Bradley's Almanac

(The return of) Music Miscellany: Upcoming Boston-area shows (TT’s tonight!)

Posted on December 21, 2010 at 5:03 pm | No Comments

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.
  • The month of January ends with two competing locally-focused shows that might have you hoping for the quick arrival of cloning technology: Saturday, January 29th gives a choice between the foursome of Mean Creek, Taxpayer, Girlfriends, and Dirty Dishes at the Brighton Music Hall vs. a show across the river at the Lizard Lounge with Aloud, This Blue Heaven, Oranjuly, and One Happy Island. A tough call, to be sure, but you should think about advance tickets no matter where your decision falls.

    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?…

    Yeah, I kinda think they will, too.

  • 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…

    [MP3] In The Audience – “For Courtney”

    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.


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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