Album Review: Nathaniel Rateliff – Tearing at the Seams

Story by Justin Cameron

We’re in the middle of a blues-rock revival from the 60’s. What was previously led by the likes of Gary Clark Jr. and Brittany Howard from Alabama Shakes, now has a new face in Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats. Their self-titled debut broke them onto the scene in 2016 with the catchy, danceable hits “S.O.B” and “I Never Get Old;” Since then, they have been busy tearing up the scene with their following release (later that year) and a live album from Red Rocks with Preservation Hall Jazz Band in 2017. Continue reading “Album Review: Nathaniel Rateliff – Tearing at the Seams”

Show Review: Nada Surf at Brighton Music Hall 3/10

Story by Justin Cameron

Nada Surf brought their Let Go 15th Anniversary Tour to Brighton Music Hall on Saturday night. Matthew Caws came out with his acoustic guitar to a sold-out crowd and began strumming the intro to “Blizzard of 77.” They wasted no time getting the other members of the band (Ira Elliot and Daniel Lorca) on stage to play the rest of Let Go (the album that contains beloved songs such as, “Inside of Love”, and “Blonde on Blonde”) in its entirety. The band kept the time in between songs brief, only to tell stories of how the songs were written some 15 years ago.  

After playing the album front to back, the band came back out to play a second set containing more fan favorites such as their mid 90’s hit “Popular”, “Always Love”, and “Your Legs Grow.” They included “Stalemate” which led into a cover of Joy Division’s “Love Will Tear Us Apart” and closed the show with “Blankest Year” off of The Weight is a Gift. They showed their strength by going from melancholy riffs to more distorted, driving guitar and they kept the energy up as if they easily could’ve played for another two hours. The band was excellent and seemed to really enjoy being on stage.

The Weather Station and Sam Moss Live From the Red Room

Tune in to birnCORE Wednesday, April 4th @ 8 PM EST for a live broadcast from The Red Room @ Cafe 939 featuring The Weather Station and Sam Moss.

The Weather Station is the fourth and most forthright album by The Weather Station, the project of Toronto songwriter Tamara Lindeman. Lindeman wanted to make a rock and roll record, but have it sound how she wants it to sound. The result is a spirited, frequently topical tour de force that declares its understated feminist politics, and its ambitious new sonic directions, from its first moments. Continue reading “The Weather Station and Sam Moss Live From the Red Room”

Dan Russell and Boketto the Wolf Live From the Red Room

Tune in to birnCORE tonight, March, 31st @ 8 PM EST for a live broadcast from The Red Room @ Cafe 939 featuring Dan Russell and Boketto the Wolf.

Dan Russell is a highly revered artist manager and advocate, concert promoter, producer, creative collaborator, and video and film music supervisor. He has worked with the likes of U2, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Sam Phillips, Switchfoot, and countless others. Continue reading “Dan Russell and Boketto the Wolf Live From the Red Room”

Songs For Social Change Live From The Red Room

Tune in on Monday, April 9th @ 7 PM EST to birnCORE for a live broadcast from The Red Room @ Cafe 939 of Songs For Social Change.

The Songs for Social Change concert showcases the winners and runners-up of the Songs for Social Change contest. These performers represent a wide variety of musical styles, social issues, and backgrounds. Join us to hear incredible, inspiring music.

Tune in here to listen to the live broadcast.

The Movement Presents Battle of the Bands Live From The Red Room

Tune in on Sunday, April 8th @ 6 PM EST to birnCORE for a live broadcast from The Red Room @ Cafe 939 of the Movement’s Battle of the Bands.

Five Berklee bands will be selected to compete for the opportunity to be a headliner at a gig in Boston. This event is being held in efforts to collect food to donate to the Greater Boston Food Bank.

Listen here to join our live broadcast

Erin’s Prime Slices of the Week (3/25-4/1): Thirdstory, Demo Taped, Frankie Cosmos

Thirdstory – Cold Heart // soulful pop

The harmonies on Cold Heart are flawless and should be incentive enough to give this album a listen (specifically check out “On and On” to get a glimpse of the perfection). Thirdstory consists of three members from NYC; Ben Lusher, Richard Saunders, and Elliot Skinner. Since gaining a substantial following on YouTube, and then releasing their first EP, Searching, in 2017, Thirdstory was able to show their live performance chops with Chance the Rapper on his 2017 tour. With the release of this debut LP, the trio will soon begin their own tour all over the country. Cold Heart is polished, but wildly organic, overflowing with soulful vocals and smooth bass lines.  Give it a listen and don’t let these guys slip from your memory – they’re only just beginning.

Continue reading “Erin’s Prime Slices of the Week (3/25-4/1): Thirdstory, Demo Taped, Frankie Cosmos”

Matthew Stevens and Justin Brown Live From The Red Room

Tune in on Saturday, April 7th @ 8 PM EST to birnCORE for a live broadcast from the Red Room @ Cafe 939 featuring Matthew Stevens and Justin Brown.

Canadian born and Harlem based artist, Matthew Stevens, is a superb composer and guitar player of the jazz-rock style . He has built quite the reputation for himself after graduating from Berklee in 2004 by networking and collaborating with artists such as Harvey Mason, NEXT Collective, and Esperanza Spaulding. Stevens worked on her D+Evolution project as well as Exposure, which he played on as well helped to compose and produce. He has been included in DownBeat Magazine’s 25 For The Future issue and the Annual Critics Poll Rising Star Guitar Category two years in a row. Continue reading “Matthew Stevens and Justin Brown Live From The Red Room”

L.A. Salami and Cat Clyde Live From the Red Room

Tune in Tuesday, April 3rd @ 8 PM EST to birnCORE for a live broadcast from The Red Room @ Cafe 939 featuring L.A. Salami and Cat Clyde.

L.A. Salami is a singer-songwriter from London, England, known for crafting magnetic blues/rock songs with a postmodern twist.

Most of his teens and early 20s were spent on the move, rarely settling in one place for more than few months. This lifestyle gave him a unique outlook which inspired lyrics and concepts in his songwriting. Hearing Bob Dylan on the radio led Salami to discovering and later exploring the blues and folk genres. He eventually had his first batch of songs, and decided to hit the road. Continue reading “L.A. Salami and Cat Clyde Live From the Red Room”

Show Review: MGMT at the Orpheum Theater 3/16

Story by Justin Cameron

MGMT never really left, but Little Dark Age feels like a comeback. Oracular Spectacular made them into indie rock gods, but they stepped away from the spotlight and Little Dark Age has brought them right back.

They opened to a sold-out crowd at the Orpheum Theater with the title track of their latest release, Little Dark Age, and from there they played a set heavy with songs from the new album. Peppered in throughout were the top hits from Oracular Spectacular: “Time to Pretend”, “Electric Feel”, and “Kids” kept the crowd moving, and deservingly received the most reaction. Most of the songs from the new album received a positive reaction with highlights being “James” and “Me and Michael.”

The band as a whole sounded great and was tight throughout their set while the new songs translated well to the live setting accompanied by some new, trippy visuals. Their sound could have easily been mistaken for someone just playing the record over speakers. The visuals (such as having a phone with familiar apps floating behind them during “TSLAMP”) added a new layer to their set and complimented the songs.

Armed with new songs and visuals, MGMT is on top of their game right now and is an absolute must see.