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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, August 15, 2005

Mp3s: Smog live in Cambridge, MA

I'll admit this up front: I'm a lapsed Smog fan. Sometime after 1995's 'Wild Love', I sort of lost track of Bill Callahan. It certainly wasn't the album's fault, I did love that record... but I suppose there were just too many other bands occupying my ears at the time.

Even though I reconnected with 2003's 'Supper', and quite like the more recent 'A River Ain't Too Much To Love', it's the debut, 1994's 'Julius Caesar', and the solo shows he used to play back then, that define him for me. I'm sort of stuck there, so it's an slightly unfair way to come at a 2005 full-band live performance. It also didn't help that I was fairly exhausted from the weird work week and our own live set that opened up the night... along with the fact that I had to endure a performance from Feathers, but more on that later.

So while I dug a few songs from the Smog set (especially the beautiful 'Our Anniversary'), on the whole it sort of blended together, and was a far cry from the haunting solo performances I so vividly recall. And though I can't fault Mr. Callahan for ignoring his first three albums (the oldest songs were a couple from 1997's 'Red Apple Falls'), those are the ones I'm closest to. It says a lot about my mood that night that I actually enjoy this recording more than I thought I did ...

live at the Middle East Downstairs
Cambridge, MA
Thursday, August 11th, 2005

01. Say Valley Maker
02. Rock Bottom Riser
03. Drinking at the Dam
04. Let Me See the Colts
05. In the Pines
06. I Feel Like the Mother of the World
07. I Was a Stranger
08. Bloodflow
09. Blood Red Bird
10. Let's Move to the Country
11. Our Anniversary
12. Justice Aversion
13. Cold Blooded Old Times
For some stellar photos from the night, you must check out Sid's Too Much Rock site. Not just great shots of all three bands, but also a video clip of Smog's 'Our Anniversary'. Very, very nice.

Now, regular readers know that I shy away from saying outright negative things about bands here on the 'Nac. Having played in a bunch myself, and knowing that everyone eventually reads everything on the web, I'll either be overly-diplomatic or completely ignore artists that don't float my musical boat. If someone has sent me a promo, but hasn't read anything here, there's a very good reason. It's not laziness, I do listen to everything I get, but rather it's the whole "if you don't have anything nice to say..." thing. Because there are people, and for all I know very nice people, behind every dreadful album I get sent or live show I'm subjected to.

So it's with much restraint that I won't cut loose on Feathers. I'll just say that sometimes the harmonies were ace, and watching them onstage with Smog during the set-closer of 'Cold Blooded Old Times' was kinda fun. Otherwise, my tongue's starting to hurt from all the biting.

Live mp3s will be up for a few weeks. Again, if the artist or label has an issue with the sharing of 'em, just say the word. Email in the left hand column.


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

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