Monday, November 30, 2009
This Wednesday, Atomfoam and B-Law of the Whitehaus Family Record will be guest DJs on American Folk Festival from 2-4 p.m. Atomfoam and B-Law are two of the founding members of Whitehaus, a Jamica Plain-based community of musicians, poets, and artists, who host shows and other happenings at their house.
Atomfoam and B-Law will be spinning tracks by Whitehaus regulars, talking about the origins and history of the Whitehaus, and playing some tunes for us live in-studio! It should be an exciting, fun, and interesting two hours, so be sure to tune in at 2 p.m. via wtburadio.org!
Learn more about the Whitehaus Family Record at whitehausfamilyrecord.com.
Friday, November 27, 2009
DEFINITELY nothing like partying on the first Monday back from Thanksgiving break.
Click here to find out more about the Static Jacks and hear some of their music.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
What better way to start back after Thanksgiving than an impromptu jam?
WTBU is hosting an open mic night at BU Central as a part of the BU For Show series on Tuesday, DECEMBER 1 @ 7-10 pm.
Interested in performing? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information and to RSVP (not necessary to attend, but you know, just for a reminder!), check out the Facebook event.
Friday, November 20, 2009
Each year, Alternative Press magazine forms a tour of the music industry’s current noteworthy rising acts. Although that tour usually rolls around every spring, 2009 gave AltPress so much good music, they decided to create a special tour called “The Fall Ball,” stopping at the Boston House of Blues on Thursday, November 5. With the show approaching capacity, the night was filled with a highly energetic crowd and an even more energetic lineup for a night to remember.
UK up-and-comers You Me At Six opened the show, owning the stage for their first time playing in Boston. The band found the exact balance of hard rock, guitar riffs, and screaming with their catchy melodies and easy-going swagger to please many ears throughout the set. Although the band had few singing along (simply because many haven’t been exposed to the band yet), audience members’ ears perked up as they went into a cover of Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face.” As they closed out the set with their catchiest tunes, “Save It For The Bedroom” and “Finders Keepers,” many knew that You Me At Six would be a name to watch out for.
The Secret Handshake kept up the momentum as the audience got down to their pop-inspired dance-rock set. As the only apparent dance act of the night, The Secret Handshake stood apart from other acts with its fusion of dance beats and rock sounds. Their covers of Skee-Lo’s “I Wish” and Miley Cyrus’ “Party In The USA” added some extra excitement to their already upbeat set.
In what was unarguably the most hardcore set of the night, California rockers Set Your Goals lit up the stage. The band brought a different kind of energy to the night as mosh pits popped up around all parts of the floor. While following a pop punk and a dance act, this energy brought a new element to the show. Midway through their set, the band changed and came out in Hurley T-Shirts supporting their Living The Dream foundation.
Then, it came time for co-headliner, Mayday Parade. After recently releasing their new album, Anywhere But Here, the band found a good mix between new songs and old favorites for their set, getting the crowd to sing louder than they had done all night. The feel-good vibes generating throughout Mayday’s music jumped off the stage filling the audience making every body dance and move. Members got the sense that their songs came alive before them as the band brought out the right amount of energy at fitting times. Overall, Mayday Parade proved how they gained the co-headlining spot on the tour.
The Academy Is…, the other Fall Ball headlining act, closed out the night with a fifty-minute set making the tour a memorable experience overall. While many criticize the band for making their latest full-release, Fast Times At Barrington High, somewhat lighter than previous material, these critics have not seen TAI’s live set. The breakout songs from Fast Times fit in well with the overall set. Just like my previous TAI experiences, the band’s stage presence blew the audience away. The expressions William Beckett (lead singer) gives while performing keeps eyes peeled to the stage, and the energy from the rest of the band keeps them glued there.
The energy felt throughout the night from The Academy Is… and Mayday Parade, as well as the other acts, previews a year of high energy in the music scene. As rumors already swirl over Alternative Press’ spring tour, the Fall Ball made its mark as an exciting start to the music of 2010.
As I entered the House of Blues on November 13th, Medeski Martin and Wood sat unassumingly on stage, practically dwarfed by their setup – John Medeski hunched over a gigantic keyboard contraption, Billy Martin tinkering with a loaded drum kit, and Chris Wood between them, upright bass in hand. Once the trio started to play, however, opening with a lively rendition of “Flat Tires,” there was nothing low-key about their presence. MMW played an electrifying show, rocking the House of Blues until almost 1:00 a.m.
The group moved seamlessly between songs, deftly swinging between jazz and funk in their extended jams. MMW teased the audience with these improvisations, dipping into arrhythmic, discordant sections that kept the audience on their toes before melting into yet another groove, during songs such as “Is There Anybody Here That Loves My Jesus.” The constant motion of the band’s performance kept the crowd’s attention riding high all night.
I was constantly bowled over by each of the members’ musicianship—together, Medeski, Martin and Wood delivered an incredibly tight performance, but they each shone solo as well. Billy Martin wowed the crowd with his drum solo following “Agmation,” while John Medeski’s work on the keyboard was nothing short of virtuosic. Chris Wood was impressive on both double bass and bass guitar; I was particularly excited to watch him playing slide bass, a unique and funky touch.
Though MMW played for well over two hours, the audience only seemed to grow in excitement throughout the show; even the encore, “F*ck You Guys” had the crowd in a frenzy. Medeski, Martin and Wood put on an impressive show that’s sure to be one of the most memorable at the House of Blues this year.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Come one, come all! WTBU and the Women's Resource Center at BU are teaming up to host Open Mic Night on this Thursday, November 19 at 7 p.m.
All artists are welcome. Sing a song, read your poetry, do magic?... Just do it up right! If you would like to perform, please give a shout on the Facebook event wall, send us a message, or sign up at 6:50 p.m. before the show begins.
The evening will take place at the WRC, in the basement of the GSU (775 Comm Ave) and will be hosted by WTBU's/WRC's own Jessy Bartlett!
ALL are welcome in this comfy space and we hope to see you there for a great night of music and fun!
I found myself standing in the middle of a sweat bath. As I turned to check out the crowd around me, I noticed a girl crouched on the ground next to me, with her hands touching the floor. Out of nowhere she yelled, “it feels like the floor is going to cave!”
Earlier, as I walked into the Paradise on Tuesday, November 10th, it seemed so serene—with only a few people smoking cigarettes and the bouncers flirting with the occasional passer-by—but on the inside a massive party was brewing. The entire floor of the Paradise was packed, making it impossible to move without elbowing someone covered in glow sticks. The stage emanated light and the floor shook from the sheer force of the bass. Who was the cause for all this madness? Lorin Ashton, otherwise known as Bassnectar. Bassnectar has grown in popularity, and his new album, Cozza Frenzy, has created fresh buzz within his fan base. He played to a sold-out crowd.
When trying to explain Bassnectar’s music it might be easy to compare him to the well-known DJ Girl Talk—both sample songs that are known for their catchy, dance-heavy beats. Bassnectar, however, has a unique method to creating his songs that focuses more on the underlying bass track of a song, rather than creating a mash-up like Girl Talk. His sound centers on heavy tempos that you can feel throughout your entire body. At a Bassnectar show, it is impossible to just stand around and bob your head; Bassnectar will force you to dance—for hours. This show was no different. For over two and a half hours, the crowd was enveloped by the Bass.
Bassnectar’s show at the Paradise was incredibly free format. He remixed old and new songs alike, in addition to playing entire tracks from his albums. “Cozza Frenzy” stood out during the show. As described by Lorin, the song is “an electro based song with a dup step beat and heavy vocals.” Bassnectar shows are addictively fun. It is possible to see him again and again and never get bored because of his huge repertoire of music. After getting through the playlist he had made for the show around midnight he announced, “You are all welcome to take the train home if you like but if you want stay I’m going to keep playing.” Not even one person stopped dancing or turned to leave. Bassnectar kept the crowd moving for another 45 minutes.
It is evident by watching Bassnectar on stage that his music means a lot to him. He uses projectors during his shows, which present not only "trippy" or hallucinatory pictures but pictures of soldier’s abroad, death, capitalism etc. The images are a powerful compliment to the music, exposing the audience to issues that Bassnectar would like them to think about throughout the show. During my interview with him, Lorin mentioned several times that he would like his music to lead to a social movement. He received a bachelor’s degree in community studies and uses his music as a vessel for change—offering an alternative to a faith based perspective. The next step for Bassnectar is convincing listeners to harvest the energy they get at shows to make a difference in their communities. To participate in Bassnectar’s community, and to download his new album, visit bassnectar.net.
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Paradise Rock Club featured Ontario native and soulful crooner, Justin Nozuka, on November 4. His current tour is an attempt for the singer to test out some of his new music on the crowd to see how receptive the audiences are to them.
Justin had two openers lined up to play before his set. First were Elizabeth and the Catapults hailing from Brooklyn, whose folk inspired melodies and infectious choruses attracted much crowd involvement. She showcased songs in which she sings about being "vertically challenged adults," boyfriends who wish their girlfriends were their mothers, and not taking yourself not too seriously. Her voice was soft, but soared unexpectedly when she would occasionally hit those high notes, sending the crowd into a state of shock. Her refreshing alternative styled music was a lovely way to start the night.
The next opener was Sam Bradley, a 23-year-old English native whose band hails from Vancouver. Perhaps you've heard the song "Never Think" sung by Robert Pattinson in the film, Twilight during a dinner scene between R-Pattz and Kristen Stewart. Perhaps you haven't heard it. Perhaps it's for the better. His set seemed to have dragged on for quite a bit. His musical style sounded like Americana folk rock, if such a combination is even fathomable coming from a Brit. Unfortunately his songs live sounded like a conglomeration of the same thing.
After waiting for quite some time and enduring the two opening acts for nearly two hours, Justin Nozuka finally graced the stage ever so charmingly. The soft-spoken 21-year-old commanded the attention of the audience before the lights were even turned on. A single candle was lit near the drums and an ambient environment was channeled. Each song had an instrumental opening in which he would stand in the center of the stage with his head leaned back directed toward the ceiling. It was as though the vibrations from his acoustic guitar and the slow vibrations produced by the wa-wa pedal from his electric guitarist were consuming his entire being. It wasn't until after his fourth song that he finally approached the microphone and thanked everyone for coming out to his show. He then explained how earlier in the day he had a freak skateboarding accident in front of a huge crowd of people. His awkward and timid nature was quite endearing for the entirety of the evening. He played eight new songs all of which sounded as though they had great potential. The rest were songs from his debut album Holly that was released in 2007. He is working on his sophomore album entitled, Gray. The release date is still tentative.
Sunday, November 1, 2009
As I was studying for a midterm on Monday evening, October 26th, I seriously considered skipping the Thievery Corporation show later that night. It was cold and drizzling out, and I was comfortably settled on the couch with a nice warm cup of coffee. Then I remembered last semester when I saw Thievery Corporation at House of Blues; the band had blown me away. Though it took a lot of energy, I somehow dragged myself out the house. As soon as I arrived at the House of Blues, the scent of incense and the first few notes of Garden State hit “Lebanese Blonde” enveloped my senses.
The band had a similar demeanor that they did last year: relaxed yet with an uncanny ability to make the crowd want to dance. [While Thievery is notable for having a rotating ensemble of players, the main cast of characters stayed mostly the same. Founders Rob Garza and Eric Hilton hung toward the back of the stage, mostly serving as DJ’s, with two drummers were on either side of them. Two horn players and a bassist completed the band, while a variety of vocalists performed solos. One major difference between the two shows is that instead of the two Jamaican main singers the band performed with last time, this performance featured a vocalist who toured with Femi Kuti this summer.
Thievery Corporation is known for their funky Brazilian jams, and these definitely came through. The band seemed to be having a good time and was particularly energized. They got they involved the audience into many songs by encouraging them to sing along. I was surprised that although they played hits like “Radio Retaliation” and “Amerimacka,” there was not much deviation from the show they performed in Boston in February. The lighting and backdrop were the same, and they even played the same songs. Thievery Corporation has not come out with a new album so I was surprised that they even went on tour. I thoroughly enjoyed the show but the entire time I felt like I was experiencing déjà vu.
Even though the show felt familiar, there were still a few songs that stood out. At one point, bassist Ashish Vyas sat down in the middle of the stage and began playing his bass upright. As always, he played without shoes, and seemed really into the music. The bass was so distorted that the audience could feel the bass vibrating in their chest. Vyas was a highlight of the show—his presence is incredibly animated on stage. In addition to Vyas, another exciting part of the show were the performances from vocalist LuLu, who sang “La Femme Parralle” and “Sweet Tides,” two hits of Thievery Corporation’s newest album, Radio Retaliation. The crowd seemed delighted with her tunes and she got the most applause at the end of the set. Overall, Thievery Corporation played a great show; unfortunately, it was a show that I had seen before.