Sarah Blacker at the 2013 New England Americana Festival in Harvard Square

Back in September, dozens of bands got together to perform at the 2013 New England Americana Festival in Harvard Square. It was a superb two days of music. I filmed many of the outdoor performances. First up is Sarah Blacker performing “Shiver” from her new album Precious Little Things.

Connect with Sarah Blacker

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Connect with New England Americana Festival

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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Photos: Tallahassee and The Grownup Noise at 2013 JP Music Festival

The JP Music Festival is an annual summer music festival in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts featuring musicians who either live or work in Jamaica Plain. This year’s festivities took place on September 7, 2013. View the JP Festival photo gallery to see more of my photos of Tallahassee and The Grownup Noise.

Talahassee at JP Music Festival
Tallahassee joined by special guest during their performance at 2013 JP Music Festival
cardboard slide at JP Music Festival
The awesome cardboard slide at 2013 JP Music Festival
The Grownup Noise at 2013 Jamaica Plain Music Festival
The Grownup Noise at 2013 JP Music Festival

 

 

Third annual Soozapalooza at TT’s with Good Night States, The Phil Aiken Army, Somerville Symphony Orkestar and The People’s Karaoke on Friday, January 20th

Soozapalooza, an annual party I host featuring some of my favorite bands is almost here. This year the v3 installment is happening on my 39th birthday this Friday, January 20th at TT”s in Central Square, Cambridge. The night features three of my favorite bands: Good Night, States (from Pittsburgh), The Phil Aiken Army and Somerville Symphony Orkestar. After the bands, it’s karaoke time with The People’s Karaoke.

Soozapalooza 3 with Good Night States, The Phil Aiken Army and Somerville Symphony Orkestar
Soozapalooza, an annual party I host featuring some of my favorite bands is almost here. This year the v3 installment is happening on my 39th birthday this Friday, January 20th at TT The Bear’s Place in Central Square, Cambridge. The night features three of my favorite bands: Good Night, States (from Pittsburgh), The Phil Aiken Army and Somerville Symphony Orkestar. After the bands, it’s karaoke time with The People’s Karaoke.

Listen to music by the bands and say you’ll be there by RSVPing on the Facebook event page for Soozapalooza 3. You can buy a ticket in advance for ten bucks or pay $12 at the door. Doors open at 8pm and it’s an 18+ show.

Good Night, States

If you follow me on Twitter and/or we’re friends on Facebook, then you already know how much I LOVE Pittsburgh’s Good Night, States. L-O-V-E. They performed at the first Soozapalooza in 2010 and I’m more than just a little excited that they’re back this year. A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. The music below is from the band’s earlier releases. They’ll be performing music from their new, not-yet-released album at Soozapalooza.





The Phil Aiken Army

Phil Aiken released his first EP recently with The Phil Aiken Army and a full-length album is in the works. If you want to hear supercharged pop songs with an all-star cast of players, you definitely need to be at Soozapalooza on Friday to see The Phil Aiken Army. Oh, snap — more A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!

Phil Aiken and friends covering “The Shape I’m In” at the Cover Up

Somerville Symphony Orkestar

There’s no better way to start a party than with the all-original Eastern European punk funk band from the Slavic heart of Greater Boston — also known as Somerville Symphony Orkestar. The band describes it better than I could: The SSO spectacle is a carnivalized punk show that turns its audiences into equal parts mosh-pit and horah. Complex six-piece arrangements reign in the chaos only to explode in shuddering “fun-gasm” after “fun-gasm.”

Don’t be surprised if Penelope the elephant makes an appearance during Somerville Symphony Orkestar’s performance.



The Sooz List: Spotify playlists for Boston bands and other favorite music

Spotify has become my favorite music listening service. I love how easy it is to make and share music playlists.

spotify music listening serviceSpotify has become my favorite music listening service. I love how easy it is to make and share music playlists.

Here are a few of my music playlists. If you’re on Spotify, click the subscribe button to save the playlist so you can come back to it later. This is especially handy for playlists that are updated more than once including my Boston Rocks! playlist.

Nostalgia For The Present— new songs I’ve dug up
Boston Rocks! — songs by bands from the Boston area, 5+ hours
The Tragically Hip — my favorite Hip songs spanning their 20+ year career
Lloyd Cole — one of the most talented singer/songwriters of our lifetime
Everything But The Girl — I’m not as into the newer “remixy” music but this band remains a favorite

Live concert video of The Rationales and OldJack at the Lizard Lounge

the rationales at the lizard lounge

Now that I’ve got the site rocking a new layout (cheers to the “Sight” theme from WPShower!) I’m inspired to catch up on photos and videos for Sooz TV.

Back in May, I shot video at The Rationales album release party for “The Distance In Between” at the Lizard Lounge. They were joined by old soul rock ‘n’ rollers OldJack. Watch, listen and enjoy! You can become a fan of Sooz TV on Facebook and subscribe to the Sooz TV channel at YouTube.

Watch videos of The Rationales at the Lizard Lounge:

Watch videos of OldJack at the Lizard Lounge:

2nd Annual Soozapalooza is around the corner on Saturday at The Middle East Downstairs

Last year I hosted a big party at Precinct in Union Square a couple days after my birthday and jokingly called it Soozapalooza. It was so much fun, it had to happen again. This year the 2nd Annual Soozapalooza is taking place at The Middle East Downstairs in Central Square. The theme is simple: enjoy an awesome night of my favorite music and celebrate nine years of my music blog and event guide Exploit Boston!. As an added bonus, this year festivities will be MC’d by vigilante pundit and comedian Baratunde Thurston.

Don’t you hate it when people say “OMG! You must check out my show. It is going to be the a-m-a-z-i-n-g!”? What happens when that’s really the case? ;)

Keep reading for more tidbits about the bands with audio and video.

2nd Annual SoozapaloozaLast year I hosted a big party at Precinct in Union Square a couple days after my birthday and jokingly called it Soozapalooza. It was so much fun, it had to happen again. This year the 2nd Annual Soozapalooza is taking place at The Middle East Downstairs in Central Square. The theme is simple: enjoy an awesome night of my favorite music and celebrate nine years of my music blog and event guide Exploit Boston!. As an added bonus, this year festivities will be MC’d by vigilante pundit and comedian Baratunde Thurston.

Don’t you hate it when people say “OMG! You must check out my show. It is going to be the a-m-a-z-i-n-g!”? What happens when that’s really the case? ;)

The event has a website, of course — soozapalooza.com. The Twitter hashtag is #Soozapalooza2.

The Bands

Soozapalooza Supergroup: A bunch of Boston musicians somehow agreed to play a curious mix of music I selected. The group includes photographer and musician Johnny Arguedas rapping “In Da Club” by 50 Cent, My absolute favorite woman of Boston music Linda Viens singing “Joy” by Lucinda Williams, Three Day Threshold heart throb Kier Byrnes and Static of The Gods indie rock goddess Jen Johnson performing the Kenny and Dolly duet “Islands In The Stream” … and more.


VIDEO: “Islands In The Stream” by Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton

The Candles: I first heard about NYC’s The Candles back in October when I noticed Boston music friends were liking their page on Facebook. About ten minutes after listening to their music I emailed the band and asked if they’d headline my big bash several months later. As Wikipedia says: “fronted by Josh Lattanzi, The Candles encapsulates the varied styles and influences he picked up while recording and touring with the likes of Ben Kweller, Albert Hammond, Jr. (The Strokes) and The Lemonheads. Their guitarist is Boston guy Matt Pynn who played for many years with Will Dailey. Stacy Jones will be sitting in with the band on drums. He was the drummer for Letters To Cleo and more recently American HiFi and Miley Cyrus.


VIDEO: “Let Me Down Easy” by The Candles at The Knitting Factory

Mistle Thrush: This is where music nostalgia kicks in. When I moved to Boston in May of 1994, a friend clued me into Mistle Thrush and they became my “first Boston band.” Mistle Thrush is lifting their many-year hiatus to play at Soozapalooza. Guitarist Scott Patalano’s current band is Gene Dante and The Future Starlets and Valerie Forgione is one part of the on-again-off-again and happily back-on-again duo Van Elk.


Listen to “Cicada” by Mistle Thrush

The Lights Out: I saw one of their first shows in 2006 at the former Sky Bar in Somerville. The Lights Out have a brand new album that came out on 1/1/11 called Primetime. It’s an epic assault of rock and roll.


Listen to “Primetime” by The Lights Out

Kristen Ford Band: I first saw Kfo and her band play a basement show in Arlington of all places last summer. If you’re like me and you very much Do Not Like To Dance you might be surprised what comes over you when the band starts up. That doesn’t mean you’ll be dancing well, Kristen can’t do anything about your style (or mine, sadly) — but you will have to make a special effort to not move around and enjoy yourself when they kick off the night at Soozapalooza.


VIDEO: “Please Please Please” by Kristen Ford Band at The Institute
for The Musical Arts

Buy tickets at the box office and don’t pay the pesky TicketWeb fees

Advance tickets are $10. You can buy a ticket for you and ten of your friends in person at The Middle East Box Office in Central Square or online through TicketWeb. Day of show tickets at the door are $12.

Photo: Cassavettes 5-year anniversary party at The Middle East Downstairs

[tweetmeme] Boston (via Texas) americana and rock band Cassavettes celebrated their fifth anniversary at The Middle East Downstairs on Saturday, January 17th. Check out their new website and join their email list! See more photos I’ve taken of Cassavettes at Sooz Photography.

Boston americana and rock band Cassavettes

“Song for Sooz” debuts on YouTube by Dave Mirabella from The Rationales

A couple months ago I entered a “contest” to help the guys in The Rationales get the word out about their superb Boston band. At the end of the contest, five of us won a custom song written and performed by Dave Mirabella from The Rationales. Here’s the song that includes shoutouts for my projects Sooz TV and Exploit Boston!. Thanks, guys! :)

Become a fan of The Rationales on Facebook and follow the band on Twitter.

You can also watch the video on YouTube.

Sooz Pick for Wednesday, February 17th: Boston Bands at Church

Holly Brewer (HUMANWINE)
photo of Holly Brewer from HUMANWINE, Shaun & Suzy’s Fifteenth Annual Mardis Gras Ball, February 2, 2008

[tweetmeme] In case you thought there was nothing fun to do on a Wednesday night in Boston, here’s a little reminder telling you that is definitely not the case!

Wednesday, February 17th, 9pm, $8, 21+: HUMANWINE, Walter Sickert & The Army of Broken Toys, Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling, Sarah RabDAU at Church of Boston, 69 Kilmarnock St, Boston

Ever go out to see a band and you have to endure a bunch of not-so-great bands first? This is not one of those nights. All of the bands are exceptional. If you haven’t seen Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling yet — go! Only Mike and Sophia can so awesomely pull off a two-person band with just drums and bass guitar. This is also one of those shows that will remind you how lucky we are to live in a town with the kind of music scene that lets you see a full night of great music on a Wednesday for eight bucks. (What!?) (more info about the show on Facebook)

Follow the bands and club on Twitter:
HUMANWINE, Walter Sickert & The Army of Broken Toys, Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling, Sarah RabDAU, Church of Boston

Rob at Cheap Thrills Boston also recommends tonight’s show at Church:

Bass-drums duo Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling played their first full live set last year — and they were far and away the best project of ’09 that was inspired by the ’60s spy serial “The Prisoner“. I was there at that show, and they rock out with an arty, punky minimalism that doesn’t require anything extra.

New Sooz TV videos: Brendan Boogie & The Best Intentions CD Release at the Paradise Rock Club

Brendan Boogie & The Best Intentions

(Photo of Brendan Boogie & The Best Intentions by Johnny Arguedas If you would like to share these videos, use this short URL: http://sooz.com/tv/fh2 or you can also click on the tweet button below.)

[tweetmeme]Brendan Boogie & The Best Intentions celebrated the release of their new cd “The Sweet And The Brutal” at Will Dailey’s Festivál Holidád at the Paradise Rock Club on Friday, December 11, 2009. You can listen to all the songs at Brendan’s new website and then buy the digital download for $10. Delicious pop! See him acoustic next month at Arts At The Armory in Somerville on January 8th with Golden Bloom and Nate Rogers.

Festivál Holidád also featured Violet Nine, The Luxury and Will Dailey. More videos from the night coming soon.

Watch the four videos in the playlist below or watch each of the individual videos on Sooz TV at YouTube.