Hana Zara at Radio Bean and Maryse Smith, Nyko & Vedora at The Monkey House December 31, 2013   Leave a comment

I had a great night seeing and hearing music on New Year’s Eve. I worked until 7, caught a ride home, did a quick turnaround, and walked through the ice and snow to the Radio Bean. I walked in and Hana Zara was onstage playing Lithuania. I grabbed a seat at the bar and let her songs take me away. She played a couple of older songs, like Artist Junkie and The New One. She sang of spells and incantations of The North. She sang of the Dropout Generation. She asked if we wanted to hear a wordy song about a dysfunctional relationship, and the resounding yes from the audience had her play Science Fiction. She tossed in a cover of That Old Fashioned Morphine, and the super quiet audience, with only a little spillover noise from the restaurant next door, was having a great time. Most of the 14 songs that I caught were new songs about a God-like character named Amanda. Some of the songs were a day or two old, and some she has had going for a few weeks. The new songs are strong and the lyrics compelling as usual. I can’t wait to hear the whole saga put together. At the rate she is creating songs, that should be pretty soon. Yea.
After her set, I said a quick hello, and headed back to the old north end for a quick bite of food. Again, the turnaround was quick and I was off walking to The Monkey House. I arrived and Maryse Smith was on. Her lovely voice and somber songs grabbed me instantly. I settled in, found a spot to stand by the post at the back, I mean the front, I mean I’m still getting used to the stage in the back, after so many years of it being in the front. The second song she played had a nice verse and super sweet chorus. She was joined by Kelly Ravin for a gentle country song. His backing vocals blended beautifully. She capped the night with a song that asked What Was I Thinking and that was that. I wish I had gotten there earlier and caught more, but I did what I could.
DJ Disco Phantom spun some tunes until it was time for a guy named Nyko to take the stage. With laptop, effects and a small keyboard, the dapper and suited singer crooned some melodic dance pop. The songs were kind of nice and could have had some build and movement, but were a bit stilted by being played only by one person. He brought up drummer Dan Smith for the last two songs. Despite that his drumming was close to a drum machine, it did add a bit more of a lively spark to the set, and made me think this guy might be pretty cool with a full band.
After his short set, DJ Disco Phantom spun some tunes. After a bit. it was time for Vedora to hit the stage. With a new drummer, they played some new songs and got the place rocking. Terrarium was a familiar friend and Promises rocked. I liked the new songs but don’t have a full read on them yet. Hopefully they will play them out a lot in the near future and I will get to know them. They closed the set with a rocking over the top Sober and ended just in time for everyone to grab some Champagne. DJ Disco Phantom counted us down to midnight. We cheered and drank and welcomed the new year. As he kept the dance party going for the night, I said some quick goodbyes and stepped out the door. I walked down the street to the nice bench, attached the ice treads to my boots and took the lovely walk home. I had a really good time that night and in 2013 in general. I’m excited to see and hear what 2014 will be like. It already bodes quite well. I think there’s going to be a lot of great music this year, and I will catch all that I can.

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