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Boston Calling September

Is there still magic at Boston Calling?

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Not to make this about me (it is my blog!) but I’ve been feeling really out of touch with music lately. I’ve even felt turned off by a lot of acts I used to love and how corporate festivals have gotten makes me so very sad (especially after Newport Folk Festival, which I’m aware is a completely different beast) so as I was walking to Boston Calling on Friday night it might have been that feeling that filled me with dread…it wasn’t a great progression to see the stages now being called “Capital 360 Stage” and the “Jet Blue” stage. It might have been the long summer that filled me with dread, that September’s Boston Calling was the start to a long and cold season in Boston or perhaps that college kids would litter the City Hall with their crop tops and high waisted shorts. Well, it wasn’t really any of those feelings that I felt when I entered through the media area and saw the same friendly faces greeting me and as I looked over Boston Calling’s expansive revamped set up, I started to remember the magic of Boston Calling.

There was a little bit of magic throughout the entire weekend, that’s for sure. Yes, I might be getting too old and too bitter to really appreciate a festival anymore – I rather the crowd know all the lyrics to every song, I get tired after standing for 10 hours, and I’m not exactly a fan of listening to music that I dislike – that’s absolutely true. But, that’s also no reflection on the wonderful job that Boston Calling does bringing curated music to the masses in the middle of City Hall. In fact that sentence is magic. When I started my freshman year at Boston University, I didn’t even leave the freshman bubble of Comm Ave for months. Boston Calling pulls people deep into the city to explore new areas and have new experiences which would have been unimaginable years ago.

There was magic found in the older and wonderful crowd that attended on Friday that I look on with the thought WHY DIDN’T YOU ATTEND ALL THREE DAYS! The three bands on Friday were curated so perfectly. The flow from Future Islands’s obscure weirdness to the reunion of Neutral Milk Hotel and their incredibly long beards to The National back for a second time and visibly excited to see how far the festival had come.

I’ll admit it, I wasn’t super pumped and excited as the many tweens were for Saturday’s lineup ending with headliners Lorde and Childish Gambino. I was really excited for Volcano Choir who I had seen literally destroy my soul at Paradise Rock Club two years prior (to the point where I was so out of it that I broke my wrist on the way home on my bike NO RAEGRETS!) but unfortunately, there was a rain delay which I’m sure everyone and their mother has heard about from the sheer amount of tweets going out. Honestly, without Twitter I’m not sure this would be run so smoothly – props to the Boston Calling Twitter Handle Person aka “I’m a cool mom” twitter handle. With Girl Talk and Volcano Choir cancelled my heart was crushed due to not being able to see Justin Vernon. Even so, when you reference the whole “not excited” comment made above, Lorde brought down the fucking house, a house that was sad and depressed because of the storm and cancellations. I’ve never fallen so quickly in love with an act. She stole the day for me. It was like the rain had not even happened, it was like she was playing to a sold out festival instead of people running through the gates to get to her last few songs. It was by far one of the most captivating sets I’ve ever seen. She was endearing and commanding, cute and sexy, she was fierce and powerful and she sung her gosh darn heart out. It’s safe to say I completely understand her and her art now.

Sunday was utterly gorgeous but it was also the start of football season and I’ve got mad cash invested in my fantasy football league so to be completely honest with everyone, I listened from the VIP section with TVs for the first two sets. Again, no raegrets. Sets from San Fermin and Lake Street Dive were highlights for the folk-obsessed older lady living inside of me because the vocals were oh so wonderful and the sun was beating down the exact right amount unlike the 90 degree humidity we had to endure Saturday.

All in all, as far as I can tell there is still a little bit of real magic left in Boston Calling but we’ve got to be careful to hold it and keep it every time we have another one because you can lose magic just as quickly as Harry Potter apararates.

The Last Bison

New Music: The Last Bison’s new single, “Bad Country”

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The Last Bison, a band that came out of Virginia in 2012, have a new tune for you. “Bad Country,” is the lead-off track from the bands’ new album VA (out September 30th).  Their debut album with NPR dubbed, “Classical influenced southern folk rock,” but since then things have changed, perhaps for the better.

To capture the sounds on VA, The Last Bison spent many days in an old A-frame cabin on the outskirts of the Great Dismal Swamp, near the band’s home in Chesapeake, VA. Out came a new sound – filled with booming drums and a renewed energy. Additionally, they’ve pick up the anthemic sound found in many of the Lumineers and Mumford and Sons songs, which I’m not a huge fan of, but I support these guys.

You can also check out The Last Bison on a big tour in support of of the releasewhich kicks off toward the end of September (all dates below).
The Last Bison: Website // Facebook // Twitter // // YouTube // Instagram // Soundcloud
Upcoming Tour Dates
9/26 – Richmond, VA – The Camel (tix)
9/30 – Pittsburgh, PA – Hard Rock Cafe (tix)
10/01 – Bloomington, IN – The Bishop (tix)
10/02 – Chicago, IL – Schubas Tavern (tix)
10/03 – Minneapolis, MN – 7th Street Entry (tix)
10/04 – Rock Island, IL – Rozz Tox (tix)
10/16 – New York, NY – Mercury Lounge (tix)
10/17 – Fairfield, CT – StageOne (tix)
10/18 – Philadelphia, PA – World Cafe Live (tix)
10/22 – Durham, NC – Motorco Music Hall (tix)
10/23 – Atlanta, GA – Vinyl (tix)
10/24 – Athens, GA – New Earth Music Hall (tix)
10/25 – Charlotte, NC – Visulite Theatre (tix)
11/06 – Vienna, VA – Jammin’ Java (tix)
11/07 – Charlottesville, VA – The Southern (tix)

New Music: Blake Mills’s Don’t Tell Our Friends About Me

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Blake Mills’s new track, “Don’t Tell Our Friends About Me,” is beautiful song to get utterly lost in. Singer/songwriter Blake Mills collaborates often with Fiona Apple and Apple sings on this new single with Jon Brion. Apple sings background and Brion plays tiple. I can’t speak highly enough about – it’s a folk-rock tune that meshes expertly with the prettiness of singer-songwriter tunes – with exceptional lyrics. 

Blake’s new album, Heigh Ho, is out September 16th via Verve / Record Collection which features Don Was, Jim Keltner, Tony Berg, Benmont Tench, Mike Elizondo, and Griffen Goldsmith. Listen below. 

Blake Mills: Site // Facebook

Folk Shows in Boston

Ability to Apparate: 5 Folk Shows in Boston to see on August 22nd

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Do you feel it in the air a la the Newport Folk picture above? Folk is back with a vengeance (and it’s awesome!). There’s an explosion of folk shows in Boston, happening on Friday, August 22nd so if you have the ability to apparate, here are the five shows you should go to in no particular order. 

BONUS SHOW NOT FOLK:

The Field Effect, The Box Tiger, Midnight Masses, The Color and Sound at TT the Bears | 18+ | 8:30PM | $10

 If you hate folk, happiness and love, don’t fret – this killer show is ALSO happening on August 22nd. Lord, if only we could apperate. 

Morningsiders

If you don’t know, now you know: Morningsiders

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I’ve falling in love with a New York City band called Morningsiders that just has it all going on. There’s an it-factor sound about them, the kind you want to just scream from the rooftops or in this case, write about on your small music blog. A young folk-indie-pop band out of NYC, they recently-ish released track, “Empress,” and performed at Sofar Sounds NYC AND they are playing Cafe 939 on 10/10.  So what I meant to say is  a very busy young folk-indie-pop band out of NYC.

Magnus Ferguson is lead vocals and guitar man of Morningsiders – I’d like to say that I absolutely adore your name. Is this real? Please tell me! Reid Jenkins, Rob Frech, and Sam Sugerman join him. Their new-ish track “Empress,” features a beautiful addictive piano melody, the clapping beat you’ve come to know (and secretly love) on great indie songs, sing-a-long loudly in your bedroom vocals (new technical term). Their music isn’t all catchy indie-bips and bops, another track recently released, “Welcome Rain,” a slower more intense track featuring a killer violin backing.

Listen up.