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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, May 06, 2009

So Many Songs For Sharing

I live! Fully recovered and re-energized after last Friday's amazing pop/rock show at TTs, I return here to share a whole lotta songs. I'm prepping to post a nice John Vanderslice live show (to go along with that recent John Darnielle set), but before I get to that, I wanted to pass along a whole mess of guilt-free Mp3s, totally legal downloads from new and upcoming releases that have grabbed me lately.

Free songs follow from Tara Jane ONeil, Loney, Dear, LoveLikeFire, Sky Larkin, The Legends, Wye Oak, The Wooden Birds, Liechtenstein, Cause Co-Motion!, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, British Sea Power, I Was A King, Pony Up, and The Mary Onettes. Have at 'em...

Yesterday was a pretty solid new release Tuesday, but there's one disc in particular that stands out for me: A fresh full-lengther from Tara Jane ONeil. Now part of the venerable K Records roster, TJO gives us "A Ways Away", and here's a taste...

I'll be at Great Scott tonight for the return of Emil Svanangen's Loney, Dear, and it will be in marked contrast to the last time I saw him and his band at the far more spacious (and seated) Somerville Theatre, opening for Low. Given the fairly healthy amount of attention he's received in the intervening two years, I'm surprised to see him returning to such a small venue, but I'm certainly not complaining. Looking forward to seeing him play lots of songs from his latest, and I'm also intrigued by opener (and fellow Vermonter?) Lia Ices.

Here's the opening track from Loney, Dear's excellent "Dear John"...

Having put out a couple of excellent EPs, San Fran quartet LoveLikeFire will release their debut full-length later this year, but before that we get one more EP entitled "William". It's now available via iTunes (and can be streamed here), they've got a video for the title track, and have offered up one of the songs from the EP for sharing...

The band spends the month of May over in the UK, so if you're over in ol' blighty, have a look at the dates, and be sure to bookmark their new blog.

I owe Michael over at Safe As Milk a debt of gratitude for turning me on to Leeds trio Sky Larkin awhile back. Really good stuff. The band has posted details on the cassette (yes, cassette... and digital download) they're releasing in the UK next week on Wichita Recordings entitled "Antibodies", and have shared up one of the remixes from Side A...

If you've never heard them before, don't judge 'em by the bjorky-bleep-bloop of that remix, but instead visit their MySpace for some guitar-flavored goodness. Their first full-lengther, "The Golden Spike", was supposedly released last month here in North America, but damned if I can't find anywhere to order it non-import.

Also import-only (for now) is The Legends new album on the seemingly infallible Labrador label. "Over and Over" is out today, and while I've been very much into all of (primary Legend and Labrador co-founder) Johan Angergard's work to date, the advance single from this new one didn't do much for me. There's a good song to be found inside "Seconds Away", but it's buried underneath a layer of guitar squeal that overloads my ears a bit. My FSA-phase is long behind me, and in fact, my favorite part of the cut is when that noize track cuts out for a few seconds. Makes me wish for an alternate mix, and has me hoping the rest of the album doesn't follow that fuzzy suit. In any case, here's the track, which I should probably give a few more chances...

Order "Over and Over" direct from Labrador here.

Baltimore duo Wye Oak will release their new Merge album, "The Knot", on July 21st (just in time for the XX Merge bash!). It'll be their first work recorded specifically for the label (with last year's debut, "If Children", being more of post-signing re-release), and I'm really looking forward to hearing what Andy Stack and Jenn Wasner have in store for this follow-up. This first dose promises very good things...

I haven't had a chance to write about the first Boston visit from former American Analog Set frontman Andrew Kenny's new quintet, The Wooden Birds, but I was unsurprisingly enamored with their performance, and will hopefully be sharing my recording of it when their debut album, "Magnolia", arrives from Barsuk next week. Those of us fortunate enough to see the band recently were able to pick up the vinyl version (which includes download codes), and you can already order that from Barsuk as well.

Two Mp3s from the album have been (legally) let loose into the world...

Have a listen to the WOXY session that the band recorded during their visit to SxSW, and Europeans would do well to check out their list of live dates as they continue through Spain, Germany, and Austria this month.

The re-emergence of the wonderful Slumberland record label in 2006 has proven no mere nostalgia trip (PoBPaH, anyone?) -- they pretty much picked up where they left off and have continued to put out some really strong stuff. Well, they've announced another signing with Swedish trio Liechtenstein, who will release a mini-LP called "Survival Strategies In A Modern World" on June 2nd. And more relevant to us Bostonians: They're coming to town to play the tiny Middlesex Lounge in Cambridge on Sunday, May 18th with Pants Yell!. Here's hoping they'll have some early copies of that album with 'em. Here's a preview Mp3...

For New Yorkers, Liechtenstein will also appear at the NYC Popfest on Friday night, May 15th.

Speaking of Slumberland, their Brooklyn-based act Cause Co-Motion! came to Cambridge a couple weeks back to play an outdoor MIT/WMBR event, and it ended up being my very first listen. I went for Sleepyhead and Plus/Minus, but walked away with a new band to dig. They've got a new EP out this month titled "Because Because Because", and have offered up the last of its six songs as a freebie...

Shall I make it a Slumberland tri-fecta? Sure, why not. It pains me that The Pains of Being Pure at Heart have no Boston-area date on their extensive travel schedule, although it's a bit greedy to hope for such a quick return... they were here in February after all. I missed that one, but caught them on a trip up to Vermont the day before, a Valentine's Day gig that totally delivered (I really need to share up that show soon). I picked up their album at that show, and recently grabbed their new 7" from the Slumberland site, and here's the A-side, which also comes from the album, along with an Mp3 of their recent performance on Last Call...

British Sea Power are apparently toiling away on their 5th album, but in the meantime they're putting out their soundtrack to the 1934 b&w film "The Man of Aran", which is due out May 18th on both CD and DVD. Have a look at the new trailer. BSP's soundtrack is, of course, mostly instrumental, and includes new tracks along with re-recorded/re-arranged versions of their songs "True Adventures", "The Great Skua", "North Hanging Rock", and this cover of a Jeff Alexander number (originally written for an episode of the Twilight Zone)...

Thanks to Britt for hipping me to the fact that Norwegian band I Was A King will play their very first Boston show at Harpers Ferry on Friday, May 29th. She was right on when she pegged them as TFC/GBV-influenced, and when she guessed I'd like them. I do, I do. You can stream their entire latest album (with guest contributions from Sufjan Stevens & members of Danielson, The Ladybug Transistor, and Serena Maneesh) thanks to their label, Morningside Records, and here's one of the tracks for ya...

That self-titled debut and a 7" are both available domestically on The Control Group here in the US. After they play Boston, the band heads south then west for many more stateside dates, including a stretch with Constantines and Crystal Antlers.

I first saw Montreal quartet Pony Up years ago up in Burlington, VT when they played a show with The Smittens and charmed me with a super-catchy ode to Mr. Matthew Modine. Now they've got their sophomore album, "Stay Gold", ready to go, and are going to be self-releasing it North America on May 30th (it'll be on Laughing Outlaw in Aus/NZ). It was produced by the Dears' Murray Lightburn, and their brand new online store will not only be offering the digital download for a mere $5, but a limited, hand-made edition for pre-order as well. Here are two excellent preview tracks from "Stay Gold"...

And lastly, some more new music from the lovely Labrador label, who just released a 3-song single from Swedish pop combo The Mary Onettes. It's been a long while since we've had new sounds from the MOs (and with good reason), but this one was worth waiting for. Here's the title track from the EP, which can be ordered here...

There, that should keep your ears busy for a little while. And remember, you can stream all these songs easily over at the 'Nac page on the ol' Hype Machine.

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

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