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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, April 02, 2007

Monday Miscellany

Well, that was a week right there. Sorry about the relative silence, but I was too busy living life to write anything about it. Before I share a few mp3s below, here's a quick run down...
  • Last Sunday night was a special screening of the upcoming (and, yes, freakin' hilarious) film Hot Fuzz, from the creators of Spaced and Shaun of the Dead, at the Brattle. Director Edgar Wright, co-writer and star Simon Pegg, and co-star Nick Frost were all in attendance. Photos here. And I have one word of advice for anyone planning on seeing this film: If you happen upon a trailer for Hot Fuzz, for the sake of pete, AVERT THINE EYES. Seriously. It kills a few of the movie's great moments, not that there aren't many more to be had. I'll actually be seeing it again when it opens on April 20th, because much of the dialog was drowned in laughter (or in heavy Brit accents).

  • Monday I stopped by the first official Tourfilter DJ Night at River Gods, hosted by creator Chris Marstall with some assistance from writer Matt Shaer. The guys spent two hours each playing music from bands coming to the area in the next few weeks, and I hope that night was just the first of many Chris gets to program. Some good songs, good company, good fries, good times. (Without the songs, that sentence sounded frighteningly like a Mickey D's commercial. "Food, friends, and fun!".)

  • Tuesday brought a special reception for one of my favorite mystery writers, Boston-based Robert B. Parker, held at the B.U. student union. After a brief speech, Parker took many questions from the audience and later sat down to autograph copies of his work, including his new Jesse Stone hardcover, "High Profile". I'll hopefully be writing up the appearance in a future post, along with audio of his Q&A.

  • Wednesday night was Bloc Party and Albert Hammond Jr. at the Orpheum. Much more on that in a later post.

  • Thursday, another rock show, at a far cozier venue: Stars of Track and Field, the Broken West, and the Long Winters at Great Scott. I'll write that up soon as well.

  • Friday, consecutive rock show #3: The glorious return of Sebadoh. Yes, words and sounds to follow.

    As great and unmissable as the Sebadoh show was, it absolutely killed me to know I wasn't seeing Robyn Hitchcock at TTs that night. Did anyone out there reading check it out? How was it? No, wait, don't tell me. Watching the new documentary "Robyn Hitchcock: Sex, Food, Death ... & Insects" Saturday on the Sundance Channel made the missing that much more painful. If you're even a minor Robyn fan, the doc is essential viewing.

  • Saturday: Sorry to say, I crashed. Hard. My big plans to see Chris Pearson at PA's and Wheat at TTs fell apart as I fell into a deep weekend sleep. Fortunately, I have little doubt both of 'em will be playing around here again.
  • And with all that, my personal March went out like a over-active lion. This first April week isn't nearly as hectic, but there's some potential quality ahead: A Northern Chorus with the Twilight Sad on Wednesday night (gentle reminder: enter my ticket giveaway for that one), and Low with Loney, Dear on Saturday (for which I'm sadly missing the return of Shearwater).

    I'm giving Low another chance to win me back, as my disappointment remains from the last time I saw them a couple years ago. I actually bought the tickets well before I'd heard their new album, and I'm sad to say I may have held off otherwise. I'm coming to terms with the fact that the Low I once loved dearly may be gone for good, with only their voices remaining to keep me connected. While I appreciate their studio experimentation in theory, I do long for shades of the Low of olde, the one that used organic instrumentation and actual guitar chords. There's a tad too much technology in "Drums and Guns", making it sound more like a Low remix album than a proper follow-up to "The Great Destroyer". I miss Mimi's tasteful drum-tapping, and Alan's reverberating strums. That said, I'm still fairly curious to see how these songs come across live, and hope they leave the sequencer at home. Come Saturday, I'll be sitting in the Somerville Theater with an open mind.

    Here's a little game of compare and contrast, Low-style...

    Mp3: Low - "Breaker"
    (album version from "Drums & Guns")

    Mp3: Low - "Breaker" (Dub Plate)
    (remix from the bonus pre-order 7")

    Mp3: Retribution Gospel Choir - "Breaker"
    (from the out-of-print RGC tour EP)

    Retribution Gospel Choir, for the unaware, is Low's Alan Sparhawk and bassist Matt Livingston with drummer Eric Pollard, who are joined occasionally by Red House Painter / Sun Kil Moon man Mark Kozelek. That vastly different (and for me, far better) version of "Breaker" comes from their 2005 tour EP (on which their version of Low's "Hatchet" also appears), and they've recently made their second tour EP available on Low's merch page. Grab it before it's gone as well. Hear some songs on their MySpace page. Could be that Low's new(er) direction is related to Alan getting his guitar fix with RGC on the side.

    Next Monday, a week from tonight, may just bring me back to River Gods in Cambridge for a listening party that will celebrate Caspian's breathtaking new full-length, "The Four Trees". Even though my pre-order arrived over the weekend (and made my weekend just that much better), I'd be happy to spend an evening among like-minded listeners and the Caspian crew as they play a few of their own selected faves. According to the band: "We'll be spinning the new record plus all our favorite post-rock, indie-rock, sad-sap singer/songwriter, and anything else we feel like." Sounds good to me.

    Again, that's on Monday, April 9th, 9pm at River Gods near Central Square. And if you missed the mp3 I recently shared from "The Four Trees", here it is again...

    Order up the album, which officially arrives on Tuesday, April 10th, from Dopamine Records, or grab it at the release party on Friday, April 13th at the Paradise, where Caspian will be supported by On Fire and Constants. Tickets here.

    Former Catherine Wheel frontman and current solo guy Rob Dickinson has been candidly answering fan questions on his MySpace blog. In response to a question I asked about reissues or b-sides collections, he said...
    "... there should be some "re-presentation" of Wheel material in the not-too-distant future. Too many people, myself and the band included, have questioned why we haven't had a best-of or compilation record...or a live record.... or a further collection of our extensive, unreleased material. There's so much to dive into as it to be almost bewildering. There is much to revisit and revisiting will be done..."
    Good news indeed.

    Progress on "Cinnamon Girl", the upcoming girl-flavored Neil Young tribute record that American Laundromat Records is putting together, is coming along, with a new twist: a contest for a female-fronted act to contribute their version of Neil's "Only Love Can Break Your Heart". The winner would find themselves alongside artists like Blake Hazard, Britta Phillips, Kristin Hersh, Tanya Donelly, and The Watson Twins. Submissions are due by May 15th (details here), and the completed compilation is due out on October 3rd of this year.

    While an official tracklisting may be a way off, word from the Throwing Music forum is that Kristin Hersh's contribution will be a cover of "Like a Hurricane" with her rock trio 50 Foot Wave. Hearing their version can't come soon enough. And the mere possibility of Tanya Donelly doing "Heart of Gold"? Takei says "Oh My".

    Margot & the Nuclear So and So's are hard at work on "Animal!", the follow-up record to last year's "The Dust of Retreat", and have been sharing in-studio progress reports via their MySpace blog. Among the studio updates is word that they'll be offering up a new EP in June and doing some touring to keep us satisfied until the album's ready for release. Mighty kind of 'em.

    So I've ignored the conventional wisdom that music bloggers are better read than seen or heard, and made a quick guest audio appearance in the latest installment of something called Blog Fresh Radio. It's a recently-launched music podcast that has various mp3 bloggers (including the proprietors of Ear Farm, Obscure Sound, and Lost In Your Inbox) introduce tracks by bands they dig and have featured on their sites. I intro'd Shearwater's excellent "Seventy Four, Seventy Five", and sure as hell hope I pronounced "Okkervil" and "Meiberg" correctly.

    Alright, time to get this week's live music post together. No rest for the wicked busy.

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

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