Bradley’s Almanac

[Faves] My Favorite Music of 2011

Posted on January 19, 2012 at 7:00 am | 1 Comment

Just about every comment I’ve read on the passing of 2011 boiled down to “good riddance”. Not too shocking, since the internet was built for complaining after all (also – more than a few friends really were struggling), but I’m both surprised and very grateful to state that mine wasn’t all that bad. I’d hazard to say it was actually pretty good, all things considered. After the personal hell that was my own 2010, things really had nowhere to go but up, and so up they went. Way up, at times. Mostly having to do with music. Fancy that.

I’d thought about writing an entire “personal highlights of 2011” post, but that would be too self-indulgent even for me. As much as I want to take note of the fine times, too many words on the subject would cross the invisible ego-line. Instead, just a quick rundown of the ridiculously fortunate music-related experiences I had last year: Hosted a David Bazan show in my living room, inadvertently took the cover photo for Low‘s latest (amazing) record, shared a stage with Dan, Liz, Jean, & Storey from Ida with my little boy watching from the front row, moderated the IFFBoston “Rock Docs” panel, got up the guts to do my first-ever karaoke performance (apologies to fellow Silkworm fans), somehow found myself touring the UK playing drums with good friends (while making brand new ones), which included playing inside one of the best comic shops on Earth, and finished the year watching one of my favorite-ever bands perform one of my favorite-ever albums. Whew. Seriously, that all actually happened. Humbles me to run it down. It’s like some crazy karmic payoff for my utterly ass-tacular 2010. Just hope that doesn’t leave me with nowhere to go but down in the newly-christened twenty-twelve. So far, so good, though. Knock, knock.

What follows is my personal soundtrack for all that great fortune, my 11th (!?) annual non-alphabetized list of my favorite records of the year. In late 2010, Long Winters frontman John Roderick echoed some of my long-held thoughts on year-end lists in wittier, more succinct written form than I could – although I disagree with him on point #3: “If you are too busy to discover new albums for yourself, the last thing you need is a list of more albums to buy.” Sorry, John, but I’ve gotten too many very appreciative emails and comments over the past decade to dismiss the value of music-blog-supplied suggestions. Sometimes people need filters, musical Virgils through the occasional purgatory of new releases. It’s why music blogs exist. Well, one of the reasons anyway. Aside from pure, unfiltered OCD.

But yeah, overall, he’s right on. I’ve never numbered my lists, don’t limit myself to just ten records, would never presume to claim these are the ‘best’ of the year, and never rush to get my list out until after the calendar turns – when I’ve truly absorbed everything I’ve spent time with. I’ve mostly learned to let go of self-imposed-deadline-stress when it comes to the ‘Nac (to its own detriment, but my betterment), the year-end listing especially.

But, hey, it’s done, and almost a couple weeks earlier last year’s list was posted. ‘Nac back pat! Off we go…

[DOWNLOAD]
All 18 (legally) shared MP3s below,
plus a couple of extras, in one handy 133 MB .zip file

First, my 20-something favorite full-lengths in alphabetical order with some commentary and audio/video, then a few short-players (and shorter comments), and finally a couple of reissues/collections I loved…

Favorite 2011 full-lengths…


Age Rings“Black Honey”
(on Midriff)


Rock and Roll Is Dead by Age Rings

Stream more songs over at Midriff

I’d lamented the apparent shelving of the Boston-based combo Age Rings a few years back – which was tempered by frontman Ted Billings’ follow-up project, Hot Protestants – so I was obviously psyched when, about a year go, an Age Rings Kickstarter project appeared out of nowhere to fund a double-album that was “four years in the making”. I gladly pitched in some cash, helped ’em make their goal, and totally dug the results. While that lengthy collection of songs probably would have ended up on this list, the leaner, meaner, pared-down version (officially released a few months back by ace area label Midriff) is a shoe-in. Billings is one of the best songwriters and singing voices this town has, and we should consider ourselves lucky that he and his Age Rings bandmates saw these songs through, and that Midriff stepped up to shine a light on them.


Apex Manor“The Year Of Magical Drinking”
(on Merge)

[MP3]: Under The Gun

I was a fan of singer/songwriter Ross Flournoy’s previous band, The Broken West, but was for some reason not prepared for how blown away I’d be by his debut as Apex Manor. This follow-up project (which includes Broken Westerner Brian Whelan) is full of snappy, shimmering pop songs – catchy as hell and great from beginning to end. I couldn’t make the band’s first Boston-area appearance, and was psyched to see them return until Flournoy shared news of a trip to rehab last August (subtitled “THE YEAR OF MAGICAL DRINKING HAS ENDED“). Here’s hoping that 2012 brings the guy both health and happiness (and, selfishly, brings us some more of his songs). Keep an eye on his Facebook page for updates.


David Bazan“Strange Negotiations”
(on Barsuk)

[MP3]: Wolves At The Door

Yeah, it’s almost embarrassing… David has ended up on my faves list three years running. But I’m not gonna lie just to prevent myself from being predictable. What’s surprising is that he followed up 2009’s “Curse Your Branches” (and 2010’s “Live at Electrical Audio” full-band album) so quickly with another cracking collection of confessional songs. Rather than sounding rushed, it sounds energetic and immediate – the lead off track rocks more than he’s allowed himself to in awhile. As I said above, sitting on my couch and seeing Dave play in front of me was a personal highlight of last year, and getting a preview of a couple new tracks was a big part of that. Wonder if he’ll play anything new at his next Boston house show in March? I’ll find out soon enough. (and, um, if he cranks another album out… well, yeah, I’ll save a spot on next year’s list)


Camp Radio“Campista Socialista”
(Self-Released)

[MP3]: Turn Up The Radio

Former Stand GT frontman Chris Page put out his best-ever solo effort in 2010 (yes, it’s on the list) then follows it up with another top-notch collection of full-band songs with his Canadian compadres in Camp Radio. This is power-pop of the highest order, catchy as all-get-out, a record that compels you to see them live. Sadly, it’s been way too damn long since I’ve seen Chris pogo-ing on a stage in front of me, and I really need to change that. Come south, my friend. I’ll be giving away a vinyl copy of this fantastic record (with a bonus 7-inch) on the Almanac shortly, so keep an eye out.


Centro-Matic“Candidate Waltz”
(on Undertow)

[MP3]: Only In My Double Mind

Will Johnson puts out a lot of music. I’d never go so far as to say too much music (because, when it comes to Will, there’s no such thing), but it can be hard to keep up. Solo songs, collaborations, full band stuff, he’s a prolific gent. Somehow, he’s able to give each project its own identity, and it was immeasurably gratifying to see 2011 give us Centro-matic‘s strongest, most cohesive collection of songs in awhile. It showed sonic growth while staying unmistakably them, and was bolstered by a live show that mixed the best of the new with choice cuts from their immense back catalog. If Will’s involved, I’m in. The latest: Woody Guthrie tribute project New Multitudes, with Will, Jay Farrar (Son Volt, Gob Iron, Uncle Tupelo), Anders Parker (Varnaline, Gob Iron) and Yim Yames (My Morning Jacket, Monsters of Folk). The album hits next month, and the all-star band plays Boston on March 16th at the Paradise.


Crooked Fingers“Breaks In The Armor”
(on Merge)

[MP3]: Typhoon

Stream the full album at Merge

Yes, Archers of Loaf reunited last year. As amazing as that simple fact still feels, it’s not like frontman Eric Bachmann needed the creative outlet. I mean, the guy has been regularly releasing brilliant records since the Archers broke up, and the latest CF album ranks high among them. You’d think he’d be spinning up his old rock band during a lull in his solo career, but instead he has ’em both going at once, alternating the sonic assault with the softer side. We’re richer for it. “The Counterfeiter“, track 4 on “Breaks In The Armor”, was easily one of my favorite songs of the year. Listen to their newly-shared World Cafe session right here (and note that during interview, Eric mentions they’re about to record another album).

Oh, and Boston-area Archers fans, get ready… they’re coming.


Destroyer“Kaputt”
(on Merge)

Dan Bejar, the mad genius. The man makes a total stylistic shift, throws in a heaping helping of smoooooth saxophone, and completely pulls it off. Whatever guise he takes on stage – full band frontman, solo acoustic performer, or part-time New Pornographer – he leaves me walking away a bigger fan than when I walked in. Can’t even guess what he’s going to try next, and I love that.

These Brooklyn boys walk a very fine homage/derivative line very well, and while I was a bit put-off by the slightly-irritating first single (“Money“), the rest of the album was strong enough to recover and ultimately win me over. It didn’t have the immediate impact their first full-length did, but instead revealed its charms over time. Seeing them on stage has eluded me so far, and I’d like to see this year change that.


Idaho“You Were A Dick”
(Self-Released)

[MP3]: You Were A Dick

With criminally little fanfare, Jeff Martin finally gave us a collection of new Idaho songs last summer, 6 long years after his previous LP. His musical output mostly consists of soundtrack work, so anytime we get a proper album we should consider ourselves very lucky. The record’s title is a pretty incongruous to the beauty within – gorgeous mood-pieces Martin conjures with his guitar, keyboards, and singular voice. It’s at once fragile and powerful stuff, perfect rainy-day music, and my only complaint is that we don’t get enough of it.

The vinyl version was meticulously put together (180 gram cut directly from a hi-res 24-bit master), and includes not just download codes, but a bonus data-DVD with higher fidelity digital audio and a bunch Jeff’s beautiful soundtrack work. Keep an eye here here on the ‘Nac in the next week or so, as I’ve got an extra copy of the vinyl package to give away.


The Joy Formidable“The Big Roar”
(on Atlantic / Canvasback)

Stream songs on their music player

It was the video above that got me, almost exactly a year ago. Hook, line, sinker, the whole tackle box. The song, that performance, the self-contained energy that didn’t even need an audience to feed off. Grabbed the album shortly after, found even better songs to love, and my fandom was sealed last March when they blew away a packed house at Boston’s Brighton Music Hall. Sure, some of the end-of-song, instrument-destroying theatrics might fall a little flat, but damned if they don’t earn the right.


Loney Dear“Hall Music”
(on Polyvinyl)

[MP3]: My Heart

Stream more at Bandcamp

A slow-burner from Swedish son Emil Svanängen and his friends, more understated and less immediately gripping than 2009’s “Dear John”, but ultimately more moving. I eagerly await his live return to the Boston area, either solo or with a backing band. Both are stunning experiences.


Low“C’Mon”
(on Sub Pop)

[MP3]: Especially Me

A half-decade after 2007’s relatively unsettling “Drums and Guns”, Low reemerges with their best long-players in ages. They took just a tiny bit of the disquieting distance of that previous album and blended it with their long-familiar warmth and subtle hooks, coming up with one of their strongest-ever sets of songs. And hey, that album cover kinda rules, too.


M83“Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming”
(on Mute)


Midnight City by M83

I’m in awe of how Frenchman Anthony Gonzalez can keep mining the same keyboard-swell, 80s-style caves and continue to come up with pure audio gold. He’s found a formula, he’s sticking to it, and I’m totally good with that. Even a double-album’s worth sustains the synthy satisfaction. As much as I’m bothered when guitar-based bands try to go all electro (I’m looking at you, Bloc Party & Editors), I’m truly hoping M83 never decides to go all guitary. Don’t go changin’, Anthony. Keep on digging.


Mogwai“Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will”
(on Sub Pop)

[MP3]: Rano Pano

2011 was a rough year for us Mogwai fans, despite the release of this ridiculously good new record. I’m talking about the live show tease that still has no payoff. Here in Boston, we were promised a springtime, post-album performance at the Paradise, which was postponed and replaced with an autumn appearance at the far-larger (and far-inferior) House of Blues… which was then canceled altogether. All I really want is to see them rock out “George Square Thatcher Death Party” while I watch, thank you very much. Is that so much to ask?


Jennifer O’Connor“I Want What You Want”
(on Kiam Records)

[MP3]: Running Start

Stream the whole record at Soundcloud

After a couple albums on Matador, JO’C delivers what is far and away her strongest-ever collection of songs. Bummer for her former label, but such great news for us fans who were hoping she’d keep on releasing records without their support. Here in Boston, we’re lucky that she comes our way regularly, and she’ll be back on March 1st to kick off a three-week tour at Church. And what a stacked lineup – she’ll be playing with Thalia Zedek (Come/Live Skull), Kiam Records labelmates Choo Choo La Rouge, and local duo Cotton Candy (Unrest/Teenbeat Records impresario Mark Robinson and Blast Off Country Style‘s Evelyn Hurley).

It should be noted – while “I Want What You Want” was released digitally a few months back, the physical release on vinyl and compact disc is happening in early March, just as her tour kicks off. Order direct from Kiam Records, or just pick one up at the merch table when you see her.


Office of Future Plans“Office of Future Plans”
(on Dischord)

A full-length, full-band rock record from (former Jawbox frontman) J. Robbins, complete with cello accompaniment? Um… sold!! This sucker was pre-destined to find itself in my faves, and so here it sits. If you’re a Jawbox fan and don’t have this, well, you need to take care of that. Hit up Dischord toot sweet.

It took a single listen through this, Real Estate‘s second full-length, to call it an undisputed fave, but I sure as hell didn’t stop there. Along with the next album in this list, it dominated my ear-time last autumn. As I write this, I’m only a couple days removed from seeing them play a very-sold-out show, and that performance made me an ever bigger booster. Wasn’t sure that was possible, but so it is.

Ok, I’m technically cheating on this one (it just came out in the UK, with no U.S. date yet), but there was no single record I listened to more in the past few months than this hard-to-pigeonhole pop-rock gem. I got a crash course in Standard Fare‘s second full-length in the Fall when I was lucky enough to see them play new songs several nights in a row in the UK, then snag a promo copy of the album for my journey back home to Boston. It hasn’t much left my headphones since. I absolutely adored their first record (see last year’s list), so much so that playing shows with them (hell, even meeting them) made me tangibly nervous… but their kindness squashed that silliness, and their new stuff deepened my obsession. The album deserves a proper write-up, in fact, and I may just do that when it sees a U.S. release (speaking of which, get on that Bar/None, willya? if you don’t someone else surely will).

And yes, this already has a guaranteed spot on next year’s favorites list. So there.


Telekinesis“12 Desperate Straight Lines”
(on Merge)

[MP3]: Car Crash


Telekinesis – Car Crash by telekinesismusic

Avoiding the sophomore slump with another collection of whip-smart songs, Michael Lerner & co. continue to keep the catchiness coming. Bummed I didn’t get to see them live again in 2011, but I’ll be up front when he comes around again.


Ume“Phantoms”
(on Modern Outsider)

[MP3]: Captive

Delivering strongly on the promise of 2009’s “Sunshower” EP and their subsequent live shows, Austin’s Ume finally gave us a full-length last year, and it ruled. The trio will spend the first part of 2012 touring the western part of the U.S., but I’m optimistic they’ll head East once the temperatures out here start warming up.

Ume singer/guitarist Lauren just recorded a song in honor of Austin’s Esme Barrera (read about her here), with all proceeds going to her family. Please download and donate when you can.


TW Walsh“Songs of Pain and Leisure”
(on Graveface)

[MP3]: Make It Rhyme

The decade spent between his solo releases was a long one, as TW’s output was funneled through Pedro the Lion and his (too) short-lived combo The Soft Drugs, but it served him (and us) well – this album distills his songwriting and production skills into their purest form and rewards us with the most solid, cohesive batch of songs he’s ever made. So many steps above your traditional singer/songwriter vanity project, this is more like a full-band album that happened to be made by one talented dude. Hope all his mixing and mastering projects leave him enough time to start thinking about playing live again.


Wild Flag“Wild Flag”
(on Merge)


Wild Flag – Romance by MergeRecords
Stream the album at Merge

This was kind of a given, yeah? Expectations were pretty damn high, and they crushed ’em. Considering the parts (Timony/Helium, Cole/Minders, Brownstein/Sleater-Kinney, & Weiss/S-K/Quasi), who would’ve thought that the sum would be somehow greater? It’s a living tribute to classic rock that never comes across as stale or ironic, just plain rockin’. And even though the album’s great, the live show still trumps it. They’ll be back in Boston on Saturday, March 31st at the Paradise, and you’d best be getting tickets before it gets too close.


Withered Hand“Good News”
(on Absolutely Kosher)

Stream more songs at Bandcamp

Another silver lining on the already-golden-colored cloud that was my UK getaway was learning of the one-man-band that is Withered Hand. Dan Willson is a Scotsman with a knack for melody and a tendency to over-share, delivering brutally confessional songs a unique singing voice that some might consider an acquired taste – though it took me just 3 songs to not just acquire it, but embrace it. I’ve woken up many mornings with the melody from “Religious Songs” stuck in my head, and that’s not a complaint… in fact, it’s back in my brain right now, and it’ll probably be in yours when you stream it above. Do not resist.


The Wooden Birds“Two Matchsticks”
(on Barsuk)

[MP3]: Two Matchsticks

Criminally under-appreciated this year was The Wooden Birds‘ second record, “Two Matchsticks”. Main-man (and former American Analog Set frontguy) Andrew Kenny made this one a more collaborative affair, with increased contributions from singer/guitarist Leslie Sisson and Mr. Matt Pond (on break from his own excellent band), along with guest appearances from DCFC‘s Ben Gibbard and Ola Podrida‘s David Wingo. It gave the record a more fleshed-out feel than the debut, while still retaining that certain sparseness Kenny has been cultivating since AmAnSet’s demise. In my alternate-universe utopia, The Wooden Birds are dominating the airwaves and playing sold-out shows all around. Do your part to make that happen, willya?


Wye Oak“Civilian”
(on Merge)

[MP3]: Civilian

Would it sound silly if I said how proud I was of Wye Oak? Yeah, probably would. But I am, just the same. Jenn & Andy started out making an album I really liked, followed it up with a record I totally loved, then made one that pretty much blew me away… and the media attention and crowd sizes have increased proportionately. It’s sort of crazy how things are working the way they’re supposed to with this duo… organic growth based on actual quality and effort? In an age of fickle fandom and hype-backlash-burnout, they’re doing things just right. Not sure how album four can keep it going, but I’m pretty damn excited to find out. Read a great year-end interview with J&A at the Village Voice, and check out Jenn’s solo project, “Flock of Dimes”.

Favorite 2011 Short-Players…


Beach Fossils“What A Pleasure” EP
(on Captured Tracks)


Face It by Captured Tracks

A lengthy EP that serves as a very satisfying stop-gap between full-lengths. Hoping 2012 gives us another long-player.

Rose Melberg back in a full band with a release on Slumberland Records? Hello new favorite! So psyched to see Rose reuniting with Jen Sbragia as the Softies in April for one of Chickfactor’s 20th anniversary shows in NYC. Just wish I could be there for it. Sigh.


Cuffs“Privilege” / “Archer” 7-inch
(on Ride The Snake / Bandcamp)

Two proper Cuffs studio songs while we wait for the eventual full-length, and they’re as good as the demos and live shows suggested. There’s another 7-inch in the can and on the way, but I’m hoping that’s not all we get this year. Get crackin’ on that full-length, gentlemen.


Girlfriends
“Cave Kids” 7-inch / “Nothing Nice To Say” demos

(via Bandcamp)

Is any Girlfriends good Girlfriends? So far, that’s kinda true. I dug their first cassette, loved the 7-inch, but the brand new 4-song demo crushes. seriously excited for a first full-length.


Night Fruit“Dark Horse” 7-inch
(via Bandcamp)

As I said last month, it took mere moments for me to become a Night Fruit fan when I caught them at an Allston basement show early last year. Following up on their first demo, this 3-song 7-inch hints at even better things to come… and according to Facebook, the next thing will be another 7-inch sometime soon. Yes, please.


Seaweed“Service Deck” / “The Weight” 7-inch
(on No Idea)

I have no idea (argh, pun!) what is going on with Tacoma’s Seaweed nowadays. I was a fan in the 90s, heard whispers of a reformation a couple years back, and out of nowhere a friend hips me to this new 7-inch. It’s great, yeah, but I remain clueless on future plans… the band has approximately zero web presence. Full-length to follow? Live shows? Who knows? I’ll just take these two songs and consider them a gift.


Soccer Mom“You Are Not Going To Heaven” EP
(on 100m)

Oh jeez, is this band ever good. Any city would be lucky to have them, but we get to call them our own. This, their debut, is a stunning, guitar-driven, neo-shoegaze set, but their blistering live show is usually even better. The Boston-based bastard sons of Swervedriver, at times. More recordings soon, please.


You Can Be A Wesley“Nightosphere” EP
(via Bandcamp)

[MP3]: Talking Science

Longtime personal Boston-area faves YCBAW keep the good stuff coming with this 6-song EP. Go here to stream or download the band’s recent live performance on WMBR’s esteemed Pipeline program.

Favorite 2011 reissues/collections…


Archers of Loaf“Icky Mettle” 2-disc remastered edition
(on Merge)

Bless you, Merge Records. The label is in the process of remastering and reissuing all of the Archers‘ full-lengths, starting with “Icky Mettle” last year, “Vee Vee” next month, and the remaining two later in 2012. Each album is not just sonically improved, but comes with a second disc of demos, EP tracks, and compilation cuts. They’re must-own albums, and their re-release is a big part of the reason we’re seeing the Loaf back in action and touring again (and getting their own live concert film).


Ride“Nowhere” 20th anniversary remaster/reissue
(on Rhino Handmade)

The $40 online-only price tag may have put off longtime Ride followers, but take my word for it as a serious fanboy, this new edition is totally worth it. I’ve got a full-length post in the works on the magic of this remastering, but until then you’ll just have to trust me. It’s one of the greatest albums of all-time, and somehow it now sounds even better. Just get it.


Throwing Muses“Anthology”
(on 4AD)

Stream two songs at their website

This 2-disc collection is far from your typical “best of”, and certainly not a “greatest hits”, of which the band sadly has very few. Instead, it’s a collection of the current Throwing Muses lineup’s faves, turning a bit of a blind eye to former Muse Tanya Donelly’s contributions, and instead focusing on the songs they feel they can best play live. Which, thankfully, they’ve been doing recently, and will supposedly be doing more of soon. In fact, work continues on a brand new TM album, and with luck (and contributions from Strange Angels), we’ll see that this year.

[DOWNLOAD]
All 18 legally-shared tracks above,
plus a couple of extras, in one 133 MB .zip file

Whenever I post one of these, I take a glance back at the yearly “looking forward to…” post to see which albums missed the mark, which ones came outta nowhere, and which hopeful wishes never came true. My 2012 forecast is already in progress.

Links to my faves from years past, for the bored overly-curious: 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2004, 2003, 2002, and 2001 (oh, and when I die and future-historians must know my 2005 and 2006 faves, just tell ’em to dig through my drafts folder).

I do have a resolution for 2012: Try to spend more quality time on the Almanac (I was going to go with ‘less beer’, but, um, nah). With all the good goings-on in 2011, I totally bottomed out on posting (also: see the “less self-imposed deadline stress” above). The statistical proof: A measly 34 total posts, and just 9 live shows shared, easily my weakest year in the decade or so I’ve been doing this. I came close to shuttering the place many times, but always found just enough inspiration to leave the doors open. May that inspiration keep on coming.

Comments

One Response to “[Faves] My Favorite Music of 2011”

  1. March to the Sea
    January 21st, 2012 @ 11:40 am

    Hey great list as always. One thing re: mogwai, the show is still not officially “cancelled” my ticket for the paradise is supposed to be valid according to ticketmaster. I emailed Customer Service and they said there was no indication if it being cancelled yet. Then, a few days ago on their FB page they said US tour dates coming soon…so..we have a chance at 3rd time is a charm? I am never buying tickets for them again until the week before from now on. Can’t stand the “not knowing”.
    Anyway..great list as always, stuff I need to check out, thus why I love lists so!

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    Friday, June 9th
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    @ the Cantab

    Sunday, June 18th
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    @ Xfinity Center

    Sunday & Monday
    June 18th & 19th
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    @ the Paradise

    Wednesday, June 21st
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    Valley of the Weights
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    @ the Silhouette

    Wednesday, June 21st
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    Thursday, June 22nd
    Dave Hill
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    Thursday, June 22nd
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    Thursday, June 22nd
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    Tuesday, June 27th
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    Friday, June 30th
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    Major Stars
    @ Faces Brewing

    Saturday, July 1st
    Sparks
    @ the Wilbur

    Sunday, July 2nd
    X
    Squirrel Nut Zippers
    @ the Wilbur

    Sunday, July 2nd
    Dream Theater
    Devin Townsend
    Animals As Leaders
    @ the Pavilion

    Thursday, July 6th
    Elvis Costello & the Imposters
    with guest Charlie Sexton
    Nick Lowe & Los Straitjackets
    @ MGM Music Hall

    Sunday, July 9th
    Fear
    @ Big Night Live

    Wednesday, July 12th
    The Dirty Nil
    Daniel Romano's Outfit
    Family Dinner
    @ Sonia

    Wednesday, July 12th
    Waveform*
    They Are Gutting A Body Of Water
    & Teethe
    @ the Sinclair

    Saturday, July 15th
    Jenny Lewis
    Cass McCombs
    Hayden Pedigo
    @ Roadrunner

    Saturday, July 15th
    Counting Crows
    Dashboard Confessional
    Frank Turner
    @ the Pavilion

    Saturday, July 15th
    Noel Gallagher's
    High Flying Birds
    with Garbage
    @ MGM Music Hall

    Sunday, July 16th
    Braid
    "Frame & Canvas"
    25th Anniversary Tour
    with J. Robbins (Jawbox)
    & Oceanator
    @ the Sinclair

    Sunday, July 16th
    First Aid Kit
    The Weather Station
    @ Roadrunner

    Tuesday, July 18th
    Panda Bear & Sonic Boom
    with Braxe + Falcon
    @ the Paradise

    Tuesday, July 18th
    Peter Frampton
    @ MGM Music Hall

    Tuesday, July 18th
    Cake
    @ the Pavilion

    Thursday to Sunday
    July 20th to 23rd
    NICE, a fest, featuring...
    Karate, Swirlies, Guerilla Toss,
    Frances Forever, and over 70
    local-Boston artists
    @ Davis Square, Somerville

    Friday, July 21st
    Defeater
    Caspian
    Stand Still
    Rough Francis
    Stay Inside
    @ the Middle East Down

    Friday, July 21st
    Staring at the Sea
    (a tribute to the Cure)
    @ Medford Brewing

    Saturday, July 22nd
    Walter Sickert &
    the Army of Broken Toys
    with Sapling, Astral Bitch,
    and Dropbear
    @ the Sinclair

    Monday & Tuesday
    July 24th & 25th
    Le Tigre
    @ the Royale

    Tuesday, July 25th
    Shady Bug
    Pet Fox
    Holiday Music
    Ski Club
    @ O'Brien's

    Tuesday, July 25th
    Culture Club
    Howard Jones
    Berlin
    @ Xfinity Center

    Tuesday & Wednesday
    July 25th & 26th
    Billy Strings
    @ the Pavilion

    Thursday, July 27th
    Iron & Wine
    Half Gringa
    @ Tree House Brewing, Charlton

    Thursday, July 27th
    Jason Isbell and
    the 400 Unit
    @ Roadrunner

    Friday, July 28th
    King Krule
    @ House of Blues

    Sunday, July 30th
    Please Don't Destroy (SNL)
    live on stage
    @ the Wilbur

    Monday, July 31st
    The Drums
    Cold Hart
    @ the Royale

    Saturday, August 5th
    Extreme
    Living Colour
    @ Roadrunner

    Saturday, August 5th
    Mellow Bravo
    Cask Mouse
    Hayley Thompson-King
    @ the Sinclair

    Saturday, August 5th
    Foreigner
    Loverboy
    @ Xfinity Center

    Wednesday, August 9th
    The Clientele
    @ Crystal Ballroom

    Friday, August 11th
    Band of Horses
    The Revivalists
    @ the Pavilion

    Friday, August 11th
    Glen Hansard &
    Marketa Irglova
    (of the Swell Season)
    @ the Wang

    Friday, August 18th
    Sarah Sherman (SNL)
    @ the Wilbur

    Saturday, August 19th
    The Baseball Project
    with Fenway organist Josh Kantor
    @ the Sinclair

    Saturday, August 19th
    Sigur Ros
    with an orchestra
    @ the Wang

    Saturday & Sunday
    August 19th & 20th
    In Between Days Festival
    with
    Modest Mouse, The Beths, Metric,
    Trampled By Turtles, Lord Huron,
    Sunny Day Real Estate,
    Cautious Clay, Yoke Lore,
    Blitzen Trapper, Allison Ponthier,
    Illiterate Light, Slothrust,
    Miko Marks, Weakened Friends,
    shallow pools, Kat Wright,
    Fantastic Cat, Dwight & Nicole,
    Paper Tigers, Dutch Tulips,
    Carissa Johnson, Mint Green,
    Gypsy Moths, & Sweet Petunia
    @ Veterans Memorial Stadium, Quincy

    Thursday, August 24th
    Jimmy Eat World
    Manchester Orchestra
    Middle Kids
    @ MGM Music Hall

    Thursday, August 24th
    Bruce Springsteen
    & the E Street Band
    @ Gillette Stadium

    Friday, August 25th
    Alex G
    Alvvays
    @ the Pavilion

    Friday, August 25th
    John Oliver
    @ MGM Music Hall

    Saturday, August 26th
    The Pixies
    Modest Mouse
    Cat Power
    @ Mass MoCA

    Sunday, September 3rd
    Future Teens
    @ Brighton Music Hall

    Sunday, September 3rd
    The Offspring
    A Simple Plan
    Sum 41
    @ the Xfinity Center

    Tuesday, September 5th
    Beck
    Phoenix
    Weyes Blood
    Sir Chloe
    @ MGM Music Hall

    Wednesday, September 6th
    Duran Duran
    Nile Rodgers & Chic
    Bastille
    @ TD Garden

    Wednesday, September 6th
    Damien Jurado
    Lilly Miller
    @ Crystal Ballroom

    Thursday, September 7th
    Ted Leo & the Pharmacists
    Tami Hart (MEN)

    Thursday, September 7th
    Sting
    @ MGM Music Hall

    Friday, September 8th
    Speedy Ortiz
    @ the Somerville Armory

    Friday, September 8th
    Jeff Rosenstock
    Sidney Gish
    Gladie
    @ Roadrunner

    Saturday, September 9th
    Billy Idol
    @ MGM Music Hall

    Saturday, September 9th
    Buffalo Tom
    @ Bellforge Arts Center

    Monday, September 11th
    Mr. Bungle
    Tove Lo
    @ Roadrunner

    Monday, September 11th
    Luna
    Ryder the Eagle
    @ the Paradise

    Tuesday, September 12th
    Squeeze
    Psychedlic Furs
    @ the Wang

    Tuesday & Wednesday September 12th & 13th
    Death Cab For Cutie
    The Postal Service
    @ MGM Music Hall

    Thursday, September 14th
    Gin Blossoms
    Sugar Ray
    Tonic
    Fastball
    @ the Chevalier

    Thursday, September 14th
    Peter Gabriel
    @ the Garden

    Friday, September 15th
    Godflesh
    Cel Genesis
    @ the Middle East

    Tuesday, September 19th
    Boris
    Melvins
    @ the Paradise

    Tuesday, September 19th
    Gorillaz
    @ Fenway Park

    Tuesday, September 19th
    Death From Above 1979
    @ the Middle East Downstairs

    Wednesday, September 20th
    OSEES
    @ the Royale

    Wednesday, September 20th
    Death Grips
    @ House of Blues

    Thursday, September 21st
    Bully
    @ Crystal Ballroom

    Friday, September 22nd
    Fiddlehead
    @ the Royale

    Friday, September 22nd
    Tegan & Sara
    Carlie Hanson
    @ Roadrunner

    Friday, September 22nd
    Lady Lamb
    celebrates 10 years
    of "Ripely Pine"
    @ the Sinclair

    Saturday, September 23rd
    Stevie Nicks
    Billy Joel
    @ Gillette

    Wednesday, September 27th
    Ratboys
    @ Brighton Music Hall

    Wednesday, September 27th
    Royal Blood
    Bad Nerves
    @ Roadrunner

    Thursday, September 28th
    Ratboys
    @ Brighton Music Hall

    Sunday, October 1st
    Explosions In The Sky
    @ Roadrunner

    Monday, October 2nd
    Neil Gaiman
    @ the Emerson Colonial

    Thursday, October 5th
    Belly
    @ the Paradise

    Friday, October 6th
    Kingsley Flood
    The Shang Hi Los
    @ the Burren

    Friday, October 6th
    Garrison
    Orangeisland
    Pilot to Gunner
    @ the Middle East Upstairs

    Saturday, October 7th
    Agent Orange
    Spice Pistols
    @ the Middle East

    Tuesday, October 10th
    Nick Cave with
    Colin Greenwood (Radiohead)
    on bass
    @ the Wang

    Wednesday, October 11th
    Young Fathers
    @ the Royale

    Wednesday, October 11th
    The Mission UK
    The Chamelons
    @ Brighton Music Hall

    Friday, October 13th
    Violent Femmes
    performing their debut LP
    @ MGM Music Hall

    Sunday, October 15th
    Thundercat
    @ MGM Music Hall

    Sunday, October 15th
    Queen
    @ the Garden

    Monday, October 16th
    Chromeo
    Ric Wilson
    @ Roadrunner

    Tuesday, October 17th
    The Chats
    Cosmic Psychos
    Schizophonics
    Gymshorts
    @ House of Blues

    Wednesday, October 18th
    Christine and the Queens
    @ House of Blues

    Saturday & Sunday
    October 21st & 22nd
    Gregory Alan Isakov
    The Milk Carton Kids
    @ Roadrunner

    Monday, October 23rd
    Pile
    @ the Sinclair

    Tuesday, October 24th
    My Morning Jacket
    @ Roadrunner

    Thursday, October 26th
    Hiss Golden Messenger
    @ the Sinclair

    Thursday, October 26th
    Mudhoney
    Hooveriii
    @ Brighton Music Hall

    Saturday, October 28th
    Jethro Tull
    @ MGM Music Hall

    Tuesday, October 31st
    Depeche Mode
    @ the Garden

    Wednesday, November 1st
    The Hives
    @ the Sinclair

    Thursday, November 2nd
    Henry Winkler
    @ First Parish Church

    Saturday, November 4th
    Blonde Redhead
    @ the Crystal Ballroom

    Saturday, November 4th
    Amyl and the Sniffers
    Die Spitz
    @ Roadrunner

    Wednesday, November 8th
    Codeine
    Barbara Manning
    @ the Sinclair

    Friday, November 10th
    Couch
    @ Royale

    Wednesday, November 15th
    Tool
    @ the Garden

    Sunday, November 19th
    Men I Trust
    Tops
    @ Roadrunner

    Tuesday, November 21st
    Liz Phair
    Blondshell
    @ Roadrunner

    Thursday, November 30th
    Nation of Language
    Miss Grit
    @ the Sinclair

    Tuesday, December 5th
    Bar Italia
    @ Brighton Music Hall

    Saturday, December 16th
    A John Waters Christmas
    @ Berklee Performance Center