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Archive for the ‘Saintseneca’ Category

[CANCELLED: April 28, 2017] Forth Wanderers/Fire is Motion/Pinegrove

I saw Pinegrove at the First Unitarian Church in Philly.  I really enjoyed the band show.  And I was super excited to see them twice more for the end of the year–especially at Starland Ballroom.  In part because because one of my new favorite up and coming Jersey bands Fire is Motion were going to open for them.  But also because of this post about the show

hey! really excited to announce a special event we’ve been cookin up for a little while now. it’s a show on dec 29 at the starland ballroom in new jersey – kind of an end-of-year celebration of some of the things we love & believe in: live music, human equality, new jersey. we’re calling it:

the first annual celebration in & of our home state of new jersey & of live music from there too

our idea is to do this every year at various venues throughout the state, and for the shows to always feature NJ bands. this year, we’ve got the fantastic Forth Wanderers & Fire is Motion on the bill!

we’ll also be donating a significant portion of the proceeds from the night to a charity we believe in. now, in the ever-swirling (to put it gently) world we live in today, it seems crazy to have to pick the cause in september that will be most in need come december. so stay tuned for more info on where we’ll be donating. but rest assured that it will be in the promotion of equality & fairness towards all humans on our planet.

really can’t wait for this thing! pre-sale tickets are available now. we also have a special limited 11×17 screen printed version of the show poster that’s only available with the pre-sale!our own nick levine worked hard with us on the poster & we feel super excited about it. the rest of the tickets go on sale on friday at 10am eastern.

Wonder if the posters were shipped out already (I didn’t get one).

Then, out of the blue (at least to me), the band cancelled the tour.  This is now the third (and fourth) show this year that has been cancelled on me.  Oh well, I’m glad that problems like this come out and I hope that all involved get the help they need.  But because I’m selfish, I just wish that they would be revealed a few days after my show instead of before.

Official statement (more…)

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[CANCELLED: April 28, 2017] Saintseneca/Adult Mom/Pinegrove

I saw Pinegrove at the First Unitarian Church in Philly.  The venue was kind of fun, although I have basically decided that I will not ever go to another show there (despite THREE bands that I like playing there in coming months).  My takeaway from the venue is that if it’s at all crowded, it’s not worth going.

But I really enjoyed the Pinegrove show.  And I was super excited to see them twice more for the end of the year–tonight at Union Transfer and Starland Ballroom.  Kind of unreasonably excited, actually, especially the Starland show, because one of my new favorite up and coming Jersey bands Fire is Motion were going to open for them.

The openers were

Saintseneca, Adult Mom at Union Transfer

Forth Wanderers, Fire is Motion at Starland Ballroom

And then, out of the blue (at least to me), the band cancelled the tour.  This is now the third (and fourth) show this year that has been cancelled on me.  Oh well, I’m glad that problems like this come out and I hope that all involved get the help they need.  But because I’m selfish, I just wish that they would be revealed a few days after my show instead of before.

Official statement (more…)

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2008_05_12SOUNDTRACK: QUETZAL-Tiny Desk Concert #378 (August 2, 2014).

tzalQuetzal are a band from Southern California who have been performing in the Chicano scene for about 20 years.

Guitarist Quetzal Flores plays the Mexican jarana for both rhythm and melody, violinist Rocio Marron adds blues licks into Mexican folk runs and bassist Juan Perez provides a nimble and melodic bottom end.  And then there’s lead singer Martha Gonzalez who has a great voice and is quite the activist.

The first song, “Palomo Vagabundo” is pretty and sad.  The song means vagabond Pigeon and is a story about a beaten up pigeon who still tries to find love.  Quetzal says the whole album is about life of urban animals and how we relate to them.

They introduce the second song “Tragafuegor” which is about a fire breather they saw in Mexico.  He was putting himself in harm’s way to make some change but also shining light on reality.  This is a faster, livelier song with Gonzalez dancing on a box–like Saintseneca.  The dancing rhythms, the great violin and the cool robust bass really make this song stand out.  About the stomp box, this is a tarica from Veracruz, Mexico.  Quetzal explains that Martha is a percussionist by trade as well as a professor as Scripps College in Pomona.

The final song, “Todo Lo Que Tengo” is a beautiful ballad.  Again Martha’s voice soars above the music.

It’s always fascinating to “discover” a band who has been around for 20 years.

[READ: February 23, 2016] “A Man Like Him”

This is in unusual story in that the main character is a man who is obsessed with a story in a magazine.  Teacher Fei is an older man, unmarried and now living with his elderly mother.  She needs his care and he doesn’t mind giving it to her.

The story that he has become fixated on is about a nineteen year old girl who is set out to publicly humiliate her father.  The girl’s mother and father divorced three years ago.  And once the girl turned eighteen she sued her father, suspecting that another woman had seduced hm away from her mother.  She said that he should be punished for abandoning his family and for the immoral act of taking a mistress.

She had also created a website to humiliate the man.  She wanted him to lose his job, his freedom and his mistress. And this angered Teacher Fei (who didn’t know any of them) to distraction. (more…)

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may5SOUNDTRACK: SAINTSENECA-Tiny Desk Concert #377 (July 29, 2014).

saintsenecaLike Highasakite, Saintesenca is another band who plays instruments that are unusual (and whose Tiny Desk Concert is way too short).  But before the music started, I was fascinated by the hair of the band.  Zac Little’s head is partially shaved and he beard  is unshaven, but he also has an incredible mustache.  It’s so thick I couldn’t see his mouth moving when he started singing!  There’s also the co-lead singer, Maryn Jones’ hair which is equally fascinating.

And there’s also their instruments.  On the album, they play: banjo, baglama, bulbul, balalaika, bowed banjo, baritone ukulele, bass and bouzouki as well as a stomp box.  For the first song, “Happy Alone,” In this set there is a baglamas (played by Jones), while Little plays a Paul McCartney style bass.  There’s also drums and electric and acoustic guitars.

And their music is fantastic “Happy Alone” has a kind of Decemberists vibe.  There’s a great chorus (and two acoustic guitars accompanying).  The melody is catchy but by the time it comes around a second or third time, it’s a total ear worm.

Between songs they talk about the stompbox.  It’s a roughly 2’x2′ plywood floorboard meant for pounding the beat. The blurb says that “at a show just before this Tiny Desk Concert… Little put his boot right through that floorboard.”  There’s a hole in the box which Jones seems concerned about falling through.  The box also explains why Jones and Little both seem so outrageously tall at this show.

On “Fed Up with Hunger” Little plays a four-stringed guitar (I wish they would say what all of these instrument are).  He plays some wonderfully elaborate chords on it.  Jones sings lead in a very high-pitched delicate voice.  There’s an electric guitar added for the chorus but for the most part this is a stripped down song with some lovely harmonies in the end section.

The final song “Blood Bath” has three distinct parts and it is awesome.  Jones plays bass, Little plays acoustic and the other acoustic guitarist  plays a tiny triangular instrument (a balalaika?).  Little sings in a kind of broken falsetto.  After the first slow verse the whole band kicks in and the song really takes off.  But soon after, the whole band seems to deconstruct the song, playing a few seconds of utter noise before coming back in and following it with a really fast rocking and equally catchy section.  It’s pretty awesome.

I’m going to have to look for more from them.

[READ: May 5, 2008] “Them Old Cowboy Songs”

I was looking through older stories and saw that I had not finished a story by Proulx which was written in a June issue of the New Yorker in this ame year.  How did she ever get two stories within a month of each other?  (And they’re both really really long, too).

This story is dark. Very dark and brutal.  It is set in 1885 and looks at a young couple trying to make it out in the wilderness

Archie is a sixteen year old who lies and says he is 21 to try to get better jobs.  He works a cowboy in Dakota Territory.  In addition to being a hard worker, he is a consummate singer with a golden voice.  He marries a young girl (14), named Rose whose parents don’t approve of him or of her getting married at 14, and they settle in.  The narrator notes: “There is no happiness like that of a young couple in a little house they have built themselves in a place of beauty and solitude.” (more…)

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