Category Archives: Entertainment

Eyes on Youtube: Musicians Seek Major Changes

Remember back in the day when musicians were banding together against services like Pandora and Spotify?

These days the music worlds attention is focused on Youtube, claiming the service doesn’t pay enough royalties. There is a demand to change the law that allows Youtube to operate this way, highlighting the need to track every dollar as listening habits transition to streaming vs. download.

Katy Perry, Billy Joel, Pharrell Williams Bon Jovi and many other big names in the industry have signed letters asking for copyright law modification. Prominent managers like Irving Azoff has also criticized Youtube in multiple instances.

Somehow, despite Youtube’s massive audience, they appear to produce less direct income for musicians than the likes of vinyl record sales – which is a relatively small market. And while Youtube does act as a mechanism to promote music, it is also an ‘easy way out’ – not providing a substantial source of revenue for anybody…but Youtube.

As we speak, major record labels are in the midst of renegotiating their contracts with Youtube. It will be an interesting story to follow. We all know the music industry is behind the times when it comes to keeping up with technology – maybe this is the start of that changing.

10 Must-See Concerts in Boston this month

Quite a few must-See concerts in Boston this month! A large variety of talent is making it’s way to town, are you going to see any of these shows?

1. The Cure – to perform over four decades worth of music you love!  Catch them Thursday June 16th, 7:30 Agganis Arena ($17.50-$77.50)

2. Aesop Rock – June 17th, 8pm at the Paradise Rock Club ($20, 18+) – following the release of The Impossible Kid, Aesop Rock returns to Boston to perform with Rob Sonic and DJ Zone. Don’t miss it!

Must-See Concerts in Boston


3. Brian Wilson – You won’t want to miss this Beach Boy’s icon performing with the Boston Pops! This chance doesn’t come around every day! Friday/Saturday performances – June 17/18th- 7pm at Symphony Hall

4. Deerhoof – In anticipation of the bands next album, The Magic (which comes out the same night of this show) – Deerhoof will be performing Friday, June 24th at Brighton Music Hall, 8pm ($16, 18+). Avid fans won’t want to miss out!

5. Bearstronaut *Local Gem!* – If you haven’t seen or heard of Bearstronaut, you should check them out! They’ll be celebrating the release of their new record Telecoast Friday June 10th at the Sinclair, 8pm ($12, 18+) Must See Concerts in Boston

6. Motion City Soundtrack– Two decades worth of loyal fans are sure to be present at the two shows (the first is sold out) at the Paradise. Tickets are still available for Monday, June 13th ($30). This So Long, Farewell Tour is in fact, their final tour. If you’ve been itching to catch a show before they’re gone this is your chance!

7.  Ellie Goulding– Do you follow commercial pop music? If so you’ve definitely heard Ellie Goulding on multiple hit records recently. Check her out Wednesday, June 15th at TD Garden, 7:30pm ($25-55).

8. Beyonce – “Queen” Beyonce will be dancing her way to Gillette Stadium Friday, June 3rd at 8pm ($50-$310.. but we’re guessing this is sold out?). She’s had quite a controversial year, and will be rolling into town with her Formation World Tour in just a few days!

Must-See concerts in Boston9. Ceelo Green– Soulful singer Ceelo will be performing many of his catchy hits at the Paradise Rock Club – Friday June 10th, 7pm ($25).  This is a great venue to see such a huge talent!

10. Leann Rimes- A fixture on the music scene since her debut in 1996, Leann will be performing at the Wilbur Theatre on Thursday, June 9th (doors at 7pm).  In light of her recent release, Spitfire- her set is expected to feature many new tunes as well as the classics you expect to hear.



Local artist White Hinterland sues Justin Bieber/Skrillex for Copyright Infringement

If you listen to mainstream radio, chances are you have heard Justin Bieber’s latest hit song, “Sorry”. The industry was shocked to learn last night that White Hinterland (a local artist from Scituate, MA) is suing Justin, Skrillex and his producers for infringement.

Casey Dienel (White Hinterland) claims a vocal riff from one of her most popular songs, “Ring the Bell”) was sampled without permission and used in the hit song.  On Thursday evening, Dienel went public: “Like most artists that sample music, Bieber could have licensed my song for use in ‘Sorry’. But he chose not to contact me. After the release of ‘Sorry’ my lawyers sent Bieber a letter regarding the infringement, but Bieber’s team again chose to ignore me. I offered Bieber’s team an opportunity to have a private dialogue about the infringement, but they refused to even acknowledge my claim, despite the obviousness of the sample”.

Overnight the story went viral and fans across the world of both White Hinterland and Bieber picked which side they were on. However on Friday afternoon, Skrillex took to Twitter to claim his innocence. He posted a video featuring a raw track from singer named Julia Michaels and provided a short tutorial as to how he created the vocal riff in question.

How to know which acoustic guitar is right for you

How to know which acoustic guitar is right for you…. Oh the choices! If you’re in search of a new acoustic guitar, do you know how to determine which is the right one for you? The market is flooded with all kinds of types and styles which can be discouraging to those who don’t necessarily know where their preferences lie.

Whether you’re a traveling artist relying on backline companies around the country to supply your gear- or you’ve just learned how to play and want to invest in your first guitar… it’s always important to know what to look for when you’re about to spend money on an instrument. After all, your connection with your guitar is a very personal one that should inspire you to play it for many years.

1. Skill Level

Understanding your skill level is the first step to making sure you end up with the right guitar for you. If you’re a new player, you should know right off the bat that it may not be in your best interest to invest in a high end model.

If you are a seasoned performer, then chances are by now you know what you have and haven’t enjoyed on the best guitars you have played thus far.  Be sure to reflect on your experiences with the different brands and styles you’ve come across so you can slowly add or eliminate features throughout your search.

2. Purpose

Will you be on the road, playing shows with your band every night, participating in open mics and performing out in the open for people on the regular? Or will you be more of a casual “play at home” musician-  a hobbyist if you will?

If you’re asking, “why does this matter?”- the answer is simple. If you intend to be out and about performing for the masses, you may be better of investing in an acoustic-electric rather than a standard acoustic.  It is best to understand what your intentions will be with your instrument before making a purchase (or rental) so you can get the most out of it for what you need. The last thing you want is to realize you didn’t make the right call and have buyer’s remorse!

3. Budget

Some may say budget is the first and most important aspect to the purchase (or rental) process- which in some respects is very true… however, one thing to consider is the potential return. For example, if you’re an experienced player out to upgrade from the guitar you currently have-  consider the money you may be earning from your performances when determining your budget.

Some simple math will help you reason with yourself – if it will take you 10 paying gigs to pay off the cheaper guitar, and 20 paying gigs to pay off the better, more expensive one- it’s time to weigh your options. What is most important to you? Saving a few bucks or spending a little more to get you the perfect fit? Also, stay realistic. If there is a way to end up with 9 out of 10 features while still playing nice with your wallet- go for it.


4. Body

So you’ve addressed your skill level, determined the purpose, and have a basic sense of how much you can spend. Now it’s time to get into the specifics. Though acoustic guitars share the same basic design and construction, there are many different factors that differ their playability and sound.

It is important to pick a guitar that will not only feel comfortable to hold and play, but one that also has the sound you are looking for. Body style, neck width and length are all crucial variables in your search for the right instrument. The body is made up of the soundboard, which is supported by internal bracing; the sides and the back -which create a hollow chamber. Key terms that also help describe the body include: upper bout (upper body curves), lower bout (lower, larger body curves) and the waist (area between them). The soundhole is aligned with the waist and is where the sound is projected through the instrument. Strings are mounted at the bridge (which transmits string vibrations to the top – creating sound) with pins which hold them in. A saddle helps space out the strings- usually made of bone or plastic.

The body of a guitar is constructed more or less the same but different curves, styles, and shapes will have the potential to alter your playing experience. Popular acoustic guitar styles are:

  • Concert & Grand Concert
  • Auditorium & Grand Auditorium
  • Dreadnought
  • Jumbo

The thickness and width of guitar necks can vary- and though they won’t much affect the sound they will greatly influence your comfort level. Acoustic necks are usually 12 or 14 fret – (referring to the number of frets above the body, not total).  If you have small hands you will want to look for a smaller diameter neck.

5. Sound

As you browse through your options you will notice reference to many different woods used on various parts of the guitar. If you are a seasoned player you probably already know what types of wood help produce the sound you are looking for. If you’re a beginner, take a look at some of the different woods below:

  • Cedar   – A soft wood, produces bright tone. Quick response, best for light playing techniques. Common top wood for classical/flamenco guitars, also  used for sides & backs.
  • Ebony– Strong, slick feel & a great fretboard material.
  • Granadillo– Scarce – type of rosewood but denser. Known for being used for marimba bars. As sides/backs of guitars a clear ringing tone is produced.
  • Koa– Hawaiian wood- golden color- used for all parts of body. Generally found on expensive guitars as the wood is scarce.
  • Mahogany– Dense wood, resulting in slower response rate. As a top wood, a strong sound is produced w/ high-end tones. Known to be best with country/blues. More often used for sides/backs to add “snap”.
  • Maple– Usually for sides and backs. Produces more of a dry tone- low response rate.  Lower resonance makes it a good fit for live performance settings.
  • Rosewood  Rich overtones, great projection- articulate sound. A very popular choice for fingerboards and bridges.
  • Spruce– Standard for acoustic tops. Strong but lightweight- great resonance and clarity. Many different species of spruce are used, each with their own unique tonal colors.

Strings also have a huge role in the sound of the guitar. Nylon strings produce a soft, mellow tone. You will often see them used in classical or flamenco guitar playing- and some folk music. It’s important to note classical guitars have a wider neck and shorter fretboard. I would suggest purchasing a classical guitar only if your genre of music fits into the description. Steel strings are most common and are typically heard in rock, country and pop music. They are significantly louder and brighter than Nylon.

At the end of the day, you will know what best fits your style. Just be sure to look around, do extensive research- and be patient! No sense rushing into such an important process. You will want to be happy with your purchase. Good luck!

Boston Calling – May 2016 Line Up

If you’re from Boston and are into music festivals, chances are you’ve already done your research on the upcoming Boston Calling Music Festival for May 2016. If you’re living under a rock (since tickets went on sale January 15th on however- this post is for you.

The biannual festival is set to take place Memorial Day weekend May 27th-29th at City Hall Plaza. At first glance, the lineup appears to be stacked with big names including Australian Pop singer Sia, Swedish popstar Robyn and electronic duo Disclosure. Other notable highlights include Janelle Monáe, Sufjan Stevens, Courtney Barnett and sister trio Haim.

The full lineup:

Sia – Disclosure – Robyn- Odeza

Sufjan Stevens – Haim – Miike Snow

Janelle Monae – City and Colour – Courtney Barnett

Elle King – The Front Bottoms – Børns

Charles Bradley and his Extraordinaries – The Vaccines

Vince Staples – Battles – Unknown Mortal Orchestra

Christine and the Queens – Lisa Hannigan and Aaron Dessner

Lizzo – Palehound – Michael Christmas

Charli XCX – Boston 2014

We had a great time providing sound & lighting to Charli XCX for one of her recent shows in Boston!

Robin Williams.

Robin Williams Death

It wouldn’t feel right to not acknowledge the loss of the amazing Robin Williams. There isn’t much to say that hasn’t been said, but I know I speak for many when I say he will live on in Boston- specifically in the places where he filmed Good Will Hunting. We send out our condolences to all friends, colleagues, family and fans of him who are feeling this devastating loss.

Boston News, Weather, Sports | FOX 25 | MyFoxBoston

“You know what music is? God’s little reminder that there’s something else besides us in this universe; harmonic connection between all living beings, everywhere, even the stars”  

-August Rush (Robin Williams as “The Wizard”)


Related articles around the web:

-Robin Williams remembered as a brilliant actor and comic, with a dark side – Fox News

‘Good Will Hunting’ Bench in Boston Public Garden becomes Robin Williams Memorial –

Depression is a Murderer. RIP Robin Williams – The Good Men Project

Robin Williams, an Improvisational Genius, Forever Present in the Moment – NY Times

Robin Williams Dead; Family, friends and fans ‘totally devastated’ –


If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide, please call one of the 24-hour crisis hotline numbers below right away:

Samaritans Statewide Hotline: 1-877-870-HOPE (4673)

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255); Press # 1 if you are a Veteran

Artist Interview: Denny Dias – David Friend Recital Hall

Check out this interview with Denny Dias of Steely Dan, while sporting a Bergsten Music shirt!

Returning in July: The Levitate Music Festival 2014

On July 12th, the Marshfield Fair grounds will again, serve as the venue for the second annual Levitate Music Festival. This day long event will feature local artists, crafters and food trucks as well as an impressive lineup of musicians.

A family-friendly event, attendees can expect plenty activities for their little ones as they enjoy the delicious food and featured artwork. Bring some folding chairs or blankets to sit on and enjoy the experience!

Steely Dan guitarist Denny Dias plays Berklee concert July 18th, will feature Lisa Jason and Bellevue Cadillac’s Andy Bergsten

Originally posted @

By  on June 18, 2014

Andy&DennyBass player Andy Bergsten, from Bellevue Cadillac, has announced he will be playing with Steely Dan co-founder Denny Dias and vocalist Lisa Jason at the David Friend Hall at Berklee College Of Music on July 18th. Booked as “Denny Dias Of Steely Dan, Introducing Lisa Jason,” the show will no doubt offer many Steely Dan favorites.

Dias was the founding member of Steely Dan, who, in 1971, placed an ad in the Village Voice for a keyboardist and bass player. The ad was answered by none other than Walter Becker and Donald Fagen, hence giving birth to Steely Dan. Dias was the primary guitar player from their beginning until the Aja album, which was when he left the band.

Bergsten and Boston vocalist Lisa Jason recorded a 1999 album which included some of Dias’s newer originals. Ms. Jason has recently been on a mission to get Dias’s Steely Dan history more recognition.

“We’ll be playing some old Dan stuff as well as some of the originals that haven’t been recorded yet,” Bergsten said.

A legendary guitarist, Dias recorded on Steely Dan albums, Can’t Buy a Thrill, Countdown to Ecstasy, Pretzel Logic, Katy Lied, The Royal Scam and Aja. He is well known for his guitar solos for “Do It Again”, “Bodhisattva”, and “Your Gold Teeth ll”.

A diverse musician, Dias, in 1991, joined the band Toto on their Summer Festival Tour. In 1992, he performed, in Los Angeles, in a tribute to Jeff Porcar, playing alongside such legendary musicians as Michael McDonald, Don Henley, Donald Fagen, Boz Scaggs, Eddie Van Halen, George Harrison and David Crosby. Dias has recently been playing with Spanky And Our Gang.

LisaJasonIntroducing Lisa Jason who has been called “a breakout performer,” by Stephen Hanks, of Cabaret Scenes in New York City. She has also been written up in Boston publications: “Behind her petite 5’2 100 lb. (soaking wet) frame lays a powerhouse artist with an astounding vocal talent and a dynamite stage presence,” wrote John Amodeo of the Edge in Boston.

Ms. Jason is a nationally acclaimed singer/songwriter and her one woman shows have earned rave reviews from Provincetown to New York, Washington to the Caribbean. She has worked with the original cast of the Jersey Boys, Huey Lewis and the News, KC and the Sunshine Band, Otis Day, The Bonnie Raitt Band, John Cafferty, Mighty Mighty Bosstones, The Hooters, and many more.

She began collaborating with Dias on several recordings of his new music. She also collaborated with famed sound engineer Dinky Dawson on her second CD “Matter of Time”, featuring songs from artists, Dee Dee Stewart, David Pac, Ambrosia, Harriet Schock, and The Mamas and Papas.

A multi-faceted artist, she has been a featured singer with the Cape Cod Symphony, The No Rules Theater Company in Washington, DC, and she performed the National Anthem at Fenway Park. Her award winning song, Beautiful Child was adopted by The March Of Dimes, for their Northeast campaign efforts.

Ms. Jason and Mr. Dias are currently collaborating on a new CD, and are planning to tour in the near future. For information on their July 18th Berklee appearance, please visit: