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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

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Mp3s: Touch & Go's 25th - Day Two

Part two of my audio/visual look back at the Touch & Go Records 25th Anniversary Celebration that took place out in Chicago in September. While the opening Friday night gave us a mere five bands, the second day brought over a dozen: The New Year, Uzeda, Pegboy, Tim & Andy (of Silkworm & Bottomless Pit), the Ex, Killdozer, Jon (Mekons) & Kat (The Ex), Didjits, P.W. Long, Negative Approach, Sally Timms (Mekons), Scratch Acid, Man or Astro-Man?, Big Black, & Shellac.

For words and songs from the first night, look here. The third and final day should be up within the next week or two. Enjoy...

The New Year

Mp3: "Chinese Handcuffs" (live)

Mp3: "Reconstruction" (live)

When I learned that one of my favorite bands, The New Year, would be playing at noon on the second day, my first thought was "they're so not a sunshine band"... but they proved me wrong. Halfway through the set it hit me how their melodic, beautifully hypnotic four-guitar build-ups were an ideal start to a long day ahead. If I ran the world, they could be our stadium rock, sending their perfect chords out through the open air, reverberating into the world. Yeah, those words might look hyperbolic on your computer screen, but standing there listening to them, I sure as hell felt 'em.

(Official site / T&G band page / MySpace)


Mp3: "Gold" (live)

Mp3: "Steel Man" (live)

And if I ran the world, you'd be watching 'Rockstar: Uzeda', and singer Giovanna Cacciola would be just right for their band. Fronted by what could be described as a female David Yow (minus the bare skin), the Italian four-piece put on one seriously powerful performance. If the New Year eased us into the day, Uzeda followed with a swift boot to the head.

(Official site / T&G band page / MySpace)


Mp3: "Superstar" (live)

Mp3: "Dangermare" (live)

I don't think I laughed as much during any other weekend set as I did while Pegboy was on stage. Two o'clock in the afternoon and singer Larry Damore was already rip-roarin' drunk. I don't think I've ever seen anyone flip-off a crowd as affectionately as he did, and he didn't let the photographer's pit prevent him from heading into the crowd for some fan face time. A truly entertaining frontman, I dug watching him as much as he seemed to enjoy performing. Pegboy's been around forever, and the guy still looks like he feels lucky to be up there rocking out.

(T&G band page / Wikipedia page / MySpace)

Andy Cohen, Tim Midgett, & Biznono Kadane
(of Silkworm / Bottomless Pit)

Mp3: "LR72" (live)

One last song, for Michael...
"I've come for good reason, because you and I were friends..."

"...let me drink and weep, and see that a friendship was here"
(Silkworm site / T&G band page / Bottomless Pit site)

The Ex

Mp3: "Sister" (live)

Mp3: "title unknown" (live)

While I can appreciate the creativity and longevity behind these respected Dutch noise-makers, I must admit that sonically they don't do it for me. If any fans out there happen to know the name of song two above, fill me in with a comment below.

(Official site / T&G band page / MySpace)


Mp3: "New Pants & Shirt" (live)

Mp3: "Le Grange (ZZ Top) / Cyst" (live)

Ahhh, Killdozer, how you remind me of my college radio days. Hearing "King of Sex" put me right back at WRUV, circa 1990. A great set, well-loved by the festival crowd, and frontman Michael Gerald is still a cocky wiseass. I do mean that in a good way.

A side note: Near the end of their set, this guy (who may or may not go by the name Timebomb Tom) completely freaked out (video). I mean, a total abandonment of all mental faculties. And distinctively not in a good way. Festival security yanked him for everyone's safety, including his own (trust me, he woulda got punched), and it was no easy task. I saw him literally frothing at the mouth as they dragged him towards the festival exits. I mean, Killdozer is damn good, but they're not "go insane!" good. Word is the guy snuck back in, only to be taken out again in 'cuffs. Timebomb, indeed.

(Wikipedia page / T&G band page / MySpace)

Jon Langford (from The Mekons)
& Kat (from The Ex)

Mp3: "You Must Have Walked Across My Mind Again"
(live George Jones cover)

Mp3: "Last Fair Deal Done Down" (live)

A short, stripped-down four-song interlude from Mr. Langford & Ms. Kat cleansed our musical palate in between the dirty-noize of Killdozer and the impending pop-punk assault that was on deck...

(Mekons site / Jon Langford's site / The Ex site)


Mp3: "Plate In My Head" (live)

Mp3: "Who's Ready To Get High" (live)

Wow. Didjits. What can I say? I'd never heard 'em, and was pretty well blown away by the old-skool pop-punk they served up. I wasn't the only one... the cheers and applause were loud and lengthy. Singer/guitarist Rick Sims is a born showman, and any time that goes by without him fronting some loud-ish band playing fast-ish songs is a musical crime. Such a great set.

It was made even better when I glanced over to my right to find Rick and Rose from the Poster Children alongside me, enjoying the sounds from their Champaign-spawned brethren even more than I was. Rose's near-non-stop pogo action was super-infectious. Three cheers for the PKids. (you have heard Radio Zero, Rick and Rose's podcast, have you not? )

(Wikipedia page / T&G band page / MySpace)

P.W. Long

While I saw and dug P.W.'s low-key acoustic songs, a recording glitch means I can't share any of his set here. Hit up his MySpace page for three streaming tracks.

(Wikipedia page / T&G artist page / MySpace)

Negative Approach

Mp3: "Pressure / Fair Warning" (live)

Mp3: "Dead Stop" (live)

Mosh pit!! With the very first note of NegApp's first song, the pit came to life. Like an unforeseen whirlpool, I got sucked right into the middle, and I loved it. For all of about 10 seconds. Then I realized my recording was going to come out sounding totally ass-tastic if I didn't escape, and soon. So I swam to the edge and became one of the border-guards, protecting myself from flailing arms and falling bodies as I pushed people back in. It was the best kind of pit... asshole-free and relatively safe, which I suppose could be attributed to the average age of the guys inside. Let's just say they had obvious pit experience. Good times.

(Wikipedia page / T&G band page / MySpace)

Sally Timms with Jon Lanford
(from the Mekons)

Mp3: "Corporal Chalkie" (live)

Mp3: "God's Eternal Love"
(live Mark Eitzel cover)

I'm not sure what twisted genius put Sally Timms smack dab between the madness of a reunited Negative Approach and Scratch Acid, but somehow it worked. If her songs didn't seem to fit in that spot, her punk rock attitude sure did. She put the crowd in its impatient place, and got us ready for the imminent Yow...

(Official site / T&G band page / Mekons site)

Scratch Acid

Mp3: "Monsters" (live)

Mp3: "El Espectro" (live)

Does my cred take a hit if I admit I've never owned any Scratch Acid records? Ah well. Sure, I'd heard 'em, but even though I'd been a total Jesus Lizard freak, my love never bled over into David Yow and David Sims' previous band. That's not to say I didn't know exactly what the Touch & Go crowd was in for, and that's exactly what we got: unfiltered and indecipherable Yow, all intensity and insanity, but thankfully without the nudity. I've seen enough of his twig & berries to last a lifetime, thank you very much.

(Wikipedia page / T&G band page)

Man or Astro-Man?

Unfortunately, Man or Astro-man? gets the same short end of the stick as P.W. Long but for a different reason: I was stuck on the other side of the festival lot among the masses waiting for Big Black and Shellac to rock us. MoAM?'s set sounded solid from a distance, and if I hadn't seen 'em years ago in a small club, it would have been a far tougher decision to skip their set.

(Official site / T&G band page / MySpace)

Big Black

01: "introduction"
02: "Cables" (live)
03: "Dead Billy" (live)
04: "Pigeon Kill" (live)
05: "Racer X" (live)

As a reunited Big Black assumed their positions, frontman/guitarist Steve Albini kicked off their short four-song set by igniting a pack of firecrackers. No one in the crowd needed that to draw their attention; we'd been waiting for this for a very long time. Actually, that's not quite true... since no one expected this would ever happen, no one was really waiting for anything. Albini was joined by Jeff 'Stretch' Pezzati on bass, Santiago Durango on guitar, and of course Roland on drums, who I'm guessing had to be reprogrammed entirely from scratch. Couldn't resist sharing up all four songs here, along with the crackling intro.

(Wikipedia page / T&G band page)


Mp3: "Canada" (live)

Mp3: "Billiard Player Song" (live)

During Shellac's unbelievable set, I truly felt that I was witnessing a band at the absolute top of its game. It seemed that they had the massive crowd completely captivated, totally entranced. I got lost in it, in the tension, the energy, the pure skill coming from the stage. I've never heard them tighter, better mixed, or more powerful... there is no one that can make the sounds they do, simply one of the most unique rock trios off all time.

They played a bunch of the songs that will likely make up their long-awaited next record, "Excellent Italian Greyhound", most of which have been floating around the internet for awhile now... here's hoping the wait for that full-length isn't much longer.

(Wikipedia page / T&G band page)

A few related links...
  • If you're familiar with torrent-style file sharing, you can grab full festival sets courtesy of some other tapers at DimeADozen: Pegboy / Jon & Kat, Killdozer, Didjits, Sally Timms, and Big Black / Scratch Acid.

  • Check YouTube for various T&G 25th-related video clips, including one of Tim & Andy's performance of the song above.

  • Easily listen to all the songs shared here on The Hype Machine

  • My first Touch & Go Fest post had lots more links, and live songs from Shipping News, Supersystem, Ted Leo & the Pharmacists, Girls Against Boys, and !!!.
  • Congrats to Denise in Mississauga, Ontario, who was the winner of my extra limited edition "Claws" single that Shipping News gave out on the festival's opening day. And as I said, the third and final post in this T&G trifecta will be up as soon as I can throw it together...

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