Friday, October 28, 2011

Joe Lally Interview. Fugazi bass player, solo artist.

So the news I had to share is that I had done an interview with Joe Lally. Joe is probably best known as the bassist for the band Fugazi. He has released a few solo records and is about to do a short run of dates in the US. I hope you'll check out the interview I did for "Visible Voice". You can see it right here.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Explosions in the Sky - Orpheum Theater, Boston

Explosions in the Sky
Orpheum Theater, Boston, MA
Wednesday October 5, 2011

Support – The Antlers

Walking down the alley towards the historic Orpheum Theater had me feeling a bit worried. How would this post rock band from Texas handle the theater crowd? Blending some of the quietest to suddenly loudest music your mind, ear and soul can bear it was actually the audience I was worried about. Would they clap at the wrong time? Would the calmness of a moment result in the random yelps from the audience? Yes on both questions, but Explosions In The Sky had everyone in the palm of their hand few would mind.

Arriving on stage at 8:45 the members went to their instruments. To the left was guitarist Mark Smith, Mike James, who played more guitar than bass this time around, in the center, drummer Chris Hransky on drums, touring bassist Carlos Torres to his left and Munaf Rayani to the right. Munaf is the lone person with a microphone and all it is used for is to say hello and goodbye. Okay, so he said more than that, but other than a polite, and very humble “thank you for coming and listening to our music” the band strapped in and started the 90 minute set with “The Only Moment We Were Alone”, the second track off the album “The Earth is Not a Cold Dead Place”. Over the course of the next ten minutes the wall of sound, the flailing bodies worked ear drums like a speed bag. Smith is rather calm for the bulk of the show but James and Rayani punch their guitars like they did something wrong.

For “Greet Death” James would strap on his bass and continue to beat it like it stole something from him raising it high above his head and Rayani would peel his guitar off and drag it back and forth from front to back along the floor. The song transitions to a cool calm feel at which point Rayani remained on the floor teasing his strings with a small metallic object and off setting it with a slide. Smith ran a loop effect on his guitar as the track winds down, and its looping scratch rung in the halls seemingly for minutes after. The band rolled forward on the epic “Six Days at the Bottom of the Ocean” and the long slow build up found Hransky hitting the floor tom to a venue shaking rumble, he'd do it a few times and the band grew in urgency as the guitars seemed to be coming from all sides.

Even with all this wall of sound it was fun to pan the audience from time to time to look at faces. Some jaws slightly dropped, others just with their eyes closed waving head from side to side, others squirming in their seats wishing everyone else would just stand up already. Not a face was seen of frustration, just a gentle calm in an very loud setting.

Songs would have quiet build ups and the audience was on the edge of their seat. Many seeming to wait for the right time to let it all out. Even this reviewer was hard pressed to not shout a joyous roar of approval. The audience seemed to know the right time and even shouting song requests were kept to the quiet transitions between tracks.

On what turned out to be the final song of the evening in “The Moon is Down” Rayani the band took the usual long epic build up which then found him huddled on the floor toggling with his array of effect pedals. Next thing you know he pulls out an ebow (a device that sends a signal to a guitar sting for a long continuous drone type sound) and tapes the device to his guitar that is now laying on the floor. Still on his knees Rayani takes to a tambourine and just hits it as hard as he can on the floor over and over.

Then, it ends. The audience shoots to their feet, hands over head and letting the last 90 minutes of pent up adoration pour out. Hransky rises from his drum kit, waves as does James and Smith. Rayani takes to the microphone once more and in the calmest and sincerest tone thanks us again for “our time” and “lending them our ears”. The band, who never encores, was hardly off the stage before the house lights came up.

The full set.
The Only Moment We Were Alone
Last Known Surroundings
Catastrophe and the Cure
Postcards from 1952
Greet Death
Six Days at the Bottom of the Ocean
Let Me Back In
The Birth and Death of the The Day
The Moon is Down

Walking in to the cool Boston night the muttering of “awesome” and “just epic” were heard more than once as people pulled earplugs out and had smiles seemingly from ear to ear. Explosions in the Sky continue to shine in a live setting.

Few other quick shots from the iPhone.

The obligatory marquee picture:

This is Munaf Rayani tuning up before the show.
This is Mark Smith tuning up.
The very top picutre was the lone one I took "in action".


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Boston Bruins Stanley Cup Parade

Okay, it has taken me long enough just to get these finally posted. The parade was back on June 18th and the season kicks off October 6th (tomorrow). For me to sort em would take even just bear with me.

I was on the corner of Boyleston and Tremont Street. I was on person off the rail with a stop light to my left so I could lean. I arrived early as you can see and it took over 1hr for the parade to get to me. Rumor has it that it was the largest parade for a team in Boston history. Seemed odd with the Red Sox taking longer to win, but their first parade was during the week, in November and it was raining.

Here goes.

This was the first duck boat to pass. On the back corner is Tim Thomas and Zdeno Chara.

This shot was actually towards the end of the parade. I understood later that the cup was passed from player to player so each had time with it. My section of the parade had Mark Recchi

Another shot of Mark with the cup. We waiting a long time for this. People were going crazy.

This shot was early in day. Just before I took this picture 3 MBTA buses came down the street and unloaded the police. For a bit I felt VERY safe. The older man in the image was part of the only 3 people in front of me. They sat on the curb (and stood when the parade came) but we held our ground well.

This was before the parade got to us. It felt like ages and everyone was starting to get impatient. This is looking up Tremont Street towards the State House.

Here they come...we had waited hours and hours.

This is the first shot of the day I took. The roads were not even closed yet. The Boston Common is to the right (where you see the trees).

This boat had Dennis Seidenberg on the back corner.

Micheal Ryder (now with the Dallas Stars). Notice on the upper left of the image, someone taking video/photos with an iPad.

Lets get back to the cup. This is/was the closest I have been to the Cup.

This was a mix of players and other notables. To the left of the image is Rene Rancourt. He is the anthem singer for (most) of the home games. People love this guy. He was excited to be there for sure.

This is Milan Lucic

Nathan Horton tippin his hat..and yeah you can look at the blonde (his wife Tammy)

Bruins television color commentator Andy Brickley

So, that is it. Lets hope for a repeat in '11-12 and another parade.