Music

The Cave Singers Crush It Live in Boston (Cambridge)

Your Monkey is still basking in the afterglow of one of the best nights of live music he has seen in a long time.

Four bands played at T.T. the Bear’s Place last Thursday (Sept. 17) and absolutely killed it live.

The Cave Singers, Lightning Dust, Mean Creek and Old Abram Brown played four taunt and memorable high energy sets that filled this small venue with amazing sound and made (at least) a couple of lifelong fans.

It’s rare to see a concert that features not one or two or three but four (!) high quality acts.

Your Monkey would be remiss if he did not thank them for a great show and try to spread the word. Let’s begin at the beginning, shall we?

Old Abram Brown

Opening act Old Abram Brown was a true revelation. This group from Nashua, New Hampshire is hardly out of high school (if they are at all) but they played a professional, polished and engaging opening set.  Carson Lund, their charismatic lead singer and keyboard player, reminded this Monkey of an even younger Zach Condon from Beirut, especially when he pulled out a trumpet to add some wavering horn riffs to songs like “Mountain Lions” and “Will Our Garden Grow.”

Here’s a link to the band’s myspace page. Play “Mountain Lions” already, will you?

Mean Creek:

Mean Creek was the second act of the night. This Boston band may have suffered a little bit from being the interim act between the openers (Old Abram Brown) and the more established acts (Lightning Dust and the Cave Singers). The crowd was just filling in while they were on stage.

But their uptempo blend of folk rock with male/female paired harmonies and excursions into shoegaze-style guitar sounds certainly worked well. Overall a tight band that is worth exploring further. Here is a link to their site.

Lightning Dust:

Regular readers of this blog (of which there are still regrettably none) will recognize that your Monkey is a big fan of this band, which is a side project of Black Mountain members Amber Webber and Joshua Wells.

Whereas Black Moutain is a crunchy, riff-heavy take on the psychedelic sound, Lightning Dust is a more folky and gothic. Webber’s voice is rapidly becoming one of the most interesting and compelling in rock music today, and she didn’t disappoint Thursday night. She  is just as good live as she is in the studio.

Webber tends to use a lot of vibrato when she sings, which can take a little while to get used to on record. Live and in person, however, her vibrato echoes off the walls and fills the room with an even larger, richer sound. It works great.

The new Lightning Dust album “Infinite Light” should be in consideration for best record of the year in this Monkey’s humble opinion. Here’s a link to the Lightning Dust site.

The Cave Singers:

Let’s set the stage for the Cave Singers, shall we? They were the headlining act for the show, but your Monkey had only barely heard of them before he bought his tickets. And he wasn’t too thrilled that they weren’t going to take the stage until midnight Thursday.

(Not the band’s fault by the way, the acts were scheduled to go on at one-hour intervals between nine and midnight).

Having been up late the night before, and having a relentlessly tiring day of grinding out copy the next day, the thought of being out until 1 am or later was not what your Monkey had in mind.

But he was curious. He had listened to a few Cave Singers songs, and while they didn’t leap out at him as amazing at first blush, they were growing on him.

So he decided to stay for the show.

And boy, was he glad he did.

It is hard to describe how good these guys are live. Their unique brand of upbeat, foot-stomping folk rock defies easy description. Let’s just say that they immediately captured the crowd with a melodic uptempo groove and delivered an amazing collection of songs. There was no lull in the set. In fact, each song seemed to build upon the last one to a triumphant finale.

If you love music and having a good time and dig on positive vibes (and all that good hippie stuff) then you should definitely check out the Cave Singers.

Sorry these words can’t do the performance more justice. I’m only a Monkey after all.

Here is a sampling of live Cave Singers for your entertainment. And here is a link to the band’s site.

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Music, Work, Writing

Darkened by the Blues, Lightened by Lightning Dust

Your Monkey has had a tough few weeks at work, my friends. His workload has increased, his department has been downsized, and his life has generally seemed pretty gray and dull.

So dull, in fact, that even the usual roundup of podcast suspects has left him feeling dull and dry. His computer is backed up with unlistened-to episodes of Radio Nowhere, Coverville, and the KEXP Music that Matters podcast.

His ipod is jammed full of Filmspotting episodes that he has not gotten around to yet. He is about a month behind schedule. Even the Adam Carolla podcast is about a week behind schedule.

But things will change.

Things have to change, don’t they?

Sooner or later your Monkey will regain some of his equilibrium and start to be able to enjoy conversations about movies and music and science and life again, right?

At some point work won’t seem so much like a dull gray dungeon. His writing career won’t seem like it has come to a grinding halt, and his mood will perk up again.

Someday, he will feel like posting here again. He will recover his slim and trim girlish writing figure and start writing about movies and music and psychedelic freak out jams.

Someday.

But for today, here is one cool song for your consideration.

Lightning Dust is a side project of the Vancouver-based psyche band Black Mountain featuring BM singers Amber Webber and Joshua Wells.

The band has a softy, more folksy sound than one finds in the riffy space jams of Black Mountain. Webber is a talented singer, but sometimes goes a little too far in letting her voice vibrate.

Here is a song from their previous album. If you like it, most definitely download “Antonia Jane” from their new album.