Tuesday, October 26, 2010

RIP Billy Ruane

As reported in the Boston Pheonix, legendary Boston music promoter and scenester Billy Ruane passed away this evening. He would have been 53 in November.

He was a supporter of the Boston music scene for over three decades. The story "Still Rockin' (Boston Phoenix, Nov 2007)" describes how he helped bring live music to The Middle East club: "Ruane threw himself a 30th-birthday bash at T.T. the Bear’s Place, booked too many bands, and got the family-run Lebanese restaurant next door to pick up the slack."

In recent years, he's been a fixture and impromptu emcee for a series of benefit concerts for Stephen Fredette at The Plough, Toad and others venues. Usually with a drink in hand...

I was at Billy's "Fuzzy Christmas" show at the Plough last December. The music was great of course, but it was really more about the community coming together to help one of it's own. Jim Sullivan (jimsullivanink.com) wrote this article on the show: Another Round of Fine Music for Stephen Fredette at the Plough.

Any good music scene is a community. Boston lost a member of our community tonight.

From the song "Billy Ruane" by Varsity Drag (listen above): "The place just ain't the same without Billy Ruane". 

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Sonic Youth - New Hampshire

Although I didn't go, I followed some of the Austin City Limits Festival online. I've been a longtime fan of the Austin City Limits PBS show and the line-up was pretty good, but huge outdoor festivals aren't really my thing. I'm spoiled for good by seeing the same great bands at much smaller venues. For example, I've seen The Strokes a few times before their hiatus and doubt that an extra 60,000 people would add to my enjoyment.

I read some great reviews of the Sonic Youth set on Friday (and at a smaller venue on Saturday) and later discovered that they had a song called "New Hampshire" on blip.fm.

Johnny Winter
Johnny Winter no-show
B.B. King just turns on
The New Hampshire boys
Steve and Joe
They're gonna lead on
They're doin' it for life

It does mention legendary bluesmen Johnny Winter, BB King. The NH boys, I assume, are Steven Tyler and Joe Perry of Aerosmith. How cool is that?