You are listening to INDIEcent Exposure, this is Episode #34 and I am your host, the mongrel, welcoming you to another great show. It’s packed some with amazing tracks, some brand new and some that just stand the test of time.
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We’ll be hearing from Larisa Santiago, A Permanent Shadow, Dylan in the Movies, and more. We’ll also be hearing from two individuals who came together to do something highly unusual in this day and age — Orion Howard and Brian Miksic talk about what went into the opening of the brand spanking new live music venue, HiLo North Adams. Crazy, right? Opening a club in the Netflix and chill era? Maybe not, since the space was at capacity for the private opening performance of Izzy Heltai this Thursday, 8/29. Tickets for shows in the near future are also sold out, so I guess people will get off the couch and out the house if you give them a primo entertainment in a cozy place to play.
Tracks Featured in this Episode
We don’t have audio from opening night, but if you go to the shownotes for this episode, you can gaze at the photo of Izzy Heltai and his band breaking in the HiLo’s brand new stage. And if you do that while I spin you “Stuck in Stone” off his 2019 EP, Only Yesterday, you might even feel almost like you were there.
For Heltai’s show, the audience space was set up as a chill music cafe with small tables and chairs, which reduces the maximum capacity, but creates a very intimate mood. The band was amped, but I almost wonder if they had to be, the acoustics in the room are that good. Angles, a lot of wood to absorb sound, and of course, a well designed system permit sufficient volume without pain at the end of the night.
The crowd was appreciative, anyway — no one seemed uncomfortable with the level of sound. Mostly, people we’re enjoying a great choice for the inaugural band, sitting around and occasionally commenting some version of, “Holy shit. This is a real venue. North Adams has an actual music venue.” I mean, yeah, there are other places to hear music in town, some of them great, but everything about HiLo makes it clear that it’s got “Rock Club” mojo right down to the cellular level. Like it whispers “I have always been here — I’ve just been waiting for the right time to be reincarnated.”
Of course, it took a little more than Bippity Boppity Boo to cleanse 55 Union of the Crystal Museum of Hard Dog Hat juju it had built over recent years. Before it could become a soon-to-be-legendary music spot, it had to become a Very Good Property. We spoke with Brian Miksic and Orion Howard of Very Good Properties to find out just how this venue came to be and what special touches increase the likelihood of longterm success. Orion comes to club ownership by a circuitous route that put in a position where he could make it rain downtown.
Izzy Heltai is an indie-folk singer-songwriter who puts a unique twist on traditional story-telling. Based out of Northampton, Massachusetts, Izzy’s songs reference specific images while simultaneously addressing broader universal truths, often inspired by the natural beauty of Western, Massachusetts.
As a solo artist who spends the majority of his time on the road, Izzy’s songs often reflect the joys of a semi-nomadic lifestyle – dealing with topics of impermanence, loneliness, love and its many manifestations, and what it means to find “home” outside of a permanent residence.
At 22-years-old, Izzy has already garnered a local loyal following in the New England Area. His debut EP “Sweet Apathy” was accompanied by a sold-out release show at the Historic Club Passim in Cambridge, MA, in January 2018, and Izzy continues to play other esteemed venues in the area, including Mass Moca, The Dreamaway Lodge and the Parlor room. He was also a recipient of a 2019 Club Passim Iguana Fund Grant for his forthcoming record..
Shokazoba is a nine piece horn driven new world funk powerhouse! We perform top quality, high energy music to move your feet, inspire the mind, and activate our souls. You will find us playing in theaters, underground clubs, on festival stages, at weddings, house parties, and wherever the cosmic tides take us.
We aim to inspire greater human awareness through original, conscious, funky fusion jazz with progressive topical lyrics. Shokazoba offers our deepest love and gratitude to Fela Anikulapo.
Larisa was born in the grand designed Brazilian city of Belo Horizonte. BH is also the birth place of the Clube da Esquina music collective, one of the most important musical movements in the music history of Brazil. Larisa believes that when she was born, the first breath she took was from that very air enriched by the music of Clube da Esquina. After all, singers need good lungs and lungs need good air.
At age 16 Larisa left Brazil on her own to study and improve her English in Canada. She landed in Victoria, British Columbia where she attended St. Michaels University School, which had great music program. She sang with the Vocal Jazz Ensemble and the school choir. After graduating from grade 12 she moved to Toronto to attend the University of Toronto. She graduated with a degree in International Relations.
While music and performing had a strong draw for Larisa, so did languages. Now that she lives in Toronto, one of the most diverse cities on the planet, she is able to use her fluency in five languages (English, Portuguese, Spanish, Italian, French). Her linguistic skills are now part of her brand as an artist..
A Permanent Shadow
45 years in 45 minutes
This pretty much sums up Songs of Loss, the debut album by A Permanent Shadow. A name that refers equally to areas of the moon untouched by sunlight, the after-effects of nuclear disaster and human skin peculiarities, for the band’s founder it represents melancholy, nostalgia and other sentiments usually traceable on the darker side of human life. The ten songs on the album take us on a musical journey through the life of its creator. Lyrically the record portrays the lives of personalities that have inspired the author, some of them very close, some of them family, others fictitious.
A Permanent Shadow is a band for want of a better description. Its only fixture is CP Fletcher who for the recording of the record surrounded himself with a rotating cast of musicians and producers. Albert Català, a classically trained piano player, helped CP whip the demos into shape. The finishing touches in the studio were provided by renowned producer Valentín Nieto. The album was recorded in Barcelona over the course of several months from Spring to Autumn 2018, with Albert Català on piano, synthesizers and keyboards and Valentín Nieto covering guitar, bass and additional keyboards. Joel García, Joao Vieira and Sergi Carós, musicians from the local Rock and Jazz scene, contributed additional guitar, drums and bass, respectively. Doris Almansa added backing vocals. Cellist Didac Ledesma features on a couple of songs. The latter had been working with CP before in a heartfelt tribute to a huge musical influence.
Using, as its guideline, the principle of Bruce Lee’s Jeet Kune Do, it takes what is useful, and discards what is not. With neither prejudice towards traditional jazz, nor discrimination against any other music styles, it freely integrate elements of jazz Latin, funk, rock, and classical. Its only goal is musicality. It is a form that has no form.
“There are only two kinds of music. Good music and the other game.“ — duke Ellington
Jimmy likes to say, “I was born at an early age… In a log cabin that I helped my father built.”
He became interested in music as a teenager, joining a local rock band. During this time he also became interested in composing. After heading up the fusion band GRoK in San Francisco, he decided to go out on his own. First, with EmptyHand and later with Under the Moon. This is the second CD with his all American “Not your Daddy’s Jazz” band.
Burne Holiday is an Alternative Rock band from Princeton, NJ. The band comprises Joe Edelmann (lead guitar & vocals), Cory Furlong (rhythm guitar & vocals), Javier Alejandro Masis (drums) and Nathan Tyrell (bass). The four met in college and have tried ever since to combine their predominant musical influences of Radiohead, Weezer, The Foo Fighters and RHCP into a melting pot of rock. They recently released their first album, “Memento,” on all major streaming platforms. In their spare time they painstakingly recreate Radiohead songs for a burgeoning YouTube audience and tend to their pet rocks. Look out for more content from them soon as well as upcoming shows in Boston and NYC!
The Cass Clayton Band
Cass Clayton Band is the culmination of a songwriting and composing collaboration between Cass and Taylor Scott that led them into studio to explore new translations of their combined influences of rock, funk, soul, blues and R&B. Cass’s 2018 album, won 2018 ALBUM OF THE YEAR (CO Blues Society Members’ Choice), and PLAY NICE is a continued deep dive into the story telling she is known for. This new-school rock/soul album has countless inventive sounds and unexpected twists. Taylor’s virtuosic guitar playing and composing skills combined with Cass’s lyric writing, smoky 3- octave vocal range, and soulful vocal style have led to music that grooves like nobody’s business.
Cass was recently voted as one of the top three vocalists and top three slide guitar players in Colorado (CO Blues Society). She has been lead vocalist and slide guitar player for multiple bands, including CC & The Riders and 7th Heaven. Cass Clayton Band is known for its tight chemistry and high-energy stage presence, a reputation that has landed them on some of the best stages, shows and festivals in the region. Taylor is an international touring guitarist/singer/songwriter who has toured throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe with both the Taylor Scott Band and blues legend, Otis Taylor.
Editor’s Note: Although this band just kinda showed up in my inbox, I’m thinking that we’re going to be more interested, in the future, in the band Dizzy Box Nine, with whom principal Randy Ludwig seems to be attached now.
Tren Selva is a pop-rock group out of Southern California. They play melodic pop tunes which have been described as “catchy, upbeat, and pleasing to the ear” (L.A. Music Press). Their music is uplifting, positive, and fun to listen to!
Tren Selva is a pop-rock group out of Southern California. They play melodic pop tunes which have been described as “catchy, upbeat, and pleasing to the ear” (L.A. Music Press). Their music is uplifting, positive, and fun to listen to! The band consists of Randy Ludwig (guitars, vocals) and Lawrence Dunlap (drums, vocals). Randy and Lawrence got their start in the cool and open deserts of central Arizona, and eventually moved out to California to make thier move.
Dylan In The Movies
Dylan In The Movies is the musical outlet for Boston-bred songwriter/singer Brian Sullivan and an ensemble of very talented friends. In 2006, the band’s self-released ep Feel the Pull earned the band an indie cult following and caught the attention of DJs across the globe, including those from KCRW, KEXP, and 6 Music on the BBC.
Their debut full-length “Sweet Rebel Thee” (Deevius Records) was be released in the autumn of 2011 and features guest appearances from The Watson Twins (Jenny Lewis with the Watson Twins) and Tanya Donelly (Throwing Muses, Breeders, Belly), who also shares a co-write credit on the track ‘Girl With the Black Tights.’
Dylan In The Movies creates a mood within its musical landscape. There is an emotional rending that is explicit and revealing yet pleasantly delivered. A blend of nostalgia, loss, and redemption haunt these dreamlike melodies and killer hooks to astounding effect. Echoes of melodic melancholy run through standouts like ‘Josephine If You Only Knew’ and ‘Truro’ yet ‘City Skies’ and ‘Girl With the Black Tights’ offer irresistible riffs that spill over with sunshine.