Once, in a crowded triple-decker in Somerville, I heard someone ask a California transplant, “What’s the difference between west coast girls and Boston girls?”
Without hesitation, he responded, “You don’t have to ask girls from Boston what they think about things- they’ll tell you.”
It’s true- about Bostonians and Massachusetts residents, we’re opinionated. We’re tough. We’re prickly. We’re overly prideful. We’re always right. And we’re full of heart.
I took a sick day on Marathon Monday- and woke up from a groggy nap on the couch just in time to see Matt Napoli hit a double off the green monster and win the game for the Red Sox. It was the kind of Patriot’s Day Massachusetts residents dream about – beautiful, sunny, the sox winning, people from all over gathering to watch the marathon. The kind of day where Emerson students would swarm out of their dorms and make the common their own personal campus green. People would meet at J.P. Licks for ice cream and ice coffee sales at Dunkin Donuts would skyrocket. I remember looking out the window and thinking, “What a beautiful day.”
An hour later, from the safety of my couch, I watched the news with tears running down my face.
When I was younger, I’d make mixtapes to feel better- to soundtrack moments. I guess I still do. Today, when I think about the city where I discovered my love for live music- in places like The Axis, The Avalon, The Middle East- these are the songs I’ll be listening to. Some are predictable, some you’ve heard a million times, but for me there is a comfort in that.
The return of Rilo Kiley! In the girl-fronted-band-full-of-ex-child-actors category, Rilo Kiley has always been one of my favorites. Rather than return with a more rhompus number (think “Smoke Detector” or “15″), Jenny Lewis and Co. have snuck back onto the scene with the soulful melody, “Let Me Back In” which is more reminiscent of the guitars on “Ripchord” combined with the vocals of “Give a Little Love”.
This week British artist Kate Nash brought her own genre-bending form of sound to The Paradise in Boston, MA. Part of the new generation of riotgrrrl, Nash has developed her sound from the homemade Myspace pop of Made of Bricks into a rougher distortion on her new release Girl Talk.
Her all girl backing band puts anyone doubting lady rockers to shame- playing an array of songs off the new release including the must listens “Rap for Rejection”, “3 AM”, and “Fri-end?”. Nash has pulled the heavy keyboard from her songs and successfully replaced it with distorted guitar and bass. While everyone in The Paradise knew the words to her more radio friendly tracks like “Foundation”, most of the crowd seemed to be vibing off her new style just as well.
Anyone surprised by Nash’s new direction must not have been listening to her second release, specifically the spoken word “Mansion Song” that marked the clear bridge between Made of Bricks and Girl Talk.
Other memorable songs from Nash’s live show included a rally cry to free another notorious girl band from jail and a cover of the 90s radio bug “I’m a Bitch”.
By successfully making her musical transitions without losing her quirky style, Nash shows how artists can grow and change without losing sight of themselves.
Whether you love it or hate it, Valentine’s Day has a way of showing up every year. For the most part, I think we’ve all had our good years and our bad ones. So this year, girlseeksband has 2 mixes- one for the lovers and one for the haters. Whether you’re looking for songs to warm your heart or scream along to, we’ve got the soundtrack for you. Happy Valentine’s Day! (Or, Screw Valentine’s Day!)
Sorry for the long seeking break- but here we are- new year! New bands! And new venues!
Since the House of Blues take over of Boston a few years ago, it was looking looking a bit dismal for new venues to open in the Boston area. But luckily, the end of 2012 brought us a brand new venue on Church St in Cambridge. And what better way to check out a new venue then by seeing a band that Paste Magazine called one of “The 20 Best New Bands of 2012″?
My first impressions of the Sinclair are all positive- the design of the space is open and simple, with both a standing balcony and a section with tables. I also appreciated the thought that went into the layout of The Sinclair. For instance, the balcony has a raised area- so, if you’re not right on the railing, you’re standing on a higher section, meaning you can still see (trust me, this was not lost on this 5’2″ concert goer!!). Combo this up with a great bar selection and this might just be my new favorite venue. Another great feature is that The Sinclair has decided to follow The Middle East formula and has a restaurant, The Sinclair Kitchen, adjacent to the actual venue.
For my first visit to The Sinclair, the sold out show was full of the eclectic roots of Shovels and Rope. Back in the fall, I got the chance to see the duo open for Jack White, and was immediately enveloped in their country/rootsy rock sounds. Now headlining, the group sold out The Sinclair and brought their same enthusiasm to the small Cambridge location. The thing that continues to amaze me is the way Cary Ann Hearst and Michael Trent pick up instruments on the stage the way kids pick colors in a crayon box – each of them seems just as comfortable on the drums as they do on guitars as they do singing vocals.
Each of them also bring a charm to the stage, and even if this isn’t your typical genre of choice, I think I’d be hard pressed to find someone who wasn’t instantly taken in by their live show spell.
I’ve already got my tickets to another sold out show at The Sinclair; Bad Books w/ The Front Bottoms and Weatherbox, so expect many more visits to Cambridge to come!
Multi-colored lights, an overabundance of Christmas cookies, and wrapped presents starting to accumulate under the tree- I’d say the holiday season is in full swing. I know some people can’t stand Christmas music, but I’ve always loved it; it just goes along perfectly with all those warm fuzzy feelings I get this time of year. So, in honor of my favorite time of year, here’s the official girlseeksband holiday mix (OK OK, Christmas mix with one Hanukkah song tossed in for good measure). Use it to sing along in the car, soundtrack your holiday party, or just listen while you get drunk on eggnog by a fire- whatever your speed. Happy Holidays!