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Boston Calling

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"A Smiling Parabola of Excitement": An Interview with Jonah Furman of Krill

Boston Calling returns for yet another impressive festival this May and of course, the lineup is brilliant. Along with continuing the trend of attracting incredible big-name talent--this spring’s headliners include: Beck, My Morning Jacket, Tenacious D, and Pixies--Boston Calling has also booked two powerful local opening acts in The Ballroom Thieves and Krill. Recently, I had a chance to exchange a few emails with Jonah Furman, lead vocalist and bass player for Krill. Though the group is known as a “Boston band”, Furman and crew are actually all originally from the suburbs of Chicago. Currently, Furman is the only member who resides in Boston (drummer Ian Becker and guitarist Aaron Ratoff moved to NYC in 2014). Despite the distance, Furman says it hasn’t been difficult to keep the band going.  “It's not tough to practice when you play shows every ten days or so!”, writes Furman. “It’s kind of weird doing a LDR [long distance relationship] band, [but] I don't plan to move to NYC anytime soon.” 

Click here to read an abridged version of the conversation. If you're too busy scrolling through pictures of food and cats on Instagram and want a synopsis: highlights include being offered to play Boston Calling, dealing with unexpected success, and the debilitating effects of consumerism on the world.

Main page photo credit: Ethan Long

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"A Smiling Parabola of Excitement" (cont'd)
- by Dan McMahon (@dmcmhn)


Deli: How did you guys land the opening gig at Boston Calling?

 

Jonah Furman: “They just emailed us with like one sentence & we were like ‘ok’. When I heard Tenacious D was playing, I was sold.”

 

D: Did you guys immediately accept, or did you deliberate about it at all? I know it's much more of a "corporate gig" than most of what the local Boston scene usually gets involved with.

 

JF:  “Yeah, it's definitely a little different for us...we just yeah accepted because it seemed fun and weird... we've played like over 250 shows at this point, so anything different is a big draw, for me at least. I mentally categorize this gig on par with playing at the Phoenix Hard Rock Cafe -- weird as f*** and fun & weird.”

 

D: When you first started playing, were you trying to achieve some success like this, or were you just trying to have a good time?

 

-JF: “Clueless as to the answer here. The only goal I remember having is wanting to play Great Scott & tour to California. We did both of those within like 6 months. so now it's all bonus points. I guess personally, I just wanna keep having varied (though hopefully positive) experiences.”

 

D: You've been over to Europe quite a bit recently--favorite part of any of those shows/travel? Any plans to return in the near future?

 

JF: “It was cool! I mean, talk about checkin something off the list. Never been over to most of those places, so it was cool to see that stuff. The Berlin Wall and all that. I assume we'll be back there at some point, but no plans at the moment. It was nice to see that the world is big & there are a butt load of people who are not you or anyone you know. Driving around America's prettier, though.”


D: 3 things you always need to bring with you on tour?

 

JF: “I personally travel real light. Have eliminated towel & sleeping bag. Trying to up my snack game on this next one. Become less of a lump. Would like to get more games for the gameboy, too. Oh, and a book I never read.”

 

D: Best place you've stopped for food on tour?

 

JF: “Flavor twists just taste better in Mississippi.”

 

D: Your new record, A Distant Fist Unclenching, has gotten a ton of great press recently--was releasing it around the time of the Boston Calling gig planned, or did the Boston Calling thing come up after the release date was decided? You guys must be excited to have all of your touring, the record and the Boston Calling gig coming together at the same time.

 

JF: “Uh, I think it was totally unrelated? I can't remember right now. Yeah, it's cool! I mean, it's funny with the band stuff because you just plan it all so far in advance...there's like this smiling parabola of excitement where getting the email is really exciting and then you forget about whatever it is for like 4 months and then the date approaches and you get excited again. What'd Tom Petty say? The waiiiiting is the boringest part. But yeah, glad to harvest these fruits this May.”

 

D: Have you noticed any increase in support for the band as a result of your recent successes? Has your Boston fanbase been receptive to you guys getting bigger/having to now  "share you" with the rest of the world? I know your release show back in March sold out at Great Scott, so I'm assuming Boston is wicked excited for you guys.

 

JF: “Oh yeah, I mean, internet sh** & more people interested and all that, it's really nice. Really grateful. I know there are bands that are way better than us that don't get the kind of external validation that we've gotten, so it just feels lucky and nice. & I think because it's been a reasonable and rapid-but-not-excessive ascent (or whatever), everyone's kept their heads and there's been no real backlash. Or maybe people are just polite or maybe I'm just oblivious. But I think everyone's just kind of jazzed on the idea of a local band getting a little bit of help & attention from the outside world. Boston loves its exports.”


D: Coke or Pepsi?


JF:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One-Dimensional_Man#Consumerism_as_a_form_of_social_control

 

 

 

 


 
 
 

 

 

 
 
 

 

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Boston Calling Continues to Support Local and National Artists with Blank Canvas Contest

Boston Calling's Blank Canvas generated so much interest and amazing artwork during its debut last fall that festival organizers are launching another contest this May. Artists throughout the US are welcome to submit work that will be displayed as a mural at this spring's festival (May 22-24). According to a recent press release, the choice to bring back the contest was obvious. "[W]e were thrilled with the response we received [last year] from artists all over the country. Their creativity very much enhanced the visual appeal of the festival. We are excited to bring Blank Canvas back this May and further incorporate art into the festival layout,” says Brian Appel, co-founder of Boston Calling.  As the festival continues to grow in size, scope and notoriety, the increased focus on multiple artforms helps to strength the already dynamic event.

The deadline for submissions is Friday, April 10. For more information on the contest rules, click here.

-Dan McMahon (@dmcmhn)
Photo of Boston locals @TigermanWOAH from last spring's Boston Calling. Courtesy of Brendan Bowen.

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Photos: Fourth Boston Calling Music Festival is yet another success

Despite heavy rain pausing Saturday's festivities, this year's second Boston Calling Music Festival – and the fourth overall – was once again a success. What sets the live showcase apart from other festivals, aside from its unique array of talents, is its location: instead of an open field, Boston Calling takes place on City Hall Plaza, in the heart of downtown and dwarfed by the taller buildings surrounding it.

While Saturday’s storm led to the cancellation of sets by Volcano Choir (the latest project of Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon) and mash-up artist Girl Talk, Lorde and Childish Gambino ended the night on a triumphant note. Each given a 50-minute set, the two boasted the most energetic performances and youngest crowds of the weekend. “What you’ve done here tonight … is pretty special,” the 17-year-old songstress told the audience after they stuck it out to see her perform.

Luckily, the inclement weather steered clear of the festival on Friday and Sunday, with Neutral Milk Hotel and The National closing Friday night each with its own brass section, while Nas and The Roots finished off the festival on Sunday. Sunday’s lineup also included punk legends The Replacements and psychedelic newcomers White Denim.

Check out The Deli New England’s photo album from the weekend over on Flickr and make sure to keep posted at the Boston Calling website so you can be amongst the first to swipe tickets for the festival’s May edition.

-Jake Reed (@jakejreed)

Photos by Monica Kwan

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Boston Calling Preps for Sophomore Year

This Memorial Day weekend, Massachusetts-based music festival Boston Calling will be returning to captivate fans in Downtown Boston. Now entering its second year, festival organizers are preparing for their biggest turnout -- and arguably best lineup -- yet.


Co-founders Brian Appel and Mike Snow (formerly of The Boston Phoenix and WFNX radio), have been working diligently since the festival’s inception to create a concert weekend that can satisfy even the most critical of New England music fans. “We try to put a festival together that speaks to the people of the Greater Boston area” says Appel, noting that the festival aims to appeal to music fans all across New England, in addition to its central focus on the City of Boston.

 

Click here to read the rest of this story.


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