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cheyenne_h on 11/11/2014 at 01:30AM

Music Hack Day: Boston!

Cheyenne and Ross presenting the API, and a brief overview of the FMA, at Music Hack Day in Boston, Nov 8 2014. Photo via https://twitter.com/musichackday

During this past weekend, the Free Music Archive made its presence known at Music Hack Day in Boston, Massachusetts. There were lots of folks there, including myself and our developer, Ross, who presented our API. If you've never been to a Hack Day before, they can be pretty intense! A collection of people with coding and building skills got together and, over a period of about 30 hours, envisioned, designed, and implemented a project - to present the next day. The event began with API presentations - and a few demos that included a map that shows how far Johnny Cash travels in "I've Been Everywhere," a squishy keyboard, and more! Then hacking commenced. 

The next day, the hacks were presented and 'winners' were announced - various API presenters and sponsors gave stuff to those who made the best uses of their APIs. One project, Endsound, incorporated the FMA API to provide backing tracks for real-time ambient collaborations via the Web. More hack projects and information are available here, which ranged from video sync tools to a way to make a 3-D printable version of your favorite song's waveform

Will we see you at Hack Day next year? 

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Boston_Hassle on 06/18/2014 at 03:52PM

From Brookline, MA... TUNNEL OF LOVE breathes the fire that is the eternal flame of ROCK N ROLL.

A screaming, beyond logical continuation of future primitive rock n' roll madness flows from TUNNEL OF LOVE. This s/t record was the first vinyl issuing of this trio's blatant low chord number freakish-ness. Another band vying for the title of most popular band on the Boston area underground music circuit during the first half of the 00s decade.

I first encountered these miscreants (a truly applicable term) raging out (stand up drummer, twins or close relations at least barking and battering a guitar) @ the Berwick Institute in Dudley Sq. in the Roxbury neighborhood of Boston. They were the one garage rock band among a whole scene of art freaks and their resulting music. At the time the Berwick was certainly one of the epicenters of underground music and art in the Boston area, and so when I would see that bands were playing there it was essentially a stamp of approval. TOL received that stamp time and time again. They would eventually become staples @ my house venue THE HOSS and I would eventually release this album for them on LP and CD with my friend Dave Conway.

Originals paired with choice covers, all rendered in one of the gnarliest takes on garage rock that has ever been. You'd be forgiven for thinking that this scuzz was a product of Memphis or Detroit, but no, Boston, MA. Actually, Brookline, MA, just across the Muddy River from Boston, really. Unholy, scuzzing garage rock bombast. As of 2014 these guys do not play very much anymore, but they still stop to throw shit from time to time. Several 7's and LPs followed this one (and a good handful of CD-Rs preceded it). The brothers MacBain went on to bands like THE MONSIEURS, MARTY KINGS, THE PSYCHED, and 99999999999999999999.

- Dan Shea ([email protected])

 

** Unfortunately we can't host the cover songs from this record on the FMA.
Get a copy of the LP, or hear the record otherwise, it's worth it. Their version
of "Paint It Black" is LEGENDARY.

LP was limited to 300, 100 of which were ruined by a basement flood. There's
like 20 left.
If you want one get in touch: [email protected]

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Boston_Hassle on 06/05/2014 at 11:31AM

Mysterio-rock trio NIGHT RALLY emerges from the mist & murk of a decade past. Here their debut EP/demo is visible to the naked eye!

Another band encountered in the basements, and other off-the-beaten-path venues, as well as the bars and clubs of Boston, Cambridge, and Somerville (the latter @ the time just beginning to move toward being a land of much live music).

NIGHT RALLY were a unique band for multiple reasons. For one, their post-punkian pop throb was a truly collaborative effort, where band members Luke, Farhad, and Devin not only shared playing and songwriting duties, but singing duties as well. Even here on this demo the singing effort is split up amongst the lot. Secondly, the sound they mined - a pulsing, jittery thing crowned by celestial guitars, and full of anxious yelps trading off with mellow croon - was an abberation at that time in Boston's underground music scene. The band was of the variety that, while perhaps preferring the more informal settings of a Bodies of Water or Honeypump booked underground show, were nonetheless also comfortable in the bar live music setting. And so the band was one of the few of its moment that bridged the gap between acceptance by the underground/ diy music community and the more pop and "indie music" oriented Boston rock club scene and its ilk.

NIGHT RALLY's demo has always been my favorite recording by the band. Initially it found its way to me via the underground venue I was involved with, The HOSS, probably handed to me on an evening when the band played, or not. These Cambridge fellows found their way to that Brighton basement on a number of occasions, playing or not, if my memory serves. The demo @ only 4 songs is fairly perfect, each of the 4 offerings highlighting one or a number of the band's strengths. The rhythm section is locked in, propulsive and capable of surprise turns while remaining locked in. The delay coated guitars showering the songs as if rays of light beaming increasingly through a clouded sky post-shower. Devin King's inventive, powerful lead vocals, intertwine with his bandmate's, creating a syncopated, unified human voice that reaches out and grabs the listener.

NIGHT RALLY were a great band. A split LP with the band CLICKERS followed on HONEYPUMP RECORDS. The self-released PRESTON FAMILY CREST appeared later, and served as the band's swan song. 
They disbanded in 2006. Both of these other recordings will eventually make their way onto the FMA via the Boston Hassle, so if you like this EP, keep your eyes peeled.

Members of NIGHT RALLY went onto play in other bands such as NEPTUNEINITIALS B.R., and MARCONI.

- Dan Shea ([email protected])

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Boston_Hassle on 06/05/2014 at 11:31AM

Mysterio-rock trio NIGHT RALLY emerges from the mist & murk of a decade past. Here their debut EP/demo is visible to the naked eye!

Another band encountered in the basements, and other off-the-beaten-path venues, as well as the bars and clubs of Boston, Cambridge, and Somerville (the latter @ the time just beginning to move toward being a land of much live music).

NIGHT RALLY were a unique band for multiple reasons. For one, their post-punkian pop throb was a truly collaborative effort, where band members Luke, Farhad, and Devin not only shared playing and songwriting duties, but singing duties as well. Even here on this demo the singing effort is split up amongst the lot. Secondly, the sound they mined - a pulsing, jittery thing crowned by celestial guitars, and full of anxious yelps trading off with mellow croon - was an abberation at that time in Boston's underground music scene. The band was of the variety that, while perhaps preferring the more informal settings of a Bodies of Water or Honeypump booked underground show, were nonetheless also comfortable in the bar live music setting. And so the band was one of the few of its moment that bridged the gap between acceptance by the underground/ diy music community and the more pop and "indie music" oriented Boston rock club scene and its ilk.

NIGHT RALLY's demo has always been my favorite recording by the band. Initially it found its way to me via the underground venue I was involved with, The HOSS, probably handed to me on an evening when the band played, or not. These Cambridge fellows found their way to that Brighton basement on a number of occasions, playing or not, if my memory serves. The demo @ only 4 songs is fairly perfect, each of the 4 offerings highlighting one or a number of the band's strengths. The rhythm section is locked in, propulsive and capable of surprise turns while remaining locked in. The delay coated guitars showering the songs as if rays of light beaming increasingly through a clouded sky post-shower. Devin King's inventive, powerful lead vocals, intertwine with his bandmate's, creating a syncopated, unified human voice that reaches out and grabs the listener.

NIGHT RALLY were a great band. A split LP with the band CLICKERS followed on HONEYPUMP RECORDS. The self-released PRESTON FAMILY CREST appeared later, and served as the band's swan song. 
They disbanded in 2006. Both of these other recordings will eventually make their way onto the FMA via the Boston Hassle, so if you like this EP, keep your eyes peeled.

Members of NIGHT RALLY went onto play in other bands such as NEPTUNEINITIALS B.R., and MARCONI.

- Dan Shea ([email protected])

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Boston_Hassle on 05/09/2014 at 03:00PM

THE MULES - s/t 7" - Mid-00s Boston freakaaay, nasty spazzoid post-punk dance party

This band was probably the most fun thing happening in the Boston underground music scene circa 2003-2004. Beyond this 7" (released by BODIES OF WATER arts and crafts (full disclosure: my label) there was also a demo tape with their original drummer (which was recorded in a strange wooden room in the far corner of the basement @ my old house/ venue in Brighton, THE HOSS). So fun. THE MULES sound was a truly rambunctious thing, a hyper, spastic art punk with nods to garage rock, noise rock, and the overarching cool underground music of that moment in whcih they existed, post-punk. If there was one band who defined what THE HOSS was to me, it was this bunch. Doug on guitar, Marin on keys, and Jose on guitar/ bass. Jose and Marin taking most of the singing duties. The drummer situation was a revolving one (as it so often seems to be). Here on this recording Elliott, their final drummer, plays the role. They played with OLD TIME RELIJUN at that show house in Brighton, and the match was perfect, and should give you an idea of where THE MULES were at in their time. The band broke up several times, and thus had several reunion shows. And with each show, as happens, the number of people aware of their music grew and grew. The final final final show was, if my memory serves me, @ another house show space called CASTLE GREY SKULL, in Allston. And it was mayhem. A final happy FUCK YOU from a band who lived on the fringes, wanted nothing more, but certainly deserved more. 

I went on tour with THE MULES and our friends, and another band on my label, WILDLIFE (they later became WILDILDLIFE) in probably 2005. One of the better shows on the tour was @ a Chicago warehouse called MISTER CITY, home to the awesome noise rock squelchers COUGHS, who hooked up the show. It was the first time I ever saw DAN DEACON, and beyond that the performers must have been pretty noisy. I remember this because a comment that an audience member made to one of THE MULES after their set has been fused to my memory of the band itself. I don't know who said it, or to whom it was said, but someone came up to the band after their set that night as I stood nearby and said something like, "The noise sections in your songs shouldn't make any sense, and certainly have no right being there. But it does make sense, and it works. Good set." That interaction sums up this band for me: straddling multiple, at times disparate genres, but making it all work, and making it all fun as hell. The mincing of the genres that THE MULES smashed together has become more common place in the decade since they rocked basements, but that ability to make it all fun remains elusive still.

This 7" was recorded somewhere @ Emerson College, for free by someone (thank you unknown engineer). Perhaps it doesn't capture the true raucous nature of this unwieldy group in teh live setting, but at least something exists that can be pointed to, to prove that this band existed. I will try to dredge up that demo tape @ some point, if any still exist. I will also try to find the original cover to this 7" (the image included on this 7"'s album page is the color version of what appeared in faded black and white on the 7"s back cover), as that too has perhaps been lost to time...

Members of THE MULES went on to form great bands such as: MMOSS, SPF ALOT, DOUG TUTTLE, BAROQUE PUNKS, EGGPLONT, WORLD MAP, DRUNK DAD, and PROTOKOLL. In particular DOUG TUTTLE has gained a good deal of notoriety and acclaim for his contemporary take on psychedelic pop, and other strains of psychedelia.

- Dan Shea ([email protected])

 




Copies of this 7" still exist!!!!

If you would like to get your hands on one please email: [email protected]

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