With three weeks left to go until move in day, it’s hard not to miss everything about Boston. The majestic brown Charles River, the charmingly glacial pace of the B line, especially when you’re in a hurry, the sketchy nature of Lower’s chicken breasts and that everpresent gray haze that seems to hang over the city six months out of the year. Ahh, I can’t help but dream about it every night. Home sweet home.
But really, in all seriousness, BC is calling my name. The idea of seeing all of my best friends again glowing and smiling and walking up endless amounts of stairs together sounds divine, and the fact that my new room in Walsh is still a month and seven hours away tortures me every day. Whose idea was it to make summer four months long?!
One of the obvious geographical downsides to living in Pennsylvania four months out of the year is that it’s not in Boston. I’m sorry if that is a shocking revelation for some of you. Unfortunately, Pennsylvania not being in Boston means me not experiencing everything Boston has to offer for a good chunk of the year, and specifically this hits me hard in the music sector.
Despite my self-proclaimed expertise in the world of music, I can’t help but wonder: Do we really need to go out looking, or is what we’re looking for right under our very noses? (Pause to reflect on the Carrie Bradshaw-ness of that question. Really, does that woman actually believe that her questions are legitimate?)
For those of you who don’t know, the Boston music scene is KILLER. From Aerosmith to The Pixies to the self-titled band itself, Boston, the city has managed to churn out some pretty big names in the music world. And with so many colleges and universities in the area, many bands claim to have gotten their start here in a dorm room. Yeah, your neighbors in 90 who keep you up in the middle of the night but actually have some talent? Be nice to them. They could be the next Dropkick Murphys.
Having access to such a major city for music however can sometimes be to our disadvantage. Being in the Northeast, Boston is usually the first stop on any major band’s national tour. With venues like House of Blues, the TD Garden, and Paradise Rock Club, it’s a dream for any band that loves that intimate, hometown feel. We all know how passionate Bostonians get about ANYTHING, so it’s no surprise really that musicians love playing there and want to return again and again.
But with summer concerts readily available at Fenway and big names making the rounds at Agganis Arena and Gillette Stadium, we miss out on the locals who are wonderful in their smallness but just can’t compete when the big boys come to town. They may be hiding in the knooks and crannies of Beantown like butter in an English muffin, but wander into a dark alley or a creepy club on a Saturday night and you just might find them waiting for you. I promise, they won’t jump you and suck your blood. And I promise I only say that because I’ve been watching too much True Blood lately, not because it’s a real concern.
Lesson #11: Home is where the music is. And Boston is the king of all homes.
It’s no secret that there are like a bazillion bands that originate in the greater Boston area, and unfortunately I’m performing a great disservice to them by not including all of them. Alas, the shortages of time and internet space are abundant. Okay maybe not the internet because let’s be real, it’s INFINITE. But who has time to research, listen to, and write about a bazillion different bands? Anybody? Anbody? Yeah, me neither. Bummer dude.
But we can still do a little something good and feature one of the fabulous up and coming bands from our favorite Massachusetts city, Kingsley Flood.
Amazingly, Kingsley Flood is not still stuck in the underground. They’ve risen up through the sewers and broken over the flood gates (pun intended) into the big, bad, always expanding world of music and have made Boston proud. Their most recent gig, playing the fest-opening set at the Newport Folk Festival alongside big names like The Lumineers, Feist, and Beck, proved attention-getting and reeled in several shoutouts from the media, including Rolling Stone and Billboard.
Earning spots in some of Boston’s most prestigious venues, like House of Blues Boston, Paradise Rock Club, and Brighton Music Hall, as well as playing up and down the East coast has earned the Flood a reputation for being highly energetic and soulful. Well duh, they’re from Boston. What did you expect?
Composed of six members and taking from both New England and D.C. influences, the band has proved itself dynamic time and time again. From Clash-like pace and edge to a Black Keys nod to blues rock to a Dylan-esque narrative style and easy-going sound, the band knows how to keep its listeners guessing and light up a music hall.
Their most recent album, Battles, puts their capability for variation on full display, ranging from the upbeat and funky “Sun’s Gonna Lemme Shine” to the more intimate and folksy “Sigh a While,” a song reminiscent of their first LP Dust Windows, a delightful little folk album with fiddles straight from the back woods of Vermont. Check out these, along with “This Will Not Be Easy,” “Pick Your Battles” and “King’s Men:”
Luckily for us, Kingsley Flood isn’t the only blog-worthy band out there in Beantown waiting to be heard. For more on all things Boston music, check out Allstonpudding.com and mysecretboston.com/music, or creep on the lineups for smaller venues like T.T the Bear’s Place, The Sinclair, The Middle East, Café 939 and The Beehive.
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Correction: The original post of this article on August 7 erroneously reported that Kingsley Flood is "composed of five members." The group has six members.