Thursday, The Shills continue their month-long residency at O'Brien's Pub (3 Harvard Ave, Allston). Joining them this night are Left Hand Does and Shoney Lamar.
Drug Rug returns to the Middle East Upstairs (472 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge) on Friday. In addition to friend Nina Violet, rootsy local rockers Movers & Shakers (read the Knocks review here) and Mikey French Fries round out the bill.
Be down to pound a few Budweisers (PBR and High Life are so last decade) on Saturday. IPR Booking presents a night of local hard rock at O'Brien's. Cortez headlines, along with Owl Watcher (ex-Hidden) and Blackwolfgoat. Making their Boston debut are Infernal Overdrive featuring Marc Schleicher, formerly of local legends Cracktorch and Quintaine Americana.
Tuesday night, Fenway Recording Sessions present Freelance Whales (Frenchkiss Records), Faces on Film, and Animal Tropical at Great Scott (1222 Commonwealth Ave, Allston).
Old Hannah (read the Knocks interview here) are performing tonight at The Middle East Upstairs. With them are The Points North (Whitehaus Family Record), The Accident That Led Me To The World, and Ryan Lee Crosby (of Cancer To The Stars). Tonight's evening of diverse folk and singer/songwriter stylings is just $9.
Bacchus King (Curve of the Earth Records) is coming out with a new release - you can also catch them at The Middle East Upstairs on Friday, January 8th with Ketman (who also just finished up work on new material), Reverse, and Tired Old Bones.
Finally, we would be remiss in not mentioning that Natick born hero Jonathan Richman is performing three nights at The Middle East Upstairs in February. The Thursday 2/18 night show is sold out, but tickets remain for the 2/16 and 2/17 nights. Being quite familiar with the singer's quirks (He travels with and performs on a tiny PA! Prefers to fetch his dinner himself instead of a lavish backstage rider! Will often just hang out and play after his set is over!) we at Knocks are excited to welcome him back to town and can state pretty definitively that these special shows are not to be missed.
By: Liv Hauck
The Boston electronica band Hot Pink Delorean effortlessly seduces the listener into shakin’ her hips until dawn with ferociously pulsating beats, captivating hooks, and dexterous vocals (highlighted on the track “Get It Girl”). Chris and Jon of Hot Pink Delorean answered my questions via email from Miami.
Recommended songs to download: “Get It Girl”, “Field Agent”, and “Party Favor”
Liv: Are you named after the Northern Irish sports car? If so, why?
Chris: When we started the group we were producing drum and bass under the name Terravita. Our release schedule got backed up and Jon and I were going to electro parties around Boston for fun. Our good friend TJ aka Fantastadon convinced us to make some electro tunes and we did it as kind of a joke. Then a few big electro blogs like Discodust wanted to post the tunes, so we had to come up with a name. We figured we wanted something that pays tribute to the past while letting us explore the future. The only thing that lets you do that is a Delorean (like Back to the Future). We couldn't just be a normal Delorean, so we asked ourselves, "Whats the most ridiculous color a Delorean could be? Hot Pink" Therefore: Hot Pink Delorean.
Liv: What piece of music, song, band, social movement, etc. inspired you to first create music? First musical obsession?
Chris: I grew up playing in punk, hardcore, and metal, and only got into electronic stuff when I was between 16 and 18. I used to love bands like Pantera and Guns n' Roses.
Jon: Since I am the vocalist, I come from Hiphop. My first musical obsession was Rakim.
Chris: Matt [the third member of the band] isn't here in Miami with us because he is playing our drum and bass act out in SoCal right now, but he would say grunge. He is really into Sound Garden and Alice in Chains.
Liv: What's your lyrical/song writing process and inspiration?
Chris: We do so much remix work that we really have to go by what the original artist did and make something out of it that is distinctly Hot Pink Delorean but also keeps the label happy. When we do original tunes it usually starts in the computer with either a hook or a riff and then evolves from there.
Liv: What's your favorite city to play? Favorite live moment?
Jon: It's a toss up. Several places in Europe are great to us, like Edinburgh and Stockholm. But we love rocking our hometown crowd here in Boston. The people get rowdy at our party Sweat. Watch these links from us playing our party earlier this month:
Liv: What are your top five most played songs on your iTunes?
Jon: I listen to a lot of radio believe it or not. So anything by Lil Wayne, The Dream, T Pain, or Akon.
Chris: I honestly don't listen to that much music in my free time because I am always either working or working on something having to do with our own music. I usually end up listening to the radio (I have a weakness for current R&B), or just a recording of DJ mix shows from the UK, like the Essential Mix on BBC1. I do still find the time to rock out to some metal every once in a while though.
Liv: If you all weren't in a band, what would you be doing with your time?
Chris: I would probably be working some boring corporate job, but I would play Lacrosse and snowboard a lot more than I can right now.
Jon: Things wouldn't be much different. I would still spend most of my time playing World of Warcraft.
Chris: Honestly we have all been doing music for such a long time I don't think any of the three of us can have a clear idea of what life would be like without our music.
Liv: What's your favorite drinking game?
Chris: Our job is pretty much one huge drinking game.
Liv: What musician or band would you most love to collaborate with?
Chris & Jon listing together: Outkast, Justin Timberlake, T Pain, Lil Wayne, Method Man, Red Man, Missy Elliot... Theres a ton more.
By: Liv Hauck
A combination of Jim Beam and a desire to change the world produces indie rock band The Honors. The Boston four-piece creates intricate yet accessible rock songs thickly layered with gritty, compelling instrumentation, sophisticated guitar licks, and raspy sincerity. Lead singer Brandon’s passionate vocals are particularly distinguished in “Passing on Blue”; the captivating melody provides the ideal vehicle for an unrestrained, heartfelt lyrical delivery that is one of The Honors’ trademark musical elements.
Jason and Brandon of the band answered questions via email at a coffee shop on tour in Niagara Falls, NY.
Liv: What inspired you to make music together? How did you all meet?
Brandon: Someone once told us that people form bands to either change the world or get laid. I suppose you could say that we are inspired by a good mix of both.
Jason: Brandon and I met while studying English at Regents College in London, England. What began as late night, post-club jam sessions grew into a lasting musical relationship. We reunited several years later in Boston and decided to form The Honors sometime in the winter of 2008. Jason was playing in a successful New England area hip-hop band called The Press Project, and after performing their final show at the 2008 Bonnaroo Music and Arts festival, Jason recruited the hip-hop band's bassist, Roland, to join the new band. Andrew came to Boston to study jazz at the Berklee College of Music, and knew of Brandon through mutual friends, as both Brandon and Andrew hail from the Ohio Valley.
Liv: What inspires your music on a non-musical level? Ie. a book or piece of artwork
Jason: ‘20,000 Leagues Under the Sea’ by Jules Verne. Anything involving the ocean, really.
Liv: What was your very first show like?
Brandon: We had so much fun we can’t really remember.
Liv: What has been your biggest conflict to over come as a band or as individual musicians?
Brandon: Who gets to sit shotgun on tour.
Liv: How has the relationship within the band changed over time?
Brandon: We used to shake hands. Now we give hugs.
Liv: What does the near future hold for The Honors? Ten years from now?
Jason: Lots and lots of touring, meeting new people (preferably lovely ladies), empty bottles of whiskey, shoe polish, Walmart parking lots, Mark Jacobs, releasing a debut album, legendary fame in Japan.
Brandon: Ten years from now doing all the same things but in a world we helped to change.
Liv: What's your pre show/post show routine? Describe your rock show experience?
750ml of Jim Bean
1 to 3 windsor knots
Engaging as many lovely ladies as possible. Spice to taste.
30 Pack of Miller High Life, so every lady gets a drink at the afterparty.
Jason: If you're a female, like to dance, party, have fun, and forget the day to day bull shit that inundates all our lives, then this is the show for you. If you're a male, and like to look at females dancing, partying, having fun, and forgetting the day to day bull shit that inundates all our lives, then this is the show for you. Party on!
Liv: Favorite studio experience?
The Honors: The initial play back of a new song. Least favorite? Waiting around for the engineers to set everything set up.
Liv: What song do you wish you had written?
The Honors: ‘Love Game’ by Lady Gaga.
By: Liv Hauck
Eclectic musical backgrounds coalesce magnificently in the folk revival force that is Old Hannah. All from different parts of the country, members Tyler, AK, Morganne, Sean, and Blade came together in Boston, and started Old Hannah in November of 2008. The band mainly plays in hootenannies around New England, and is working on their first album. With inspiration like Appalachian and Catskillian folk music, spirituals, and Peter Paul and Mary, the band intends to “…bring historical American music back into the forefront,” as articulated by singer AK.
The songstress of Old Hannah delivers the folk resurgence with a unique variation; above the accompaniment of Pete Seeger-esque banjo and guitar instrumentation drifts and glides a distinctly classically trained singer. AK reflects on how her musical education benefits her folk singing: “I couldn’t sing the way I do now without having studied opera and vocal performance; the focus on control and breath support affords me so much more nuance in my voice that I couldn’t get a grip on when I was younger. Studying classical music gave me a rock-solid foundation to build on.” AK effortlessly sustains the long, languid folk melodies sweeping up and down the octaves, proving the technical mastery of her craft. She moves between brooding croons and soaring, poignant high notes without so much as a break to breath.
Knocks had the good fortune to email back and forth with the band:
What’s your pre/post concert routine?
AK: “It depends on the venue. If it’s a hootenanny, there is whiskey involved for me. If it’s not, usually we just hype each other up until we perform so we have boundless energy to get a crowd really excited.”
Tyler: “After shows we like to smile, smoke a lot of cigarettes (minus AK), and receive hugs.”
Tyler: My friends, especially Vikesh Kapoor and Nicholas Beaven, are my chief influences. Not that I try to sound like them but that I sort of write to them; I write songs with them in mind, thinking, “Would Vikesh and Nick like this?” Also, I’ve listened to the new Spitzer Space Telescope album about nine times this week; it’s incredible.
AK: We really like Bessie Jones and Sam Amidon, too!
What’s your song writing process?
Tyler: I started out writing simpler songs because I sang everything; I’m limited as a singer. But playing with AK allows me to write more elaborately because I have all the confidence in the world in her as a singer. The songs I sing have easier melodies, whereas the songs I write for AK are more complex in terms of rhythm, leaps, faster singing, and key changes. She makes it sound effortless.
AK: One of our more popular songs, “Hidden Shore”, was written over e-mail; Tyler sent me a recording of the guitar and I wrote a melody and lyrics, recorded them over his guitar track, and then sent the whole file back to him.
Where do you see the band in five years?
AK: At least two albums, and touring like crazy.
Tyler: I also plan to start a side project called Gayclad Lightclad. AK really wants to play the keytar, so it’ll be our keytar band.
On “Hidden Shore”, a demo track found on the band’s Myspace and mentioned by AK above, it’s as if the singer shares a secret with the listener. AK’s lilting, sincere voice casually relays sweet lyrics over the lightly strumming guitar. The intimacy is almost disconcerting; AK quietly but firmly leaves her voice resonating in one’s soul long after the music ends. Unfortunately, the mix is uneven, and AK’s vocals are lost once or twice behind the loud guitar.
Old Hannah performs with Vikesh Kapoor, Barna Howard, Spitzer Space Telescope, and Lonesome Vince & Friends - Thursday, September 10th at The Central Square YMCA Theatre (820 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge). 7pm show - it's "A Grand Ole Hoot!"