Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Basement Floor Sitting-The Points North Basement Show
The Points North was the first show that I went to when I'd gotten to Allston. It was a positively lovely, clear evening as I meandered around the streets trying to find the house that my friend had given me ramshackle directions to. This, I'd heard, is the peril of going to a basement show--not being able to find it. Either way, eventually it was found; the gaggle of kids mostly in their mid-twenties standing outside with their self-rolled cigarettes, and cheap tall-boy beers was a dead giveaway. I walked slowly up to them, running my fingers through my hair nonchalantly as I asked them who was meant to be playing tonight. "The Points North," they all responded, "A really sweet folk band." And you know what? After I had heard them play, I couldn't agree more. In a local scene where there are far too many players, this New England folk band sticks out far above the rest.
The Points North consists of Christopher North Alspach, Regina Peterson, and Dylan Clark. Walking on stage, Regina Peterson lit up the room with her brilliant smile, light strawberry-blonde hair, and lilting flute playing; Clark, and Alspach stood strongly at her side, obviously grown up sturdy in New England winters and falls. The combination of Clark's steady, methodical and classical drum beats, Christopher North Alspach's strong irish-drinking-song-reminiscent voice, and Peterson's classical soaring flute mix together to make an ethereal sound. Not only do they utilize classical musicianship, they also write songs featuring the mandolin, accordian, tambourine, and bodily sounds (clapping, stomping, humming) which will literally take the listener out of their body and into the open air around them.
In fact, sitting in the basement where I was when I first heard this band, surrounded by a cluster of other people closing their eyes and enjoying the music much like I was was the first thing that confirmed to me that my move to Allston had been the right choice.
I had never been so moved by a live band as I was when I heard their soothing, melodic sounds all pieced together with immense amounts of work. Their newest single "We Have Opened Up!" (available for download at the link) is a tribute created in reverence to their home town of Jamaica Plains, and Boston as a whole. When played in the small, dark basement crowded with friends and old-sofas everyone began to sing along--clapping, humming, or stomping their feet in beat to the music; I found myself, even though never hearing them before, joining along.
Similarly, some of the other songs on their Myspace page, such as "Recycling Song", and "Nut Island" were played at the show, and soon became some of my favorite tunes to listen to when meditating, sleeping, or relaxing. "Nut Island"'s floating, ghostly flute over Clark's steadily beating bassdrum, and the sometimes dissonant harmonious vocals takes me to coastal beaches in winter--somewhere peaceful, elegant, clean, and simple. Just like the band.
This group recently returned home from a tour of Australia, this basement show I went to ultimately being one of their first one's since back. I would seriously suggest looking into them, and seeing them locally (if you're able to) before they hit it big, like they are undeniably going to do.
Photo Credit: Uncle Shoe via The Points North's Myspace.