WUMB August Program Guide

Big Time in Amsterdam

Summer is my favorite time of the year, although, I tend not to get too much time off. I’m not especially bothered by the lack of vacation as getting around is so much easier between reasonable weather & light traffic. My slow time will kick in post Labor Day. So, I’m hoping to have a solid 6 weeks of hiding before all of the year end stuff starts.

Even though, I spent a fair amount of time this summer being a responsible adult doing things such as working, paying my bills, & trying to not be a general menace in public, I also did my best to consume as much music as possible, both of the recorded & live sort.

Live Music
Luckily, Boston Calling had a lot of WUMB & World Café artists playing; therefore, I was able to knock a bunch of high quality artists off my concert going list:

Brandi Carlile: I’ve seen her before and, her voice, in combination with her low key demeanor always blows me away.

Hozier: Randomly, this is the first time I saw him live. A lot of people find him quite attractive and his songwriting has heavy religious/sexual undertones. His draw is obvious but I always wondered about the balance between talent vs. charm. I have to say I was blown away – he’s got great pipes and an excellent stage presence, which can be hard to execute at a giant festival.

Superorganism: The singer, Orono, has some ties to our area as her parents went to school in New England (hence her name). They reminded me of Liz Phair circa “Exile in Guyville,” i.e. lo fi, scrappy, and very cool.

King Princess: This was a set where I wasn’t sure if I wanted to sit or go get food. However, after 2 songs, I was sold. The lobster poutine waited.

Tame Impala: BEST.ROCK.SHOW.EVER. It was a religious experience. I wish Kevin Parker would tour more often. Although, I sense he only leaves Perth when his label tells him has to.

Nick Murphy: He wasn’t part of the Boston Calling line up but I happened to catch him one weekend. He has put on some of the most technically perfect live shows I’ve ever seen. Even if you’re not necessarily into his music, to see someone execute something so proficient in real time is mind blowing.

My next show will be Orville Peck as it is #necessary to see the mask in person. #theatrics

New Music
Calexico & Iron and Wine – Years to Burn: I was especially excited that they did a follow up. Calexico has a great Southwest regional vibe & Sam Beam’s voice is so soothing. It’s a great sundowner album.

Bruce Springsteen – Western Stars: I love the fact that someone iconic tipped their hat to the fact that “California Sound” is as diverse as it is. It’s so much more than Beach Boys, jam bands, & hip hop.

Black Keys – Let’s Rock: It’s no secret that I love all kinds of Dan Auerbach – producing or performing. The new Black Keys is pretty much a simple, solid rock album. There’s always room for that!

Since the new releases will be picking up again in September, I am literally counting the days to the new Paul Cauthen album as well as the Highwomen.

Before I go though…2 more things:
My pick for song of the summer? The Nude Party’s “Chevrolet Van”. It’s upbeat, easy to sing along to, and has a timeless message for both musicians and radio djs.

And, finally…
Despite the live music & solid new releases, my favorite music related thing this summer was Willie Nelson on World Café, describing his trip to Amsterdam. Apparently, he hung out with Snoop Dogg and told Talia, “We met in Amsterdam and had a big time…as you can imagine.”

Yes, Willie, I CAN imagine. And, if I suddenly became talented and could start a band, I’d call it Snoop & Willie’s Big Time in Amsterdam. I mean, the name is a bit long but you know the music would be excellent!

~ Michelle

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