The end of the year is a meaningful experience for me. The holiday season does hold its fair share of joy and positive connections, but it’s also a time when I think about the things that happened in my life in the previous year and how I might change them going forward. I become somewhat somber and sometimes I brood a little too much.
I love New Year’s Eve because it points out the fact that I have made it through another year more or less intact and reminds me that great new things are on their way. I often have a quiet New Year’s Eve at home cooking good food and planning for the year ahead but, sometimes, the past year is one I want to kick out with a flourish and a big party.
This year’s New Year’s Eve party at Infinity Hall features Joint Venture, an occasional collaboration between bluesman Kal David and guitarist Jeff Pevar; the infectious roots rock of the Adam Ezra Group; a prix fixe three-course dinner; and a champagne toast at midnight.
Here’s to a great 2014! Welcome the New Year at Infinity Hall!
I love my favorite band to pieces so the fact that it has only had one major hit song in this country makes me sad. When I have conversations with other people about said band, they invariably mention The Song and I say something to the effect of, “Oh, but there’s so much more than that,” and I’m off and running, extolling the band’s virtues and lamenting the fact that its exposure in the United States has been too limited for my liking. I don’t think it’s fair to judge a band based on one song; I wouldn’t judge a person based on one statement made, so making a decision about a band without having heard more of its music makes little sense to me. The fact that I am so adamant about this seems to suggest that I have never, ever made the mistake myself, doesn’t it? I wish that were the case.
My introduction to the Fixx happened in my teenage years with the song “One Thing Leads to Another.” I now think of it as a great tune, but I heard it too many times back then and got tired of it. For years afterward I would hear about the Fixx, think about the song I knew, and dismiss the band due to my disinterest in that one song. Around my mid-twenties my fascination with the New Wave music genre started to emerge. The Fixx are, of course, part of that genre. I listened to “One Thing Leads to Another” again with rapt attention, heard something in it I hadn’t before, and proceeded to devour the rest of the band’s catalog.
My experience with the Fixx taught me to give every band more mindful consideration because I might stumble on something I adore. The Fixx will play Infinity Hall on August 7 and I will be listening and very glad that I made it past my previous one-song bias.
We’ve talked before about the mix of excitement and unease that accompanies a new release by a favorite act, and it’s a good lead-in to “The Stars (Are Out Tonight),” the new single and video from David Bowie.
The song is the second Bowie has released from his new album “The Next Day,” and not only does it demonstrate that Bowie remains very much in command of his creative faculties, the video is a fascinating commentary on the relationship that we as a culture have with fame. In one way or another, most of us bring celebrities into our homes. But what happens then? They can’t not have an effect, which is the idea underpinning the video.
Bowie imagines a scenario where celebrities literally invade our space, and wreak havoc until we become them, and they become us. But what does the trade-of mean, for either side?
(For music without adverse consequences, how about the fiery blues singer Shemekia Copeland, who performs March 17 at Infinity Hall?)
Disclaimer: Marking anniversaries of interesting or important albums doesn’t seem to me like a very useful thing to do. That said, 2013 is the 20th anniversary of some interesting and important albums, including Wu-Tang Clan’s first release and Uncle Tupelo’s last. What really struck me, though, was that yesterday was the 20th anniversary of Radiohead releasing their first album, “Pablo Honey.”
That’s the album that included the single “Creep,” which was how most people first discovered Radiohead. It got radio play, for one thing, but there was also a mesmerizing video. The clip is very characteristic of ’90s alt-rock videos, with the band miming a performance of the song in a dim space cut through with stabs of light. I remember being drawn to it as a teenager, and thinking it was something different, though I didn’t get properly into Radiohead until many years later. Mainly, it’s just hard to believe it’s been two decades since that song launched Radiohead’s career.
Similarly, it’s hard to believe it’s been 20 years since one of the Cowboy Junkies’ best albums, “Pale Sun Crescent Moon.” They’ve been a topic of conversation before, but they’re back at Infinity Hall on March 4.