Bradley's Almanac

Boston: Some August Shows of Note

Posted on August 2, 2009 at 8:56 am | No Comments

As promised a month ago, here’s a continuation of the list of upcoming Boston-area shows that have me very, very psyched for the second half of summer. Wait, summer’s almost half over? Well, rats.

I’m thinking of making this run-down a monthly deal. But then again, I think about doing lots of things…

If you went to Wheat‘s CD release show at Great Scott last night, I hope you saved some of your weekend energy for tonight, ‘cuz former Bostonian (and ex-Helium frontwoman) Mary Timony returns to town for the first show with her new band Soft Power at TT the Bears. If that’s not reason enough to be there (and it should be), they’re joined on the bill by Gramercy Arms, the NY-based collective who happen include Mary’s early-90s Boston indie rock compatriots, Dave Derby of the wonderful Dambuilders, and Boston’s own Hilken Mancini, formerly of Fuzzy. And with that band, you never know who else might show up on stage (check the ‘about’ section of their website for the amazing list of contributors to their album). Added bonus? Locals Shepherdess open up, which shouldn’t be too much of a surprise, given Hilken’s presence in that band as well. Can never get too much Hilken, really. What is a surprise, at least to me, is that former Fudge drummer Mike Savage (who rules) and Operators guitarist Emily Arkin (who also happens to rule) are also in Shepherdess… how did I not know this until this week?! Throw in bass player Winston Bramen (also formerly Fuzzy, and in Thalia Zedek‘s band) and that’s a recipe for greatness. I mean, how can anyone not go to this show. While the likelihood of my presence at any Sunday night show can be low, this one gives me no real choice. I apologize in advance to my bosses for my lackluster Monday performance.

A few days later, on Wednesday, August 5th, former Bostonian (and now Torontian… Toronto-ite? Torontist? Help me out, Frank) Joe Pernice comes home for not one, but two shows at the Brattle Theatre. And they ain’t just your average shows, no sir. Along with the singin’, there’ll be some book-readin’, too, maybe some autographin’, thanks to the release of Joe’s debut novel, “It Feels So Good When I Stop“, this Tuesday. Naturally, the novel includes references to lots of music, including cover songs and fictional tunes, so Joe has thrown together a soundtrack that he’ll be drawing from for these live performances. Day-jobbers can grab tickets to an early 7pm show and late-nighters can pick up ones to the 9:30pm show. Opening up will be former Charlestown (and now L.A.) comedy duo The Walsh Brothers, and remember… the Brattle now serves beer.

On Thursday, August 13th, Baltimore-based duo Wye Oak returns to the Middle East Upstairs for a show with the Starlight Mints. Both bands are here on the heels of just-released new albums, and I’m especially excited to see Wye Oak play songs from “The Knot” in a more intimate setting than the gi-normous Memorial Hall they played to close out XX Merge last week in North Carolina. It was a wonderful performance, but I’m ready to get a whole lot closer to Andy & Jenn’s amps n’ drums. Tickets here, and arrive early for the indescribable antics of JP Inc, who used to be known as Pleaseeasaur. The transition from that into Wye Oak will be… interesting.

In case you haven’t been paying attention, charming Scottish quartet the Trashcan Sinatras are gratefully still around, still making music, and in fact, have just released their fifth album, the gorgeous “In The Music”. Their debut, 1990’s “Cake”, is one of my all-time faves, rivaling some of the Smiths’ best work, as far as jangly UK pop with brilliantly twisted wordplay goes. And while each subsequent album didn’t hit me quite as hard as that one did (certain subsequent songs, yes, but whole albums, no), I’m always on board for whatever they’re up to. And what they’re up to is a rare U.S. tour in support of the new album, which kicked off a couple weeks ago and finishes up at TT the Bears in Cambridge two weeks from tonight, on Sunday, August 16th. I’ve only seen them once, and it was ages ago, so a TTs show will be a true treat. Opening is Brookville and Paul Sentz (of This Car Up & Putnam Murdock). If there’s any justice, this sucker will sell out, so grab a ticket here.

By the way, if you’re smartly thinking of picking up a copy of the new album, you can grab a special (deep breath) limited edition, individually-numbered, clothbound, screen printed, digipak version (whew) at their website which includes an instant download of high-quality DRM free MP3s (320kbs) while you wait for it to arrive, and they’ve thrown in two bonus tracks for good measure. And excitedly, word is that all four previous Trashcan albums should be re-released with b-sides at some point. Fingers are crossed.

The following night brings the Deal sisters back to town for another Breeders show at the Paradise. That’s Monday, August 17th, with openers The Whispertown 2000. Tickets here. The band self-released the “Fate To Fatal” EP on Record Store Day, and you can download the title track here.

August will end, for me, on Boston’s waterfront as I take in Explosions In The Sky with The Flaming Lips at the BoA Pavilion. The opportunity to see Austin’s EitS in such a potentially beautiful outdoor setting is nothing less than a gift… anyone who’s familiar with their powerful soundscapes can imagine what we’re in for. And while I haven’t been as much of a Lips fan as I was when “The Soft Bulletin” and “Yoshimi…” came out, it’s high time I experienced them live, and the possibility of Wayne’s big ball. Who knows, maybe he’ll end up in Boston Harbor, floating out to sea as “Do You Realize?” plays on. Openers are Stardeath and Whitedwarfs, who I know next to nothing about, although I heard (and liked) one of their songs just yesterday, and you can buy tickets here. I’ll be the guy smiling, probably with his eyes closed, third row center, during the entirety of EitS’s set.

Oh, and if you use that link to buy tickets, you’ll get to download 3 songs from the upcoming Flaming Lips album “Embryonic”: “Convinced of the Hex,” “The Impulse,” and “Silver Trembling Hands.” Then, sometime before the show, you’ll supposedly be able to download 3 rare Lips b-sides, picked by the band. And finally, 3-5 days after the show, you’ll get a link to download an official live recording of the set you just saw. Because getting that link before the show would require time travel technology. And if the sound quality of that recording even half-decent (and given that it’s official, it should be), I’m hoping to hell they record EitS’s set, too. And that we get to listen to it. Someday.

There are so many more August shows I could write about (see my big ol’ list on the left), but if I don’t stop here I’ll never get this done. Keep an eye out for posts on other shows when the urge and the free time strikes me…


Leave a Reply

  • 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

    Saturday, December 16th
    Bent Shapes (farewell show),
    Laika's Orbit, & Beware the
    Dangers of a Ghost Scorpion
    @ Great Scott

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

    Thursday, December 21st
    @ Sonia

    Friday, December 22nd
    Love Love & Friends Xmas Show!
    with special guests Rick Berlin,
    Field Day, Bob Kendall,
    Anna Rae/Hemway, & Martha Marin
    @ the Midway Cafe

    Thursday, December 28th
    Cymbals Eat Guitars
    @ Great Scott

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

    Sunday, December 31st
    Speedy Ortiz
    Wendy Eisenberg
    @ Great Scott

    Saturday, January 6th
    Fur Purse (LP Release Party!)
    with Whore Paint,
    Shepherdess, and Sister
    @ the Midway Cafe

    Wednesday, January 10th
    Craig Finn & the
    Uptown Controllers
    with John K. Samson
    @ City Winery Boston

    Friday, January 12th
    Passion Pit
    @ House of Blues

    Saturday, January 13th
    40 musicians form 8 new
    bands & perform that night
    @ the Sinclair

    Saturday, January 13th
    Lana Del Rey
    Jhene Aiko
    @ TD Garden

    Saturday, January 13th
    Horse Jumper of Love
    Mini Dresses
    Strange Passage
    @ Great Scott

    Saturday, January 13th
    Camper Van Beethoven
    @ the Middle East Downstairs

    Thursday, January 18th
    Family Planning
    Olivia Neutron-John
    @ Brighton Music Hall

    Sunday, January 21st
    @ the Royale

    Wednesday, January 24th
    Sleigh Bells
    @ the Paradise

    Wednesday, January 24th
    Mega Bog
    @ the Sinclair

    Friday, January 26th
    The Posies
    @ City Winery Boston

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

    Saturday, February 3rd
    Steve Earle
    @ City Winery Boston

    Friday, February 9th
    @ the Paradise

    Saturday, February 10th
    Weakened Friends
    @ Great Scott

    Saturday & Sunday
    February 10th & 11th
    Ian Hunter
    & the Rant Band
    @ City Winery Boston

    Friday, February 16th
    Steve Earle
    @ City Winery Boston

    Friday, February 16th
    Robert Plant
    @ the Orpheum

    Saturday, February 17th
    @ Brighton Music Hall

    Saturday, February 17th
    Noel Gallagher’s
    High Flying Birds
    @ the Boston Opera House

    Sunday, February 18th
    X Ambassadors
    Now, Now
    @ House of Blues

    Wednesday, February 21st
    Frightened Rabbit
    @ the Sinclair

    Thursday, March 1st
    French Vanilla
    @ Great Scott

    Tuesday, March 6th
    Jessica Lea Mayfield
    @ Great Scott

    Thursday, March 8th
    Godspeed You! Black Emperor
    @ the Sinclair

    Thursday, March 8th
    @ the Royale

    Friday, March 9th
    Godspeed You! Black Emperor
    @ Sanders Theatre, Harvard

    Friday, March 9th
    @ the House of Blues

    Saturday, March 10th
    Nada Surf celebrating the 15th
    anniversary of their "Let Go" LP
    @ Brighton Music Hall

    Friday, March 23rd
    Glen Hansard
    @ House of Blues Boston

    Saturday, March 31st
    S. Carey
    @ Great Scott

    Tuesday, April 3rd
    Yo La Tengo
    @ the Paradise

    Saturday, April 7th
    @ the Sinclair

    Tuesday, April 10th
    Franz Ferdinand
    @ House of Blues Boston

    Tuesday, April 17th
    Chelsea Wolfe
    @ the Royale

    Friday, April 20th
    Buffalo Tom
    @ the Paradise

    Sunday, April 22nd
    The Darkness
    @ the Royale

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

    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
    Camp Cope
    @ the Sinclair

    Friday, May 18th
    The Fratellis
    @ the Paradise

    Saturday, June 2nd
    Japanese Breakfast
    @ the Sinclair

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

    Tuesday, July 17th
    @ Xfinity Center

    July 21st & 22nd
    Foo Fighters
    @ Fenway Park

    Friday, August 10th
    Pedro the Lion
    @ Brighton Music Hall