Monday, May 23, 2011

The many moods of Sunchunck

My first thought? That the title of Sunchunck's new album had to be an inside joke. You know, "Finally Here" as a follow-up to "L8," the Port power trio's long-promised and  famously slow to arrive second album, which finally dropped in 2007, several months after its official record release party. Same deal with "Finally Here," which had been scheduled for a Spring release, and that would be of last year, but was also late to its own release party, available only as a digital download. The actual physical copy of the album will arrive, well, let's drive spellcheck crazy and say l8er. And, the truth is that the two albums are connected, but not in the obvious way: The title cut of the new album had been conceived of as a bookend, of sorts, to "L8," which, ostensibly, dealt with chronological lateness, a passive-aggressive stance against the world, but also dealt with the concept of psychological availability as its subtext. And "Finally Here" started as a response, as a commitment, a declaration, to be emotionally ready, to be finally, fully here, but a funny thing happened on the way to the recording studio.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Powell takes second bite out of BTM

Last time we saw Leslie Powell, she was being slaughtered and devoured by some seriously evil entities in “God of the Vampires,” the gory, gross-out flick by former Amesbury resident Rob Fitz that recently aired on the former WNDS-TV. Well, that’s not exactly true. Honestly, we just couldn’t take it. The film made us nostalgic for the sweetness and light and, in comparison, innocence of “Kill Bill, Volume Two” or any of the any of the titles from the equally enchanting “Hostel” series. But it looks like the Merrimac Street playwright is feeling better, good enough to land a spot in this year’s Boston Theater Marathon, as is Steve Faria, but, to be fair, no vampires treated him like dinner so he doesn’t really have anything to complain about. Not that they have special rules for scribblers who are devoured by vampires. Mmmmm … scribblers. 

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

All together now: Imagine the Beatles

All together now: Duck! Because All Together Now, the long-running Beatles tribute band, is gonna throw everything they’ve got at you, all at once, when they turn up at the Firehouse this month. The band, which has been doing the Fab Four thing longer than those lovable, adorable Mop Tops did, will play its usual set of 40 tunes, each one paired with an original ATN video playing on the 12-by-18-foot screen in back of them. The quartet will also come at you with a five-camera shoot to document the show for a possible concert DVD in the future, as well as provide band and crowd shots for the big screen during the performance and, of course, the raw digital material for future videos. They’ll also be promoting “Hang in There,” a new album of original music that is soaked in the sound and sensibility of that fabled period, the Beatlemania era, although they won’t play anything from the album. That’s because people come out for the real thing or, yeah yeah yeah, in this case a close-your-mind-and-imagine recreation of the real thing, although you probably won’t want to look away because of the multimedia aspects of the show, like the vids and old-school commercials — Nancy Sinatra getting her boots walking for RC Cola, The Munsters shilling for Bit-O-Honey. Even, more on point, older Ringo and the Fab Four lite. That would be the Monkees doing a Pizza Hut ad. Besides, the album won’t be ready for the May 21 show. The full order is in transit and should be ready soon after the Port performance. But, for hardcore fans, they’ll have a special limited-edition, autographed version of the album, about 100 in all. Can anyone say collectible? The Firehouse show will also include a special guest appearance of Melissa Moore, wife of Tommy Moore. No, no. Not Tommy Moore, the 1960s Silver Beetles drummer (and if you know that little bit of trivia, then you’re too wrapped up in the whole Beatles business for your own good), but the bass player and founding member of All Together Now. She’s also the daughter of Les Harris Sr. and sister of Les Harris Jr., two of the most influential musicians to come out of the city, and the voice of the Newburyport Bank. If you’ve heard the commercials, or called the bank, you’ve heard her. She’s no Yoko. Or Linda, for that matter. Now, a collective sigh of relief from all you folks who remember “Don’t Worry Kyoko” from the Live Peace In Toronto album. There will be no Moptop missus caterwauling, but there will be a bit of the adventurous spirit Ono represented, with Moore singing backup as well as playing a couple, well, unusual instruments — more on that later — making her “our ace in the hole, our secret weapon,” says Moore.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Charlie Brown: No longer a clown

The kids from "Peanuts" have been taking it on the chin a lot lately, particularly at the hands of "The Family Guy," mostly notably when everybody's favorite blockhead shows up at a Peanuts reunion with a skanky crackwhore. He's got tats, multiple piercings and, more significantly, a major habit. Which is the reason that Snoopy isn't there with him. Old Chuck apparently supplied the drugs that did in both Snoopy and Woodstock. In other bits, we find out that Marcy and Peppermint Patty are lovers. No surprise there, really. That irritating Lucy van Pelt gets a well-deserved boot in the butt by both Peter and Lois in separate episodes when she tries to pull the football away at the last minute. We also learn the real cause of Violet's bladder infections, don't we, Pigpen? But Bert V. Royal's "Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead," a so-called "unauthorized parody" that, word of warning, probably requires a longer attention span than "Family Guy" bits, imagines the iconic characters of Charles M. Schultz as students in high school, although the names have been changed to protect the innocent — or, at least, to protect the authors from copyright lawsuits.