Music to Your Ears
The King Is Dead, Long Live the King
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.
The Grownup Noise
Being flipped off never felt so good
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."
Flyer on the Wall
Outsider insiders Occasional Detroit, The Scrams, The Hollow Lines, Dread and DJ Caterwaul raise a pluralist ruckus at 1kind Studios (1016 Coal SW, all-ages) on Friday, Aug. 21. 8:30 p.m. $6. (Laura Marrich)
The Guild Cinema Fundraiser • Sleepy Hero • variety • Searching for Summer • DJ Lunchbox
The Guild Cinema, our burg’s art house movie theater, is a local treasure—remnant of an age when Joey Abbin's grandma took tickets on summer days and Ant Farmers members and future Fred’s Bread and Weekly Alibi staffers ran the projectors and doled out endless buckets of tasty popcorn. The place is still rocking fine film experiences nearly 40 years later, but the dudes at the controls need our help. Technology has advanced so quickly over the past decade as to make hardware and software for public film presentation prohibitively expensive. But the crew is on top of it, for The Guild Fundraiser to make all our cinematic dreams eligible for local screening. They host a benefit concert featuring the best of our experimental music scene at Launchpad on Thursday, June 20 starting at 9pm. That bill boasts two new bands, Searching for Summer and Sleepy Hero, that are made up of members of Death Convention Singers, Mammal Eggs, Chicharra, Lady Uranium and Bigawatt. This 21-and-over celebration of celluloid heroes can be had for just $8.
Russian Girlfriends • rock, punk • Baphomet Beach Party
Russian Girlfriends hosts a Baphomet Beach Party to celebrate the release of their new record, The Day We Put The Dog Down, at 8pm on Friday, June 21 at Launchpad—that sounds fun and we can always appreciate the jollification of Satanic urges. But the real reason for the season is the support of a local band with a superior rock record that has emerged from the ether to conquer summertime listening habits here, there and potentially everywhere. With for-realz everyman angst buoyed by propulsive playing, catchy crunchiness and all the humility of a team of draft horses dredging a 150-ton trawler up from the depths, The Day may be one of the best records to come out of this little old military outpost in the desert that we call home. Russian Girlfriends has been burning through black plastic punk power for nigh on five years but this one could be the key to the next level. Find out for yourself and sell your soul to the dark one at the same time for $8 in advance and $10 at the door plus an ID that attests you have passed the threshold of 21; it will be blissful, bright and then painless, we're sure.