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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, March 24, 2008

Mp3s: Mission of Burma live for Burma

Here's something special to mark last week's release of the remastered and expanded definitive editions of Mission of Burma's influential early work...

When the big run of 'seminal' band reunions started up a few years back, I was mostly grateful to get a chance to see some faves I'd either been too young or too far away to catch in their prime. Naturally, my cynical side worried that I'd be seeing only pale shadows of some formerly brilliant selves... I feared hints of disappointment within the good fortune.

Well, those fears were obliterated about three songs into Mission of Burma's hometown reunion gig at the Paradise in mid-January of 2002. Mssrs. Miller, Conley, Prescott, & new sample/looping soundman Weston put on a show, and proved definitively that it's possible to return just as vital, energetic, and passionate as ever. Two solid post-reunion albums and dozens of performances later, MoB hasn't come close to milking or tarnishing their legacy, only strengthening it. Hell, just as they influenced the sound (or at least the independent aesthetic) of so many bands with their early-80s work, they may also have been a deciding factor in some of those very bands getting back together in recent years. Kind of a "if they can pull it off, maybe we can, too" sorta thing. And to be sure, there's been widely varying degrees of success among the reunited.

I figured that first reunion show would always rank as my favorite MoB performance -- could anything after measure up? I've seen 'em a number of times in subsequent years since, and while they've all been great, none had the impact of that Paradise gig -- until six years later, almost to the day, when they played a simpatico "Burma for Burma" benefit show at Allston's own Great Scott. The January 29th, 2008 show was held to raise funds and awareness for the U.S. Campaign for Burma, and if only a sliver of the crowd's enthusiasm translated into action for the cause, they did some good.

It was an intense, career-spanning, two-set performance that touched on the best of the old and the new MoB, with second-era songs measuring up to and sitting proudly beside more-than-25-year old tracks. With Great Scott's capacity of just under 250, it felt like the sold-out crowd was seeing something special, and the band treated the show that way. Peter Prescott's "Incredibles" t-shirt was apropos.

Here are Mp3s of the band's full "Burma for Burma" performance, and be sure to check the links below for some video clips as well (word from the stage was that the full concert recording was to be broadcast within Burma itself). As I share this, I'd also like to note that MoB is one of the gracious bands who allow their live sets to be openly recorded and shared, and specifically made available at the Live Music Archive (where I'll be posting higher quality files of this show soon The show below is now available there as well).


Some Mission of Burma links...
  • Their official site, MySpace page, Wikipedia entry, and Matador Records page. Also visit the U.S. Campaign for Burma site while you're surfing and read up.

  • Additional Audio: As I mentioned above, MoB allows fans to share live show recordings at the Live Music Archive. Matador made Mp3s and actual .wav files of the remastered version of "Max Ernst" and the live version of "Weatherbox" available here. You can also check out the full tracklistings for all three reissues there.

  • Video: The Boston Phoenix's On The Download blog has some great video from the show, with full clips of opener "1001 Pleasant Dreams", "2wice", and "Academy Fight Song". But be warned, going to that page will simultaneously auto-load all three clips, all of which start with a loud advertisement. So turn down your audio first unless you want to be driven slightly insane.

    Bill T. Miller put together a six-minute video of live footage from the Burma For Burma show as well, including parts of the cause-related speeches that were given before and during the show.

    Matador Records' Matablog has been a treasure trove of cool Burma content leading up to the new releases: For audiophiles and the otherwise-curious, you can take a look at what went into remastering the definitive edition reissues straight from the originals in two video clips (part 1, part 2). They've also shared an old performance of "Eyes of Men", and a clip of "Red" from one of the bonus DVDs that is included with each reissued album. Check out this five-minute EPK (electronic press kit) about the new editions as well (quicktime file). For all of the Matablog's Burma-related content, go here.

    And don't forget to hit up a full MoB YouTube search for tons of fan-shot clips.

  • Photos: All my shots from the show are here. Bill T. Miller has some shots of his own here. Check out the full Mission of Burma Flickr tag search.

  • More: Buy the remastered Mission of Burma Definite Editions relatively cheaply from Newbury Comics. The Boston Herald wrote about the band's legacy here.

  • Upcoming shows: Four scheduled for the summer, all in Europe. Check the band's tour page for details on May/June shows in Barcelona, Bordeaux, Nantes, and Paris.

  • Listen to any and all 'Nac-hosted Mp3s at the Hype Machine.

  • the fine print... 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.


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    neil halstead
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    on november 14th, 2008
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