Ronnie Earl and The Broadcasters
Saturday, March 23rd • 8:00 pm
Legendary guitarist Ronnie Earl returns to the Infinity stage for what is sure to be a spectacular night of blues, rock, and soul music!
An Evening with Renaissance
Novella and a Treasure Trove of Classics
Wednesday, April 10th • 8:00 pm
Progressive rock superstars Renaissance have numerous hits including “Northern Lights”, “Carpet of the Sun” and “Ashes Are Burning”. Their last show here at Infinity sold out quickly, so don’t wait. You don’t want to miss this one.
Saturday, January 26th• 8:00 pm
The Wailers are undoubtedly the world’s premier reggae and music group. They are the closest you’ll get to the music and legacy of Bob Marley and will have you up and grooving all night long!
The Alternate Routes perform Dec. 16 at Infinity Hall.
The big news this morning, apart from the kid from “Two and a Half Men” apologizing for calling the show “filth,” is that Adele’s most recent album, “21,” has reached 10 million in sales in less than two years. That’s a staggering volume in any era, but especially these days, when even would-be blockbusters don’t leap out of the gate. (Rihanna’s new album, for example, sold 238,000 copies its first week, which is respectable enough until you consider that Taylor Swift’s “Red” sold 1.2 million.)
What’s the point? In a perverse way, I think it’s that declining record sales have become a sort of equalizer. Sure, Rihanna’s label is willing to shell out the money to fly her to seven countries in seven days onboard a Boeing 777 (good luck recouping that investment), but she’s a mediocre performer, at best, and being able to hack it live is increasingly important these days.
That’s to the benefit of the smaller performers who perform at places like Infinity Hall. It’s true that some of them still aren’t able to make a living solely from playing music, but they’re the ones forging a real connection with an interested audience that has a longer attention span than your typically fickle Top-40 crowd.
In other words, it’s worth paying attention to acts like the Alternate Routes, Adam Ezra Group and Jason Spooner Band, who play the New England’s Rising Stars showcase Dec. 16. They’re the bands building careers one audience at a time, and while it’s unlikely that any of them will ever sell 10 million copies of an album, that’s all the more reason why they need your support.
After spending much of the weekend writing up an interview with Peter Frampton, I’ve been thinking about musical legacies. Frampton’s, of course, is “Frampton Comes Alive!,” the 1976 live album that made him a star. “There’s no getting away from it, no matter what I do,” he told me.
Yet it was an unintentional legacy, and one that took him years to embrace. So how many people — musicians, artists, authors, even statesmen — end up with the legacies they intended? Probably not very many. Take Dave Mason, who performs Thursday, Nov. 29, at Infinity Hall: Despite a half-century career full of solo releases, he’s best remembered for playing with Steve Winwood in Traffic. Or the Smithereens, playing Dec. 9, who have been largely defined by their 1989 hit “A Girl Like You,” despite a long and varied career.
In Frampton’s case, part of his reason for mounting a 35th-anniversary tour last year for “Frampton Comes Alive!” was, in addition to giving fans a song-for-song re-creation of his breakthrough album, to let them hear a selection of the work he’s done since. “To introduce, and in some cases, re-introduce me as I really am, which is a musician first and foremost, was the most important thing about the tour,” he said.
It’s a worthwhile reminder that legacies aren’t (or shouldn’t be) the last word. Sometimes — often, in fact — it’s worth digging deeper.
Of all the traditions associated with Thanksgiving — turkey, football, the Macy’s parade, trampling over your fellow citizens for 10 percent off electronic goods at Black Friday sales— the holiday doesn’t have much of an official musical tradition. There’s Arlo Guthrie’s “Alice’s Restaurant,” of course, which isn’t really about Thanksgiving so much as Guthrie just sort of mentions it. And there’s Mary Chapin Carpenter’s “Thanksgiving Song,” too (and sure, Adam Sandler’s song about eating turkey, also called “The Thanksgiving Song.”)
We need not be bound by “official” traditions, however: who among you has established your own musical Thanksgiving tradition? Are there songs you listen to, music you play, videos you watch? Let us know in the comments!
(Also, in that the end of Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the Christmas season, have you bought tickets for Gary Hoey’s holiday concert Dec. 2?)
Watching the American Music Awards last night, I was struck by how much of what they were honoring was, at its purest level, manufactured, triangulated in pursuit of the biggest pop-culture splash, with no regard for sincerity. There’s a place for that, of course, and the American Music Awards are reflective of popular taste in that they are determined by votes from the public.
All the same, such a bombastic display of capital-P Pop was a helpful reminder of how much truly worthy music there is below the mass-market radar, and how important a role venues like Infinity Hall play in disseminating it. Most of the acts that come through Infinity, and small performance spaces like it all over the country, aren’t pop stars. They don’t get much radio play, or show up on prime-time awards shows. They tour to make a living (the lucky ones, anyway), because music is what they do: it’s not about fame and riches so much as self-expression, or at least connecting with an audience in some deeper way than a surface-level pop hook.
Again, there’s a place for that, and the lack of a high profile shouldn’t imply confessional authenticity or whatever. But there’s something undeniably special about hearing a band performing music, as opposed to putting on a spectacle, in an intimate space among people who are there for the same reasons you are. One of those upcoming shows, as we’ve discussed, is Steve Earle, performing Nov. 28 in Norfolk.
Brothers in bands don’t always last: Chris and Rich Robinson have had a famously fractious relationship in the Black Crowes, former Oasis members Liam and Noel Gallagher enjoy insulting each other in the press and the Everly Brothers are said to despise each other. The Felice Brothers are a different story.
By all accounts, Simone Felice is still tight with his brothers James and Ian, with whom he shared a band from 2006-09. He left their family (and friends) band for different reasons, stemming from personal tragedy: his partner had a late-term miscarriage, which sparked songs that he felt were better suited to a non-Felice Brothers project. Thus the Duke & the King, the name under which he recorded those songs. The band released its debut in 2011 (it was, presumably, delayed by the heart surgery Felice underwent in the summer of 2010 after a series of fainting spells), and Felice this year released his proper solo debut, a self-titled effort.
Although he still appears with his brothers from time to time, his focus is writing (he’s published three books) and music and, of course, performing, which he’ll do Dec. 27 at Infinity.
[More Details] Ticket Price: $25, $35
Friday, January 25th • 8:00 pm
With worldwide sales in the millions, Grammy Awards by the dozen, and as veterans of sold-out world tours, The Manhattan Transfer have an uncanny knack for always being ahead of the times. Fasten your seat belts folks, this one’s gonna be a blast !!
Thursday, February 7th • 8:00 pm
10,000 Maniacs were and remain, without a doubt, one of the most influential Alternative Pop/Rock bands. Their long list of hits include “These are Days”, “Like the Weather”, and many more. Don’t miss this show!
Thursday, January 31st • 8:00 pm
We are honored to welcome back one of American folk music’s most prolific and profound singer/songwriters. Greg Brown has a seemingly effortless gift for swinging, organic melody and–perhaps most of all–a humble, unvarnished poetic grace.
The Sounds of Frank-
the ultimate tribute to the ultimate crooner, Frank Sinatra
Sunday February 17th • 2:00 pm
Close your eyes and suspend reality for a moment and you will literally hear Frank’s inflections and emotions in the talented John Cooper’s voice. All the songs are both sung and performed with integrity and honesty, just as Frank and his band performed them.
Pair that with the pristine acoustics of our Hall, and you have a match made in heaven.