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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, March 13, 2007

[Live MP3s] Rob Crow in Cambridge, MA

I didn't know exactly what to expect from a visit by Rob Crow (he of Pinback, Goblin Cock, and a slew of other bands), as I hadn't read anything about the first part of the tour that brought him to our TT the Bears in Cambridge a couple weeks back. Would it be just the man and his guitar, or had he'd thrown together a backing band to rock the songs from "Living Well", his latest solo album? What I sure didn't expect was any kind of Heavy Vegetable reunion, and that's a big part of what we got.

Admittedly, I didn't recognize any of the four players that Rob brought on stage with him that night, but just a few quick songs into the set and I knew they must have some serious history. They were just so damn tight. Way tighter than a band who was 12 dates into their first tour had a right to be. Rob hinted at that history when he said "I haven't played with Travis or Manolo in 13 years", and when the band barreled through a special mini-set at the end of the main one, I realized what he meant. Yup, on stage was three out of four Heavy Veggies: Rob, drummer Manolo Turner, and Travis Nelson (who switched from guitar on Rob's solo songs to bass on the rest), along with non-Veggies (but frequent Rob collaborators) Kenseth Thibideau on bass/guitar and Donny Van Zandt on keys. Just after a cover of Brian Eno's "Here Come The Warm Jets" (or "Here Come the Hot Pockets", as Rob dubbed it), a 75%-reunited H.V. served up "Song For Wesley", "Intro", "Couch", "Bully", and "Junior" from their mid-nineties Headhunter albums. It was something to behold.

But it was Rob Crow's solo work (and the sonic similarity to the parts of Pinback I love so much) that got me there in the first place, and the band honestly improved on the songs I'd been already liking from "Living Well". I'd only heard its predecessor, 2003's "My Room Is A Mess", a couple of times, but those songs fit right in with the newer stuff, and we even got a mini-medley of some far older solo material. Without Pinback to seemingly rope him in, Rob cuts loose with rapid-fire short, sharp, shocks of songs; brief blasts on subjects both trival and grand. Twenty-five songs in under an hour, in fact. And there's not much that could amuse my inner geek more than seeing a full band rocking through an ode to World of Warcraft ("Leveling"), or a polarizing comic book artist ("Liefeld"). Speaking of geeking, there's nothing quite like seeing someone trying to dance to Rob's jaunty, sharp-turning songs. I felt like I owed part of the ticket price to the goofy guy in front of me.

For an encore, just Rob and his guitar gave us the gift of two covers: one Misfits and one Minor Threat. It was an obvious display of his early influences, on a tour that incorporated his own personal musical history. Two songs to demonstrate why he started playing music, and longtime bandmates who showed part of how he did.

Here's the set in Mp3 form. Buy "Living Well" from Temporary Residence, and keep an ear out for news of a new Pinback record, which Touch & Go Records says should be out this fall.

Rob Crow

Live at TT the Bears
in Cambridge, Mass.
on Wednesday, February 28th, 2007

Rob songs with the band...
01. Focus
02. Helicopter
03. Leveling
04. Some Things
05. Bam Bam
06. Subtle
07. If Wade Would Call
08. I Hate You, Rob Crow
09. Taste
10. Medley
11. Over Your Heart
12. No Sun
13. Liefeld
14. Catching The Trap
15. Up
16. Some Secret History
17. Over The Summer
18. Here Come The Warm Jets (Brian Eno cover)

Heavy Vegetable songs...
19. Song For Wesley
20. Intro
21. Couch
22. Bully
23. Junior
24. encore applause

Rob and his guitar...
25. Astro Zombies (Misfits cover)
26. Minor Threat (Minor Threat cover)

Some Rob Crow links...
  • The very thorough Rob Crow fan site, Rob's MySpace page, his Wikipedia entry, Temporary Residence label page, and his Absolutely Kosher label page.

  • Mp3s: "I Hate You, Rob Crow" (Single Version), from "Living Well", which is actually longer than the album version. "Some Things" from "My Room Is A Mess". Pinback's "Fortress" from "Summer In Abaddon".

  • Video: The official clip for "I Hate You, Rob Crow" from "Living Well", directed by Matt Hoyt. Live footage of Rob's 7-minute solo encore at the Empty Bottle in Chicago on February 23. The video for Pinback's "AFK" (mov). And here's a link to a Rob Crow YouTube search, where you can find a few more live clips.

  • Sid from Too Much Rock was also at TTs, and offers up his own review right here. As always, he's got some great photos from the show, including shots of openers Glorytellers and Genghis Tron. He also shares his own video of part of Rob's solo encore (mp4).

  • More of my own pictures from the TTs show can be found here.

  • As always, you can listen to all 'Nac-hosted tracks on the Hype Machine.

  • After the set, Rob mentioned how horrified he was by his performance when Pinback played the Touch & Go 25th Anniversary fest in Chicago last fall. I begged to differ, having been in the crowd and dug it, but he swears he's dreading that eventual Monday morning when the Pinback clip appears on the T&G website. Whatever song they choose to share, I hope it'll prove he's being far too hard on himself.

  • Catch one of the two remaining Rob Crow (& friends) solo dates, either as part of South By Southwest in Austin tomorrow night, or the final show of the tour at Brick By Brick in San Diego on March 21st.

  • postscript action... If anyone has any issues whatsoever with this live set being made available, just say the word (contact info in the 'nac faq). I am but a fan trying to share and spread the word. 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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