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Q&A with the deli's Band of the Month: The Basement Beat
by Chrissy Prisco

 

deli: How did the band start?

The Basement Beat: We actually only knew each other vaguely beforehand. Originally, we were only going to play one show. We wanted to get a few songs together for our town’s annual music festival and we started practicing together a week before we performed. Somehow, we managed to get three songs together which ended up becoming "Vacation 1," "Wah-Oh!," and "You Say," which are all on the EP. Two of us were friends before and two of us were siblings, but we didn’t go to the same schools.

deli: Where did the band name, The Basement Beat, come from?

BB: We practiced in the basement of one of our houses, but we also liked the connection to the basement because we thought that it reflected our sound: a raw, unprocessed, high-energy sound that we kinda slapped together at the last minute.

deli: What are your biggest musical influences?

BB: The Strokes, The Arctic Monkeys, Okay Go, Jack White, Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, the Wu-Tang Clan, and Vampire Weekend.

deli: What artists (local, national and/or international) are you currently listening to?

BB: Project Cardboard Unicorn, The Rural Alberta Advantage, Jack Conte, Awolnation, The Silversun Pickups, Arcade Fire, and Tally Hall.

deli: What's the first concert that you ever attended and first album that you ever bought?

Gabe (bass): Thrice at The Orpheum in Boston; Yellow Submarine.

Mikey (vocals/guitar): Ozma at the Middle East in Cambridge; The Doors Greatest Hits.

Ariel (drums): Lynyrd Skynyrd with the Doobie Brothers at the Comcast Center in Mansfield, MA; the first album was Britney Spears.

Andy (lead guitar): The same Lynyrd Skynyrd/Doobie Brothers concert; and a Backstreet Boys album.

deli: What do you love about New Englands music scene?

BB: It’s huge and incredibly diverse. We especially love the Boston music scene because it’s a great college town with lots of students and a youthful, enthusiastic spirit.

deli: What would you like to see change in the local music scene?

BB: Since all of us are under 21, we’d like to see more all ages shows!

deli: What are your plans for the upcoming year?

BB: We want to put out an album, play as many shows as we can, and maybe submit to some music festivals.

deli: Is there someone who has helped your band grow through support?

BB: Madi Silvers--who writes for the Musicstache music blog--has been incredibly encouraging and was the first one to help get our music to a much greater audience than just our friends.

deli: Is there a piece of equipment you couldn't live without and why?

BB: Andy’s car has really helped us through the hard times.

deli: Why do you read The Deli?

BB: It’s a great place to look if you want to find good local music.

 

 
 

The Basement Beat

 
 
 

 

The Basement Beat
Vacation 1 - Demo/EP

Basement Beat

 

 
 
 

 





Audrey Ryan "Sirens" CD Release -- Sat. June 16 @ The Nave Gallery

The CD release for Audrey Ryan's record, Sirens, will be Saturday, June 16 at the Clarendon Hill Presbyterian Church (Nave Gallery) in Somerville.  An intimate night of live music, wine and snacks, Ryan will be playing both solo and with special guest Will Dailey. Sharing the night will be Miracle Parade, the new project of Christopher Pappas (The Everyday Visuals).

Sirens is the 4th full length record from Maine-born, Boston-residing, Audrey Ryan. The album is a collection of lost songs recorded between 2005-2010, released here for the first time. The songs reflect some of her more accessible songwriting attempts, others more lyrical and topical. As usual, she layers songscapes with her multi-instrumental sensibilities making a wave of sound.

Saturday, June 16 7:30pm - 10:30pm
Clarendon Hill Presbyterian Church (The Nave)
155 Powderhouse Blvd, Somerville MA

--Chrissy Prisco

 





The Kristen Ford Band -- The Grindstone

The Kristen Ford Band's The Grindstone, is an ambitious, complex, and incredibly musically diverse record. Kristen Ford has only lived in Chicago and Boston, but she appears as a world traveler on The Grindstone. Every song on the album has a distinct flair, and pizzazz. Like an old muse, Ford uses, combines, and bends genres to her will. At times she appears bluesy, and soulful, belting out her lyrics carefully with every verse. Other times, she is pure rock and roll screaming with childish joy. There is a refreshing lightness. The reggae opener “Loved You Madly” and the Hawaiian country ensemble “Bag of Bones” are testament to the special flavor of Ford’s.

It is virtually impossible to pin Ford down to one genre as she has obtained the ability to match her playing style and vocals to whatever genre she pleases. “Shadow” has Ford putting the brakes on the rock momentum. Everything slows down and her beautiful voice creeps in. The very next song on the album, the hard rocking “Machine Bird,” switches the momentum again. “Machine Bird” begins with the slow drawl of “Shadow,” but it erupts. The song is fun, fast, loud, and right in your face. This ability to change so utterly is the cornerstone of the album. Ford brings a welcome sincerity to the Indie scene with The Grindstone, an album clearly worth smiling over.--Casey Lowrey





From the Open Blog: New Video Single, "Envy," from Baby Made Rebel

Boston stalwart Baby Made Rebel has released a new video and single, and the potential for Type A Earworm infection has been categorized as high. The CDC recommends anyone who has come in contact with the single or video "Envy"€ to lock themselves in a garage and run some loud machinery until your life reverts to the state of repetitive boredom present prior to exposure. Symptoms including the uncontrollable humming of the melody, the persistent urge to sing parts of the lyrics, and, in severe cases, the overpowering need to watch the band perform live at every opportunity, which may eventually lead to creepy shrine construction or the mailing of locks of hair, or other inappropriate items, to band members. The single features a haunting melody, infectious chorus and brooding lyrics that sound like a big middle finger to a memory that remains artfully obscured from full view, as if to say "you know who you are." That being said, listen at your own risk. Even a few short moments of the song's soulful strains are enough to cause disorientation, dizziness and an inability to focus on anything but the infectious hook. --Andrew Jeromski





Random Variables -- Place Holders EP

It’s not every day that three teacher assistants at grad school decide to form a band, but that is just how Boston’s own Random Variables came to be. Their debut EP, Place Holders, is a solid rock and roll record. The Variables blend great guitar, persistent drumming, and an acquired vocal taste into the album.

Opener “Arrivals” has a heavy Celtic vibe, echoes of Flogging Molly and The Dropkick Murphy’s seem to hang over this song. The vocals have a very strong Celtic bend to them. While it may sound like a drinking song, the lyrics are quite in depth, speaking of pain and destruction: tearing down slow-burning pillars of aggressive complacency.

“Distract” brings some hard rock and some punk momentum into the album. The guitar is wonderful on this song, having tiny solos, at that tail end of the choruses. Perhaps the biggest problem in the song rests with the lead vocals. During the chorus, when every member of a traditional rock band, would usually chime in, the band only sings together during one line. This becomes problematic, because it becomes glaringly obvious that the band sound better together. But other than the lack of an all band chorus, the song is solid, and the lyrics are once again wonderful and thought-provoking.

“Critical Mass” follows along the same musical progression as “Distract,” although the instrumental tempo becomes less varied. This actually helps to greatly enhance the song, as the more limited Random Variables sound, the tighter and more pleasant the experience. The guitar pounds steadily through most of the song, and the tail end solo is well played, and well timed.

The EPcomes to a close with “Departures.” This closer is a beautiful send off to the rest of the album. Musically, the song takes a starkly different path than the rest of the EP. The song is much slower, with more instruments thrown into the mix. “Departures” becomes a successful attempt by The Variables for something more grandiose, a great and complex closer to Place Holders.

Place Holders is a brave attempt at the Boston Rock scene. While the vocals can be a hit or miss, the rest of Random Variables, is unarguably solid and true. The EP picks up speed right away, and while it sounds like a simple rock record, the lyrics are complex, and speak of the convoluted mess that is the modern age. --Casey Lowrey

Listen: Random Variables -- "Departures"

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