MUSIC REVIEW | Information Society at The Fine line Music Cafe

The crowd for Information Society’s April 18 homecoming show at the Fine Line Music Cafe appeared to have been mostly in junior high and high school while InSoc was releasing the albums that made them a hit. DJ Jake Rudh began the evening with music and media designed to take us back to that time, when a handful of weird kids with samples and synthesizers could become a band and an enduring band at that. Stony-faced and ambitiously coiffed young musicians of thirty years ago shared the screen with Star Wars sequels and Daleks to create a 1980s just a bit better than the decade we actually grew up with.When locals Dance Assault took the stage to open, the time warp was complete. While their music wasn’t derivative of any one band or even style from the era, its mix of New Wave, Disco-influenced electronica, and seduction rock would have made it perfectly at home on the radio in about 1983. A strong use of rhythm, particularly in transitions within the songs, had people dancing from the first few notes while avoiding the sense that we’d heard the whole thing before.After Dance Assault, another local electronic band took the stage. Continue Reading

MUSIC REVIEW | Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds worth the wait at the State Theatre

It was 2001, September. I had tickets to see Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds at the end of the month for my birthday. Then something a little bigger than a concert happened, and air traffic into the U.S. looked (rightly) like a very bad idea. The U.S. tour was postponed. Those of us with tickets were told we could get a refund then or hold our tickets to be exchanged when the show was rescheduled. Continue Reading

REVIEW | Thomas Dolby’s “The Invisible Lighthouse” at the Cedar Cultural Center

Performances at The Cedar Cultural Center always have a rather informal quality, but Thomas Dolby’s show on Tuesday, November 5 was downright intimate. That was appropriate for the material. Dolby has recently finished his first film, The Invisible Lighthouse, about the Suffolk rivers and marshes that have inspired him throughout his career and about the closing of the Orford Ness Lighthouse, which stood above them all.Local DJ Jake Rudh prepared the crowd for what they were about to see with a set built mostly from artists who paved the way for the performance we were about to see. Laurie Anderson, David Bowie, Kraftwerk, footage from Tron—the screen was full of innovators in film and music. One of the highlights was a Lene Lovitch performance of “New Toy,” featuring a very young Thomas Dolby (who wrote the song) on keyboards. Continue Reading

MUSIC REVIEW | Amanda Palmer at First Avenue, where oddities are the norm

An Amanda Palmer concert is one of those places where you run into friends you didn’t expect to meet, then like them a little better afterward. It’s the kind of place where you’re not always sure what’s happening, but you roll with it because … hey. It’s the kind of place where you don’t feel exactly safe, but you walk out feeling stronger because nothing happened that was quite beyond your capacity to cope.

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