Bradley's Almanac

[Interview] In-depth with Peyton Pinkerton (on his new solo LP, New Radiant Storm King, Silver Jews, Pernice Brothers, & more)

Posted on December 30, 2013 at 9:24 am | 1 Comment

Earlier this year, Peyton Pinkerton quietly released his first-ever solo record – an LP that quickly became one of my faves of 2013 – and the only thing wrong with that sentence is the word ‘quietly’. It got lost in the shuffle, maybe due to its summertime release, or the never-ending glut of eponymous singer-songwriter fare, or the relative lack of promotion. Whatever the reason, it just didn’t get the attention and praise I thought it deserved.

I’ve often felt the same was true of Northampton’s New Radiant Storm King – the band he co-fronted for nearly two decades – and have tried in my small way to fight that here on the ‘Nac. My disappointment in the band’s break-up was accompanied by the worry that they’d leave music behind and disappear into the day jobs, so it was with much relief that Peyton’s first-ever solo release suddenly appeared last summer.

While his debut may share similar DNA with his band’s final couple records (like the stellar drum work of J.J. O’Connell), it’s a far different beast. Using a wide-ranging sonic palette, it packs genuine emotional depth while showing off some serious home-production skills. Easily one of the best “headphone-worthy” releases in recent memory, there’s a startling, meticulous attention to detail – even after dozens of listens, its many layers continue to reveal themselves. There’s a striking amount of six-string craftsmanship on display, with a bevy of guitar textures used judiciously – summoned as needed, then retreating, never overwhelming each song’s intent. Alternatingly catchy then weird, melodic then dissonant, there’s so much going on stylistically that it’s hard to pin down, difficult to describe. At its most reductive it’s “indie rock” – the label unavoidably pinned to his former band – but it often transcends that. As much as I love/loved NRSK, it feels like ending the band has set Peyton free.

Over the past couple months, he was gracious enough to honor my request for a back-n-forth email interview, and not only did he honor it, he went above and beyond – he was open to any questions, answered each thoughtfully, and as you’ll see, his genuine candor is refreshing. He dives deep into the early days of NRSK, his musical collaborations (with Silver Jews, Pernice Brothers, Miracle Legion’s Mark Mulcahy), and is very forthcoming about the impact of recently-disclosed mental illness on his creativity.

Peyton was also kind enough to offer up a couple of unreleased non-album tracks for sharing (instrumental “Bouzouki” and the recently-recorded “Silent Grotesque“), alongside my own two favorites from the record (the propulsive, paranoid “Pharmacies & Bars” and the elegiac “Arshile Gorky“).

So dig into these words (and sounds) from Mr. Peyton Pinkerton, look below for links where you can read more, and grab a copy of his LP from Darla. You’ll thank me later…

Brad Almanac: Let’s start with the new stuff. How exactly did this batch of solo songs come about? Was there much of a break after you officially retired New Radiant Storm King, or did you start on the album right away? I’m curious if the solo songwriting came easy after retiring such a long-standing collaborative outlet.

Peyton Pinkerton: When NRSK called things off in September of 2009 (after twenty years as a band) I was somewhat devastated – even though I knew all too well that we had definitely overstayed our welcome ( e.g. Pitchfork* – “why are these guys still around even – don’t they have lives yet?”).

I immediately went to work on some old songs that were decidedly “un-NRSK”. I’ve always written a lot of songs – for every album where I’ve contributed 8 or so songs there would be about forty songs or more that would fall by the wayside. The truth about New Radiant Storm King by 2004 or so was that we weren’t really collaborating on songs much anymore – just bringing in our respective tunes and adding a few things to each other’s songs.

My partner in crime Matt Hunter by this point lived in NYC and I had a lot of time on my hands to write songs alone, as opposed to the “slug it out in the basement practice room” approach that we had been accustomed to since our inception. This developed into what I’d describe as a ritualistic songwriting technique.

Matt Hunter & Peyton Pinkerton

I write by recording everything; every instrument and vocal. I can’t even distinguish my writing process from my recording process anymore – they are that intertwined. I would get used to my demos sounding a certain way and then would become very attached to my versions.

[MP3] Peyton Pinkerton – “Pharmacies & Bars” (from the new LP)

I became a control freak and a perfectionist with my tunes and left no real room for anyone else’s input or contributions when we’d go into the studio proper. In retrospect I think those songs of mine would probably have been better if I could have relinquished some of my tendency to be precious with my tunes and let the other guys feel some ownership of the songs too.

In sifting through the “attrition pile” from all of the NRSK rejects (rejected on the basis of sucking or not being NRSK-esque) I salvaged two songs for PEYTON PINKERTON that I thought might get me pointed in the direction that I wanted to go. I re-recorded them and then established my bearings. I did not want to make an NRSK record and these two numbers took me over (quite unexpectedly) into a Zoo/Korova/Factory Records territory that felt right at the time – without being too literal as far as the stylings of those label’s artists were concerned.

At this time an old friend of mine killed himself and I was still very depressed about the end of NRSK and I started to go to a dark and frightening place. I was soon hospitalized for bipolar disorder for two months and my illness was addressed with some new medications and a better understanding of my condition. After I got out of the hospital I had a remarkably productive period. I wrote two or three songs a day for a few months. I was on a serious and seemingly effortless tear. The songs on my record are culled from about 90 of these songs mentioned above.

I recorded everything as demos but soon realized that most or even all of the tracks were useable for a proper record. I figured my career (or whatever you’d call it) in music was over so I was really just hell-bent on making a record for myself. I truly didn’t care if anyone else heard it or not.

In trying to get out of the NRSK territory, and also trying to get out of my immediate comfort zone I played (and wrote on) a lot of twelve-string and baritone guitars in place of many of the six-string and bass lines that I originally conceived. It gave everything a slightly foreign feel and I began to gain confidence that I was actually covering some new ground and not recreating all of the sounds from my past recordings.

BA: I first became aware of you when the NRSK debut LP was released back in ’93, and I’ve always been curious about the beginnings of the band. How did you and Matt first get together at college? How long had you been playing guitar at that point? How did the collaboration work when you first started playing together, and how did it change over time?

PP: NRSK formed at Hampshire College in January of 1990. It started off with me, Eli Miller and Elizabeth Sharp on drums. Eli and I switched between bass and guitar depending on who wrote the song. This proved tedious and we wanted another guy to fill out the sound.

I’d met Matt Hunter by essentially barging into his dorm room to grill him about SST bands because he was blasting “Double Nickles on the Dime.” He was exotic to me in a West Coast way. I was pure East Coast so together we made Kansas! We would just sit and smoke weed and listen to all of the great bands on SST, Homestead, Touch and Go and the like – pretty much 90% of the bands from the book “Our Band Could Be Your Life.” He’d turn me on to Sun City Girls and I’d play him Phantom Tollbooth or Bastro. So that was a pretty instant bond. When we needed a bassist Sharp suggested we try Matt and we were all in agreement.

[MP3] Peyton Pinkerton – “Arshile Gorky” (from the new LP)

By this point I’d been playing guitar since 1978 – although I sucked until I figured out the all-important barre chord; and stopped trying to learn other people’s songs and just fucked around until I would actually “write” something of my own. My first guitar was a Memphis brand Les Paul copy – black and beautiful. My older brother picked it out and my folks got it for me for my birthday/Christmas present (I was born on December 22 so things often were merged!). It was the best gift ever.

When Eli left the band under very difficult terms that I don’t really want to exhume, the onus of songwriting really fell on me and Matt – as Eli was the chief song contributor; with Matt and me rounding out the material with a few songs each, per album. This pushed us into a far more creative period than we’d had in the past and we discovered our own voices – to use the cliche. We also spent all of our time together; writing and rehearsing. We supported each other to the point where no one person could claim full ownership of any one song. It was definitely one of those awesome, young band situations where it was hard to delineate where one person began and another ended – including body odor!

Over time this changed. Sharp left in 1994 and we went through a slew of drummers – never really finding one who felt like a true and legitimate member. By that point on record contracts it was just me and Matt. As time went on we got more confident but relied less and less on reciprocal involvement in one another’s songs.

New Radiant Storm King through the years

Matt moved to NYC in ’98 and that pretty much ended our “hey let’s go hash this progression out down in the basement” approach. I got obsessively into recording – first on cassette four track, then digital eight track, then sixteen track and so on and so on. That was how I wrote. I would record and treat every track on every demo as if it WAS the song that WOULD be on whatever album we were working on. Matt would come up with riffs or chord progressions and leave a lot of room for arrangements – much more undeveloped than my demos. He didn’t ever track any demos and usually there wasn’t a totally complete song-form to work with. This of course gave us room to play around with his ideas. I think I actually played better on some of his songs than on my own. Maybe the approach had something to do with that.

Matt was the Oscar Madison to my Felix Unger if that makes any sense. I had to have things tidy, tight and all worked out ahead of time and he was much more comfortable with ambiguity, looseness, letting the song reveal itself etc.. Subsequently his material allotted more room for collaboration in the end than mine did. Our last album “Drinking in the Moonlight” really does showcase the death of our collaboration. It was either my song or Matt’s song and often one of us wouldn’t be around for the tracking of the other’s song while in the studio.

Our styles had changed as well and Matt was doing a lot more with acoustic guitar and embracing a more traditional sense of “song” while I was desperately trying to perfect what I thought our sound should be. Trying to perfect rock and roll is a dangerous game and it seldom, if ever, has good results. At best it’s like trying to catch a trout in the water with your bare hands – you might get a second’s purchase but it will inevitably free itself and swim away, maybe even puncturing your hand with one of its spiny dorsal fins. But I guess it’s some feat to have caught it at all.

BA: On the subject of collaboration, I wondered if you could talk a bit about your work with other musicians outside of NRSK. Your various musical bios always include a mention of time spent in Silver Jews & the Pernice Brothers, and your new LP features a guest appearance by Mark Mulcahy (of Miracle Legion). Could you share a bit about how these musical relationships came to be, what the experiences were like, and what, if anything, you took away from each? (I know this question could cover A LOT of ground, but it’s something I’ve always been curious about.) Let’s start with Silver Jews…

PP: I met David Berman (DCB) when he attended UMass Amherst for the MFA Writing Program in 1992 – I was in Northampton at the time where he lived also. We became fast friends and bonded over lots of music, writers, American presidents and Civil War history – the latter being a big interest for us both especially. I was aware of the early Silver Jews records and enjoyed them very much. A lot of people kissed his ass while he lived in town and I didn’t so I think he trusted me a bit more than most folks.

In 1995 DCB asked me to play bass on what would have been the album “The Natural Bridge.” He had the original Jews (Stephen Malkmus and Bob Nastanovich) as well as newcomer Pavement drummer Steve West. We went to Easley Studios in Memphis to track the record but from the start it didn’t feel right; competitive tension between DCB and Malkmus, David’s natural insecurity and his panic attacks, and a few other factors made for an uncomfortable setting. We recorded half a dozen songs and then DCB called it and made the engineer burn the tape. He said he was done with music forever. I half-believed him.

We tried again in 1996 with much better results – even though it still took a massive toll on David. Matt Hunter ended up playing bass, I was on guitar and Rian Murphy from Royal Trux, Drag City staff etc. was on drums. DCB’s decision to not have the Pavement guys was controversial but necessary I think to DCB’s sense of autonomy. The Jews had been labeled as a Pavement side project for so long that he needed to show what he was capable of – and had been capable of since the inception of Silver Jews. In the end I think that record turned out really well considering DCB had panic attacks throughout and got about an hour’s sleep a night during tracking. It’s one of the records I’m most proud to have been a part of.

Playing with David on “The Natural Bridge” was a great thing because he never told you what to play – but rather he’d say something like “your guitar solo needs to smell like old brown leather and oak.” Most of the time I’d know what he meant too. Before recording each song he’d read a motivational passage he’d written about the song – sort of a prompt like in the method acting style. It was a great way to work.

[MP3] Peyton Pinkerton – “Silent Grotesque” (non-album track)

I ended up playing on the final album additionally, “Lookout Mountain, Lookout Sea” in 2007. By then the band was a tight unit that had worked out any kinks from the extensive touring we’d been doing for over a year. I was the only non-Nashvillian so I learned a lot from the band who were comprised of stone cold ringers. David was more comfortable but there was definitely a “safer” approach to the material. He had a difficult time getting his voice the way he wanted it to sound and the mixing of the songs presented myriad issues. In the end it was a fun experience but it was no Natural Bridge as far as comradery in the studio went.

BA: How about getting involved with the Pernice Brothers?

PP: I met Joe Pernice in 1995 while I was the soundman at the Baystate Hotel in Northampton. At that time he was playing with the Scuds – soon to change their name to The Scud Mountain Boys. I remember liking him right away when he asked me to “just make sure to keep my acoustic from sounding like a bag of nails – or giving it that singer/songwriter sound.”

By the Summer of 1997 we became friends and he’d ask me along on half-day fishing trips in and around the Pioneer Valley. He was an avid fly fisherman at the time. I was not but I’d sit on the bank of whatever river we went to and just smoke cigarettes and shoot the breeze with him while he’d cast. He never caught a fish when I was with him but he kept asking me to go with him. I figured I might be bad luck as far as brown trout were concerned.

Later that Summer the SMB’s broke up and Joe asked me to be a part of his new project The Pernice Brothers who were gearing up to make a record that Fall. I was kind of shocked since I was quite a different guitar player, stylistically speaking, than the type of guitarist I’d expect him to go for. I guess by that point he wanted to get away from the “twang thang” associated with the SMB’s and I definitely did not have much twang in my playing at the time.

Since making that first album (Overcome By Happiness) I’ve been on six Pernice Brothers records and a handful of E.P.’s, 7″s and side projects (Chappaquiddick Skyline and Big Tobacco). We’ve also toured the world pretty extensively. Playing with Joe took me to places I thought I’d never have the opportunity to see.

I also learned a tremendous amount from playing with Joe. He has an extensive chord vocabulary and I had to quickly learn a lot of the more difficult “Beatles chords” as well as many different voicings for chords I was already familiar with. Very often learning a song involved Joe shouting out names of chords and me having to be totally on top of it; changing to the appropriate chords in time as he barked them out.

He writes these songs that sound simple enough and then you learn them and realize just how complex and sophisticated they really are – crazy turnarounds, key changes and close interval chord progressions. I owe him a lot and am definitely a better guitar player from my experiences playing and recording with Joe.

[MP3] Peyton Pinkerton – “Bouzouki” (non-album instrumental)

BA: And Mark Mulcahy? He’s got a great new solo record of his own out this year (note: MM plays Great Scott in Allston, MA on March 13th), and I was psyched to see his name show up in the credits for your record. How’d that come about?

PP: Mark is a staple celebrity here in the Valley. He has fans going back to his days with Miracle Legion and his solo efforts have only made more fans of his incredible talent as a songwriter, singer and overall musician. I can’t really remember meeting Mark so much as becoming a fan after seeing him perform a number of times. I guess we were seated next to one another at a wedding in 2009 and that was maybe the first time we spoke extensively.

I remember shamelessly offering my services if he ever needed a guitar player. Later he actually took me up on it and I played on about five or six songs on a record of his that has yet to be released. I hope it eventually sees the light of day because the songs are really great.

I asked Mark to do just a little bit of singing on my solo record. His voice has so much personality that I knew I shouldn’t put it up against my voice too much (one can’t have the best vocals on the record be those of the backing singer).

He sings on one song, “Blackout ’77“, and it is a wonderful yet brief appearance. He channeled this creepy vibe at the bridge of the song and it was just the perfect part for that moment. It took me about two minutes to record him. He just sang, having never heard the song before and I thankfully hit “record” while he was trying something. We triple tracked his part to smear it out and I’m proud as hell to have him on there.

> Ken Maiuri (one hell of a musician in his own right) wrote a great piece on Peyton for the Daily Hampshire Gazette.

> Another write-up of the new record can be found over at the Valley Advocate.

> For a more in-depth read on the mental-health issues Peyton’s been dealing with, check out this piece from the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

> Stream/download a live recording of a 2008 New Radiant Storm King set in Cambridge, MA that I shared a couple years back.

> Buy “Peyton Pinkerton” at Darla Records.

I’ll leave you with some very welcome news: New Radiant Storm King will be remastering and re-releasing their “Winter’s Kill” (2002) and “Singular-No Article” (1998) LPs with bonus material. No word on exact dates, but keep an eye on the NRSK Facebook site for updates.

(* as ever, fuck Pitchfork)

Comments

One Response to “[Interview] In-depth with Peyton Pinkerton (on his new solo LP, New Radiant Storm King, Silver Jews, Pernice Brothers, & more)”

  1. Faxx
    November 23rd, 2015 @ 5:11 pm

    Almost 2 years after this article was published, but I gotta thank you for this great interview. I suppose I’m one of these NRSK fan lurking in the shadows, and it’s always good to get to know more about this elusive band.

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

    Monday, April 23rd
    Surfer Blood
    Winter
    @ 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)
    @ Great Scott


    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
    Elephants
    Mint Green
    Hexpet
    @ Great Scott


    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)
    & Lemuria
    @ 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


    Monday, June 25th
    Jeremy Enigk (full band)
    @ Great Scott


    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


    Friday, July 13th
    Immersion
    (featuring Colin from Wire)
    @ Great Scott


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


    Saturday, July 14th
    Freezepop
    Party Bois
    Photocomfort
    Symbion Project
    @ 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
    The Magic Numbers
    @ Great Scott


    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
    Mini Mansions
    @ 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
    The Essex Green
    @ Great Scott


    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


    Monday, September 3rd
    The Fixx (playing “Reach
    the Beach” and more)
    @ City Winery Boston


    Saturday, September 8th
    Ex Hex
    @ Great Scott


    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