Hey, remember me? Name's Brad. Used to run a music blog, back in the day. Don't blame you if it doesn't ring a bell.
Let's get reacquainted, shall we? Time to blow a little dust off this place, shake out the sheets with some personally inspiring show-related randomness. I'll spare you the many excuses for my too-long absence (that'll be a whole 'nother post) and just jump straight in...
The impending new year will bring a whole mess of great bands to the Boston-area. Seriously, I'm buying more tickets lately than Christmas presents (uh, sorry, family), and new shows keep popping up every day. Here's a quick look at few I'm excited about in January -- not necessarily all of the ones I'm looking forward to, but definitely the ones you should get tickets to before they disappear. There's also a show tonight you should check out, and a couple beyond the end of January I'll mention while I'm at it...
camper van beethoven
The ongoing "bands playing entire albums" trend looks like it will continue into 2011, with David Lowery bringing both his bands (Camper Van Beethoven and Cracker) to the Middle East Downstairs on January 16th. CVB will run through all of 1989's "Key Lime Pie" (the last album before their 1990 breakup, notable for the single "(I Was Born In A) Laundromat" and their cover of "Pictures of Matchstick Men"), and Cracker will serve up their 1993 sophomore breakthrough "Kerosene Hat". I was never much of a Cracker fan, but as a massive Camper Van devotee, I'd be infinitely more excited to see them do KLP's immediate predecessor, "Our Beloved Revolutionary Sweetheart". Doesn't mean I won't still be there for CVB's set, though. Tickets, yo.
As long as we're on the subject of Mr. Lowery - he'll be releasing his very first solo record on February 1st courtesy of 429 Records. It's called "The Palace Guards", and he's shared up the title track as a preview...
I can't help but feel some pride, however completely unjustified, when bands from my homestate of Vermont get well-deserved attention outside its borders. So I've been particularly keen on the ascendance of longtime Lyndonville resident (and now West Virginian) Dean Wells, aka The Capstan Shafts, over the past couple of years. While he's been using that name for about a decade, all the P4K props and live-band action are relatively recent. January 18th brings some of that live action to the Boston area, finally, when he (and his backing band?) opens for our own Hallelujah The Hills at TT the Bears. A guaranteed, can't-miss, wintertime hootenanny will ensue. Get those tickets.
The following Friday sees a ridiculously stacked solo-guitar-guy triple-bill at the soon-to-open Brighton Music Hall in Allston (formerly Harper's Ferry). Seriously, just look at this: Ted Leo headlines, Bill Janovitz from Buffalo Tom precedes him, and Drew O'Doherty (ex-Ivory Coast, and one of Ted's former Pharmacists) kicks things off. I mean, jeez, all killer no filler. Last time I saw Drew open for Ted, they used a Springsteen song as an aural relay baton - wonder if those three gents will come up with some kind of cool handoff to segue between each set this time around. One can hope. Grab tickets online, or save on fees and pick them up at the Paradise Box Office, who also handle BMH ticket sales.
Not music, but this will rock in it's own way: On Saturday, January 22nd at 2pm, ace funny-man and occasional actor Patton Oswalt hits town for an afternoon appearance at the Coolidge Corner Theatre, courtesy of the Brookline Booksmith. The special occasion? He's got a book to sell, meaning you've got one to buy. His imminent memoir is titled "Zombie Spaceship Wasteland", and for $5 you can be there when he cracks wise in Coolidge Corner. Stop by the Booksmith to grab a ticket, and soon.
I've never been a huge Decemberists fan, and less so after the last couple albums, but I'll still be at one of their two late-January shows at Boston's House of Blues. Why? Two words, two people: Wye Oak. Jenn & Andy are opening both nights, January 28th & 29th, and I'm hoping/assuming we'll get to hear some songs from their out-in-March-on-Merge third album, "Civilian". I have two wishes: Their set isn't cut too short due to the opening slot, and if it is, that they come back to town very soon for a headline date once the album arrives. I missed their last Boston-area show, and that ain't gonna happen again. Make with the ticket buying: night one / night two.
Be forewarned: That Lizard Lounge show is the night One Happy Island officially releases a 4-track split single with personal UK fave Standard Fare (!). The bands cover a song by each other, and each offer up a new one. Cannot wait to hold that piece of wax in my happy little hands, especially so I can hear OHI's take on one of my favorite Standard Fare tracks, "A Night With A Friend".
Looking a bit further ahead into February, you must acquire grab tickets for the Radio Dept. at the Middle East Downstairs on February 4th if you haven't already, and if you're a fan of seminal Aussie quartet The Church, buy one for their February 18th appearance at Showcase Live in Foxboro. I've seen, and loved, them at that general-admission, seated venue before, and this time they'll make it more special: Three entire albums (1988's "Starfish", 1992's "Priest=Aura", 2009's "Untitled #23) played top-to-bottom in one night. Yup, there's that ongoing trend again, with the Church tripling down.
Two shows in March jump out at me: Walter Schreifels (Quicksand/Gorilla Biscuits) and his recently-rekindled Rival Schools show up on Saturday, March 5th at the Brighton Music Hall, and all-girl uber-group Wild Flag plays there two days later on Monday, March 7th. Why "uber"? 'Cuz it's former Bostonian Mary Timony (Helium) with Janet Weiss (Quasi), Carrie Brownstein (that's 2/3 of Sleater-Kinney), and Rebecca Cole (the Minders). Been a long time since a new band has gotten so much digital ink before any officially-released recordings, or even before their first show (which happened last month), but given that pedigree, they kinda deserve it. Austin's Yellow Fever and Boston's JP's own Shepherdess open up that show. Tickets right here.
Think they'll play this cover when they hit town?...
I'd be remiss if I didn't also mention one show that's happening before we ring in another new year: TONIGHT, Tuesday the 21st, new fave In The Audience opens up a 3-band night on the side-stage at TT the Bears. The self-described musical collective pulls members from both Portland (ME) and Toronto, and I've really liked everything I've heard from them so far. There's an 8-track album ("What Lives", released in October) available over at their Bandcamp site, and they're in the midst of recording a new album as well. Keep an eye on their MySpace site, where they're promising to share up some fresh demos. They've been kind enough to send some to me, and they're a marked improvement on the already-good songs from that first release. Pretty psyched to see them play, and I'm hoping there are more people in the crowd to see them than you'd expect for the opening-slot-on-a-holiday-week-Tuesday. In other words: Join me at TT's tonight, k? Get there at 9 sharp so you don't miss a note. Here's something from their poppier side that should help you make those plans...
Hit up Bandcamp to stream (or better yet, buy) some more. Give a listen to "Walter Gretzky Street Hockey Tournament", and head to MySpace for their cover of Springsteen's "I'm On Fire" (yes, that was the second Bruce mention in this post).
One show that hasn't been announced yet, but surely will, is the reunited Sebadoh's return to town. They've just announced a slew of West Coast dates, and the East Coast itinerary is imminent. The occasion? A re-release/reissue/repackage/remaster of what is, as far as I'm concerned, their best album: Bakesale. You want bonus trax? How about freakin' 25 of them.
Naturally we'll get Lou Barlow and Jason Loewenstein both, but no Eric Gaffney this time around. Bakesale-drummer Bob Fay unfortunately isn't along for the ride either, but we'll get treated instead to Bob D'Amico behind the kit. Bob's been playing with Jason for years, and has been doing rhythmic duty alongside Jason in Fiery Furnaces lately. Cannot wait to see them rock those Bakesale tracks out. I'll be the one kinda freaking out during "Drama Mine".
1. Tonight: TTs!
2. It appears as though I'll be at Brighton Music Hall more times in their first few months of existence than I was during all the years it was Harper's Ferry. BMH booker for the win!
3. Hey, look, I made a blog post! Feel free to slow clap.