Bradley's Almanac

Monday Morning Miscellany (an anniversary, a nomination, + a couple of worthy causes)

Posted on February 22, 2010 at 9:30 am | No Comments

Been awhile since I’ve done one of these random, multi-subject missives (blame Twitbook and a severe lack of personal downtime), but there are a handful things worth mentioning here in a proper post. A couple are entirely self-serving, others are far from it, but all have been on my mind lately to varying degrees…

  • With little fanfare, save for some kind Twitter responses and a bunch of Facebook ‘likes’, the ‘Nac passed its official 10-year anniversary exactly a week ago. Yes, on the 15th of February, in the year 2000, I registered the domain name while sitting in my old office at Mass Pike exit 17 (TPS represent!). A decade in and it is, of course, a very different beast from when it began… took me awhile to find my footing and my focus (well, that’s assuming you believe I’ve found either). In the alternate universe where I have no day job, no family, a clone, and a staff of filthy assistants, I threw a big honkin’ party with some of my favorite bands, a whole lot of friends, and a bunch of free stuff. In this one, I stopped at Deep Ellum on the way home for work and had a raised a pint to myself. In other words, it was a Monday. Huzzah!
  • In case you weren’t aware, or hadn’t taken notice of the little blue square in the upper right over there, for some inexplicable reason the Almanac has been nominated in the “Best Boston Blog” category of the 2010 Boston Phoenix Readers Poll. Which resulted in equal parts total flattery and complete confusion. Y’see, not only is this the first year, I believe, that the category has been changed from “Best Boston Blog/Podcast” to simply “Best Boston Blog”, but it may be the first time a music-related site has been among the nominees. And not just one, but three of them. How cool is that?

    If you are so inclined (if you’re reading this, I’m hoping you’re doing so because you enjoy it, not out of some strange masochistic compulsion), go vote for me (and make sure you click ‘submit vote’ then ‘skip to finish’). According to the fine print, you can vote once a day, so do with that info what you will. No, I have no idea when the polls close, but I’m assuming that’ll happen about 30 seconds before I click ‘publish’ on this post.

    And here’s some wishful thinking, directed at the Phoenix folks: Given that three music blogs ended up in this year’s Reader’s Poll, how about a new category in the 2010 Phoenix Best Music Poll for “Best Boston Music Blog”? Spread the love around a bit more, y’know? I’m obviously biased, but with the number of fine music-related websites we’ve got around this town, maybe it’s time.

  • Speaking of the Phoenix, their On The Download blog asked me to comment on the recent so-called #musicblogicide2010 (for the layperson: Google/Blogger deleted the entirety of a few music blogs due to some questionable copyright complaints). So, I commented. Go ahead and read my rambling, as if you don’t get enough of that here already.
  • And now, on to a couple of causes that actually deserve your time and attention…

  • It warmed my heart last month when I learned that Al Crisafulli had decided to restart his wonderful Jersey-based label Dromedary Records (the original run was from 1993 to 2000), and it warmed my heart even further when I saw one of the first new releases would be “Make the Load Lighter: Indie Rock for Haiti”. The 16-track, digital-only release includes old and new contributions from Dromedary artists like the Mommyheads, Cuppa Joe, + Footstone, as well as Moviola and Jennifer Convertible. Well worth a purchase, moreso because all of the proceeds will go to Vwa Ayiti (“Voice of Haiti”), which is “an all-volunteer organization that has been doing environmentally-conscious community development projects in Haiti since 2005. Right now all donations are going directly to providing medical care to the quake victims.” So get over to the Dromedary site and order up, or look it up at Amazon, eMusic, or iTunes.
  • A cause that is far, far closer to my heart and home (and those who know me well know why) is the fight against cancer. Since late last year, I’ve been following the creation and launch of TargetCancer and their new Right Track Tunes website. And I quote…

    TargetCancer promotes the development of lifesaving treatment protocols for rare cancers. Through fundraising, outreach, and advocacy, TargetCancer supports those living with rare cancers and funds research initiatives at the forefront of cancer treatment — efforts that treat the individual as well as the disease.”

    It’s the rare forms of cancer that, by definition, get short shrift in the donation and attention game. But there are so many so called “rare” forms that they become a larger sample when combined, and they need the research and support that all other cancer fighters (I refuse to use the word ‘victims’) need.

    The spark for TargetCancer’s formation came from the fight that Bostonian Paul Poth put up, and regrettably lost, with his own rare form of cancer. I highly encourage you to set aside a few minutes and read about Paul in his touching Boston Globe obituary right here. It’ll make you wish, at the least, that you’d met the guy, and will certainly make you wish he was still around. But he is, really, though the work of those close to him and TargetCancer.

    The organization’s first major push comes in the form of Right Track Tunes, a site that allows you to donate and download tracks from a wide variety of generous artists, including Boston’s own Drug Rug, Buffalo Tom, Mike Viola, and the Gravel Pit, as well as artists like Ween, Linda Thompson, Dean & Britta, The Donnas, Cowboy Junkies, and Weezer. That roster will only grow from here, once the word gets out some more. So get over there, get with the giving, and get with the listening. Follow them on Twitter to get the latest, and keep tabs on new songs contributed to the cause.

  • And three very quick tips before I go…

  • It is absolutely ridiculous that there are still tickets available for the Clientele / Field Music show at Great Scott next month. Are you people not paying attention or something? The Clientele set will make you swoon, and while I’ve yet to see Field Music, their just-released album “Measure” is pretty much blowing me away (stream it here). Either of these bands could pack larger places on their own, so when it does sell out, don’t say I didn’t warn ya.
  • Also very surprising? That you can still buy tickets for the March 1st premiere of director Jonathan Demme‘s new Neil Young concert film at Brookline’s Coolidge Corner Theatre. I mean, not only will Jonathan Demme himself be there to intro the “Neil Young Trunk Show” and host a post-screening Q+A, but his friend Robyn Hitchcock is coming along to play some songs. No, that is not your average, everyday film premiere. It’s part of the Coolidge’s celebration of Demme’s career and his selection as the 2010 Coolidge Award recipient. Lots of cool stuff going on around that event, but this screening is extra-cool.
  • And lastly, I implore you to go see the final night of John Shade‘s very special February residency at the Armory in Somerville this Thursday. I caught the first one, and left in a string-induced stupor. As excellent as the songs from his debut album (“All You Love Is Need”) are, they go to another place entirely when accompanied by the Neave String Quartet. The arrangements that Zack Hickman (who joins in on stand-up bass) pulled together are nothing short of magical, and witnessing them in such a small space (the Armory’s cozy front room) felt like a gift. Rounding out the lineup all month has been Leo Blais and different guests each week, and this final night brings Bo Barringer (from MEandJOANCOLLINS and Mascara) and Adena Atkins. Some strong advice, though: Buy advance tickets. Word has been spreading about the wonderfulness, and last week was a solid sell-out.
  • Alright, that’s it from me. The workweek is already well underway…


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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