Alexander Irinarchos and Elliot Grainge love the Boston music scene. They appreciate its diversity and the number of gifted musicians who emerge out of it—but through their years of experience in music management, marketing, and production, they’ve noticed that many artists do not get the exposure they deserve.
“We believe Boston has such a great and rich amount of talent that hasn’t been tapped into yet,” Irinarchos said.
Putting their expertise to work, the two decided to found Strainge Sessions, a bi-weekly musical showcase that gives underground acts such as Cordelia and the Buffalo, The New Review, and Ripe an opportunity to perform for an audience.
“We offer them an incredible chance to be seen by a record label,” Grainge said, referring to Strainge Sessions’ partnership with Harvest Records. Harvest, the label that boasts names like Banks, Matt and Kim, TV On The Radio, Death Grips, and The Preatures, receives video footage of each act’s performance and then decides on signing opportunities.
But even if the band is not offered a deal, Strainge Sessions offers local artists a valuable platform for exposure and a chance to grow a fanbase. At the same time, Strainge Sessions gets a promotional boost as well.
“We [and the acts] cross promote, sort of help each other out. [We] help them build their brand, and they help spread the word about what we’re trying to accomplish, as well,” Irinarchos said. “So we’re always trying to build long-term relationships with the acts.”
The showcases, free by RSVP, take place at Boston’s Bijou Nightclub on Stuart Street. The club’s stage is small, but the acts who performed at Strainge Sessions’ Volume 2 (Fever Charm, Novi Productions, and Viva La Hop) didn’t see this as an issue. With Fever Charm’s California-style rock set, Novi Productions’ smooth R&B rhythms, and Viva La Hop’s funk/hip-hop vibes, the music kept on until well after midnight.
While it is easy to laud Strainge Sessions as a jumping-off point for these young artists’ careers, Grainge and Irinarchos don’t want to take credit for whatever success their acts may see.
“We’re honored to be working with some of these acts, [and] we don’t want to be responsible for launching or to say that we’ve launched these careers. Each act is so unique in its own artistry,” Grainge said. “We just want to be a creative platform. We just want to be there so they have a great live experience.”
Everyone at Strainge Sessions hopes for a packed house, and that hope has been fulfilled thus far—a reported 250 to 300 people attended Volume 2. But Irinarchos and Grainge aren’t only concerned with the numbers.
“It doesn’t matter if we get 30 people or 300 people in the room,” Grainge said. “We want it to be about the quality of the artistry.”
Strainge Sessions recently held their third volume and are set to host a fourth on June 3rd. RSVP here!