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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, June 12, 2006

Mp3s: Cat Power in Boston

Getting tickets to see Cat Power (aka Chan-pronounced-Shawn Marshall) in person is a risky proposition. The show might not happen (witness her cancelled tour this past February), and even if it does, you may not actually be able to see her (years ago, at the Middle East Upstairs in Cambridge, she insisted that every single light in the place be turned off). She's a sensitive soul, often fidgety, very particular about her live environment, often stopping songs mid-stride for reasons known only to herself. Some people can't stand it ("saw her once... painfully awkward... never again"), but others know what to expect and embrace her quirkiness as part of her charm. For me, if the stars align, just being in the same room with that voice for awhile can be pure magic. (also magical... the last minute tickets. Thanks again, John.)

We saw a couple different sides of Cat Power this past Wednesday when she performed with the Memphis Rhythm Band at the Berklee Performance Center here in Boston. Mostly the so-called 'new-and-improved' live persona that's been written about recently, far less of the unsteady girl who looks like she'd rather be anywhere but on stage. A lot of that, I'm sure, is owed to the rock-solid 12-piece band (fronted by steady studio-vet Teenie Hodges) that backed her up. In the constraints of structured songs that she can't call a halt to, she let herself go... dancing, smiling, waving her arms, strutting all over the stage. She was a whole new frontwoman, free of guitar strap and piano bench for most of the show, except when the band exited and she showed us brief signs of her fragile self.

For those few solo songs, whether behind the grand piano or strumming softly, we got a whole different show, and not just musicially. Beautifully mutated covers, abrupt throat clearing, stops, starts, and momentarily forgotten parts. She even changed her own lyrics, revealingly proclaiming that she does not hate herself, does not want to die ("I hate myself and I want to die" - from 'Hate', off her latest, 'The Greatest'). A more straightforward declaration of the transformed Chan came at the end of the show, when she held her cup high in the air, pointed at it, and yelled "Sober!... It's tea!" to the crowd. The applause got louder, and her smile got wider.

Here, for a few days, is Cat Power & the Memphis Rhythm Blues Band's wonderful Boston performance...

The Boston Globe reviewed the show, as did the Boston Herald (and the Herald, of course, wins the 'cheesiest headline' award), and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer wrote up her appearance there last month. The tour continues on Wednesday in Washington, DC, and she's on stage on Bonnaroo in Tennessee on Friday before heading off to London.

update from the comments: The Phoenix reviewed the Boston show as well, with the best of the headlines.

And as an added treat, here's Chan rockin' out with the Flaming Lips on a cover of Black Sabbath's 'War Pigs' in September, 2004 on Austin City Limits. Pure gold.

the fine print: If anyone has an issue with this live set being made available, just say the word (email link on left). Recorded with a Sony ECM-719 mic and a Sony MZ-RH10 minidisc, converted to .wav and then edited to 192kbps mp3s. Mp3s are made available for a limited time, and are not reposted once removed.


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

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