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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, October 14, 2005

So Long Since I’ve Seen The Sun

Boston and the rest of the northeast has been cloud-covered for what seems like weeks, time has slowed to a crawl, the endlessly gray days are blending together. This is supposed to be my favorite time of year, but it's just bringin' me down, man. I'm draggin', and the energy is hard to come by.

Just a couple weeks in and I've already blown my Monday/Thursday posting promise, no excuses. If the mood isn't there, it's tough to force it. But here I am.

I'm kinda kicking myself for missing Rob 'Catherine Wheel' Dickinson last Monday when he played TTs. I was a massive CW fan, although I was way more into Ferment and Chrome than the later releases. I suppose if Rob's new solo material (and, um, cheezy album artwork) had grabbed me strongly, I might've made it out. In a more motivated world, I'd have a recording of his set right here for you.

So instead I've got a little something to make up for missing it... three live Catherine Wheel tracks straight from the limited edition bonus EP that came with early pressings of Ferment in early '92. Discovering that album, and getting three live tracks right away, was a revelation. Great stuff. I'd end up seeing CW a bunch of times in the few years that followed...

If you're into Catherine Wheel, you should download 'Too Much Is Not Enough', a five disc collection of CW cover songs, available entirely online. Some real gems can be found in there. And here are some pictures from the TTs show. That I missed. Dammit.

Yes, I missed posting on the first official John Peel Day. But I celebrated in my own way by listening to some old Peel Session recordings (the Sub Pop and Too Pure sessions, along with some other Stereolab tracks, to be exact). To kick off the day, New Order played a full set of Joy Division on Wednesday night. Good gracious. You can stream the BBC's 6 hour-long Peel-centric broadcast here, and three New Order live tracks are available at about the 19:56:00 mark during the first 2 hour chunk. Aw, hell, lemme save you some work and share up those suckers...

Dood, Warsaw! "Let's do this one for Ian, lads...". Wow.

To further honor the memory of the much-missed Mr. Peel, a new website has been created called Unpredictable Pooridge, which promises to help expose people to new music. Very fitting indeed, if the quality of content measures up to Peely's mostly-fantastic tastes.

Glad to read that The Futureheads will have a 3-song EP out next month, a little something to tide us over until their second full-lengther, which they hope to finish by January. Details here at NME.

Also cool: Former Guided By Voices mastermind Robert Pollard is putting out his first official post-GBV solo album on Merge in January. Expectedly lengthy tracklisting at bitchfork.

Hell yes, I say. Hell yes, indeed. Rhino will apparantly be releasing an Afghan Whigs anthology CD (with rare bonus material, please?), along with a Whigs DVD sometime in 2006. The news comes from the email newsletter of Whigs guitarist Rick McCollum's band, Moon Man, which also mentions that Rick will play a little on the next Twilight Singers disc, also due next year. Aces all around.

From a promo-guy's outbox to my inbox to your ears: Stream five songs from the new boxset collection from The Band, titled 'A Musical History'. Five discs and a DVD, over six hours of music, including a bunch of performances with Dylan, of course. I know someone who might want it for Christmas... hope you're not reading this, Dad.

A couple of music podcasts to take note of: Too Much Rock just barely posted their second one ever, and Pregnant Without Intercourse recently posted their sophomore one, too. Check 'em. The selection and quality of indie-ish podcasts just keeps on growin'.

I'm probably the last music-ish blogger to mention this, but the Beatnik Pad has a fairly complete list (well, as far as I know) of musicians who blog. Well, technically it's a list of 'cool' musicians who blog, but that's up for some debate.

Look, the Almanac got on a list! It's the 'best music blogs out there', according to the quite-excellent Harmonium. I think I actually felt my ego move a little bit there, but I'm not sure. Nope, nevermind, false alarm.

I've been completely oblivious to the New Music Tipsheet until now, and it's been up and running since 2002. It tries to keep an up-to-date list of upcoming releases, and also pulls together random recent music headlines. Just added their news feed to my rss reader, so I'll be interested to see if they cover different areas than Billboard, Pitchfork, or NME.

Haven't seen the new Firefly movie, Serenity, yet? For shame, for shame. Get out there and do it, will ya? We need more good, solid sci-fi, I say. If you're hesitant, just go here and watch the first nine minutes of the movie in pretty freakin' high quality. Totally free and entirely legal. That'll wet your whistle.

Speaking of Serenity, it's one of the many choices on this here vote put together by New Scientist magazine's online site. They're trying to narrow down the 'Best in Space Science Fiction Ever', so if you're a sci-fi geek, get over there and choose your three faves. It's a tough one, as the list includes books, movies, tv shows, even radio, and settling on just three is mighty painful. I ended up going with The Empire Strikes Back, Serenity, and the new Battlestar Galactica teevee series, but leaving off Farscape, Babylon 5, and Hitchhiker's Guide kinda smarted.

Fans of Office-creators and current Extras guys Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant might want to check out this page over at XFM online. They've made many of the excellent radio shows they hosted available as downloadable mp3s. It's a bit annoying that some shows are broken up into many different parts, but well worth the effort in the end. Very cool of XFM to archive 'em for free.

If you're digging the current season of Lost, drag your mouse to highlight the space below for some random cool links...
  • Some maniac mapped the complete layout for the underground bunker. I'm both amazed and scared by the effort that took. Mostly amazed.

  • Adam Hughes' cover for Issue #51 of the Catwoman comic. He's a total Lost geek.

  • Y'know those two scientists in the 70s era Dharma Initiative instructional video? The pair who supposedly created the project? A woman with long blonde hair and a big dude with a beard? Well, check this out. Two of the people on the boat that took Walt, one blonde, one bearded, and they look about the right age. Hmmmmm.

  • Comedian Eugene 'man from the sea' Mirman has been blogging for the Village Voice. He makes me laugh, he does.

    I completely binged on the Season 1 DVDs of Veronica Mars yesterday, watching 8 episodes straight thanks to Netflix. Great show, although now I remember exactly why I didn't make it past episode three when they originally aired: Paris. Hilton. I was so annoyed by her presence, and the fact that they resorted to such weak 'stunt-casting' so quickly, that I bailed. Which is a shame... but now I'm fixing that mistake. As soon as I finish up the first season, Amie and I get to do a little mini-marathon of the Season 2 episodes that are gathering on our TiVo. Bless her for waiting for me to catch up.

    For VM fans: Although the Season 1 DVDs are seriously light on bonus material, creator Rob Thomas has tried to make amends by posting a downloadable director's commentary for the first episode on his website. Just enter the site, click the Veronica Mars link, then click 'downloads' on the menu that appears, followed by the 'Downloads' button that appears on the right. The title of the mp3 will speak for itself.

    Amie and I went to see comedian-author-movie-and-tv-actor-guy Chris Elliott at the Coolidge Corner Theater the other night, where he read from his new book, 'The Shroud of the Thwacker', and took a bunch of questions before a screening of Cabin Boy. The place was packed, and Mr. Elliott was genuinely humbled by the size of the crowd. Some bits of info learned during the Q&A...
  • Chris and co-creator Adam Resnick have already recorded DVD commentary for the entire first season of his skewed 1990-91 sitcom Get A Life. Unfortunately the release of the season one box set (to replace the already-released pricey barebones 4 episode sets) is tied up in a bit of legal wrangling, but they hope to work things out soon.
  • Chris is working on a new sitcom pilot, and hopes that the early success of 'My Name Is Earl' will open the door for more of 'that kind of thing'.
  • He'd jump at the chance to be involved in an Everybody Loves Raymond follow-up sitcome with Brad Garrett, but he'd be surprised if it ends up happening. Garrett will only agree to the show if the same writing team from ELR remains, but they were all making so much cash at the end that negotiations will be tough. But they're ongoing, and if they can make it work financially, Chris will be there. Co-star Fred Willard is one of his comedy idols, and he'd love to work with him again.
  • Some of the best memories of Chris' career are of from his days at David Letterman, especially during Andy Kaufman's many appearances. As the crowd, and sometimes even Dave, would be completely confused by Kaufman's on-show antics, Chris would be backstage buckled over in hysterics.
  • For more, check out this new interview with Chris over at the Onion AV Club.

    Almost time for the weekend to begin, and it promises to be a good one. A little poker playing this evening, and rumor has it we might actually see sunshine at some point tomorrow. We can dream.

    Early Sunday morning is the Making Strides Breast Cancer walk that Amie and I are doing, so I'm reeeeeally hoping it's not in the freakin' rain. This is, of course, the last time I'll ask for this... if you've got a little disposable income, and would like to donate towards my participation in the walk, click right here. They've made the online pledging pretty easy, so if you're up for it, my team thanks ya.

    Sunday night brings Australia's The Dirty Three to town, touring for their just-released Cinder disc. Really looking forward to this one, not only because I love the new album, but because it's taking place at the Museum of Fine Arts. It should be a pretty special show, and keep your fingers crossed for a recording posted here on Monday, depending on how busy the workday becomes. Until then, head over to Stereogum for a couple new D3 mp3s.

    I'll end this with a very sad note, as today is the Florida funeral for our longtime family friend (and voice of the Toronto Blue Jays), Tom Cheek. He passed away last Saturday at 66, after a long battle with cancer, and it just doesn't seem possible. He remains a powerful figure from my childhood, my formative younger years spent next door to him and his wife Shirley, friends with his kids Jeff, Lisa, and Tommy. Even if he wasn't so tall, he was larger than life to me, and provided me with one of my best memories, the day he brought my family into Toronto's Exhibition Stadium for a 1978 game against the Orioles. He didn't only say my name over the radio (a huge deal to a 9 year-old baseball fan), didn't just bring me to the club house (ditto), but he had the entire team autograph a ball for me. Above and beyond.

    The last time I saw him was on July 1st, 2002, when he was in Boston with the Blue Jays for a series against the Sox. It was the day Toronto's Raul Mondesi was traded to the Yanks, and all the Jays were gathered around the large screen TV in the Sheraton hotel lobby, looking at an image of their now-absent teammate with a Yankees hat photoshopped on his head, just after a loss at Fenway. My parents and I sat with Tom and talked family while that surreal spectacle took place behind us. I'm glad I got to see Tom, on the road doing the thing he loved, and which only his illness would ever have kept him from.

    Rest in peace, Mr. Cheek. Touch 'em all.

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

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