A few weekends ago, Father John Misty performed right near the Tufts campus at the Somerville Theater. After a long solo career as J. Tillman, during which he released seven albums, he “relaunched” under this new persona to release 2012’s fantastic Fear Fun. Perhaps what was most exciting about the night was seeing him so comfortable with the Father John Misty character, and having a clear direction of where he’s going from here.
To start the night, Tillman featured comedienne Kate Berlant. Berlant is a New York City-based performer whose satirical, offbeat style took the audience by surprise. She opens her act by coming on stage with an acoustic guitar. “Oh, a musical comedienne”, most of us thought. Instead, we got a hilarious caricature of self-indulged performers. Her act consists of her intending on “playing a couple of songs” for the crowd, but constantly getting distracted and going off on pretentious tangents about this world we live in and the media and missing someone who you’ve never even met.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned at Tufts, between re-watching Charlie Brown holiday specials, trick-or-treating at Gifford House, and reverting to complete romantic ineptitude, it’s that college kids love reliving childhood experiences. There’s something about acting like a little kid again that makes the foreign environment of a faraway place seem a little more like home. Perhaps WMFO’s “Bouncy Castles” was born out of this mindset.
But in the period between this past Saturday and the most recent time I had been on a bouncy castle, a lot had changed. For instance, if I wait a few weeks, I can get some nylon-string-colored hair to sheepishly crawl from my face. Additionally, I’m not quite the limber young dynamo I once was, running off a seemingly inexhaustible energy source powered by Capri-Suns and Lunchables, immune to any possible injury. In fact, I’m relatively laconic, sheepish in both physical and mental respects.
Nonetheless, I made the trek to the Academic Quad for “Bouncy Castles” and was greeted by roughly what I was told to expect. A bouncy castle, a bouncy obstacle course race thing, some music, and three tables arranged in a triangle with maybe twelve boxes of plain pizza. Like anyone would be, I was eager to get my bounce on and (after taking off my shoes, of course) I hopped right into the castle and bounced for the ten minutes I could bounce before getting kind of tired and also a little bit hungry. I got a slice of ‘za, ignoring the fact that the further bouncing I intended to do would likely not aid my digestion.
WMFO’s Joyce The Voice hosted a big name in the classical scene on her show, The Voicemobile - Martin Pearlman, three-time Grammy nominee and the director of Boston Baroque. He has been conducting since the orchestra’s debut in 1973 as the first baroque orchestra in the US, and they are celebrating their 40th anniversary this season. With the original idea of being an orchestra exclusively made up of period instruments, it has seen massive success and many of its founding members have gone on to direct other ensembles.
Seeing Portland artists Typhoon and Radiation City a few weeks ago was a great experience, so I figured I would keep the theme going by seeing two more bands from area. On Friday, I was lucky to see Portland-based Menomena and The Helio Sequence perform at The Sinclair in Cambridge. It was an excellent night of energetic, experimental indie rock that left me hoping to see them again live soon.
As a co-headlining tour, Menomena and The Helio Sequence have been switching off set spots. In Friday’s case, Menomena went first, opening their set with a quiet introduction with “Ghostship”. Its plodding baseline and drummer Danny Seim’s haunting background whistling (a nice touch from the recorded version) made it a good way to kick off the night. Transitioning directly into another song, or “West” perhaps (which follows on the album), would have been even better.
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