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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, July 28, 2005

A Matter of Degrees

Here I sit on the first day of a much-needed mini-vacation, already feeling reborn as the Boston temperature has dropped like 25 degrees from the humid hell of yesterday. Seems like it's been a month since our air-conditioner's had a rest, but y'know, I feel kinda silly whining about late-July heat, realizing other people were so much the worse for weather. And, y'know, it is summer after all.

Getting down to bizness, today's post is gonna be another rapid-fire clearing of the decks, since as of this morning I'm on a glorious six-day work-break. I won't totally be relaxing, since it includes a couple of rock shows (one down in NYC on Saturday, one back here on Monday), but I'll definitely be avoiding the computer as much as I can. That said, I'm hoping for some correspondence catch-up, so if you've been waiting for an email answer from me, keep an eye out.

Warning: Much randomness follows...

The 'official bootleg' Twilight Singers live DVD that the band has put out is freakin' white-hot. Seriously, I got one of the first batch of 100, and it was worth every Paypal penny I spent on it. 21 songs, almost two hours long, and an encore that not only features Greg Dulli's former Afghan Whigs bandmate John Curley on bass playing Whigs songs, but an appearance by former Scrawl vocalist Marcy Mays, who joins them to play 'My Curse' off of 'Gentlemen'. I swear, Bobby McIntyre, Twilight's ascot-wearing drummer, is my freakin' stick-wiedling hero. Plus, he's Barry Gibb's godson.

I digress. The reason I mention the DVD is because there are now more available from the band via ebay. Any self-respecting Whigs-Twilight-Dulli fan needs this sucker in their collection. Amazing audio quality, mutiple camera shots, a great performance.

Oh, and as one of those fans, I can't wait to finally see 'Ladies and Gentlemen', the Afghan Whigs documentary that is premiering this weekend at the Lite Brite Test Fest in their hometown of Cincinnati. I can only hope that means it'll be playing elsewhere, or at least out on DVD soon. For an article on the docuementary, head here, and for a quick look at what each AW member is doing now, go here.

So I've heard the new Depeche Mode song, and it is... actually quite good. Brings the long-ago days of non-stop listening to 'Violator' rushing right back. If you're looking to hunt it down, start right here. I can't think about Depeche without remembering hearing the bleep-bloops of 'See You' over the PA system at Fenway Park during a Sox game last summer. Strangest culture-clash moment ever. 'You know that it's true...'.

I was a Mineral and Gloria Record fan despite the fact that the vocals occasionally got on my nerves. The music made up for it, though, and I found enough else in there to love. Well, their singer/guitarist Chris Simpson is back with a solo moniker called Zookeeper, and he's got a MySpace page (although, who doesn't now?) with three demos on it. (courtesy unfinished)

OooooOOO... how can I get myself to Chicago in early November? Flower15, the 15th anniversary celebration for the wonderful Flower Booking company, is taking place at the Metro from Nov. 8th to the 12th, and the lineup is looking gooood. Ted Leo, American Analog Set, a reunited Promise Ring, The Essex Green, Maritime, Jimmy Eat World, and a bunch more. Gotta convince my boss I need to pay a visit to our Chicago office.

Speaking of Mr. Ted Leo, I believe I failed to point out this excellent article on him in the Newport Mercy, written by WMBR dj Tim Kelly.

As I mentioned, I got my Boston Sigur R�s tickets a couple weeks ago, and I can't wait to see them play stuff from their upcoming album, 'Takk', which is out on September 12th. In the meantime, any bittorrent-types can check out this recent live show with a bunch of those new songs.

Nice little article on Nada Surf in Filter Magazine (link from largehearted boy). I so cannot wait to sit down with their upcoming disc, 'The Weight is a Gift'. The songs I've heard so far are hitting me just right.

I'm surely not the first blogger to tell you this, but stellar-indie-station KCRW is podcasting. So, um, stick that in your aggregator and smoke it. Or something.

Did someone say the word 'podcast'? Wait, that was me. Here's one that will be of interest to fans of writers Warren Ellis, John Rogers, or of really good sci-fi TV in general: Evil Genius Chronicles has posted a two-part podcast interview (one, two) with Mr. Rogers about the whole Global Frequency unaired-but-leaked-pilot situation. It's a pretty interesting listen.

Using that as a segue into comic-booky stuff, the latest All The Rage rumor column reported that one of my favorite comics in recent years, The Losers, garnered the adaptation-interest of actor/director Peter Berg. Looks like it may be more rumor than fact, as Losers writer Andy Diggle used his brand new blog to put the kibosh on it. Sort of. And not on the movie, just Berg's possible involvement. Bookmark Diggle's blog, by the way. Well worth a regular visit.

Recent comic purchases of note: The second issue of Ellis' Desolation Jones (loving it), the first issue of Joss Whedon's Serenity comic (which will bridge the criminally-cancelled Firefly series to the upcoming Serenity film), and the new Frank Miller / Jim Lee All Star Batman & Robin book (soooo disappointing). It's not Lee's artwork, which is alright, it's Miller's now-cliche choppy writing style that's bugging the hell out of me. The guy only has to come up with half as many words as most comic scribes, since everything gets repeated. Yes. Everything. Gets. Repeated. It. Just. Gets. Repeated. Everything. Like this. Kinda. Like. This. I just. Can't. Take it. Plus, did we really need four pages of Vicki Vale in her undies?

Lots of cool comic-related news came out of this years San Diego Movie-Con Comic-Con, including the details of some work that writer/artist Brian Wood has coming out. One is the Vertigo series DMZ, in which a near-future Manhattan becomes a war-zone, and a 12-issue Oni series called Local, which will focus on "normal people in extraordinary, life changing situations. Each issue takes place in a different [real world] town, with that town playing as much of a role as the characters themselves." Locations include Portland, OR, Richmond, VA, and our shared former stomping ground of Burlington, Vermont. Really looking forward to that one. For some artwork samples from Local, have a look over here.

Also at the Con, writer Brian K. Vaughan talked about the in-the-works film adaptations of his Ex Machina and Y the Last Man books. I hope Hollywood handles them well, and I'm glad to know that he's working on the screenplays himself.

Following Joss Whedon down the TV-writer turns comic-writer road, it was also announced that "Oz" and "Homicide: Life on the Street" creator Tom Fontana will be writing an original Batman graphic novel. Won't be out until fall 2006, but will hopefully be worth the wait.

If you've been reading the 'Nac for any length of time, you know I'm a big fan of Surviving Grady, the best Red Sox blog out there. Check out this interview with S.G. blogger Tim 'Red' McCarney, conducted by Popimage's Brian Domingos.

If you're into Boston-based author Dennis Lehane, and have grown a bit impatient waiting for news of a follow up to 2003's Shutter Island (which itself followed up 2001's Mystic River), you can tide yourself over with an 18-page short story called 'Until Gwen' in the 2005 edition of 'New Stories From The South'. Yes, a Boston-raised writer in a collection of Dixieland tales. Read an article about the book here (bugmenot login here).

The wait for his next book hopefully won't be much longer, as this past Monday Lehane read excerpts from the novel at Boston's Fanueil Hall, and later at a Dorchester library. Regrettable, I didn't find out about it until after the fact, so if anyone reading this was there, I'd love to hear how it was.

Daily Show fans who are looking forward to Stephen Colbert's upcoming solo-show, 'The Colbert Report', should check out this write-up in the New Yorker. Can't wait.

I realized I never got a chance to write about how great Freaks & Geeks creator Paul Feig's appearance at the Coolidge a few weeks back was. After hearing him read some (seriously embarrassing) material from his new book, 'Superstud', I enjoyed reading it even more. Some bits of info from the Q&A session...
  • He'll soon be working on a movie adaptation of the novel 'Star Girl' by Jerry Spinelli.

  • After his book tour, he was heading back to LA to direct the season premiere of 'Arrested Development'.

  • He's hoping to find time to write a series of young adult sci-fi comedy books.

  • He read an unreleased chapter called 'The Big Red Shoe Diaries' that may be in his next book, but you can actually find it online right here. Great stuff, even better in person.

  • Speaking of his next book, he plans on making it the third in a trilogy, with the first (Kick Me) about his time in school, the second (Superstud) about past relationships, and the next about his work experiences.

  • At his talk in New York, he told the crowd about a new show he's working on called "Nice Guys", about normal nice people in their 20s looking for love. Meaning, of course, it'll probably never get made.

  • As I sit here finishing up this post, Matt is over at the Boston waterfront finishing up the freakin' Mass. Bar Exam. Years of law school, and weeks of prep-classes and it all comes down to this. Send your extra brain cells his way, he's probably just about out of 'em. And as long as you're at it, send some good luck vibes his way as he searches for a law-type job. The man's got some loans to pay. Although, maybe Mary can sell enough super-cool crafty stuff to cover 'em.

    Alright, the weather's way too nice to sit here any longer, so I'm out. If you end up coming to see Charlene on Saturday night at Brooklyn's Trash Bar (with Picastro and Broken River Prophet), or maybe on Monday at Cambridge's Lizard Lounge (with SIANspheric and A Northern Chorus), make sure you say hello to the guy behind the drums.

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

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