Bradley's Almanac

Listen Up Boston: Some Local Mp3s & Shows

Posted on May 28, 2009 at 9:28 pm | No Comments

Below, a veritable wellspring of news, music, and performances from a bunch of great Boston area musicians. Subjects covered below includes The New Collisions (playing tomorrow), Greg Hawkes, Hallelujah the Hills, Wheat, Miranda Warning (playing tomorrow), Charlene, The Broken River Prophet, Heat From A DeadStar, Saturday’s “SPLIT / SIGNAL” show in Somerville, Norway’s I Was A King (also playing Saturday), and Walter Schreifels. Please do dive in…

There is no shortage of shows to choose from in the Boston-area tomorrow (Friday) night, but one stands out from the crowded schedule: The New Collisions will welcome their debut EP into the world with a set at TT the Bears, and they’ve smartly surrounded themselves with some of Boston finest: Township, Televandals, The Lights Out, and Logan 5 & The Runners. As if that wasn’t enough Boston goodness for you, word is that The New Collisions will be joined on stage by the esteemed Greg Hawkes, keyboardist and co-founder of The Cars, who contributed his easily-recognizable playing to the band’s new recordings. As an old school Cars fan, who as a 10-year old listened incessantly to his dad’s vinyl copy of “Candy-O” (and blushed at its Vargas cover), this linking of new wave Boston rock to newer wave Boston rock gives me a little thrill.

Here’s the second track from The New Collisions EP, which they’ve graciously sent along as a high-quality 256kbps Mp3…

[Mp3] The New Collisions – “The Beautiful and Numb

I have heard my new favorite Hallelujah the Hills song, and it is “Blank Passports“. The track will be the fourth on their upcoming second album, “Colonial Drones”, out this fall on Misra. The label has used it (oh so effectively) to tease us by including it as part of their new freely-downloadable Misra/Absolutely Kosher Records “Soon” Mp3 sampler, which also includes songs from Buttonhead, Emily Rodgers, Chet, 60 Watt Kid, The Rollercoaster Project, Chris Garneau, and a track from Monahans just-released (and excellent) new record, “Dim The Aurora”. Even though I’m only sharing the HtH track here, don’t let that stop you from grabbing the rest of the “Soon EP” here.

[Mp3] Hallelujah the Hills – “Blank Passports

Another celebration of some new music, this one taking place a little further down the road: On Saturday night, August 1st, Wheat, the pride of Taunton, will mark the July 21st release of their next full-lengther, the long-awaited “White Ink, Black Ink”, with a show at Allston’s own Great Scott. Openers are Bon Savants and The XYZ Affair. For the impatient (like yours truly), the album can be pre-ordered now, which will allow you to download the whole thing while you wait for your physical copy to arrive. To wet your Wheat-deprived whistle, here’s the preview track…

[Mp3] Wheat – “Half Of The Time

This name should ring a fairly loud bell for any longtime followers of the Boston music scene: Miranda Warning. The power pop combo (who spent time as both a trio and a quartet between the years ’87 and ’95) is making a one-time-only return to the stage tomorrow night, Friday the 29th, when they play a reunion show at The Rabbit Hole book/music/comic shop in Fitchburg. The reunited band includes longtime members singer/guitarist Ad Boc and drummer Tom Evans, who later went on to form Jumprope. Random fact: Their original lineup actually included Shellac/Volcano Suns/Mission of Burma member Bob Weston in their first incarnation (which was news to me). As M.R. makes a brief return, another band called The Bones makes their debut as the opener. The totally free show kicks off at 7pm, so find your way out to Fitchburg if you can.

Here’s the first track of Miranda Warning‘s third album, 1993’s “Twelve Speed Pop Blender”. Another random fact: This song features lyrics by Rob Galgano, who later went on to play with Ad in The Fond Farewells, and is the man behind the All Over The Place podcast.

[Mp3] Miranda Warning – “Not Our Place

It’s been a very long time coming, but finally, Charlene is back – in recorded form, at least. The Newton-based band is on the verge of releasing a follow-up to their excellent 2002 debut full-lengther, and to get us ready for its arrival later this summer, they’ve offered up the new digital “Oh Hey” EP (along with a mere 100 handmade physical copies). Recorded over the course of several years at their own Dented Head Studios, it’s got three songs: “Oh Hey” along with “Before The Comet Hits” and “Big Winds“. All three songs can be streamed at their Myspace page and TheSixtyOne, and you can make them your own through Other Music, Amazon MP3, or iTunes. If you’ve been reading the ‘Nac for awhile, you know I’ve shared up the title track before, and here it is again…

[Mp3] Charlene – “Oh Hey

(Full disclosure: I was honored to play drums in Charlene for a time, but don’t hold that against them.)

And as long as we’re on the subject of songs recorded at Dented Head, how about new/old songs from The Broken River Prophet? (yes, another band who allowed me to sit on the drum stool and play along with them). The musical collective, who has stuck with a relatively stable lineup over the past couple years, has just finished a pair of songs that had their basic tracks laid down 4 or 5 years ago. Yes, the current crew completed songs recorded by younger versions of themselves (and even former members, including violinist Taro Hatanaka), and according to head prophet Adam Brilla, “Some sort of H.G. Wellian/DeLorean type shit went down.” The results? “New York City Director’s Cut Blues” and “Chemical Solitaire“, which has always been one of my fave BRP songs. You can stream both at their MySpace page, and here’s one of ’em to download…

[Mp3] The Broken River Prophet – “Chemical Solitaire (101 Version)

Now this next song is from a band that is most certainly not Boston-centric (London/France, in fact), but it’s record label most certainly is. In fact, I challenge you to find a label more thoroughly Boston than Rick Harte’s Ace Of Hearts Records, the imprint responsible for releasing seminal albums from the likes of Mission of Burma, the Neighborhoods, and the Neats more than a couple decades ago. Just last year Rick worked on those fantastic MoB remasters for Matador records, and even now he’s remastering the Neats’ stuff.

But enough about the past, this is about the now: A few months back Ace of Hearts put out a new record from UK trio Heat From A DeadStar, and while the local connection got me to listen, the songs made me a fan. The 13-track “Seven Rays Of The Sun” pulls from the dark, angular aspects of Unwound and some Fugazi, but throws in a little more melody and overt beauty. It’s right up my alley, and Ace of Hearts has allowed me to share the song that got me hooked. And get this: Mission of Burma’s Roger Miller plays piano on it (more about him below)…

[Mp3] Heat From A DeadStar – “Seahorse Seafish

And lastly, I have your Saturday evening plans for you, so pay attention — You’ll be at the Center for the Arts at the Armory in Somerville for what promises to be a truly special night: It’s called “SPLIT / SIGNAL“, and it will marry together music and film in a way that is not often done, by having eight unique acts play original scores to original, exclusive short films. The musicians? The Books, Cul De Sac, Roger Miller, Caspian (oh yes), Black Yodel, Arms and Sleepers, Devil Music, and Mike Dunkley with Todd Brozman. The creators behind the corresponding visuals? Rich Remsberg, VJ Dziga, Handcranked Productions, Bryan Deblasio, Michael Maraden, Dado Ramadani, Barrett Films, and Jon Cianfrani. As if that long list wasn’t enough, there’s a bit of a bonus: The ticket price includes beverages from the Pretty Things Beer and Ale Project, the Cambridge Brewing Company, and the Mayflower Brewing Company. Doors are at 6pm, the action starts at 7pm, and I’m hoping I’ll be able to see all of it before I head over to the now-sold-out Figgs / In Out / Boston Beat Machine show at the Midway. Oh man, Davis Square to JP? That’s going to be a haul. Kindly clear the way, willya?

Ok, I lied, a couple more quick weekend things I must mention: Try to catch Norwegian band I Was A King at Harpers Ferry on Friday night. They’re playing second of four, they’ve traveled far, and they definitely deserve your ears. I shared one of their songs recently, so grab it and you’ll hear why. There’s a reason that members of Danielson, The Ladybug Transistor, Serena Maneesh, and Sufjan Stevens contributed to their album.

And finish off your weekend be seeing Mr. Walter Schreifels (Quicksand/Rival Schools/Gorilla Biscuits) at Great Scott on Sunday night, with Steven Brodsky (Cave In) and Clouds opening up. It’s just $10, and I’m pretty surprised tickets are still available. Play it safe and grab yours here, or swing by Great Scott to skip the extra charges.


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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

    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