OUR EYES ON YOU Feb 2007

rita_lolita.jpg Lolita : From the looks of it, '007 already appears to be a year of action. The Noise is taking a step into the future. The March issue of The Noise will be online-only. So on 3/1/07 look online instead of on the magazine racks. Rita : And by the spring The Noise
websites will be overhauled to represent the technical state of the
art. Just wait 'til our readers can respond to reviews right on the
site. Lolita : But we're getting ahead of ourselves. This issue
(February 2007) gushes about the Boston music scene. We've got the 2006
poll results, The Noise writers's Top Ten lists for 2006, and Rita and I will focus on the best who, what, and where of the Boston music scene. Rita : To show you what we mean, Lolita is going to ask our first Question of the Month—“Who is your favorite Boston musician?” CORIN ASHLEY (Corin
Ashley): I have a lot of favorites, but Russell Chudnowski is
undoubtedly the finest guitar player in town. I'm not actually one for
guitar heroes, but he's mine. His playing is so tasteful and
exciting—it always has the vibe of someone with immense skill just
winging it and skating by with ease. Plus, he likes my voice, so I'm
naturally inclined to think he has great taste. *** WILLIE ALEXANDER (… & the Boom Boom Band): David Minehan is my answer. If ya gotta ask why… oh what did Fats Waller say? *** KEN CMAR
(Wonderdrug Records): Bill Damon (vocalist for Toxic Narcotic/Mouth
Sewn Shut). Bill rules. Not only has he fronted Toxic Narcotic for the
past 15-plus years, he somehow manages to also sing for Mouth Sewn Shut
and run his record label, Rodent Popsicle records—which puts out about
10 releases a year. Bill's got a very distinctive vocal style and he's
a great lyricist as well. One listen to the classic Toxic song
“Asshole” and you'll know what I mean! *** MONIQUE ORTIZ (A.K.A.C.O.D.):
My favorite Boston musician is drummer Jerome Deupree… hands down.
I've never played with anyone that is so versatile, dynamic, fun to
play with, and can retell a story a hundred times without changing a
single detail. He's not only one of the best drummers in Boston , but
probably the world… and did I mention he's just a damn nice guy? *** JOEY BOY
(Red Invasion): Chaz Mathews, solo artist and former singer/ guitarist
for The Dimestore Halos. This guy has been writing some of the best
punk/ powerpop/ rock 'n' roll songs in Boston for the past 10 years.
There are too many should-be anthems to list in The Halos catalog and
his solo album (despite the lack of a backing band) is filled with
gems. The Halos, in my humble opinion, is the most under-rated Boston
punk band from the entire '90s/ early '00s. They didn't deal with the
scene well, but the songs were always top notch. Chaz is still writing
music and I hope he never stops. *** TIM CASEY (Low Budget
Records): Phil Kaplan—for “That's Why We Fight” and “Everybody Lies,”
from the upcoming Live at the Midway DVD. *** COREY BUCKINGHAM
( Rock City Guitars/ Topheavy): Gino Caira is one of the best rock
guitarists to ever play in Boston . He has the charisma as a frontman
vocalist/ guitarist that most of us will never have. His live
performances always seem effortless. His newest album, G.C. Sinner,
showcases his amazing playing, vocals, taste, and style. A truly
underrated member of the Boston rock scene! *** NICK BLAKEY
(The In Out): There was this schizophrenic and semi-homeless guy Rick
who played the most incredible free jazz on saxophone down on
Huntington Avenue near the YMCA and in Harvard Square in the early
1990s. He got his sax stolen, so he switched to trumpet. Then he got
his teeth kicked in, so he started to play blues harp. One of the few
times I spoke with him, he told me he was really into the Dave Clark
Five. I haven't seen him around since the late '90s, and sadly I don't
think he ever recorded anything, but he inspired me greatly. *** NANCY NEON ( The Noise ):
Jeff Conolly has been my fave since seeing DMZ in 1976. Hearing him
play in 2000 inspired me to move to Boston , hoping to work with him.
His version of “I Confess” inspired me anew—“August is the time to
start a Lyres residency!” The slow version of “She Pays The Rent” on
Some Lyres displays Conolly's soulful vocals. While On Fyre is my all
time fave album, some of Conolly's most energized playing and singing
is on The Early Years. Because his voice and Vox organ have rocked
exponentially harder in recent months, performance is where Conolly
truly rules. *** MR. CURT (Mr. Curt Ensemble): It would too
unfair to list a singular fave person because I totally believe in the
totality and diversity offered by this fine city through the past four
decades, which I have been privy to. But I will offer Jonathan Richman
& the Modern Lovers, as a symbol of all that was and could be.
Their first album is pure classic and a grand template for all that
followed. Plus, as a bonus, he's still creating music. Bravo! *** MIKE RIVARD
(Club d'Elf): Mark Sandman—even though he's been dead for seven years,
I still feel Mark's influence, and sadly, I don't think that anyone has
come along to fill his shoes since his passing. He was such an
incredible force and had such a singular vision, as well as the skills
of a renaissance man with which to bring the vision into reality. He
heard a sound in his head, and invented instruments with which to make
that sound come to life, like other mavericks before him had done, such
as Harry Partch. And he schooled a whole generation of musicians in his
sometimes vivid, sometimes noirish approach, which was minimal but
detailed and rich. The fullest realization of his aesthetic was the
final Morphine album, The Night. Check it out if you have not already. Lolita : In fact, any Morphine album is worth checking out.

 

{mospagebreak title=Rock News}

ROCK NEWS

Rita : Remember, when Lolita uses the word “album” it's code for
“package.” Here now the news… WBCN's 29th Annual WBCN Rock 'n' Roll
Rumble will be held at Harper's Ferry this year running from April 1 to
April 20. *** HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy), a band of mothers from
Sharon, MA, got TV coverage from the Today Show and a TV reality show Rocker Moms
(13 shows) is in the works that focuses on each member's life for
network release this spring and summer. *** If you're a high school
band (you can have one non-high school member) check out the
WBCN/Berklee College of Music Battle of the High School Bands. 3/12/07
is the deadline to submit your entry form that you can obtain at
aftermidnightmusic.com. *** RICHARD MARR has opened the new Galaxy Park recording studios in Allston—check out the 15-foot ceilings and skylight. *** DAVID MINEHAN let
us know that the official opening for the new Woolly Mammoth is slated
for 2/1/07 (Murphy's law aside). *** The Garment District acquired
Boston Costume and moved all its contents into their store at 200
Broadway in Cambridge . *** MARTIN DOYLE is booking The
Basement (at the Baseball Tavern— 1306 Boylston Street in the Fenway)
for booking contact Martin at mfdoverdraught@hotmail.com .Opening night
is 2/2/07 with ALL MOD CONS (a tribute to The Jam) headlining. *** ANDERSON MAR
(othniel77@yahoo.com) is booking the Skybar now. She's looking for all
genres—bands that can draw—and not with a crayon. *** Tir Na Nog (home
for many roots musicians) lost its lease and now is looking for a new
home in Union Square . *** Here's something different for rockers to
try—a roller disco party at Chez Vous ( 11 Rhoades St. on the
Dorchester and Mattapan line next to the police station). It's on
Thursday 2/8 from 8:00 pm to midnight. Go to myspace.com/bostonrollerboogie
for more info. *** CBS Corp. has revived CBS Records. The new CBS label
is starting out small with three artists, and two of them are from the
Boston area— WILL DAILEY and SeÑor Happy . The latter had their song “Love If You're Real” air on an episode of Ghost Whisperer . *** LOU SUSI (Beware the Haberdash) became a grandpop with the entrance of Gabriel. Lolita : How many other rock 'n' roll grandparents are out there? *** ART JANAKAS
(CD Spins) has opened a new store called Coda Accessories at 58 Winter
Street, Boston (it's off Tremont Street ). *** THE REAL KIDS will be
touring Europe this May. *** THE BEAST WITH TWO BACKS did 12 shows in
six cities during their tour of China . Check out their video of
“Educate Your Body” at www.beastwith2backs.com . *** FLUTTR EFFECT's headquarters, the home TROY KIDWELL (guitarist) and VESSELA STOYANOVA
(marimba player), was badly dammaged after a fire broke out in an
adjoining apartment. *** REVEREND GLASSEYE is making the permanent move
to Austin , Texas . The band will be changing direction and ADAM GLASSEYE will be spending more time being a dad. Lolita :
That could mean he'll be doing more kid songs. *** U.V. PROTECTION has
Clean, Modern, Comfortable , a 12-video DVD, ready for release. Where's
V66 when you need them? *** BIG D & THE KIDS TABLE are currently
touring Europe with DROPKICK MURPHYS. *** Black Fortress of Opium is
working on a full-length CD with MARTIN BISI in early
February. Martin has worked with Iggy Pop, Brian Eno, The Dresden
Dolls, Lydia Lunch, and many more. *** BIM SKLA BIM has been getting
airplay with several songs on VH1. The station is using the band's
songs in the background for their “100 Best”-type shows. *** Berklee's
Battle of the All-Female Bands is accepting submissions now—deadline is
February 16 to submit—from groups that contain at least one Berklee
student or alumna. Please visit www.berklee.net for complete submission information. *** Drummer DONNY BLANEY
(Ways To Fall) went into in the hospital for overnight observation
because his heart was not beating correctly. He technically died (his
heart stopped beating) and doctors had to start his heart back up. He
was released from the hospital at 3:00 pm the next day and played a
rock show five hours later at the Bullfinch Yacht Club. Lolita : Wow, that's pretty impressive.

{mospagebreak title=Behind the Scenes}

BEHIND THE SCENES

Rita : Other impressive people are those who stand behind the scenes and help make the magic happen. Lolita :
Let's find out who some of the more note-worthy ones are. I'll ask
musicians to “Name your favorite behind-the-scene person in the Boston
music scene?” JESSE VON KENMORE (The Pug Uglies): Joanie
Lindstrom (WMBR). For 20 years Joanie has been brining the finest in
punk, underground, garage, and metal to the wasteland of FM radio. She
is a heroic true believer, wikkid nice gal with impeccable taste who is
a huge part of what makes Boston such a great place to be a musician.
Hail! *** KRIS THOMPSON (The Lothars/Concord Ballet Orchestra
Players): I appreciate the creativity that Tony Confalone puts into the
bookings that he's been doing at P.A.'s Lounge. *** LIZ BORDEN
(Liz Borden Band/ Bang Chicks): One of my favorite behind the scene
persons is “the road crew.” Why? Most work for free and get no glory.
There are too many of them to name but my roadie Bob, picks up the
equipment, sets it up, makes sure we are okay and puts up with my
bullshit. Throughout the years I have worked with many great roadies
and they really made my life much easier. For whatever reason they do
it—drinks? Drugs? Groupies? Love of music? Who knows? Everyone should
really give them a big shout out. *** JUSTIN BERTHIAUME
(Chicken Slacks): My vote would go to Fitzy (Richard Fitzgerald),
proprietor of the Cantab Lounge. He's kept live music running there
seven nights a week since your grandmother was one of the “hot college
chicks.” Of course I'm biased because the band (Chicken Slacks) plays
there every week, but its unpretentious vibe, wide variety of music
(blues, bluegrass, funk, soul, open mike, jam nights) and the
incredible diversity of people that love the place make it my favorite
off-night hang. And someday I know he's gonna fix up the bathrooms…
Cheers Fitzy! *** TIM MUNGENAST (Tim Mungenast & His
Preexisting Conditions): I'd say Joe Feloni. When he worked at the Sky
Bar, he was good to us three ways: (1) Booking us on great bills; (2)
Running the PA so that everybody sounded wonderful; and (3) Always
being willing to talk about guitar… and this guy knows a thing or two
about guitar! (He recently left the Sky Bar to concentrate on gigging,
and the lovely Anderson Mar is now doing the booking.) *** MR. B
(The Humanoids): Alvan Long from the Curve of The Earth label to New
Alliance studios (now in it's second location). Alvan has been there
and always will. He is an amazing individual and a great friend. *** JOHN POWHIDA (The Rudds): Lolita Flange always manages to jack my spirits up behind the scenes. Lolita : Guess what “jack my spirits” is code for?

{mospagebreak title=Musical Chairs}

MUSICAL CHAIRS

Rita : I don't know, but does it have anything to do with
touching his… Meaty, Beefy, Big & Bouncy is a new tribute to The
Who consisting of TODD SPAHR (guitar), CORIN ASHLEY (bass), FRANK MARSH (drums), and RAY NEADES (vocals). They are playing at the Abbey on 2/17/07. *** MYKE DOYLE
(x- Making It Right) now sits on the drum stool for SILENT SERVICE. ***
CHANDLER TRAVIS has put together a new outfit called MODERN MATURITY
that includes DINTY CHILD (Session Americana) on mandocello and accordion, KEITH SPRING (x-NRBQ) on keys, KEN FIELD (Birdsongs of the Mezozoic) on alto sax, JOHN STYKLUNAS (Mrs. Zorro) on string bass, and RICKKI BATES
(Incredible Casuals) on percussion. *** The Stormin' Mormons , a
self-describesd rock 'n' roll disaster of the very best kind, consists
of POPE DESIREE XIII (x-Blanche Devereaux/ Tootsie & The Fucks), JEFF CREEP (x-Midnight Creeps), MC LUSCIOUS (x-Drunken Desperadoes), and MARIA SANGRIA. *** ERIK LINDGREN
has signed up as bassist for THE RISING STORM—a Boston band from the
'60s. They have a short European tour set up for June. *** THE
ALLSTONIANS' original lead singer, KING K (mysteriously
missing since the turn of the century), joined them on the stage of The
Kirkland in January. *** AD FRANK & THE FAST EASY WOMEN have added DANA PRICE (x-Ziaf) on keys, and brought LINDA BEAN (Permafrost/ Frigate) out of retirement to pick up her bass again. *** CHRIS PEARSON (x-Green Magnet School) and DAVE Y (Dear
Old Stockholm Syndrome) have formed a new project, EKANOPLAN, which
will feature a rotating cast of guests both live and in the studio. ***
MEandJOANCOLLINS is BO BARRINGER (The Collisions/ Caged Heat) singing and playing guitar, MATT GRABER (Sarah Rabdau & The Self-Employed Assassins/ Mascara) on drums, NOAH SCANLON (Sand Machine/ x-Shelley Winters Project) on bass, JEN GRYGIEL (x-Steel Poniez) on guitar and vocals, and JESS BARNETT (Energy/
Druids) on keys and vocals. They play their first show on Thursday,
February 15 at the Abbey Lounge. *** Rebecca Nurse is now known as T he
Radionics . Lolita : This must have happened when the nurse stood too close to the x-ray machine without wearing her lead schmock.

{mospagebreak title=Top Three Organizations}

TOP THREE ORGANIZATIONS

Rita : Smock? Win a quarter page ad by naming the late night TV
show host who used to randomly burst out “Schmock schmock” and get a
laugh (send your answer to tmaxnoise@aol.com). Now Lolita will get a
sample of the top three organizations that do the most for the Boston
music scene. KIER BYRNES (Three Day Threshold): I have to give
props to Camp Street Studios. While everyone there is great, I have to
say that Adam Taylor has been unbelievable to work with. If he's not
famous yet, he soon will be. Secondly, if you're looking to do
pre-production for an album or just for a place to jam, Jamspot is your
spot. You couldn't ask for a nicer staff. Lastly, Boston just wouldn't
be what it is without Jeff Marshall ( Paradise ) and Ryan Vangel
(Paradise/Axis/ The Roxy). These guys keep this town flooded with cool
music. *** TIM CASEY (Low Budget Records): The Noise —for
keeping the flame going. The Midway Cafe in JP—the best place to hear
live music in Boston . The Kirkland Café—seems like everybody plays
there. *** NICOLE TAMMARO (Nicole Tammaro Photography): 1.
Robin Goodhue (Ammonia Records/ Cambridge Elk) has the only Boston-area
all ages hardcore punk show going. Almost every weekend there is a show
at Cambridge Elk with local, national, and international punk,
hardcore, and metal bands. 2. Bill Damon (Rodent Popsicle Records)—RPR
is a local punk record label that includes Toxic Narcotic, Mouth Sewn
Shut, Darkbuster, Tommy & the Terrors, and The Profits. RPR
promotes the sale of their CDs in what is left of small independent
record and punk stores. 3. Martin Doyle (the Baseball Tavern— Boylston
Street ) is running a new hardcore spot. Look for Tommy & the
Terrors and Gang Green to be heading some shows there soon. *** DAVE PINO (Seemless): This is a hard question to answer but off the top of my head I think The Noise / Phoenix
combo, the Central Square corner Middle East / T.T. The Bears venues,
and New Alliance / Wonderdrug duo stand out as keystones to the Boston
music scene. Does that count as three or six? They've all shown a lot
of love towards so many musicians in Boston . They help inspire and
motivate a lot of kids. Same goes for all others of it's kind, but I
had to pick only three. Lolita : I think Dave uses “pick” as code for something else.

{mospagebreak title=Favorite Boston Musician}

FAVORITE BOSTON MUSICIAN

Rita : We'll there's a lot of “picking” going on here. Lolita,
why don't you ask more of your buddies to “pick” their favorite Boston
musician? Lolita : I'm right on top of him… I mean “it.” PETER C. JOHNSON
(solo): A few names of generous, kind, modest, and skilled artists: Asa
Brebner, Billy Conway, Dana Colley, Rick Berlin, Laurie Sargent, Linda
Viens, Tim Gearon, John Cate, David Champagne, Andrew Mazzone, Jabe,
Dennis Brennan, Billy Loosigian, Billy Beard, Kevin Shurtleff, Mike
Castalana, Ian Kennedy, Kris Delmhorst, Shaun Wortis, Clint Conley,
Paul Ahlstrand, Monique Ortiz, Session Americana, Peter Wolf, Bo
Berringer, Chandler Travis, Jennifer Kimball, David Minnehan, and Jimmy
Ryan. Put them in a room together and something beautiful will
happen—count on it. I say stop the awards and the silly polls. They
detract from the state of grace that we inhabit together. *** LOU SUSI
(Beware the Haberdash): I'd have to say Chris Mascara. The guy is just
over the top with his power trio. I mean, anyone who saw what went down
during “High School” back at The Midway last fall knows that the guy
brings it each and every time—rawk perfection incarnate. *** FRANCIS DiMENNO (Wrong Hero/ The Noise ):
Daved Hild is my hero, for his role in bringing The Girls' 1979 single
“Jeffrey I Hear You” to fruition via David Thomas' Hearthan Label. The
song packs a whole novel's worth of feeling, and is perhaps the very
best example of what has made the Boston music scene such an
interesting field of study over the last 30 years. *** JASON HALOGEN
(The Luxury): It's going to sound cheeky, but the brightest star in
Boston for me is Steve Foster, our drummer. Not only is he a fantastic
drummer, but he did something amazing this year: he recorded a 14-track
record from top to bottom entitled Steve Foster & his Christmas
Chickens , in which he re-wrote every major Christmas carol as a song
about either befriending or cooking and eating chickens. Songs like
“Ovens We Have Set On High” and “You're Beginning To Look a Lot Like a
Chicken” will not soon fade from my playlist. All of you should be so
dubiously lucky. *** BROTHER CLEVE (Del Fuegos/ Wheelers &
Dealers): I think my favorite Boston musician after all these years is
Dennis McCarthy, god of drums. So many bands since the early '80s, so
many styles, and still he gets better all the time. From The Prime
Movers then to The Prime Movers now, and especially those years that he
and I played together in the Wheelers & Dealers. He's back behind
the drums making it look easier than it is, and he hasn't spilled a
drink yet. *** MC LUSCIOUS (Stormin' Mormons): For a favorite
musician I'd have to go with Jay Allen. The man is a one-man rock 'n'
roll juggernaut that has a song for every situation. His whole record (
Fun is Fun But This is Insanity ) is great but if I had to pick one
song I go with “Frying Pan Justice.” I know that feeling. *** MARTY WHITE
(Mr. Curt Ensemble/ The Couper Brothers): I know I am going out on a
limb here, but the most underrated and amazingly talented musician not
only in this city, but in any city, is Mark Bowden—lead guitar player
for the Emily Grogan Band. The fucking guy's solos have actually moved
me to tears on more than one occasion. And no one, and I don`t care
what anyone says, can do what that guy does with an E-bow. I know I
have support on this one. He is truly a musician's musician. And one of
the humblest guys out there, too. *** PHIL AYOUB (Phil Ayoub):
Aaron Perrino. I still listen to the Sheila Divine songs and think “How
did this band not take over the world?!” And to see him continue to
write incredible songs with Dear Leader, like “Raging Red”: “Hands
are… sh-sh-sh-shakin', raging red it's yours for the takin'!” It's
such good shit! It's actually caused me to get few speeding tickets.
Think I could get him to reimburse me for them? *** DAMIAN DAVID
(4” Stud): My favorite Boston musician would have to be John Brookhouse
(guitarist in Irreverends). Listen to him on Irreverends self-titled
LP. What killer tone! When can we expect that full-length album they
started recording what feels like ages ago? *** ERIK LINDGREN
(Birdsongs of the Mesozoic/Arf Arf Records): Willie Loco Alexander has
spanned four generations and he is still on the cutting edge. Besides,
he wears makeup on stage and looks like a Bimbo. Willie is our New
England musical treasure and the Godfather of Boston punk. We should
have named the third harbor tunnel after him. *** RAY MASON
(Ray Mason Band/ Lonesome Brothers): I have way too many favorites to
pick just one, but today I'm going with Charlie Chesterman. Charlie
brings the roll back to rock! One of America 's best non-trendy,
no-frills songwriters with a band to match. Check out “Skunk On The
Loose” or “Ham Radio” and you'll know what I mean. Why do so many of my
faves get described as “best-kept secrets”? Rita : It's because Lolita wants to keep them all to herself.

{mospagebreak title=Clubland}

CLUBLAND

Lolita : That's not true. Look, I'm willing to divulge
top-secret information right here. It's Mardi Gras season, so get a
gold, green, and purple outfit together and “pick” your favorite
musicians. Then go see them play. *** Fluttr Effect plays (first show
since their fire) the Middle East Downstairs on Friday, 2/9—it's
Strictly for the Birds ' CD release party. *** MUCK & THE MIRES
shake up the Abbey on Saturday, 2/10. *** Over at Skybar, on that same
night, THE CRYBABIES play their final show. *** The Kirkland celebrates
Mardi Gras on Friday, 2/16, with Chicken Slacks Soul Revue leading the
parade. Host MICKEY BLISS reminds us that the customary restraints of law and morality are thrown aside during Mardi Gras. Lolita :
Perfect for indiscriminant “picking.” *** On that same night (2/16) THE
RUDDS invade Johnny D's. *** On Saturday, 2/17, Shaun & Suzi's
Mardi Gras Ball takes place at T.T. the Bear's with a load of special
guests. *** Same night LYRES are at the Kirkland . *** On Saturday,
2/24, it's Bang Camaro' s CD releases party at the Paradise . ***
DARKBUSTER holds their second annual Hometown Throwup at The Abbey from
Sunday, 2/18, to Saturday, 2/24. Rita : Remember, our next issue will be online-only—go to www.thenoise-boston.com on Thursday, 3/1. It's a date! Okay? Lolita : Okay! But can I “pick” someone to come with me?

RIP: JON ERIK JOHNSON (Lenny & the Piss Poor Boys
bassist/ Noise Board moderator) passed away on 1/17/07 of complications
from a seizure. At the moment, four shows are planned to celebrate his
life—February 8, 9, and 10 at The Basement ( 1270 Boylston Street ),
and Sunday, February 11, at the Abbey Lounge. Visit www.thenoiseboard.com for line-ups and more information. The shows will benefit the Jon Erik Memorial Fund.

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