The Void Union (comprising Westbound Train stars Rich Graiko on trumpet, Jessie Hays on drums and Thaddeus Merrit on bass along with Alex Stern on guitar and Anant Pradhan on sax) brings a touch of soul and a jazzy vibe to that classic ska sound. Their upbeat tunes sway in and out of stellar solos, group jams and more groovin', chilled-out breaks, easily startin' up the dance party and keepin' it long into the night. With The Toasters, Destroy Babylon and Dave Hillyard of The Slackers on the bill, plus who knows how many other bands, the party may go until the next day...
Three Floors of Ska first kicked off in NYC's Knitting Factory years ago before spreading over to Hollywood, Boston and Atlanta. Join the celebration for a skankin' good time and be sure to catch The VU!
Where: The Middle East, 472/480 Mass Avenue, Cambridge
When: TONIGHT, Saturday the 25th, 8 pm
Why: Because "Ska is Dead!"
Boston's punk/pop trio Muy Cansado releases their rockin' new EP, Love and Fear, tonight at The Middle East Upstairs. Their first record in two years features new versions of old songs plus a surprising folky flair and the same catchy melodies Muy Cansado is famous for. Only $10 for a killer lineup, featuring Brooklyn stars The Press:
Check out the Facebook event and have a rockin' time on the dance floor!
The Middle East is located at 472 Massachusetts Avenue in Cambridge, Mass.
For the second week in May, Knocks is focusing on some of the harder stuff to make you sweat during this unseasonably cool spell.
First up, doom stars The Proselyte (left) headline O'Brien's this Thursday. Knocks isn't really sure if the band is going to fit their full guitar stacks onto O'Brien's tiny stage, but we will surely be packing earplugs nevertheless. This show marks the return of guitarist Nicholas Wolf, on the mend from an injured arm. Also performing are Pride Parade, Music Hates You, and Zip-Tie Handcuffs.
As Saturday rolls around, we're going to be kicking it at O'Brien's a little longer. Roadsaw is practically an Allston Rock City supergroup. They have the sound trademarked. Slim Jim and the Mad Cows bring the country-friend metal. Or is it metal-friend country? Opening the night are The Country Doctors, who are liable to get the regulars cryin' into their whiskey can.
At the Paradise Rock Club this upcoming Monday, Boston welcomes wayward warriors Cracktorch back to the stage.
Born out of the seemingly-limitless talent pool that was Boston around the turn on the millenium, The Torch burned brightly for nearly a decade before going their separate ways. Formed by Quintaine Americana bassist Marc Schleicher and Vehicle Birth guitarist Chris Jackson, Cracktorch debuted in 1997 with a split album alongside Los Conquistadores. Wearing a heavy Helmet influence upon their sleeve, the album (dubbed Lost Pony Soldier Tales) was a blend of hard riffage and dark humor. Crispin Glover quotes! Crazy sound collages!
Joined by bassist Staci Fick and drummer Nick Zampiello (Campaign For Real Time), the band went on to become finalists at the annual WBCN Rock N Roll Rumble in 2001. Along with opening for the newly reunited Mission of Burma, as well as Queens of the Stone Age and Murder City Devils, Cracktorch released Cracktorch... Is Not The Problem in 2002, debuting a sound highly indebted to The MC5 and The Who, even going so far as to include 4 songs at the end of the album showcasing each member's varied personality. The band was also a live favorite, in no small part due to charismatic frontman Schleicher.
New bassist Bob Maloney (Quitter) joined shortly following Fick's departure to return to school. Continuing with their high profile Boston shows opening for Kings of Leon, as well as touring, the band was kept busy. Schleicher and Zampiello formed the production team Cokedealer, Maloney was an in-demand graphic designer, and Jackson a talent buyer at The Middle East as well as for the NEMO festival. Their third album Tonight The City featured increased contributions from Jackson as well as Maloney, forming a vocal triple threat.
However, this partnership was to be short lived, and the group went their separate ways in the latter part of the decade. This reunion show is their first in years. Joined by Violent Soho, West-Coast punks The Bronx, as well as their side project Mariachi El Bronx, Monday night will be quite the Boston rock reunion.
Regular Boston reviews / features will be resuming shortly. In the meantime, we wanted everyone to be aware of two shows this week!
This Thursday, up-and-coming roots rockers Movers and Shakers (read the Knocks review here) are opening for Atlanta GA freaksters The Black Lips at The Middle East Downstairs.
Orchestra Morphine return to The Middle East Downstairs this Friday. Morphine, fronted by the late, legendary Mark Sandman, pioneered the "low rock" sound, and continue to perform in various incarnations to this date.