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Wired for sound

Spring Arts Preview: The Boston scene gets ready to bust out
By MICHAEL BRODEUR  |  March 10, 2008

BLISSFUL BLUR: Ho-Ag’s next full-length is due on Hello Sir in April.

Spring may bring with it a surplus of sneezing fits, muddy puddles, and questionable tank-top choices, but it also packs a bevy of new releases. You don’t think local musicians just hole up indoors, smoke pot, watch episodes of The Wire, and lay dormant all winter, do you? Probably the most eagerly awaited — here and across the country — release from Boston will be the one from former Come frontwoman THALIA ZEDEK and her newly firmed-up Thalia Zedek Band, with violinist David Michael Curry, drummer Daniel Coughlin, bassist Winston Braman, and pianist Mel Lederman. Liars and Prayers is due from Thrill Jockey on April 22.

Over the past few years, Boston’s hip-hop scene has been doggedly prolific, with mix CDs, collaborations, and solo joints flying out the ears of headz. But of special note in the never-ending flow of jams is the never-ending flow of the CAMP — representing Woburn, Lynn, and Stoneham, of course. A nasty preview track on their MySpace page called “Little Story” doesn’t give me the feeling that their new The Campaign will be the feel-good record of the year, but it does show why Beantown is good for the gritty shit. They pitch their tents at the Middle East upstairs on April 11 for the grand release sing-along.

Over in Allston, meanwhile, the five-headed beast that is HO-AG has been hard at work on its new as-yet-untitled full-length due from Hello Sir records in April. Details are few (a song called “Teeth for Eyes” sounds promising), but that’s just as well — most of Ho-Ag’s breakneck romps through fields of noise end up being a bit of a blissful blur. The mystery unfurls at Great Scott as they drop the disc with the help of HALLELUJAH THE HILLS, PRETTY AND NICE, and THUNDERHOLE on April 12.

Those in the market for something a bit more brutal and gruesome might focus their impatience toward DESTRUCT-A-THON’s Aloha Jihad. Without the aid of a preview, but with the benefit of experience, it’s safe to say their forthcoming EP won’t be unlike releasing a hungry wolverine into the wild of your ears. That it’s only three songs long should demonstrate that even Destruct-a-thon have mercy somewhere in their black, black hearts. The madness goes public on May 2 with a party at the Middle East featuring WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE and 26 BEERS.

There was hardly a damn thing wrong with THICK AS THIEVES’ auspicious debut, last year’s We Planted Driftwood and Nothing Changed, which smuggled bits of Television homage into a jarringly original post-punk presentation. A glance at the blog they set up to document the progress of their follow-up (where one of them seems to be playing a cow-print ottoman) suggests that True Believers in the Long Walk Home will be just as varied and thoughtful. If you haven’t yet, feel strangely obligated to check them out at their release party with the equally intriguing MAIN DRAG at T.T. the Bear’s Place on May 2.

The increasing number of you poking your heads into our own burgeoning techno scene would do well to check out the forthcoming KEEPALIVE release on Zero G Sounds. Keepalive (né Jeremy Flower) has been keeping busy refining his increasingly minimal but always soulful sound as well as playing live laptop in Grammy winner OSVALDO GOLIJOV’s opera Ainadamar. Expect smart jams that you could easily get stupid to when it hits on April 2. Those interested in Zero G’s backlist will be glad to hear that the label has released its entire catalogue in digital form.

Last but by no stretch of the imagination least: the boys of RAMMING SPEED are welding the final scraps of their debut full-length, which is due in late May. Over the past year, they’ve knocked out about 80 shows all over the US, found themselves smelly and stranded in the desert, flirted with reality TV, and got arrested for kidnapping. (They didn’t do it.) Expect an album that takes these varied experiences into account while sticking to its mission of destroying your face with songs about everything from metal’s distaste for politics to the mighty hammer of Thor. Recorded with Jordan Levantini at New Alliance, Brainwreck seems sure to rule on multiple levels.

  Topics: Music Features , Osvaldo Golijov , Zero Sounds , Thalia Zedek ,  More more >
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