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recommended boston area events

tuesday, december 4th

kelly hogan

@ johnny d's

thursday, december 6th

conor oberst

@ converse hall, tremont st.

thursday, december 6th

jason isbell &

the 400 unit

@ the sinclair

friday, december 7th

the weisstronauts 14th

annual holiday jubilee

with guests tsunami of sound

preacher jack, & the derangers

@ the midway cafe, jp

friday, december 7th


moving mountains


@ the sinclair

saturday, december 8th

patrick watson

@ the sinclair

saturday, december 8th

the faint perform

"danse macabre"


icky blossoms

@ the paradise

sunday, december 9th

band of horses

@ house of blues

sunday, december 9th



@ the paradise

wednesday, december 12th

concrete blonde

jim bianco

@ the sinclair

thursday, december 13th

annual boston christmas cavalcade

benefit for the homeless

featuring tons of artists

(see fb event for details)

@ johnny d's

thursday, december 13th

nada surf

eternal summers

@ the paradise

thursday, december 13th

mates of state

in the valley below

@ brighton music hall

friday, december 14th

forgetters (blake from

jawbreaker's band)

& more tba

@ democracy center, harvard square

sunday, december 30th

sufjan stevens

sheila saputo

@ the royale

monday, december 31st

my morning jacket

@ agganis arena

monday, december 31st

deer tick

two gallants

@ the sinclair

monday, january 7th


@ the paradise

tuesday, january 8th


@ great scott

saturday, january 19th

mission of burma

@ the sinclair

sunday, january 20th

camper van beethoven


@ the middle east down

sunday, january 20th


@ the orpheum

sunday, january 20th

ra ra riot

@ the paradise

sunday, january 27th


@ great scott

tuesday, january 29th

kathleen edwards

sera cahoone

@ brighton music hall

wednesday, february 13th

yo la tengo

@ the paradise

saturday, march 2nd

unknown mortal orchestra

@ brighton music hall

tuesday, march 12th

tame impala

@ house of blues

thursday, march 14th

jukebox the ghost

matt pond pa

lighthouse and the whaler

@ brighton music hall

tuesday, march 26th

yo la tengo

@ the paradise

wednesday & thursday

april 3rd & 4th

they might be giants

@ the paradise

visit tourfilter for more shows

Friday, July 30, 2004

Done DNC

The party's party is over, delegates are waking up from hope-filled hangovers, ready to flee Boston on a hot, hazy Friday morning. The imposed exile from my downtown office has ended as well, so I'm back in cube-land after too work-from-home days. Felt good to wake up early, shave off my WFH-DNC beard, and head back into the city for a dose of the normal routine.

As a Boston-based (and fairly politically-inclined) blogger, I had an opportunity to offer up my running take on the goings on during this surreal week... but I felt oddly ambivalent towards the whole big show. Besides, there was so much ridiculous hype about convention-blogging that it had no appeal to me whatsoever. I was happy to sit back, check the rss feeds, and stay outta the fray, even shying away from a couple of DNC-related events I had invites to. Things I normally would have loved to check out.

I think the whole weeding out process got to me, my initial enthusiasm built up and peaked during my full-on support of the Dean campaign, and disappeared with his chances. Even before the scream heard 'round the land, I was becoming disillusioned not just with a couple of his stances on certain issues, but with the systematic picking-apart of his candidacy by opponents and fellow party-members alike. While no candidate will likely match all my opinions on every policy, I initially thought Dean came closer than Kerry, and could offer up real change. I started believing this less and less as time went on, and as a pragmatist, began seeing his chances fade as the primaries approached. Time proved it to be true, and even though I'm firmly in the "anybody but Bush" camp, it's tough to get truly excited about someone I'm not completely behind.

That said, I refuse to waste my vote. In less desperate times, I wouldn't compromise myself by voting for someone I didn't wholeheartedly believe in. But times simply cannot get more desperate than they are now. We must not use this election to make statements that will not be heard, like so many small trees in too many endless forests. Maybe that time will come, perhaps in four years if Kerry does not live up to the words of last night's defining speech.

Before that, though, we must rid ourselves of Bush, relegate him to the history books, and voting for Nader, or one of the lesser-known candidates, especially a write-in, will not help accomplish that. It's an idealistic choice that in any other time I might admire, but no longer. The last election taught us the reality of such decisions, and we cannot forget the lessons we've learned, the tragic results of a presidency given to the wrong man at the wrong time. It's time to right that wrong, and if John Kerry is the man to do it, I'm in.

His speech last night makes it easier to do so. He's obviously come a long way over this long campaign, and his words actually fanned the political flames that Barak Obama's DNC-defining speech ignited in me. Obama sparked hope I hadn't felt since Dean's flame-out, made me sit up and pay closer attention during the second half of the convention. I can't wait to see where this guy's political road takes him.

The cynical side of me wanted to dismiss this whole pol-apalooza as a waste of money, resources, and time... a serious inconvenience to Boston residents and businesses alike, contrived fakery designed to clean-up a fragmented party like the fresh pavement, flowers, and coats of paint that magically appeared all over our city last week. To make things seem that much prettier to those looking in.

In the end, the optimist in me returned. I finish this week with a renewed sense of hope... a positive, if still fairly guarded, outlook on the months ahead. I know the dirty stuff is imminent... the right-wing ambushes loom, the behind-closed-doors scheming is in progress. I say let 'em come, let the cornered attack dogs do their worst before we put them down. Three more months. Just three short months before we move on.

featured mp3 download
neil halstead
live in cambridge, ma
on november 14th, 2008
previously: joy formidable - boston 2011

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