It is almost upon us.
After months upon months of intensive planning, fundraising, band wrangling and whatnot, BOSTON HASSLE FEST 5 is here. This Friday and Saturday at the Cambridge Elks Lodge, an unholy horde of beastly acts from around the country will take the stage and blow minds (and eardrums) in rapid-fire succession of sweet sweet music. While this year’s performers include a wide range of musical styles and performative approaches, one things unites them: they all push the boundaries of what music can be, and are never satisfied with playing it safe. They are, in a word, ‘experimental.’
In anticipation of fest, here’s a quick peak of some of the pure awesomeness that is HASSLE FEST 5! Feast your ears, and get psyched for tomorrow.
Going strong since ’98, this Providence trio has evolved from power electronics punk to ambient space cadets to gnarled noise demons to sample-happy funked up beat bruisers. Never calm, never predicatable, always a treat.
Led by Uruguay transplant Juan Waters, The Beets make idiosyncratic but oh so sweet guitar driven pop. Not candy polished pop but the K Records style lack of pretension and non-chalanche, with a fun-loving simplicity that belies a hidden depth. ‘Life-affirming’ doesn’t quite capture it.
This midwest hermit swims in a fuzzy haze of charcoal black garage rock, a solo artist with a warped pop sensibility and addiction to a guttural groove you just cant shake.
Prince Rama of Ayodhya
Old school alums of the Whitehaus, this astral pop duo (formerly a trio) mix Hare Krishna cosmology, sparkling synths and 80’s exercise attire into a bold, psychedelic concoction to keep you’re heart severely intoxicated.
Arab on Radar were a noise rock band from Providence who quickly built a dedicated audience for their psychotic blasted shredding, schizophrenic tempo changes and infectiously energetic (and ear piercing) live performances. They are a huge (and often overlooked) influence on noise rock today, especially in the Boston-Providence scene. That band is no more, but from the ashes rises Doomsday Student. They are are different band, but they continue along the same trajectory. Discover a (recent) local legend of the scene.
These DC punks are truly something else. Led by the indelibly charismatic Katie Alice Greer (of Chain and the Gang fame), this all-female group kicks out the jams with a gnarly snot-nosed attitude and laser-focused social criticism that is simultaneously tongue-in-cheek hilarious and bitingly on-point. And they only play all ages venues. Not to be missed.
There are many, many, MANY more incredible bands play Hassle Fest 5, so get down to Central Square tomorrow and Saturday (Nov 8 & 9) and discover something awesome. You’ll have no excuse to feel bored or dissatisfied with contemporary music again.