Like any self-respecting citizen, I’ve begun 2010 by making a bunch of promises to myself that may or may not survive the year.
Mine’s a pretty typical list, but I’ve added a twist to heighten the chances of success. Each resolution leverages a habit I already have, which I’m unlikely to break.
Get in shape –Joining a gym is problematic for any number of reasons, but you can become a no-carb couch potato with Wii Fit. With virtual snowboards, tennis rackets and golf clubs, video game addicts now have a purposeful excuse for never leaving the living room.
Stay in touch – Use the Internet to connect with long-lost friends. 2009 will go down in history as the year of Facebook – everyone has an account. Resolve to update your status every day and friends will follow, guaranteed.
Manage money – Go see a local band playing a no-cover show. Many if not most area venues eschew charging patrons for live music. Grab a beer, and don’t be shy about getting on the dance floor.
Dump credit cards – Boycott Ticketmaster, and pay cash for everything else. Concert tickets cost too much anyway, and whether or not the Live Nation merger happens, the evil empire will always be a closed ecosystem.
Save the planet – Go green with music. Stop buying CDs, and resolve to purchase music online. Buy a Roku or an Xbox 360, sign up for Netflix, and watch high definition movies without leaving the house. Or buy them from iTunes – either way, physical media is irrelevant.
Read more – With an e-reader, you can buy more books for less money. Amazon Kindle owners buy and finish more books than regular readers. Here’s a bonus – it’s also environmentally responsible.
Manage time – Watch television on a Tivo (or any DVR). Turn on the set, hit the pause button and return 30 minutes later to start viewing. Fewer annoying ads means more quality time (I know, leaving it off completely means even more).
Do charitable deeds – How about volunteering to be a street team member for your favorite band? At a minimum, support local independent music by buying a t-shirt at a shows or songs from iTunes, Rhapsody or Amie Street (a little slice of indie heaven). Or buy a CD – there are those for whom the disc is a sort of talisman, proof of studio time. Cut them some slack.
On to the rest of the week:
Thursday, Jan 7: Grupo de Rua, Moore Theatre – This fascinating hip-hop dance troupe is unlike anything I’ve ever seen, with choreography that’s a cross between ballet and bumper cars. Led by Brazilian visionary Bruno Beltrão, they employ tripped-out electronica music and inventive lighting motifs for a groundbreaking, taboo-smashing program. Tonight marks the U.S. premiere of Grupo de Rua’s latest performance piece, H3.
Friday, Jan. 8: Without Paris, Salt hill Pub – A Manchester cover band making its first area appearance, with a decades-spanning set list. They apparently spend a great deal of time making up stories to explain their curious name. The best involves a dog, named Paris, who ate too much cheese at a battle of the bands. The four members met outside as they fled the canine gas attack. Without Paris, there would be no band.
Saturday, Jan. 9: Exit Only, Shenanigans – When he’s not singing and playing lead guitar for ace country band High Ground or helping run SRH Soundworks, the great music gear store on Washington Street in Claremont, Mike Oliver sits in with a few other bands. I don’t know a lot about Exit Only; I’m told they stick mostly to a rock groove. What I do know is Mike’s a good guy who deserves a plug.
Sunday, Jan. 10: Nathan Brady Lane, Canoe Club – This is my hunch pick. Lane’s music is described as a mix of original Americana and covers – acoustic blues, folk, country, bluegrass, and rockabilly. He employs looping stations to live layer percussion, bass, guitar, lead, vocals and harmonies – a true one-man band. Historically, Sunday is the most interesting day of the week at Canoe Club, so this could be good.
Tuesday, Jan. 12: David Cain, Jax (Killington) – Fans of Matt Nathanson and John Mayer will enjoy this Connecticut-based singer-songwriter. Tonight he sits in with Jamie Livesey of Jamie’s Junk Show for the weekly Tuesday Night Music Club. Cain generated a lot of buzz with the Neighborhood Band, and this is his only area appearance before heading out west for a show at Hollywood’s Genghis Cohen club.
Wednesday, Jan. 13: Rare Degree, Dartmouth College – This adventurous performance (free, 12:30 p.m. start) features Michael Straus on saxophones, recyclable objects and electronics, with Dana Jessen playing bassoon, squeaky toys, Tibetan bowls and bamboo. Intrigued? The program features original works by Peter VZ Lane, Alex Kotch, Cory Kasprzyk, Matthew Burtner and Jessen.