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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, October 15, 2004

Where It All Started...

If you were a suburban kid growing up in Essex Junction, Vermont, the odds are pretty solid that you played little league baseball. And even more likely that your MLB team of choice was the Boston Red Sox. Of course, when I say 'choice', I mean 'here is the team that will be torturing you and your friends for the rest of your baseball-watching lives.' Even though Montreal was less than two hours north, New Englanders were Red Sox fans. Period.

You may grow older, leave little league far behind, even stop watching or caring about baseball entirely during college and some years after. But for some reason, you come back. The foundation's still there, the pre-teen programming too strong, so you start paying attention again. You reinforce dusty memories (and old trading cards) of Fisk, Yaz, Dewey, Hobson, Burlson, Remy, Rice, Lynn, Eck, the Spaceman, and Boomer Scott with new moments from Manny, Pedro, Nomar, Ortiz, Damon, Millar, Mueller, Kapler, Lowe, Wake, Tek, Pokey, Trot, Bellhorn, Mienky, Foulke, Embree, Timlin, Cabrera, and Schilling.

As a kid, I spent my little league summers wanting to be them, and now I spend my summers watching from my Allston livingroom, or if I'm lucky, from a too-small seat at Fenway. It's a place that seemed so far away back then, but is now just a couple miles from home. There are still times when I pass the park on the pike, and the little kid in me says "I can't believe I live near Fenway!".

Yeah, we spend these summers getting set up for the letdown, but we hang in there, even after we shout "I'm just not watching anymore!" at the TV. 'Cuz that's a lie born of frustration, and there's a reason it sounds so familiar every time.

So here's where it all started, why I'm forever a Sox fan, and why I'll keep on believing no matter what I might say...

Photo #1:
The 1978 Essex Jct. Little League Royals
Standing: Coach Couture, Craig Couture, Jeff Liu, Neil Gillespie, Belinda Hathaway, Jennifer Couture, & Coach Willis
Seated: Steve Uttecht, Chris Willis, Todd McGinnis, Don Dingman, Cam Larkin, & me

Photo #2:
At the plate on the Albert D. Lawton Middle School ballfield, summer '79

Photo #3:
At a 1978 Toronto Blue Jays game, outside the old Exhibition Stadium, with childhood neighbor Jeff Cheek (son of longtime Jays broadcaster Tom Cheek). Dig his Close Encounters t-shirt.

Photo #4:
The 1980 Essex Jct. Little League Rangers
Top: Steve Roque, Mike Bessette, Mike Wiley, & Geoff Grove
Middle: Aaron Belchamber, Mike Barrett, Jim Lemieux, & Jeff Gabriel
Bostom: Todd McGinness, Don Grady, me, Sean Marble, & Craig Couture
Coaches (not pictured): Mr. Couture, Mr. Barrett, & Mr. Bessette

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

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