Bands to watch out for

Promising local releases in ’06
By SARAH TOMLINSON  |  December 29, 2005
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Winter in Boston is like being grounded. Too many housebound nights, and we’re bored, stir-crazy, and filled with the overwhelming sense of injustice at being stuck in here while the whole world goes on out there. Just as back when we were serving time in our rooms for missing curfew, mouthing off, and getting caught with all matter of contraband, our stereo is the only link to the outside world that matters. The good news is that a number of major players in the local rock scene are set to deliver new music in the next few months that will keep us sane until our exile ends and we rock again next spring.

Mission of BurmaStill riding high from the fervor surrounding their 2004 comeback, OnoffON (Matador), revered art-rock innovators Mission of Burma will drop their third studio album on May 9. The as-yet-untitled disc was recorded in September at Q Division in Somerville. Fourth member/tape manipulator/sound engineer Bob Weston, also of Shellac, helmed sessions that produced 14 new songs including “Good, Not Great,” “Nancy Reagan’s Head,” and “Ridiculosity.” Bassist/singer Clint Conley has said the band are playing better than ever before. But don’t worry, some things never change. “We always want things savage and scary, and I think it [the album] gets there,” Conley says via e-mail.

Cabaret-punk exhibitionists the Dresden Dolls are also riding some major momentum in the wake of their 2004 homonymous debut, what with the release of their first DVD, Paradise, and that support slot for Nine Inch Nails last year. Their follow-up, Yes, Virginia (Roadrunner), is due April 25. They recorded it in September at Allaire Studios in upstate New York and Camp Street Studios in Cambridge, with Paul Kolderie and Sean Slade, and to judge from song titles like “First Orgasm” and “Me and the Minibar,” which join favorites from their live shows like “Sex Changes” and “My Alcoholic Friends,” they’re still shaking up their trademark cocktail of confession and transgression.

Having just trounced a kick-ass opening slot for Bon Jovi, heavy metal-huffing rockers Damone support Less Than Jake on a national tour this winter. They’re still awaiting the Island/Def Jam release of the as-yet-untitled follow-up to their 2003 major-label debut, From the Attic (RCA), which has been pushed back until June. But we’re told it’s worth the wait. According to their manager Pete Galli, who also guides the Bravery and Bleu, heavyweight engineers Tom Lord-Alge (Marilyn Manson, Rolling Stones, U2, etc.) and Mike Shipley (Def Leppard/Mutt Lange/Shania) mixed tracks recorded at the Allston apartment of singer guitarist Noelle LeBlanc and drummer Dustin Hengst.

Claim her as a local while you can. Twenty-year-old Scituate native Casey Dienel is moving to New York City later this winter after studying at New England Conservatory for several years (see Camille Dodero’s interview with her in “ID Check” in News + Features”). She recorded her solo debut, Wind Up Canary (Hush Records; March 7), on a piano she’d hijacked from the lobby of a Cohasset hotel and transported to an abandoned caretaker’s house on a farm in Leominster. The disc was helmed by producer Jim Reynolds, her band mate in local indie-pop group Tigersaw. Orchestrated with banjo, saxophone, and clarinet, Dienel’s precocious jazz-baby vocals and expressive piano playing add up to an enticing speakeasy charm.

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