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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

Monday, April 11, 2005

Magical Spring

Yeah, it's a song title from my least favorite Ride album, but it fits. The most ideal New England spring weekend just finished up, and despite the fact that I'm back in the old cube farm, I'm still on a bit of a high from it.

Lots of time spent with Amie and Nina on Saturday, a relaxing drive up to Gloucester, oceanside on Wingaersheek beach, a lunch of fried clams and Corona, then back to Boston for Fever Pitch (the power of the Sox compelled us) and a great meal at Panaficio. Sunday was errand day, did some work on the house, then relaxed with videogames, dvds, and comics. So many of my favorite things packed into two near-perfect days (only two Sox losses kept it from perfection). If my life had a TiVo, I'd hit rewind do it all over again.

I know it was kinda quiet here on the 'Nac this past week... which means my real world was the polar opposite. If it wasn't for the stress relief of the weekend, I'm not sure I'd be functioning right now. A couple doses of employment-related weirdness knocked me out, but things are settling down and I'm nearing normal...

Here, have a couple live-from-tv mp3s to make up for my absence (each featuring a guest appearance by a damn talented lady). A new song from John Doe, and a Sabbath cover...
  • John Doe with Neko Case - 'Highway 5' (live on Conan)

  • The Flaming Lips with Cat Power - 'War Pigs' (live on Austin City Limits)
  • I'll be posting that long-awaited five song set from Jodi Buonanno later on today or tomorrow morning, so definitely come back for that.

    And now, a quick brain-purge...

    So today the Red Sox get their World Series rings, and a few of us from work are taking late lunches to watch the ceremony at the bar next door. Seeing Fever Pitch got me in the mood, although until then I'd been less than enthusiastic about this new season (even before our pitching staff started us out in last place). Call it coming down from the highs of last year, but I feel like that big payoff, the near-heartbreak and emotional rescue, the total drama and impossible wins... it feels like whatever hunger I had has been satiated. I'm still full from it, and anything else is anti-climactic, y'know? It's not surprising, even a little expected, but maybe today (and a couple of wins against the yanks?) will get me back in the game.

    Oh, and speaking o' the Sox, Matt is exactly right about this crap. Lighten the hell up, folks... we won the whole damn thing, in spectacular freakin' fashion, and nothin' else matters (and besides, the movie was actually pretty good). It's not like Fallon ran out and got in the way of a Dave Roberts' season-saving second base slide. Yeesh.

    And for New England sports fans: Sports radio station WEEI now has their live web stream up and running. Yeah, you won't be able to listen to Red Sox games (the MLB has a legal lock on that), but you can at least listen to them blather before and after (and listen to the ring ceremony this afternoon?). You have to sign up for their listener network, though. Hey, y'know what I'm thankful for? That the presidential election is finally far behind us, and I don't have to listen to their occasional political pearls of wisdom. Man, that made last fall a little painful, and nearly put me off WEEI for good. Kindly keep your politics outta my sports, fellas.

    Switching gears: Easytree is dead. Long live Dime A Dozen. Yeah, the Easytree torrent-sharing site was intimidated into closure by the RIAA, but faster than I could even mention it, Dime A Dozen arose to take it's place, using the same user and torrent database. No need to even re-register. Damn glad to see that happen, and we'll see if they stay or get scared away.

    Good news in game land: The follow-up to Call of Duty, the best combat-related first person PC game ever, is coming this fall. The hyperbole starts with a bang, but I'm a believer. I'm also pretty jazzed about the in-the-works Half Life 2 expansion. Gimme.

    Many thanks to WMPG DJ (and apparant Almanac reader) Tom Flynn for letting me know that Crooked Fingers stopped by their Portland, Maine studio a couple weeks ago and played a live acoustic set on their Local Motives program. All five songs, interview clips, and some pictures are available for download right here. Such a treat.

    Also relating to quality independent radio: The Late Risers Club program has been running on Boston's WMBR for almost 30 years, and a new documentary by Marissa Acosta celebrates and explains how its early days. A bastion of the independent airwaves, the LRC is one of life's few comforting constants. From 10am to noon on weekdays, there's always a place to turn. The documentary screens at 11:55pm this Friday, April 15th, at the Coolidge Corner Theater.

    Bob Mould just finished up his next solo album on Saturday. Looking forward to it.

    So yeah, we saw Fever Pitch and it was good for a few laughs, and some inevitable warm fuzzies when they showed Sox winning it all. That footage just never fails me.

    But that's far from the best movie I saw last week. That'd be the preview screening of freakin' Kung-Fu Hustle, baby. If you're a Stephen Chow fan (Shaolin Soccer, God of Cookery), you know what you're in for... he breaks the martial arts and special effects rules, making what amounts to exaggerated live action cartoons, and I gotta say, this one may be his peak. Blatant lifts from (and homages to) Looney Toons, Spider-Man, Star Wars, even broadway musicals. It starts off hiliriously and doesn't let up. The crowd I saw it with ate it up, the thing got major applause afterwards, and my friend Adam is now referring to life events like this: B.K.F.H and A.K.F.U. (Before Kung-Fu Hustle and After Kung-Fu Hustle). It's that good, and I am so seeing it again after it opens on April 22nd.

    Also starting that weekend is the Independent Film Festival of Boston, which kicks off on the 21st. My friend Alex spent much of the past couple years producing one of the films featured in this years fest, a documentary called 'Same Sex America', which "follows the fallout of the Massachusetts Supreme Court decision that allowed same-sex couples to obtain marriage licenses." Can't get much more timely and locally relevant than that, can ya? Check out the trailer here, and grab tickets to one of three screenings in Boston that weekend. If you miss out, word is that it'll be on Showtime in June. Can't wait to see it.

    Oh, and heads up: Steve Buscemi will be hosting the East Coast premiere of the new film he directed, Lonesome Jim, on the opening night of the festival, and there are tickets available (just bought my two!). Just ten bucks each and no service charge, so go here and scroll down to get 'em. That's April 21st at 7pm, and I'll be rushing from there over to catch the Wedding Present at the Middle East right after. Great night, that'll be.

    So I updated the 'upcoming shows' list on the left, and there's some really great stuff coming up here in Boston. Not only do we get Mary Timony and that Wedding Present show later this month, but Ted Leo returns in a couple weeks for a college gig, and Pinback hit the Paradise. That's just a few of many that I need to check out. I also need a big bag of cash to fall out the sky in front of me.

    Back to the grind, then I'm off to watch the Red Sox World Series ring ceremony. Yeah, I still need all the visual proof I can get that the whole thing actually happened....

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

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