SUPER CUTE Parasol kicked off the Anarchist Bookfair with a mix of power-pop and DIY punk. 

"This is a song to put on a mixtape for the next person you have a crush on," laughed Parasol singer/guitarist Lily Richeson last Friday night before launching into "Firecracker," a super-cute two-minute love song that balanced big distorted riffs and driving drums with doo-doo-doo's and baa-baa-baa's. At the Democracy Center's kickoff party in Harvard Square for the weekend-long Boston Anarchist Bookfair (the first in five years), songs about crushes and cuteness showed the sweeter side of Simmons College's two-day festival of political panels, workshops, film, vendors, and radical, system-smashing literature.

"We just finished making our first tape yesterday," Richeson said of Crush Season, the pop-punk trio's new hand-crafted self-release. Packaged in a self-stamped cardboard case with a photocopied insert, the spray-painted tapes contain five hook-heavy jams, mixing ultra-melodic sing-a-long power-pop with high-energy DIY punk rock. It was released officially this past Tuesday night at Starlab in Somerville.

Other highlights of the set were "Keep Me at Bay," a nostalgic, mid-tempo take on transient friends, and "Read Instead," a particularly appropriate song for the pre-book fair performance: "You don't know a thing, your head is filled with all your punk rock dreams/You know everything, 'cause your head is filled with all the books you read."

Also on Friday's bill were Inky Skulls — the Providence-based minimal folk-punk duo of Emily Rose and Chris Clavin, guitarist of Ghost Mice and founder of influential 17-year-old Bloomington DIY label Plan-It-X. "All of our songs are about the anarchist book fair," joked Clavin. The likeable pair sang mostly songs about "magic, chaos, friends, and freedom," as well another particularly fitting song, "My Bookshelf."

"Lots of books have pretty covers, lots of books are filled with ugly words," they sang. "Lots of books have ugly covers, lots of books are filled with pretty words."

  Topics: Live Reviews , Boston, Music, Harvard Square,  More more >
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