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Silverstein both sells records, makes music the hard way.

Byline: Scott McLennan

COLUMN: SCOTT MCLENNAN

When a band sells a half-million records without anybody but the fans looking, it is safe to say the success of the group is genuine.

Such is the case with the band Silverstein, a Canadian group nicely fusing the passion and energy of hard-core punk with the tenets of decent songwriting. The band is both catchy and frenetic, and over the past seven years built up a loyal following mainly through its concert tours and appearances at events such as the Warped and Taste of Chaos tours.

Independent Victory Records out of Chicago picked up Silverstein in 2003 and released "When Broken is Easily Fixed." Two years later, the label put out "Discovering the Waterfront," an album that hovered near the top of Billboard magazine's independent-music record charts. Most recently, Silverstein released "Arrivals & Departures," a diverse-sounding project of pop and punk amalgamations that went to the very top of the independent-music chart.

The band credits word-of-mouth praise for its success to this point.

"We get no help from radio. The (record) label tries to get radio attention, and we write songs we think would sound good on the radio, but for whatever reason it hasn't happened," explained Silverstein drummer Paul Koehler.

Not that he was complaining.

"I see us growing at a consistent pace, and we're not asking for anything more. I think being an overnight success brings its own kinds of problems," he said.

Silverstein is in Worcester tonight at The Palladium, 261 Main St. The bands The Devil Wears Prada, A Day To Remember and Protest the Hero are playing opening sets. The show starts at 7:30 and tickets are $20.

Though a grass-roots sensation, Silverstein is anything but folksy. Singer Shane Told throws himself into a performance, occasionally ramping up melodic wordplay into rough outbursts. The rest of the band likewise builds sturdy, memorable arrangements that every so often scatter into jagged breakdowns. Silverstein also stretched out on "Arrivals & Departures," especially with the five-plus-minute ballad "True Romance," a song that forgoes shredded vocals and amped guitar riffs and embraces a full, clean sound.

"We're doing what we enjoy. There are a lot of things we like and want to do." Koehler said. "When we started out (on `Arrivals & Departures'), we had a lot of material that stretched all over the place. We were worried about it all coming together as an album."

Silverstein need not worry as "Arrivals & Departures" came together just fine, a point driven home to Koehler during Silverstein's recent tour through Australia and Japan.

"We had just released a new record and they were singing along. They loved the new stuff," Koehler said. "It just confirmed to us that the record translates well live."

Hooray For Earth celebrates the release of its new EP "Cellphone" with a show tomorrow at Ralph's Chadwick Square Diner, 148 Grove St., Worcester. Popgun Picnic, a Ralph's fave of yore (and whose Briggs brothers also happen to manage HFE) will reunite for an opening set. "Cellphone" is HFE at its best, with the band cranking out synthy, punky and poppy tunes that are smart and fun. Sometimes sounding coolly detached, sometimes coming off as drunkenly chummy, HFE's Chris Principe, Noel Heroux, Seth Kasper and Gary Bena-cqusita managed to cover a lot of ground, dispatching seven songs (wait for the hidden track) in short order. Dopamine Records released "Cellphone," placing the Worcester-Boston-bred HFE in line for well-deserved broader recognition.

Gilrein's, 802 Main St., Worcester, has a hot weekend for blues fans as Shirley Lewis is there tomorrow and Duke Robillard returns to the club on Saturday. Uncle Billy's Smokehouse is at Tammany Hall, 43 Pleasant St., Worcester, on Saturday.

The Time Beings and The Pathetics are at The Grey Hound Pub, 11 Kelley Square, Worcester, on Saturday. Mike Lynch's Silverbacks will be back at Creegan's Pub, 65 Green St., Worcester, tomorrow. Guitar guru Troy Gonyea teams with drummer Duncan Arsenault, keyboard player Brooks Milgate and singer/harmonica player Craig Rawding tonight at The Dive Bar, 34 Green St., Worcester.

About a year ago, singer Amanda Lirange and her brother guitarist Mike Lirange, both respected members of the local hard rock and metal scenes, teamed for a few acoustic numbers at Irish Times and the results were very good. Now the Lirange siblings are holding down a Sunday night residency at The Lucky Dog Music Hall, 89 Green St., Worcester.

Some of Worcester's dominant and prominent folkies are gathering Saturday at The Green Rooster Coffeehouse for a show and silent auction benefiting the Rose Monahan Hospice Residence on Coes Pond in Worcester. Chip Karle, Ron Carlson, Rich Leufstedt, Lydia Fortune, Mary Krause, Dana Lewis and others will present two sets of music, the first a round of song swapping, and the second a tribute to the music of Sun Records. The show is at 8 p.m. and The Green Rooster is at the United Congregational Church, 6 Institute Road, Worcester.

Twiztid is at The Palladium, 261 Main St., Worcester, on Saturday. New shows booked for The Palladium include Chiodos with MxPx and Protest the Hero on April 30 (tickets are $16.50 on sale Saturday), and Disco Biscuits on April 5 (tickets are $25 in advance, on sale tomorrow). Tickets for shows at The Palladium are available at F.Y.E. and Strawberries stores and online at tickets.com. Tickets can also be purchased by calling (800) 477-6849.

And The Police will be back for another round of shows with one on tap July 31 at the Tweeter Center in Mansfield. Tickets are $225, $125, $75 and $40 (plus fees) and go on sale at 10 a.m. Saturday through Ticketmaster. Elvis Costello and The Imposters will open the show.

Scott McLennan can be reached at tgmusic1@yahoo.com.

ART: PHOTO

CUTLINE: Silverstein plays tonight at The Palladium in Worcester.
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Title Annotation:LIVING
Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Date:Feb 21, 2008
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