Bradley's Almanac

[Nac Faves] My Favorite LPs of 2014

Posted on December 31, 2014 at 9:09 pm | 3 Comments

Close the book on another year, an unsettling one that won’t be missed by too many people I know. Myself included. Burn the old calendar, hang up the new one, shoot for some fresh starts and better perspectives. Hope may have been in short supply in 2014, but new-music-as-antidote sure wasn’t, so here are the long-players that made me feel better over the past 12 months.

As in previous years, it’s 20-ish favorite full-lengths in alphabetical order, along with some honorable mentions. I’ve never been a fan of relative ranking, nor whittling down to an arbitrary number, so don’t go arguing with me – I’m not saying these are the best, I’m saying they’re my favorites. Can’t argue with that. I’ll hopefully follow this up in a few days with a run down of some EPs, 7-inches, reissues, and live shows that stood out above the rest.


(the star of The Daily Tater)

Remarkably, I believe this was the first time in 14 years of keeping track that every single album I adored was available on vinyl. Makes me very happy, that does. What didn’t change was my predictable label-loyalty: Merge, Slumberland, Polyvinyl, Teen-Beat, Captured Tracks, all represented. As they probably will be next year. If we’re lucky.


My Favorite Music of 2014


Allo Darlin’“We Come From The Same Place”
[ on Slumberland Records ]

Another shining indie pop gem from these Londoners, and the soundtrack to a couple of very special nights this year, when the band I’m in got to open the final two dates of their month-long North American tour. To hear their new songs live in two very different venues was a real treat, and something I won’t soon forget.

Stream at Bandcamp / Buy at Slumberland


Alvvaysself-titled debut LP
[ on Polyvinyl Records ]

Okay, I’m going to try real hard not to gush here, but hyperbole is hard to resist: Toronto quintet Alvvays has crafted an absolutely stunning debut, one that captures everything I love about indie pop-rock: Infectious, uplifting guitar lines intertwined with gorgeous, often melancholy vocals that hit me straight in the heart. Molly Rankin’s melodies get lodged in your brain and linger for days, and even as I write this the songs are bouncing ’round my head. Perfect production and song arrangement, a remarkable attention to sonic detail, and dynamics that never feel forced. I love everything about this record, I could go on and on and on, but I’ll pick out one moment: There’s a spot near the end of “Party Police“, the album’s 5th track, where the band drops out and Rankin slightly alters the delivery of a repeated vocal line, hitting a higher note on the word ‘could’ just before the band comes back in. With that one choice, my band-crush was sealed. I’m a fan, forever.

Archie, Marry Me” = song-of-the-year candidate.

Stream at Soundcloud / Buy at Polyvinyl


David Bazan & Passenger String Quartet“Volume 1″
[ on Undertow ]

I’ve said it many times, might as well say it again here: I’m such a sucker for strings. So it’s no surprise that stripping down some of David Bazan’s best songs and rebuilding them with beautiful arrangements from the Passenger String Quartet resulted in a record I loved. Two opportunities to see them played live (first at Barsuk’s 2013 anniversary bash in Seattle, again a few months back in Arlington, MA) only deepened that love, so here’s hoping the “Volume 1″ designation means we’ll be seeing a 2nd one.


(live version from July 27, 2012 at Cathedrals: Tacoma)

Stream and purchase at Undertow


Centro-matic“Take Pride In Your Long Odds”
[ on Undertow ]

A bittersweet release, marking the end of recorded output from one of my favorite bands. These Texas gents decided to pack it in this year, recently finishing up a cross-country farewell tour with some undoubtedly emotional hometown shows. Lucky for us, one of those goodbye stops was here at Great Scott in Allston, and it was glorious. They played a few songs from this record, and they stood solidly alongside their best. Leaving the stage on the highest of high notes, they’ll be much-missed, but hey, we’ll always have the records. For that, be grateful, and keep an eye on their individual musical endeavors.

Stream at Soundcloud / Buy at Undertow


Cheatahsself-titled debut LP
[ on Wichita Recordings ]

Calling them the ‘second coming of Swervedriver’ feels reductive, especially when Swervedriver themselves are readying a resurgence in 2015, but there’s no denying that they strike many of the same distorted chords. Cheatahs hit the harder side of the shoegaze wheelhouse, more rock than reverie, and I figure there’s not a lot of gazing at their shoes on stage. I missed my chance to see them live in 2014, not gonna let that happen again in the new year.

Stream at Purevolume / Buy at Wichita Recordings


Craft Spells“Nausea”
[ on Captured Tracks ]

A perfectly-placed next step for Justin Paul Vallesteros and his band, retaining the layered dreaminess that makes them so entrancing while widening their sonic palette just enough to surprise. Their songs transport, especially in a live setting, and I’m so glad it’s happening again very soon: In mid-March at Great Scott.

Stream more at Soundcloud / Buy at Captured Tracks


Ex Hex“Rips”
[ on Merge Records ]

Oh, Mary Timony, please never stop. From Autoclave, to Helium, through her solo work (just her on piano, guitar, then as a duo), she’s kept on keepin’ on for a couple decades now. Her full-band, rock-n-roll return with Wild Flag kicked off an exciting chapter in her career that ended (?) all too soon, and I was worried she’d retreat and regroup. She squashed those fears quickly with a couple of exciting Soundcloud shares as newly-christened trio Ex Hex – songs that got ‘em signed to Merge and on the way to this energy-infused full-length. Retro and right-now all at once, their success bodes well for a nice long run. Fingers crossed this riff-filled record is just the first salvo.

Stream another track at Soundcloud / Buy at Merge Records


Exit/Verseself-titled debut
[ on Ernest Jenning Record Co. ]

The welcome return of former Karate/Secret Stars singer/songwriter Geoff Farina to a full-band scenario, bringing along a couple of ringers on rhythm (Pete Croke of Brokeback on bass, John Dugan of Chisel on drums) to make these new songs shine. There’s a raw, undeniable classic rock feel that just clicks, resulting in a timeless set that even your dad could love (yes, my actual Dad loves it). That ain’t an insult, my Dad’s got some damn good taste.

Stream full LP at Soundcloud / Buy at Ernest Jenning Record Co.


Gold-Bears“Dalliance”
[ on Slumberland Records ]

Yet another ace Slumberland release. Exuberant, energetic jangle-pop out of Atlanta – an American answer to the Wedding Present (the album is called “Dalliance” after all) that exceeds mere homage. Had the distinct pleasure of catching these guys at the Middlesex Lounge (RIP live shows at the Middlesex, btw) over the summer, hoping I get another shot soon.

Stream at Bandcamp / Buy at Slumberland


Hallelujah the Hills“Have You Ever Done Something Evil?”
[ on Discrete Pageantry Records ]

Oh, Hallelujah the Hills, how shall I praise thee? Two years after releasing what I called “their best album to date”, these local gents went ahead and upped the ante, by a major margin. “HYEDSE?” is easily their strongest, most confident collection of songs, and given how much I’ve loved the rest, that’s saying something. Just over a year ago I drove solo down to Plymouth, MA to see ‘em play an AGP charity show with Krill and Guillermo Sexo, hearing many of the songs that would end up on “HYEDSE” for the first time. It was “Pick Up An Old Phone” that stood out, making me hanker for a recorded version ASAP. In May, they damn well delivered.

[MP3] Hallelujah the Hills – “Pick Up An Old Phone
(live in Plymouth, MA 12/7/2013)

Stream at Bandcamp / Buy at Discrete Pageantry


The Luxembourg Signalself-titled debut
[ on Shelflife Records ]

Sporting an impressive pedigree (with members of Aberdeen and Trembling Blue Stars), this LA-based sextet debuted with a stellar set of Sarah-Records-inspired dreampop, hitting a wealth of right notes in the shimmer-spectrum while weaving in a welcome variety of other influences. A record that took me by surprise in the best way. Another candidate for “song of the year”: “She Love To Feel The Sun“.

Buy at Shelflife Records


The New Pornographers“Brill Bruisers”
[ on Matador Records ]

Calling this a ‘return to form’ seems silly, given I’ve found something to love about every New Pornos record, but it sure feels like a distillation of everything that makes them great. But there is definitely an abundance of energy in “Brill Bruisers” that almost begs a reevaluation of the couple LPs prior. It sounds like they’re just having fun on this album, and it’s infectious.

Buy at Matador Records


+/- {Plus/Minus}“Jumping The Tracks”
[ on Teenbeat Records ]

Released in January, and criminally overlooked in the best-of-year posts I’ve seen so far, the long-in-the-making album hooked me straight away, immediately setting a high bar for 2014 out of the gate. It stayed in my headphones for weeks, revealing its depths while waiting for another LP to dislodge it. A melding of darkness and light, both beautiful and unsettling at once, buoyed by hook-laden guitar playing and absolutely meticulous production. And, oh, that drumming. I bow down to you, Chris Deaner. If there was one record that defined the year for me, this is it, and I hope the turn of the calendar sees them playing a few more live shows.

Stream the LP (with bonus tracks) at Soundcloud / Purchase from Teenbeat Records


Real Estate“Atlas”
[ on the Domino Record Co. ]

Real Estate’s third record took more time than expected to get under my skin, certainly longer than 2011’s “Days” did. While it wasn’t immediate as its predecessor, the extra listening effort paid off, and their show at the Sinclair in March had the new songs standing solidly among the rest.

Stream songs at Soundcloud / Buy from Domino


Shellac“Dude Incredible”
[ on the Touch & Go Records ]

Another abrasive, body-rattling smack upside the skull from the Chicago’s no-bullshit trio. There’s no band on Earth like the mighty Shellac, and there’s no point in anyone else even trying. They strip away the artifice of the record-producing machine – their albums appear as if by magic, with little fanfare and less promotion, kick everyone in the ass, and that’s just it. It’s all we need. Truths are revealed, conventions are challenged, heads are banged. Try driving under the speed limit while this album shakes your car windows. It ain’t easy.

Buy from Touch & Go


Survival Knife“Loose Power”
[ on the Sub Pop Records ]

Yes, I bow down at the altar of Unwound. Have for ages. I’ve long held that their swan-song, “Leaves Turn Inside You”, is one of the greatest collections of recorded music ever released. I still feel physical pain when I look at my unused ticket for my final chance to see them: September 11th, 2001 at the Middle East, a show that was called off just after they soundchecked, as I stood outside lost and looking for something to cling to.

Survival Knife’s arrival, studio output, and recent first-ever cross-country tour has gone a long way towards healing that open wound. No, they’re not Unwound, but with two ex-members and a sonic recipe that includes tension, restraint, and glorious release, there is undeniably some common DNA. They scratch a lot of the same itches, telling their songs as sonic stories as they eschew traditional structures while throwing in some metal for good measure. You’re not going to hear a lot of verse-chorus-verse, and you’re not going to miss it. Last month I got to see them live here in Boston, and I felt whole.

Stream another track at Soundcloud / Buy from Sub Pop


Withered Hand“New Gods”
[ on the Slumberland Records ]

I’ll take Dan Willson, aka Mr. Withered Hand, however he wants to present himself: Solo or with his full band, backed by a crack collection of ace players or just him, his guitar, and his singularly unique voice. My first thought on hearing he’d teamed up with beloved Slumberland Records was “perfect”, and so it was. My long-standing wish to see him perform finally came true this year when he played with his band at Chickfactor 22 last March, though a Withered Hand solo gig remains high on my live show bucket list. 2015, perhaps?

Stream more WH songs at Soundcloud / Buy from Slumberland


Wussy“Attica”
[ on the Shake It Records ]

Cincinnati’s Wussy, a band with a wealth of great records already under their belt, could easily rest on those laurels and put out just another solid collection of songs. Instead, they released an absolute stunner. “Attica” has some of the finest work they’ve ever done, including the album opener (“Teenage Wasteland“) and the closer (“Beautiful“), each of them candidates for personal song-of-the-year. How this band continues to plug along relatively unheralded is beyond me (though the efforts of CBS Saturday Morning to help remedy that was much appreciated).

Stream/buy at Bandcamp / Buy from Shake It


Wye Oak“Shriek”
[ on the Merge Records ]

I’ll admit it, I was scared. When I first heard that Wye Oak had ditched guitars in favor of bass and keyboards for their upcoming record, I had major doubts. As a longtime fanboy, I hadn’t met a Wye Oak release I hadn’t loved, and Jenn Wasner’s guitar played no small part in that. I’m generally averse to the bleep-bloop, so the prospect of its overuse had me prepared for disappointment.

Well, whaddya know, it turns out my fears were unfounded, and I should have trusted Andy & Jenn all along. Yes, the guitar may be gone, but the songs are still there – evocative, interesting, and just plain catchy, with Jenn’s vocals sounding better than ever, and Andy astonishing with his ever-inventive drum parts and rhythmic multi-tasking. They were able to somehow embrace a whole new sonic palette, nearly reinvent themselves, and succeed in ways I didn’t expect. I don’t just love this record, I love that I love this record. Proved that even my guitar-centric mind can be rewired at my advancing age.

Stream another song at Soundcloud / Buy from Merge Records


The honorable mentions…
(aka “albums I listened to a ton and could easily
have made the above list depending on my mood”)

The Afghan Whigs – “Do To The Beast”, Hiss Golden Messenger – “Lateness of Dancers, Mogwai - “Rave Tapes”, Anders Parker – “There’s A Blue Bird In My Heart”, Soccer Mom – self-titled debut, Sharon Van Etten – “Are We There”, Sleepyhead – “Wild Sometimes”, Pink Avalanche – “The Luminous Heart of Nowhere”


Favorite records that I played on…

Colin Clary – “Twee Blues Vol.1″, Let’s Whisper – “As Close As We Are” 10-inch

If you’re bored and looking to surf some history, have a look at my previous year-end fave lists: 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, and 2001.

Stop back in a few days, when I’ll hopefully have a follow-up post with a few EPs, 7-inches, reissues, and live shows that I loved in 2014. If I’m not already too deep into 2015, that is.

Best to you and yours in the new year. May it bring you all you desire, or at least none of the things you don’t.

[Tonight in Allston] Exit/Verse, Thalia Zedek Band, & Andrew Sadoway at Great Scott

Posted on December 8, 2014 at 12:43 pm | No Comments

A rare non-Facebook/non-Twitter heads up for a special show worthy of getting your arse out to Allston on a chilly Monday night (no small task, I know):

Exit/VerseExit/Verse plays Great Scott tonight. It’s their first-ever Boston show, and they’ve got special ties to this place, what with Mr. Geoff Farina on guitar & vocals. If you’re unfamiliar with the man, he fronted area trio Karate, and perhaps less famously (though, for me, more importantly) was one half of the beloved Secret Stars. His subsequent discography includes a wealth of solo recordings, a stint with his band Glorytellers, and collaborations with fellow guitar-song-genius Chris Brokaw, also a former-Boston-guy. So this isn’t just a show, it’s a homecoming of sorts that will be full of friends and familiar faces. Holiday-season-style.

A track from Exit/Verse’s recently released self-titled debut

Stream the full Exit/Verse LP here, buy it from the Ernest Jenning Record Co., or better yet, pick one up at the show tonight.

(An aside: When I first moved down to Boston from Vermont in 1998, my then-girlfriend lived in a 2nd-floor Union Square apartment on Prospect Hill in Somerville. The occasional guitar noise from below got me curious about her downstairs tenant, because the sounds were the opposite of annoying: They were beautiful, and eerily familiar. When I saw the name “Geoff Farina” written on the mailbox, as a fan of the Secret Stars and Karate, I had one of those “welcome to Boston” moments that helped me fall in love with this place. Those small-town coincidences have never stopped. As I write this, I’m sitting less than a block from Karate’s longtime practice space in Allston.)

Tonight’s show also gives two good reasons to show up early: Openers Andrew Sadoway and the Thalia Zedek Band. Thalia & her band should need no explanation, they’ve been on fire lately, and the last time I saw them was the best they’ve ever been on stage. And that’s saying a lot. They’ve set themselves a high bar for this evening.


(from last year’s “SIX” EP on Thrill Jockey)

For Andy Sadoway, however, a little introduction may be in order: He’s the drummer for personal-local-faves Bent Shapes, and occasionally takes the vocal lead for that band from behind the kit. He’s been sharing his own material for a few years, but this is a relatively rare solo appearance. Looking forward to seeing what form his eponymous project takes when he hits the Great Scott stage around 9pm tonight.


(The title track from May’s “Str8 Sh00ter” EP)

Advance tickets can be acquired right here. Consider yourself fully informed. See you there, I hope.

[Words & Music] The Boston Book Festival Is Here (& MP3s from 2010 Book Revue)

Posted on October 24, 2014 at 3:43 pm | No Comments

BBF

With last night’s Herbie Hancock Keynote kickoff, the annual Boston Book Festival is officially underway in and around Copley Square. As much as I appreciate (and mutilate) the written word, my favorite parts of the fest always end up being those that throw music in the mix. The BBF never fails to incorporate at least one music-related event into their programming, and this year is no different: Saturday evening’s grand finale is “Words and Music: A Literary Jam Session” at the Old South Church. The details, from their website:

In this one-of-a-kind session we’ll hear from three authors who’ve infused their recent novels with music, from classical to rock ‘n’ roll. The heroine of Stacey d’Erasmo’s “Wonderland” is a middle-aged rocker embarking on what she hopes will be her comeback tour. The young characters in Kate Racculia’s “Bellweather Rhapsody” find more there’s more than just music to discover (hint: corpse) at an orchestra camp in upstate New York. “Wonderkid” by Wesley Stace tells the story of the tumultuous rise and fall of a rock band whose audience is still in diapers. Musical interludes will be provided by Stace (aka John Wesley Harding), the appropriately named indie ensemble-pop group The Michael J. Epstein Memorial Library, and by our host, Pulitzer Prize winner Paul Harding, who’s also no slouch at the drums. Dancing in the aisles is encouraged! Sponsored by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.”

Between now and then we’ve got tonight’s second keynote speech by Susan Minot and a ton of interesting sessions on Saturday, so be sure to check the full schedule.

This year’s fest gives me an opportunity to flashback to my favorite-ever BBF event, “The Book Revue: Words & Music”, which capped off the 2010 edition. It was an ideal marriage of words & music, with a killer lineup and one hell of a host in Steve Almond (“Rock and Roll Will Save Your Life“, “Against Football”, etc).

After Almond’s introduction, author/songwriter Joe Pernice (Pernice Bros., Scud Mountain Boys) read from his novel “It Feels So Good When I Stop” and performed the Pernice Bros. songs “The Loving Kind” and “Amazing Glow“. Dean Wareham (Galaxie 500, Luna, Dean & Britta) read “Letter From A Concerned Luna Fan” from his novel “Black Postcards” and played G500’s “Blue Thunder” along with the Dean & Britta track “The Sun Is Still Sunny“. Author Nick Flynn delivered his intoxicating mediation on drinking, “Same Again” before an excerpt from his novel “The Ticking Is The Bomb”. Kristin Hersh (Throwing Muses, 50 Foot Wave) followed with a couple excerts from her resurrected teenage diary “Rat Girl” and performed both “Flooding” and “Your Dirty Answer“. Lastly, Nick Zinner (of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs) joined Zachary Lipez and Stacy Wakefield to present pieces of their collaboration “Please Take Me Off The Guest List“. The centerpiece of the whole thing was Almond’s hilarious lyrical dissection of Toto’s “Africa“. That bit is worth the price of admission alone.

The BBF shared, and still archives, the entire event in (one giant) MP3 form, so I’ve excised a few bits below alongside the original file. Enjoy…


Steve Almond vs. Toto. For more photos, click here.

[MP3] Boston Book Festival 2010 – “The Book Revue: Words & Music”

[MP3] Joe Pernice – “Amazing Glow” (live)

[MP3] Dean Wareham – “Letter From A Concerned Luna Fan” (reading)

[MP3] Dean Wareham – “Blue Thunder” (live)

[MP3] Kristin Hersh – “Flooding” (live)

Much gratitude to Mr. Tom Johnston for pulling that lineup together, and to the Boston Book Festival’s continued inclusion of music-related programming every year. Have a look at Saturday’s complete BBF 2014 lineup, and hit up the Dig for some recommendations

[50 Years of Boston Rock] WMBR’s Pipeline! Announces Anniversary Lineups

Posted on August 4, 2014 at 3:29 pm | 1 Comment

WMBR‘s venerable live local music show Pipeline! is marking their 25th year on the airwaves by throwing a 5-weekend party at 5 Boston-area venues this fall, and the lineups have just been let loose. It’s crammed with legends, also-rans, familiar names, and obscure oldsters – reuniting a ridiculous number of bands from throughout, and I quote, “50 Years of Boston Rock!”. If scanning through this stacked list of several dozen area bands doesn’t get you excited, then you either haven’t lived here very long, or you’ve grown too old and jaded to care. Either way, your loss. Me? I’m practically giddy. I gasped more than once after this sucker hit my inbox.

Full press release and nightly lineups (not in performing order) below, with my personal standouts following. Read on, snag your tickets (update: all tickets are now on sale, links next to each lineup), and get ready…

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PIPELINE! AT 25
PRESENTS
50 YEARS OF BOSTON ROCK!

The Dates, Venues, and Line-ups!

Pipeline!, WMBR’s live local music show, celebrates its 25th anniversary year with 13 shows featuring close to 80 reunited Boston-area bands performing at 5 venues over 5 weekends from September 12 to October 12

Cambridge, MA (August 3, 2014) ­- WMBR’s Pipeline! show (airing every Tuesday evening 8:00-10:00 with host Jeff Breeze) today announced the dates, venues, and band line-ups for the 50 Years of Boston Rock festival this fall. These bands from decades past come roaring into the present day, among them: The Remains with their stunning garage beat and The Freeborne rediscovering their psych virtuosity from the ’60s; Reddy Teddy and Willie Alexander & The Boom Boom Band bringing back the pre and proto-punk sounds of the ’70s; Stranglehold, The Dogmatics and the F.U’s delivering early ’80s punk proper and hardcore…and later in the decade O Positive and Big Dipper representing the burgeoning indie-rock scene; Gigolo Aunts, Fuzzy, and the Dirt Merchants nearing the millennium with their ’90s indie-pop/rock brilliance; and finally The Sheila Divine and The Charms, arriving in the 2000s, recasting pop and garage verities into their own thrilling style. This is a half century’s worth of the Boston music underground…and this festival revisits a good chunk of it!

50 Years of Boston Rock takes place from Friday, September 12 – Sunday, October 12 at the Paradise Rock Club in Boston, The Middle East downstairs in Cambridge, the Brighton Music Hall, the Regent Theatre in Arlington, and Cuisine en Locale in Somerville, a new ballroom-like space with a capacity of 425. There are current plans to add a 14th night to the series. Tickets for the Middle East shows are now available, with the other clubs offering their own nights’ tickets this coming week.

Friday September 12th
at the Regent Theatre, Arlington
(Tickets)
O Positive (added)
Cordelia’s Dad
The Freeborne
String Builder
We Saw The Wolf

Saturday, September 13th
at Cuisine en Locale, Somerville
(Tickets)
Baby’s Arm
Miranda Warning (added)
The Dogmatics
Eric Martin (of the Neats) & friends
Stranglehold
The Turbines

Friday, September 19th
at Cuisine en Locale, Somerville
(Tickets)
Curious Ritual (added)
Nisi Period
Someone & the Somebodies
Pods
Purple Ivy Shadows
Mistle Thrush
Curious Ritual
Ultrabreakfast (added)

Saturday September 20th
at Cuisine en Locale, Somerville
(Tickets)
Dirt Merchants
Fertile Virgin
The Gravel Pit
Honeybunch
Evol Twin (added)
The Sheila Divine

Friday, September 26th
at the Regent Theatre, Arlington
(Tickets)
The Barnies
Bill Goffrier (of Big Dipper) & friends
Dumptruck
The Jigsaws
Vapors of Morphine

Saturday, September 27th
at the Regent Theatre, Arlington
(Tickets)
Barry & the Remains
Cardinal
The Downbeat 5

Sunday, September 28th
at Brighton Music Hall, Allston
(Tickets)
Anastasia Screamed
The Flies
The F.U.’s / Straw Dogs
Men & Volts
The Nervous Eaters
Bentmen (added)

Friday, October 3rd
at the Middle East Downstairs
(Tickets)
Tacklebox
The Blood Oranges
Buttercup
Robin Lane & The Chartbusters
Fuzzy
Lazy Susan

Saturday, October 4th
at the Middle East Downstairs
(Tickets)
Birdsongs of the Mesozoic
The Clamdiggers (proto-The Upper Crust)
Crazy Alice
Kudgel
Bulkhead
Quintaine Americana
Orangutang

Sunday, October 5th
at the Paradise
(Tickets)
Big City Rockers (Atlantics)
Heretix (added)
The Dents
High Risk Group
Reddy Teddy
Shake the Faith
Willie Alexander & the Boom Boom Band

Friday, October 10th
at Cuisine en Locale, Somerville
(Tickets)
The 360s
Green Magnet School
Luca Brasi
Orbit
Permafrost (Miles Dethmuffin)
The Red Telephone (added)
Hullabaloo (added)
Unnatural Axe

Saturday, October 11th
at Cuisine en Locale, Somerville
(Tickets)
The Cavedogs
Drumming on Glass
Flying Nuns
Gigolo Aunts
The Natives
The Rising Storm

Sunday, October 12th
at the Middle East Downstairs
(Tickets)
The Bags
Ed Redeeming Qualities with
Carrie Bradley (of The Breeders) & friends
Dave Derby (of the Dambuilders/Gramercy Arms) & friends (added)
The Gizmos
Kenny Chambers / Electric Ears (doing Moving Targets)
The Underachievers
The Voodoo Dolls

Ok, first off: The “Grambuilders” has gotta be a modified version of the Dambuilders, yeah? I’m digging for details. I’ve known about the Green Magnet School reunion for a little, and I’m still internally freaking out about that one. Can’t wait to see my old friends in Mistle Thrush, plus old labelmates Crazy Alice & Fuzzy, and chimp rock progenitors Kudgel (and while we’re at it, let’s hope one of those TBA spots give us a little Swirlies action, eh?). Then there’s Orbit, Anastasia Screamed, Honeybunch, Dumptruck, Mary Lou Lord… hell, if I don’t stop now I’ll just end up re-typing the full lineup. I’ll share more lineup updates on the ‘Nac Facebook page as they come.

Here’s a look at the original schedule image sent out to press (click to embiggen)…

[Your Boston-Area Saturday] SLEEPYHEAD Record Release Show at Somerville’s Cuisine En Locale / AWESOME DAY FEST in Allston

Posted on May 23, 2014 at 9:01 pm | No Comments

At last, the long weekend is here, and it’s crammed with too many things to do and too many bands to see around Boston. There’s not enough time to write about it all, much less do and see everything, but there are a couple stand-outs that deserve some special attention…


I’m sure I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, but we’re a lucky town thanks to Rachael McNally and Chris O’Rourke’s years-ago decision to relocate from NYC to Boston, and the fact that they’ve kept their scrappy indie/rock/punk/etc trio Sleepyhead a going musical concern. Their live shows may be a rare thing, but when they do happen, they’re all ours. There’s long been the promise of a fresh batch of recorded material, as more new songs kept popping up in their sets each year. We’re fortunate that while they may have slowed things down, they’ve never felt the need to put the brakes on after almost 25 (!) years as a band.

Well, 2014 sees them positively flooring it. They’ve released their first full-length in 15 years, the excellent “Wild Sometimes”, on illustrious Chicago label Carrot Top Records, last month they played their first string of out-of-town shows in ages, and tomorrow night they make it local with a special record release show in the friendly confines of Cuisine En Locale in Somerville…

It’s an all ages show, with openers the ‘Mericans kicking the music off around 9pm, but if you really want the full experience, arrive early: Starting at 6pm you can order up a truly spectacular locally-sourced meal courtesy of the top-notch cooks of CoL. Hit their website to see what they’ll be dishing, and to learn more about their meal shares and unique culinary events. The address: 156 Highland Ave., Somerville.

Stream Sleepyhead’s long-awaited “Wild Sometimes” below, check out their brand new Jeannie Donohoe-directed video for the title track at Wifey.tv, and grab advance tickets for Saturday night’s show here. Oh, and remember to eat light tomorrow – save your appetite for the pre-show chow-down.

File under: “A dream I once had”. There are 15 bands playing on Saturday in three venues that are all within shouting distance of my own home. Yes, tomorrow is AWESOME DAY here in Allston, and there’s an AWESOME DAY FEST to prove it.

O’Brien’s, Regina Pizzeria, and Store 54 – all at the intersection of Cambridge St. and Harvard Ave. – are playing host to this multi-stage event, and the lineup includes some personal faves, among them Soccer Mom, Eldridge Rodriguez, Thalia Zedek Band, Earthquake Party!, and M.G. Lederman. Here’s the full where and when…

AWESOME DAY FEST
Saturday, May 24th, 2014
at the intersection of Harvard Ave.
and & Cambridge Street in Allston, MA

At O’Brien’s (doors at 3PM / $10 cover)
6pm-6:30pm: Quarterly
6:40pm-7:15pm: Jim Healey
7:30pm-8:05pm: Tired Old Bones
8:20pm-8:55pm: Civil Warblers
9:10pm-9:45: Soccer Mom
10:05pm-10:45pm: The Proselyte
11pm-11:45pm: Hey Zeus
12 midnight: Gondoliers

At Store 54 (donations encouraged)
9pm: M.G. Lederman
10pm: The Thalia Zedek Band
11pm: The Televibes
12pm: Beware The Dangers of a Ghost Scorpion

At Regina Pizzeria (donations encouraged)
9pm: Earthquake Party!
10pm: Eldridge Rodriguez
11pm: Lifestyle
(in between) DJ Ken Cmar

While there’s a pretty good chance your own tomorrow will be awesome, those chances increase dramatically if you’re actually at Awesome Day Fest….

keep looking »
  • The ‘Nac on Facebook

  • Recent Facebook posts

    New Mikal Cronin! First taste off his next Merge Records LP, out in May…

    3 likes, 0 comments1 day ago

    New Girlpool!

    1 likes, 0 comments1 day ago

    5 likes, 0 comments4 days ago

    A real treat. Full multi-camera live set from Withered Hand and his crack backing band, which features guest vocalist Pam Berry from Black Tambourine…

    1 likes, 0 comments5 days ago

    Miss you, Elliott.

    3 likes, 0 comments5 days ago

  • The ‘Nac on Twitter

  • Boston Area Events

    Tuesday, January 27th
    Ben Howard
    Hiss Golden Messenger
    @ House of Blues

    Friday, January 30th
    Kingsley Flood
    The Grownup Noise
    The Lawsuits
    @ The Sinclair

    Saturday, January 31st
    Dan Webb & The Spiders
    (album release party)
    Nonpareils
    (album release party)
    Blinders
    FREE @ Starlab Studios, Somerville

    Saturday, January 31st
    ZUMIX presents the 1st ever
    Firehouse Session with
    The Needy Sons (featuring Bill Janovitz,
    Mike Gent, Ed Valauskas, & Eric Anderson)
    and the Tim Gearan Band
    @ the Zumix Firehouse, East Boston

    Saturday, January 31st
    Dr. Dog
    @ House of Blues

    Saturday, January 31st
    A. Sinclair
    Aloud
    Bundles
    @ Great Scott

    Thursday, February 5th
    Spandau Ballet
    @ House of Blues

    Friday, February 6th
    Damien Jurado
    @ Brighton Music Hall

    Friday, February 6th
    Kevin Devine
    Into It. Over It.
    Laura Stevenson
    @ The Sinclair

    Monday, February 9th
    His Name Is Alive
    25th Anniversary Tour
    @ Great Scott

    Tuesday, February 10th
    The Mary Onettes
    @ Great Scott

    Saturday, February 14th
    Chandos
    Nice Guys
    Palehound
    @ the Womb

    Tuesday, February 17th
    The Vaselines
    Amanda X
    @ Brighton Music Hall

    Friday, February 20th
    Reports (10 Year Anniversary show)
    Half Sour
    Mark Robinson (Unrest)
    @ Great Scott

    Saturday, February 21st
    Emmy the Great
    @ Great Scott

    Sunday, February 22nd
    Sleater-Kinney
    @ House of Blues

    Monday, February 23rd
    Twilight Sad
    @ Great Scott

    Tuesday, February 24th
    Pile
    New England Patriots
    @ Great Scott

    Wednesday, February 25th
    David Bazan
    @ a livingroom in Allston

    Thursday, February 26th
    Screaming Females
    Priests
    Tenement
    Vacation
    @ Great Scott

    Friday, February 27th
    Murder By Death
    O'Death
    @ The Paradise

    Friday, February 27th
    The Juliana Hatfield Three
    @ The Sinclair

    Saturday, February 28th
    Hundred Waters
    @ The Sinclair

    Friday, March 6th
    Gang of Four
    Public Access T.V.
    @ the Paradise

    Friday, March 6th
    Makthaverskan
    Self Defense Family
    @ Great Scott

    Friday, March 6th
    Will Butler (of Arcade Fire)
    @ TT The Bear’s Place

    Saturday, March 7th
    Lady Lamb The Beekeeper
    Cuddle Magic
    @ The Sinclair

    Thursday, March 12th
    The Church
    @ The Sinclair

    Friday, March 13th
    KRILL (album release)
    @ Great Scott

    Saturday, March 14th
    Cursive
    @ The Sinclair

    Sunday, March 15th
    Craft Spells
    The Bilinda Butchers
    @ Great Scott

    Monday, March 16th
    Young Widows
    Shannon Wright
    The Austerity Program
    @ Great Scott

    Friday, March 20th
    Perfume Genius
    Jenny Hval
    @ The Sinclair

    Saturday, March 21st
    Cold War Kids
    Elliot Moss
    @ House of Blues

    Wednesday, March 25th
    Torche
    Nothing
    Wrong
    @ Great Scott

    Friday, March 27th
    Horse Feathers
    @ The Sinclair

    Saturday, March 28th
    Bob's Burgers Live
    with H. Jon Benjamin,
    John Roberts, Kristen Schaal,
    Eugene Mirman, Dan Mintz,
    Larry Murphy, & more
    @ The Orpheum

    Saturday, March 28th
    Carl Barat & the Jackals
    @ Brighton Music Hall

    Saturday, March 28th
    Swervedriver
    Gateway Drugs
    @ The Sinclair

    Monday, March 30th
    Belle & Sebastian
    Honeyblood
    @ House of Blues

    Monday, March 30th
    Kind of Like Spitting
    The City On Film
    Lee Corey Oswald
    @ Brighton Music Hall

    Tuesday, March 31st
    Father John Misty
    King Tuff
    @ the Paradise

    Friday, April 3rd
    Diarrhea Plant
    Left & Right
    @ Great Scott

    Friday & Saturday
    April 3rd & 4th
    The Decemberists
    Alvvays
    @ House of Blues

    Wednesday, April 7th
    Damien Rice
    @ the Orpheum

    Wednesday, April 7th
    Bleachers
    Joywave
    Night Terrors of 1927
    @ the House of Blues

    Thursday, April 9th
    Jon Spencer Blues Explosion
    @ Brighton Music Hall

    Friday, April 10th
    The Sonics
    @ Brighton Music Hall

    Friday, April 10th
    The Soft Moon
    @ Great Scott

    Saturday, April 11th
    José González
    Ólöf Arnalds
    @ the Paradise

    Sunday, April 12th
    Matt & Kim
    @ House of Blues

    Tuesday, April 14th
    The Mountain Goats
    @ House of Blues

    Thursday, April 16th
    Johnette Napolitano
    (of Concrete Blonde)
    Laurie Sargent
    @ Johnny D's

    Thursday, April 16th
    Allston Pudding presents...
    Polaris
    Hallelujah the Hills
    @ Brighton Music Hall

    Sunday, April 19th
    Jeff Beck
    @ the Orpheum

    Thursday, April 23rd
    They Might Be Giants
    @ House of Blues

    Friday, April 24th
    Manic Street Preachers
    performing "Holy Bible"
    @ The Sinclair

    Friday, April 24th
    Ex Hex
    Kuroma
    @ Great Scott

    Friday, April 24th
    The Upper Crust
    The Grannies
    White Dynomite
    I Am Next
    @ Cuisine en Locale

    Thursday, April 30th
    Spandau Ballet
    @ House of Blues

    Wednesday, May 13th
    Waxahatchee
    Girlpool
    Fleabite
    @ the Sinclair

    Sunday, May 17th
    Clutch
    Matadon
    Graveyard
    @ House of Blues

    Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
    May 23rd, 24th, & 25th
    BOSTON CALLING fest with
    Beck, PIxies, My Morning Jacket,
    Ben Harper, Tenacious D, Tame Impala,
    St. Vincent, TV on the Radio,
    Marina & the Diamonds, Vance Joy,
    Jason Isbell, Gerard Way, Tove Lo,
    Chet Faker, Run the Jewels, Jungle,
    The Lone Bellow, Sharon Van Etten,
    M0, Grizfolk, DMA's, Ballroom Thieves,
    and KRILL
    All weekend @ City Hall Plaza

    Saturday, June 6th
    Noel Gallagher’s
    High Flying Birds
    @ the Boston Opera House

    Saturday, July 18th
    Mission of Burma
    Foo Fighters
    Mighty Mighty Bosstones
    @ Fenway Park

    Sunday, July 19th
    Foo Fighters
    Royal Blood
    Dropkick Murphys
    @ Fenway Park

    Thursday & Friday
    July 23rd & 24th
    Interpol
    Hundred Waters
    @ House of Blues

    Saturday, August 1st
    Cheap Trick
    Peter Frampton
    @ the Blue Hills Pavilion

    Tuesday, August 6th
    James Taylor
    Bonnie Raitt
    @ Fenway Park

    Sunday, October 4th
    ChameleonsVox (w/Mark Burgess)
    performing "Script of the Bridge"
    @ Boston venue TBA