Bradley's Almanac

[Nac Tracks] June 2015 New Music Playlist

Posted on July 3, 2015 at 1:39 pm | No Comments

With another month in the rearview, here’s the now-complete 33-track Nac Tracks streaming collection of new music for June 2015. So many great songs. Just three days into July, and the newest edition is already up to 10 tracks, so jump on in…

[Proudly Presenting] Darren Hanlon, Colin Clary, & (the return of) Eef at TT the Bears this Monday

Posted on June 16, 2015 at 9:28 am | No Comments

It’s barely begun to sink in, but in little more than a month, Cambridge, MA rock club T.T. the Bears Place will no longer exist. The reasons behind its end are either straightforward or complicated, depending on who you’re reading, but the simple fact is the well-worn stage of this Central Square institution will soon go silent. Boston rock forebears Scruffy the Cat will provide the closing notes on Saturday night, July 25th.

Before that happens, I’m compelled to put on one last “Bradley’s Almanac presents…” show at TTs, and it’s come together perfectly. The club has always been very kind to me, allowing the occasional custom bill with faves & friends, and the ability to do that there has never been lost on me. The fact that I get one more chance is a gift, so I’m making the most of it…


(show poster gorgeously designed by Nicole at Daykamp Creative)

This coming Monday, June 22nd, 2015, I’m proud to present a night with Australia’s own Darren Hanlon, fresh off a tour opening for Courtney Barnett at sold out shows across the country. If you caught his too-short set at their Sinclair stop last month, you know he charmed the crowd with his witty, literate, irresistibly catchy songs, and all were left wanting more. Well, more is what we’re getting, because before he heads back home to Oz, he’s doing a few North American solo gigs. I’m honored to help make one happen here in the Boston area, and grateful that TTs gave us the green light.

Darren’s set will be preceded by my longtime pal & bandmate Colin Clary (of the Smittens & Let’s Whisper), who will drive down from Vermont to play a special mix of solo & band songs with a group of friends. Before that, the reunion that at least 3 people have been clamoring for: Vermont/Boston-based trio Eef will make their first on-stage appearance in nearly 2 decades. Ok, rather than refer to Eef in the third person, I’ll just say “we”, since yes, I’ll be behind the drum kit. Our unexpected resurrection has resulted in a batch of newly-recorded songs, including a contribution to the just-released charity compilation Keep Safe Boston. You can stream that track, along with songs from Darren & Colin, below.

While I already consider this lineup, at this particular time, and at this particular club, to be something pretty special, there’s another reason the night means a lot to me and others: We’re dedicating the evening to the memory of our departed friend, Joe Wiencis. Joe, who was a longtime indie-pop (and Genesis) fan, passed away in late April. I wasn’t able to attend his memorial, nor were a few other mutual friends I know of, so it felt right to mark the loss at a show he may have attended. Rather than a maudlin affair, it will instead be one filled with some of the songs that soundtracked Joe’s too-short life. We’ll have between-band mixes of his faves playing, and shortly after doors open at 8pm, there will be a tribute set of Joe-centric covers by newly-formed combo The Abacab Lounge Singers. Whether you knew him or not, arrive early to join us in commemorating our missing friend.

Tickets for this 18+ show are available for $8 at Ticketweb, or for $10 at the door on Monday night. If you have Facehole, check the event page for updates.

Some songs from Darren, Colin, & Eef. See you on Monday…

[Nac Tracks] May 2015 New Music Playlist

Posted on June 2, 2015 at 11:32 am | No Comments

Another month under our belts means another installment of Nac Tracks, my cumulative monthly new music playlist of just-released songs that strike me on Soundcloud. May brought 36 tracks, and the June edition is, of course, already in progress

[Nac Tracks] April 2015 New Music Playlist

Posted on May 4, 2015 at 9:55 am | No Comments

File under: Better eventually then not at all. With blogging time at a premium (i.e. non-existent), I’m always looking for song-sharing shortcuts, so throwing new Soundcloud tracks that grab me into a monthly playlist is a no-brainer. Here’s the first one: My 35-song April 2015 “Nac Tracks” Soundcloud playlist, embedded for your listening pleasure…

The May 2015 edition is already in progress.

[Words & MP3s] The Replacements live at the Sinclair in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Posted on May 1, 2015 at 11:17 am | 6 Comments

Replacements bassist Tommy Stinson summed up Monday night pretty succinctly mid-set, after the band finished a run through their classic (among many classics) “I Will Dare” at the Sinclair in Cambridge, Massachusetts…

“This is weird.”

Yeah, the whole thing was pretty weird. From the hard-to-swallow early rumor they’d be playing the relatively small 525-capacity rock club in Harvard Square with Dinosaur Jr. and locals The Young Leaves, to the official announcement that it would kick off a 5-night Converse Rubber Tracks Live series of free shows, to the 2-day open lottery method of ticket giveaways. Yay!sayers, naysayers, and everyone in between chimed in online, especially after the winners (will call only, for the lucky few and a friend) were chosen and many, many fans were shut out. My rejection email arrived later than most, so last Thursday was a particularly long day at work clicking refresh ad nauseam.

For most any other band, I would have moved to the acceptance-stage of grief pretty quickly, but this was the Replacements’ first proper headlining tour since reuniting in 2013. When their 2015 road schedule was announced and Boston was left out, many were surprised – surely they didn’t think a shortened outdoor festival set (at last September’s Boston Calling) was enough to satisfy, especially in the hometown of new guitarist and longtime local-boy Dave Minehan. There had to be a proper area headlining show in the cards. Turned out there was, but you probably couldn’t go. Pessimists (like, uh, me) worried this stop would cross Boston off their to-do-list, and that would be that. After all, given the band’s turbulent past and Paul Westerberg’s idiosyncratic ways, who can say the live reunion will last?

Speculation on the size of the VIP list, the number of tickets actually doled out to fans, and the amount of sneaker-fueled corporate cashola being thrown at the Replacements & Dinosaur Jr. to feed this marketing machine followed. There was bitchin’, there was beggin’, there was resignation and self-righteousness. The Craigslist “TICKETS WANTED!” posts piled up, along with Facebook event page pleading, with offers of favors, cash, and eternal gratitude. Even if I was the kind of guy who felt comfortable using so-called connections to wheedle my way in, that well was probably bone dry. Watching online acquaintances whine and pull strings made me cringe. The FOMO, it burned.

Small slivers of hope remained when a few local websites ran giveaways, and the ‘Mats themselves came to the rescue for a handful of fans with a last-minute mailing list contest. Barring those giveaways, the only way for a non-VIP to get in was to be invited by a winner as their +1. Which, miraculously, is how I made it in. Still don’t believe it, frankly. I even felt/feel guilty – because I know too many people who wanted to be there, who should have been there, right alongside me. And they will be when the Replacements book a proper Boston show later this year, right? Sponsored by no one, paid for when we buy our tickets. One can hope.

The recording, with a bunch of show notes and random thoughts below…

The Replacements
Live at the Sinclair, Cambridge, MA
on Monday, April 27th, 2015

[ Download the whole set as a 200MB .zip file ]

01. Seen Your Video
02. Takin’ A Ride
03. Treatment Bound
04. Kissin’ In Action
05. I’m In Trouble
06. Left of the Dial
07. Kiss Me On The Bus
08. Nobody
09. I Will Dare
10. Valentine
11. Waitress In The Sky
12. 20th Century Boy (T Rex cover)
13. All Shook Down
14. Anywhere’s Better Than Here
15. Whole Foods Blues
16. Skinny Black Jeans
17. Sixteen Blue
18. Another Girl, Another Planet
19. Can’t Hardly Wait
20. The Ledge
21. Within Your Reach
22. Bastards of Young
23. Nevermind
24. Unsatisfied
25. Alex Chilton

  • The lineup was ridiculous: The Young Leaves proved themselves a worthy warm-up, wearing their influences on their sleeves (despite frontman Chris Chaisson’s lack of them) while delivering solid songs like seasoned pros. Actual seasoned pros Dinosaur Jr. gave a no-frills set of their more well-known tracks. No smiling, no talking, and no sign of Lou Barlow’s face under that unruly mop. Few bands would throw a cover in as their second song, but Dino did it, and “Just Like Heaven” still rules.

  • The foursome took the stage to the sound of the Trashmen’s “Surfin’ Bird“, each wearing a Lone Ranger mask, and Paul Westerberg was the first to slide his to his forehead as the band launched into “Seen Your Video” (referred to as “Seen Your Tent” on the setlist, referencing his recent on-stage campouts.

  • That’s the one n’ only Judy Landers alongside Love Boat bartender Isaac on the head of Josh Freese’s kick drum. Didn’t have the heart to correct the guy near me who yelled “Ha! It’s Charo!”. He was so excited.

  • As usual, we got a couple covers/mash-ups/song references during their set, including that take T. Rex’s “20th Century Boy” and “Bang a Gong” with Minehan on lead vocals. They dropped a bit of Sabbath into “Kissin’ in Action” and tacked on a little “My Boy Lollipop” to close out “Bastards of Young“.

  • Anyone concerned that a corporate-sponsored free show would shut out quote-unquote ‘real’ fans, resulting in a room full of need-to-be-seensters, well, no worries. The crowd was enthusiastic, smiling, and singing along up where I was. That said, we lost points when, after “Left of the Dial”, someone yelled “Tommy!” at Paul. His response? “You don’t even know my fuckin’ name!” Ouch.

  • Westerberg acknowledged the business-borne freeness of the show a couple times, promising “You’ll be gettin’ your money’s worth tonight, I gare-own-fuckin-tee-it…” after “Kiss Me On The Bus“, and joking “We should let them make their picks, seein’ as they paid… oh, they didn’t…”. There was a point during a solo where he started moving mock-robotically, and I probably read too much subtext into it.

  • Recent shows have the band throwing in goofy new number “Whole Foods Blues“, which is at least more coherent than that 24-minute jazz thing they spit out at Christmas. On Monday, however, they followed it up with a sample of another bluesy toss-off, “Skinny Black Jeans (That Do What The Gym Could Not)“. At the very least, those guys are having fun fuckin’ around in the studio.

  • Loved that we got a solitary trombone during “Can’t Hardly Wait“. Anyone know who that guy was?

  • I have no idea why Paul absolutely obliterated his 12-string acoustic before he even used it for the encore – tuning problems, I assume. Poor acoustic guitar, now nothing but shards. Looking at the planned setlist below, we were going to get “Skyway“, but got “Unsatisfied” instead. Hey, I’ll take it.

  • If you’ve seen photos or video from this tour so far, you’ve likely noticed that Westerberg is wearing a different spray-painted white t-shirt each night, with a new letter on the front and back. I spent awhile going through the online evidence, and here’s what we’ve got so far…

    City / Front / Back
    Seattle: “I” / “N”
    Portland: “H” / “O”
    San Francisco: “A” / “W”
    LA night 1: “V” / “I”
    LA night 2: “E” / “M”
    Denver: “A” / “U”
    Cambridge: “L” / “S”
    Chicago night 1: “W” / “T”
    Chicago night 2: “A” / “W”

    We’re getting 1 sentence on the front, 1 on the back, so…

    front: “I HAVE ALWA..”
    back: “NOW I MUST W…”

    “I have always… now I must w…”.

    What exactly are you trying to tell us, Mr. Westerberg?

    UPDATE 5/11: Now that we’re done with the planned U.S. dates, it’s more obvious where we’re heading. The latest letters, including a couple he shared from his hotel while recovering from an illness that postponed the Pittsburgh & Columbus shows…

    Milwaukee: “Y” / “H”
    Detroit: “S” / “O”
    Pittsburgh (canceled): “L” / “R”
    Columbus (canceled): “O” / “E”
    DC: “V” / “M”
    Philly: “E” / “Y”

    So “I HAVE ALWAYS LOVE…”
    back: “NOW I MUST WHORE MY…”

    “I will always love you, now I must whore myself”? Oh, Paul.

    (end of 5/11 update)m>

    The boys hit Milwaukee tomorrow night, so keep your eyes peeled. I’ll be in Philly next weekend to see the final letters for myself.

    And, of course, I was told there’s a “Paul’s Shirt” Facebook page tracking this (because of course there is!), which would have saved me a bunch of time. Still enjoyed the search, though.

  • Lots of great post-show words & pictures to go through if you’re so inclined: Maura for the Globe, Jed for the Herald, Tim for the Dig, Josh for Do617, Johnny for Daykamp Music, Ben for BDCwire, Michael & Matthew for Vanyaland, Deanna & Tom at Allston Pudding. My own set of shots can be found on Flickr or Facebook.

  • For more live recordings, be sure to hit the indispensable Replacements Live Archive Project.


    (not quite) The Replacements setlist – Cambridge, MA – 4/27/2015
    keep looking »
  • About the ‘Nac

    I'm Brad. This is Bradley's Almanac.

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    "I wish this song was a whole day long. Man, I would have the best day that day."
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  • Boston Area Events

    Thursday, July 30th
    Veruca Salt
    Charly Bliss
    @ the Paradise

    Thursday, July 30th
    X (original lineup)
    @ the Sinclair

    Thursday & Friday
    July 30th & 31st
    Steely Dan
    with Elvis Costello
    & the Imposters
    @ the Blue Hills Pavilion

    The Sadies
    These Wild Plains
    Willard Grant Conspiracy
    Annabelle Lord-Patey
    @ Cuisine en Locale

    Friday, July 31st
    Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
    10th Anniversary Tour
    (playing entire 1st album)
    Teen Men
    @ Brighton Music Hall

    Friday, July 31st
    Someone Still Loves
    You Boris Yeltsin
    Sinnet
    Surf Vietnam
    @ Great Scott

    Saturday, August 1st
    YOUR FRIENDS FEST
    A Night of Music, Art,
    Community, & Your Friends

    illustrators, painters, designers,
    leather smiths, herbalists & galleries
    with music from
    Spo, DCDR, Psychic Dog
    currents, & Great News
    5pm @ Cuisine en Locale

    Saturday, August 1st
    Abadabad
    Soft Pyramids
    Eternals
    Furniture
    @ Great Scott

    Saturday, August 1st
    KMFDM
    Chant
    Seven Factor
    @ the Sinclair

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

    Sunday, August 2nd
    (the) Thurson MoOre Baand
    Chain & the Gang
    @ the Sinclair

    Tuesday, August 4th
    Desaparecidos
    The So So Glos
    Bandroidz
    @ the Paradise

    Wednesday, August 5th
    Shepherdess
    Weather Weapon
    @ O'Brien's

    Wednesday, August 5th
    Stan Ridgway
    (of Wall of Voodoo)
    @ Johnny D's

    Wednesday, August 5th
    Wolf Alice
    @ the Middle East Down

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

    Friday, August 7th
    Phillip Selway (of Radiohead)
    @ the Sinclair

    Friday, August 7th
    Dean Ween Group
    @ the Paradise

    Saturday, August 8th
    halfsour
    The Operators
    Grave Ideas
    WYDYDE
    1pm @ the Middle East Up

    Sunday, August 9th
    Ducktails
    (Matt from Real Estate)
    Julian Lynch
    Itasca
    @ Great Scott

    Sunday, August 9th
    Jamie xx
    @ the Royale

    Tuesday, August 11th
    Mac DeMarco
    Jerry Paper
    @ the Royale

    Wednesday, August 12th
    "Fat Wrecked For 25 Years"
    Fat Wreck Chords Tour with
    NOFX, Lagwagon, Strung Out,
    Swingin' Utters, The Flatliners,
    Masked Intruder, toyGuitar,
    and Bad Cop/Bad Cop
    @ House of Blues

    Thursday, August 13th
    Cracker
    on a boat

    Friday, August 14th
    Delta Spirit
    @ the Sinclair

    Saturday, August 15th
    Failure
    Hum
    @ the Royale

    Sunday, August 16th
    LVL UP
    Basement
    Adventures
    Palehound
    @ the Royale

    Sunday, August 16th
    The Church
    The Psychedelic Furs
    @ Cape Code Melody
    Tent in Hyannis, MA

    Saturday, August 22nd
    Exploding In Sound presents:
    Thank You For Being A Friend

    Krill, Big Ups,
    Unholy Strength,
    Stove, & Palehound
    @ the Sinclair

    Sunday, August 23rd
    Exploding In Sound presents:
    Thank You For Being A Friend

    Vundabar, Zula, Washer,
    Swings, Lady Bones,
    & Great Deceivers
    @ O'Brien's

    Sunday, August 23rd
    Exploding In Sound presents:
    Thank You For Being A Friend

    Pile, Kal Marks, Gnarwhal
    Bunny's A Swine, & Leapling
    @ Great Scott

    Sunday, August 23rd
    Social Distortion
    Nikki Lane
    Drag The River
    @ House of Blues

    Tuesday, August 25th
    This Year's Model:
    An All-Female
    Tribute to Elvis Costello

    with Jess Collins (The Static Dynamic,
    Petty Morals), Jen de La Osa (Aloud),
    Amy Douglas (FEINTS, Sunrise Hwy),
    Bridget Duggan (Paper Waves),
    Jess Jacobs (Band Without Hands),
    Tanya Pearson (Drab), Gretchen
    Shae (The Knock Ups), and
    Magen Tracy (Parlour Bells,
    The Missed Connections)
    @ Johnny D's

    Wednesday, August 26th
    The Good Life
    Big Harp
    @ the Sinclair

    Friday, August 28th
    Thick Shakes
    Thalia Zedek Band
    Royal Wedding
    Gondoliers
    @ the Midway, JP

    Friday, August 28th
    Sidewalk Driver
    Jenny Dee &
    The Deelinquents
    Ruby Rose Fox
    The Lights Out
    @ the Sinclair

    Sunday, August 30th
    Speedy Ortiz
    on a boat!
    (a Rock n' Blues Cruise)

    Wednesday, September 2nd
    Jen Kirkman
    Sam Jay
    @ the Sinclair

    Thursday, September 3rd
    Magic Magic
    Funeral Advantage (LP release!)
    Bent Shapes
    Lost Film
    @ Great Scott

    Sunday, September 6th
    Swervedriver
    Gateway Drugs
    @ the Sinclair

    Tuesday, September 8th
    Lou Barlow
    @ Great Scott

    Friday, September 11th
    Funny or Die's
    Oddball Comedy and
    Curiosity Festival 2015
    with Aziz Ansari, Amy Schumer,
    Jeff Ross, Bridget Everett,
    Anthony Jeselnik, and more
    @ the Xfinity Center

    Friday, September 11th
    Mike Peters (The Alarm)
    30 Years since "Strength"
    @ Johnny D's

    Friday, September 11th
    Death Cab For Cutie
    Explosions In The Sky
    @ the Blue Hills Pavilion

    Saturday, September 12th
    John Hodgman
    @ the Wilbur Theatre

    Friday, September 18th
    The Feelies
    @ the Sinclair

    Friday, September 18th
    Eagles of Death Metal
    @ Brighton Music Hall

    Friday, September 18th
    Mikal Cronin
    Calvin Love
    The Cairo Gang
    @ Great Scott

    Friday, September 18th
    Heartless Bastards
    Alberta Cross
    @ the Paradise

    Sunday, September 20th
    Robert Plant and the
    Sensational Space Shifters
    @ Blue Hills Pavilion

    Sunday, September 20th
    Albert Hammond Jr.
    (from the Strokes)
    When Particles Collide
    @ the Sinclair

    Tuesday, September 22nd
    Dawes
    @ the Royale

    Wednesday, Sept. 23rd
    Low
    Andy Shauf
    DJ Carbo
    @ Brighton Music Hall

    Wednesday, Sept. 23rd
    The Decemberists
    Tune-Yards
    @ Blue Hills Pavilion

    Wednesday, Sept. 23rd
    Bob Mould (solo electric)
    Jason Narducy (aka Split Single)
    @ the Sinclair

    Sunday, Sept. 27th
    Godspeed You! Black Emperor
    Xylouris White
    @ the Paradise

    Tuesday, September 29th
    The Jesus and Mary Chain
    Psychocandy 30th Anniversary
    @ the House of Blues

    Tues., Wed., & Thurs.
    Sept. 29th - Oct. 1st
    Built To Spill
    Helvetica
    Clark and the Himselfs
    @ Brighton Music Hall

    Friday, October 2nd
    Kurt Vile and
    The Violators,
    Waxahatchee,
    Luke Roberts
    @ the Paradise

    Friday, October 2nd
    Destroyer
    Jennifer Castle
    @ the Royale

    Saturday, October 3rd
    RIDE
    @ the Paradise

    Saturday, October 3rd
    Yo La Tengo (acoustic)
    @ the Wilbur

    Saturday, October 3rd
    Kraftwerk
    @ the Citi/Wang Center

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

    Monday, October 5th
    Wavves
    Twin Peaks
    @ Paradise Rock Club

    Tuesday, October 6th
    The Zombies
    performing the album
    "Odessey & Oracle" in full
    @ the Wilbur

    Tuesday, October 6th
    Girlpool
    Eskimeaux
    Told Slant
    @ the Middle East Up

    Wednesday, October 7th
    Sun Kil Moon
    @ the Somerville Theatre

    Wednesday, October 7th
    A Place To Bury Strangers
    Grooms
    @ the Middle East Down

    Saturday, October 10th
    Luna
    @ the Paradise

    Saturday, October 10th
    Teen Daze
    Heavenly Beat
    @ Great Scott

    Sunday, October 11th
    Mew
    @ the Paradise

    Sunday, October 11th
    Waxahatchee
    @ the Ottobar in Lynn

    Monday, October 12th
    Mercury Rev
    @ the Sinclair

    Tuesday, October 13th
    Blitzen Trapper
    @ the Sinclair

    Thursday, October 15th
    Titus Andronicus
    @ Brighton Music Hall

    Saturday, October 17th
    Joe Walsh
    @ the Orpheum

    Saturday, October 17th
    The Dead Milkmen
    @ the Sinclair

    Monday, October 19th
    The Old 97s
    Tommy Stinson
    @ the Paradise

    Wednesday, October 21st
    Garbage
    "20 Years Queer Tour"
    with Torres
    @ the Orpheum

    Wednesday, October 21st
    Idlewild
    @ the Sinclair

    Thursday, October 22nd
    Joe Jackson
    @ the Sinclair

    Friday, October 23rd
    Caspian
    Circle Takes the Square
    Dirty Bangs
    @ the Sinclair

    Friday, October 23rd
    Telekinesis
    Say Hi
    Mini Dresses
    @ Brighton Music Hall

    Wednesday, October 28th
    Joanna Gruesome
    @ the Middle East Up

    Friday, October 30th
    Youth Lagoon
    Moon King
    @ the Paradise

    Saturday, November 7th
    Beirut
    @ the House of Blues

    Wednesday, November 11th
    Minus the Bear
    Murder By Death
    Aero Flynn
    @ the Paradise

    Thursday, November 12th
    Colin Hay (of Men at Work)
    @ the Wilbur Theatre

    Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
    November 13th, 14th, & 15th
    Allston Pudding Presents...
    Three Nights of...
    Diarrhea Planet
    with Music Band
    @ Great Scott

    Monday, November 16th
    Fuzz
    @ the Sinclair

    Thursday, December 3rd
    The 1975
    @ the House of Blues

    Thursday, December 10th
    Squeeze
    "The At Odds Couple"
    Acoustic Duo Show
    @ the Wilbur Theatre