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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, September 07, 2006

To Chicago I Go...

Chi-town, here I come. I'm about to leave my Boston comfort-zone, and at this time tomorrow I'll be front and center for the first night of the weekend-long Touch & Go Records 25th Anniversary Celebration. I've been listening to T&G bands for as long as I've been listening to good music, and some of my faves are playing at this thing. As the full lineup was revealed, I was literally compelled to plan this trip, bank account be damned. I'm heading out there solo, so if you'll be around and feel like meeting up for a beer (or at least a hello and a handshake), drop me an email anytime at the link on the lower left... I'll hopefully have some kind of 'net access in between seeing all the great bands (and maybe some great art).

Before I go, a few parting links and such. This will be quick, 'cuz I really gotta start packing...

The Wedding Present recently did another BBC Radio Session, this one a set of covers for Huw Stephens show last week, on Tuesday, August 29th. The four songs, one from each of the past four decades, were spread throughout the broadcast, which was streamed online for the past week or so. If you missed it, here are a couple of the songs for you...
The Wedding Present - "Our Lips Are Sealed" (Go-Go's cover)
The Wedding Present - "Back For Good" (Take That cover)
The other two covers were the Lennon/McCartney-penned "Step Inside Love", made popular by Cilla Black, and Minnie Riperton's "Lovin You" (with 'the brown note' played on guitar, for the curious). No doubt all those songs will appear someday on yet another Weddoes BBC compilation.

The second Billy Bragg box set from Yep Roc Records, surprisingly titled "Billy Bragg: Volume 2", arrives on October 17th. The label is making it tough for me to wait for the discounted Newbury Comics price, since they're offering pre-orderers a bonus disc to go along with the 9 discs already in the box. The ltd. edition freebie is a cd of live songs from a 1987 Victoria University in New Zealand. If you order up early, you may also win one of 50 copies of Billy's new book, "The Progressive Patriot", and 20 of those winners will also get an autographed BB poster.

Courtesy of Yep Roc, here's the full tracklisting of the Billy Bragg: Volume 2 box set, along with what's on that pre-order bonus disc...
"Workers Playtime"
Disc One: The Original Album

1. She's Got A New Spell
2. Must I Paint You A Picture?
3. Tender Comrade
4. The Price I Pay
5. Little Time Bomb
6. Rotting on Remand
7. Valentine's Day Is Over
8. Life With The Lions
9. The Only One
10. The Short Answer
11. Waiting For The Great Leap Forwards

"Workers Playtime"
Disc Two: Bonus tracks

1. The Only One (Demo)
2. The Price I Pay (Demo)
3. Love Has No Pride
4. That's Entertainment
5. She's Got A New Spell (Demo)
6. The Short Answer (Demo)
7. Little Time Bomb (Demo)
8. Bad Penny (Demo)
9. Reason To Believe (Live)
10. Must I Paint You A Picture? (Extended Version)
11. Raglan Road (Live)

"Don't Try This At Home"
Disc One: The Original Album

1. Accident Waiting To Happen
2. Moving the Goalposts
3. Everywhere
4. Cindy Of A Thousand Lives
5. You Woke Up My Neighbourhood
6. Trust
7. God's Footballer
8. The Few
9. Sexuality
10. Mother Of The Bride
11. Tank Park Salute
12. Dolphins
13. North Sea Bubble
14. Rumours Of War
15. Wish You Were Her
16. Body Of Water

"Don't Try This At Home"
Disc Two: Bonus tracks

1. Party Of God
2. North Sea Bubble (Demo)
3. Sexuality (Demo)
4. Just One Victory (Alternative Mix)
5. Everywhere (Alternative Version)
6. Trust (Demo)
7. Bread & Circuses
8. Cindy Of A Thousand Lives (Demo)
9. The Few (Demo)
10. Revolution
11. Tighten Up Your Wig (w/The Athenians & DJ Woody Dee)
12. MBH
13. This Gulf Between Us
14. Piccadilly Rambler

"William Bloke"
Disc One: The Original Album

1. From Red To Blue
2. Upfield
3. Everybody Loves You Babe
4. Sugardaddy
5. A Pict Song
6. Brickbat
7. The Space Race Is Over
8. Northern Industrial Town
9. The Fourteenth Of February
10. King James Version
11. Goalhanger

"William Bloke"
Disc Two: Bonus tracks

1. As Long As You Hold Me (Demo)
2. Who's Gonna Shoe Your Pretty Little Feet (Demo)
3. Sugardaddy (Demo)
4. The Space Race Is Over (Demo)
5. Goalhanger (Demo)
6. Upfield (Demo)
7. The Fourteenth Of February (Demo)
8. Qualifications
9. Never Had No One Ever
10. Thatcherites
11. All Fall Down

"England, Half England"
Disc One: The Original Album

1. St. Monday
2. Jane Allen
3. Distant Shore
4. England, Half English
6. Some Days I See The Point
7. Baby Faroukh
8. Take Down The Union Jack
9. Another Kind Of Judy
10. He'll Go Down
11. Dreadbelly
12. Tears Of My Tracks

"England, Half England"
Disc Two: Bonus tracks

1. Billericay Dickie
2. Mansion On The Hill
3. Glad And Sorry
4. He'll Go Down (Demo)
5. Yarra Song
6. You Pulled The Carpet Out
7. Mystery Shoes
8. Tears Of My Tracks (Demo)
9. Take Down The Union Jack (Band Version)
10. England, Half English (7� Remix)
11. 1 2 3 4
12. Dry Bed (Band Version)
13. Danny Rose
14. She Smiled Sweetly

Box Set Bonus DVD
"If You've Got A Guestlist..."
Billy Bragg & The Red Stars
at the Town & Country Club
November 1991 (TV Concert)

1. You Woke Up My Neighbourhood
2. The Saturday Boy
3. The Marching Song Of The Covert Battalions
4. The World Turned Upside Down
5. Dolphins
6. Valentine's Day Is Over
7. North Sea Bubble
8. Body Of Water
9. Levi Stubbs' Tears
10. A Lover Sings
11. She's Got A New Spell
12. Cindy Of A Thousand Lives
13. Accident Waiting To Happen
14. Waiting For The Great Leap Forwards
15. Tender Comrade
16. Tank Park Salute
17. The Warmest Room
18. Sexuality

Special Pre-Order Bonus CD
"Billy Bragg at the Broadway Barking"
Live in May, 2006

1. A Lover Sings
2. The Price I Pay
3. Debris
4. Tank Park Salute
5. All You Fascists
6. Waiting For The Great Leap Forwards
7. A13, Trunk Road To The Sea
Pre-order the disc here. Billy will be returning to North America later this month for a dozen dates, some in Canada, and the rest on the U.S. West Coast.

Any and all discriminating online music listeners will mourn the loss of WOXY, who are being forced by lack of fund to shut down operations next Friday, Sept. 15th, after a two-year attempt at being internet-only. I loved 'em, I'll miss 'em, and I'll be making sure I've got all the live Lounge Acts appearances before they're gone. Very glad to hear that WOXY DJ Barb has got herself a nice new radio job.

Got myself an early copy of The Album Leaf's next disc, "Into The Blue Again", and it's as beautiful as I expected it to be, maybe moreso. Can't get enough of it, and I'm so glad I've got it on my mp3 player for the flight from Logan to O'Hare. Thanks to LHB for tipping me to the ten-minute quicktime mini-documentary on the making of the album.

The Breeders going back into the studio with Steve Albini? Yes, please.

The volume of Continuum Books' 33 1/3 Series that I've been most looking forward to is finally here: The story behind My Bloody Valentine's "Loveless" by Mike McGonigal was released on Sept. 1st, and my copy is on the way. If you haven't checked out this excellent series of books, each telling the story behind (or a story inspired by) a particular landmark album, you can now order up a special collection called "33 1/3 Greatest Hits, Volume 1", which pulls together excerpts from the first 20 volumes.

Daytrotter hosts a nice little session with Will 'Bonnie Prince Billy' Oldham. Four songs, including "The Seedling" from his upcoming disc, "The Letting Go".

While Sophia Coppola's next film, Marie Antoinette, already has a bit of negative buzz around it, at least the soundtrack is going to offer something positive: songs from Swedish group The Radio Dept., who mentioned it on their myspace blog, along with classic Cure and New Order numbers. Full tracklisting here.

My Mean Magpie tracked down info on the original artist (and accompanying mp3) who wrote the song "Blue Flower", which I fell in love with thanks to both Mazzy Star and the Pale Saints.

Metal Hearts, who are on tour most of this month and will be heading over to Europe with Boston's Victory at Sea in November, have let us know that they'll be releasing a split EP with Headlights in early Spring next year. That'll hopefully tide us over until their next album.

Radio Free Silver Lake pointed a live video clip of Explosions In The Sky performing "Your Hand in Mine" on YouTube. You already downloaded the free mp3s of their out-of-print "The Rescue" EP, right?

More free greatness: "Bug House", which is select tracks from the Guided By Voices rarities compilation "Broadcaster House". You can download the tracks one by one, or grab one large .zip file. I've got to tell you, the quality and songs are just amazing. Thanks to Hold My Life for the heads up. Speaking of HML, I was bummed to read he's indefinitely stepping away from posting. Was good while it was around, and hopefully it'll return.

Since we have to wait until early next year for Kristin Hersh's next solo album, "Learn To Sing Like A Star", I'm hankering for any pre-release info-morsel I can get. So here's the full tracklisting for the disc, which is likely to be on my 2007 faves list...
Kristin Hersh
"Learn To Sing Like A Star"

01. In Shock
02. Nerve Endings
03. Day Glo
04. Christian Hearse
05. Ice
06. Under the Gun
07. Piano 1
08. Sugarbaby
09. Peggy Lee
10. Piano 2
11. Vertigo
12. Winter
13. Wild Vanilla
14. The Thin Man

Another tracklisting, this one for a long-awaited release from NYC band +/- {Plus/Minus}. They put out "Let's Build A Fire" in Japan late last year, and thanks to Absolutely Kosher Records, we'll finally see it stateside on October 24th. Here's the tracklisting for the U.S. version:
+/- {Plus/Minus}
"Let's Build A Fire"

01. Let�s Build a Fire
02. Fadeout
03. Steal the Blueprints (MP3 download)
04. The Important Thing Is To Love
05. Thrown into the Fire
06. Summer Dress 2 [Iodine]
07. Ignoring All the Detours
08. Profession
09. One Day You�ll Be There
10. This Is All I Have Left
11. Leap Year
12. Time and Space
13. For You

One of the bands I'll be seeing this weekend (and likely seeing a little too much of frontman David Yow) is Austin's Scratch Acid, the Jesus Lizard/Rapeman ancestor that I was too young to catch when they were around. In honor of the few shows that the reunited band will be doing, Austin 360 presents a great S.A. retrospective called "An Oral History, from Scratch".

Someone else I'm really looking forward to seeing in Chicago this weekend: Tara Jane O'Neil. Her fourth full-lengther on Quarterstick, "In Circles", comes out this Tuesday the 12th, and I'm hoping they'll have early copies at the T&G shows. Here's a preview track...
Mp3: "Tara Jane O'Neil - Blue Light Room" (from "In Circles")

Ida's Liz Mitchell has another album of children's songs out called "You Are My Little Bird". Order it from Folkways over here. Still waiting for word on if that October Ida show at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston is really going to happen.

So pre-sales for the big Death Cab For Cutie / Ted Leo & the Pharmacists show at the Boston Opera House on November 2nd happened this morning, and I gotta admit, I was awfully hesitant to drop the big bills for that one. I haven't had any strong desire to see DCFC for a long time, but the chance to see Ted & Co. on that stage, in the same spectacular setting where I caught Sigur Ros last year... I just couldn't pass it up. So I took a shot at the pre-order deal and ended up with center seats pretty close to the stage. Yeah, I think I can deal with that.

Boston pre-sale tix sold out in under 60 seconds, with Rochester and the first Toronto date disappearing shortly after. When that Toronto show was closed, a second night there was added, and a second Boston show has also been placed on another open date, Nov. 3rd. Pre-sale tickets for that one aren't up yet, but regular tickets go on sale Saturday, Sept. 16th at 9am.

Another guaranteed sell-out, this one on the smaller side, is the return of Margot & the Nuclear So and So's to the Boston area. They're playing at TT the Bears with The Elected (featuring Blake Sennett from Rilo Kiley), also on Nov. 3rd. Even if students weren't back, tickets would be scarce for this fine Friday night double-bill. So go get yours.

In advance of the October 10th release of the next Portastatic disc, "Be Still Please", Mac & Co. will be putting out a digital-only EP called "Sour Shores" next week. Here's some capilatizationally-challenged info from Mac's blog...
"the first track is the album version (of "Sour Shores"), track 2 is an acoustic cover of the great Hot Chip song ("And I Was A Boy From School"), track 3 ("Portraits From Before the War") was recorded at the time of Bright Ideas but for whatever reason didn't fit with the rest of those songs (i remember -- it was too FANTASTIC! so you should probably get it now), and track 4 is the demo for the title track of the EP. the EP will be available from from all your favorite online sources (iTunes, emusic, et al) as well as directly from the Merge site!"

Congrats to Almanac reader Rob from Maine, who won the copy of David Bazan's "Fewer Moving Parts" EP that I had up for grabs. More contests are in the works (including one for Portastatic merch and live tix), so check back, unless you're one of those freaks who hate free stuff.

Alright, time to go get my travel gear together. Like I said, if you're in Chicago this weekend, drop me a note with your cell number. Otherwise, if you see a guy with a Homestar or Star & Bullock Hardware tee and a messenger bag with a bunch of comics-related patches all over it, say hello. Or just yell "Geek!" from a distance. Either way.

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

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