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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, September 17, 2004

The Pain Inside My Brain...

Ok, change of plans. It's day two of my caffeine-and-nutrasweet-free existence, and the brain-pain is intense. Straight back from my left eyeball, feels like it's going to pop out and roll around my desk. All I can think about is how good a Dunkin' Donuts coffee would taste right about now. So I take another sip of water and try to focus on work.

Can't do it. And so my ill-advised attempt to quit both coffee and Diet Coke simultaneously comes to an end. What was I thinking?! Instead, I'm just going to focus on the nutrasweet, cutting out the Coke, but enjoying the precious nectar that is Dunkies brew. I'm now holding one in my hand, and all feels right with the world...

Pond at Vermonstress
Finally got Pond's live set from this 1992 Sub Pop Festival in Burlington, Vermont transferred and posted to my Vermonstress page.

Probably my favorite performance of the whole fest, Pond was a revelation. Hadn't heard them until the week before, when I inhaled a preview copy of their debut disc, and was equally impressed by them live. Eight songs (the last two are one mp3), all from their first album, except a cover of Bo Diddley's "Pretty Thing". These recordings sound pretty good, but can't reflect the energy that came offa that stage. I'll never forget it.

Ah, bless you Silkworm. To maintain such a consistent level of creativity for so many years is an inspirational thing. I picked up their new mini-album, "It'll Be Cool", on Tuesday, and it is so totally rockin' me.

I knew that a new release probably meant a tour, but imagine my surprise when a random surf-by showed Silkworm playing the Plan in Allston. Can it be? It's in a little bar called Great Scott's, just a few blocks from where I live, and I'm stunned. Not only are they one of the best live bands going, but they're playing in a tiny place with the stellar Karl Hendricks Trio. Glorious. That's November 11th.

Hey, look... free, new Hot Snakes! A preview track called Hi-Lites from their upcoming record "Audit in Progress". It's quintessential Snakes, and has got me even more excited for their live return to Boston on November 14th.

Here's a real treat... Marm0t has posted a link to what may be my favorite song off Elliott Smith's upcoming final album, "From a Basement on the Hill". It's called Twilight, and it's near perfection. Beautiful and heartbreaking at all at once.

A new, super-economical compilation is out this week called "For Whom the Casio Tolls: First Blood", on Asaurus Records. A mere 4 clams via PayPal. As the title implies, all the songs were created using Casio keyboards, and my pal Colin has contributed the song "Remember in November". Any resemblance between that title and the second line on the new Jimmy Eat World record is purely coincidental. Neither concerns my birthday, but both do address the same thing: a much-needed change. Which brings me to...

I was fairly annoyed that the Republican National Convention caused me to miss Snow Patrol's appearance on Letterman a few weeks back (well, one of several reasons that whole suck-fest annoyed me). Bush's babbling, and the talking-head coverage afterwards, bumped the Late Show beyond my TiVo's pre-set recording time. Woke up the next day to check out SP's performance... dee-nied.

Thankfully, Snow Patrol's U.S. site has just posted a recording of the performance, and while it's not the best quality, they looked and sounded like they really pulled it off. "Run" may not be my favorite from the record, and it's too bad the guys had to self-edit the song to get the length down for Dave, but I'm just glad to see them get the attention. Our nation's gradual recovery from the hell that was Nu-Metal and Creedy-crap continues on.

Looking for something to read in the bookstore yesterday, I happened upon the brand new George Pelecanos paperback, Shoedog. Didn't even realize it was due out, but it's exactly what I'm in the mood for.

Not only is the man the master of D.C. crime fiction, but he's one of the contributing writers to the best drama on TV, HBO's The Wire. He joined up at the start of last season and you can just tell. His style is all over it. There's a reason people call The Wire "the best novel on television".

Speaking of which, the new season starts up on Sunday, and I can't wait. Not only does Pelecanos remain on board, but Boston-based scribe Dennis Lehane, one of my faves (and the man behind Mystic River), has joined the writing team this season. F'in sweet.

After the bookstore I swung by EB Games to grab the new Call of Duty expansion pack. Arguably the best wartime first-person PC game, the original CoD hooked me hard, and I'm a sucker for it's online action.

The new expansion, United Offensive, recreates the U.S.'s Battle of the Bulge, the British Invasion of Sicily, and the Russian Battle for Kursk. If you're CoD-curious, you can download free demos of the expansion and the original right here. The new game and I will be no doubt be spending some quality time together this weekend.

I'd better hurry up and finish it, though, along with the still-in-progress Doom 3, because Half Life 2 is getting closer.

On deck for this weekend: The Raiders of the Lost Ark Adaptation at the Coolidge. A group of friends spent 6 years filming a shot-for-shot recreation of Raiders, and it's gotten rave reviews, if not for it's technical achievement, but for it's obvious enthusiasm and the persistance of the creators. The director, Eric Zala, will be at the screening. My first question: Did you try to get the fly to land on Toht's face?

Also hoping to check out Thai film Ong Bak at the Boston Film Festival. Gotta make the time.

Prolific fiction writer Peter David will be in Boston tomorrow, appearing at New England Comics in Brockton at 2:30 PM, and at the one on Harvard St. in Brookline at 6 o'clock. He'll be there to pimp a couple new comics he's got out, sign some books, maybe make some fanboy conversation. Take a gander at his biliography, it's mighty impressive.

And looking far ahead: Boston gets treated to the Stella Comedy Tour on November 18th. This three-man funny-groop is Michael Ian Black, Michael Showalter, and David Wain, who've been doing their thing together, individually, and as part of the comedy collective The State for nearly sixteen years. The Stella show started in '97 at the Fez in NYC, and I'm pretty psyched I finally get a chance to check it out up here.

For fans of Da Ali G Show, this is absolutely freakin' priceless. I've wondered what actual residents of Khazakhstan thought of Ali G creator Sacha Baron Cohen's character Borat Sagdiyev, who hilariously pretends to be Khazakhstan's sixth most famous man exploring America. Hell, I wondered if they'd even heard of him. Well, they have, and they are not amused. That whole silly article is nearly as funny as some of Borat's escapades. But not quite.

Well, how about that? My coffee cup is nearly empty and my headache is almost gone. Funny the way that works.

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

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