Friday, January 30, 2009

Coachella lineup announczzzzzzzzzz

The preliminary list of performers at this spring’s Coachella Music & Arts Festival was released today, and no, there’s no reunion from Blur or the Smiths just yet.

Headlining the 3-day hipster shake n’ bake under the California sun is Paul McCartney, the Killers and the Cure. When did this shit get renamed Yawnapalooza?

So far, the only local at Coachella is Amanda Palmer, who performs solo on April 18. Nice work, Boston. You figure Eli Reed, Passion Pit or Bang Camaro will be added (hopefully).

Other notable acts spread throughout the arid 72-hour musical love fest are Amy Winehouse, My Bloody Valentine, TV On The Radio, Paul Weller, Public Enemy, A Place To Bury Strangers and Hercules & Love Affair. Morrissey performs solo on the opening night, leaving room for speculation Johnny Marr could join him and cash in on all those multi-million dollar Smiths reunion offers. If Andy Rourke or Mike Joyce show up at Coachella, it would probably be to sell water in the tents.

However, there is a silver lining not brought upon by taking too much ecstasy. One area Coachella is excelling at is bringing in the electro acts, as Crystal Castles, Drop The Lime (<3 Luca), Steve Aoki, MSTRKRFT, the Bloody Beetroots, Gui Boratto, Crystal Method, Felix Da Housecat, Friendly Fires, Girl Talk and the Presets will all make an appearance. Rave on, dirty rocker trash.

More acts are expected to be announced in coming weeks.

Guide to watching the Super Bowl in Boston

Not gonna paste the whole thing, but in today's Herald I break down how and where to watch the Super Bowl, broken into halves: Home -- how to choose the best house party; and Away -- where to catch the game around town. The pictured wings are from the 100-wing platter at Game On. Yumz.

As for a prediction, while I should say something like Steelers 37, Cardinals 7, I'm going to predict an upset with a Cardinals win, 26-23. Also, outside of the Puppy Bowl, I don't really give a shit either way. Maybe I'll expose Lola's tit during the Kitten Halftime Show. Love you, Animal Planet.

Puma's mp3 beatdown, with the pill

Ohhhhh snap! Well look at this, it seems the pill was invited to do some music beat downs next Wednesday at the Enormous Room in Cambridge. Actually, I know little about this, but all the players are mad chill and maybe we'll just get up there in front of techno-heads and play Sleeper and Menswear songs. Ya can't front on the Britpop, kid.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Viva Viva live @ the pill Friday

Remember those old Bonkers candy commercials where giant pieces of fruit would fall on old ladies and shit? Well, this week's edition of the pill is going to be something like that, as we have VIVA motherfucking VIVA crossing ye ol' River Charles to come party with us at Great Scott. Srsly. Bonkers, I tell you.

If you're not privy to awesomness, Viva Viva have this crazy early 70s Rolling Stones on a modern indie 6am acid trip thing going on, a motherfucking freightrain of debauched old school rock n roll that should help blow the fucking doors off Great Scott. My campaign to turn Allston Rock City into Allston Dance City might take a one-week holiday, as while Viva Viva is perfectly danceable, it's pretty fucking fierce in its soulful rock roots.

And of course, last week sold out with just me and Paul Driscoll drunkenly playing shit like Ride's "Vapour Trail" and Lush's "Ladykillers," so Viva Viva playing live coupled with the return of a bronzed DJ Ken warrants this single warning: Roll up early. Goodtimes guaranteed.

Doors at 10. Cover $5. Believe in Britpop. Look sharp. You know the deal. (Photos posted were taken by Johnny Allen)

If I still lived in New York...

... I'd sure as fuck be at this tomorrow night. Sweet Jesus Jones Piss, the Golden Filter and Heartsrevolution in one night on the same bill?!?!? the Golden Filter and Heartsrevolution in one night on the same bill?!?!? Yup, moving to Boston in 2000 was the Right Move. Def.

Anyway, the Golden Filter will be in Boston April 4 opening for the Presets at the Dise. Despite them blowing off a proposed pill show in October, I still religiously play "Solid Gold" every week, and Brig used it in her fashion show. No idea when Heartsrevolution hit the Hub, but I'd do whatever it takes to make it happen. Sigh le-fucking sigh.

J. Geils band the first to play HoB

Something about the Gipsy Kings opening the new House of Blues just didn't sit well with me, so clearly I'm excited as I can possibly be to hear the J. Geils Band is reuniting to christen the new Lansdowne joint.

I mean, I loved "Centerfold" as a kid, I guess, and you figure most ZLX listeners need some good news during the day. Tickets being $45/$125/$160 is a wicked buzzkill, but hey, this is a one-time only reunion type thing. Better have Boston rock royalty being the first to play the new HoB than a French band that plays traditional Spanish Gypsy music with Flamenco roots, knowwhaddimean? This is Boston not Basque Country.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Hellauxx relaunches tonight @ Privus

It's snowy as fuck, I'm tired as fuck, and it's Wednesday as fuck, but gosh darnit tonight HELLAUXX relaunches at Privus in Allston. My lady hosts, Rogue Waves and Jay K spin and that snow maki will make sweet love to me as I drown my fatigue in sushi and electro, my two favorite things.

And speaking of Jay K, next Thursday's SO DOPE relaunch has moved to Suite in the downtown Alley.

Lyons said Fairey's HoB art will remain

Updating the House of Blues vandalism, as Patrick Lyons is cool with the poster art and it will remain. (Note: Gotta give Lyons props for his stance on this...)

The tell-tale signature of Shepard Fairey has turned vandalism into prime advertising real estate.

Under cover of night and blanket of snowfall, the Rhode Island-based street artist's trademark red propaganda-style posters appeared on the wall of the House of Blues on Lansdowne Street sometime between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.

The poster collage, which faces the Massachusetts Turnpike, depicts his 2007 work "Mujer Fatal" as well as Andre the Giant, the face of his iconic "Obey" poster series which started appearing in the late '80s.

And whether it was the 38-year-old Fairey or one of his cohorts who plastered the House of Blues with this illegal art, it's not going anywhere anytime soon. And definitely not before Fairey's exhibit at the Institute of Contemporary Art, "Shepard Fairey: Supply & Demand," debuts on Feb. 6.

"To me, it looks like ultimate urban art, and I think it looks fabulous,'' said Patrick Lyons, president of the Lyons Group, which owns the House of Blues property. "I think it's genius."

Though he did not authorize the art's placement, Lyons said he was not offended if Fairey used HOB to hype his show and even said he'd attend the 27-week showing at the ICA.

Dave Fortin, the House of Blues' vice president of marketing, declined comment through his publicist. The Live Nation-owed House of Blues rents the Lansdowne Street property from Lyons.

Fairey gained notoriety in the late '80s and '90s plastering his Andre The Giant-faced "Obey" stickers and posters around various U.S. cities. His reputation as a street artist got some mainstream cred last year when his Barack Obama portrait posters became a pop culture symbol of the new president's push for the White House.

"We did some research, and if he's good enough for Obama, he's good enough for a Lansdowne Street building," Lyons said.

This isn't the first time a business owner has decided to leave Fairey's undercover art on its building. In October, Fairey was believed to have hit International Bicycle Center in Allston and a spot in Cambridge's Harvard Square. While the Harvard Square art was immediately removed, Fairey's work still adorns the wall of the Allston bike shop.

Video: Shepard Fairey hits HoB

Posted on my Herald blog:

As if this crazy ass day couldn't get any better, I get to interview RuPaul in a half hour...

Was House of Blues vandalized last night?

Under the dark cover of night and blanket of white snowfall, vandals apparently hit the House of Blues last night, wheat pasting a large red propaganda poster on the side of the building facing the Massachusetts Turnpike.

The poster mirrors the work of contemporary graphic design artist Shepard Fairey, who in October was accused of putting up similar posters in Harvard Square and Allston, the latter of which remains on the side of the International Bicycle Center on Brighton Avenue (see picture).

Fairey has an exhibit opening at the ICA on Feb. 6, so maybe this is just some sort of cross promotion between the artist and Live Nation.

The unexpected new addition to the House of Blues complex could be seen earlier today from the Mass. Pike during the morning commute. Because of the snowstorm, the House of Blues construction site is relatively abandoned.

Under clearer weather, there are usually up to 30 construction workers on-site putting the finishing touches on the Live Nation venue before its Feb. 20 grand opening.

The 38-year-old Fairey gained notoriety in the late ‘80s and ‘90s plastering Andre the Giant “OBEY” stickers around cities and recently used images of Barack Obama in his work. According to his Wikipedia page, “the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston calls him one of today's best known and most influential street artists.” It is suspected that he does not work alone, and has cohorts who help wall the city with his artwork.

More to come…

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Fader: inside the Passion Pit studio

Oh, shit, consecutive Passion Pit posts! Here at Vanyland, I do what I want, especially when it comes to my favorite locals. But the good people at Fader have taken an inside look at the making of the new Passion Pit album... enjoy!

Passion Pit in the NY Times (Sept. 2008)

I definitely missed this shit when it ran last September, but here's a pretty cool Passion Pit review that ran in the New York Times after one of their shows at Pianos NYC. Click on the image to enlarge... All the news that's fit to DANCE!

And to make this somewhat relevant, Passion Pit return to Boston with a show at the Paradise on Feb. 6, where we'll hopefully hear some new jams from the upcoming full-length (Frenchkiss Records).

Just be sure to roll up to the pill afterwards, lovlies.

Bowling at the Milky Way ends March 21

With the Milky Way Lounge and Lanes set close at the end of March, the last day to bowl at the Jamaica Plain venue’s candlepin lanes is March 21. (source: my Boston Herald Hotline)

The operators of the nightclub and Bella Luna restaurant are closing their location at 405 Centre St. and relocating to a smaller space on Armory Street near the Sam Adams Brewery complex. There will be scaled back live entertainment at the new place, with a heavier emphasis on the restaurant operation.

Last May, the Milky Way owners were informed that their monthly rent would increase from $13,000 to $24,000 once its original lease, signed 15 years ago, would expire in August. The original lease featured a locked-in seven percent yearly rent hike. It’s unclear what will happen to the candlepin lanes in the Milky Way basement space, which were first constructed in 1914.

Monday, January 26, 2009

PSA: Subway and Dominos

For the motherfucking love of Christ:

Dominos, stop making cold-cut sandwiches. Subway, stop making pizza. For fuck's sake you two... Know your role and stop with the stupid ass commercials.

So Dope gets doper with DJ Paparazzi

One of the best things about the electro movement crashing into Boston lately is that all of the promoters in the scene are trying to one up each other with DJ bookings. Paper, Circus, Hearthrob, Banger, Sweat, etc. have all raised the stakes by bringing in the likes of Le Castle Vania, Drop the Lime, LA Riots, Guns N Bombs, Flosstradamus, and Larry Tee, and now weekly party So Dope goes BIG with its relaunch by giving us Los Angeles superstar DJ Paparazzi on Feb. 5.

Nice work, Jay K the DJ. The night was getting it done on the Friends and Family tip down in Dorchester at d-bar, but a move into the city was not just
inevitable but necessary. Now launching at
downtown’s Saint next week, the inaugural party brings in Paparazzi, who kills it each week at the 3,000-capacity Dance party in LA every Tuesday, was a part of IHEARTCOMIX’s Check Yo’ Ponytail party crew and an integral DJ in the scene that’s coating the planet in scratchy neon bass. Jesus H.

While the cover for the new So Dope – So Doper? – is a pricey $15, get on the reduced VIP list by RSVPing through

Mumiy Troll -- Russian rock royalty in Boston

When I think of Russian rock, a few things pop into my head – Gorky Park in the 80s singing "Bang"; the posthumously worshipped Cobainesque pop star Viktor Tsoi of KINO; and even though not Russian, the Scorpions' ode to fallen communism, “Wings of Change,” which I actually heard playing inside a shuttle bus in outside Moscow in 2004 (No joke).

But tonight at the Mid-Easy over in Cambridge, the “now” in Russian rock says zhrastvutche. Mumiy Troll is apparently a Big Fucking Deal in the motherland, with singer Ilya Lagutenko described as everything from the Nick Cave of Russian rock to the Mick Jagger of Russian rock.

Not sure what to expect, though the live version of “Innoplanetny Gost” on the ol Space sounds pretty rockin. My boy Xander of Run Run Run fame is somehow involved with the US tour, so at the very least drunken camaraderie will be at hand. We’ll see how this plays out, but it’s a suitable Monday night halftime show now that "Real Chance of Love" is over and "I Love Money 2" doesn’t start until next week. Doh’sve fucking danya, kids.

Friday, January 23, 2009

I Wrestled A Bear Once

Speaking of Worcester's New England Metal & Hardcore Festival coming this April, clearly I Wrestled A Bear Once not only has the coolest name in the 2-day, 52-band musical beatdown fest (honorable mentions: Cattle Decapitation, Landmine Marathon, Austrian Death Machine, and Animals As Leaders) but the brutal Louisiana grindcore band also has the best album art I've seen in ages. Look at this motherfucking bear! (EP in stores Feb. 17, kids.)
IWaBO merch is pretty dope too, and aside from that super-aweeome "METAL JUST GOT GAY" rainbow flag t-shirt for sale on their MySpace, most of it has a creepy-coloful Jhonen Vasquez vibe going on. (Maybe that's even his work, I dunno, been a while since I dated a Living Dead Girl.) Now if I can only get past the savage ear rape the actual music gives me, I might have a new favorite band. Maybe.

Saturday: Bon Savants back on stage

In today's Boston Herald Hotline column: The Bon Savants, New England Metal & Hardcore Festival and TAB the Band.

The pop music press always writes that a band’s second album is the most difficult. The Bon Savants might just agree.

The local indie band, which in 2006 released its debut, “Post Rock Defends the Nation,” finally has finished recording most of the songs for its sophomore effort and plans on giving them the live treatment tomorrow night. The Savants open for New York rock veterans Longwave and South by Southwest-bound locals Wheat at Great Scott in Allston (Saturday, 9 p.m., 21-plus, $10), marking a return from dormancy for a band that built its reputation on its live shows.

The quiet spell, which ended with a performance at the Middle East in Cambridge last month, was a result of a drawn-out recording process, which is still not quite over. The Savants are searching for a producer to mix their 10-track album, which they plan to shop around to labels when they are unofficial guests at SXSW in Austin, Texas, in March. Insiders tell us the band still has its post-rock and Britpop influence, but with a touch of shoegaze and even dance numbers thrown in. The latter is perhaps a result of recently adding keyboardist Tia Carioli to the lineup.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

new pill flyer for Jan/Feb...

...streaking across the Great Scott dance floor. We "launch" it tomorrow night, when Paul Driscoll of FNX Radio fills in for a jet-seeting DJ Ken. Together, Drisky and I rock it out like whoa, with a heavier emphasis on the britpop-dancerock since that scene'd-out electrobanger orgy is going down across the river. <3
Listen to the bands: Viva Viva, The Sun Lee Sunbeam and Giantess. xo

Cheap Thrills Thursday: Gamer novels, Back to the Future & Celtics dessert

From my weekly Cheap Thrills column in today's Boston Herald:
Tonight, Cambridge author Christopher Monks reads from his new book about life-as-a-video-game, “The Ultimate Game Guide to Your Life: Or, the Video Game as Existential Metaphor” at Brookline Booksmith; Saturday, Johnny Cupcakes screens "Back to the Future" at the Coolidge Corner Theatre; and Sunday, Celtics ticket holders can score free post-game dessert at three DePasquale Restaurant group eateries in the North End: Bricco, Mare and Trattoria Il Panino.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

On That Tip style spread

Direct all fashion attention over to On That Tip, where I shot a few images for the premiere of my lady's monthly style editorial, dubbed "The Look." Shot in the back alley of our Allston apartment this past Sunday with the male persuasion of one Marc Spellen, the styles were straight off the Rescue rack, and yes it was as cold as Brigid is hot.

Winged Cats need to be stopped

I’m a bit concerned with this whole Winged Cat phenomenon going on right now in China. Not having wings is the only thing preventing Lola from completely taking over Brichael’s House of Possums, and while a flying feline sounds like a good idea at first (look out, pigeons) I can’t say it’s the Fancy Feast of cat evolution. Hopefully this is only the result of unhygienic matted fur, as airborne kitties should only be something sold in glass jars at Spencer’s Gifts and Lord Cheng knows we don’t need anymore value menu items down at the local Dragon Wok. Of course, this could sprout a whole new litter of LOLcats, as they already have one up on those cunty sea kittens.

COBER's "Western Cutter," Jan 22 @ TTs

Local solo artist Sheila Bommakanti, otherwise known as COBER, releases her latest album tomorrow night at TTs. There's just something about her ethereal sounds that captivates me, and the new material is the perfect soundtrack to a dark winter night alone in New England.

From today's Boston Herald Hotline: Some music was made for winter’s short, dark days and frigid temperatures. The Cure’s “Disintegration,” Suede’s “Dog Man Star” and pretty much every underground Goth record seems to mirror the cold, stark landscape of its creators.

Enter Cober, the one-woman Boston-via-Seattle psych-goth project of Sheila Bommakanti . Armed only with a double-necked Gibson SG guitar, two Marshall amp stacks and a veritable control center of effects pedals, Bommakanti as Cober creates the type of sounds suitable for a release party in the middle of New England winter.

So it’s only fitting she celebrates the release of her new album, “The Western Cutter,” Thursday at T.T. the Bear’s Place in Cambridge. It’s available on CD and black or blue vinyl.

“It’s definitely a winter album,” Bommakanti said. “But there is an air of hope to everything in it. It’s not supposed to bring you down.”

On the surface, “The Western Cutter” moves at the deliberate pace of a burning incense stick, with textured layers of sound and emotions that elicit the sullen passion of Portishead . Its underlying message of strength is packaged dark and dreary - a perfect soundtrack for pulling up the covers and waiting for spring to arrive.

“It’s for those nights that are just too cold to go out,” Bommakanti said. “Pour some wine or make some tea, put the record on and let it hit the spot.”

Catch a preview of the tunes at Or head to T.T.’s, where Via Audio, Modern Skirts and Jaggery are also on the bill. Tickets are $9.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

3 stages of the Boston (TDBN) Garden

The new Garden in Boston is a whore. Sunday night Metallica (breath) came to town, followed by a Monday double dip by the Bruins (1pm) and Celtics (8pm). This video shows how it was done in warped speed, picking up I assume just after the Metallica concert. Cool shit.

Stepping up:

For what it's worth, is now Yes, 2004 is a wonderful, warm and welcoming place.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Boston 12-pack at this year's SXSW

From the Hotline blog: South By Southwest – it’s the spring break for indie kids and dirty rock stars. Now in its 22nd year, the music and arts festival held each spring in Austin Texas is gaining momentum and the official list of performers is starting to trickle out.

While pretty much everyone with a guitar and a van will head down to Austin from March 18 to 22 to play anything from an amphitheatre to a street corner, SXSW officially recognizes about 1,400 performers over five action-packed days across pretty much every live music space in the Texas capital. Among this year’s noted headliners are Primal Scream, Ra Ra Riot and Providence’s Sage Francis.

Here are a dozen local bands confirmed to rep the Hub at this year’s festivities.
Apollo Sunshine
Arms & Sleepers
Sarah Borges & Broken Singles
The Downbeat 5
The Everyday Visuals
Melissa Ferrick
Muck & the Mires
Passion Pit
Eli 'Paperboy' Reed & the True Loves
Westbound Train

And because the list of SXSW performers grows by the day, feel free to add any local bands or artists not included here in the comments section.

Akon busts his ass

People falling down is never not funny, but when Akon does it on stage and the tape goes "szszsziiip," well then headasplodez.

House of Blues opens next month

From today's Boston Herald: I break down some new amenities at the opening-in-one-month House of Blues on Lansdowne, and unlike Avalon/Axis there will be no late-night eurotrash dance parties. Straight concerts, yo.

Banger lineup: Not too shabby

Still recovering from a double Saturday night shot of Logan 5 and Larry Tee. But already my head is fixated on this weekend, with early glances pointing towards the pill Friday and then the Bon Savants the next night at Great Scott. Oh, then there is this...

I don’t normally hype parties that conflict with my own, but this Banger lineup is just too sick to ignore, in a Feels-Like-LA type party vibe. Naturally I’ll be holding it down at GS, but if you’re on the other side of the river and want to feel the new beat, this is the place to be. Circus, Basstown, Happy Endings, Hellauxx, So Dope, Paper... many Boston parties are repped here, and future pill performer Giantess opens up the throw down with some live synthpop before the heavy shit starts to kill.

This is 100% guaranteed fun, but what’s even cooler is that it’s also a sign of the times in 2k9 – all sorts of different peoples working together, throwing events together, crossing over and ensuring there are fun things to do in Boston. This did not exist a year ago, and the bitterness between scenes and parties seems to have subsided for a bit. 200-hate is over, dance lives in the New Year.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Eli Reed signs to Virgin Records

So says he via Lemmingtrail. Good on ya, chap! "After what seemed like forever of contract negotiations on Tuesday I finally signed with EMI/Virgin records. I am really psyched to start working on another record and to make the best damn record I've ever made. 2009 is gonna be a good year."

Logan 5 & the Runners CD release Jan. 17

Looks like I'll be walking the Harvard Avenue Shuttle tomorrow night, dividing my time between Circus (see below) and the Logan 5 & the Runners' CD release party at Great Scott.

I've discussed the sleek, space-aged glammed-out Cool Britannia sound of these cats in the past, and now it's great to see L5&TR getting the attention of other media outlets: Just this week, the Boston Phoenix, the Weekly Dig and all chimed in on the release of their debut, "Featurette."

The overall depth to "Featurette" is impressive -- I'm still not sure if this is an album to get dolled up to, or if it's a morning-after soundtrack while waiting for the haggard bird on your floor to hail a cab. It combines elements of both situations, the before and the after while blurring the in-between, reinforcing a notion that the nightlife mindset and culture, and all their bitter mistresses, can certainly exist at 3pm. The disc doesn't have the pace of of a frantic eyeliner smear in the back of a hired car, but it doesn't need to. It moves along through the window-less dive bars and unrecognizable bedrooms on the edge of town with the lyrical navagation of Jarvis Cocker storytime. This is certainly not a road map of Boston, but more a not-so-distant-future societal decay where the glitter fades into dust while personal inner turmoil shines like gold. There are girls, there are boys, there is confusion, and there is boredom. But there's also drugs, there is also alcohol and the overall sentiment that no one really knows what the fuck is going on anymore as lines between reality and the internet cloud the soul. "Featurette" postures as a big-screen Orwellian dissertation, but is aware enough to know the message can be just as poignant relayed as text mesasage or IM. This is the new world.

And shit -- as a Vanyaland bonus, the band has passed along three free downloads to get you all jazzed up for tomorrow's show. I've played "Girls on the Internet" every week early-on at the pill since I scored the disc a few months ago, and it's worth a listen. Enjoy!

Girls of the Internet

Larry Tee this weekend @ Circus

Last week's Circus party was snowed-out, so leave it to the FTW kids to up the ante and bring it hard this Saturday.

Coming up from the Dirty Apple is the legendary Larry Tee, the man whose history stretches back to the NYC 80s techno grime, through the early 90s Club Kids era of Disco 2000 and into this millennium as the man who essentially created electroclash by rounding up fledgling electronic artists just as the century-turn hit. Tee's vision for the electroclash festival was ahead of its time, and despite it becoming a catch phrase for an entire genre by lazy journalists (or were they just hungry?) when that genre didn't have more than a handful of songs, it exploded into the new culture based almost solely on brand identity.

I've always believed that that scene, despite its skeptics who still don't get its original intention as nothing more than a festival, was a precursor to the electro/nu-disko/blog house revolution that's taking over the world.

Things have evolved since the days of Berliniamsburg at Luxx, and the new synth wave has much to credit to Larry Tee. Hear him kill shit proper Saturday night at Privus Lounge. 11pm, no cover. I can't fucking wait to hear what he'll drop.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

HELLAUXX relaunch Jan. 28

Around the world, the term HELLAUXX/HELLEAUX might be recognized as common gay slang, but here in Boston is means one thing: ferocious motherfucking electro dance party.

Yes, I know this shit is still a few weeks away, but 1) it features my woman, 2) Rogue Waves always kill it and 3) this party rules. Now it hops the river from E-Room over to my hood, the Jan. 28 launch party kickstarting a bi-weekly schedule. Jay K the DJ is an added bonus.

Sushi coma on a Wednesday night? Well then, hellauxx.

Reef Cafe RIP

Boston -- and especially a neighborhood like Allston -- is a city transient by nature. Nothing ever lasts, and 99 percent of the time, that's a good thing. Then suddenly a place like Reef Cafe closes and my whole world shatters like its storefront window after a drunken Todd inexplicably throws a rock through it at 3am.

Reef was by far my favorite place to eat, not only in Allston, but Boston in general. (Documented in the Boston Phoenix in September.) It kinda started my health kick, as I replaced several days a week of fast food binges with Reef's Lebanese cuisine, made on-site by the elder stateswoman of the family down in the basement. Chicken Shwarma was my jam, but the garlic place -- oh the garlic paste -- put this place on the map. And hey, if your girlfriend needed new jeans -- there was a black market shelf near the counter. But that's another story entirely...

I'll always remember Reef having a huge neon sign that said "buffalo chicken wings," clearly a ruse designed to lure drunk college students who didn't know better. I was one, when I first walked in on the recommendation of the Herald food editor, and despite ordering those wings, the guy behind the counter told me they didn't have them, asked why I liked them, and proceeded to make me a Lebanese dish of similiar taste and spice. From there, I was hooked. Kibby, Babaganoush, grape leaves, lamp kabob... The best-tasting food I'd ever had, and certainly more healthy than a BK Double Stacker and chicken fries.

Salaam behind the counter was as much a friend as he was a business owner, and knew how to cater my order -- every time I called in, without me even asking: heavy on pickles and extra heavy on the garlic paste. That god damn chicken shawarma plate was salvation.

There are rumors the family will re-open a sit-down restaurant somewhere around Boston, but the inexpensiveness and decor of the Allston locale -- from styrofoam plates to enlarged wall photos of Beruit in the early 70s -- will be missed as much as the food.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Pavement becomes Pay-vement

So the NME is reporting that Loud and Quiet is reporting that Pavement COULD reform for this summer's Coachella Festival.

Says a band member not named Steven Malkmus: "Coachella keep asking our booking agent but our booking agent's pretty strong. He's waiting for the right number, I think." Least he's honest about it.

Flight of the Conchords screening on Friday

There is a fuck ton of dope shit going on this weekend (the pill, Larry Tee @ Circus, Logan 5 CD release @ Great Scott, Emergency Music's last show, etc.) and I hope to get into all that once I piece my head back together after last night's hour-long closing set at Throwed.

But the party train gets rolling early this Friday as Great Scott hosts a free screening party for the second season of Flight of the Conchords. RSVP here for free admission and open bar, which runs from 7 to 10 pm. I seriously can not under-fucking-stand the appeal of this show, but hey, so goes it.

DJ Shuttle (formerly DJ Etan, who does in fact rule) spins before/between/after the dual-episode screening, and then the pill takes over at 10 on our usual Friday night modern indie tip.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Real Chance of... Throwed!

I know. You exhausted yourself last night watching the Real Chance of Love finale (No one, Chance? Corn Fed, Real?!?!! Ahhhh) and have nothing left for tonight, a usually sleepy Tuesday night in Boston. But no. It's fucking on. I jump in the booth for a guest set at Throwed, with E-Marce and Jay K rounding shit out for what should be a ferocious weekday electro dance party in the ARC. Hit me up for list action. xo

Monday, January 12, 2009

Radio 4 injured Friday night

Yikes! I knew Radio 4 got into a van accident and canceled their show at Great Scott with Head Automatica over the weekend, but I had no idea they narrowly escaped certain death! From the NYC dance rock dudes via their website:

"On the way home from the head automatica show in Philadelphia - we flipped our van, and all our equipment was destroyed. After the van flipped and we scrambled out through broken windows, a car hit the van destroying all the gear. No one was really hurt but we are in tremendous pain today, as well as being seriously shaken up."

Glad everyone is OK. Like Radio 4, I never made it to that Great Scott show, though my excuse was general laziness and the snowstorm and not hellacious Philly highways!

New Morrissey video

While I'm still blown away by the amazingness that was last night's premiere of "The Tool Academy" (I still don't know what a Matsuflex is -- doesn't Dice-K do that when he warms up?), along comes the new video from Morrissey. Clearly still stuck in his "Vegas Era," it's a fairly boring video for a fairly boring song. But stick around post-video, and peep the commercial for "One Ton Son." Creepy as fuck. I thought all Brits were as skinny as Jarvis Cocker?!?

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Tool Academy? Mega, please

UPDATE: We're down to the Final Five on VH1's amazing piece of modern art, the Tool Academy!. <3 this show.

It's a snowed-in Sunday, but there is good news. While most VH1 shows are pretty much all academies for tools (albeit amazing ones I watch every day), a new one has finally come to terms with its own existence.

Yes, VH1 has another potential classic on its hands with The Tool Academy, airing now and again tonight at 10pm. Bronzed-up and tribal-tatted d-bags try to shape up for their pudgy, busted girlfriends under the watchful sponsorship of Jagerbomb USA. I wonder how many of these dudes are from Long Island. Actually, I think I went to high school with one. But so far it's pretty awesome, and "M.E.G.A., please" is already the new "Your Party Was Whack."

And equally awesome other shows are on the way: The Entertainer, Heat, Tailor Made, Buddha and Angelique highlight the cast of I Love Money 2, premiering Feb. 2. Some weak links here, but uh, wait, is that a TAG on MILF's bikini? *palmedheadslap*

Friday, January 9, 2009

Not gonna lie...

... I kinda wanna hit up Great Scott tomorrow night to see Head Automatica, but only for the four minutes they play Beating Hearts Baby, one of the great guilty pleasures of the 2000s for those just a bit too old to truly embrace its teen-<3-emo-licious awesomeness.

But unless I can pinpoint the exact moment HA play it, if at all, I'll likely just be chillaxing in a sea of bass-thump and appletinis over at Circus. Don't know much about the DJs this week other than that Jeff Gil holds down the sound there each Saturday, but this party never disappoints. Snow Maki heaven awaits...

Get on the Bruins bandwagon

As the Boston Bruins are the last team of the Big 4 in New England to get their championship groove on, I have a three-story cover spread in today's Herald on how to get on the Bs bandwagon before it fills up entirely this spring. As a Devils fan, I'll admit it -- They look damn good, and even better, they are young, charasmatic and gritty.

Main story: Bruins are scoring with fans
Side: Hit the Penalty Box on Causeway for a pre-game drink
Side: How the Bs compare to popular local athletes

Thursday, January 8, 2009

the pill live schedule, 2k9q1

I've finally rounded out the pill's live sked through April, and I'm pretty psyched on it. Only one of the six bands have partied with us before, so we have some fresh bloodz on stage as we stampede towards the 12th anniversary later this year at Great Scott.

Coming up this winter and early spring @ the pill:
Jan. 30: Viva Viva
Feb. 13: the Sun Lee Sunbeam
Feb. 27: Giantess
March 20: the Toothaches
April 3: Age Rings
April 17: Televandals

BonChon Chicken @ Privus

I'm already addicted to Privus' sushi (which has replaced fast food 100% in my diet) but now the Allston lounge has raised the stakes with BonChon, Korean fried chicken that is so effin good, the lady and I grab it to go after our maki coma. From my Cheap Thrills column in today's Herald, which also includes free Oni screenings at MoS and Game Night at Noir in Cambridge:

BonChon chicken at Privus Lounge in Allston

165 Brighton Ave. Open daily, 5 p.m. to 2 a.m., $9.95-$10.95
A sushi lounge might not be the first place to look for the city’s best chicken, but Privus Lounge is now the first to bring BonChon to the Hub. A Korean fried-chicken franchise based in New York, BonChon is lightly seasoned and heavily delicious, dipped and cooked in either soy-garlic or hot-spicy sauces. For $9.95, eat-in or take home 10 pieces of wings or five drumsticks ($10.95 scores both in smaller portions). There are larger sizes, but hey, we’re Cheap Thrills. And this is as thrilling as chicken gets.
Info: 617-787-7483,,

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

House of Blues job fair

Good news for shitty musicians everywhere! If you're not good enough to play the House Of Snooze on Lansdowne, you could at least work there!

Thursday Night Dancefest

Tonight's gonna be washed out, so why not look ahead to two whitehot parties going down tomorrow, Jan. 8.

Make it New in Cambridge always brings in international DJs they tell us we should already know about, then we end up sleeping on it and see the pics the next day and then get all frowny-eyed and skunk-tailed. Well here's advanced warning: Marcel Dettmann of Berlin nightlife mecca Berghain drops by the Middlesex Lounge for what should be the Techno set of the early year. Oh, he's also retardedly attractive, so leave the girlfriend home.

Across the river and down in the Dot, So Dope kicks off the new year at dbar with a free indie-electro party featuring Damien Paul of Technolust and resident Jay K the DJ. This is the new party to keep an eye on in 2k9. Options, folks, we have options.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Giantess' "You Were Young" and Boston electronic music

This time last year, I was all about the Passion Pit EP I had on a dodgy burned CD-R, and my obsession clearly was the catalyst for them becoming all famous (Ha!). Now, another local synthpop act I've pegged for stardom is ruling my domespace, with a pill show coming Feb. 27.

They're called Giantess, and their jam 'You Were Young' is the feel-good hit of the winter. Seriously, if this shit doesn't warm your heart and melt all the ice outside, nothing will. Got that Passion Pit vibe, and will probably encite a thousand dance parties from here to San Francisco.

But it got me thinking. Now that Passion Pit are huge and Giantess soon will be, there's suddenly this blossoming synthpop and electronic music scene in Boston. Vets Freezepop and Lifestyle have held shit down for years, but now comes Chester French, Matters & Dunaway, Coralcola, Andre Obin, and even Big Digits. Not all have the same sound, mind you (and yes I know Coralcola is Worcester and M&D are RIP), but Boston isn't just a garage rock city anymore. Dance lives.

Rescue Nite ::: New party at the Model

New party from the good folks @ Rescue in Allston. I've never been a huge fan of the Model, especially for dance parties, but the soundtrack here sounds dope (if not kinda familiar, though with more of a punk turn) and as long as it doesn't infringe on my Rock of Love time, should be worth a look. Viva la Allston, Rising tide lifts all boats, all together now... all that stuff. Boston is seriously becoming one fun fucking town again.