Five events to catch at Together Boston festival
Since 2010, Together Boston has provided the city with an enviable concert series featuring some of the biggest stars in electronic music and its club-friendly progeny, electronic dance music (EDM). But as its name indicates, there’s more afoot. The core notion of the festival, which runs May 15-22 in venues throughout Boston and Cambridge, isn’t just to provide a good time, but to illustrate the fertile mix of art and technology intrinsic to current-day Boston, a city that celebrates its visual artists and musicians even as it cultivates a fresh identity as a hub for technological advancement.
Now in its seventh year, Together offers an increasingly robust slate of daytime events, including classes, lectures, animation and robotics demonstrations, a record fair, a family disco, and more. For a complete schedule, visit the festival’s website (www.togetherboston.com), or download the Together Boston smartphone app to keep you organized. And while you’ve got your phone out, add these essential shows to your calendar.
The Black Madonna
A dab hand at disco, techno, and house, the Black Madonna brings riot grrrl spirit to the dance-music ecosphere. As the first-ever creative director of Chicago’s storied Smart Bar, she’s helped to set the pace at a venue that helps to set the pace for the rest of the world. Her manifesto carries weight — sample passages include “Dance music needs women over the age of 40. Dance needs breastfeeding DJs trying to get their kids to sleep before they have to play” — but it’s her spinning that carries the day and lights up the night. May 17 at 8 p.m., Middlesex Lounge, Cambridge
France Jobin + Tim Feeney
Presented in conjunction with Non-Event, the Metropolitan Waterworks Museum, and WZBC-FM, this showcase stretches aesthetic boundaries while taking advantage of the museum, one of Boston’s most awe-inspiring facilities. The program brings together two disparate creators — Montreal sound artist France Jobin, who specializes in location-sensitive installations, and inventive percussionist-composer Tim Feeney, a former Bostonian — to fashion sonic experiences that resonate with the museum’s machines. May 18 at 7 p.m., Metropolitan Waterworks Museum
Giraffage + Negative Gemini
Giraffage is Charlie Yin, a San Francisco producer/DJ whose twinkling synth-pop and bedroom R&B disguise eerie depths. Negative Gemini — Brooklyn singer-songwriter Lindsey French — likewise transforms dreamy pop; your ears can grapple with atmospheric implications, even as everything south of your waist gets moving. May 19 at 8 p.m., Middle East Downstairs, Cambridge
Jon Hopkins + KiNK
Among the premier figures in electronic-music circles, English producer-composer Jon Hopkins has played keyboards for pop chanteuse Imogen Heap, worked alongside Brian Eno and Coldplay, scored films, and released a string of critically cherished LPs, tracks, and mixes. Sharing the bill is Bulgarian producer and remixer Strahil Velchev, whose canny work as KiNK proves that Chicago house truly is a universal language. May 20 at
8 p.m., Middle East Downstairs, Cambridge
It’s accurate to call Matthew Dear one of the most important figures in contemporary music, but also sorely inadequate. Under his given name as well as at least three pseudonyms (Audion, False, and Jabberjaw) he’s fashioned sounds spanning a range from intimate bedroom pop to crunchy, futuristic dancefloor fare — and that’s not even mentioning the essential labels he founded, Ghostly International and Spectral Sound. May 21 at 8 p.m., Middle East Downstairs, Cambridge