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Curtis’ Prime Slices (12/9 – 12/15) The Beths,

The Beths – Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas – (Indie Rock)

Well as fate would have it, I have another spicy Christmas release for you all to listen to. The Beths, who put out their third album, “Future Me Hates Me,” just a few months ago, did up a nice cover of Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas! It has a really wonderful Doo-wop vibe through the start and then kicks in with a crunchy electric guitar playing the melody and eventually taking off into a Beths style solo. it quiets down and sweetly ends with the string section vamping with the band. It’s one of my new favorite versions of the classic and honestly my favorite song of the week. Put this on your next Christmas playlist!

Starcrawler – Hollywood Ending b/w Tank Top [Single] – (Glam Punk)

To compliment our last song, we have a very hard hitting release from the band Starcrawler. They fall into that category of new classic rock bands like The Lemon Twigs and Greta Van Fleet, but they have a heavy original sound unlike our boys in Greta. The main single “Hollywood Ending,” depicts a loss of love between a couple and the slow slope downward before eventually splitting up. The chorus simply hits the idea home repeating “The end…when will it begin?” The second single “Tank Top” is a ruckus tune that gives you that get up and mosh feeling when it’s being played. It’s in the classic punk style of being a minute long and it’s one you have to hear more than once. Hopefully it’s leading up to a new album because I can’t wait to hear more of this.

 

Bella’s Prime Slices (12/1 – 12/7): Holiday Edition

 

PJ Morton – Christmas with PJ Morton – (R&B)

PJ Morton unleashes a festive helping of New Orleans-styled carols on his first-ever holiday album, Christmas with PJ. The eight-track stocking stuffer is engrossed in the signature sounds of NOLA like jazz, Creole, and Cajun music. Although Morton decorates Christmas with PJ with his bluesy hometown traditions, the talented musician makes sure to keep the spirit of Christmas alive through each rendition. He also invites guest stars Yolanda Adams, Stokley and Hasizzle for the sleigh-ride. Continue reading “Bella’s Prime Slices (12/1 – 12/7): Holiday Edition”

Show Review: Tall Heights at the Royale

When I walked into the Royale to see Tall Heights I was going in with a blank slate. I had read a brief bio and their instrumentation had piqued my interest (cello, guitar, bass, drums, synth, and trumpet). But I wasn’t too familiar with their songs or genre and I’ll tell you right now, don’t hold your breath.

I walked in just as the first opening act, folk singer-songwriter Old Sea Brigade, played their last couple songs. Next up was Frances Cone who had a very similar vibe but more electro folk. Her songs weren’t bad but really nothing to note other than that the trumpet player for Tall Heights came out to play a song with them which was a nice collaboration. Both openers didn’t have much stage presence which is a bit of a turn off for me. They also didn’t really have any hooks in their tunes, which of course isn’t necessary for every song you write but I believe every band should have those few songs that everyone can pick up the lyrics or melody in a matter of seconds. Continue reading “Show Review: Tall Heights at the Royale”

Win tickets to See HAERTS Play at Great Scott!

The BIRN would like you to win tickets to see Arts & Crafts recording artists (and Berklee alumni) HAERTS live at Great Scott on Thursday, December 6. The band is touring in support of their brand new release New Compassion and has racked up over 275,000 monthly streams on Spotify.

Email your name and contact information to HAERTSLive@thebirn.com for a chance to win a pair of tickets to the show. The deadline to enter is December 5 at 11:59 p.m. Good luck!!

Curtis’ Prime Slices (12/1 – 12/8): Los Straitjackets, Sticky Fingers

Los Straitjackets – Complete Christmas Songbook – (surf/ska)

Well it’s December 1st and you know what that means! Christmas albums coming to us from all directions. This week we got Los Straitjackets’ sweet new holiday record, Complete Christmas Songbook. Any fans of Dick Dale or Link Wray are probably going to have this on for the majority of the month. The songbook has a total of 27 tracks ranging from classics like “Frosty The Snowman” and “Jingle Bells” to brand new ones like “Holiday Twist” and “Groovy Old Saint Nick.” The sound is a nice blast from the past and it really stands out from just any other Christmas album. It’s chock full of danceable tunes that’ll be sure to liven up any holiday family gathering!

Continue reading “Curtis’ Prime Slices (12/1 – 12/8): Los Straitjackets, Sticky Fingers”

Show Review: Speedy Ortiz at the Sinclair – 11/27

I was really happy to catch this performance Tuesday night at the Sinclair. I got there early enough to hear the very first openers, Halfsour, a three piece classic indie rock band.  Front woman, Zoë Wyner, doubled on vocals and bass, speaking for the band but making it clear that talking in between songs was her least favorite part of being on stage. They were a pretty quirky little trio and had a great set, but their level of quirk was nothing in comparison to the next band, Palberta.

Palberta was peculiar and off beat, but completely on brand. All three members switched instruments multiple times which kept the audience on the edge of their seats (in a general admission standing room). They conversed with the audience like they were making weird small talk with a stranger in an elevator, but everyone laughed through the uncomfortableness and seemed to enjoy the bands personality and overall sound. Continue reading “Show Review: Speedy Ortiz at the Sinclair – 11/27”

Erin’s Prime Slice (11/25-12/1): Speedy Ortiz

Since this week will be cut short by Thanksgiving, I only had one prime slice pick: Speedy Ortiz’s newest album Twerp Verse. Although beginning the recording process all the way back in the fall of 2016, the band decided to rethink a lot after election day (for obvious reasons). As a band that prides themselves on releasing politically driven music from their very first project, Speedy Ortiz felt that they couldn’t release some of the tracks that had focused on more frivolous topics. The title “Twerp Verse” is a phrase coined by front woman Sade Dupius to describe “when a musician guests on a track and says something totally outlandish – like a Lil Wayne verse – but it becomes the most crucial part.” This album acts as one big “Twerp Verse” for Speedy Ortiz, holding some pretty substantial messages about the struggles faced in the current, skewed world we live in.

Continue reading “Erin’s Prime Slice (11/25-12/1): Speedy Ortiz”

Curtis’ Prime Slices (11/18 – 11/24): Moving Panoramas, Theia

 Moving Panoramas – Baby Blues [single]  – (indie rock)

This week, indie rock band Moving Panoramas caught my attention with their incredibly groovy new single, “Baby Blues.” It has a great energy that reminds me of bands like Soccer Mommy and The History Of Apple Pie. This is the first single from the highly anticipated sophomore album In Two and if this is what’s to be expected, I can’t wait either. The compressed bass and drums together give the song a very driving feeling that really makes you wanna tap your feet. The melody and lyrics compliment each other nicely and get stuck in your head pretty fast. Give it a listen!

Continue reading “Curtis’ Prime Slices (11/18 – 11/24): Moving Panoramas, Theia”

Erin’s Prime Slices (11/18-11/24): Rose Droll, Maiah Manser

 Rose Droll – Your Dog (singer-songwriter)

The only reason I classified this album as “singer-songwriter” is because I could not think of a single other way to fully encapsulate all that I was hearing. It begins with a bass line reminiscent of Lou Reed’s “Take a Walk on the Wild Side,” accompanied by a looping drum machine and breathy background vocals. The second track, “Hush” completely caught me by surprise by opening with a line from “This Little Light of Mine,” followed by some seriously cutting rap verses spoken in an almost whisper. This album is seriously unique and, to top it all off, Rose played every single instrument on the record. The lyrics are complex and completely honest, but definitely require a few listens to fully unpack.

Continue reading “Erin’s Prime Slices (11/18-11/24): Rose Droll, Maiah Manser”

Show Review: EZI at the Sinclair – 11/7

Filing in from around both sides of the sidewalk were mostly young girls excitedly anticipating the show at the Sinclair last Wednesday, November 7. Although I think the hype in the air was mainly for the headliner, MAX (best known for his song “Lights Down Low”), I was there to see the first opener, EZI. EZI is a younger artist who just released her first EP, Afraid of the Dark, this year. She is a former Nickelodeon star that rebranded herself after being selected as the very first artist signed to Steve Madden’s 5Towns Record label, and she’s been putting out some pretty awesome tunes ever since.

Continue reading “Show Review: EZI at the Sinclair – 11/7”