Photos of You Can A Wesley at WERS during Local Music Week. (Corrinna Duemler/WERS)
By Amanda Agueda
When I first heard about You Can Be a Wesley, the story of what a “Wesley” is intrigued me. “The Entity known as Wesley roamed the universe before it was a universe, spreading his essence throughout an eternity without substance,” says the band’s MySpace. “Eventually he got bored, and created what is now known as the Big Bang.” Wesley, the story goes, called to lead-singer and guitarist Saara to find three other Wesleys: three whom could extend his powers through music.
This elaborate and endearingly bogus story may pitch the band a bit high. But the imaginative tale has some truth to it. You Can Be A Wesley indeed has the necessary “powers” to make waves in the Boston music scene.
The band’s live in-studio performance on WERS was full of excitement. They talked about favorite colors, their forthcoming album, and feel good indie rock from Allston. Their set started with their latest single “Creatures.” Saara said You Can Be A Wesley’s sound has changed since their last visit to the station. “If you listen to stuff on our EP and to what’s coming out on this album, it’s a lot harder and more rock and roll,” she said.
The next song performed was “Wildlife,” followed by news about their upcoming album. This yet-to-be-titled album (though Nick said they are thinking about naming it after their production studio) was recorded last summer and is set for release this June. Perfect timing for a band who will graduate from Boston University this year.
The final song You Can Be A Wesley performed was “Summerhomes,” an old song off of their last album. It left everyone in the studio certain they had just seen another band that will surely impact the Boston music scene, which is what You Can Be a Wesley is out to do.
You can see the band at a handful of shows they will play in Greater Boston throughout April and May, and they are planning a tour throughout the Midwest and East Coast following their album’s release.
By Maressa Levy
The subtle sounds of Detroit Rebellion filled the studio Thursday morning as the artist performed at WERS for Local Music Week.
Based out of Providence, RI, The Detroit Rebellion’s tracks consist of bluesy, folk and Americana styles that seamlessly blend together to create an easy-listening, laid-back sound.
The Detroit Rebellion debut performance was in September of 2008, and he has since released a self-titled album. The album combines his acoustic sound with soulful lyrics, exemplified in track “Misery,” where the artist croons, “Looked ’round this morning something was strange/ Things are different the world has changed/ And it’s hard to find the reasons they never come easy to me/ And the way I’m feelin’ sometimes I think I’m losin’ my mind/ Lord free me from my misery.”
The Detroit Rebellion will perform at The Cantab Lounge in Cambridge April 19 before traveling back to Rhode Island.
Most of the artists that played Local Music Week on WERS are based in Greater Boston. But many of them spend more time on the road than they do in the Bay State. This map shows where the LMW artists are off to now.
Map compiled by Cady Drell and Ross Dallas
What better way to end local music week on Rockers than to have Boston’s own Trinity Children Of Man live in studio? They stopped into WERS and blessed Rockers with their sweet vocals, which they describe as ”a mixture of Jamaican roots reggae, Haitian Creole and neo soul.”
Sean Dub hung out with the group as they kicked off the night with ”I-Obama.” When asked what influences their sound, they responded “anything that is diverse.” This is fitting for a group that embodies “diversity” so well.
“Terrorist in the Sky,” their second song, is a tune loosely about the George W. Bush Administration. The rootsy rythm kept the vibe strong while the conscious lyrics captured the essence of the group’s beliefs.
This year, the whole Trinity family will release a new album. They also have a heap of shows lined up in the summer.
This group is mad talented! Definitely check out their MySpace for more.
- Lara D
By Ross Dallas
Boston band St Helena performed at WERS today for Local Music Week. They’re fresh off a release show for their new album, Slow Jack, which they played Saturday at the Cantab Lounge in Central Square, Cambridge.
“This EP is a really, really good introduction of what St Helena is,” front man Patrick Teahan told WERS. “This will be a foundation from where we’ll keep raising up a bar.”
The band comprises Teahan on guitar/keys/vocals, Shawn King Devlin, drums, Keith Wales, bass/vocals, Magen Tracy keyboard/vocals, and Chaetan Newell, guitar/vocals.
At WERS they talked with host David Weaver about the Boston music scene and their new EP.
St Helena started their set with “Appian Way,” a track from Slow Jack. The song evokes the tones and timbres of Dean Wareham’s post-Galaxy 500 band Luna, and Teahan’s voice and style bring to mind Jeff Mangum of Neutral Milk Hotel. It’s no surprise that both Luna and Neutral Milk Hotel are listed as influences on the group’s MySpace page.
They continued with “Peppered Assault on Reality,” from their 2005 release Happy, then ended by playing “Piper Laurie,” a song inspired by the 1961 film The Hustler, and named after its starring actress.
Between songs, Teahan said the members of St Helena, some of whom started performing together in 2003, have grown closer over time.
“There’s a lot of camaraderie amongst the five of us,” he said.
Tracy spoke of an even larger sense of fraternity within the city’s local music scene. She’s experienced a strong sense of networking and communication among local artists in the Bean.
“It’s a good time in Boston right now,” she said.
For now, St Helena is on a “radio campaign around New England and New York,” says Teahan. They’re booked for a series of gigs from April through June, and then they’ll start recording again later in 2009. Teahan is also in the early stages of launching a musician’s resource web site.
Avi & Celia visited WERS last November, but they are back for Local Music Week with a full band this time. With the drummer Jared Seabrook and the bassist Ben Kogin, Avi & Celia played new tunes, and sat down with WERS.org to talk about their tour and plans in the near future.
Interview conducted and transcribed by Lily Jeong
Welcome back! What have you been up to since your last visit at WERS?
Avi Salloway: Well, we have assembled and ensemble, and it’s been really exciting to develop new material with more people and more voices. On this live set you didn’t hear Ben sing but we’ve been getting him singing too for three-part harmonies.
Celia Woodsmith: And we are still keeping the washboard in it, which is cool. We’ve been touring a lot this last month on the road quite a bit, which is why I sort of lost my voice.
AS: We only had three nights off in the last five weeks. It’s pretty crazy.
Any particular acts you guys enjoyed?
AS: The other night we had Jesse Dee sit in with us, which was a retreat. I think probably this week we are going to play another show [with Jesse Dee]. (Starts laughing) We know that we don’t want to go back to Albany, and we have no idea why it’s the capital of New York.
What happened in Albany?
AS: Well, we came off a great show at New York City, and you know, like Frank Sinatra says “If you can make it in New York, you can make it anywhere.” We go to Albany, we pull up trying to look for a parking spot, and there is this guy leaning over a car pulling together these wires. I was like, “are you leaving?” and he says, “I’m just fixing my car here!” He had no teeth.
CW: We drove away and were like, “should we call the cops?”
AS: That was just the indicator of how Albany went.
CW: That was our first experience in Albany and it sort of went downhill from there. Also, Avi broke his foot climbing a mountain.
AS: Celia carried me down.
CW: Yeah. He was on my back.
AS: I jumped off this cliff, and I thought I was going to land on this bed of snow, but really it was just a half an inch deep snow, and I just broke my foot. So I called Celia when we had a gig in an hour and a half away. She ran up the mountain and carried me down.
By Paige Trubatch
The eight members of Pressure Cooker performed live during Rockers on Thursday night, and they brought with them the warm and soulful sounds of their unique brand of reggae music.
A mix of ska, rock steady and reggae, the band say they try to stick to the roots of the music they love so much. The technique seems to be working, as the group has been together for 11 years now. The brass and woodwinds style is different than most reggae acts and is much more prominent. The set included three tracks: “Misunderstanding,” the more pop-oriented “One Kind of Love” and the title track off their album What She Wants.
The reggae music scene may not be as readily accessible as other forms of music, but fans of the genre can see Pressure Cooker perform live at the House of Blues on April 25th. Or you can do as Pressure Cooker suggest: “Look in newspapers, look for shows…Google reggae music in Boston.”
By Sean Mackey
Packing up like Tetris in a subway car, those who commute to work in Boston encounter stressful traveling situations. Relieving this tension is John Gerard, a musician from Alewife who plays not only on the streets of Cambridge and Boston, but also at the subway stops. Gerard turns the atmosphere in a more pleasant direction, armed with his amazing voice and impressive acoustic guitar talents.
I met John Gerard yesterday with a firm handshake, accompanied by his friend & musical companion, Steve, as they entered WERS for a live mix. Gerard opened up with the soothingly rhythmic “Easier”, which cannot be found on his records, but is “often heard out on the subway and streets.” As he let his lyrics flow, the WERS staff was taken aback by the amazing voice possessed by this one man. Gerard then followed the request of a friend by playing “The Only One”, and continued on with the slow, deep acoustics of “Let Me Be”, backing the melodiously stunning vocals.
When asked by our host exactly why he enjoys performing in the subway, Gerard responded: “That’s a good way to hone your skills. It’s how I really wrote the last album. I had a handful of songs and I practiced them in the subway. And I tend to write a lot in between trains.” Complementing the joys, though, are challenges. Gerard also described to us how playing in the subway means playing against the boisterous noises of everything else – people and trains. “So once you get to play an actual venue that’s meant for what it is, it’s gold,” he told us. Intrigued by this, I asked John Gerard to sit down for an interview, and he agreed to it, very enthusiastic about the idea.
Local Music Week continues on Rockers with Pressure Cooker, Boston’s own original old-school, progressive roots reggae band. They stopped by the WERS live mix studio tonight to perform and be interviewed by Rocker’s own Jay Buff. The group was formed in 1997 ona shared passion of Jamaican ska, rocksteady, and reggae music of the sixties and seventies. The first song they performed was a laid back, horn infused song called “Misunderstanding.” Their second song, “One Kind Of Love,” featured lighter vocals paired with an upbeat guitar riff and hard hitting drums. Over the years, Pressure Cooker has performed with top reggae artists including Toots & the Maytals, Burning Spear, Gregory Isaacs, The Wailers, Prince Buster, Derrick Morgan, The Skatalites, Culture, Laurel Aitken, and Eek-A-Mouse. They were also nominated for Best Reggae Act in 1999 and Best Ska Band in 2000 by the Boston Music Awards.