FROM JOHN LEE HOOKER TO BRAHMS…AND GIORGIO MORODER TOO : LUCA BACCHETTI @ ARC 09.13.13

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Much-appreciated, but seldom Boston-seen DJ Luca Bcchetti, who lives in Barcelona, dropped a 105-minute set at arc Night Club on Friday night. The smaller than usual, but highly committed, crowd got to hear a Bacchetti sound radically different from what he presents in his own tracks. There, he projects a sound twinkly and dinky, high-pitched, with light-footed, often Brazilian beats. At Arc, however, his sound hugged the bottom octaves. The tone was bluesy, the tempo shaggy, the overlays darkly foreboding. The music was sexy and hugged one’s body. It might easily have been a John Lee Hooker performance, were Hooker alive and licking today.

Using a pc program to direct Aerc’s CD players and mixboard, Bacchetti added his own cuts and tool-ins to a set featuring — so far as I could tell — only two of his Beatport Top ten tracks, the Italo-techno “Such a Dreamer’ and his remix of Riva Starr’s “No Man’s Land,” with Carmen Consoli vocalizing gthe atnospheric girl role. The latter track seeks to seduce in the guise of angels, and at Arc it did just that, swirling synth lines and Cinsoli’s lullaby voice breasthing down upon a deep, stomp beat blened with cello-like orcherstration : Hooker meets Brahms.

The mismatched accomodations of blues and classicism continued, as Bacchetti added a cool reverb moog sound redolent of 1970s Giorgio Moroder. Here “Such a Dreamer” took center stage and directed Bacchetti’s program toward ever more intricate mismatches. Tenson aplenty, and there was more, as he broke up the comtinuity of his high-octave sound work, turning the dancers’ attention to it and then, with their ears turned away, slamming the bottom beat into their backside and butt. It is an old DJ move in house music and one that still works.

Cool tones and technical effects dominated the second part of his set. Here Bacchetti sounded more like his track craft than in the first hour, though harsh. If he used his own tracks (and I could not tell), it was in drastically shape-shifted form — sound radically repositioned. All set long he imposed the moment’s instiunmct omn his sound, veering toward the icy razz of ‘acid’ and finally out of seduction’s orbit entirely into a kind of abstract wooziness — intoxication’s after effects perhaps. All of which hallucination he pushed, like a genie, back into its bottle by ending his end in UK Glam, Underworld-ish vocal mode — rock tempo and a full-bodied harmonic as unlike his music of dance gesture as a bottle of cream is unlike a snifter of brandy. The dancers cheered him.

Local DJ Juan D opened entirely in dark bottom, bluesy, walk-rhythm mode, just the right lead in for Bacchetti’s starting point and enough unlike the sound that Bacchetti blasted later to assure that Bacchetti’s journey would be an adventure and not a repeat.

—- Deedee Freedberg / Feelin’ the Music

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BOSTON MAYOR RACE : WHAT THE ENDORSEMENTS (SHOULD) MEAN

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^ John F. Barros, John R. Connolly, Felix G. Arroyo : good news for all three (and for Rob Consalvo) this morning

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Early this morning, two major endorsements in Boston’s exciting Mayor campaign were given. The Boston Globe endorsed John Barros and John Connolly, with honorable mention to Mike Ross and Bill Walczak; the Boston Teachers Union selected Felix G. Arroyo and Rob Consalvo. They join the Boston Herald, which last week endorsed John Connolly and Dan Conley.

Here and Sphere is not going to make any endorsement before the Primary. The Globe speaks of the 12 candidates, by means of multiple wide-ranging Forums, having forged something like a common agenda. That is true; there is less commonality, however, in the major contenders’ bases of support. We feel that all Boston’s voters matter, and that, as many of the candidates have proven that they authoritatively articulate most if not all the major issues, we cannot pick two of them, but not a different two, and thus leave many bases of support on the sidelines.

In the “Final,” with only two contenders running, bases of support will not stand out so sharply. Each candidate will have to build a coalition of many bases of support. each, likely, will have to win votes as well from the other’s support base. Our endorsement will thus not unjustly raise up some political communities and downgrade others.

We also want to see more of how our potential endorsee manages his or her campaign. Mayor is a managerial job as well as one of policy vision. If a candidate can’t manage his or her campaign smoothly, what confidence do we have that he or she will manage the job of Mayor ? That said, many of the likely Finalists have managed their scheduling and outreach commendably — some better than that. Less of them have shown the degree of issue preparation we expect of an endorsee. A Mayor must be familiar enough with every City department, including Inspectional Services and the Public Health Commission (including its smoking ban section), to know what in each of them needs reforming — and what doesn’t; and how to explain his or her reforms convincingly to Boston’s interested voters, and to the department employees.

This matters a lot. The Boston Teachers Union has, by its endorsement of two candidates — Felix G. Arroyo and Rob Consalvo — both polling well out of the Final but who align closely with the Teachers’ own agenda, given the impression that it is unready to understand that dramatic reform of Boston’s public schools is going to happen. The newspaper endorsements proclaim it. The strong poll showing of John Connolly so far proves it. The Teachers’ Union risks, by its endorsement, being left out of the conversation that has been going on for months now — a conversation which it feels threatened by — and has said so.

Wiser it would have been, in our opinion, had the Union endorsed one favorite (Arroyo would have been our BTU choice) and one of the moderate school reformers, such as John Barros, Mike Ross, or Marty Walsh. Other endorsing Unions have done that. Union solidarity is commendable, and no workers work harder or contribute more importantly to society than teachers. But realism is also a necessary skill in the world of high politics and ;policy. Such realism will also be needed by the next Mayor if he or she is to not face serious conflict with the employees of any City department that he or she insists on reforming.

Our endorsement process begins now. Candidates should know that not only our editor, Mike Freedberg, our chief reporter on this campaign, will be involved in the decision. Our co-founder, Heather Cornell, will be equally involved. Cornell is Boston’s most gifted life-style writer and knows as much as anyone we have met about in-school issues, children’s health — both mental and physical, emotional and social education, drug abuse problems, health care and hospitals, and the gap between education and securing a decent job in the work force of tomorrow. Candidates should be prepared to answer her questions — and Freedberg’s — and, hopefully, may even add to their knowledge of the issues from conversing with us.

—- the editors / Here and Sphere

BOSTON CITY COUNCIL ELECTION : WE ENDORSE — AND SUGGEST

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^ Jack Kelly of Charlestown : endorsed

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We have decided to endorse and suggest candidates for Boston’s four at-large council seats before the primary.

Why ? Because the Council race has been pushed aside by the huge Mayor campaign. If we do not turn up the volume on the Council conversation, some very worthy candidates risk not rising above the general silence. So here goes.

We make ONE endorsement at this time : Jack Kelly of Charlestown.

We endorse Jack Kelly because, first, he is as universally trusted a voice for organized labor as we’ve seen in this city’s electoral politics in a very long time. With both Boston’s daily neswspapers taking an explicitly adversarial view of Unions — both public workers and private — a voice for all of labor is vitally needed in the halls of power and at the deciding table.

Second : of all the candidates on our radar, Kelly has run the most city-wide effective campaign. An at-large Councillor must work for, and show, support in most Boston neighborhoods and from a variety of constituencies. Otherwise, why run at Large ? Jack Kelly has done it and proved it with endorsements from nearly every area of the city and with diverse communities of voters.

Third : Kelly has secured these endorsements — and excited voters wherever we go — because he seems genuinely enthusiastic about people politics and by discussing issues extremely well — public health and drug addiction, school reforms, the BRA and more. No wonder Mayor Menino wanted him as a neighborhood co-ordinator (for Charlestown).

Please give Jack Kelly the first of your four at-large Council votes.

As to your other three votes, we offer six names. Five are first-timers listed alphabetically. All merit your serious consideration :

Chris Conroy of Roxbury
Annissa Essaibi-George of Dorchester
Marty Keogh of West Roxbury
Catherine O’Neill of Dorchester
Jeff Ross of the South End

Each brings worthy and distinct qualities well needed on the Council. All share a devotion to progressive or neighborhood, issues. We withhold full endorsement, however, because, as we see it, all of them need to broaden their geographic reach and/or develop support among diverse constituencies. The Primary will tell who has it and who doesn’t. We can’t say it enough : an at-Large Councillor must show that he or she has at-Large strength. It’s a pre-requisite to winning our endorsement.

Our sixth suggestion is an incumbent : Ayanna Pressley. Her, you already know. Her Home Rule petition to give Boston control of its liquor licenses — of which we were skeptical till we heard her explain it — is a must. She should definitely be a powerfully in your consideration when you vote on September 24th.

—- Michael Freedberg / Editor in Chief, Here and Sphere