Posted on May 1, 2015 at 11:17 am | 5 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…
Live at the Sinclair, Cambridge, MA
on Monday, April 27th, 2015
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
09. I Will Dare
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
25. Alex Chilton
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?
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.
(not quite) The Replacements setlist – Cambridge, MA – 4/27/2015
[Area Premiere] Elliott Smith documentary “Heaven Adores You” to screen at 2015 Independent Film Festival Boston (April 22nd-29th)
Posted on March 31, 2015 at 4:49 pm | No Comments
When this year’s lineup for the annual Independent Film Festival Boston is officially announced tomorrow, there will undoubtedly be a couple dozen movies I’ll add to my personal viewing list. Seeing as many as I can between opening night on April 22nd and the closing film on the 29th becomes a lesson in impossible time management and tough choices.
One choice has been made easy, since nothing could possibly trump the screening that was confirmed today: The New England Premiere of “Heaven Adores You: A Documentary Film About The Life & Music Of Elliott Smith” on Friday, April 24th.
The fan-funded film, which was successfully Kickstarted in late 2011, made its debut last May at the San Francisco International Film Festival before hitting more than two dozen fests worldwide… but never Boston. When the news that the film would be released globally to theaters this coming May 7th, I quickly checked the online list and… nope, no Massachusetts. While I still held out hope that the film would come around, I started to accept that I’d have to wait until a digital or DVD release to get a look. Fortunately, thanks to the all-volunteer crew at IFFBoston, the long wait has been made much shorter.
Directed by Nickolas Dylan Rossi, the film includes appearances and interviews with some familiar names and faces, including Larry Crane (Tape Op, Vomit Launch, Jackpot! Recording), photographer Autumn de Wilde, Jon Brion, Heatmiser drummer Tony Lash, Sean Croghan (Crackerbash, Jr. High), Pete Krebs (Hazel), Joanna Bolme (the Jicks, Quasi, Jr. High, etc), and many more. Bandmates, friends, & collaborators all, the film is sure to be a moving and insightful look into Elliott’s life and musical career.
Expressing my love and appreciation for the songwriting of Elliott Smith, and the pain of losing him in 2003, would take more time than I have to write it or you have to read it. And I still wouldn’t get it right. If you’re a fan, you get it, and you won’t need any convincing to join me at the “Heaven Adores You” screening in a less than a month…
Keep an eye out tomorrow for the full IFFBoston lineup, which will include a few more music-related documentaries that I’ll be covering in my annual fest preview post in a couple weeks.
In other ES-related news, Seth Avett & Jessica Lea Mayfield‘s full-length tribute to Elliott arrived last week, and while I’m generally skeptical of other artists interpreting his work, these two pretty much nail it. Their versions are gorgeous, understated, and sincere, and their admiration shines through clearly. Here’s a KEXP-recorded live version of one of the most beautiful songs ever written, the heartbreaking “Pitseleh“…
Posted on February 20, 2015 at 9:57 am | 2 Comments
As a post-script to my list of favorite full-lengths of 2014, I thought I’d (yes, belatedly) share a catch-all collection of everything else: The short-players, 7-inches, reissues, and digital releases that spent the most time in my ears, along with a run-down of the stand-out live sets I caught during the calendar year. Narrowing down that last list was… not easy. That was a bountiful dozen months of shows.
Seems a good time to dole out some free stuff, too: A couple of my favorite vinyl releases of ’14 along with a t-shirt from a (reunited) band who put on one of last year’s most welcome performances. Scroll to the bottom for the giveaway details.
Rather than write a bit about each release (and delay this post another month), some quick commentary…
Read on, and scroll way down if you want to try and snag some free vinyl from David Bazan, Survival Knife, or a Replacements t-shirt…
(the star of The Daily Tater)
I’ll finish up this long-overdue post with some free stuff: A vinyl copy of David Bazan’s gorgeous team-up with the Passenger String Quartet, Survival Knife’s killer “Survivalized” EP on wax, and an XL-sized Replacements t-shirt (the “Hate Us On Facebook” edition). Each will go to a different (North American) reader, so drop me a note at giveaways [at] bradleysalmanac [dot] com, and choose one of these three email subjects: “BAZAN”, “SURVIVAL KNIFE”, or “REPLACEMENTS”. Make sure it hits my inbox by next Friday, 2/27 at 10am, when I’ll pick one winner for each and get in touch for your mailing address.
Up next, and hopefully soon (yeah, yeah), my big ol’ annual list of records I’m looking forward to hearing this year. Some of which are already out and are fast favorites. Yeah, I’m lookin’ at you, Krill.
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.
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.
Posted on December 8, 2014 at 12:43 pm | No Comments
Exit/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…
(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.keep looking »