Summer 2016

Friday, July 2:  Trinary System at ONCE Lounge

165 Highland Ave., Somerville, MA.  Minibeast headlines, Miller will join ’em on horn, Trinary System on second (around 10 pm) and Oceans on the Moon opens.  The band continues to kick out the jams after our first release, a 45 with the 5-song EP: AMPLIFY THE AMPLIFIERS.

L to R: Andrew Willis, Larry Dersch, Roger Miller. Photo: Debra McLaughlin

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Thurs., June 23:  Surrealist Games at 3S Artspace, Portsmouth, NH.

This is Miller’s second Surrealist Games Night at 3S Artspace – the first Games in February 2016 were so successful they wanted to do it again.   The venue is wonderful.  The Surrealist Games Night at the Brattleboro Art Museum on June 10 was a total blast – everyone was actively engaged and having a wonderful time.

One of many, many Exquisite Corpses created. Photo by John Hessian.

One of many, many Exquisite Corpses created. Photo by John Hessian.

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Alloy Orchestra upcoming shows:

June 21:  Lincoln Center, NYC.  L’Inhumaine.
July 6 and 7:  Coolidge Corner Theater, Brookline, MA.  2 nights of METROPOLIS!  25th Anniversary of the band starting, and it started with METROPOLIS at the Coolidge Corner Theater.
July 31:  Traverse City Film Festival, Traverse City, MI.  L’Inhumaine.
Aug. 13:  AFI Silver Theater, Silver Spring, MD.
Aug.31-Sept.6:  Telluride Film Festival, Telluride, CO.
Sept.22: Three week Midwest Tour Starts.

Rack of Junk. Yep.

Rack of Junk, yep. Photo: Ken Winokur.

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Soundtrack Work:  500 Years, a film by Skylight Productions.

500 Years, a feature-length documentary film, is Miller’s biggest work this summer.  The film continues Skylight’s focus on the genocide in Guatemala,  the case against the dictator Rios Montt, and how things are developing in the aftermath.  Previous films Miller has scored with Skylight include GRANITO, DISRUPTION, and THE RECKONING.  Two of these films premiered at Sundance.

Jubilation at Rios Montt’s downfall.

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7 Haiku from camping at Half-Moon Pond, June 13-16:

I rambled one of these accidentally and Deb said “Write that down!”  So I did, and kept it up…..

The fire is started.
Shrimp, gnocchi, asparagus!
Where’s the scotch?  By me.

Why no mosquitoes?
Could be we are wearing coats.
Chilly advantage.

The lake’s wind patterns
Ten turtles on a big log
What a fucking hoot!

Sunlight shines through leaves
There’s nothing I have to do
That’s a way to be.

Now that was a hike!
The fire is so hypnotic…
We talked for two hours.

Why is that book wet?
It’s right next to the tea cup.
Chipmunks like tea bags?

When you are camping
Simple life is all there is.
That is a virtue.

Half-Moon Pond


Spring 2016

TRINARY SYSTEM:
 

Dave Davies b/w This House 7″ 45

Apr.15 release date on Fun World Records!
AMPLIFY THE AMPLIFIERS 5-Song EP download card will be included in the package.  Records (and downloads) will be available at shows and via online sales.

Amp the Amp cover
May Record Release shows!
Fri., May 13 at Lizard Lounge, Cambridge, MA.  With Gymnasium and Soft Gang (from NYC).
Sat., May 14 at 13th Floor Music Lounge in Florence, MA.  With Bunnies and Dust Witch.

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   MISSION OF BURMA:

European Tour April 17-25 based around two ATP festivals in England.  Always fun driving over European terrain.

Bradford Vernon DoucetteBradford Theater, 1983, performing “See My Friends”.  Photo: Vernon Doucette.

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SURREALIST GAMES:

Miller will be hosting his Surrealist Games Night at the Brattleboro Museum of Art on Friday, June 10.

Miller will be hosting his Surrealist Games Night at 3S Artspace in Portsmouth, NH, on Thurs., June 23.

NHPR interview for 3S Artspace show here.

Surrealist Games held at 3S Artspace, Portsmouth, NH in February were very successful and Miller has been asked to hold the Games there on a regular basis.
“Fantastic night — a hilarious, creative, and healthy mix of mind-bend, head-clearing and humor-refraction. And met great new people — thank you to esteemed host Roger Clark Miller for coming up to Portsmouth to throw an unconventional good time.”
Cliff Lazenby.

3S Feb. 2016

3S Artspace Surrealist Games.  Everyone here is bearing down on the topic.  (Can’t find photographer’s name – my apologies).

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GUITAR LESSONS VIA SKYPE: 

Miller’s craigslist lesson posts were picked up by the Onion’s AV department.  Amusing as always.     One of his current lessons lives in Tokyo: this lesson is drinking coffee while the sun is setting outside Miller’s window.

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AS A COMPOSER:

NOTE:  A large enough orchestra was not able to be procured to perform to this film, so there will be no live performance.  Instead, Miller is afixing the score to the film and will show the film with pre-recorded music.  The premier has not been set.

The Davis Square Symphony is based on traffic patterns in Davis Square.  Miller has filmed Davis Square from 5 different locations, one time per each season.  Each season has its own harmony.  Analysis of the vehicles, color, size, etc., will indicate which string instrument will perform that particular vehicle and what note they will play as it travels across the visual field onscreen.  People, bicycles, and pets will be performed by wind instruments and percussion.  The resultant composition, 23 minutes in length, will be based entirely on the edited film footage.
The Davis Square Symphony has been funded by the Somerville Arts Council and is slated to be performed by the Somerville City Orchestra including high school students in the Somerville area.  The film will be shown while the orchestra performs the music, so there will be a direct relationship between what is seen and heard.  Despite being built upon the ideas of John Cage, it is a populist work.  People will see their every-day life transformed into music.

The premier of Scream, Gilgamesh, Scream on Feb.18 at New England Conservatory’s Jordan Hall came off quite well.  Once everyone got aligned to the unusual direction of the piece, it really came together.  Great ensemble (Callithumpian Consort).  Miller was on electric guitar and at one point couldn’t stop grinning as the ensemble hammered a “one-pulse” chord over and over.  He hid his face but then looked up and saw that Stephen Drury, the conductor, had the same grin on his face.  It worked.  Thanks to everyone who came to the show and thanks to the Callithumpian Consort – as Clint said “they were really diggin’ in.”

Gilgamesh BowMiller bowing after Gilgamesh performance at Jordan Hall.  Photo: Debra McLaughlin.

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ALLOY ORCHESTRA:

Spring Shows:
March 26:  Somerville Theater.
April 15: Roger Ebert Film Festival.
May 8:  Maryland Film Festival.
June 21:  Lincoln Center, NYC.
New releases:
1.  L’Inhumaine Blu-Ray.   French avant-garde film from 1927 with sets designed by the artists Ferdinand Leger.  Alloy Orchestra premiered their score last fall at Telluride Film Festival to a standing ovation.
2.  Phantom of the Opera DVD, starring the amazing Lon Chaney.  Previously this was only available via Blu-Ray.

Phantom DVD copy
L'Inhumaine BluRay copy


Winter into 2016…

Surrealist Games:

Thurs., Feb.4: 3S Artspace, Portsmouth, NH.
Miller will be hosting his Surrealist Games Night at the wonderful 3S Artspace (Burma played there in 2015 and loved it).  Everyone becomes creative in this setting – there is literally nothing you can do about it.  Drawing and Word Games create previously unheard of Proverbs, charms, and warnings.  Drawings produce beings that Darwin could not possibly have anticipated.  A splendid time is guaranteed for all (based on previous experience at the ICA Boston, Mass MoCA, First Night Boston, and many many nights with friends in homes).

Interview with Miller on New Hampshire Public Radio.
Interview starts at 21:24

Photo by Bridget TonerPhoto by Bridget Toner

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As A Composer:

Thursday, Feb.18, SCREAM, GILGAMESH, SCREAM (commissioned by the Callithumpian Consort) will be performed at Jordan Hall at the New England Conservatory by The Callithumpian Consort, with Miller playing the electric guitar part. 
Miller completed the last four bars to his take on the Epic of Gilgamesh in October 2015, and will be honing the final details of the score into early January.  The composition is for Baritone and Soprano voice, piano, two percussionists, electric guitar, synthesizer bass, alto saxophone, French Horn, Bass Clarinet, two violins, viola, ‘cello.  Rock smashes into classical music and Edgard Varese would likely be amused.
Miller is simultaneously working on The Davis Square Symphony.  The Fall season footage was re-shot this November, and editing 4/5 hours worth of video down to 25 minutes has begun.  Once the editing is complete the next step is composing and orchestration for full orchestra.   Performance will happen mid-June in Hodgkins-Curtin Park in Davis Square, Somerville.
The Slaying of Humbaba                                                                                              Gilgamesh and Enkidu slay Humbaba.

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Trinary System:

The band continues working on their 5-song EP with Andrew Willis (bass, vocals) engineering.  The focus is on layering things sonically without diluting the energy of the band.  Two songs, THIS HOUSE and CHEMICAL STEW, are nearly mixed and plans are for a 7″ 45 in spring 2016, with a 5-song EP download card inside.

Tri WordPressTrinary System at 13th Floor in Florence, MA

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Unusual Vinyl Releases:

This has been an unusually prolific year for Miller and vinyl.
1.  FARMERS (Feeding Tube Records) features Daved Hild (vocals, accordion) of the Boston art-punk band The Girls with Miller backing him on guitar, cornet, piano, drum, recorded live in 1984.  Outsider neo-Americana art-music somewhere between Pere Ubu, Nick Cave and Capt. Beefheart, but sounding completely unlike any of them.
2.  ROGER MILLER? OH. (Feeding Tube Records) is Miller’s 1988 LP for Forced Exposure, recorded on a 4-track cassette deck.  This record exhibits Miller’s most complete lack of concern for commerciality to date, which may account for it being released by three different labels over the years (second was a CD on New Alliance 1995).  It was very favorably reviewed in the NY Times as “The Miller Experiment: Avant-Garde Record of the Week.”

1989 N.Y.Times review of Oh.  1989 N.Y.Times review of “Roger Miller: Oh.”

Even more unusual than those two releases, two songs Miller recorded in 1977 under the moniker F.U.K., “Road Kill” and “Fire in My Head”, will be released mid-2016 as a 45 on HoZac Records.  “Road Kill” sounds like a prototype for XRay Spex and “Fire in My Head” was written while listening to the first Ramones album.

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Alloy Orchestra:

Feb.14: Northampton Academy of Music Theater.  Son of the Sheik.  Rudolph Valentino on Valentines Day!
Feb.28: Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA.

Alloy Orchestra smites AgainAlloy Orchestra Smites Again!

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Fall 2015 Actions….

 Alloy Orchestra:

Double LP of MAN WITH THE MOVIE CAMERA that we recorded live at Third Man in Nashville a couple years back.
Double LP of MAN WITH THE MOVIE CAMERA the band recorded live at Third Man in Nashville.

Midwest Tour finishes off:  
Sept.22:  Ragtag Theater, Columbia, MO.  Rudolph Valentino’s SON OF THE SHEIK.
Sept.24:  Belcourt Theater, Nashville, TN.  Buster Keaton’s THE GENERAL.
Sept.27:  Hamilton College, Clinton NY.  MAN WITH THE MOVIE CAMERA.

Alloy heads to Europe:
Oct.7:  Rijeka, Croatia.   MAN WITH THE MOVIE CAMERA and PICTURE.
Oct.8:  Ljubljana, Slovenia.  PICTURE.
Oct.9:  Pordenone, Italy, Silent Film Festival.  PICTURE.
Oct.11:  Zagreb, Croatia.  MAN WITH THE MOVIE CAMERA and PICTURE.

Other Fall Alloy Shows:
Nov.2:  Coolidge Corner Theater, Brookline, MA.  SON OF THE SHEIK, starring Rudolph Valentino.
Nov.13:  George Eastman House, Rochester, NY.  SON OF THE SHEIK, starring Rudolph Valentino.
Nov.15:  Three Rivers Festival, Pittsburgh, PA.  MAN WITH THE MOVIE CAMERA.
Dec.5:  The Castro Theater, San Francisco Silent FIlm Festival, San Francisco, CA.  THE BLACK PIRATE and L’INHUMAINE.

The Trinary System:

Larry's kit all miked up at Sonelab Studios, May 2015.
Larry’s kit all miked up at Sonelab Studios, May 2015.

The band will be completing their 5-song EP with Trinary bassist Andrew Willis engineering and co-producing.

November shows:
Thurs., Nov.5: Johnny D’s, Somerville, MA. With Birdsongs of the Mesozoic.
Fri., Nov.6:  13th Floor Music Lounge, Florence, MA.  With Bunnies.

As a Composer: 

Page 63 from SCREAM, GILGAMESH, SCREAM.
Page 63 from SCREAM, GILGAMESH, SCREAM.

“Scream, Gilgamesh, Scream” is slated for a mid-February premier at New England Conservatory.  The final 20 bars are under completion.  Miller will likely be playing the electric guitar part for the concert.

All four seasons of “The Davis Square Symphony” have now been shot, and editing 4 hours of footage down to 25 minutes has begun.  Once the film is edited composing begins based on vehicles, pedestrians, bicycles, etc..  Slated for a June 2016 performance outside in Davis Square, Somerville, with the Somerville High School Concert Orchestra.

Guitar Lessons via SKYPE:

I’m happy to teach guitar lessons via Skype.  Not as easy for people to come to my house on the mountain-side as it was outside of Davis Square.

Moved to Southern Vermont:

Backyard in Vermont.
                Our backyard in Vermont.

I listened to these albums on the final drive from SOM to VT:
1.  Dog-Faced Hermans: Those Deep Buds.
2.  Art Ensemble of Chicago: Baptizm.


Summertime, and the Living is…….

Alloy Orchestra

Alloy Orchestra at the Milwaukee Film Festival, 2014.

Alloy Orchestra at the Milwaukee Film Festival, 2014.

We are working on two new scores for the fall:
1.   “Picture”.  This is a modern silent with a strong avant-garde underpinning, very abstract.  Our score is improvised.  In the fall we will perform it in Italy, Slovenia and Croatia.
2.  “L’Inhumane”.  The film is slow, but the sets are designed by the artist Fernand Leger and are utterly amazing.  Considered one of the best of the era of French avant-garde film.  We’ll be improvising on open themes for this one.
Summer Shows:
July 10 – 11:  Silver Spring, MD.  AFI Silver Theatre.  3 shows.
July 17:  Brooklyn NY.  Celebrate Brooklyn at the Prospect Park Bandshell.  Starts after the sun sets.
July 24:  Stamford CT.  Mill River Park.  2 shows.
Aug.2: Traverse City, MI.  Traverse City (Michael Moore) International Film Festival.
Early Sept:  Telluride, CO.  Telluride Film Festival.  Premier of L’Inhumane and PICTURE.
Sept.10:  New Haven, CT.  Yale University.
Sept.14-27: Midwest tour:  Columbus, OH.  Cedar Rapids, IA.  Des Moines, IA.  Omaha, NB.  Lincoln, NB.  Lawrence, KS.  Columbus, MO.  Nashville, T.  Hamilton College, NY.

Mission of Burma

Rock+Roll Hotel, June 2015. Photo: Scott Monroe

Rock+Roll Hotel, June 2015. Photo: Scott Monroe

Summer Shows:
June 25:  Boot and Saddle, Philadelphia
June 26:  Bell House, Brooklyn, NY
June 27:  Rock+Roll Hotel, Wash. DC.
July 18:  Fenway.  Rumor has it that there are other bands on the bill.

Good recent interview with Miller in the UK mag: DROWNED IN SOUND.

The Trinary System

Trinary System at Sonelab Studios, May 2015

Trinary System at Sonelab Studios, May 2015

We are near completion on two songs from our May session at Sonelab Studios: DAVE DAVIES and CHEMICAL STEW.  Three songs to go:  THIS HOUSE; HOV-1 VIOLATOR; and LIVING BY FLASHLIGHT.  The raw band tracks from Sonelab came out quite lively, and are a vast improvement over our demos from last November.
Summer Shows:
Aug.7: Machines With Magnets, Pawtucket, RI.  With “E” and Odysseus Finn.
Aug.8: Out of the Blue Gallery.  541 Massachusetts Ave, Central Square, Cambridge, MA.  Boston Hassle Productions.  With Minibeast and others.

As a Composer

Rothko Score I

My composition HALF-MOON POND, for large String Ensemble, will get a private reading by the Cambridge Philharmonic the end of July.  The composition utilizes nature to organize the music.  There is no preconceived rhythm, melody, harmony or concert pitch.  As in nature, so in this music.
I’ll be finalizing my composition SCREAM, GILGAMESH, SCREAM for the upcoming season at the New England Conservatory.
And soon I’ll be shooting the summer footage for my composition THE DAVIS SQUARE SYMPHONY, to be premiered June 2016 in Davis Square, Somerville.

Art Show in Hudson Valley

“Upthrust”. Frottage Drawing, 2006.

Six pieces in a group show on Sept 6 in Brooklyn, NY.

Camping in June w/Deb.

Deb and I in the Northeast Kingdom of VT.

Deb and I in the Northeast Kingdom of VT, June 2015.

Camping at Maidstone Park in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont was as beautiful as expected.  The loons at night were amazing, some close, some far (superb stereophonic placement and hi-quality reverb).  The simple focus of starting a fire every day, preparing food, no internet.  Hikes.  Wish it could always be like that!

Guitar Lessons with Roger C. Miller

I have taught guitar lessons out of my home for years.  I am now adding SKYPE guitar lessons to the mix.  Many people do this, why not me?  Now I can teach all over the world (does the International Space Station have Skype?).


Spring 2015 (technically, it’s here).

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Guitar Lessons with Roger C. Miller

I have taught guitar lessons out of my home for years.  I am now adding SKYPE guitar lessons to the mix.  Many people do this, why not me?  Now I can teach all over the world (does the International Space Station have Skype?).

 

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Mission of Burma is playing East Coast shows end of June.  Spring training for the Fenway gig w/Foo Fighters in July.

June 25:  Boot and Sands, Philadelphia
June 26:  Bell House, Brooklyn, NY
June 27:  Rock+Roll Hotel, Wash. DC.

Playing with the Obliterati Cards.

Playing with the Obliterati Cards.  Photo: Kelly Davidson Savage.

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Alloy Orchestra is in Spring season mode:

Apr.5:  Hamilton College, Clinton, NY.
Apr.6:  Colgate College, Hamilton, NY.
Apr.16-19:  Roger Ebert Film Festival, Champagne Illinois.
May 10:  Maryland Film Festival, Baltimore, MD.
May 15-24:  Northwest tour.  Olympia, Port Townsend, Seattle, Vancouver, Bellingham.

Alloy Orchestra smites Again

Alloy Orchestra smites Again.  Scrawl/Frottage by Miller.

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The Trinary System shows in March (Boston/Easthampton):

The band was very comfortable with the material (funny how rehearsing a few times helps that) and thus able to stretch out from there.  Solid set of all-Trinary System material.  Please check out the band’s Web Site.  And here’s their Facebook page (like it if you want!).  Videos and music at both locations.  Hoping to find time for recording this spring, probably an EP.

Store 54. Mar.13, 2015. Photo Sara Billingsley

Store 54. Mar.13, 2015. Photo Sara Billingsley

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Surrealist Frottage shows and Meat for Tea.

Six of Miller’s Surrealist Frottage and Scrawl/Frottage drawings are included in MEAT FOR TEA (the Valley Review), Vol.9, issue 1.  Hard Copy and e-Copy here.  His 20 drawings at the  Meat for Tea event in March (along with Trinary System) garnered much interest.  Likely next art show in August in Hudson River valley, NY.

Meat for Tea Magazine.

Meat for Tea Magazine.

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Camping in June w/Deb.

The Northern Kingdom, VT, 2014.

The Northern Kingdom, VT, 2014.

Heh…. see you all LATER!


Winter 2015

    The Trinary System:

The Trinary System:  Andrew, Larry, Roger

The Trinary System: Andrew, Larry, Roger


Meat4Tea Poster 2015Store 54 poster 2015

The band completed a 3-song demo in November, and plans to record in 2015.
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Upcoming Shows:

Fri., Mar.13, Store 54, Allston, MA

Sat., Mar.14 Meat for Tea Benefit at Sonelab,
142 Pleasant St., Easthampton. MA
Miller is a featured artist at this event as well (see frottage drawing).

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New Trinary System Website:

http://www.trinarysystem.com/

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Fri., Feb.13 at Lizard Lounge, Cambridge:
Miller will be sitting in (keyboards w/electronics) with the improv. group Club D’Elf at The Lizard Lounge.  He’s done this off an on for years and it is always a blast.  Who knows what will happen:  everyone there always find out.

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First Night Surrealist Games:

First Night Surrealist Games 2014/15

This photo doesn’t look that wild, but everyone you see is working on words or drawings or stories in a surrealist manner.

Somewhere between 250-300 people passed through the Surrealist Games tables the evening of Dec.31, 2014.  An older gent: “I’m not playing because I don’t feel competitive.”  Roger: “These games are zero% competitive – it’s the result of all players working as a team that counts.”  Gent: “OK.”  He had a blast.  As did 100’s of others.  The results were not necessarily great art, but every piece produced juxtapositions previously never before on this planet.  A good way to ring in the new year!

As a Composer:

Structure for the Composition Half-Moon Pond

Structure for the Composition Half-Moon Pond

Half-Moon Pond, for string orchestra, was just completed.  The photo above is used to structure the music, which in this case is highly improvised within specific parameters.
Once snow piles up in Somerville, Miller will re-video-shoot the Winter Season for the Davis Square Symphony.  He was hoping to have this completed by last July, but he only recently gained access to a Hi-Def camera – much better for projecting on an outdoor screen while the orchestra is playing along to the traffic in the film.  This is supported in part by The Somerville Arts Council, a local agency supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council.
Scream, Gilgamesh, Scream was delayed last fall.  The right baritone vocalist was not found.  It is tentatively planned for the Callithumpian Consort’s 2015-1016 season at the New England Conservatory.  The final section, Gilgamesh returning to Uruk, remains to be completed.

As a Soundtracker:

Work begins on a soundtrack for a documentary set in New Mexico.  Excellent terrain in New Mexico.
Another soundtrack, mostly sound design, is starting soon for Heide Solberg’s very interesting multi-platform story.  Sound design is in many ways more enjoyable than music scoring because you don’t get “ear-worms” of melodies in your brain when you are going to sleep, just random sounds.  Suitable for hypnogogic trance.

Winter: a time to reflect:

Limited shows by Alloy Orchestra (Mar.1, Hartford, CT; Mar. 7 Somerville Theater, Somerville, MA), and none by Mission of Burma this particular quarter (though their upcoming July 18 gig at Fenway Park opening for The Foo Fighters is certainly curious).


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