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Blake Hazard
On the move

Anyone who knows Blake Hazard and John Dragonetti can vouch that they aren’t just a pair of respected local musicians — Hazard as a solo artist, Dragonetti as a busy producer and leader of the band Jack Drag. They’re also known as two of the nicer people on the local circuit. So though it’s sad that the couple left town for the West Coast this week, at least it means that the friends they left behind will now have a floor to sleep on in LA.

Always understated in her music, Hazard played a farewell show to match. Instead of using a band, as she’s done lately, she played solo acoustic for the early-evening opening slot at John Wesley Harding’s Middle East gig last Saturday. Most of the songs came from her in-progress sophomore album, and like those of her Kimchee debut, Little Airplane, they were pretty, persuasive numbers, with poetic lyrics and hooks that took hold slowly. "I’m Sending" was an uncharacteristically bitter telling of a broken friendship; "Be Here Now" put existential angst into a reassuring pop context. She closed with "Come On Home," a ballad that was released on her first set of demos.

That choice indicates the mixed feelings that Hazard, a native Vermonter, has about leaving the area. "I was ready to move, but I would have been happy just to move to the South End and call that an adventure," she said after the show. She’d already left town once, to attend college in New York; she noted that the Middle East set "didn’t feel like a big, climactic moment in my life. Believe me, you’ll be seeing me again before you know it." Indeed, she’s booked to open a Pernice Brothers tour that should be through town in January.

The relocation would seem a better career move for Dragonetti, who’s been moving away from performing (his last Jack Drag album, Sun & Slide, wasn’t released outside Europe) and into production (Hazard’s last album and recent ones by Francine and Dear Leader are among his credits). "I’m hoping to line up some soundtrack work, but nothing’s in the pipeline yet — it’s actually pretty scary," he admitted on Saturday. "But we’re just going to keep up with what we’ve been doing, which is working on Blake’s album. We’re really not moving for any reason other than to be somewhere else for a while."


Issue Date: November 28 - December 4, 2003
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