Bradley's Almanac

[Thanksgiving Nutshells] David Bazan, TW Walsh, Fuzzy, Ben Gibbard, Tanya Donelly, Lemonheads, Now Now, more

Posted on November 21, 2012 at 6:08 pm | No Comments


Greetings, and happy official-start-of-the-holidays, dear readers. All 12 of you. I keed, I keed… there are at least a couple dozen of you out there, I’m sure. One of these days I’ll check my stats and find out.

I’ve got plenty of things in my life to be thankful for, though “blogging time” is not one of them. As I’ve said, I seem to be spending my non-work, non-being-a-dad hours seeing shows rather than writing about them. There was a time I could do both, but lately it’s just not happening. Que sera, etc.

Thanks to my place of employment, I was set free a little early today, so I had a couple unexpected hours to spare. How did I spend it? Enjoying some Kiwi Rising and sharing up some songs. You’re welcome.


David Bazan, former Pedro the Lion focal point, current solo-but-with-a-band guy, and longtime personal fave, brought his “Control” tour to Brighton Music Hall last week, and it was maybe the best I’d ever seen him. That’s saying a lot, because I’ve seen him oh so many times. The sound was great, the crowd was psyched, his 3-piece band (which includes Andy Fitts on bass and Alex Wescoat on drums) was tight as hell. A well-oiled machine, as they say. And that machine was playing the entirety of what may be Pedro The Lion’s best album, though “It’s Hard To Find A Friend” holds a perfectly special place in my heart. First love and all.

The trio played “Control” side one, then a handful of other well-chosen Bazan-penned songs, and finished up the show with side two. No encore, as per usual, but there was one major bit of unusual: Dave’s friend and former Pedro the Lion bandmate (and ace songwriter on his own) Tim “TW” Walsh took Alex’s place behind the drum kit for a couple songs, including “When They Really Get To Know You They Will Run” from the aforementioned “It’s Hard To Find A Friend”. Considering they only ran through it once in soundcheck, he nailed it. Here it is…

[MP3] David Bazan & band (with TW Walsh)
When They Really Get To Know You They Will Run
(live at Brighton Music Hall, Allston, MA 11/13/12)

Check out the setlist from the show, which gives (spoiler alert) the list of songs that Dave & co. draw from for the non-Control creamy filling of the set. The rest of my photos from that night are here.

Speaking of TW, his fans successfully (over-)funded a vinyl pressing of the the two fantastic Soft Drugs EPs he released in 2006 and 2008.  They’ll be joined together on one slab of undoubtedly-expertly-mastered colored wax (with bonus digital goodies), and you can get an early peek at the artwork on the Kickstarter page

Want to know what “When They Really Get To Know They Will Run” would sound like without drums? Have a listen to this live version from a recent episode of the Live Wire Radio variety program podcast. Check out the full stream of the show for a live take on “The Fleecing” as well…

[MP3] David Bazan & Andy Fitts
When They Really Get To Know You They Will Run
(live on Live Wire Radio episode 196)

Can’t remember the last time I had as much unfiltered fun at a show as I did at former Fuzzy member Chris Toppin’s birthday bash at the Midway Cafe in Jamaica Plain a couple weeks back. She turned the big Five-Oh, and the place was packed with friends and fans to wish her a happy. Fuzzy reunited, Buffalo Tom rocked the smallest room they’ve played in awhile, Tanya Donelly sang a couple of Belly songs (with Buffalo Tom backing her), and a celebratory crowd was treated to some surprising covers.  One of those was “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around“, with Tanya playing Stevie Nicks and Buffalo Tom’s Bill Janovitz channeling his best Tom Petty. Nailed it…

[MP3] Buffalo Tom & Tanya Donelly
Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” (Tom Petty cover)
(live at the Midway, Jamaica Plain, MA 11/9/12)

Photos from that special night are here.

The next day, during some random Fuzzy-related surfing, I happened upon this short video of Chris Toppin and her bandmate Hilken Mancini doing a bit of “Pulp“, a Smudge song the band used to cover back in the day. The clip, however, is a recent one, recorded over the summer during an interview segment for an in-the-works music documentary called “If It’s Catchy, It Means You Stole It”. The subject? Australian musician and Half A Cow record label founder Nic Dalton, a one-time member of Boston’s own Lemonheads. The connection? Fuzzy and Smudge were Half A Cow labelmates. Here’s the trailer…


When Chris Toppin’s birthday party (above) was announced, I knew I’d be going, but I was bummed it went up against Now, Now‘s set at the Paradise, opening up for Motion City Soundtrack. While I’m no fan of MCS, I’m a longtime admirer of Now, Now (fka Now, Now Every Children), and they don’t play around here often enough. Back in 2009 I wanted to see them play so badly that I set up and presented a rare Almanac show at TTs, the trio’s first visit to Boston. I hadn’t been able to catch them since, and the fact that I had conflicting plans was painful.


Fortunately, RadioBDC had the band on for a “Live In The Lab” acoustic session that I was able to attend that very afternoon. While I was there, I discovered they’d be playing early enough at the Paradise for me to catch their set before I headed to the Midway. The scheduling gods smiled on me, for once. Y’know what else I learned? That 2009 show was the first time the band met their latest bandmate, Jess, who came down from Maine for the show. Proud to have played a small part in their band history.

Here’s one of the stripped down songs they played at RBDC (and one of my favorite songs of the year)…

[MP3] Now, Now – “Thread
(live in the RadioBDC Lab 11/9/12)

My photos from the Live in the Lab session, and a few from the Paradise show that night, are right here. You can watch & listen to the band perform their 3-song acoustic set, which also includes”Dead Oaks” and “But I Do”, over at RadioBDC. Area music blog They Will Rock You reviewed their Paradise show here.


When Death Cab’s Ben Gibbard stopped by the Somerville Theatre a couple weeks ago in support of his new solo record, “Former Lives”, I figured we’d get a cover or two. What I didn’t expect was an old Lemonheads number. Major kudos for the local hat tip, Mr. Gibbard…

[MP3] Ben Gibbard – “My Drug Buddy” (Lemonheads cover)
(live at the Somerville Theatre, Somerville, MA 11/4/12)

Ben’s setlist from that night pulled from all over his songwriting history…

Ben Gibbard
at the Somerville Theatre
Somerville, MA

* from “Former Lives”

Shepherd’s Bush Lullaby *
Such Great Heights [Postal Service]
Oh, Woe *
These Roads Don’t Move [Farrar/Kerouac collaboration]
Dream Song *
Cath [DCFC]
When the Sun Goes Down [‘Arthur’ soundtrack]
Grapevine Fires [DCFC]
The Dream Of Evan & Chan [Dntel]
Something’s Rattling (Cowpoke) *
Couches in Alleys [Styrofoam]
Passenger Seat [DCFC]
Duncan, Where Have You Gone? *
Unobstructed Views [DCFC]
My Drug Buddy [Lemonheads cover]
Soul Meets Body [DCFC]
Cleveland [All-Time Quarterback!]
Teardrop Windows *
Crooked Teeth [DCFC]
You Remind Me Of Home [‘Home’ EP w/Andrew Kenny]
The District Sleeps Alone Tonight [Postal Service]

Broken Yolk In A Western Sky *
A Movie Script Ending [DCFC]
I’m Building A Fire *
I Will Follow You Into The Dark [DCFC]

More photos from Ben’s show are here.


Alright, enough outta me. Gotta head home before the big Metz / Pile / Speedy Ortiz triple-punch at the Middle East tonight. Jeez, I can’t remember the last time I was upstairs at the Middle East. Sad fact, that. Glad the Bowery has stepped in and given me a reason to go. See you there?


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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