In 2011, the Los Angeles-based indie outfit Run River North (formerly known as Monsters Calling Home) released an unplanned demo, a last-minute promotional piece to sell on tour. With only that demo, the six-piece band has seen extraordinary buzz, including a booking on Jimmy Kimmel Live! Run River North writes brilliant harmonies with paired layered instrumentations, and puts on an awe-inspiring live show. Its full-length album, produced by Phil Ek (the Shins, Band of Horses, the Walkmen, Fleet Foxes), was released on February 25.
$12 in advance, $14 day of show, general admission
The minimalist indie pop duo Mates of State has been performing music for the past 15 years, releasing albums with Polyvinyl and later Barsuk while touring with bands such as Superdrag, the Anniversary, and Beulah. The band is the work of keyboardist and vocalist Kori Gardner and drummer and vocalist Jason Hammel, who were married in 2001. The couple’s vocal harmonies remain a mainstay of the accessible yet original Mates of State sound.
In 2008, Shawn Fogel adopted the name Golden Bloom for his solo project. Six years later, Golden Bloom is writing, arranging, and recording as a band, making heartfelt pop music that is dynamic, bombastic, and beautiful. Over the years, Golden Bloom has shared the stage with acts like Guster, Ben Lee, Robyn Hitchcock, Telekinesis, and David Bazan. Golden Bloom is currently working on a new full-length album.
Watch Mates of State perform “Now We’re Gonna Get It” live in this video:
CANCELED due to presenter illness. Please look for a rescheduled day in the fall semester!
How do Hollywood Music Supervisors discover, select and license music for film, television and commercials? What new tools and submission practices could increase opportunities for independent musicians?
Thursday, February 27, 7:00 p.m.-8:50 p.m.
Media Lab, 150 Mass. Ave.
Tom McBride, American Beauties, and 27 PLUS share the stage for a night ranging from alt-country folk to soulful rock 'n' roll.
Singer-songwriter Tom McBride brings country, folk, and pop influences to his original songs. “I was trying to identify those songs that I loved as a child and still enjoy now,” McBride says of his third album, Morning in Glen Burnie. “I looked backwards a little bit and dug deeper into some older folk, pop, and country songs by artists like Roy Orbison, Buck Owens, and George Jones. I was challenging myself to simplify my writing, to really dig into more traditional forms and melodies.”
American Beauties plays indie folk rock reminiscent of bands such as the Jayhawks, Wilco, Son Volt, and Crosby Stills Nash and Young. The band’s debut album, Too Worn to Mend, was released last year and has received extensive airplay on college and independent radio in the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. It was recorded by Grammy-winning engineer Ducky Carlisle, who played drums and co-produced the album with songwriter Michael Gray.
After forming at Berklee, 27 PLUS has recorded its original, soulful blend of rock ‘n’ roll tunes on its debut EP, Change. The band’s music translates into a fun and energetic live show.
Jay Stolar is a soul singer with an impressive arsenal of heart-gripping songs. Extremely active in the New York City music scene, Stolar’s live performances hearken back to the early days of R&B, when it was an artist’s job to connect to every person in the room.
Secret Someones is the new project from established New York City singer-songwriters Bess Rogers, Lelia Broussard, and Hannah Winkler, who are joined by powerhouse drummer and multi-instrumentalist Zach Jones. Emphasizing songwriting excellence, Secret Someones draws inspiration from the likes of Weezer, Talking Heads, and Tom Petty. Loud, fun, and catchy as hell, Secret Someones are collectively bringing it, and they’re just getting started.
Over the last four years, Star & Micey has become one of the most talked about and celebrated acts to come out of Memphis. Having earned a reputation for crafting singable melodies with honest lyrics, this harmonically gifted quartet has earned critical acclaim for its 2009 eponymous debut and its 2012 EP I Can’t Wait. Featuring a blend of acoustic and electric guitars, banjos, bass, and drums, all four members of Star & Micey sing and contribute layer after layer of harmonies to augment their original blend of beautiful songwriting. Always favoring authenticity over kitsch, Star & Micey have been ranked as number one on Paste Magazine’s “12 Tennessee Bands You Should Listen To Now.”
Watch a video for Star & Micey’s “I Can’t Wait” here:
The Grownup Noise has evolved into a rousing and innovative pop-music outfit, bridging the gap between Americana and indie. Since releasing their self-titled debut in 2007, they have shared stages with performers from comedian Patton Oswalt to fellow avant-baroque musicians like Dresden Doll Amanda Palmer and acclaimed Canadian barnstormers Rock Plaza Central. The band is finally gearing up for its playful, poignant new LP, This Time with Feeling. Described by the Portland Press Herald (Maine) as a combination of "smart lyrics with keen vocals" with songs that are "doses of melodic sunshine.” The Grownup Noise has maintained and built its fan base during the intervening years through a savvy combination of eccentric pop songs, natural talent, and determination.
Miracles of Modern Science are an unlikely rock band. Using just mandolin, violin, cello, standup bass, and drums, they create explosive pop that upends notions of what these instruments can do. Dog Year, their debut LP, finds MOMS pushing the limits of their antique instruments and throwing aside conventions as readily as their genre-bending idols, Bowie and Bartok. You'll hear unhinged baritone vocals anchored by a looming upright bass, mandolin riffs that share more DNA with post-rock than bluegrass, and a two-man string section shredding as ferociously as the rock drummer behind them. The result is as daring as it is infectious.
Writing intensely personal music is nothing new for Montreal's Patrick Krief (of The Dears). Upon completing his recent release, Hundred Thousand Pieces, Krief had to step away from the project for nearly six months. The self-produced, self-mixed Hundred Thousand Pieces was his first concerted attempt to create music that was strongly evocative and inspired by his work scoring films.
$10 in advance, $12 day of show, general admission
Matthew Halpin's Earwax Control will be performing new compositions by the members of the group, and collectively improvising to a series of projected animations and film clips. Julia Easterlin is a vocalist and songwriter who wields composition, production and performance in one fell swoop. One part siren and one part techie, she uses looping hardware to build a one-woman chorus live on stage.
Berklee Music Fest on Georges Island offers a free concert featuring three student groups with music ranging from indie rock to folk to blues. Drunken Logic draws from Death Cab for Cutie and the Who. Eleven Dollar Bills has been on NPR's "Here and Now," and Friendly People has performed at SXSW.
Drunken Logic: 2:00 p.m. - 2:50 p.m.
With a highly potent live show and songs that jump out of the speakers and resonate in your ears, Drunken Logic is one of the few bands that gets you to let loose and keeps you thinking about the music for days afterward. This earnest brand of indie rock combines the best aspects of Death Cab for Cutie, Frightened Rabbit, Foo Fighters, and the Who into a powerful concoction that delivers a sucker punch. Just when it seemed that the raw, youthful energy of the rock 'n' roll tradition and the honest emotion and thoughtfulness of the indie movement would never be reconciled, Drunken Logic serves as the exception to the rule.
Doctor Doctor: 3:00 p.m. - 3:50 p.m.
The good Doctors play loud, proud, and sometimes profound, rock and roll music on acoustic, and sometimes electric, instruments. DoctorDoctor is not comprised of two doctors. It is not comprised of one doctor and one non-doctor either. Having said that, Doctor Doctor is good for what ales you.
Friendly People: 4:00 p.m. - 4:50 p.m.
In a desperate search for warmth in the Boston winter of 2010-2011, a few friends—some old, some new—came together to see what would happen when they brought their musical tastes, talents, and trinkets into the same room. What started as a jam in a Cambridge, Massachusetts, living room has led to a recently released debut album, Shake, and a tour across the United States to perform at this year's South By Southwest Festival. With five minds and five million ideas, the result is Friendly People, folk-infused indie rock, hand-crafted to make you feel at home.