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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, May 23, 2005

Mp3s: live Nada Surf & Rilo Kiley

It was a whirlwind weekend up in Vermont, back and forth in 24 hours to visit family and catch the Rilo Kiley, Nada Surf, & the Brunettes show at Higher Ground in South Burlington. When I found out that Nada Surf was doing just a few East Coast shows, I decided that seeing 'em up there on a Saturday night would be much better than a Sunday night show at Boston's much-larger Avalon. So worth the extra effort...

We arrived near the end of the Brunnettes, and I liked the couple songs we saw, including the set-closing Olsen Twins number (although the full-band Mary Kate & Ashley masks were frightening). I'll have to check out the audio samples on their site sometime soon, see how their recordings strike me.

Up next was Nada Surf, the main attraction for me, but only because I'd just seen Rilo Kiley last fall. I hadn't seen N.S. in a long time, and I knew they'd be playing a few songs from their next album, which according to singer/guitarist Matthew Caws was finished last week and is due out in September. I was a huge fan of their last one, 'Let Go', so I'll be grabbing their next on its release date.

They put on a fantastic show, far better than the last time I saw them in Boston (which was a pretty good show to begin with). Matthew's singing, as always, was dead on; he's rarely less than note perfect... I just love the guy's voice and songwriting style. Their set consisted mostly of 'Let Go' songs, along with three new ones and a couple from 1998's 'The Proximity Effect'. Here you go...

Nada Surf
live at Higher Ground
South Burlington, Vermont
Saturday, May 21st, 2005

(mp3s removed, july 2005)

Blizzard of '77
Hi-Speed Soul
Happy Kid
Inside of Love
What Is Your Secret? (new)
80 Windows (fades out)
Killian's Red
The Way You Wear Your Head
Always Love (new)
Fruit Fly
Imaginary Friends (new)
Blonde on Blonde
A personal highlight: During their set, just before 'Inside of Love', Matthew namechecked the best (and least known) damn band to ever come outta Burlington, Guppyboy. I was just stunned. You'll hear it if you download the track... so damn cool.

Sadly, it appears that Rilo Kiley has adopted a new 'No Photos, No Video, No Recording' policy, so in the middle of Nada Surf's set I was confronted by club security and asked to bring my digital camera to the box office. I'd missed the posted sign, wasn't searched, and Higher Ground is normally cool with picture taking, so I snapped away without fear or flash. Regardless, I got embarassingly escorted to the lobby where I had to hand it over (that explains my fade out of '80 Windows' and the missing mp3 for the amazing 'Killian's Red'... one of my favorite Nada songs, and I missed it).

I don't blame the venue, they were obviously instructed to do this by the band(s), but it was pretty bizarre... I thought the days of 'no photos' were long gone. And as silly as a 'no audio recording' policy might seem to me personally these days, at least I can understand why a band might do it. I'd call it misguided and paranoid, but hey, it's their music and their call. Confiscating digital cameras, though? Totally uncool.

I suppose now that tiny electronic devices are so ubiquitous, and are becoming more and more multi-functional, an all-or-nothing choice has to be made... but I wonder if it's R.K. themselves or their brand new major label ties (they're on the WB) that has put a stop to the sharing. Either way, it's unfortunate. Makes me wonder how much longer they'll keeping letting first-rate fan site make full live sets available.

Anyway, obviously no one noticed my clip-on stereo mic, so here's Rilo Kiley's excellent set from Saturday night, minus the first song since I was caught slightly unawares (and I hate fading in). Naturally, if the band or label has a problem with my sharing these with other fans, they can just let me know...
Rilo Kiley
live at Higher Ground
South Burlington, Vermont
Saturday, May 21st, 2005

(mp3s removed, july 2005)

The Execution of All Things
Accidntel Deth
Portions For Foxes
Paint's Peeling
I Never
Pull Me In Tighter (new)
So Long
More Adventurous
It Just Is
It's A Hit
Love and War
Hail to Whatever You Found in the Sunlight That Surrounds You
The Good That Won't Come Out
Does He Love You?
(blake talks phish)
I Love LA (new)
Spectacular Views
It was such a great sounding night, Rilo Kiley also putting on a better show than the last time I'd seen them in Boston. Their soundguy, Robbie, did a beautiful job of balancing everything: Blake Sennett's great backup vocals, extra-member Michael Runyan's added guitar parts, Harry from the Brunettes' trumpet on 'It's a Hit' and 'Ripchord', all of it was crystal clear... a powerful mix but never too loud. Loved it.

On my way out of the show, as I grabbed my confiscated camera, the Higher Ground staffer who'd taken it handed me a couple fairly cool ltd. edition, hand-numbered, screen-printed Rilo Kiley posters to make up for it... it was a really nice gesture that was very much appreciated. I'd like to offer my extra up to another RK fan, so I'll send it along to the first person that emails me at the address in the left column with the subject 'Rilo Kiley poster'. (edited to add: congrats to John in Nebraska, who was the first one to email me)

Stop back in the next couple of days when I'll be doing the same with a spiffy autographed Summer At Shatter Creek poster from Fingerprints Music in Long Beach, CA.


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

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