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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 31, 2006

Mp3s: Midlake live in Cambridge, MA

Y'know, I almost missed this one. Last Wednesday I was home after a pretty stressful workday, my mind already dead set on a restful evening, when an email arrived reminding me that the Denton, Texas band Midlake was playing across the river at TT the Bears in Cambridge. I'd heard a couple of their songs, and while I remember liking them, I was too distracted at the time to really dive in. But that last-minute note motivated me to load up some mp3s, read a couple glowing reviews, and arrive just in time for their opening set. And it was magic.

Midlake are the back seat of my parents' car, sunday afternoons in the mid-1970s, driving down long Vermont roads towards the homes of random relatives. Listening to the radio, looking out rolled-up windows as the tops of trees flew by. A little Fleetwood Mac, some Steely Dan, and America. Midlake take these songwriting sensibilities, throw in a dash of Flaming Lips (who they recently toured Europe with), and end up sounding both nostalgic and unique to now all at once. You hear a one of their songs and you know it's no one else making music nowadays. Their just-released second album, "The Trials Of Van Occupanther", is the perfect summer disc, and I haven't stopped listening to it since the show.

Here's their all-too-short set from last Wednesday...

Six of those can be found on the new disc, while the opening song and 'Some of Them Were Superstituous' appear on their 2004 debut, 'Bamnan and Silvercork' (which I'm now compelled to buy immediately).

I've never seen TT's stage so packed with equipment... Midlake's drummer was behind a veritable bunker of musical machines. Four separate keyboard setups (though only one band member played keys exclusively, the rest rotated), multiple guitars, and a projector that backlit the band with homemade visuals and old movie clips. Hard to beat the combination of great songs being played in front of a young Nastassja Kinski.

Fans of the Cold War Kids and Sound Team, who played after Midlake left the stage, will be wondering what I thought of (and more specifically, if I recorded) their sets... and I'm sorry to disappoint you. My indifference towards those bands, the packed room, and the increasing crowd-fueled heat led me outside and back to Allston. I wanted to keep the lingering sounds of Midlake's set in my head, and it was easy to do... listening to the disc on the way home, and editing the recording well into the night. Can't wait until they return to Boston as the headliners they should be, and treat us to a much longer list of songs.

Midlake plays a few more dates with Sound Team and Cold War Kids before hitting Lollapolooza on Friday, and then heading overseas for some festivals...
August 2nd - The Magic Stick, Detroit, MI
August 3rd - Kuyahoga Festival, Cuyahoga Falls, OH
August 4th - Lollapalooza, Chicago, IL
August 11th - Bergen Festival, Bergen
August 12th - Oya Festival, Oslo
August 15th - Rotown, Rotterdam
August 16th - Paradiso, Amsterdam
August 19th - Pukkelpop, Hasselt
Some Midlake links...
  • Boston music bloggers Synaptic Blur and Hello Gina were both at the show, and wrote about it, too.

  • More Cowbell raves up their new disc, and Gorilla vs. Bear expected great things back in March. How right they were.

  • Australia-based Get Big, Little Kid offers up not only a song from the new album, but one of the alternate versions that appears on an Oz-only EP.

  • Midlake's MySpace page.

  • 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.

    Lucky me, I'm on vacation this week, and mere moments away from hitting the road to head towards scenic Newport, Rhode Island for a few relaxing days. I'll pick a winner of the DMZ giveaway when I get back, and hopefully be posting a bunch more in the days before I head back to work. Yeah, I know, promises promises.


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

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