Liv’s Prime Slices of the Week (5/4-5/10): The Psychotic Monks, Nots

The Psychotic Monks – Private Meaning First – post-punk

Starting my prime slices with one of my all-time favorite bands: The Psychotic Monks. A French post-punk noise band with aspects of ambiance and ethereal moods, quartet Psychotic Monks have released their record Private Meaning First. The record that cradles you with hypnotic rhythms and sounds from an ethereal place. Private Meaning First, their second record, following Silence Slowly And Madly Shines, takes you through a journey that rattles you in your seat, with high quality guitar tones and production. It’s very hard to stray away from this band once you experience their art; it grabs you by the neck and pulls you in.

What I love most about this band is that they have mastered the art of “taming the chaos.” With sounds that are only created with psychotic minds, this group of four has mixed the perfect amount of structure with madness to pull even the average Joe into their cryptic sound. I hope to see them live in the future, but for now they are only playing shows in their homeland, France.

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Video: The Accidentals Play BIRN Alive

The Accidentals, a female–fronted, multi-instrumentalist power trio composed of Sav Buist, Katie Larson, and Michael Dause, kicked off 2018 with the release of their album Odyssey, on Sony Masterworks. They followed the release with two hundred days of touring nationally, seventeen festival appearances, placements with Turner Classic Movies and FOX sports, and a RAM Trucks BANDvan #tourtough commercial.

BIRN Alive is home to great live performances and insightful conversation every Saturday at 4:00 p.m. EST on BIRN1.

Listen to Alicia Witt live from Cafe 939 and Martin Guas on BIRN Alive this week

Tune in to birnCORE on Thursday, May 2 at 8:00 p.m. for a broadcast of the live performance by pianist, songwriter, singer and actress Alicia Witt live from the Red Room at Cafe 939.

Witt kicks off her 18 city North American tour supporting her latest release, 15,000 Days, here in Boston. The EP, her fourth release as an independent artist, is a sweeping, big-hearted record, its songs rooted in modern arrangements and timeless melodies. Witt wrote the material during a busy period that found her starring in the TV series Nashville, stealing the spotlight with an appearance on The Walking Dead, and playing shows — including a performance on the Grand Ole Opry — in the wake of her previous album, Revisionary History. The five songs that comprise 15,000 Days are rooted in the lessons learned during a life spent onstage, behind the piano, in front of the camera, in love, out of love, and en route from one destination to another

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Album Review: Waves by Anna Clendening

Anna Clendening released her six-song debut EP, Waves, in February, and it is definitely one you don’t want to miss. Clendening is “rebranding what it means to be a pop star by creating uplifting tunes for the betterment of society” (Dominiq Robinson, AXS Contributor). This EP has a perfect balance of familiar yet unique sounds, both production and writing-wise. Clendening’s voice is nice to listen to, and the production of each song leaves you wanting more.

The EP begins with a song titled “Invisible.” The song talks about the struggle of being in love with someone that can’t reciprocate; someone who actually doesn’t know you exist.

“I’m in love with someone who doesn’t know I exist
I stare from afar in my hand-broken heart while I play pretend
I’m in love with someone who doesn’t know I exist
And it’s you, yes, it’s true, you don’t even know it, I can’t ever win”

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Liv’s Prime Slices (4/20 – 4/26): Wand, Amyl and The Sniffers

Wand – Laughing Matter – psych rock

The band Wand releases their album Laughing Matter and it is a haunting collection of songs that is marked by the confidence and fervor of a band that has grown together throughout the years of dedicated jamming, recording, and touring across the world. Having already released four records, Laughing Matter takes an obvious turn with the more ambient and synthetic songs. Yet it’s still keen to their hand-crafted rock ‘n’ roll sound they have so meticulously crafted, creating a different atmosphere that highlights the changes this band has gone through. My favorite tracks off the album are “Scarecrow” and “Wonder.” “Scarecrow” starts the album with their classic psych rock feel, but infused with sounds of Radiohead, giving it an unworldly sound. “Wonder” starts out with a heavy distorted guitar, giving it that gritty rock texture, with a powerful melody, reminds me I’m listening to true rock stars. Wand says, “Laughing Matter is a record about love in a time of terror; it calls you down from panic room labyrinths, to work the deep tissue of unraveling trauma we all carry so dear.”

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Video: Tow’rs play BIRN Alive

The Flagstaff, AZ, band Tow’rs stopped by the BIRN studios to play two of their intimate originals “Holy Water” and “The Kitchen.” Band members Kyle Miller, Gretta Miller, Kyle Keller, and Dan Bagley found each other through their deep love of music and storytelling, exploring the questions that haunt us, the pain that marks us, and the hope that redefines everything.

BIRN Alive is home to great live performances and insightful conversation every Saturday at 4:00 p.m. EST on BIRN1.

Listen to Valley Maker, The Palms and Anna Clendening this week on the BIRN!

Tune in to the BIRN for a full week of outstanding live events and special programming.

On Monday, April 22, the monthly Roots Roadshow returns to the Red Room at Cafe 939. The April edition of this celebration of America’s musical heritage features Ariel Wyner, vocalist, mandolinist and founding member of Boston based bluegrass band Ruta Beggars. The show starts at 8:00 p.m. and you can stream it here.

Los Angeles-based band The Palms drops by the Red Room at Cafe 939 on Wednesday, April 24, in the midst of a 12 show North American tour to support their brand new independent release, Televised Daydream. Tune in for a night of psych pop, with a side of hip-hop and folk. The show starts at 8:00 p.m. and you can stream it here.

On Thursday, April 25, the Red Room plays host to two great performers as Greg Holden and Ben Thornewill grace the stage. Holden is a celebrated LA-based singer-songwriter that has placed songs in shows including Sons of Anarchy, Private Practice, and One Tree Hill. Thornewill is the pianist and voice for popular Washington, D.C. trio Jukebox the Ghost. Tune in at 8:00 p.m. to stream the show here.

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Album Review: English Rose by Connie Constance

At only 24 years old, Connie Constance has already made quite a name for herself and is continuing to leave a lasting impression on people with her music. Originally from Watford, the British artist grew up feeling like the odd one out as a mixed-race child. Her album, English Rose, perfectly  conveys the emotions Constance was struggling with at a young age. Between emotive vocals and a diverse sound of production throughout each song, this album is definitely one you will want to dive into.

The title track takes the listener through her emotional journey of feeling like an outsider. “Constance’s should-be-definitive version takes the historically white privileging term ‘English rose’ and re-figures it as a symbol for the porous, prismatic nature of British identity,” (Owen Meyers, Pitchfork). The track is filled with beautiful vocals and piano arrangements, really conveying the sense of sadness Constance is trying to let the listeners feel.

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