played guitar and Bryan Kienlen played bass. Songs that really got the crowd in a punk rock sing along frenzy, included “Kids & Heroes,” “Here We Go!,” “ECFU,” “Hopeless Romantic,” “Argyle,” and “True Believer.” It’s good to know that after all these years, they’ve still got it and I am still hopelessly romantic for The Bouncing Souls!

photos © 2012 Ann Bodan

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Read my pre-show promo and Comet CD review!

The Bouncing Souls’ Set List for The Masquerade in Atlanta on June 14, 2012:
Static
Kids & Heroes
Sing Along Forever
Here We Go!
Infidel
Midnight Mile
The Something Special
Lifetime
Fast Times
That Song
ECFU
Highway Kings
Cracked
Hopeless Romantic
Coin Toss Girl
Argyle
True Believer
K8 is Great
Comet

ENCORE::
Baptized
Private Radio
Lean on Sheena
In Sleep
Say Anything
Late Bloomer
The Freaks, Nerds, & Romantics
Gone
Ship in a Bottle

Concert Reviews

Jonah Parzen-Johnson at Lilypad

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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.

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Concert Reviews

Speedy Ortiz “riiiiise above and gliiiiiide away” at The Sinclair

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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.

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Concert Reviews

Years & Years at Royale Boston

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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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