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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

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

The Residue of Intention

I'm slowly regaining my strength after a four-day battle with some nasty summer cold-flu-type-thing. Started with a swollen throat on Thursday, hit me with a fever on Friday, then came the aches, pains, and finally, the crazy congestion. I'll stop there, and hopefully, so will this thing. Dragged myself into work yesterday morning after a weekend in bed, during which I watched a bunch of tv (Six Feet Under finale: loved it, more later.), a few Netflixed dvds, and an occasional level of Republic Commando. I did make a feeble attempt to go out on Saturday night to catch a pop show at the Specific Heat's house, but I only lasted long enough to have a slice o' pizza and welcome the Smittens to town at the end of their tour. Hopefully I didn't infect 'em while they were here. I tried to withhold the hugs and handshakes.

Gonna make this brief (do I always say that?), I've got far too much work to get done, and I'm firing on a single sickly cylinder...

517's last new Teenbeat MP3 of the Week is a doozy. Bringing the total offerings to 100, he gives us a compiled live version of Unrest's wonderful 'Perfect Teeth' record. It's only up for a few more days, so get going. Past mp3s will be rotated in from now on, unless he gets occasionally inspired. Wise ones will keep checkin' back. Or hell, just join the Teenbeat Mailing List to stay informed.

Online radio show action that's been occupying my ears lately: The first edition of the new All Over the Place podcast, which happens to give a shout out to the 'Nac. It's put together by NYC-area blogger Rob Galgano, and although I've never met him, he apparantly makes music in the Fond Farewells with my friend Ad, who was in Jumprope, and maintains the massive Indie Pop Links List. Whew. Go listen to some Fond Farewells songs, why don'tcha?

Also in my ears: The (relatively) long-running No Love For Ned. It arrives weekly in the form of realaudio streams, and often features in-studio performances. For instance? Doug Gillard, Darren Hanlon, TigerSaw, and many more.

Check out a few songs from Catherine Wheel singer/guitarist Rob Dickinson's upcoming solo debut, 'Fresh Wine For The Horses' (out 9/13) at his MySpace page. North American tour dates are leaking out, nothing in Boston yet, though.

NYC people: He's at Joe's Pub this Thursday.

Rob's recent acoustic appearance at M-Theory Music in San Diego is available for download if you're a bittorrent type. You can also get the co-headliner sets from Swervedriver's Adam Franklin and Ride's Mark Gardener. Very nice.

Fact: One of the best live shows I've ever seen, easily in my top five, was Catherine Wheel and Slowdive at Boston's Axis back in 1993. At least, I think it was '93. I had to buy Slowdive's 'Souvlaki' as an import since it wasn't even out in the states yet. Anyway, best sounding mix I've ever heard, a wall of sound in which you could hear every single instrument, both Slowdive and Catherine Wheel at their near-peaks, so damn powerful. I will never forget that night.

Speaking of Slowdive, Penny Black Music has an interview with former Slowdive guitarist Christian Saville and bass player Nick Chaplin, in which they talk candidly about the breakup of the band a decade ago. Wow, it's been 10 years? Yikes.

Word from some around the web is that 'Plans', the new Death Cab For Cutie disc that arrives on shelves next week, is quote-unquote 'boring'. Well, I've heard the thing, and yeah, it leans towards the downbeat side... but I'm in love with it. To my ears, 'What Sarah Said' is easily the most touching song they've ever written. Just a beautifully done piece of music that gets me every listen. Can't wait to own the disc, if just for that.

The invaluable Stereogum points us to a stream of the entire album, and also directs us to a live recording of Death Cab & the Decemberists covering Fleetwood Mac. When did it become cool to cover the Mac again? Oh, wait, it didn't.

Throwing Music, the online home of Kristin Hersh, her current band 50 Foot Wave, and her old band, Throwing Muses, has undergone a complete blog-based redesign. Kristin herself is maintaining her own blog, which is a very cool new addition, and this marks the first time in many, many years that the place has been without a messageboard.

Up until a few years ago, I spent a lot of time on their old forum, really enjoyed the community that was built there, and it's indirectly responsible for Amie and I meeting, believe it or not. The spirit of the place seemingly got a bit diluted over time, so it'll be interesting to see what kind of board the place eventually settles on, if they set up a new one at all.

Either way, go poke around. There's a bunch of free music to be had. More content should be showing up randomly.

A Kristin-flavored segue: She covered Cat Stevens' 'Trouble' on 2001's 'Sunny Border Blue', and it appears the much-missed Elliott Smith did the same before he quit life. It'll be featured on the soundtrack for the upcoming Mike Mills-directed film Thumbsucker. More details here (and thanks for the heads up, Unfinished.)

I'm totally going to get Thumbsucker and Chumscrubber confused. Let's hope there's never a film called 'Chumsucker'. Mmmm.... chum! Actually, if they're referring to 'a good friend' instead of 'shark bait', that could actually be a good time at the cinema. Or not. Moving on...

Another very notable Joe's Pub show, which will again only come in handy for NYC readers: American Analog Set will be playing there next Tuesday, you lucky bastards. It's a pre-tour warm-up type thing, well before their stellar new record comes out in late September, and tickets are now available. I'll be on vacation in Newport, RI next week, and part of me wants to drive south for that sucker. Hmmmm...

But wait! Looks like AmAnSet is playing TTs in Cambridge on Wednesday, November 16th. Can I hold out that long for a local show? A complete list of dates is at the Arts & Crafts site, who are graciously releasing the upcoming record.

Also in NYC next week, and completely free, is a set from Ted Leo & his Pharmacists as part of the Seaport Music Festival. It's at NYC's South Street Seaport on Friday night, August 30th, and they're playing with Tigers and Monkeys. Gotta love any show that's described as "outdoors, in front of the pirate boats".

Also free, and actually here in Boston: Tomorrow afternoon, Michael Penn performs a complimentary acoustic set in the South Garden of the Prudential Center Mall. That's right across the street from where I work, so I'll probably be checking that out at lunchtime.

Now, I must plead ignorance when it comes to all but the 'No Myth phase' of Mr. Penn's work, but even I can't forego free music so close. And besides, he's on SpinART records, and I'm willing to give anything that they put out a try.

Anyone catch the excellent Dulli-sung song that closed out the latest episode of 'Rescue Me'? I sure as hell did... made my ears perk right up. My first thought: I must have this, what is it?! Ends up that it's unreleased, but not for long... it'll be found on the soon-available (pre-order here) Twilight Singers disc, 'Amber Headlights'. The track is called 'Pussywillow', and damn if it isn't another great Greg Dulli number. You can hear not one, not two, but four songs from the disc on their MySpace page: 'So Tight', 'Domani', 'Early Today', and 'Golden Boy'.

The new Nada Surf video for 'Always Love', from the upcoming Barsuk album, can be seen at the City Slang site. By the way: Initial pressings of the disc will include a bonus cd, so keep an eye out for that.

While I usually agree with him on things music-related, it seems I am of the exact opposite mind from Mr. Unfinished on two recent viewing experiences: As I said, I dug the hell out of the Six Feet Under finale (despite the flawed Six-Flags aging makeup), and thought that the Jim Jarmusch/Bill Murray team-up of Broken Flowers was seriously overrated. Ah well. Can't love 'em all.

For Six Feet fans, HBO has posted obituaries for the main characters on their 6FU site. Fills in some of the unfamiliar faces we saw during the future-flash-forwards of the finale. Stereogum also offers up that song heard over the epilogue. And finally, today's edition of NPR's Fresh Air program with Terry Gross featured a post-mortem with 6FU creator/writer/director Alan Ball. Well worth a listen.

Tickets for Chris Elliott's October 12th appearance at Brookline's Coolidge Corner Theatre are now on sale. He'll be promoting his upcoming book, "The Shroud of the Thwacker", and introducing a screening of Cabin Boy. That's worth waaaay more than a measly 5 bucks.

A sure sign that former Buffy/Angel writer Doug Petrie is behind the dialogue you just heard on an episode of the 4400? One character says to another: "Hey, you wanna go see The Arcade Fire on Friday night?".

Synop, the company behind my favorite RSS reader, Saucereader, has bitten the dust. Anyone got any other recommendations for a stand-alone, non-web-based reader?

I don't like a ton of reality TV (despite Amie's best efforts to get me sucked into some real crrrrap), but I'm totally up for a new season of The Amazing Race. It's season number eight, starting Sept. 27th, and it's family time. Here's the cast. I have no idea if this many-member experiment is gonna work, but I'm game.

How cool is this?!: I've been drafted back into The Broken River Prophet for a show on Friday, September 23rd down in Pawtucket, RI. I'm lucky enough to join Adam's crew as part of the closing night of the Mirror Image Film Festival, which itself is part of the annual Pawtucket Arts Festival. Full schedule here. You get short films, then a live band, then a full movie each night of the fest, which runs from the 11th to the 23rd. Very cool to see Chris Brokaw performing there on Friday, September 16th, too. Talk about fine company.

So if I knew which one of you caused my site counter to hit the 300,000 mark, I'd award you some kind of prize. It was probably because of BoingBoing, though, and I'd rather reward 'Nac loyalty than lucky linkage.

Y'know, I actually think that counter has rolled over a few times, and I'm not sure it even works right anymore. Hell, I just checked my stats and it appears I've been averaging something like 10,000 hits a day?! That cannot be right. I blame all the google-bots.

I'll end with two quotes stuck in my head recently...
"Luck is the residue of intention." - Robert B. Parker in 'Double Play', now out in paperback

"Every plan is a tiny prayer to Father Time." - DCFC in 'What Sarah Said'
I'll get some mp3s up soon, I hope. Give a sick blogger some slack.

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

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