Feelin’ groovy

The scene is springing back to life
By BOB GULLA  |  April 11, 2006

GREAT VIEW: The imaginative Sweetthieves.Maybe it’s the spring sun. Maybe it’s my new chainsaw. Maybe it’s that tax season’s pretty much over and I made the deadline again. I don’t know what it is, but things have taken on a rosier hue lately, which is just plumb strange. My brain tells me to stay cooped up in this still-cold basement office, but my eyes, squinting, seem to appreciate the over-exposure to sunlight.

I’m also appreciating music a little more these days. Perhaps it’s the simultaneous convergence of some good local records, or the occurrence of some record release parties and news of future happenings I’ve received over the last few weeks. I’m not sure. What I do know is that the music scene has emerged from hibernation and begun something of a seasonal resuscitation. Or at least it’s sniffing around for something to eat.

I got an advance of the new BLIZZARD OF 78 disc this week. Where All Life Hangs is a dozen emotionally resonant tunes, delicately and tastefully assembled a la Coldplay or Damien Rice, with flourishes of Badfinger. The band features Pip on vocals backed by Nate, Chris, and Paul. Look forward to hearing and seeing more of them around these parts to celebrate the disc’s upcoming release. Speaking of releases, I missed telling you about the SWEETTHIEVES’ party, which took place two weeks ago. Their new album, View from a Glass Tower, is muscular and imaginative indie rock with post-Sonic Youth aspirations. Hilary Jones fronts the band on vocals and bass guitar, while Dave Martinka wields a serious baritone guitar and sings and drummer Jason Mayah pours fuel on the fire. The disc, made with Keith and Mike at Machines with Magnets, sounds crisp, live, and bristles with energy.

I haven’t heard it yet, but GRANDEVOLUTION will be celebrating the release of their new album this Saturday (April 15). The all-ages show is at AS220 and doors are at 8 pm. The Last Conservative (Buffalo, NY), the Cautions, Negative Nancy, and Shades of Skin are also on the bill.

Elsewhere there are further signs of life. Down at URI next weekend (April 22 and 23), there’s a huge deal going on outdoors in what must be the biggest rock show to ever happen on that campus. It’s called the LIVING PROOF FESTIVAL and it all culminates in headlining sets by the legendary Misfits (Saturday) and former Soul Coughing dude Mike Doughty (Sunday). But that’s just the icing. Before the headliners, you can catch an impressive and bountiful array of rockers, beginning at 11 am, spread across three stages on Saturday and two on Sunday. You can catch sets by Stefan Couture, Verbana Darvell, Of the Hour, Slik Willy, Monty, Bloodshot Hooligans, Hogg, Sick Electric, Guv, Darkbuster, Sasquatch, the Squizzles, Sage Francis, Gavin Castleton, and a trillion other bands. Check the website:www.lpfest.com. You’ll see that there’s also a film festival and an art exhibit, along with an open mic, improv comedy, and a Lamaze class. OK, so I made that last thing up. But there’s a lot going on. It all kicks off next weekend, which is not this weekend.

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