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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, July 03, 2006

Great Expectations

Last week I did up a guest post for one of my favorite music blogs, the also-Boston-based Clicky Clicky. While Jay was away, he asked me to fill in for a day, and I was more than happy to do so. Given how infrequently I pull together a non-live-mp3 post here on the 'Nac, I thought I'd cross-post my thoughts on albums that I'm looking forward to in the remainder of 2006 (and a bit beyond).

As we hit the end of June, the halfway point of aught-six, we brace ourselves for the imminent deluge of "Best Albums Of The Year So Far" lists. If music blogs love one thing, it's little lists of favorite discs. The top-tens and top-twenties of 2005 started popping up so early (and so often) last year that I burned out on 'em before '06 even started. By the time I started to prepare my own, I realized I just didn't care anymore... for the first time in five years, I didn't do it. The early-birds sucked out all the fun, some coming even far before Thanksgiving, as if they used the appearance of Christmas decorations as a starting gun.

So in advance of all the 'Best So Far' lists you'll soon see, I thought I'd do something a little different for my Clicky Clicky guest-post, and talk about some albums that I'm most looking forward to in the second six months of 2006 (and in some cases, beyond). Some have solid release dates, others don't, and still others may wait until next year. Whatever the case, all give me high hopes...

Scheduled releases...
  • Sparklehorse | "Dreamt For Light Years In The Belly Of A Mountain" | September 25th, 2006

    As the little bird says, Mark Linkous has finished the next Sparklehorse album, and it will be out on September 25th. Some words from the site: "Contributors and Collaborations on the new LP include Dangermouse, Christian Fennesz, Scott Minor, Stephen Drozd, Dave Fridmann, Sophie Michalitsianos, and Johnny Hott. The new LP also includes an unreleased song from 'It's a Wonderful Life' featuring Tom Waits on piano." Bound to be brilliant.

  • Yo La Tengo | "I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass" | September 12th, 2006

    When James McNew joked that 'IANAOYAIWBYA' could be the title, who thought it would stick? Not me, but I love that it did. As they said "fifteen new songs, no covers", and one of them is the already shared MP3 'Beanbag'.

  • The Album Leaf | "Into the Blue Again" | September 12th, 2006

    Given that I've loved everything AL mastermind Jimmy Lavalle has put out, I expect the next full length to treat me no differently. Judging from the first preview track, 'Red Eye' (stream it on MySpace), my expectations are quite safe.

  • Kristin Hersh | "Learn to Sing Like a Star" (tentative title) | Late '06 / Early '07

    In Kristin's words, it's been mixed and mastered, and should now be in the hands of 4AD for a fall/winter release. Drums by her Throwing Muses bandmate (and one of my rhythmic heroes) David Narcizo, sure-to-be-beautiful string arrangements by the brilliant McCarricks. I absolutely can't wait for this one. The Muses will reunite this summer for a couple shows, and Kristin's current rock-vessel, 50 Foot Wave, will be opening up. After that gift, I'm looking forward to some solo K shows, and whenever the album arrives, I expect it will be a big part of my winter soundtrack.

  • Tara Jane O'Neil | "In Cirles" | September 12th

    Her solo work since Retsin & Rodan has improved with every release (and it was good from the get go), so I'm really psyched for album number four. Still haven't picked up her recent import EP, 'A Raveling', but the song clips on the Brainwashed site and at Darla are very promising.

  • Pernice Brothers | "Live A Little" | September 2006

    Yup, the latest news from Pernice headquarters is the title and a release month now that the tracks are mixed. More words from the latest update: "The lineup this time around included Peyton Pinkerton, James Walbourne, Patrick Berkery and Bob Pernice on their usual instruments, with Joe Pernice playing bass in addition to the stuff he usually does. Kara Pernice Coyne and Anne Pinkerton make vocal appearances. And Mike Deming did the string and horn arrangements. That�s right, strings. And horns." Sounds good to me.

  • Eric Bachmann | "To The Races" | August 22nd, 2006

    The ex-Archers of Loaf leader and the man behind Crooked Fingers sheds band names for his own on his Saddle Creek solo debut. Album cover here, eventual Bachmann website here.

  • Secret Shine | "Beyond Sea and Sky" EP (tenative title) | September 2006

    The surprise return of these self-proclaimed shoegazers was a welcome one, and I was happy to see the quick release of the 'Elemental' EP in February. I thought we might see an eventual album, but since the band is self-financed, EPs are what we're going to get until someone else foots the bill. You can hear samples from that first EP right here, and the next one arrives in September.

Other scheduled albums I'm looking forward to...

In the works...
  • Mary Timony | title tbd

    According to Mary herself, in a recent update at the Kill Rock Stars site, "We are recording basic tracks in the in the beginning of July at Jay Robbins' studio in Baltimore. Then we are doing overdubs at home, and we'll mix in August. Brendan Canty is producing the record." Aces all around.

  • Geoff Farina | a full-band album

    The ex-Karate frontman will take a break from his softer solo side for his next release, according to this news item: "I've started recording some new band-oriented music at Andy Hong's studio (Kimchee) this month, with Luther Gray playing drums. I can't really say much about it until it becomes more definite, but I'm hoping to have a band-oriented recording out sometime early next year."

  • Buffalo Tom | the 7th full-length

    Buffalo Tom are finishing up their not-yet-titled 7th disc, and Bill Janovitz promises "a song or two to post up on the web soon". No news on who will be putting it out, so obviously a release date is up in the air. They've been playing a bunch of the songs live for quite awhile, and the album has some great guests: Mission of Burma's Clint Conley contributes some vocals, Chris Toppin and Hilken Mancini sing together, just as they did back in their Fuzzy days. Hope we hear about a release date sometime soon.

  • Radiohead | all those new songs

    I was pretty well impressed with all the new stuff Radiohead debuted during their just-ended North American tour, even without the eventual studio-wizardy that will soon be cast over it. According to a supposed band-issued apparently debunked MySpace announcement, the eventual album could very well be their last.

Also in the works, with very tenative release info...

And a few anticipated reissues...
  • Sebadoh | Sebadoh III | August 8th, 2006

    At last, the 41 track, 2-disc set has release dates: July 10th in the UK and August 8th in the US. I lost the jewel case to my original copy many years ago, so I'll be happy to replace it. A bunch of unheard songs and 4-track demos is a hell of a bonus.

  • Tortoise | "A Lazarus Taxon" Box Set | August 22nd, 2006

    This 3xCD/DVD set collects a ton of material, including singles, B-sides, Japanese releases, compilations, and other random rarities. For a complete track-by-track rundown from Tortoise's John McEntire, head to Brainwashed.

  • The Glove | Blue Sunshine (1983)
    The Cure | The Top (1984)
    The Cure | The Head On The Door (1985)
    The Cure | Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me (1987)
    (release dates tbd)

    The reissue of the entire Cure catalog continues with what some fans would call a serious transitionary period. Robert Smith's more upbeat collaboration with Siouxsie & the Banshees' Steve Severin as The Glove didn't reveal its influence until 'The Head On The Door', when the Cure's poppier side resurfaced led to some poppier, more radio-friendly songs. 'Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me' was a more schizophrenic double-disc (and actually the album that brought me fully into the Cure-fan fold), parts of which hinted at the brilliance that was to follow on 'Disintegration'. All these reissues are packed with bonus tracks, and you'll find the full tracklistings over here.

  • The Afghan Whigs | "Unbreakable" Retrospective CD | Late 2006

    A supposed 'greatest hits' from Rhino, but I'll likely only grab it if there's some rarities or previously unreleased material on there (new songs?!). My Whigs collection is all too complete.

So, aside from TV On The Radio's new one (suggested in the comments over on Clicky Clicky), what'd I miss? What future releases are you psyched about?

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

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