Monday, May 31, 2010

In My Head: The Walkmen 'The Rat'

Amazing day, amazing weekend, amazing everything. Best of times at this current pace, and an unbelievably incredible few months ahead, regardless of which path materializes in the next week or so (Last day at Herald = June 11). But today was all about BBQ and friends and vodka and an iPod mix that hit all spots.

The highlight? One of the best songs of the 2000s, piercing through the hazy, Quebec smoke-filled spring Boston air #SmokeMonsieur. I think "The Rat" clocked in as my 4th best Song of the Decade, behind only "Since U Been Gone," "Maps" and BM Linx's "Understanding Orange." Great hearing it unexpectedly over burgers and boozing.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Happy birthday, Carl Lavin

The Man Who Saved Great Scott celebrates 40 years of life tomorrow (Mass Pike hint: a roadside mileage chart just outside Boston heading West has destination mile-counts as 5 31 70). We'll be down at GS doing a roast in his honor, around 9 p.m. this evening, because why the fuck not. I may have hired belly dancers.

Mad love, Carl.

Advanced: Veil Veil Vanish @ the pill June 18

We're still a few weeks away, but it's never to early to get acclimated with awesome. I found San Francisco's Veil Veil Vanish while flipping through a Metropolis Records catalogue, and well, I'm easy: Print shit like a "potent concoction of The Cure meets A Place to Bury Strangers," as Noise Pop wrote, and I'm intrigued. After one listen, I was hooked. A few days and a handful of emails later, we secured June 18 for them to swing by the pill as part of their east coast tour, and we're all kinds of excited. Video footage from a Halloween gig at pill brethren Popscene after the flyer jump.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Portand electro band Reporter

Doing research for a freelance project out this summer, I discovered Portland glitter-disco band Reporter. I gotta get these cats to le pill.

Endless Wave & Fort Point Recordings

A joint press release was issued this morning for the launch of Fort Point Recordings -- a Boston-based indie label specializing in rock and dance music -- and their inaugural record, the "City Walls" EP by sky-gaze trio Endless Wave. The second act signed to my Vanya MMC nightlife agency, Endless Wave officially releases the "City Walls" on June 9 at Great Scott in Allston with Asteroid #4, the High Dials and Jupiter Transmission.

Click the release to enlarge, and gig posters are below.

Tonight: modern indie dance party @ the pill

After a few rounds of gimmicks and extended hooks, the pill rolls old school with an all-night modern indie dance party tonight at Great Scott. Memorial Day weekend belongs here with us in the land of Beyond, where the drinks flow freely and the Brit goes pop.

friday may 28:
we take back the city
all-night modern indie dance party at the pill

The students are gone. Classes are out, senior mortarboards have been tossed skyward and the underage, underdeveloped underclassmen have gone back to the anonymous Midwestern towns (or Long Island) from which they came.

It’s time to take back the city, a springtime ritual that eradicates Allston’s drunken student population, empties the sidewalks, de-clogs the asphalt corridors and reminds normally cold, bitter year-round Bostonians just why we voluntarily live here in the first place. This Friday the pill celebrates the season accordingly with another all-night dance party, offering its sterling mixture of Britpop, Modern Indie & Beyond provided by resident good mixers DJ Ken & Michael V.

Now in the past few weeks at the pill we’ve resurrected a Mod soundtrack, saluted the life and legacy of Joy Division’s Ian Curtis and hosted a handful of live acts. But with three straight weeks of open air before San Francisco’s Veil Veil Vanish joins us on June 18 (described on the west coasty as “a potent concoction of the Cure meets A Place To Bury Strangers”), the pill kicks off a Friday night string of straight up all-night modern indie dance parties.

It’s not just any old indie dance party, but a stripped down Allston Dance City celebration for the locals, the ones who don’t mind the foul stench of urine that coats the neighborhood this time of year, and are probably a little too excited for the opening of Kelly’s Roast Beef across the street.

It’s also Kylie Minogue’s birthday, but don’t worry, we won’t expend the pill playlist for her, despite our love. Can you get us out of your head? This is the pill. Look sharp. xo

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Heavy and Letterman's encore (HoB 2nite)

British soul group the Heavy hit the House of Blues tonight with Sharon Jones & Dap Kings, and while I'll likely sit tight and wait for the Brits' oncoming club-date string, "How You like Me Now" is still all kinds of lethal. Even David Letterman thinks so, bringing the boys back around again for a rare "Late Show" encore. Really cool stuff.

House of Blues "Front Room" sked posted

Yes, the House of Blues is the House of Blues, but props to its higher-ups for giving a club booker the keys to the Front Room to host live local music several nights a week. I've written about it before, and looks like the May launch was a success. Here's June, a pretty diverse slate... June 5 is a BEAST.

Cheaps: Free ice cream, Orchard sk8 & Berryz

Hola Thursday, welcome to the latest Cheap Thrills column in the Boston Herald, why I pimp free ice cream, strawberry picking, Orchard skate shop's grand opening and even through those Rescue Nite kids some love. Awww, a new me. Evs.

Free Soft Serve Ice Cream at Bleacher Bar

Saturday from 4 to 7 p.m., 82A Lansdowne St.; all ages, FREE
Nothing beats free ice cream, and even though temps are supposed to dip back to May-like normalcy over the weekend, the lure of free soft serve on Saturday from the fine folks at Bleacher Bar almost makes up for having to watch the Red Sox [team stats] play the Kansas City Royals later that night. These promotions certainly don’t happen when the Yankees come to town - maybe because we don’t want to share our treats with their fans - so let’s appreciate the gesture and all get one massive brain freeze. Swing by the Bleacher Bar window and grab yourself the most unexpected cone at Fenway since David awkwardly pitched for the hometown team back in 2001.
Info:, 617-262-2424

Orchard Skate Shop grand opening weekend

Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. at 156 Harvard Ave., Allston, all-ages, FREE; and Sunday night at 9, Rescue Nite dance party at the Model Cafe (7 North Beacon St.), 21-plus, FREE
Allston has no shortage of skateboarders, from kids doing tricks on the rails of the Jackson Mann Community Center to skillfully dodging angry cars at the corner of Harvard and Commonwealth. But now they can take the decks indoors, as Orchard Skate Shop moves its hot spot from Mission Hill to the center of Allston Village on Harvard Avenue. Saturday’s grand opening features an art show by Orchard Skate Team member Jahmal Williams above the shop in its Extension Gallery and an open call to test the room’s new skate ramp (kids younger than 18 must have a parent sign a waiver). And because it is Memorial Day weekend and everyone loves a party, the Morrissey-loving kids at Rescue Nite bring the Orchard celebration to the Model on Sunday night, offering up a splendidly drunken mix of post-punk, indie and Pabst Blue Ribbon all for Allston’s newest neighbors.

Strawberry picking at Belkin Family Lookout Farm

Saturday, Sunday and Monday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., 89 Pleasant St., South Natick; all ages, $8 general admission
The year was 1651 in New England. Massachusetts General Court ordered a 5 shilling fine for observing Christmas and, according to Wikipedia, new laws were passed forbidding poor people from adopting excessive styles of dress. And Belkin farm was established. This weekend one of the oldest working farms in the country kicks off another strawberry season with special picking for Memorial Day revelers looking to escape the city. If the heat gets too oppressive during the berry-picking sessions, there’s always the scenic train ride through the 180-acre farm’s orchards. There’s also a farm-themed children’s play area, face painting, live entertainment, a hay pyramid, burlap mazes and a moon bounce.
Info:, call the u-pick hot line at 508-653-0653

Pulp's 'Common People': 15 years old

In the last post I mentioned how Pulp's seminal Britpop classic "Common People" was released 15 years ago this Saturday, and on a busy-bee Thursday, I figured, why not have a look back. It remains one of the coolest and most colorful videos ever, and it certainly blew my little 16-year-old mind when it unexpectedly popped up on Much Music one afternoon. (Fuck-all if MTV actually played it). Hot damn, this is one fine number,. and maybe we'll dust it off at le pill tomorrow (lol)...

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Believe in Britpop: Off Yer Head in Atlanta

If there are any national music magazine editors reading this blog, here's a story idea I've wanted to read about for YEARS: Almost a decade-and-a-half after the rise and fall of Britpop -- high-water mark "Common People" by Pulp was released 15 years ago this Saturday -- there are still a handful of successful parties dedicated to the genre. Obviously we have the Pill here in Boston, Club Underground in Los Angeles and Off Yer Head in Atlanta, which hits the dance floor tomorrow night.

There must be others: Popscene in San Fran started as one (the only night running longer than the Pill), Tiswas in NYC was epic for years and I think there is one in Chicago. This music still radiates with a certain, albeit minor, segment of the stateside population, enough so that this scene still litters the American indie club landscape like no other subculture.

Someone interview me about Britpop in the USA. Come on Spin. Come on Rolling Stone. COME ON NME.

Get on this shit. We're still mad for it, obviously. Here's LA's look:

Free Energy tonight at the Middle East

One of the bands I listed on FNX during my "What to listen to in 2010" segment back in January, Philadelphia's Free Energy are making me look good! Produced by James Murphy and released through DFA Records, I picked up a cassette tape of theirs at SXSW, and it inspired me to fix the broken ass boombox I was previously using just as a mantle piece in my living room.

So naturally, I have a debt to repay, and I think I just might do that tonight at the Middle East in Cambridge, where these groove-hooked rock n roll dudes blow shit up along with Jukebox the Ghost and Miniature Tigers. Cool bill.

"Free Energy" from Free Energy on Vimeo.

Uniform party tomorrow evening w DJ Ken

Uniform in the South End is having another sale party, and today's the deadline to RSVP (by emailing DJ Ken of pill fame spins the hits, and I've been known to jump behind the warm glow of the laptop to serenade the shoppers with a healthy serving of girl-pop and glitter-disco. Further deets after the flyer jump...

Most Awesome Friends of Uniform,

The warm weather has arrived in full force, and so have our new summer fashions. For the past five years Original Penguin has been our strongest ally in keeping your wardrobe hip-and they're doing it once again.

Don't forget, this Thursday, May 27th, from 6-9pm, chill out with Penguin and receive 20% off all Spring / Summer goods. The party wouldn't be complete without some cold beers from Victory Brewing Company and cool tunes from DJ Ken of the Pill.

Don't be left out in the heat, RSVP to today.

In My Head: New Order 'Temptation'

As "Trainspotting" next year approaches 15 years of never getting old, its soundtrack also ages remarkably well. While much of New Order's catalog has dominated this fledgling springtime, today's vice is all about "Temptation." What a track, and this is such a great video. New Order is best when they cross the seven minute mark... <3 this.

Hotline: Eli "Paperboy" Reed June tour

Now sweet little a Hotline nugget: When Eli "Paperboy" Reed & the True Loves hit the Mid-Easy in Cambridge early next month, it won't be some random one-off homecoming date for the Brookline native. Instead, the pride of Capitol Records has strung together a nice little stateside tour, bringing along Atlanta psych dudes the Constellations for some coast-to-coast rock n' soul action that wraps up at the Roxy in LA.

Here's the itinerary, and don't sleep on the home date, as Spirit Kid -- featuring one-time True Love Emeen Z -- is also on the bill:

June 3: Mercury Lounge, NYC
June 10: Middle East Downstairs, Boston MA
June 11: North Star Bar, Philadelphia PA
June 12: The Beachland Ballroom, Cleveland OH
June 13: The Empty Bottle, Chicago IL
June 15: The Mercy Lounge, Nashville TN
June 17: Sundown in the City Festival, Knoxville TN
June 18: Rock 'n Roll Hotel, Washington DC
June 19: The Bell House, Brooklyn NY
June 23: The Roxy, Los Angeles CA

COME AND GET IT (Official Music Video)

Eli Paperboy Reed & The True Loves | MySpace Music Videos

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Predators? Oh snap, Predators!

Holy shit there is a new "Predator" movie! WOWZA!!! It's called a "reinvention" of the series, which is fine as long as the fish-net wearing aliens are back in full force. This looks D O P E. I've thoroughly enjoyed the "Predator" movies, even the one where the baby-blue runs around Manhattan or some shit. And the AVP series wasn't terrible.

Oh hey, Topher Grace is in this.

Hotline: Live music back at Milky Way

An artless-not-heartless Hotline re-post: When the Milky Way and Bella Luna Restaurant in Jamaica Plain relocated last year from Centre Street to the Brewery Complex on Amory Street, it left behind two things that were a major bummer to its wide-ranging clientele: a hearty slate of live local music and candlepin bowling.

At the time, the owners promised the eventual return of the former, and now that looks to be true: the space will start hosting live music the second Friday of the month and occasionally on Thursdays, shaking up a weekly schedule dominated by DJ-led dance parties.

Here are some of the newest confirmations, skillfully jacked from the venue's Facebook page and a thread on Lemmingtrail (follow the links back for performer linkage):

Friday, June 11 - Audrey Ryan & Shepherdess
Thursday, July 29 - Sleepy Very Sleepy + TBA
Friday, July 30 - Hangman's Alphabet & Aloha Sarcophagus + TBA
Thursday, Sept. 30 - Lovewhip + TBA
Every 2nd Wednesday of each month Erin Harpe Delta Blues performs for free with special guests each month.

Taxpayer: free download and EP release party

Boston scene veterans Taxpayer have a new EP on the way, dubbed "Photo," and to mark the occasion the rock brigade has put a new track "King of Kings" up for free download. It's worth a listen, as cool window-down-for-the-drive melody was never this band's drawback. Got a nice vibe to it.

The full EP gets the proper release party treatment on Saturday, May 29 -- Edit: shit, that's this weekend! -- at Great Scott with The Russians, Hot Protestants and Aaron Perrino. Tickets are $9 and can be purchased in advanced here.

In My Head: Blur's "For Tomorrow"

Despite it clearly being a Suede "Coming Up" morning down at the LTD, a professional blog post (read: The Boston Herald) regarding the Blur logo and that dumb ass racing game popped some Albarn nuggets into my head, and when the dust settled the finest Blur jam ever rose up and carried me along in a choreographed Britpop melody dance that would make the dog park scene in Marmaduke blush. La, la, la-la-la... hold-ing on for to-morrow

2nite: One Happy Island CD release @ Lizard

It's really a perfect day for some sugar-soaked indie-pop, and local cats One Happy Island are one of the finest in the land. But what I find find fascinating about their CD release party tonight at Cambridge's Lizard Lounge is the We Are The World flavor of the lineup.

We got some Sweden, we got a whole lotta United Kingdom, and we even have Vermont repped hard up in this bitch. Dew drop in on an otherwise bleak-ish Tuesday night...

'The Human Centipede' arcade game!!!!

An increasingly rare Hotline repost: Celebrating the greatest phenomenon of 2010 that does not involve dead washed-up rock stars, a bread-less fast-food chicken sandwich or the ability to play a 30-year-old video game on the Google home page, someone actually made a shooting game for the instantly-legendary Tom Six cult horror film "The Human Centipede." Yes, it's kinda based off the old "Centipede" arcade game, and clearly we're still months away from a game where you have to stitch people together ass-to-mouth. Can you be 100% medically accurate in three lives or less? Before we find out, lets shoot 'em up...

Ladies and germs, fire away at that pesky 'Pede. (Hat tip to Zack)

Monday, May 24, 2010

June 7 -- Grand Theft Scooter: Boston

This is the sickest flyer ever, made by Casey and I at the Great Scott BBQ. Lex got her scooter stolen, so we're throwing a party to raise money for her new bike. RALLY AROUND LEX!!!

Advance warning: Endless Wave EP release

Boston-based skygaze trio Endless Wave -- who have joined New England garage rock band Twin Berlin on my recently re-launched Vanya MMC roster -- are releasing their debut EP "City Walls" on June 9 at Great Scott. The record is released through indie start-up label Fort Point Recordings, launched by a co-owner of the Good Life Bar on Kingston Street.

Also on the June 9 release party bill are Philadelphia's Asteroid #4, Montreal's the High Dials and a special opening set from "Jupiter Transmission."

Got a bit of advance notice on this, but we scored the physical copies of the EP last week and now the flyers are finished. We're really proud of this record, and think it will help put Boston rock back on the map. More to come on this, for certain...

Calling all ugly girls: Actress Wanted

Not that I know any busted-ass ladies, because all my girls be beautiful. But hey, if you're a cut-up ugly broad and you wanna be in film, this could be your big break:

WANTED- Ugly Actress Lead for Short Film -no expereince necessary (Brookline)
Date: 2010-05-24, 1:04PM EDT
Reply to:

You want to act, and am tired of your dream role going to the pretty girl? Not anymore! We are looking for physically unattractive woman age (any age) to be in a short comedic film. Please send photos.

* Location: Brookline
* it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
* Compensation: no pay

In My Head: Siouxsie "Make Up To Break Up"

Been living musically in the late '70s lately, so no surprise I've had this jam by Siouxsie & the Banshees rolling in my head all morning. Can't seem to find this on iTunes, and my old burned CD of Siouxsie hits from college is long gone, so Friday night when I was post-punking it up at le pil I sold out (as usual) and played "Hong Kong Garden" instead of this gem. Anyway, YouTube saves lives, and enjoy the Mick Hucknell cameo at 1:39 hahahahaha...

Battle of Blur logos

So there's a new racing video game hitting the market called Blur. I'm sure we've come a long way from "Rad Racer," and I'm sure the game is great. The name, oh certainly very clever, as yes, those cars do go very fast. But hey, you know, that logo, it looks veeeeeery familllllllliar.

Oh right, because it's the fucking logo for Blur the Britpop band! Look at this shit:

Throwed back on Tuesdays (Middle East)

I was wondering what was up with Throwed after it took a fortnight off and E-Marce joined up what that Thrash indie party each Thursday at Harper's, but the answer lies in a weekday shuffle. Throwed is back on its original Tuesday night at the Middle East, starting manana, and true to the promotional season, they are having a Pool Party about it.

I'll probably roll up with some swimmies in support of the Honors, who again killed it as the Smiths over the weekend.

Starting the week with Bret Easton Ellis

After a crazy good weekend, Monday morning just got its ass kicked as a preview copy of Bret Easton Ellis' "Imperial Bedrooms" was waiting for me, courtesy of Knoph Publishing. Don't forget, Ellis hits the Brattle Theatre for a reading with Harvard Book Store on June 24, and "IB" -- the kinda-sorta sequel to "Less Than Zero" -- hits bookshelves on June 15. Disappear here.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Tonight: Morrissey party & Videodrome

Cool shit going down along Allston's Harvard Avenue corridor this evening, as I'm DJing a Morrissey birthday party with a host of "local rockers" and the Honors as the Smiths (see: Pill Halloween Show #7) all while Videodrome Discotheque holds court up the street at the Common Ground. Flyers below...

Ooh, a Tweet re-post: @vMichaelv Do the Allston Shuffle: Morrissey party @GreatScottROCK & Videodrome @CommonGroundBar

Friday, May 21, 2010

In My Head: Conservative Man 'The Heist'

This joint has been in my dome since about, oh, I dunno, January? Very excited to hear it live tonight at le pill. It's become a prime-time dance floor staple.

Tonight: Conservative Man and a tribute to Ian Curtis & the Joy Division legacy, only at the pill

Tonight at the pill we celebrate the life and legacy of Ian Curtis, who committed suicide 30 years ago this past Tuesday. Been waiting to see Conservative Man live for ages, and am psyched to have Videodrome Discotheque providing Manchester visuals over the dance floor. Now, about this stomach bug... Here's the promo gospel from the pill

friday may 21:
Conservative Man
A synth-pop rocket sent from the future
As well as a tribute to Ian Curtis (d. 05.18.80) and the Joy Division legacy

We've been waiting for a guide to come and take us by the hand. Three days after the 30th anniversary of Ian Curtis’ untimely suicide in 1980, the pill pays tribute to the iconic (or “ionic,” if you’re the mayor) Joy Division front man this Friday night in Allston Dance City.

Space–aged Philadelphian synth-pop duo Conservative Man joins us in their pill live debut, providing not only the soundtrack to time traveler John Titor’s battle-tested iPod as he fires back to 2036, but also a live tilt to the band’s bubbling pill dance floor anthem “The Heist.”

Said the Boston Phoenix before a Conservative Man gig in January: "Expect a night awash in lush synths, a set shoved along by swarthy post-punk bass, and one infectiously wrought melody with a bit of Britpop sheen after the next."

As part of our extended tribute to Curtis, last week Conservative Man mastermind Ian McCarthy released online an exclusive three-track Joy Division cover EP, which is available here for free download. As Friday night explodes, visual and video installations are provided by Videodrome, the “Closer” biopic and “Joy Division” documentary flash on the big screen and the pill unleashes a Curtis-inspired companion playlist, honoring the Joy Division legacy from early stages as Warsaw to the height of New Order.

All that remains falls in line, from Joy Division’s unknown pleasures that draw closer to the band’s sprawling influence through ‘80s modern rock and the post-millennium post-punk resurgence. This is the way, step inside.

Feel the future of Conservative Man’s unrelenting synthed out rocket-pop at Before and after the band, DJ Ken & Michael V spin the best in Britpop, Modern Indie & Beyond. Fire up the large hadron collider and look sharp, time agent. These sensations make us feel the pleasures of a normal man. xo the pill

Nike's new World Cup ad

Well, this is a fairly intense three minutes. This epic sports commercial even features cameos by Roger Federer, Kobe Bryant and Homer Simpson, and good lordy I can't effing wait for the World Cup next month.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Magic Magic tonight in Cambridge (TTs)

I have a meeting with Fort Point Records tonight at the Good Life, but if that ends early I'm hoping to roll over to TTs in Cambridge to catch Magic Magic in dual-drummer indie rock action. Love me some Magic Magic, yo.

Hotline: Weekend Flyer Roundup (just 2 left)

The countdown is on to the End of the Hotline as we all know it (read: they'll find someone else to do it). So clearly the Weekend Flyer Roundup will go the way of the McRib as well... Here's today's post, and below are my faves:

Cheaps: EarthFest, Free Hug Day & record swap

Oh yes, Thursday brings us our weekly Cheap Thrills column in the Boston Herald. On tap this week: EarthFest's Saturday shitshow, free hugs all around Downtown Crossing and a cool record swap in JP on Sunday. And yes, there is a Suede reference.

Radio 92.9 EarthFest

Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the DCR Hatch Memorial Shell off Storrow Drive; all-ages, FREE
It’s fitting that Saturday’s Radio 92.9 EarthFest megaconcert at the Hatch Shell also falls on World Goth Day - the forecast calls for cloudy skies and temperatures in the low 70s. The festivities draw more than 100,000 annually to the banks of the Charles River and pump out a whole lot of environmental awareness. Even the bands are recycled, as this year’s concert features ’90s alt-rock worship: Catch Collective Soul, Marcy Playground and the Gin Blossoms, who have undergone a sort of hipster renaissance. Seriously, you can’t find anyone to bash the Gin Blossoms these days (“Hey Jealousy” held up remarkably well). Wade in EarthFest’s sea of “green” product vendors and local nonprofit environmental organizations. There’s also the interactive Kids Planet, for those who weren’t even born before Marcy Playground experienced a blip of relevancy.

Free Hugs Day in Boston

Saturday from noon to 4 p.m., launching at the Park Street MBTA station and spreading toward Downtown Crossing and Park Street; all-ages, FREE
The Free Hug Campaign is a social movement started in Australia in 2004 meant to endorse random acts of kindness. Now these free-huggers are bringing their unsolicited grabby-back to Boston in a daylong event that has almost 550 Facebook RSVPs. Cheap Thrills is skeptical, however, and we’re promoting this not as an endorsement of giving or receiving free hugs, but as a people-watching opportunity to see what happens when the hug parade randomly approaches a group of Bostonians in the heart of Downtown Crossing.
Info:, search “free hugs Boston” on Facebook events

JP Vinyl Yard Sale & Record Swap

Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 630 Centre St. in Jamaica Plain; all-ages, FREE
Hopefully the momentum caused by Record Store Day a few weeks ago carries over into this weekend, when Jamaica Plain hosts another vinyl yard sale and record swap. Dust off the Technics and spin the black circle at the get-together that boasts thousands of records for sale or trade from multiple sellers around the region. Maybe Cheap Thrills will finally find that ultra-rare white-label Suede “Be My God” 12-inch off RML Records we’ve been looking for since 1990. But if not, there’s certain to be tons of other rock, punk, psych, pop and “file under other” gems to fill the day with crate-digging goodness. And really nothing beats wasting a few hours outdoors on a spring Sunday going through a fat stack of $1 bins. And just in case Mother Nature still listens to CDs, the rain date is June 6.
Info:, search “JP Record Swap” on Facebook events

Friday: The Sun Lee Sunbeam strip it down

Before Vanyaland gets buried in pill promotion, I wanted to acknowledge pill faves the Sun Lee Sunbeam, who strip it down and shake it up in rocking gently tomorrow night at the Plough & Stars in Cambridge. The official word from the 'Beam after the stellar flyer

Tomorrow night we strip down for you–acoustic style–at one of our beloved intimate venues: the Plough & Stars. we do love these shows and have heard whispers that some of you feel the same way. REHR!

But for those of you who have yet to experience us like this, the four of us rearrange how we play so that the focus is more about the songs than the 'show'. Jessica plays the acoustic, mike changes up the pedals, Mary gets crazy with the tambo, and Jeff throws in the bongos, xylophone, and his washboard stomach. (One of us likes to show off more than the rest of us. EH HEM.)

We mix up the setlist with a variety of tunage and tend to throw in a soulful cover. unfortunately, this will be our last show like this for months.

In My Head: Best Coast 'When I'm With You'

How hard does Best Coast's "When I'm With You" make you want to shut down the 'puter, ghost town the office, drive out to a crowded beach somewhere and just lay all day in the sand on a warm towel carelessly watching the waves hit the shore? This is some all spray yourself rotten with John Frieda Beach Blonde and cash out somewhere sunny until nightfall. Summer anthem right here for the get-away day-trip lovers.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Another indie dance night hits Allston: Thrash

Is Allston big enough for another indie night? We shall see tomorrow night, as E-Marce and Crew trade in electro beats for indie treats at Thrash, which looks/appears just like Paper and Throwed only they're re-launched with pretty much the pill's play list (well,we don't play Yeasayer!) rather than high-energy dance remixes and techno-y stuff. Hey, cool with me, I need more places to hang out, even though this is at Harper's and these 18-plus joints always make me feel like a creepy old man. Maybe it's the Chelsea cut I've been sporting...

In My Head: New Order 'The Perfect Kiss'

And on the day after the anniversary of Ian Curtis' suicide it's only fitting to listen to nothing but New Order, right? I've maybe listened to this a half-dozen times today, and finally saw the "controversial" scene where apparently Curtis drops by and watches from the doorway. Ha! This is music at its very, very best. (Can do without the frogs, though.)

Sunday: JP vinyl yard sale & record swap

More on this in tomorrow's Cheap Thrills column, but Kaylay and I are likely to hit this shit up and it's worthy of an extra day of promotion. A spring Sunday in Boston spent outside digging through dollar crates? Sign me up, JP Vinyl Yard Sale & Record Swap. Maybe I'll find that Suede "Be My God" 12-inch I've been looking for since I was 15.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Tribute to the Joy Division legacy @ the pill

This really kinda came together unexpectedly. I had initially planned to do an Ian Curtis tribute at the pill sometime around now, but it didn't work last week with Spirit Kid. So I went after the fact and slotted it this Friday, May 21. Upon telling the live guest, Philadelphia's Conservative Man, that we'd do a sort-of Joy Division tribute, the singer/programmer Ian McCarthy informed me he's actually been named after Curtis. So he offered to chip in a relative song or two, then recorded his three-track Joy Division EP for us to enjoy. VJ/DJ Crag MacNeil of Videodrome Discotheque then offers to project some Manchester footage over the dance floor, giving us a visual component. Add that to the "Closer" biopic and "Joy Division" doc playing on the big screen, and a playlist heavy on the '77-'85 post-punk, new wave and host of subsequent influencees, and this shit might be quite the night.

06.24: Thunderdome XIX

Oh sweet, the next Thunderdome dance party falls on a Thursday -- June 24 -- meaning I can finally roll up and see what the fuss is about. Tough making the rounds when you're locked in on a Friday schedule each week since 1997 and shit. Cool flyer.

In My Head: Night Fruit "Sea Blood"

I pretty much know nothing about this new Cambridge-based trio called Night Fruit except for three things: One, two or even three of them used to be in Hot Box (a band I kinda loved even though they were active for like 46 days); this jam "Sea Blood" is this epic slow-burn, almost-shoegazey dream-pop firefly of a number; and they are playing Great Scott on Sunday, another return to the end-of-weekend screw-the-door-count weird-bill smorgasbord that the Allston venue built a name on a few years ago.

Screw "Lost." Don't be that guy. Go to this.

Fan Video: Joy Division's 'Disorder'

Without question my all-time favorite Joy Division song remains "Disorder," and several years ago I bought a bass guitar just to learn the chords. I ended up selling it when I needed loot after quitting my job as general manager of a Lansdowne Street nightclub, but evs, the sentiment remains. This is a pretty rad fan video with clips from "2001: Space Odyssey," and it's a nice mix from the standard b/w photo collage edits that dominate YouTube.

Spectrum's rock boom tonight in Cambridge

Heard myriad things about Pete "Sonic Boom" Kember of Spaceman 3's latest project, Spectrum. Tonight I guess I'll form an opinion of my own as the band hits the Middle East with locals Broken River Prophets and Vacant Lots (who are based close enough). It's a fitting night for some well put-together noise. I'm in complete Joy Division Mode today, but I might need a sonic refuge come midnight.

RIP Ian Curtis :: May 18 1980 - 2010

In a room with a window in a corner, I found truth. Ian Curtis died 30 years ago today, and I think it was Joy Division's manager, the late Rob Gretton, who correctly predicted at Curtis' funereal that he'd be far more popular in death than he ever was while alive. Few legacies are as prominent as Ian Curtis', a life cut short at age 23, only to enable him to live forever.

In a world of over-saturated idolation, Ian Curtis never wavered in his shaping me as a person. Our lives overlapped by 17 months, yet none of that actually matters. This is the way, step inside.

Great NME spread last year on Unknown Pleasures, the record which never fails to captivate my.

Monday, May 17, 2010

the pill flyer 'remix' :: a new LEX poster

Last month we released the LEX flyer, and since we liked the design so much, we "remixed" it last week to update the calendar section. This image was the "B-shot," so with the different color font and slightly altered image this is pretty much the pill's version of a CD2 of some obscure Britpop band's double CD single release. Ahhh, the days of paying $9.99 at Tower Records for a album-cut single you already had just to hear two (often) shitty b-sides.

Headliner peek at Pop Montreal

Got this a few days ago but slept on it like whoa, but now that I'm looking at fun stuff to do in the fall it's become a bit more Vanya prominent. Pop Montreal goes down from Sept. 29 to Oct. 3 in the glorious city of this year's possible Stanley Cup Champs, and the initial headliner sneek-peek teaser looks as solid as Michael Cammalleri.

Hotline: the Heavy @ House of Blues 5/27

Hotline says HOW YOU LIKE ME NOW: You know that cowbell-banging soul jam that sounds like a lost James Brown record and is played in the Kia Sorento commercial where the sock monkey gets a tattoo? Yeah, it rules, and it's called "How You Like Me Now" by UK band the Heavy. Hotline is sure the Heavy had to cancel some US dates late last year (memory is all fuzzy), but they're back in town this spring supporting Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings. The tour hits the House of Blues on Thursday, May 27.

Hell of a show. Details below after the video jump.

The Heavy's US Tour With Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings Kicks Off Today

The Heavy are back in the USA for tour dates spanning May, June and July for their longest North American tour to date. They will be supporting Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, headlining some of their own shows - a second show in both Denver and NY have been added due to high demand, and performing at Festivals such as Sasquatch, Jazz Fests in Victoria/Vancouver and more.

The Heavy Upcoming North American Tour Dates:

May 17 || Southgate House || Newport, KY*
May 18 || Majestic Theatre || Detroit, MI*
May 20 || University of Wisconsin, Memorial Union (Free Show) || Madison, WI
May 21 || Vic Theatre || Chicago, IL*
May 22 || Pabst Theater || Milwaukee, WI*
May 23 || The Vogue || Indianapolis, IN*
May 25 || The Sound Academy || Toronto, ON*
May 26 || Le National || Montreal, QC*
May 27 || House of Blues || Boston, MA*
May 28 || Larimer Lounge || Denver, CO
May 29 || Larimer Lounge || Denver, CO
May 31 || Sasquatch Music Festival || George, WA
June 14 || The Bowery Ballroom || New York, NY
June 16 || The Bowery Ballroom|| New York, NY
June 18 || Republik || Calgary, AB
June 20 || Commodore Ballroom || Vancouver, BC*
June 21 || Showbox Sodo || Seattle, WA*
June 22 || Crystal Ballroom || Portland, OR*
June 24 || KSJO Presents - The Blank Club || San Jose, CA
June 25 || Warfield Theatre || San Francisco, CA*
June 26 || The Wiltern || Los Angeles, CA*
June 28 || Jazz Fest Int'l - Element Club || Victoria, BC
June 29 || Vancouver Int'l Jazz Fest - The Commodore Ballroom || Vancouver, BC
July 1 || Fine Line Music Café || Minneapolis, MN
July 2 || Summerfest || Milwaukee, WI
July 3 || Taste of Chicago || Chicago, IL
July 4 || 80/35 Festival || Des Moines, IA
July 7 || The Basement || Columbus, OH
July 10 || Quebec City Summer Festival - Theatre Imperial || Quebec City, QC
*supporting Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings
All other shows are headlining shows or Festival dates.

In My Head: Depreciation Guild 'Dream About Me'

UPDATE: Depreciation Guild live @ the pill on Friday, June 25. Yes.

Been in casual talks to bring Brooklyn experimental-pop shoegaze trio the Depreciation Guild up to the pill this summer, and after listening to "Dream About Me" on repeat all morning, I might have to amp up negotiations. Holey moley this is my new summer jam. Like a modern day Chapterhouse with updated electronics. Video directed by Jack Ferry.

The Depreciation Guild - "Dream About Me" from Jack Ferry on Vimeo.

Tonight: 'Rebel Without A Cause' at Coolidge

There's a ton of shit going on tonight, from Buzzcocks at the Dise to Hooray For Earth at Middlesex to scraping dead parents of BU graduates off Commonwealth Avenue. But down 'round Brookline the Coolidge is showing "Rebel Without a Cause," James Dean's 1955 classic that more than half a century later is still the standard for Male CoolTM. I had my Dean phase somewhere around senior year of high school, and I'd still tear him up either ways to Sunday. Still and forever the coolest dude to walk this Earth.

Big Screen Classics: REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE
Mon, May 17 @ 7:00 pm $9.75

"You're tearing me apart!"

The summit of juvenile delinquent stories, Rebel Without a Cause cemented James Dean as a star; though his untimely death four weeks before the film's premiere prevented him from seeing the final product.

Dean stars as Jim Stark, the new kid in town and already he's in with a bad crowd. His love interest Judy (Natalie Wood) and "close friend" Plato (Sal Mineo) are hiding out from the cops and trying to stay one step ahead of the local goons. Romance, fast cars, real switchblade fights, and Dennis Hopper...could you ask for anything more?

dir. Nicholas Ray, w/ James Dean, Natalie Wood, Sal Mineo, 1h51m

VIDEO: Dio 'Holy Diver' (RIP, buddy)

Hotline repost: Here's the obligatory Ronnie James Dio day-after-death worship. Hungover weekend mornings watching "Metal Mania" on VH1 Classic will never be the same. Godspeed, diminutive metal warrior! Here's the obituary from the AP.


Friday, May 14, 2010

Designer Drugs North American Tour

NYC electro duo Designer Drugs are taking over North America, and fooking hell, no Boston/Cambridge date. Well, at least we still have the DATAMIX. Vicious.

Trailer for Lennon biopic 'Nowhere Boy'

Never been a huge Beatles fan, and often just to be difficult I'm fairly vocal that I really don't care for them. Just never found them that interesting, despite a healthy respect and acknowledgment in history, and I've never, ever put anything of theirs on my own stereo/radio/iPod/whatever. This John Lennon biopic "Nowhere Boy," however, looks pretty cool, because the story is intriguing.

Found it posted on the site, fwiw.

Tonight: Spirit Kid live @ the pill

A few weeks ago Matt Sisto passed along some new demos from Spirit Kid, a new project he joined up with started by Emeen Z. I think the next day, they had a pill show. And now, that shit is tonight, with more than a few Twitter folks comparing their sound to the Zombies. I'll let the promotional gospel of the pill boston do the hard sell:

friday may 14:
Spirit Kid
a jangly romp through sunshine pop

It’s time to stare back at the sun and shout. With dirty winter now a faded memory washed out by the changing season’s rains, the pill brightens the scope and flashes loud along Allston sidewalks this week with the sun-soaked jangle-pop sounds of Spirit Kid.

What began as a basement project by man-about-town Emeen Z – who previously adored Boston stages with the likes of Eli “Paperboy” Reed, the Sterns and Age Rings – has grown into a full-fledged neo-psychedelic pop-fueled ensemble. With Emeen Z’s band now rounded out with current and former members of Mean Creek, Daily Pravda and Main Drag, Spirit Kid has evolved into a musical movement that borrows the retro-fitted melodic strut of yesterday with today’s rock awareness.

Catchy as Ellsbury tracks like “Flytrap” and “The World Doesn’t Stop” have already hit the pill dance floor, and the jam “You Lit Up For Me” was heard last year on the promo video for Showtime’s hit series “Weeds.”

Said Michael Brodeur in the Boston Phoenix not too long ago: "An addictively wispy voice, a knack for Kinksy melodicism, and a seemingly endless supply of hooks give Cantabrigian singer/songwriter Emeen Zarookian a certain irresistibility. Like, if Elliott Smith and Rod Argent started a band, we’d be equally powerless. That’s impossible, but this is really happening."

It most certainly is, this week at Great Scott, live at the pill. Let’s dance it up and look sharp.

Catch a preview of the pure pop goodness of Spirit Kid over at Before and after the band, DJ Ken & Michael V spin the best in Britpop, Modern Indie & Beyond.