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Here Comes Your 2013 Holiday Album Round-Up

By, Dylan Manderlink, Wax on Felt Blogger

Although we’re accustomed to the classic Bing Crosby, Mel Torme, and Judy Garland holiday music, there’s some new music traffic that is already making some waves. Although it’s only December 3rd, we have some holiday hits for you to download in preparation for the gift wrapping, snow falling, tree-decorating, and cookie-baking! 

Song list can be seen at - http://blogs.houstonpress.com/rocks/2013/10/hark_your_2013_holiday-album_r.php

1. Bad Religion
Christmas Songs (Epitaph)

2. Bright Eyes
A Christmas Album (Saddle Creek)

3. Mary J. Blige
A Mary Christmas (Verve)

4. Kelly Clarkson
Wrapped In Red (RCA)

5. Kool & the Gang
Kool For the Holidays (ATO)

6. Mindy Smith
Snowed In EP (Giant Leap/TVX)

7. Straight No Chaser
Under the Influence: Holiday Edition EP (Atlantic)

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Classical Music and the Age Gap

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to attend a complimentary Boston Philharmonic Orchestra concert at Harvard and couldn’t turn down the chance to see a free performance of theirs. Although it’s assumed that classical music is something our parents only listen to, I’m 21 and have always had a strong appreciation for classical music, specifically chamber orchestra and large symphonic music. It may be my love for NPR and other public radio stations that have bolstered my admiration for the sounds of a symphony, but regardless, I was surprised to see that no one my age was in the audience at this Boston Philharmonic concert, which has prompted me to look at the age gap that exists in some genres of music. Specifically looking at classical music, the age gap may exist because of the cost-prohibitive nature of symphony tickets for our younger generation (one ticket is equivalent to one of my job’s paychecks) or the gap may exist for the lack of socialization, youthful energy, and trendiness that is associated with this specific genre. A classical music concert isn’t exactly the epitome of a high-energy, dancing/jumping up and down, and young-spirited kind of musical environment. However, after spending a few hours of my Sunday sitting back and enjoying the placid, soothing, and riveting sights and sounds of a full orchestra, I couldn’t help but wonder why more people my age didn’t take a little time to appreciate this genre a bit more. It may be a genre we listen to while we do our homework to enforce concentration, or a genre that our parents listen to while we’re in the car with them, or something we associate with the ballet. No matter, classical music has a rich musical history that underlines much of the music that exists today and I think the age gap that’s often associated with this genre can be refutable if we just expand our musical comfort zone a little bit more. 

Falling Into a Fall Playlist

What’s on Your Fall Fun Playlist?

By, Dylan Manderlink

As the seasons change and so can our music. This fall we’ve got some seasonal music suggestions that will spice up your playlist. And no, we don’t mean “Ghostbusters”, “Thriller”, or any Halloween-themed music…we’re suggesting songs that will add a little kick to your Starbucks Pumpkin Spice-drinking, leaf crunching, over-sized sweater wearing season. Here are a few autumn-inspired songs we suggest you add to your music listening this season:

  • “September” by Earth, Wind and Fire
  • “Change” by Tracy Chapman
  • “Rise” by Eddie Vedder
  • “These Photographs” by Joshua Radin
  • “October Road” by James Taylor
  • “California Dreamin” by the Mamas and the Papas
  • “Autumn Leaves” by Ed Sheeran
  • “Harvest Moon” by Neil Young
  • “October” by U2

               

MORE WAX!

Hello everyone! Wax on Felt is proud to announce the arrival of Wax’s first newsletter. By signing up, you will receive the latest news surrounding our winning bands from the battle as well as all the events hosted by Wax on Felt Records. It’s not an opportunity to miss! Look for the subscribe button and just provide your email. We promise not to spam you or share your email with a third party.

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The Ballroom Thieves EP Review

By Carl Lavigne

            Three glasses of amber whiskey sit among mic stands, guitars, and an eclectic assortment of percussion instruments.  The lights go low and three shadows take the stage.  Over the monitors booms a bass drum beat.  One shadow begins hammering a drum on stage.  The lights flash and The Ballroom Thieves erupt into song.

            Based right here in Boston, the trio, consisting Martin Earley on guitar, Devin Mauch on percussion, and Calin Peters on the cello, play what their Facebook calls “rock disguised as folk.”  Last Thursday, October 4th, they performed at The Sinclair in Cambridge, to celebrate the release of their new, eponymous EP.

            They opened their performance with the EP’s first song “Down by the River,” a foot-stomping rocker, with a sing-along chorus.  The song, like all four tracks on the EP, features a certain smarminess to its lyrics, “Don’t need faith and I don’t need money cus the two are best of friends, so won’t you please stay away from me honey, and I’ll hold down my end.” 

            The magic of the Thieves’ music lies in their impeccable ability to weave haunting cello howls, pounding percussion, and three-part harmony vocals together into a funky blend of sass, sorrow and seriousness.  For instance, “Droves,” the EP’s second track, opens with only cello, before the rest of the band rumbles in, guitar first, followed by bells, intertwined with Earley’s silver tongued singing.  “I’ve got a hummingbird heart, too quick to hold, I’ll trade the money in my pocket for the marrow in your bones,” Earley sings, before the cello descends into the chorus.

            During the live show Peters switched readily between sawing on her cello with a bow and plucking the strings like an upright bass.  Mauch’s drum kit consisted of a heavy floor tom, a djembe drum laid on its side, a crash cymbal, and a band of bells wrapped around his thigh.  Earley soared from singing with a smile to crooning songs so sad the whole club went silent.

            The EP’s third song, “Coward’s Son,” which Earley dedicated to his parents, who had driven all the way from Maine for the show, is a triumphant ballad that begins with some quiet, careful guitar work, eventually rising up to the deciding line: “I am not some kingless throne, I am not a coward’s son.” 

The final track, “Armada,” is the CD’s most upbeat tune that sounds like it came right out of an old timey pub.  “Armada” was the last song the Thieves played before taking a short break.  For their encore the Thieves closed with the song “Save Me,” off their 2011 EP “The Devil & the Deep.”  All three members abandoned the stage and, with one acoustic guitar, they stood among the crowd and sang totally unplugged.

Their outstanding performance, coupled with a four song EP stronger than many artists’ full-length albums, promise a bright future for this band.  The Ballroom Thieves may be the next Mumford and Sons.

Listen to “Down by the River” here: http://www.ballroomthieves.com/

And check the Thieves out on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/ballroomthieves

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CollegeFest 2013

Everyone should attend CollegeFest at the Hynes Convention Center and see rapper Chris Collins perform live at 12:40 on Saturday, October 12th!

Battle of the Bands Recap!

FIRST PLACE:

Juneva

SECOND PLACE:

Chris Collins

THIRD PLACE:

Vundabar/ The Rolling Coasters

Wax on Felt would like to extend a large Thank You to all the bands that participated this year! We encourage everyone to apply again for next year’s Battle!

Battle of the Bands 2013 Survey

If you attended this year’s Battle of the Bands, complete this survey so we make next year’s Battle even BETTER!