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On the Radar

By Christopher A. Kukstis, Crimson Staff Writer

Friday, Feb. 25. The Futureheads. With The Shout Out Louds and High Speed Scene. 18+. 9 p.m. Paradise Rock Club, 967 Commonwealth Ave., Boston. $10. Tickets available through Ticketmaster.

The Paradise Rock Club is the perfect size for Sunderland, U.K.’s Futureheads: an ambitious pick, the club can certainly pack more than the Middle East or TT’s (where they played last November shortly after the release of their album), but at the same time it doesn’t approach Avalon or Roxy-like sizes either. That’s just the right size for the band who dropped a self-titled debut late last October jam-packed with angular hooks and shout-outs to the last twenty years of alternative music. While there were certainly better records released in 2004, the Futureheads were one of the few completely new artists hitting the scene, and since the debut, the buzz over these guys has steadily grown as something to watch. The Futureheads was produced by Andy Gill, one of the original Gang of Four, and it’s an appropriate fit: in the same way that American bands of this young return to rock look back to Television, the Brits have Gang of Four, and their influence is rife over the sound, a slightly more European take—complete with British Invasion harmonies—on modern rock. The first track, after all, is called “Le Garage,” (French for, you guessed it, “The Garage”). Last year they hit the road with Franz Ferdinand, and not much later they’ve got their own headlining tour, attempting to conquer the U.S. after winning so many hearts in the U.K. For the brightest of British buzz, no other show this week will suffice.

50 Years of BSO

Wednesday, March 2. An Open Rehearsal with Conductor Leonard Slatkin. Open rehearsal of Bach Society Orchestra in honor of 50th anniversary. 8 p.m. Sanders Theater. Free.

The Office of the Arts (OFA)’s Learning From Performers series continues with the visit of Maestro Leonard Slatkin, Music Director of the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, D.C. This event is one of many intimate events put together by the OFA this semester in a series whose other guests will include turntablist DJ Spooky and playwright Tony Kushner. Slatkin has enjoyed abundant critical praise in the last two decades as a premiere conductor, with successful tenures at both the St. Louis Symphony and the BBC Symphony Orchestra. He has been with the National Symphony Orchestra for nine years, and in that time has been crowned with the country’s National Medal of the Arts and a Grammy award for Best Classical Recording.

On Wednesday he joins with Harvard’s Bach Society Orchestra for a rehearsal open to the public in honor of BachSoc’s 50th anniversary. The program will consist of Debussy’s “Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun,” Harbison’s “The Most Often Used Chords,” and Stravinsky’s “Pulcinella.” Since the 1954-55 school year, the Bach Society has been Harvard’s premiere chamber orchestra, specializing in chamber music and mid-sized symphonies, and popular for their annual campus Concerto and Composition Contests. Slatkin will be under the scrutiny of the public as he rehearses with the Society, in an open rehearsal that will give visitors a unique chance to see the interaction between a practicing ensemble and a master of his craft attempting to guide them. Admission is free and a rare chance to catch the universally-lauded orchestra in rehearsal mode, without the perfected precision the ensemble tends to stick to in concert.

—Christopher A. Kukstis

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