Bradley's Almanac

[Nac Blogiversary] 14 Live Covers for 14 Long Years

Posted on February 15, 2014 at 8:18 pm | No Comments

squirrel party!While the exact born-on-date of the Almanac is a nebulous one – Is it when I first started sharing songs? Or using an actual blogging platform? Or writing mostly about music? – I decided long ago to settle on the most solid one of record: February 15th, 2000 – the day I registered this URL and began uploading content. Whatever this place was back then is a distant cry from whatever it is today, and even from what it was in 2003, when I began frequent music-centric updates. Lately, it’s the “frequent” part that’s changed the most.

But I’m still around, still sharing songs and news from bands I love, still plugging away. Sure, it’s become more quick-shots on Facebook and Twitter than longer posts here, but I’ve resisted the occasional temptation to shutter this place completely. “The blog is dead, long live the blog“, they say. This post-Chromewaves world is a lonely place, but I’m hanging on.

For kicks, here’s the ‘Nac by the numbers…

Number of years gone by: 14
Number of published posts: 1,117
Number of current draft posts in progress: 42
Number of stale, out-of-date draft posts I’ve deleted: &infin
Number of live sets I’ve shared: ~ 300
Number of live sets I’ve recorded but not had time to share: 312
Number of Tweets: 5,225
Number of Twitter followers: 3,149
Number of Twitter followers that are probably bots: 50%
Number of Facebook followers: 1,046
Number of the Almanac on the Hype Machine‘s blog tracker: 31
Number of those 31 original blogs the Hype Machine is still tracking: 7
Number of band/promo emails I get every day on average: over 60
Number of those emails that include the word “remix”: at least 50%
Number of daily promo emails that are relevant or of interest to me: maybe 5?

It’s those last three stats that have been slowly draining the life outta me. More than a decade of doing this means the Almanac has ended up on every music-related mailing in existence – it’s a constant deluge that has worn me down and drawn me ever closer to closing up shop. They come faster than I can send unsubscribe requests, and more importantly, I can’t possibly listen to all the songs that come my way. I’ve had to master a jaded zen-like state when going through my inbox, and keep my fingers crossed that I don’t miss something truly great.

But I’m not here to whine, I’m here to celebrate. Or at least acknowledge this slightly notable passage of time. So I’ve thrown together 14 covers from live sets I haven’t had time to share over the past few years, along with a photo from each show, and a few words. Dig in, there are some special songs below…

[Download] All 14 live covers in one .zip file


[MP3] Tommy Stinson – “Nighttime” (live acoustic Big Star cover)

From an acoustic set for Record Store Day, April 21st, 2012 at Newbury Comics in Norwood, MA. He was joined by his wife Emily Roberts on backing vocals and (her uncle?) Sippy Roberts on slide guitar.

Stinson’s reunited Replacements have announced a few more festival appearances this year, but I’ve still got my hopes up for an eventual Boston show. ICYMI, grab my recording of their first reunion appearance at last year’s Riot Fest Toronto.


[MP3] Death Cab For Cutie – “I’ll Be Your Mirror
(live acoustic Velvet Underground cover)

It’s been awhile since Death Cab For Cutie hit the road, in fact I think this series of special shows backed by the Magik*Magik Orchestra in Spring 2012 was the last proper tour (they played the Wang in Boston with Low on 4/21/12). This cover was a nice surprise during the stripped down part of their set, and was well before Lou Reed passed and sparked a rash of VU covers.

The DCFC machine is gearing back up after helping Barsuk Records celebrate their 15th birthday a few months back, and they’ll return to town for the Boston Calling fest in May. I’m assuming we’ll get some new album news before too long.


[MP3] Ben Gibbard – “My Drug Buddy” (Lemonheads cover)

During that Death Cab break, but before the Postal Service reunited in 2013, Ben Gibbard did some solo shows in support of his “Former Lives” LP, including a stop at the Somerville Theatre on Sunday, November 4th, 2012. Not sure if he pulled out a geographically-specific cover at every show, but this classic Lemonheads cut was a nice nod to Boston.


[MP3] John Roderick (of the Long Winters)
The King of Carrot Flowers, Pt. 1
(live Neutral Milk Hotel cover)

Another high point of the Barsuk celebration in Seattle last November was John Roderick and his Long Winters reuniting to perform the “When I Pretend To Fall” album in its entirety. It was glorious, and made me even more hungry for a proper new LW record, as if that was possible. Roderick’s been performing solo sporadically since their previous LP (in 2006!), and this Neutral Milk Hotel cover was played at the Paradise in Boston on Friday, June 1st, 2012.


[MP3] Tanya Donelly & Buffalo Tom – “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around
(live Tom Petty/Steve Nicks cover)

This show was something really special – a small room full of friends and fans gathered together for Chris Toppin’s (Fuzzy) birthday party at the Midway in Jamaica Plain on Nov. 9th, 2012. So many great moments on the stage that night, including this team up of Tanya Donelly (Throwing Muses/Belly) and Buffalo Tom to serve up some Heartbreaking.

Tanya has been releasing a string of excellent digital EPs called the Swan Song Series, and she’ll be hitting the stage opening for her old band Throwing Muses for a few shows next month. Buffalo Tom is hibernating, but Bill Janovitz has been offering up some great new solo songs since the year started. Here’s hoping they keep coming.


[MP3] Ted Leo – “Freeway” (live Aimee Mann cover)
[MP3] Ted Leo – “Hybrid Moments / Me & Mia” (live Misfits cover & TL original)

This show was a ridiculous amount of fun. Just after Boston cops started cracking down hard on local house shows, Ted Leo played this one in a Brighton living room on Monday, November 26, 2012. It was crammed, and incident free (unless you count overly-drunk-local-band-guy or overly-intrusive-photographer), and an absolute blast. Ted pulled out a few covers, as he is wont to do, including a song by his then-tourmate/now-bandmate (in The Both) Aimee Mann. The kids didn’t know what hit ’em, but I ate it up. He whipped out a Misfits cut to rile us up (it did – singalong!), segueing straight into TL/Rx classic “Me & Mia”, when the show hit a crushing crescendo. Bent Shapes opened up. It ruled.

Ted & Aimee will release their self-titled debut album as The Both in mid-April, and will hit the road in support, including a stop at the Paradise in Boston on April 25th.


[MP3] J Mascis – “The Boy With The Thorn In His Side” (live Smiths cover)

Well, this was an odd one. J Mascis of Dinosaur Jr. in a shoe store on Boston’s Newbury Street. With (bad) free beer and chips. He probably got paid in purple Doc Martens. This strange scene was on 12/6/2012.


[MP3] Sleepyhead – “Like A Girl Jesus” (live Game Theory cover)

This was a bittersweet moment, but mostly sweet, during Sleepyhead’s set at the Sinclair in Cambridge on May 10th, 2013, just a few weeks after Game Theory’s Scott Miller passed away. Not sure how many in the crowd got the gesture, but I damn well did. This cover was actually the b-side of one of the great indie singles of all time, Sleepyhead’s 1992 (!) “Punk Rock City USA” 7-inch.

Sleepyhead’s long-in-the-making next LP will be out in April on Carrot Top Records. Can’t wait.


[MP3] Telekinesis – “Don’t Change” (live INXS cover)

After seeing that Sleepyhead set, and most of Buffalo Tom’s, at the Sinclair, I raced across the river to try and catch some of Telekinesis at Brighton Music Hall in Allston. Made it in time to see a handful of songs, including this ace cover of one of my favorite INXS tracks. Wish I’d been able to see the whole show, but even a little Telekinesis goes a long way.


[MP3] Quasi – “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love, & Understanding
(live Elvis Costello cover)

Oh, Quasi, how I love thee. Two people who project more joyful noise and energy from the stage than most quintets ever could. This Elvis Costello cover came near the end of their fantastic set at Great Scott in Allston on Thursday, October 17th of last year. Their latest LP is last year’s “Mole City”, and you should own it.


[MP3] Neko Case & her band – “Crazy On You” (live Heart cover)

Not only did we get a Heart cover during Neko Case’s set at the Orpheum on November 1st, but we got two, back to back. First Kelly Hogan handled lead vocals on an amazing “Barracuda” (that riff!), then Neko stepped up to tackle this one. The crowd was rightly, happily surprised when the second song started up, but the band may have been smiling more than we were. And that’s saying a lot.


[MP3] Minor Alps – “Airscape” (live Robyn Hitchcock cover)

When I was out at that Barsuk anniversary bash in Seattle back in November, new duo Minor Alps (Matthew Caws of Nada Surf and Juliana Hatfield) remarked that their set was the first time they’d ever played in front of people. It kicked off a cross-country trip that brought them to the Sinclair in Cambridge two weeks later (11/23/13) for the final show of their inaugural tour. Grateful I was able to see the first and last stops, especially glad that they learned and played one of my favorite Robyn Hitchcock tracks, the gorgeous “Airscape“.


[MP3] Chris Brokaw – “Crooked” (live Wussy cover)

As much as I love Chris Brokaw’s original songs, and as many times as I’ve seen him, I will never tire of hearing him run through Wussy’s wonderful “Crooked”. This particular rendition was by request, played at an uber-intimate house show in Watertown, MA last month (1/4/14). If you’re wondering why we were so quiet in our appreciation at the end, well, there was a baby asleep upstairs. There’s no better reason for repressed enthusiasm.


[Download] All 14 live covers in one .zip file

As always, thanks for following along, especially those of you who have been stopping by for years. Without getting too sentimental or self-deprecating, I’ll admit that it still surprises me that anyone still reads my ramblings, and every lingering eye and ear is appreciated. Cheers.

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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

    Monday, July 16th
    Two Inch Astronaut
    Pet Fox
    Hex Pet
    Alexander
    @ O’Brien’s


    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
    Hamilton Leithauser
    @ Blue Hills Bank Pavilion


    Wednesday, July 18th
    Faust
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Thursday, July 19th
    Poster Children
    Mill Pond Falls
    @ O’Brien’s


    Thursday, July 19th
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    Gatherers
    Animal Flag
    @ the Sinclair


    Friday, July 20th
    Jerry’s Kids (final show)
    Moving Targets
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    Mung
    plus a performance by
    members of Bullet Lavolta
    @ the Middle East Downstairs


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    @ Atwood’s


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    Petal
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    @ Fenway Park


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    2018 Showcase!
    @ Brighton Music Hall


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    Mini Mansions
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    The Cult
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    Big Jesus
    @ the Blue Hills Bank Pavilion


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    Glassjaw
    @ the Royale


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    Benjamin Clementine
    @ Blue Hills Bank Pavilion


    Tuesday, July 31st
    The Smashing Pumpkins
    Metric
    @ TD Garden


    Thursday, August 2nd
    Alex Cameron
    @ the Sinclair


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    The Essex Green
    @ Great Scott


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    Jeff Beck
    & Paul Rodgers
    + Ann Wilson (Heart)
    @ Blue Hills Bank Pavilion


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    Free Cake For Every Creature
    Horse Jumper of Love
    Puppy Problems
    Tuft
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    Pedro the Lion
    H.C. McEntire
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    Billy Joel
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    Mourn
    Chastity
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    Wussy
    Sleepyhead
    @ Sonia


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    Joan of Arc
    @ the Middle East


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


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


    Sunday, August 12th
    Kal Marks
    Clearance
    Bike Thiefs
    Earthquake Party
    @ O’Brien’s


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


    Monday & Tuesday
    August 13th & 14th
    The Gaslight Anthem
    Matt Mays
    Worriers
    @ House of Blues


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    Agent Orange
    Silver Screams
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Wednesday, August 15th
    Gold Muse
    28 Degrees Taurus
    Kelly Spyglass
    @ O’Brien’s


    Wednesday, August 15th
    Sparta
    @ the Sinclair


    Thursday, August 16th
    Ra Ra Riot
    @ the Sinclair


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    Counting Crows
    Live
    @ the Xfinity Center


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    Alkaline Trio
    Together Pangea
    @ the House of Blues


    Saturday, August 18th
    Calpurnia
    @ the Paradise


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    Belly
    @ the Royale


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    Miguel
    dvsn
    Nonchalant Savant
    @ the Blue Hills Pavilion


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    Hellrazor
    Halfsour
    Freak Heat Waves
    Kristian North
    @ O’Brien’s


    Friday, August 24th
    Beach House
    Papercuts
    @ House of Blues


    Saturday, August 25th
    Luna
    Old Yolk
    @ the Sinclair


    Sunday, August 26th
    Amen Dunes
    @ the Sinclair


    Monday, August 27th
    LVL UP (final tour)
    @ Great Scott


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


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


    Friday, September 7th
    The Jesus Lizard
    All Souls
    @ the Royale


    Friday, September 7th
    First Aid Kit
    Julia Jacklin
    @ Blue Hills Bank Pavilion


    Saturday, September 8th
    Ex Hex
    EZTV
    E
    @ Great Scott


    Sunday, September 9th
    Saint Etienne
    DJ Carbo
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Monday, September 10th
    Let’s Eat Grandma
    @ Great Scott


    Tuesday, September 11th
    Killing Joke
    <PIG>
    @ the Paradise


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


    Tuesday, September 11th
    Palm
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Tuesday, September 11th
    Interpol
    with Sunflower Bean
    @ the Orpheum


    Thursday, September 13th
    Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever
    @ the Sinclair


    Thursday, September 13th
    Car Seat Headrest
    @ the Royale


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


    Friday, September 14th
    The The
    @ the Orpheum


    Friday, September 14th
    Remo Drive
    Field Medic
    Prince Daddy & the Hyena
    @ the Sinclair


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    Sarah Shook & the Disarmers
    @ Great Scott


    Saturday, September 15th
    Ash
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Wednesday, September 19th
    Mothers
    @ Great Scott


    Wednesday, September 19th
    The Growlers
    @ the Royale


    Wednesday, September 19th
    Arthur Buck
    (Joseph Arthur & Peter Buck)
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Wednesday, September 19th
    Michael Nesmith &
    The First National Band
    @ the Somerville Theatre


    Thursday, September 20th
    Gary Numan
    Nightmare Air
    @ the Paradise


    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 21st
    Rooney
    Mating Ritual
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Sunday, September 23rd
    Portugal. The Man
    Lucius
    @ the Blue Hills Pavilion


    Tuesday, September 25th
    Alvvays
    Hatchie
    @ the Paradise


    Wednesday, September 26th
    Michael Hurley
    Darren Hanlon
    @ the Rockwell


    Wednesday, September 26th
    Mt. Joy
    @ the Royale


    Friday, September 28th
    Bully
    @ the Sinclair


    Monday, October 1st
    Blizten Trapper
    @ Great Scott


    Monday, October 1st
    The Charlatans
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Tuesday, October 2nd
    Brian Fallon (Gaslight Anthem)
    Craig Finn (the Hold Steady)
    @ the Royale


    Wednesday, October 3rd
    Simple Minds
    @ the Orpheum


    Wednesday, October 5th
    Great Lake Swimmers
    @ the Sinclair


    Friday, October 5th
    The Decemberists
    Marissa Nadler
    @ the Orpheum


    Saturday, October 6th
    Active Bird Community
    @ Great Scott


    Saturday, October 6th
    Social Distortion
    Will Hoge
    Pony Bradshaw
    @ the House of Blues


    Sunday, October 7th
    Nothing
    Swirlies
    Big Bite
    Smut
    @ the Sinclair


    Sunday, October 7th
    Ben Howard
    Wye Oak
    @ Blue Hills Bank Pavilion


    Monday, October 8th
    Liz Phair
    Speedy Ortiz
    @ the Royale


    Monday, October 8th
    Gruff Rhys
    @ Great Scott


    Tuesday, October 9th
    White Denim
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Thursday, October 11th
    Swearin’
    Empath
    @ Great Scott


    Friday, October 12th
    Florence & the Machine
    @ the TD Garden


    Saturday, October 13th
    The Jayhawks
    @ the Somerville Theatre


    Sunday, October 14th
    The Vaccines
    @ the Sinclair


    Sunday, October 14th
    Gorillaz
    Little Dragon
    @ TD Garden


    Sunday & Monday
    October 14th & 15th
    Death Cab for Cutie
    Charly Bliss
    @ the Wang Theatre


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


    Thursday, October 18th
    Big Thief
    The Range of Light Wilderness
    michael
    @ the Paradise


    Thursday, October 18th
    The Proletariat
    Savageheads
    Silver Screams
    @ Sonia


    October 19th & 20th
    Nine Inch Nails
    The Jesus & Mary Chain
    @ the Wang Theatre


    Saturday, October 20th
    Mitski
    Jessica Lea Mayfield
    @ House of Blues


    Saturday & Sunday
    October 20th & 21st
    Chvrches
    Lo Moon
    @ the Orpheum


    Sunday, October 21st
    Johnny Marr
    @ the Paradise


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


    Tuesday, October 23rd
    The Church
    @ the Sinclair


    Tuesday, October 23rd
    Garbage
    @ House of Blues


    Wednesday, October 24th
    Lily Allen
    @ the Paradise


    Sunday, October 28th
    Monster Magnet
    Electric Citizen
    Dark Sky Choir
    @ the Sinclair


    Thursday, November 1st
    Tune-Yards
    @ the Paradise


    Friday, November 2nd
    Roky Erickson
    @ the ONCE Ballroom


    Monday, November 5th
    Shannon & the Clams
    @ the Sinclair


    Monday, November 5th
    Tenacious D
    @ the House of Blues


    Tuesday, November 6th
    The Joy Formidable
    Tancred
    @ the Sinclair


    Friday, November 9th
    Low
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Saturday, November 10th
    Elvis Costello & The Imposters
    @ the Wang Theatre


    Tuesday, November 13th
    Pale Waves
    @ the Sinclair


    Wednesday, November 14th
    The Alarm
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Wednesday, November 14th
    Wild Nothing
    @ the Royale


    Friday, November 16th
    Jim James (from MMJ – solo)
    Alynda Segarra
    (from Hurray for the Riff Raff)
    @ the Shubert Theatre


    Saturday, November 24th
    Kurt Vile & the Violators
    Jessica Pratt
    @ the House of Blues


    Wednesday, December 5th
    Reverend Horton Heat
    & Junior Brown with
    The Blasters
    Big Sandy
    @ the Royale