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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, November 06, 2006

Mp3s: Rose Melberg live in Allston

I've been in love with Rose Melberg's voice and songwriting since the first few notes of Tiger Trap's self-titled K Records debut back in 1992, and feared I'd never get to see her play live when they broke up the following year. With her on the west coast and me up in Vermont, I held out hope that she'd head east with one of her follow-up projects, as half of guitars-n-harmonies duo the Softies or with trio Go Sailor. My wish came true in the summer of '94 when the Softies came through Burlington on a tour with Crayon, and it was as special as I'd imagined. Her voice always hits me just right, and in person it's hard to imagine a prettier sound.

Twelve years is way too long to wait for a second fix, but while Rose has been writing and releasing songs all along (solo and with her bands), I've been missing her rare live appearances. Distance and motherhood have kept her off any roads near Boston in recent years (she took an almost five-year live break until 2005), and when her newest (and to my ears, most beautiful) solo album "Cast Away The Clouds" came out last Spring I quietly wished she'd tour for it. Months passed with only a couple dates on the wrong side of the continent (she currently makes her home in Vancouver), until word came from record label Double Agent that she'd be doing a few east coast shows in October... and one was about a block from my house.

Although it was a Sunday, I'd rarely seen a night with so many great shows going on in the Boston area at the same time. There were at least three other lineups I might have seen, and all were courtesy of the excellent North East Sticks Together (N.E.S.T) Fest going on that week. But with Rose in town (and also a N.E.S.T. event), there was really no internal debate about my evening plans. All the competing musical choices resulted in a sparser crowd at O'Brien's than I'd have otherwise expected, but one that was no less appreciative. The lighter attendance may also have been due to the unusual performer/venue combo: the Allston bar is more often host to far louder lineups, so pretty-pop fans might have been out of the loop or too far from the T for this one.

On this night, the loudest sound during Rose's set may have been O'Brien's cash register, or even the squeaky bathroom door, which almost act as instruments on these recordings. Also accompanying Rose's voice and guitar is keyboardist and backing vocalist Nick Krgovich (of P:ano), who is a big part of the reason that "Cast Away The Clouds" is as gorgeous as it is. Here's their wonderful set...

Some Rose-y links...
  • Her Double Agent page, MySpace page, and Wikipedia entry.

  • Stream the lead-off track from "Cast Away The Clouds", "Take Some Time", over at NPR, which chose it as a song of the day back in May.

  • The stellar WMBR radio program "Phoning It In" had Rose performing on the phone in July. Unfortunately the 'listen' link is broken at the moment. Get on that, Nadav! :) Go have a listen. Speaking of "Phoning It In", go listen to recent appearances from Portastatic's Mac McCaughan and Centro-matic's Will Johnson. Those links, thankfully, are very much in service.

  • Download an mp3 of Rose covering Anne Briggs' "The Time Has Come", courtesy of Double Agent.

  • In a September guest post on The Rawking Refuses To Stop, Chad from Everybody Cares, Everybody Understands comes up with collaborative gold in the form of Rose guesting on a performance of "The Biggest Lie" with Elliott Smith in Tempe, Arizona back in 1996. Not only is there audio, there's video. Brilliantly heartbreaking.

  • All sorts of other YouTubey goodness: The video for "Take Some Time", along with a live performance of the song in NYC last June. There's also a live clip of her doing "Irene" at NYC's Cake Shop in April, "My Broken Heart" in San Francisco in May, and a little April on-stage Softies reunion in Seattle.

  • Last but hardly least: Pick up your very own copy of "Cast Away The Clouds", which you can listen to while sipping from your stylish Rose Melberg coffee mug.

  • the fine print... If anyone has an issue with this live set being made available, just say the word (contact info in the 'nac faq). 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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