The Fenway Recordings Sessions is excited to announce its winter 2012 lineup, which includes the series’ 150th event; a weekend of back-to-back shows at Brighton Music Hall with Mission of Burma, on January 20th and 21st. Also coming up, Other Lives will play at Great Scott on February 16th, EMA will play at Brighton Music Hall on March 15th, and Wu Lyf will play at Brighton Music Hall on April 28th.
The Fenway Recordings Session will celebrate its milestone 150th session with two blistering shows from one of Boston’s most legendary acts, Mission of Burma. Cited as an influence by such seminal bands as Nirvana, Sonic Youth, the Pixies, R.E.M. and Superchunk, Mission of Burma’s music continues to inspire young artists today, three decades and two career phases after the release of the Signals, Calls and Marches EP on Ace of Hearts records in 1981.
Mission of Burma is Roger Miller on guitar, Clint Conley on bass, Peter Prescott on drums, and Bob Weston in the role of live tape loop manipulator and producer, which Martin Swope initially held in the first part of the band’s career. Originally formed in 1979, Mission of Burma put out the aforementioned EP Signals, Calls and Marches and a also full-length album, Vs. Only a few years into their career however, the band was forced to call it quits when Miller developed a severe case of tinnitus due to the extremely loud volume of their shows. Then, after a more than two-decade hiatus, the band reunited in 2002 for what were supposed to be a few one off shows. From there, Mission of Burma went on to form the extremely unexpected and critically acclaimed second phase of their career, in which the band has recorded and released more material then they did in the first phase. ONoffON, The Obliterati, and The Sound The Speed The Light were all released on Matador Records, and the band are currently working on their next studio album. The band, who have said they will continue playing and making music for as long as it makes sense, continue to play select shows throughout the country and have appeared at such festivals as Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago, Primavera Sound in Barcelona and Fun Fun Fun Fest in Austin.
Mission of Burma will receive support from Boston’s Viva Viva on the 20th and Shepherdess on the 21st. Viva Viva, recent winners of the Boston Music Award for Rock Artist of the Year, are influenced by 60’s and 70’s rock and strive to take those influences to craft their own uniquely infectious tunes. Boston Phoenix Music Editor Michael Marotta praises their live performances, saying, “the legend of Viva Viva has grown exponentially on the shoulders of explosive live performances.” Viva Viva maintain a solid rock ‘n’ roll foundation, but add their own flair with gritty vocals and rich guitar, adding a bite to typical Boston rock.
Jamaica Plain-based Shepherdess is the latest project of Hilken Mancini of Punk Rock Aerobics. The trio has been active around the Boston DIY scene for quite some time, taking part in the JP Music Festival and other local shows. Marc Hirsh of the Boston Globe praises the group, saying they blend “sometimes sweet material with an indie rock attack to winning effect.” Their inherent talent and hard work landed the group an opportunity to open for Wild Flag at Brighton Music Hall this past March, and since this show, Shepherdess has garnered quite a following in Boston.
Following Mission of Burma, the Stillwater, OK based band Other Lives will play Great Scott for Session #151. After releasing their successful self titled debut in 2009, Other Lives followed up with Tamer Animals, a critically acclaimed album released in May of this year on TBD Records. The Guardian has called the band cinematic, saying their music is, “remarkable stuff that you suspect will ultimately reach a far wider audience.” Comprised of Jesse Tabish on vocals, piano, and guitar, Josh Onstott on bass, organ, and backing vocals, Jenny Hsu on cello, piano, and backing vocals, Colby Owens on drums, and Jonathon Mooney on piano, violin, and guitar, they write lush, intricate music, which has been described by Pitchfork as “lovingly crafted,” “organic,” and “rarely forced.”
Other Lives recently wrapped up a fall UK headlining tour, and will play several west coast shows before heading East for another brief headlining tour. They have toured with the likes of Bon Iver, S. Carey, and The Rosebuds, and it was just announced that they will open for Radiohead on the first stretch of that band’s 2012 North American tour in February and March.
Next, on March 15th, EMA will stop by the Brighton Music Hall for Session #152. The solo project of Erica M. Alfredson, formerly of the eletro folk duo Gowns, EMA has been seemingly everywhere this year. She released her highly personal and highly acclaimed debut album,Past Life Martyred Saints, in June on Souterrain transmissions, which Pitchfork has described as “a fiercely individual record, made by a musician with a fearless and courageous approach to her art.” Among other 2011 highlights, EMA contributed a track to Spin’s 20th anniversary tribute to Nirvana’s album, Nevermind (offering her take on “Endless Nameless”) and completed her own Take Away Show on the Paris music blog, La Blogotheque. View it HERE. Rolling Stone Magazine named EMA an “Artist to Watch,” calling her music a mix of, “slow-boil acoustic intensity, blasts of fuzz, and stick-in-your-head alt-rock melodies.” Look for Past Life Martyred Saints on the Best Of 2011 lists, where it will surely land, and see her live when she comes by the Fenway Recordings Sessions in March.
Finally, on April 28th, Manchester, UK natives Wu Lyf (World Unite / Lucifer Youth Foundation) will play Brighton Music Hall for Fenway Recordings Sessions #153. Notoriously elusive, Wu Lyf is known as much for eschewing the media as it is for its unique, self described heavy pop, intense live shows and the singular vocal style of lead singer, Ellery Roberts. To that end, Roberts was quoted in a DrownedinSound.com live review as saying, “we let our music do the talking.” Formed in 2008, Wu Lyf is comprised of Jeau” Joe Manning on drums and piano, “Lung” Tom McClung on vocals, bass, and guitar, Roberts on vocals and organ, and “Evnse” Evan Kati on vocals, guitar, and harmonica. In June of this year, the band released its debut album, Go tell Fire to the Mountain, which was self-produced in Manchester’s Saint Peter’s church. Despite interest from established record labels, the band self-released Go tell… on its own L Y F imprint.
Described as the “cult band of the moment in England” by Rolling Stone magazine Italy, a June NME feature on the band proclaimed, “Wu Lyf are Fucking Amazing,” and their debut album earned Best New Music and an 8.4 review on Pitchfork. That blog’s review called the album, “a stunning lockstep of drum rolls, tart guitar chords, and a maddening chant for raising beers and clenched fists…life-affirming music.” Tickets for Wu Lyf go on sale Saturday, December 17th at 12 noon.