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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

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Show Preview (with live Mp3s): Wooden Birds @ TTs on 6/23

Tonight Andrew Kenny returns to town with his Austin-based combo The Wooden Birds for their second area show at TT the Bear's in just three months. The TT's stage is a very familiar one to Kenny, who played there many times with his former band, American Analog Set, and more recently as a touring member of Broken Social Scene. Had AmAnSet continued beyond the 2005 release of their last album, it's possible that subsequent visits would have necessitated a larger venue, but with their break-up/hiatus, Kenny has essentially started over from scratch. Their April show was a bit underattended (at least relative to latter-day AAS appearances), although it did precede last month's release of The Wooden Birds' debut album, "Magnolia" (on Barsuk), and the publicity and praise that followed. Here's hoping tonight sees a healthier crowd welcoming back the band with current tourmates Other Lives and the UK's Hatcham Social.

My love for the songs of American Analog Set runs very, very deep, and it took me a little while to wrap my heart and head around the new direction Kenny has taken with his Wooden Birds songwriting. While the sonics still fall on the softer side, his compositions are far different animals - keyboards have been abandoned; the vibra-ma-phone is left at home; gorgeous harmonies have been added (thanks to Leslie Sisson); and on record, a standard drum kit is largely absent, the rhythms stripped down to bare essentials. In fact, were it not for his distinctive voice and the occasional trademark guitar line, you might be hard pressed to guess this was an AK creation.

It's all extremely organic, and very precise, occasionally to a fault. In fact, it wasn't until seeing the band in April that it all clicked together for me, that I finally fell for it. I was able to stop holding them up to AAS standards and judge the songs on their own, in their rawer, less sterile form. And with not just one drummer, but a percussionist as well to help flesh things out. The inclusion of a live rendition of AmAnSet fave "Kindness of Strangers", done "Wooden Birds style" helped bridge a gap, and it all made a lot more sense. I've since come to appreciate "Magnolia" far more than on my initial listens.

With Kenny's permission, here are a few songs from their April set at TTs, including my favorite WB track ("The Other One"), and their version of "Kindness of Strangers". And don't be surprised if you hear yet another American Analog Set song tonight...

The Wooden Birds

A few songs live at T.T. the Bears Place
in Cambridge, MA on Saturday, April 18th, 2009

01. Hailey
02. The Other One
03. The Kindness of Strangers (an AmAnSet song)

To get yourself ready for this evening, hop on over to the Ash Gray Proclamation, who have a brand new Andrew Kenny interview, and be sure to visit Luxury Wafers, who have just shared up a six-song live session, including video footage of "Sugar". More audio-visual treats: The band performing "Seven Seventeen" and "Hometown Fantasy" on a Valencian street earlier this month (via Au Agenda Urbana). Update: They Shoot Music Don't They has a couple of wonderful clips of the band performing acoustic in a Vienna park.

Upcoming Wooden Birds tourdates (all with Other Lives):
Tuesday, 6/23: Cambridge, MA @ TT The Bears
Wednesday, 6/24: Brooklyn, NY @ The Bell House
Thursday, 6/25: Philadelphia, PA @ North Star
Friday, 6/26: Washington, DC @ Rock and Roll Hotel
Saturday, 6/27: Asheville, NC @ Rocket Club
Sunday, 6/28: Chapel Hill, NC @ Nightlight Bar & Club
Monday, 6/29: Atlanta, GA @ The Earl
Tuesday, 6/30: Birmingham, AL @ Bottle Tree
Wednesday, 7/1: Baton Rouge, LA @ Spanish Moon
Thursday, 7/2: Houston, TX @ Walters on Washington
Listen to 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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