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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  • Almanac Archives

  • Boston-Area Action

    Friday, March 22nd
    Jawbreaker
    War on Women
    Phgoh
    @ House of Blues


    Friday, March 22nd
    Mr. Airplane Man
    @ Atwood’s


    Tuesday, March 26th
    The Antlers
    “Hospice” LP 10-year
    Anniversary Acoustic Tour
    @ the Sinclair


    Wednesday, March 27th
    Swervedriver & Failure
    @ the Paradise


    Thursday, March 28th
    Spiral Stairs (Scott K. from Pavement
    & Preston School of Industry)
    @ O’Brien’s


    Thursday, March 28th
    Better Oblivion Community Center
    (Phoebe Bridgers & Conor Oberst)
    Lala Lala
    Christian Lee Hutson
    @ the Sinclair


    Friday, March 29th
    Vundabar
    Sidney Gish
    Future Teens
    @ the Paradise


    Saturday, March 30th
    Sinnet + Beeef + Nicholas Ward
    @ the Lilypad


    Saturday, March 30th
    Delta Sleep
    @ the ONCE Ballroom


    Sunday, March 31st
    & Tuesday, April 2nd
    Fleetwood Mac
    @ TD Garden


    Monday, April 1st
    Murray A. Lightburn
    (of the Dears)
    @ the Middle East Up


    Monday, April 1st
    Japanese Breakfast
    Long Beard
    @ the Royale


    Saturday, April 6th
    Dave Hause & the Mermaid
    Weakened Friends
    @ Great Scott


    Saturday, April 6th
    Japanese Breakfast
    Long Beard
    @ the Royale


    Saturday, April 6th
    Jeff Tweedy (Wilco)
    Buck Meek
    @ Berklee Performance Center


    Sunday, April 7th
    Charlotte Gainsbourg
    @ the Royale


    Tuesday, April 9th
    Mott The Hoople ‘74
    @ the Orpheum


    Tuesday, April 9th
    Patty Griffin
    Ruston Kelly
    @ Sanders Theatre


    Thursday, April 11th
    Mark Eitzel
    (American Music Club)
    @ an Allston living room


    Thursday, April 11th
    Nick Lowe
    @ the Wilbur


    Saturday, April 13th
    Telekinesis
    @ Great Scott


    Sunday, April 14th
    Spiritualized
    @ the Wilbur


    Monday, April 15th
    The James Rocket
    @ ONCE Lounge


    Thursday, April 18th
    Death
    @ ONCE Ballroom


    Friday, April 19th
    Foals
    Preoccupations
    Omni
    @ the House of Blues


    Friday & Saturday
    April 19th & 20th
    Todd Rundgren
    @ Berklee Performance Center


    Sunday, April 21st
    Laura Jane Grace &
    the Devouring Mothers
    @ the Sinclair


    Monday, April 22nd
    Black Lips
    Fucked Up
    Wooing
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Tuesday, April 23rd
    Girlpool
    Hatchie
    @ the Royale


    Wednesday, April 24th
    Camp Cope
    @ the ONCE Ballroom


    Thursday, April 25th
    Pup
    Diet Cig
    Ratboys
    @ the Royale


    Friday, April 26th
    Patti Smith
    @ the Orpheum


    Saturday, April 27th
    Jennifer O’Connor
    Thalia Zedek & Chris Brokaw
    @ an Allston living room


    Saturday, April 27th
    The Proletariat
    Moving Targets
    @ the ONCE Ballroom


    Saturday, April 27th
    Foxing
    Now Now
    @ the Royale


    Sunday, April 28th
    The Mountain Goats
    @ The Wilbur


    Sunday, April 28th
    Potty Mouth
    Courage My Love
    Shallow Pools
    @ ONCE Ballroom


    Monday, April 29th
    Tyler Ramsey (ex-Band of Horses)
    @ Great Scott


    Monday, April 29th
    Snow Patrol
    We Are Scientists
    Ryan McMullen
    @ the Orpheum


    Thursday, May 2nd
    Son Volt
    Ian Noe
    @ the Paradise Rock Club


    Friday, May 3rd
    Stephen Malkmus
    (Pavement/The Jicks)
    solo electronic set
    @ the Armory, Somerville


    Saturday, May 4th
    The McGunks, Silver Screams,
    Revilers, Damnation,
    and Live Nude Girls
    Day Show @ the Midway


    Saturday, May 4th
    The Drums
    Tanukichan
    @ the Paradise


    Tuesday, May 7th
    The Dandy Warhols
    Cosmonauts
    The Vacant Lots
    @ the Royale


    Thursday, May 9th
    Nitzer Ebb
    @ the Paradise


    Thursday, May 9th
    Movements
    Boston Manor
    Trash Boat
    Drug Church
    @ the Royale


    Saturday, May 11th
    Pedro the Lion
    John Vanderslice
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Saturday, May 11th
    Graham Parker
    @ City Winery Boston


    Monday, May 13th
    The Mark Lanegan Band
    (of the Screaming Trees)
    with Simon Bonney
    @ the Sinclair


    Tuesday, May 14th
    Damien Jurado
    @ Great Scott


    Wednesday, May 15th
    Cursive
    mewithoutYou
    The Appleseed Cast
    @ the Paradise


    Wednesday, May 15th
    Tacocat
    @ the Sinclair


    Wednesday, May 15th
    Jessica Pratt
    @ Great Scott


    Thursday, May 16th
    Basement
    Nothing
    Teenage Wrist
    @ the Royale


    Thursday, May 16th
    Meat Puppets
    Sumo Princess
    Stephen Maglio
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Thursday, May 16th
    Royale Trux
    @ the Middle East Downstairs


    Friday, May 17th
    Guided By Voices!
    @ the Paradise


    Saturday, May 18th
    Dream Syndicate
    @ the ONCE Ballroom


    Saturday, May 18th
    The Felice Brothers
    @ the Sinclair


    Saturday, May 18th
    Pup
    Ratboys
    Casper Skulls
    @ the Royale


    Sunday, May 19th
    Thalia Zedek
    Anna Connolly
    Weather Weapon
    Cotton Candy
    Day Show @ the Midway


    Sunday, May 19th
    Mono
    Emma Ruth Rundle
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Wednesday, May 22nd
    Laura Stevenson
    Kississippi
    @ the Sinclair


    Wednesday, May 22nd
    American Football
    Pure Bathing Culture
    @ the Paradise


    Thursday, May 23rd
    Passion Pit
    The Beaches
    @ the House of Blues


    Thursday, May 23rd
    Filthy Friends
    Dressy Bessy
    @ the Sinclair


    Friday, May 24th
    The Undertones
    Dot Dash
    @ ONCE Ballroom


    Saturday, May 25th
    Slayer
    Lamb of God
    Amon Amarth
    Cannibal Corpse
    @ the Xfinity Center


    Wednesday, May 29th
    Glen Hansard
    @ the Orpheum


    Thursday & Friday
    May 30th & 31st
    Local Natives
    Middle Kids
    @ the Paradise


    Friday, May 31st
    Lady Lamb (full band)
    Katie Von Schleicher
    Benjamin Lazar Davis
    @ the Royale


    Thursday, June 6th
    Coheed and Cambria
    Mastodon
    Every Time I Die
    @ the Pavilion


    Saturday, June 8th
    Howard Jones
    Men Without Hats
    All Hail the Silence
    @ the Paradise


    Tuesday, June 11th
    Craig Finn and
    The Uptown Controllers
    @ the Sinclair


    Wednesday, June 12th
    Wu-Tang Clan
    @ the House of Blues


    Friday & Saturday
    June 14th & 15th
    Jawbox
    with Second Letter (14th)
    and LaPeche (15th)
    @ the Sinclair


    Saturday, June 15th
    The Lemonheads
    Tommy Stinson (Replacements)
    @ the Paradise


    Saturday, June 15th
    Droneflower
    (Steve Brodsky & Marissa Nadler)
    @ Great Scott


    Saturday, June 15th
    The Specials
    @ the House of Blues


    Monday, June 17th
    Dido
    @ the House of Blues


    Tuesday, June 18th
    Earth
    Helms Alee
    @ the Once Ballroom


    Thursday, June 20th
    Kishi Bashi
    @ the Paradise


    Friday, June 21st
    Spencer Krug
    (Wolf Parade/Sunset Rubdown)
    @ Cafe 939


    Saturday, June 22nd
    seBADoh
    @ the Sinclair


    Monday, June 24th
    The Lonely Island
    Demitri Martin
    @ the Bank Pavilion


    Saturday, June 29th
    Lithics
    @ O’Brien’s


    Tuesday, July 2nd
    Jackson Browne
    @ the Pavilion


    Monday, July 8th
    Third Eye Blind
    Jimmy Eat World
    Ra Ra Riot
    @ Blue Hills Pavilion


    Tuesday, July 9th
    We Were Promised Jetpacks
    @ the Sinclair


    Wednesday, July 10th
    Bill Callahan (smog)
    @ the Sinclair


    Saturday, July 13th
    Belle & Sebastian
    Ex Hex
    @ the House of Blues


    Wednesday, July 17th
    Heart
    Sheryl Crow
    Elle King
    @ Xfinity Center


    Sunday, July 21st
    Weird Al Yankovic
    @ Blue Hills Pavilion


    Saturday, July 27th
    The Faint
    Ritual Howls
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Thursday, August 1st
    Iron Maiden
    with The Raven Age
    @ Xfinity Center


    Saturday, August 3rd
    Ben Folds
    Violent Femmes
    @ the Bank Pavilion


    Monday, August 5th
    Bryan Ferry
    performing Roxy Music’s
    “Avalon” & more
    @ Boston Opera House


    Tuesday, August 13th
    Neurosis
    @ the Paradise


    Thursday, August 15th
    Beck
    Cage The Elephant
    Spoon
    Sunflower Bean
    @ the Xfinity Center


    Wednesday, August 21st
    The Alarm
    Gene Loves Jezebel
    Modern English
    @ the Paradise


    Tuesday, September 3rd
    Vampire Weekend
    @ Agganis Arena


    Wednesday, September 11th
    Jethro Tull
    @ the Chevalier, Medford


    Friday, September 13th
    The Who
    @ Fenway Park


    Wednesday, September 18th
    The Julian Lage Trio
    @ the Sinclair


    Thursday, September 19th
    King Crimson
    @ the Wang Theatre


    Saturday, September 21st
    Massive Attack
    “MezzanineXX1” tour
    @ the Wang


    Sunday, September 22nd
    Mac DeMarco
    @ the Orpheum


    Sunday, September 29th
    Stereolab
    @ the Royale


    Sunday, September 29th
    Graham Nash
    @ the Berklee Performance Center


    Thursday, Friday, & Saturday
    October 3rd, 4th, & 5th
    Three nights of Billy Bragg
    “One Step Forward, Two Steps Back”
    @ the Sinclair


    Saturday, October 5th
    Mudhoney
    Pissed Jeans
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Sunday, October 11th
    The Black Keys
    Modest Mouse
    @ TD Garden


    Sunday, October 13th
    Big Thief
    Palehound
    @ the Wilbur


    Friday & Saturday
    October 18th & 19th
    The Town and the City Festival
    returns to Lowell, MA!


    Friday, October 25th
    Jenny Lewis
    @ the House of Blues


    Saturday, October 26th
    Peter Hook & the Light
    @ the Paradise