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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, January 31, 2007

Mp3s: Sloan in Cambridge, MA

After a few hours of hardcore audio editing over the weekend, I sat down Monday morning all ready to write the intro to this new live set from Toronto's Sloan. But a quick visit over to Chromewaves revealed that Frank had already done most of the work for me, nice guy that he is. Like him, it's been over a decade since I'd first seen Sloan, way back when they played the Sub Pop Vermonstress fest in October '92. I'd only heard their recorded debut, the excellent "Peppermint EP", at that point, as the full-length "Smeared" had only been out a couple weeks when the festival hit. But between those two releases and their too-short live set that day, they'd found another fan.

In the nearly 15 years (!) since, I've been occasionally guilty of taking Sloan for granted. I've picked up most of their releases over time, and while they all have their highs and lows, those peaks and valleys have never been drastic enough to either get me overly-excited or totally turned-off. They are the aging, yet ever-dependable, utility player of the power-pop lineup. But with the recent release of the 30-song "Never Hear The End Of It" on Yep Roc, they've kicked off what could be their record season. In terms of overall hooks-per-minute, it's leaps above anything they've put out in years. If forced to give one criticism, I'd only say what many other reviewers already have: "too much of a good thing". As admirable an accomplishment such a solid collection is, sustaining interest for 30 songs is almost too much for any band to pull off (although in these days of shuffled playlists, that issue is easily avoided).

Their live appearance at Cambridge's Middle East Downstairs a couple weeks back almost suffered from the same pure-pop overload, but I found myself sticking around and bobbing my head through the entire 30-song ('natch) set. Like the album, the songs came fast and furiously, many of them blending together, with the only real breaks coming when the band members switched instruments. They're able to balance the four songwriters and their multi-instrumental talents with ease, and the fact that they've lasted so long without a single lineup change is a testament to that.

Here's the entire set, with many of the songs left conjoined for your listening pleasure. Be sure to check out the links below for a bunch of Sloan info, including details of Yep Roc's new "30 Days of Sloan" promotion...

Some Sloan-centric links...
  • Their official site, Yep Roc page, MySpace, and Wikipedia entry.

  • Mp3s: "Can't You Figure It Out?" and "Who Taught You To Live Like That?".

  • Stream: The entirety of their new album, "Never Hear The End Of It".

  • Here's a bonus aural curio for ya: At that Vermonstress fest back in 1992, Sloan unveiled an early live version of the song "Ill-Placed Trust", which, I believe, remained unrecorded until an entirely transformed version appeared on the new album (and in the live set above). Here's that 15 year-old song, in its infancy...

  • YouTube video: "Fading Into Obscurity" live, "Flying High Again" / "Who Taught You To Live Like That?" live, and a Sloan search for more.

  • Sid at TooMuchRock was also at the Middle East show, and shares his own write-up, photos (of Sloan and both openers: Brendan Little and Spiral Beach), and a nice live video clip (10.4mb mp4) of the band performing "Another Way I Can Do It".

  • The Boston Globe and The Boston Herald both reported on the show as well.

  • Check out some other comments on the same set at the official Sloan show page.

  • In addition to that Toronto show report that Chromewaves posted a couple days back, here's a link to Franks always-ace concert photos.

  • Harmonium Music reviewed "Never Hear The End Of It", and offered up a couple of other Mp3s from the album: "Fading Into Obscurity" and "Someone I Can Be True With". Go here and scroll down for a listen.

  • Starting this week, Yep Roc Records launched "30 Days of Sloan", during which they're sharing a new Sloan video clip every (business) day leading up to the band's performance at a SXSW label showcase in mid-March. Each free behind-the-scenes vid will appear through both a YouTube group and an iTunes video podcast, and you can check Yep Roc's site for those updated links as well. The first couple installments are up, and as it shows, we're in for a fairly in-depth look into the making of "Never Hear The End Of It".

  • Remember, you can easily listen to all the music shared on the Almanac through the Hype Machine.
  • A postscript: Speaking of the Hype Machine, I had the pleasure of hanging with both H.M. creator Anthony Volodkin and fellow Boston music blogger Paul Irish of Aurgasm at this very show. Anthony was in town for Mashup Camp 3, where H.M. ended up winning "Best Mashup" for the way it brings together music, live concerts, and video content. It's well deserved, and having met its creator, I'm even happier to send more traffic his way... he's an open-minded music fan who seems to be in it for the right reasons. I'm looking forward to seeing how the Hype Machine grows, evolves, and hopefully sticks around for awhile.

    the ever-loving 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. Tracks 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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