Review: TV Girl, Infinity Crush at Sonia in Cambridge, MA 7-01-2018

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I had been wanting to see TV Girl for a long time now, but there were always conflicts when they came through the Boston area but tonight, I finally got my chance to see them live. I got to Sonia in Central Square pretty quickly for what was a very early show that started around 8:15pm.

I went to the bar and got a Jack’s Abby Hoponius Union and after chatting with the two super friendly bartenders about beer for a few minutes (including my last experience with that god awful pineapple UFO), I found a spot amongst the fairly small crowd to watch Infinity Crush.

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Infinity Crush

Infinity Crush’s Caroline White played a short solo set of indie folk songs that lasted about 25 minutes. Telling stories and bantering with the audience between songs, she seemed to have won over a lot of the crowd with her humor. Also, she had her set list written on her hand which was kind of cute.

After Infinity Crush finished, I ordered another Hoponius Union and was ready to see TV Girl, who got set up and started pretty fast.

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TV Girl

With all three members of TV Girl standing behind various synthesizers, the band tore through a set of pretty mellow indie synth pop that gave the diehard crowd exactly what they wanted. At times dreamy, others hazy, and it all came together in such a perfect way. The band seemed pretty relaxed and just going with the flow, which kept things very light hearted, including some of the speeches between songs.

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TV Girl

This was a really fun show and I was happy to finally get to see TV Girl, although I was a little bummed they didn’t play “If You Want It”, which is my favorite song by them (and admittedly, one I seem to still find myself humming a lot). I finished out the somewhat early night by hitting up what else but Tasty Burger in Harvard Square.

Review: St. Lucia, Tigertown at Royale Boston 2-17-2016

It feels kind of weird to take the T all the way into Boston since I mostly see shows Central Square and the shorter rides have spoiled me. It wasn’t a bad ride though and we got to Royale pretty fast. There are two reasons why I try not to go to Royale for shows, one is the mens bathroom (hey, I drink, I gotta pee) which offers no privacy, and two, the drinks are insanely priced. That being said, it was a St. Lucia show and they are always worth seeing, no matter what.

Although the line to get in was long, it moved quickly and once inside, we were greeted by tables of swag from WERS which I had to pass on since I didn’t really want to carry a t-shirt and other goodies during the show.

Once we got into the main room, the slightly raised dance floor area was completely packed with people, so there was no way to get close to the stage. We waited off to the side, conveniently near one of the bars and were able to get a good view from there to see Tigertown. I started with a Goose IPA which was ok, but beer in a can…meh.

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Tigertown

Tigertown who come from Sydney, Australia, are the opening band on this tour. They played fun synth pop that had the sold out crowd dancing practically the whole time! Although I wasn’t familiar with them, I really enjoyed their set and they were a good opener for St. Lucia!

In between sets I discovered the bathrooms on the other side of the club and they were soo much better! Royale has redeemed themselves! There was also a little stand nearby with a lady selling Harpoon beers on tap, so naturally I got a UFO White while waiting for St. Lucia.

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St. Lucia

This was my third time seeing Brooklyn based St. Lucia, who came out to a roaring crowd and took it all in for a moment. The band went right into “Rescue Me” from their new album, “Matter”, which just came out a few weeks ago and is pretty good. With air blowing lead singer Jean-Philip Grobler’s hair straight up, almost as if it were the wind, it was almost as if you were on the breezy tropical island that their music invokes. A good portion of the set consisted of songs from “Matter” with some older crowd favorites thrown in for good measure, which included two of my favorite St. Lucia songs “September” and as part of the encore they did “Elevate”, which you can’t help but dance to! It was the perfect song to end the show and everyone seemed to leave the venue with smiles on their faces. The only bummer for me personally was that they didn’t play “We Got It Wrong”, which was the song that made me love this band when I saw them in Chicago at a Lollapalooza after party a few years ago (of which, some things are still very hazy, but in a good way).

I was pretty hungry and picked up a delicious steak quesadilla from Maria’s Taqueria in the Theater District before heading home. St. Lucia always put on a fun show and I would highly recommend seeing them if you get the chance, trust me, you won’t regret it (unless you’re against dancing and having fun!).

Culture Collide After Party – Night 1- Wolf-Face, Chris Crack, Slick Rick 7-31-2015

After taking a much needed post-Lollapalooza shower and changing into some clean clothes, I went downstairs at the Hard Rock to wait in line for the Culture Collide after party. By the time I got there, the line was already around the corner. After waiting for about a half hour or so, the line moved we were inside, which really surprised me, since in previous years, that meant at least a 2 hours wait. As soon as I went into the room, there was free food and drinks, as well as gift fanny packs that contained sunglasses and a bandana.

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Wolf-Face

I took my drink and moved into the larger performance space, where there was a very odd looking band dressed straight out of the movie Teen Wolf. It turns out this was a band called Wolf-Face, who are from Tampa, Florida. Lead singer Michael J. Wolf (I see what you did there!) seemed to really be enjoying himself, as the band played fast punk rock, with topics covering things like gym teachers and, well, being a werewolf. It’s funny, because, after a while, I stopped thinking about the schtick and just enjoyed the music. These guys were really fun!

After still taking in what I just saw, I went into the other room to check out what was going on. There was a table where you could make your own buttons and some sort of photo booth thing. Wolf-Face were hanging out and and taking group pictures with people, which was way cool! In the meantime, a DJ was spinning as the crowd mingled.

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Chris Crack

Next was Chicago rapper, Chris Crack. This isn’t usually my kind of thing, but I actually had a good time and enjoyed his set as he took command of the stage with members of his New Deal Crew. At one point, Crack jumped down into the crowd as he rapped. This was a damn good warm up for Slick Rick.

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Slick Rick

I had a few more drinks as DJ Kaos warmed up the crowd for Slick Rick by playing and quizzing people on their knowledge of old school hip hop songs from the 80’s. That was pretty fun. Slick Rick came out wearing sunglasses and gold chains that could be seen from the back of the room. He seemed to do a fairly laid back set of classic hip hop with the crowd singing along to just about everything.

I was on a total high (or perhaps a very nice buzz from all of the free drinks) for the rest of the night. These after parties are one of my favorite things about Lollapalooza weekend. Time to get some sleep and prepare for day 2 of Lollapalooza.

Review: Littlefoot, Doug Tuttle, Calvin Love, Jacco Gardner at the Middle East Upstairs 6-14-2015

After several delays on my way to Cambridge, including construction on 95 and very long times between red line trains at Alewife, I was finally at the Middle East upstairs for a show that I had been looking forward to all week. Littlefoot were already playing as I made my way through the crowd for a better view.

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Littlefoot

I first saw Littlefoot at AS220’s Foo Fest in Providence a couple of years ago and instantly liked them. With a hazy throwback to 60’s pop music, they played a really catchy set! It was a good way to start the night.

I ordered a Harpoon UFO, of course, then made my way back through the packed crowd to get closer to the stage for Doug Tuttle.

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Doug Tuttle

Every time I see Doug Tuttle, I end up liking them more and more. After adjusting some projectors that seemed to be blinding the band, they played an awesome set of psych rock. They ended with a frenzy of guitar and bass distortion, which was really cool.

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Calvin Love

Calvin Love was up next. Admittedly, I wasn’t familiar at all with this band, who are from Edmonton, Canada, but ended becoming a fan a few songs in. They had an 80’s synth pop sound, with Love splitting duties between guitar and synthesizer. This was my favorite band of the night.

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Jacco Gardner

Jacco Gardner, yet another band I have seen at Austin Psych Fest, took a little while to get set up, but once they did, the band went right into their mellow sounding psychedelia. Jacco Gardner seemed kind of shy on stage, and from what I managed to catch of it, they played a pretty good set. I ended up having to leave a few songs in, because it was a Sunday night and the T doesn’t run late, even though the show did.

This whole night had a bit of a retro vibe to it and I ended up buying Calvin Love’s new CD “Super Future”, which I’m really enjoying. A few tracks can be streamed on his Bandcamp page if you’re curious. It was a rough Monday morning at work, but soo worth it to see some great bands!

Review: Fedavees – The Barbazons – The Prefab Messiahs – Secret Lover at the Middle East Upstairs 3-19-2015

This was a local show that I have been looking forward to for a few weeks now. After a very fast ride on the T to Central Square in Cambridge, I arrived at the Middle East Upstairs. Once inside, I found a good spot amongst the crowd to watch the Fedavees, who had just started playing.

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The Fedavees

The Fedavees have a psychedelic fuzz rock sound and were a great way to start out this show featuring Boston area bands. After their set, I ordered a Harpoon UFO from the bar and waited for The Barbazons to go on.

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The Barbazons

The Barbazons, recently changed their name from The Fagettes. You can read more about the reasons why in this excellent article on Boston Hassle by singer Melanie Bernier. This is another band I have seen several times before and as always, they got the crowd moving. They seem to do it all…double drums, saxophone, climbing up on the speakers, and they definitely bring the fun! There was a little bit of a Freddie Mercury kind of vibe going on here.

I went for a plain old Sam Adams Lager since they didn’t have Sam Adams Brick Red, which I tried at PAX East a few weeks ago and loved, only Cold Snap, which is terrible.

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The Prefab Messiahs

The Prefab Messiahs were up next. With one member wearing an old school McDonalds uniform and the others in crazy retro suits, which at times blended into the projections behind them. The band thanked the crowd, then went into their first song and killed it for the rest of the night. To be honest, I wasn’t all that familiar with these guys but they were full of old school sounding psych goodness and it was great!

Back to a Harpoon UFO for the last beer of the night.

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Secret Lover

Secret Lover were the final band of the night. With singer Sally Horowitz dancing all over the stage and even out into the crowd. It was kind of like an indie music burlesque show and it was a fun set!

There was a pretty good mix of older and college aged people, all of whom seemed to be having a good time. It was a really good night of local music and I got to see some bands that were new to me. I grabbed some post show food at Falafel Palace, then caught the train back home to get a little bit sleep before work in the morning.

Review: Krill, Porches, Summer People, Pile at TT the Bear’s 11-22-2013

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I got a bit of a late start on this night, despite trying like hell to get over to Central Square for what was to be a pretty great lineup of bands. After leaving work later than planned and a much needed power nap, I made my way to Alewife and took the T to Central Square on this unusually warm November night.

Jamaica Plain’s Krill, were already playing to a much larger crowd than I expected by the time I got to TT the Bear’s. I only caught their last two songs, which I was really liking and made me wish I had gotten there earlier. After Krill were done, I decided to try a Wolaver’s Pumpkin ale, which was kind of disappointing.

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Porches

Up next were New York’s Porches, who I have read a lot about and was happy to finally have a chance to see. The band sounded a bit of a different live than on their recorded stuff. Lead singer Aaron Maine’s raspy, emotional voice seemed to give the songs a little something extra live. This wasn’t a bad thing at all and I was really liking them a lot. I’m guessing that about half the crowd were there for Porches, since a decent amount of people left after their set.

It was time for another beer and I ended up with a Sam Adams Octoberfest, which despite wearing a good portion of it as I made my way back to the stage area, tasted a lot better than the first beer.

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Summer People

Summer People, who are also from New York, went on next. Going right into the first song, singer Alex Craver played a tambourine furiously for nearly the whole set, which I’m sure left some bruises on him. At one point he jumped down into the crowd, which went crazy and were loving it. It was a pretty energetic set of rock with a little bit of a blues sound.

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Pile

This was my 3rd time seeing Pile, a band I like more every time I’ve seen them. Pile played a pretty rocking set that got some of the crowd moshing and at one point, someone ran up and attempted a stage dive, which is funny because the stage at TT’s is pretty low. Their set felt way shorter than it actually was, but I guess that’s not a bad thing, because I was really into it.

It was a fun night of great music. My only regret is that I missed Krill’s set. I went over to get a Porches CD and ended up briefly chatting with someone at the merch table who was extremely apologetic for not having them. I assured him that I would get it from their Bandcamp, so it’s all good. I ended the night with some much needed food from Falafel Palace, which wasn’t as good as it usually is, but it did the job.

Here’s a bonus video of Summer People doing “Good Stuff“:

Review: Doze, Boogie Boy Metal Mouth, Marconi, Guillermo Sexo at the Middle East Upstairs 9-29-2013

With it being a Sunday, the Patriots playing, and the finale of Breaking Bad, this was a rough night for any band to have a show in the Boston area. I arrived at the Middle East Upstairs, where there was much less of a crowd than I expected. I grabbed a Sam Adams Octoberfest , then took a spot in front of the stage and waiting for Boogie Boy Metal Mouth to go on. Unfortunately, I had missed the opening band Doze.

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Boogie Boy Metal Mouth

A coworker, who I also ran into at the show, had told me about Boogie Boy Metal Mouth a few months ago. This duo consists of J. Ring who does the rapping and Emoh Betta who took care of the scratching and beats. Using rock, metal, and blues backing tracks with heavy bass, distortion, and reverb, it was a pretty interesting sound and worked really well. Never really standing still and even jumping off the stage into the crowd at times, you could tell these guys were into it. The set ended a little more quietly with rapping over a blues rock track.

I went to bar to get another beer, this giving the Harpoon Munich Dark a try. It was smooth and went down nicely..a good choice.

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Marconi

Marconi were up next and this was their last show ever. To be honest, I had never heard of them, but they played pretty low key indie rock and I was really getting into it. The band seemed to be enjoying themselves on stage by cracking jokes. I kind of wish I known about them sooner because they were really good.

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Guillermo Sexo

This was a record release for the night’s headliners, Guillermo Sexo. Playing songs from their new album “Dark Spring“, including “Meow Metal“, “Dark Spring“, and ending with the nearly 8 minute long “Coyote“, the new tracks sounded great live! The band seemed to go off into some indie rock jams at times and it was great!

All in all, it was definitely worth missing Breaking Bad (which was on when I got home) to see a bunch of really good local music. I picked up Guillermo Sexo’s new album “Dark Spring” which is excellent and a t-shirt because, hey why not?