Boston music news: July 6, 2007

Notes on the Unseen and the Secret Stars
By JIM SULLIVAN  |  July 3, 2007

The Unseen

Does punk rock get better the more the world seems to be falling apart? “I think so,” says Mark Unseen, singer of the Boston hardcore band who bear his stage surname. The UNSEEN have just begun their summer-long cross-country trek on the Warped Tour, which hits the Tweeter Center August 9. This isn’t their first Warped, but it’s the first time they’ll be playing the main stage. And they’re supporting their new Hellcat release, Internal Salvation — their sixth in 14 years. Like every Unseen disc, it remains in step with the politicized hardcore punk the band grew up on in the ’80s. “When Reagan was in,” Mark recalls, “there were a lot of great punk bands.” And he sees some of the same things happening today. “Just take a look around you: there’s war, crime, brutality. Be aware.”

Internal Salvation is — no shock — fast, loud, and full of rage. “I would say this record picks up where the last one [2005’s Idea] left off,” says Mark. “It’s pretty similar, but with a few different things. It begins with an organ intro, my screams, and news-broadcast samples of crime. It sets the tone. You don’t need to read fiction anymore; what you see on the news is just as fucked up.”

GEOFF FARINA is bringing back his indie-folk band SECRET STARS, only this time he’ll have some help from his former KARATE bandmate Jeff Goddard. The July 14 show at P.A.’s Lounge also features IDA, the THALIA ZEDEK BAND, and MARK ROBINSON in the second evening of a fundraiser to help the son of former Jawbox/Burning Airlines/Channels frontman J. Robbins, Callum Robbins, who has Type 1 SMA (spinal muscular atrophy), an incurable nerve disorder. The benefit begins July 13 at P.A.’s with a bill featuring NEPTUNE, HELMS, the BROKAW/FARINA DUO, and DREW O’DOHERTY.

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