J.P. to the rescue!

The Milky Way reaches out to China
By MICHAEL BRODEUR  |  June 17, 2008

Rick Berlin

One thing that can be said about our local music community: whether it be hurricanes, house fires, illness, or the success of the Click Five, we know how to unite in the face of disaster. This Tuesday, June 24, the musical mayor of JP, Rick Berlin, hosts a benefit for the victims of the earthquake in China, along with the Milky Way’s Kathie Mainzer and city councilor Sam Yoon. (Oh, plus free food from Food Wall, yes!) It’s a heck of a bill for a hell of a cause, featuring Todd Drogy and Abby Driscoll, Dave Aaronoff, Travis Pullman, Roger Poulin, Cassy Malloy, Iliya, Two Thieves, and the folks we’ve provided samples from below. Show up and feel good about what you hear as well as who you help.

Sodafrog, “Headed for Phase”
Tom Janovitz (also of the Shout Abouts) has a brand new bag called Sodafrog. To judge from his freshly released EP, Two Days from the Woods, it’s a little, lonely-sounding bag. This track gives a good idea
of Janovitz’s modest, country-tinged approach, and the lo-fi hiss and elegant Americana at work in his other posted tracks help to triangulate his deal.

Shepherdess, “Blackout”
Shepherdess are awesome for a number of reasons, among them a knack for crystallizing a phase of Boston indie-rock that must’ve gotten deleted by the Y2K bug or something. Noisy, scratchy, but
lush and hooked on hooks — there’s a little something for everyone here.

Leo Blais, "Slow Drivin"
Quit dissing Lowell. If people weren’t so dangerously literal, we’d say there’s something in the water there, since the exuberant pop of the title track to Leo Blais’s new maxi-single sure doesn’t sound as if it came from a gloomy place. A safe place, sure, but not a gloomy one.

Rick Berlin, “Sean Penn Said”
“Depression is black, but the blues come from heartbreak,” howls Rick Berlin at the beginning and end of this extended account of catching Sean Penn on Charlie Rose. No one song could represent Berlin — he’s far too versatile and varied — but the crossroads that map this one (Syd Barrett and torch songs? Bowie and benzos?) are quite enough to get lost in.

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