It was on a sunny afternoon at the Doe Bay Festival on Orcas Island, Washington when I discovered Animal Eyes. They were sandwiched between multiple good acts, and often bands that played in that time slot were forgotten in the mix of so much good talent. But Animals Eyes stuck out to me. I watched and listened with my friends, after each song grinning from ear to ear. These guys were really good. After one song that sounded particularly great, bassist and vocalist Colin McArthur announced, “That was a new one we haven’t released yet called Mushroom Hunter.”
“Mushroom Hunter,” I repeated to myself. I had to own it the second it became available. (more…)
A few weekends ago, Father John Misty performed right near the Tufts campus at the Somerville Theater. After a long solo career as J. Tillman, during which he released seven albums, he “relaunched” under this new persona to release 2012’s fantastic Fear Fun. Perhaps what was most exciting about the night was seeing him so comfortable with the Father John Misty character, and having a clear direction of where he’s going from here.
To start the night, Tillman featured comedienne Kate Berlant. Berlant is a New York City-based performer whose satirical, offbeat style took the audience by surprise. She opens her act by coming on stage with an acoustic guitar. “Oh, a musical comedienne”, most of us thought. Instead, we got a hilarious caricature of self-indulged performers. Her act consists of her intending on “playing a couple of songs” for the crowd, but constantly getting distracted and going off on pretentious tangents about this world we live in and the media and missing someone who you’ve never even met.
Seeing Portland artists Typhoon and Radiation City a few weeks ago was a great experience, so I figured I would keep the theme going by seeing two more bands from area. On Friday, I was lucky to see Portland-based Menomena and The Helio Sequence perform at The Sinclair in Cambridge. It was an excellent night of energetic, experimental indie rock that left me hoping to see them again live soon.
As a co-headlining tour, Menomena and The Helio Sequence have been switching off set spots. In Friday’s case, Menomena went first, opening their set with a quiet introduction with “Ghostship”. Its plodding baseline and drummer Danny Seim’s haunting background whistling (a nice touch from the recorded version) made it a good way to kick off the night. Transitioning directly into another song, or “West” perhaps (which follows on the album), would have been even better.
Seattle hip-hop duo THEESatisfaction has been slowly rising in popularity over the last few years. The duo made guest appearances on fellow label mates Shabazz Palaces’ album Black Up and have been contributing steadily to a new era of Northwest hip-hop. Recognizable by their spacey off-balance beats and quick, stream-of-consciousness rapping, THEESatisfaction has an incredibly unique sound.
My Sunday was highlighted by the visit of the bands Typhoon and Radiation City to Brighton Music Hall. Being two Portland-area bands that I’ve been following for some time, it was a show I made sure to catch. And the night certainly didn’t disappoint!
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