Providence calling

Rare Youth’s avant output
By SUSANNA BOLLE  |  March 12, 2008

Eli Keszler

It’s never been easy to get a handle on Providence’s dynamic experimental-music scene — the volume of activity boggles the brain, with bands often playing just a handful of shows before disappearing, leaving some self-released cassettes or CD-Rs in their wake. One of the best ways to navigate this ever-changing landscape is to let the small RARE YOUTH label be your guide.

Founded two years ago by Geoff Mullen, Rare Youth began with a sprawling double-CD overview of the Rhode Island underground. Over the past month it’s issued two releases of note: Livingston, an explosive LP of free improv/psych by percussionist extraordinaire Eli Keszler, and a double cassette of grainy electronic compositions by Mullen himself.

Due at the end of March, the label’s next release is a split LP of Russian Tsarlag and Blue Shift with a special comic-book-style ’zine insert. Over the phone from Providence, Mullen describes Tsarlag’s music as “weird alien pop. Some of it’s catchy and straightforward, but the recording quality is really lo-fi. He uses crude sounds, but they’re put together really nicely.” As for Blue Shift, her music is scratchy, energetic violin improv with vocals and drums. “The whole release has this real outsider feel to it.”

In Boston this weekend, you can test the limits of your auditory endurance with two extended doses of harsh noise and overloaded electronics at the NORTHEASTNOISE AND POWER ELECTRONICS FESTIVAL at Jacques Underground. The line-up includes Chicago’s infamous (and aptly named) Bloodyminded. You can find a link to the full line-up at this column on-line.

NORTHEAST NOISE AND POWER ELECTRONICS FESTIVAL | Jacques Cabaret, 79 Broadway, Boston | March 14-15 | 617.426.8902

Related: Feedback and forth, Nowhere man, Boston music news - January 27, 2006, More more >
  Topics: New England Music News , Eli Keszler, Providence Mullen, Jacques Cabaret
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