Bradley's Almanac

[It's Here!] A Music Fan’s Guide to the 2014 Independent Film Festival Boston

Posted on April 23, 2014 at 2:28 pm | No Comments

As warmer temps finally take hold in the Northeast, and the last of those nasty, dirt-colored snow piles fade from our streets, there’s only one thing that will get me to spend many springtime hours inside a darkened movie theatre: The annual return of the Independent Film Festival Boston.

Now in its 12th year, the esteemed 8-day, non-profit, all-volunteer film fest kicks off tonight at the Somerville Theatre with a screening of “Beneath The Harvest Sky”. That’s one of many movies I’m looking forward to this year (and not just because star Aiden Gillen – from the Wire & Game of Thrones – will be in attendance, along with the drama’s co-directors). Tickets for that are still on sale, but I can almost guarantee that won’t be the case at the door tonight. Each year, many films sell out in advance, so have a look at the lineup and make a plan, or better yet, grab a full festival badge and save yourself a little stress. Update: Full fest badges are sold out! All the more reason to pick up single tickets in advance, or at least arrive early for the stand-by lines.

As usual, the IFFBoston schedule has a strong musical component to it, both in subject matter and soundtracking, so I’ve pulled together my yearly guide to those particular flicks. Here are a dozen films showing between now and next Wednesday that either directly, or tangentially, involve makers of music…


A Music Fan’s Guide To IFFBoston 2014


EVERY EVERYTHING:
THE MUSIC, LIFE & TIMES
OF GRANT HART

Directed by Gorman Bechard
Friday, April 25th at 7pm at the Brattle Theatre
Tickets / Synopsis

Of the 12 films listed here, this is the one I’ve been lucky enough to get a preview of, so I can guarantee the greatness. Obviously a must-see for fans of this former Hüsker Dü co-songwriter/singer/drummer and his seminal Minnesota trio, but it’s not just for the already-familiar – it’s a truly fascinating profile of a pure artist that stands on its own.

(for more of my thoughts, read this synopsis, which I contributed to the IFFBoston guide)


FAT

Directed by Mark Phinney
Friday, April 25th at 9:45pm at the Brattle Theatre
Tickets / Synopsis / Official Site / Facebook

A Boston production, through and through – made here, starring more than a few people who live here, and soundtracked by a whole bunch of area musicians, including the Beatings (who you can hear in the trailer below), M.G. Lederman, Mean Creek, Slowdim, The Milling Gowns, and more. Not only do we get the area premiere on Friday night, but many of the bands involved will perform at a Saturday afternoon show at O’Brien’s in Allston. Perfect post-film follow-up.


GOD HELP THE GIRL

Directed by Stuart Murdoch (of Belle & Sebastian)
Sunday, April 27th at 8:30 PM at the Brattle
Tickets / Synopsis / Official Site / Facebook

Described as “a poignant coming-of-age story that doubles as an indie-pop musical”, Belle & Sebastian fans (myself included) have been waiting for this Stuart Murdoch-directed story for a very long time. Early reviews were mixed, and may depend on one’s tolerance for twee (or Belle & Sebastian’s catalog), but fortunately my tolerance for such things is very, very high. Bring it on, I say.


HOMEMAKERS

Directed by Colin Healey
Thursday, Apr 24th at 9:30 PM at the Somerville
*World Premiere* / Tickets / Synopsis

The lead character of this Pittsburgh-set drama, played by Rachel McKeon, is described as a “part-time Austin indie rocker — and full-time harbinger of chaos and destruction”. That’s enough of a hook to reel me in, especially knowing of one or two people who could star in this and turn it into a documentary.


LIFE ON THE V:
THE STORY OF V66

Directed by Eric Green
Sunday, April 27th at 4pm at the Somerville
Tickets / Synopsis / Official Site

The story behind V66, a Boston-based music video channel that burned bright for 18 months in the mid-80s and disappeared. Locally-focused, the station was noted for broadcasting in real-time, playing lots of Boston bands, and making their audience a part of the programming (long before ‘social media’ and ‘customer-created content’ became a buzz-phrases). The film features a more than a few now-and-former Boston musicians, including Kay Hanley, Greg Hawkes, Ben Deily, and Dan Zanes, and even some friends (Cathy! Nick!). This screening is sure to be a fun one.


MOOD INDIGO
(L’ÉCUME DES JOURS / France)

Directed by Michel Gondry
Wednesday, April 30th at 7:30pm at the Coolidge
*Closing Night Film* / Tickets / Synopsis

While Michel Gondry’s filmmaking is generally hit-or-miss (Eternal Sunshine: the best, Be Kind Rewind: the worst), he can be counted on for an interesting use of music. His latest, a French language film starring Romain Duris and Audrey Tautou, will close out IFFBoston 2014 next Wednesday, and judging from the soundtrack details, it’s no exception (though I may have to take a bathroom break when that dreadful Lumineers song comes on).


RIOT ON THE DANCE FLOOR

Directed by Steve Tozzi
Sunday, April 27th at 8:15pm at the Somerville
*World Premiere* / Tickets / Synopsis / Official Site / Facebook

Pulling from the synopsis: “…the gritty story of City Gardens, one of New Jersey’s most infamous clubs and its larger than life promoter, Randy Now.” I first became aware of this film a couple months back when Vulture interviewed Jon Stewart about his time as a bartender there back in the mid-80s, then again when Gibby Haynes of the Butthole Surfers appeared on the Daily Show with author Amy Yates Wuelfing, who just released “No Slam Dancing, No Stage Diving, No Spikes”, an oral history of the fabled venue. The list of talking heads in the film is top notch: Along with Stewart, there’s Dean Ween, Jack Irons, Milo Auckerman, Jello Biafra, Henry Rollins, Al Jourgensen, and Ian MacKaye. That’s one seriously stacked lineup.


RUBBER SOUL

Directed by Jon Lefkovitz
Friday, April 25th at 9:15pm
Tickets / Synopsis / Official Site / Facebook

If you were assuming from the title that this would be Beatles-related, well, you’d be right. It focuses on my personal fave of the fabulous four – John Lennon – and uses audio and transcripts to reconstruct two interviews with him and Yoko Ono (one in 1970, one in 1980), contrasting and combining them to paint what, one hopes, is a unique portrait of the man – something that’s not easy to do nowadays. The tagline sums it up nicely: “Ten Years – Two Interviews – One Lennon”.


THE 78 PROJECT MOVIE

Directed by Alex Steyermark
Sunday, April 27th at 5:30pm
Tickets / Synopsis / Official Site / Facebook

Lifting from the synopsis: “The 78 Project is on a journey across America to make one-of-a-kind 78rpm records with musicians in their hometowns using a 1930s Presto direct-to-disc recorder. With one microphone. With one blank disc. In one 3-minute take.” Inspired by the travels of the legendary Alan Lomax, the film documents an ambitious new exercise in audio archiving.


SUPERMENSCH:
THE LEGEND OF SHEP GORDON

Directed by Mike Myers
Sunday, April 27th at 1pm at the Somerville
Tickets / Synopsis / IMDB

Yes, the director is that Mike Myers. And his subject, Shep Gordon, looks to have had a hell of a life on Earth so far, managing artists as varied as Alice Cooper, Blondie, Pink Floyd, and Luther Vandross before moving on to handling celebrity chefs. Many of his famous friends and clients hold forth in the film, including Cooper, Michael Douglas, Emeril Lagasse, Anne Murray, Willie Nelson, and Sylvester Stallone. If that ain’t a true mix of personalities, I don’t know what is.


20,000 DAYS ON EARTH

Directed by Iain Forsyth & Jane Pollard
Saturday, April 26th at 10pm at the Brattle
Tickets / Synopsis / Official Site / Facebook

Nick Cave gets the documentary treatment, although it being Nick Cave, it does things a bit differently than your standard rock doc. From the synopsis: “This innovative drama/documentary features Cave as both subject and co-conspirator, intimately documenting his artistic process and combining it with a fictional staged narrative of his 20,000th day on Earth.” In other words, don’t go into it looking to uncover exactly what makes Nick Cave tick. Besides, do you really want to know?


WE ARE THE BEST
(VI ÄR BÄST! / Sweden)

Directed by Lukas Moodysson
Saturday, April 26th at 2:30pm at the Somerville
Tickets / Synopsis / IMDB

The trailer for this Swedish-language film is all I needed to add it to my screening schedule. It’s described as “an energetic rough and tumble story of three rebellious teenage girls who form a punk rock band to defy the stifling conformity of early-1980s Stockholm.” Count me in.

If you’re looking for more viewing tips beyond my music-centric ones above, surf on over to read Ty Burr and Peter Keough’s recommendations at the Boston Globe, Norm Schrager’s choices at Meet Me In The Lobby, and Erin Trahan’s piece on this year’s short films over at WBUR.

As you fest, make sure to keep tabs on IFFBoston’s Facebook page and Twitter feed for the latest updates, like this list of filmmakers who will be appearing at certain screenings, which is always one of my favorite aspects of festival. Tonight: Carcetti in the house! See you there.

[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.

[Future Faves?] Anticipated 2014 Album Releases

Posted on January 28, 2014 at 9:50 am | 2 Comments

Time for my twice-annual list of upcoming albums I’m looking forward to this calendar year. Obviously not all guaranteed gets, but all are long-players (and a couple short-players) that I’m curious about, to varying degrees. Ideally they’ll each get at least a little eartime, but hey, nothing’s ideal.

Since we’re a few weeks into 2014, a bunch are already out, and the flow of new music release announcements that started as a trickle is now a steady stream. There are at least a few new titles and dates that reach my radar every day, so I’ll try and keep this list updated when I can. To listen to many of these songs, check out my playlist from last Thursday’s New Music Night. The links provided below are inconsistent, and in some cases absent – some go to pre-order, some to band pages, some to places to listen. I’ll clean them up as time goes on, but if I keep fine-tuning this list, I’ll never get around to posting it.

First, some personal standouts so far this year…

  • The new Mogwai (out last week) and Gem Club (out today!) albums will find themselves on my next year-end faves list, for sure. So, so great.

  • Been waiting for that Dylan In The Movies full-length for years. Its sudden availability is a very welcome surprise.

  • Can’t wait to get lost inside the new Tara Jane ONeil LP. Hurry it up, postal carrier.

  • Speaking of special deliveries, as I was working on this post a few days ago the new +/- {PLUS/MINUS} album, “Jumping The Tracks”, showed up at my door. It’s not out until February 4th, but I’m the beneficiary of pre-ordering from the illustrious Teen-Beat Records. Already, I’m a little obsessed… it’s the best album I’ve heard in ages, from the first note to the last. They somehow exceeded my already lofty expectations, and everything else is going to be fighting for turntable time, because I can’t see this one going back in its sleeve anytime soon.

So, anything I might love that I missed on the list below? Anything you care passionately about that I should share? Leave a comment or drop a note on the Facebook thread…

Almanac Anticipated 2014 Album Releases…

January

February

March

April

May

On the way, with no exact date yet…

And here’s hoping…

  • Built To Spill
  • The Cure
  • Ross Flournoy / Apex Manor
  • Mammoth Penguins (ex-Standard Fare!)
  • Nada Surf
  • Skeletal Shakes (also ex-Standard Fare!)
  • Ted Leo & the Pharmacists
  • … aaaaand The Long Winters. (insert pithy quip about annual mention here)

Alright, lay those recommendations on me. Or let me know what you’ve already picked up from the list above, and how it’s hitting. I’ll just be over here listening to Plus/Minus.

[Last Night's Playlist] New Music Night XIV at River Gods

Posted on January 24, 2014 at 9:28 am | No Comments

The very first New Music Night of 2014 happens to be the 14th installment. By now, we’ve got this thing pretty much down. Or at least we’d like to think so. You’d have to ask all the people who came out last night to listen to Jay Clicky Clicky and I play 4 straight hours of new music to be totally sure. Heads were bobbin’, song identities were inquired about, no one gave us the stink-eye up in the River Gods DJ booth, so I’m guessing they’d agree.

Here’s what I played during my two split-shifts of our song-spinning shenanigans. Keep an eye on Jay’s place for his playlists, but give him some extra time to post ‘em. As of midnight, as he started his last set, he officially turned old-years-old. The slowdown begins! (I kid, I kid. Happy Birthday, my friend).

New Music Night XIII
at River Gods in Cambridge, MA
on Thursday, January 23rd, 2014

* Boston-ish-area artist

Set One / Brad Almanac / 9pm – 10pm

* 01. Marissa Nadler – “Was It A Dream?” / Soundcloud
[ From her upcoming LP "July", out 2/10 on Bella Union ]
02. Doug Keith – “You Can’t Stand To Be Alone” / Bandcamp
[ From his upcoming record "Pony", out 2/11 on The Village Label ]
03. Let’s Wrestle – “Codeine and Marshmallows” / Soundcloud
[ From their self-titled third LP, out next month on Fortuna Pop ]
04. Kevin Drew – “Good Sex” / Soundcloud
[ From his next solo LP "Darlings", out 3/18 on Arts & Crafts ]
05. The War On Drugs – “Red Eyes” / Soundcloud
[ From the "Lost in the Dream" LP, out 3/18 on Secretly Canadian ]
06. School of Language – “Between the Suburbs” / Download
[ From David of Field Music's solo LP "Old Fears", out 4/7 on Memphis Industries]
07. Hospitality – “Rockets and Jets” / Soundcloud
[ From their brand new LP "Trouble", out last Tuesday on Merge ]
08. Eternal Lips – “Dream Hesitate” (with Sharon Van Etten) / Soundcloud
[ From a self-titled EP due out 2/25 on New Mirage ]
09. Dean Wareham (Luna / Galaxie 500) – “Holding Pattern” / Soundcloud
[ From his self-titled solo LP, due out 3/11 on Double Feature ]
10. Making Marks – “Bruises” / Soundcloud
[ From their debut full-length "A Thousand Half-Truths", out 2/3 on Fika ]
11. Stanley Brinks & the Wave Pictures – “Orange Juice” / Soundcloud
[ From a new joint 7-inch, out earlier this week on Fika ]
12. Skeletal Shakes – “The 189” / Soundcloud
[ New music from former Standard Fare members ]
13. Quiz Kids – “I Want You To Know” / Bandcamp
[ From their "Dynamite!" LP, released 12/1/13 on February Records ]
14. Owls – “I’m Surprised” / Soundcloud
[ From the album "Two, out 3/25 on Polyvinyl ]
15. Real Estate – “Talking Backwards” / YouTube
[ From "Atlas", their upcoming full-length, out 3/8 on Domino ]
16. +/- {PLUS/MINUS} – “The Space Between Us” / Soundcloud
[ From their next LP, "Jumping The Tracks", due 2/4 on Teen-Beat ]
17. The Notwist – “Kong” / YouTube
[ From their upcoming "Close to the Glass" LP, arriving 2/25 on Sub Pop ]

Set Two / Brad Almanac / 11pm – midnight

18. Cosmicide – “Talos Corpse” / Soundcloud
[ New project from Brandon Curtis (Secret Machines) ]
19. Tancred – “The Ring” / YouTube
[ Jess from Now Now's solo project, LP released last October ]
20. Tokyo Police Club – “Hot Tonight” / Soundcloud
[ From their upcoming "Forcefield" LP, out 3/25 on Mom & Pop ]
21. Dum Dum Girls – “Rimbaud Eyes” / Soundcloud
[ From the "Too True" full-length, out next Tuesday on Sub Pop ]
22. Guided By Voices – “Littlest League Possible” / Soundcloud
[ From the forthcoming "Motivational Jumpsuit" LP, out 2/18 on GBV, Inc. ]
* 23. Krill – “Steve Hears Pile in Malden and Bursts Into Tears” / Bandcamp
[ Title track from their upcoming EP, due out 2/18 on Exploding In Sound ]
24. Solids – “Haze Away” / Soundcloud
[ From their "Blame Confusion" LP, arriving 2/18 on Fat Possum ]
* 25. Split Squad – “Now Hear This” / Soundcloud
[ Title track from their just-released debut full-length ]
* 26. Mike Gent – “Last Boat To Japan” / Bandcamp
[ From the recently-released 4th solo LP by the Figgs' vocalist/guitarist ]
27. Fuzz – “Til the End of the Day” (Kinks cover) / Bandcamp
[ From a new split 7-inch with CCR Headmaster ]
28. Nothing – “Dig” / Bandcamp
[ From their "Guilty Of Everything" LP, coming 3/4 on Relapse ]
* 29. Grass Is Green – “Big Dog Tee Shirt Birthday Weekend” / Soundcloud
[ From their just-released "Vacationy Vinny" LP on Exploding In Sound ]
* 30. Speedy Ortiz – “Everything’s Bigger” / Soundcloud
[ Off their upcoming "Real Hair" EP, due on 2/11 via Carpark Records ]
31. Blood Red Shoes – “An Animal” / YouTube
[ From their self-titled next full-length, due 3/3 on Jazz Life / UK ]
32. Howler – “Don’t Wanna” / YouTube
[ Off of their "World of Joy" LP, scheduled for 3/25 on Rough Trade ]
33. Swervedriver – “Deep Wound” / Bandcamp
[ From a forthcoming full-length, due out sometime this year ]
34. Built To Spill – “Jokerman” (Bob Dylan cover) / Download
[ From a new Dylan tribute/covers compilation ]
35. Mogwai – “Hexon Bogon” / Soundcloud
[ From their (amazing) just-released new LP, "Rave Tapes", on Sub Pop ]
36. Sleepy Sun – “Outside” / Soundcloud
[ From the upcoming full-length "Maui Tears", out next week on Dine Alone ]
* 37. Gem Club – “Hypericum” / Soundcloud
[ From their sophomore LP, "In Roses", out next week on Hardly Art Records ]

If all goes according to plan (and why wouldn’t it?), the next New Music Night will take place in March… two months closer to glorious, glorious springtime. Same night of the week, same two guys, same DJ booth, same great bar. The only thing new about it will be all the songs. Join us, why don’tcha?

[Nac Faves] My Favorite Music of 2013

Posted on January 16, 2014 at 8:18 am | No Comments

Another year down, another annual list of the long-players that soundtracked 365 days of my earthly existence. Same deal as ever: 20-ish albums (and a couple EPs), listed alphabetically rather than numerically (never liked ranking), with links to buy and shareable audio if it exists.

This time around I’ve also gotten a bit meta with a short list of my favorite year-end music lists, made by a few people whose tastes I respect and admire. Some have a bit of overlap, but they’ve each given me a few more records to check out, and hopefully they’ll do the same for you. That list follows my own faves…


My Favorite Music of 2013

(plus a couple of EPs & reissues)


Bent Shapes“Feels Weird”
[ on Father/Daughter Records ]

Stream at Bandcamp / Buy at Father/Daughter


Bottomless Pit“Shade Perennial”
[on Comedy Minus One]

Buy at Comedy Minus One


The Broken River Prophet“A Dagger and A Dove”
[self-released via Bandcamp]

Stream / Buy at Bandcamp


Neko Case
“The Worse Things Get The Harder I Fight,
The Harder I Fight The More I Love You”

[on Anti Records]

Stream at her site / Buy at Anti


Dowsing“I Don’t Even Care Anymore”
[on Count Your Lucky Stars]

Stream / Buy at Bandcamp


Ex Cops“True Hallucinations”
[on Other Music]

Stream songs at Soundcloud / Buy at Other Music


Joel RL Phelps and the Downer Trio“Gala”
[on 12XU]

Stream / Buy at 12XU


Mikal Cronin“MCII”
[on Merge]

Stream / Buy at Merge Records


Guillermo Sexo“Dark Spring”
[on Midriff Records]

Stream at Bandcamp / Buy at Midriff Records


The History of Apple Pie“Out of View”
[on Marshall Teller Records]

Stream on Soundcloud / Buy at Rough Trade


Kid Canaveral“Now That You Are A Dancer”
[on Lost Map Records]

Stream a song at Bandcamp / Buy at Lost Map Records


Krill“Lucky Leaves”
[via Bandcamp]

Stream / Buy at Bandcamp


Minor Alps“Get There”
[on Barsuk Records]

Stream songs at Soundcloud / Buy at Barsuk


Ola Podrida“Ghosts Go Blind”
[on Western Vinyl]

[MP3] Ola Podrida – “Staying In

Download 2 songs at their website / Buy at Western Vinyl


Overseas“Overseas”
[on Undertow]

Stream 2 songs at Soundcloud / Buy at Undertow


Peyton Pinkerton“Peyton Pinkerton”
[on Darla Records]

[MP3] Peyton Pinkerton – “Pharmacies and Bars

Buy at Darla


Sebadoh“Defend Yourself”
[on Joyful Noise]

[MP3] Sebadoh – “State of Mine

Stream at Bandcamp / Buy at Joyful Noise


Slowdim“Slowdim”
[via Bandcamp]

Stream / Buy at Bandcamp


Speedy Ortiz“Major Arcana”
[on Carpark Records]

Stream more at Soundcloud / Buy at Carpark Records


Superchunk“I Hate Music”
[on Merge Records]

Stream at Merge / Buy at Merge


Throwing Muses“Purgatory/Paradise”
[on It Books / Harper Collins]

Stream 3 songs at Soundcloud / Buy through Harper Collins


Yo La Tengo“Fade”
[on Matador Records]

Stream at YouTube / Buy at Matador


Elizabeth Morris“Optimism” EP
[via Bandcamp]

Stream / Buy at Bandcamp


Withered Hand“Inbetweens” EP
[via Bandcamp]

Technically late 2012, but arrived in my mailbox in early 2013, and spent too much
time in my headphones to be left out. 2014 will be Dan Willson’s year.


Unwound“Kid Is Gone” Box Set
[on Numero Group]

Stream / Buy at Numero Group

So there you have it. Put a period on the end of the messy, run-on sentence that was my twenty-thirteen.

As burned out as I inevitably get on the ever-increasing number year-end lists that flood my feed, a few in particular have risen above the pack. Take some time, dig around in the following posts, and find more music you may have missed…

A non-ordered list of favorite lists of 2013 favorites…

My previous year-end fave lists can be found here: 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, and 2001. Jeez, some of those early posts are embarrassing – not the picks, but the associated words. They could also use some serious reformatting thanks to my WordPress migration. I’ll add that to the “won’t do” “to do” list.

Finally, I can’t truly leave 2013 behind before acknowledging the loss of some favorite addictions that will be much-missed, each to varying degrees.

And so I bid a very fond farewell to Chromewaves (the best damn music blog there ever was), the Boston Phoenix (I still get the itch to grab it every Thursday), The Best Show on WFMU (counting the days until its rebirth elsewhere), and to the Lemmingtrail board (a love/loathe relationship if ever there was one). To all the people who made those things what they were, well, thanks for helping me pass the time. Onwards, upwards.

Sometime next week I’ll share up my semi-annual list of releases I’m looking forward to this year, and I’ll be spinning songs from many of them at the first New Music Night of 2014, happening next Thursday at River Gods in Cambridge, MA.

keep looking »
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    Wednesday, April 23rd
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    Battleme
    @ The Royale

    Thursday, April 24th
    The Pains of Being Pure at Heart
    Fear of Men
    Ablebody
    @ Brighton Music Hall

    Friday, April 25th
    The Both
    (Aimee Mann & Ted Leo)
    Nick Diamonds (of Islands)
    @ The Paradise

    Saturday, April 26th
    Cheeseburger Eatin' King's
    Annual Birthday Circus with
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    Big Meat Hammer, Rough Francis,
    The Stand Alones, Pubcrawlers,
    Bragging Rights, Slim Francis
    @ the Midway

    Sunday, April 27th
    Say Hi
    Big Scary
    @ Brighton Music Hall

    Monday, April 28th
    The Knife
    @ House of Blues

    Tuesday, April 29th
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    @ Brighton Music Hall

    Tuesday, April 29th
    Band of Skulls
    @ House of Blues

    Tuesday, April 29th
    David Wax Museum
    @ The Sinclair

    Tuesday, April 29th
    SLINT
    Spires That In The Sunset Rise
    @ The Paradise

    Tuesday, April 29th
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    Empires
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    @ Great Scott

    Wednesday, April 30th
    Suzanne Vega
    @ The Sinclair

    Saturday, May 3rd
    Soccer Mom (CD release!)
    Infinity Girl
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    @ Great Scott

    Saturday, May 3rd
    Ghosts of Jupiter
    Tim Gearan
    Dwight Ritcher Trio
    @ Brighton Music Hall

    Sunday, May 4th
    Cage The Elephant
    Foals
    J Roddy Walston &
    The Business
    @ the Orpheum

    Monday, May 5th
    Against Me!
    Tony Molina
    Big Eyes
    @ the Royale

    Tuesday, May 6th
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    Royal Canoe
    @ The Royale

    Tuesday, May 6th
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    Grass Is Green
    @ Great Scott

    Tuesday, May 6th
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    Emblems Anniversary Tour
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    @ The Sinclair

    Wednesday, May 7th
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    @ Brighton Music Hall

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    St. Lucia
    @ House of Blues

    Friday, May 9th
    Wye Oak
    @ The Paradise

    Saturday, May 10th
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    Sir Sly
    @ The Royale

    Saturday, May 10th
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    Capital Radio, Scarboro,
    Silver Screams (CD release!),
    Fast Times, & the Shitbirds
    4pm show @ The Midway

    Saturday, May 10th
    Mogwai
    Majeure
    @ House of Blues

    Sunday, May 11th
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    The Final Crowd Work Tour
    @ The Sinclair

    Monday, May 12th
    Elbow
    John Grant
    @ The Royale

    Monday, May 12th
    Television
    Lady Lamb the Beekeeper
    @ The Paradise

    Monday, May 12th
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    @ The Royale

    Tuesday, May 13th
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    @ House of Blues

    Tuesday, May 13th
    Blood Red Shoes
    Radkey
    @ Great Scott

    Wednesday, May 14th
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    @ The Royale

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    @ The Sinclair

    Friday, May 16th
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    @ The Paradise

    Friday, May 16th
    The Faint
    @ The Royale

    Saturday, May 17th
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    Doldrums
    @ Brighton Music Hall

    Saturday, May 17th
    The Okay Win
    (album release show!)
    6pm @ TT the Bears

    Saturday, May 17th
    Tokyo Police Club
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    Said The Whale
    @ The Sinclair

    Monday, May 19th
    Young Widows
    Helms Alee
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    @ Great Scott

    Tuesday, May 20th
    Michael Hurley
    Glenn Jones
    @ Johnny D's

    Tuesday, May 20th
    Deleted Scenes
    Celestial Shore
    @ Great Scott

    Thursday, May 22nd
    Marshall Crenshaw
    Cliff Hillis
    @ Johnny D's

    Thursday, May 22nd
    The Monkees
    Nesmith, Dolenz, & Tork
    @ the Casino Ballroom
    Hampton Beach, NH

    Friday, May 23rd
    Manchester Orchestra
    Balance and Composure
    Kevin Devine &
    The Goddamn Band
    @ House of Blues

    Friday, Saturday, Sunday
    May 23rd, 24th, & 25th
    Boston Calling Music Fest
    Death Cab For Cutie, Built To Spill,
    Kurt Vile and the Violators,
    Modest Mouse, Edward Sharpe &
    the Magnetic Zeros, Brand New,
    The Head and The Heart, Tegan &
    Sara, Bastille, Jenny Lewis, Frank
    Turner and the Sleeping Souls,
    alk Off the Earth, Warpaint, Cass
    McCombs, Maximo Park, The Districts,
    Tigerman WOAH, Magic Man,
    and jack johnson
    @ Boston's City Hall Plaza

    Saturday, May 24th
    World Party
    @ Johnny D's

    Friday, May 30th
    Hallelujah the Hills
    Tallahassee
    Thick Wild
    @ Great Scott

    Friday, May 30th
    The Feelies
    @ The Sinclair

    Saturday, May 31st
    Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings
    @ House of Blues

    Sunday, June 1st
    Failure
    @ The Paradise

    Tuesday, June 3rd
    Futurebirds
    @ Great Scott

    Wednesday, June 4th
    Pile
    State Champion
    Mail the Horse
    Kal Marks
    Yazan
    @ Great Scott

    Tuesday, June 3rd
    Diarrhea Planet
    @ Great Scott

    Saturday, June 7th
    Morrissey
    @ The Opera House

    Saturday, June 7th
    Luscious Jackson
    @ The Paradise

    Sunday, June 8th
    First Aid Kit
    Willy Mason
    @ The Paradise

    Wednesday, June 11th
    Sharon Van Etten
    @ The Sinclair

    Thursday, June 12th
    Nothing
    Superheaven
    @ Great Scott

    Wednesday, June 18th
    Eagulls
    @ Great Scott

    Wednesday, June 18th
    Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
    Stagnant Pools
    @ Brighton Music Hall

    Thursday, June 19th
    Merchandise
    Ukiah Drag
    @ Great Scott

    Saturday, June 21st
    Phantogram
    @ House of Blues

    Saturday, June 21st
    Buffalo Tom
    @ The Paradise

    Sunday, June 22nd
    Fall Out Boy
    Paramore
    New Politics
    @ Great Woods

    Thursday, June 26th
    Marissa Nadler
    Gem Club
    @ The Sinclair

    Saturday, June 28th
    Neko Case
    @ Lowell Summer Music Series

    Sunday, June 29th
    Joe Purdy
    Brian Wright
    @ the Sinclair

    Sunday, June 29th
    Say Anything
    The Front Bottoms
    The So So Glos
    You Blew It!
    @ House of Blues

    Tuesday, July 1st
    Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo
    Rick Springfield
    @ Blue Hills Bank Pavilion

    Friday, July 11th
    The Felice Brothers
    Robert Ellis
    @ The Sinclair

    Tuesday, July 15th
    Owls
    @ The Sinclair

    Sunday, July 20th
    Camera Obscura
    Laura Cantrell
    @ The Paradise

    Friday, July 25th
    Gogol Bordello
    Man Man
    @ House of Blues

    Saturday, July 26th
    Veruca Salt
    @ Brighton Music Hall

    Tuesday, July 29th
    Nine Inch Nails
    Soundgarden
    Death Grips
    @ Great Woods

    Tuesday, August 5th
    Boris
    @ Paradise Rock Club

    Saturday, August 16th
    Jackson Browne
    @ Boston Opera House

    Tuesday, August 19th
    Arcade Fire
    @ Great Woods

    Friday, October 10th
    Fleetwood Mac
    @ TD Garden

    Saturday, October 25th
    Fleetwood Mac
    @ TD Garden

    Saturday, November 8th
    Peter Hook & the Light
    @ The Royale