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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 06, 2008

Mp3s: Swervedriver live in Boston

Even though I'm an unabashed fan of the shoegaze, I think I'm still allowed to believe that particular moniker for early-90s, mostly British, pedal-heavy, layered-guitar music is a bit silly. For me it's merely a quick way to group together a ton of bands I loved and love; just some shorthand for us fans (or misguided detractors).

Of all the bands that get lumped into that press-created category, I've always thought that Swervedriver was the one that fit least comfortably -- they've always struck me as more rock, less gentle, a little more alpha-male than their so-called downward-gazing peers. I mean, just listen to the progression-ending guitar hook in "Rave Down" and tell me that's not heavy as hell. In a live setting, even more so.

So maybe it's their more-muscular guitar lines that accounted for the huge backwards-ball-cap wearing contingent at the Boston stop of their reunion tour in June... I can't explain it otherwise. I mean, you're likely not gonna spot high-fiving and chest-bumping at a Ride reunion show (yes, I saw actual pectoral contact). You'll probably hear their hyena howling in the recording below. Where were all those guys for the criminally under-attended Adam Franklin / Toshack Highway solo shows over the past decade or so? And will they show up for Magnetic Morning at Great Scott in October?

So, yeah, the Swervies reunited. And they toured. And it was great. Nearly as great (though not quite as ear-crushing) as the first go 'round, and much like those olden days, the Oxford quartet was all business: minimal audience acknowledgment, minimal smiling, maximum pedals. The only interaction I cared about was between Adam's Jazzmaster, its whammy bar, and his wah pedal. Hopefully this recording captures a sliver of the sonic power on display.

Oh, and you'll notice that the intro to "Never Lose That Feeling" fades in... leave it to my gear to freak out just as they launch into my favorite song of the set. But it recovered quickly. Whew.

Some Swervedriver linkage...
  • Their official site, MySpace page, and Wikipedia entry. Also stop over to the MySpace home of Adam's collaboration with Sam from Interpol, Magnetic Morning.

  • Additional Audio: The downloads page at is a goldmine of material, including all four of the band's albums recreated with sequenced live versions, and a more recent downloadable b-sides/oddities collection. There's also a few songs to stream at Myspace, of course.

  • Video: Best I can do here is a good old Swervedriver YouTube search.

  • Photos: My Flickr-hosted shots are here. Check out the full Swervedriver Flickr tag search.

  • Upcoming shows: Just two more Swervedriver gigs on the books, and they're over the ocean...
    Tuesday, Sept. 16th @ The Scala in London
    with Six By Seven and Exit Calm

    Thursday, Sept. 18th @ King Tut's Wah Wah Hut in Glasgow
    After that, Magnetic Morning kicks off a 3-week U.S. tour in mid-October, and those dates can be found here. As I mentioned, one of those stops is Allston's Great Scott on October 20th, where they'll be playing with Springhouse (featuring The Big Takeover's Jack Rabid... I can't wait to finally shake that man's hand) and DC's Julie Ocean (who include Velocity Girl's Jim Spellman). Now there's a lineup for ya. I'll be giving away tix to that one as it gets closer.

  • Easily stream 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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