Friday, May 17, 2013

New website ----> vanyaland.com

Hey!

Hey you!

How'd you get in here?

This store is closed!

Please do join us over on the new website, Vanyaland.com.

We will try to not disappoint. We <3 you. Always have.

xo Michael

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Going underground until the relaunch

Hey all, just a friendly note that we're going underground until Wednesday's relaunch. We need a few days to transfer everything to the new site and prep the live launch on May 15 at 3pm.

In the meantime, we'll keep the Facebook page active with shows and links and stuff, and keep the twitter love flowing as well. Do hang with us there.

Very excited for next week.

xo Michael

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

[tonight in cambridge] Rock And Roll Rumble recap @ the Middle East

Got them Rock and Roll Rumble withdrawals? Jonesin' for some Eddie Japan? Heartbroken over the lack of Glenn Yoder in your life? Wondering what Twin Berlin are like undrunk?

These shakes, they hit hard.

Thankfully, we'll all get to come together once again this evening in Cambridge when Rock Shop presents their Rumble Recap at the Middle East. It's like a reunion only informative: Find out how the competitive festival operates, why it rules, and how to get involved in next year's event. Organizer Anngelle Wood will be holding it down, giving new bands tips and scolding old bands for all their fuck ups.

Did you fuck up? Did you play nice? Can you play next year? Who is Gang Green?

Find out tonight!

It gets started around 6pm, and it's hosted by Rock Shop overlords Kevin Hoskins (The Middle East) and Steve Theo (Pirate!).

[awesome video alert] The National "Sea of Love" /// 05.26 @ Boston Calling

So this is a nice little bit of life convergence. Today I accepted a gig to be the social media director of the Boston Calling Music Festival, which debuts on City Hall Plaza this Memorial Day weekend, May 25 and 26. [Note: this won't conflict with the Vanyaland 2.0 re-launch scheduled for a week from today.]

The headlining act of the fest's second day, Sunday, New York's THE NATIONAL just unveiled their new music video for "Sea of Love," the first cut off new record Trouble Will Find Me. The album drops May 21, just before their Boston date near old Scollay Square.

The video allegedly pays tribute this this old clip from 1980s experimental Russian rock band Zvuki Mu. Or maybe it just rips it off (jk I <3 u Matty B.).

Cool to see this emerge just as I was walking out of the Crash Line Productions' Faneuil Hall offices. Boston Calling also features Marina & the Diamonds, Fun., Matt & Kim, and several others, including locals Caspian and Bad Rabbits. It is sold the eff out.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Video premiere: The Symptoms "All In All (Alone)" // EP release party 05.14 @ Great Scott

Allston based indie band THE SYMPTOMS first embedded themselves in my playlist last summer with the release of the experimental trip-pop gem "Don't Leave." Around that time, the band's principal songwriters Ben Berners-Lee, Drew Smith, and James Fraser left behind their Lexington High origins and relocated to the glorious pastures of Allston, planting the seeds of a new, more cerebral sound with their The World & Its Mistress EP.

Now the Symptoms return with a new follow-up EP, Contrasts,, recorded in an Allston bedroom over a six-month period that sandwiched their inclusion in January's Class of 2013 Best New Bands feature in the since-departed Boston Phoenix.

"It was born from a set of seven basic sketches named in chronology (first, second, etc.)," says Fraser. "The chronological numbering is marked on the back album-cover... lyrically the album focuses largely on the idea of loneliness -- also time spent in solitude, solipsism, and hiding."

The EP's first single, "All In All (Alone)," is a textured, disaffected ballad that sets the tone for the rest of Contrasts, which will be in full live display Tuesday, May 14, when the Symptoms release the EP at Great Scott in Allston. The video above, proudly premiered by Vanyaland, shows a series of collage-like images that reflect the mental trip of the Symptoms' sound, and stark outlook of much of their music.

Thanks a lot, Pennsylvania: Ramming Speed now homeless in an Erie parking lot

First Italy, now Erie. Boston thrash dudes RAMMING SPEED have been rendered homeless in a Pennsylvania parking lot for three days now, living off the unforgiving asphalt and passing the time by drinking cheap booze, skateboarding, and grilling (admittedly-tasty-looking) meats.

The band that was robbed in Florence back in 2010 has had yet another tour plan thwarted by grim misfortune, this time the result of a tour bus that the fine folks of Erie can't figure out how to fix.

"Most bands sit at home being boring. We take to the road with an idiotic abandon," reports Ramming Speed drummer Jonah Livingston to Vanyaland. "We got a shuttle bus a month ago and this is its first tour, so we were bound for surprises. They cant figure out the problem, they keep telling us they've fixed it then we drive around for half an hour and lose all power behind the engine... it just drops to 10 mph with the pedal all the way down."

As a result, Ramming Speed have missed the final show on their current -- well, now concluded -- US tour. But they did present the world this sweet video to prove they're still in good spirits, and living better than most of us in Allston currently are.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Site relaunch: Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Things might be a little quiet around here over the next week as we prepare the launch of our new-and-improved Vanyaland music website on Wednesday, May 15, 2013.

You'll recognize some of the dearly-departed Boston Phoenix's best music writers contributing to the new entity, like Daniel Brockman, Michael Christopher, and Jay Breitling, so it won't just be me babbling on about Charli XCX or whatever's at Great Scott later that night (though you'll get a lot of that, too).

And what you'll see in eight days (yikes!) won't be a finished product, but it will be a much more developed site, in scope and content, than this dirty ol' blog. It'll have a cleaner design, brighter layout and look, and better navigation. The music videos from VanyalandTV, powered by MediaBoss Television, will have a home on the site, and other widgets and portals will feature think-piece music writing, show spotlights, record reviews, live uStream interviews, drunken on-site reports, Google Hangout sessions, adaptable calendar listings, and other, more interactive stuff I'm pretty excited about.

It's all a work in progress and the goal is to evolve with the times and stay current and fresh without resorting to 25 Pictures of Lolabear Taking a Bath (though that might happen; Lolaland could still be a thing) or public polls on where they should bury Alfredo Aceves' career.

We might even do the "launch" live from MediaBoss' studios in Framingham, with live entertainment. More to come on that.

Oh, and why am I choosing to resurface on May 15? Well, that's the one year anniversary of me being informed by my former mentor and Phoenix editor Carly Carioli that WFNX 101.7 FM had been sold. Life pretty much took a nosedrive into a shit-swallowed cesspool from that instant forward, and it's been one suckfest month after another since.

So it's time to right the ship. It's time for a new way. And to paraphrase the now-batshit Dave Mustaine, we'll be the first in line.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Metro Boston: Weekend picks, featuring GOZU @ Radio tonight [record release night 2]

Was in a coma yesterday following a late Thursday night carousing around Allston (Blame the Field Effect, Black Light Dinner Party, Brighton Music Hall, the Model, and vodka), but the Metro ran our Weekend pick for what to do, and the answer is obvious: Tonight we get freaky with GOZU at Radio, Night 2 of their "Fury of A Patient Man" record-release weekend.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Vanyaland + Boston Bloghead co-present: GOZU "The Fury Of A Patient Man" record release party, May 3 + 4 @ Radio [ticket giveaway]

It seems like forever ago that Boston rock behemoth GOZU announced new album The Fury of a Patient Man, and looking back on it while reflecting on the record's title, maybe it was all some weird sociological marketing experiment. Because fury soon caught up to our patience as we awaited this monster of a record's release; hell it was so long ago that WFNX Radio and the Boston Phoenix -- two of the original promoters of this event -- were still in business.

Indeed it feels like fucking ages ago we added "Salty Thumb" to regular rotation on the since-murdered WFNX, and it sure was another lifetime ago that it led off my spring music preview in the also-strangled Boston Phoenix.

Go nine songs deep into Gozu's new The Fury of a Patient Man — from the stoner chug of opener "Bald Bull" to the buzzing boogie of "Salty Thumb" to the upright guitar crunch of "Disco Related Injury" — and there's barely any room to breathe. Then, in comes the mountainous riff orgy of closing track "The Ceaseless Thunder of Surf," which clocks in at nearly 24 minutes and might be the most epic 20-plus-minute metal journey since Manowar dropped "Achilles, Agony and Ecstasy in Eight Parts" back in 1992.

Finally, the wait is over, but the Fury remains: GOZU hit up Radio in Somerville tomorrow and Saturday nights, a double-night twin-bill rock and roll destroyer that features Mellow Bravo, Birch Hill Dam, and Streight Angular on Friday on Night 1, and then Cocked N’ Loaded, Black Pyramid, Thunderbloods, and Hey Zeus on Night 2. And since the PHX nor WFNX is still around, we're co-presenting the show with our friends at Boston Bloghead.

Want to get on the Guest List +1 to Saturday's party? Email michael@vanyarecords.com with GOZU in the subject line, and we'll announce a winner around noon tomorrow (Friday).

Also we're dropping this science in tomorrow's Boston Metro, which asked us how to spend the weekend ahead:

The Fury of a Patient Man, the new record from Boston hard rock quartet Gozu, is so massive in sound and scope, it’s going to take two nights at Radio in Somerville to properly release this monster. The latest in a stellar line of New England releases from Detroit-based Small Stone Recordings (Mellow Bravo, Supermachine, Roadsaw), Fury is led by the buzzing boogie of “Salty Thumb,” which adds flash dashes of Urge Overkill to Gozu’s normally staid stoner rock template. The rest of the record is a blitzkrieg of riffage and smoky rock and roll rippers that solidifies Gozu as one of Boston’s sharpest – and heaviest -- bands.

And be sure to check out the intense video for lead track "Bald Bull," directed and produced by Tim Catz for Parentheses Productions, and shot and edited by Eric Goggin.

See you in the belly of the beast...


[in my head] Charli XCX + Marina & the Diamonds collab on "Just Desserts" (Boston Calling content)

That noise you might have just heard off in the distance was my head esploding after seeing that Charli XCX, she of 2013 Song of the Year contender "You (Ha Ha Ha)", and Marina, leader of those dance floor Diamonds, released a new collabo track yesterday, "Just Desserts." Oh. My.

It was inevitable for the two touring partners, who cross the US this month and hit Boston on Memorial Day weekend at two different-but-related events, to get us all worked up with this joint effort. "Just Desserts" is a nice slow-groove electronic number that's pretty much what you'd deserve from these two queens of a new era in pop.

And it's available for free download.

Marina and the Diamonds are in town May 25, performing at Day 1 of the Boston Calling music festival on City Hall Plaza. Because she and Charli are in the middle of a US tour together, Ms. XCX has picked up a date at Great Scott that same night, a sort of club-show halftime gig for the festival. It all works out so well, and no one gets left out, including Boston.

Here's the duo's full tour itinerary, which includes solo dates and appearances; they partner up May 6 at the Warfield in San Francisco, then go their separate ways at the end of the month. But what a run right there in the middle. I love that Charli is playing a smaller room in Allston, but I would have loved to see these two somewhere, most likely House of Blues, back-to-back in one night/venue.

05/02 – Seattle, WA @ Showbox SoDo *
05/03 – Vancouver, BC @ Commodore Ballroom *
05/04 – Portland, OR @ Wonder Ballroom *
05/06 – San Francisco, CA @ The Warfield
05/07 – Santa Ana, CA @ The Observatory
05/09 – Las Vegas, NV @ Boulevard Pool at the Cosmopolitan *
05/10 – San Diego, CA @ House of Blues
05/11 – Los Angeles, CA @ Shrine Exposition Center
05/12 – Las Vegas, NV @ LAVA Nightclub #
05/13 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Club Sound
05/14 – Englewood, CO @ The Gothic Theatre
05/16 – Lawrence, KS @ The Granada
05/17 – St. Louis, MO @ The Pageant
05/19 – Minneapolis, MN @ Skyway Theater
05/20 – Chicago, IL @ Riviera Theater
05/22 – Detroit, MI @ St. Andrews Hall
05/23 – Toronto, ON @ Sound Academy
05/24 – Montreal, QC @ Metropolis
05/28 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Stage AE
05/29 – Central Park Summerstage at Rumsey Playfield
05/31 – Brooklyn, NY @ Glasslands ^
06/01 – Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer ^
06/03 – Washington, D.C. @ U Street Music Hall ^
06/04 – Norfolk, VA @ The NorVa ^
06/06 – Orlando, FL @ The Social ^
06/08 – Miami, FL @ Grand Central Miami ^
06/10 – Charlotte, NC @ Visulite Theatre ^
06/12 – Indianapolis, IN @ Deluxe, Old National Centre ^
06/13-16 – Manchester, TN @ Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival #

* = Marina only ^ = Charli XCX headlines # = Charli XCX only

[tonight in allston] Black Light Dinner Party + the Field Effect @ Brighton Music Hall, RadioBDC +1 live music series

Black Light Dinner Party and Vanyaland go way back. More than three years ago one of their former members was friends with my then-roommate, and tipped me off to their first single, "Older Together." It had 39 plays on their MySpace page, and pretty much nothing was known about the group of producers as they prepped one of their first gigs, a weekday night at All Asia Cafe in Cambridge. My first post on them, in January 2010, remains one of the most hit pages on this blog.

Since then, the electronic-pop band has rounded out to their current form, relocated to New York, released a string of incredible singles -- "Small Boxes," "Gold Chain," "Leave It All," "We Are Golden" -- an EP to showcase them, generated huge buzz, and released a music video with Ron Jeremy in it.

Through their rise, I've booked them to play the pill and the WFNX Funeral Party series, and spotlighted them in the Boston Phoenix Class of 2012 feature. They've come a long way since that first show at All Asia, and they have a long future ahead of them. It's been fun watching their ascent, and I'm excited to catch up with them again tonight at Brighton Music Hall when they play the latest in the RadioBDC +1 live music series.

As an added bonus, my BFFs The Field Effect are also on the bill, now fair game for RadioBDC since WFNX was killed off in March. Field Effect were pretty much the FNX house band, but I'm glad they're getting love from the remaining online alt-rock radio station as well. Sweet, we can all be friends again.

So yeah, this will be one giant love-in tonight, and maybe we'll film a VanyalandTV segment on site as well.

RSVP for the +1 series here, and check out the seemingly endless brilliance of BLDP below.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Crossroads Presents unveils new homepage, websites for the Paradise Rock Club, Brighton Music Hall, and Orpheum Theatre

In an effort to both upgrade and expand the reach their existing homepages and unify their various music venue calendar pages under one aesthetic, Crossroads Presents on Monday quietly unveiled new designs for the calendar webpages of the Paradise Rock Club, Brighton Music Hall, and Orpheum Theatre. The House of Blues, Boston, the largest in Crossroads' local network of rock clubs, did not receive a facelift and its web presence remains consistent with other similarly-named venues across the county.

"We are still working on the sites, and this is what smarter tech people may call a beta launch," Crossroads talent buyer Ryan Vangel told Vanyaland this afternoon. "But we have been wanting a better web presence for years and to also dedicate more of our resources to online marketing including website revamps.

"We will be adding more and more to the Crossroadspresents.com portal over time (we just launched this version on Monday and are still working out all the kinks)."

That Crossroads portal will now act as a central calendar hub for the Cambridge-based booking company, which is affiliated with Live Nation, listing their upcoming shows as a vertical scroll regardless of venue.

Each venue's specific page has added features like a photo and flyer gallery, a "Booker's Blog" side column, larger artist imagery and ticket links, and a more visible social media presence.

The pages are also displayed in more vibrant colors than the previous sites: the Dise in red/orange; BMH in two shades of green; and Orpheum in brown/yellow. The Dise and BMH previously had black backgrounds.

There's also a separate page for "Other Events," which includes Crossroads booked shows at the Middle East, Cafe 939, Church, and other venues around Boston and Cambridge.

According to on-site credits, the pages were designed by Northern Lights Industries.

[tonight in somerville] Radio Loves Boston benefit show @ Radio, featuring 20 bands

The good thing about a venue with two stages is that you can absolutely stack the lineup deck when necessity calls. Tonight in Somerville, Radio puts its two floors to great use tonight for the RADIO LOVES BOSTON benefit show to raise money for victims of last month's marathon bombings. The lineup is massive: from the dance grooves of COLOR CHANNEL to the sludgy rock of VUNDABAR -- who have a new record, Antics, fresh out of the Cambridge scene oven -- to the garage rock veteranship of MUCK & THE MIRES and JJ AND THEE CUBAN HEELS, which is Jen D'Angora performing Downbeat 5 tunes.

There's even my current favorite Boson band, BURGLARY YEARS, who might even whip out that My Bloody Valentime cover they sonically serenaded us with last Friday at the pill.

Indeed, there's something for everyone!

And true to form, there's also raffles, silent auction, and cash prizes. And shhhh, but Radio might sling a few PBRs your way for showing this kind of support on a Wednesday. Music starts at 6pm.

Full details over on the Facebook page, where 230 people have made the RSVP commitment. I'm sure they'll have the Bruins game on, too. After all, PENALTY KILL is playing.

Here's a taste of the tune-a-roos:

[boston on television] Bad Rabbits to hit up Jimmy Kimmel Live on May 17

Three days after their new LP American Love hits the streets from here to everywhere, Boston's BAD RABBITS will make their national network television debut on May 17 with a live performance on ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live.

Well hot fucking dayum. Is it possible to get pregnant watching TV on a Friday night? We'll soon find out, as there might be a lot of babies born around St Patrick's Day next year.

The following weekend after their TV look, the Rabbits kickstart Boston Calling on City Hall Plaza, with the first set on Saturday's slate that also features fun., the Shins, and Matt & Kim.

Buckle up. Shit's about to get real.

[tonight in allston] Pretty & Nice record release party @ Great Scott; pre-show gathering @ Store 54

In honor of PRETTY & NICE's fantabulous new album, which was officially released yesterday, with a celebratory release performance tonight at Great Scott in Allston and a pre-party event at Store 54 just up Harvard Avenue, let's take a quick look back at their Vanyaland Plan of Attack from a few weeks ago, which included info on Golden Rules For Golden People and an interview with the boys in their van during SXSW...

VanyalandTV: music videos from Fat Creeps, Motorhead and Bloc Party

One of the various features in the re-launched Vanyaland (coming later this month, I promise you like When in Rome!) is VanyalandTV, powered by MediaBoss Television. And one of those audio/visual components, in addition to a live uStream series, on-site band interviews, and tour spotlights, is an early-'90s MTV style video show.

Why? Because it's 2013 and we're living in the post-MTV Golden Age of music videos. YouTube has opened the floodgates for music video culture, and we're thrilled to share the stuff that catches our attention. Each time I hook up with MediaBoss, we film a set of three to six videos, and each set will include at least one Boston video, because there's some magic shit going down in our great city and VanyalandTV wants to help spread the word.

Here are a few of the (very) early clips, the one above featuring North Shore garage rock trio Fat Creeps (my beloved), and the two below from Bloc Party and Motorhead. Because why the fuck not.

Like Justin warned us last night -- it's gonna be May, and it's gonna be awesome. In the meantime, my chubby ass needs to hit the gym.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

[tonight in allston] Treat Yo' Self benefit show for the One Fund @ Great Scott, with CreaturoS, Abadabad, raffles, food +++

Today's a travel day for me, heading back to Boston after a grand time in San Francisco, but wanted to give a quick shout out to the awesome One Fund benefit show the fine people at Eye Design are hosting tonight at Great Scott. It's a Treat Yo' Self night, their stellar industry gathering, but tonight tonight everyone comes together to treat others, in particular those affected by the Boston Marathon bombings.

And the all-kindsa-entertainment lineup is what you'd expect from Eye Design: seven great bands, including CreaturoS, Abadabad, and Nervous, as well as three live art galleries, free grub from Boloco and Anna's Taqueria, and Lara Cecilia Diaz on site making fresh donuts and treats. Delish all around.

It's pay what you can, and you can find the full rundown of performers, artists, and raffle prizes here. Doors are at 9pm and it's 18-plus.

Monday, April 29, 2013

[in my head] The Box Tiger "Knives" + Sinnet "Year Of The Whale" // 04.30.13 @ T.T. The Bear's Place

Been all about Toronto bands lately, from the sweaty punk blitz of METZ to Parallels' glitzy dance floor dominance to the '90s alt-rock smile of the C'Mons. Clearly this upturn in the Canadian city's music scene can be attributed to the Blue Jays going back to their classic logo last season, and now indie band The Box Tiger, the best Ontario export since the Leafs handed our city two choice draft picks for Phil Kessel arrives tomorrow night at T.T. The Bear's Place just in time for sooth those pesky Rumble withdrawals.

The Box Tiger have been around since the dark days of the Jays wearing black tops (that's 2009), but this latest single, "Knives," grooves with the urgency of Alex Anthopoulos on the waiver wire. It's a nice guitar-rock throbber that should sound even more alluring live on stage, where singer/guitarist Sonia Sturino hold court.

Usually a band like this would be enough to get us out of the house on a Tuesday night, but the bill is rounded out by some local Vanya faves in power-pop bouncers The Susan Constant (one of my Best New Bands of 2013 in the now-murdered Boston Phoenix), and Sinnet, who also have a tasty new track ready for quench our collective dry thirst for gravelly indie-pop. I've been a fan of Aaron Spransy earlier songwriting work, most notably 2011's Midwest Manners, so it's good to have some new tunes from him and his now-rounded-out ensemble.

Again, great bill all around, and a solid way to close out April. Doors at 8:30, there's an $8 cover, and it's an Indie Rock Ranger gig. Here's the Box Tiger tour poster, but don't spent too much time looking at it, because many of these dates have passed. Sorry.

Tricky announces Boston show, June 14 @ Royale; releases new single "Tribal Drums"

The one and only time I saw Tricky perform live was at Lollapalooza 1997 on Randall's Island, New York, wedged somewhere on a bizzaro lineup that also featured James, KoRn, Porno For Pyros, Snoop Dogg, and Tool. I'm not sure I remember any of his set (I feel like he had some sort of issue with something), and can't even recall whether or not I heard my favorite Tricky song, "Overcome," off 1995 masterpiece Maxinquaye, which has possibly the greatest lyric ever: "And when there's trust there'll be treats/When we fuck we'll hear beats."

That was what, more than 15 years ago (?!), so I'm rather excited to see the trip-hop pioneer born Adrian Thaws is back on the road, in support of new record False Idols (out May 28 via his own label, also called False Idols), and hitting Royale in Boston on June 14. It's a Bowery show and tickets go on sale Friday.

A few weeks ago, Tricky dropped a new track from False Idols, called "Nothing's Changed," and it's definitely some of the best stuff he's done in years.

Here's the second track off False Idols, "Tribal Drums," and in addition to featuring the vocals of Francesca Belmonte, it really has that mid-'90s classic Tricky feel to it.

Doesn't matter if we'll never get another Maxinquaye or Pre-Millennium Tension ("Christian Sands" and "Makes Me Wanna Die" are instant post-high-school get-stoned time-wharp songs for me) because that's pretty unfair to the man. All I want these days is a memorable show without a nu-metal headliner.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

[live review] Eddie Japan stands with Boston, takes home the 2013 Rock And Roll Rumble

BY MICHAEL CHRISTOPHER

There was a moment toward the end of Eddie Japan’s set at the Rock And Roll Rumble finale Friday when frontman David Santos introduced “Fight Song” in a manner which pretty much spot on summed up the rollercoaster ride of this year’s annual celebration of Boston area music. “It’s about sticking together,” he said of the soon-to-be-recorded track, “which is what we’ve done for the last month.”

Santos easily could have been talking about his sprawling, baroque-inspired ensemble, or he might have been referencing the cluster of bands that began to duke it out for the Rumble crown on the first Sunday in April. But what he said no doubt encapsulated what our city has made abundantly clear in these past few weeks. “We are Boston,” the (once more) “Mystery-Shot”-fueled revelers at T.T. the Bear’s Place chanted in unison as the champagne was sprayed on Santos and his crew when Eddie Japan was announced the winner; it was another display of unity in what has always been sort of a warm and fuzzy fest despite its competitive moniker.

Anyone who caught even one Rumble night with Eddie Japan on the bill can tell you they were the outfit to beat. With a sound that would fit squarely in any Tarantino flick (“A Town Called Nowhere”) and a sharp-dressed Santos’ moving like Mozzer, they routinely pulled out all the stops. From a pair of female backup singers that were having just as much fun onstage as those in attendance (infectiously so on “This Married Life”) to the final song introduction of a string section to Chris Barrett constantly slaying on trumpet, few had a chance.

That’s not to say there weren’t worthy challengers. Twin Berlin came through the back door as a wildcard for the second time in this year’s Rumble. There was a good degree of buzz that the rooted in Connecticut alt(ish)/punk(ish) rockers would pull the upset of all upsets -– especially after a Monday night semifinals jaw dropper that ended with singer Matt Lopez sprawled out on T.T.’s beer soaked floor with his baby blue guitar exhaustively resting on his chest. There would be none of that Friday, as for the most part the band played it straight, once more silencing those comparisons to the Strokes with an energy that Julian Casablancas and Co. are typically too bored and detached to muster. This is an act that is still in the midst of an upward trajectory; one that shows no signs of wavering.

Glen Yoder & The Western States were slightly reminiscent of last year’s Rumble winner, Bow Thayer & Perfect Trainwreck. Not so much in down home boot-stomping manner (though there definitely was some of that), nor that they both rock what is these days the underutilized ampersand, but more the way that they had the audience in the palm of their hands with the sonic ebbs and flows. There was some languid guitar soloing on “Not the Man For You,” a song which had jarring bursts of instrumentation that were met with eruptive cheers at each turn. Yeah, there was a good deal of that Neil Young vibe going on, and there were also more raucous Americana moments, like the very Wilco-esque “Just Want You To Love Me.” Yoder looked like he was having a blast, and at the end didn’t seem like they were close to being finished -- all the more reason to catch him at the Lizard Lounge at the end of the month.

While the judges were deliberating or hitting up the photo booth or enjoying the triumph of yet another year pulling off what often looks impossible, 1985 Rumble veterans The Dogmatics busted out of the Wayback Machine to show the upstarts how it’s done. Touted as special guests for the evening, the Dorchester natives played garage-tinged rockabilly like they had nothing to lose -– which of course they didn’t, fitting right in with the genre blendering that the annual event is renowned.

In the end, it wasn’t a shock that Eddie Japan won the whole thing and landed that damn fine booty which includes loads of studio time, professional photography and even hours of free legal advice, but what shone the brightest this year was the spirit of Boston. No, not that overpriced tourist trap on the Harbor, but the strength and backbone that has gotten us through these recent times of trouble. The music scene here is just one tiny faction of what makes this city tick; it’s loud, it’s bratty, and it gives a shit about one another. And while Eddie Japan took the Rock And Rumble 2013, we all took it to another level in pushing through and marching on.

Sentimental? Probably – but true.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

2013 Rumble Revelations // Finals arrive Friday 04.26.13 @ T.T. The Bear's Place

Twenty-one down, three to go. The 2013 Rock and Roll Rumble began 19 days ago, and it feels like an eternity since The Okay Win kicked off preliminary week at T.T. The Bear’s Place in Cambridge. Six prelim shows that highlighted an incredible music scene, two semi-finals gigs that brought that scene closer together, and one postponement that brought a new perspective of community to the entire thing.

Friday night, the Finals arrive, with the Dogmatics in tow as the special guest band (avenging their 1985 Rumble defeat to Down Avenue!), and three acts remaining: the rocket-charged rock quartet Twin Berlin (as the wild card), Americana pop hookage of Glenn Yoder & the Western States (semifinals Night 1 winner) and the multi-cultural retro-rock of Eddie Japan (semifinals Night 2 winner). At this point, Eddie Japan is the lone band remaining who got here without the help of a wild card (Twin Berlin in the semis; Yoder in the prelims) so they’ve got to be the favorites going into Friday.

NOTE: If you can’t attend the Finals, the good people at MediaBoss TV will be live streaming the entire event. Details here.

Before we cast this year’s crown, here are a few Rumble Revelations from this corner of the blogosphere, in no particular order after the finalists:

***

If the Rumble was a High School Yearbook, Eddie Japan would be the faculty section – but true to form, they took everyone to school on the art of performance. Frontman David Santos is a master showman, and every time he belted out a note (in particular on standout "A Town Called Nowhere"), you thought to yourself “Welp, they won this night.” And they did just that twice – and both times by being the opening act. Whether it was Prelims Night 3 or Semis Night 2, the melancholic-yet-impassioned retro-rock of Eddie Japan set a tone early on and raised a baroque bar that was impossible for others to overcome. Chalk it up to experience, or chalk it up to talent.

***

Glenn Yoder’s name may be on the marquee, but his Western States’ secret weapon is guitarist Jeff Katz. Every member of Yoder’s crew is enjoyable to watch on stage (bassist Cilla Bonne will nod in agreement), but in both Rumble sets it felt like Katz was the glue holding Yoder’s otherwise brilliant Americana songs together. And Yoder’s got plenty: “Everything You Want,” Younger Brother,” and “Pretty Little Girl” all refuse to leave your head after hearing them. But when you’re watching this cohesive unit perform a tightly-knit style of alt-county pop, the lead often comes from Katz.

***

Twin Berlin don’t sound like the Strokes. I’ve been guilty in the past of throwing this lazy comparison at the Connecticut rock band (disclaimer: I once managed them), but in watching them twice in this year’s Rumble, there’s an aggression and low-end thunder in their live sets that that NYC rarely ever matched. Matt Lopez still has a bit of Casablancas in his vocal delivery, but the rest of the band (with a sound much larger now as a quartet than when they began as a trio) brings an amphetamine-addled garage rock growl that’s Twin Berlin’s and Twin Berlin’s only. I still say Lopez needs to move to Boston, though.

***

Other random thoughts from my disheveled notebook...

Whitcomb’s Sean Libby is one tough motherfucker. See here. And speaking of Whitcomb, the Portland, Maine band’s new record could be one of the best New England metal releases of 2013. A great starting point for any potential new fan would be the ceremonial “To A Skull.”

The Daily Pravda need to tour the UK. Enough Allston, Somerville, Cambridge; time for London, Manchester, Liverpool.

The Amanda FacePalmer shot is intoxicating, but leaves a bad taste in your mouth.

Ruby Rose Fox might be the biggest name in Boston by this time next year.

White Dynomite’s fluffy white feathers became the herpes of this year’s Rumble. They remained everywhere long after the rock dudes packed up and left.

Unofficial survey of That One Relatively Unknown Band Blowing People’s Minds: Connecticut’s Suicide Dolls, who continue to impress everyone that watches them (at least among my circle of peoples).

Best cover: Lifestyle during their semis set with Ad Frank’s “Winterthru.” But wait, is it a cover when the guy you’re covering is also in your band? I dunno, but it was still way cool. Just like the video.

I’m not sure I can recommend the Mystery Shot at the TTs bar. Apologies to all I forced that one on.

Watching the news broadcast live from Watertown late Thursday night after Lifestyle’s semi-finals set was a very surreal experience. Being in Central Square that night will be something I won’t soon forget.

What else I won’t forget is the camaraderie and cohesion shared among participating bands and scensters this Rumble season. Every night felt like a special gathering, every night felt like you were in the right spot. And T.T. The Bear's Place was a great host; for every Rumble night, and on Tuesday, April 16, when a trio of bands previously eliminated from the Rumble (The Field Effect, Endation, and Ruby Rose Fox), performed at a spontaneous benefit alongside Mean Creek, Earthquake Party, and others to raise money for Mass General Hospital.

Good luck to Eddie Japan, Glenn Yoder & the Western States, and Twin Berlin. May the best band win.

When we all wake up Saturday, we’ll be already counting down to next year (our very early pick for 2014: Allston's Color Channel Hey, the Rumble loves Allston bands, right?).

[tomorrow in allston] Burglary Years, live at the pill @ Great Scott 04.26.13

Back in February, Boston was hit with a blizzard. It was a Friday, and the storm was expected to peak early Saturday morning; but by 8pm that night, it was a total white-out. After talking with Tim the Great Scott bar manager and my DJ partner, Ken, we decided to open the venue and host our weekly dance party, the pill. We made it free, and figured we'd draw a few dozen cabin-fever folks who lived within a few blocks. It was a pretty cool night, much more subdued than usual, much more a gathering than crazy ol' dance party. We all joked that regardless of what happens in Boston, nothing prevents the pill, a party going on 16 years, from hosting its Friday night.

Fast forward to a few months later, and this past Friday we decided to not open. Great Scott remained closed, the pill did not happen (I can't remember the last time that was the case -- maybe September of 1997?). We decided, out of respect to what was happening around Boston, that it was no night for celebrating, even as people hit the streets to misguidedly chant "USA! USA!" It felt like the Pats won the Super Bowl.

So with all that in mind, we are really excited to get back in the saddle tomorrow night. DJ Ken and I will spin the dance party, and we're joined by one of my favorite new Boston bands, BURGLARY YEARS. Check them out below, and our weekly pill promo and a live clip follows after the jump.

::: the pill
::: friday, april 26 :::
::: burglary years :::
back in action with one of our city's finest new modern rock bands; we love you, boston

Boston, how goes it? Thanks to everyone for understanding why there was no event this past Friday, even after the manhunt ended and things settled down. Yes, people were out "celebrating" around when we usually open doors, but we didn't share that particular mindset.

But we’re already looking ahead to this week, and we're back in action this Friday, April 26, with a live set from Boston modern rock band Burglary Years, one of the finest new acts to catch our attention in 2013. Michael V first saw them at T.T. The Bear’s Place in February on a bill with Beach Fossils and Orca Orca, and since then the band’s blissfully detached 2012 demo has been on constant rotation, both on WFNX (RIP) and our personal playlists, and in particular their swirling, dusty single “Lifesaver.” Check out a live clip of it from their November show at the Democracy Center in Cambridge below.

Burglary Years, which feature ex and current members of underground acts like Circe, Debaser, Maura, and more, have been described as everything from dream-pop to shoegaze, but we hear equal traces of shared heroes the Smiths, Cure, and Jesus & Mary Chain in their engaging and warm sound. We even suspect the band’s name derives from the 1998 Morrissey compilation album, but we haven’t been able to confirm such rash suspicions.

As the band prepares a split 7-inch with Procession and a debut LP on Ohio indie label Mayfly Records, we’re beyond excited to have them join us this Friday at the pill.

DJ Ken & Michael V spin the modern indie dance party before and after the band. Yes, it's okay to dance. These are our times. We love you, Boston. xo

[in my head] Jagwar Ma "Man I Need (White Label Version)"

As someone who still spins Britpop songs well into 2013 (the pill, yo, plug plug), it doesn't take much to get me excited about music that harkens back to the Madchester Era. So naturally, it took about 20 seconds of this new single from Australian duo JAGWAR MA to work me up into a mad-fer-it frenzy. All our friends are here -- traces of Primal Scream, the Mondays, the Roses, Andy Weatherall, Ashcroft -- just getting down under to one of the slickest beats we've heard outside the EDM world.

No Boston date yet, but my spies say our city's talent-buying crew have already made contact with Windish, their US agency.

Sweet Mary this is the new Anglophile anthem... especially right before the six-minute mark, when it all goes hazy. From the pill here in Boston to Popscene and the Queen Is Dead out in San Francisco, this needs to own modern indie dance floors this summer. You know, after the Daft Punk & Pharrell joint, of course.

Bump it...

And while we're here, let's check out their first single, "The Throw."

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Stephie Coplan has an announcement + 05.04 @ the Lizard Lounge in Cambridge

Piano-pop princess Stephie Coplan is bringing her Pedestrians back to town May 4 to the Lizard Lounge in Cambridge -- but first, she's got a special announcement for us all. Dig it...

Ahhh, what the shit, that's a bummer. My <3 for Copes + the Pedz runs deep, but no doubt she's on to bigger and better things. Kinda sweet she's ending this chapter of her on-the-rise career with us here in Cambridge. Full circle, yo.

Grab advance tickets here.

For Boston: Always My City dance music benefit compilation to raise money for the One Fund

Last week Allston Pudding organized 130 Massachusetts bands for a massive compilation to benefit Boston's One Fund, which is aiding victims of the Boston Marathon bombing. While that effort is gaining national and international recognition, another collection of music is gaining traction out of our town: Beantown Bogiedown's Always My City, which compiles 33 artists from across the New England dance music spectrum.

There's really a lot to digest here, and a true spectrum of EDM sounds, from the "My Boo"-sampling Chadley ("Gimme A Call") to the drum-n-bass of Prism ("Voices Of Life") to an old personal fave of mine in M.O.O.N. ("Follow Me"), who goes a bit smoother here than the usual stormy techno Stephen Gilarde is becoming known for.

I'll be honest, I don't know too many of the artists here, but among the stuff I'm hearing for the first time, I really love Ian Stone's mechanical electro-house track "Get Stoned" (I really miss this sound, which was everywhere a few years ago) and the dubstep vibes of Noya's "As A Whole."

But hey, that's the point of compilations, right? To hear something previously not on your radar.

That it's all for a good cause -- all proceeds go to the One Fund Boston -- makes it sound even better. Like the Allston Pudding comp, it's yours for just $1 (or more). Full track list after the Bandcamp jump.

1. Chadley - Gimme A Call
2. Bass Glutton - Booty Pie
3. Class Action - Weekend (Casual Encounters Edit)
4. Dbow - There's A Feeling
5. Wattie Green - Testify
6. Nick Jagger - That's What's Up
7. Sameer NYC - EverBody Was Frequin
8. Dusty Digital - Anticipation
9. Cata6 - Long Way Home
10. Pat Fontes - 2 Step Eddie
11. Eric Rigo - Requiem
12. Kerry Leva - The Way Out is Through
13. Harlock - Beyond Me
14. M.O.O.N - Follow Me
15. Prism - Voices of Life
16. AxH - Untitled
17. Audio Funktion - Funk Destroyer
18. Harlock - Fire Everything
19. Ian Stone - Get Stoned
20. Noya - As A Whole
21. Colin Domigan - The Artist Formerly Known As Dole
22. Bass Glutton - Cold Fresh
23. Cougar Bait - Jasmine's Carpet
24. Noremac - Boss Town
25. Mindstream - Space Dusted
26. Cirrus - The Fold
27. EHT - Sunrise
28. Fuzzy Fotch - Your Mom (Instrumental)
29. eelko - Brain Dance
30. n0ms - Grind
31. Darko - Buttons
32. JSTJR - Make it Drop
33. Wheez-ie - Holup

[new music] "Steev Millar" by Z*L / record release May 10 @ Radio in Somerville

Listening to that new GVSB we just posted reminded me of the new self-titled record from Boston trio Z*L, released yesterday via Midriff Records. They were supposed to have their release party this past Friday at Radio, but we all know what went down that day, so like everything else around town it was postponed.

While we await the re-sked date of May 10, also at Radio and featuring Thalia Zedek, You People, and Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling, the album's release trudged forward this week (available at the Midriff online store, and iTunes). And we've been buzzing to the low-highway speed groove of "Steev Millar," a guitar-gasmic hummer of a scab-picking tune that's already one of our faves of the year.

Formerly called Lucky Dragon, Z*L are Jack Knife on drums, Isabel Riley on bass/vocals, and the great, if not criminally underrated, Ian Adams on guitar/vocals. Adams' incredible 2009 solo record was a soulful departure from his heavier work in Rock City Crimewave and 8-Ball Shifter, and while it successfully helped me get over a breakup (like the Daily Pravda's "Dead House," I would play Adams' "A Man Possessed" and the title track as the ex-lady packed up her shit and left our apartment) it's good to see Adams rocking the fuck out again.

And here, he's at his slow-cigarette-drag finest. The pace of this song is quite alluring.

[in my head] New song from Girls Against Boys, "It's A Diamond Life"

So I woke up this morning to a new track from GIRLS AGAINST BOYS, the NYC/DC band's first new material in at least a decade. It's like going downstairs to check the mail and as you wipe the nightsnot out of your eye, you unexpectedly see an old friend waiting at the door. Very cool. Then you scan the old friend up and down and think "Shit, you look great." And then, "Uhhhh, why are you here?"

This new GVSB track, "It's a Diamond Life," via Soundcloud, looks and sounds pretty fab, a fairly by-the-numbers full-frontal-awesome that retains the band's trademark crunch. According to P4k, the song might or might not be on a new EP due this fall, around when the band wraps up a 15-date European run and hits the States for a trio of gigs: Sept. 11 at New York's Bowery Ballroom; Sept. 12 at Johnny Brenda's in Philly; and Sept. 13 at a to-be-announced venue in DC.

Of course, no Boston date... yet. In the meantime we're left with a gritty new tune that makes it feel like the mid-to-late-'90s all over again. Time to dust off Freak*on*ica.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

[awesome video alert] Andre Obin "The Arsonist" / 04.24.13 @ Great Scott

Andre Obin's music has always made for potentially great videos. The Boston electronic music producer [Disclosure: I consider him a good friend and last released released his "Valencia" 7-inch through my record label] creates lush, provocative sounds that I always tended to hear better with my eyes closed, allowing my mind to wrap itself around his beats, synths and morning-star voice.

Now with the latest single off his March record of the same name, "The Arsonist," premiered this morning by Prefix Magazine, pairs Obin with Boston visual artist Aaron Eskeets of meetyourbeat.com, and the video is an appropriate sensory-overload of colors and on-stage clips. Its brightness fits the song well; a kaleidoscopic five-minute daydream of glitchy sights is soundtracked by Obin's distinct dance music for the immobile.

Obin's previous video was a black-and-white Eastern Bloc espionage epic for "Valencia" that was masterfully directed by Theodore Cormey, so this back-to-basics approach works well to keep pushing Obin's dark techno to a global audience.

Catch Obin live with a full band Wednesday night at Great Scott in Allston for the Bynars record release party.

RELATED: April 2, 2013 -- In My Head: The Bynars "All I Wanna Do Is Have Some Fun Tonight"

Monday, April 22, 2013

Ghost Box Orchestra announce record release party details: May 10 @ the Middle East

A few weeks ago we got all worked up over a taste of the new GHOST BOX ORCHESTRA record, Vanished. "Vader" was the lead track, and it was a menacing tune that showed a more darker side of the veteran Boston psych band. We described it as such: "A feral groan trudges forward over mechanical doom for more than seven minutes, and terror unfolds slowly until you're just consumed by a swirling, ominous sound." We literally could not wait to get the rest of this sonic head trip lodged between our ear holes, and now we have a set date to dance with the rest of the sure-to-be-amazing record: Tuesday, May 14.

That's the official release date for Vanished, but no doubt we'll hear most or all of it in live, human form on Friday, May 10, when GBO celebrate their latest effort among friends and foes at the Middle East in Cambridge. Also on the record-releasing bill are Animal Hospital, Royal Wedding, and Ocular Audio Experiment. A DJ set from Ian Lawrence of Brobots, Soulelujah, and Barge Recordings keeps the music going after the bands until the Mid East kicks everyone out.

Get your Facebook RSVP on here.

And get back into the "Vader" below.

RIP Chrissy Amphlett of the Divinyls

Pouring one out this morning for Chrissy Amphlett of the Divinyls, who passed away yesterday age 53 as a result of "the effects of breast cancer and multiple sclerosis," according to her husband quoted by TMZ.

I really loved this song and video back in 1991. I might have only been 12-years-old, but it was an integral part of my MTV upbringing. It was another example of me being a pre-teen metalhead, and thinking to myself: "But I only like heavy music, why do I love this song so much?"

More than 20 years later and this song is still amazing.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Rumble Semifinal Night 2 re-scheduled to Monday, April 22 @ T.T. The Bear's Place

There were many cancelled and postponed events last night around Boston, and for good reason. Around the time a decision needed to be made on whether or not to host a show, party, event, whatever, Boston was engaged in a citywide lockdown. And while the situation resolved itself around 9:30 pm, leading many out into the streets to "celebrate," by then it was too late to reverse decision and suddenly open shuttered businesses. One of the first shows to announce postponement yesterday was the Rock N Roll Rumble, whose semifinal Night #2 was set for T.T. The Bear's Place in Cambridge.

Most of us were not yet settled emotionally from the night before, Thursday evening, where news of an MIT incident started circulating during the Daily Pravda's set, and things culminated after Lifestyle's headlining performance with the entire room watching the news broadcast, live from Watertown, on the TTs bar television. The 7-11 that was involved in the madness is a few blocks from the venue, but I really don't think anyone at the Rumble knew exactly what was going on. I walked outside to Brookline Street at one point, I think just before Lifestyle, and there were choppers over Central Square. It was an insane night.

The winner was announced after the last band played, I think just before 1am, but I'm unsure how many people heard it: Glenn Yoder & the Western States took home the prize, and deservedly so. Guitarist Jeff Katz stole the entire evening with his efforts, and roots-rock gems like "Pretty Little Girl," "Everything You Want," and "Younger Brother" (one of my favorites from any '13 Rumble band) showed why Yoder's Western States could win the whole thing. All are off his recent LP< Javelina.

But now that the dust and panic has settled, perhaps unsurprisingly, the Rumble is one of the first events to announce their new rescheduled date for Night 2, keeping the rock moving forward: Night 2 of the semis will go down Monday, April 22. Same bat-channel.

It'll feature previous Rumble prelim night winners Eddie Japan, Camden, and the New Highway Hymnal; wild card band Twin Berlin; and a new twist due to scheduling. There was a show already planned for Monday at TTs, but coincidentally, the headliner is a Rumble alum and efforts have been combined.

Here's word from Anngelle Wood:

In an effort to make good on the date as soon as possible, and fit it in before the scheduled Finals on Friday, April 26, we are pleased to announce that we will resume the Semifinals this Monday night!

We worked it out and TT the Bear's was able to come up with a timely resolution. Randy Black (who is a 1982 Rumble winner with his band Limbo Race!) and his band the Heathcroppers have been invited to do a special opening set. Many thanks to Randy, as well as Brendan Boogie and the Broken Gates and Tsunami of Sound, for graciously allowing us to have their previously scheduled night. Thank you, Richard Bouchard, thank you, Kevin Patey, thank you Bonney Bouley. We really appreciate it.

Due to the special circumstances of changing dates and out of state travel, the wildcard band Twin Berlin has been moved from the first slot to the last. Rather than upset the entire night even more, I made the decision to swap the two bands. Probably another first for the Rock 'n' Roll Rumble history books.

Please support all of these bands - for their graciousness, for their flexibility, and for their understanding.

Here's the night's lineup:

8:45pm - Special opening set by Randy Black and the Heathcroppers

9:30pm - Eddie Japan

10:15pm - The New Highway Hymnal

11:00pm - Camden

11:45pm - [Wildcard] - Twin Berlin

[tonight in allston] Vanyaland presents: RIBS, Color Channel, Year Million @ Great Scott

As we around Boston pick ourselves up and dust ourselves off after one of the most heartbreaking and surreal weeks in our city's history, a return to some sort of normalcy is in order. And for many of us in our Boston music community, that normalcy involves attending live shows. So I'm excited and proud that Vanyaland is teaming up with Bowery Boston tonight for the RIBS homecoming show at Great Scott. Also on the bill are Color Channel and the Year Million.

When we all set this up a few weeks ago, the event would serve as both RIBS' first show back in Boston after their tour with Joy Formidable, and the relaunch party for our new music website, the new Vanyaland 2.0. After last week's tragedy and unforgettable days that followed, including yesterday's manhunt and citywide lockdown, we've delayed unveiling the new site (I just don't have the self-promotional cheerleading in me right now).

But the show! The show will go on.

And it's a good one: RIBS' mechanical rock and roll is even more polished after fine-tuning their craft in the road, and their 2012 record Russian Blood was one of my favorite releases of last year; Color Channel bring an instant-dance-party live energy to any room, their Pyramid Of Love EP a true Saturday night electroni-funk fever; and The Year Million's towering post-prog pop-rock is as uplifting as it gets, as they're still riding high off the recent release of Broken Circuits.

Here's a preview of each band, see you in Allston. Boston Strong.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Boston Bruins fans singing the National Anthem, last night @ TD Garden

This is a music blog, based in Boston, and what happened last night at TD Garden sent chills down my spine. I'm a hardcore New Jersey Devils fan, born and raised, but no doubt I'm rooting for the Bruins, from last night through the playoffs. Because We Are Boston.

What a display last night by the Garden faithful. I get chills every time I watch it, and I've watched it many times since last night.

130 Strong: Allston Pudding's Marathon Relief Benefit Mixtape to raise money for the One Fund

The Boston music scene continues to amaze and inspire.

Tuesday morning, the Allston Pudding music blog put out a call for submissions for a charity mixtape, with the funds raised going to the victims of Monday's marathon bombings. Forty-eight hours later, and the result is massive: a 130-track (130!!!!) compilation, featuring everyone from Speedy Ortiz to Parlour Bells to Kingsley Flood to Mei Ohara to Fedavees to Plumerai to Nemes to Slowdim to Freezepop to Mellow Bravo to... oh my goodness just read the full track list below. It's huge. It's overwhelming. It's Boston.

And it's for a great cause.

All proceeds are going to the One Fund Boston, and anyone can donate the mix for as little as $1 (quite a deal). Anyone donating $10 or more are entered to win a sweet Allston Pudding sweatshirt, which is guaranteed to get you laid instantly wherever you wear it.

"Enormous thanks to all who contributed to this," wrote the Pudding this morning on their site. "Boston Music 4ever."

I'm not religious, but a-fucking-men.

Full track listing after the Bandcamp jump.

1. Kal Marks - Born Again 2. Speedy Ortiz - Bigger Party
3. Krill - The Troublesome Horse Gets The Milk
4. M. Reverdy Rhodes - My Bird
5. Hall Of Mirrors - Keep
6. Mean Creek - Do You Know
7. Duke & The Drivers - What You Got
8. Vegans - Sandslash
9. Trophy Lungs - Exit 28
10. The Box Tiger - Knives
11. DadFight - Patty Hearst
12. Chris North - Thanksgiving Day
13. The Deep North - Wake Up
14. Twin Berlin - Kill This Low
15. Red Oblivion - Simple
16. Andrew and The TV Cowboys - Sun Damaged
17. Bearstronaut - A Better Hand
18. Ruby Rose Fox - Old Fashioned
19. Old Abram Brown - Summer Home
20. Chandeliers - Temperance
21. Ian James - No Harm
22. Billy Dodge - Reach
23. Supermachine - Broken
24. Jones & Burns - Pack What You Can Carry
25. FEDAVEES - Prettybirds, Fly
26. Fishing The Sky - Sven
27. The Homing Bureau - To Only Have Come Back
28. Grey Season - Winter That Wasn't
29. Parlour Bells - Airwaves
30. Cowgill - Plans
31. The Interrobang - Zirconia
32. Found Audio - Queen of the Road
33. Endation - Sex Partner Sex
34. The Difference Engine - The Day That I Forgot You
35. Plumerai - Trip
36. Preacher Roe - Elise Elise
37. The Strange Avenues - Passing Time
38. The Daily Pravda - Holidays on the Run
39. Eddie Japan - A Town Called Nowhere
40. Moniker - Burn This City
41. The Life Electric - Carried Away
42. The Michael J. Epstein Memorial Library - The Violinist
43. Cahill - Tired Man
44. Rob Potylo - Quiet Desperation
45. Peter Campbell - Good Heart
46. The New Highway Hymnal - Out With The Lights
47. Kingsley Flood - Sun Gonna Lemme Shine
48. Big Girl - Broken
49. Brian Carroll - Devil Won't Get Me Down
50. Frank & Dependent - Earthworm Smoothie
51. Green Line Inbound - Mars
52. Brenda - Fix Your Eyes
53. Glenn Yoder & The Western States - Row
54. Cease the Wheels - Downcity Armory
55. The Field Effect - Headwrecked
56. Adam Jensen - Redemption Man
57. Nemes - Everest Isle
58. Eksi Ekso - Traitor Traitor
59. Muy Cansado - Not For Nothing
60. Idiot Genes - Drunk Consistenly
61. Aloud - Justice & Forgiveness
62. Mei Ohara - Deep Sea Vinyl
63. Guillermo Sexo - Emerald Comets
64. Velah - Glass Heart
65. Airport - I Got Love
66. Adam PC - Yeah Fuckin' A Right!
67. The Moan - You Ain't Mine
68. The Adventures Of - Edges
69. Bunny's A Swine - Greetings From The Bottom
70. Black Norse - Kill The King - Reign of Fire
71. The Milling Gowns - Arc & Pale
72. Alen of Dale - Morning Light
73. Slowdim - Uh Oh
74. Whysowhite - Get Busy
75. J / Q - A Savior Of My Own
76. Ginger Ibex - Catnip
77. Brighton MA - Good Kind of Crazy
78. Wide Iris - Tomorrows
79. The Suicide Dolls - Brand New and Close By
80. Dead Cats Dead Rats - Bad News
81. Modern Lighting - Grey Skies Tiny Stars
82. Ryan Scally - Near Beyond Alone
83. The Novel Ideas - The Field
84. Snow's House - Walk
85. Rebuilder - Heroes to a Sun
86. Friendly People - New York
87. Lara Ewen - One Day
88. The Rare Occasions - Scarlet Lies
89. The Spearmint Sea - Two
90. School for Robots - Insomniac
91. Banquet Hall - Ruins
92. Machines Learning - SatAMcoffee
93. The Russians - Sober and Un-Upsetting
94. Faux Ox - Colourform
95. Freezepop - Peptalk
96. Mount Peru - Psalm
97. The Hollow Sound - Cope
98. Ruby Ridge - Don't Turn Around
99. Mellow Bravo - When Im In Pain
100. The Electrical Fire - Rhythm of My Heart
101. Devil and a Penny - Steamboat
102. Eric Baro - In Love With A Broken Heart
103. Future Carnivores - Twice
104. Michael Maloney - Back To Boston
105. Satellites Fall - One Night
106. The Bynars - All I Wanna Do Is Have Some Fun Tonight
107. Howling Boil - Brighton, 1983
108. Butterknife - Coattails
109. I, Pistol - I Don't Care
110. Zip-Tie Handcuffs - Book Worm
111. The New Warden - Long Walk Home
112. The Blind Woods - Two Fish
113. The Saints of Sorrow - We Carry On
114. Walter Sickert & The Army of Broken Toys - Radioactive Brush
115. Sawtooth - Boston, Je T'aime
116. Eros and the Eschaton - Carry The Water
117. Nervous - Decode
118. Blue Moon Harem - Finland
119. EXH4LER - Skinny Girl From New York
120. Kangaroo Court - Unplanned
121. Axemunkee - Acid DJango
122. Royal Wedding - S.C.U.M.
123. Strange Mangers - Handmaids
124. Jay Wightman - I'm Green
125. The Shills - Move A Mountain
126. Courters - Dead Eye
127. Ryan Jackson Troika - Sink Piles
128. Marc Pinansky - Back In Boston
129. Bear Language - Mary Go Round
130. Sand Reckoner - Too Many Voices

Nearly $8,000 raised for Mass General Hospital at T.T. The Bear's Place Tuesday night

I was giving an interview to WBUR Tuesday evening when I made some variation of the following comment: "Some of us are doctors, some of us are counselors, some of us aren't. I'm involved with the music scene, and what I do is music." We were just about to open doors at TT The Bear's Place in Cambridge, a room Richard Bouchard and I secured just five hours earlier, to host a benefit show for the victim's of Monday's Boston Marathon bombing.

And already the response was overwhelming.

The lineup went beyond music, but the music was pretty incredible: Mean Creek, the Field Effect, Earthquake Party, Endation, Ruby Rose Fox, Dan Nicklin of Old Jack, Cameron Kieber, and Brendan Boogie.

The venue, TTs, donated the room, and its owner, Bonnie Bouley, an additional $500 contribution. Bartenders donated all their tips, more than $1300. All merch sold from the bands was donated to the cause, almost $300. And a raffle -- which featured everything from Red Sox tickets to gift cards to an online class at Berklee -- brought in more than $950.

At the door, we set up a Pay What You Can system: anything from $1 to more, handled anonymously. The door man said he noticed many people quietly stuffing $20 bills into the donation box. Incredible.

Yesterday, Richard and I brought a check for $7,740 to Mass General Hospital, and donated it to MGH's Emergency Medicine Fund, which they said would have the most impact on Monday's events. The check was signed, "from the "Boston Music Scene."

Thank you, Boston. xo

PHOTOS: Mick Murray @ For Boston /// Daykamp Music @ For Boston

Here is the final breakdown of Tuesday's fund raising efforts:
$4,175 at the door
$500 from TT's owner Bonney Bouley
$500 from Defunct Tees
$957 from the raffle
$1,337 from the bartenders (who all donated their tips)
$271 from band merch

Total $7,740

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

[tonight in cambridge] FOR BOSTON benefit show @ T.T. The Bear's Place

I still can't fully wrap my head around what happened yesterday at the Boston Marathon. My adopted hometown of 13 years is truly my home, and will be for the rest of my life. I love it here. I love this city's music scene. I love this city's passion for sports. It works for me.

And people cope with hardship in different ways. I'm involved with the music scene, and one way I can help is through music. So I'm teaming up with Richard Bouchard (Indie Rock Ranger) to help organize the FOR BOSTON benefit show tonight at TT The Bear's Place, the home of the Rock and Roll Rumble, which picks back up on Thursday.

About two hours ago we got word that a touring show scheduled for TTs tonight had been cancelled, so we rallied up some of our friends for a last-minute fund raiser to benefit Massachusetts General Hospital.

Join us for music from Mean Creek, The Field Effect, Endation, Dan Nicklin of Oldjack, Cameron Keiber of the Beatings/Eldridge Rodriguez, and more. I'll DJ a few sets as well, the usual stuff you hear at the pill.

Doors at 8pm, it's 18+, and it's Pay What You Can. Seriously, pay $1, pay $20, it's up to you. We're happy to report that 100% of the door will be donated to MGH on behalf of the Boston music scene. Vanya Records and the Field Effect will also donate 100% of sales from all merchandise to the cause.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Boston, I love you

I've been a resident of your city for 13 years, and nothing has ever felt more like home.

We are Boston. <3

Let's "Get Lucky": Daft Punk broadcast pop's first Song of the Summer contender

If you know pornography only when you see it, then likewise, you know the annual Song of the Summer when you hear it. Two years ago it was "Midnight City" by M83 (which got a late jump, first surfacing in July 2011) , then last year it was the now-ubitquitous "I Love It" by Sweden's Icona Pop. Hell, "I Love It" is a song so still on fire it threatens to be this year's SOTS for the mainstream (I heard a Boston-area Top 40 DJ call it just that a few days ago, damn, and after the NBC The Today Show appearance and Girls cameo, there's no sign of slowing down).

Well, after this weekend, we have a one-minute glimpse into what is the first contender into the 2013 SOTS sweepstakes: French electronic duo Daft Punk's collab with Pharrell and Nile Rodgers on "Get Lucky," which on Saturday night was teased both on the big screens at Coachella in the California desert and on small screens around the world during Saturday Night Live. Leave it to Daft Punk for stealing Coachella headlines without even performing, and getting late-night SNL viewers all worked up twice now.

Good god of fuck, this is some white-hot stuff. This is massive, a party record barreling toward Earth, and having picked up huge momentum in the last 48 hours. Pop armageddon awaits.

Any why? Because you instantly want more. Cue AT&T girl: "We want more we want more."

Also because the snippet is incredible, and already racking up nearly a million YouTube views.

With all the hype and advance promo, I was just about getting tired hearing about the new Daft Punk record. This immediate wiped away all the annoyance and just enraptured me. I can't wait for May 21, when Random Access Memories is released, via Daft Life Limited/Columbia Records.

Happy 47th birthday to Samantha Fox

Solid day for birthdays today, a pool of blown-candle fun that includes James Franco and Ilya Kovalchuk. But the one that caught my attention, the same way she caught my eye as a pre-pubescent boy growing up on Long Island in the late '80s, is SAMANTHA FOX, who today turns 47 years young. Honestly, I'm kinda surprised is still alive.

Oh, Sam, you taught me a lot about sexuality when I was 10 years old, and I'm still kinda fucked up over it. I always joke that Belinda Carlisle was my first celebrity crush, but Samantha Fox was probably the first woman I ever wanted to sleep with. And I was way too young to be thinking about that kinda shit. Regardless, the top shelf of the magazine rack at the stationary store on Bay Shore Road once held all of my dreams and fantasies hostage.

But beyond that, this is also one of those moments when I look back, think of all the various shades of rock and metal I was listening to at the time (Manowar, Slayer, Skid Row, Faster Pussycat), and wonder if the seeds to my obsession with dance-pop were planted without me even realizing. I had 1988's I Wanna Have Some Fun and 1986's Touch Me on cassette. Then again, Top 40 pop music is easy to listen to when you're beating off to the Spencer's-Gift-bought posters on your wall.

Friday, April 12, 2013

[tonight in allston] The Milling Gowns @ the pill

Excited to welcome The Milling Gowns to the pill tonight, a nice gloomy post-punk/pop session fit for a rainy spring Friday night. Check out the promo bio from the pill boston dot com, and see you in a few hours at Great Scott.

The Gowns' 2012 EP Something Dangerous Loves Me was one of my favorite releases of last year...