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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, August 01, 2007

Mp3s: John Vanderslice in Cambridge, MA

So John Vanderslice, songwriter extraordinaire and friend to the music blogger, released his latest album last week. And what a fine, fine album "Emerald City" is. I might even jump to calling it my favorite of his so far, but that just could be the rush of the new talking... need a little more time to let the sucker settle in.

When I caught J.V. here in Boston back in the Spring, he was touring as a duo, just him, his guitar, and drummer Dave Douglas. Spinanes-style, if you will. But not exactly. In each city, on certain songs, John & Dave invited local fans and musical friends on stage to fill out the band for a bit, pre-arranged team-ups that added bass, maybe some extra vocals, and who knows what else. Here in Boston we were treated to guest bass (and super-cool keys) from T.W. Walsh on a few songs, some excellent dulcimer action from Elijah Wyman on another, a fan named Carson on some vocals, and for the finale, a duet with the wonderful Annie Clark, aka St. Vincent, who opened every date on the month-long trip.

I hadn't even planned on recording the show... that night I just wanted to be able to wander about, hang with an old friend; to just relax and not bother with getting good sound. But after a few songs, it was just too enjoyable not to capture, especially given the guest stars and one-time-only versions we were hearing, so I clicked on the mini-disc and let it roll. That explains the not-as-good-as-usual mix below (we were off to the side of the stage), and the fact that the first part of the set is absent, but it's all still well worth sharing (especially for T.W.'s ace keys on "Do You Remember?"). Have at it...

John Vanderslice

Live at the Middle East Upstairs
in Cambridge, Massachusetts
on April 20th, 2007

01. Time Travel Is Lonely
02. Dear Sara Shu
03. Wild Strawberries (with Elijah Wyman)
04. Letter to the East Coast (with Carson)
05. Radiant With Terror
06. "TW To The Stage" (banter)
07. Time To Go (with TW Walsh)
08. My Old Flame (with TW Walsh)
09. Do You Remember? (with TW Walsh)
10. "We Need Guest Singers" (banter)
11. Me And My 424 (with guests)
12. Nikki Oh Nikki

At the end of the set, John says "See you in the Fall...", and the man's no liar... he returns with his full four-piece in late September for two nights at the same room, upstairs at the Middle East. And kudos to John for doing two shows in a small room rather than one night in a larger one, which he could no doubt fill. Whether it was his decision or not, the continued intimacy is appreciated. Get tickets for the shows here and here, or stop by the Middle East box office to avoid the pesky extra fees.

Some J.V. links...
  • His official site, Wikipedia entry, MySpace page, and his Barsuk Records page.

  • Audio: Stream the entirety of "Emerald City" here. Mp3s: "White Dove", from "Emerald City". There are a truckload more Mp3s available over at John's own site.

  • For far superior sounding live recordings of "Dear Sara Shu" and "Wild Strawberries" from the same show above, check out Mobile Man Boston.

  • Video: There's an official video for "Time To Go", and John is also doing a very cool "online tour", where he's sharing a different in-studio performance (each recorded at his own Tiny Telephone) of each song on "Emerald City" through various music blogs, so far hooking up with Stereogum, Gorilla Vs. Bear, Brooklyn Vegan, and You Ain't No Picasso. Hit those links to see John and his band performing four songs so far, and keep an eye here for future ones blog-tour stops. And for more JV video, there's always the handy YouTube search.

  • Brooklyn Vegan, who helped present that Vanderslice/St. Vincent tour, posted John interviewing Annie on the road.

  • And here's some serious coolness, but on the wrong damn side of the country for us East Coast Vanderslice fans: Tomorrow night, Thursday, August 2nd, Aquarium Drunkard will present a "guerrilla-styled free concert" with J.V. performing in the L.A. River Basin. Full details over at the Drunkard.

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

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

  • the post-script to the post... If anyone has an issue with these Mp3s being made available, just let me know (my contact info in the 'nac faq). Live sets recorded with a Sony ECM-719 mic and a Sony MZ-RH10 minidisc, converted to .wav and then edited to 192kbps Mp3s. Files 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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