However much you think you know about the local music scene, you almost certainly don’t know as much as Andy Guthrie and Jen Kelley. And they’re learning something new every week.
DIY: DJs Andy Guthrie and Jen Kelley record a “Band in Boston” podcast in their Somerville home.
For the past six months, Guthrie, 29, and Kelley, 34, have been producing a podcast, “Band in Boston,” from their Somerville living room. It’s a way for “two music nuts” to tell you everything you need to know about the week in Boston rock and to explore the thriving, diverse scene that exists here.
“When we first started dating, it’s all we did: go to shows,” says Kelley. “We would always e-mail each other links [to upcoming concerts],” says Guthrie, who soon after decided to turn his obsessive hobby into a public service.
Every week, Jen and Andy compile a radio show, an hour or two long, consisting entirely of songs by local and national acts (mostly the former) who are due to swing through Boston-area clubs during the coming week. And they do their homework, highlighting little-known bands and digging for deep cuts.
As if that weren’t enough, they also record live performances — in their living room — by their favorite local groups. At first these “Flophouse Sessions” (unofficial motto: “Making bands late for load-in since 2006”) were more or less weekly occurrences. But lately they’ve been recording two, three, four mini-concerts each week. Seventeen sessions are available for download right now, and they’ve already got 19 more in the can.
“So many bands, so many shows,” says Guthrie. “It’s like a treasure hunt each week. We thought we were knowledgeable about the music scene in Boston. We had no idea. Every week we find ten more great bands.”
On a recent Sunday afternoon, a Hammond organ and a rack of guitars stand in the corner of Guthrie and Kelley’s front room. Between a computer and a table cluttered with the makings of Kelley’s necklace business, sits a decent-size mixing board. Two friendly but excitable dogs, Stella and Smokey, pad around the large Oriental rug. “I think dogs underfoot sort of add to the vibe,” says Guthrie. (Stella has also been known to add some vocals of her own while the tape is rolling. “She has pretty good timing, though. She usually barks on an off-beat.”)
Today’s Flophouse Session comes courtesy of Township, a super-group of sorts fronted by ex-Runner and the Thermodynamics dynamo Marc Pinansky, former Cancer Conspiracy drummer Greg Beadle, Spitzz guitarist John Sheeran (on bass), and Radar Eyes guitarist Jason Gillis. Stella barks excitedly as the bearded and mustachioed bandmates arrive at the house one by one — “she has something about facial hair,” Guthrie puzzles.
While the rest of the band sets up, Beadle takes stock of the lender. He looks down at the shiny-blue mini-kit. It’s no more than a tiny kick drum, a tom, a snare, and a cymbal the size of a desert plate — basically, it looks like a toy. And it is; it was purchased at Toys “R” Us for less than a hundred bucks