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Show Crush: Brian Carpenter and the Confessions / Black Fortress of Opium at Precinct tomorrow

May 25, 2011

How did a band get the name Black Fortress of Opium? The short version of the story is that it is much easier to pronounce than Afyonkarahisar. Frontwoman Ajda the Turkish Queen is adept at soaring over the landscape that is constructed by the rest of the band, the live version of which consists of co-founder Tony Savarino on guitar, Joel Simches on bass and Yuri Zbitnoff on drums. Ajda is not only a powerful vocalist but also is a voice teacher of note; she also makes some very interesting and creative use of the mandolin, using it more as a textural element and avoiding all of the instrument’s cliches. Tony Savarino has the distinction of being a top shelf sideman and guitar instructor, and has a solo project where he displays his mastery of any and all guitar styles, shapes, colors and ambiguities. The element of his playing that is most distinctive is his incorporation of all the subtleties of traditional American guitar styles in the context of a modern rock band influenced by all the darker streams in the history of rock. Joel Simches is the original bass player for the band and has returned to the role, and has a percussive style which is no surprise, given the fact that he’s a well known drummer most notably for Curious Ritual. Yuri Zbitnoff has been drumming for some of the more expansive projects in the Boston scene. An interesting element of his playing is his subtle and seemingly effortless placement of notes between the snare and hi-hat, that a “normal” drummer would have barely been able to pull of on just the snare.

A special new band on the Boston scene will close out the evening. Brian Carpenter of Beat Circus and Ghost Train Orchestra fame has a new project called Brian Carpenter and the Confessions which as a smaller, somewhat more traditional rock ensemble, brings out his sensitive side as a songwriter. They were part of an amazing show playing with Copal and Delhi 2 Dublin a while back at the Middle East. The band features guitarist Andrew Stern, bassist Jef Charland, drummer Gavin McCarthy, singer Jen Keneally and violinist Lis Craft.

The venue, Precinct, is distinctive for having formerly been the location of the Somerville Police department, and it is quite possible to party out where prisoners formerly did their thing.

Facebook Event Page
8:30pm / 21+ / $8

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