Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Alice in Chains Layne-change return

So Alice in Chains are back, officially I guess, and are giving away their new song, the 7-minute long neo-grunge cruncher "A Looking In View," via their website. I was a fairly big AIC fan when I was 13 or so (I dare you to say "Would?" doesn't hold up), so I'm all protective of Layne Staley and the "Facelift"/"Dirt" era but then again who gives a shit life goes on and this song really isn't that terrible.
Alice in Chains - A Looking In View (Trailer)

Also, Alice in Chains hits the Paradise Sept. 7, which could/should be interesting in a curiosity sorta way. Or not. Really, I'm not sure. Here are the full NA tour listing:

July 18: Detroit, Comerica Park (with Kid Rock)
Sept. 4: Washington, 9:30 Club
Sept. 5: Philadelphia, Theatre of Living Arts
Sept. 7: Boston, Paradise Rock Club
Sept. 8: New York, The Fillmore
Sept. 15: Toronto, The Opera House
Sept. 16: Cleveland, House of Blues
Sept. 19: Chicago, House of Blues
Sept. 20: Milwaukee, The Rave
Sept. 21: Minneapolis, First Ave
Sept. 26: Portland, Roseland Grill
Sept. 28: San Francisco, CA The Fillmore

Rock Sellout with more New Collisions love

The guys and gal in the New Collisions got some blog sweet love from Rock Sellout today, and it's a cool read worth checking out.

While certainly I'm enjoying this latest dance-band wave coming out of Boston, I also like reading a Q&A that features five former pill performers oh-so-casually name-dropped (We have: Passion Pit, Yes Giantess, Televandals, the Motion Sick and the Sterns; and you can make it six if you count Freezepop, though they've never technically played our Friday).

Anyway, this new wave of Boston dance one seems intent on not only sticking around but breaking through the mystical brick wall that cements us within the 495 belt. Very exciting shit right here, and the New Collisions are living up to the heaps of hype thrown their way.

Paint Pens in Purses at Marty's in Allston

In today's Herald, I wrote about Shayna Yasuhara's Paint Pens in Purses collective dressing up the Marty's Liquors storefront after the 60-year-old business left town for Newton. Shayna is way cool peoples; check out her PPiP group here.

Group Transforms Vacant Space Into Art Showcase
By Michael Marotta/Visual Arts

During Boston’s gray and rainy spring, explosions of artistic color were added to an Allston intersection in an unlikely spot: a vacant storefront awaiting a new tenant.

The former Marty’s Liquors space on the corner of Harvard and Commonwealth avenues - where thousands of pedestrians converge with commuter traffic, the Green Line and the No. 66 bus - will be taken over by two new tenants in a few weeks. But right now it is the home of Paint Pens in Purses’ first pop-up window display.

Paint Pens in Purses is an 18-person female urban artist collective that Shayna Yasuhara started last summer. Since April 21, it has kept Marty’s emptied-out windows filled with everything from painted skateboards to street art graffiti to sketch drawings. The works by 10 artists all fit the youthful rebellion aesthetic of Allston Village.

There are sparkly unicorns, oversized painted hamburgers and colorful giant squid. The chilling photography of Molly David wouldn’t be out of place in the liner notes of a Joy Division album.

“When I walk home, I see like 10 empty storefronts,‘ said Yasuhara, who lives less than a T stop away from Marty’s. “I think it’s sad (Marty’s) is gone, but I figured the display cases are perfect for art.” (Marty’s Newton store remains open.)

Yasuhara, a 26-year-old whose collective has been sponsored by Scion and Sharpie, was inspired to phone the Hamilton real estate company and pitch her idea. It was immediately accepted.

“We do occasionally cover windows with interesting art forms during rent-up or construction,” said Hamilton owner Harold Brown, an Allston native. “We’ve supported the arts for years, and we thought this would be a nice touch. It’s good for struggling artists, and it gets them more coverage.”

Brown said that the Marty’s space will be filled with “two non-liquor type tenants, who in our opinion will add more to the community” in the coming weeks. That means Paint Pens in Purses’ exhibit will be coming down.

Filling empty storefronts with art installations is nothing new. In 2005, the Boston Redevelopment Authority launched the Boston Art Windows project in Downtown Crossing. Other groups, like Empty No Longer in New York City and Northampton’s storefrontART, are leading the charge in dressing up vacant buildings in other cities.

“We think it’s incredibly successful,” said BRA spokeswoman Susan Elsbree. “We’ve worked hard to get land owners to understand that as opposed to an empty storefront, having them filled with art is much better for everybody.”

Brown agrees. His company has given artists space in empty or under-construction storefronts in the South End and his Commonwealth Sports Club. Hamilton is also building 63 live/work art studios at the former Westinghouse plant in Hyde Park.

For Yasuhara, who will be going to Australia this summer to show her art, the exposure provides artistic validation as it enhances her neighborhood.

“It’s pretty cool,” she said. “Everybody’s out here, and every time I walk by I see people looking at it.”

Monday, June 29, 2009

Homegrown Festival a psych madhouse

For the kiddies interested in that zany psychrock, DIY dude Dan Shea (former?) booking agent of Church and previously the old Milky Way is putting together a four-night festival featuring eight bajillion cool bands. It's called Homegrown, and goes down July 16 to 19 at Church on Kilmarnock Street in the Fens, opening the potential for another zillion bands to make the tired old "We're going to Church" joke.

Anyway, Shea is offering a four-day pass for just $28, which gets you on the list for all four nights. PayPal him at bowaac@gmail.com by July 1 to get in on this deal; otherwise it's $10 each night. The lineup (and no I'm not linking them):

Thursday July 16th:
Double Awake(boston)
Ice Dragon(boston)
Alec K Redfearn and the Seizures(providence)
Truman Peyote(boston)
Head of Horns(providence)
Magic Magic(boston)
Colin's Langenus Orchestra(ex-usaisamonster)(nyc)
Major Stars(boston)

Friday July 17th
Peace, Loving(boston)
Gary War(nyc)
Magic People(boston)
Oneohtrix Point Never/Prehistoric Blackout(boston/nyc)
Bobb Trimble and his Flying Spiders(mass.)

Saturday July 18th
Mind Yeti(boston)
Many Mansions(boston)
Needy Visions(boston)
Sunburned Hand of the Man(mass./vt/ny)
Kurt Vile(pa)
Blues Control(nyc)

Sunday July 19th
World Map(boston)
Concord Ballet Orchestra Players(boston)
Baba Yaga(boston)
Geoff Mullen/Keith Fullerton Whitman duo(boston)
Prince Rama of Ayodhya(boston)
Fat Worm of Error(mass.)
Debo Band(boston)

Also from Shea: Line ups are subject to change. Order of bands is the intended order for day or performance (first to last). look for more info(including set times, etc.) at www.bowaac.com.

Another Uniform party this week

If you caught me in the DJ booth at the Good North reunion show over the weekend, you likely caught my pimp-assed black Ben Sherman cardigan with the white trim I've been desperately seeking for years. Fuck yeah. I scored it a few weeks ago at the last Uniform party in the South End, and now Gary and the gang are thowing another this Thursday from 6 to 9pm at their Tremont Street shop.

Get some July 4 BBQ threads at 30 percent off, listen to DJ Ken spin the hits and get pissed off free Victory beers. Just RSVP to Gary at gary@uniformboston.com for guaranteed entry. Look sharp; now's the chance.

FNX announces Best Music Poll lineup

From this morning's Hotline blog entry, which to this point hasn't been lifted by another Herald writer without attribution: Here's some cool, sunny news on a drab and dreary Monday morning -- FNX Radio has announced its lineup for the 2009 Best Music Poll concert, which goes down Aug. 1 at City Hall Plaza. And it's the free all-day fest this city has been waiting for. (Did I mention it's FREE?)

Headlining the BMP09 are Metric, the Airborne Toxic Event and local dance heroes Passion Pit. Also on the bill are the Bravery, the Gaslight Anthem and Ra Ra Riot, and there is a chance some of the winners (bands and DJs) from the FNX/Boston Phoenix Best Music Poll competition could be added when the those results are announced.

After last year's BMP lineup at the Bank of America Pavilion was as gray as the skies above (Presidents of the USA, Death Cab For Cutie, Bob Mould, etc.), this year's fest is a welcome upgrade and pretty reflective of the indie rock-centric FNX playlist. Hotline already has it marked as potentially the highlight of the summer, on par with the old fests FNX threw on Lansdowne Street in years past.

And word on the street is that the show was moved to City Hall from Lansdowne Street to accommodate Paul McCartney's two shows at Fenway Park Aug. 5 and 6. Apparently the former Beatle is bringing in some pretty massive cranes to clog up the strip over the Green Monster, and setting up outdoor stages around the ballpark weren't feasible.

Regardless, this should be pretty cool. Oh, and it's free.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

RIP Billy Mays

WTF is going on. Seriously, these are truly the End Times with all these celebrity deaths. Yahoo is saying Billy Mays has been found dead in his Florida home, and TMZ has the news too. From TMZ:

Mays had just returned from Philadelphia, where he shot a new OxiClean commercial. He was a passenger aboard a plane that suffered a blown front tire upon landing. He told a local TV station, "All of a sudden as we hit you know it was just the hardest hit, all the things from the ceiling started dropping. It hit me on the head, but I got a hard head."

Gonna use my Awesome Auger to dig a hole in my yard and pour out some Kaboom.

Friday, June 26, 2009

MGMT: From Great Scott to Fenway Park...

... in what, 16 months? Holy shit, Pitchfork is reporting that MGMT will open for Paul McCartney at Fenway Park in August. Electric squeal!

Michael Jackson tribute dance parties

Pulled together a quick-shot blog about some Michael Jackson tributes going on around town, mostly tonight and one banger on Sunday.

Not long after news of Michael Jackson’s death spread throughout the world and online, tribute nights and dance parties in his honor started being announced. The Retro party at Privus might have been the first, when promoter Jeff Gil posted on Facebook that the last hour of tonight’s party would be dedicated to the King of Pop. So while Jackson may have unexpectedly “Beat It,” his music lives on in the clubs and airwaves. Here are a few events paying tribute to the man and his music. As more events are announced, feel free to promote them in the comments section.

Friday, June 26:
Retro at Privus Lounge
— The weekly Allston jam spot for ’80s kicks and ’90s tricks is a likely source of MJ any Friday night of the year, but tonight the entire final hour of the party is dedicated to Jackson’s music, with resident DJs Jam Master Jeff, Gemini Caezar and Sim Simma spinning more than just a legacy. 165 Brighton Ave., Allston; 10 p.m., 21-plus, $3, www.privuslounge.com

Fridays at the Channel Cafe — Credit the Channel Cafe for the best Jackson promotion outside of lighting your hair on fire: score half-price off appetizers to anyone who properly rocks a Moonwalk, all while DJ Manny Random serves up Jackson’s greatest hits. And to equally remember Farrah Fawcett, anyone with a teased-out Fawcett hairstyle gets half off their entree. What, no dessert discounts for Ed McMahon’s laugh? 300 Summer St., Boston; 6 to 10 p.m., no cover.

Jackson on the Radio — You don’t need to hit the clubs to fill the air with Jackson’s tunes. House parties or those spending the night in should lock it to WMBR Radio 88.1 FM or www.wmbr.org. Starting at 10 p.m., DJ Nomadik dedicates her entire show to the King of Pop.

Saturday, June 27:
Snapshot Saturdays at Revolution Rock Bar
— One of the most versatile DJs in Boston, Frank White said he was already working on a Michael Jackson mega-mix days before news of his death broke. So we’re not sure if we’re excited or sad that most of it will get busted out tonight alongside his usual mix of rock, dance, Top 40 and mashups. Either way, it’ll be a celebration. 200 High St., downtown Boston; 10 p.m., 21-plus, www.revolutionrockbar.com for more information.

Status Saturdays @ District — Just announced, standard fare. Check the flyer for deets.

Sunday, June 28:
Michael Jackson Tribute night at An Tua Nua
— Four of Boston’s best crate-diggers come together to keep the weekend flowingand the musical memory of Jackson alive. DJs Bruno, Kon, Paul Foley and Mojavi spin all of Jackson’s hits and the music he inspired all night long. Foley in particular is no stranger to ’80s nights with a heavy dose of Jacko. “To measure the scope of Michael Jackson’s overarching influence one only needs to remember that he made crotch-grabbing socially acceptable all around the globe,” Foley told Hotline earlier today. “Even as he devolved into a scary monster, we still loved him.” Man in the mirror, we’re looking at you. 835 Beacon St., Kenmore Square, Boston; 10 p.m., 21-plus, free, email djbruno30@hotmail.com for more information

NJ's Static Jacks on Monday (endorsed!)

Also from today's print Hotline column, about New Jersey's Static Jacks, the best think to come out of the Garden State since Jim Dowd. This is a SICK bill for a Monday, also featuring pill kids the Daily Pravda, Lindsey Starr & the Chemical Smiles and next month's guest the Honors. This is a must-see.

Plug into Jacks
Tired of this latest new wave of synthesizers in indie music? Done waiting for the next Strokes-flavored garage rock band?

Then turn your attention to this unlikely bunch - the Static Jacks. These five 18-year-olds from New Jersey, who hit the Middle East Monday night, already have been together for five years and pledge allegiance to stripped-down guitar-driven rock ’n’ roll.

“We’re sick of synth music, too,” guitarist Henry Kaye told the Music Induced Euphoria blog. “That is why we’re here, to ... fill the void of straight set-up garage rock bands.”

Their tunes, particularly the dance-floor number “Fire On the Bridge and In The Tunnel Below” (listen on MySpace [website]) back up the talk.

Shepard Fairey returns to ICA with Chuck D

From today's rare Hotline print edition in the Herald: Controversial street artist Shepard Fairey is returning to Boston next month, and this time Public Enemy’s Chuck D has his back.

Talk about fighting the powers that be.

Fairey and the legendary rapper will hit the Institute of Contemporary Art July 31 for a dance party and art celebration dubbed “Obey Experiment REDUX.”

Of course, last time Fairey tried to DJ at the ICA, he was arrested on vandalism charges before he even got to his own party - the kickoff to his hugely popular “Supply and Demand” exhibit, which includes the iconic “Obama Hope” poster. But the artist is giving it a second shot, and this time he’ll be joined by Chuck D and collaborator Z-Trip. .

Tickets are $35 or $125 if you want VIP treatment, which gets you into the open-bar lounge and a meet-and-greet with Fairey. The Fairey exhibit, the most buzzed about in the ICA’s history, wraps Aug. 16 before heading to Pittsburgh to chill with the Stanley Cup.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

RIP Michael Jackson

As a now 30-year-old dude with an affinity for dance music, "Thriller" certainly rocked my world back in the day. TMZ with the news first, though I hope it's not true.

I'll let Ian Brown play us off...

ITP: Hotline weekend flyer series

Posted another event flyer roundup on my Hotline blog at bostonherald.com. Some hightlights of the cool shit going on around the city this weekend:

Sun Lee Sunbeam tonight in the ARC

No coincidence that the first day of SUNSHINE in for-fucking-ever here in Boston is on the same day the Sun Lee Sunbeam burn up the stage down at Great Scott. Shockingly, it's not a pill night (lolzz) but fear not -- our favorite co-ed indie kids will return to their usual Friday night throwdown in October for their CD release party, snuggled nicely between our 12th anniversary (Oct. 3) and the 7th annual Halloween show (Oct. 30).

And speaking of Halloween, yes, the 'Beam are the cats who pulled off a wonderful rendition of Elastica at our last masquerade. See you tonight.

Cheap Thrills: Wheel of Fortune, Food Inc & Chili Takedowns

From today's Cheap Thrills column in le Herald, which still is decent despite my first graph headline "Fortune-Off!" cutting snipped:

‘Wheel of Fortune’ auditions at the Solomon Pond Mall

591 Donald Lynch Blvd., Marlboro. Saturday and Sunday, 1 to 5 p.m. FREE
Wheel! Of! Fortune! Want the best way to reconnect with your family and show your parents, uncles, aunts and anyone else older than 50 that you’re still healthy and capable of saying R S T L N E while trying to decode a six-letter thing? Then audition for “Wheel of Fortune” this weekend when the Wheelmobile hits Marlboro Rock City. Those chosen to participate in the mall showdown could then be picked to spin the real-deal Wheel when the legendary game show tapes 15 episodes Sept. 3-5 at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. Haven’t you always wanted to officially buy a vowel? Go make Aunt Esther proud; you know she’ll be watching come fall.
Info: 617-488-2856, wheeloffortune.com

A brewski before the “Food, Inc.” screening in Kendall Square

Cambridge Brewing Co., 1 Kendall Square (Building 100), Cambridge, today from 6 to 8 p.m., followed by 8:20 p.m. movie screening at Kendall Square Cinema, 21-plus, $12.50.
The brains behind the local blog Boston Localvores have the right idea: Let’s all grab a beer at Cambridge Brewing Co. before heading across the street to catch the new evil eats documentary, “Food, Inc.” And once we’ve decided to never eat again, that leaves beer as the only thing we’ll gladly consume. We smell conspiracy. They’ve even worked out a package deal - a beer at CBC and the screening for just $12.50, which is a bargain steeped in important issues. Critics are calling “Food, Inc.” Upton Sinclair’s “The Jungle” for the 21st century, which is also convenient because who has time to read a book these days?
Info: bostonlocalvores.org

Boston Chili Takedown at Great Scott

1222 Commonwealth Ave., Allston. Sunday at 3 p.m., 18-plus, $10.
The Chili Takedown finally hits Boston this weekend, letting amateur cooks enter their own homemade chili for free and allowing all in attendance to sample everything for just 10 beans. But this isn’t some redneck chili cook-off way out in the sticks - that full-service bar at rock club Great Scott could make even the bad entries taste wicked delish. This isn’t suppertime, this is a battle.
Info: 617-566-9014, greatscottboston.com, chili-takedown.com

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Good North reunion show in this week's Dig

There's a cool story in the Weekly Dig today about the Good North reunion gig this weekend (SHOCKING my name was left off the listing). So yeah this is a good chance to remind the Vanyaland masses about the show: TGN are back, along with the Information, Taxpayer, Barnicle, Thick as Thieves and yours truly spinning indie/electro before, between and after the bands. RSVP or catch up or whatever on Facebook. This should be a fucking blast.

All-day Dancing on the Charles

Crazy props to the Dancing on the Charles and Soul Clap party crew, who have raised the Fouth of July stakes by throwing an ALL DAY motherfucking dance party on the banks of the mighty river that slices Boston and Cambridge like the petulant backseat babies that they are. ALL DAY. Anyone can throw an all night party (*ahem*), but this is bonkers. A bit outside my tastes with the canvas techno-to-hip-hop party train, but hell, this is the fireworks joint to rock 1pm to 1am on Independence Day. Impressive.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Sunny Day Real Estate hits Boston Sept. 28

I ain't gonna lie. I won't. Fuck it. I *LOVED* Sunny Day Resl Estate when I was in high school, and was a giddy school girl when I first saw them live at Irving Plaza in 1999. So today's reunion tour and album reissue news pleases me, and no doubt I'll be at the House of Blues celebrating Yom Kippur with the most influential emo band ever. From my Hotline blog:

Influential early ’90s “emo” band Sunny Day Real Estate have announced a reunion tour and re-issue news, with a 20-date North American tour hitting the House of Blues on Sept. 28. Tickets are $22.50 to $35 and go on sale Saturday.

After a 10-year hiatus, this latest reunion features all four original members of Sunny Day: Jeremy Enigk on guitar/vocals, Nate Mendel on bass, William Goldschmidt on drums and Dan Hoerner on guitar. When the band split the first time in 1995, Mendel and Goldschmidt were recruited by Nirvana’s Dave Growl to round out the Foo Fighters lineup.

Since then Enigk has had mixed results as a solo artist (though “Return of the Frog Queen” still kind of holds up, almost-ish), and Sunny Day released two albums between 1998 and 2000 without Mendel in the fold.

“I wasn’t around for the second version of the band that recorded the 3rd and 4th albums, so I’ve always had a feeling of unfinished business there,” Mendel said on Subpop.com. “We had all these out-sized ideas back then, ‘Everyone’s going to learn a new instrument,’ and ‘Let’s do a rock opera,’ but before we could get anywhere with them, the band broke up. We left behind all these weird and beautiful songs, though, and they’ve stuck with me all this time. I’m really happy that we get a chance to play them together again.”

In addition to the tour news, Sub Pop records also announced it will re-release Sunny Day’s fairly important first two albums, “Diary” and “LP2″ on Sept. 15 with the usual bonus tracks, new liner notes and beefed up sound. (Imagine how lethal “In Circles” and “Seven” will sound now. Yikes.)

“Diary,” the band’s debut, was released in 1994 and sold more than 230,000 copies in the U.S., cementing the band as a cult favorite that would spawn a billion other emo/post-hardcore/whatever bands. “LP2″ was released the following year just as the band broke up, and was submitted to Sub Pop without a title or artwork, hence its generic name and pink-sheet album cover.

If you were in high school in the suburbs anywhere from 1992 through 1997, you probably read through this entire post.

Totally Michael @ GS / Totally Michael V might attend

No idea where I'll end up this evening after the media reception at the new Lansdowne Pub (hey, I got bill to pay too you know) but while Hearthrob wins the Night Prize according to my Herald blog there's also some dope shit going down at Great Scott in Allston DC, where one-man synth-party explosion Totally Michael and Prizzy Prizzy Please get crunked on a Tuesday. Here's what I said in the weekly Great Scott mailer:

TUESDAY 06.23.09 : Totally Michael with Prizzy Prizzy Please
About a year ago, Totally Michael was on his hustle out of Indiana, looking to bring one-man party jams to Boston. When he couldn't secure a show at a regular venue, he played for free at TJ Scallywags Vegan Pizza in Allston, a delirious show surrounded by kids spazzing the fuck out. Now a part of the blowing-up IHEARTCOMIX family and getting remixed by Flosstradomus and Miami Horror (frealz), Totally Michael is back in the clubs bringing a New Year's Eve party vibe along every stop. Listen to "Winona" and try to not smile. I dare you. If this is your Tuesday night, you're having the Best Week Ever. 9pm, 18-plus, $9

Amanda Palmer "Leeds United" video

Found this really cool video from former loveofmylife Amanda Fucking Palmer for the track "Leeds United." Woman is all growns up, and crazy to think how much life has evolved since I first saw the Dresden Dolls at Lizard Lounge about eight years ago. That was my first real introduction to Boston music... Weird.

Amanda Palmer, "Leeds United" (dir: Alex de Campi) from alex de campi on Vimeo.

Monday, June 22, 2009

1/2 of Guns N Bombs @ Hearthrob tomorrow

So today and tonight is a fucking wash-out only to be saved by Taco Night and VH1's "Charm School," but no one outside me, my girl Brig and my cat Lola (who got me nothing for Father's Day yesterday) really cares about Taco Night so let's look ahead to Tuesday where shit gets back banging again. Deathface, aka Jonny Love of sickasfuck LA duo Guns N Bombs, drops by Hearthrob at Middlesex Lounge in one certain electro shitshow dance party throwdown.

Last time Guns N' Bombs were in town one of the dudes got laid in the Great Scott bathroom while the other held it down on stage. As for tomorrow, I do not know if Deathface is the kid who got some ass or the steady-on-the-tables other dude, but either way Boston wins. Oh fuck me it's also Zak Broman's 21st birthday. This just in: Wednesday will never happen.

Band of the Day: Golden Silvers

Last week I was tipped off to UK disco-pop band The Golden Silvers (no not Golden Filter) and I'm trying to get them at the pill this fall when they do the CMJ swing. Some say they're London's answer to the Virgins, and I can see that, but there's a greater element of '80s funk in here. Shit's got some kinda Morris Day swagger on True Romance, which I played early on Friday night. Love this.

RSL's Best of 2009 half-way list

We're almost half way home in 2k9, and Ryan's Smashing Life has already beaten us to the punch with his staff picks for Best Albums of the Year (Good to get it out of the way now -- there's that massive Best of 2000s list to be decided on in the fall). I generally agree with RSL's music picks -- this is a man who appreciates Pela -- so I'm happy to see some of my favs on the list, including Passion Pit, Logan 5 & the Runners, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, MEandJOANCOLLINS, Metric and Doves.

Solid list all around, though mine later this year might be a bit different, but a good source to see just how rather tame music has been this year so far.

Friday, June 19, 2009

So the next HARD fest in LA...

... Uhhhhhhhh, yeah. Los Angeles knows how to roll with the dance musics. But I guess if Boston can pack out the HoB with A-Trak and Diplo/Switch, LA can fill the effin LA Forum.

New Collisions 2nite @ the pill

After watching Passion Pit just destroy at the Dise last night, I can't help but notice the potential for tonight's pill guest, the New Collisions. Just a few shows under their belt, relative newcomers to Boston and all the local hype in the 617 behind them, and it's all adding up to another breakthrough act. Here's what I said in yesterday's pill mailer:

Greetings from a June-tober spring,

Tonight, several blocks inbound down Comm. Avenue away from Great Scott, a group of friends of ours called Passion Pit is playing the Paradise Rock Club. It is a homecoming of sorts, a brief pitstop along a staggering rise through the global musical ranks that began less than two years ago within the smaller club circuit. The buzz already building, Passion Pit played its first pill show in March 2008, and the rise to fame that followed was deliriously fast and furious.

Tomorrow night at Great Scott, the mechanics of history may begin to repeat itself along a different yet similar course when the New Collisions join us for their debut performance at the pill. Aiming to join the Passion Pits and Yes Giantesses as pillars of Boston exploding live dance scene, soon filling a room like the Paradise seems reasonable. Like the aforementioned bands, there are few musical meteors quite like the New Collisions.

Relative newcomers to the fickle and tempestuous local music scene, the guitar-driven new wave styling led by platinum blonde front woman Sarah Guild and brains-behind-the-frames husband Scott is sending this normally stoic city into a school-girl tizzy. With both the mainstream press and indie blogs slack-jawed at the sheer grandeur of their dance-pop simplicity, the New Collisions' post-wave millennial rocket succeeds without really trying. I mean fucking hell, not every high-rising duo fresh off the Mass Pike gets Greg Hawkes of the Cars to perform their EP release gig on a night that unveiled an arsenal of subterranean now-pop gems that were produced by Anthony Resta (Duran Duran, Blondie, Missing Persons).

But this is no mere vanity throwback to the late 70s. Like pill veterans before them, this is dance music built on substance. Catch a preview of the New Collisions over at myspace.com/thenewcollisions.

Before and after the band, DJs Ken & Michael V spin the best in Britpop, Modern Indie & Beyond. Look sharp. Do not miss this one.

Pill News Wire: It fucking feels like October, so here is some October news. On Oct. 2 the pill celebrates its 12th anniversary, and on Oct. 30 we roll out our 7th annual Halloween show. Details on both to arrive later this summer.

xo Michael V.
the pill
Friday, June 19 at Great Scott
1222 Comm Ave. in Allston, Mass.
DJs Ken & Michael V spin Britpop, Modern Indie & Beyond
Doors at 10 p.m. / 21-plus / $5 all night

Thursday, June 18, 2009

DJ set tonight @ Passion Pit afterparty

Ok, so much for those other late-night party options -- I'm DJing the free Passion Pit afterparty at Great Scott, details on the flyer. (Also, I have no idea who 2am Club is but I hear they are pretty and from California.)

ITP: Hotline online bulletin board

I've started this weekly Thursday series on my Herald Hotline blog, where I post a bunch of party/event flyers for shit going on during the weekend. Got 24 events posted on there today, and here are some highlights:

Trust blog relaunch

The dudes of On That Tip have re-launched their blog as Trust Boston, following in line with their warehouse and club parties with the usual music and nightlife tips and nods. It's also worth noting that the third appendage of On That Tip, Brigid, has developed a pretty cool following over on Fashion Verbatim, so good to see all involved snapping flash.

Passion Pit alternatives: Bacardi & Bazaar

I don't think I'll have the energy to post-rage after Passion Pit tonight (sold out, kids) but there's some other cool shit going on around town to warm up up for a savage weekend ahead (New Collisions @ the pill, Designer Drugs Sunday @ E-Room).

That whole Bacardi B-Live event -- which you're certain to be guest listed for if you just look around on Facebook -- is a pretty solid bill at the House of Blues, despite the Red Sox game across the street. It's got Major Laser, A-Trak, Steve Porter, Matt & Kim (who I can't stand, really) and some locals coming together for a pretty large-scale dance party. Expect an influx of pary pics to blind you by the weekend.

On a more intimate note, the SubRoots kids have launched Bazaar at Allston's Wonderbar (I know, I know, but hey Great Scott was once a BC bar) bringing back Roguewaves, the amazing and beautiful Volvox (not listed on flyer for some reason) and something called Furious Styles. Maybe I'll walk down there post-Pit, I'm not sure. I think I'm doing the solo music tour tonight while I debate some hot-button issues in my life, so these nights always end up flesh-colored in a back alley somewhere...

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Amazing Baby & Phoenix tonight @ 'Dise

I've already shot written loads all over NYC's Amazing Baby, but tonight they hit Boston with something to prove: Opening for Phoenix at the Paradise. "Rewild" is in the shuffule for my Top Album of 2009 -- with Passion Pit and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs -- so I'm super excited to catch them live.

I hope that holdover Britpop magic carries through to a live setting, though I'm not expecting extreme acts of flamboyancy. While some tracks remind me of early Suede, there's certainly chemical traces of Bowie and Pulp in there as well, begging the question: Britpop resurrected through the rooftops of Brooklyn?

As for Phoenix, I dig the first two tracks on the album -- "Listzowhatever" and "1901" -- so this show has limitless potential.

NME spreads for Yes Giantess

After posting about the wonderful NME blogjob that my boys Jan and Chase from Yes Giantess got the other day, I've since been tipped to a legit print SPREAD in the music mag about our favorite synth-jam upstart. "Perverse pop fetishists turning hipster promise into pin-up reality." -- You said it, NME. You said it.

Herrell's Cafe is now the Allston Cafe

I started this topic with a question on Lemmingtrail, and figured I'd post the answer here. While I'm not inside Herrell's all too often, I did live above it for a few years and am proud they decided to stay independent while the Herrell's chain goes corporate. Here's the dirt on the name change, from the cafe's MySpace:

Dear Customers / Honey’s:

We want to inform you of a change taking place at the café. That being, we are no longer going to be a Herrell’s Ice Cream. We will now simply be the Allston Café.

Why this change you ask? Long and short, Herrell’s Ice Cream became corporate. With the development of the Herrell’s Development Corporation came the restructuring of existing stores and the desire to create a much larger franchise.

When we took over the operations of this location a little over a year and a half ago, it was to follow the dreams of a couple who have worked hard our entire lives for other people and wanted nothing more than to have a small place to call our own . We wanted a place that would be a part of the neighborhood and community. We lucked out because it was a place we knew and loved, in a town we’ve both called home since the early nineties. We never dreamed of being a part of a corporate franchise nor were we interested in becoming one.

We found that if we remained a part of the Herrell’s Development Corporation, we would lose a lot of the freedoms that help make this café the place that it is today. We had to determine what best served us, the community, and the Herrell’s name.

We determined that staying true to ourselves and the community was the best way to do this. So we have agreed with the Herrell’s Development Corp in terminating our licensing agreement with them.

We ask that you bear with us as these changes take place and while we iron out the kinks of this transfer. While this takes place we will continue to serve you a delicious assortment of foods, drinks, desserts and yes, locally homemade Coops ice creams and vegan ice creams.

We wish Herrell’s Ice Cream a wonderful future. We thank Steve Herrell for all he has done for us, and for all he has done within the ice cream world. May his legacy, as Flavor Master of Ice Cream, continue for many years. Also, if you would like to offer any suggestions and ideas you may have to make this the best neighborhood café possiable, we’d appreciate it. We now proudly welcome you to the Allston Café!

Thank you for your continued patronage and support. www.myspace.com/allstoncafe

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Daily Show: Long Island wants to Secede

This truly hits home. There's even a mention of Massapequa and I think even a sighting of Lea Tyrell from News 12. I'm certain those dudes are a product of the esteemed Brentwood Public High School system.
The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Long Island Wants to Secede
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorJason Jones in Iran

Buffalo Tom added to WMBR benefit

From my Hotline blog: Buffalo Tom have been added to the June 27 WMBR "Breakfast of Champions" 25th anniversary show, which benefits WMBR college radio. Never been a Buffalo Tom fan, but it's cool for them to play a small-ish room like Church.

1 night. 2 disco parties. Oh snap.

I've said before that it's ironic that as the 30th anniversary of Disco Demolition Night in Chicago approaches next month, the disco revival is back in full force. Tonight, a lonely Tuesday in this one-horse town called Boston, two -- count'em, two -- disco parties throw down in... the ultimate... disco... FACEOFF.

In one corner, Brenden Wesley and Supreme One's monthly bash at Middlesex, Disco-nnection. Kip Davis does the visuals, and obviously, this one has the venue advantage.
In the other corner, Bacardi and XLR8R have enlisted the Soul Clap DJs to take over Wonderbar with Disco Fishbowl. Admission is free, but only if you RSVP at boston@XLR8R.com. Love the efforts of people to make Wonderbar a suitable party destination, but I'm still just not feeling it.

Got Passion Pit tix? Go get rich on Craigslist

Not sure if people didn't think Passion Pit's show Thursday at the Dise would sell out, or if the popularity wave has finally hit such drastic measures. Either way, if you don't have a ticket to the show, there's always craigslist. Yikes. I especially love the offer to trade Blink-182 tickets...

Jun 16 - Two Tickets for Passion Pit at Paradise - $50 - <
Jun 15 - WANTED Passion Pit (Thursday at Paradise) - $1 - (Cambridge) <
Jun 15 - PASSION PIT TICKET NEEDED - $9999 - (Boston, MA) <
Jun 15 - 1-4 tickets to see PASSION PIT at the Paradise - $75 - <
Jun 15 - Wanted: One (1) Ticket to Phoenix (Wed) and/or Passion Pit (Thurs) - $1 - (Boston) <
Jun 15 - Passion Pit tickets wanted - $25 - (Paradise) <
Jun 14 - Passion Pit 6/18 - $1 - (North Shore) <
Jun 14 - For Sale: 2 tickets for Passion Pit 6/18 - $1 - (Brookline) <
Jun 13 - 2 Tix for Passion Pit @ Paradise - $1 - <
Jun 12 - Passion Pit Tickets - $240 - pic <
Jun 10 - Wanted: 2 tix to Passion Pit 6/18 - $50 - <
Jun 10 - Wanted: Passion Pit. - $40 - <
Jun 10 - will trade blink 182 for passion pit - $1 - <
Jun 10 - Wanted: Passion Pit Tickets - $1 - (Boston) <
Jun 9 - seeking Passion Pit tickets - pic <
Jun 9 - Desperate for Passion Pit Tickets - $1 - (Boston) pic <
Jun 9 - Howdy Pardners! Please sell an outta town cowboy 2 tix to Passion Pit! - $1 - (bosstin, gad damn it!) pic <

Monday, June 15, 2009

RSL makeover

Quick shout-out to Ryan Spaulding and the staff at Ryan's Smashing Life, one of my fav local music blogs, on a killer design upgrade and site overhaul. Very clean, very readable and still very RSL. Crazy to think something started in August 2006 now gets a quarter-million hits a year and has as many as eight contributors covering Boston.

Monday Hotline: Tool, Chester French, Diplo, ARL benefit

Hotline jumped back into Herald newsprint today, with a few items on local stuff going on in the next week or so:

Tool singer gets bottle service
When Tool’s Maynard James Keenan formed A Perfect Circle 10 years ago, who knew he was referencing the mouth of a wine bottle?

In what should be an interesting mix of snooty wine connoisseurs and rugged Tool fans, Keenan will appear at Whole Foods market on River Street in Cambridge Tuesday and Wednesday for a bottle signing to promote his own Arizona Stronghold Vineyard wines. He, along with vinter partner Eric Glomski of Page Springs Cellars, will be at the 340 River St. store from 4:30 to 7:30 each night.

For added insight into Keenan’s wine obsession, check the trailer for “Blood Into Wine,” a documentary that traces the singer’s quest to bring the vine industry to his home in Arizona. See it at twinklecashcompany.com.

Chester French blinks first
If you Blink this summer, you probably won’t miss Chester French.

The mega-hyped, kinda-sorta local, dance-pop duo just wrapped up a tour with Lady Gaga. Starting next month, Chester French hits the road for two months supporting Blink-182 and Weezer. Someone give their booking agent a raise!

The Harvard lads return to the area on the Blink bus Aug. 6, when they hit the Comcast Center in Mansfield. Unfortunately, we won’t get Weezer on this leg of the tour, but that’s more than made up for with the addition of Fall Out Boy and Panic at the Disco.

Bacardi’s dance party a rumdinger
Thursday’s Passion Pit show at the Paradise may be sold out, but there’s an even bigger dance party going on that night at the House of Blues.

The Bacardi B-Live tour rolls into the Hub offering sets by Major Lazer, featuring Hollertronix mega-DJ Diplo, Brooklyn indie duo Matt & Kim, Kanye West’s DJ A-Trak and house DJ Steve Porter, who recently made news with his Slap Chop remix video on YouTube. That Bacardi rum-tasting station will come in handy when the overrated Matt & Kim disrupt the dance flow.

Tickets are $10 - though they jump to $19 when you add on convenience ($6.05) and processing ($2.95) fees - and are available at hob.com/boston.

Rock for dogs and cats
Another day, another benefit show for furry four-legged friends. Tonight at Great Scott in Allston, it’s the Animal Rescue League of Boston getting the rock ’n’ roll love, as Croquet, M.G. Lederman, Audrey Ryan and animal benefit veterans St. Helena, who played the Pinups for Pitbulls show at the Middle East last month, come together to raise loot for the shelter.

Blur's reunion setlist -- 28 orgasms in Essex

Ok, back to Blur. Jesus H Albarn, look at that setlist below! The NME has the dirt on Blur's intimate weekend reunion show inside a "converted goods shed,", so go there for quotes and deets and whatever else but holy jesus fuck look at that set list! (Photo credit to the NME)

'She's So High'
'Girls And Boys'
'Tracy Jacks'
'There's No Other Way'
'Trimm Trabb'
'Coffee & TV'
'Country House'
'Charmless Man'
'Colin Zeal'
'Oily Water'
'Chemical World'
'Sunday Sunday'
'End Of A Century'
'To The End'
'This Is A Low'
'Song 2'
'Out Of Time'
'Battery In Your Leg'
'Essex Dogs'
'For Tomorrow'
'The Universal'


Yes Giantess gets a sweet NME.com blogjob

Well I went over to NME.com looking for some reports on the Blur show in Essex over the weekend (TK, kids, TK) and lookie what I found: A pretty funny hype-up of Yes Giantess, and the mp3 giveaway of their jam "Tuff N Stuff."

I wonder who they're talking about when they say the previously hyped US synthpop acts "had the collective sex appeal and star quality of a charcoal tank-top sporting moth, or a kitscher-than-a-giant-Pope-Jean-Paul-II-Pez-dispenser reportoire as collectively memorable as manual to an Ikea flat-pack fart."

Look for them back at the pill this fall.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Free WHITEWIFE tracks from Graeme Hall Audio

Metal guitar slayer Zack Wells (you may still call him Zack Info from those halcyon days of other band, the Information) has a new project up and going, emerging not long after he ghosted the Fatal Flaw. They're called WHITEWIFE, they're heavy as a motherfuck and I believe some of the dudes from the Vershok are also involved. Graeme Hall Audio (dude from Moki, Bang Camaro) is offering up two demos, "Cement Shoes" and "Rope and Shovel," for free download.

Love the name, love the logo. The music kinda scares me though. Also, today I learned that a Google search for "White wife" with safe-search disabled suggests some pretty raunchy shit, and sluttywhitewife.com took me places I need'nt go.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Facebook usernames II

So I went with Michael Vanya after "michaelv" was unavailable. I am as predictable as a VW Jetta.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Facebook usernames

In another foward march toward its certain demise, Facebook usernames become available tonight at 12:01am. While Anil Dash takes a very serious look into the future of this debacle, I debate: "Michael V" or "myriadcause"? "MichaeleffingMarotta" or "Batman"? "NJDevilsfan420" or "britpop69"? Decisions decisions...

Sally O'Brien's shows its musical roots

If you're in Union Square Somerville tomorrow night and dig on some cool local roots and Americana, head to Sally O'Brien's Bar for the CD release party/showcase of 'Song For Sally', an 18-track compilation featuring the regulars who perform at the friendly pub next to PAs.

Been hanging around there all week putting together today's article, and it's a pretty cool scene (not to mention one kick-ass burger.)

Though he's not on the CD, I caught former Dylan collab Spider John Koerner give us some good ol' traditional '60s bar-folk on Tuesday night, and I would probably never have heard him had I not been hanging out researching. There's quite a roots scene growing in that part of Somerville, and Saturday is a must-see if you're feeling that stuff.

Flyer launch party 2nite @ the pill

I'm still wiping crust out of my eye this morning, but in a few short hours it's time for another edition of the pill, where this week we roll the ANDP tip and celebrate the release of our summer calendar flyer, shot by John Morabito and modeled in the Allston afterhours by Halley Jaye. I dig how you can see another chick right at the edge about to tear her apart against the wall. Dance it up with us tonight.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

New Designer Drugs + Elle Rex video.

Dope shit, as Designer Drugs were nothing short of lethal at Privus a few weeks ago. They're back in town next Sunday at Enormous Room in Cambridge with Franki Chan. Bring your Papa Dukes.

Ok, off to MSTRKRFT!!

The Honors release single "Knees & Elbows"

Allston quartet The Honors is a fairly new local band I've been digging lately, re-emerging with an Editors/Killers-ish brand of modern indie dance rock. To hype their EP out later this summer, this week they released lead single "Knees & Elbows," which I've seamlessly spun a few times at the pill in peak dance time.

It flows easily with shit like the Ting Tings, Hiss & Chambers and Late of the Pier, and you can check it out on their MySpace.

The Honors' next show arrives June 18 at Hennessy's (aww, remember Hennessy's?!?!), which is a slight bummer since that's the night of Passion Pit at the Dise and A-trak/Diplo at the House of Blues. But they're then on a fan-fucking-tastic June 29 bill at the Middle East with NJ's Static Jacks and pill heroes the Daily Pravda. Oh, that EP release I mentioned: at the pill on July 24. Love it.

ITP weekend edition: local show flyers, cheap thrills

From my Herald blog: Thursday to Sunday nightlife, in flyers. (Weird that I hype everyone else's shit but can't post my own parties, huh?)

From today's newspaper, my Cheap Thrills column, featuring Allston outdoors, River fest in Cambridge and a dope Sunday night show:

Community day at Ringer Park in Allston

Off Allston Street, behind the Jackson Mann Community Center. Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., all-ages. FREE.
It’s almost summer, which means one thing for the good people of Allston - the college students are gone! And when you peel back the layer of loud, sloppily transient college inhabitants, Allston reveals itself as a multicultural and vibrant arts community. Saturday at Ringer Park, the 12-acre lot is used the way Frederick Law Olmsted envisioned it - live music from local bands the Big Big Bucks and Thousands, several artisan works on display, pets getting out of their apartment confines and a free market to either get rid of or acquire stuff. It’s all about showcasing local creativity, and most importantly, having a fun, carefree day among neighbors.
Info: parentsandcommunitybuildgroup.org

30th annual Cambridge River Festival

Along a mile-long stretch of Memorial Drive between JFK Street and Western Avenue. Saturday from noon to 6 p.m., all-ages. FREE.
One of the first signs of summer is the sudden weekend closing of Memorial Drive and the subsequent traffic jams that back up into Boston and Cambridge. Well, commuter strife is worth it when pedestrians get to stroll the pavement along the Charles and take in the best view of the Boston skyline. This year’s River Festival brings in hundred of musicians - everything from jazz and folk to Latin and world music - as well as public art installations, several performance stages and more than 100 specialty food purveyors and craftspeople. It’s enough to make you River-dance.
Info: 617-349-4380, cambridgeartscouncil.org

Illius Rock presents Televandals, You Can Be a Wesley and Roguewaves

Middlesex Lounge, 315 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge. Sunday at 8 p.m., 21-plus, FREE with R.S.V.P. at illiusrock.com.
Being broke is not a worthy excuse for staying home anymore, even on Sunday nights when the vision of bill collectors hovers over your bed like that sexy apparition in Aerosmith’s “Angel” music video. Illius Rock, a local music networking Web site, is bringing the party on the free when you register to be guest-listed at illiusrock.com. Allston electro-punks Televandals are shooting a music video, youthful indie kids You Can Be a Wesley are previewing songs from their new album, and the dance-mad DJ team of Roguewaves will keep the floor nice and sweaty. Throw in a photobooth for vanity and some drink specials for insanity, and Monday morning never seemed so far away.
Info: 617-868-6739, illiusrock.com, middlesexlounge.com