Or, a quick and in no way complete sampler of independent music in Boston
For 29 years now, Boston’s WBCN (“The RAWK of Boston,” so they say) has annually hosted the Rock’n’Roll Rumble, a battle of the bands in which 24 bands compete and ultimately one is crowned victorious after a few weeks of preliminaries, semi-finals, and a final night that inexplicably includes a performance by some totally irrelevant national touring act. Last year this act was Taylor Hawkins and the whatever whatevers (Hawkins is by day a member of Foo Fighters); this year it’s… it’s… I forget. Some band I’ve never heard of. No matter, that’s not what we’re here for anyway.
This year's Rumble began earlier this month, with the semi-finals taking place over the past weekend; the grand finale happens this Friday night at Harper’s Ferry, a large room that has taken over as Rumble home this year after many years at the cozy Middle East in Cambridge. See this here Wikipedia page for a bit of history on the Rumble, including past winners — some you’ve heard, some who never made it outside of Interstate 495.
Some insist that there’s a Rumble Curse that dates back to ‘Til Tuesday’s 1983 win, as no Rumble-winning band since has achieved the same kind of mainstream success. We like to believe in curses here in Boston (see: The Red Sox), but moreover the Rumble is really just a fun celebration of local music sponsored by a radio station that thrives on playing cock rock drivel like every other mainstream station in the country. Note to KEXP: Boston has a gaping hole for good alternative radio… and lots of beans…
The final three bands that will compete on Friday are Digital Underground-meets-Rage Against the Machiners The Indefinite Article, classic rock revivers Township (one of Betsy's favorites! yeah, she knows you already know. Say, did you hear about Imaginary Liz and the missing Bright Eyes CD?), and semi-imported popsters Baker.
Have your imaginary self a listen and tell us who you think will take the top prize. And you don't have to say Township, even though that's the right answer.
I'll be back to announce the results following Friday night's show!
P.S. Betsy went to most, but not all, of the preliminary shows; her favorite new find of the whole shebang is Aloud. You should check them out too.