Posts Tagged ‘Massachusetts’

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On his opulent debut album “Giver Taker” Anjimile’s most powerful and enchanting instrument is his voice. The project which serves as a testament to the different stages of healing is a sparse nine-track undertaking that reveals just how resilient our protagonist truly is. Anjimile’s story is an uncommon one, but an uplifting one nonetheless: A trans person in the midst of battling his own demons excavates the most troubling parts of his past and ultimately seeks out catharsis. Giver Taker is captivating in its detailed storytelling, luscious harmonies and admirable vulnerability. On Giver Taker, the gorgeous debut album by Anjimile, death and life are always entwined, wrapping around each other in a dance of reverence, reciprocity, and, ultimately, rebirth.“Giver Taker” is confident, intentional and introspective. Anjimile Chithambo (they/them, he/him) wrote much of the album while in treatment for drug and alcohol abuse, as well as while in the process of living more fully as a nonbinary trans person. Loss hovers over the album, whose songs grieve for lost friends (“Giver Taker”) and family members (“1978”) along with lost selves (“Maker,” “Baby No More,” “In Your Eyes.”) But here, grief yields an opening: a chance for new growth. “A lot of the album was written when I was literally in the process of improving my mental health, so there’s a lot of hopefulness and wonder at the fact that I was able to survive,” says Chithambo. “Not only survive but restart my life and work towards becoming the person I was meant to be.”

Each song on the album is its own micro-journey, adding up to a transformative epic cycle created in collaboration with bandmate Justine Bowe of Photocomfort and New-York based artist/producer Gabe Goodman. “1978” and “Maker” both begin as Sufjan Stevens-esque pastoral ballads with Chithambo’s mesmerizing voice foregrounded against minimal instrumentation and swell into the realm of the majestic through the addition of warm, steady instrumentation (informed by the mix of 80’s pop and African music Chithambo’s Malawi-born parents played around the house) and harmonies by Bowe. “In Your Eyes” starts out hushed and builds to a crescendo via a mighty chorus inspired by none other than The Lion King. The allusion is fitting: each song encapsulates a heroic voyage, walked alone until accompanied by kindred souls. The choirs present throughout are equally deliberate. Chithambo grew up as a choir boy himself, and several songs (notably “Maker”) grasp not only towards reconciliation between his trans identity and his parents’ strong religious beliefs, but towards reclaiming his trans identity as an essential part of his own spirituality. (“[Less] Judeo-Christian, more ‘Colours of the Wind.’”) There is a boldness to this borrowing and shaping, a resoluteness that results from passing through hardship and emerging brighter, steadier. As a closing refrain on “To Meet You There” might sum it up: “Catalyst light of mine / now is your time.”

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Giver Taker was recorded in Brooklyn, Boston, and New Hampshire by Goodman, thanks in part to the Live Arts Boston Grant by the Boston Foundation. All songs written by Anjimile Chithambo

“Maker” by Anjimile From the album, Giver Taker, out now.  released September 18th, 2020.

This month I’m releasing Deadstock: Uncollected Recordings 2005 – 2020, an album gathering up the songs no one got to hear: unreleased tracks and alternate versions from six studio records and scattered sessions, that form a kind of alternate history. ‘Here’s bunch of songs so good I never put them out,’ but these are as good anything I ever wrote, and we’ve played some of them on the road for years. They didn’t make it onto albums because I still think of albums as the unit of measure, and it’s more important to me to make a record work than it is to make sure a particular song sees the light of day. They tend to find their own way out the door anyway. Deadstock isn’t a documentary, it’s an album.

It’s arranged and meant to be heard that way, with seven new original songs – and two released prior only in Europe – as well as new full-band takes of back catalogue numbers like ‘Mesa, Arizona,’ ‘Ghost Repeater,’ and ‘Pretty Hands.’ Some of these are blood relatives, like ‘Real Love,’ ‘Any Town Will Do,’ and ‘Mesa, AZ’ (three songs written in three days driving around the desert southwest before the Ghost Repeater sessions) while some show the obverse side of the coin, like ‘Cold Late Spring Bark River’ (a less austere telling of a night I wrote about in ‘Heart to the Husk’ from Horse Latitudes), and ‘Crown of Smoke,’ the present-tense companion to the narrative flashback in ‘Little Warble,’ from Blood Brothers.

There’s a song I wrote for one of my heroes, the late great Rainer Ptacek of Tucson, and a song called ‘Jacaranda’ that I wrote while driving up the 101 in California years ago, feeling lucky; there’s a song called ‘Adios Mexico’ that I co-wrote with my friend Airon Kluberton – an airplane mechanic in Talkeetna, Alaska – when I was up there on tour, and there are two songs I always loved from the Cold Satellite collaborations with poet Lisa Olstein and guitarist David Goodrich, presented in new versions. The band is mostly the one you know from the last many years (featured on the Wolves and Blood Brothers records, and on the road), and then the Iowa boys from Ghost Repeater on two tracks, plus guest appearances by Kris Delmhorst, Pieta Brown, and Caitlin Canty on backing vocals. Deadstock won’t be streaming until 12/18, but you can pre-order copies for everyone you know right damn now to get it early, and in time for the holidays. To make that decision easier, you can go listen through all sixteen tracks right now, and hear/see the full single of ‘There’s a Destruction on This Land,’ (from the Salt As Wolves sessions).

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All the older (in-print) albums from the back catalogue are available all this month 20% off, with the promo code JF2020. That’s right, I have a promo code. I’m having it tattooed on my ass. I’m not going to play a livestream concert this month, but I’ll be back in the new year to play through Blood Brothers, and maybe Deadstock too. In the meantime, keep an eye on the Store, as we’ll announce a few more things in the next few weeks. And then, if you would, please share the link for Deadstock around with your people, and add it to a playlist. I’m not hiring publicity or touring to promote this record, it’s just something to keep the party faithful amused, and a way to make a little cash in a lean year. You’re all deputized Junior Publicists now. Badges and hip boots will arrive by mail. I’m grateful to all of you out there, for taking care of each other, and for looking after us in a hard year. It’s meant the world. You’re all just aces.

Released December 18th, 2020

Before the 90s. Before the internet. Before Nevermind. Back when something called “independent music” first began reaching a wider audience, through college radio, word-of-mouth, and that small “underground” record store you seem to find in every town…there was a band from Boston called Lemonheads

This Deluxe 30th Anniversary Edition of The Lemonheads ‘Lovey’. A 2xLP/CD Deluxe Book with expanded liner notes and unseen photos – this is the definitive document of Dando’s first steps towards the mainstream.
The lovingly repackaged remastered release is accompanied by a second disc, ‘Triple J Live at the Wireless’, taken from their legendary 1991 trip to Australia.

‘Lovey’was the major label debut for Evan Dando’s Lemonheads from 1990,caught up in Grunge mania and following three ramshackle punk albums that only hinted at what was to come.
‘Lovey’ includes the classic cover of Gram Parsons ‘Brass Buttons’ and fan favourites ‘Half The Time’ and ‘Stove’.
‘Live At The Wireless’ includes a cover of Big Star’s ‘Nightime’. The lovingly repackaged LP is accompanied by a second vinyl, Triple J Live at the Wireless, an unearthed radio session taken from their 1991 trip to Australia. The major label debut for Evan Dando’s Lemonheads from 1990, following three “ramshackle punk” (©Select magazine) albums for Taang! Pivoted on a more approachable set of sweet melodies still rife with punky spirit. A light and dark album, polished in the arrangements, nodding to the excess of American culture (Manson and Gummi Bears), hectoring Reagan’s drug laws (Lil’ Seed), riffing on everyday life. Remastered with a freshly-dusted off second album featuring a full radio session recorded during their trip to Australia to promote the album.

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Dando never completely abandons punk-pop but he balanced it with excursions into jangle pop and country-rock” All Music

Pivoted on a more approachable set of sweet melodies but still rife with punk spirit. Polished in the arrangements, nodding to the excess of American culture (Manson and Gummi Bears), hectoring Reagan’s drug laws (‘Lil’ Seed’) and riffing on everyday life.

Releases October 24th, 2020,

Sam Moss is a songwriter and instrumentalist based in New England. His 2018 album ‘Neon’ was acclaimed by NPR and The Boston Globe. Since 2014 he has been on the road playing hundreds of little shows around the country, and occasionally opening for folks like Joan Shelley, Diane Cluck, and Doug Paisley.

Moss plays violin on a recent duo album with guitarist Rob Noyes (‘Rob Noyes & Sam Moss’) and can occasionally be seen accompanying singer-songwriters like Kris Delmhorst and Jackson Emmer. He also carves spoons.

“Marvelous, resonating, magnetic stillness.” – Boston Globe “This fingerpicking guitar virtuoso characterizes the folk spirit in its finest sense.

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Released July 30th, 2020

The Band:
Sam Moss – Vocals, Guitars
Stephen Ambra – Cello
Michael Siegel – Bass
Benjamin Burns – Drums

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The first album Lou Barlow released under his own name celebrates its 15th anniversary with a 2-LP reissue, marking its domestic debut on vinyl. Housed in printed paper sleeves inside a gatefold jacket with lyrics. Includes full album download plus 8 digital bonus tracks of demos from the era. If you don’t know who Lou Barlow is, But you should, to celebrate one of indie rock’s key figures.

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All Songs by Lou Barlow except “Round-N-Round” by DeMartini/Pearcy/Crosby

EMOH, the title, was conceived by Adam Harding

released July 31st, 2020

This Special Edition of “Songs From Tsongas” contains the whole of the concert from the Tsongas Arena in Lowell, Massachusetts. Features tracks from across the band’s career including an extensive acoustic section and some tracks that have rarely been performed live.Also featured are 70 minutes of highlights from a very different concert on the same tour filmed at Estival in Lugano, Switzerland. This outdoor concert sees a stripped down stage and full on rock versions of the acoustic tracks from Tsongas. The band was epic moment, knit, and rely on the genius of great musicians like Jon Anderson, Steve Howe, Chris Squire and Rick Wakeman, supplementing with Alan White on drums. The best line-up. The repertoire very well chosen reviving great classics in more acoustic versions and other latest music of excellent quality as well. Who likes progressive rock can not do without this work and even for those who enjoy a good band with elaborate songs, quality musicians and the wonderful voice of Jon Anderson with the proper intensity. In addition, there is a part of the show made the Lugano Festival which continues with the same quality and the nearest versions of those studio. It is more than three-hour show.

Disc One of the DVD (the single Blu-ray contains all the same material as the double DVD set) contains the whole of the concert from the Tsongas Arena in Lowell, Massachusetts, previously spread across two discs. This epic show features tracks from across the band’s career including an extensive acoustic section and some tracks that have rarely been performed live.

Disc Two contains 70 minutes of highlights from a very different concert on the same tour filmed at Estival in Lugano, Switzerland. This outdoor concert sees a stripped down stage and full on rock versions of the acoustic tracks from Tsongas whilst the crowd wield a multitude of umbrellas against the pouring rain, which is clearly not preventing them having a great time!

Included as bonus material on the Blu-ray and DVD are the track “Ritual – Nous Sommes Du Soleil”, from “Tales From Topographic Oceans also filmed at the Tsongas Arena, and an insightful interview with legendary designer and Yes collaborator Roger Dean who created the brand new stage set for the shows.

“Songs From Tsongas” contains the concert from Yes’ 35th Anniversary Tour in 2004, the last tour by the band to feature the classic line-up of Jon Anderson, Steve Howe, Chris Squire, Rick Wakeman and Alan White.

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Joe Pernice strips things down to the bare minimum on this mostly acoustic collection of regret-tinged songs. While The Pernice Brothers have made many excellent lush, highly orchestrated albums over the years, you can tell that most of Joe Pernice‘s songs start with an acoustic guitar. He’s got the kind of honeyed voice — and literate songcraft that doesn’t need much embellishing to get the point across. That’s clear on his new solo album, Richard, which is pretty much just Joe and his guitar.

Maybe it’s the directness of the presentation, but Richard is an especially sad record, with little of Pernice’s dark humor to cut the pain this time. Nearly every song is tinged in regret, whether it’s “wasting away my life with you” on twisted love song “Long Black Shadow,” or album opener “Starry Clown” where “every sorrow’s easy and spurious love survives.” Even the “la-las” on “Sullivan Street,” set against delicate horns, sound like a lament.

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Two back-to-back songs are especially crushing.  “Spend This Mountain” finds him trying to put on a brave face against a terrible loss. “When they woke me with the news, man I wish I’d never come to,” he sings, and I have to wonder if this one’s about his close friend David Berman. The other gut-punch is Richard’s title track where Pernice wishes he’d done more to befriend a bullied LGBTQIA kid that, with its refrain of “always alone, always to be alone” and Joe’s slight British-y accent, sounds like it could’ve been an early Smiths b-side.

Joe Pernice is, as always, in baroque pop mode, melody-wise, which is tailor suited to his voice, with a few cowboy ballad touches — nylon string guitar, harmonica — that also fit the songs perfectly. “Solo” has rarely sounded so lonesome and beautiful.

Released June 19th, 2020 >

Written, performed and recorded by Joe Pernice, except You Should of Came, recorded by Liam Jaeger.

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Week #7 of Lockdown brings a beautiful lullaby, and one of the most thoroughly covered songs ever written. I heard it first from Mama Cass on her very great album “Bubblegum, Lemonade &… Something For Mama“, some time maybe a 100 years later, I sang it with my friend Will Dailey at a show curated by our mutual friend (and Will’s longtime drummer/collaborator)) Dave Brophy, the theme of the night being rock singers singing jazz standards. So when this one was suggested as a cover for this series by my dear pal Vicky Salipande (and few after her), I immediately thought of Will as guest artist. He is one of my favourite collaborators and hangs ~ crazy talented, and a big heart of gold.
Every week (and always) I’m blown away by the tracks Joe and Russell send me, and this week is particularly over-the-moon beautiful. Our bonus track this week is an instrumental version of this same song, because I want you to hear it. (And give you space to sing it yourself.)
In lockdown, Will has been fundraising (significantly) for non-salary venue staff, musicians, and the community of Chelsea, with his streaming Isolation shows ~ as well as creating a fundraiser to be broadcast on June 9th called “All In For Chelsea”, a live concert that will combine music performances and short interviews with people on the ground who are working to lift up the hardest hit community in Massachusetts, and which will benefit the Chelsea One Fund. www.facebook.com/willdailey
This week’s donations will go to NAACP Legal Defense Fund.
Sending you all the usual hopes for health and love, and Justice.
xx,
Tanya, Joe, Russell, and this week’s guest ~ Will Dailey
 

Released May 31st, 2020

Tanya: vocals
Joe McMahon: upright bass, piano
Russell Chudnofsky: acoustic guitars
Will Dailey: vocals, dreamy electric

For the first time ever on vinyl, a special limited edition of Galaxie 500’s only live recording, “Copenhagen” . Galaxie 500’s last show of their last European tour was captured to 24-track tape by Danish National Radio on December 1st, 1990, and first released (on CD only) by Rykodisc in 1997, following the success of their 1996 box set reissue of all Galaxie 500’s studio albums.

3-sided double LP (side 4 is custom etching). Limited edition of 2000 black vinyl copies. For the first time ever on vinyl, a special limited edition of Galaxie 500’s only live recording, Copenhagen. Galaxie 500’s last show of their last European tour was captured to 24-track tape by Danish National Radio on December 1st, 1990, and first released (on CD only) by Rykodisc in 1997, following the success of their 1996 box set reissue of all Galaxie 500’s studio albums.

The live album, Copenhagen, which is heavy on songs from This Is Our Music and in almost every case improves upon them, turns out to be the ideal closing chapter. During the 1990 show in Denmark, Galaxie 500 play magnificently to what sounds like a pretty small crowd. But that small crowd is into it. Sometimes bands work like that. They never made it big, but during their short run, Galaxie 500’s often quiet and always beautifully rendered music had a profound impact on a few people, including this writer. It needs to stay out there, where it has a chance of finding a few more.

Copenhagen “is a bullet to the head of those who maintain that the band was best heard on record,” as critic/sage Byron Coley has written.”It is abundantly clear, as the trio spirals through an inspired set of covers and originals, that the introverted disengagement of their early live work has been replaced by a unique, powerful and controlled presence that allows them to deliver the goods emotionally as well as sonically. The blend of heart and hand is stunning.” Mark Richardson wrote in Pitchfork: “The live album, Copenhagen, which is heavy on songs from This Is Our Music and in almost every case improves upon them, turns out to be the ideal closing chapter.

20202017 galaxie 500 rsd

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An official Record Store Day release, co-sponsored by Dogfish Head Craft Brewed Ales, who are releasing a limited edition Danish-style beer to enjoy alongside, and staging a RSD 2020 live tribute to Galaxie 500 at Brooklyn’s Rough Trade Records featuring Magnetic Fields, Xiu Xiu, Surfer Blood and others.

Recorded live by Danish National Radio, 1990, This 3-sided double LP (side 4 is custom etching) Limited edition of 2000 black vinyl copies.

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Memory looms large on Horse Jumper of Love’s hypnotic sophomore album, ‘So Divine,’ but it remains elusive. Throughout the record, tiny snapshots from the past float to the surface, baring themselves for brief moments before diving back into the ether. Like abstract collages, the Boston-based three-piece’s songs jumble richly detailed scenes and vivid imagery, papering over one moment with the next until each string of seemingly unrelated thoughts coalesces into a breathtaking work of art, one that reveals deep truths about ourselves and our psyches.

“A lot of these songs are about making small things into huge deals,” says guitarist/singer Dimitri Giannopoulos. “They all start with these very specific little memories that, for some reason or another, have stuck in my mind. Memories morph and change over time, though, and they become freighted with all these different meanings. We’re constantly adding to them.”

The same could be said of Horse Jumper of Love’s music. Giannopolous wrote much of what would become ‘So Divine’ as a teenager, carrying the tunes with him as skeletal demos for years before bringing them to his bandmates (bassist John Margaris and drummer Jamie Vadala-Doran) to flesh out in the studio. Even then, the songs continued to grow and mutate, with the group recording multiple iterations of the album as they experimented with tempo and technique.

“I’d dropped out of college and was living at home when I first started writing these songs,” Giannopolous remembers. “I was staying up all night recording in the basement because I didn’t feel like I had any other options. It was either make music or feel terrible about my life.”

Giannopolous found kindred spirits in Margaris and Vadala-Doran, and after moving out on his own, he officially launched Horse Jumper of Love in 2013, taking the group’s moniker from a Latin phrase that had gotten more than a little lost in translation. The band would spend the next three years refining their studio craft and live show, garnering a devoted following playing DIY gigs around New England as they climbed their way into what Pitchfork described as “the top tier of the Boston house show scene.” In 2016, they released their self-titled debut to rave reviews, with NPR praising the band’s “slow, syrupy rock songs” as “cautiously measured and patiently curious” and Stereogum hailing their “delightfully distorted mess of energy.” In 2017, the group released a vinyl and digital re-issue of the album along with a limited edition demo anthology.

When it was time begin work on ‘So Divine,’ Horse Jumper of Love headed south and set up shop at Big Nice, a riverside warehouse-turned studio in Lincoln, RI. While many of the tracks they planned to record dated back to Giannopolous’ youth, several were so new that they hadn’t even been demoed yet, offering up a blank slate for the band’s methodical sonic explorations.

“We decided to go in blind and just see what would happen,” explains Giannopoulos. “The studio was this really great and open environment with incredible gear, so everyone felt totally free to try whatever they wanted.”

The result is a record that breaks new ground even as it stays the course, emphasizing the band’s keen eye for detail and muscular arrangements. Songs develop at a glacial pace, progressing forward with almost imperceptible momentum as they carve deep canyons and valleys through walls of solid rock.

“My approach to songwriting has always been really gentle,” says Giannopoulos. “Everything starts with an acoustic guitar, but then I bring the music to Jamie and John and they really beef it up. I love everything they do, so production is a joint effort between all three of us.”

The record opens with “Airport,” a mesmerizing tune that builds from a whisper to a roar as washed out cymbals and fuzzy electric guitars swirl into a frenzied maelstrom. The song proves to be an ideal entry point for an album all about the power of escalation, about the ways tiny, seemingly inconsequential moments can snowball into profound revelations in our mind. Spilled yogurt leads to an existential crisis on the driving “Volcano,” while a childhood day at the beach turns into an out of body experience on the hazy “Poison.”

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“Who isn’t freaked out by life as a teenager?” Giannopoulos recalled in an interview with the popular Boston blog Allston Pudding. “I had a phase when I was sixteen or seventeen where I thought nothing was real. Like, I thought I was living in a constant dream…I needed a way to cope with that, so I wrote these songs.”

Giannopoulos’s lyrics are brief but dense, often without a rhyme in sight. Some songs gush with a beat poet’s stream of consciousness, others consist only of a single recurring line recited over and over like some sort of abstract prayer. With an unhurried, deliberate delivery, such phrases seem to gain new shades of meaning with each repetition, or at the very least, challenge us to create our own.

“There’s not [just] one message,” Giannopoulos told WRBB, suggesting that in the end, no matter what you think the band’s songs are about, you’re right.

Perhaps that’s ultimately the divinity to which the title refers. What’s more holy, after all, than drawing meaning from the mundane? The memories we carry with us are not fixed, but fluid, able to change shape and fill whatever purpose we assign to them. Horse Jumper of Love aims to do precisely that with their music, and it’s a divine thing indeed.

Originally released June 28th, 2019