Fall Tour: 90s shoegazers Ride

Ride now

Ride now

Ride then

Ride then

As a GenXer, music fan, Anglophile and music critic I listened to Ride quite a bit in the 90s along with Jesus Jones, The Charlatans UK, Swervedriver, Curve and Lush. shoegaze. Swirling and churning guitar. psychedelic-laced indie rock. Indelibly hypnotic. Thrilled that the band has reunited nearly twenty years after breaking up and will be touring this fall beginning on September 17 at the 9:30 Club in Washington D.C. and closing out November 19 in Hawaii on with a date in Boston on October 3 at The Paradise Rock Club.

The band formed when the members were teenagers in Oxford, England in 1988. The band released several influential albums including 1990’s Nowhere and 1992’s Going Blank Again. They broke up in 1996, following the release of Tarantula.

Ride is:

guitarist Andy Bell
singer Mark Gardener
drummer Laurence “Loz” Colbert
bassist Steve Queralt

Tour Dates:

9/17 – 9:30 Club, Washington DC
9/18 – College Street Music Hall, New Haven
9/19- Theatre of Living Arts, Philadelphia
9/21 – Irving Plaza, New York
9/22 – Irving Plaza, New York
9/23 – The Stone Pony, Asbury Park
9/25 – The Riviera Theater, Chicago
9/26 – MidPoint Festival, Cincinnati
9/27 – Pygmalion Festival, Champaign
9/29 – Mill City, Minneapolis
10/01 – St Andrews Hall, Detroit
10/02- House of Blues, Cleveland
10/03- Paradise Rock Club, Boston
11/06 – Saturn – Birmingham, AL
11/07 – Fun Fun Fun Festival – Austin, TX
11/09 – Crescent Ballroom – Phoenix, AZ
11/10 – House of Blues – Las Vegas, NV
11/12 – The Wiltern – Los Angeles, CA
11/14 – The Catalyst – Santa Cruz, CA
11/15 – Crystal Ballroom – Portland, OR
11/16 – Neptune – Seattle, WA
11/17 – Commodore Ballroom – Vancouver, BC
11/19 – The Republik – Honolulu, HI

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music review: The Blue Dolphins


Summer isn’t quite over. Sure, once Labor Day rolls around, it’s the unofficial end and you’re thinking about cardigans and changing leaves. Listen to this sunny, uplifting pop duo– perfect for driving around with your windows rolled down or dancing barefoot in wet grass. The Blue Dolphins is two-time Grammy Award winner engineer Alfonso Rodenas and Victoria Scott. The two met at rock pit The Cat Club on the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles and started playing and recording together in 2010. Scott grew up outside of London where she learned to play the recorder, piano, and guitar and taught herself to sing by age 12 emulating the varied styles of Carole King, Nina Simone, N’Dea Davenport and Aretha Franklin. From Spain, Rodenas played bass in indie pop-rock band Vitamin Vil, and has since worked as a freelance producer, recording, and mixing engineer in Los Angeles, California.

Singer Victoria Scott exudes genuine emotions in a deep earthy manner. The songs combine a 70s rootsy vibe with international world music influences and flair. Superb guitar and intriguing melodies throughout this seemingly effortless album. “Walking in the Sun” features a cool surf guitar riff and carefree lyrics. “Wide and Blue Horizons” also churns with surf guitar and sounds a bit dangerous until Scott’s vocals anchors everything. Scott and Rodenas duet in lovely harmony on the optimistic and comforting “Peace in the World.” Things slow down a bit on the gorgeous “Stars” and twangy and bluesy “Breaking for the Blue” If the marvelous, dynamic “Sail Away” doesn’t make you long for surf and sand and holding hands then you’ve lost your ability to feel.

The Blue Dolphins
release date: September 18

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music preview: DAEM and NONIE at The Middle East on Sunday, August 30

I’m both a proponent for female musicians and for introspective music that combines darkness and light. I adore Chelsea Wolfe, Lykke Li, Chvurches, Dum Dum Girls, Lush, Curve and Lana Del Rey. Finding a release about DAEM and NONIE in my inbox one day thrilled me. Moody alternative. Moody pop. Moodindie. I need to think of a term.

Nashville-based DAEM is Callie Benjamin and Jonathan Reed. Callie was working at a restaurant near one of the blasts during the Boston marathon bombing. She’s incorporated that devastating day into her songs. Callie graduated from Berklee College of Music. DAEM is deep, sweet spellbinding vocals with atmospheric and fierce melodies.

Australian singer/songwriter NONIE creates dark synth pop melodies. Born into a family of film/TV engineers and producers, NONIE played piano and then became the drummer in an all-girl band at age 17. NONIE also graduated from Berklee College of Music. Her piercing vocals soar amidst churning electro-pop melodies. Her debut EP Sirens is currently available.

DAEM and NONIE will play The Middle East Upstairs on Sunday, August 30 along with Florio and Telectrix.



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book review: A Remarkable Kindness


A Remarkable Kindness By Diana Bletter.
William Morrow| August 2015|394 pages |$14.99| ISBN: 978-0-06-238244-3

Rating: ***/5*

Four women develop a friendship in an Israeli coastal town in 2006. Their bond builds by their involvement in a burial circle as well as by supporting each other through various life choices. Lauren, a maternity nurse, moved from Boston to live with her Israeli husband. Emily, a recently-divorced friend of Lauren’s, decides to move to Israel for a change. Aviva moved to Israel for intelligence work and struggles with the loss of both her husband and son. Rachel, a recent college graduate from Wyoming, moved to Israel to pursue altruistic goals.

While there seems to be much promise, it’s rather disappointing at times. First, there’s not nearly enough about the burial circle work. The burial circle is a ritualistic ceremony to prepare bodies for burial. These women don’t particularly bond through that. If author Diana Bletter wanted that to be the focus she needed to delve further into every aspect about it and she didn’t. The women gathered occasionally for a burial circle and it didn’t add any emotional value. Second, these women don’t have particularly strong bonds or friendships. Instead they’re rather surfacy and they seem only friends because they live in the same small village. When a war erupts instead of becoming engulfed in the stress which combat entails, it seemed a blip among these women’s efforts to live happily. None of them are happy living in Israel and many make plans to move back to the states as soon as possible.

Author Diana Bletter is an American who moved to Israel and lives in a seaside town with her husband and children and is a member of a burial circle. She writes from her own experience and perhaps that’s why the novel disappointed me. I anticipated details about the burial circle and support for the title. I only kept reading because I searched for further connections which failed to emerge.

–review by Amy Steele

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for review from William Morrow.


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music review: Science and the Beat

future blue by science and the beat

You know how some days you feel cool and smart and pretty and two days later you want to stay in bed and feel like you’ve made too many mistakes in your life? You know how you feel moody and run with that moodiness into danger and other times into fun? Other times you’re skeptical and feel like you give everything and are honest and open and can’t trust anyone. This is the album for your every emotion. It’s what author Julie Holland, M.D. discusses in her book Moody Bitches. And let’s face it, we all get called bitches when we express ourselves in a way that someone disagrees with. It’s being simultaneously strong and vulnerable. The strong independent spirited woman who’s been fucked over and beats herself up and question herself at times self-assured and other times insecure. This is that album. This is the perfect catharsis for every bad date, every bad relationship and every love EVER.

Science and the Beat infuses varied sounds and energies. It’s the skilled duo of multi-instrumentalists Tasha Katrine and Rob Zilla that create the cool sounds and eclectic arrangements. Part of the goth industrial scene, the pair relocated to Boston from Seattle. Dark beauty always wins my dark heart over. Katrine sometimes snarls, sometimes exudes gentle regrets and always mesmerizes. Some songs are up “Falling Out” and some veer toward the mellow “Mean Streak.” On a song like “Sorry,” Katrine sings what all feel at times being headstrong and should we apologize for being outspoken? There’s the super entrancing, grooving “Never Letting Go” with its retro beats. On “Take It Back,” [“why should I take it back when you couldn’t keep your promises/ you couldn’t take the sting away/ never sleep at night without you” the mood gets reflective and the melody suitably dance-trance. On “Last Call,” it’s completely bold beats and intense, don’t mess with me vox. Great breakup/ workout/ stoner/ party/ female empowerment album.

Science and the Beat
Future Blue
Release date: August 21, 2015

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on tour: HANA to support Purity Ring on North American dates


electro-pop singer/songwriter HANA will commence her North American tour with a headlining gig on August 27 in Los Angeles. She’ll support Purity Ring at House of Blues in Boston on September 22.

Her music shimmers and shines with strong vocals and gentle, dreamy beauty.


08/27 – The Lyric Theatre – Los Angeles – CA^
09/02 – Rialto Theatre – Tuscon, AZ*
09/03 – Tricky Falls – El Paso, TX
09/04 – El Rey Theatre – Albuquerque, NM*
09/05 – Austin Music Hall – Austin, TX*
09/07 – Minglewood Hall – Memphis, TN*
09/08 – Marathon, Music Works – Nashville, TN*
09/10 – The Ritz Ybor – Tampa, FL
09/11 – The Fillmore Miami Beach – Miami Beach, FL*
09/12 – House of Blues – Lake Buena Vista, FL*
09/14 – Georgia Theatre – Anthens, GA*
09/15 – Orange Peel – Asheville, NC*
09/16 – The Ritz – Raleigh, NC*
09/20 – The National – Richmond, VA*
09/21 – Rams Head Live! – Baltimore, MD*
09/22 – House of Blues – Boston, MA*
09/23 – Upstate Concert Hall – Clifton Park, NY*
09/24 – Stage AE – Pittsburgh, PA*
09/25 – Midpoint Music Festival – Cincinnati, OH
09/26 – The Pygmalion Festival – Champaign, IL
09/29 – Boulder Theater – Boulder, CO*
09/30 – Boulder Theater – Boulder, CO*
10/02 – Knitting Factory – Boise, ID*
10/03 – Knitting Factory – Spokane, WA*
10/04 – McDonald Theatre*
^ Headline
* Supporting Purity Ring

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new music: Birch

Birch, “Halfway”

electropop/folky/indie pop in the vein of Metric and Chvrches with 60s girl-band vocals. invigorating, infectious and catchy. Michelle Birsky graduated from college with a music composition degree and moved to Brooklyn. She worked at a commercial music house, music supervising an indie film and interned with film composer Elliot Goldenthal. In August of 2014, Birsky went on a two-week solo, silent retreat to her parent’s house in Vermont where she began working on songs for Birch’s debut.


singer/songwriter Michelle Birsky
bassist Mat Towles on bass
guitarist Emma Munger


The Halfway EP is available for download on August 28.

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