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, April 11th
    L7
    Death Valley Girls
    @ the Paradise


    Thursday, April 12th
    Bill Murray, Jan Vogler, & friends
    @ the Orpheum


    Saturday, April 14th
    Love Love & Friends
    present “Spring It”
    with Russell Chudnofski,
    Field Day, Dave Finney
    & more special guests!
    @ the Midway in JP


    Monday, April 16th
    Russian Circles
    King Woman
    @ the Sinclair


    Monday, April 16th
    Stars
    @ the Royale


    Tuesday, April 17th
    Waxahatchee
    Hurray for the Riff Raff
    Bedouine
    @ the Somerville Theatre


    Tuesday, April 17th
    My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Tuesday, April 17th
    Ministry
    Chelsea Wolfe
    @ the Royale


    Wednesday, April 18th
    Preoccupations
    Freak Heat Waves
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Friday, April 20th
    The Afghan Whigs
    Built To Spill
    Rituals of Mine
    @ the House of Blues


    Friday, April 20th
    Buffalo Tom
    @ the Paradise


    Saturday, April 21st
    Jeff Rosenstock
    Martha
    Bad Moves
    @ the Paradise


    Sunday, April 22nd
    The Darkness
    @ the Royale


    Monday, April 23rd
    Surfer Blood
    @ Great Scott


    Tuesday, April 24th
    Halfsour
    Eureka California
    Pleaser
    Kiss Concert
    @ Great Scott


    Tuesday, April 24th
    Minus the Bear
    The Coathangers
    @ the Royale


    Wednesday & Thursday
    April 25th & 26th
    Sofi Tukker
    @ the Sinclair


    Wednesday, April 25th
    Kate Nash
    @ the Royale


    Thursday, April 26th
    Matt & Kim
    Tokyo Police Club
    Future Feats
    @ the House of Blues


    Friday, April 27th
    Mr. Brownstone
    (Guns n’ Roses tribute)
    @ the Sinclair


    Friday, April 27th
    They Might Be Giants
    @ the House of Blues


    Saturday, April 28th
    Hovvdy
    Half Wait
    @ Great Scott


    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
    Turnover
    Camp Cope
    Summer Salt
    Funeral Advantage (on Sunday)
    @ the Sinclair


    Sunday, April 29th
    Sarah Shook & The Disarmers
    @ Atwood’s


    Monday, April 30th
    Unknown Mortal Orchestra
    Makeness
    @ the Royale


    Tuesday, May 1st
    No Age
    Behavior
    @ Once Somerville


    Tuesday, May 1st
    Soccer Mommy
    Long Beard
    @ Great Scott


    Tuesday, May 1st
    Calexico
    @ the Sinclair


    Wednesday, May 2nd
    Frankie Cosmos
    Florist
    Lala Lala
    @ the Sinclair


    Wednesday, May 2nd
    Dr. Dog
    Son Little
    @ the House of Blues


    Thursday, May 3rd
    Haim
    Lizzo
    @ Agganis Arena


    Thursday, May 3rd
    Hop Along
    Saintseneca
    @ the Royale


    Friday, May 4th
    Life Partners
    Black Helicopter
    Ringtail
    the modifierS
    @ the Midway in JP


    Friday, May 4th
    Lake Street Dive
    @ the Sinclair


    Friday, May 4th
    Steve Gunn
    @ the Somerville Armory


    Friday, May 4th
    The Breeders
    Melkbelly
    @ the House of Blues


    Friday, May 4th
    Panda Bear
    Geologist
    @ the Paradise


    Sunday, May 6th
    Loma
    (mems of Cross Record & Shearwater)
    Jessica Williamson
    @ Great Scott


    Sunday, May 6th
    Todd Rundgren’s Utopia
    @ the Orpheum


    Monday, May 7th
    Sloan
    DJ Carbo
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Monday, May 7th
    Hinds
    @ the Sinclair


    Tuesday, May 8th
    Trampled By Turtles
    Hiss Golden Messenger
    @ House of Blues


    Wednesday, May 9th
    Fully Celebrated Orchestra
    with very special guests
    The Hilken Mancini/Thalia Zedek Duo
    @ the Midway in JP


    Thursday, May 10th
    This Will Destroy You
    Alex Roldan
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Friday, May 11th
    Power Trip
    Sheer Mag
    Fury
    Red Death
    @ the Paradise


    Sunday, May 13th
    Wye Oak
    Palm
    @ the Sinclair


    Sunday, May 13th
    Melvins
    @ the Paradise


    Monday, May 14th
    Liam Gallagher &
    Richard Ashcroft
    @ Blue Hills Bank Pavilion


    Tuesday, May 15th
    Alice Glass
    Pictureplane
    @ the Sinclair


    Tuesday, May 15th
    The Sea & Cake
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Tuesday, May 15th
    Alice Glass
    Pictureplane
    @ the Sinclair


    Wednesday, May 16th
    Editors
    House of Harm
    @ the Paradise


    Thursday, May 17th|
    Quiet Slang (solo Beach Slang)
    @ Beach Slang


    Friday, May 18th
    Jonathan Davis
    @ House of Blues


    Friday, May 18th
    The Fratellis
    @ the Paradise


    Saturday, May 19th
    Damien Jurado
    Naomi Wachira
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Sunday, May 20th
    King Tuff
    Cut Worms
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Tuesday, May 22nd
    Helmet
    Prong
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Tuesday, May 22nd
    Suuns
    Facs
    @ Great Scott


    Tuesday, May 22nd
    Jukebox the Ghost
    The Greeting Committee
    @ the Royale


    Wednesday, May 23rd
    Parquet Courts
    Goat Girl
    @ the Royale


    Monday, May 28th
    Sylvan Esso
    Local Natives
    @ Blue Hills Bank Pavilion


    Tuesday, May 29th
    Post Animal
    @ Great Scott


    Tuesday, May 29th
    Julien Baker
    “Beyond the Band”
    presented by Berklee/Do617
    @ the Sinclair


    Tuesday, May 29th
    Primus
    Mastodon
    All Them Witches
    @ Blue Hills Bank Pavilion


    Wednesday, May 30th
    Self Defense Family
    Sanhet
    Weeping Icon
    @ Great Scott


    Thursday, May 31st
    Bat Fangs
    Shepherdess
    @ Great Scott


    Saturday, March 31st
    Corin Ashley’s
    50th Birthday Bash!
    @ Atwood’s


    Friday, June 1st
    Ghosts of Sailors at Sea
    Black Helicopter
    Stemwinder
    Reindeer Castle
    @ O’Brien’s


    Friday & Saturday
    June 1st & 2nd
    Japanese Breakfast
    LVL UP
    Radiator Hospital
    @ the Sinclair


    Sunday & Monday
    June 3rd & 4th
    Ben Harper &
    Charlie Musselwhite
    @ the Sinclair


    Tuesday, June 5th
    Middle Kids
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Wednesday, June 6th
    Liz Phair
    Soccer Mommy
    @ the Sinclair


    Wednesday, June 6th
    “Jeff Buckley: From Hallelujah
    to The Last Goodbye” Book Q+A
    with author Dave Lory
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Friday, June 8th
    Hot Snakes
    Vundabar
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Friday, June 8th
    Nathaniel Rateliff
    & the Night Sweats
    with Deer Tick
    @ Blue Hills Bank Pavilion


    Friday, June 8th
    Gomez
    @ the Royale


    Friday, June 8th
    Eels
    @ House of Blues


    Saturday, June 9th
    Bonnie Prince Billy
    @ the Wilbur


    Saturday, June 9th
    Depeche Mode
    @ TD Garden


    Sunday, June 10th
    Old Gray
    “Farewell Tour”
    I Kill Giants
    Cerce
    @ the Sinclair


    Monday, June 11th
    Eternal Summers
    Funeral Advantage
    Strange Passage
    @ Great Scott


    Monday, June 11th
    Jimmy Eat World
    Alex Lahey
    @ House of Blues


    Tuesday, June 12th
    Lucinda Williams
    Steve Earle
    Dwight Yoakam
    King Leg
    @ Blue Hills Bank Pavilion


    Tuesday, June 12th
    Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks
    Lithics
    @ the Sinclair


    Wednesday, June 13th
    Cold Cave
    Black Marble
    Choir Boy
    @ the Paradise


    Wednesday, June 13th
    Metz
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Thursday, June 14th
    King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard
    @ the Royale


    Friday, June 15th
    Pianos Become The Teeth, dd
    The World Is A Beautiful Place
    & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die
    @ the Sinclair


    Friday & Saturday
    June 15th & 16th
    Ted Leo & the Pharmacists
    playing “Hearts of Oak” (on Fri)
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Sunday, June 17th
    Matthew Sweet
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Monday, June 18th
    Chromeo
    Pomo
    @ House of Blues


    Monday, June 18th
    Spoon
    Grizzly Bear
    Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith
    @ Blue Hills Bank Pavilion


    Thursday, June 21st
    Tracyanne & Danny
    (of Camera Obscura/Crybaby)
    @ the Sinclair


    Saturday & Sunday
    June 23rd & June 24th
    Ray LaMontagne
    Neko Case
    @ Blue Hills Bank Pavilion


    Tuesday, June 26th
    Southern Culture on the Skids
    @ the Sinclair


    Tuesday, June 26th
    Frank Turner & the Sleeping Souls
    Speedy Ortiz
    The Homeless Gospel Choir
    @ the Royale


    Wednesday, June 27th
    Frank Turner & the Sleeping Souls
    Jeff Rosenstock
    Restorations
    @ the Royale


    Wednesday, June 27th
    Styx
    Joan Jett & the Blackhearts
    Tesla
    @ Blue Hills Bank Pavilion


    Friday, June 29th
    Frank Turner & the Sleeping Souls
    Tim Barry
    @ the Royale


    Saturday, June 30th
    Frank Turner & the Sleeping Souls
    Dave Hause & The Mermaids
    @ the Royale


    Sunday, July 1st
    Frank Turner & the Sleeping Souls
    The Hotelier
    War on Women
    @ the Royale


    Monday, July 2nd
    Frank Turner & the Sleeping Souls
    Kevin Devine & The Goddamn Band
    Trapper Schoepp
    @ the Royale


    Tuesday, July 3rd
    Phoenix
    @ House of Blues


    Friday, July 6th
    Steve Miller Band
    Peter Frampton
    @ Blue Hills Bank Pavilion


    Wednesday, July 11th
    The Get Up Kids
    Raquet Club
    Ageist
    @ the Paradise


    Thursday, July 12th
    Snail Mail
    Bonny Doon
    @ the Sinclair


    Sunday, July 15th
    Beck
    @ Blue Hills Bank Pavilion


    Tuesday, July 17th
    Erasure
    Reed & Caroline
    @ the House of Blues


    Tuesday, July 17th
    Coheed and Cambria
    Taking Back Sunday
    The Story So Far
    @ Blue Hills Bank Pavilion


    Tuesday, July 17th
    Weezer
    Pixies
    Sleigh Bells
    @ Xfinity Center


    Wednesday, July 18th
    Arcade Fire
    @ Blue Hills Bank Pavilion


    Thursday, July 19th
    Bent Knee
    Gatherers
    Animal Flag
    @ the Sinclair


    Friday, July 20th
    Jon Langford’s Four Lost Souls
    @ Atwood’s


    Saturday, July 21st
    Camp Cope
    Petal
    @ the Sinclair


    Saturday & Sunday
    July 21st & 22nd
    Foo Fighters
    @ Fenway Park


    Monday, July 23rd
    Greta Van Fleet
    @ the House of Blues


    Friday, July 27th
    Arctic Monkeys
    @ TD Garden


    Friday, July 27th
    Boy George & Culture Club
    The B-52s
    Tom Bailey (Thompson Twins)
    @ the Wang Theatre


    Saturday, July 28th
    Sleep
    @ the Royale


    Saturday & Sunday
    July 28th & 29th
    Radiohead
    @ TD Garden


    Monday, July 30th
    The Cult
    Stone Temple Pilots
    Bush
    Big Jesus
    @ the Blue Hills Bank Pavilion


    Tuesday, July 31st
    Quicksand
    Glassjaw
    @ the Royale


    Tuesday, July 31st &
    Wednesday, August 1st
    David Byrne
    Benjamin Clementine
    @ Blue Hills Bank Pavilion


    Tuesday, July 31st
    The Smashing Pumpkins
    @ TD Garden


    Thursday, August 2nd
    Alex Cameron
    @ the Sinclair


    Friday, August 3rd
    Jeff Beck
    & Paul Rodgers
    + Ann Wilson (Heart)
    @ Blue Hills Bank Pavilion


    Friday, August 10th
    Pedro the Lion
    H.C. McEntire
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Friday, August 10th
    Billy Joel
    @ Fenway Park


    Saturday, August 11th
    Wussy
    @ Sonia


    Saturday, August 11th
    Toad the Wet Sprocket
    @ the Wilbur


    Saturday, August 11th
    Journey & Def Leppard
    with Cheap Trick
    @ Fenway Park


    Monday, August 13th
    Cake
    Ben Folds
    Tall Heights
    @ the Blue Hills Bank Pavilion


    Wednesday, August 15th
    Sparta
    @ the Sinclair


    Friday, August 17th
    Counting Crows
    Live
    @ the Xfinity Center


    Friday, August 24th
    Beach House
    @ House of Blues


    Sunday, August 26th
    Amen Dunes
    @ the Sinclair


    Sunday & Tuesday
    September 2nd & 4th
    Pearl Jam
    @ Fenway Park


    Tuesday, September 11th
    Killing Joke
    @ the Paradise


    Tuesday, September 11th
    Van Morrison
    Shana Morrison
    @ the Blue Hills Bank Pavilion


    Thursday, September 13th
    MC5
    “MC50: Kick Out the Jams –
    the 50th Anniversary Tour.”
    @ the Paradise


    Friday, September 14th
    The The
    @ the Orpheum


    Saturday, September 15th
    Ash
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Friday, September 21st
    Outlaw Music Festival with
    Willie Nelson, Sturgill Simpson,
    Nathaniel Rateliff & The
    Night Sweats, Margo Price,
    Lukas Nelson & Promise of the
    Real, Particle Kid
    @ the Xfinity Center


    Friday, September 28th
    Bully
    @ the Sinclair


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


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