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.
Posted on October 24, 2014 at 3:43 pm | No Comments
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:
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.
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
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…
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)
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
(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….
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…
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.keep looking »