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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

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Mp3s: Sam Champion live in Cambridge, MA

Sometimes the mere mention of "blogger buzz" in association with a band I haven't heard yet can be enough to keep me digging around for something different (been underwhelmed by misdirected hype far too many times). I'm not sure that's the reason I missed out on Sam Champion's debut disc last year, but I do remember reading more than a few favorable things about 'Slow Rewind' in the wake of its fall 2005 release on Razor & Tie. While they've been around and playing out for a few years, what it took for me to finally jump on board was a message from SC singer/guitarist Noah Chernin, who was spreading the word on some brand new summer demos. His personal note was enough to set him apart from the daily dozen promo emails, and three really good new songs sealed the deal. I gladly checked the quartet out when they came up to play TT the Bears in Cambridge a few weeks back.

Here's their eight song set, posted with kind permission. It includes those three recently shared songs, just one from 'Slow Rewind', and four as-of-now unrecorded numbers...

Having gone back and spent some time with 'Slow Rewind', it's easy to see why many reviewers jump on the Pavement comparison... there's an ease to Chernin's vocals, and a laid back SoCal vibe on many of the songs. They're an atypical Brooklyn band, for sure. Of the new demos, 'Heavenly Bender' retains that laid-backness for the most part, relying an low-key keyboard-based bounce. I get bit less of that feel from the other two songs, instead a more structured energy, and I'll share one of 'em below.

And as you'd hope it would, their live show kicked that energy up a notch, adding more vocal urgency and some truly impressive guitar playing (sometimes you just can't beat dueling Gibsons). As the rest of the band held things down, guitarist Sean Bones was able to weave all over 'em with some fine lines and well-placed feedback. Definitely a band that ranks better than such an early opening slot, but I'm thinking that'll change when they hit Boston again.

The new stuff has me really looking forward to what could be a self-released followup, which they'll be recording at an upstate NY barn/studio in late September, with a possible tour to follow shortly after. Catch them next at The Annex in NYC on September 21st.

Some SC links...
  • From the 'Sam Champion Summer Companion' demo (which the band has been giving out free at shows), here's an MP3: 'Be Mine Everyone'

  • Their MySpace page, where you can stream the other two summer demos, another live version of 'Be Mine Everyone', and a demo of 'We Will Awaken' from a 2005 EP.

  • Both Gorilla vs. Bear and Seattle-based (and tastefully titled) blog Everybody Cares, Everybody Understands wrote about SC last month, and Very Good Height shared another song back in June.

  • Yeti Don't Dance wrote up an SC live set back in January, as did Stereogum in May.

  • The man they honor with their name, longtime NYC-area weatherman Sam Champion, just signed up with Good Morning America. So much for his relative semi-obscurity. I smell a Google fight!

  • 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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