Bent and melted next to Paul Westerberg

Tia has more photos over here.

1. Don't wanna say too much about last night's not-so-secret Paul Westerberg show since Will Spitz is covering it for the print edition, but suffice it to say: more fun than your average guitar-shop opening. The guest of honor was his typically sloppy self, but halfway through he brought up Neighborhoods pal Sir David Minnehan for positive reinforcement. Their mini-set included a cover of the Only Ones' classic "Another Girl, Another Planet," plus a New Orleans-themed finale of the 'Mats "Alex Chilton" into "House of the Rising Sun." Then, adapting the nautical tradition, Mr. Westerberg christened the shop by smashing his guitar to smithereens.

Guest list was rife with usual suspects from the Boston Powerpop Mafia, worshippers all at the shrine of St. Paul. Jaw-dropping design element of the night: there's only one musician's photo in the entire First Act showroom, and it's a wall-sized mural of . . . Jake Brennan?

That's it: this is the last time we try taking pictures at the Paradise.

No secret here: OTD hearts Damone. (Disclosure: scroll.) So after absconding with some guitar-store swag, we swung up to the Paradise to catch Noelle and the boys play their first show since finishing their new album, due out on Island/Def Jam in early 2006. As we've been telling anyone who'll listen for the past six months, this record is going to be fucking amazing: it's sounds like Mutt Lange, Andrew W.K., and the Darkness got together and decided to make the Donnas into megastars, but it's all done by four kids from Waltham.

Last night was supposed to be a low-key practice gig but they KILLED an audience who'd been dealt free tix to see Phantom Planet -- hands-in-the-air type madness and Japanese-girl headbanging and stuff. Played ten of the new disc's dozen songs, leaving out their top-secret cover. (Hint: this woman won't like it.) Ugh, we could talk about this album for days: they left 24 songs on the CUTTING ROOM FLOOR, at least 20 of which we can hum from memory. We've been dying to leak some of this stuff for almost a year, and it looks like we'll FINALLY have clearance to share something in time for the band's Monday-night October residency at the Middle East. Stay tuned.
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