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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, May 19, 2008

Mp3s: The Cure in Boston (4 new songs)

As promised, here's the full set from last week's Cure show here in Boston. Rather than a long-winded write-up, I'll just run through some personal highlights from the night...
  • The opening "Plainsong" chimes still get me, every time. I spent too much time with that album for it not to. When they started with it, I knew I'd love the show.

  • Porl Thompson is such a brilliant guitarist, and his return is so obviously the reason the band has transformed so well into a quartet. While there are still a few keyboard part backing tracks, his flawless (and in many cases, improved) replacement of the old synths has reinvigorated a number of songs, especially "Lullaby" (which I'd become entirely tired with years ago). And he does it all while rocking the plastic passion pants.

  • I think this show finally erased my lingering (and for the most part illogical) resentment of drummer Jason Cooper's presence in the band. I was such a massive fan of Boris Williams, thought his playing was essential to what the Cure had become, that I didn't give Jason as much of a chance as I should have. He's come a very long way since those first couple years on board, when all I was doing was unfairly comparing his live drumming to Boris' flawless performances. No longer, though. [drumgeek] That said, I could do without that extra snare hit in the progression of "From the Edge of the Deep Green Sea".[/drumgeek]

  • I continue to appreciate how much the band embraces its past, not just by playing multi-hour shows that cover their entire (almost 30-year) career, but through little touches like reworking a never-recorded 1985 song as a new single ("Sleep When I'm Dead"), and titling a new one "The Perfect Boy", which is of course a nod to 1987's "The Perfect Girl".

  • High points of the set: "A Night Like This" (Porl's solo!), "Pictures of You", "From the Edge of the Deep Green Sea", "The Blood", "Push", "Primary", "100 Years", the new "Sleep When I'm Dead", "Disintegration", "Play For Today", and the entire third encore. Low points? Well, I've never been a great fan of their ultra-pop side, so "Why Can't I Be You?", "Hot Hot Hot!!", "Wrong Number", and "Lovecats" sent my mind wandering a bit. I've also not listened to the band as much over the past 10 years or so, so "Signal to Noise", "alt.end", "The End of the World", and "Us or Them" left me cold. But the high points far, far outweighed any lows.
  • Here's the 36-song, nearly 3-hour set...

    Rather than my standard list of links, I'll just refer you to the best Cure resource out there: Chain of Flowers. Up-to-date info on the current tour and the band's upcoming release plans.

  • The new single, "The Only One", is streaming at P4K, and you can buy it at iTunes, along with the non-album extra track "NY Trip". Physical versions should be out within the next week or so (CD single and 7").

  • Photos: My many Flickr-hosted shots are here. Check out a full Cure Flickr tag search.

  • Upcoming tourdates: Visit the Chain of Flowers tourdates page for the complete list of Cure 4Tour dates, past and present.

  • 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.


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

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