So last Wednesday I was lucky enough to be able to see The One AM Radio play and at this point I fell like I'm sending a belated birthday card by writing about it. But you know what they say: better late than never.
So, back to the story at hand. On Wednesday I was able to see Hrishikesh Hirway (A.K.A. The One AM Radio) perform at the Coolidge Corner Theatre in Boston, MA, the night after his latest album, This Too Will Pass, was released to the general public. For those of you who haven't been to the Coolidge Theatre, it's history is rich: it's been around since 1933 and walking inside reveals a completely retro atmosphere that transports you back in time. The theatre primarily shows movies of all types (art films, popular films, independent films, first-runs, local filmmaker showcases, children's matinees, etc...) but on this evening it hosted Hrishikesh and his 3 backing musicians (an upright bass and two tenor saxophonists).
The opening act was a one man band, Animal Hospital, A.K.A. Kevin Micka. Kevin was situated on stage in the middle of a drum kit, a guitar, and a whole bunch of electronic doo-hickies and gizmos, with a camcorder focused on him and enlarged on a screen behind the stage. Using looping, Kevin used his instruments to build up and down, back and forth, with one continuous thread weaving through the 30 minutes or so he was onstage. If techno / industrial / ambient music is your thing, check out this track and head over to his website to listen to some more of his handy work.
Following Kevin was The One AM Radio, who put on an enjoyable, if short, performance. Besides the three backing musicians, Hrishikesh used a laptop to provide backing beats to keep the music in time. Although this kept the songs true to the album and easily recognizable, it also meant that improvisation was limited. About half the set was taken from the newest album (Read about the album here), with the other half coming from previous releases (get them from eMusic here). The supporting saxophones and upright bass sounded wonderful in person and were thankfully not drowned out by the laptop or Hrishikesh's guitar.
The One AM Radio - Buried Below (live) : Live on KFJC 6-10-06 (studio version on A Name Writ in Water)
I would recommend seeing him one of the following dates if he's coming to a town near you:
04 - Stardust Coffee
05 - The Javeline Joint
- Eldon's House
07 - Notsuoh
08 - Progress Coffee House
10 - The Raven
11 - Stinkweeds Records
12 - UC Che Cafe
16 - Fort Oregon [w/ Golden Birds]
18 - Towne Lounge
20 - Yosada House
23 - Electric Snake
24 - Vaudeville Mews
25 - South Union Arts
27 - Lee's House - Tea House