Downton Abbey: The Exhibition has landed in Boston at The Castle at Park Plaza for an extremely limited three month run. An appropriately themed afternoon tea was held on Friday, June 14th, featuring Executive Chairman of Carnival Films, Gareth Neame, and members of the press and socialites (aka social media influencers).
One of SNL's newest cast members is rising star Chris Redd. Chris is also known for appearing on Netflix' Disjointed and in movies Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping opposite Andy Samberg, The House and A Futile and Stupid Gesture. Yesterday, Redd dropped his new album But Here We Are on Comedy Central Records (available everywhere).
The Renaissance Faire is still in fashion, as evidenced by my recent voyage to Carver, Massachusetts’ (aka The Carvershire)King Richard’s Faire.
The 34th Season of the Faire’s medieval revelry, turkey leg meals and large cat viewings grows ever-popular with the cosplay crowd and special events peppered throughout the eight New England weekends shows no sign of slowing down.
Perhaps my very own faux chainmail Knights Templar costume ($41.99) and gleaming knight broadsword ($8.99) added to my enjoyment to this year’s Faire, or perhaps it was just something in the mead served cold that made the day most glorious.
We witnessed Highland Hunks lift their kilts for judgement, we sawJack Lepiarzbreak a Guinness Book of World Records whipping record. And of course, there were mighty cats.
What follows is a Knight Templar’s experience in King Richard’s court!
Our merry band of misfits first strode with confidence toward the mighty victualers and purveyors of fine food to energize our bodies after a long journey and a longer day ahead.
Last year’s fare for me was the turkey leg, which to be honest, is a throwaway meat.
The leg is delicious yet salty and but even with a handle the leg is difficult to eat.
This year, I opted for the shepherd’s pie while m’lady ate one of the most gigantic and square cheese pizza slices I have ever seen for that many tickets.
That’s right, tickets.
You must trade your gold and US Dollars for tickets that may be used for amusements, food, drink, ice cream,half-sour pickles, nuts and many other treats at King Richard’s kingdom.
Perhaps this is to ensure that no bandits make way with your purse, but for practicality reasons, the safety of the vendors must be on the King’s mind (this becomes clear after seeing how many ales fellow Faire goers are able to consume in a day)!
SOCIAL MEDIA WORKSHOP FOR BANDS, DJS, ARTISTS, COMIC CREATORS and MORE!
Join Clay Fernald (@ClayNFerno) for an intensive first level course in using social media for DJs, producers and bands.
Designed from the insider’s view of the music industry, this class will teach the basics of setting up profiles, checkins, username claiming and more for all of the major social media apps and platforms. The class will prepare you to use your phone, computer or tablet to generate buzz about your latest release, your next event, or strengthen your relationship with your established fans by creating a conversation that goes both ways. Are you a Boston band that’s been around forever but doesn’t have a twitter? This class is also for you. Recommended for musicians of all types, no genre or labels allowed! The class will be structured for beginning to intermediate understanding of Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, but more concepts will be introduced in the short class, allowing some time at the end for student questions.
Clay landed on the cover of The Boston Phoenix in 2005 for being the ‘Most Popular Man in Boston’ — according to social networking site MySpace. He has since made a career making social connections online and off by following marketing trends and staying ahead of them. By establishing best practices at Middle East Nightclub (@MidEastClub — verified) for social media, he has set an example there for other businesses, venues and independent promoters in town.
When not working in various roles for popular Boston bands, Clay also runs social media for band clients and fine artists. You may find his comic book and pop culture news columns on local and national websites. When comic book conventions roll into town, Clay is asked to moderate panels of top industry talent or can be found scouring the quarter bins for lost comic book gems.
Game Boy Symphony Orchestra Electro-beat Karaoke Death Metal For Your Mom
Night Animals is an album that was 3 years in the making. It is what we set out to do as BRIGHT PRIMATE, and we couldn’t be happier to be finally sharing it with you, our friends and fans and internet associates. Its been an effort of love and we believe that it represents another small step forward in the evolution of chip music from a basement hobbyists pursuit to what we all know it can become.
There are so many people that have helped us shape this album, so many people who have inspired us or listened to rough mixes late at night or assisted us with their expertise in one way or another, and we would like to acknowledge some invaluable specifics: Carl AKA Radlib AKA Oxygenstar et al. for general solidness of character and always moving forward; Misfit Chris for many 5am chat sessions and lending me his ears on more than one occasion; Smiletron David for being a constant mellow optimist in the wee hours of the night; Disasterpeace Rich for setting the bar pretty high; Dan of the J. Arthur Keenes Band for showing us all just how great a vocal chiptune album can be. Boston8Bit, Toy Company, Bitmasters, 8Static, I/O, Chipwin, REboot, PAX and Magfest peeps; you know who you are. Nerd Rock Radio and Seaking’s Seaglass too. Probably most of all though, thanks to you for listening to this record, whoever you are, because music is just two animals communicating in the night.
Control Group is a new rock combo made up of three lead singers: Darren Korb, Jeremy Parker, and Evan Reynolds. The band’s sound is a combination of nostalgic guitar punk, DIY indie rock, and 90s pop. Imagine early Dinosaur Jr crossed with Foo Fighters with a bit of The Smiths thrown in.
“They can raise speedy hell.” —Daily Hampshire Gazette
The Demographic is a somewhat loud guitar/drum duo from Northampton, Massachusetts featuring Tom Pappalardo (guitar+vocal) and Sturgis Cunningham (drums+back vocal). We write short, concise rock songs with most of the bullshit cut out. We’ve been together since 2009.
RIYL: Kurt Vonnegut, The IT Crowd,Massachusetts, 1992.
SquareSoft/Enix VGM Folk Band from Boston, Massachusetts.
The World is Square is a 5 Piece Video Game Tribute Band from Boston, MA; focusing on the Classic Years of SquareSoft/Enix Games. They perform songs from titles like Final Fantasy VII, and Chrono Trigger, using a variety of traditional, unconventional and modern instruments.
The Protomen, Those Who Fight, The X-Hunters, Descendants of Erdrick, Br1ght Pr1mate, Armcannon, Powerglove, Metriod Metal, VGO, The OneUps, Vanish Doom, Lords of Thunder, Diamond Machine, & so many more.
DIGBOSTON: What’s happening over at Hub on Saturday? It appears…you’ll not be appearing alone! Jack Turnbull: On Saturday, Hub Comics is hosting three graphic novelists: MK Reed, who is from Brooklyn and currently on a book tour, yours truly, and Tim Finn, owner of Hub Comics. Each artist scans selections from their graphic novels panel by panel and publicly narrates them using Powerpoint. Liz Prince, Dash Shaw, and Nichole J. Georges have done this in the past (to name a few) and the result is surprisingly effective. At the end of the reading there will be a signing and maybe time for a little Q &A. Let me emphasize–the event is free!
MK Reed’s new book seems amazing, Have you seen a preview of The Cute Girl Network? Her newest book, The Cute Girl Network, is actually available now through Hub Comics (and wherever finer graphic novels are sold). I have purposely not read it so I may experience the full effect of her performance. That being said, the synopsis presented sounds like it is a romantic comedy that is simultaneously relatable and eccentric (the best romantic comedies are). Jane, a charming, skateboarding new girl moves to town and quickly falls for Jack (not me; fictional Jack). Everything is right as rain until Jane finds out through what appears to be a a secret conspiracy called “the cute girl network” that Jack has a history and baggage. MK Reed’s newest work has a blurb on the back from the mighty, unstoppable Kate Beaton, author of “Hark! A Vagrant!”. She is high praise, so I’m very excited.
The Gute Girl Network – MK Reed (First Second Books)
And Mr. Finn is reading as well? Tim Finn, owner of Hub Comics and all-around awesome guy, will be reading selections from the always off-beat and legendary cartoonist Fletcher Hanks. Hanks is well known for his odd and non-conventional super hero story structures, high fructose corn syrup color palette, and endlessly inventive imagination. Hanks worked primarily during the golden age of comics (’30s and ’40s). The Comics Journal crowned him the “Ed Wood” of comics. His stories are twisted and “lo-fi” in the best possible way.
I suggest not bringing milk to drink during his reading because the chances of it flying through your nose from laughing too hard are very high.
A New England autumnal tradition is underway in Carver, MA.
The same people that make fun of D&D, LARPERS, and that Ren Faire episode of The Family Guy are the same people making that secret, sacred pilgrimage to King Richard’s Faire each year for the poppy recreation of 16th century England.
Yay though there is mead, wine, cheesy fries, axe throwing and the definitive turkey leg, there is plenty of fun for the whole family there.
Along with an archer, a sorceress and a warrior princess, I headed to King Richard’s Faire this year to see what the kids had to offer at the Prince and Princess Costume contest this past Saturday.
Each weekend at the faire boasts a special event or contest for the Lords and Ladies of the day. Upcoming special events include an epic beard & mustache competition, an adult costume contest, and another children’s costume contest for the best looking Fairies & Pirates in the land. The Faire is only open for a few more weekends, until October 20th, so if you are in New England start packing those leather pouches and chain mail masks into the car for the road trip.
Volunteer judge Amy DellaPosta from the Cape Cod Mommies Blog was joined by Ashley Bunker of Memoirs of a Modern Day Wife alongside Snow White, King Richard, and a court of servants on the King’s Stage to judge and help out our prince and princesses.
Rob Delaney’s career received attention via his Twitter account. As of June 2013, Delaney has 875,300 followers. In 2010, Paste magazine named him one of the ten funniest people on Twitter. In May 2012, he became the first comedian to win the ‘Funniest person on Twitter award’ at the Comedy Central awards. Delaney has written several articles for Vice magazine. In December 2011, Comedy Central announced Delaney would shoot a pilot for a variety show, called “@RobDelaney”. In 2013, Rob was hired to star in the new television show called Big Rob produced by Judd Apatow. This is said to start filming in the Fall. After Kim Kardashian’s divorce from Kris Humphries, Delaney announced on Twitter that he planned on suing Kim Kardashian to prevent the divorce. No lawsuit was ever filed.
BLOGGERS: Weekend Picks Appreciated! Feel free to ask me any questions/requests. Thanks for your continued support.
THIS SUNDAY 8/4 (post-Boston Comic Con)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE!
This Sunday at Church LEAGUE PODCAST in association with Rock On! Concerts presents THE DEAR HUNTER TOUR featuring Stone’s Throw artist HOMEBOY SANDMAN, OPEN MIKE EAGLE and RANDOM aka MEGA RAN with local talent Josh H.W., ELEMENTAL ZAZEN (with DRUMMER), newcomers CLINICAL and PRETENSILE.
Homeboy Sandman’s new record All That I Hold Dear will be released August 6th. The 7-track joint was produced entirely by M Slago, who also produced this track “Easy Does It” featuring YC the Cynic & I Am Many. Sand will tour the US in August & September on The Dear Hunter Tour, with Open Mike Eagle and Random. Tour dates below.
NEW: OPEN MIKE EAGLE
A stand-out in Los Angeles hip-hop collective Project Blowed for almost a decade, Open Mike Eagle has spent the past nine years rapping and grinding hard. It’s paying off an he’s become the “it” indie-rapper of 2013.
“Open Mike Eagle is Suddenly the Hottest Thing in Indie Rap” - LA WEEKLY
“Homeboy Sandman’s new record All That I Hold Dear will be released August 6th. The 7-track joint was produced entirely by M Slago, who also produced this track “Easy Does It” featuring YC the Cynic & I Am Many. “
On the heels of the release of his critically acclaimed LP First of a Living Breed (Stones Throw) and in support of two new projects (Kool Herc Fertile Crescent EP and All that I Hold Dear LP, Stones Throw 2013), his national tour with Brother Ali (Rhymesayers Entertainment), and a headlining tour of Europe, Homeboy Sandman will headline a tour of the US this summer. Open Mike Eagle (Hellfyre Club, Fake Four Inc, Mush Records) and Random aka Mega Ran (officially licensed by Capcom) will support.
Sandman says of the tour, “The Dear Hunter Tour is in promotion of my latest Stones Throw release, ‘All That I Hold Dear.’ I’m blessed to join forces with two musicians also searching for substance, magic, brilliance, love, and truth. We’re going to find them too. When we do, we’re going to share them.”
Kool Herc Fertile Crescent EP (Stones Throw) vinyl/digital relase available now. 8-track release produced entirely by El RTNC (aka Rthentic). The record is an unapologetic homage to old school hip-hop in its bare-bones production, lyrical themes, cover art and even the title. With the blessing of DJ Kool Herc, one of the originators of hip-hop, Sandman pays respect to the pioneering DJ by proudly naming the release in his honor.
Homeboy Sandman is a musician. His genre is hip-hop. An emcee that prides himself on musical growth and evolution, he has adopted as his motto and creative mission statement, “Boy Sand like you’ve never seen him before. As usual.”
Before signing to Stones Throw he’d already been chosen as a coach on MTV’s MADE, featured in preeminent print hip-hop rags XXL and The Source, and perpetually championed on foremost online hubs. And since the signing, his accolades have extended beyond the realm of the hip hop specific. Rolling Stone has noted his “skill for wordplay that keeps you hooked.” NPR has highlighted his “artful, hysterical, disobedient hip-hop that you can dance to.” Pitchfork has straightforwardly dubbed him “one of the best pure lyricists around.”
OPEN MIKE EAGLE
“One of LA’s smartest young voices” says the LA Times…which the artist suspects, may just be a covert way of saying LA is dumb. “Open” Mike Eagle wouldn’t terribly mind, being born and raised in Chicago where the painful winters and his uppity grandparents kept him inside as a youth. He spent his formative years watching alternative music happen on MTV and hoping to one day be able to audition for the Native Tongues. As a young adult after graduating with a degree in Psychology, he did the next best thing and moved to Los Angeles,
joining the Project Blowed collective where he made music and toured with Busdriver, Aceyalone, Abstract Rude, Nocando and more. He’s also gained notoriety in the world of comedy by being invited by professional funny people (Paul F. Tompkins, Hannibal Buress, Matt Besser/UCB) to rap at their shows. He’d like to be rap’s Kurt Vonnegut
but recognizes that he’d first have to create something as iconic as the four-stroke illustration of an anus. He practices by releasing rap albums that delight, entertain, and confuse.
RANDOM aka MEGA RAN
If you put video games, the 80’s, hip-hop, soul music, jazz and standup comedy into a blender and hit “puree,” you’d have something close to The Random Experience.
The self-proclaimed “TeacherRapperHero” made waves by going way left of his backpack roots by combining 8-bit video game sounds and hard hitting hip-hop tracks, and has become a trailblazer in the budding genres of chiptune and nerd-rap. A Capcom cosign and admiration from the genre’s toughest critics has led to placements in TV, movies, university coursework, and of course, games.
Today, Random is no longer a teacher by title, but travels the world to entertain and educate through the gift of facemelting raps.
Boston rapper H.W. dumps his demons - By Martín Caballero | BOSTON GLOBE
Last July, H.W. (short for “Hazardous Wastes”) released one of Boston hip-hop’s most literate, emotionally complex albums of the year in “Wall Papered Exit Wounds.” Delivered in the lyrically dense and raw personal style that has become his signature, the record quietly distinguished itself from the crowded local marketplace by vividly exposing its author’s titular emotional wounds for all to see, allowing listeners to eavesdrop on his internal struggle for peace of mind. It’s occasionally jarring and hardly uplifting stuff, but his gift for articulating pain is a rare one. Yet there’s an important piece of context to note with “Exit Wounds”: The material was recorded six years ago, and the H.W. whose emotional turmoil fueled that record is not the same one who’ll be performing on June 5 at The Sinclair in Harvard Square.
“I hated that record,” H.W., born Josh DeCosta, says bluntly over a midday beer at a bar in Central Square. “The only reason I released it is because people told me it was good and I should put it out.” Naturally, an intensely introspective album in which he struggles to find scraps of optimism within darkness would understandably be difficult to embrace in the same way that a detached listener might. But this isn’t his first release in that vein: “Exit Wounds” built on the foundation of 2009’s “A Year’s Worth of Worry,” where songs like “The End of the Line” established his reputation as a sensitive, emotional lyricist fueled by tumultuous romantic relationships that often ended in heartbreak. In 2013, that’s the reputation he’s working to change.
“It’s unbearable in a way,” says the Fall River native. “I was the guy who did songs about ex-girlfriends, and that’s all it was. And it got sickening being that person. It bothers me in the sense that there are so many more aspects of my personal life. If people talk to me they know that I’m not that person, I’m not that guy who goes home and cries every night and hates myself. I needed something to write about other than that. ‘In the studio I’m hyperly critical and constantly tweaking stuff, while on stage I don’t have enough time to think about it like that.
For someone whose creative output was so closely linked to his state of mind, shifting directions musically first necessitated a change in mentality.
“I based my worth on who I dated, and because of that every relationship was the end-all, be-all. So when those ended, it was devastating to the point that it destroyed by self-esteem. I eventually slowly realized that life doesn’t revolve around relationships. These girls, or these moments in time, as important as they may feel at the moment, are just that. It took a long time for me to understand what I cared about and how to write about what I cared about.” “I’ve seen him grow and mature as a rapper and a performer drastically,” says longtime friend and DJ Emoh Bettah. “Most, if not all, of his earlier songs were about relationships gone sour or about friendships with ex-girlfriends, and I’d often joke with him about it but since then he’s been writing songs about other topics. His music may be too personal for some, but he does what he does well. All of his songs tell a story and he is just being himself, which is what I think people love about him.”
Yet for a rapper with a highly technical lyrical style and no shortage of things to say (“I think I’m way too personal in general, I’m just an over-sharer,” he admits), it’s surprising H.W.’s output isn’t more prodigious: case in point being the long gap between the recording and release of “Exit Wounds.” Rather than adhering to the modern rap marketing scheme of flooding the Internet with new material via social media in search of approval, he takes his work direct to live audiences.
“On stage, there’s something that clicks within me and I am the person who I am with my closest friends,” he says of his shows, which often find him performing unreleased or incomplete songs and interacting with the audience. “I love that feeling, maybe because it’s the sense of self-gratification that I’ve always sought from everything in life. In the studio I’m hyperly critical and constantly tweaking stuff, while on stage I don’t have enough time to think about it like that.”
That said, you’re more likely to hear H.W.’s musical evolution at an upcoming show before you can get it on iTunes. His next release will be the conceptual album “I Only Exist on the Internet,” targeted for late June release, which should show glimpses of the broader material he’s seeking to explore: topics like politics, environmental issues, and yes, maybe even a party jam. It’s not so much a rejection of the melancholic raps of the past, but an appreciation for their role in getting him to this new, more optimistic place in life and music. “I’m not the best rapper ever,” he says. “I just would like to be able to display all aspects of myself. There are way more important things to talk about than my feelings on this one person I care about. The world is crumbling around me; there should be something else I’m able to share. A lot of this new album is about liking life, because I actually like life right now. ” http://longlivehw.bandcamp.com/
The FOURTH ANNUAL STARLABFEST will take place on Saturday, June 15th (June 22nd rain-date). As always, the fest will take place in the parking lot of the studio. It will feature 12 awesome local bands on two stages, free burgers, hot dogs and veggies from the grill as well as free food from local vendors, Narragansett beer and local folks selling their used gear, vintage clothing and other fun stuff. Everyone is welcome!
THE FEST BEGINS AT 12NOON WITH THE FLEA MARKET AND BBQ, LIVE MUSIC BEGINS AT 2PM SHARP.
Rapper MC Frontalot is at the forefront of a hip-hop genre that’s being called “nerdcore.” (Photo courtesy: Adam Merrifield, Flickr/Creative Commons)
MC Frontalot is a 30-something former web designer, graduate of Wesleyan University, and a current resident of Brooklyn. He’ s also at the forefront of the hip-hop genre known as “nerdcore.”
MC Frontalot, also known as Damian Hess, describes himself on Facebook as the world’s 579th-greatest rapper. “This has been scientifically determined by scientists, using science,” he says.
He also tweets, blogs, Tumblr’s, and hosts something called an “open source beat project” on his website, where he also recommends web browser extensions.
MC Frontalot has just released his fifth studio album called “Solved,” and he’ll be performing at the Middle East in Cambridge next Wednesday, November 9th. Ahead of that performance, he spoke with Radio Boston from Jacksonville, Fla.
The original mastermind of Nerdcore Hip-Hop and still its Final Boss, MC Frontalot (nee Damian Hess) takes great pleasure in identifying himself as a professional rapper in polite conversation.
Front was born in San Francisco and grew up in Berkeley. He was tall and gangling, scrawny, had trouble breathing, and could not see well. A special teacher was called in to help him attain basic competence on the monkey bars, another to privately administer standardized tests (his were three grade levels advanced from his classmates). Thusly, he was the most popular kid in his elementary school. Just kidding! He got pushed down a lot and called “nerd.” Did he maybe even deserve it? I mean, really – who strikes out at kickball?
He spent the next twenty years or so trying to get over it. And kind of succeeded! Flash forward to 1999: the dotcom bubble is maximally inflated; nerds everywhere imagine themselves to be popular and/or hip. Damian is getting overpaid to code web pages, which leaves him free in the evenings to play with audio software. A longtime idolizer of rappers, he has been committing his own esoteric hip-hop compositions to four-track tape since high school, revealing them to nobody. Suddenly! Multi-track desktop studios, cheap pro-grade recording hardware, skyrocketing bandwidth, semi-anonymous web publishing – these factors converge on Damian’s rap hobby like a flock of winged monkeys. He posts an MC Frontalot web page, dubbing his output “Nerdcore Hip-Hop” since his audience is composed of several Star Wars figurines who live on his desk (and also random internet people who click on his MP3s by mistake).
Now it is 2010. Nerdcore has metastasized into an internet phenomenon and underground touring powerhouse, with dozens of live acts and more than a hundred home-studio rhymers self-identifying within the subgenre. MC Frontalot, called alternately the movement’s godfather or grandfather (thanks, kids), leads the charge, performing for thousands around the country and at prominent geek gatherings such as the Penny Arcade Expo and BlizzCon. He’s been featured in Newsweek, CNN, The New York Times, Spin, Wired, Blender, XXL, XLR8R, The London Daily Telegraph, NPR, G4TV, Esquire, The Guardian (UK), The Wall Street Journal, and scores of city papers nationally and internationally. He has released four studio albums, Nerdcore Rising (Sept 2005), Secrets From The Future (Apr 2007), Final Boss (Nov 2008), and Zero Day (Apr 2010). The documentary feature, Nerdcore Rising: The Movie, which focuses on Front’s live band and the Nerdcore phenomenon general, debuted at the South By Southwest Film Festival, March 2008, and is currently distributed by Virgil films / B-Side.
Brandon Patton’s newest album, “How I Allegedly Bit a Man in Gloucestershire,” features 13 mostly comical songs that capture hilarity of his live shows opening for MC Frontalot. On the album, he exposes dark family secrets (Mixed-Up Modern Family,) sings anthems about sex acts (Munching the Coch and Kethcup and Mayo,) recalls his time temping and looking for love on an alien planet (My Girlfriend Was Kidnapped by Aliens,) contemplates the limits of friendship (Would You Take a Bullet For Me?) and relates stories about traveling the world and getting into mischief (Big in Japan, Private Jet, How I Allegedly Bit a Man in Gloucestershire.)
Patton posts stories once a month on his webpage, along with a free download of each accompanying song.
About the artist
Brandon Patton, songwriter and instrumentalist, currently resides in New Haven, CT.
Patton also plays bass under the pseudonym BL4k Lotus for MC Frontalot, progenitor of “nerdcore hiphop.” MC Frontalot’s band and its first national tour was the subject of the documentary Nerdcore Rising. The Wikipedia entry on MC Frontalot can be found here.
Patton also performs with playwright Prince Gomolvilas in the underground theater duo Jukebox Stories, called one of the 10 best plays of 2008 by the East Bay Express.
He composed the songs for Love Sucks: the Musical, a Shakespearean take on the punk rock of the 1970s, which won honorable mention at the 2007 New York Musical Theatre Festival.
Patton’s previous album, “Should Confusion,” was nominated for Album of the Year by the 2004 Independent Music Awards.
He also sometimes plays bass for Futureboy and Jonathan Coulton.
About his past
He was born in Grand Forks, N.D., grew up in St. Paul, Minn., and also lived in Trinidad and Tobago for two years when he was young.
Patton has been writing music since he was pre-pubescent. When he was 11 years old, the composer/ethnomusicologist Miriam Gerberg rented a spare room in his mother’s house in St. Paul, MN, and Patton enlisted her help to write his first song, entitled “I’m Not Your Slave,” a protest about household chores. In junior high, when he started listening to punk rock, he and his friends set out to be offensive and brash, penning the songs “Fuck the Nun,” and “Fetus Burger.” With slim pickings in the record collections of his parents (Neil Diamond, Judy Collins) Patton found inspiration in a vibrant DIY counter-culture of zine writers and indie bands who would brandish the word “sellout” and discuss politics in independent coffeehouses and alternative art galleries. Minneapolis was exporting some incredible music at the time, not just the ultra famous Prince, but acts such as the Replacements, Hüsker Dü, the Jayhawks, and Walt Mink.
He attended Wesleyan University in Connecticut, where the music department was ruled by experimental composers and ethnomusicologists. “It was incredible what I was exposed to there,” says Patton, “but there was also this Midwestern voice in my head whispering ‘College is not the real world.’ I didn’t want to become a disciple. And I couldn’t play any of this amazing world music I loved and still have any authenticity.” So in his own writing, he ended up turning toward the rock and pop of his youth. “I got obsessed with trying to figure out who I was in the midst of all of these new influences,” says Patton. “I was searching for an authentic expression of myself.”
After college, his first experience playing music professionally rammed this point home. He spent a summer playing Caribbean music (which he loves) for drunken tourists (not so much) next to a beach volleyball court inside a giant country western bar on Cape Cod (hated it).
His first solo album, “Nocturnal,” was recorded after hours (because there was no soundproofing) in the basement of an office building in Easthampton, Mass. Patton frequently let a homeless friend sleep in the studio, and one night said friend locked himself out of the room wearing nothing but underwear and had to hide under the staircase for an entire work day until Patton happened by.
Patton used to play in the band three against four with Jay Skowronek (Maxeen) and fellow schoolmate Anand Nayak (Rani Arbo and Daisy Mayhem). Nayak and Patton were wandering down a dirt road one day and stumbled upon a decrepit slaughterhouse that turned out to be a recording studio. Inside was audio engineer Mark Alan Miller, who had worked with nearly every rock group in Western Massachusetts, including area royalty J.Mascis. Miller would later mix many of the tracks for their albums, as well as many of the tracks on Patton’s later solo work.
Patton signed a deal with music publisher ACMRecords which has lead to music getting placed onto the soundtracks of several TV shows, including Monster Garage, That 70s Show, and The Real World.
Patton was one of five songwriters to win an internet contest earning an invitation to perform at the Newport Folk Festival in 2004.
The Temecula Film and Music Festival named Brandon Patton Top Music Artist in 2005, but failed to make good on a promise of a free hot air balloon ride.
Math the Band is a electro-punk spazz duo from Providence, RI. They use a combination of old video game systems, analog synthesizers and energy drinks to make the fastest, loudest, most party-est music they can imagine. They’ve only cracked their head open on stage ONCE
The Bombpops have proven to be one of Southern California’s hardest working bands, drawing influences from ’90s skate punk and Fat Wreck Chords bands like NOFX, Lagwagon, Descendents, and No Use For A Name.
Fronted by two girls ripping on guitars and vocals, and backed by dudes holding down a strong rhythm section, The Bombpops offer a fresh, honest, in your face, delivery of catchy melodic pop punk songs.
Formed in early 2008, with members fresh out of (and others still in) High School, The Bombpops quickly established a name for themselves in the So-Cal punk scene opening up for punk rock giants such as Bad Religion, GBH, TSOL, The Adolescents, Strung Out and The Queers.
With their first official EP “Like I Care” released on Red Scare Industries in November 2010, their second EP “Stole the TV” on the way and relentless touring under their belts, The Bombpops have no plans of slowing down.
“Perfect for blasting through some pool corners or for keeping the good attitude going” - EuropeSkate.com
“The Bombpops are a female fronted quartet and a force to be reckoned with… Like I Care delivers some of the quickest and most melodic punk tracks of the year! “- Scene Point Blank
Hailing from the Hallowed grounds of the garage at 123 Centre Street (former home of the “Dropkick Murphy’s” and “Everybody Out”) comes Rick Barton’s latest and greatest incarnation “Continental.”
Continental will never be defined by a particular genre. They blend a unique style of rock, folk,country and blues to as closely follow Gram Parsons mission of “Cosmic American Music.” Some of the initial comparisons have been to Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers, The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, and The Velvet Underground. Continental will be a touring, starving, and hard working band coming to your town.
Remember when punk rock bands played in basements? Tall boys, best friends, bad lighting, and bands without make-up or hair that impaired their depth perception? This is Hands Like Bricks.
A Los Angeles foursome with an idea that punk rock is about best friends having awesome times together, Hands Like Bricks write unpretentious, sing-along anthems that speak to your soul, and voice things we can all relate to. With an impressive punk rock pedigree that stretches from New Jersey to Los Angeles, Hands Like Bricks is bringing punk rock back to the kids that couldn’t find a family anywhere else, whether they are 13 or 37.
Craving a high energy musical fix full of soulful melodies, innate harmonies, and carefully crafted songwriting? SEXCoffee is an alternative rock quintet best served live, loud, or recorded. Sean McCarthy from Standard Times praises SEXCoffee as “a high-energy rock band with a solid reputation”, while The Noise Magazine says “They sound like a band that knows how to carve their own musical path and does so with aplomb.”
Through the in-your-face vocal presence of front-woman Ruth Charbonneau, the dueling guitar riffs of Joey Magnanti (guitar/vocals) & Josh Baptista (guitar), and the thunderous low end rhythm section of Sharlene DeNardo (bass/vocals) and Paul Campbell (drums/vocals), SEXCoffee’s eclectic musical brew is a genre-breaking force in both their recorded and live sound.
Sharing the stage with such high profile acts as Candlebox, Halestorm, Siobhan Magnus (from American Idol) Company of Thieves and Me Talk Pretty, this multi-award winning band maintains and values a competent work ethic along with attention to melodious detail. Once you’ve had a taste of SEXCoffee’s infectious blend, you’ll be feeling satisfied to the last drop!
Come early - Chip’s set opens the night at 8:30! Chip is saddled with the burden of being one of Clay’s closest friends. This Middle East Upstairs debut of the CHIP AND THE CROSSTOWN EXPRESS is going to be epic.
“Just in case you weren’t aware: Jimmy Fallon is my best friend. We opened an old phone museum. Fell in love with a Korean. Soup friends for life. Oh yes, soup friends for life.”- Soup Pals
Boston / New York singer songwriter. Tributes to old phone museums (Old Phone), The Turkey’s Nest in Brooklyn (Soup Pals), Jacket Magazine (Jimmy I Lost My Jacket), Jimmy Fallon , Brooklyn’s G-Train (G Train), Soon Lee from M*A*S*H (Soon Lee), and many more. The Chip and The Crosstown Express EP was produced by Randy Miller and Iyad Kheirbek (Wild Zero, C.O.N.D.O.R.).
Here’s Chip and the Crosstown Express at the Miss G-Train Pageant, 2009.
10/13-10/15 LIVE! ON STAGE Jonathan Richman featuring TOMMY LARKINS on the drums! @MidEastClub
Originally a ‘Google Buzz’ reply
Right when I first started working here at the Middle East, Kieran and I split the door duties for Jonathan’s shows (another 3 night stint) @mideastclub Upstairs.
Jonathan is very private and hates computers and cell phones! God bless him for that, it must be how he maintains his cool!
Before the show, Jonathan hands me a hand written guest list and says “Here’s my list…and if someone thinks they are on the list, (but aren’t) please don’t make them feel uncomfortable…just let them in!”
Show starts, I rip 194 tickets and (all of his shows sell out in advance, he prefers the intimacy and the history of the room at the Middle East Upstairs). By the way, I was also told that The Saters would take care of Jonathan after the shows were over “Next Week”. No large checks or cash was being transacted this evening. This is the kind of honest family business that I work for. Very romantic and cool and old school show biz.
The Marquee reads, according to contract: “LIVE! ON STAGE Jonathan Richman featuring TOMMY LARKINS on the drums!” The show happens, as it has a thousand times before on stages across the world. 200 people are transported to a vineyard in the south of France for an hour and a half as Jonathan soothes everyone’s souls.
After the show, I count and recount the till. I count and recount the door money. I fill out my paperwork (as I will come to do a thousand more times!). I imagine my office a smokey room, like a noir detective novel. There was probably no smoke, but Jonathan had turned on only one light in the room for mood. Here it is happening, as I write this I still cannot believe this to be true! This is a distant dream. A foggy memory, yet I can taste the air. I feel not excitement, in fact, I feel a calm warm spiritual experience as Jonathan Richman was LIVE! in the office playing his guitar and singing. He is playing for himself I am sure, but I was his only audience. I can honestly say this was one of my fondest memories of my life, my job, of music, and of the experiencing something greater than myself.
Yesterday, as I was typing this out (attempt #2!) I got distracted. I had a DJ gig at another bar. Here I was at another desk, 6 years later, putting my required mp3 set list on my iPod. This time in the office, it’s before Jonathan’s set, and I found myself with my eyes closed, my hands across my stomach, fingertips touching (thumb to thumb, index to index, ect.), breathing, eyes closed. It’s just the two of us and it’s happening again. The feeling was familiar, welcome, Zen, spiritual, and relaxing.
Then, as I had a thousand times before, I closed my laptop, disconnected my iPod, and slithered out the door. I felt like I was intruding on his warm up time, I had basked in his moment for exactly how long I needed to. I did not say goodbye but my smile is lasting through to this moment. — Clay S. Fernald, February 20, 2010 1:21 AM
I’m ready to take you on a punk rock ride with some of my favorite bands from out-of-town, The Bombpops (Red Scare Records, San Diego, CA) and Hands Like Bricks (LA, CA)! Joining the soft-coast gang is the venerable Dr. Rick Barton of the Outlets and Dropkick Murphys, with his new project Continental.
Come join me for the 36th Birthday Stitches, it will be a party. Falafel optional at the world famous Middle East Restaurant and Nightclub.
SOMERVILLE, MA – Starlab is a rehearsal space/recording studio run by the members of local bands MOVERS & SHAKERS and SLEEPY VERY SLEEPY.
Last summer Starlab was in need of a total overhaul due to water damage so an outdoor concert/BBQ was held to offset the cost. The fundraiser was a huge success; In the same spirit, this time just for fun, Starlab will be throwing another outdoor summer event.
On the cusp of releasing their second album (recorded at Starlab), MOVERS & SHAKERS will co-headline the event with SLEEPY VERY SLEEPY. They will be joined by an array of local buzz bands including SPIRIT KID, GIRLFRIENDS, RAMMING SPEED, FEDAVEES, EARTHQUAKE PARTY! and TRABANTS.
As well as grilling burgers and dogs (veggie and otherwise), local restaurants will be representing with tasty treats.
FOR MORE INFORMATION , LINKS TO ALL PERFORMERS, AND PHOTOS/REVIEWS OF LAST YEAR’S EVENT VISIT STARLABFEST.COM