Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Musical interlude

If you have chatted with me online at all over the past few weeks, chances are that I was listening to Movits! on my end.  It has been a couple weeks since they were mentioned on Colbert Report and a friend mentioned them to me.  Their new album was available for streaming on SoundCloud for awhile, and I really got hooked immediately and had it streaming almost nonstop until the stream was removed.  Now though, I just listen to their album on repeat after I bought it off iTunes.

In case you haven't heard of them, Movits! is a trio from Luleå, Sweden that plays a cross-pollinated style that combines hip hop and swing jazz.  Mind you, I speak not a word of Swedish unless you count the bits of food and drink vocabulary that I know, a family friend's gravad lax and pannkakor come to mind.  (I would've also mentioned köttbullar, but the only reason I know that one so well is because of the bag of them I see in my freezer, from Ikea of course.)  Regardless, Movits! are incredibly catchy and inevitably leads to be tapping my feet or bobbing my head.

Thus, when I learned that they would be playing live in Allston, I was thrilled.  After all, I don't expect Swedish bands to show up in Boston frequently.  Although I would not ever go back to O'Brien's unless a fantastic band was playing, I certainly had a rather enjoyable time thanks to Movits!  Perhaps it should come as no surprise, but the energy in their performance was infectious.  By the end of the night, everyone in the crowd (albeit, a somewhat sparse crowd, Monday night and all) was on their feet dancing.  If you haven't given them a listen, I urge you to do so!


If I was lucky enough to start the week off with some awesome music, I closed the week with equally marvelous music.  This past Sunday, I was joined by a few friends at the Waitiki Festival of Music and Cocktail hosted by the Waitiki 7 and Opus Affair over at Russell House Tavern.  Having hosted a tiki party of my own in the past, I had stumbled across the Waitiki 7 while compiling an exotica playlist.  Given the ever-so-gradual emergence from the throes of winter in recent days, I was more than ready to dust off my aloha shirt and put on a lei for the occasion.

I've never been to an Opus Affair gathering before, but when I first arrived, it was absolutely packed with an exuberant crowd.  The Waitiki 7 were already in full swing, serenading us with their lovely tunes, which I found both uplifting and relaxing.  Later, after Waitiki finished their set, Brother Cleve was also on hand to spin some great tunes to keep the party moving.  While Waitiki were great at RHT, I am visualizing a more perfect venue outdoors, sitting in a rattan armchair on a warm summer night, a slight breeze flitting through the trees, and of course, a refreshing mai tai in hand.  Ah well, perhaps that is too much to ask..

Unlike O'Brien's though, I was much happier to be at RHT because I knew good cocktails could be had, especially with Aaron Butler presiding over the bar.  Indeed, I spotted several notable leaders of the local cocktail community partaking in the festivities including Drink's Misty Kalkofen, Drinkboston's Lauren Clark, the Boston Shaker's Adam Lantheaume, and the aforementioned and inimitable Brother Cleve, among others.  Initially, the wait at the bar was 4 deep to get drinks, but I luckily remembered that there was another bar upstairs and consequently, managed to snag myself a mai tai or two upstairs without much wait or fuss.  Also on the special cocktail menu for the night was the classic Jet Pilot, as well as Aaron Butler originals, the Koki'o Punch and the Lokelani Cooler.

As Montanya and El Dorado rums were sponsors of the event, all of the above drinks contained at least one of their rums.  I've always been a huge fan of El Dorado, so I was quite pleased to see them there.  However, I have never heard of Montanya until now.  From what I gather, Montanya are a craft distillery hailing from Colorado that produce both a light and an amber rums.  Though I did not have a chance to sample these rums on their own, I thought they certainly made good cocktails.

Thanks in particular to Aaron Butler, Graham Wright of Opus Affair and Randy Wong of Waitiki of being gracious hosts and for throwing such a magnificent party!

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