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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

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Under The Gun

A personal challenge: Let's see if I can actually finish up a post during my lunch hour. Bits on Kristin Hersh, the Shins, Wheat, Silkworm and more follows...

Throwing Muses / 50 Foot Wave frontwoman Kristin Hersh will be releasing her next solo album, "Learn To Sing Like A Star" in late January 2007 on Yep Roc in the U.S. and 4AD elsewhere. Last month she stopped into Seattle's KEXP's studio to play a few of the new numbers and an old TM song while she was in town for a solo show to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the debut Muses record. A stream of her four-song performance is archived on KEXP's site right here, during which she debuted "Winter", "Under the Gun", "Sugarbaby", and played 1986's "Soul Soldier". For a taste, here's one of the new tracks as an mp3...
Go check out the rest, and have a look at the album artwork and tracklisting at Throwing Music. Really looking forward to that January 23rd release date.

A couple weeks before that we'll get a preview in the form of a single for the song "In Shock", which will include three non-album tracks: 2 new Kristin songs ("Window Pane" & "Blackstone") along with an "eerie, dark version" of an Appalachian folk song called "Poor Wayfaring Stranger".

In the meantime, make sure you bookmark or subscribe to the feed for Kristin's blog over at Throwing Music. Some of her entries are as thought-provoking as her lyrics can be. Portland, Oregon's Powell's Books invited her to contribute a guest post (entitled "Korporate Konsumer Kulture" to their blog recently as well, so give that a read.

Kristin also took part in Powell's most recent "Bookcast", reading one of her best blog entries for an audience, and performing acoustic versions of her song "Beestung" and the Muses brilliant "Delicate Cutters", each with brief spoken intros. Here's a direct link to the spoken blog mp3 and "Beestung"...
Check out all the rest right here.

"Phantom Limb", the first single from The Shins' upcoming "Wincing the Night Away", has been unsurprisingly getting tons of radio play, especially on Sirius' Left of Center channel and KEXP. Curious to hear more (and as someone who doesn't do leaks), I made sure to check out their November 3rd live performance on KEXP when they were in NYC for CMJ (initialization overload). They played "Kissing the Lipless", "Girl Inform Me", "Turn A Square", and "Pressed in a Book", but just two from the out-in-January disc: "Phantom Limb" and "Australia".

For just two more days you can listen to the entire Shins session by going to the KEXP streaming archive, selecting November 3rd from the dropdown, and entering 1:26pm into the time boxes. Click go, choose your media type, and you're off. If you miss it, here's the excellent "Australia"...

While the glorious Silkworm rightly called it quits after the tragic death of drummer Michael Dahlquist last year, their official end could actually be marked as December 6th, 2006 when the 12xu label releases their final recording, the EP titled "Chokes". Six tracks: five originals and a cover of Dylan's "Spanish Harlem Incident". The originals were all tracked last year by Steve Albini, and the cover is actually a live recording from a New Year's Eve 2000 show by the Crust Brothers, which was Silkworm plus Mr. Stephen Malkmus. Fittingly, Dahlquist sings lead on that one, a perfect bookend to the released output of one of the best bands there ever was.

12xu has made the first track from the EP available for download...
Damn it's good to hear that man behind his drum kit again. The definition of bittersweet.

The rollercoaster ride of a career that Boston (ok, Taunton) band Wheat is on keeps going as they finally release some new music in the coming months. First up is a five song EP titled "That's exactly what I wanted...exactly that", which you can pre-order at Empyrean Records so you get it when it's released on December 15th. If you order up before this week finishes up, you'll get the mini-album plus "a limited-edition, hand-numbered, silkscreened poster, and t-shirt". Wheat fans, go get 'em. The band has made one track from the EP available...
Next year comes the full-length follow up, "Everyday I Said a Prayer for Kathy and Made a One Inch Square".

You could spend a mighty long time navigating the bands official site (which includes lots of buried lyrics for lots of random songs, including for the song above), which you might as well do while you download a wealth of shows (and albums!) over at the Wheat Live site. If you've never heard "Hope & Adams", I can only envy you for the first listen you're in for. Great, great stuff.

An absolute live audio goldmine: A free online streaming archive of old King Biscuit Flower Hour & Fillmore live shows has been created at Concert Vault. 300 live soundboard-sourced shows, many of them classics, all just a few clicks away from your ears. You can stream whole shows or individual tracks, up to you. Just create a free account, log in, and click the "concerts" button to see a list of the 300 shows that are already up, and get over there quick before it disappears or they start charging... it just feels too good to be true free.

Here are some direct links to a few of the shows I've been listening to today (you'll have to register first for them to work), including a couple recorded decades ago here in Boston...
And I'm not even halfway through the alphabet (ok, yes, I skipped ahead for the Neil Young). So get listening. If you're not in the mood to search around, just fire up their Vault Radio player and you'll get a playlist of random live tracks streamed for you.

To save you a little digging, here's one of the songs you'll find in there, a relative rarity from that amazing 1984 set from the Cure. While the song "Forever" has often been performed live, it's never played the same way twice. Clocking in at over 9 minutes, this is probably the only time I'll be able to use the descriptive phrase "goth improv jam"...

Jordan Jeffares of Snowden (who return to Boston in a couple weeks to play Great Scott with iForward, Russia!) made a solo AOL/Spinner Interface appearance last week, performing ultra-stripped down versions of four songs. While the full set won't be posted until early December, they've made his version of their debut album's title track available a little early. Head over here to stream "Anti-Anti". Actually, since Jay asked so nicely, here's the track for ya...
Hit up this link in a few weeks for the rest.

Greg Dulli's Twilight Singers have made a new/old song available to stream on their MySpace page. "The Lure Would Prove Too Much" was actually recorded back in 2004 for their latest album, "Powder Burns", but was ditched because it "didn't quite fit". The band is in Boston at the Paradise next week tonight with the Stars of Track and Field. I can't make it, so enjoy it for me, willya?

Killer Boston-area show alert: The Evens are coming to town. The four-fisted machine that is Fugazi/Dischord guy Ian MacKaye and drummer Amy Farina are playing at the Massachusetts College of Art's Pozen Center ( 621 Huntington Ave.) on Friday, December 8th. Doors are at 7, the one-band show starts at 8, it's all ages, and a mere five bucks (thank you once again, Mr. MacKaye). No advance tickets for this one, only at the door, so if you're late you may be fashionable, but you also might not get in. Check out the stylin' show poster right here.

Partake of some tracks from the Evens over at this fan-run MySpace page, or head to the Southern Records site, where they've made a song from their new album, "Get Evens", available for download...

So y'know how I said at the top of this post that I wanted to finish it during my lunch hour? That was a week ago. Yeesh. And, of course, a bunch of the stuff I wrote about popped up on other music blogs in the meantime. Good thing I don't get paid for this, eh?

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

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