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Concert Reviews

Jake Shimabukuro at the Ferst Center at Georgia Tech

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As we transition from the cold winter to the warm spring, no music is more welcoming than the soothing ukulele from islands of Hawaii.

One of the world’s best known Ukulele players, Jake Shimabukuro, who made a stop at the Ferst Center at Georgia Tech as part of his new CD release tour, shared his talent before a packed house.

I had seen Jake last year during his first visit to the Ferst Center and was excited to see him again.  He is a one man ball of energy. Not the bouncing off the wall energy, but the calm, cool, collective type who embodies the Hawaiian spirit.

This time around, not only was Jake celebrating a new album, he was also enjoying his new son.  He noted that being a father changes one’s perspective: not only does he have a new lease on life, his love has gone beyond measure. He cannot believe he could love so much.

Jake started off with some of his classics and then mixed it up with a little Bohemian Rhapsody sprinkled in with his own three cord creations. He even performed his first song he ever wrote which was a song in homage of his hero Bruce Lee.

The Ukulele is an intimate instrument and has three distinct voices that can be mixed up and tell the story of the hang loose life style of the tropical beaches of Hawaii.

Be sure to check out March’s line up at the Ferst Center. There is always something for everyone.  The Jake Shimabukuro show was packed, so don’t wait and get your tickets soon.

Next up is The Mikado on Sunday March 10

Acoustic Alchemy – Saturday March 16

Sean Curran Company – Saturday March 23

An Evening with Ira Glass- Saturday, April 6

The Velveteen Rabbit – Sunday, April 14

Ethel – Saturday April 20

For more information visit: www.FerstCenter.org or call (404)894-9600

 

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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