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Did you hear what I heard? Review of Woodstock 4 [PART 1] @ the Boston Common - 8/18+8/19

Posted by Jonathan Donaldson August 31, 2012 12:37 PM

Pretty much any reaction that you might have had to the Woodstock 4 event which took place on the Boston Common on the weekend of 8/18 and 8/19 is understandable. When I arrived, a woman dressed as Mr. Peanut asked me for a cigarette and I gave her one. "Smoked peanuts," I joked. I knew it was going to be a good weekend.

Maybe you didn't hear about it, which I can see happening since it was a free grass-roots event that wasn't hugely publicized. This wasn't intentional. The 'stage managers' of this event (who included Jamaica Plain's Whitehaus-affiliates Arkm Foam, Kate Lee, Con Tex and Frank Hurricane) worked hard to spread the word wide and far (check out this great Matt Parish piece from the Boston Globe). The Woodstock 4 crew sought to encourange the gamut of anything that could be considered contemporary folk music and performance art at this first-come-first-serve event, ranging from traditional folk elements (Chris North's Tom Paxton-sing-a-long was about as stridently folk as you are gonna get) as well as the numerous fringe elements (including lots of portable homemade sound collage work) that dotted the festival's landscape.

[photo: Greg Besun]


Did you hear what I heard? Review of Woodstock 4 [PART 2] @ the Boston Common - 8/18+8/19

Posted by Jonathan Donaldson August 31, 2012 10:36 AM

[cont. from Part 1]

What I'm NOT trying to say for a second is that the performers at Woodstock 4 weren't amazing, because they were--from more traditional stuff like Hurricanes of Love (so intense and pure) and the sister-love harmonies of Gracious Calamity, Dawn Fauna and Rayvon Browne, to less traditional stuff like hiphop from Sweatshop, portable sound collage from Dinnersss or insanely impassioned mixtape performance art from Shea Mowat . What I AM saying is that many different shades of human talents were acknowledged here--not just the narrow mainstream that typically gets acknowledged as being 'good music' or even 'good performance art.' And also what I am saying is that the performers stuck around and not only supported each other, but also genuinely learned from one another.

[Photo: Kate Lee


One Night Band - the best day in the life of a band @ the Middle East - 9/8

Posted by Jonathan Donaldson August 17, 2012 02:35 PM

One of the biggest music fêtes of the year is coming up, namely the 4th annual installment of One Night Band. For those who are unfamiliar with this event, it's coordinated by Boston Band Crush founder Ashley Willard as somewhat of a key party for Boston musicians. home3.pngRead my review of last year's event here. This year's event contains forty or so musicians from many of Boston's varied scenes. These musicians will find out the day of the event (Saturday, Sept. 8 at the Middle East Downstairs) who their bandmates are and will have only the rest of the day to come up with a few songs for the show. I put my own virtual one night band together of four of the participants: Aaron Perrino (Dear Leader), Candace Clement (Bunny's A Swine), Mariam Saleh (Fat Creeps) and Reuben Bettsak (Guillermo Sexo). Let's hear how they fared against some fierce questions!


Just back from my vacation, and something new is on the radio - say hello to RadioBDC!

Posted by Jonathan Donaldson August 16, 2012 04:01 PM


Disclaimer 1: Inbound Sounds is obviously a blog, and the new RadioBDC online radio station is a part of as well. But I've been following the story of what happened to WFNX long before anyone knew that many of that stations best known personalities would end up over here.

Disclaimer 2: I'm listening on RadioBDC right now to the first track off the new XX album right now ("Angels") and before that it was the Hold Steady. I admit, I had heard neither. There. I let myself look a little uncool for the benefit of RadioBDC.

While this isn't totally unheard of in this town (remember RadioBoston that shut it's doors in 2002?), RadioBDC online radio will be the main station of its kind in the local market--that is to say, the classic-rock version of the college rock format (Mumford, Janes, etc) and a break-through point for new(er) alternative artists like those mentioned above.

What are the details? It's a stream-format, so you can get to it online from, or if you prefer, download it to your mobile device. How it's going to be compared to WFNX? "It's going to be better," says Music Director Julie Kramer. The reasons why have to do with the fact that this is not commercial terrestrial (land/air) radio as we know it.


About the author

Jonathan Donaldson is a Boston-based musician, writer, and second-generation music junkie. An Ohio native who moved to Boston in 1998, Jonathan's musical loves include R&B, psych, punk, bubblegum, country, electronic, More »

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