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Metal. Punk and other loud music genres

Boston Calling Preps for Sophomore Year

This Memorial Day weekend, Massachusetts-based music festival Boston Calling will be returning to captivate fans in Downtown Boston. Now entering its second year, festival organizers are preparing for their biggest turnout -- and arguably best lineup -- yet.

Co-founders Brian Appel and Mike Snow (formerly of The Boston Phoenix and WFNX radio), have been working diligently since the festival’s inception to create a concert weekend that can satisfy even the most critical of New England music fans. “We try to put a festival together that speaks to the people of the Greater Boston area” says Appel, noting that the festival aims to appeal to music fans all across New England, in addition to its central focus on the City of Boston.


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Boston Calling Preps for Sophomore Year (cont'd from Homepage)

- by Dan McMahon (@dmcmhn)

Appel acknowledges that Bostonians (and New Englanders in general) have very strong opinions about everything from sports to music, and anything in between, so it comes as no surprise to both Appel and Snow that there is an innate pressure involved in putting together a well-balanced and well-received lineup. When deciding which bands to book, “we know it [the lineup] will immediately get dissected...and we’re ok with that” remarks Appel. With that in mind, this year’s lineup reveals no weak spots, with the likes of Death Cab for Cutie, Modest Mouse, Tegan and Sara, Built to Spill and numerous other well-known acts taking the stage.

The festival isn’t entirely about nationally and internationally renowned bands -- some Boston locals have gotten in on the action as well. Magic Man and TigermanWOAH! have each been granted opening slots on Saturday and Sunday, respectively. Magic Man’s brand of upbeat synth-pop will be a great way to kick off the party on Saturday afternoon. Their soaring vocal melodies and huge choruses are perfectly suited for the festival atmosphere. TigermanWOAH!’s blend of folk, blues, rock, whiskey and awesomeness will be a welcome addition to the stage at City Hall Plaza.

The idea for this festival started back when Appel and Snow were both working for the now-defunct WFNX radio station. After the fall of WFNX, Appel and Snow decided to take the idea of a Boston-based music festival and bring it to life through their production company, Crashline Productions. So far, that decision has been a huge success. Last year, the festival attracted roughly 70,000 people between the spring and fall concerts. “We feel really fortunate that the fans have been so loyal for the short amount of time [Boston Calling] has been around,” states Appel.

The excitement kicks off Friday night, May 23 with Cass McCombs, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, and Jack Johnson. For more details and to purchase tickets, visit the Boston Calling website or Ticketmaster. You can also check out Boston Calling’s Facebook page for the most recent show updates.


(Photo credits for image on Homepage and images to the right: Mike Diskin)








2013 Year End Polls For Emerging Artists: Results Scene by Scene


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Boston Music Awards Nomination Party Showcases Immense Talent of Local Bands

The Boston Music Awards Nomination Party was held on Wednesday night at Redstar Union in Cambridge, MA and there was certainly no shortage of talent among the lineup. Ruby Rose Fox, Tigerman, WOAH!, Young Adults and New Highway Hymnal each played with an intensity that's rarely heard (at least from my perspective) in the Boston area. 

Ruby Rose Fox led off the night with her jazzy, 50s-influenced rock that was magnified by her seductive vocal melodies. The band was tight and no one tried to do too much with the songs--everything blended together seamlessly. 

My favorite band of the night, Tigerman, WOAH!, brought the roughest, most country, blues-rockin' set that I've seen in quite awhile. Their sound kind of reminded me of Left Lane Cruiser getting together with early Kings of Leon, drinking heavily, and having a backwoods jam. 

Young Adults came up third, bringing their mix of poppy post-punk steeped in distorted vocals and insanely loud choruses. I was really impressed by the sound coming from these guys, given that they're only a three-piece.

New Highway Hymnal closed out the night with perhaps the most badass 2-song performance I've ever seen. It started when lead singer/guitarist Hadden Stemp had issues with a stompbox, which he promptly kicked into the crowd in frustration. Shortly thereafter, bassist Amelia Gormley had some issues with her bass amp, prompting Stemp to ask the audience if everyone was there to watch them destroy their equipment. After the bass amp malfunctioned a second time, Stemp quickly grabbed his guitar and hurled it through his amp, dragging the entirety of the tangled wreckage offstage with him. If that isn't a flashback to an old Who performance, I don't know what is.

All of these performers put on such amazing sets, I'm excited to see who will emerge victorious from the main awards show this Sunday, December 8. Tickets are still available for the event, which is being held at The Liberty Hotel on December 8. You can purchase them here: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/500664.

For more information and updates about the show, check out the Boston Music Awards Facebook page. 

-Dan McMahon (@dmcmhn)


Tsons of Tsunami Tear it up with Fearless Riders of the Holy Curl

Boston-based surf rockers Tsons of Tsunami certainly know what it takes to craft catchy tunes. Their latest release, titled Fearless Riders of the Holy Curl, is full of great 60s-esque guitar licks and well-timed drum fills. In fact, listening to this album made me want to go to the beach, crack open a beer and chill out for the next two weeks. These guys are definitely worth a listen, so head over to thier bandcamp page and let me know what you think.

-Dan McMahon (@dmcmhn)



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