Friday, February 26, 2010

You Say Party! We Say Die! Get all XXXX on us

Hotline reporting in: Vancouver dance-punk kids You Say Party! We Say Die! first hit our radar a few years ago partly due to the quirky moniker and also because 2007 rager “Downtown Mayors Goodnight, Alley Kids Rule” became a semi-hit at local indie dance parties. Truth be told, we didn’t expect to hear much from them after that, especially since they haven’t played in the U.S. since 2005 due to years of visa denials, and reports that one of the dudes in the band was banned from our fine country until 2011 for crossing the border illegally. Crazytown!

But now they’re back with a more refined, evolved sound (not unlike the evolution of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs) and armed with one of the more intriguing albums of the early year, Paper Bag Records’ “XXXX.” It dropped Feb. 9.

As an added bonus, the visa issues appear to be resolved. You Say Party! We Say Die! hit T.T. The Bear’s Place in Cambridge on March 27 with locals the New Collisions and Static of the Gods – which rules eight ways to Saturday until we realized it’s on the same date as the Big Pink and A Place To Bury Strangers at the Paradise. Figures.

Anyway, we have some time to decide where we’ll be that night.

In the meantime, You Say Party! We Say Die! (or YSP!WSD! or just You Say Party!) recently released a visually striking new video for the lead single off “XXXX,” the track “There is XXXX (Within My Heart).” Cool video, cool song. Check it out…

You Say Party! We Say Die! "There is XXXX (Within My Heart)" from the album XXXX. from Paper Bag Records on Vimeo.

Gotta Love It II: the Kitty Caller for the iPhone

You want EVEN MORE hard-hitting journalism? Well in today's Gotta Love It section of the Boston Herald, I confess a love for the Kitty Caller iPhone app. Again, that journalism degree from Hofstra University is really paying off:

The iPhone is cool and all, but does it feature cute kitty cats on its keypad? Does it meow when you press its buttons? And does it fire off colorful rainbows when dialing a friend? Didn’t think so. Turn your iPhone into the purr-fect treat for deranged cat people with Kobayashi Industries’ Kitty Caller app (99 cents at Say it together: “I’m in ur fone, dialin’ ur friendz.” -- Michael Marotta

Gotta Love It: Denise from the Taco Bell ads

You want hard-hitting journalism? Well in today's Gotta Love It section of the Boston Herald, I address "Denise" from the Taco Bell ads. That journalism degree from Hofstra University is really paying off:

Not since Gidget the talking Chihuahua has Taco Bell [YUM] gotten so much buzz from a commercial. You’ve probably seen it: a guy asks for Denise because he thinks he’s getting a hook-up and up to the register walks the cutest Taco Bell employee ever. Turns out Denise is Nicole Hayden, a New Jersey-born actress who once appeared in “8 Simple Rules” under the name Nikki Danielle Moore. And according to her Facebook page, she’s a die-hard Red Sox fan. Our Nation rejoices. -- Michael Marotta

Hotline: Neon Indian adds 2nd Allston show

Reposting the Hotz: They may have blown off Boston earlier this month to play “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon,” but buzzy Austin, Tex., electro-pop act Neon Indian is more than making up for it.

A second early show was added to its March 9 make-up play-nice do-over gig at Great Scott – and that one isn’t yet sold out. Tickets are $15 and are on sale now.

As originally planned a few weeks back on Feb. 11, local dance pimps Mystery Roar and Southern Belle pull opening duties for the late show, while Brooklyn/Providence party starters Javelin has been added as support for the post-dinner gig. The networking folks at Riot Vine oversee both shows.

And in all fairness, lead Indian Alan Palomo and his live crew – guitarist Ronald Gierhart, drummer Jason Faries, and Leanne Macomber on keys – were fairly entertaining on Fallon. Neon Indian’s debut album “Psychic Chasms” comes recommended.

New Bloody Beetroots banger: 'Domino'.

Though "Warp 1.9" is still buzzing through my skull, Italian electro duo the Bloody Beetroots unleashed a new banger today, complete with epic video. Shit gets real about 2 minutes in. Presser re-posted down below because I am TGIFing like a bitch and why fuck with the deets of the Beets?


Dim Mak is pleased to announce the latest incarnation of The Bloody Beetroots. Beginning today they are releasing the dark and destructive musical, cinematic and photographic opus "DOMINO".

The name "DOMINO" comes from a typical Venetian Carnival costume, a robe with a black hood and a white mask. The title was chosen title to introduce the first BBDC77 anarco-musical army. The video - like Xmas Vendetta - underscores the contents of their latest critically acclaimed release "ROMBORAMA". "DOMINO" is part of "ROMBORAMA" and in turn "DOMINO" is a spare of "ROMBORAMA".

Bloody Beetroots is the guise under which producer and DJ Sir Bob Cornelius Rifo operates. In the Beetroots live sets and DJ sets, Sir Bob avails himself of the services of Tommy Tea. Despite their glorious origins in the alcoholic Italian hamlet of Bassano del Grappa, The Bloody Beetroots are a worldwide phenomenon.

Genesis 8:3: the waters receded :: so let's dance

No band tonight at the pill -- though Dear Leader next Friday certainly makes up for it. Just DJ Ken and I stretching out modern indie legs, stylized kick & filmstar whip, gasoline & drum machine, etc. xoMv.

friday february 26:
all night dance party
britpop . modern indie . boston floodlands

This is a city that was shiny, revolutionary and bold. This was a city build on resistance. Now that the sound of the warehouses, alleyways and Lower Allston kitchens have parked firmly on the crowded asphalt sidewalks flashing reflective like a faded crosswalk’s neon depth, it takes a gravitational point to reel it inward and screen the worthy, weaving a distinct tapestry of style, function and rebellion all wrapped in an otherwise unmarked compilation classified by two words: the pill.

We are marked byslick ink spots on the dorsal and a clenched cocktail coddled by the palmar, and this week the pill ratchets up the modern indie racket with another all-night dance party down at Great Scott. Last week’s Emergency Music weekend crystallized the past and captivated the now, and next Friday Dear Leader cast their own weekend residency stand at our crass flash mixer.

But the middle ground arrives tonight, as the pill kisses off February when DJ Ken & Michael V clear the stage and spin their prospecting mixture of Britpop, Modern Indie & Beyond. Shine the light of fine enlightened minds with new music by Conservative Man, Hot Chip, The Soft Pack, Yes Giantess, Penguin Prison, The xx, Cassette Kids, Girls, Spirit Kid, Neon Indian, These New Puritans, The Postmarks, Southern Belle, Surfer Blood, You Say Party We Say Die, Von Sudenfed and the rest of the Friday night pill soundtrack.

Look sharp, dance it up. This is the sound of our town, this is the sound of our now. xo

Thursday, February 25, 2010

SXSW: Urban Outfitters' back lot wallop

Holy shit look at the lineup Urban Outfitters pulled together for their SXSW "Back Lot Performances." Maybe the best lineup so far? Oh my! (Click to enlarge)

UO X ATX 2010
From March 17th to the 20th, you can catch us at the Urban Outfitters store in Austin, Texas, where we'll be hosting four days of free live music from 25 bands! We can't wait. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for more updates.

Hotline: Weekend Flyer Roundup (straight up)

The Hotline weekend flyer roundup has been posted, and here for Vanyaland's pleasure are my aesthetic faves...

Royale (former Roxy) looking for YOU

Got talent? Need a jobby job? Join the entertainment staff at Royale on Tremont Street, the resurrected former Roxy nightclub. Shit is legit -- Former Avalon DJ Dave Ralph is running the show, and a reunited Public Image Limited plays there May 4 and 5. This gound become Boston's new large-scale dance party ground zero. Open house on Monday:

Cheaps: Romps, lamb and scorpion bowls

There was a heavy edit going down in this week's Cheap Thrills column in le Herald, which is why it reads kinda choppy. But it still has the goods -- Armory's Rock N Romp for the kiddies, Lamb Takedown for the carnivores and an excuse to get drunk on scorpion bowls. Word.

Rock N Romp at the Center for the Arts at the Armory, with One Happy Island, the Shills and DJ Michael Savant

Sunday, 1 p.m.; 191 Highland Ave., Somerville; all-ages, $14 (for both parent and children)
Back before Facebook and Twitter came along and made everything public, parents who couldn’t get to rock shows and parties could just pretend they never happened. But between online concert invites and morning-after photo galleries, moms and dads anchored to the house by children feel left out. The Rock N Romp series creates a family-friendly concert atmosphere that mirrors the late-night rock show vibe in the clubs just at a lower volume. And the kids can run amok. The series gets re-launched this weekend, with the indie pop of One Happy Island (kids love ukuleles!), the rock smile of the Shills and DJ Michael Savant. Children get in for free, and attendees must have one to enter. No, your cat doesn’t count.
Info:, 617.718.2191

Lamb Takedown at the Middle East

Sunday, 4 p.m.; 472 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge; all-ages, $15
OK, $15 isn’t cheap. But the other word in this column’s moniker is thrill, and relatively speaking, being able to eat all the lamb one can stomach is not only thrilling, but certainly worth the price of admission. So roll in like a lion to the Lamb Takedown on Sunday, the latest chapter in the Takedown series that has included chili and macaroni-and-cheese cook-offs. Sponsored by the American Lamb Board, each chef enlisted will be given 15 pounds of lamb to cook any way he or she chooses, and the champion - according to the attendees’ vote - will be crowned the winner of this culinary showdown. There is no limit to how much lamb a person can wolf down, and promoters promise tons of free lamb swag for all. We have no idea what that means, but it’s cool anyway.

Chinese New Year celebration in Harvard Square
Sunday, 1 p.m.; around Harvard Square and at the Hong Kong Restaurant, 1238 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge; all-ages, FREE
Some may have missed the memo, but Feb. 14 marked Chinese New Year. And 2010 is the Year of the Tiger, which bodes well for everyone not named Elin Nordegren. Luckily for us, you don’t have to be a disgraced pro golfer to celebrate the occasion with a dozen or two scorpion bowls at the Hong Kong Restaurant, which is serving as home base for Sunday’s New Year festivities in Harvard Square. The Lion Dance Parade assembles in Winthrop Park around 1 p.m. and makes its way to the Hong Kong, where family-fun crafts, calligraphy, rice dough sculpting and lantern making are in order. There’s also puppet shows and Chinese dances.
Info:, 617-491-3434;, 617-864-5311

Thom Yorke's Atoms For Peace: Boston April 8

Doubled up via Hotline, because I'm over Radiohead but know this is big news: Right off the bat: Thom Yorke of Radiohead’s new band with the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Flea has renamed Atoms For Peace, and they bring it to Boston’s Citi Wang Theatre on April 8. That’s some fairly epic news for a rainy Tuesday, eh?

According to Wikipedia: “’Atoms for Peace’ was the title of a speech delivered by U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower to the UN General Assembly in New York City on Dec. 8, 1953.”

The news dropped the news about an hour ago over at The Boston gig is one of only nine confirmed dates so far for Atoms For Peace, which debuted last October in Los Angeles under the name ????. The quick run starts with two nights at New York’s Roseland Ballroom on April 5 and 6 and wraps up at Coachella on April 18. More dates could be announced, but pretty cool that Boston already has a date locked down.

The full Atoms For Peace lineup includes percussionist Mauro Refosco, studio pro Joey Waronker and producer Nigel Godrich. Check for on-sale details.

Here’s the tour so far:

April 5 & 6: New York Roseland Ballroom w/ Flying Lotus
April 8: Boston Citi Wang Theatre w/ Flying Lotus
April 10 & 11: Chicago Aragon Ballroom w/ Flying Lotus
April 14 & 15: Oakland Fox Theatre w/ Flying Lotus
April 17: Santa Barbara Bowl
April 18: Coachella

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A note from Pela

Brooklyn quintet Pela might go down as my favorite band of the last decade, despite only a few years of activity and one album to their credit. "Anytown Graffiti" is a breathtaking piece of work, Americana-ish indie rock at its finest, and I was really bummed to hear they broke up a few months back. Last night, they sent out a mailing list note detailing their new individual projects, and it's posted below after the video. Really, just an incredible, incredible band that is already missed.

Hello friends,

It has been many months since you have last heard from us so we wanted to send out a letter thanking you for all of your support and letting you in on the future.

Pela was always more than just a band to us. It was a community of people and a vehicle to have and share experiences. Over the past five months we have received countless letters from many of you stating how we have touched your lives, so it is important for us to tell you that you have touched our lives as well, and for that we are forever grateful.

In the spirit of community here is what the members of the band are working on for the future......

Tomislav is well on his way to starting a family and we truly couldn't be happier for him. Tom is also playing drums with various artists, both live and in the studio, both in America and across the pond in Europe.

Nate has announced a new project called Thieving Irons and is putting the final touches on his album 'This Midnight Hum'. He has recently released a demo of one of his songs online, reaching support from KEXP and Brooklyn Vegan, and is currently in the middle of a one month residency at Sycamore in Brooklyn. For more information on the project go to

Josh Riccio has completed his first solo record under the name Freak Owls, due out March 2nd. The album, "Taxidermy", is a collaboration by Josh and his friends, and was recorded and mixed by Eric Sanderson. You can stream a few of the songs at his Myspace page and soon there will be more information at

Lastly, Billy and Eric have have been working hard on a 'special project' and will be announcing information within the next few weeks. Keep an eye out for the news.

Thank you again for all of your support over the years. Here's to the future!


SXSW: Lights on a rainy day

It's rainy, I'm insanely hung over and eight shades of miserable, so this day needs some LIGHTS. I just RSVP'd to a SXSW party featuring her and some other awesome-but-not-worthy-of-stealing-this-LIGHTS-post people (Anya Marina, Soft Pack), so there is hope. I leave for Texas in 21 days. God damned if I return.

Maybe LIGHTS will fall in love with me and whisk me away to a far off land of synthesizers, ice cream and kittens. Didn't happen at the Middle East last year but evs.

Free burritos at Boloco Boylston until 8pm

Weird, I feel like BostonTweet or something... from Hotline:

Last week Chipotle gave away free burritos at its new Commonwealth Avenue location, and now Boloco is getting into the tasty freebie action. Here's what just showed up in our inboxes... grab an umbrella and get over there.


WEDNESDAY, FEB. 24, 2010

Mini and Small Burritos, Bowls, Wraps and Salads are free, the Original size is a buck.

Our friends from Honest Tea will be outside in the cold rain sampling some tasty teas and other inspired beverages.

Last, but far from least, we'll have our friends from Community Servings in attendance collecting coin to feed the critically ill and their families. Their goal is to raise $2,000 today... and if they do, Boloco will match an additional $1,000. Please share some of your "savings" today with those in need.

And for those of you not in the area, no worries. Your Free Burrito Day is coming really, really soon!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Sunday at the Mid East: LAMB TAKEDOWN

The 2010 Lamb Takedown is coming!

I'm posting this now because it looks FUCKING AWESOME, and I'm already salivating over what these chefs can do each armed with 15 lbs. of lamp meat. This shazz is the same format as the Chili Takedown and Mac & Cheese Takedown, both previously at Great Scott, complete with equally amazing flyer. Mid East dot com has more details, but all the info you need is here.

"Ewe Will Be Rocked" lololololzerrama!

More SXSW: Dickies Sounds

Surfer Blood! Temper Trap! Michael V drunk as fuck eating tacos!

Sup 2nite? Mystery Roar & Southern Belle @ Liz

Another Hotline repost, deal with it, rock n roll: Last week we hinted at the the full-frontal-awesome fun times ahead this evening down at the Lizard Lounge, the latest in TeaParty Boston’s month-long Tuesday night weekly residency.

Well consider this a visual reminder, and be sure to roll up around the 8:30 p.m. doors, because the sexy funk purr of Mystery Roar and electro rock bounce of Southern Belle certainly know how to throw a party, and do it quite often in larger rooms. Get what's left of the advance tickets here. The two will be reunited at the Neon Indian do-over down at Great Scott in Allston on March 9.

Also, this was just announced: Mystery Roar’s highly-anticipated Dopamine Records album release party goes down at Great Scott on April 24. Details on that as they emerge, but in the meantime look at this flier for tonight. Look at it:

Also Part II: As a sparkle-sweet bonus, the Southern Belle lads just released this promo video with TeaParty, shot atop the cold winter rooftops of Newbury Street. Looks chilly.

Southern Belle - Conditional Love from TeaParty Boston on Vimeo.

Chapterhouse to reform at Brooklyn gig

From Hotline, where the only thing that's lacking is me writing HOLY FUCK!!!: No shoegaze ‘til Brooklyn?

Early ‘90s UK dream-pop quintet Chapterhouse has reformed for a few reunion shows, announcing a one-off gig in Brooklyn in May after a handful of April appearances in Japan. Thankfully, word on the street is more North American dates will be on the way. ... *cough Boston cough*…

But for now, the destination is The Bell House in Brooklyn, where the reunited ‘gazers will perform on May 3. (Tickets are $22.50, on sale now.) reports the original lineup will be intact, except for Greg Moore subbing in for bassist Russell Barrett. Works for us.

As the British Nineties were hitting its stride, Chapterhouse built a small cult following alongside the likes of Lush, Slowdive and Ride in Britain’s ultra-hyped shoegaze scene. Fitting the mold of expanding, swirling guitars set to the baggy beat of Madchester, Chapterhouse are perhaps best known for the 1991 single “Pearl.” It’s a time-honored Hotline favorite and is posted below.

This news leaves only two questions: Will there be a Boston date (Paradise? Mid East downstairs? Hotline HQ?!?), and two, when will Ride follow Chapterhouse and Svervedriver to be the next reunited shoegazers?

03.26 @ le pill ::: Provocateur release party

Sexy sultry synthpop kids Provocateur are finally making out with us down at the pill, celebrating the release of new album "Bad Blood & Brushfire" on March 26. Check the lovely propa-flyer below, and to get warmed up, Provoc is posting a few remixes leading up to the show. The first is by Redlight...

Monday, February 22, 2010

VIDEO: Emergency Music @ the pill 02.19

Were you among the 350-whatever souls who caught Emergency Music's EPIC return to the pill last Friday? Jesus Fucking Christ just when I'm done with life (Boston version 2.0) a night like this rolls along and recharges my faith. This was the most fun I've had in months...

Cheers to Mick for capturing the end... I truly miss this band. Been singing "Prodigal Son" all weekend.

Filter Magazine unveils SXSW party

Seeing Uffie while drunk at 4:20pm in Texas? Yes please!

Crazy lecture on the future of gaming

From Hotline, where yes, my mind was blown on this lonely Monday: Life is a game, and that’s been well documented even before Milton Bradley came up with the board game in 1860. But as technology evolves to consume our daily life, where is it headed and how does it track out achievement and progress through the world?

Check out this half-hour lecture by Carnegie Mellon University Professor Jesse Schell at the recent DICE 2010 summit in Las Vegas, where he dissects gaming development and what the future holds for the booming industry.

There’s a pretty sinister tone that emerges along the way, and if you’re wondering where our culture of gaming is headed and how it’s going to merge with every single aspect of society and daily life – from brushing your teeth for company points to showing off branding tattoos that change shape and earn you achievement – well then your head may asplode after watching it. The best 28-minute time waster you’ll invest in all week isn’t so much a time-waster, it’s a warning wrapped in a challenge.

This is kind of scary. And awesome. And terrifying.

Tonight: 'Rock Shop 3: How to get a gig'

Repost from Hotline: Getting a sweet gig at that sweet rock club on a sweet date with other sweet bands – it’s not as easy as it looks. You need pro communication skills to go along with those pro chops. You got to step up your game, load up the Rock Gun with mp3s, links and a press photo of your band standing against a wall (casually). You need the promise of a “killer draw.” You need a drummer who is on time. You need a female bassist.

For promoters looking to get into the game, you need all of the above times four. So before you book that sure-to-be-legendary Saturday night at the Middle East downstairs, head down to the Cambridge nightclub tonight and talk shop. ROCK SHOP.

“Rock Shop 3: How Do I Get A Show?” features three of the city’s finest talent buyers – Kevin Hoskins (Middle East), Randi Millman (T.T. The Bear’s Place) and Carl Lavin (Great Scott). All will hold court over two hours discussing proper ways to acquire or book a gig, how to ensure getting invited back for a second go-round and why at least one of them has been ignoring your daily emails since August.

Fun times.

LeBron James hitting up Rumor

Now for something completely ridiculous, to ease the weight of the last post -- My roommate DJs at Rumor on Fridays, and this Wednesday, LeBron Fucking James is rolling up to the club for some party. What?!! I'm totally going to join LeBron's entourage. After reading all the things Bill Simmons writes about LeBron's nightlife tornado, I want to feel that gust of wind. I heard he rolls mad deep...

'From the Ashes' : Surviving the Station fire

Saturday night marked the 7th anniversary of the Station nightclub fire in Rhode Island, and in yesterday's Herald I featured 'From the Ashes,' a new book by survivor Gina Russo. In research I went to the site for the first time, and the whole ordeal still stays with me pretty heavily. I was in RI that night, have covered many benefits for victims and feel, as someone who sees several shows a week, that this tragedy could have happened anywhere. But the survivors' tales are mesmerizing.

Charred memories
Emotions smolder in book by survivor of ’03 Station fire
By Michael Marotta
Sunday, February 21, 2010 - Updated 1d 20h ago

On the night of Feb. 20, 2003, Gina Russo made a last-minute decision to see Great White at The Station, a nightclub in the aging mill town of West Warwick, Rhode Island.

At 11:07 p.m., shortly after the ’80s hard-rock band hit the stage, her life would change forever.

Inside the 4,500-square-foot, ingle-story, wood-frame club on sleepy Cowesett Avenue, a fire caused by pyrotechnics broke out. It would take 100 lives and severely injure 200 people in what was the fourth deadliest nightclub fire in United States history.

Russo, 35 at the time and a mother of two small children, survived. Her fiance, 38-year-old Fred Crisostomi, did not.

With the arrival of the seventh anniversary of the Station Nightclub fire, Russo has detailed surviving the inferno and the years of rehabilitation that followed in a new book, “From the Ashes.” The self-published book ($14.94 at was co-written with Rhode Island-based writer Paul Lonardo. A portion of the proceeds are earmarked for burn care facilities.

“People said you have to write a book about this, but for the first few years life wasn’t so great,” Russo said last week at her home in Cranston. “It took me a while to deal with my medical condition.”

Russo suffered burns on 50 percent of her body: second-degree burns on her hands and forearms and third-degree burns on her shoulder, face and scalp. Her scalp wounds burned down to her skull, and the shell of her left ear melted away.

She spent 11 weeks in a medically induced coma before waking up.

“The first words I heard were ‘Do you remember the fire?’ and I said no,” Russo said. “Then I was asked ‘Do you remember the fire in the Station nightclub?’ I felt the heat again, and the whole night came back to me in an instant.”

The 258-capacity club had been overfilled with 462 people, who were directed to what they were told was the one way out: the three-foot wide front door.

“That many people,” Lonardo said, “and they had to get out of that room in two minutes.”

The fire started when Great White tour manager Dan Biechele lighted three fountains of sparks to announce the band’s arrival on stage. The sparks became flames and ignited the ceiling, which was made out of the same low-density polyurethane foam that lined the entire club. Installed as a sound barrier, the inexpensive eggshell-like buffer was not flame retardant and also emitted a toxic cyanide gas when lit.

All the members of Great White - except guitarist Ty Longley, who perished in the inferno - escaped through a side door unavailable to fans.

Fire alarms blared, but the fire spread quickly in a club without a sprinkler system. Light bulbs exploded. The room went dark. All hell broke loose.

“Ninety minutes after ignition, the ambulances stopped coming,” Russo writes in “From the Ashes.” “The smell of burnt flesh hung in the air and red stains in the snow were a grim testament to the massive loss of life that had occurred.”

Russo was taken to Miriam Hospital in Providence, then to Boston’s Shriners Hospital. It was only the second time in its 80-year-history that Shriners opened its doors to adult burn victims; Sept. 11, 2001 was the first.

On April 30, Russo was transfered to Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, and on June 13 - 113 days after the fire - returned home to begin nine months of intense physical therapy. Though she learned about her fiance’s death a week after waking up from her coma, it took much longer for the reality of her situation to settle in.

“It was on the one-year anniversary that I realized Fred had died,” Russo said. “It took me that long.”

Crisostomi’s memorial, along with 99 others, still remains at the Station site, with crosses made from salvaged wood left over from the gutted building. Many of the victims, including Crisostomi, are buried at Cranston’s St. Ann’s Cemetery, but Russo is always drawn to the Station site.

“In a strange way, it’s more peaceful,” she said. “I’m with him there. I don’t feel that anywhere else.”

Though the healing process has begun, the legal fallout from the fire continues. The Station’s owners, Jeffrey and Michael Derderian, pleaded no contest in September 2006 to 100 counts of involuntary manslaughter. Jeffrey served no jail time; Michael is now free after serving less than three years.

Last month a federal judge endorsed a $176 million settlement for the survivors and victims’ families to be paid by the club’s owners, the town of West Warwick and companies Anheuser-Busch, Clear Channel Broadcasting and dozens of others.

Russo now works as an outpatient service representative at Rhode Island Hospital and frequently works with burn victims. She’s still a hard-rock fan, but Russo says even before the fire she never liked Great White very much. She visibly brightened at the mention of Tesla and their ballad “Love Song,” which was dedicated to her by the band at a 2008 benefit concert at the Dunkin Donuts Center in Providence.

“That’s my song,” she said “Those guys are real.”

And with the approach of another anniversary, she turned reflective.

“As the day gets closer I get very quiet,” Russo said. “I’m still surprised at who I am today. The person before the fire could not handle this.”

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Editors vs Tiesto :::: 'Papillion'

The recent Editors single "Papillion" lost its luster with me after only a few listens (it doesn't have the initial impact "Bullets" or "Smokers Outside The Hospital Doors" possessed, despite the fresher synth line). But I like what Tiesto did to jazz it up a bit, and really, nop better way to spread out a few hundred bucks in new bed sheets than blaring this on a February day that feel like spring. Off to a USA-Canada hockey party...

Happy birthday, Lola

My dearest daughter, the only woman I'l ever truly love, turns 3 years old today. I remember the day Amanda and I brought her home like it was yesterday. Some much, useless and otherwise, has transpired since then, but my oh my where does the time go? LOLApalooza in effect all day today. xo.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Passion Pit release 'Little Secrets' video

Why write the same shit twice, Hotline alter-ego? From le Herald: Oh hai, lazy-eye Friday, Passion Pit released a new video this week for their uber-awesome single “Little Secrets.” The look is pretty straightforward – the dance-pop dudes play it up in a smokey warehouse and there’s confetti and brown paper bags and a whole lot of overall good-time tomfoolery. It was directed by photographer extraordinaire Timothy Saccenti, who among a billion other things did the Battles video for "Atlas" a few years back.

Check out the video below, as well as a bonus treat: some random kid straight KILLING it playing “Little Secrets” on piano, which was re-posted yesterday on Twitter by Passion Pit’s own Ayad Al Adhamy.

Goodness gracious this song rules so hard (the cover is great, too).

Hotline: Is this the future of guitars?!?!

From Hotline: Is this the future of guitars? We're not sure, but we do know one thing -- WE WANT IT. Check out this new guitar evolution from Misa Digital, which might be the coolest thing we've ever seen. It’s like a Strat meets a Korg meets “Guitar Hero.” Imagine a dude shredding on this while a DJ drops the beats? Would be kinda epic.

Get on the waiting list by emailing, and in the meantime, someone go wake up Slash.


In 26 days I leave for SXSW, and honestly, I've been so busy I haven't really thought about it much. Then THIS SHIT shows up in my inbox and now I'm bouncing off the walls. I imagine the next few weeks will be rife with showcase and party announcements, but this will be hard to be topped.

Toxic Avenger, Franki Chan, Acid Girls oh my oh my...

Date: Thursday, March 18, 2010
Location: BEAUTY BAR
Street: 611 E. 7th St.
City/Town: Austin, TX

Thursday, February 18, 2010

MGMT release new album cover art

There are no words...

But, I am convinced MGMT are fucking with us. Not that I think this is a joke, oh it's probably real-deal holyfriend. I just think MGMT is all "here assholes, eat up whatever we shit out." And with no "Kids" on this new disc -- titled "Congratulations" and out in April -- I guess it's just Time to Pretend it's 2008 all over again. Surf's up, suckas.

02.19: Emergency Music @ the pill

Needless to say, I'm pretty excited for this. Emergency Music & the pill go back a long way...

friday february 19:
Emergency Music
so long to the slumber, it's a reunion

Emergency Music is back. Resurrected from the underground jangle-pop ashes that took so many before their time, one of the pill’s original gang of indie playboys return to our stage this Friday night for a one-off club gig.

Tied into their in-store appearance the following afternoon at the freshly-minted Urban Outfitters just a harmony’s toss from Great Scott, it’s officially Emergency Music weekend down in Allston Dance City.

The love affair between the pill and Emergency Music goes back more than a decade, and along the way together we’ve raised many a glass: fast friends during the Upstairs Lounge Era; two sterling tracks supplied for the pill’s 2004 Man With A Gun Records compilation “Tomorrow Never Happened;” two for-the-ages Halloween shows (Blur ’04, Velvet Underground ’05); and a legendary performance at the very first pill at Great Scott five years ago earlier this month, when on an hour’s notice Emergency Music rolled up Comm Ave like a modern indie mob and christened our stage, filling in for a band that suddenly went MIA.

Countless gigs, memories and melodies later, we’re psyched as fuck to welcome our boys home. Emergency Music, live at the pill this Friday, Feb. 19 – this is a wilderness, indeed. Our wilderness.

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

Hotline: Weekend Flyer Roundup (earlyish)

Always on the grind, always hyping other people's dope shit. Peep today's weekend flyer roundup in my Herald blog, with my visual favs posted below...

Cheaps: Free burrito, curling & indie TTs

Thursday thursday, Cheap Thrills galore. Here's what ran today, once again heavily edited,. including my claim that Conservative Man's song "The Heist" is the best track of 2010 so far... Seriously, listen to it.

Free Burrito Day at Chipotle’s new Boston University location

Today from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; 876 Commonwealth Ave., Brookline; all-ages, FREE
To celebrate Chipotle’s 20th metro Boston location, the Mexican food joint is doling out free burritos all day today in a special pre-opening party. The brand-new Chipotle joint officially opens Friday, and the cheap thrills continue: The first 100 customers to purchase a burrito, taco or salad receive a free Chipotle T-shirt (please don’t use it as a napkin, yo) and a coupon good for a free burrito on a future visit. While it still looks and feels like Hoth outside, free burritos are enough to make your insides feel all warm and tingly like they’re in Fort Myers with the Sox.
Info:, 617-232-1360

Olympic curling viewing party at the Common Ground

Friday at 5 p.m., 83 Harvard Ave. in Allston; 21-plus, FREE
Forget about the NHL supplying players for the hockey tournament, figure skaters who think it’s cool to wear animal fur and snowboarders who can’t stay on course, the real thrill of the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver is the intense curling competition. Once Japan’s lethal ice-assassin Moe Meguro laid the smackdown on the U.S. women’s team during Tuesday’s competition, we knew these curlers came to brawl. Besides, the Norwegian men’s team has a Facebook profile with almost 20,000 fans of their colorful checked pants. So praise the Common Ground in Allston for turning the televisions to curling, inviting a group of like-minded fans to gather around and watch the coolest sport involving ice, rocks and brooms. On tap: Gold-medal favorite Canada takes on Denmark in the women’s tilt, and the men’s competition features the U.S. battling France. Bring the hammer, Olympians.
Info:, 617-783-2071

The Luxury, the Honors, Jealousy Curve and Conservative Man at T.T. the Bear’s Place

Friday at 9 p.m.; 10 Brookline St., Cambridge; 18-plus, $10
Cheap Thrills loves a gimmick. But sometimes we love a good-old-fashioned rock show, especially when it features a battle between two cities’ finest indie acts. Friday night at T.T. the Bear’s, our increasingly awesome music scene throws down the gauntlet in a head-to-head showdown with Philadelphia, the likes of which haven’t been this intense since Super Bowl XXXIX. On the home side are the UK-tinged modern indie swagger of the Luxury and the Honors, while Philly gets representation from the rock firepower of the Jealousy Curve and the space-fueled synth-pop of Conservative Man.
Info:, 617-492-2327

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

IMH: The Stills' "Changes Are No Good"

I'm fairly certain I am the only person -- especially one who makes a living writing about music -- who named the Stills' "Logic Will Break Your Heart" as the Best Album of the 2000s. But this modern indie post-punk wonderland still holds up, and here's proof: I've had the fantastic "Changes Are No Good" stuck in my head all day, and it's what, the 5th, 6th best song on this album? So good, so good...

Bands with long names tonight @ Church

A very important re-post from Hotline: Got to hand it to the flier designer of tonight's eclectic rock show at Church down in the Fens.

Clearly there is room for artistic freedom in visual promotion when bands like HUMANWINE (all caps no gaps, please!) and Sarah RabDAU partner up a gig, but getting Walter Sickert & the Army of Broken Toys as well as Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling onto one flier that still looks pretty cool is no small feat. So yeah, if you're in the area, check out this show, buy the designer a beverage of two and be grateful RabDAU didn't bring along her Self Employed Assassins.

Approximate set times and linkage:
9 p.m. - Sarah RabDAU
9:35 p.m. - Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling
10:15 p.m. - Walter Sickert & the Army of Toys
11:15 p.m. - HUMANWINE

Lady Gaga at the Brit Awards

...complete with a dedication to her fashion collaborator, designer Alexander McQueen. LEGENDARY SHIT RIGHT HERE. Gets pretty hot around 2:30ish when "Dance in the Dark" fires up.

VIDEO: The Phenomenal Handclap Band's "Baby"

Talking ragtime and posting dope videos down at Hotline HQ:

We get tons of music notices and releases over here at the ultra-posh and wicked-exclusive Hotline HQ, and sadly most of it arrives in a package sent straight from Meh City. But every now and again something rules and catches our attention and hits a certain note with us and we get all giggly and play it too loud in the newsroom and annoy the editors’ wing.

But then we get stuff that puts us in a trance, and we quietly play it or listen to it again and again and decide to not share with anyone until we post it, as if we were transformed into some hypnotized cult follower doing the good work of a high calling we don’t fully comprehend. We merely know we must spread the word. This new Phenomenal Handclap Band video for “Baby” applies here.

We’ve watched it several times already and it just works for a cold, quiet morning like this. Plus, the video is creepy as all hell. Official deets from our friends at Big Hassle Media after the visual jump.

NYC's own The Phenomenal Handclap Band recently debuted their video for "Baby" on Stereogum. Likened to a Dario Argento film, this trippy, color-saturated, and beautifully dark video is directed by Steven Agnew, formerly of The Futureheads' "Walking Backwards" video fame.

Band member Sean Marquand said about the filming of the video, "we went upstate to our friend Paddy's house, which was incredible, but the surreal serial killer aspect colored everyone's mood. Even when we weren't filming, there seemed to be someone sneaking up on us in the forest. The video reflects some of the highs and lows of our weekend. There's kinship and celebration there but there's also an underlying paranoia attached to being at such a remote location."

The Phenomenal Handclap Band On Tour:
2/21 Brooklyn, NY - Brooklyn Bowl (FREE SHOW)
3/03 Manchester, UK - Deaf Institute
3/04 Leeds, UK - A Nation of Shopkeepers
3/05 Glasgow, SCOTLAND - Captain's Rest
3/06 Liverpool, UK - Kazimier
3/07 Nottingham, UK - Bodega Social Club
3/09 London, UK - Cargo
3/11 Bristol, UK - Start the Bus
3/12 Brighton, UK - Coalition

VIGIL, getting dark at the Middlesex

No idea what this is about, beyond the general sense of what's going to be played, but it looks pretty cool. It's called VIGIL, and In Chris Ewen We Trust. Another post-Endless Wave option for another packed Central Square evening, though we all know I'll just stay inside with the cat perfecting the art of noose tying. So fucking dark of me!

Hotline: Sharon Jones & Dap-Kings tour dates

Some Wednesday morning Hotline action: Heads up for the soul freaks – Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings return to Boston this spring, hitting the House of Blues May 27. The 31-date North American tour promotes the group’s fourth full-length album, “I Learned The Hard Way,” which drops April 6 via Brooklyn-based independent label Daptone Records.

The tour includes two record release parties at the legendary Apollo Theater in New York City. Jones and the Dap-Kings warm up with a quick stop at the Snoe.down Festival in Rutland, Vermont, on March 26 then heading off to Europe for four dates before the stateside tour kicks in.


From the lush Philly-Soul fanfare that ushers in “The Game Gets Old” at the top of the record, to the stripped down Sam Cooke-style “Mama Don’t Like My Man” at the tail, the Dap-Kings dance seamlessly through both the most crafted and simple arrangements with subtlety and discipline. “I Learned the Hard Way” is the Daptone Sound at its finest.

Saturday, April 17 - Live Oak, FL - Wanee Music Festival
Thursday, April 22 - Lafayette, LA - Festival International de Louisiane
Friday, April 23 - New Orleans, LA - The Howlin Wolf
Saturday, April 24 - Oxford, MS - Double Decker Festival
Friday, April 30 - New York, NY - The Apollo Theater
Saturday, May 1 - New York, NY - The Apollo Theater
Thursday, May 6 - Richmond, VA - Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden
Friday, May 7 - Annapolis, MD - Ram s Head Onstage
Saturday, May 8 - Charlottesville, VA - Jefferson Theater
Sunday, May 9 - Norfolk, VA - The NorVa
Tuesday, May 11 - Carrboro, NC - Cat s Cradle
Wednesday, May 12 - Asheville, NC - Orange Peel
Thursday, May 13 - Atlanta, GA - Center Stage Atlanta
Friday, May 14 - Nashville, TN - Cannery Ballroom
Saturday, May 15 - Nelsonville, OH - Nelsonville Music Festival
Monday, May 17 - Newport, KY - The Southgate House
Tuesday, May 18 - Detroit, MI - Majestic Theatre
Friday, May 21 - Chicago, IL - Vic Theatre
Saturday, May 22 - Milwaukee, WI - Pabst Theater
Sunday, May 23 - Indianapolis, IN - The Vogue
Tuesday, May 25 - Toronto, ON - The Sound Academy
Wednesday, May 26 - Montreal, QC - Le National
Thursday, May 27 - Boston, MA - House of Blues
Friday, May 28 - Hartford, CT - New England Dodge Music Center
Saturday, May 29 - Hartford, CT - New England Dodge Music Center
Sunday, June 20 - Vancouver, BC - The Commodore Ballroom
Monday, June 21 - Seattle, WA - Showbox Sodo
Tuesday, June 22 - Portland, OR - Crystal Ballroom
Friday, June 25 - San Francisco, CA - Warfield Theatre
Saturday, June 26 - Los Angeles, CA - The Wiltern
Sunday, June 27 - Solana Beach, CA - Belly Up Tavern

Raptor devours cheerleader at hoops game

This is SHOCKING video... I hope she's OK.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Honors ::: 2 new songs posted

People still ask me about the Honors' performance as THE SMITHS at the pill's recent Halloween Show, and for good reason: it was a show for the ages. And clearly, the Mozification ran deep in the original catalogue, as one of the two new Honors originals posted online -- "Lower Allston" -- has quite the Smiths feel to it. Listen to it, as well as "Driven By Strangers," via the link below, and check out the Honors this Friday at TTs (with THE GREAT Conservative Man) then again March 12 back home at le pill.

Some great art included in this limited online release, though possibly a tad too Vampire Weekendish...

Gallery exhibit: Boston's Combat Zone

There's an awesome new photography exhibition at the Howard Yezerski Gallery on the Combat Zone. It's currently running through March 16, and I kinda want to hit it up. Jonathan Tudan's awesome 2009 book "Lovers Muggers & Thieves: A Boston Memoir" raised my interest in the city's old red-light and crime district last summer, and clearly the work here adds a nice visual component to Tudan's tale of living in a flophouse in 1969. I need a grimy date -- someone take me here and lets get seedy...

Tea Party presents: Magic Magic (Oh, tonight)

Hey, from Hotline on a snowy Tuesday: Hey now, don't let the snow get in the way of some tasty servings of local rock.

The fine folks at local event-planning and promotion group TeaParty Boston have thumbed their collective noses at the white-out storm outside, and tonight continue rounding up their mostest favoritest local bands for their Tuesday night residency over at the Lizard Lounge in Cambridge. Tonight's show is as fine as Popsicle with the Boston-via-Salem dual-drummer orchestral pop attack of Magic Magic, who despite personal objections keep getting compared to the Arcade Fire (...which, really, is not the worst thing in the world).

But regardless of zip code affiliation and lazy sound-a-like sonic allusions, Magic Magic comes highly recommended: they opened up for Passion Pit at the House of Blues last month, they actually cram two drummers on stage and Hotline had them in its "Ten Boston Bands to Watch in 2010" article. (Vanyaland note: No effing clue why I haven't approached them about a pill gig.)

Here's what the Tea Party kids had to say about the Lizard Lounge series: "With the support of one of our favorite venues, the Lizard Lounge in Cambridge, TeaParty will be hosting a concert series every Tuesday for the month of February. Each week, we will be showcasing artists that have made an impression on us-- either by gracing the virtual pages of with an interview, releasing an album we can't stop spinning or simply by wowing us with a live set."

Quick note to prove they are not messing around: Next week's TeaParty Boston show (Feb. 23) gets even more deliriously delicious, with Mystery Roar (Number 1 on that "Bands to Watch" list) and Southern Belle (suddenly a glaring omission) doing the live music honors...

Tonight: Grooms step up to Great Scott's altar

If I dig myself out of this Ice Cave I might roll deep into Great Scott tonight, as Brooklyn's Grooms will have proudly battled the I-95 storm and no doubt will be ready to fire off their noisy Sonic Youth-flavored indie-psyche for the parka-clad masses. My blurb from the Great Scott mailing list after the flyer jump...

with Young Adults, earthquake party!
TUESDAY 02.16.10

In 1892 the Brooklyn Grooms baseball club was no joke, finishing 95-59 in the still-fresh and still-rugged National League. First-baseman Dan Brouthers won a battle title. Starting pitcher George Haddock won 29 games. But among the on-field success came tragedy off it, as in May outfielder Hub Collins died of typhoid fever. Fast forward 118 years and Brooklyn's Grooms are aiming for an indie rock pennant after the death of their former band Muggabear.

In the new millennium, band name changes is the new bacterial infection, and luckily we have some antibiotics behind the bar just to get by. But like Brouthers and his 124 RBI back in the Summer of '92, these Grooms have no trouble waltzing up to the altar of rock (Ok, that made absolutely no sense, whatever).

But we get the same sensation listening to Brooklyn's Grooms as we got listening to Sonic Youth's "Jet Set, Trash and No Star" back in the innocent '90s, and this latest borough buzz band isn't using a synthesizer to lock-pick the blogosphere. Check these props: From InSound: "Highly recommended for fans of 90s era-Sonic Youth and a must see live." From Dusted: "A fascinating, sometimes schizophrenic dialogue between experimental noise and songwriter pop."

18+ 9pm $9 tickets

Monday, February 15, 2010

Dear Leader goes to Allston : March 5 & 6

Word is starting to creep out about the Dear Leader double feature at Great Scott on March 5 and 6.

Night 1 is with us over at le pill as Aaron Perrino & Co. roll the dance party dice, and the second act recalls the glory days of the Plan with a rockalicious bill featuring Arletta and Hush Now. Word up, this will be massive.(Oh, psst! Emergency Music reunion this Friday!)

Cafe St Petersburg

Really, this shit never gets old, and after several years, this remains my favorite meal in Boston. Cafe St Petersburg in Newton for the Valentine's Day WIN!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

A Bertie Higgins Valentine

Unbutton that shirt, smoke a pack of Winston's and grab the bitch you love.

Valentine's Day 2010

Disappear here.

Nothing is ever worth anything, anything is never worth nothing. And in circles we go.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Friday, February 12, 2010

Big Pink: the pill's black hearted dance party

Tonight down at the pill...

friday february 12:
a black hearted dance party
anti-Valentine's Day social mixer
'Best Dance Party' nom in the Phoenix poll

As Jarvis Cocker of Pulp once sang, “This isn’t chocolate boxes and roses, it’s dirtier than that.” And so like those small animals that only come out at night, the pill kick starts Boston’s anti-Valentine’s Day weekend with an all night modern indie dance party mixer for the lovers, would-be lovers and the scorned black hearts of the lonely generation.

And the timing for another all-nighter is fast appropriate, as the pill has been nominated once again for “Best Dance Night” in the Boston Phoenix’s “Best of ’10” reader’s poll. Our humble little Britpop throw down took home the honor last year, and of course we’d love the people’s vote once again. Joining us on the ballot is our beloved Allston Dance City venue, Great Scott, which is up for Best Rock Club and "Best Bar.”

But these heavy accolades are a merely a cute liner note wink within the pill’s Friday night legacy, so dance with us this week as resident DJs Ken & Michael V extinguish the flames of love and coat the big pink in a harsh gray for both the lonely souls and catered holes, shining together like thunder under a dance floor’s colorful strobe.

Whether you arrive with an old lover or leave with a new one, you have the rest of the weekend to callously romanticize the rest of your love life. Look sharp, be ours, leave a note in the morning. xo the pill.