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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, November 29, 2005

Hooked on the Happy Pills

Greetings overly-faithful readers. Long time no post, I know. Spent the last week giving thanks, practicing for an imminent rock show, and sadly/joyfully getting sucked into a freakin' MMORPG (that's "Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game" for you lucky laypeople. Translation: virtual D&D with other dorks). Yes, in a moment of weakness, and more than six years after successfully kicking a nasty EverCrack addiction, I downloaded the trial version of World of Warcraft, and it is slowly sinking its claws into me. Please, send me your thoughts, prayers, and wellwishes before I buy the full version.

Oh, and if you're on the Dark Iron server, send me your character name. Geek out!

Alright, on to things you might actually care about. Or should care about. Either way. I'm gonna make these brief so I can get working on this week's already-late live mp3 post...

Huzzah! Word is that the Wedding Present are hitting the road again in mid-February 2006 for a month-long tour of North America. Just six dates confirmed so far, but many more to follow, I'm sure (and Boston had better damn well be one of 'em).

For an idea of what they've been playing lately, here's some (ultra-subjective) highlights from a recent setlist in Aberdeen, according to a Wedding Present discussion group member who was there: Corduroy, Sucker, Don't Talk Just Kiss, Go Out and Get 'Em Boy!, Suck, Loveslave, Falling, Crushed, Click Click, Brassneck, & Heather.

Oh my. Click Click live? Yes, please. And the Julee Cruise/Twin Peaks cover? I'll take that, too. 2006 is lookin' good already.

Connect the collaboration dots from that news with this next bit: Pop goddess Amelia Fletcher and Tender Trap are back with a new 4-song EP on Matinee Recordings. A baby-shaped bundle will keep them off the road for awhile, but they do say "spring 2006 at the earliest", so at least the intent is there. Here's hoping for North American shores.

Excellent interview with American Analog Set's Andrew Kenny over at Junkmedia. (via Chromewaves)

Speaking of Chromewaves, take a second and go vote for 'em as 'Best Culture Blog' in the 2005 Canadian Blog Awards. And not just because I told you to, but because it's true.

It's still pretty impossible to fathom that Silkworm's Michael Dahlquist isn't out there somewhere, pounding the drums on songs that we'd be lucky to eventually hear, making music with his pals and planning another tour... it hasn't at all sunk in that there will never be another Silkworm album or show. But that inevitable realization is made slightly easier hearing that his bandmates haven't shut down creatively... far from it, Tim Midgett and Andy Cohen have started a new band called Bottomless Pit with ex-Seam drummer Chris Manfrin and .22 bassist Brian Orchard. They already played one four-song set a couple weeks back, and have another show coming up on December 21st at Hideout in Chicago. (thanks to False 45th for the heads up)

Oh, and for the curious... yeah, even though Orchard plays bass, Midgett is still playing some kind of six-string bass setup. They won't be hurting for low end, and I can't wait to hear it. Someone better be recording that action.

Head over to Ted Leo's site, where he's shared up his thoughtful response to a fan's complaint about a rare 21+ appearance in Seattle. An abundance of food for thought in that letter, there is.

A couple of promising video webcasts are on deck this coming Saturday over at FabChannel: Bloc Party and Stars, live from Amsterdam.

Australia's Candle Records celebrates their 10th anniversary with an over-four-hour DVD collection of live performances and interviews with their roster, which includes personal faves The Lucksmiths, Darren Hanlon, & The Guild League. Full tracklisting right over here. (via Unfinished)

Merge Records is auctioning off a bunch of cool stuff on eBay as part of a holiday charity auction. Right now there's just three autographed posters (Spoon, Tenement Halls, & Destroyer), but keep tabs on their eBay page for much more.

Thanks to Excellent Online for reminding me that NPR sure has been sharing up some solid live sets lately. Iron & Wine, Death Cab, Sigur Ros, Bloc Party, & Calexico, just to name a few. Hope they keep it that going.

Torr directs us to the stream of a recent live session by Mark Kozelek on BBC6 (at the 20:40 mark on the Friday, Nov. 25th show). It was part of the whole 4AD Records '1980 Forward' anniversary celebration, so check there for other appearances during Gideon Coe's show that week, including Kristin Hersh (at the mark on Tuesday, Nov. 22), Rachel Goswell of Mojave 3 (the 20:40 mark on Thursday, Nov 24), & the Mountain Goats. The Rachel Goswell guest spot is missing an illing Neil Halstead, but instead includes an airing of two songs from Mojave 3's next album, 'Puzzles Like You' and 'Breaking The Ice'. Hurry up and check them out, because they're only up for seven days. Actually, that Kristin Hersh one is gone already, and the Mountain Goats' Wednesday spot will be gone shortly.

Oh hell, why make you work for it? Here, I'm gonna share these up for a little while...

Mark Kozelek - Katy Song (live on BBC6)
Mark Kozelek - Bubble (live on BBC6)
Mojave 3 - Puzzles Like You (unmastered preview)
Mojave 3 - Breaking The Ice (unmastered preview)

After just a few listens to those two new Mojave 3 tracks, as well as the preview of 'Big Star Baby' they recently shared, I already think their next album is going to far outshine all their previous ones (which haven't exactly hit me in the sweet spot). Grab those mp3s quick before the authori-tays come a-knockin'.

On the subject of Kristin Hersh, Throwing Muses fans will find her latest blog entry fairly fascinating, as she candidly discusses her relationship with her old songs, and her old self. Which, as it turns out, is not too emotionally distant from her present self. It's a refreshingly honest read.

Had the distinct visual pleasure of checking out The Sound Your Eyes Can Follow over at my frequent Cambridge hangout, River Gods. TSYECF is a monthly night of rarely-seen and very cool independent music videos put together by Brainwashed's Jon Whitney, and it sure made for perfect atmosphere as I checked out River Gods' rumored wireless internet access. While that night's blocks of Kranky, Thrill Jockey, and Wax Trax videos went down perfectly with my pints, it ends up the internet access remains a rumor. Oh, it worked alright... but turns out I was just piggybacking on some poor neighbor's unprotected wireless router. I felt a little dirty... but not so dirty that I wouldn't maybe try it again.

The next installment of The Sound Your Eyes Can Follow is at 9pm on Thursday, December 22nd at River Gods, 125 River Street, Cambridge, MA.

Speaking of Boston-area visual treats: Local art organization Lumen Eclipse had the inaugural opening reception for their first two shows last night at Upstairs on the Square in Harvard Square. Check out the Lumen Eclipse site for details on where to check out their latest A/V experiments.

I'm still making my way through George R.R. Martin's new fantasy novel 'A Feast For Crows', and I hope to find the time to finish before he arrives in Boston in late January. He'll be appearing as the guest of honor at the three day Vericon VI (also in Harvard Square), and here's what their scheduling director has to say about when Martin will be around:
"Our guest speakers schedule has not been finalized yet. George R.R. Martin will most likely be speaking on Saturday; he may or may not also make an appearance on Friday or Sunday."
So here's how I took that response: "Buy a three day pass, ya cheapskate." Ok, ok.

I'm getting pretty excited for my solo trip to NYC in a couple weekends, where I'll be seeing Dennis Lehane's first written-for-the-stage project, Coronado, on Saturday Dec. 10th (new article about the production here), and then one of the three Explosions in the Sky shows at Mercury Lounge on Monday the 12th. On Sunday night? I'm free. Come now, who will drink with me?

Before that, though, I've got a show to play: This weekend, after a long break, I'll be behind the drums again with Charlene. We're gladly welcoming Canada's A Northern Chorus back to the Lizard Lounge on Saturday night, December 3rd, and we'll be joined by The Burdocks. Come out if you can (Saturday Night = No Excuses), and don't worry about earplugs, we'll bring 'em for ya.

Speaking of earplugs, the day after that I'll be at Dinosaur Jr.'s Middle East show (I've got a couple extra tickets if you missed out, just ask). And the day after that? I foresee another rough work day.

Ok, I'm so completely outta here. Sorry about the inevitable but so-far undetected typos and spelling f'ups... I rushed this one.

Mp3s on deck: Some live Headphones, and a couple live Pilot to Gunner songs. For the kids.

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

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