Secret concerts flood neighborhood

August 12, 2011
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The plan for August Noise, a concert series taking place in JP this month, is to host six more bands at six locations between now and 25—but to find out what bands will be where and when, you just have to wait.

The website for the concert series—www.augustnoisejp.org—lists the dates for the seven shows and the seven bands that will be performing, but it does not say what band will be performing when. The show will be taking place in public spaces throughout the neighborhood, but the exact locations will not be made public until the day before each show.

The first show happened on the evening of Aug. 5 at the Hyde Square rotary. It featured the band Crowd Control playing what the August Noise website describes as improvisational “music directly influenced by the movements and emotions of people passing on the street, whether or not they realize this is even happening.”

Series organizer Beth McDonald, a JP resident, tuba player and graduate student at the New England Conservatory of Music (NEC), told the Gazette that the idea behind the mysterious concert series is to expose JP residents to new sounds.

“I don’t want it to be like, ‘Tonight, a bluegrass band is playing, and I don’t like bluegrass.’ I want people to go to the show and discover that they kind of like bluegrass,” she said.

McDonald said she is hopeful that passersby will also be attracted by the public performances.

The lineup for the seven-show series includes groups that play rock, jazz, classical and Americana.

McDonald’s own band, The Linderbomber Fleet, includes violin, tuba accordion and guitar. McDonald said their repertoire includes tunes by They Might Be Giants and Duke Ellington, but declined to say where and when they would be performing.

Most of the bands are made up of JP residents who study at the NEC, she said.

McDonald said she came up with the idea for the concert in an NEC class she was auditing on music marketing and entrepreneurship. She received a $1,000 grant from NEC to put on the series.

When the Gazette spoke to McDonald prior to the Aug. 5 show, she said she was still trying to work out permitting issues. She declined to comment on the record about the permitting process.

The next August Noise show is Saturday, Aug. 13 at noon. The show location will be available at the August Noise website on Aug. 12.

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