IN THIS ISSUE
Lolita: We call our February issue the appreciation issue because the contributors of the Noise get to air their Top Ten lists. The lists reflect each writer’s opinion in their choice of category, which can rage from top bathrooms to top artists—the only rule is that the list pertain to New England music in 2012. Find the contributor that you agree with the most. Rita: Also in this issue are features on SECRET LOVER, THE BLACK CHEERS, and me&thee coffeehouse. Our regular special additions include Incoming Mail, the Big Shot, Pet of the Month, Rock School comic strip, and Guitar Boot Camp. And of course we review music—live and recorded. There’s a book review in this issue too.
Rita: Now let’s get on with our column. Like Lolita said, this is our appreciation issue, so let’s let our music friends share with us what they appreciated about 2012. Henry, why don’t you start it off—HENRY SANTORO (RadioBDC): My biggest appreciation goes to the Boston Globe/NY Times for giving me a new lease on my radio life. I was fired [from WFNX] in May and hired at to help build RadioBDC in June. Launching RadioBDC has been a major highlight of my career. The team, the product, the environment, and the vibe are awesome. We have big plans for 2013. Nothing beats a song and a smile. *** CORIN ASHLEY (Corin Ashley & the Fuzztastic Sunshine Vikings): Well, I certainly appreciated finally finishing my new album at Q Division and mixing it with the effervescent Ducky Carlisle, but one of the best musical moments of the year for me was seeing Peter Wolf jump up with Shelby Lynne at Johnny D’s. Shelby is just such an impeccable songwriter that I was in heaven anyway, but Peter really took it to another place. *** NICHOLE FERREE (the Spearmint Sea): What I appreciated most about making music in 2012 was the sheer number of incredibly talented people I got to make music with. The silver lining to having a revolving band lineup in 2012 was getting to play with a really wide variety of amazing musicians. Plus, now everyone in town knows how to play the set! *** MR. CURT (MC3): The plethora of talent available to this wonderful city, either local, national, international or new, old talents. I’m constantly and continuously amazed and feel blessed to live here and experience the musical bliss. Re-checking my calendar has reminded me of tremendous live shows by Rick Berlin with Nickel & Dime Band, Patty Larkin, Al Kooper, Adventure Set, Laura Veirs, Anais Mitchell, Laurie Anderson, Shelterbelt, Audrey Ryan, the Grownup Noise, Sarah Blacker, Los Amigos, Bird Mancini, Bright Moments, J. P. Jazz Collective, Ramblin’ Jack Elliot, Thea Hopkins with Andy Hollinger, Michael Chorney & Dollar General, the Reactive, the 7C’s, Over the Line rock opera, Van Der Graaf Generator!, Ben Schwendener, Animal Hospital Ensemble, Heather Maloney, Mitch Golner, PETER ASHER!, J.P. Music Festival, Bon Iver, Goli, Steph Barrak, Eva Walsh, Peter Gabriel!, Michelle Shocked, Yani Batteau & the Styles, Guitar Circle New England, Sarah Levecque, Adam & Eve, Rabbit Rabbit (Carla Kiehlstedt & Matthias Bossi), Joel Cage, Human Sexual Response!, Clara Kebabian, Mark Mandeville & Raianne Richards, Capital 6, the Cannibal Kings, the Exiles, Doctor X, Moniker, and even my group, MC3. Phew! *** KEN FIELD (Revolutionary Snake Ensemble/ Birdsongs of the Mesozoic/ Agachiko): Human Sexual Response reunion! *** PAUL ROBICHEAU (The Improper Bostonian): I most appreciated Human Sexual Response’s November blowout at House of Blues. It was like a high-school reunion for ’80s rockers where everyone showed up, and the new-wave septet proved as talented, entertaining, and provocative as ever. Rich Gilbert has only expanded his guitar palette during the band’s 30-year dormancy, and the four singers were spot on. If only they’d do it again, but I guess you could say the same of Led Zeppelin. At least we have Unba Unba, a sweet new DVD from a 1982 show. Maybe three of the Humans could now mount a Zulus reunion! Lolita: Yes, I second that emotion! The Zulus were amazing!
Rita: We don’t talk about car accidents, murders, and fires—you know—what you get on TV—we give you music news—read it and you’ll be the best at future New England music trivia games. And with that I’ll start with a trivia question. Who had a birthday party in 2013 that had performances by Peter Wolf, Mission of Burma, the Neighborhoods, Barrence Whitfield, the Bags, Preacher Jack, Ed “Moose” Savage, and many more? The answer is at the end of the paragraph. *** NICK BLAKEY has taken over media coordination and is booking a show here and there at the Midway, and ex-co-owner DAVE BALERNA has left the club in his brother JAY BALERNA’s hands. *** On 2:01pm, November 16, MANDY and KIER BYRNES became the mommy and daddy of 7 lb, 2 oz AEDAN BYRNES. *** CARMELITA was asked to be a part of the North Shore Women’s Labor Committee. Carm has long been involved with animals rights. She’s also showing care for her own gender of her species. *** PAT BADGER (Extreme) is working with the students of DeAngelis School of Music (Haverhill, MA) to raise money for their scholarship fund. *** MELISSA FERRICK spent last summer as a visiting professor at Berklee College of Music. *** T MAX is featured on TIM CASEY‘s Transmission Hour for the month of February. *** AMANDA PALMER postponed her European/Australian/New Zealand tour to stay in Boston with her best friend Anthony who just started cancer treatment. *** BILL GALATIS is the new owner of School of Rock in Watertown. Other Schools of Rock in the Greater Boston area are slated to open within the next three years. *** MACH BELL’s latest outing BAG O’ NAILS plays a lot of Hendrix. Mach was spotted during a show lighting his maracas on fire. *** Passim awarded over $40,000 to 24 New England musicians in grants from their Iguana Music Fund. *** AGE OF END has signed an exclusive management contract with The Inner Light Agency, out of Los Angeles. *** JULIE DOUGHERTY celebrated 24 years of hosting an open mic at In a Pig’s Eye. *** DROPKICK MURPHYS St. Patrick’s Day Tour in support of their new CD, Signed And Sealed in Blood, ends in Boston with three days of shows starting on 3/15 at the TD Garden, followed by 3/16 at Brighton Music Hall, and 3/17 at House of Blues. *** Two of our Pets of the Month made their way into 2013 calendars: Congratulations to Sootie the guinea pig and Ariel the Bernese mountain dog. *** WILL DAILEY managed to free himself of a bad major label contract and once more has full control of his music. *** The Salem Jazz & Soul Festival recently received a Gold Star Award from the Massachusetts Cultural Council for its nonprofit mission of producing free concerts and supporting music-education causes on the North Shore. *** PETE WEISS (The Weisstronauts/ Verdant Studios) is showing his photos of musicians at work and play at Burning Bush Gallery in Boston’s South End starting February 1. *** LIZ FREEMAN, board member and treasurer of Boston Area Coffee House Association, presented DON WHITE with the Jerry Christen Memorial Award in front of a sold-out crowd at the me&thee coffeehouse in Marblehead. The award honors Boston folk musicians who show dedication to the concept of community. Don has also received the key to his home city, Lynn, and Mayor Judith Flanagan has also declared April 11 Don White Day! Lolita: I was at this show! And the answer to the trivia question is Willie Alexander.
Rita: LINDA VIENS (adam&eve): The biggest thing adam&eve accomplished in 2012 was recording and releasing our first single, “(You Don’t Know) Much About Me,” (which is on bandcamp!) and shooting a video with Kelly Davidson for the song which is being edited as we speak, AND we recorded another four songs which are almost mixed, soon to be released. All in all we are very excited about the new year! *** AJDA THE TURKISH QUEEN (BLACK FORTRESS OF OPIUM): Well, that would be a tie between releasing our second full-length album, Stratospherical, and doing our West Coast tour in June. Both were tremendously memorable and important to us! *** KIER BYRNES (Three Day Threshold): We played a lot of big festivals this year and got to perform with some amazing musicians, but the highlight was being the Big Shot in the December issue of the Noise! *** MARINA EVANS (Marina Evans): I would have to say the biggest thing I did in 2012 was… America. I released two new EPs and toured across the country with them. Hope to do it again in 2013! *** TONY SAVARINO (Black Fortress of Opium/ Garvy J./ Savtones/ Dennis Brennan): I had three major events in 2012. Black Fortress of Opium released Stratospherical. Garvy J. came in second in the Rumble. I released my second solo album Guitaresque. *** JIM COUNTRYMAN (Lovewhip/ Erin Harpe & the Delta Swingers): I am very proud of our new band, Erin Harpe & the Delta Swingers. After only two years since we formed, we have played 170 gigs, won the Boston Blues Challenge, went to Memphis to compete in the International Blues Challenge (where we made the semi-finals!). Erin and Rosy won the solo/duo of this year’s Blues Challenge and will be representing Boston at the IBC’s in Memphis at the end of this month. We were nominated for a Boston Music Award for Best Blues Act two years in a row, AND won the BMA for best Blues Act 2012 just a few weeks ago. It’s time to buckle down and get our debut album finished! Thank you Boston and New England! Keep supporting live music! *** MACH BELL (Bag O’ Nails): Squirting lighter fluid on my maracas, kneeling before them, and sacrificing them to flames in front of the shocked crowd at the Log Cabin Festival last summer. *** A.J. WACHTEL (Future Gynecologist) The biggest thing I accomplished this year unfortunately, did not include enough young hot women with daddy issues. *** WILL DAILEY (Will Dailey): Got myself free from a horrible major label deal and became and independent artist again. *** LARRY BANGOR (Human Sexual Response/ the Zulus): I finally got to sing accompanied by the musical saw (Buffy Sainte-Marie’s “The Vampire”), and Rich Gilbert made it sound even eerier. *** JON BUTCHER (Jon Butcher Axis/ Farren Butcher Inc.): Speaking as a gypsy wanderer who moved to California in ’85, I’m appreciative beyond telling at the welcoming I’ve received from friends, colleagues and fans since finding my way back across 3,000 miles and a lifetime of changes. Nothing crystalizes what you love about a place more than moving away.There’s something special about New England that touches everyone who experiences her. I chose Boston after leaving Graham Junior College—for art, for politics, but most of all for the music. 2012 will always have significance as the year I regained my groove. To coin a phrase, Boston you’re my home. *** ANDY MILK (The Vital Might): We finished our best album living in three different states and an almost combined 1000 miles between us. *** SARAH BLACKER (Sarah Blacker): We opened for America, one of the acts I grew up listening to at the Lowell Summer Music Series. That was incredible. *** MICHAEL J. EPSTEIN (…Memorial Library/ Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling/ Darling Pet Munkee, Space Balloons): I decided that making music wasn’t quite a fruitless and painful enough endeavor and that I should instead add filmmaking to my forms of torture. TEN the movie is now in post. *** BILL GOFFRIER (Big Dipper): My old band (no pun intended) finally witnessed the release of our four-years-in-the-making-and-first-new-album-in-two-decades, Big Dipper Crashes on the Platinum Planet. When we were young we did things a lot faster! *** JOHNNY DEL (El Seven): The greatest thing that happened for me in 2012 was El Seven’s debut on December 29 at the Spotlight Tavern. After six months of long rehearsals with such dedication, we ended the year with a great show. I’ve been blessed with an amazing rhythm section, drummer/vocalist Peter Goutzos, and bassist/vocalist John Cagnina. Adding to a great night was having T Max on the bill! *** LAURA WILSON (WMBR): My big thing in 2012 was that I celebrated the 20th anniversary of my radio show (Bats in the Belfry on WMBR)! And had a fun party/show to celebrate with some great bands—Nisi Period reunion, John and Annette from Opium Den, Dreamchild, and Cober. It was a great night of fun! *** SHAUN WOLF WORTIS (Mardi Gras Ball): Well, heck, it’s gotta be our 20th Anniversary Mardi Gras Ball which is coming up this month—oh crap! that’s not 2012, that’s 2013—clearly we’re so old we can’t even remember what year it is. Well, in that case it’d have to be the Serge Gainsbourg tribute we did over the summer, yeah that. *** JOE CARDOZA (Bandit Kings): I found five definitions of the word big. The physically largest thing the Bandit Kings did in 2012 was Los Angeles. ’Twas a big city. Of major concern and importance was the release of our big album, iii—important as in influence, standing or wealth is our big fans, supporting the fundraiser for album expenses. Outstanding for a specified quality is our fearless leader, Big Dan King. There are no grown up or mature aspects of this band, so we did not fulfill the fifth definition. Big deal. *** PAUL HANSEN (the Grownup Noise): Our band’s biggest accomplishment of 2012 was definitely playing an official showcase show at SXSW opening for Tommy Stinson of the Replacements. That was unreal. Although upon further reflection, I think maybe surviving the insane drive down to Austin, TX, and cramming eight people, plus all of our gear, in my minivan might’ve been our real achievement! *** JOEL SIMCHES (Watch City Studios): 2012 has been an intensely productive year. Started working at Watch City, producing three fine albums from Endation, Four Point Restraints, and Walter Sickert & the Army of Broken Toys! I also put a kickass band together and learned all of my lovey Carolyn’s favorite songs for her 50th birthday bash in November. A very creative year! *** JON MACEY (adam&eve/ Fox Pass) Staying together. *** TOM HAMBRIDGE (…& the Rattlesnakes): Played drums for Mick Jagger, Jeff Beck, BB King, Buddy Guy and other great artists at the White House. Played Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland and the Tonight Show with Leno. Toured the USA opening for ZZ Top, Doobie Brothers, and Lynyrd Skynyrd. Produced and or played on albums by Buddy Guy, James Cotton, George Thorogood & the Destroyers, Delbert McClinton among others. Had my songs released on albums by: ZZ Top, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Rascal Flatts, the Outlaws, Buddy Guy, Billy Ray Cyrus, and others. Very thankful for a wonderful 2012 and looking forward to making more music in 2013. Lolita: Wow—now that’s an impressive list of accomplishments!
Rita: Here’s where we list new bands we’ve discovered and keep you up on the movement of musicians from band to band. BRETT LANIER has joined DOLLAR GENERAL on pedal steel and Dobro. *** THE ROUGH SPLITS are DAMIEN (the Throwaways/ You’re Under Arrest/ Coffin Lids), CHRIS (Acro-brats/ Throwaways/ Black Cheers/ By the Throat), ZIM (the Marvels/ the Throwaways), and KEY-O (the Spoilers). *** THE GARAGE DOGS from Cape Cod have joined up with New York’s SCREAM ALONG WITH BILLY and GORDON GANO (Violent Femmes) to form BILLY HOUGH & THE X-LOVES. Together they have produce the new studio album Venice. *** HEY ICE MACHINE is WINSTON BRAMAN (Fuzzy/ Consonants/ Come), TOM NOVOTNY (Mittens), BRETT SAIIA (Frank Smith), and JONATHAN ULMAN (Muy Cansado). *** Guitarist ROBERT FLEIG (Psychedelic Relics) has hooked up with THE TIME TUNNEL. *** Bassist/vocalist JIM GERDEMAN (Mercy James), guitarist/vocalist JONATHAN DONALDSON (the Color Forms), guitarist/vocalist BLAKE GIRNDT (the Others), and drummer/ multi-instrumentalist MARK RZESZUTEK have formed THE I WANT YOU and released Ocean State. *** MELODEEGO video of “Fear Is the Weapon (Fear Them Not)” features J-O and GAB GUMA of Grindcity. We also saw VERMIN SUPREME in there. Lolita: All hail Vermin Supreme!
Rita: Remember—March is an online-only issue (so is January and August)—so catch us on our website—www.thenoise-boston.com. The talented TIM GEARAN will be featured in the March issue.
We believe that music is a fountain of youth. When we sing, all our cares in the world disappear and leave us feeling joyous. Lolita: And we’ve been bathing in this fountain for so long that we’ve taken to sucking our thumbs. Rita: Lolita, please don’t include me as a thumb sucker.
See you next month.