Our friend Dwight Ritchter of Dwight & Nicole is making his triumphant return to The Lizard Lounge with The Dwight Ritcher Trio. If you’ve never seen his live show before you are in for some groovin’ vibes and face-melting guitars. Lucky for you we’ll also be giving away a pair of tickets to one winner who signs up for our newsletter through the link below. Check out Dwight and his trio shredding at Lizard back in ’13 in the video below and make sure you sign up for our newsletter now for your chance to win a pair of tickets to one of this weekend’s shows.
After a year and a half stunning listeners with the spellbound folk tunes from their debut EP, Battle Hymns, The Western Den have returned with their highly anticipated new EP, All The Birds. In fact, March 23rd will be the first time to hear the haunting harmonies in the flesh and we’re shaking in our bones to get our hands and ears on it.
And although last summer’s shadow seems a world away, the stark romance of Kevin William’s Current Fears EP still remains. With the initial flicker and flame at its release in May 2014, Current Fears has now slipped into the go-to queue for late night feels and the singer/songwriter looks as though everything is ahead of him at the moment.
And, finally, fresh off the release of their self-titled debut album Billington Sea appears to be building steam. After a steady stream of shows up the east coast over the past month – specifically a killer set at Sofar Sounds Boston in February – the charming duo have set their sights on March 23rd to bring their playful tunes back to the stage.
On top of all that – Maimed & Tamed will be giving one lucky winner a pair of tickets to the show. All you have to do is sign up for our newsletter below and we’ll select a random winner who will get all sorts of folked up on March 23.
It’s perhaps no surprise Flight Facilities are headlining The Sinclair tonight in Cambridge. They are, after all, the OG’s of that sunny electro-goodness to which Boston seems to finally be graced with – in more ways than one.
After a rather lengthy spell since their initial touchdown, the Aussie production duo returned in October to release their first full-length, Down To Earth. Pulsating with the same airy catch-tunes that we’ve come to expect from the duo, Down To Earth represents somewhat of a compilation of pre-released hits (“Stand Still”, “Claire de Lune”, “Two Bodies”, “Crave You”) while still offering a healthy dose of surprises. After all, everyone knows it’s impossible to talk Flight Facilities without including “Crave You” – an absolute gem that still makes summer feel like summer.
The ever-perceptive LA via Sydney based DJ, Touch Sensitive, will preface the Aussies with his electro-drenched 80s disco jams. Despite the bill’s lack of consideration for cold weather and snow, I think they’ve lined this one up for a winner. I might even stretch to say that the club is, in fact,set to go up on a Tuesday.
Adrift in the milieu – José González emerges once again a teacher and student of his own craft on his third LP: Vestiges and Claws.
Almost ten years removed from Veneer – González’s debut LP – the Swede remains more or less unscathed. While a decade typically leaves its mark on a folk singer – usually a few more mediocre tattoos or perpetual whiskey-breath – González has emerged the same whispery apparition that he entered as. And for it Vestiges and Claws picks up from the last chord strummed on the 2007 release In Our Nature and wanders on.
Laced with the intimacy and intricacy of an ex-lover, the work almost breathes familiarity. As the nylon-stringed arpeggios dance and drape the bedroom environment on the opener, “With The Ink Of A Ghost”, a kind of confession is made. González seems to say; I’ve returned, I’m the same, take it or leave it. For a natural recluse, a non-verbal statement of the like is about the closest González will ever get to combative, yet this statement seems more about communication than confrontation. González seems to express his true desires, or better yet true self, in this message to the folk community through his decision to remain sonically consistent once again. Although remaining unchanged seems, at times, stemmed from a lack of artistic direction, it can be a very thoughtful and active choice all the same. González appears to have made attentive decision and, still regardless of its similarities – Vestiges and Claws remains a somewhat novelty to the folk community.
As the record ambles on, the essence of the work begins to take shape. Sheparded at times by González’s punctual vocal and then at others by assemblies of claps, snaps, and shakers, “Let It Carry You” serves as the lone up-tempo track visited by Vestiges and Claws. While many, undoubtedly, will recall the briskness that gave Veneer its charm with this track, “Let It Carry You” seems to solve a different riddle. It’s freshness and resolve allows the track to exist not only as nostalgia for González’s previous work in Veneer, but also as a composition in and of itself too – a piece that can stand on it’s own two feet. The ability to remain interesting while remaining homogenous; thus is the brilliance of José González. While many folk singers fall victim to the tides of criticism and critique – González seems to live outside it and remains attentive to his self and his craft.
It can be argued that the development of craft is not always synonymous with the achievement of stardom in pop music. However – in the folk community – craft most of the time precedes even stardom and José González is no exception. Having been born in Sweden to Argentine parents, González was introduced to Latin and Caribbean folk music in his early years while learning to speak (and sing) in English too. This exposure to the broader folk communities proved effective in González’s return to the classical guitar after several hardcore-punk trials in the early 2000s (Rajagopalan). When the singer returned, though, he returned with the dexterity of a proficient guitarist.
In many of the same ways Nick Drake became well known for his unity and ability with a guitar in the 1960s, José González attracted acclaim for his fingerpicking style and proficiency after the release of Veneer in 2003. After the subsequent release of In Our Nature in 2007, the evolution of González’s craft was – as somewhat expected – very gradual. Besides the introduction of multi-tracking guitars and vocal doubling, the sound of In Our Nature did not fall too far from the tree of Veneer. The result, however, was a more refined, more deliberate sound that brought the Swede’s craft closer to the resonance featured on Vestiges and Claws.
Intertwining soft-spoken phrases with long drawn-out vowels, the vocals rise and fall throughout Vestiges and Claws. Without an alarm or place to be it’s easy to disappear into the music and lose track of time. While most of the time Jose González’s consistent craft serves as his strong suit, there are moments through the interior of the album that it also flirts along the line of a downfall. “The Forest”, in particular, feels more like a watercolor painting than a consequential character study. Yet, the deliberateness of his work remains all the while and compels attentiveness rather than analysis. It becomes clear eventually that González’s outward charm has been discovered by the folk-singer himself, and that his work is a direct result of that discovery. González, it seems, understands the relationship between steadiness of character and consistency of craft in creating a legacy. And a legacy he’s made.
Seeking refuge and revival, a lucky collection of listeners bundled into Cambridge’s dark horse, The Sinclair, for a shot of that soundgood-feelgood. Besides The Districts, the bill featured another four-piece from New Jersey Pine Barons, and the buzz worthy barrage of Boston locals, Vundabar.
As the dark, dimly lit overheads illuminated the foyer, a lone cry came from the concert hall. The source, buttoned-up in dark cottons and hair-covered eyes, became recognizable immediately as Brandon Hagen of Vundabar. Shifting from Ed Sullivan-esque Beatles upstrokes to Bowie-like vocal exaggerations to Bombay Bicycle Club-ish melodic riffs, Hagen challenged and frequented the stereotypes. The self-proclaimed jangly pop-ers of Boston – although mostly harmless – aroused a sense of self-indifference with their stage antics, but the crowd was all together amused.
The half-dancing soon subsided with the arrival of Pine Barons – an eclectic and rather erratic rock quartet from southern New Jersey. As the group dipped and dove between fingerpicked folk tunes and full-on post-punk ballads, the soundscape wandered off at times unattended, but the lyrical content remained potent. The set soon became an extended assemblage of tracks with little post-song banter and ultimately found its conclusion on a particularly electric rock-n-roll tune.
Not too long after a new drink and a new friend, the wait was over. Shepherded by the curly-haired Eric Grote, The Districts assumed the stage now studied by several hundred onlookers. After a few long and illustrious years impressing heads at Fat Possum, then Bonaroo, and recently Late Night with Seth Meyers, the Lancaster-based casual-rockers have found their way out of the trans-lantic indie circuit and into the buzz. Halfway through the opening ballad it became clear what the buzz was all about.
Reviving the all-too-familiar upbeat stop-start of Spoon, The Districts filled the room with an almost refined nostalgia as they chipped and chirped through the softer anthem “Long Distance” while the young audience sang word for word. Despite allusions of Spoon, though, Grote’s versatile vocal seemed to distinguish the four-piece from their influences and moved them into what’s becoming known as “The Districts” sound. The result was all-together spellbinding as Grote along with guitarist Mark Larson, bassist Conor Jacobus, and drummer Braden Lawrence chugged through “Lyla” and into a goosebump-inducing finale.
As whistles and wails rose from the crowd of believers and converts alike, The Districts withdrew from the stage for several minutes before returning again to even more deafening applause. It was the 12-minute volley of foot stamping and yelling that ensued as “Young Blood” built to the top from the bottom, though that left its final mark on the night with a healthy dose of ear ringing to remind the lucky listeners that The Districts are sticking around.
Back in September Maimed & Tamed booked 10 local folk and Americana acts to perform as part of Ball and Buck’s Boston edition of American Field. This weekend American Field will take to Brooklyn and once again the music will be brought to you by none other than the fine folks from M&T. Our team curated a playlist of some of the best folk, Americana, bluegrass, blues, and soul music to help set the vibe for this weekend’s festivities. While you browse through the finest in American made apparel, wares, and other various products we hope the sounds of Houndmouth, Deer Tick, Uncle Tupelo, Lucero, and many many more will make you feel like eating cherry pie and reading the Constitution.
Check out the full playlist below and make sure to stop by 274 36th St in Brooklyn between 10am and 6pm on Nov 22 and 23 for an All-American experience you won’t want to miss. Get all the details you need on American Field here before heading to Brooklyn this weekend.
Looking for the perfect holiday gift for your audiophile friends? We’ve got you covered. NYC based ticketing site Rukkus is giving away $200 worth of concert tickets and we’ve got the scoop on how you could win. There are two ways you can enter and they’re both quick and easy:
Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with a four sentence poem describing your favorite live music experience
Tweet “I just entered to win $200 in concert tickets from rukkus.com #jointherukkus”
So what are you waiting for? Click here for full details and your name could be called when the winner is announced On December 1.
Here at Maimed & Tamed we are men (and woman) of many hats. One other hat that I wear is as one of the founders of Sofar Sounds Boston. I poured my heart out about my experiences with Sofar in a post last November and I can safely say that a year later I am still as excited, if not more, with what we are doing in the local music scene.
Back in March Sofar Boston hosted three of the most talented bands (and ones that we have covered extensively on this blog) in the region at a loft space in Allston. You can read more about that show here, but we can assure you that Darlingside, Parsonsfield (formerly Poor Old Shine), and Tall Heights all gave incredible performances. That’s why we are extremely excited to premiere the live video from that show featuring “The Running of the Bulls” by Tall Heights. To be at the show was an experience in and of itself, but we were thrilled with how the audio and video from this particular track turned out, especially with the beautiful cello sound that stringmaster Paul Wright was able to produce that night. Before we go too far off on a tangent about our love for Sofar Sounds and the local music scene, check out the aforementioned video below and scroll down to grab tickets for Folk The Cold, a concert on December 27th at The Sinclair featuring both Tall Heights and Darlingside along with our pals The Ballroom Thieves. Don’t forget to sign up to attend a Sofar Boston show in the future, we’d love nothing more than to see some M&T followers at our next show.
Are you a fan of music and photography? Do you wish there was a way to translate your emotional reactions to images into playlists that totally captured that specific vibe? If you find yourself asking these questions often then Moodsnap is the app that you need in your life. Moodsnap is basically image-driven radio that takes individual photos and associates them with a playlist that is meant to evoke similar emotions to that particular photo. When we were approached by Moodsnap to choose an image and curate a playlist to be added to the app we jumped at the chance.
The process was certainly harder than we had first imagined, but it proved to be quite rewarding in the end. The image we chose (the one situated at the top of this post) immediately caught our eye and forced a flow of song ideas into our minds straight away. The photo, taken by Twenty20.com user @carleez, got us thinking of songs that were airy and epic, yet still very much hopeful. With the photo’s main subject always looking forward, presumably to a long and fulfilling future, we thought it appropriate to choose songs that were vast and sweeping, but still very much uplifting.
The best part about Moodsnap is that all of the playlists are collaborative. We kicked things off with the first 25 songs, but once you find our image in the app you can add and remove songs that you want to hear for that image as well. You can find our playlist and many, many others on Moodsnap all for free by downloading the app via the link below. Plug in, pick an image, and enjoy!
Our favorite duo hit the interwebz yesterday with the premier of the official music video for their island-soul inspired “Smile,” the second single of their 2014 release, Shine On.
Shot, directed and edited by Andy Wesby, the video follows two scientists as they build a robot boy and attempt to teach it (it? him?) to “smile.” Their repeated efforts prove unsuccessful, and while one of the scientists (we’ll call him, Dwight) grows dispirited, the other (we’ll call her, Nicole) schemes a new, ingenious idea. But will it work? Can you you really teach a robot how to smile? I guess you’ll just have to watch and find out.
Robot boy may or may not learn to smile, but you’ll sure be grinning from ear to ear for 3 minutes and 35 seconds. We promise you that!