Thursday, June 21, 2012

Showtime - Raiders on the Common Tonight!

Come on down to the Worcester Common tonight for a free showing of Raiders of the Lost Ark!

Confirmed food vendors include Theatre Cafe, 529 Main St., Worc., Sweet Sister Ice Cream, and Worcester Film Works will be putting our brand new popcorn machine through its paces! (Were going to give it a try today at noon on the Common, come on by for a free bag of popcorn!)

Worcester Film Works kicks things off at 5 pm tonight with James Keyes. Here's his bio:

"Occupying his own unique space in American music somewhere between the throaty junkyard stomp of Tom Waits and the wild mercurial ramblings of Dylan, James Keyes is a musician who's own sound is just gritty and earthy enough to scare away casual listeners in these times of manufactured pop and just easy enough to make the adventurous a listener for life.

It's the cumulative sound of all the folk music that's come before it. Gut-bucket blues, honky-tonk tear jerkers, songs of the road and its endless freedom, dark nights in smoky roadhouses and that long black ache of the broken American dream.

Yeah it's dark. And it's hard and unforgiving but it's also human and warm, you just have to give it a listen to get it. Or maybe not. Keyes travels solo with only a guitar and his right foot beating out the time on a home made pedal board. His songs run the gamut from the profane to the sublime and never stop long enough for you to figure out which.

His first solo album "Ruminations" was released in January of 2010 to critical acclaim and brought together his love of old folk, blues and acoustic music together for the first time on record. Showcasing his sparse but lyrical songwriting, Ruminations drew comparisons from critics to Tom Waits, Leonard Cohen and Johnny Cash.

Devil Take The Hindmost is his second solo record and the follow-up to the critically acclaimed 2010 release Ruminations. Released in May of 2011 Devil... picks up where its predecessor left off but quickly takes on a life of its own with an intense and heavier approach.

Supported by an endless live schedule and heavy college, indie and internet radio rotation, Devil Take The Hindmost reached #13 on the Roots Radio charts without label representation of any kind and continues to gain praise at home and around the world.

In addition to thinking globally and acting locally, James Keyes plays regionally and tours nationally."

Following James we have The Luxury playing. Here's their bio:

"Formed in 2005 in Boston, Massachusetts, The Luxury is an amalgamation of some of the area's finest rock talent and has been lauded as such, with local and national press touting the band's high-energy performances and lush recorded output - a grand, sweeping blend of UK-styled rock and pop.

The group came to be after the dissolution of lead singer/songwriter Jason Dunn's previous band, The Halogens, whose career arc led them from the small but vibrant music scene of Burlington, Vermont to Boston, a much larger stomping ground with a broader acceptance of the band's stylistic direction. Thanks to the histories and previous efforts of the band's members, The Luxury began where many bands eventually wind up - headlining the Cambridge clubs on the weekends and enjoying Boston area press and radio attention from the outset. 

After settling on a solid linup in 2006 consisting of Justin Day on bass guitar, Daanen Krouth on lead guitar, Brooks Milgate on keyboards and Stephen Foster on drums, the band released their first recorded effort, 2007's This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things, self-recorded and produced in the very early stages of Dunn's home studio, which as of 2011 has put out over a dozen recordings for various area artists. Despite the youth of the group and Dunn's youth as an engineer, the record was a great success for any independent act, garnering airplay across the nation, spending time in the CMJ top 200, and earning far-reaching praise for the band's musicianship, stratospheric melodies and harmony-laden arrangements. Thematically, the album was largely culled from Dunn's own relationship experiences and worldview, and represented songs that had been gathering in varying stages of completion for the previous four years.

In 2008, The Luxury filmed a video for the album track "Malcontent", directed by Trey Hamilton and featuring equal parts humor and shoestring budget creative tricks. In the summer of the same year, UK megastars Coldplay announced that they would be picking up local acts in six US markets to open their stadium shows on the Viva la Vida tour. The Luxury, now featuring Steven Borek on keys, threw their hat in the ring with the same video. Through a selection process involving a nod from Boston's WFNX radio, a long and ridiculous public voting process, and ultimately their selection from a circle of three finalists by Coldplay themselves, The Luxury suddenly leapt from Boston's mid-sized clubs to the 20,000 seat Boston Garden for a massive performance in August. The band took the money from the show, purchased plane tickets and a van rental, and in September toured California under their own power.
The Luxury in 2006
The Luxury was selected to perform in 2009's Rock and Roll Rumble, in what would turn out to be the last year the 31-year old Boston tradition that took place under the banner of media giant WBCN before the station folded that summer. Previous winners of the 24-band, three-round competition have included 'Til Tuesday (1983), The Sheila Divine (2000), Bleu (2001) and The Dresden Dolls (2003). The band cruised through their preliminary round to a smashing victory, and although eliminated in the semifinals, The Luxury returned in the final round of the competition as a wildcard entry, swept the judging panel and won an enormous purse of cash and prizes, all of which were perfectly geared to support the band's next step, the July 2009 release of In The Wake Of What Won't Change.

The second album was recorded in a whirlwind tour of Boston's best studios, all included in the Rumble prize package and all of which enabled the band to release yet another record without the necessity of a record label. Adored by critics and fans alike, the album featured a rawer, more aggressive sound that more accurately reflected the band's live energy without losing the thick harmonies and layered arrangements of the first release. Additionally, the band arranged the record to flow as two sides, harkening back to the days of the vinyl LP. The album and the multimedia-laden CD Release at the legendary Paradise Rock Club in Boston kept the band in the spotlight through the rest of '09 and into 2010, when Foster suddenly announced he would be leaving for Oregon. After spending most of 2010 finding the appropriate replacement for Foster on the drums, The Luxury is currently back in the studio with new drummer Brandon Erdos writing the third record, earmarked for release in the later months of 2011." 

Raiders will start at Dusk.

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