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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

Friday, June 26, 2009

Boston: So Many Good Shows Ahead (Part 1)

If you're anywhere near Boston, and you've been following me on Twitter, you've probably been pleased with my recent flood of fairly exciting Boston-area rock show announcements. If you're elsewhere, well then, I'm assuming you're a bit jealous. Rather than relegate all that good info to 140-char info-blasts, I figured it was time to neatly pull it all together so you can get your tickets and mark your calendars.

So, in chronological order, here's some upcoming area events that have given me high hopes for the weeks and months ahead...

Tomorrow night, Saturday, June 27th, brings the second half of the celebration marking WMBR DJ Jon Bernhardt's incredible 25-year run on morning slot "Breakfast Of Champions". Both nights are, appropriately, fundraisers for the station, each featuring some of the artists that Jon has played most frequently over his many years on the air. Last weekend brought Yo La Tengo (playing as the Condo F*cks), The Bevis Frond, and Sleepyhead to TTs, and as fantastic as that lineup sounds, this weekend's show at Church is personally more thrilling: The return of Versus with Buffalo Tom and Rebecca Gates of the Spinanes. I mean, wow. Details are here, and tickets can (surprisingly) still be had here.

Next Thursday, July 2nd, I'll be making my first-ever trip down to Showcase Live in Foxborough to catch The Church, who happen to be touring with Adam Franklin and his backing band Bolts of Melody. I was a Church completist back in the day, but have lost track of them over the past several years. In fact, I think the last time I caught them was a decade ago at (the now defunct) Mama Kin on Lansdowne. It was a good show, although it didn't necessarily reignite my completism. The fact that they're playing this time around at a place I've never been to (always a plus), and with Swervedriver frontman Franklin, well, that was enough to get me to grab a ticket. If anyone's been to Showcase Live and has any tips to share, drop a comment below. I've been meaning to pick up The Church's latest album, which bears the non-name of "Untitled #23" (yes, it's their 23rd release), but I think I'll wait until the show to put more cash in their own hands.

Last year I shared up a pretty great song by NYC trio City Breathing off their debut full-lengther. And then, for inexplicable reasons, I neglected to spend time with the rest of the album, and the band's name got washed away in the never-ending flood of promo emails I get. Well, shame on me. Because earlier this week I discovered their newly-released follow-up EP, entitled "My Apple IIe Is Singing Sad Songs To Me", and was quite rightly blown away. Four beautiful songs repeated all day long, prompting me to throw some money in their paypal account, then head back and listen closely to that debut, "Look How It's Snowing Upwards, Look How They Move Towards Heaven". Wow. And here's the thing: You can download all of their stuff for free, using the links above. Just toss a little cash in their tip jar if you love it as much as I do. And lucky me/us, they're hitting the Middle East Upstairs on Sunday, July 5th, as the last band on a four band bill. Now, that's not exactly prime-time - it's going to be rough getting myself out for it - but I think I've fallen hard enough to make that happen.

Here's the first track from City Breathing's new EP...

Another band it took me far too long to fall for: Boston's own Aloud. I'd heard and liked their song "Sometimes I Feel Like A Vampire", but recently dug into their sophomore full-length ("Fan The Fury", released last year) and found a whole lot more to love. Catchy, melodic guitar work that rocks without being overly indulgent, some fantastic boy/girl harmonies (I'm struck by singer Jen de la Osa vocal similarities to Concrete Blonde's Johnette Napolitano, and that's some praise), all contributing to memorably dynamic songs that each have their own specific identities. While it took me far too long to connect with this band, it was just in time to make sure I arrive early to the Paradise on Saturday, July 11th when they open up The Luxury's CD release party (The Click 5 and Midatlantic round out the lineup). Tickets for that show can be had here. Listen to some Aloud at MySpace, or better yet, stream their entire latest full-length...

[Album Stream] Aloud - "Fan The Fury"

If you haven't already got tickets to see American Music Club's Mark Eitzel (with AMC's Marc Capelle on keys) at the Lizard Lounge on Tuesday, July 21, well... you'd best get on that. 'Cuz the place ain't that big, and opener Rick Berlin is bound to bring in his share of loyal followers. Eitzel & Capelle will be playing a whole bunch of AMC songs along with, word is, some choice covers, and to see them in this intimate setting will be a total treat (especially after that last AMC gig at the relatively cavernous Harpers Ferry). The show takes place as part of a 12-date tour surrounding their appearance at the Merge Records 20th anniversary shindig down in North Carolina the following week. Which I'll be at. Oh yes I will.

On Wednesday, July 29th, London-based combo The Veils comes to TT the Bears as part of a 3-week North American tour to deliver songs from their recently-released third album, "Sun Gangs". Rather than headlining outright, they're alternating the closing spot with tourmates Foreign Born, who released a new record of their own ("Person To Person") earlier this week. I'll be giving out a pair of tickets to the show as it gets closer, but if you can't wait until then (and given the pairing, along with openers Faces On Film, I wouldn't), pick up tickets here.

A track from The Veils latest...

The first night of August brings the official release party for Wheat's latest album, "White Ink Black Ink", at Great Scott, though if you pre-ordered it as I did, you've already got it in your hands (and headphones). Openers are locals Bon Savants with Brooklynites The XYZ Affair, and tickets can be purchased right here. I'm hoping to have a few live tracks from their last Great Scott gig shared up before the show (including a cover of Daft Punk's "One More Time"), but I still need to check with the band to make sure that's cool.

Here's a track from Wheat's "White Ink Black Ink"...

Alright, I'm going to make myself stop here for now... I swear I've got twice as many shows to write about, but I'll leave you with two quick and timely things...

  • The internet pre-sale for the just-announced reunion of Sunny Day Real Estate at Boston's House of Blues on September 28th started this morning (presale password: SUNNYDAY), so head over here to get in on that, or try again tomorrow morning for the regular public on-sale.

  • And the show that will end our summer in sonic style: On Sunday, August 30th, Austin's Explosions In The Sky will play with The Flaming Lips on the Boston waterfront at the BoA Pavilion. Uh, Wow. Tickets go on sale tomorrow morning at 10am, and I'll be one of the many clicking refresh as the hour approaches. I'm infinitely more excited to see EiS than Coyne & Co., but that doesn't mean I'll won't be staying for the whole shebang. And a bonus: Seems a new Flaming Lips EP will be made available to those who purchase tickets to the show, which will include 3 tracks from their upcoming double album and 3 b-sides. I'm down. But the only bonus I really want is this: While Explosions in the Sky are playing, how about some actual waterfront fireworks? Ah, a boy can dream.

    And with that, here come the thunderstorms... have a good weekend, all. Maybe I'll see you at Church tomorrow night for Versus, Buffalo Tom, and Rebecca Gates? So damn excited...

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

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