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Mid-Week Beat: Northeast/west

Music >

This week on the Mid-Week Beat, Victor Chovil, one of our East Coast Representatives, features one group from the Northwest that is touring the Northeast, one artist from the Northeast that has relocated to the Northwest and one artist from the Northwest that’s relocated to the Northeast. Got all that? Hope so. Either way, these are incredible musicians that we’re proud to be working with. Check ’em out.

The diverse team at Brown Paper Tickets is passionate about many things, but I’m willing to bet most of us love music. Many of us also have a lot of love for the Pacific Northwest. Since moving to New York City from Seattle, I’m constantly keeping an eye out for my favorite Northwest artists as they make the rare trek east. Some are touring, some have re-located out here and some have re-located from here to the Northwest.

So, in celebration of my personal affinity for our country’s two northern coasts, here’s a set of upcoming independent music artists that have roots in both:

The Doubleclicks

The Doubleclicks are a pair of sisters from Portland, Oregon who play cello, guitar and ukulele and write songs that are all at once snarky, geeky and sweet. They’ll be playing in Somerville, Massachusetts next Tuesday, June 18 at The Armory. If you’re in the area, we highly recommend you pick up tickets and catch this unique duo.

Since starting their band in 2011 with a weekly new-song YouTube project and the animated music video for their Dungeons & Dragons love song, The Doubleclicks have toured their clever brand of folk music around the country, usually in comic shops, game stores or in their fans’ living rooms. The duo has also performed at w00tstock shows with Paul & Storm and Wil Wheaton, and entertained audiences at pop culture, gaming and sci-fi conventions.

The duo’s first full-length album Chainmail and Cello (2012) intones the life and loves of the geek girl – with songs about love, Velociraptors, and Pride & Prejudice. They also released a CD of their music for kids called Worst Superpower Ever in 2012. That same year, the Doubleclicks also persevered through the year-long Song Fu 2012 monthly songwriting challenge as a featured artist, wrote the official theme song for party game Cards Against Humanity, and released a 5-song Christmas EP and a music video for their Hobbit Christmas song which received over 14,000 views on YouTube.

Their 2013 album Lasers and Feelings is slated to be released this summer and will feature the sisters’ first recordings with a full band. Here’s their first video from the upcoming release.

Chris Pureka

Chris Pureka is a New England native on tour later this month with a stop at The Green Frog in Bellingham, Washington on Sunday, June 23rd. Get your tickets here before they’re gone!

Chris is an artist of substance, armed with a sharp eye for oft-missed details and an emotional intelligence that can switch from withering to compelling with a subtle inflection. She recently re-located to Portland, Oregon on New Year’s Eve 2012 after touring the US for the last 10 years and Europe for the last three. She had crisscrossed the states sharing the stage with such artists as the Lumineers, Sera Cahoone, Y La Bamba, Martin Sexton and Ani DiFranco. But aside from a yearlong stint in Brooklyn, she had never lived anywhere outside her native Northampton, Massachusetts. She’d always loved Portland, though, home to one of the strongest creative communities in America. Within months she had a new house, a new garden, a new dog and new inspiration. She had a new place to call home. From here, she begins the next chapter of a career built on independence and intimacy.

Pureka’s latest yet-to-be-released album, Chimera II, is an expression of transition, collecting seven tracks old and new, borrowed and original. Like its predecessor, it’s both a coda and prelude, an assortment of songs that are vital and revealing and yet don’t quite fit within the focus of her full-length albums.

Available June 25, Chimera II is Pureka’s fifth release on her own Sad Rabbit Records. Here’s the video for “Old Photographs” off the new release.

Jenee Halstead

Singer/Songwriter Jenee Halstead is performing next Thursday, June 20 at the Lizard Lounge in Cambridge, Massachusetts and you should definitely pick up some tickets right over here.

Jenee is a Spokane, Washington native and daughter of hippie parents who let her find her own direction. She wrote quietly on her own for years, moving from place to place: Spokane to Seattle to nowhere Alaska, before moving to Boston in 2007. She collected all of her songs into what would become her first release The River Grace.

Heading into the studio to record her latest release Raised By Wolves, Jenee Halstead arrived at an awkward conclusion:  she needed to throw away all of her songs.

“I had been thinking a lot about the wild — about instinct and intuition”, Halstead says. “I knew that I wanted to capture these ideas on this album but I just wasn’t sure how it would happen. Once I got to the studio and played through the songs, the answer seemed obvious.”

Halstead decided to scrap all but two songs and in ten days, she and Evan Brubaker (producer of The River Grace) wrote and tracked nine new tunes, including “Rodeo of Sadness” and “Never Another”, inspired by Elliot Smith’s last moments. The result is Halstead’s most personal and ambitious recording thus far. A recording that reclaims the careless freedom of her childhood with a sense of wonder that is unique and fiercely engaging.

Here is a great live version of “So Far So Fast” from Raised By Wolves recorded at Club Passim.