Thursday, July 08, 2010

THUR 7/8: Music - Some Free, All Good

Happy birthday to Kevin Bacon! I went to school with one of his cousins, so I think that's two degrees to Bacon...

Speaking of movies: If you feel like watching "Pee Wee's Big Adventure" outside tonight, head to Davis Square around dusk tonight.


THUR 7/8

6pm to 8:30pm
Sierra Hull
at Institute for Contemporary Art, 100 Northern Ave, Boston (South Boston/Seaport)

Sierra Hull has already been making waves on the bluegrass scene before studying at Berklee. Why not play outside at the ICA before leaving town after her first year? Sierra's hometown in Tennessee probably doesn't have a harbor.

This is the kick-off for weekly concerts through the end of August held outside of the ICA, which still offers free admission on -- wait for it -- Thursday evenings from 5pm to 9pm, whether it’s summer or not.

THUR 7/8

7pm to 9pm
La TimbĂ­stica
at Mozart Park, 10 Mozart St, Jamaica Plain (Hyde Sq, off Centre St)

The weekly free concerts keep coming! For the next 6 Thursdays, the Tito Puente Latin Music Series offers different Latin musical flavors at different locations around town.

Like Sierra Hull, La TimbĂ­stica come out of Berklee. These guys aren't your average collegiate Latin jazz ensemble. They seem to be the cream of the crop and were named "College Jazz Group of the Year" a couple years ago by DownBeat Magazine. It sounds like they also like to add a healthy scoop of salsa into the mix.

THUR 7/8

Steve Almond w/ Dayna Kurtz, "Rock and Roll Will Save Your Life: The Musical"
at Club Oberon, 2 Arrow St, Cambridge (Harvard Sq)

Author Steve Almond's last "musical extravaganza" based on his new book sold out the Brattle Theatre a couple months, so it didn't make the list. When I last checked, there were still tickets for tonight's show where he reads from his book about musical fanaticism. It's a 'multi-media experience' with images and recorded songs.

The real treat is a solo performance by Dayna Kurtz. I think I watch a couple performance clips of Kurtz last year, but I really didn't get it until I heard Almond talk her up on a radio interview yesterday as they played some of her songs. When I listened to more tracks last night, I was in awe of her rich, husky vocals. It was a bit like hearing Nina Simone for the first time, because the voice doesn't seem to match the body.

I don't know if an amped-up reading by Steve Almond is worth the admission, but get ready to be blown away by Dayna Kurtz -- and give her a listen even if you don't go!

THUR 7/8

Hallelujah The Hills, St. Claire, Mr. Sister, Sleepy Very Sleepy
at Great Scott, 1222 Comm Ave, Allston
$10 / 18+

When I heard "Colonial Drones", the most recent album from Hallelujah The Hills, I was secretly hoping for a second volume of "Collective Psychosis Begone", because I absolutely loved the tunes on that album especially "Wave Backwards To Massachusetts".

Obviously they don't consider my feelings when they go into the studio, which turned out to be a good idea. While I was slightly disappointed on first listen, I later realized this band keeps raising the bar and making strides upward and onward in their own original, alt/chamber/rock direction. Seriously good stuff!

I think a couple of the HTH guys still play with Mr. Sister and St. Claire, who also have some band member cross-fertilization for two distinct yet complementary folk-noir goodness.

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