Mr. Max’s Message 03/11

– March 2011



This is our online-only issue and we have Des from the Magic Room on the cover. Des has worn many hats in the music scene. He runs the Sound Museum rehearsal studios (the Magic Room is located there. He's also played in one of Boston most outrageous bands—the Bentmen. I had to bring that up because I am part of Bentmen folklore. Sometime back in the late '80s or early '90s the Bentmen were playing Spit on Lansdowne Street. Des walks out on stage in a soldier's outfit with a seven-foot long bazooka over his shoulder, and a helmet with rockets strapped on each side. He aims the bazooka over the heads of the audience and fires at the back wall (this kind of stuff is no longer legal). I'm right in the front row to get photographs for the Noise. I look through my viewfinder to focus on Des and all I see is bright light. Then I feel the side of my face is hot and smell the distinctive odor of burning hair–my hair is burning! Luckily I had put my camera up to my face right when Des shot off one of the rockets on his helmet—it misfired and came directly at me, hitting me right in the camera. Des immediately became my best friend, offering me as much beer as I wanted from the band room. He was afraid I was going to sue him. But I just couldn't do that. The skin on my face healed and my hair grew back. And I still have this story to tell.


I didn't get around to writing a live review of this show so I thought I'd tell you about it here. This was Bird Mancini's CD release party at the Magic Room (yes, the same place that Des runs). Bird Mancini wanted their party to feel like a circus, so they gave me the title of Ringmaster and asked me to host the show. Ahh, a circus—I'll get right on it….It's easy for me to dress up because I have a stage wardrobe and I don't mind making a fool of myself. So I threw on my bright green pants, my Sgt. Maxwell Peace Chorus tuxedo, a Red Sox jersey, and carried in a box full of interesting headgear. At the appropriate moment I ring an old fashioned school bell to jar everyone away from their socializing and come into the performance room because the show was about to start. I take the stage and introduce the first act, from Gloucester, Massachusetts, the Inge Berg Band. They do a great job of impressing the audience, especially Des, who runs up at the very end of their set to demand an encore from the host's stage microphone. Didn't he know that he's supposed to be wearing an outrageous hat to be the ringmaster? Then it was time for Johnny Rhymer to delight the audience with his poetry. And that he does, even though you could tell the audience wants to reconnect with their socializing. Next up is Sal Baglio's lastest project—the Beauty and Disturbance Orchestra. I love Sal's songwriting and the orchestra colors his tunes perfectly. When they finish, I get up to the stage quickly this time because I want to hear more, but Sal is picky about his encores. He feels the audience has to deserve them. And I guess I am not enough of an encore enforcer. Johnny Rhymer is back up on the stage with more poems—the audience is giving him a run for the volume, but Johnny is persistent and keeps those poems a flowing into the delighted ears. Before Bird Mancini takes the stage I'm told I can perform my quirky "Chop Chop Chop" song—and with my impressive headgear, the song is fitting. But then I'm offered to do another song and I choose "Fly," a more serious number that I just finished recording. It goes over great but for the rest of the night all I hear from my girlfriend is that my costume and "Fly" were the grandest mis-match she had ever seen on stage (see photo below). Finally Bird Mancini takes the stage. This powerhouse of a duo is with full band tonight. They even have special guests to make the live performance of their new CD sound as close to the recordings as possible. Glenn Williams plays the uke on "Didn't Last Long," and on "Trust" three guys (Sal Baglio, Lenny Shea, and the ringmaster) perform the role of the choir. Ruby Bird is an outstanding wailing vocalist and also shows off her skills on the accordion and melodica. Billy Carl Mancini masters the guitar in the Eric Clapton vein and delivers his vocals with style. Their songwriting sometimes reminds me of the disbanded Jellyfish from San Francisco. I love Bird Mancini. I stayed on a natural high well into the late hours until my exhausted body could no longer hold consciousness. Thanks to all the performers for the wonderful memories.


The parties just keep rollin'! Kier Byrnes has thrown together the March anniversary party on Saint Paddy's Day (3/17) at Precinct. The show has Three Day Threshold (back from the real Middle East), Comanchero, and the Americana All Stars (playing traditional Irish music). This will be a show you can talk about for the rest of the year.

Then in April Mr. Curt has put together a wonderful 30th Anniversary party with Rick Berlin's Nickel & Dime Band, Bird Mancini, the Grown Up Noise, Jon Macy & Steve Gilligan, and the Yani Batteau Band. Wow—thank you Curt—I'll be there at the Midway on April 16.

I’m still in the studio working on a soundtrack to back Susan Emerson's reading of her Fable for the 21st Century. Susan owns Gloucester Music and writes for the Gloucester Times. The tale is about how all the elements and animals of earth come together to judge humankind. I'm using pieces of my song "Silent Man" to back the reading. It's always fun in the studio with Jason Duguay engineering at Project Sound.

If you need to contact me, email is the best way… try
You can hear a sample of my music at…

T Max/the Noise
PO Box 155
Georgetown, MA 01833


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