Thursday, July 19, 2007
No live set for sharing this week (spending extra time working on something special for later), but there are a few things I want to mention, and so I will. Subjects mentioned below include Silkworm, Eric Bachmann, Buffalo Tom, T.W. Walsh, 77Boadrum, Caspian, WMBR's Pipeline, Tiger Saw, Green Magnet School, Sarah Shannon, Mary Lou Lord, David Bazan, American Analog Set, Kevin Drew, Editors, the Cure, Interpol, Adam Franklin, the Poster Children, the "Beautiful Noise" documentary, the Wedding Present, Kristin Hersh, and The Wire.
This past Saturday marked two years to the day since the world lost Michael Dahlquist, since his bandmates in Silkworm lost their friend and drummer, when he was killed so senselessly on July 14th, 2005, along with Douglas Meis and John Glick. Without Michael there's no Silkworm, so when he was taken away so suddenly, there was obviously no public way to say goodbye to a band that had meant so much to many.
But that musical farewell did come, on September 9th last year, when Silkworm's Andy Cohen and Tim Midgett (along with frequent keyboardist Biznono, aka Matt Kadane of the New Year & Bedhead) took the stage for a single song, at the 3-day Touch & Go 25th Anniversary fest in Chicago. For Michael. Their somber, cathartic performance of "LR72" was, for me, an intensely moving moment, a necessary and fitting way to put a final period on the rocking, run-on sentence that was Silkworm.
As Touch & Go has been posting new videos from each anniversary performer every Monday this year, I wondered if Tim & Andy's sonic tribute would eventually be made public; it was such a personal moment shared among thousands, I wondered if it would at all translate, or if it would include an interview as the other videos had... something that would likely be tough for the two that had been three. But leave it to T&G to do it right, to post the tastefully-constructed "LR72" clip to mark two years since, and to capture an emotional sliver of what it felt like to be there.
Speaking of Misters Midgett & Cohen, the recorded full-length debut of their new quartet, Bottomless Pit, will see release later this year. I'll leave the album's details to a post all its own, because it deserves it.
A can't miss show coming up this Sunday, July 22nd: Eric Bachmann (Archers of Loaf / Crooked Fingers) returns to the area for a solo set at our invaluable Brattle Theater (tickets). Last time he was here was in October for a brilliant appearance at Club Passim, which sat high in my top-live-shows list last year.
This show comes on the heels of a Brattle-stage solo set from Okkervil River's Will Sheff last Friday night, and preceeds a Brattle appearance next Wednesday night from The Swell Season, which features Glen Hansard (of the Frames) and Marketa Irglova, who co-star in the well-reviewed new film Once. While musical performances at the Brattle have happened randomly over the past few years (Kristin Hersh, Dresden Dolls, Evan Dando), it's rare that we get such high-caliber performances so close to each other, and I'm hoping it signals even more regular live music on their calendar.
Buffalo Tom, who just released their excellent and long-awaited new album "Three Easy Pieces", have announced this morning that they'll be appearing on David Letterman next Friday night, July 27th. Set those Tivos now, and if you haven't bought it yet, prepare yourself by streaming "Three Easy Pieces" over here.
Boston's own (nice to be able to say that) T.W. Walsh has released a new song out into the world, or at least out into the internet, called "Borrow My Vibe", and you can download it for free at his site. It's technically the first solo song he's put out since 2002, as he spent some intervening years in Pedro the Lion, and released the "In Moderation" EP as The Soft Drugs last summer. Since T.W.'s return to the Boston area, he's been putting together a band to bring the Soft Drugs to the stage, and until that happens, I'm glad we'll be getting the sporadic solo track.
So as someone who occasionally calls himself a drummer, I naturally took great interest in the 77BOADRUM sonic experiment that took place down in Brooklyn earlier this month. For the unaware, it was an outdoor gathering of 77 different drummers playing together on 7/7/07, pulled together and directed by Japanese noisemakers the Boredoms. While I entertained the idea of trying to submit my name for about 2 seconds (before I realized they were probably looking for really good drummers), I was very glad to see one of my favorite players, Unwound's Sara Lund, ended up on the list. What I was completely unaware of until last weekend, however, was that Boston was well-represented by another of my other faves, Chris Brokaw (who drums for The New Year and used to play for Codeine, in addition to his solo songwriting and guitar skills). Not only that, but also on the list of participating percussionists was former Ida drummer Miggy Littleton, another of my all-time faves. Wish I coulda been there to witness it.
In case you missed it, Beverly, Massachusetts's instrumental pride and joy, Caspian, was featured as the band of the day on Spin.com a few weeks back. They deserved more than just a day, I say. Head over there to download a track from their killer full-length, "The Four Trees".
Venerable WMBR live performance radio program Pipeline has been sharing video footage from their in-studio performances, in addition to their always-available live audio recordings. The
While Boston band Green Magnet School has been officially disbanded for about a decade, their MySpace page continues to occasionally let loose little aural gems: Case in point, a previously unreleased track called "Waterman" can now be streamed over there. It was recorded in 1990, and additional info can be found here.
Sid over at Too Much Rock has some nice images and video from a couple recent Chicago shows up on his site: former Velocity Girl singer Sarah Shannon and Boston's own Mary Lou Lord. Check the 'more photos' and 'video' links in the lower right corner on those two pages.
New Bazan! David Bazan recently did a Daytrotter session, and performed a short new song called "Harmless Sparks" (will a full version end up on his "David Bazan's Black Cloud" album, due on Barsuk next year?), so go give a listen. The new track segues into his modified "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen", and also performed are "Bands With Managers", "Cold Beer and Cigarettes", and "Shit Talker" (which is a song David released on the Headphones album, despite Daytrotter listing it as 'new').
Good news for fans of American Analog Set who have been missing seeing singer/guitarist Andrew Kenny on stage: According to this Billboard article, AK will be part of ('Broken Social Scene presents') Kevin Drew's band (along with BSS-mate Brendan Canning) for a couple of upcoming shows, one in London and another in Brooklyn. And if we're lucky, a bunch more when Drew's "Spirit If..." album arrives from Arts & Crafts in September. I patiently await news of Andrew's next recorded output. updated to add: Chris reminds me that Andrew has also been doing bass duty in the excellent Ola Podrida.
Grab a slew of free Mp3s from the new Insound "Let's Get Digital 2" compilation, including tracks from Minus the Bear, Editors (liking their new album so far), and Okkervil River.
Speaking of Editors, they return to Boston to play the Paradise on Thursday, September 6th. While pre-sale tickets are long gone, no worries, as they're all general admission, and you can still buy those here.
So I buckled in the face of extreme nostalgia and apparently undying loyalty, and bought tickets to my first Cure show in fifteen years. Yes, I'm going to see Robert, Simon, Porl, and that other guy on Tuesday, September 25th at the Agganis Arena here in Boston, and thanks to the fan pre-sale, I'll be up in the first section. Prices are freakin' steep ($75 each after 'convenience' charges), and though my total obsession ended around the time that Boris left the band (oh, how I miss him), I couldn't resist with the closeness to my house and my closeness to the stage. While tickets for the general public go on sale tomorrow morning at 10am, you can still take advantage of the fan pre-sale by registering for a code over at TheCure.com.
Also playing at Agganis in September: Interpol on the 12th. Tix went on sale last Friday, and while most of the good seats are gone, you can still get 'em. That'll change when students return, so if you're feeling like you might wanna go, don't wait too long.
A show more up my alley, at least venue-wise: Former Swervedriver / Toshack Highway frontman Adam Franklin has just released a solo record titled "Bolts of Melody" (stream it here), and he'll be appearing at Allston's Great Scott to serve up some songs on Tuesday, August 21st.
Here are a couple cuts from the album to get you going: the lead-off track, along with the song Adam wrote a year ago just after the death of Syd Barrett (and released on a limited 7" single as well)...
Connecting the blog-post dots: Adam Franklin has a project he's working on with Interpol drummer Sam Fogarino called The Setting Sons. Listen to a couple songs at their MySpace page.
Glad to read that the Poster Children are making a return to the stage, even if it is many miles away at a festival in their homestate of Illinois. Be nice to see them head eastwards again.
Hey, look, someone made a documentary just for me: "Beautiful Noise" is the name director Eric Green has chosen for his look at the shoegaze scene of the early nineties, back when I was perhaps more in love with music than I'll ever quite be again. Read all about it over at P4K.
An update from the Wedding Present camp: Their October "George Best"-revisited UK tour (which re-maps their very first tour route and has them playing their debut record in order) is selling so well that they might "expand" it. Let's hope that expansion gets them all the way across the Atlantic ocean to the East coast. The update also mentions that the band is working on new material at a Hollywood rehearsal studio, so hopefully we'll hear word of a new record, which will likely include these You-Tubed new songs: "The Thing I Like Most About You Is Your Girlfriend" and "I Lost The Monkey".
Now that I'm an actual dad, this news becomes even cooler: Kristin Hersh is almost done writing and illustrating a children's book called "Toby Snax". According to BillyO, it's about "talking kids into being open to adventure and new experiences." Aces. I do so love her writing.
Alright, I've got more I could write about, but I'll stop here with one last tiny little rant that has nothing whatsoever to do with music...
So, the Emmy nominations were announced this morning, and there was not a single nod for what was arguably the best season of what is inarguably the best show on television, the Wire. Nothing for drama series, acting, or its brilliant writing, all categories in which it deserves at least a nomination. Not that I put much stock in awards shows of any kind (comparing and awarding art is inherently silly), but every year that Emmy voters ignore the show pushes that system even further into irrelevance. Confounding.
live in cambridge, ma
on november 14th, 2008
previously: joy formidable - boston 2011
recent posts on the 'nac...
on the nightstand
boston-area music bloggers
boston music media