Friday, July 31, 2009

Set times & lineup for Best Music Poll 2k9

Here is the lineup and set-times for the free FNX Radio Best Music Poll concert at City Hall Plaza, which should be pretty fun if nature finally stops pissing down on us.

4:30 p.m.: Ra Ra Riot
5:30 p.m.: Passion Pit
6:30 p.m.: Metric
7:30 p.m.: Gaslight Anthem
8:45 p.m.: Airborne Toxic Event
10 p.m.: The Bravery

ITP: B-52s call on the New Collisions

Just posted on the day-job side o'life: The B-52s call on the New Collisions

When Fred Schneider’s people call, you make sure you pick up the phone.

Scott Guild of local new wave darlings the New Collisions received a call from the B-52s front man’s reps yesterday with a pretty sweet last-minute offer – to open for the legendary ‘80s band on their East Coast swing.

"I was sitting on my couch and got a phone call from an unknown number," Guild told Hotline. "I answered, and it was the William Morris Agency with an offer to tour with the B-52s. I was expecting a telemarketer."

The mini-jaunt includes two Bay State shows this weekend – tomorrow at the Cape Cod Melody Tent in Hyannis and Sunday at the South Shore Music Circus in Cohasset – as well as a gig at the Wolf Trap National Park’s Filene Center in Vienna, Virgina next Saturday.

"The B-52s are one of our favorite bands from our favorite era of music," said New Collisions vocalist Sarah Guild. "The fact that they found us is awesome."

It’s not the first time the New Collisions caught the attention of heroes from the new wave era. Their debut EP was produced by Anthony Resta (Duran Duran, Blondie) and the Cars’ keyboardist Greg Hawkes performed with the band on stage at their EP release party at T.T. The Bear’s Place in Cambridge earlier this year.

With high-energy tracks like "No Free Ride" and "Parachutes on the Dance Floor" already getting attention in local night clubs, the New Collisions next EP will get a national release this fall.

Depeche Mode tonight; pill afterparty

"Oh god it's raining, and I'm not containing, my pleasure, at being, so wet." Well, it's pissy as fuck outside, but Depeche Mode will still hit the Comcast Center later tonight. The only I saw DM was at Madison Square Garden for the "Singles" tour around 1999, which ruled because it was mostly all the songs I wanted to hear. We'll do the unofficial after-party down at the pill, but really this is an easy excuse to post my favorite Mode song off all time.

'Things Drunk People Say' by Kathleen Go

While we wait for the sequel, "Things Drunk People Text," and its kooky sidekick, "Things Drunk People Post on Facebook at 5am," we have "Things Drunk People Say," included in this week's GLI: READ: ‘THINGS DRUNK PEOPLE SAY’

Ahh, the overlubricated. We love them, we mock them and sometimes we are them. Finally, someone has put together a collection of the sloshed set’s wasted witticisms, smashed soliloquies and boozy bedroom one-line-stands. Augmented by colorful illustrations, this book, edited by New York writer Kathleen Go, is full of stories you’ll remember the next morning. (Skyhorse Publishing, $14.95)

Thursday, July 30, 2009

BMP "Best Club Night" goes to... The Pill

Fuck yeah! The Pill takes home the Best Club Night category in the Boston Phoenix "Best Music Poll," beating out four really, really great nights, including Heroes, Circus and Hearthrob. I have the utmost respect for all the parties nominated, so this is pretty sweet. Thanks to all who voted, thanks to all who show up every Friday at Great Scott and props to Eli 'Paperboy' Reed and our friends in Passion Pit and Yes Giantess. Here's the word:

Ripping on the mainstream media has been pretty much the exclusive domain of Republicans with sore asses over the past few years, but let’s take it back for a moment. The recent spate of hipster-bashing articles and investigations by such upstanding institutions as the Boston Globe and New York Times has us a bit worried, and not just for the state of their journalistic priorities. Here’s the thing: beneath all the ironic slogans and tongue-in-cheek fashion that are so easy to hate on, these people actually know how to have fun. Need proof? Clubgoers have been mobbing the Pill (with DJs Ken and Michael V) every week for almost 12 years in order to be surrounded by fresh cuts and classics from indie-rock land, live bands like the Televandals and Taxpayer, and throngs of hotties who probably wouldn’t be caught dead at most of the bars in Allston. It’s not pretense, it’s just self-respect! Bumping, sweaty, non-stop self-respect.

Caspian offers free album download

From the Hotline blog: Beverly-based instrumental post-rock band Caspian are offering up their new album, "Tertia," for free download via Gimmie Sound. If you've never heard these guys, now's a great chance to check them out. The album gets an official release on Aug. 11. Here's the good word from their awesome label, The Mylene Sheath:

We've uploaded Caspian's upcoming full length, "Tertia", to Gimme Sound at 320kbps for your free downloading consumption =) Even though [we're] sure this will end up on file sharing networks such as Rapid Share and all those, please keep in mind that the band and the label receive royalty payments for each download on Gimme Sound, we receive NOTHING for downloads on those other sites.

They're both free for you guys, so please do the right thing. Even if you download it on another file sharing site, just take a few minutes and download it again on Gimme Sound. The band has worked harder than we can express to get this album out and they deserve to have us sending them money for their work, so please spread the word about this site and this method of downloading for free while supporting the artist at the same time - it's important to many peoples lives. Please help us make this happen! Anyway, here we go!

1. Mie
2. La Cerva
3. Ghost of the Garden City
4. Malacoda
5. Epochs in DMaj
6. Of Foam and Wave
7. Concrescence
8. The Raven
9. Vienna
10. Sycamore
(Press photo by Diana Levine)

ITP Cheaps: Yard Sales, 'Died Young' & BMP

From the wet depths of my weekly Cheap Thrills column in the Herald comes Best Music Poll 2k9, Somerville RnR Yard Sale and rock poster documentaries -- as well as the headline of the year in the first graph. Hope 2/3 don't get rained out...

Somerville Rock ’n’ Roll Yard Sale in Union Square

Saturday, from 3 to 7 p.m., all ages. FREE
There’s a scene in the 2001 film “Ghost World” in which Thora Birch’s character follows home a meek vintage record collector played by Steve Buscemi, shops at his yard sale and ends up falling in love with Skip James’ 1931 blues record “Devil Got My Woman.” Cheap Thrills holds out hope that things like that still happen - without the stalking, of course - and if anyone is going to unknowingly stumble across some old lost musical treasure, chances are it’ll happen at this weekend’s Rock ’n’ Roll Yard Sale in Somerville. The latest event in the ArtsUnion lineup, the Somerville Arts Council teams up with Chris and Jennifer Daltry of What Cheer Records in Providence to offer up multiple vendors selling and trading everything from T-shirts to records to silk-screen posters. Cotton Candy, the Mericans, the Blind King and Chrisy Gavin perform live, while WMBR-FM music director Patrick Bryant plays DJ between sets. Punk may be the new blues these days, but the potential thrill of discovery remains.
Info: 617-775-3345,

“Died Young, Stayed Pretty” screening at the Museum of Fine Arts

465 Huntington Ave.; Friday at 8:10 p.m., Saturday at 3:30 p.m. and Sunday at 10:30 a.m.; all ages, $7-$10
Those who truly believe that youth is wasted on the young, might have a hard time understanding the vibrant underground culture of rock show poster art. Eileen Yaghoobian’s 95-minute 2008 documentary “Died Young, Stayed Pretty” makes its Boston debut this weekend at the MFA, and brings with it plenty of eye candy for graphic design nerds and enough band references and nods for music fetishists. Colorful and attention-grabbing show posters have always been the best way to promote a gig, and each poster tells a story, linking the band or event it’s hyping with the inspiration of its creator. When one person in the film claims rock posters are the purest form of art our culture has, you know it’s time to look behind the music.
Info: 617-267-9300,,

’FNX Radio’s Best Music Poll Concert at City Hall Plaza

Saturday, 4 p.m., all ages, FREE
City Hall Plaza got a live music test drive last weekend when Taking Back Sunday performed, but now the summer outdoor festival theme gets revved up a few notches as WFNX-FM’s annual Best Music Poll concert returns with a hearty indie rock buffet. Featuring performances by the Bravery, Metric, Airborne Toxic Event, Gaslight Anthem and Ra Ra Riot, the best part of the event should be the spirited performance by local synth-pop rocket Passion Pit, which is putting our local scene on the national map. Imagine that, one of our own spearheading perhaps the biggest event of the summer? The rest of the up-and-comer lineup is a clear reflection of ’FNX’s always cutting-edge play list, and the station isn’t even charging us to attend this bash. Good times.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

We Are Scientists pill mailer ticket giveaway

Just a quick head's up: Around 3pm tomorrow, we're giving away a pair of guest list passes to the We Are Scientists show at the Middle East later that night via the pill mailer. The trivia question will center around which WAS song we play at the pill, and you can enter to win by signing up here.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

New Tuesday night dance party: Secrets

The Basstown folks have a new jam they unleashed a few weeks ago, a cool new Tuesday night bi-weekly techno party at the newly christened Milky Way Lounge in Jamaica Plain. It's called Secrets, it's getting favorable first looks, and they've offered up a podcast to get everyone in the mood before hitting up the Brewery Complex on Amory Street. Resident DJs Carrigan DB, Sarah Joy and Lynch keep the beat flowing, there's the usual video stuffy stuff and I hear they even give out disposable cameras so YOU, yes YOU, can be the fancy-pants party photographer. Download the teaser podcast mix here, and the tracklist is after the jump. The night is FREE and starts around 9pm. Word.

01. Sven Weisemann, “Winter Tale” [Essay]
02. Linkwood Family, “Miles Away” (Intrusion Sunrise Dub) [Firecracker]
03. Tevo Howard, “Everyday House Music” (Album edit)
[Beautiful Granville Records]
04. Kerri Chandler, “Time Is Destiny” [Large Records]
05. Franck Roger, “Klubhead” [Real Tone Records]
06. Leonid, “Sadim” [Sistrum Recordings]
07. Neville Watson, “Up Yours” [Clone Jack For Daze Series]
08. House to House, “Taste My Love” (Tasty Club Mix) [Police]
09. Boddhi Satva, “Warriors Of Africa” (Seedadan Inst.) [Offering Recordings]
10. Scott Ferguson, “Any Day Now” (ElectroVox Remix)
[Deep Vibes Recordings]
11. DJ Boom “Kinda Kickin” [Graph]
12. Parallel 9, “Domunis” [Music Man Records]
13. Mike Dehnert, “One O Eight” [Fachwerk]
14. OBX, “It’s All We Know (Trippin’ On Air)” [Ascension Records]
15. Shed, “Well Done – 033472 Edit” [Soloaction Records]

Saturday Best Music Poll: Good Shit

Color me excited for Saturday's free FNX Radio Best Music Poll, which this year features a six-pack indie rock buffet of Metric, The Airborne Toxic Event ("Sometime Around Midnight" was one of the best tracks of 2008), The Gaslight Anthem, the Bravery, Ra Ra Riot and local synth-pop comet Passion Pit, which conveniently performs Late Night with Jimmy Fallon tomorrow night.

Getting a test-drive with Taking Back Sunday last weekend, City Hall Plaza plays host to the late-afternoon/nighttime affair, and oh yeah, shit is FREE FREE FREE.

All in all, a solid event with bands ripped right from the FNX daily playlist, and something that will help mark Summer 2k9 (things, honestly, have been lacking this season). It gets started around 4 p.m., and the the Facebook event page has some other details, photos and the usual message board ragtime.

ITP: Band recap from P-Town Rocks

After being a bit harsh on the Provincetown Rocks festival a few weeks ago (I still feel I was justified) I recapped the weekend-long Cape Cod music fest in today's Herald though the eyes of the bands, including the Lights Out, Cassavettes, Midatlantic, the Grownup Noise and word from its promoter. But with several bands still looking to get paid and one contingent of performers threatening a lawsuit, this might not be the last time the fest appears in my column.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Amazing Baby live @ ShockHound

Good shit right here. Still loving Amazing Baby's debut album "Rewild" as I had when I first heard it in the spring, but for heaven's sake can someone get this band a stylist? The deets: Brooklyn psych-rock quintet Amazing Baby deliver a hypnotic set of "Headdress," "Invisible Palace," "Bayonets," and the first live performance of "Roverfrenz" on the ShockHound stage.. First song still the bestest.

Built To Spill set 3-night stand in Cambridge

From my Hotline blog: Longtime indie rock veterans Built To Spill just confirmed three dates at the Middle East, hitting the Cambridge rock club Oct. 9, 10 and 11.

Middle East booking agent Kevin Hoskins posted online that "hard tickets go on sale this Friday."

The band will release its seventh studio album, "There Is No Enemy," via Warner Bros. this October. Music blog Brooklyn Vegan reported earlier this month the band will play four New York shows in October just before hitting up the Hub -- Oct. 12 and 13 at Webster Hall, and Oct. 14 and 15 at Brooklyn's Music Hall of Williamsburg.

A Place To Bury Strangers new album, Oct. 6

Hot damn, this is how to start a Monday -- with Brooklyn trio A Place To Bury Strangers' second album "Exploding Head" sitting on my desk about to combust from the heat. It drops Oct. 6 on Mute, and Boston gets the last show of their 23-date October tour, hitting the Middle East on Oct. 30 (same day as my Halloween show -- boo!!).

"The original idea," said guitarist/singer Oliver Ackerman in the press bio, "was to create the craziest, most fucked up recording ever."

Shit, he very well may have. I'm four songs into my first listen and it already has a place on my significantly light Best of 2009 list. "It's Nothing" and "In Your Heart" build on the best aspects of APTBS first album ("I Know I'll See You," "Don't Think Lover"), showing an distinct progression in Ackerman's songwriting. The sonic assault and style is still there, but the noise aspect seems to have pulled back a bit to allow the songs to take center. If the first disc was slightly unaccessable to most people because of its sheer bulk volume, this should reel them in a bit with a heavier emphasis on the melodies. They were always there, but they aren't as buried this go round, seeing the shift to more Jesus & Mary Chain than My Bloody Valentine. It's still intense as ever, just a bit smarter.

More to come on this epic, epic disc as the release date nears, but get ready. Here are the tour dates and track listing:

Oct. 4 Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda's^
Oct. 5 Washington, DC @ Rock and Roll Hotel^
Oct. 6 Chapel Hill, NC @ Local 506^
Oct. 7 Atlanta, GA @ Drunken Unicorn^
Oct. 8 Tallahassee, FL @ Club Downunder^
Oct. 9 New Orleans, LA @ One Eyed Jacks^
Oct. 10 Dallas, TX @ Club Dada^
Oct. 11 Austin, TX @ The Mohawk^
Oct. 13 Tucson, AZ @ Plush^
Oct. 15 San Diego, CA @ Casbah^
Oct. 16 Los Angeles, CA @ Echo^
Oct. 17 San Francisco, CA @ The Independent*
Oct. 18 Portland, OR @ Doug Fir Lounge*
Oct. 19 Seattle, WA @ Crocodile Café*
Oct. 20 Vancouver, BC @ Biltmore Cabaret*
Oct. 22 Salt Lake City, UT @ Urban Lounge*
Oct. 23 Denver, CO @ Larimer Lounge*
Oct. 25 St. Louis, MO @ Firebird*
Oct. 26 Chicago, IL @ Double Door&
Oct. 27 Toronto, ON @ The Mod Club&
Oct. 28 Montreal, QC @ Il Motore&
Oct. 29 New York, NYC @ Bowery Ballroom&
Oct. 30 Cambridge, MA @ Middle East Upstairs&
^with Darker My Love & All the Saints
&with Dead Confederate & All the Saints
*with All the Saints

Exploding Head" Tracklist:
It Is Nothing
In Your Heart
Lost Feeling
Keep Slipping Away
Ego Death
Smile When You Smile
Everything Always Goes Wrong
Exploding Head
I Live My Life To Stand In The Shadow Of Your Heart

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Happy 2nd birthday to!

It figures that my internet was down all day yesterday, the 2nd anniversary of the Vanyaland blog. What started as a masturbatory indulgence has grown into a, well, a slightly more-read masturbatory indulgence. And while I never actually write about Britpop and the NJ Devils anymore despite the cheeky banner tag up top, I love posting ragtime bullshit on here, enjoy the escape from copy editors and other day job restraints and am constantly blown away that anyone shows up to read this. So yeah, cheers to all, and happy birthday to the wretched blowhard pit that Vanyaland. This blunt's on me.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Steve Porter does it again: Press Hop

Holy shit Steve Porter is at it again. A few weeks ago he got mainstream ink with his Slap Chop remix, and incredibly he's one upped Vince with the sports quip-spit "Press Hop," a mashup-up remix of sorts featuring some of the best athlete/coach interviews of all-time. Allen Iverson, Jim Mora, Dennis Green -- all once immortalized in heated press conferences and sometimes even lame ass Coors Light commercials, they now take on the DANCE FLOOR.

How'd Steve Porter pull this off? Of course, we talkin' bout practice. Dude is on fire...

Not a game. Not a game. NOT FAIR.

DJ set @ Freezepop 10th anniversary

Freezepop marks 10 years of synthetic ivory and blippy machine pop this Saturday at Harper's Ferry in Allston with a double-dip party, and I'm spinning the nightcap along with the New Collisions and Provocateur. On tap for the afternoon all ages gig are Cincinnati synth trio the Seedy Seeds and everyone's favorite shag-funk soundtrackers Mystery Roar, and after a brief intermission, I get started around 8pm. Might throw in a bit more darkwave (De/Vision, Wolfsheim, Covenant) into my usual UK indie-electro synthwave mix.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

07.24.09 live @ the pill: The Honors

Been sweet on the Honors since my old sound guy at Bill's Bar, Alex, tipped me off a few months ago. Gave them a gig at the pill, which arrives tomorrow, and have been spinning their latest spinning "Knees & Elbows," which has a cool guitar-dance vibe going on. Here's word from the pill mailing list sent earlier today, which you can sign up for at (guest list giveaways, set list selections, other random crap -- every Thursday!):

THE HONORS @ the pill 0724

Earlier this spring at the Bitter End in New York, Boston-bred indie band The Honors broke into a cover of the Easybeats' '60s classic "Friday On My Mind." Perhaps our live guest this week was pining for the pill, where around the same time their blistering new single "Knees & Elbows" was popping up in late-night mixes alongside Editors, Sunshine Underground and the Courteeners.

This week The Honors sling the Friday night easy beat and drop their new EP "Wasted Places" in tidy dance rock bombs for our modern indie faithful. A musical project that began at university in London and took its current shape in Boston last winter, The Honors' polished sound is ready to again unify the day-time radio and night time rock club scenes like a streaking hot fuss of style and sound that's turned heads at both outdoor folk festivals and dim-lit downtown pubs and bars.

Before and after the band, DJs Ken & Michael V. spin the best in Britpop, Modern Indie & Beyond. Look sharp.

Also included in this week's mailer (with out linkage):

Aug. 21: Twin Berlin
Advance notice on next month's Twin Berlin show @ the pill. We booked these cats a day after I heard their twin-single, as this rising NYC rock n' roll quartet is ripping shit up with fitting comparisons to the Libertines and the Strokes. Give it a listen. Recommended: "Fake It Well"

5 hits from DJ Ken
5. Annie "My Love Is Better"
4. The Gossip "Hot Cross"
3. Noisettes "Never Forget You"
2. The Rifles "Science Is Violence"
1. Hockey "Too Fake"

5 hits from Michael V
5. Bloc Party "One More Chance"
4. Golden Silvers "True Romance"
3. Ladytron vs Toxic Avenger "Ghosts (remix)"
2. Twin Berlin "Pretty From The Window"
1. Twin Berlin "Fake It Well"

the pill
friday july 24 at great scott
1222 commonwealth ave in allston rock city
djs ken & michael v spin britpop, modern indie & beyond
with live guest The Honors
10pm . 21-plus . $5 . look sharp

Cheap Thrills: Emo, antiques & the 'Speare

Today's Cheap Thrills column in the Herald, which highlights Strong Island emo, antique show ragtime and arts down by the Charles...

Taking Back Sunday free show at City Hall Plaza

Friday at 9 p.m., all-ages. FREE
When it rains emo, it certainly pours. We’re not talking about the Hot Topic kiddies who puddle-jumped neon-flavored nu-rock at the Vans Warped Tour earlier this week. We’re talking about the big decision facing the kids on Friday night: Shell out big bucks for the MTV Sunblock U show out at Six Flags in Agawam (Boys Like Girls, The Academy Is) or catch Long Island-based post-emo rock heavyweights Taking Back Sunday for free at City Hall Plaza? We’ll go with the latter, as the free gig is an afterparty of sorts for the Dew Tour Action Sports showcase at the TD Garden and the band’s new disc, “New Again,” finds them into more mature sonic territory. Plus, consider this a live music scouting report on City Hall, which hosts the free ’FNX Best Music Poll party next weekend.

Antiques at Elm Bank estate at the Massachusetts Horticultural Society

900 Washington St., Wellesley, Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., all-ages, $8 (children 16 and under, free)
Long before late-night television ad rates dropped enough to allow infomercial oversaturation, people used to pass out in front of the screen watching PBS’ “Antiques Roadshow.” Then they’d wake up, search the house for any valuables and hope one day that old French model 1874 “gras” sword bayonet Uncle Tony sketchily “borrowed” from a Brooklyn museum would pay off some debt. It never worked out that way, but it was fun to watch. This weekend, more than 100 antiques dealers from 10 states descend on the 36-acre property at Wellesley’s Elm Bank, showcasing such items as old Victorian furniture and folk art to 17th century estate jewelry. All of the dealers have been screened for quality, and both the casual collector and experienced investor are welcome. Just leave the bayonet at home.
Info: 781-862-4039,

Orfeo’s Festival in the Park

Christian Herter Park, 1175 Soldiers Field Road, Brighton. Sunday from 10 a.m. to sunset, all-ages. FREE
You caught the free Friday night rock show and on Saturday you spent your rent money on an antique brass chandelier that may or may not fit in your Allston apartment. Spend the last day of the weekend basking in the free glow of Shakespeare and other works as nonprofit theater company Orfeo presents an afternoon of free family entertainment. Things kick off at 10 a.m. with Kids4Kids presenting “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” followed by Emperor Norton’s Stationary Marching Band (noon), Monkeyhouse dance performances (2 p.m.), “The Music of the Spheres” with Bill Barclay (4 p.m.) and the Complete Wows(a) at 6:45 p.m. You might even find someone to buy that chandelier.
Info:, 617-454-1444

(Not those) Sneaker Pimps in Boston

I can NOT be the only one who thought that Sneaker Pimps event at the House of Blues Saturday was about the band (You know, that late 90s electronic trip-hop trio with sexy-ass singer Kelli Dayton that released the songs "Spin Spin Sugar" and "6 Underground" before the boys gave the chick the boot and carried on without her while I think one dude became IAMX. Yeah, them.)

Well, instead of me waxing nostalgic about the innocent quality of 1997's "Becoming X," as it turns out this Sneaker Pimps is just a glorified Shoe Convention, with a performance by rapper Clipse and J. Cole -- no relation to Kenneth, I imagine -- on the decks with local flavor from DJ E-Marce. Go get your kix on Lansdowne Street. Or something.

Remix the new Televandals single

Allston's emerging electro punk lads Televandals are swinging by the pill in September to release their new single, "Good For Nothing," as well as premiere the finished video and reveal their Halloween plans (spoiler!). But before all that rolls around, the band is opening up the track to anyone who wants to give it the remix treatment. I know Roguewaves are already on this shit, but you should be, too. Peep the jam below, and to grab the stems email

Word from Nico Televandal: So the band is going to be releasing "Good For Nothing"...and we wanted to put it out there for remixing if anyone is interested, and also include a remix (or few) as part of the release. The single is also going up on itunes/rhapsody/etc... You can hear a clip of the song at the following youtube link:

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Burgess/Curtain Society video "Swamp Thing"

From the Mark Burgess / Curtain Society gig last night. More to come on this epic, EPIC night (Swamp Thing opener? Dude from the Church jumping on stage for the encore? The Curtain Society pulling out more than an hour of near-flawless Chameleons songs with about 5 days notice? The intimacy of it all? The instant chemistry between band and front man? Everyone from Sean Freezepop to complete strangers looking around at each other going WTF?!@?! Ahhhhhh... Oh my fucking god, nothing can top this. Posted by Tintern on the Lemmingtrail board:

Hotline: Get "Captured" in NYC tonight at the Brattle

Quick shot from Hotline on the "Captured" screening tonight while I try to wipe the smile off my face from last night's Mark Burgess show: To some, the Big Apple has always been the Dirty Apple, and despite us here in Boston pre-programmed to hate everything New York, Ben Solomon’s 2009 documentary “Captured” looks like one of the coolest releases of the year.

Screening at the Brattle Theatre Wednesday, July 22 at 7 p.m., “Captured” finds Solomon piecing together raw footage by filmmaker Clayton Patterson, who has documented Manhattan’s gritty and often lawless Lower East Side since 1979 (you know, before Rudy Giuliani turned the entire city into Disneyland East).

The screening is presented by Karmaloop and Allston's Rescue Buy/Sell/Trade, and the Brattle's short bio below should be enough to catch your interest. If you’re in attendance, ask around for the after party featuring the Hearthrob DJs and electro duo Roguewaves, location TBA at the event. Hump Day has nothing on this.

From the Brattle****Special Event! Filmmaker & Subject will be Present at Screening! Captured****
(Tickets $10) dir Ben Solomon, Dan Levin, w/ Clayton Patterson
Since 1979, Clayton Patterson has dedicated his life to documenting the raw creativity and lawlessness in New York City's Lower East Side, a neighborhood famed for art, music and revolutionary minds. Traversing the outside edge, Patterson has recorded a dark and colorful society, from drag to hardcore, heroin, homelessness, political chaos, and ultimately gentrification. This new documentary weaves Patterson’s footage into a portrait of a remarkable man and a remarkable neighborhood.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Get Sweat-y with Steve Aoki

A few weeks ago I broke news that Los Angeles electro king DJ Steve Aoki (Dim Mak) was coming to Boston as part of the monthly Sweat dance party, and now we have a flyer and Facebook event page to back that shit up and make it o-fish-all. (Cause you know, nothing is confirmed until there's a Facebook event page.) But FTW crew-led Sweat is good to go, with Hot Pink Delorean and Vadum "Pop Pop Pop Pop Bottles All The Way To The Top" Rankin getting it started. Honestly, don't even expect to be at work the next morning. This night everyone dies on the dance floor. Tell a loved one.

Passion Pit release new video, make TV debut next week

From my Herald Hotline blog: It just never stops when it comes to Passion Pit.

The Cambridge synthpop quintet, fresh off tour in Europe and coming back stateside to play the Lollapalooza (Aug. 9, Chicago), Monolith (Sept. 13, Denver) and Austin City Limts (Oct. 4) festivals, just released a colorful new video for latest single "To Kingdom Come" and will be appearing on "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" next Wednesday, July 29.

The festival dates are part of a 13-date extended swing from now through October that takes them to the West Coast, including two Central Park SummerStage shows in NYC alongside French alt-rock dudes Phoenix Sept. 25 and 26.

As the chorus to "Little Secrets" goes, things just keep getting Higher and higher and higher...

Passion Pit "To Kingdom Come" from Mixtape Club on Vimeo.

Twin Berlin rules my face; Aug. 21 @ the pill

Last Thursday I was sitting on a Media 101 panel at District Lounge, and one of the topics was "how to get the press to cover my band/event/whatever?" My reply was simple: "Be awesome." As I've stated in the past, I listen to every CD I get sent to my desk at the Herald, and it doesn't matter how fancy-pants expensive and shiny your kit is. All that matters is that your music intrigues.

Case in point: NYC garage rock boys Twin Berlin, who sent me their twin-single deftly wrapped in Connecticut newspaper. I put it in, and it floored me. Now they're playing the pill on Aug. 21 (ironic, though, since now I can't write about the gig -- but certainly others will).

Both songs are lethal. "Pretty From The Window" has a fierce Libertines guitar-led dance romp (as well as a great song title) and "Fake It Well" is a super-cool Stroke-paced ballad with equally keen lyrical play and melodic drift. Been loving these guys all week, and it all started with a burned CD wrapped in Waterbury classified ads. Again, want to be noticed? Be great.

(Top photo by Waterdog; above band shot by Superfan Photography)

Monday, July 20, 2009

Let's Just Be Friends @ Savant Project

I'm just getting warmed up to Hollywood, the DJ duo that ran shop over at Circus this past Saturday (which I caught in the early rounds, before taking my Snow Maki-filled stomach back to BHOP for some BonChon, which I'm still wicked gay for). But those cats and DJ Voltran hit up the Savant Project tonight, sure to soothe the Monday Night dance ache that the non-working Tuesday types seem to crave. Tremont Street certainly isn't as douchetastic on Mondays, right?

07.21: Curtain Society's Chameleon sound

This may be the third post about the Mark Burgess show tomorrow night, but two tears in a bucket, fuck it. I wrote about the full lineup in today's Herald, including a chat with Worcester's Curtain Society, who will play with the Chameleons UK front man. So effing rad.

Worcester band adapts sound for a Chameleon

Mark Burgess was simply looking for advice on nice Boston hotels. What the member of influential ’80s alternative rock band the Chameleons UK ended up with was an unexpected live gig tomorrow night at Hennessy’s near Faneuil Hall.

The British post-punk singer had plans to be in Maine later this week, but could find only direct flights into Boston from his home in Manchester, England. So he went online to research the Hub. When he noticed the Chameleons UK were among the top friends on the Hennessy’s Upstairs Rock Club MySpace [website] profile, he sent the club a message asking where to spend the night.

“I told him, ‘I’ll put you up in a hotel room if you play a show,”’ said Hennessy’s booking agent and longtime Chameleons UK fan, Sean Flynn .

Burgess agreed. He asked Flynn to round up some local musicians to jam. The lineup for what could be the coolest gig of the summer consists of Worcester-based indie band the Curtain Society backing Burgess for a set of Chameleons UK songs, with opening sets from synthpoppers Lifestyle and both Aaron Perrino of Dear Leader and the Daily Pravdas’ David Jackel .

The Curtain Society, which often plays Chameleons UK songs in their sets and even released the band’s most recognizable hit, “Swamp Thing,” as a B-side in 1996, jumped at the chance to play with one of their idols.

“It’s always seemed like a miracle that we would even get to see Mark or the Chameleons play live, since I started getting into them after they had broken up already,” said Curtain Society singer/guitarist, Roger Lavallee . “Now to think that we would be playing these songs with Mark is just beyond a dream come true.”

Playing moody, modern rock in a genre that included the Cure and Echo & the Bunnymen, the Chameleons UK had a fruitful run from 1981 to 1987 (with a brief reunion in 2000). Their influence is prominent (see Interpol, Editors) and their legacy has been lasting.

Lavallee first heard the Chameleons when a local fanzine compared his band to theirs in 1989. He bought a used cassette of 1986’s “Strange Times” and fell in love with the British band’s sweeping guitar work, anthemic songs and the haunting urgency in Burgess’ voice.

“What started as a curiosity because of their being mentioned in a review turned into a feeling of musical kinship that’s lasted all this time,” Lavallee said. “(We’re) a little nervous, but it feels like a moment that we’ve been leading up to for 20 years.”

Mark Burgess, at Hennessy’s Upstairs Rock Club, 25 Union St., Tuesday. Tickets: $10; 617-742-2121.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Sunday summer single: We Are Scientists

I've had We Are Scientists' "Lethal Enforcer" in my head all week, and couldn't place what it reminded me of. Then the ghost of Jean Genie came to me in a dream and whispered "Ashes to ashes, funk to funky, We know major toms a junkie. Strung out in heavens high, Hitting an all-time low.". Such a great track, this one...

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Shitshow Allston: Fire pill'd & Circus a go-go

Last night's dance party at the pill was insane -- someone pulled the fire alarm just after midnight right during Passion Pit's "Little Secrets," sending everyone out into the rain. When the dust settled everyone came back wet and nasty and threw down one of the sweatiest and dirty packed-out dance parties we've had in a while. Will I have enough juice for tonight? That half-bottle of Jager I killed might have a say whether or not I jetset to Robot Revolution or crawl a block away to Circus. Details have emerged. But something tells me it might be a night of "Whale Wars" and "Split Endz." Yikes.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Mark Burgess show @ Hennessy's RC

I have a column running Monday about Mark Burgess of the Chameleons playing Hennessy's Upstairs Rock Club on July 21, so while I can't shoot my load on that here's the schedule of performers:

8:45pm - David Jackel of the daily pravda
9:15pm - Shawn Saindon and Ryan Dolan of Hiss & Chambers
10pm - Lifestyle
10:45pm - Aaron Perrino of Dear Leader "doing some Morrissey," according to Sean Flynn
11:30pm - Mark Burgess performing a Chameleons set with The Curtain Society

Fuck yes. And you know, just for shits and giggles. Here's Mark with Andy and Mike from the Smiths on Swamp Thing

Satz: Robot Revolution & Roller Deby

I have no idea what's up at Circus at Privus tomorrow night, so I'll shift the Saturday night electro party hype over to Jamaica Plain, where Damien Paul's monthly Robot Revolution party brings in Red Foxx for some mechanical lovin and sleazy meat-beat action. Great flyer for the (free) party, as well, and JP in the summertime is always a trip. RSVP and more info here.

Of course, if the robo-dance stuff ain't your bag, and prefer strong-armed bouts of female roller derby oval-assed chaos to sooth your Caturday itch, then hop aboard the Sun Lee Sunbeam's party bus and head north with the Boston Derby Dames...

Still not inspired? There's more weekend party/show/event flyers posted in my Herald Hotline blog.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Cheap Thrills: ArtBeat, Red Rose Club & Free MFAs

Cheap Thrills on the Thursday print platter, offering the finest in Free this weekend around the city.

Somerville ArtBeat Festival in Davis Square

Friday, 5 to 9:30 p.m., and Saturday, noon to 5:30 p.m. FREE
With apologies to the blossoming folk scene in Union, Davis remains Somerville’s coolest Square. And any neighborhood that proudly boasts a Museum of Bad Art must be confident in the creative works of its inhabitants, which are on full display in this weekend’s ArtBeat. The theme is Somerville of the future, meaning participants will explore art through futuristic eyes, with a Robot Island interactive exhibit, an environmentally aware parade and more than 100 vendors and art activities. Live music is provided by some of Boston’s most up-and-coming, from the indie shake of Magic Magic to the retro bomp of Jenny Dee & the Deelinquents. And any festival that has Beat in the title and isn’t about Michael Jackson automatically gets a gold star.
Info: 617-625-6600, Ext. 2985,

Red Rose Soul Club launch at the Rosebud Bar & Grill

Behind the Rosebud Diner, 184 Summer St., Somerville. Friday, , 10 p.m., 21-plus. FREE
Jordan Valentine wants to give her neighbors a break. Her late-night, living-room dance parties were starting to become a nuisance on her quiet residential street, so Boston’s queen of soul decided it was time to take the party public. The former frontwoman of the World’s Greatest Sinners and current voice of the Sunday Saints launches the Red Rose Soul Club on Friday night, a dance party offering up Valentine’s choice selections of ’60s soul, funk, rare r & b, boogaloo and other forgotten vinyl floor-fillers. And don’t fret about not knowing the music - Valentine promises free mix CDs, weekly play lists and podcasts on the party’s Web site, all designed to get you in the know. Doesn’t get any cooler than that.

Free Community Day at the Museum of Fine Arts

465 Huntington Ave., Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. FREE
A silver lining in this whole recession nonsense is that the city’s museums and theaters are really stepping up with some affordable (read: free) programming and promotions. Among them is the MFA, which continues its 9 in ’09 series, offering free admission days to the general public. This Sunday is one of them, and it’s one of only four that do not fall on a major holiday, meaning the crowds are lighter and the halls more navigable. Catch the MFA’s permanent collections or check out such special exhibitions as “Viva Mexico: Edward Weston and His Contemporaries.”
Info: 617-267-9300,

Anyone catch Nick Cage at O'Brien's?

Pulled from my Hotline/Herald blog: In yesterday’s paper I wrote about Weston Cage’s black metal band Eyes of Noctum playing O’Brien’s in Allston, and decided to leave out the rumor that Papa Nick was going to be in attendance. Often, it’s a promoter ploy to yelp about celebrities showing up to a gig, and nine times out of ten said celeb doesn’t show up.

Well don’cha know, Nick Cage was at O’Brien’s last night getting his metal on. The back patio at the Harvard Avenue punk club/bar was closed off, creating a sort-of outdoor green room for the actor and his family.

Not to steal the thunder of the Inside Track or anything, but did anyone have any interactions? Was he seen grabbing a drink at the CommonGround beforehand? Maybe he got a Superman tattoo at Stingray, maybe bought some Fred Perry polos at Horror Business or even checked out that new sushi den Fish Market on Brighton Avenue?

Regardless, he’s got to be the most famous person to strut down Harvard Avenue since Hideo Nomo dined at Tokyo City.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

On the Media 101 panel tomorrow

Want to hear me talk about my day job at the Boston Herald and all sorts of other media/newspaper-related tidbits? Then join me at District Lounge tomorrow (July 16) from 7 to 9 pm for Working With the Media 101 (RSVP here), a panel discussion organized by Emily Sweeney and SPJ. Cool shit. Gotta try and act all pro. District is at 180 Lincoln St. Here are the deets:

The New England chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists presents...

******* MEDIA 101 *********

( a panel discussion with reporters, editors, & broadcast journalists )

Our panel of journalists will field questions from the audience and give advice and insight about working with the media and getting noticed.

Maybe you want to get your band's CD reviewed....or publicize your artwork....

...or maybe you want to get a job in journalism.

...maybe you're a writer, trying to figure out how to break into radio or TV...

This panel discussion will cover all of those topics, and whatever else you want to know about the press.

After the panel discussion, there will be time for mingling & networking.

This event is FREE and open to all.

Mark Burgess of Chameleons UK in Boston

***Show moved up to TUESDAY***

This just in:
Mark Burgess of the Chameleons UK is doing a solo show at Hennessy's next Tuesday July 21, and I have it on good authority he will perform "Swamp Thing."

Here's a message from Hennessy's booking agent Sean Flynn: We need bands to play on this night with him. He wants bands to jam with. Email me if interested.

Eyes of Noctum (Weston Cage) @ O'Brien's

I had the pleasure of interviewing Weston Cage yesterday, the son of actor Nicolas Cage and frontman for black metal band Eyes of Noctum, who hit O'Briens Pub in Allston tonight. He doesn't discuss popa-dukes in interviews, but I loosened him up a bit, maybe because I know who Frederik Nordstom is.

Actor's son rattles Cage: In 1987, actor Nicolas Cage was “Raising Arizona.” Three years later, he began raising future underground black-metal singer Weston “Arcane” Cage .

The actor’s son with former girlfriend Christina Fulton, the now-18-year-old Cage rolls into Boston tonight with his band Eyes of Noctum . The abrasive California quintet plays O’Brien’s Pub in Allston alongside Closed Casket, Who Carries the Lantern and Bone Ritual.

Eyes of Noctum’s blistering sound doesn’t welcome casual curiosity seekers looking to catch a glimpse of celebrity kin.

“We don’t drag with us the essence of Hollywood,” the younger Cage told Hotline. “I have a dark maniacal side and sometimes I want to decimate every person in the room. But I also want to enlighten. We have a variety of different fans and get different reactions.”

Credit Cage for not starting some half-bit indie rock vanity project. He has cultivated his underground sound since he started playing Scandinavian-influenced metal five years ago.

“I’ve always had a certain sentiment in me I couldn’t define,” Cage said. “As a teenager, I gravitated toward more darker music.”

That gravitation led Eyes of Noctum to Sweden, where they worked with metal uber-producer Fredrik Nordstrom to complete their debut album, “Awakening.” While Cage wants to be judged on the merits of his music, he acknowledges his family’s history in the spotlight.

“I come from a lineage of great artists,” he said. “I just want to contribute to my genre and honor my family.”

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

NYC artist Dash Snow dead at 27

More proof that I've lived three years (and counting) too long. The NY Times has the news, and New York magazine has the legend from '07. Snow as the "Paris Hilton of the art world" or this generation's Jean-Michel Basquiat is not for me to decide. Honestly, I don't care to distinguish the difference. Let's all look at Polaroids.

WBCN Radio gets Sporty / RIP Rock of Boston

I was always an FNX kinda guy, but still sad to see WBCN 104.1 FM switch to an all-sports talk format, as FNX affiliate the Boston Phoenix confirms this morning.

The juice from Adam Reilly: "CBS, 'BCN's owner, is moving Mix 98.5 to 104.1, WBCN's frequency, and starting a new, all-sports station--apparently to be dubbed the Sports Hub, and to carry the call letters WBZ-FM--at Mix's spot on the dial. Word is that 'BCN's morning team of Toucher and Rich will do the Sports Hub's morning show when the change is implemented in mid-August."

While plenty of jokes are made about BCN's reluctance to let the '90s pass, it's a bummer anytime a rock format is nixed for a robo-station filling an already overcrowded sports landscape. Then again, we could use a more open-minded forward-thinking sports talk alt to WEEI.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Hatcham Social getting Suedetastic

Who the hell are Hatchem Social? I have no idea. But I do know that 1) they are opening for the Charlatans at the Dise in Sept., 2) they are from London, and 3) this song sounds a WHOLE lot like early Suede. Got that "Dolly"/"Moving" vibe going on pretty fat, and between this and the Amazing Baby track (song of the year?) I'm convinced the sassier/darker side of Britpop is making a finally comeback (think Suede, Marion, Gene, Menswaer, etc.)

America's BIggest Asshole casting today

So there's a new reality TV show called "America's Biggest Asshole" in the works for the Spike Network, and today's the open casting in Boston, a city that could very well provide the first and last open call producers need to host. Yes, I know, I should go, whatever, fuck you, blah blah blah. But my assholeness is more subtle, a kind of passive aggressive douchebaggery that is only seething towards ex-girlfriends and New York Ranger fans. My head games do not translate well to television, unless you're in a shitty local band. Anyway.

Here's official word from the folks at

Can you irritate a perfect stranger? Are you quick on your feet? Can you handle a very strong personality? Are you a practical joker? Do your friends tell you that you have all the charm of Vince Vaughn, Denis Leary, and Stiffler rolled into one?


Win cash, fame, and respect for your ability to say what mere mortals could only dream of saying! Audition for the new reality show ‘America’s Biggest A**Hole’! Come to one of the Open Calls, bring a photo and bio, and tell us your story!

Open Call Information: Monday, July 13, 2009, 10AM – 4PM, Boston Casting, 129 Braintree Street, Boston; Wednesday, July 15, 2009, 6 PM – 9 PM, Red Sky, 16 North Street, Boston (Faneuil Hall)... In conjunction with Boston’s “A” List!

If you are unable to attend an Open Call, e-mail a photo, contact information and a few lines about why you should be on the show to Must be 18 years or older.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Oh shit: The Brattle's 1984 TV Party

From ze Hotline blog: To quote the great Black Flag in their 1982 punk classic “TV Party”: “We’ve got nothing better to do, than watch TV, and have a couple of brews.”

Almost 30 years later, we’ll trade in sarcasm for suggestion when Monday night rolls around, as the Brattle Theatre, now with that sparkling new beer and wine license, hosts “TV Party,” a two-hour collection of television clips and episodes, all circa 1984. Even if we *had* something to do, this clearly is a better option. We’re talking shows like “Who’s The Boss,” “Transformers,” “V,” ”Miami Vice,” Punky Bewster” and others. It’s a part of the Brattle’s totally awesome Summer of 1984 series, which features screenings of films “Spinal Tap,” “The Neverending Story” and of course, “Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo.”

Forget about the LFO reunion at the Middle East — this is where the party’s at! It gets started around 9:30 p.m., and tickets are $9.50. Here’s official word from the Brattle Theatre:

Repertory Series! The Class of 1984, TV Party 1984 at 9:30pm Tickets
(1984) dir various, [120 min]

Aside from all the great movies released in 1984, there were some truly memorable television as well. To name just a few: Transformers, Miami Vice, The Cosby Show, Punky Brewster, and V. There are many more shows that you may remember – or want to forget. We’ll be putting together a special program of clips and episodes of some of 1984’s best and worst TV.

Taking Back Boston: Harvard Square

In the Herald today we did our yearly "Take Back the City" spread, highlighting some places around town that are even better now that they're not clogged with student douches. I took Harvard Square, maybe my favoritest place in all the 617 land, and a Summer Sunday destination since I moved here nine years ago.

ALONE AT LAST: Hang Out In Harvard Square
After the Harvard graduating class tosses those black mortarboards in the air, the neighborhood vibe changes.

The hustle and bustle of Harvard Square’s business district is gone, but its amenities - from shopping to eating to just plain hanging out - remain intact. The traffic normally backed up through JFK and Mount Auburn streets suddenly flows like casual mid-July conversation at the subterranean Grendel’s Den on Winthrop Street. And Grendel’s, like Shay’s Pub, Charlie’s Kitchen and scorpion bowl-mecca Hong Kong Cafe, is longer on elbow room and shorter on wait.

Denise Jillson, executive director of the Harvard Square Business Association, said that tourists effectively replace the Harvard students in summertime around the square. But what is noticeably different is the general pace among its 8 million visitors per year.

“People don’t have that business-mindedness,” Jillson said. “It’s definitely more relaxed, more calm. There’s no rush. There’s a lot more outdoor seating, and it seems like there are more places to stroll.”

It’s easier to grab a metered parking space in the triangle perimeter around the square, cop a squat in Winthrop Park or grab a bite and a drink at Charlie’s Kitchen. The Eliot Street throwback diner’s cheeseburgers are only outclassed by the gritty vibe and the occasional punk or indie rock show.

The Garage shopping center, aptly named because it once housed a parking garage - the old entrance ramp now herding pedestrians - houses the city’s best record shop in Newbury Comics, rock and mod clothing hot spot Hootenanny and the Proletariat vintage store, the shelves of which aren’t picked clean as when the thrifty students are in town.

The relaxed atmosphere in the square might help your game of chess in the outdoor patio area where scenes of “Good Will Hunting” were filmed, or help your understanding of whatever protest is ongoing near the Pit, a haven for skaters, punk kids and activists.

For a few months, at least, getting in and out of the square is a cinch, ditto for hitting its myriad shops and catching an old-school flick at the Brattle Theatre. Stroll at your own pace, but don’t take too long - the student rush is inevitable.

Bodega Girls @ the pill tonight, GS02134

Pretty fucking stoked about the pill tonight, as Bodega Girls swing by to bring their lo-fi hedonistic dance party throwdown to Great Scott. Adding to my excitement is the new pill mailing list, which takes us out of the Commodore 64 era and into the now (kinda). Sign up by submitting your email on the pill website. These are the golden days... the bio for tonight:

Thirty years ago this Sunday, Chicago’s Comiskey Park hosted the infamous Disco Demolition Night, where White Sox fans brought old disco records to the ballpark to be blown up between games of a doubleheader against the Detroit Tigers. The rock radio-sponsored promo stunt quickly escalated into chaos – bonfires broke out, unruly fans stormed the field and a near-riot ensued within the park, forcing the Sox to postpone and eventually forfeit the second game. Rolling Stone magazine called it the “emblematic moment” of the anti-disco “crusade” and organizers proudly boasted the Derby “hastened (disco’s) demise.” Thirty years later, in a time where disco has revived through myriad sounds and attitudes, Bodega Girls bring their all-out hedonistic dance party assault to the pill. Haven shaken up the interwebs with their seductive hit “She’s Into Black Guys” and crashed sweaty dance floors with their insane Wild Light remix, Bodega Girls flee their usual monthly dance party home base of Middlesex Lounge and get dirty with us in Allston Village. An ode to ‘70s disco with modern elements of funk, soul and electro, Bodega Girls' on-stage demolition derby will bring Great Scott to its knees.

Shake yourself a preview of Bodega Girls over at, practice your moves in the mirror and read up on the Hector Fund, the band’s artist-funding campaign. Before and after the band, the pill’s resident DJs Ken & Michael V spin the best in Britpop, Modern Indie & Beyond. Look sharp.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Thursday to Sunday flyer bulletins

I posted another Thursday to Sunday nightlife flyer collection in my Herald blog, and here's a taste:

Cheap Thrills: ICA, Pats Place and SomerMovie

From today's newspaper, my weekly Cheap Thrills column for the weekend, hyping free shows, more free shows and free movies. Valhalla.

HarborWalk Sounds launch at the Institute of Contemporary Art

Putnam Investments Plaza, 100 Northern Ave. Thursday from 6 to 8:30 p.m., all-ages. FREE
The ICA’s HarborWalk Sounds’ free Thursday evening music series kicks off tonight with a heartfelt pound of the piano, as singer/songwriter Neara Russell and her band take to the waterfront. The series is a collaborative effort with Berklee College of Music, offering up some of the school’s brightest to provide the soundtrack for a top-notch cheap-date option. The Wisconsin-born Russell adroitly combines the calculated angst of Amanda Palmer with the whip-smart piano-based songwriting of Sara Bareilles, augmented with modern electronic-tinged atmosphere. Reggae group Tubby Love (July 16), Latin Jazz ensemble La Timbistica (July 23) and jazz guitarist Alex Wintz (July 30) round out the four-week HarborWalk Sounds schedule, but tonight is the show to check out. It could be Russell’s last free show for a while.
Info: 617-438-3100,

Rock the Plaza concerts at Patriot Place

One Patriot Place at Gillette Stadium, Foxboro. Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m., all-ages. FREE
Ever see those awesome radio station bumper stickers with the Patriots logo rocking out wearing sunglasses and a pair of headphones? Well, it’s a little known secret that our chisel-jawed football mascot is actually rocking out to local music. This weekend he packs his iPod with the best of Patriot Place’s Rock the Plaza free concert series: Lynn-born neo-soul r & b crooner Adam Payne and his crew 2Adam12 hit the stage on Saturday, then recent ’BCN Rock N’ Roll Rumblers the Motion Sick and Sarah RabDAU & the Self-Employed Assassins rock hard in the shadow of the Big Razor.

Somerville’s SomerMovie Fest kickoff with ‘Bee Movie’

Seven Hills Park, off Holland Street in Davis Square, Somerville. Tonight at approximately 8 p.m., all-ages. FREE.
Ambitious bumblebees voiced by Jerry Seinfeld, teenage vampires with perfect skin and people who really, really like ABBA are all coming to Somerville this summer. No, it’s not another traveling circus - it’s the SomerMovie Fest, a nine-week Thursday night family flick series that spreads its wings tonight at Seven Hills Park with the 2007 CGI-animated film “Bee Movie.” The series runs weekly until Sept. 3, and includes “Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure” (July 23, Seven Hills Park), “Twilight” (July 30, Seven Hills Park) and “Mamma Mia!” (Aug. 13, Lincoln Park). There are five different screening locations, so check the listings on the city’s Web site and get your buzz on tonight.
Info:, Somerville City Cable Ch. 13/16

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Three classics from Wolfsheim

Quiet night, empty apartment, lady out, cat asleep, television off, brain hibernating... and re-establishing a love affair with the legendary Wolfsheim... Been a while.

Freezepop 10th anniversary shows

Just when Boston goes and finally OD's on all things electro, the guys and gal in Freezepop halt the beat and remind us that they've been on that dance tip for ten years. It's quite a career for the city's true electronic music pioneers, and to celebrate they're pulling off a doubleheader-bill at Harper's Ferry in Allston July 25.

The lineup:
All-ages daytime show, 2pm: FREEZEPOP, with Mystery Roar (featuring members of Cassette, Bon Savants, and Westward Trail) and the Seedy Seeds (from Cincinnati)

21-plus evening show, 8pm: FREEZEPOP with The New Collisions, Provocateur, and DJ Michael V. from the pill (oh, snap!)

Tickets: In advance: $10 for one show, $15 for both; at the Door: $12 for one show, $20 for both

Pop notes: Way back in the summer of 1999, the Boston music scene was the last place you’d expect to find a happy-go-lucky electropop band. But out of this setting was born Freezepop, a trio based around a tiny handheld sequencer and a vocoder. Ten years, three albums, and a whole lot of synthesizers later, the band are still at it and would like to take this opportunity to have a big celebration. Freezepop will be playing two shows at Harper’s Ferry on Saturday, July 25, both featuring different setlists, special guest stars, and other fun surprises. Freezepop recently announced the departure of founding member Kasson Crooker (aka The Duke of Pannekoeken), and these will be his last local shows with the band. Freezepop are currently recording the follow-up to 2007’s Rykodisc/Cordless/Archenemy release, Future Future Future Perfect, which won Best Album honors in last year’s Boston Phoenix/WFNX Best Music Poll. The band are also continuing their streak of videogame appearances with their inclusion in the new Rock Band Unplugged PSP game.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Jon from Elkland is back: The Drums

...The Drums, the drums, the drums, the drums, oh! It doesn't take a tired-assed Ting Ting to sense that rosy Next Big Thing stench, and this one emanating from Brooklyn is soaked in John Frieda Beach Blonde hair spritz.

Remember Elkland? Oh you know, that band from NYC I had up at the pill a billion times around 2006, who had that insanely brilliant song "Apart" and the singer who made me question the distant reaches of my sexuality? Yeah them.

Well, the boy in question, Jonathan Pierce, is back with a new project, and fittingly, everyone is blowing their load over him. Like I wanted to. Back then.

They're called the Drums, and it's Jon and his old boyhood friend Jacob from Horse Shoes, setting out to sound like the Wake while combining elements of '50s surf-pop with Elkland's synthpop exuberance. It's Factory Records with tan lines, folks. Apparently moving to Florida to become a surfer has rounded the boy out, and now he's back to doing what he does best -- making everyone swoon. This is some tight shit, and will probably bring him the fame he deserved a few years ago.

They're at Great Scott on Aug. 4 (apparently), and I swear I had nothing to do with it. I just sing I want you to be here, I want it to be now... and la dee da poof! Good lord...

Oh. And Acid Girls at Middlesex

Speaking of that other jam down Mass Ave, they've enlisted IHEARTCOMIX and Kitsune Music production/DJ duo Acid Girls as their guest tonight, which is fairly notable. Quite the Tuesday night in Cambridge.