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


    Wednesday, September 13th
    Thee Oh Sees
    Creaturos
    @ 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
    Jerkagram
    Numbers Have Names
    Brown Lasers
    Ghosts of Sailors at Sea
    @ O'Brien's


    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
    Disco Town Hall
    presented by
    Will Butler of Arcade Fire
    11pm @ Great Scott


    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


    Sunday, September 17th
    Ted Leo & the Pharmacists
    Thalia Zedek
    DJ Carbo
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Sunday, September 17th
    Hambone Skinny
    Weather Weapon
    Kangaroo Rat
    outside @ ONCE Somerville
    as part of SOMERSTREETS


    Sunday, September 17th
    Big Thief
    Twain
    @ the Sinclair


    Monday, September 18th
    Liars
    @ The Sinclair


    Wednesday, September 20th
    (a band called) E
    Chris Brokaw Rock Band
    Crown Larks
    Gold Dime
    @ the Midway, JP


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


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


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


    Thursday, September 21st
    The Cranberries
    @ House of Blues


    Friday, September 22nd
    The Hi-End
    Corin Ashley
    Modern Day Idols
    The Curtis Mayflower
    @ the Midway in JP


    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
    Soft Fangs
    Puppy Problems
    Banana
    Night Nurses
    @ O'Brien's


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


    Saturday, September 23rd
    Wire
    @ The Sinclair


    Saturday, September 23rd
    Bearstronaut
    Animal Talk
    Party Bois
    @ the Middle East Upstairs


    Sunday, September 24th
    Saint Etienne
    @ the Once Ballroom


    Monday, September 25th
    Selector Dub Narcotic
    (aka Calvin Johnson)
    @ the ONCE Lounge


    Thursday, September 28th
    Chris Brokaw Presents:
    The Films of Peter Hutton
    5 short films, 3 w/live scores,
    2 in their original state,
    with post-film audience Q&A
    @ The Brattle Theater


    Thursday, September 28th
    BOSTON FUZZSTIVAL 2017 (Day 1)
    ALL AGES
    with Dent, Birthing Hips,
    Kal Marks, halfsour,
    Gravel, La Neve,
    Rick Rude - Ensemble,
    Blau Blau, and
    Dazey & the Scouts
    6pm @ Massasoit Elks Lodge


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


    Friday, September 29th
    Tedrock Fund Benefit Night #1
    with The Figgs,
    Bob & the Dickheads,
    and Kruller
    @ the Midway in JP


    Friday, September 29th
    Adult Swim's
    "On The Green" Tour
    @ Gore Place in Waltham


    Friday, September 29th
    Il Mostro
    Silver Screams
    BDSX
    The Von Traps
    @ O'Brien's


    Friday, September 29th
    BOSTON FUZZSTIVAL 2017 (Day 2)
    ALL AGES
    with Ava Luna, Ovlov,
    Horse Jumper of Love,
    Bat House, A Band Called E,
    Lisa/Liza, Laika's Orbit,
    WAY OUT, Mint Green,
    and earthquake party!
    6pm @ ONCE Somerville


    Sunday, September 30th
    BOSTON FUZZSTIVAL 2017 (Day 3)
    ALL AGES
    with Dirty Dishes, MV & EE,
    LOONE, The Kominas,
    Sammus, Mini Dresses,
    GYMSHORTS, Honduras,
    Steep Leans, Olden Yolk,
    Peach Ring, & Boston Cream
    1pm @ Somerville ARTFarm
    for Social Innovation


    Saturday, September 30th
    "Possumpalooza"
    a free outdoor show
    with Possum,
    Ryan Lee Crosby,
    Chris Brokaw, & more
    @ Pleasant Place, Cambridge


    Saturday, September 30th
    All Together Now #7 with
    Wo Chan, Tom Bianchi,
    The Grownup Noise,
    Amy Cook, & Field Day
    @ the Midway in JP


    Monday, October 2nd
    METZ
    Uniform
    @ The Sinclair


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


    Tuesday, October 3rd
    Morrissey
    @ the Orpheum


    Tuesday, October 3rd
    Alvvays
    Birthing Hips
    @ the Paradise


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


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


    Thursday, October 5th
    Ted Leo (solo set)
    6pm @ Dr. Martens


    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 & Wednesday
    October 10th & 11th
    Against Me!
    Bleached
    The Dirty Nil
    @ the Paradise


    Wednesday, October 11th
    Frankie Rose
    Suburban Living
    @ Great Scott


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


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


    Friday, October 13th
    David Age & the Regrets
    Black Helicopter
    Death Pesos
    Ringtail
    @ O'Brien's


    Friday, October 13th
    Silver Screams
    Idle Pilot
    Black Cheers
    Psychic Dog
    @ Koto in Salem


    Saturday, October 14th
    Atlas Genius
    Magic Giant
    Half the Animal
    @ the ONCE Ballroom


    Saturday, October 14th
    The Feelies
    @
    the Sinclair


    Saturday, October 14th
    Andrew W.K. (full band)
    Sidewalk Driver
    Shane Slaughter
    @ Brighton Music Hall


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


    Sunday, October 15th
    Everything Everything
    @ the Sinclair


    Sunday, October 15th
    Andrew W.K.
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Monday, October 16th
    Weakened Friends
    The Courtneys
    Versing
    @ Great Scott


    Tuesday, October 17th
    Pickwick
    @ Great Scott


    Thursday, October 19th
    Peter Wolf
    @ the Somerville Theatre


    Thursday, October 19th
    Jessica Lea Mayfield
    @ Great Scott


    Friday, October 20th
    Janeane Garofalo
    @ ONCE Somerville


    Friday, October 20th
    Wolf Parade
    Charly Bliss
    @ the Royale


    Saturday, October 21st
    Death From Above
    @ the Paradise


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


    Saturday, October 21st
    Hope Sandoval & the
    Warm Inventions
    with Holy Wave
    @ the Royale


    Sunday, October 22nd
    Kal Marks
    Rozamov
    Husbandry
    The Nomad Stones
    @ the Middle East Upstairs


    Saturday, October 28th
    Kristin Hersh &
    Tanya Donelly
    @ City Winery Boston


    Monday, October 30th
    Craig Finn (the Hold Steady)
    @ the Uptown Controllers
    with John K. Samson
    @ City Winery Boston


    Tuesday, October 31st
    Tera Melos
    Speedy Ortiz
    And The Kids
    @ the Sinclair


    Wednesday, November 1st
    John Hodgman presents
    his new book "Vacationland"
    @ Coolidge Corner Theatre


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


    Wednesday, November 1st
    Elbow
    @ the Paradise


    Thursday, November 2nd
    The Rural Alberta Advantage
    @ the Sinclair


    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


    Friday, Saturday, & Monday
    November 3rd, 4th & 6th
    The Dresden Dolls
    @ the Paradise


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


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


    Saturday, November 4th
    The Clientele
    Hoops
    @ the Sinclair


    Monday, November 6th
    The English Beat
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Tuesday, November 7th
    Blizten Trapper
    Lilly Hiatt
    @ the Sinclair


    Wednesday, November 8th
    Lee Ranaldo
    DJ Carbo
    @ the ONCE Ballroom


    Wednesday, November 8th
    Joyce Manor
    Wavves
    Culture Abuse


    Wednesday, November 8th
    David Bazan
    Michael Nau
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Thursday, November 9th
    Lydia Loveless (solo)
    @ the Red Room at Cafe 939


    Thursday, November 9th
    Bruce Cockburn
    @ the Wilbur


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


    Friday, November 10th
    Channel 3
    The FUs
    Silver Screams
    Fast Times
    @ the Middle East Upstairs


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


    Sunday, November 12th
    Bully
    @ the Sinclair


    Monday, November 13th
    Modern English
    @ ONCE Somerville


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


    Monday, November 13th
    David Crosby & friends
    @ City Winery Boston


    Tuesday, November 14th
    Slowdive
    @ the Paradise


    Tuesday, November 14th
    The Black Heart Procession
    Sam Coomes (Quasi)
    Chris Brokaw
    @ ONCE Somerville


    Tuesday, November 14th
    The Drums
    @
    the Sinclair


    Wednesday, November 15th
    The Jesus and Mary Chain
    @ the Paradise


    Wednesday, November 15th
    Dream Theater
    @ the Orpheum


    Thursday, November 16th
    Bob Dylan
    Mavis Staples
    @ Agganis Arena


    Friday, November 17th
    Hot Snakes
    @ the Middle East Downstairs


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


    Sunday, November 19th
    Turnover
    Elvis Depressedly
    Emma Ruth Rundle
    @ the Royale


    Tuesday, November 21st
    Squeeze
    @ the Wilbur


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


    Sunday, November 26th
    Cut Copy
    @ the Royale


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


    Thursday, November 30th
    Beach Slang
    Dave Hause & The Mermaid
    The Homeless Gospel Choir
    @ the Sinclair


    Friday, December 1st
    Maximo Park
    Ava Luna
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Friday, December 1st
    Dream Syndicate
    The Richard Lloyd Group
    @ the ONCE  Ballroom


    Saturday, December 2nd
    Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Saturday, December 2nd
    Jolie Holland &
    Samantha Parton
    (of The Be Good Tanyas)
    @ Great Scott


    Wednesday, December 6th
    Hiss Golden Messenger
    @ the Sinclair


    Thursday, December 7th
    Mogwai
    Xander Harris
    @ the Royale


    Friday, December 8th
    Converge
    Pile
    Give
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Friday, December 8th
    Pinegrove
    Saintseneca
    Adult Mom
    @ the Royale


    Friday, December 8th
    LCD Soundsystem
    @ Agganis Arena


    Monday, December 18th
    Unsane
    Big Brave
    Child Bite
    Hepatagua
    @ Great Scott


    Saturday & Sunday
    December 30th & 31st
    Deer Tick
    @ the Sinclair


    Sunday, January 21st, 2018
    Tennis
    @ the Royale


    Wednesday, January 24th
    Destroyer
    @ the Sinclair


    January 31st
    Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
    Night Beats
    @ the Royale


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