When you sign up for a mailing list to get a deep discount on something at the checkout counter, you often end up paying it back … with endless promotional emails you wish would end up as spam and catalogs that go straight into the recycling bin.
Thankfully, our friends at the Lowell Summer Music Series separate the wheat from the chaff. Their emails fall into three categories:
Announcements of new shows coming to Boarding House Park (preseason).
Announcements of shows coming to Boarding House Park that weekend (in-season).
Audience survey of shows you’d like to see at Boarding House Park (postseason).
As a news junkie, I love hearing about the shows that are booked as far ahead of time as possible.
As someone who overschedules his life, I appreciate the reminder of the shows that are coming that weekend.
But it’s that audience survey that sort of empowers me and gives me the feeling that I can influence the next year’s lineup. I got the email late last week that the 2020 audience survey was out.
It’s got plenty of acts who have played Boarding House Park many times, but as longtime readers of this column know, I like to complete the survey with acts who are appealing yet have never been part of the Lowell Summer Music Series.
Here are the 10 acts I chose, listed alphabetically.
Art Garfunkel: I’ve said it before, but he’s half of perhaps the greatest duo in music history and, unfortunately, the other half (Paul Simon) is never coming here so this is as close as we can get.
Blondie: Say what you want about the group fronted by Deborah Harry, but they would inject a level of cool into the Lowell Summer Music Series that is hard to find anywhere else.
Collective Soul: Somewhere along the way, ’90s music became retro and this Georgia-based band fronted by the unmistakable vocals of Ed Roland is the quintessential ’90s alternative rock group. Think “Shine,” “December,” “Gel” and “Heavy.”
Cyndi Lauper: She’s so unusual — and she’s also not in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. She’s actually got three-fourths of the prestigious EGOT with an Emmy Award in 1995 for an appearance on “Mad About You,” a Tony Award in 2013 for Best Original Score for “Kinky Boots” and the Best New Artist Grammy way back in 1985.
Gov’t Mule: We’ve had various iterations of the Allman Brothers Band over the years, including Gregg Allman and the Allman Betts Band, but having perhaps the pre-eminent Southern rock jam band come to Lowell would complete the trifecta. Frontman Warren Haynes, of course, played with the Allman Brothers for years and has played Boarding House as a solo act.
KC and the Sunshine Band: Disco might be long dead, but Harry Wayne Casey gave us so much great music in the 1970s that it would be fun to have a throwback dance party at Boarding House Park with songs like “That’s The Way (I Like It),” “(Shake, Shake, Shake) Shake Your Booty,” “I’m Your Boogie Man,” “Keep It Comin’ Love,” “Get Down Tonight” and “Give It Up.”
North Mississippi Allstars: An underappreciated, underrated Southern rock band composed of brothers Luther Dickinson and Cody Dickinson. Luther had a brief run with The Black Crowes and is a phenomenal guitarist. The music made by the Dickinson brothers isn’t as well-known as The Black Crowes’, but these brothers actually get along.
Rodrigo y Gabriela: It’s hard to describe what their music actually sounds like, but this Mexican acoustic guitar duo produces a vibe that is anything but mellow. Years ago, I saw them at the Orpheum in Boston and everyone in the crowd was jumping up and down in time with the music. This is not coffeehouse music, believe me. It’s closer to an acoustic-guitar version of Trombone Shorty in terms of the party feel.
Squeeze: Difford and Tilbrook, Jools Holland, Paul Carrack … and a LOT of classics. While Holland and Carrack are no longer with the group, the great songwriting duo of Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook are still there. Difford writes the lyrics, Tilbrook handles the music. The sum of their work includes classics like “Pulling Mussels (from the Shell),” “Tempted,” “Black Coffee in Bed” and “Hourglass.”
Tegan and Sara: This Canadian indie pop band was formed in 1998 by identical twin sisters Tegan Quin and Sara Quin. Critics love them, and they’ve built an impressive following over their nine studio albums, picking up a Grammy nomination in 2012. They just released their ninth album, “Hey, I’m Just Like You,” in September along with their memoir, “High School.” It would be fun to see them in the great acoustics of Boarding House Park.
Now it’s your turn. Vote today and await the announcements early next year!