Concert Review: Rabbit Rabbit at Club Passim (7/10/2013)

I headed back to Club Passim in Harvard Square this week to see Carla Kihlstedt and Matthias Bossi, a duo calling themselves Rabbit Rabbit. Cambridge was the first date on their tour of the eastern U.S., which they are traversing in a rather fabulous retro tour bus (which you can apparently take a tour of with a special VIP package!). I’ve seen them a couple of times before and I’m a subscriber to their website, Rabbit Rabbit Radio, which is a very cool concept: every month you get a download of their latest song, a video, a collection of photographs, an inevitably-quirky top-ten list, lyrics, discussion, and access to all of their archives.

The two of them have an impressive and perplexing resume, having participated in bands anywhere from jazz to metal to rock and having collaborated with people like Tom Waits, Blixa Bargeld, Shahzad Ismaily, Fred Frith and Nels Cline. They are both excellent singers and musicians, and their shows are always full of wit and dry humor. Their songs run the gamut from charming and cute domestic affairs to some pretty dark and dramatic stuff. Perhaps because they record one song a month instead of going into the studio for a week to record a whole album at once, there is a lot of variety in the music they come up with.

Highlights of the show for me included “After the Storm,” inspired by family stories of Hurricane Carol – a beautifully haunting and lonely-sounding song. Another favorite was “Inside/Outside,” which Mr. Bossi described as “a self-portrait, in some ways, of what it’s like to be married.” You can see their studio version here:

Another one I really liked was “My Town,” described as “indirectly related to the [Whitey] Bulger saga.” (For my readers too far from Boston to have heard of him, Whitey Bulger is (more…)

What’s happening this summer?

My July schedule is a bit strange, I’ve basically got 10 days with almost nothing to do (music-wise) and then there is a huge flood of good stuff happening. I thought since I’ll have no concert reviews for a week I would share a few things that are coming up and maybe help you find something fun to see.

First, I’ll mention that one of my favorite new bands, Zion80, is doing a live streaming webcast from Poland tomorrow, July 4th. 4PM Eastern (1PM Pacific/10PM Europe). According to their Twitter feed, this is the link where you’ll find it: http://t.co/pu9Vm7AUK3 Of course, if you’re in Krakow, you can probably go see them in person (click here for a complete list of tour dates). Some music, if you don’t know them:

Another notable European happening is that one of my very favorite songwriters, Joe Henry, has just announced a couple of shows in August in Dublin and Willisau. He also has one show in July in Los Angeles. He doesn’t tour very often so these shows are pretty special (I read that it’s the first concert he’s ever done in Ireland). I’m not sure if he’s planning on doing any more shows while he’s in Europe, but you can keep an eye on his schedule here. Some music, if you’re not familiar with him:

One of my very favorite musical people in the world, composer/saxophonist John Zorn, is heading off to Europe in July as well; he’s doing a number of marathon concerts (mainly at jazz festivals) in London, Rotterdam, Gent, Warsaw, San Sebastian and Lisbon. Lisbon gets three nights instead of just one, so the Portuguese are extra lucky this time around! In August and September he’ll be heading to Jerusalem and Paris, and throughout the year he is doing fantastic events in New York City. His Facebook events page remains the best place to keep up with events; the Zorn@60 page is really good, but it is a little behind the curve and missing some events that are listed on Facebook. Here is a live cut of the Dreamers, who I think are playing in all of the European concerts:

Local Cantabrigian (more…)