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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

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Thursday Fiver

Gray, rainy, cold. Using the blog to fight the blahs...

It gives me great pleasure to type this: Swirlies are returning. Though they've never officially been away. After forming here in Boston in the early 90s, and remaining fairly active through '98, recorded output and live appearances have been sporadic at best for a decade. Their most recent shows were, I think, opening for Lilys over 4 years ago, after the release of the "Cats of The Wild Volume 2" album in '03. Been too long, although singer/guitarist Damon Tutunjian has kept them alive online by archiving all their recordings at his Sneaky Flute Music site.

2009 will bring their reemergence in the form of just a trio of live shows in late February, the last of which is here in Cambridge at the Middle East. According to a post on Lemmingtrail, original Swirlies Damon T. and Andy Bernick (bass, birdwatching) will be joined by Adam Pierce (Mice Parade, Bubble Core Records) on drums, Rob Laakso (Mice Parade, Diamond Nights, Amazing Baby) on guitar, and the one n' only Deb Warfield (Broken River Prophet, Shenzhou 5) on guitar, vocals, and keys. Hot damn, I say. As someone who reached heights of near-obsession during the band's first few years on Taang! Records, drove many collected miles to see them play (and was honored to be in a band that opened for 'em a couple times), then saw my already-high expectations blown away by the 1996 release of the "They Spent Their Wild Youthful Days in the Glittering World of the Salons" album (still among my favorite records of all time), the news that they'll be on stage in a couple short months does more than excite. In fact, it leads to crazy run-on sentences like that last one there.

The dates, with guests to be announced, are...
Thursday, Feb. 26th in Philly @ Johnny Brenda's
Friday, Feb. 27th in NYC @ Mercury Lounge
Saturday, Feb. 28th here in Cambridge @ the Middle East Up
Note that says the MidEast Up, which translates to sell-out. A Saturday night? A hometown show after many years? You betcha. Tickets are already available here or at the Middle East box office (daily 1pm - 7pm, no service fees), so get with the gettin'.

In the meantime, keep checking here for news of the overdue "Sneaky Flute Moods: A Tribute to The Swirlies" LP, which will be released for free via And if you are, heaven forbid, unfamiliar with Swirlies, grab a few tracks from this BV post, or grab even more from the official Swirlies audio page, which shares entire albums, including the aforementioned brilliant "TSTWYDITGWOTS", which contains...

(and allow me to offer up a prayer to the Swirlies setlist god... pleasepleaseplease play that song. amen.)

The joyful news of the return of a fave is juxtaposed with the retirement of another: As you may have heard, Brooklyn quartet Dirty on Purpose has called it quits, and will bow out with a New Year's Eve show at NYC's Mercury Lounge (with friends A Place To Bury Strangers). Had the pleasure of seeing them a few times over the past few years, first in 2005 at TTs (which I recorded and shared with their blessing), and most recently opening for the New Year at the Middle East just two months ago. I recorded that set as well, and it came out beautifully, so I think I'll share it soon to mark the band's imminent stroll into the sunset.

Grab some free DoP songs at RCRDLBL, and check out all other projects that DoP's members are involved with via links in this post at Hearsay.

Fans and followers of seminal mid-70s Detriot pre-punk trio Death (who get the reissue treatment in February thanks to Drag City) would do well to check this excellent interview with drummer Bobby Hackney Sr. on the Solid State music blog of the Burlington, Vermont-based weekly Seven Days. A great read, especially for his reaction to the resurgence of interest in the band and their lasting influence (something he was almost entirely unaware of). The chat was triggered by a special occasion: Hackney's son, Bobby Jr., and his band Rough Francis got together to play a bunch of Death songs up in Burlington last weekend. Wish I could have been there. Recorded visual evidence of the show resides here.

Buffalo Tom's Bill Janovitz chugs on with his freely downloadable "cover of the week" project, sharing up a couple more keepers: His takes on Springsteen's "One Step Up", and this week, a cover of Blondie's "Dreaming" that eases gently into the Stones' "Til Our Next Goodbye". There's a good story to go with that one, so check out the whole post. And if you're looking to download the tracks rather than stream them, here's your direct link. And bookmark that so I don't have to keep reminding you all winter. Sheesh.

Your agenda this evening: Join me at PA's Lounge in Somerville for an ace lineup of truly talented local troubadours and noisemakers, headlined by a visiting luminary: Centro-matic's Will Johnson will finish off an evening that starts with our own Drew O'Doherty, follows with instrumental combo Empty House Cooperative (featuring Mr. David Michael Curry), and serves up a solo set from Chris Brokaw (who I now realize I can no longer call a "local", what with his recent relocation from Cambridge to NYC). Doors at 8:30, so get there on time to catch all the goodness. Having had to miss out on Centro-matic's recent Boston-area show, I'm grateful to be able to see Will play some of his stellar songs in person.

Tomorrow: In honor of +/- {Plus/Minus} playing at the Middle East Upstairs this Saturday, I'll be sharing up a recording of their August appearance. As if you need further convincing to go.

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

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