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Homegrown 4 - not quite legalized but definitely therapeutic @ Cambridge Elks Lodge - 11/2 and 11/3

Posted by Jonathan Donaldson October 31, 2012 06:58 PM

276400_363013963784084_1834663462_n.jpgThe Boston Police Department may be cracking down on local house show hosts like Whitehaus and Gay Gardens (chronicled nicely here by Perry Eaton in Allston Pudding) but have no fear denizens of funky music--the festival that represents all the best that the underground has to offer is happening in full effect this weekend.

We are speaking here of course about Homegrown 4--the celebrity baby of Boston's Dan Shea (Boston Hassle/B.O.W. shows) and Sam Potrykus (Boston Compass). Shea and Potrykus aren't just members of Needy Visions, but are also two of the hardest working promoters I've come across in my 20 years as a music nerd.

What do you get when two people who really love music, like, insanely a lot, pool together all of their connections and resources to put on the best music festival of their dream bands? You get Homegrown.

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Ruby Ridge goes under the Knife @ Great Scott ("The Pill") - 10/31

Posted by Jonathan Donaldson October 31, 2012 03:21 PM

RubyRidge.jpgOf all of the bands that will be dressing up and performing the music of other bands tonight in the Boston Halloween tradition, there are no choices more obscure than Ruby Ridge performing as the Knife at tonight's The Pill 10th Annual Halloween Party at Great Scott. Comprised of married couple John and Callan Von Bittrich, Ruby Ridge have both the acumen and set-up to take on the arch-electronica of Swedish brother/sister duo, the Knife, best known for chipping away at rockist barriers with the breakthrough 2006 release Silent Shout.

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What's that musical mountain emerges the distance? Bent Shapes? Sic Alps? - 10/25 @ Radio

Posted by Jonathan Donaldson October 25, 2012 05:48 PM


Lots of good shows have been dive bombing Somerville's Radio lately, and tonight's show will be one of the best. San Francisco's Sic Alps harken back to a time when skinny boys with bad teeth made records and people went to the store and bought them and took them home and played them (wait they still do that?). Their new album Sic Alps (Drag City) is full of the sights and sounds of a warm, cramped dive bar, c.1968. Check it out and notice how "Glyphs" has the sludgey symphonics and lava lamp vocals of Syd's Floyd, minus the gnomes. Then "God Bless Her, I Miss Her" grooves along mid-sweat, like CCR to the Blues Explosion's Mitch Ryder.

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For explorers of sound, Boston's Bent Shapes is one of the other mountain-esque bands on tonight's bill. Formerly known as Girlfriends, the newly re-christened Bent Shapes feature a tighter cleaner sound on their new flexidisc "Boys to Men"/"Brat Poison."

(photo Alex Bloemendal)

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Rick Berlin meets Hey Ice Machine - Q&A (+ CD Release tonight for Berlin @ the Magic Room!)

Posted by Jonathan Donaldson October 25, 2012 10:22 AM

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Welcome to installment #3 of Frankenstein meets the Wolf Man-where unrelated Boston musicians are made to review each other's records. I am your friendly moderator, which I guess would make me more of a Lou Costello than a Bud Abbot. If you catch my drift. In this installment we have Rick Berlin, who is like, Willy Wonka-talented and has been around forever...and then over here very impressive newcomers Hey Ice Machine, who up until recently were known as Shelterbelt (but how new can you be though when your band features members of Fuzzy(!), Frank Smith, Muy Cansado and Mittens?) Both Mr. Berlin and Hey Ice Machine have new records out, discussed below in an exchange between the two parties and in fact, Rick Berlin's CD release party for Rick Berlin and the Nickle & Dime Band's Always On Insane is TONIGHT at the Magic Room in Allston (see details below). As always, my take on the two albums very much informs the questions. But see for yourself just how unexpectedly things play out between Hey Ice Machine's Jonathan Ulman and Rick Berlin. Mwa-ha-ha.

Hey Ice Machine Album Cover.jpgInsane_Cover-01_RGB_web.jpg

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About the author

Jonathan Donaldson is a Boston-based musician, writer, and second-generation music junkie. An Ohio native who moved to Boston in 1998, Jonathan's musical loves include R&B, psych, punk, bubblegum, country, electronic, More »

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