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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, June 03, 2005

Summertime Sundry

"Life is grand, and I will say this at the risk of falling from favor with those of you who have appointed yourselves to expect us to say something darker..." - CVB

A perfect seventy degree day here in Boston, the sun shining, and the Sox are on the radio here at work. Amie called just to say 'hi', and I'll be making music with friends tonight. Got no complaints, and that's sayin' somethin'. Right now, I'm knockin' wood, and I guess I'm not the only one... David Ortiz's bat just knocked a walk-off home run to beat the O's. And things get even better.

June's always a good month, when Boston calms down a bit as students leave town for the summer. Traffic eases a up little, the temps climb, the TV season's over, the outside time increases. Livin' is easy as I get ready to log off, leave work, and head home to Aim, our pets, the grill, a Corona with lime, and then off to rock practice. Yeah, summertime...

So obviously I decided to let the live Nada Surf & Rilo Kiley mp3s keep focus for an extra week, 'cuz they're just that good. I'll be cooking up something else for Monday, although the rest of next week might be a quiet one; I'll be bunkered down in a suburban classroom for five days of twelve-hour training classes. Ouch.

Lemme try and quickly clear out my links-list before I head out for the day...

The Mundane Sounds record label has just released the fourth volume of their entirely free-n-downloadable New Music Sampler, so get grabbin', because it's only up for a limited time. 15 tracks, including songs from The Lucksmiths, Edith Frost, Piano Magic, and the yow!-inducing Colin Clary.

I get a fair amount of random, unsolicited music-related promo emails & mp3s here at the 'Nac, and every once in awhile one of them really hits the spot. Case in point: an message about the NYC-based band Dirty On Purpose, who are playing TTs on June 16th with Rogue Wave. Their 'Sleep Late For A Better Tomorrow' EP is a keeper, all catchy, sparkly guitars, soft male & female vocals, and really nice production. Grabbed me from the get go, and I'll be at the show for sure. Head to their site for a couple mp3s, including one from the EP another from their 2003 demo. Just click the pick.

More fine free music: My Mean Magpie has made the entirety of pop duo Georgia's 'Nothing New (Deluxe Edition)' album available for download, and it's so worth the bandwidth. 19 mostly-sweet songs, including Beat Happening & Eric's Trip covers as bonuses.

While you're downloading, how about some new Robert Pollard (ex-GBV) demos? (thanks to hold my life).

Following up on the news that Nada Surf would be releasing their next record in September, they've posted more details on their website
"Produced by Chris Walla (DCFC) and Nada Surf, the record is scheduled for release on September 12th in the UK/Europe (City Slang) and September 20th in the US (Barsuk). Plans are being made in other territories as well.

The track listing is:

1. Concrete Bed
2. Do it Again
3. Always Love
4. What is Your Secret
5. Your Legs Grow
6. All is a Game
7. Blankest Year
8. Comes a Time
9. In the Mirror
10. Armies Walk
11. Imaginary Friends
(Thanks for the heads up, catbirdseat)

Shame on me for not spotting this top-notch David Gedge/Wedding Present/Cinerama fansite, Something and Nothing, until now.

Bookmarked for personal reference: a guide to Boston Area Pool Halls (via universal hub)

Fans of online & syndicated comic strips should definitely check out Tapestry Comics, a directory of RSS feeds for online panel-pushers, including Alien Loves Predator, Dilbert, Peanuts, Penny Arcade, PvP, User Friendly, and many more. It's far too easy to get your favorite daily strips through your feed reader.

That reminds me, my preferred RSS reader, Sauce Reader, finally released version 2.0. I'm looking forward to checking out the new features when I finish up this post. (edit to add: Don't upgrade just yet... the new version was re-coded from scratch, and it's riddled with bugs. Back to the previous version I go.)

Really looking forward to Brian Wood's upcoming graphic tale (with Riccardo Burchielli) entitled DMZ. He offers up a preview of the first cover here. There's not a lot of info yet (like a release date or story length), but hopefully soon.

Ah, sweet sweet nostalgia, how is it you simultaneously comfort yet cheapen? Case in point, Matt's recent post, where he mentions the upcoming on-stage reunion of the entire Breakfast Club cast on MTV (it's not a real reunion unless Carl the Janitor is there too). That slightly sickens me, and yet, I'll be compelled to watch it. Curse you, EmpTyV! Then there's that whole 'Hit Me Baby One More Time' NBC thing, which we TiVo'd and haven't watched. Believe me, I'll literally have nothing better to do when I finally get around to watching it.

If it's old Loverboy action you want, you're much better off watching this. So uncomfortably hilarious.

And if it's rehashed 80s-era songs you want, might as well just look forward to the High School Reunion disc that arrives this fall. People like Kristin Hersh, Matthew Sweet, Vic Chesnutt, & John Strohm covering old songs by bands like Echo & the Bunnymen, Tom Petty, Jackson Browne, & the Pixies. Not much of this lineup really smacks of 'newer vs. older', but more of a 'not-quite-as-old vs. older'. Kinda cool how Kristin Hersh gets away with covering her friends and longtime 4AD labelmates (doing the Pixies 'Wave of Mutilation'). Really looking forward to hearing that one.

Some great new sources (to me, anyway) for downloadable live recordings: The Pure Live Gigs community, and a guy named Bryan's personal site, the subtley named Bootlegs! Bootlegs! Bootlegs!.

I love me some Alex Robinson comics. I was a big fan of his award-winning Box Office Poison, so I'm excited to hear about his long-awaited next project, Tricked, which is due in August on Top Shelf. Four years in the making, and a massive 352-pages. Very nice.

If you were one of the lucky ones who caught a preview screening of Joss Whedon's Serenity film, one of the best parts of the experience was seeing Whedon's filmed introduction. Relive it by reading this transcript (and don't worry, there's no spoilers in there). Any fan of Whedon's work will get a kick out of what he has to say. "If this movie matters to you, let somebody know. Let everybody know. Make yourselves heard. If you don't like the movie, this is a time for quiet, silent contemplation."

Amie and I saw Matthew Vaughan's British crime film Layer Cake last weekend, and it was ace. Lovedlovedloved it. I actually liked it more than Guy Ritchie's like-minded Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels or Snatch. I was pretty comforted to know that the next X-Men movie would be in this guy's hands... until he quit the project just a few days later. Latest rumor is that Vaughan wasn't going to get enough time or budget to do the movie the way he wanted to do it, which doesn't bode well for whoever fills his shoes. And if it ends up being Brett 'Rush Hour' Ratner (I can't believe I'm saying this), then I'll actually be looking forward more to Vaughan's next film than I will be to X3.

Even though it's summer, and the standard TV seasons are now a memory, there's still a few things to keep the tube and TiVo warm while we're hangin' outside...
  • On Tuesday, June 7th, HBO runs a marathon of the entire second season of Deadwood. The uninitiated should record it, Netflix the first season, and overdose on wild western awesomeness. What are ya, lily-livered?

  • There's this documentary on PBS's Independent Lens program called Double Dare that looks good, too, so I've just added it to my machine's 'To Do' list. It's the story of a couple of stuntwomen that's been playing at film fests and getting some good feedback. (hey, thanks for the tip, Erin)

  • The rest of the summer TV schedule deserves some attention, as there's a bunch of returning shows worth watching. I'll be grabbing the new seasons of Battlestar Galactica (July 15th), The 4400 (June 5th), Six Feet Under (June 6th), Celebrity Poker Showdown (Aug. 18th), Rescue Me (June 21st), and yes, I'll even give Real World: Austin a one-or-two episode tryout. I just can't help myself.

  • There's some potentially promising new stuff, too, like Angel/Firefly writer Tim Minear's The Inside (June 8th). Minear's the writer/creator, and the staff includes other talented Whedon-verse scribes like Jane Espenson and David Fury. Other stuff I might watch: HBO's The Comeback (June 5th), the Into the West mini-series (June 10th), (maybe one episode of) the bound-to-be-bad Rock Star: INXS thing (July 11th), and the docu-show 30 days, hosted by Super Size Me director/star Morgan Spurlock (June 15th).
  • That's plenty o' TV to tide me and similarly-minded masses over until the fall, when all this goes down. Yup, that's the whole fall 2005 tv schedule... and it looks a might weak, don't it?

    ... so now it's Friday afternoon and I'm back at the keyboard, hoping to fire off this post before the weekend hits. Tonight we're heading to the Brattle for that screening of Hal Hartley's new movie, The Girl From Monday, and the man himself will be there hosting it. In the presence of greatness, can't wait to see and hear Mr. Hartley in person.

    Tomorrow night brings another Charlene show at TT the Bears, this time we're playing with Ohio's (via NYC) The National, Pela, and Cotton Ponies. We're on around 10 if you're looking for somethin' to do.

    I'll leave you with this: Today is Free Donut Day at all Krispy Kreme locations. Too bad I don't eat those little circles of heaven anymore, right? Y'know, I really shouldn't have looked at that picture, I can practically smell the glazed goodness... hmmm... and the double K is right across the street, beckoning me. I'm clearly having a Homer moment... must... fight...

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

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