Name That Tune

You may not want to admit it, but it is part of American pop culture that will never go away.

You can hear the original.

You can hear it being covered by The Spazmatics.

You can sing it at a Karaoke bar.

You can watch in a movie.

Or on TV.

And, if you want, you can hear the composer sing it live “Stripped Down” at The Cabot in Beverly on Dec. 17.

And if you haven’t guessed yet what song or performer we are talking about … the give up.

If you got it, and want to hear it live, the man himself will be in Beverly this week.

What's in a Name? Japanese Breakfast

On a menu, a Japanese Breakfast would be described something like this: Miso soup, grilled salmon wrapped in seaweed, pickled vegetable, rice, green tea.

The website for Yellow K Records has a different definition: A side project from her work as front woman of Philadelphia indie punk band Little Big League, Michelle Zauner released a tape in June 2013 under the solo moniker Japanese Breakfast. Two bedroom pop cassettes later, Japanese Breakfast returns with its first full-fledged LP and vinyl release, Psychopomp.

It’s almost hard to decide which sounds tastier and, since we didn’t have any of the ingredients from the first definition we decide to explore the videos that Japanese breakfast has posted to her site.

Everybody Wants to Love You

Jane Cum

In Heaven

Pretty cool, right? Unlike anything you are hearing on the airwaves today, which is a very, very good thing. Back on the website, we read that “the album explores Zauner's experimental interests and hosts a wide range of sound: jarring anime samples, minimalist ballads, rhythms and synths reminiscent of Tango in the Night-era Fleetwood Mac paired with the moody intimacy of Mount Eerie.”

Yeah…whatever that means. It’s a much better idea to listen to those three songs a few more times, track down the CD on Amazon and then head over to The Middle East on Sunday afternoon and see Japanese Breakfast in concert. Showtime is 1 PM. Tickets are $12.

The Elder Statesmen of Badass Rock-‘n’-Roll

We try to be as original as possible when it comes to telling you the hottest happenings in the city, but we also recognize when somebody not only beat us to the punch, but did a better job of it, too.

Case in point. We were trying to come up with something snappy about Dinosaur Jr. playing MASS MoCA on Dec. 10 when we read this on the site:

“If Neil Young is, as Kurt Cobain said, “the Godfather of Grunge,” Dinosaur Jr. frontman J Mascis is his consiglieri — a mastermind whose screaming, crunching guitar ushered in an era and helped define alt rock in the 1990s. Formed in Amherst, Mass., in 1984, Dinosaur Jr. has maintained its looming presence over its three-plus decades, waxing and waning as genres come and go, but re-emerging in the last few years to assume their mantle as elder statesmen of viscerally badass rock-‘n’-roll.”

Yep…we can’t do better than that, so we’ll continue to let the music do the talking courtesy of these YouTube links:

Dinosaur Jr. - The Lung (Live on KEXP)

Dinosaur Jr - Goin' Home

Dinosaur Jr. - Tiny (Official Video)


Dinosaur Jr play the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art on Dec. 10.


Get the Led Out at Lupo's

Get the Led Out was formed in 2003 when a couple of Philadelphia-area musicians contacted Paul Sinclair about singing in a Led Zeppelin project they were trying to get off the ground. Sinclair, who has spent the majority of his musical career performing in his own original band “Sinclair,” had reservations

about joining a ‘tribute’ act. “I had no interest in going the impersonator route,” says Sinclair. “I’ve always found it a bit hokey. I was much more intrigued by the thought of playing this music that I loved so much, and playing it accurately. With ALL the instrumentation.”

Enter guitarist Paul Hammond who shared a musical partnership with Sinclair that dated back to their teen years. Together they wrote songs, released albums and earned their rock and roll wings on the East Coast club scene. It was only natural that Sinclair would recruit Hammond for the latest rock journey. “I knew Paul [Hammond] would add the stability and musical chops needed to pull this off,” Sinclair explains. “Besides guitar, he plays many other stringed instruments and even played keyboards in an early incarnation of the band.”

Sinclair’s vision of performing on stage as themselves and doing the studio versions of the Zep catalog was not a popular concept with other early members in the band. “In the beginning, some of the guys wanted to do the look-a-like thing. Akin to a version of the movie ‘The Song Remains The Same.’ Those guys have since moved on to other things,” says Sinclair.

With the Pauls in place and the addition of Adam Ferraioli on drums, Jimmy Marchiano on guitar, multi-instrumentalist Andrew Lipke (keys, guitar, vocals, percussion etc.), and Billy Childs on bass, GTLO’s mission finally came into focus: to recreate on stage the complete sound of Led Zeppelin’s recordings with the studio overdubs that Zeppelin themselves never performed live. Oh, and without the wigs. “It turns out that our approach is the very thing that separates us from all the other Zeppelin acts out there. I’d like to say that it was a real savvy business decision, but truth be told it’s just the only way I could see doing it.” GTLO took the show on the road in 2004 with debut performances in major theatres, PACs, festivals and concert venues throughout the East. “I remember our first time at Penn’s Peak (a 1700 seat national concert venue in Jim Thorpe, PA),” recalls Sinclair. “I was concerned about attendance because we had not yet made a name for ourselves. But then 1000 people showed up. We knew we were onto something. Now we sell the place out. I guess it goes to show the power of this music...and hopefully a little something about the band that’s playing it.”


Get the Led Out play Lupo's Heartbreak Hotel on Feb. 6.             

What's in a Name? Bassjackers

Something got lost in translation when it came to doing research on Bassjackers. Instead of pronouncing the band name with a much more musical Long A sound, as in ‘bass (guitar) jackers, we initially read it with a more sports fisherman tone, as in the “any of various North American freshwater fishes of the family Centrarchidae, especially the largemouth bass and the smallmouth bass “ jackers.

Our bad, and before it get any worse, here’ how the band publicists describes them on their website.

“Best friends since high school, DJ, Marlon Flohr, and producer, Ralph van Hilst came together in 2007 to create the Dutch duo known as Bassjackers. Marlon, the wild and outspoken half of Bassjackers, lives for the spotlight and being on stage performing for massive crowds. His counterpart, Ralph, on the other hand, is laidback and introverted, preferring his behind-the-scenes role as producer. Their opposing personalities are a perfect combination for this unique one dj-one producer collaboration.

The duo exploded onto the scene and in 2011 their dancefloor bomb “Mush Mush” was picked up by Tiësto and released on his label Musical Freedom. The track dominated the Beatport top 10 chart for over two months and was one of the biggest festival tracks of the year. This was a sign of things to come.

Since then, Bassjackers have reached massive new heights in their career with numerous chart-topping bangers and hit collaborations with the likes of Martin Garrix, Afrojack, KSHMR, Dyro, R3hab, and Showtek, to name a few, as well as remixes for A-list artists including Rihanna, Enrique Iglesias, Moby, and Ne-Yo. At the top of their game, Bassjackers continue to tear up stages worldwide and wow crowds along the way.


Bassjackers play the Royale Nightclub on Dec. 9