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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

Saturday, February 14, 2009

So Many New Boston Sounds

Lots of great stuff coming out of Boston lately, some recently released, some arriving soon, and all with sample mp3s below for our/your aural pleasure. Only a month or so into the year, and I'm already pretty confident that '09 will trump '08 when it comes to new local faves. Listen to and love new album tracks from The Hush Now, Logan 5 and the Runners, a brand new single from Boy In Static, an exclusive teaser from You Can Be A Wesley's long-awaited debut disc, and a special Valentine's Day cover from Somerville duo Travels...

As I write this, I'm at a table at TT the Bears, where in just a couple of hours The Hush Now will be officially celebrating the release of their self-titled debut. For some background on the band, who have gone through both a relocation and a lineup change on their way to the TT's stage tonight, check out a new interview at my compatriot Clicky Clicky, and do yourself a favor and download the entire album for free, right here. While CC likens their sound to Poole and The Ocean Blue, I swear at times they're ringers for a sonically-improved Fudge, and that's high praise indeed. If you aren't convinced to go grab the full-length yet, here's a taste that should seal the deal...

Stream some more at MySpace, although I don't know why you'd do that, because hey, free album download.

Also celebrating the arrival of their lovingly haunting (hauntingly lovely?) new album is the heartcore (did I just invent that? doubt it.) duo Travels, the oft-mentioned (by me) combo that joins Mona from Victory at Sea with Anar from Metal Hearts, who will be playing this Saturday at PA's Lounge in Somerville. "The Hot Summer", their second self-released full-length, is here to warm us in the middle of a long, cold winter, and it is perfectly fitting that the release party comes on Valentine's Day. Ever-generous, Mona and Anar have recorded a special (non-album) cover of "My Funny Valentine", and have gifted it to me so that I can gift it along to you...

Joining Travels on Saturday at PA's to welcome "The Hot Summer" to the world are Animal Hospital, Arms & Sleepers, and Mary Page. Take someone special with you.

Local quintet Logan 5 and the Runners released their own introductory album "Featurette" into the wild just last month, making it available for digital download at Digstation and iTunes, as well as at shows, of course. I just missed one on the 6th, but they'll return to the stage in Worcester on March 14th at the Lucky Dog, and better yet (for me, anyway) at the Cantab Lounge in Cambridge on March 27th. Here's a track from "Featurette" that the band has graciously offered up for sharing...

I'm going to keep referring to Boy In Static as a "Boston duo", even though they now belong to San Francisco just as much as us. Alex Chen, who started the band here on the East Coast, has moved out to the West one while his partner-in-sound Kenji Ross remains a local boy (in static). After making me a fan with their second album, 2007's "Violet" (specifically, when Ashley played the track "Where It Ends" on WMBR), the duo has left much of their washy-guitar stylings behind, taking a decided turn towards more stripped down electro-pop sound with their upcoming third album, "Candy Cigarette" (due out on April 14th). Think mid-80s dance pop, or even the lighter side of Labrador Records' current roster (the Legends made a similar transformation recently). I'm still firmly on board the BiS bus, because while the instrumentation has mutated a bit, their knack for hooks has only gotten better. Proof: The first single, an ode to Alex's new stomping grounds...

Boy In Static has also harnessed the remixing skills of Montreal's Montag for an alternate version of the song, which you can find over at RCRDLBL (who also previously featured a Helios remix of BiS fave "Where It Ends"). Alex made an appearance on KEXP's airwaves when they visited SF recently (check out photos here), and will also be performing an in-store at the city's Apple outlet on February 28th.

It is with much pride that I've been given the go-ahead to share up the initial taste of You Can Be A Wesley's very first full-length, which should be arriving sometime this Spring. I fell for YCBAW pretty hard when I saw them at Great Scott last year, and have been trying to remain patient for news of recordings (if only to prove that they were as good as I remembered them being). This preview song, titled "Creatures", not only satisfies that hope (bringing to mind Rilo Kiley before their over-produced fall, and before they lost their distortion pedals), but has me officially impatient for the other tracks. I can't resist a band that knows exactly the right time to throw in a handclap or two (restraint is key). Enjoy...

And remember, you and your sweetheart have an after-dinner date tomorrow: Travels and friends at PA's Lounge in Somerville. And if you don't have a sweetheart, maybe they'll be waiting there for you...

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

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