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

    Sunday, May 21st
    Happyness
    @ Great Scott

    Sunday, May 21st
    Pixies
    Cymbals Eat Guitars
    @ the Paradise

    Monday, May 22nd
    Xasthur
    Marissa Nadler
    Johanna Warren
    @ the Middle East Upstairs

    Friday, May 26th
    Reindeer
    Bird Language
    M.G. Lederman
    Medical Maps
    @ the Midway Cafe, JP

    Friday, May 26th
    Psychic Dog (album release!)
    When Particles Collide
    Powerslut
    The Knock Ups
    @ O'Brien's

    Friday, May 26th
    to Sunday, May 28th
    BOSTON CALLING FESTIVAL
    @ the Harvard Athletic Complex

    Saturday, May 27th
    Boston Calling After Party:
    with Piebald
    @ The Sinclair

    Sunday, May 28th
    Boston Calling After Party:
    with Whitney
    @ The Sinclair

    Tuesday, May 30th
    Peter Holsapple
    (dBs, REM, Continental Drifters)
    @ Atwood's

    Thursday, June 1st
    Portugal. The Man
    @ the House of Blues

    Thursday & Friday
    June 1st & 2nd
    Feist
    @ Sanders Theater, Harvard

    Friday, June 2nd
    Royal Blood
    The Shelters
    @ the Paradise

    Friday, June 2nd
    Tim Kasher (Cursive/The Good Life)
    John Bradley (Dads))
    Campdogzz)
    @ Brighton Music Hall

    Saturday, June 3rd
    Parks
    Psychic Dog
    Me In Capris
    Surf Vietnam
    @ the Midway Cafe, JP

    Saturday, June 3rd
    The Orbiting Human Circus
    featuring The Music Tapes
    (Julian Koster of Neutral Milk Hotel)
    @ the Middle East Downstairs

    Monday, June 5th
    Air
    @ the Royale

    Tuesday, June 6th
    Rodrigo y Gabriela
    @ House of Blues

    Wednesday, June 7th
    Girlpool
    Ian Sweet
    Lexie
    @ Brighton Music Hall

    Wednesday, June 7th
    Southern Culture on the Skids
    @ the Sinclair

    Thursday, June 8th
    John Moreland
    Will Johnson (Centro-matic)
    @ the Sinclair

    Thursday & Friday
    June 8th & 9th
    Reverend Horton Heat
    Flat Duo Jets
    @ the ONCE Ballroom

    Friday, June 9th
    Marcela Cruz
    Sidewalk Chalk
    Sam Trump
    @ the Emerson/Paramount Center’s
    Jackie Liebergott Black Box Theatre

    Saturday, June 10th
    MARY TIMONY plays HELIUM
    @ the Sinclair

    Saturday, June 10th
    Ruby Rose Fox
    George Woods
    Florie Namir
    DJ Carbo
    @ Brighton Music Hall

    Sunday, June 11th
    Ween
    @ the Blue Hills Bank Pavilion

    Monday, June 12th
    Horse Jumper Of Love
    Spencer Radcliffe & Everyone Else
    @ the Middle East Upstairs

    Tuesday, June 13th
    Land of Talk
    @ Brighton Music Hall

    Wednesday, June 14th
    Jeremy Enigk
    (Sunny Day Real Estate)
    Tomo Nakayama
    DJ Carbo
    @ the Red Room at Cafe 939

    Wednesday, June 14th
    The Pains of Being at Heart
    Frankie Rose
    Ablebody
    @ the Sinclair

    Wednesday, June 14th
    Chastity Belt
    Sneaks
    @ Brighton Music Hall

    Friday, June 16th
    Palehound (LP Release!)
    Stove
    halfsour
    @ Sonia

    Friday, June 16th
    The Monsieurs
    CreaturoS
    Littlefoot
    Germ House
    Jim Leonard
    Johnnie & the Foodmasters
    @ the Middle East Upstairs

    Saturday, June 17th
    Charly Bliss
    Yucky Duster
    Lost Dog
    @ ONCE Somerville

    Saturday, June 17th
    Robert Glasper Experiment
    @ the Sinclair

    Sunday, June 18th
    Coco Hames (The Ettes)
    Little Bandit
    @ Atwood's

    Monday, June 19th
    Major Stars
    Feral Ohms
    Sunwatchers
    Honey
    @ Zuzu

    Monday, June 19th
    PWR BTTM
    @ the Paradise

    Wednesday, June 21st
    Fully Celebrated Orchestra
    Chris Brokaw
    @ the Midway Cafe, JP

    Wednesday, June 21st
    Third Eye Blind
    Silversun Pickups
    @ Blue Hills Bank Pavilion

    Thursday, June 22nd
    Evan Dando
    Jason Loewenstein
    @ ONCE Somerville

    Saturday, June 24nd
    Burglary Years
    No Hope/No Harm
    Animal Talk
    Atomic Spectra
    @ Great Scott

    Sunday, June 25th
    U2
    The Lumineers
    @ Gillette Stadium

    Sunday, June 25th
    Spiral Stairs (of Pavement)
    @ Great Scott

    Tuesday, June 27th
    Jason Isbell & the 400 Units
    The Mountain Goats
    @ Blue Hills Pavilion

    Wednesday, June 28th
    Buckingham / McVie
    (of Fleetwood Mac)
    The Wallflowers
    @ Blue Hills Bank Pavilion

    Friday, June 30th
    Bear Salon
    No/Hugs
    Carissa Johnson
    Colbis The Creature
    @ Great Scott

    Sunday, July 2nd
    Stephen MacDonald (The Okay Win)
    "Local Divide" LP Release Show!
    @ the Lilypad, Cambridge

    Sunday, July 2nd
    Woods
    John Andrews & the Yawns
    DJ Carbo
    @ Brighton Music Hall

    Monday, July 3rd
    Adult Mom
    Free Cake For Every Creature
    Dump Him
    Future Teens
    @ ONCE Somerville

    Wednesday, July 5th
    (Sandy) Alex G
    Japanese Breakfast
    Cende
    @ the Sinclair

    Thursday, July 6th
    Rooney
    Run River North
    @ Brighton Music Hall

    Tuesday, July 11th
    Now, Now
    Dem Yuut
    @ Sonia

    Wednesday, July 12th
    Gorillaz
    @ Blue Hills Bank Pavilion

    Wednesday, July 12th
    Jeffrey Lewis & Los Bolts
    @ O'Brien's

    Wednesday, July 12th
    Tim & Eric's 10th Anniversary Tour
    @ Berklee Performance Center

    Thursday, July 13th
    Boston
    Joan Jett & the Blackhearts
    @ the TD Garden

    Saturday, July 15th
    Echo & the Bunnymen
    Violent Femmes
    @ Blue Hills Bank Pavilion

    Saturday, July 15th
    Eldridge Rodriguez
    David Age & The Regrets
    The Callouts
    Field Nurse
    @ O'Brien's

    Monday, July 17th
    Township
    The Dents
    Love Love
    Weather Weapon
    @ the Midway Cafe, JP

    Monday, July 17th
    Foreigner,
    Cheap Trick, &
    Jason Bonham’s
    Led Zeppelin Experience
    @ Blue Hills Pavilion

    Wednesday, July 19th
    RIDE
    @ the Royale

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

    Friday, July 21st
    Tristen
    @ The Rockwell

    Friday, July 21st
    The Alarm
    @ 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
    The Aquabats
    @ the Paradise

    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

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

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

    Sunday, August 13th
    Slothrust
    Tancred
    @ Great Scott

    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

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

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

    Sunday, September 10th
    GBH
    @ 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
    Alison Moyet
    @ the Royale

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

    Friday, September 15th
    Middle Kids
    @ Brighton Music Hall

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

    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

    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

    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

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

    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

    Friday, October 6th
    Paul Weller
    @ House of Blues

    Saturday, October 7th
    Broken Social Scene
    @ 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!
    The Dirty Nil
    Bleached
    @ the Paradise

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

    Wednesday, November 1st
    Elbow
    @ the Paradise

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

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

    Thursday, November 9th
    Bruce Cockburn
    @ the Wilbur

    Thursday, December 7th
    Mogwai
    @ the Royale