Bradley's Almanac

A Bona Fide Boston Music Boom – Part 1 of 2

Posted on September 11, 2009 at 2:26 pm | No Comments

Imagine me saying this in my most sickeningly sincere voice possible: It has been a very, very long time since I’ve been as excited about Boston-made music (and specifically, discovering the new) as I have been over this past couple months. I’ve been listening to a whole lot of area bands lately, and I feel like I’ve barely even scratched the sonic surface. So I’m going to take a quick run down of the locally-grown music that has been filling my ears and warming my heart as the summer fades, and point you in the direction of where you can buy their work or see ’em play next. And if any of the free n’ legal mp3s that follow grab you, hopefully you’ll do both.

While I’m going to stick mostly to the facts here, rather than all-out flattery, if a band is listed here, they are entirely Almanac-endorsed. In this first part, I’ll rattle off some albums that were released recently that you may have missed, a couple of which I’ve mentioned and a few I’ve been meaning to. In part two, which I hope to post later this coming week, I’ll focus on just-released or upcoming releases that I’m excited about, along with some completely free offerings from some new bands. And off we go…

In late July, Taunton’s own Wheat released their latest full-length, “White Ink, Black Ink”, and they’ve shared a couple of songs and a video from it…

[Mp3]: Wheat – “H.O.T.T.
[Mp3]: Wheat – “Changes Is
[Video]: Wheat – “Changes Is (in .mov format / youtube here)

Pick up your own copy of the disc here, and be sure to visit thiswheat.com, where you’ll find a load of shared live sets. The band plays their next area show on a Saturday night, October 24th, downstairs at the Middle East in Central Square with Jukebox The Ghost, and tickets go on sale next Friday, September 18th. If you’re lucky, they’ll do their Daft Punk cover.

You’d think I’d be slightly tired of You Can Be A Wesley‘s debut record, “Heard Like Us”, by now, given how much I’ve listened to it (and how many times I’d heard the live versions of the songs before the album arrived), but it’s still making frequent and welcome appearances in my playlists. Here’s the oft-shared “Creatures“, which leads off side 2 of the LP (and I love that I can say that)…

[Mp3] You Can Be A Wesley – “Creatures

Listen to a couple more songs at their Muxtape page, grab the album digitally from Amazon.com, or snag a copy of the vinyl from the band at one of their shows (no cd on this one, kids!). Your next chance to do that is tonight, when the band plays their alma mater (that’s B.U. to you and me) as part of a WTBU Day show, which starts at 8pm at the George Sherman Union, 775 Commonwealth Ave. Admission is free for students, and just 5 bucks otherwise, and joining them are Pretty & Nice and Magic Magic. That’s a steal at less than 2 bucks a band.

YCBAW will play again soon, when they Allston’s Great Scott on Sept. 26th to help Hallelujah The Hills celebrate the release of their own new album. But more on that in the tomorrow’s half of this post.

(and on a total side note – nice to see half of YCBAW in the Autolux-appreciating crowd last night at the ‘Dise.)

First, I owe an apology to Mean Creek – I was somehow pre-programmed to take a first glance at your band name and incorrectly guess ‘bluegrass?’. Nothing against bluegrass, but I’m really glad I dove into their wonderful new disc, “The Sky (Or The Underground)”, to discover that is most definitely not the case. Listen to the title track to hear for yourself…

[Mp3] Mean Creek – “The Sky (or the Underground)

The band celebrated the release of the disc last month, so you can get the tracks digitially from Amie Street or other sources listed here, or physically from Old Flame Records. Their next show is today, when they hit the Boston waterfront for The Boston Arts Festival in Christopher Columbus Park at 5:45pm, they’re playing TT’s on Sept. 17th, and they’ll also be part of the Mark Sandman Memorial Concert on September 27th.

On the same night, and on the same stage, that Mean Creek celebrated their album’s release, so did their friends in Drug Rug. “Paint The Fence Invisible” is 11 tracks in just over 30 minutes, short sharp shocks of catchy songs that dig in deep and stay there. Here’s one…

[Mp3] Drug Rug – “Never Tell

Stream the entire album (or better yet, buy the damn thing) at LaLa. If you didn’t catch them at that CD release show, then you’ll be waiting until their in-progress tour with Portugal. The Man comes to Boston on October 18th. Tickets for that Paradise show can be obtained right here.

There are musicians you love, and then there are musicians who are loved by the musicians you love. I happily discovered Cambridge’s own Choo Choo La Rouge thanks to singer/songwriter Jennifer O’Connor, who digs them enough to put out their “Black Clouds” album out on her very own Kiam Records imprint last month. Here’s a song and brand new video for your edumusication…

[Mp3] Choo Choo La Rouge – “It’s Gonna Happen Fast
[Video] Choo Choo La Rouge – “Here Come The Guns

Pick up the album digitally from Amazon (and be sure to sample to my favorite track, “Mostly Air“), or a disc direct from Jennifer at Kiam. The trio celebrated with a release show in Somerville a few weeks back, but only have a couple of out of October out-of-town shows booked at the moment. Keep an eye and ear out for their next Boston-area appearance.

Oh Caspian, my Caspian. This is far from the first, nor will it be the last, time I’ve mentioned these Beverly-based boys on this site. The occasion? The arrival of their majestic (a word easily applied) second full-length, “Tertia”. Yes, they fit in the ol’ instrumental post-rock category, but they do it with such passion, such power, that seeing them live can be both a mentally and physically moving experience. A sold-out crowd experienced that a couple weeks ago at the TT’s release party, where I finally got to hold the hefty, beautifully designed, double-vinyl version of the album in my happy little hands. Here’s a meager digital taste of “Tertia”…

[Mp3] Caspian – “Of Foam and Wave

Know what you can do right now? Go download the entire album, for free, at Gimme Sound, or better yet, order up that 180g double-vinyl (or cd) from their label, Mylene Sheath. The band, who have just weathered a line-up shift and emerged ready for the road, have been set loose upon Europe for a massive two-month tour, and they’ll return to our shows for an October 29th homecoming set upstairs at the Middle East. Which spells sellout. Tickets here.

Keep an eye out for part two, in which I’ll spotlight some upcoming albums and associated live shows I’m anticipating, along with pointers to even more free music made in and around our little city.

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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

    Wednesday, July 19th
    RIDE
    Froth
    @ the Royale


    Thursday, July 20th
    Thurston Moore Group
    Taiwan Housing Project
    @ the Sinclair


    Thursday, July 20th
    Tom Petty &
    the Heartbreakers
    Peter Wolf
    @ TD Garden


    Friday, July 21st
    Tristen
    @ The Rockwell


    Friday, July 21st
    The Alarm
    Goddamn Draculas
    Big City Rockers
    @ ONCE Somerville


    Friday, July 21st
    Ultimate Painting
    @ Sonia


    Friday, July 21st
    Spoon
    The New Pornographers
    @ the Blue Hills Bank Pavilion


    Friday, July 21st
    Toad the Wet Sprocket
    @ the Wilbur


    Friday, July 21st
    Conor Oberst
    Hop Along
    @ the House of Blues


    Saturday, July 22nd
    Ghost Box Orchestra (final show)
    Somewhere in Somerville


    Saturday, July 22nd
    Thalia Zedek Band
    Mr. Airplane Man
    @ the Lilypad


    Saturday, July 22nd
    Out of the Blue Too benefit
    with The Spookfish, Petridisch
    Cryostasium, Skyjelly
    And Then There Was One
    Lightning Pill, & Idle Threat
    6pm @ OotB Too


    Sunday, July 23rd
    Primus
    Clutch
    @ the Blue Hills Bank Pavilion


    Tuesday, July 25th
    Slayer
    Lamb of God
    Behemoth
    @ the Blue Hills Bank Pavilion


    Friday, July 28th
    Alt-J
    @ the Blue Hills Bank Pavilion


    Saturday, July 29th
    The Head and the Heart
    Big Thief
    @ Blue Hills Bank Pavilion


    Sunday, July 30th
    Blondie
    Garbage
    Deap Vally
    @ the Blue Hills Pavilion


    Wednesday, August 2nd
    The Shins
    Tennis
    @ House of Blues Boston


    Wednesday, August 2nd
    Melvins
    Spotlights
    @ the Paradise


    Wednesday, August 2nd
    Belle & Sebastian
    Andrew Bird
    Porches
    @ Blue Hills Pavilion


    Thursday, August 3rd
    The Rationales,
    The Curtis Mayflower,
    Oldjack,
    Red Red Rockit,
    Nate Rogers &
    the Unreliable Narrators
    @ the Middle East Downstairs


    Friday, August 4th
    Alabama Shakes
    Emily King
    @ the Blue Hills Bank Pavilion


    Tuesday, August 8th
    Mew
    @ the Sinclair


    Tuesday, August 8th
    Poptone
    (mems of Bauhaus, Tones
    on Tail, Love & Rockets)
    with Pow!
    @ the Paradise


    Friday, August 11th
    LO TOM
    (Bazan, Walsh, Many, & Martin)
    TW Walsh
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Sunday, August 13th
    Slothrust
    Tancred
    @ Great Scott


    Sunday, August 13th
    BC65!
    Bob Colby’s 65th Birthday Bash
    (and *final* BCP show!)
    with Thalia Zedek Band, Viva Gina,
    Dyr Faser, Land of Enchantment,
    Kingdom of Love, Carissa Johnson,
    The Very, Cold Expectations,
    Randy Black & the Heathcroppers,
    and The Wrong Shapes
    @ ONCE Somerville


    Tuesday, August 15th
    Goo Goo Dolls
    Phillip Phillips
    @ Blue Hills Bank Pavilion


    Thursday, August 17th
    Hallelujah the Hills
    @ Charles Hayden Planetarium
    @ Museum of Science, Boston


    Saturday, August 19th
    Waxahatchee (full band!)
    @ the Royale


    Saturday, August 19th
    Mark Lanegan Band
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Monday, August 28th
    Green Day
    Catfish & the Bottlemen
    @ the Xfinity Center


    Monday, August 28th
    Washed Out
    @ the Royale


    Friday, September 1st
    Duck & Cover
    Silver Screams
    The Runouts
    @ Koto in Salem


    Tuesday, September 5th
    Pallbearer
    @
    Brighton Music Hall


    Tuesday, September 5th
    Laetitia Sadier Source Ensemble
    (of Stereolab)
    @ Great Scott


    Wednesday, September 6th
    Warpaint
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Wednesday, September 6th
    Kevin Morby
    Shannon Lay
    @ The Sinclair


    Thursday, September 7th
    The Novel Ideas
    @ Red Room at Cafe 939


    Friday, September 8th
    Widowspeak
    Clearance
    @ Great Scott


    Friday, September 8th
    Weakened Friends
    @ O’Brien’s


    Saturday, September 9th
    Swervedriver
    playing “Raise” & “Mezcal Head”
    DJ Carbo
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Saturday, September 9th
    The Brian Jonestown Massacre
    @ the Paradise


    Saturday, September 9th
    Buffalo Tom
    “Let Me Come Over”
    25th Anniversary
    @ the Royale


    Sunday, September 10th
    GBH
    The Casualties
    Down With Rent
    Panzerbastard
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Monday, September 11th
    Roky Erickson
    Death Valley Girls
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Wednesday, September 13th
    Father John Misty
    Phosphorescent
    @ Blue Hills Bank Pavilion


    Wednesday, September 13th
    Thee Oh Sees
    @ the Sinclair


    Wednesday, September 13th
    Mount Eerie
    @ Arts at the Armory


    Wednesday, September 13th
    Alison Moyet
    @ the Royale


    Thursday, September 14th
    The Afghan Whigs
    Har Mar Superstar
    @ the Paradise


    Thursday, September 14th
    Bob Seger & The
    Silver Bullet Band with
    Nancy Wilson (Heart)
    @ the TD Garden


    Friday, September 15th
    Arcade Fire
    Preservation Hall Jazz Band
    @ TD Garden


    Friday, September 15th
    Wild Belle
    Fred Thomas
    @ the ONCE Ballroom


    Friday, September 15th
    Middle Kids
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Saturday, September 16th
    Matthew Sweet
    Tommy Keene
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Saturday, September 16th
    Kasabian
    @ the Royale


    Saturday, September 16th
    Sturgill Simpson
    @ the Blue Hills Pavilion


    Saturday, September 16th
    Chameleons Vox (featuring
    Mark Burgess of Chameleons UK)
    with Soft Kill & Way Out
    @ the Middle East Downstairs


    Monday, September 18th
    Liars
    @ The Sinclair


    Wednesday & Thursday
    September 20th & 21st
    Gogol Bordello
    Lucky Chops
    @ the Paradise


    Wednesday, September 20th
    The Cribs
    @ the Middle East Downstairs


    Wednesday, September 20th
    X (40th anniversary tour)
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Thursday, September 21st
    The Cranberries
    @ House of Blues


    Friday, September 22nd
    Brian Wilson does “Pet Sounds”
    @ the Orpheum


    Friday, September 22nd
    Alison Krauss
    David Gray
    @ Blue Hills Bank Pavilion


    Friday, September 22nd
    The Ataris
    The Queers
    @ the Middle East Downstairs


    Saturday, September 23rd
    The War On Drugs
    @ Blue Hills Bank Pavilion


    Saturday, September 23rd
    Wire
    @ The Sinclair


    Sunday, September 24th
    Saint Etienne
    @ the Once Ballroom


    Thursday, September 28th
    Stiff Little Fingers
    Death By Unga Bunga
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Friday, September 29th
    The Church
    The Helio Sequence
    @ City Winery Boston


    Monday, October 2nd
    METZ
    Uniform
    @ The Sinclair


    Monday & Tuesday
    October 2nd & 3rd
    Pinback
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Tuesday, October 3rd
    Alvvays
    Birthing Hips
    @ the Paradise


    Wednesday & Thursday
    October 4th & 5th
    Dinosaur Jr.
    Easy Action
    @ The Sinclair


    Wednesday, October 4th
    Yes
    (including Jon Anderson,
    Trevor Rabin, & Rick Wakeman)
    @ the Orpheum


    Thursday, October 5th
    The National
    @ the Wang Theatre


    Thursday, October 5th
    Hundred Waters
    Kelsey Lu
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Friday, October 6th
    Paul Weller
    @ House of Blues


    Saturday, October 7th
    Sun Kil Moon
    @ the Sinclair


    Saturday, October 7th
    Paramore
    Best Coast
    @ Boston Opera House


    Saturday, October 7th
    Broken Social Scene
    Frightened Rabbit
    @ House Of Blues


    Saturday, October 7th
    Front 242
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Sunday, October 8th
    KMFDM
    OHGR
    Lord of the Lost
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Monday, October 9th
    Future Islands
    @ the Orpheum


    Tuesday, October 10th
    Against Me!
    Bleached
    The Dirty Nil
    @ the Paradise


    Wednesday, October 11th
    Japanese Breakfast
    Mannequin Pussy
    The Spirit Of The Beehive
    @ The Sinclair


    Thursday, October 12th
    Beach Fossils
    Snail Mail
    Raener
    @ the Sinclair


    Saturday, October 14th
    Andrew W.K.
    @
    Brighton Music Hall


    Saturday, October 14th
    The Psychedelic Furs
    “The Singles Tour”
    @ the Paradise


    Tuesday, October 17th
    Pickwick
    @ Great Scott


    Friday, October 20th
    Janeane Garofalo
    @ ONCE Somerville


    Saturday, October 21st
    Queens of the Stone Age
    Royal Blood
    @ Agganis Arena


    Wednesday, November 1st
    Grizzly Bear
    @ the House of Blues


    Wednesday, November 1st
    Elbow
    @ the Paradise


    Thursday, November 2nd
    The Dears
    @ Great Scott


    Friday, November 3rd
    The Breeders
    @ the Sinclair


    Friday, November 3rd
    Human Sexual Response
    Unnatural Axe
    @ House of Blues


    Saturday, November 4th
    Courtney Barnett & Kurt Vile
    and the Sea Lice
    @ the Orpheum Theatre


    Saturday, November 4th
    Shout Out Louds
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Thursday, November 9th
    Bruce Cockburn
    @ the Wilbur


    Thursday, November 9th
    Tegan and Sara
    The Con X: Tour
    @ the Orpheum


    Saturday, November 11th
    Iron & Wine
    @ Berklee Performance Center


    Monday, November 13th
    The Mountain Goats
    Mothers
    @ the House of Blues


    Tuesday, November 14th
    Slowdive
    @ the Paradise


    Tuesday, November 14th
    The Black Heart Procession
    Sam Coomes
    @ ONCE Somerville


    Tuesday, November 14th
    The Drums
    @
    the Sinclair


    Friday, November 17th
    Hot Water Music
    Big Jesus
    @ the Sinclair


    Tuesday, November 21st
    American Football
    Pure Bathing Culture
    @ the Royale


    Thursday, November 30th
    St. Vincent
    @ House of Blues


    Friday, December 1st
    Maximo Park
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Thursday, December 7th
    Mogwai
    @ the Royale


    Friday, December 8th
    LCD Soundsystem
    @ Agganis Arena


    Saturday, April 28th, 2018
    Peter Hook & the Light
    performing both of the
    “Substance” collections by
    Joy Division & New Order
    @ the Paradise