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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

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

A Vacation That Is Not

The two shows we played last week made my days off a sort-of rocking-vacation, but now I'm nearing the end of a very different working-vacation. And right here at home in Boston.

It's my company's annual users conference, a couple thousand of our clients and staff in town for some quality face-time, presentations, meetings, food, drink, and touristy action. My co-workers and I have been on duty for the whole thing, spending lots of team-building time together, working from early Saturday straight through this afternoon.

Boston-bound tourists take note: The Westin and Copley Fairmont hotels are totally dog-friendly. I had no idea, and it's made the days so much better. The posh Fairmont even has their own lazy 'lobby dog' named Catie, a pudgy black lab with a tail that's quick to wag, especially when Nina shows up. Yup, Amie & Nina are staying down here with me, a king-size bed, hotel pool, and health club at our disposal. Yeah, we may live in Boston, but the hotel room was a necessity due to very-early conference set-up times and the need for constant availability.

Needless to say, it's been pretty surreal time, experiencing Boston in a completely different way from my day-to-day ritual. Apart from rock practice last night, I feel like I've been living some other guy's life for the past five days. Waking up 16 floors above the center of the city, a northern view overlooking the Hancock building and Copley Square, hanging out in the Fairmont while using the Westin as home base. Daily hotel-supplied meals, dinner out each night, a top-notch gym when time allows. Best of all, Amie & Nina are sharing it with me.

So that's where I'm at, writing now from the basement of the Fairmont hotel, snagging some brief downtime to freshen up the 'Nac a bit. No time for new mp3s at the moment, so I'll keep the focus on last week's offering for now.

Here's a bunch of links for ya. I'm in a rush, so this'll be quick...

A couple of online video finds that I've never seen: A great MK12-produced video for Guided By Voices' "Back To The Lake", and an very cool mostly-animated clip for American Analog Set's "Come Home Baby Julie, Come Home" over at Lumen Eclipse.

Speaking of American Analog Set, this is absolutely amazing. It's a mashed-up version of AmAnSet's "Hard To Find", mixed with Kelly Clarkson's "Since U Been Gone". I don't know who's responsible for it, but whoever it is... well done, I say. Well done, indeed. For now, let's call it "Since U Been Hard To Find".

Erasing Clouds give us an excellent (and entirely accurate) review of Colin Clary's latest solo disc "Sweater Weather or Not These Are the Songs I Got". The writer totally understands where Colin, and his perfect little pop songs, are coming from.

Speaking of talented friends, did anyone catch Mr. Neil Cleary behind the drum kit last night on Conan O'Brien? He was backing up Erin McKeown on one of her new songs. You can check out a repeat of the show today at 7pm on CNBC. Oh, and do yourself a favor by grabbing Neil's solo records. Great songs abound.

If you're an Emusic subscriber, or haven't yet signed up for your initial free batch of mp3s, here's something cool you can grab: An entire live recording of Mary Timony's show at Schuba's in Chicago this past May.

Great interview with Nada Surf singer/guitarist Matthew Caws over at Unfinished. Their new album, "The Weight Is A Gift", is out next month.

Looks like the schedule for this year's Boston Film Festival is due out soon, according to this blurb on (scroll down a bit). Also mentioned is Ben Affleck's planned adaptation of the Dennis Lehane novel "Gone Baby Gone". Boston is as much a character in that book as Patrick and Angie, so if it's not filmed here, that'd be a crime.

News on another personal favorite fiction series coming to the screen: The movie version of the first book in Phillip Pullman's magical "His Dark Materials" trilogy finally has a director, and it's Anand Tucker (Hilary & Jackie, Shopgirl). Here's what Pullman has to say about it. For the latest, check the best HDM site out there, A Bridge To The Stars.

I have no idea how the play this freaky game, but it's cool looking enough to make me wanna learn.

Finding out that my friend Dave Norton (of Victory at Sea) and his roommates were the victims of a Watertown apartment fire over July 4th weekend was like a punch to the heart... those who know me well know why. Needless to say, I'm glad that everyone got out ok, and I'm looking forward to finally seeing Dave at this weekend's Elm Street Benefit at the Middle East Downstairs. Lots of great bands (Victory at Sea, Helms, Certainly Sir, Prime Movers, Madman Films, Dirty Holiday, Dorkbot, Tramps Like Us, Modelo '78, Tiny Amps, Wild Zero, & Fragile), and all the proceeds are going to the victims. The night kicks off at 6pm on Saturday.

One week later there's another Boston-area benefit well worth your time and meager dollars: Erin McCabe is in the middle of a battle with leukemia, and her friends and friendly bands have put together a night of music to support her. Performers include Anushka Pop, Mercury Charm Offensive, The Collisions, Anna Freitas, Heavy Stud's Melissa Gibbs with Andrea Gillis, Jonny Pape from License, a Shine reunion, and some surprise guests. It's on Saturday, August 20th, 8pm at the Abbey Lounge in Somerville.

Always glad to see a new like-minded Boston-area music blog: meet Drive Blind.

Another fine blog that recently made my radar: The London-based Everything's Swirling. And I'm not just sayin' that 'cuz Andy blogrolled me.

The two gents behind the best Red Sox fan blog out there, Surviving Grady, will be stopping by the best comic store out there, Comicopia in Kemore Square, this Friday night from 6-7pm (then heading to the game, 'natch). They'll be signing copies of their every-fan-should-own-it collection of Red Sox writings that AiT/Planet Lar recently released. It perfectly captures the entirety of last year's spectacular season, all the ups and downs and ups and big-time downs and unbelievable ups from a couple obsessed points of view. Loved it. So catch 'em Friday night, or on Sunday, August 28th from 1-2pm and 5-7pm (unless the game goes long, of course).

I've been so preoccupied with work that it hasn't really sunk in that we're opening for Smog tomorrow night, right after Feathers. I'm gonna have to dig deep for the energy to make it through the rest of this ultra-weird week.

I wonder if Bill Callahan (aka Mr. Smog) will remember staying at Club Fub back in 1994, staying up all night fighting AT-AT Walkers on our Super-Nintendo. He Is Star Wars, after all.

If you end up at the Middle East tomorrow night, say 'hey', willya?

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

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