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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

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Mp3s: Caspian in Allston, MA

It's a big week for the boys in the Beverly-based band Caspian, as their long-awaited first full-length, "The Four Trees", officially arrives this Tuesday. To mark the release, the guys will be on WFNX tonight, appearing on the weekly New England Product program at 10pm, and will be hanging out at River Gods in Cambridge tomorrow night for an album listening party (and playing some of their owns faves). The week peaks with a bound-to-be-great Friday night headlining show at the Paradise in Allston, which launches the band into a month-long national tour, delivering the sounds of "The Four Trees" to our west and south.

Having spent a solid week with my pre-order copy of the disc, I'm so glad to discover that it delivers on the promise of their lauded 2005 "You Are The Conductor" EP, and much more. They've expanded on the balanced sides of their sound, adding depth in both directions, from pure power to remarkable fragility. There are moments of massive near-metal (the good kind), and others that are too beautiful for words (so to speak). The effects-laden dual-guitar interplay is more intricate, aided even by the occasional acoustic lull, and the rhythm section is even more dynamic, two facts that set them above and apart from other like-minded instrumental artists.

Y'know, it almost seems a slight disservice to categorize Caspian as an "instrumental" band, although there's no denying that's what they are. Unfortunately some more passive music fans stick modern instrumental acts in a box, labeling them "post-rock", and moving on to others with lyrics and singers that serve 'em up (the same types might skip an amazing foreign film just because of subtitles). But the fact that Caspian offers no words, and therefore no easily-uncovered meanings behind their music, for me only adds to the emotional impact of what they create: it is what you make it, it brings to you what you bring to it. Critics will use easy words like "cinematic" to describe their sound, and the songs may find their way onto soundtracks (which has brought cash and exposure to some of their categorical peers), but it can't be dismissed as "background music". It demands your attention, and in fact, it's driving me to distraction as I'm trying to write this. I'm taking long breaks just listening, getting even more psyched for the Paradise show on Friday.

With the band's permission, here's a set they played back in January, just down the street at Great Scott. The night was a benefit for those impacted by the fire at the Pan9 art collective space in Allston (and despite the passage of time, I'm sure they could still use your help if you've got a little cash to spare). While the sound quality of this set is pretty good, it still doesn't do the band's live shows justice, doesn't recreate what it's like to stand in front of them with eyes closed and ears open...


Live at Great Scott
in Allston, Massachusetts
on Tuesday, January 9th, 2007

01. Some Are White Light
02. Crawlspace
03. Quovis
04. Further Up / Further In
05. Last Rites
06. Moksha
07. Brombie

Buy Caspian's "The Four Trees" from Dopamine Records, for a mere $8 at Newbury Comics, or digitally via eMusic. You can also pick it up at Friday's show at the 'Dise, so grab tickets to that over here, or cheaper at their box office. Joining Caspian will be the excellent On Fire and Constants.

Some Caspian links...
  • Their own website, the band's MySpace page, and the Dopamine Records site.

  • Mp3s: "ASA" from "The Four Trees"; "Further In" from "You Are The Conductor; "Loft" from their May 2004 demo; Download a complete live Caspian set from Seattle in 2005 at the Live Music Archive; A live version of "Last Rites" recorded in December 2004 at Gordon College; other recordings can be found on Caspian's music page.

  • Video: Check out a short video of Caspian working on the new song "Some Are White Light" in their practice space, and a couple live clips as well.

  • As I mentioned, Caspian's month-long U.S. tour in support of new album kicks off on April 19th in NYC. For a full list of all the dates, check here.

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

  • the very fine print... Recorded with a Sony ECM-719 mic and a Sony MZ-RH10 minidisc, converted to .wav and then edited to 192kbps mp3s. Mp3s 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
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