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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, March 05, 2008

Midweek Music Miscellany

Yeah, I'm still here. And still stuck in serious work-mode. But I've got five seconds to spare, so I'll dust this place off a bit and get down to it...

Congrats to the winners of the various contests I've run over the past couple weeks: Brian from Somerville got to check out Wye Oak at the Middle East (as did I, they were great, and I'll definitely be sharing up my recording). Ellen, also from S-ville, got the 7" and two tix to Taken By Trees at the MFA. And Roxbury resident Beth and a friend should be joining us (and you?) to see Syme tonight at the Paradise Lounge. For an idea of what we're in for, have a listen to this live Syme set and interview over at Jamnow.

Heads up: The Night Marchers are coming to town, and pre-sale tickets are on sale now. In case you missed my recent mention of these guys, it's the new project from former Rocket From The Crypt / Hot Snakes / Drive Like Jehu genius John Reis and Snakes bassist Gar Wood. The band will make their Boston-area debut at the Middle East Upstairs on Thursday, May 8th, and in a space that small it's a guaranteed sell-out. While Ticket&$*#er tix go on sale at 10am tomorrow right here, you can buy pre-sale will-call tickets here at this very moment. Go go go. For you non-Bostonians, more tour dates are here.

As if I wasn't already a proud enough papa, my little 8-month old rocker-in-training was totally digging on The Clash Live: Revolution Rock Monday night on PBS. The documentary, comprised primarily of killer live footage from throughout their existence (from small clubs to Shea Stadium), was pretty damn thrilling, and most of the songs had little B doing the pogo in my lap. If you want to do some mini-moshing of your own, Boston-area PBS station WGBH will re-air the doc Thursday at 2:30am and Friday night at 10:30pm (other airdates and cities listed here), or you can pick up the DVD release with lots of extra Clash content on April 15th.

And oh, sweet irony: Joe Strummer sings "... gimme Sony, so cheap and real phony" on a DVD that's brought to you by, you guessed it, the Sony/BMG/Epic megacorp. And that's the promo clip they're using, a fantastic performance of "The Magnificent Seven" on Tom Snyder. Crucial viewing.

Major props to Timedoor for shining a little spotlight on one of my old-skool Boston faves, Scruffy the Cat. Looks like the four mp3s that they shared are down, but they link a video for "Oh Baby" that you should check out. Loved those guys, and they were a staple of Randy and my late-80s WWPV radio show. And now I've got "You Dirty Rat" in my head.

Boston's own Boy in Static did an eight-date tour with Freezepop last month, and are starting to share some live video from the trip. The first clip is for a new song, "Osaka", recorded live in Indianapolis. I owe Ashley and her guest DJ spot at WMBR (when she played "Where It Ends") for turning me on to BiS big-time.

On this gray, rainy March day, listening to some Idaho suits me just right. Got me thinking that we could really use some new stuff from Mr. Jeff Martin, but for now we can settle for a two-disc re-release of his Forbidden EP and Alas full-length, which includes a bunch of extra tracks that he recorded 10 years back with friend John Voscamp.

Idaho just wrapped up a European tour last week with lots of dates in Germany and France, and I'm optimistic we'll see some U.S. dates in the first half of this year. According to the Idaho message board, Jeff misses playing Boston, and says a show here in "early '08 should work out". Fingers crossed that was more than wishful thinking.

For your own Idaho fix, check out some YouTube videos of a live performance at the Knitting Factory in 1996, including "Skyscrape", "Stare At The Sky", and "Get You Back". You can also grab some Idaho rarities from the excellent Sliding Past fansite (just click the Unreleased link there).

Despite the fact that I haven't enjoyed much of their work over the past couple, um, decades, and have little patience left for pretension, I went and checked out the new "U23D" IMAX film based on several strong recommendations and lots of hyperbole. Well, add me to the list of the totally impressed. I was completely floored by the visuals, and even blown away by the audio -- surround sound used better than I'd ever heard it -- if the camera was center-stage, you hear the guitar from your right, bass from your left, drums behind you, vox right next to you. As the camera floats away, the sound pans perfectly, the crowd surges as you dip in and out of it. Totally intense.

"Immersive" is the word I've seen thrown around the most, and it's true. My words really can't do the experience justice (try Eliot Van Buskirk's Wired review for better words), and honestly, even if you're U2-averse, you should see this thing just to dream of your favorite bands captured in this way. It will be many, many years before this kind of experience can be had in your living room, so make the effort to get out there to an IMAX theater and see it.

Hot damn, at last we've got new music from The Notwist, courtesy of City Slang...

The Notwist's "The Devil, You + Me" is out in the UK in May, and in the US the following month.

I'll end with a little viewer's vent:

From the very first episode, aired on June 2nd, 2002, I've been a seriously and emotionally-invested fan of The Wire. Even with my Tivo, it became must-watch-that-night television, until the fourth year, when I tried a little experiment -- I somehow mustered up the willpower to record and save every episode of season 4, and when it was over, I had my own little Wire weekend, watching all 13 hours over the course of 2 days. And it was glorious. Like devouring the best page-turner in one sitting, I lost myself in it, and was a perfect wreck when it faded out. So I decided to do the same this year, for the fifth and final story, which started unfolding in January. The last episode ever, the 10th of this season, airs this Sunday on HBO. And shortly after that, my 10-hour marathon begins.

So why is this a vent when I've got such a guaranteed good time ahead? Well, thanks to certain entertainment sites, a couple of major plot points have been totally blown for me, in headlines. You read that right. As the Wire's popularity increased and peaked in this final year, avoiding spoilers became more difficult, but not impossible -- I just skipped every article and review. But avoiding headlines? Those shi*tbirds. To quote Clay Davis: "Sheeeeeeiiit."

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

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