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

    "One good minute could last me the whole year..." - Superchunk
  • Almanac Archives

  • Boston-Area Action

    Wednesday, October 17th
    Goo Goo Dolls
    “Dizzy Up The Girl
    20th Anniversary Tour”
    @ House of Blues


    Thursday, October 18th
    BOSTON EMISSIONS TEN!
    Anngelle Wood celebrates 10 years
    as host with a live broadcast & bands:
    Exit 18, Parlour Bells, & Stars Like Ours
    7:30pm @ ONCE Somerville


    Thursday, October 18th
    Big Thief
    The Range of Light Wilderness
    michael
    @ the Paradise


    Thursday, October 18th
    The Proletariat
    Savageheads
    Silver Screams
    @ Sonia


    Friday & Saturday
    October 19th & 20th
    Nine Inch Nails
    The Jesus & Mary Chain
    @ the Wang Theatre


    Friday & Saturday
    October 19th & 20th
    The Town & the City Festival
    dozens of artists over 2 days
    in Lowell, Massachusetts


    Saturday, October 20th
    Mitski
    Jessica Lea Mayfield
    @ House of Blues


    Saturday & Sunday
    October 20th & 21st
    Chvrches
    Lo Moon
    @ the Orpheum


    Sunday, October 21st
    Johnny Marr
    The Belle Game
    @ the Paradise


    Sunday, October 21st
    Courtney Barnett
    Waxahatchee
    @ House of Blues


    Monday, October 22nd
    Guided By Voices
    Park Doing
    @ the Sinclair


    Tuesday, October 23rd
    The Church
    @ the Sinclair


    Tuesday, October 23rd
    Garbage
    @ House of Blues


    Wednesday, October 24th
    Lily Allen
    @ the Paradise


    Thursday, October 25th
    Minus the Bear
    Caspian
    @ the Paradise


    Thursday, October 25th
    Pile
    The Spirit of the Beehive
    Lilith
    @ the Sinclair


    Friday, October 26th
    We Were Promised Jetpacks
    Hurry Up
    DJ Carbo
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Friday, October 26th
    The Bevis Frond (two sets)
    @ the Rockwell


    Saturday, October 27th
    Mountain Man
    The Dead Tongues
    @ the Sinclair


    Sunday, October 28th
    Wavves
    Beach Fossils
    Kevin Krauter
    @ the Paradise


    Sunday, October 28th
    Monster Magnet
    Electric Citizen
    Dark Sky Choir
    @ the Sinclair


    Tuesday, October 30th
    Violent Femmes
    @ the Royale


    Tuesday, October 30th
    Minus the Bear
    Caspian
    @ the Paradise


    Thursday, November 1st
    Lemuria
    Bethlehem Steel
    @ Great Scott


    Thursday, November 1st
    Mom Jeans
    Just Friends
    Awakebutstillinbed
    Retirement Party
    Two shows @ Once Ballroom


    Thursday, November 1st
    Tune-Yards
    @ the Paradise


    Friday, November 2nd
    Hot Molasses (album release show!)
    Sugar Cones
    @ the Lilypad


    Friday, November 2nd
    Roky Erickson
    @ the ONCE Ballroom


    Saturday, November 3rd
    Ian Sweet
    Young Jesus
    Sean Henry
    @ Great Scott


    Monday, November 5th
    Maggie Rogers
    Mallrat
    @ the Royale


    Monday, November 5th
    Shannon & the Clams
    @ the Sinclair


    Monday, November 5th
    Tenacious D
    @ the House of Blues


    Monday & Tuesday
    November 5th & 6th
    Lucinda Williams & Buick 6
    @ the Paradise


    Tuesday, November 6th
    Fucked Up
    Bad Waitress
    DJ Carbo
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Tuesday, November 6th
    The Joy Formidable
    Tancred
    @ the Sinclair


    Thursday, November 8th
    Julien Baker
    Phoebe Bridgers
    Lucy Dacus
    (solo & together)
    @ the Orpheum


    Thursday, November 8th
    Cursive
    Meat Wave
    Campdogzz
    @ the Paradise


    Friday, November 9th
    Low
    In/via
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Friday & Saturday
    November 9th & 10th
    Hassle Fest 10!
    Boston’s Underground
    Music & Art Festival
    all ages shows
    @ Brighton Music Hall (on 9/10),
    Lilypad, Studio 550, Green Street
    Studios, Hardcore Stadium, & more


    Saturday, November 10th
    Elvis Costello & The Imposters
    @ the Wang Theatre


    Monday, November 12th
    Saves the Day
    Kevin Devine
    An Horse
    @ the Paradise


    Tuesday, November 13th
    Pale Waves
    @ the Sinclair


    Wednesday, November 14th
    Richard Thompson (trio)
    @ the Paradise


    Wednesday, November 14th
    The Alarm
    The Gobshites
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Wednesday, November 14th
    Wild Nothing
    @ the Royale


    Thursday, November 15th
    Jason Narducy (Split Single,
    Superchunk, Bob Mould’s band)
    @ an Allston living room


    Thursday, November 15th
    Weakened Friends
    Nervous Daters
    Save Ends
    @ Great Scott


    Friday, November 16th
    Kal Marks
    Maneka
    Nice Guys
    Rong
    @ Great Scott


    Friday, November 16th
    Robyn Hitchcock
    @ City Winery


    Friday, November 16th
    Jim James (from MMJ – solo)
    Alynda Segarra
    (from Hurray for the Riff Raff)
    @ the Shubert Theatre


    Friday & Saturday
    November 16th & 17th
    Letters to Cleo
    American Hi-Fi
    @ the Paradise


    Sunday, November 18th
    (Sandy) Alex G
    Half Waif
    @ the Paradise


    Tuesday, November 20th
    Echo & the Bunnymen
    Enation
    @ the Orpheum


    Saturday, November 24th
    Death From Above
    Le Butcherettes
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Saturday, November 24th
    Thom Yorke
    Oliver Cooke
    @ the Wang Theatre


    Saturday, November 24th
    Kurt Vile & the Violators
    Jessica Pratt
    @ the House of Blues


    Monday, November 26th
    Stove
    Pet Fox
    @ O’Brien’s


    Monday, November 26th
    Preoccupations
    Protomartyr
    Rattle
    DJ Carbo
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Tuesday, November 27th
    Speedy Ortiz
    @ the Sinclair


    Thursday, November 29th
    Kississippi
    gobbinjr
    Ruler
    @ Great Scott


    Thursday, November 29th
    Peter, Bjorn, & John
    Georgi Kay
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Friday, November 30th
    Cloud Nothings
    The Courtneys
    @ the Sinclair


    Saturday, December 1st
    Snail Mail (two shows!)
    @ the Sinclair


    Sunday, December 2nd
    The Helio Sequence
    Wild Pink
    @ Great Scott


    Monday, December 3rd
    Cults
    @ Great Scott


    Wednesday, December 5th
    Lindsey Buckingham
    @ the Wilbur Theatre


    Wednesday, December 5th
    Reverend Horton Heat
    & Junior Brown with
    The Blasters
    Big Sandy
    @ the Royale


    Friday, December 7th
    Soccer Mommy
    Ratboys
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Saturday, December 8th
    Marissa Nadler
    @ Great Scott


    Saturday, December 8th
    Phosphorescent
    Liz Cooper & the Stampede
    @ the Royale


    Sunday, December 9th
    Old 97s Holiday Extravaganza
    Caseymagic
    Rhett Miller
    @ the Sinclair


    Sunday, December 9th
    Justus Proffit & Jay Som
    Kal Marks
    @ Great Scott


    Monday, December 10th
    Priests
    @ Great Scott


    Wednesday, December 12th
    Gang of Youths
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Thursday, December 13th
    J Mascis
    Luluc
    @ the Sinclair


    Saturday, December 15th
    Night Birds
    Dark Thoughts
    Conmen
    @ Great Scott


    Monday, December 17th
    Hiss Golden Messenger
    @ The Sinclair


    Tuesday, December 18th
    Beach Bunny
    Field Medic
    @ Great Scott


    Friday, December 28th
    Bad Rabbits
    STL GLD
    Haasan Barclay
    @ The Sinclair


    Saturday, December 29th
    Hop Along
    @ Paradise Rock Club


    Monday, December 31st
    The Felice Brothers
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Monday, January 14th
    The Lemon Twigs
    @ the Paradise


    Thursday, January 17th
    Camper Van Beethoven
    @ the Middle East Downstairs


    Thursday, January 24th
    Neko Case
    @ the Royale


    Friday, January 25th
    Rubblebucket
    Diet Cig
    @ the Paradise


    Wednesday, February 13th
    Joe Jackson
    @ the Shubert Theatre


    Friday, February 8th
    Sharon Van Etten
    Nilufer Yanya
    @ the Royale


    Wednesday, February 13th
    Metric & Zoe
    July Talk
    @ House of Blues


    Thursday, February 14th
    Car Seat Headrest
    @ the Royale


    Saturday, February 23rd
    Julia Holter
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Friday, March 8th
    Tokyo Police Club
    @ the Sinclair


    Monday, March 11th
    Teenage Fanclub
    @ the Paradise