Born Lester William Polsfuss in Waukesha, Wis., Les Paul had just turned 94 in June. He died on Thursday, Aug. 13, 2009.
Les Paul’s solid-body electric guitar started as the basement tinkering of a gifted musician. Where it led was rock and roll as we know it—and the foundation of innumerable permutations we haven’t gotten to yet. Even if you just look at the instrument and the ways its architect figured out how to play it—put aside, for a moment, the game-changing recording processes he pioneered like multitracking, overdub or delay—without Les Paul’s innovations in design and technique, the Book of Rock would have scant few pages and not much of an alphabet. The Edison of amplified music is gone. But because of Les Paul, rock and roll will never die.
When Boston's The Grownup Noise plays a show in Beantown, there's usually a solid turnout.
The fan base took about four years to fully cultivate. It began with family and friends, then strangers started taking notice. "When we first started, we would ask ourselves, Do they really like it, or are they just being nice?" singer and guitarist Paul Hansen recalls. "It's gotten to the point where a lot of them tend to be people we don't know. So, unless everyone's just being really nice, they actually like us."
Miss May I • Ice Nine Kills • metal • Capsize • alternative, melodic hardcore • Lorna Shore • emocore • Westwind
By August March
If you still haven't had your fill of melodic hardcore, emocore and/or emo with no chaser—and lord knows who hasn't; I still dream of Hawthorne Heights every night before jumping up from my La-Z-Boy recliner and toddling off to bed—then do yourself a solid and visit Albuquerque's home for rock…
Electronic experimentalist and heady hip-hop instrumentalist Jennifer Lee, better known as TOKiMONSTA, makes an appearance at the Historic El Rey Theater on Thursday, Sept. 28. An astral entity whose work with Project Blowed and Flying Lotus landed her squarely within the realm of El Lay’s underground hip-hop movement, Lee also happens to be a classically trained pianist. She is well known for deconstructing the work of luminaries like Justin Timberlake and Yacht through remixes that absolutely come apart in your head as the beat drops—sometimes delicately, sometimes like thunder, but always with a focus that speaks volumes about her musical prowess and wonky tendency to digress upon subtle rhythms and beatific bits of melody. $15 is all it will cost the average 18+ listener to engage in the elusive what-comes-next nature of West-Coast grooviness. The curtain rises on TokiMonsta at 9pm.
Sorry Guero! • American death groove • Moonshine Blind • rock, country • The Lords of Wilmoore • punk rock • Cobra Vs. Mongoose
By August March
Hard rock is a thing that occasionally raises it's grizzled, drug-addled head in this dusty desert. It's a damn good thing the dude can play the guitar like ringing a bell. It also helps that the thing can sing. If not for these two crowd-pleasing aspects, Dirty City denizens would have booted Hard rock and his ilk outta this town ages ago. If you still haven't been exposed to this phenomena, may I suggest you haul your hipster ass down to Launchpad on Saturday, Sept. 30, for the album release party hosted by Burque groove-metal stalwarts Sorry Guero! The entirety of the diamond tough, blue-jean-clad, head-banging subculture who worship hard rock will be there, solidly represented by bands like hillbilly-heshers Moonshine Blind and pure punk provocateurs such the Lords of Wilmoore (eh, I lived on that street too, as an undergrad) and Cobra vs. Mongoose. So be there or be obtuse; it's only ten bones, okay?