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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, September 07, 2010

Live MP3s: BUILT TO SPILL on Cape Cod 2010

It's fitting that more than a few Doug Martsch-penned lyrics are about dreams, because this particular Built To Spill show still feels like a vivid one. On a hot early-August evening on the hook of Cape Cod, after a dark drive down a Lost Highway-lit road, I was directed down a dirt-covered driveway for my first-ever look at the Wellfleet Beachcomber - a glorified summer shack that was very sold out at just 400 sweaty souls. The place was hoppin', the parking lot totally packed, the secluded scene something out of a late-night-beach-party flick.

When the show first appeared on the Beachcomber's summer schedule, being there was a no-brainer. I'd seen Built To Spill plenty of times, but never in a place so intimate. I'd make a getaway out of it, book a couple mid-week nights at an area motel, grab some precious family and beach time. So after a relaxing evening filling up on seafood with friends, I headed solo to the 'Comah, but wouldn't feel alone - ended up there were more than a few familiar friends in the crowd - Two thirds of the wonderful Sleepyhead, Mr. Flyweight himself, and even some long-distance drivers from my beloved hometown. These friendly faces were offset by a fairly substantial number of bro-dudes and backhatters, of both the local and vacationing variety, but the die-hard BtS fans in the crowd squashed their drunken, aggro vibe. We're talking joyous, appreciative sing-a-long here, people. Grinning from ear to grateful ear.

Best Built To Spill set I've ever seen? Ayup. Show of the summer? Newt says "Eye-firmative". Show of the year? It's looking good. 2010 has just four full months to change my mind. More comments on the night, along with a free mp3 from the new Electronic Anthology Project, are below these downloadable live tracks...

  • Hell of a setlist, huh? It's like they reached into my brain, wrote down my favorites, and ran through 'em. I mean, five songs from "There's Nothing Wrong With Love"? Granted, a likely-unplanned "Twin Falls" was to kill time while guitarist Jim Roth changed a guitar string, but jeez, what a gift. Starting with "In The Morning"? Ending with "You Were Right"? Glorious.

  • The small stage and complete lack of roadies meant the band hung around after their set, and I had the rare chance to accost approach drummer Scott Plouf, one of my longtime drummin' heroes (has been since the very first the Spinanes 7-inch). This isn't something I ever do, but the atmosphere, post-show glow, and a couple o' beers gave me the guts. He graciously accepted my thanks and words of admiration as I explained that, oddly enough, my week had a bit of a "Scott Plouf" theme to it. Bear with me here: A few days before the show, I caught the 2000 K Records documentary "The Shield Around The K" for the first time at the Middle East (one of the excellent Rock Shop installments). On screen within the grainy archival footage was Mr. Plouf. A couple days later, while driving to the Cape and listening to a Red Sox broadcast on WEEI, the Spinanes' "Spitfire" (which starts with a signature Plouf beat), was used as a back-from-commercial musical bed. And then, of course, I get to meet the man himself. I just love little weird coincidences like that.

  • The main reason I was hanging around after the show wasn't to bother Scott, but to pick up a physical copy of the relatively new Built-To-Spill-but-not-Built-To-Spill mini-album from the Electronic Anthology Project. Yeah, I'd already bought this aural curiosity digital a few weeks previous, but I'm one of those weirdos that needs to hold music in his hand (and I also like putting cash straight into the hands of touring bands). I personally think this thing was worth paying for twice. If you haven't heard about it yet, here's the deal...

    Nope, no mention of Built To Spill on there, but it's them. Specifically, it's BtS bassist Brett NeLson (no, not guitarist Brett NeTson) rebuilding seven Built To Spill tracks electronically, with Dug Martsch re-singing his vocals over the whole shebang. And I love it. It brings Doug's longstanding mastery of melody to the forefront, hits just the right nostalgic notes, and shines a new light on some old faves. Don't recognize the titles? Well, it requires some decoding, and *spoiler alert*, here's what you're in for - one song from every proper BtS album, done up 80's synth-style...
    01. I Dim Our Angst In Agony (Goin Against Your Mind)
          from "You in Reverse" [2006]
    02. Age I Felt (Get A Life)
          from "Ultimate Alternative Wavers" [1993]
    03. At The Where (The Weather)
          from "Ancient Melodies of the Future" [2001]
    04. Eels (Else)
          from "Keep It Like a Secret" [1999]
    05. What If Your Dull (I Would Hurt A Fly)
          from "Perfect From Now On" [1997]
    06. A Gloss Siren (Israel's Song)
          from "There's Nothing Wrong With Love" [1994]
    07. Far Path Tall Sign (Things Fall Apart)
          from "There Is No Enemy" [2009]
    So why no mention of Built to Spill on this sucker? Why the scrambled song titles? My guess is it ain't just to be obtuse, but also to avoid the legal shenanigans of the band's major label, the good ol' double-you bee. Allows the guys to do their own thing, release something just for fun and on the down low, make a little bit of scratch without the brothers Warner sticking their hands in there. Hell yeah, I say. All the more reason to buy the thing. (CDBaby / iTunes / eMusic). As for the relatively non-specific band name? Well, word is that Brett hopes to involve other artists in the project down the road, creating electronic versions for a wish-list of bands. Does the idea of electro-Dino-Jr. tickle your fancy a bit? Well, keep your fingers crossed, and like I said, buy the thing to show your support.

    Brett graciously gave me the go ahead to share up one of the EAP tracks, so I picked my fave...

    [MP3] The Electronic Anthology Project - "Eels"
    (aka an electronic "Else" by Built To Spill)

  • Given the setlist above, and the meager two songs from last year's "There Is No Enemy", the band doesn't appear to be 'working' the album in the traditional sense, but that didn't stop them from releasing a new video for one of those tracks, "Hindsight"...

  • As I was about to click "publish" on this post, lo and behold, NYCtaper has shared up their recording of Built To Spill's floating Rocks Off Concert Cruise last week. Confluence!

  • The band continues their extensive fall tour in 10 days with a stop in Salt Lake City before they head back East and hit Boston for two nights at the Paradise (tickets), then back West to finish up in Seattle by Thanksgiving. Don't miss 'em. The dates...
    17th — Salt Lake City, Utah @ The Depot
    18th — Englewood, Colo. @ Gothic Theatre
    19th — Kansas City, Mo. @ The Beaumont Club
    20th — Iowa City, Iowa @ Blue Moose Tap House
    21st — Madison, Wis. @ The High Noon Saloon
    22nd — Champaign, Ill. @ Pygmalion Music Festival
    23rd — Indianapolis, Ind. @ The Vogue
    24th — Chicago, Ill. @ Vic Theatre
    25th — Detroit, Mich. @ St. Andrews Hall
    28th — Buffalo, N.Y. @ The Town Ballroom
    29th — Northampton, Mass. @ Pearl Street
    30th — Boston, MA @ Paradise Rock Club

    1st — Boston, Mass. @ Paradise Rock Club
    2nd — Pawtucket, R.I. @ The Met Café
    3rd — So. Burlington, Vt. @ Higher Ground
    7th — Philadelphia, Pa. @ Trocadero
    8th — Washington, D.C. @ 9:30 Club
    9th — Richmond, Va. @ The National
    10th — Carrboro, N.C. @ Cat’s Cradle
    11th — Charlotte, N.C. @ Neighborhood Theatre
    12th — Athens, Ga. @ 40 Watt Club
    13th — Jacksonville, Fla. @ Free Bird Café
    14th — Orlando, Fla. @ The Social
    15th — Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. @ Culture Room
    16th — St. Petersburg, Fla. @ State Theatre
    17th — Gainesville, Fla. @ The Venue
    19th — Tallahassee, Fla. @ The Moon
    20th — New Orleans, La. @ Howlin Wolf
    21st — Houston, Texas @ House of Blues Houston
    22nd — Austin, Texas @ Emo’s
    23rd — Austin, Texas @ Emo’s
    24th — Oklahoma City, Okla. @ Diamond Ballroom
    25th — Albuquerque, N.M. @ Launch Pad
    26th — Tempe, Ariz. @ Marquee Theatre
    27th — Solana Beach, Calif. @ Belly Up Tavern
    28th — Los Angeles, Calif. @ El Rey Theatre

    11th — Ashland, Ore. @ Ashland Armory
    12th — Eugene, Ore. @ WOW Hall
    13th — Portland, Ore. @ Crystal Ballroom
    15th — Bellingham, Wash. @ The Wild Buffalo
    17th — Missoula, Mont. @ Wilma Theater
    18th — Spokane, Wash. @ Knitting Factory Concert House
    19th — Seattle, Wash. @ The Showbox
    20th — Seattle, Wash. @ The Showbox
  • As ever, stream 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 256kbps 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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