The quickness with which the Boston music scene has assembled and gotten involved in efforts to benefit those impacted by the Boston Marathon tragedy has been incredibly inspiring. From Michael Marotta and Richard Bouchard’s valiant effort to coordinate a last minute benefit concert at TT the Bear’s Place, raising nearly $8,000 for Mass General Hospital, merely a day after the bombing, to this new 130 song compilation curated by Boston music blog Allston Pudding, the response has been fast and heartwarming. Parlour Bells was happy to provide music to this incredible compilation, which can be downloaded in its entirety for a donation of $1 or more. 100% of the proceeds go directly to The One Fund Boston, to benefit victims of the Boston Marathon tragedy. It’s an incredible value to any music lover, and a great way to use art to aid in the healing. “Airwaves” was inspired by Boston radio, and our beautiful Copley Square, which has sadly become a somber memorial over the past few days, plays a prominent role in the lyrics. And some of the earliest Parlour Bells songwriting sessions took place in Glenn’s apartment in the same Back Bay neighborhood, where he lived for several years. Parlour Bells is honored the song can be used in this way.
Between all the year end lists, feature articles, radio and television appearances, historic shows–and especially all the new friends and fans we’ve made this year, we thought it would be easier to create this simple graphic to share with you and celebrate how wonderful this year has been for us. To everyone who has come out to our shows and has talked to us about their favorite songs, citing them by name, and making us feel truly proud of what we do, we wish you the happiest 2013 possible. Here’s to the brand new good times.
On December 15, 2012, Parlour Bells formally celebrates the release of their second EP, Thank God for the Night. The release arrives at the end of what has been a breakout year for the band. One that would see them through the Rock n’ Roll Rumble and one that would give them the honor of helping send off one of our revered terrestrial radio stations at a historic night at the Paradise Rock Club for the We Want the Airwaves: WFNX Tribute event. The radio-inspired anthem “Airwaves,” borne out of the media tumult of the Clear Channel acquisition of 101.7, was even recognized as a serious Song of the Year contender by The Boston Herald, and it leads off the new record. Thank God for the Night includes six new songs, and among them is the steamy “You Don’t Wear That Dress, The Dress Wears You” featuring the great Dana Colley of Morphine on saxophone.
Primarily a digital release, the band felt unlimited by traditional design, and used the opportunity to offer a full multimedia package. In addition to six new tracks, fans downloading the new EP will receive a Thank God for the Night digital storybook featuring over 20 pages of photography by Derek Kouyoumjian and illustrated by Nicole Anguish of Daykamp Creative. Plus, they receive a 45 minute concert film, Parlour Bells, Live at Redstar Union.
And this Sunday, during the kickoff of their promotional push for TGFTN, the band appeared on Boston Emissions with Anngelle Wood on 100.7 WZLX to announce that a portion of all sales for the EP through December 15, 2012 would go to the DCF Kids Fund for Anngelle Wood’s Spectacular Gift Drive, a two night event that culminates with Parlour Bells’ big 12/15 show at The Sinclair in Harvard Square with Oldjack, Mellow Bravo and Gentlemen Hall. Tickets for the show are available now through Ticketmaster.
Filmed at the state of the art Redstar Unionstudio in Kendall Square, Cambridge MA on 10/11/12, Parlour Bells performed a 45 minute set for an intimate crowd, which was filmed in stunning HD and broadcast live from this audio visual technical powerhouse. Here, the band performs “Airwaves” which has already received attention from The Boston Herald as a strong contender for Song of the Year. Redstar Union is “a community founded on innovation and artistic expression, where creative and passionate people with diverse interests come together to converse, perform and inspire new ideas.”
Binders of women, and men for that matter, turned out to celebrate Radio’s first year of rocking Boston on October 13, 2012. The all-star lineup began at noon and roared into the night. Parlour Bells closed an evening set with the eulogy to radio (the broadcasting medium, that is) “Airwaves.” And the performance was enough to gain this nod of approval from Jed Gottlieb of The Boston Herald: “Parlour Bells’ “Airwaves” is a contender for song of the year. I’d yet to hear it live. Really cool.” The news capped off a week that began in the state of the art Redstar Union Studio in Kendall Square, where Parlour Bells did an intimate performance, which was filmed in stunning high definition and live-streamed to audiences online. Fully produced video of the performance is expected soon. Until then, here’s the “making of” “Airwaves” video which, as a song of the year contender that involved so many notable voices from Boston, would be a win for the entire music community.
The forthcoming release from Parlour Bells will be called Thank God for the Night. The title was unveiled in the first issue of the all new Boston Phoenix magazine.
The newspaper publication recently merged with Stuff magazine and has been reborn in a new glossy format, ushering in a new era for Boston print media. Thank God for the Night is featured among Music Editor Michael Marotta’s list of 10 local pop releases to look for this Fall and will be available in early November.
Parlour Bells also made their debut appearance on The Steve Katsos Showon September 18, 2012. Katsos lives up to his challenge for artists and performers to “follow their dreams” and gives them an incredible platform to do so. The show currently airs in over 13 million homes weekly in the US and Europe. Below is a clip, featuring our performance of “Airwaves” on the show.
Parlour Bells, Paradise Rock Club 6/30/12. Photo by Johnny Anguish of Daykamp Music.
Parlour Bells performed perhaps one of the most important shows of their career so far on June 30, 2012 at Paradise Rock Club. When news of the sale of WFNX broke, the individuals who put the station on the map and cultivated its cutting edge reputation, FNX veterans like Bruce McDonald, Mike Gioscia, Anngelle Wood, Angie C., Greg Wymer, Duane Bruce, Jason Steeves and others, came together to organize a tribute show to celebrate its nearly 30 year legacy in Boston. The event was also designed as a benefit for The Progeria Research Foundation. Progeria is a rare, fatal genetic condition characterized by an appearance of accelerated aging in children.
And while the weeks leading up to the We Want The Airwaves event, coupled with a rapidly shifting radio landscape in Boston, stirred up a fair deal of political controversy, it was in the end the bash everyone had wanted. Actually, it exceeded expectations. By the time doors opened–a little later than expected–there was a long line of sweaty, eager WFNX fans waiting to enter the air conditioned Paradise and get the party started.
At 8:30PM Parlour Bells opened the show to an already packed venue. Seeing entirely new fans clapping enthusiastically along from the balconies to “Heavy Dream” proved that Boston still had a healthy appetite for new music made in her hometown. The band summoned members of “The Parlour Bells Metropolitan Chorale” to the stage for their ode to Boston radio, inspired largely by the sale of WFNX, “Airwaves” and invited the crowd to sing along as well.
The moment underscored the fact that, while one company may retain the WFNX brand identity and another company may acquire some of the station’s premier on air talent, the airwaves always belong to the listeners. And for that night, there were no competitors. Only friends and colleagues with a common passion for using those airwaves for the betterment of the community.
Ultimately, that betterment had a human face. The huge crowd of smiling faces would bring even more smiles, as the event helped The Progeria Research Foundation surpass their annual fundraising goal of $200,000.
On June 21, 2012, Parlour Bells assembled over 20 members of Boston’s music community, including performers, writers and DJs, at Q Division Studios in Somerville MA to sing on the new single “Airwaves” and pay tribute to WFNX radio as it enters its final weeks as a terrestrial broadcasting station. Glenn started writing the song upon learning of the sale of WFNX to Clear Channel and saw it as yet another blow to the Boston radio market (the first one being with the fall of WBCN in 2009).
Shortly after sending a rough demo for “Airwaves” to Nate, the band was coincidentally invited to perform at We Want the Airwaves: A WFNX Tribute at Paradise Rock Club on June 30, 2012. And while they didn’t plan on releasing any new recordings until the Fall, the coincidence prompted them to expedite the production process of this new song so that it would be ready for the event.
While tracking the new mix, Nate heard an opportunity to record a gang vocal for the song’s final chorus. With the goal of having the track radio-ready in time for the 6/30 Paradise show, the logistics of pulling over 20 talented and busy music people into a studio for one night seemed pretty daunting. Yet within an hour of sending out invitations, the responses came pouring in and people from all walks of the Boston music community were eager and excited to help. And because the song is about radio, having DJs Anngelle Wood and Michael Marotta agree to take part in the chorus made the event all the more meaningful.
In the thick of a 100 degree heatwave and during peak traffic time, the singers began filing into Q Division studios. When studio B had reached capacity, Parlour Bells opened up a few cold, celebratory bottles of Cava to get everyone loosened up. After a few toasts and some laughs, Nate began conducting what would soon be known as The Parlour Bells Metropolitan Chorale. After delivering 3 solid takes, it was clear that Parlour Bells had picked the right people to participate.
Kerri-Ann Richard of Apple Betty began circulating a copy of the lyric sheet for everyone to sign as a memento of the evening. The entire process was filmed by Glenn, who then asked the singers to individually stop by a separate room and share some memories and thoughts about WFNX on camera. The result is this 11 minute mini-documentary that is one part “We Are The World” and one part open love letter/eulogy to FNX.
Fittingly, “Airwaves” premiered on the 6/24 installment of Boston Accents on WFNX and then again on Boston Emissions on WZLX. To stay true to the song, Glenn and Nate both listened to the radio premiere on actual “airwaves” by taking in the broadcast from their car radios, respectively.
The Parlour Bells Metropolitan Chorale
Kerri-Ann Richard, Richard Bouchard, Anngelle Wood, Michael Marotta, Chris Mulvey, Lisa Libera, Leesa Coyne, Adam Ritchie, Rishava Green, Matt King, Michael J. Epstein, Sophia Cacciola, Jessica Sun Lee, Adam Anderson, Michael Gonzales, Ken Marcou, Tom Roppelt, Joel Edinberg, Rachel Blumenthal, Sarah Rabdau, Peter Moore