Notes on the Ultrasonic Rock Orchestra, Scissormen and Dinosaur Jr
BOSTON ROCK OPERA — the grassroots local company famous for its once annual production of Jesus Christ Superstar — is no more. But Somerville’s ULTRASONIC ROCK ORCHESTRA, the brainchild of singer Sal Clemente and drummer Alan Ware, are picking up where BRO left off. This Tuesday, November 14, they’ll release a revamped double disc of Jesus Christ Superstar (based on the original 1970 album, not the Webber/Rice Broadway show). It’s a project that has its roots in “A Night at the Rock Opera,” a performance of numbers from Superstar and rock-opera-ish songs by David Bowie, Queen, the Who, and others that URO staged at Arlington’s Regent Theatre, first in 2004 and most recently this past March. The 2004 show was filmed, but they ran into release-rights roadblocks courtesy of Sir Andrew. In response, Clemente and Ware wrote Will We Rock You?, a five-song mini-opera about the experience. “It’s written in the vein of a rock opera,” Clemente explains. “It’s bombastic, over the top, and we poke fun at ourselves.” URO’s 18 musicians and eight singers return to the Regent for three performances of “A Night at the Rock Opera” this week, November 9, 10, and 11. Then on November 17 they’ll take it to the Berklee Performance Center. In the meantime, you can check out their versions of a couple of Bowie tunes at www.myspace.com/ultrasonicrockorchestra.
A poster promoting Ultrasonic Rock Rochestra's "A Night at the Rock Opera"
Not only did Dinosaur Jr.’s once-feuding dudes, J MASCIS and LOU BARLOW, make it through a reunion tour (another leg hits the Paradise November 29) but they’re recording their first album together in 18 years. It’s due in the spring. And SCISSORMEN join the 21st century by making their debut EP, Jinx Breakers, available on iTunes. They open up for the James Montgomery Band at Johnny D’s this Friday.
On the Web
Ultrasonic Rock Orchestra: http://www.myspace.com/ultrasonicrockorchestra
Dinosaur Jr: http://www.dinosaurjr.com/
Email the author
Jim Sullivan: firstname.lastname@example.org
: New England Music News
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