Hey! How’s everyone’s November going? Thanksgiving just passed as we good ol’ Americans know, and I’m sure a lot of us had our annual Thanksgiving rituals of eating food with family and what not. If you’re Annie Selle, the talented up and coming Concord indie artist, you may have had a “Chicken Thanksgiving” and made a blueberry pie to share with your feathered friends. If you’re Hugh Schmidt of Kids Luv Cops, you were at your new pal’s house in Portland, Oregon petting a corgi all weekend. And if you’re me, you sat in the car with your lovely, loud family with headphones, listening to the new King Gizzard album.
Thanksgiving is a great time to do all of these things (and to remember the Native Americans who were killed in the colonization of this nation). I’ve done some pondering over the things in my life that I give thanks for, and Concord DIY is on the top of my list. You guys honestly mean the world to me. There is so so much talent, kindness and love among this amazing group of people. I get all icky and emotional thinking that I’ll be out of here at university of whatever doing other shit on my own next year. It’s scary to leave such an awesome thing behind. However, as we can see in the upcoming shows for December, Concord DIY is a family, and our relatives will always be hopping around and returning back 🙂
Here’s what’s been happening in the scene:
On Friday October 13th, Nicole Walton, myself and the other friends at WIQH all put together an incredible show to raise money for Instituto Nueva Escuela, an organization helping hurricane victims in Puerto Rico. At the end of the night we raised over $600 for the organization! If you missed the show and wanna check them out you can take a peek at their website here: inepr.com
The show was packed with Concord individuals and groups with some sweet original music. The acts included the following: Schuyler Winstanley, Jivan Gapler, Iris Johnson, The Lulas (Annie Selle and Chloe Koval), Crime People (Jenny Jantzen, Christina Piccione, Thomas Brockway, Rebecca Pasley), Boxed Water (Peter Albanese, Maheeb Rabbani, Jason Fletcher, Caleb Cramer and Sandro Lopresti) and Nick Owen. Every single act blew my mind. It was an incredible, joyful and amazing event held in the black box theatre at CCHS. Schuyler’s songs were heartfelt and warm. Her voice is stunning. Jivan’s another person with an absolutely amazing voice and I can’t wait to hear more of his stuff in the future. Iris had one of her classic and lovely sets with the crowd sitting on the floor in a big cuddle puddle. It featured a song she wrote the night before the show that made me cry. I was so happy to perform with Annie, one of my closest buds, and we’re hoping to release a tape collaboration in the near future on Punk!atasset. Crime People has an awesome punk sound and they did a sick spoken word peace that was intriguing and driven. They are a new Concord band that everyone has to hear. Boxed Water was very loud and very fun as always. I heard a rumor that they may be getting into the studio pretty soon, too. That release is going be AMAZING. Lastly, Nick Owen did a set that was intense and personal, featuring his bass, a floor tom and a lamp. As one could guess, it was fantastic. I am so so grateful to WIQH and everyone at CCHS for allowing us to put on this show at the school. It was amazing and we will definitely be working on more WIQH shows in the future.
Nick Owen and Lamp
Schuyler Winstanley @hurrican benefit blackbox
On October 27th, Maheeb hosted a spook-tacular (hehe) basement show at his lovely home. Schuyler kicked off the night once again, featuring some songs on piano. Iris followed her, playing another set of her songs which never fail to make me happy and sad and all the emotions at the same time. Lucy Morrison went after Iris, with lovely ukulele pop tunes, including everything from broadway to Dodie covers. Crime People was up next with another extremely fun set featuring Christina, the lead vocalist, on guitar for a song. As it was a Halloween show, everyone was in costume, of course, and Becca nailed it going as Concord’s Nick Owen. This lead to the band playing a song that repeated the mantra “Government Bad, Nick Owen Good.” Boxed Water then played a high energy set. Maheeb also wore a Slash hat and wig at one point, but sadly took it off early in the set. To finish off the night, Orin Robichaud, Will Robichaud and I all played in Spirittown. If you’ve been around in the Concord Scene for a hot minute, you may recall the original group named Spirittown and their legendary spooky experimental sound and masks. The three of us decided to do a noise set and call ourselves Spirittown in honor of the old group that Orin was a member of. We suggested for everyone to lie on the ground and close their eyes during our set. While I played, my body felt heavy and the waves made me feel as though I was floating. It was the most relaxed I’ve ever been when playing a show. I was honored to work with the Robichaud siblings on this and truly I hope we do it again in the future.
Creds to Thomas Percy Kim
Nick Owen played several shows over the last few months, including the Record Hospital Fall Show in Cambridge. I wanted to go to this gig so badly, but I was unfortunately out of the state that night. If it was anything like any Nick Owen or Record Hospital gig I’ve been to, I’m certain that it was incredible.
Nick also released a quite fantastic new album: Art Park. I know he’s been in his home working his ass of on writing and recording this, and it shows. This six song album has a variety of songs on it, from more bouncy tracks like “1.618” to a slower song with a funky bass and echoey vocals like “Common (no true).” “Under the shaker white pine” is a six minute piece with an darker guitar part that flows from one riff to another and clean vocals. I find myself listening to this album quite a bit, and I feel as though I can say that it is easily one of my favorite albums Nick has ever put out.
As I stated earlier, Iris Johnson put out a beautiful new song called “Keeps Out the Chill.” Listen to this song while lying in your bed with a cup of tea. Stare out your window and think about high school and friends and everything. It is beautiful.
I also put out a single recently! I originally arranged this song for my world religions class for the assessment surrounding our Hinduism unit. J Mascis is easily one of my biggest inspirations for my music and is an incredibly important figure in my life. I recorded this song to tie Hinduism and everything I have learned about it in with my own life. The repetition of the chant and the blend of sounds at the end of the song represent continuation and the cycle of samsara. I was very lucky to have Sylvie Weinstein’s beautiful voice and flute playing on it, as well as Nick Owen’s help with percussion and Owen Curtin’s help with putting it all together.
Hugh Schmidt wrote a song that may go down in Concord DIY history. I will say no more.
Check out the show calendar for upcoming shows! There’s soooo much fun and new stuff happening! (Also get excited because Kids Luv Cops is hopping back into Concord in a few weeks!)
I love you all and I’ll write again soon ❤