Posts Tagged ‘Bender Melon’

LIVE: Nels Cline & Julian Lage @ The Egg, 11/20/14

Thursday, December 11th, 2014
Nels Cline and Julian Lage

Nels Cline and Julian Lage

Review by Greg Haymes
Photographs by Bender Melon

“This is gonna be, well, what it is. It’s out of our wheelhouse. But I’m a sentimental man, and today is Duane Allman’s birthday,” Wilco guitarslinger Nels Cline admitted as he and fellow guitar great Julian Lage sat down and eased into “Little Martha” for their encore at The Egg’s Swyer Theatre last month.

Unexpected? Oh yeah, but when these two fretmasters get together, it’s best to throw expectations out the window and just sit back and soak it all up, as you learned if you caught their Nippertown debut at Wilco’s 2013 Solid Sound fest at MASS MoCA.

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LIVE: Dialogue @ Sanctuary for Independent Media, 11/16/14

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014
(photo by Rudy Lu)

(photo by Rudy Lu)

Review by J Hunter
Photographs by Rudy Lu, Bender Melon

Okay, first, let’s posit that duet concerts are not like other concerts. You’ve got two people doing the work of four or five, in addition to getting their music across to the crowd. That it takes accomplished players to make it work goes without saying, but it goes farther than that: There needs to be a shared language, an understanding that tells one another who’s got the lead, who’s got the foundation, when things start and when things finish, and whose solo is it, anyway? It sounds complicated, but I’ve seen a bunch of duet shows, and the arrangement is pretty standard usually.

Pianist Myra Melford and clarinetist Ben Goldberg of Dialogue are decidedly not “usual.” You’re dealing with two accomplished musicians who think 10 steps ahead of most folks at any one time, and whose respective discographies include enough square pegs to make every round hole wave the white flag. The Box doesn’t even enter into the equation, let alone thinking outside of it. What happens when Melford and Goldberg get together is mercurial, to say the least, and the near-full house at the Sanctuary for Independent Media saw that in no uncertain terms. But again, it was more than just two extraordinary players having a musical conversation; it was two people conversing in a completely unique language that was incredibly beautiful, utterly impenetrable, and wholly beyond the “standard” set by many others.

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LIVE: FreshGrass @ MASS MoCA, 9/19-21/14

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014
Emmylou Harris (photo by Kirsten Ferguson)

Emmylou Harris (photo by Kirsten Ferguson)

Photographs by Kirsten Ferguson, Bender Mellon

The fourth annual FreshGrass festival was a rousing success at MASS MoCA in North Adams last month. It’s truly amazing how quickly the festival has grown since its debut in 2011 when only a few hundred fans were in attendance.

Of course, much of its success has to do with the stellar line-up that graced the three main stages of the museum’s grounds. This year the three-day bluegrass and roots music festival featured a mind-bending amount of music, with more than 40 bands throughout the weekend, including Emmylou Harris, Railroad Earth, the Carolina Chocolate Drops, Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn, Sam Bush, Hurray for the Riff Raff, the Infamous Stringdusters, Valerie June, the Duhks, Alison Brown, the David Grisman Sextet, Sam Amidon, Cricket Tell the Weather, the Novel Ideas, the Flying Garbanzos and many, many more.

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LIVE: Jason Isbell @ MASS MoCA, 8/15/14

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

Jason Isbell

Photographs by Bender Melon

At MASS MoCA’s Hunter Center in North Adams, Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit played through most of Southeastern, a few songs from the back catalog and some of his Drive-By Truckers songs.

The band was tight. The witnesses were pleased.

THE LINE-UP
Jason Isbell (guitar)
Sadler Vaden (guitar)
Jimbo Hart (bass)
Chad Gamble (drums)
Derry deBorja (keyboards)

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LIVE: The World Famous Headliners @ the Iron Horse Music Hall, 12/28/13

Monday, December 30th, 2013
Al Anderson

Al Anderson

Photographs by Bender Melon

Yes, face it, if you’re gonna step into the spotlight sporting a band name like the World Famous Headliners, you’ve got two options. Either you’ve got to be really good or really stupid.

As it turned out, the World Famous Headliners were definitely not stupid…

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