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U.S. Regional and Local Music Scenes
Local Boston Music Scene


The history of the music scene has included Boston, Aerosmith, The Cars, Godsmack, The Pixies, The Lemonheads and The Mighty Mighty Bosstones. Other notable Boston acts include Al B. Sure, Bell Biv Devoe, New Kids On The Block, Juliana Hatfield, Extreme, Armand Van Helden, Letters To Cleo, Luna, Susan Tedeschi, Breeders, Paula Cole and Folk Implosion. Major campuses in Boston include Harvard, MIT, Emerson College, Boston College, Tufts University, Brandeis University and Northeastern University. Publications covering the local scene include The Boston Globe, ThePhoenix.com and BostonMusicNews.com.

See also:

How to start a music project
Tips on how to produce music
Job of a live sound engineer
Affordable ways to promote music online
How songs become popular

Boston Music Acts

Adela & Jude * Amara Love * Andrea Charls * Bella.T * Casey Desmond * Cancer Killing Gemeni * Danielle Mraglia * Eric Shelby * Jada * Jon Robert * Kitarah * Liz Longley * Lovewhip * Matt Romero * McAlister Drive * Nikolas Metaxas * Ria * Ross Phazor * Sheena Melwani * Sahdaya * Sophia Moon * Stanberry * Tapped Out Beats *

Local Highlights

Boston-based game developer Harmonix, famous maker of "Rock Band" software, decided to pay homage to the local music scene with its "Rock Band 4" upgrade in March 2017. The game featured 11 songs by local acts such as Dutch ReBelle, Julie Rhodes, STL GLD and Bent Knee. Songs were used from the 13-song compilation Boston Sessions Volume 1: Beast, funded by The Record Company and overseen by Jesse Vengrove.

The 2015 Boston Calling Music Festival at City Hall Plaza was a three day event starting on September 25. Headliners included The Avett Brothers and Of Monsters and Men on Friday night, Alt-J on Saturday night and Alabama Shakes and Hozier on Sunday night. Other acts included Chvrches, Chromeo, Walk the Moon, Father John Misty, Ben Howard and Nate Rue.

A Boston-based independent film called The Mayor of Rock & Roll explores the dream of becoming a rock star and features figures from the local music scene. The film, written and produced by Brendan Boogie, was shown at the Massachusetts Independent Film Festival at the Brattle Theatre on August 22, 2015. Boogie also plays a leading role in the humorous low-budget 100-minute film, along with Nicole Dessingue. Local imagery captured in the flick include WZLX, the Paradise and T.T. the Bear's Place.

America's second oldest music organization can be found in Boston. It's the Handel & Hayn Society, which celebrates its 200th birthday on October 10 and 12 at Symphony Hall, although it won't turn 200 until March 24, 2015. The society's first public presentation was December 25, 1815 at King's Chapel, which at the time was called Stone Chapel. The founders were Gottlieb Graupner, Thomas Smith Webb, Amasa Winchester and Matthew S. Parker. The society is known for its annual production of Handel's Messiah, which it has performed every year since 1854. In the 1820s the society commissioned Beethoven to compose an oratorio that was never completed. The nation's oldest music organization is the U.S. Marine Band, which was founded in 1798.

The Jamaican Plain Music Festival put the spotlight on regional talent Saturday, September 6, 2014 at Jamaica Plain's Pinebank Baseball Field. Thousands of local music fans attented the festival, which was organized by musician Rick Berlin and Midway Cafe booking agent Shaymus Moyniham. The annual festival was launched in 2011. The first year attracted over 1,000 local patrons, while in 2013 the attendance was 4,000. One of the festival's board members, Charlie McEnerney, has published a guide for other festival organizers and marketers called "15 Steps to Starting a Local Music Festival." You can find a playlist of the 4th annual JP Music Festival playlist on SoundCloud.

Trill is a database for cultural events such as local concerts and plays in the Boston area. It was developed by MIT Sloan student Kathleen Stetson and designer Katy Harris in January 2014. The website, Trill.me, which launched in September 2014, emphasizes underground shows. The site offers recommendations for shows from curators from the local scene.

The Nines Festival made its debut as a boutique festival on Saturday, August 10, 2013. The inaugural event featured Dr. Dog from Philadelphia, Delta Spirit, Shuggie Otis and Explosions in the Sky. The event was organized by Ben Jaehne of Great Northeastern Productions, who wanted to mix music, arts and comedy. The ten hour show was held in Devens, 30 miles from Boston. The event was written about in this Perry Eaton blog 8/8/2013 for WBUR.

Boston artist Leo Lydon made the news by scheduling a musical tour across the country to Seattle, not on a bus, but a bicycle. The adventure spans 3,600 miles. The soulful pop singer/songwriter is 24 years old and went on a similar trip last summer from Boston to Toronto, which inspired his latest album called Spokes on Spokes. This story was written about in this Erin Dale article 7/31/2013 in the Wicked Local Cohasset.

The Calling 2 Festival was a two day Boston concert scheduled for Sept. 7 and 8, 2013. The show mixed r&b, hip hop and rock. Artists included Kendrick Lamar, Vampire Weekend, Local Natives, Bat for Lashes, Solange, Passion Pit, Major Lazer, Wolfgang Gartner, Deer Trick, Gaslight Anthem, You Won't, Flastradamus, Okkervil River, Flume and Bearstronaut. The show was organized by Brian Appel and Mike Snow. This festival was written about in this Dana Forsythe article 8/12/2013 in the Wicked Local Watertown.







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