Bradley's Almanac

New Year’s Weekend Music Miscellany

Posted on January 2, 2011 at 2:38 pm | No Comments

Happy New Year, y’all. To say I’m glad to see twenty-ten in my rearview mirror is a massive understatement. To summarize my year: Personally = hellish; Professionally = excellent; Bloggingly = weak. Musically = pretty damn good, actually. Speaking of which, I’m taking a quick break from pulling together my post of 2010 faves to share a few songs that kept me company over the holiday break.

Last December, Brooklyn trio City Breathing gifted fans with “Have A Melancholy Christmas”, a wonderful (and wonderfully free) downloadable EP, and they’ve gone and done it again this year: A new 5-track offering of reworked tracks and gorgeous aural experiments titled “Fits and Starts”. The songs mostly eschew any pop structure for lengthy, hypnotic meanderings, and it’s the best kind. Here’s my fave of the five, and you can grab the rest for free at their Bandcamp page. Let’s hope the band’s holiday freebies become an annual tradition…

[MP3] City Breathing – “Brush Strokes and Penciled Lines

Another holiday present for fans, this one from LA instrumental quartet Signal Hill: “Down To Bed” is the b-side of their first ever 7-inch, which was released last summer.

[MP3] Signal Hill – “Down To Bed

Buy the “California Is Too Long” 7-inch here, along with their excellent “Distance” EP while you’re at it. Both are limited edition, tastefully packaged, and include high-quality digital downloads when you buy ’em. The new calendar year promises the first ever batch of Signal Hill appearances on the East Coast, thanks in part to one of the band members moving to Brooklyn last fall. One of those shows had better be in Boston. Just sayin’.

Surprise! Outta nowhere, a year-ending, name-your-price song from New Hampshire’s MMOSS, hot on the heels of November’s “Another Dream“. The brand new Wander is up on Bandcamp, and it’s a beaut. So get with the grabbin’. The band plays next on Tuesday, January 11th at the Middle East Upstairs with the IOA and the Heather Maloney Band.

My old friend Chris Page (he of Ontario power-pop stalwarts the Stand GT and more recently of trio Camp Radio) landed himself a spot on the just-released “HeroHall & Oates: Home For Christmas” covers compilation, put together by the Halifax-based Herohill Canadian music website. 12 tracks, totally free, and if you can’t figure out which artist is getting covered from the title then, well, I’m afraid there’s no helping you. Head over to Herohill for a look at the full track list, where you’ll find Chris’ take on H&O’s “Tell Me What You Want!“.

And in the event that you missed it early last year, be sure to hit up Chris’ Bandcamp site and check out his most recent solo full-length “A Date With A Smoke Machine”, which (spoiler alert!) finds itself on my faves-of-the-year list. While the fact that I know Chris may have led to my discovering the album, it didn’t have much to do with my loving it. I blame the songs for that.

With all the free stuff I just pointed you to, it’s time for you to dish out a little dough, and for the rightest of reasons: The TargetCancer has curated a very special collection of holiday songs by Boston-area artists like Buffalo Tom’s Bill Janovitz, Jenny Dee & the Deelinquints, the Gravel Pit, The Gentlemen (Mike Gent of the Figgs + 3/4 of Gravel Pit), and more. Visit The Right Track to donate and download each song, and be sure to keep a close eye on the site, as the TargetCancer crew will be continuously putting together musical offerings to help in the research and treatment of rare and underfunded cancers, a cause that is close to my heart for reasons that should be obvious to some of you out there.

Ok, back to the list-making I go. I swore to myself (and, um, you) that I’d get my faves posted earlier than last year. Curse me and my meaningless promises!


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  • About the ‘Nac

    This is Bradley's Almanac. I'm your host, Brad. Barely holding it together since February 2000.

    "I love this song. It's so true. I wish this song was a whole day long. Man, I would have the best day that day."
    - The Kids In The Hall
  • Almanac Archives

  • Boston-Area Action

    Saturday, December 16th
    Bent Shapes (farewell show),
    Laika's Orbit, & Beware the
    Dangers of a Ghost Scorpion
    @ Great Scott

    Monday, December 18th
    Big Brave
    Child Bite
    @ Great Scott

    Thursday, December 21st
    @ Sonia

    Friday, December 22nd
    Love Love & Friends Xmas Show!
    with special guests Rick Berlin,
    Field Day, Bob Kendall,
    Anna Rae/Hemway, & Martha Marin
    @ the Midway Cafe

    Thursday, December 28th
    Cymbals Eat Guitars
    @ Great Scott

    Saturday & Sunday
    December 30th & 31st
    Deer Tick
    @ the Sinclair

    Sunday, December 31st
    Speedy Ortiz
    Wendy Eisenberg
    @ Great Scott

    Saturday, January 6th
    Fur Purse (LP Release Party!)
    with Whore Paint,
    Shepherdess, and Sister
    @ the Midway Cafe

    Wednesday, January 10th
    Craig Finn & the
    Uptown Controllers
    with John K. Samson
    @ City Winery Boston

    Friday, January 12th
    Passion Pit
    @ House of Blues

    Saturday, January 13th
    40 musicians form 8 new
    bands & perform that night
    @ the Sinclair

    Saturday, January 13th
    Lana Del Rey
    Jhene Aiko
    @ TD Garden

    Saturday, January 13th
    Horse Jumper of Love
    Mini Dresses
    Strange Passage
    @ Great Scott

    Saturday, January 13th
    Camper Van Beethoven
    @ the Middle East Downstairs

    Thursday, January 18th
    Family Planning
    Olivia Neutron-John
    @ Brighton Music Hall

    Sunday, January 21st
    @ the Royale

    Wednesday, January 24th
    Sleigh Bells
    @ the Paradise

    Wednesday, January 24th
    Mega Bog
    @ the Sinclair

    Friday, January 26th
    The Posies
    @ City Winery Boston

    Wednesday, January 31st
    Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
    Night Beats
    @ the Royale

    Saturday, February 3rd
    Steve Earle
    @ City Winery Boston

    Friday, February 9th
    @ the Paradise

    Saturday, February 10th
    Weakened Friends
    @ Great Scott

    Saturday & Sunday
    February 10th & 11th
    Ian Hunter
    & the Rant Band
    @ City Winery Boston

    Friday, February 16th
    Steve Earle
    @ City Winery Boston

    Friday, February 16th
    Robert Plant
    @ the Orpheum

    Saturday, February 17th
    @ Brighton Music Hall

    Saturday, February 17th
    Noel Gallagher’s
    High Flying Birds
    @ the Boston Opera House

    Sunday, February 18th
    X Ambassadors
    Now, Now
    @ House of Blues

    Wednesday, February 21st
    Frightened Rabbit
    @ the Sinclair

    Thursday, March 1st
    French Vanilla
    @ Great Scott

    Tuesday, March 6th
    Jessica Lea Mayfield
    @ Great Scott

    Thursday, March 8th
    Godspeed You! Black Emperor
    @ the Sinclair

    Thursday, March 8th
    @ the Royale

    Friday, March 9th
    Godspeed You! Black Emperor
    @ Sanders Theatre, Harvard

    Friday, March 9th
    @ the House of Blues

    Saturday, March 10th
    Nada Surf celebrating the 15th
    anniversary of their "Let Go" LP
    @ Brighton Music Hall

    Friday, March 23rd
    Glen Hansard
    @ House of Blues Boston

    Saturday, March 31st
    S. Carey
    @ Great Scott

    Tuesday, April 3rd
    Yo La Tengo
    @ the Paradise

    Saturday, April 7th
    @ the Sinclair

    Tuesday, April 10th
    Franz Ferdinand
    @ House of Blues Boston

    Tuesday, April 17th
    Chelsea Wolfe
    @ the Royale

    Friday, April 20th
    Buffalo Tom
    @ the Paradise

    Sunday, April 22nd
    The Darkness
    @ the Royale

    Friday, April 27th
    They Might Be Giants
    @ the House of Blues

    Saturday, April 28th
    Peter Hook & the Light
    performing both of the
    "Substance" collections by
    Joy Division & New Order
    @ the Paradise

    Saturday & Sunday
    April 28th & 29th
    Camp Cope
    @ the Sinclair

    Friday, May 18th
    The Fratellis
    @ the Paradise

    Saturday, June 2nd
    Japanese Breakfast
    @ the Sinclair

    Wednesday, June 11th
    Jimmy Eat World
    Alex Lahey
    @ House of Blues

    Tuesday, July 17th
    @ Xfinity Center

    July 21st & 22nd
    Foo Fighters
    @ Fenway Park

    Friday, August 10th
    Pedro the Lion
    @ Brighton Music Hall