Friday, July 23, 2010

Die Antwoord straight kill it at Royale

I don't want to get ahead of myself, but last night's DIE ANTWOORD show at Royale in Boston might have been the best live performance I've sen all year. Mind-blowing. Just found this video...

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Phoenix mp3 of the week: Night Fruit

Peep it, on newsstands now and at MP3 of the Week: NIGHT FRUIT, ‘SEA BLOOD’

NIGHT FRUIT may be relatively new to the scene, but the noise-smart Cambridge trio aren’t lacking in local-rock pedigree. Guitarists Amanda Dellevigne and Jonathan Gill built buzz in the gone-too-soon ’90s-flavored trio Hot Box while drummer Luke Sullivan was cavorting around town with alt-rock-minded Left Hand Does. Now, they’re taking their former bands’ multilayered melodies and post-rock riffage and throwing them through the experimental grinder. The almost-menacing “Sea Blood” is a magnetic slow burn of neo-shoegaze, a calm-before-the-storm dreampop firefly that’s chilling in its deceptive reach. Night Fruit’s debut EP is expected around early fall, and the band are performing this Friday (July 23) at the House of Blues’ underappreciated free front-room local-music series with Streight Angular. In the meantime, grab the “Sea Blood” MP3 at

_Michael Marotta

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Where they're going? Cut Copy goes Britpop

Cut Copy - "Where I'm Going" by Some Kind of Awesome

Boston Phoenix OTD repost: On Friday, Australian dance-pop trio Cut Copy unveiled their new single “Where I’m Going” for free download through their website, and beyond an hour-long avalanche of re-tweets and Facebook posts, buzz kinda died out rather quickly. Maybe everyone was too busy TGIFing it up.

But it was mildly surprising, as the stand-out tracks and their eventual remixes from 2008’s sterling In Ghost Colours album — “Lights & Music,” “Hearts On Fire” — can still be heard most indie and electro clubs from here to Melbourne. I mean shit, this is the new Cut Copy jam we just got, and the weekend’s almost here!

But something odd happened on the way to the dance floor. While everyone was ready to get sweaty under strobe lights, the dudes in Cut Copy changed course and hit the bar instead.

“Where I’m Going” — intended as a teaser track from January’s as-yet-untitled new album — is probably the best Britpop song in at least a decade. It’s far more sing along in the pub than make out on the dance floor, and its tumbling rhythm, sunshine-pop melody and fist-pumping “yeahs” and “woos” recall that sorely missed era mid-'90s UK guitar rock. Shit, if Select Magazine or Melody Maker were still around they’d be posting blog-gasms felt all the way from Haywards Heath, carefully positioning the Cut Copy boys to be the next great faces of a new era of Lad Mags.

Fitting for a jam that recalls Britpop, the track is insanely catchy, rife with traces of Cast, Shed Seven, and even a mascara-mod touch of the late, great Menswe@r. Sure, it’s all quite a departure from the band's previous synthed-out electronically-hinged sound, but it’s also the sign of a band ready to evolve and re-define themselves. You certainly can't be the Presets forever, you know, and the Britpop sound is ripe for a comeback. Even if it comes from the land Down Under.

Download it via the above link, or listen to it on Soundcloud.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Saturday: 'Antics' with DJs Passion Pit, HPD

A Boston Phoenix re-post: For years, “Antics” was nothing more than a kinda crappy Interpol album and the stuff your ladyfriend got into while you were working the night shift. Coming this Saturday, Antics is so much more -- namely, a sick free party with free booze at the Artists For Humanity space featuring a live performance by Bad Rabbits and electro-licious DJ sets by Passion Pit, Hot Pink Delorean and Red Foxx.

But be warned: Toyota’s the designated driver of this party bus, kids, and who knows where they want to take you. On the flip side, the bash is free free free, and you only need to be born after today's date in 1989 and RSVP here to get in.

Official deets in flyer form:

Thursday, July 15, 2010

2nite: Class Actress / Endless Wave at Mid East

My initial obsession with Class Actress' Elizabeth Harper has developed into a friendship -- yes, I'm getting old -- but that doesn't mean I won't fawn over the irresistible singer tonight when her band play the Middle East. Endless Wave -- the lone survivor of the Vanya MMC purge -- opens shit up.

God, I still love this woman and her voice. Never heard anything like it.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

PHX: Elefant's Diego Garcia gets romo

Boston Phoenix On The Download: Elefant's Diego Garcia gets romantic

Depending on your opinion of New York's post-punk revival of the early 2000s, Elefant's 2003 debut album Sunlight Makes Me Paranoid is either a second-wave Bowie-drunk Strokes rip-off or one of the more solid rock releases in a time of not very many solid rock releases. Though the band's sparkle would quickly fade -- 2006 follow-up The Black Magic Show was a total dud -- there is enough charm the first album ("Misfit," "Bokkie") to look back relatively fondly on Elefant with a bit of revisionist critique.

But all that seems a distant memory now as heartthrob front man Diego Garcia is back in action, trading in the now-tired angular guitar-rock sound for the bedroom-eyed romantic crooner that he clearly suppressed in his Elefant days. New release "You Were Never There" is way more Julio Iglesias than Julian Casablancas, and the paced string arrangement and world music texture seems to suit not only his vocal delivery but his whole lover-on-the-side persona. The fact that it sounds frighteningly like a Brett Anderson solo composition, however, is a conversation for another day (as is the weathered face).

In the meantime, ladies, Diego Garcia can be your hero, baby. Have a listen:

MIA on Letterman

MIA was "whoring" herself out on Late Show with David Letterman last night (her word), bringing a bunch of hey-didn't-Eminem-do-this doppelgangers on stage with her to perform "Born Free." But oooohhhhhhh shit, she also got Suicide's Martin Rev on synths, and really, the best part of this performance is Rev turning his back of Ol Dave at the end. Born free, yo.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

PHX: Bear In Heaven @ TT The Bear's

From the Boston Phoenix On The Download blog, penned by yours truly: With Brooklyn synth-gazers Bear in Heaven rolling into T.T. The Bear's Place tonight, we figured it was appropriate to fondly recall those pre-Gulf Coast oil spill halcyon days, when our lone ecological threat was an angry volcano in Iceland.

Trapped in a Madrid airport back in April as a result of Eyjafjallajökull's ashy vomit, Bear in Heaven cured never-ending boredom by sending their trusted video camera out on a journey aided by the baggage claim conveyor belt - a true metaphor for life in these trying times. They then used the footage to create a trippy little low-budget music video dubbed "A Nice Moment During The Dust Cloud," and the combination of confused looks on the faces of stranded travelers works well with Bear In Heaven's ambient rolling drone.

We may even see some of those perplexed looks tonight if Bear in Heaven are still sporting those pimp mustaches they flashed a few months back at the Middle East. Shaved or shaggy, the Bear is worth checking out, and Boston Phoenix faves Twin Sister and Mountain Man, our Vermont selection in this week's 50 Bands 50 States feature, round out a very solid Tuesday night bill in Cambridge Synth City. Doors at 9 p.m., $10 to enter.

A nice moment during the dust cloud from Bear In Heaven on Vimeo.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Super fast Jedi nina cat

A Padawan no longer...

On the Download: Interpol's 'Barricade'

Re-post from my Boston Phoenix On The Download blog strike:

Interpol's been in the game for more than a decade now, so it's only fitting that a musical "return to form" was in order. Back in April, several months after drummer Sam Fogarino told Paste Magazine that the repressed-but-remarkably-dressed New Yorkers' new album would have a sound reflecting to their early days, Interpol released "Lights," the brooding first single off their upcoming self-titled album (which drops Sept. 7 off Matador).

Today Interpol followed that up fairly quietly, releasing a another new track off the creatively-titled Interpol dubbed "Barricade," which can now be streamed off or purchased via iTunes. The track has a bit more post-punk spunk than the balladry emitted on "Lights," and sounds essentially like a bridge between a leftover track off 2001 debut Turn On The Bright Lights and follow-up sophomore album Antics. Despite that, it's really not a bad tune.

But there seems to be something missing in "Barricade," and we're not talking about bassist Carlos D, who left the band in May (replaced by David Pajo of Slint) but still performs on most of the new disc. Nah, what's missing is ease. Early Interpol tracks like "NYC" and "PDA" seemed effortless; they possessed a icy glide that made the four stand out from their more punk-leaning New York brethren. The songs had a confidence all their own, and held up in any sort of context, the heralded new Dirty Apple scene of the time be damned.

"Barricade," on the other hand, seems a bit forced, from Daniel Kessler's almost awkward guitar line to vocalist Paul Banks' overextended yelp. It certainly trumps most of everything found on 2007's major label debut Our Love To Admire, but it's a step back from the early-vein promise suggested by "Lights." There's almost a bit of desperation found in "Barricade," which is new ground for Interpol, and we'll need the rest of the album to properly judge its magnitude.

Luckily, Boston will get a closer listen at the new material before the album drops or leaks in September. Interpol rolls into the House of Blues on Aug. 5, but be sure to get there early, as also on the bill are two fantastic indie rock upstarts: New York's dance-minded Postelles and Georgia's sonically-enhanced Twin Tigers.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Aug. 2: Mark Burgess back in Boston !!!

The highlight of last summer was the Curtain Society backing the Chameleons Mark Burgess at Hennessy's, a gig that came together out of nowhere and remains one of my favorite shows of all time. Shit, even the Church's Marty Willson-Piper was there and jumped on-stage at the end. Well, Burgess is back in Boston on Monday, Aug. 2 at the Faneuil Hall venue, and I'm already counting down.

From last July, where my world was a very different place and on the verge of getting very ugly:

Friday, July 9, 2010

Tonight: DOM @ the pill

Insanely excited for the pill tonight, as Worcester trio DOM roll up to Great Scott to orgasm neon gold all over our Britpop loving asses. The NME has been all up in their jam this week, and in an act of complete coincidence, the Boston Phoenix this week named them Best Band in Massachusetts in our 50 Bands / 50 States feature. Gonna be off the chain.

friday july 9:
neon anthem-pop straight outta wormtown

As the recent holiday weekend showed us, clearly “it’s so sexyyy, to be liiivin’ in Ameri-caaaa.” That’s the chant heard around the Bay State underbelly ever since Worcester trio Dom dropped its instantly-memorable debut EP “Sun Bronzed Greek Gods” off Burning Mill Records a few months back.

Though Dom is already sick of the comparison (which Michael V first rambled about on FNX Radio in April), monolithic synth-wave track “Living In America” is the best song MGMT never wrote, and a more than perfect replacement for the disappointment of the latter’s shitty second album. But to cast Dom as mere filler for mainstream rock’s never-ending letdowns is disingenuous.

This is without a doubt the next band to explode out of Massachusetts, and a gig later this month at the Village Voice Siren Music fest in NYC as well as some purely coincidental upcoming alt-weekly accolades should cement the cause. Dubbed the next Passion Pit by more than a few kids around these parts, Dom's vibrant sardonic pop is as gritty as it is neon, a shimmering view into the next wave of sounds that blur the line between art and reality.

And though relatively new to the game, Dom already has national attention. Said Pitchfork a few months back, weeks before they gave the EP an 8.0 (besting the "Chunk of Change" EP’s score of 7.9): “Dom makes sunburned guitar pop with fat hooks and stargaze synths that sound triumphant, heartbreaking, and totally immediate.”

Whether or not fist-raised party jam “Bochicha” is really the face-off anthem for the American Hockey League Worcester Sharks is irrelevant - in this dream-pop land of Dom, anything is possible because everything is possible. So sexy, indeed.

Get acquainted with Dom and the already locked-in 2010 Song of the Year “Living In America” over at, and wonder why this shit isn’t all over the city by now. Before and after the band, DJ Ken & Michael V spin the best in Britpop, Modern Indie & Beyond. Look sharp.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

On The Download on Twitter

BLOG TALK: At the Boston Herald, I had the Hotline. Now at the Boston Phoenix, I have On The Download. It's a bit less reckless than the previous endeavor, but still all in the name of Boston music. Hence, it's name -- follow it:

Phoenix: Girlfriends hit their tour running

This ran in today's Boston Phoenix -- an OUT column on Girlfriends' 7-inch release party and tour kickoff last week at Great Scott in Allston.

Road warriors
Girlfriends hit their tour running
By MICHAEL MAROTTA | July 6, 2010

PHOTOS: Girlfriends at Great Scott, by Scott M. Lacey

An hour before Girlfriends hit the stage last Thursday at Great Scott, singer/guitarist Ben Potrykus was afforded the luxury of not having to make change.

"Keep it," a girl standing at the merch table said after handing Potrykus more than enough cash for Girlfriends' new seven-inch, "Gov't Seizure"/"Creep Stuff." "You're going on tour, that's awesome!"

Girlfriends are hitting the road indeed. After last week's kickoff in Allston, the jangly lo-fi garage-punk trio set off for 44 shows in 44 days before wrapping up in Providence on August 14. (They return to Great Scott for a gig with Reports and Eux Autres four days later.)

"Sometimes stuff falls through," said Potrykus, an apparent master at tour routing. "We figured we'd book all the dates, and when stuff falls through, that's our day off."

If any city can't get its shit together — from San Francisco to Ypsilanti — it'll be the city's loss. In less than a year of playing together, Girlfriends — rounded out by Jennifer Dowty (bass) and Andrew Sadoway (drums) — have the buzz that suggests great things are to come.

A homonymous cassette-only release and the "Good To Be True" digital single off Floating Garbage Continent Records got the blogs buzzing, and last month Girlfriends snagged the "Best Garage/Psych Band" award in the Phoenix 2010 Best Music Poll. Now the "Gov't Seizure" seven-inch — recorded at and released off Weymouth's Aurora Seven Records — could position them to be our country's answer to UK garage freakbeat kids Thee Vicars. It's a raucous sonic explosion wherein under the grainy echoing distortion lies six minutes of spirited dirty-pop bliss. Girlfriends' sound has a true home on vinyl, and it's probably just as rad on cassette in your parents' 1988 Cutlass Ciera. Which means it might never find its way onto an officially released compact disc.

"I hope not," Potrykus said. "I think CDs are kinda boring."

Just like days off.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

DOM in the NME

Oh hey look, there goes Friday's live act at the pill DOM chillaxing in this week's NME. Can't read the text? Just roll up Friday and see why this is the next great Mass band to blow up.

'Double Rainbow' auto-tuned into song

Repost from my Phoenix blog: Last week on the interwebs we marveled at the guy who marveled at a Yosemitebear Mountain double rainbow -- so it was only a matter of time before new life was injected into it and it got re-imagined as a song.

Have at it now before it's irrelevant tomorrow, and for posterity, here's the orgasmic original video.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Fun in the Sun: Save Starlab BBQ!

On Saturday before the Independence Day Sobriety Apocalypse I went over to Union Square Somerville to peep the Save Starlab BBQ, an outdoor benefit featuring a few bands, some sales and lots'a eats.

I snapped some pics of Drug Rug and Doomstar, respectively below, and word on the street is that enough loot was raised to offset the Starlab practice space and recording studio's ongoing basement water damage. The other bands that played were Sleepy Very Sleepy and Movers & Shakers, but apparently I was too busy buying "The Simpsons" Seasons 1 and 2 and stuffing my face to snap photos. So despite the lack of photo evidence: nice work, local rock scene.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy birthday, America

It's so sexy living in you, for realz. Worcester's Dom provides not only the song of the year or song of the summer -- but song of the DAY. Fire it up.

Friday, July 2, 2010

the pill 07.02.10 ::: modern indie fireworks

Usually one of my favorite pill nights of the year (among those that are band-less and sans gimmick) is the Friday before July 4, and that's where we are this evening. Just myself and DJ Ken getting shitty and spinning the hits, all in the ugly grillpiece of a beautiful three day holiday weekend. Also, head's up: Dom is performing live next week.

friday july 2:
modern indie fireworks
indepenDANCE day weekend

Oh shit, it’s IndepenDANCE Day weekend across the country, and the pill comes armed this Friday night with modern indie dance party fireworks. Clearly, the best way to commemorate independence from the British is by saluting its musical output since the 1960s.

So from Britpop bottle rockets to glammed-out roman candles, DJ Ken & Michael V continue to soundtrack the summer in Allston Dance City with their sterling mixture of drunken post-millennial indie hits and tried and true dance classix. Fresh off a DJ gig at the FNX Radio Clambake at the House of Blues earlier in the week, the pill is eager to get back to basics at Great Scott as we clear the stage for another all-nighter, letting the resident spinners stretch out the checkerboard floor under a waterfall of neon lights in the shadow of Abbot Square.

We’re between live music loves this Friday, still reeling from the Depreciation Guild’s starry-eyed performance last week and the highly-anticipated pill debut of Worcester bliss-pop trio DOM on July 9.

But before we soak up all of DOM’s “nexts” – next Passion Pit, next MGMT, next Bay State band ready to blow the fuck up – we do the holiday dance party shake at Boston’s finest and longest-running club night. Start the three-day weekend with us down at the pill.

Look sharp xo

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Phoenix Shakedown: IndepenDANCE Day

Writing about dance parties for the Phoenix? Yes, please. What was once called Booty Advisory is now known as ... SHAKEDOWN!

FRIDAY 07.02 | MANUEL DE LA MARE @ Rise | Last time an Italian DJ came to town, Pauly D left behind a sticky mix of Axe and Ice Spiker. So Italy's own (like, real Italy) Manuel de la Mare, who must be pissed at his country's showing in the World Cup, has something to prove. And the DJ/producer and Beatport Top 10 mainstay has a versatile mix of deep house and techno perfect for all-night ragers.

306 Stuart St, Boston | 11:30 pm | 21+ | $10 members; $20 guests | 617.423.7473 or


FRIDAY 07.02 | OM LIFE @ Om Lounge | The Audio Chemist trio of Ill Will, Saucy Lady, and DJ Golden Touch have one thing in mind: a frantic, booty-shaking disco-funk throwdown at this Harvard Square monthly. Two floors separate the hip-hop upstairs from DJ Knife and Golden Touch from the other two's Latin grooves and roller boogie on the down low. Om, om, om.

92 Winthrop St, Cambridge | 10 pm | 21+ | $5 | 617.576.2800 or


SATURDAY 07.03 | HEROES @ T.T. the Bear's Place | On this eve of Independence Day, DJ Chris Ewen and the Heroes new-wave party scoff at your early-morning BBQ plans, offering up a shadowy retro-to-electro set, to the delight of a man on the dance floor who goes by the Internet handle Roman Candle. Want real fireworks? Buy that dude a few screwdrivers.

10 Brookline St, Cambridge | 9 pm | 18+ | $7 | 617.492.0082 or

MONDAY 07.05 | THE JUAN MacLEAN AT PETROL @ Middlesex Lounge | Oh yeah, July 4 was the shit, and you ate more burgers than anyone else on that patio. Dance the extra poundage away at the weightless confines of Middlesex, where dance producer extraordinaire the Juan MacLean teams up with Louisahhh, one-half of the Los Angeles-based minimalist house duo Staccato. Residents C&G are there on the back-up, in case a belt gets busted.

315 Mass Ave, Cambridge | 9 pm | 21+ | $5 | 617.868.MSEX or


WEDNESDAY 07.07 | THE PENGUIN CLUB @ ZuZu | What do penguins do in the summer time when they're not parading around with the Stanley Cup? They dance in the Central Square igloo known as ZuZu to the drunken indie-rock grooves of Infinite Jeff and DJ Mario Lemieux (of course). Infinite Jeff makes some of the freshest and most road-trip-worthy mixtapes among hipster circles, so ask him for one and he'll hook you up, penguin-style.

474 Mass Ave, Cambridge | 10 pm | 21+ | Free | 617.864.3278 or

Read more:

Girlfriends tour kickoff tonight in Allston

Tonight at Great Scott, one of the best new bands in Boston...

Girlfriends - "Good to be True" - Live 2/8/10 from Extraneous Noise on Vimeo.