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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

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Thursday Sundry

Haven't been in a very text-typin' mood for many days, what with work and other things on my mind (in a good way, no worries), so I'll just clear the decks with some comments, links, and such. Starting off with music stuff...

Tiny Mix Tapes talks about the just-announced 'Don't Look Back' series that All Tomorrow's Parties is putting on around London later this year. So-called 'seminal' albums performed live in their entirety, and so far they've got The Stooges, Mudhoney, Mum, Cat Power, Belle & Sebastian, Dirty Three, & Sophia lined up. Really tempting to start contemplating a work-related trip overseas or two, but I don't think those shows are quite enough to get me there. Give me Ride doing 'Nowhere', or MBV doing 'Loveless', and I'm on a plane.

I've been lucky enough to see a couple of my favorite bands play albums in order, including Versus performing 'The Stars Are Insane' earlier this year, and Bedhead doing the whole of 'Transaction de Novo' at their last show (before taking audience requests for 45 minutes or so). A couple of the best nights of live music I've ever seen. Have you ever seen a band play one of their albums, start-to-finish?

Last week Rykodisc finally released superstar cartoonist & musician James Kochalka's best-of collection, called 'Our Most Beloved'. The 25-song disc includes a bonus DVD of cartoon videos and randomness, along with an original Kochalka strip in the booklet. Pick it up, or at the very least, just stop by James' American Elf site, where he posts a new diary strip every single damn day. Poke around in there, check out the forum, download some free mp3s. As if you have something better to do?

Eric Bachmann's Crooked Fingers were featured on a recent Turnpike broadcast. Five video segments, featuring interviews and live footage. They also stopped by KCRW's ace Morning Becomes Eclectic program, which you can check out here.

Video of another Arcade Fire live set has been archived up at, this one from May 10th in Amsterdam. There's also a new one from The Dears, recorded just a few days earlier.

As always, it's feast or famine for live shows around here, and I've been slacking in my attendance... a nagging sore throat and draining days kept me from Monade last night, British Sea Power and Gang of Four on Monday... and now I'm stuck at work on a night when Headphones and Crystal Skulls are over at TTs. Fellow bloggers are making me regret the misses. Still hoping to make out of here by 10 o'clock or so for the Headphones set, but if not I've still got Saturday's double-whammy of Rilo Kiley and Nada Surf up in Vermont. Hoping for a whole bunch of new Nada songs in anticipation of the album they're working on, and my recorder will be charged and ready.

Thanks again to SwimCommunity for reminding me to check the Swirlies website for free downloads. The second installment is up, titled 'SWIRLIES' MAGIC STROP: Winsome Zamula's Hammer of Contumely', and it's actually a live Yes Girls performance on KVRX in April of 2000. Grab it before the end of May, when it gets yanked.

Wedding Present afficionados take note: A mini-trove of ok-quality videos, including all 12 of their hit parade clips, are available over here. I've really gotta track down their Punk collection sometime.

Inadvertantly foiling the RIAA, here's something interesting for intimidated mp3-grabbers out there... as blogger (and Dallas Mavs owner) Mark Cuban points out (himself referring to a post by Barry Ritholz), now that Yahoo is offering unlimited music downloads for $5 per month, they've essentially downgraded filesharing offenses to minor misdemeanors. Pretty impossible for them to justify those crazy $150,000 per song fines now, isn't it?

So Chris highly recommended The National's Alligator to me last week, and he never steers me wrong. I'm liking it alright so far, but it's not hitting me as hard as I'd hoped. Maybe it'll take some time to settle in, and maybe seeing them live in a couple weeks will help. CK might be a bit jealous to learn that the band I'm playing in just snagged an opening slot when they play TTs on Saturday, June 4th.

Oh, and for my NYC friends, I know it's a long ways off, but we're coming down to play Brooklyn's Trash on July 30th, with Picastro and our pals Broken River Prophet. Mark your mid-summer calendars for that one.

A quick rundown of what's been occupying my TV time, since we're nearing the end of sweeps and all...

Carnivale: F'in cancelled by HBO. I'm am more than a little unamused. After too-slowly building the mystery over season one, then beautifully delivering on the promise and premise over season two, it gets painfully pulled. Now, I love me my HBO, but for executive Carolyn Strauss to issue a statement that said "We feel the two seasons we had on the air told the story very well..." is an added slap in the face to the fans who hung in there for answers to so many wonderfully-raised questions. This season's finale was no way to end the series.

You have to wonder if things wouldn't have turned out differently had Carnivale creator Daniel Knauf actually fought for his show like David Simon did for the continuation of The Wire. Instead, he signed a deal with HBO competitors Showtime to develop a new series before a decision was even made. Not exactly a heartfelt plea to the HBO brass, is it?

By the way, there's a Save Carnivale website, if you believe such things make a difference. You can read Daniel Knauf's post-cancellation thoughts over there.

Deadwood: Is anyone else not feeling as enthralled by the second season climax as they were for the first? I mean, the show is still genius, the acting and dialogue fantastic... but the recent political machinations aren't grabbing me as much as I'd hoped. Holding out hope that the finale will bring it all together, though. I just want to see Bullock cut loose, and to have Wu live on for season three.

I so love this: a running Deadwood F*ck Counter. Total number so far? 1837 f-bombs. That's 1.48 FPM. And it gets more detailed than that... there's even a cumulative c*cksucker count. I'd love to buy the goddamn hooplehead responsible for that site a shot of whisky.

And you'll never believe this, but Calamity Jane cleans up pretty damn good. More cast shots here.

About that Enterprise series finale: Just terrible. Took all the forward progress of this last season (including the excellent episode that preceeded it) and threw it away. I'll leave the more detailed, continuity-related whining to geekier trekkies, but wow, am I not gonna miss that show. Actually, I've got no reason to flip to UPN now, at least until I get the Veronica Mars season 1 DVD set and catch up for fall's season 2. Too many friends (Amie included) have convinced me that I'd just love it.

The Amazing Race 7: The deserving team won, and even I'm not so blindly Boston-loyal that I'd have rooted for Rob and Ambuh to take it all. Y'know, I'm really glad this show has caught on with the Survivor-watching public, because renewal was touch n' go in the first couple seasons. If it was the only reality show out there, that'd be just fine with me.

Speaking of Survivor: I've never cared about this show less than I did this past season. Stick a fork in that sucker.

24: The worst show I can't stop watching. I swear, I probably decide to quit everyone's favorite soap-opera-slash-action-show-slash-right-wing-lesson-plan at least twice an episode, but I never get as far as deleting it from the TiVo season pass list... and then I'm right back the next week.

Just so we're straight: now it's not just 'the muslims', or 'the chinese', or 'the weak pinko liberals' who are a threat to our great nation, but it is also 'the gays'. I'd be slightly annoyed if it wasn't so damn funny, and so typically '24'. I mean, we knew that Mandy the naked assassin was an evil lesbian (welcome back!), but the son of our ass-kickin' Defense chief? Say it ain't so! And they fooled around with the same guy. Only on Fox.

And anyone who doesn't think Soulpatch is gonna die in the next two hours is crazier than Chloe. As soon as Michelle professed her undying love, you just knew he was a goner. My evidence: Just before Joe Pantoliano was killed off of the Sopranos, he made the late-night talk show rounds. Same with Lost's Ian 'Boone' Somerhalder. And who did I spot was on Carson Daly the other night? Yup, Carlos Bernard himself. Dead man talkin'. I actually hope I'm wrong, and that 24 is just messin' with us in the end. Someone's gotta live happily ever after, right? And it sure as hell ain't gonna be Jack.

Two hour finale next week. As I said elsewhere, in my dreams, next week would start off with some until-now unseen 'previously on 24' clips of Kim just going through crazy Kim-style shit, then cut to the digital countdown as her car comes careening into the season-already-in-progress... and she runs over Marwan. Or Tony. Or both of 'em.

And to balance out the closing up of Carnivale, Arrested Development thankfully gets renewed for another year. So there's that.

Other random stuff...

I'm really, really glad that much of the old crew from Tech-TV show The Screen Savers (RIP) are getting together for weekly blogcasts titled "This Week In Tech". Listening to it feels just a bit like hanging with old familiar friends.

Also note that this coming Monday, at 11pm EST, we'll see the long-awaited debut of Kevin Rose and crew's first SYSTM broadcast, an online-only downloadable tech video show. Not just that, but Kevin promises an 'important announcement' on Monday. He's got me curious.

It's been so long since I've blogged that I forgot to mention the swell Sox game Amie and I caught at Fenway last week, when the Sox crushed Oakland 13-5. It was a beautiful night all around, although the memory of that win has been washed away by Wells' return, and subsequent spanking, in Oakland yesterday. Ah well.

I'm glad to hear that Fenway officials are starting to keep a closer eye on drunken fans. When I was in the bathroom line after the game, a couple of blitzed and staggering meatheads decided they were too important to wait, and went boldly in through the exit. Once I got in there, one of 'em loudly slurred to the other "You call that a dick!". Real nice for all the kids in there who had come to catch a game with their dads.

Oh, and this is kinda cool: The day after the game, as I was leaving work with a co-worker to grab some lunch, walking straight towards us was... Kevin Youkilis. I knew right away it was him, even with his shades on, and blurted out "Hey, great game last night!" (No, I wasn't going to go "Yooooooouuuuuk!"), and he responded with a "Thank you.". Good thing for me he was actually in the lineup that night, if late in the game, although I meant it as more of a collective, team-directed 'great game'. Anyway, yeah, Youk!

Y'know, as much as the last two Star Wars films have dampened my fan-boy enthusiasm, it wasn't quite enough to keep me from seeing the finale tomorrow. All this extra work time has earned me an afternoon off, so Amie and I are heading to a digital screening after lunch. The power of childhood nostalgia compels us.

This might amuse a little... The Star Wars Last Supper.

Long as I'm talkin' nostalgia, check this out...

If you grew up 1970s kid, you'll be pretty blown away by these two links that Mike sent me: Video clips of 70s children's TV, and another page of random 70s videos. Wow, I suddenly hanker for a hunka. "Look, it's a wagon wheel!".

Your obligatory comic-book purchase of the month: The Losers third trade paperback collection, Trifecta, which came out this week. An f'in beautifully drawn, tightly plotted, all-out action story. Easily my favorite comic of the moment. Andy Diggle, Jock, and the fill-in artists make it so damn hard to wait for the trade.

Hey, so I won A Life Aquatic on DVD from Kendall Square Cinemas. Although it's my least favorite Wes Anderson film, I'll still be glad to have it in my collection. The worst of his work is still better than most.

Just finished up another excellent George Pelecanos paperback, Hard Revolution, and was glad to see Largehearted Boy do a little Pelecanos post last week. It's real hard to wait for paperbacks when it comes to this guy, and I might just cave in for the Drama City hardbound.

Lastly, and so very far from leastly, Amie and I celebrated our fourth anniversary last week with balloons, banners, and a nice night out. That was a fairly fast four years, right there. Sounds sappy to say it, but every day I wake up feeling just a little bit luckier than the last. Love ya, Aim.

Wow, that post was way long. Can't tell it's been a little awhile, can ya?

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

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