Rita: I hope you can hear me over the marching band playing one of those Phillip Souza classics. I don’t know how I became the leader of this parade. At first, I thought it was just a few nerdy Sgt. Pepper freaks checking me out too closely. But now I’m into it and the crowds that line the Boston streets seem to appreciate that I’m leading the band with a broomstick. Lolita: I knew when you left the house today that your skirt was too short –though I like the way it looks with your white go-go boots. Was it your plan to get all these guys to follow you? Rita: Enough of the chatter, Lolita. Can’t you see I’m busy entertaining Boston? Why don’t you take over and address The Noise readers so I can focus on my high leg kicks? Lolita: Okay – oh, look in the crowd – there’s Big Papi and and Tom Brady who have come out to honor the musicians of Boston, and that’s what Rita and I do every month. We honor the hard-working musicians who play all over New England. Let me get a few of them to speak directly to you so you can get to know them as your neighbors. Hey, fellow musicians, please answer this question of the month.
Lolita: On July 4, 1776, the United States gained its independence from England. Tell us something you like about the United States, or tell us something you’d like to change about the United States.MICHAEL J. EPSTEIN (MJE Memorial Library/ Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling/ Darling Pet Munkee/ Space Balloons): We need a new national anthem. Ideally, “Total Eclipse of the Heart.” *** KRISTEN MILLER (Kristen Miller): I love that the landscape of the U.S. is so diverse and variable. Going from Alaska to Arizona is like switching planets, and don’t even get me started on New Orleans. I would live there if I could. *** MARK KAYE (HearNowLive.Com): I like freedom and what we have left of it, but I think it’s time the youth got their minds together and started making more positive changes. They seem to be sleep walking through life. You can hear it in their attitude, in their music, in the movies. Everything has been dumbed down for the youth of today and they are eating it up. They need to wake up and make some noise and find something meaningful enough that will change the world for the better. *** CHUCK U. ROSINA (WMBR/ WMFO): As a life-long political activist, I always stood up for Social Justice and to help bring about real change. I protested the Vietnam War during my college days – even to the point of civil disobedience, though I was never arrested. During the Reagan years, I joined with others demonstrating against “Constructive Engagement” with Apartheid, and our funding of the Central American terrorist forces in El Salvador and Nicaragua. Most recently, I did a whole series of radio reports from the Occupy Boston site, and now with Black Lives Matter and Climate Change issues (not to mention a host of others). The problem I have with Right Wingers, and many Republicans, is that if you criticize the government, they say you’re anti-American. Nothing is further from the truth. Dissent is what this country was founded upon, and I want to see it live to its ideals that are embodied in the Declaration of Independence. Thanks for asking, and Happy Independence Day one and all. Rita: Chuck was so inspired by this question that he put together a set of music based on it for his show In the Margins on WMBR. Thanks, Chuck!
N.E. MUSIC NEWS
Lolita: The importance of radio shows is becoming more apparent to me. Put down that iPod and tune into the people who have made it their life’s work to know more about music that you could ever imagine. Fans of SLEAZEGRINDER—catch his online radio show, the Sleazegrinder All American Super Rock Power Hour, on Friday nights at 8pm on WEMFradio.com. *** BostonRocksRadio.com is playing 98 percent Boston bands/musicians from the ’60s to the present. If bands/musicians of any type want to send in their music, the info is on the website. They can send MP3’s (320 mbps) or CDs. *** Cafe Moka is a new jazz venue in Lynn located at 56 Central Square. *** San Francisco, LA, Miami and Ann Arbor have one. Now Cambridge, MA, has one! Introducing Central Square StrEATS – the city’s first weekly evening food truck event every Wednesday night at 5 pm. Central Square StrEATS features five food trucks and the “Take Five” Harpoon beer garden in the gorgeous green spaces at University Park at MIT. *** ANAIS MITCHELL is taking a newly expanded folk opera Hadestown to the off-Broadway New York Theatre Workshop. I predict it will be a big hit in the Big Apple. *** ANDERSON-GRAM have moved back to New England from California. Their version of “Give Yourself to Love” was chosen for the documentaryFreedom to Marry. *** MANDY and KIER BYRNES (Three Day Threshold) became parents for the second time when CAELA MORIN BYRNES was dropped off by a stork on May 27, 2015. *** THE FAT CREEPS no longer use that degrading name—read the story on BONGWISH in this issue – it’s the same band. *** Guitarist JAKE PARDEE has joined up with KENYATTA HILL (Culture) for a tour in July. *** CORIN ASHLEY, SCOTT JANOVITZ and BRIAN E. KING have formed ADMIRAL GROVE & THE BIG BLUE MEANIES. They debuted playing before an outdoor screening of Yellow Submarine. I wonder what kind of music they play. *** Two generations of Boston ‘zine editors met at first base at a Saturday Morning Softball league game. See the photo of T MAX (The Noise) and SAM POTRYKUS (Boston Compass). Side note: Sam won the prestigious Havens award for the day. *** MATT FARLEY has created more than 17,000 songs since 2008. All the while, he’s been working a full-time job outside of music! The music is bringing him about $2000 every month. That’s nice. But it’s not enough to be a full-time musician. So he declared that his birthday, June 3, will be World Motern Day. On that day, 1million people to listen to all eight hours of his Spotify playlist. For each person who listens to the whole thing, Matt earns about $1.50. By the end of the day, Matt figured he could be a millionaire! “It’s foolproof!” he exclaimed. Rita: We asked Matt how he actually did, and he replied: “I certainly didn’t get a million. But I’m still pleased with how it raised my profile – I earned a lot of new Twitter followers, got lots of calls and texts from fans. Here are the actual figures: track 1 – 1375 plays, track 3 – 454 plays, average – 250 plays of playlist. Earnings – $365.
AND THE DOGS HAD PUPPIES AND THE PUPPIES HAD DOGS
Lolita: Let’s try another question of the month and base it on a lesser-known July holiday. July 21 is No Pet Store Puppies Day. Tell us a story based on a puppy… KIER BYRNES (Three Day Threshold): I used to think I was a dog person until I got a puppy and realized how hard they are to take care of. Now, I fancy myself more of a goldfish person. *** JIM COUNTRYMAN (Lovewhip/ Erin Harpe & the Delta Swingers): Our rat terrier/beagle mix puppy, Edgar, is a 11 years old now. He was a rescue from the Katrina flood in New Orleans. He was lucky enough to find his way to a foster system post flood and ended up in Jamaica Plain. Life has been the best with Edgar! When weather allows, he travels with us on tour and he made it on the front cover of the debut Erin Harpe & the Delta Swingers album! Edgar! *** REUBEN BETTSAK (Guillermo Sexo/ Emerald Comets): I actually worked on the Animal Planet’s show Dogs 101, and would grab the puppy footage. Puppies of all types – weimaraners, basset hounds, German shorthair pointers, xoloitzcuintli, miniature schnauzer, etc. *** JAY DIBIASIO (Three Day Threshold/ Spacecramp): I met Sake when he was a puppy, but he didn’t become my dog and best buddy until he was two. He was born sometime between July 4th and 9th at Dakin Humane Society, though I like to say it was the 8th as it’s also my birthday. When I met him, he wouldn’t leave me alone. He wanted to play fetch with this tiny pink, plastic animal that he dug up. It was gross, and I kept pushing him away. I finally gave in and spent the next 10 years playing fetch with Sake. Constantly. It was some of the best times of my life! He was such an amazing, fun, smart, and loving friend. *** PETER MOORE (Count Zero): The only pet I had was a dachshund my parents bought us kids for Christmas. I was 10. We named her Shirley ’cause it seemed inappropriate and therefore funny. Although she was a bit dim, and difficult to house-train, I loved Shirley. My parents really weren’t keen on her, though. The following Easter, I was hanging out in the backyard with my older siblings, when I asked them where Shirley was. “Didn’t Mom and Dad tell you? They put her to sleep yesterday.” So nonchalant. I was heartbroken. It still seems kinda medieval now, but that’s what people did back then. Rita: It still happens, Peter, and puppy mills, where profit is given priority over the well-being of the dogs, is what must be addressed. That’s why No Pet Store Puppy Day was founded – pick up your next dog from a no-kill rescue shelter and encourage the Secretary of Agriculture to stop the cruel import of puppies from overseas puppy mills.
THE INSTRUMENT YOU PLAY
Lolita: We know that most musicians get very attached to their instrument. Tell us something about the instrument you play. GEORGE HALL (Kingsley Flood/ The Elderly): A kid came up to me one night at the Rhumb Line in Gloucester and asked me between sets about my guitar (a ‘57 reissue Strat from ’86). He said he was having a tough time deciding whether to get a new guitar that he really liked, or try to find one that has “some soul in it – like yours.” I told him I couldn’t say one way or another, but I got mine new and with some time and patience, the soul part takes care of itself. *** JON BUTCHER (Jon Butcher Axis): It’s alive. I don’t mean metaphorically alive. I mean “alive” alive. My guitar is both my best friend and my worst critic. It’s the source of my most fulfilled spirit and also, it’s the heckler in the room, mocking my clumsiness and inability to grasp simple concepts. My guitar beckons me and it also taunts me. It’s all-forgiving and unforgiving. It defines me and it defies me, and if there’s one thing I know after living with it for several decades, it’s this – my guitar is alive. *** CORIN ASHLEY (Corin Ashley): I have THE coolest bass ever. It’s a 1963 Hofner Senator – very similar to the bass that Stu Sutcliffe played in The Beatles. The pickguard is signed by Klaus Voorman for extra Hamburg mojo and it is the thumpiest bass on earth. Plaster falls off the ceiling anywhere below the fifth fret on the E string – unplugged! I LOVE this bass! I have a tracking device embedded in it in case it ever gets stollen. *** JON MACEY (Fox Pass/ Hummingbird Syndicate): I have an Epiphone Casino, the Elitist model (silly name) that is a replica of the 1965 Casino, with sunburst. Fantastic sound but the secret is flat wound strings. It’s hollow so it feeds back a lot but so smooth. *** RICK BARTON (Continental): Back in ’96 when I came out of rock ’n’ roll retirement to start up the Dropkick Murphys I needed a guitar. So I went to Daddy’s Junky Music and contacted my old friend Mike Tocca. I had him put the three best looking Les Paul standards on guitar stands and I made like a gunfighter in the old west. I took 10 paces, spun around and pointed to the tiger striped one and bam! I said let’s wrap up this sale my truck’s double parked and running out on Mass Ave. I didn’t want the expense of a ticket tacked on to the $2,100 price tag on the guitar! Much to Mike’s chagrin (he insisted I try it out) he finalized the sale and off I went! The guitarist in my band is using that same guitar on our current tour and the other night somewhere in Texas he said, “that’s a really beautiful looking guitar!” I said, that’s precisely why I own it.*** RUBY BIRD (Bird Mancini): I found my vintage Crucinelli student-size accordion at Mr. Music about 15 years ago, before I had ever touched an accordion or even thought about it. It was well-used and needed work, but the sound! It was also cheap. I couldn’t resist. I found out later that this age-old Italian company went out of business (thanks to cheap Chinese accordions flooding the market), and these very well made instruments are normally quite expensive—even the small student models. I put some bucks into it, and now it’s my main instrument. I have a couple of others, but this guy is my workhorse. I’m in love! *** DAVE BAILEN (Dave Bailen): Great question! Many people ask about my guitar. I play a Tele style hollow body made out of steel, silver plated and paisley engraved, with a maple neck. It was made to my specifications by James Trussart out of California. I had seen my hero, Willy DeVille, playing a beautiful guitar in a video and found out it was a Trussart. I then traded in everything I had to acquire mine!
Rita: Okay, the parade is over – but honoring musicians is a thing that most countries do everyday. I mean that is what that parade in Boston was about – right?
RIP: BILLY BORGIOLI (The Real Kids/ Classic Ruins/ The Varmints). Billy suffered an unsurvivable brain hemorrhage and passed on Sunday June 28.