Music Roundup: Amanda Palmer, Keith Lockhart, Berklee, The Fixx?
For some odd reason, this was a nice week to celebrate the odd and surprising offerings that our local musicians and venues have for us, from the impressively mercantile to the naturally sublime to the quirkily nostalgic:
Keith Lockhart and the Queen:
Keith Lockhart is off to old Blighty to perform in front of Queen Elizabeth II. That’s right, it’s the Diamond Jubilee — aka the 60th anniversary of her ascension to the throne — and on Monday, June 4, the Pops maestro will be leading the BBC Concert Orchestra at the Queen Victoria Memorial with ye olde Buckingham Palace as a backdrop. Royals such as the Queen herself and her consort, Prince Philip, will be in attendance, and he’ll be joined by classical stars like pianist Lang Lang and soprano Renée Fleming. The concert will be live at 7:30 p.m. in London (or 2:30 p.m. our time), and will be aired on BBC television and BBC Radio 2, but if you’re interested and unable to stream it online, watch highlights from the whole shebang on Channel 5, as ABC is airing a big special featuring not only Sir Keith, but also the likes of actual British subjects like Elton John, Paul McCartney, Annie Lennox, and, uh, Stevie Wonder. Regardless, I’m psyched for him, especially since he gets to come back to the States on July 4th to lead America’s celebration of freedom from those English rat bastards.
The Fixx Play a Hotel in Natick:
Speaking of aging English rat bastards, remember the Fixx? Yes, those early ’80s new wave guys who most people now think were a one-hit wonder with “One Thing Leads to Another.” That’s the pernicious effect of retro radio and VH1 Classic, as the Fixx at one point had many other songs coursing on the airwaves like “Saved by Zero,” “Red Skies,” “Stand or Fall,” “Are We Ourselves,” and my personal favorite, the full six-and-a-half-minute version of “Deeper and Deeper.” Yes, “One Thing…” may still have been the biggest song, but not the only, and certainly not necessarily the best. They’re playing at the Verve hotel (better known to most of us as the Crowne Plaza Natick) on Thursday, June 7, at 8 p.m. Turns out that the Fixx is actually touring around the country, playing vaunted venues like the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn, as well as less-starry spots like the Backlot Bash is Skokie, Ill. Anyway, the show here is part of the Verve hotel’s new Violet Jam series where they bring in a biggish-name band once a month.
Amanda Palmer Raises $1 Million:
As for a recording artist doing something brand-new, there’s Lexington’s Amanda Palmer, the Dresden Dolls diva who pretty much makes the rest of us feel cool just by the fact that she’s from here. Well, in case you haven’t been reading your indie-rock blog, she’s been running a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for her new album, Theater is Evil (her first in four years), and she just topped the $1 million mark. She celebrated last night by closing off a street in Brooklyn for a special public performance. She doesn’t come back here until the beginning of August for a few nights at the Middle East, but for those of us who worry that she’s another local artist gone away, at least one of the new songs is called “Massachusetts Avenue.”
Berklee and Boston Harbor Islands:
And then there’s a relatively recent tradition that thankfully has come back for a fourth year: Berklee and the Boston Harbor Islands just announced that they’re bringing back the monthly concert series on Georges Island in Boston Harbor. In all seriousness, this one of the most sublime things to do in the city during the summer. On Saturday a month, Berklee students and alumni perform an afternoon of concerts at Fort Warren on Georges, and the music ranges from jazz and funk to blues and folk. This year, the dates are June 16, July 21, and August 18, and the music starts at 2 p.m. Go to bostonharborislands.org for ferry info, and then go!