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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

Friday, October 06, 2006

Friday Boy

Going to try and get one out the door before the weekend starts. Info on Ted Leo, Tanya Donelly, David Bazan, and, um, Borat lies below. But first...

Billy Bragg appeared on the Late Late Show last night, performing an always-updated version of his 1988 song "Waiting For The Great Leap Forwards". Sideman Ian McLagan helps out with keys and backing vocals, and host Craig Ferguson gushes appropriately during Billy's introduction.

The bard of Barking is out spreading the word about his new book, "Billy Bragg: The Progressive Patriot - A Search For Belonging", as well as his upcoming Volume II Box Set, which will be out on Yep Roc on October 17th.

Here's the YouTube video, along with a link to listen to the original version...

Billy Bragg - "Waiting For The Great Leap Forwards"
(original from "Workers Playtime")

The timely lyrics to the live version...
Billy Bragg
"Waiting For The Great Leap Forwards"
live on October 5th, 2006

It may have been Camelot for Jack & Jacqueline
But on the Hugo Chavez highway, filling up with gasoline,
Little Donald Rumsfeld spies a rich lady who's crying
Over luxury's disappointments, so he goes over and he's trying
To sympathize with her, but he thinks that he should warn her
To prepare to be bombed back into the Stone Age

In the former Soviet Union, the citizens demand
To know why they're still the target of Strategic Air Command
And they shake their fists in anger and respectfully suggest
We take the money from our missiles and spend it on our hospitals instead

The Cold War now is over, but the stakes are getting higher
I'm frightened of collateral damage, and of friendly fire
and I don't believe we can defeat no axis of evil
but putting smart bombs in the hands of dumb people

Mixing pop and politics, they ask me what the use is
I offer 'em my acupuncturist and my masseuses
While looking down the corridor out to where my ego is waiting
I'm looking for the New World Order

Jumble sales are organized, all my mates got fat
Even after all this time, y'know you can still send me a fax
You can be active with the activists, or sleeping with the media
While you're waiting for the Great Leap Forwards

One leap forwards, two leaps back,
Will YouTube give MTV the sack?
Waiting for the Great Leap Forwards

Well here comes the future, and you can't run from it
If you've got a website, I wanna be on it
Waiting for the Great Leap Forwards

In a perfect world, we'd all sing in tune,
But this is reality, not American Idol
Waiting for the Great Leap Forwards

So join the struggle while you may
The revolution's just an ethical haircut away
When you're waiting for the Great Leap Forwards
This past Monday, KEXP radio also aired a live Bragg appearance at the Triple Door in Seattle. To listen to the performance, head over to the KEXP Stream Archive, and in the 'listen by time' section, choose Monday, October 2nd and 3pm. For now, here's a sample of the goodness you're in for...

Mp3: Billy Bragg - "Saturday Boy" (KEXP / live at the Triple Door)

Speaking of mixing pop & politics, it's exciting to hear that Ted Leo is finally in the studio, laying down all those great songs we've been hearing him play for the past few months with his Pharmacists. The trio is holed up somewhere in a Massachusetts barn, and rumor has it that the one and only Brendan Canty is at the helm. According to Ted's manager, Molly Nueman, " is sounding so incredible and uplifting and danceable and smart and important." Of that, I have no doubt (molly link via bvegan)

Former Belly leading lady and Throwing Muse Tanya Donelly has a disc on deck, also due out on October 17th. It's an album of new material called "This Hungry Life" that was actually recorded at a live performance up at The Windham (rip) in Bellows Falls, Vermont. She's joined by an amazing cast of players for the recording, too, including ex-Dambuilder Joan Wasser on vocals & violin, Buffalo Tom/Crown Victoria frontman Bill Janovitz on vocals, Tanya's hubby Dean Fisher on guitar, journeymen Boston-area players Rich Gilbert (pedal steel) & Joe McMahon (upright bass), and ex-Come drummer Arthur Johnson. That's one hell of a band, and I can't wait to hear the disc. Check out some song excerts and pre-order it here, or at the Eleven Thirty Records site.

update 10/9 - an exclusive track from Tanya's "This Hungry Life", and it's a great one...
Mp3: Tanya Donelly - "Kundalini Slide"
Tanya will be making a rare live appearance at the Government Center location of Newbury Comics in downtown Boston on the release day, Tuesday, October 17th at 12:30pm. Looks like a long lunch break for me that afternoon...

While it's waaaaaaay too early to put up any Christmas decorations, it's not too early to pre-order David Bazan's fourth Christmas single from Suicide Squeeze. This time around, Bazan (aka Pedro the Lion & Headphones) brings us his takes on classic carols "Away In A Manger" and "O Little Town of Bethlehem". It's limited to 1,000 marble-vinyl copies, with just 200 set aside for online orders, so click over here to spend your six bucks. Orders will ship on October 25th, but if you miss the online action, it should be available in finer record stores on November 7th.

And lastly, because I can't resist gloating a bit: I was lucky enough to get into a preview screening of Sacha Baron Cohen's "BORAT: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan", and my stomach still hurts from laughing so damn hard. I've been waiting for this movie for what feels like forever, and it ends up being the funniest film I've seen in years. Amie and I can't stop recalling bits of it for each other, and we laugh again every single time. There are moments that you can't believe you didn't hear about in the news, scenes that will leave you wondering how Sacha escaped some jail-time. Cohen & co. deserve to make a hundred bajillion Tenge off this thing, and I know I'll be contributing when I see it again on opening weekend, November 3rd. I think I missed some good stuff while the audience was dying around me.

I'm slightly hesitant to spread this link around, but what the hell, here you go: If you're in the Boston, Providence, or Hartford areas and want to see a free Borat screening, go here. To prepare yourself, check out this collection of "The 10 Best Borat Skits of All Time", compliments of Cracked. And because I'm always thinking of you, here's my favorite Bruno bit. Pure joy.

Alright, I'm outta here. A glorious New England autumn weekend awaits me. If you haven't yet, take some time and enter the Portastatic contest below before Monday morning. Until then...

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

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