Bradley’s Almanac

[Live MP3s] New Radiant Storm King (RIP) in Cambridge, MA

Posted on May 29, 2011 at 7:16 am | 4 Comments

I have a very warm place in my music-lovin’ heart for Western Massachusetts rock combo New Radiant Storm King, so the news that they packed it in awhile back was sad news indeed. The generally under-appreciated band, which started at Amherst’s Hampshire College back in 1990 and released some killer mid-90s material, had a remarkably creative resurgence in the 2000s, putting out the personal-year-end-faves-list-making albums “The Steady Hand” in 2006 and “Drinking in the Moonlight” three years ago. An email to core guitarists/co-singers Matt Hunter and Peyton Pinkerton last Fall, sent to check on the possibility of a new album or potential shows, brought the bad news from Peyton: They’d quietly called it quits in September of 2009. Their ace website (which had a really cool band member timeline on it) is no more (oh, the loneliness of a 404 error), their discography may never again change, and their Wikipedia entry needs one last update. I don’t have it in my heart to make that edit, though. The only public clue they’d broken up is hidden in their Facebook ‘info’ section, where it says “New Radiant Storm King was an indie rock band…“. Yeah, they sure as hell were.

It was “Phonecall” that hooked me. Not sure how I heard it back in ’93 (probably on WRUV), but the fifth track off their sophomore set, “Rival Time”, had the perfect balance of energy, earnest emotion, and melodic two-guitar interplay to nail my burgeoning US-indie-rock sensibilities. I drank the album deeply, so much so that when time came for Colin and I to put together the first-ever Burlingtonitus festival up in Vermont, I reached out to NRSK and invited them along to headline a night. They played such a great set, and I’m forever grateful that they made the drive up. I’m sharing up “Phonecall” here, something I normally wouldn’t do as it’s not a label-approved promo track, but the album is long out-of-print and there’s no online sign of Positive Records. So here ya go…

[MP3] New Radiant Storm King – “Phonecall

To be honest, I lost track of the band after my late-90s relocation to Boston, rediscovering them with “The Steady Hand”, then digging into the intermittent releases I’d missed. They’ve been on almost as many labels as they’ve had albums, which shows not only their persistence, but their ability to find new homes to get behind them. They had a damn good run, and ended on a couple of very high notes thanks to Darla Records. Grab their final two albums from the links above while you can, and enjoy this live recording of the very last time I saw them, opening for Polvo at the Middle East in Cambridge, MA a few years back. Look below for more songs and videos as well…

New Radiant Storm King

Live at the Middle East Downstairs
in Cambridge, MA
on June 20th, 2008
(opening for Polvo)

[Download all 9 tracks in one 53 MB .zip file]

01. The Winding Staircase
02. Little Ice Age
03. Islander
04. Montague Terrace
05. Soporific Slump
06. Senseless
07. Eraser
08. Clouds Cover Everything
09. Hands and Eyes

  • Go out and track down whatever NRSK albums you can – there are a good number of discs available on Amazon, although the prices vary wildly. There are things to love about every full-length, but of the latter-period, I’d go for “The Steady Hand” first, and for earlier stuff I’m partial to 1996’s “August Revital”. And you certainly can’t go wrong with…
  • The band’s long-out-of-print 1992 debut, “My Little Bastard Soul”, was resissued in 2000 by (the very wise) Wormco Records, and it included an extra disc of demos, rarities, & sonic sundry titled “The Castle”. Sadly, Wormco’s web-store is non-functional at the moment, so you can’t buy direct. Their site does share up a couple of MP3s for your sampling pleasure, so I’ll post them here as well…
    [MP3] New Radiant Storm King – “Every Day Is Mother’s Day
    (from “My Little Bastard Soul”)

    [MP3] New Radiant Storm King – “XANAX (4-track version)
    (from “The Castle”)

  • The band didn’t have many official videos, but here’s one from “Quicksand Under Carpet” off “The Steady Hand”….

    And from their final (*sniff*) album, here’s a clip for “Clouds Cover Everything“…

    FYI, both of these videos were directed by Jay Hollinsworth, whose work recently won him an opportunity to direct a video for a song off the new Foo Fighters record. Go check out his brand new clip for These Days.

  • Long ago, Guided By Voices did a cover of NRSK’s “The Opposing Engineer (Sleeps Alone)” for a 1995 Chunk Records split 7-inch, and you can hear it right here. No surprise that Pollard’s version is excellent, especially given the source material.
  • Check out a couple more of my NRSK photos on Flickr.

    Thanks for all the songs, NRSK. How long do you think we have to wait for the little reunion tour that’ll find you returning more popular than you ever were? Or at least as popular as you damn well deserved to be. In the meantime, here’s hoping we get word of some new musical output from misters Pinkerton and Hunter sometime soon.

    [the fine print] If anyone has an issue with these MP3s being made available, just let me know (my contact info in the ‘nac faq). This live set recorded with a Sony minidisc and stereo mic, converted to .wav and edited to 192kbps mp3s.

    Comments

    4 Responses to “[Live MP3s] New Radiant Storm King (RIP) in Cambridge, MA”

    1. Earthdog70
      May 30th, 2011 @ 9:37 pm

      Just a side-note that Stiff Little Fingers are playing Boston on Wed. Guest guitarist for this tour is John Haggerty (Naked Raygun/Pegboy).

    2. Anonymous
      June 1st, 2011 @ 9:05 am

      And an FYI… you can find “Drinking in the Moonlight,” “Singular, No Article,” “The Steady Hand,” “Leftover Blues,” and “Winter’s Kill” all on the Zune Service if you happen to be a Microsoft Zune user.

    3. hollinsworth.com
      June 1st, 2011 @ 3:06 pm

      A criminally underrated band and a pleasure to work with, to boot.

    4. Andrew Wagner
      June 10th, 2011 @ 3:19 pm

      Hey Brad,

      Great write up on the dearly departed NRSK. I first came upon them in ’93 with the ‘Buy this Used CD’ comp, for which they had the leadoff track (‘Opposing Engineer’.)

      I lost track of them after ‘Hurricane Necklace’ and got interested in them again when I picked up ‘The Steady Hand’ at Amoeba Recs in San Fran for $4.99– an awesome purchase, given that it ended up coming in at #1 on my top 100 albums of the decade. (‘Drinking in the Moonlight’ came in at #10, and ‘Winter’s Kill’ was #76.)

      It was interesting to see the Wikipedia entry propagated to their own band site and to Discogs, seeing as how I had written it. Maybe I should go update it with the sad news…

      Ah well. Always glad to find fellow NRSK fans. Thanks for posting the Middle East set, and if you’re curious, I recently acquired a copy of ‘My Little Bastard Soul + The Castle’ from the Netherlands.

      –Andrew

    Leave a Reply


    Notice: Undefined variable: user_ID in \\NAWINFS02\HOME\users\web\b498\rh.bsearles\wp-content\themes\elements-of-seo\comments.php on line 78





  • Handy links

  • BOSTON-AREA LIVE SHOW ACTION
    Thursday, February 2nd
    Jennifer O'Connor
    Chris Brokaw
    @ Atwood's Tavern

    Thursday, February 2nd
    Ride
    The Charlatans
    @ Big Night Live

    Friday, February 3rd
    Patty Griffin
    Raul Malo
    @ the Wilbur

    Saturday, February 4th
    Dyr Faser
    Tequila Sirens
    Van Chamberlain
    Audrey/Karina
    @ the Loft, Somerville

    Saturday, February 4th
    Black Helicopter
    Cortez
    Z/28
    Mollusk
    @ the Midway Cafe

    Sunday, February 5th
    Major Stars
    Soft Fangs
    Nighttime
    @ O'Brien's
    Saturday, February 11th
    Kiwi Jr.
    @ the Lilypad

    Saturday, February 11th
    Maggie Rogers
    Del Water Gap
    @ Roadrunner

    Tuesday, February 14th
    Bush
    Candlebox
    @ MGM Music Hall
    Tuesday, February 21st
    The EARFULL Series
    with authors
    Douglas Bauer & Laura Zigman
    and musicians
    Colleen Green & Positively Daves
    (featuring the Daves from 0 Positive)
    @ the Burren

    Friday, February 24th
    Waiver Wire
    Early Exit
    Paper Tigers
    Indoor Friends
    @ the Jungle

    Friday, February 24th
    Walter Schreifels
    (Of Quicksand, Rival Schools, etc)
    Kevin Rheault
    DJ Dookie
    @ Zuzu

    Friday, February 24th
    The City Gates
    Iceblynk
    The Spearmint Sea
    @ O'Brien's

    Friday, February 24th
    Elle King
    Red Clay Strays
    @ Roadrunner

    Saturday, February 25th
    Topsy (Hannah from "And the Kids")
    Children of the Flaming Wheel
    Audrey/Karina
    @ the Loft, Somerville

    Saturday, February 25th
    Gramercy Arms
    (featuring Dave Derby
    of the Dambuilders)
    @ the Midway Cafe

    Sunday, February 26th
    Future Teens
    Macseal
    Shallow Pools
    @ the Sinclair

    Sunday, February 26th
    Kula Shaker
    @ Brighton Music Hall

    Monday & Tuesday
    February 27th & 28th
    The Beths
    Sidney Gish
    Hans Pucket
    @ the Sinclair

    Friday, March 3rd
    Pile (LP release)
    @ the Somerville Armory

    Friday, March 3rd
    Arctic Monkeys
    Fontaines DC
    @ the Garden

    Friday, March 3rd
    The "Remain In Light" Tour
    with Jerry Harrison
    & Adrian Belew
    @ House of Blues

    Saturday, March 4th
    Puppy Problems
    @ O'Brien's

    Saturday, March 4th
    Constant Smiles
    @ the Lilypad

    Sunday, March 5th
    Weyes Blood
    @ the Royale

    Tuesday, March 7th
    Clan of Xymox
    @ Crystal Ballroom

    Tuesday, March 7th
    Runnner
    Waveform
    @ The Rockwell

    Tuesday, March 7th
    Elvis Costello &
    the Imposters
    @ the Cabot, Beverly

    Friday, March 10th
    The Sheila Divine
    Tugboat Annie
    Vic Firecracker
    @ the Paradise

    Sunday, March 12th
    Blushing
    Pale Dīan
    Husbands
    Storax Sedan
    @ O'Brien's

    Tuesday, March 14th
    Quasi
    Bat Fangs
    @ the Sinclair

    Thursday, March 16th
    Bruce McCullouch
    of the Kids in the Hall
    @ the Wilbur

    Friday, March 17th
    Dawes
    @ Roadrunner

    Saturday, March 18th
    Hallelujah the Hills
    Eyelids
    @ Atwood's

    Sunday, March 19th
    White Reaper
    Mamalarky
    @ the Royale

    Monday, March 20th
    Bruce Springsteen
    & the E Street Band
    @ TD Garden

    Saturday, March 25th
    Bird Streets (duo show)
    @ the Village Social Club
    inside Garrison House, Brookline

    Tuesday, March 28th
    Sunset Rubdown
    @ the Crystal Ballroom

    Tuesday, March 28th
    The Residents
    @ the Sinclair

    Thursday, March 30th
    The Murder Capital
    @ the Sinclair

    Friday, March 31st
    The Church
    @ the Sinclair

    Friday, March 31st
    Jukebox The Ghost
    @ the Royale

    Sunday, April 2nd
    Robyn Hitchcock
    Kelley Stoltz
    @ City Winery

    Monday, April 3rd
    Tennis
    Kate Bollinger
    @ the House of Blues

    Thursday, April 6th
    Rick Berlin w/Orchestra Luna,
    Berlin Airlift, & Nickel & Dime Band,
    with guests The Sheila Divine,
    Hallelujah the Hills, & Nervous Eaters
    @ Brighton Music Hall

    Thursday, April 6th
    Caroline Rose
    @ the Sinclair

    Saturday, April 8th
    Sleaford Mods
    @ the Paradise

    Saturday, April 8th
    Emma Ruth Rundle
    @ Crystal Ballroom

    Sunday, April 9th
    Bikini Kill
    @ Roadrunner

    Thursday, April 13th
    Andrew Bird
    @ MGM Music Hall

    Friday, April 14th
    U.S. Girls
    Jane Inc.
    @ the Sinclair

    Friday, April 14th
    Widowspeak
    Duster
    @ the Paradise

    Friday, April 15th
    Harris
    Sidewalk Driver
    Stars Like Ours
    Aaron and the Lord
    @ Crystal Ballroom

    Sunday, April 16th
    Peter Case
    Ben de la Cour
    @ Atwood's Tavern

    Sunday, April 16th
    Dead Can Dance
    @ the Wang

    Wednesday, April 19th
    Sloan
    @ Brighton Music Hall

    Thursday, April 20th
    Black Flag
    @ the Middle East Downstairs

    Friday, April 21st
    The Feelies
    @ the Sinclair

    Friday, April 21st
    Fruit Bats
    @ the Royale

    Saturday, April 22nd
    Joywave
    Elliot Lee
    @ the Royale

    Saturday, April 22nd
    Unknown Mortal Orchestra
    @ Roadrunner

    Sunday, April 23rd
    M83
    @ Roadrunner

    Tuesday & Wednesday
    April 25th & 26th
    Built to Spill
    @ the Sinclair

    Wednesday, April 26th
    Andy Shauf
    @ the Royale
    Friday & Saturday
    April 28th & 29th
    The Town & the City Festival
    with so many artists, including...
    Buffalo Tom, Ted Leo, John Doe Trio,
    Vapors of Morphine, Rhett Miller,
    Pile, Dave Herlihy (O Positive),
    Robin Lane, Justine & the Unclean,
    and many, many more
    @ lots of walkable Lowell, MA venues

    Saturday, April 29th
    Lucius
    @ Roadrunner

    Sunday, April 30th
    Placebo
    Deap Vally
    @ Roadrunner

    Monday, May 1st
    Pedro The Lion
    performing
    "It's Hard To Find A Friend"
    and "Control" in full
    @ the Sinclair

    Friday, May 5th
    Fever Ray
    @ Roadrunner

    Saturday, May 6th
    Muna
    Nova Twins
    @ Roadrunner

    Saturday, May 6th
    David Cross
    Sean Patton
    @ the Wilbur

    Sunday, May 7th
    Goth Babe
    flipturn
    Yoke Lore
    @ Roadrunner

    Wednesday, May 10th
    Natalie Merchant
    @ the Emerson Colonial

    Thursday, May 11th
    Chisel
    @ the Sinclair

    Thursday, May 11th
    Graham Nash
    @ the Cabot, Beverly

    Monday, May 15th
    The New Pornographers
    Wild Pink
    @ the Royale

    Thursday, May 18th
    The Pernice Brothers
    perform "Overcome By Happiness"
    (with a string section!)
    @ the Crystal Ballroom

    Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
    May 19th, 20th, & 21st
    Taylor Swift
    Phoebe Bridgers
    Gayle
    @ Gillette Stadium

    Sunday, May 21st
    Blink 182
    Turnstile
    @ the Garden

    Tuesday, May 30th
    Crowded House
    @ the Wang

    Wednesday, May 31th
    Fenne Lily
    Christian Lee Hutson
    @ the Sinclair

    Friday, June 2nd
    Bruce Cockburn
    @ the Cabot, Beverly

    Thursday, June 8th
    Pixies
    Franz Ferdinand
    Bully
    @ MGM Music Hall

    Saturday, June 10th
    Bryan Adams
    Joan Jett & the Blackhearts
    @ TD Garden

    Friday, June 16th
    Steve Lacy
    James Blake
    Toro y Moi
    Fousheé
    @ the Stage @ Suffolk Downs

    Saturday, June 17th
    LCD Soundsystem
    Jamie xx
    Idles
    L'Rain
    @ the Stage @ Suffolk Downs

    Sunday, June 18th
    boygenius
    Clairo
    Dijon
    Bartees Strange
    @ the Stage @ Suffolk Downs

    Wednesday, June 21st
    Wednesday
    Tenci
    @ the Sinclair

    Saturday, July 1st
    Sparks
    @ the Wilbur

    Sunday, July 16th
    First Aid Kit
    The Weather Station
    @ Roadrunner

    Monday & Tuesday
    July 24th & 25th
    Le Tigre
    @ the Royale

    Saturday, August 5th
    Foreigner
    Loverboy
    @ Xfinity Center
    Friday, August 11th
    Glen Hansard &
    Marketa Irglova
    (of the Swell Season)
    @ the Wang

    Saturday & Sunday
    August 19th & 20th
    In Between Days Festival
    with
    Modest Mouse, Lord Huron, Metric,
    Trampled By Turtles, Sunny Day Real
    Estate, Cautious Clay, Yoke Lore,
    Blitzen Trapper, Allison Ponthier,
    Illiterate Light, Slothrust,
    Miko Marks, Weakened Friends,
    shallow pools, Kat Wright,
    Fantastic Cat, Dwight & Nicole,
    Paper Tigers, Dutch Tulips,
    Carissa Johnson, Mint Green,
    Gypsy Moths, & Sweet Petunia
    @ Veterans Memorial Stadium, Quincy

    Tuesday, September 5th
    Beck
    Phoenix
    Weyes Blood
    Sir Chloe
    @ MGM Music Hall

    Tuesday & Wednesday September 12th & 13th
    Death Cab For Cutie
    The Postal Service
    @ MGM Music Hall

    Wednesday, September 20th
    OSEES
    @ the Royale

    Wednesday, September 20th
    Death Grips
    @ House of Blues

    Wednesday, October 11th
    The Mission UK
    The Chamelons
    @ Brighton Music Hall