Thursday, April 30, 2009

New look of the Milky Way in JP

I've yet to make it over to the new Milky Way Lounge & Bella Luna restaurant at the Brewery Complex on Jamaica Plain's Amory Street (not too far from its original location on Centre Street), but these photos of the interior are now making the media rounds. Looks pretty cool, and while the candlepin lanes didn't make the jump, the new joint has Skee-ball, "retro games" and most importantly, a dance floor. I dig.

Ride... the snake? Venom Lounge party

Not sure what I'm up to this evening, though I'll likely sit out the Trust party in JP with DJ Shuttle from Passion Pit. If I can pry myself away from the Millionaire Matchmaker, I might hit up the fairly new Ride party at Boylston St.'s Venom Lounge, which by name I assume is affiliated with the Rattlesnake. Casey from FTW is poppin' bottles in the DJ booth along with other good peeps, so why not shake it up on this fairly uneventful Thursday?

Lovers, Muggers & Thieves -- A Boston Memoir by Jonathan Tudan

I get tons of shit sent to me every day at the day job, but this might just be the coolest thing ever: "Lovers, Muggers & Thieves - A Boston Memoir", was written by Jonathan Tudan (Hawknet Publishing) and chronicles his experience as a college freshman managing a Combat Zone flophouse in 1969. Can't wait to read this over the weekend, and maybe get Tudan on the horn (he's now based in Los Angeles) for some other seedy details of his youth. Look at this cover.

ITP: Cheap Thrills weekend & VNV

From today's Cheap Thrills column: Sunday's May Fair in Harvard Square with Chester French and the Luxury, Friday's North End Spring Stroll and motherfucking Goths on Wheels 2 on Saturday (flyer below). Woo!

Speaking of mildly uncomfortable darkwave events -- VNV Nation hits the Paradise on July 17, tix on sale tomw. Not sure how I feel about all this. Maybe one day I can reclaim my 2nd favorite band ever, but still not for a long time. I played "Standing" a few months ago, didn't even make it to the good part. Girls are shit sometimes.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Circus: B. Rich leaves for Pittsburgh

Sad to see B.Rich leave us for Crosby City, but at least saying goodbye this Saturday at Circus will be bass-loads of fun. Los Angeles' own Reid Speed is also on the bill, and I think last time we saw her Hub-crash was at the Roxy's Franki Chan party. So this shit will be crazed, especially after B.Rich absolutely KILLED at the Beetroots a few weeks ago. Raise a glass, dance it up, order BonChon to go. And by the way, eff the overrated Penguins.

Charm School back on VH1. Sweet

Not that I can think of anything besides last night's neverending Nightmare on Ice, but hey, looks like a third season of Charm School premieres May 11 on VH1. I'm all for some more Brittanya on my TV, and it'll be fun to have Ashley and Bay Bay Bay back in the crazybitch fold, but why oh why only "Rock of Love Bus" and "Real Chance of Love" girls?!?! Time to ex-pa-hand.

Get some "Ray J" bitches* up in there, get the girlfriends from "the Tool Academy" in there, maybe even get the hag leftovers from the unwatchable "Tough Love" in the mix. Let's spice this shit up! Oh, and -- RICKI LAKE?!?! Tha'hell she been up to, besides apparently vacationing in Bulimia? (*Please bring back Feisty. For anything.)

Bodega Girls party tonight @ Middlesex

I'm still traumatized from last night, but if I were out on the town this evening I'd be here, dancing it up with the Bodega Girls down at the Middlesex. Party info here. (Psst! BG @ the pill on July 10!)


Thanks, NJ Devils, for breaking my heart once again. Another Atlantic Division crown, another 1st round ass-kicking in the playoffs. I didn't think it was possible to be more devastated after that 0.2-seconds-left goal shit a few days ago, but you've found a way to top it.

This is worse than Matteau. That was a team on the rise. This is just... I can't even describe it. I hope Eric Staal gets the swine flu. I'll always be proud to be a Devils fan, but this hurts. A lot.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

New Collisions tonight in Cambridge

I had every intention of catching The New Collisions tonight over at TTs, but it looks like the Devils-Hurricanes Game 7 clusterfuck will keep me homebound. Which is a bummer, because I think New Collisions are one of the more exciting bands to emerge from the local scene in the past year or so, swinging the new wave revival stick toward where the Blondies and Missing Persons' hang out in the bar, impressively crafting a fresh sound from the '77-'83 synthpop/post-punk beast.

There's a bit of West Coast flavor to all this, too, and the sound is very un-Boston. "In A Shadow" has been well recieved at the pill in recent weeks, and "Parachutes on the Dance Floor" has gotten love on the local radio circuit. NYC blog Lucid Culture has a recap of a recent Arlene' Grocery performance... and despite tonight's detour we can all catch them at the pill on June 19. (oh shit stealth plug!)

The return of Cave In

Hey remember Cave In? Well, they're back (sorta), playing Great Scott on July 19 -- word on the street is that tickets are $12 and go on sale this Friday at 10am. Disappearer and Phantom Glue are also on the Sunday night bill.

ITP: Charlie Murphy tapes live DVD @ Wilbur

I had the pleasure of hanging backstage at the Wilbur Theatre on Saturday night with Charlie Murphy at the filming of his new stand-up comedy DVD, which I review slash feature in today's Boston Herald. Fuck yo couch, nigga!, indeed.

Early on, Murphy touched on the whole Chappelle Show "Charlie Murphy!" bit, but stayed away from entirely rehashing the now-legendary Rick James and Price stuff. It would have been cool for him to recite that shit ("Game, blouses"), but props to him for dishing out new material and not relying on stuff from four years ago. Much like darkness, his popularity is spreading -- both shows were sold out at the cavernous 1,100-capacity Wilbur.

I only wish he served us pancakes afterwards. Pancakes.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Daisy of Love debuts tonight on VH1

Just in time for spring, Daisy sprouts up on VH1 yet again. I had the great pleasure of talking to Daisy de la Hoya (<3 her forever, despite her not-so-cheery attitude on the phone) last week to discuss "Daisy of Love", which premieres tonight at 9pm on VH1.

Looks like we have another winner on our hands, and just in time -- "I Love Money 2" has just chumps left, the a-fucking-plus "For the Love of Ray J" is over (unfortch) and the stale but still watchable "Rock of Love Bus" is done (very fortch).

So here comes miss Daisy, and it'll be good to catch up with my mancrush 12 Pack. I have no idea what to think about 84, 85 and 86 and the rest of these fools, but it should be great TV. Everyone go get tested afterwards!

The Luxury win the Rock N' Roll Rumble

Props to the Luxury for taking home the crown in the finale of ze 31st annual 'BCN Rock N' Roll Rumble Friday night at the Middle East. Wasn't there to bear witness to Jason Dunn's well-deserved triumph, but Ryan's Smashing Life has the fitting recap.

Also, the guys and gals of Boston Band Crush are on BCN's Boston Emissions tonight at 9pm discussing all things Rumble. My early prediction for next year's winners? THE HONORS

Friday, April 24, 2009

Three dope new Bruins commercials

Now I'm certainly no Boston Bruins fan (unless they play the Rag$ next round, of course), but a friend in the organization sent along these new Bs commercials, and they're pretty funny. The Bear's a bit haggard, but who in the Hub these days isn't? Well done to the Mullen Agency for creating these.

Oh, and BTW -- In Marty We Trust

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Decemberists & Deerhunter free show

Gotta hand it to Brandeis University for booking cool shit for its Spring Fest 2009 and allowing everyone to attend. The Decemberists, Deerhunter, RJD2, Asher Roth and a Brandeis-based band are all playing on the Waltham college's Chapels Field this Sunday starting at noon, and it's cool it's not one of those must-know-a-Brandeis-student-to-get-in affairs because... well, who the fuck knows anyone that goes to Brandeis?

ITP: Rumble final, Cheap Thrills and '90s attack on Earth Fest

Herald round-up of my bylines today, all in one tidy place:

- The Rumble final is tomorrow, and I talked with Ward Hayden of last year's winner Girls Guns & Glory on what it takes to win.

- Hey, EarthFest... Fucking Soul Asylum? Really? As if the Lemonheads, Seven Mary Three and Shawn Mullins weren't enough. Alterna-dads unite!

- Some Cheap Thrills for the weekend, including sailing instructions, King Richard's Faire auditions and Charles River cleanup.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Bret Easton Ellis' The Informers

Seeing as I only go to the movie theatre once every 15 months, I'm already calling this my favorite film of 2009. I'm always a sucker for anything Bret Easton Ellis despite me being old and boring these days, so I'm sold. God fucking god this looks great.

Silversun Pickups crash the Billboard charts

I've yet to totally get into it after I bought it the day it came out, but Silversun Pickups' new album "Swoon" has crashed the Billboard album chart, hitting Number 7 with 43,313 units sold in its first week. Hot damn!

"Panic Switch," which is not entirely a cover of Smashing Punkins' "I Am One" (hey, it's cool with me, both songs rule) sits at Number 6 on the Modern Rock radio chart. Well done, boys and girl.

I was utterly obsessed with Carnavas when it came out a few years ago, providing an escapist soundtrack to accompany the worst professional job I've ever had, worst relationship I suckered myself into and an endlessly terrible living situation. While I've yet to find a "Common Reactor" on the new album, I haven't written it off yet and need to dive back into it. I filmly believe this band is brilliant, and their show at the Middle East Up the day before I started at the Herald remains a personal concert highlight.

Sadly, the closest they're coming to Boston in the immediate future is Aug. 2, when they do the All Points West fest down in Dirty Jerz.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Chester French to headline 2009 May Fair

From the ol Hotline bloggery: Chester French, the Luxury and Sarah RabDAU are among the performers at this year's May Fair, which takes over Harvard Square on May 3. The Harvard grads-turned-pop-stars will headline. Shit is free and always much fun.

Tuesday night rox: Lights Out & Logan 5 @ GS

Today sucks. It's raining, my lady is still a billion miles away and I'm got blistering California sunshine on my mind. Fortunately, there is salvation by way of Rock Show this evening, when the always on-point and fellow Pela worshipper Ryan's Smashing Life wrangles up two of my fav locals in the Lights Out and Logan 5 & the Runners (There are more, somewhat professional thoughts over in Hotline-land. But hey, not too professional.)

I don't know much about Atlanta's FishHawk other than the creepy Mother Love Bone vibe I got after my 30-second listening trial, and I'm ready and willing to be impressed with the kids in Hundred Years War (Allston reprazent!).

In any event, it's good shit on a shitty and rainy Tuesday.

Oh no? Oh yes! New Passion Pit video

My beloved boys in Passion Pit, in advance of debut album "Manners" synth-slapping us in the grilldome May 19, have released the video for lead single "The Reeling." This shit is pretty cool. Oh nooo-ohhhh-ohhhhhhhhhhhh! (I found this, btw, on MTVu.)

Also, Passion Pit returns to Boston on June 18 for a dance at the Dise, which should be a pretty sweet homecoming gig for our latest underground pop darlings.

Monday, April 20, 2009

New dance mix : Black Heart Disco Star

I've been a fan of DJ Addambombb ever since one of his mixes turned me onto Seabound's "Hooked" back in the ManRay days. Long a fixture in Boston's goth/industrial scene, now he's I think mainly based in Northampton, with a new mix available for download called Black Heart Disco Star. An imposing figure, Addam's always known his shit in the darkwave/EBM vein, but it's good to see him latch on to some newer electro sounds.

2009: Abbey bands take over the Rumble final

You could say that 2009 was the year Abbey bands took over the 'BCN Rock N' Roll Rumble, less than a year after the Somerville music venue slash dive bar closed up shop.

The finalists, set to Rumble this Friday at the Mid Easy:

Wild Card entry: The Luxury -- Brit-flavored indie could be first wild card winner since 2006's Campaign for Real Time.
Semis Night 1 winner: Gene Dante & the Future Starlets -- Wham bam thank you glam, Dante is one angry inch of a performer.
Semis Night 2 winner: The Dirty Truckers -- Scene veterans' tight-knit replacements-rock perhaps a suprise finalist.

What is needed: a 4/20 izm party

Life has forcefed me a shit sandwich all weekend: my laptop is in Geek Squad purgatory, my inspection-failing Jetta is dying a slow death and my loving girlfriend is on business in Vermont all week. Aside from Travis Zajac, life is fairly shit. So I might imbibe the smokey smokes this evening at the Jumpoff's 420 bash, featuring izm-inspired tunes, a DJ set from one-man beat-wrecking crew Coralcola and pizza. Lots of pizza, I hear.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Believe in Britpop: Elastica

Last week's shitshow ending to the pill was quite fun, all culminating in the extended freak-session outro of Stone Roses' "I Am The Resurrection" to close out the last 10 minutes. But drunkenly, I apparently went on a Britpop Force binge in the DJ booth, but all I recall are Blur "Popscene," Suede "Metal Mickey" and Elastica "Stutter." So in feeling all sorts of Friday, I'm adding the visual to the fuzzy memory.

Even in my older years, I still have quite the thing for miss Justine Frischmann. If you think this was an excuse just to post this video, you've won a Mew-signed copy of the "Menance."

Dante & his Starlets rock to Rumble final

Gene Dante & the Future Starlets won last night's Rumble semifinal night 1, and here's the recap on my Hotline blog. The question here isn't how he won, the real question is... uh, the dude kinda looks like me, doesn't he??! May I have my eyebrows back, Gene? Fancy a jawline and perfect nose? (This kinda shit always freaks out adopted kids, btw):

Dante’s inferno keeps burning up the Rumble.

Gene Dante & the Future Starlets glam bam thank you ma’am’ed their way to the final round of the WBCN Rock N’ Roll Rumble last night, taking home top prize in the first of two back-to-back semifinal nights. Dante and his sharply dressed crew of boys and girls surpassed a blitzkrieg effort by preliminary-round winners Sarah RabDAU & the Self Employed Assassins and the Lights Out, as well as spunky wild card entry the Have Nots.

Like a cigarette tracing a ladder to the stars, Dante’s cheeky post-glam rock and its lipstick-smeared angry inch was enough to sway the judges at the Middle East downstairs, cementing his glitter-lined slot in next Friday’s highly-anticipated final round.

His opponents in this rock n’ roll throw down are yet to be decided. The second night of the semis continue tonight in Central Square, with preliminary winners Gravehaven, the Dirty Truckers, the Luxury and wild card winner Destruct-a-Thon battling it out.

A wild card winner will be decided between the two semifinal nights, rounding out the three-band lineup at next week’s Rumble conclusion. Tonight’s show information is at

The Semifinals, Night 2 players:
Night 1 winner: The Luxury
Night 2 winner: Gravehaven
Night 3 winner: The Dirty Truckers
Wild Card winner: Destruct-a-Thon

Thursday, April 16, 2009

04.17.09: Televandals live @ the pill

Fresh off our rousing victory in the Phoenix Best '09 poll (see below), the pill celebrates this Friday by welcoming Televandals to our fucked-up drunken dance party stage. My quick bio from on our favorite Allston-bred electro punks:

Sometimes the pill gets too polished. The look sharp mantra coats the night in sleekly inspired aesthetics, the Britpop soundtrack sparkles like a midday UK radio transmission and the dance lights of Great Scott shine in colorful cascades that belie these darkened times. Then a band like Televandals comes around the shadowy corner of Abott Square and makes us realize why we drunkenly dance into the a.m., why our jilted generation is bred on fierce rejection and why our daytime excuses flow like the wine we pour at night. Like a lightning storm in a Korg factory, this week’s live guest runs the Clash through the electronic grinder, perpetually building its Satistact-ian cause as a dent in Boston’s ever-exploding rock scene. Buoyed on the dance floor by Zak Broman of Roguewaves’ “Dirty Lovers” remix treatment and a firefight live attack at last month’s SXSW festival, Televandals bring the gritty rock n’ roll ruckus like few others. Like Paul Weller of the Jam once sang, “this is the modern world.” Tune in, drop out.

Catch a preview over at look sharp!

The Pill wins Best Dance Night, '09 Phx Poll

Some good news as I finally come to: the pill wins Best Dance Night in the 2009 Boston Phoenix Readers Poll. Fuck yeah! The (assumingly positive) words that accompany:

Hipsters and scenesters and nerdsters and every other kind of cultural archetype that you can mold into a “ster” all love to get down ironically. Cue the indie tunes at THE PILL AT GREAT SCOTT, the Friday-night dance party that won’t leave you rolling your eyes at the plethora of Top 40 hits and the sorority girls who love to bicuriously grind to them. Britpop is clearly DJs Ken and Michael V’s ear candy of choice, and local bands (like Age Rings, Taxpayer, MEandJOANCOLLINS, and Emergency Music) regularly hit the Great Scott stage to give the wheels of steel a chance to cool down . . . but never for too long.

THE PILL AT GREAT SCOTT | 1222 Comm Ave, Allston | 617.566.9014 |

Blackout in the Red Room

Well, yesterday never happened. Damn...

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

TT the Bear's remembering Jeanne Connolly

TT the Bear's Place's beloved bartender Jeanne Connolly passed away earlier this year, and now a host of the Cambridge venue's regular performers are coming together in her honor. The official word, just released by Randi Millman:

Please join us Sunday May 3, 2-5pm at TT's, to celebrate and remember our dear friend and co-worker Jeanne Connelly. This is a free event, open to the public, 21+. There will be food and short acoustic sets from Ad Frank, Shawn Wortis, Eric Doberman, Ed Valauskas, Jen D'Angora, The Luxury, Andrea Gillis, Wide Iris, The Dirty Truckers, JJ Rassler & Joe Queer, Joyce Raskin & Chick Graining, Pete Cassani, The Curtain Society, Dave Aaronoff, Thalia Zedek, Kevin Patey & Amy Griffin, Bo Barringer, Juliana Nash and more. Tell a friend and we hope to see you! previews new Depeche Mode

It seems that is previewing snippets from the new Depeche Mode album, Sounds of the Universe. I'm not sure what's more annoying -- the lack of melody in most of the songs, or that I can only get about 30 seconds of each track. Either way, cool to catch an aural glimpse of the Mode's 12th studio album, set to drop on Hitler's birthday. In fairness, all the songs sound better than "Wrong," the lead single.

Some added thoughts here on my Hotling blog: There’s definitely an old-school Mode vibe going on here, as “Fragile Tension” and “Peace” recall the early ’80s “Speak & Spell” era of the band, while “Little Soul” has a darker “Songs of Faith and Devotion” cloud hovering above it... This could be promising, and maybe Depeche Mode’s best work since 1997’s vastly underrated “Ultra.” (”Exciter” and “Playing The Angel,” both released this decade, did nothing for this longtime fan.)

Monday, April 13, 2009

So Dope afterparty this Friday

Might already be in a coma from the Televandals gig at le pill this Friday (and I do enjoy this recent domestic life of illegal Chinese food delivery over crack house afterparties), but a post-party alternative has sprung up downtown, featuring a crew I'm quite fond of. It's RSVP-only, but that shouldn't stop the ability to dance until sunrise.

New head shop in Allston?

What's this all about? The Joint. Need to get the Possum Izm crew down to Comm Ave near BU (across from Shaw's) to investigate.

Gunnar Stahl movie-worn jersey on eBay

I still collect hockey jerseys, so while this isn't my cup of tea I'm sure it's someone's white whale. For a Buy-it-Now price of $1,000, you can own the movie-worn jersey of Gunnar Stahl from "D2: the Mighty Ducks." I shit you not. This might be the coolest thing to ever hit eBay.

Rumble gets buzz back; semis lineup confirmed

Gave a quick shout out to Boston Band Crush and Ryan's Smashing Life in my Hotline column today, two blogs which along with Twitter updates have enhanced this year's BCN Rumble. The whole thing seems more alive this year, and the ambitious coverage and immediate reactions (videos, recaps, etc.) by BBC and RSL is probably the result.

And to update my piece: The Have Nots (Thursday) and Destruct-a-thon (Friday) are the two Wild Card winners, announced last night on BCN's Boston Emissions show. Moving on then...

The semis lineup:
Thursday, April 16
The Have Nots 9:30-10:00
Sarah RabDAU and Self-Employed Assassins 10:30-11:00
The Lights Out 11:30-12:00
Gene Dante and the Future Starlets 12:30-1:00

Friday, April 17
Destruct-a-thon 9:30-10:00
The Luxury 10:30-11:00
The Dirty Truckers 11:30-12:00
Gravehaven 12:30-1:00

I like the Lights Out in night one, then Gravehaven or the Luxury in the second stint. We'll see.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Giantess say "Yes" to name change

Also from my column today: It’s a familiar name game: J. Mascis’ Dinosaur added “Jr.,” a horde of British bands added “UK” and now Boston synth-pop act Giantess has added “Yes.”

The emerging local band has altered its name to Yes Giantess after the Canadian band Giantess (that once included members of the New Pornographers) demanded the change.

“Finally the legalities caught up with us,” singer Jan Rosenfeld told Hotline.

Ironically, the Canadian Giantess had to change its original name, Battles, after N.Y. experimental band Battles took offense. What a tangled web we weave.

Meanwhile, Yes Giantess just released a white vinyl double-single through uber-hip label Neon Gold Records. The group tours the UK this spring and hits the Middle East in Cambridge with Paper Route on May 31.

Palmer Dolls up Lexington High drama dept.

From today's Hotline: Turns out you can go home again. If you’re Amanda Palmer, that is.

The part-time Dresden Doll returns to her roots next month when she stages a play at Lexington High School with her former theater teacher, Steven Bogart. Palmer graduated in 1994.

The work, tentatively titled “The Needle That Sings in Her Heart,” is centered around the thoughts of Anne Frank and features a cast of 20 students. Music and lyrics are inspired by a much different source: Neutral Milk Hotel’s seminal 1998 indie rock album, “In the Aeroplane Over the Sea.”

“There was a real sense of wild experimentation with Steve Bogart,” Palmer says in a press release. “I’m afraid that people will hear the words ‘high school drama’ and assume that this stuff will be corny and immature, and I can’t stress enough how intelligent and profound these kids are.. I’ve seen workshop shows through the years at that high school that rival most stuff in downtown New York.”

The shows, which take place May 7-9 at the LHS auditorium, are open to the public. Tickets are $10. Advanced sales at

Age Rings tonight @ le pill

I am motherfucking beat after last night's Digital Love bash, but we'll do it again Varsity style tonight as the pill welcomes Age Rings to Great Scott for their final show. Party details here, see you tonight, and if we're not completely off our tits we'll close the dance party with "I Am The Resurrection" by the Stone Roses in honor of Easter Sunday.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Cheap Thrills: DIY rawk, Jay McInerney & Legal Sea Foods

Today's Cheap Thrills column in the Herald (yeah, NJ Devils and Bret Easton Ellis references, haha):

Record Hospital Fest 2009 in Harvard Square, Cambridge
Friday at 6 p.m. at the Harvard Advocate, 21 South St., and Saturday at 4 p.m. at Holden Chapel in Harvard Yard; $10 suggested donation, all ages.
As major radio stations stay corporate and Apple plays a shell game with its song-pricing plan, it’s good to see DIY is alive and well around the Hub. One of its epicenters is Record Hospital (the underground rock wing at WHRB-FM (95.3), which this weekend welcomes 20 bands that don’t care about anything other than making great music on their terms. Descend on Harvard Square to catch the garage rock swagger of Thick Shakes, the experimental fury of Life Partners and the ferocious post-hardcore of Daniel Striped Tiger, among others. No booze, no attitude, no false promises - just good tunes.

Jay McInerney reading at Brookline Booksmith
279 Harvard St., Brookline; Monday at 7 p.m. FREE.

Once upon a time, choosing between Jay McInerney and Bret Easton Ellis was the literary equivalent of asking “Ginger or Mary Ann?” Hartford, Conn.-born McInerney returns to New England on Monday to read from his new collection of short stories, “How It Ended.” Resurrecting some old characters and introducing a handful of new ones, it’s good to see McInerney’s literary lights still shine bright, even if he was always the Ginger of the two.
Info: 617-566-6660,

Legal Sea Foods $1 oysters on the half shell
Boston-area Legal Sea Foods locations; Open daily, the special runs from 3 to 6 p.m.

It sounds demonic, but it’s probably just delicious. Legal Sea Foods has introduced its “Six for Six before Six” event, which offers bar patrons a devilish serving of a half-dozen oysters for $6 before 6 p.m. Alliteration and consistency is nice and all, but will Legal take it off the menu if the Bruins [team stats] end up facing the New Jersey Devils in the NHL’s Eastern Conference Final? Talk about a bad omen.

Winter Classic coming to Fenway Park?

The Boston Herald's Inside Track is reporting the NHL's annual Winter Classic outdoor New Year's Day game is coming to Fenway Park. This is a total no-brainer (and thankfully here and not at Gillette Stadium), but awesome nonetheless. Let's just hope it ends up being Bruins-Habs and the Rag$ are left out. The best place to sit for this game? Monster seats!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Digital Love promo video

Who is that sexy boy at :40? (And really, the end makes it all worth it, I think)

Digital Love Teaser from Damien Paul on Vimeo.

Digital Love reminder / Michael V DJ set

There's still a beast to tend to this evening down at the Dise.v.20.Privus Lounge, but here's a gentle reminder for Thursday night: I'm DJing at the launch of Digital Love, a new So Dope party that's invited myself, Jay K the DJ, Damien Paul, Brek.One, Frank White, E-marce and others to all throw down in the downstairs of the spacious confines of the Mid Easy. Andre Obin also performs live, and peep the vid down below from his old band, the wonderous Matters & Dunaway (who I need to start harassing about a reunion). This will be much fun, and hey, the Rumble is right upstairs if it's too much dance down below.

Rumble thoughts at the half-way mark

Round-ups and random thoughts from a distance on this year's WBCN Rock N' Roll Rumble, now at the halfway point down at the Middle East. Links below to my daily morning Hotline blogs below, with winners noted:

Night 1, the Luxury
Night 2, Gravehaven
Night 3, the Dirty Truckers

Faint/Ladytron afterparty @ Privus

Everybody wins. My only regret in not going to see Ladytron tonight at HoB was being unable to creepy-eye Mira and Helen, but now I can proceed to Deadmau5 as planned and chill with the Lady(s)tron at Privus afterwards, where the official afterparty for both shows goes down (info on flyer and link). FTW hooked it up, and extended Hump Day festivities for everyone. Winner, us.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Beetroot Boston Beetroot Boston Beetroot

You know, lost in all the bullshit about Bill's Bar's inevitable closing and the typical Lyons Group shellgame with that fact is that THE BLOODY FUCKING BEETROOTS ARE PLAYING TONIGHT. Teaser:

Bostonist on Black Joe Lewis has a great review of Black Joe Lewis @ the pill last Friday -- and while I never get why publications never mention the party name (just the venue) I did appreciate the line about "watch(ing) the venue's usually-passive hipster crowd become absolutely transformed by BJL's remarkable blend of blues, funk, soul, and awesome." True dat.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Illius Rock 2nite w/ Pretty & Nice

I'm still kinda cracked out from the eight shades of epic Presets & Circle smasher on Saturday, so I might sit this out (ahem Ray J). But Pretty & Nice are always fun, dynamic DJ duo Roguewaves know how to kill it in the booth and you can't beat free free free. I still have no idea what Illius is but they keep throwing free events and that's good enough for me.

Bill's Bar's last dance with the Bloody Beetroots?

Anyone who has known me through the Dark Ages of a few years ago knows I was once GM of Bill's Bar. I'll have more thoughts on its closing later, but it looks like tomorrow's Bloody Beetroots show will be the club's last. What a high note. From today's Hotline:

<Bill's Bar's last dance?
There is a rumor afloat that Bill’s Bar, the longtime Lansdowne Street rock club that has staged everything from garage rock and indie pop to hip hop acts and jam bands, may go out on an electro note.

Although some said the room would close late last month to make way for a western-themed saloon (a move that promises to further the Disney-fication of Lansdowne Street) it now looks like the doors will shut for good after Tuesday night’s Throwed dance party.

Party organizer Eric Marcelino tells Hotline the room was given a stay of execution since he had already booked the party several months ago and couldn’t find an alternate space.Italian dirty disco DJ duo the Bloody Beetroots will headline.

If Tuesday night is indeed the last dance, Bill’s is going out with a bang. Dim Mak Records’ Bloody Beetroots, who perform in masks and add a punk attitude to rave and acid dance tracks, are billed as the dirty love child of the Misfits and Daft Punk . Their Boston debut will come as a longtime rock club ends its existence.

“If you’ve ever gotten wasted at Bill’s Bar, or gotten thrown out of Bill’s Bar, this is the last chance for one last hurrah,” said Marcelino. “It’s going to be debauched.”

Doors open at 9 p.m., tickets are $15 and more information is at

Wednesday's great hipster debate

All the washed up fools will probably be at the HoB on Wednesday, which is sad because the White/Late of the Pier/Deadmau5 show at the Paradise will be nothing short of explosive. From today's Herald Hotline column:

White belt debate
Call it the first great hipster show debate of 2k9. Wednesday night at House of Blues, the kids in white belts and shotgun hair will be partying like its 2001 as indie veterans the Faint and Ladytron roll onto Lansdowne Street.

At the same time at the Paradise Rock Club, the UK’s new electro/rock hybrid is on full display courtesy of the Whip and Late of the Pier, who open for Canadian hard house DJ Deadmau5 (pronounced dead mouse).

Both the Whip and Late of the Pier owe much to their synthesized elder statesmen performing across town. The Whip specializes in sleazy drawn-out ’80s-ish electronica, while Late of the Pier emits more choppy, spastic freak-out rhythms.

So what’s a fashionable 20-something in tight black pants to do? Roll with yesterday’s tried-and-true or take a chance on tomorrow? The veterans may have the bigger draw, but those who know will roll the ’Dise.

Friday, April 3, 2009

ITP: Boston remembers Kurt Cobain

To commemorate the 15th anniversary of the Kurt Cobain suicide this Sunday, I talked to some local folk who were involved or saw Nirvana's early Boston club shows for a piece in today's Herald. This was a really fun story to research, and former FNX program director Kurt St. Thomas, who I quoted heavily, is a pretty remarkable dude.

Boston Remembers Kurt Cobain
On Sept. 24, 1991, Nirvana’s “Nevermind” was unleashed. It would go on to dethrone Michael Jackson from the top of the Billboard charts, sell more than 10 million copies and change the face of music.

The same day “Nevermind” hit store shelves, Nirvana was in Boston, getting ready for the second of two shows at Axis on Lansdowne Street. Two days earlier, as Kurt Cobain was eating dinner at Division 16 on Boylston Street with WFNX-FM (101.7) program director Kurt St. Thomas, he asked, “So you think anybody’s going to show up to this?”

About 1,000 fans lined Lansdowne Street to get into that first Axis show, a WFNX birthday bash that also featured the then-unknown Smashing Pumpkins and local band Bullet LaVolta.

As the 15th anniversary of Cobain’s suicide arrives this Sunday, Nirvana’s prefame local club shows have become the stuff of legend. Three venues loom large in Nirvana’s local legacy: Green Street Station in Jamaica Plain, ManRay in Cambridge and Axis on Lansdowne Street. Sadly, none remain in business today.

The band’s first Hub gig was at Green Street Station on July 15, 1989, a show notable in its own right: Cobain, who broke his guitar the night before, performed the entire nine-song set without one.

On April 18, 1990, Nirvana played ManRay, performing to some 75 folks piqued by the band’s “Bleach” debut. Local punk band the Bags opened. Despite its place in local lore, recollections of the event are hazy.

“I was at that show, but I don’t have too many memories besides the fact that it was loud,” said the club’s longtime DJ, Chris Ewen, who did recall Cobain briefly singing an impromptu rendition of Madonna’s “Like a Prayer.”

Ashmont Media’s Joyce Linehan, who booked the show, is also fuzzy on details.

“I really don’t remember it being that remarkable,” Linehan said. “There weren’t a lot of people there.”

But St. Thomas was.
“The show blew me away,” he said. “I remember they thought it was really weird that I worked at a commercial radio station.”

St. Thomas would go on to play Nirvana on the radio, but mostly in the wee hours. Eight months before “Nevermind” came out in 1991, he pleaded with Geffen Records to put Nirvana on the bill for the ’FNX eighth anniversary show.

“I just wanted to book my favorite band,” St. Thomas said. “I had no idea what was going to happen. They agreed to play the gig, and it was the only free gig they ever played for a radio station.”

A month before the 1991 Axis show, St. Thomas was the first DJ to play “Smells Like Teen Spirit” on the radio.

“There was nothing on ’FNX like it,” he recalled. “No other song immediately ignited a response like that. But nobody knew the name. People would call in and say, ‘What was that mosquito song?’ ”

By the time the Axis show rolled around that September, fans were ready to embrace a new sound called grunge.

Nirvana then agreed to play a second gig after being, as St. Thomas puts it, “bummed” by the 21-plus age policy at the show. So they scheduled a second Axis performance the next night with an 18-and-older admission policy in effect.

By the time Nirvana hit the stage, “Nevermind” was in stores. Cobain would never again have to worry about people showing up to a show.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

PHX OTD offers Passion Pit's "the Reeling"

I have the new Passion Pit album, and it makes sweet synthetic pop love to me with each listen. Unfortch, I can't share -- but the Boston Phoenix can, as its always-worthy On the Download blog has lead single "The Reeling" available So sweet.

I dare you to not have this hook in your head for the next 48 hours. Oh nooooo!!! Ooooh noooo-oooo-oooooo!

Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears live @ the pill 04.03

I have Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears performing live at the pill tomorrow night, and I am psyched as all hells. Everyone's been raving about this dude, with "the next James Brown" tag thrown around quite freely since he scorched SXSW last month. Here are some vids while I write up the party bio:

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Saturday: Presets show & afterparty

Saturday night is shaping up to be one motherfucker of an evening, with the Presets and the Golden Filter (whose lucious disco sleaze track "Solid Gold" I've raped twenty times over each week at the pill) playing the Paradise early on, followed up by a Presets DJ set at Circus. This is the kid of "welcome back" shit I've been expecting.

New Kasabian - 'Vlad the Impaler'

First we get new Placebo, now new Kasabian. Quite a week. Download the new Kasabian jam 'Vlad the Impaler' through the band's website until Friday, and upon first listen it sounds pretty saucy. I <3'd that first album, which still stands up today, though the second disc, "Empire," felt a bit flat to me after the title-track single. This new tune could be the remedy, though. Here's a taste:

Kasabian - Vlad the Impaler from Kasabian on Vimeo.

April Fool's column: U2, BCN, Passion Pit & NKTOB

Here's the original draft of my April Fool's column from today's Herald:

U2 announce second secret show
Prepare to “Get On Your Boots” one more time, Somerville – U2 is coming back.

Sources told Hotline that the Irish rockers will return for a second secret show in Davis Square, this time hiring the Burren for an even more intimate night with U2.

Fans will be given wristbands at 9 a.m. this morning at the Davis Square T stop by flashing ticket stubs from any Joshua Tree concert within the past year. A man dressed as The Edge will be lurking near the outbound escalators handing out the green tags to privy fans.

“It’s a way to honor Somerville, honor our fans, our cover acts or tribute acts or whatever they’re called, as well as tie up traffic one last time throughout Somerville,” Bono wrote to Hotline in an email. “Gridlock on the drive-home commute? Magnificent.”

Some are saying the gig is a swift reaction to being knocked off the Billboard charts by Kelly Clarkson last week. Other concerts in small Irish pubs with very limited capacity are also scheduled for Secaucus, N.J., Austin, Texas and a five-show string in a Dubai island shaped like Ireland.

‘BCN switching to all Spanish
The ‘BCN Rumble could be rock’s last stand on the host’s radio station.

Once the winner of this year’s Rumble is announced via live radio broadcast April 24 at the Middle East, 104.3 WBCN will say “adios” to listeners and “hola” to an all-Spanish format.

“We have interns fast at work translating Eddie Vedder and Kurt Cobain’s lyrics into Spanish, with the music set to mariachi rhythms,” a high-ranking employee told Hotline. “Have you heard the Spanish version of Even Flow? It’s muy freaking bueno, dude.”

Passion Pit to sing national anthem
Looking to find the “next big thing” out of Boston “before they get too expensive,” the Red Sox hired local synth-pop quintet Passion Pit to perform the National Anthem at the team’s home opener Monday afternoon at Fenway.

“It’ll be unique,” a source in the organization told Hotline. “There will be more synthesizers and keyboards on the diamond than ever before. They might even throw in a sample from Joe Castiglione’s 2004 World Series call right at the end. Who can forget 2004?”

When asked about Passion Pit singer Michael Angelakos hailing from New York and if that might make the Sox faithful uneasy, the source said the band’s roots were no issue. “He’s from Buffalo,” he said. “That’s not really New York.”

NKTOB tapped for theme song to Departed 2
Looking to tap into the endless supply of coin created by the Dropkick Murphys in the original, NKTOB has been awarded rights for the theme song to 2010’s “The Departed 2.”

Producers say the Walberg connection wasn’t a factor in choosing the song, titled “Slipping up to Dorchester.” The sea shanty-inspired a capella track won out over an electro-rap collaboration between Hub rockers Aerosmith and Foxboro homegal JoJo. But fear not: a 14-minute long extended dub house remix of the Aerosmith/JoJo track is expected to be sold on iTunes.