With overused comparisons to Ben Folds and after catching the attention of Fountains of Wayne, Stephie Coplan and the Pedestrians are quickly establishing themselves as a band on the rise. They have played for delighted audiences in New York and New Jersey and recently performed at Toad and Precinct in a small Boston-area road trip. Stephie Coplan is no stranger to those venues. She only recently moved to the New York area after honing her skills performing solo in clubs like the Lizard Lounge. I had a chance to both watch the band and interview them on their recent trip through Cambridge and Somerville.
Archive for category: Somerville
Stories or photographs taken in or about the city of Somerville, Massachusetts, U. S. A.
“I really wanted to make a disc that was made by hand — that was made in a humble way.” Cilla is being modest – the CD packaging and artwork is everything she set out to achieve and more.
As is often the case with the bands I review, it’s hard to place Brothers McCann in a specific genre. They have elements of soul, folk, indie and pop in them to be sure. But they lay down a pretty mean groove.
When Julien Kasper was seven years old, he saw a guitar store while lying in the back seat of his parents car. He sat up in his seat and said, “Mother I would like to play the guitar.” The rest, as they say, is history. A history that includes degrees in music from the University of Miami and the University of North Texas, countless performances and his current day job – teaching at Berklee College of Music. How can you not like a guy who teaches performance labs on Jimi Hendrix and Jeff Beck?
Where Christian McNeill is raw acoustic rock, Jesse Dee has got soul flowing through his blood. The guy just oozes it all over the stage when he plays. The contrast between the two is somewhat remarkable given that they are playing together in this ensemble. Christian’s writes somewhat aggressive, jam-filled songs while Jesse sings in the spirit of the classic soul performer.
Mission of Burma was a very different band when they hit the scene in Boston all those years ago. They used a lot of techniques that should make music less accessible – cacaphonous noise from the guitar, different rythyms than their contemporaries, the tape-loop and so forth and they borrowed from punk, hardcore and other genres to set a new direction in music.
I confess I had not seen a performance ‘in the round’ before. Basically, all the performers take a seat on the stage and then one at a time they come up and play a song. There were six performers (but one duo, so five ‘acts’) and they each sang three songs.
Residents, neighbors and friends are invited to celebrate the sixth annual Community day at Tufts University from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, October 5. The event will take place on the academic quad at Tufts’ Medford and Somerville campus and is cosponsored by the two cities.
And that’s the thing about the blues jam. The musicians are just there to play and you don’t know what is going to happen. Sometimes, things get pretty groovy. Sometimes, they can’t figure out how to end a song (although that only happened a couple of times when I was there). But if you are perceptive, especially if you are a musician, you can find these little moments where someone shines.