Okay, so the photo is from Friday, but still. More photos here.
On Saturday night, J Mascis and Co. took the stage with unassuming glory, and after taking their sweet time dorking around with their instruments, Mascis resolved the unformed chaos of their initial soundcheck with a plaintive little piffle of a riff.
The best compliment I can give the Dinosaur Jr. reunion is that I no longer find its greatness unusual. After almost five years, it's no longer a surprise that they still sound this good, the way it was when I first saw them back in 2006. Rather than being a great post-reunion band, they're just a great band, no qualifier necessary.
VIDEO: Mayer Hawthorne live at Great Scott
Photo by Nellie SweetA swarm of KMFDM fans in
shin-swallowing boots, leather bondage kilts, and fishnets stream by as
my friend Andy and I loiter in the House of Blues lobby, killing time
until Andy’s concert buddies show up. When they do, the girls come
bearing gossip: they were at KMFDM's afterparty in NYC last night, and they report that the band mentioned being nervous about playing Boston.It’s
unsettling news, but not too surprising. After all, we’re standing on
the grave of Axis, the site of a disastrous 2003 KMFDM show. That night
six years ago, the band members were all sick as dogs, and even though
they put on a more-than-decent show, the Axis audience
was legendarily awful. KMFDM hasn’t played Boston proper since (they
did swing by the Middle East for their 20th anniversary tour) and
skipped Massachusetts completely on their Hau Ruck tour.Tonight's
crowd is the expected mix of grizzled old-school rivetheads and folks
like me who first jumped on KMFDM’s industrial wave of destruction as
high schoolers in the mid-'90s. Less expected is the horde of
dewy-faced young things. I suspect more than a few of them were lured
here by the openers, the Aussie electro-industrial duo Angelspit.
Photo by Michael Kurgansky
I’m loath to review shows that I’ve written previews about
-- after all, they put me the the position of either saying “I told you so” or
apologizing for someone who didn’t live up to my own hype. But the case of
Julian Lage is different.
Lage’s debut solo CD, Sounding Point (Concord), was recorded in May and
June of 2008, shortly after his band’s formation.
As Hawk and a Hacksaw
kicked into their first number at the YMCA Theater last Friday night, I thought, “So this is what the kids are
listening to?” Sitting crossed-legged on the main floor of the theater,
campfire style, indie nation (with a few creaky older types in portable chairs
at the perimeters) listened intently as violinist Heather Trost and
percussionist/accordionist Jeremy Barnes spun through a repertoire of vintage,
odd-metered instrumental Balkan dance music.
More photos here and here.
According to Pains of Being Pure at Heart keyboardist/singer Peggy Wang, one of her friends was letting the New York band’s show at the Middle East downstairs double as his bachelor party. This was news to Wang — she considers her band’s shows as perhaps “the least debaucherous thing ever.
Vanna at Vans Warped Tour 2009 | Comcast Center | Photo by Bryan Mastergeorge
If punk fans leap at any excuse to be pissed off, then the Boston stop on the 15th annual Warped Tour was a total godsend. The multitudes of Warpedgoers converging on the Comcast Center last Tuesday start the morning off by sitting in two-hour traffic jams on 495, only to spend the rest of the day wading through muddy lawns and getting their mascara hosed off by torrential downpours -- and they've each paid $35 for the privilege.
Still, while the rain was relentless, so were the fans; they weren't sitting this sold-out show out, no matter how bitchy Mother Nature got. The tangle of soaking-wet black-and-neon-clad teens, tweens, and twenty-somethings (trailed by the occasional hoodie-and-goodie-bag-carrying pack-mule/chaperone) spent the next eight hours anxiously shoving their way through the herd to catch a glimpse of their favorite bands on this 70-act tour.
VIDEO: Talib Kweli live at Rock the Bells
About three songs into the epic final set of this year's Rock the Bells - a dream-like materialization of the fanatically anticipated Nas and Damian Marley collabo project - the hot dog that I buried as a late-afternoon drinking base began to sneak up my esophagus. I made it from my seat to the exit aisle, where I projected a chunky wet stream of stomach ooze. Imagine Lardass from Stand by Me; a few ushers in my way even caught some of the shrapnel shooting through my fingers.
How did it come to this? I suppose my spiral redirected downwards around the time an acquaintance passed me a Percocet during Necro (I had a headache, and, at the time, was unaware that they sell Tylenol in the rest room). I was cool before that; watching K'Naan inside, and Eyedea - who looks a lot like Jason Schwartzman these days - on the outside Paid Dues stage, I had the ideal chemical crossfire charging my system. Even during Psycho Realm's pounding set - and through most of Necro (who rocked despite having laryngitis) - I felt well enough to nod my head. But after that I faded.
More photos here.
I recall reading something local-music guru Shred said about how people tend to go see their friends’ bands and neglect all else. Even as a semi-professional music scribe, I have a similar bad habit — which is one reason I’ve written multiple features and reviews on the exquisite riot-folk contraption that is the Swaggerin’ Growlers.
Every year, teenage otaku from all over New England swarm the Hynes Convention Center for Anime Boston,
an orgy of Japanese anime, manga, and video games (or pretty much
anything involving adorable characters with enormous leaky eyes) that
prides itself on being the largest anime convention in the Northeast.
The Steamy Bohemians, photo by Neil Reynolds (view full gallery)
The Steamy Bohemians
had lied to us; I was dead certain of it. No way could there be an
actual “old Appalachian folk song” that includes the lyrics “Every time
the baby cries/Stick my finger in the baby’s eyes” and “Every time he
starts to grin/Give my baby a bottle of gin.
One reason I love EDM (electronic dance music) clubs/nights is because of the eclectic group of people that attend -- and last night at the Phoenix Landing was no exception.
If you follow hip-hop the way stalkers follow blondes, then it might seem that the mania surrounding Detroit producer J Dilla has consumed the nation since his 2006 passing. Last month in Boston, we saw a Termanology tribute to the departed beat savant.
I got my own translator Friday afternoon during a talk by filmmakers Yervant Gianikian and Angela Ricci Lucchi — not because of my esteemed position in the local alt-press but because I was one of the few dolts present who couldn't “keep up” with their Italian. It was Day One of the Harvard's “Futurism at 100” conference, and a sleek lecture room in the Center for European Studies was lined with distinguished thinkers from all over eager to discuss the most industrious, morality-despising, feminism-hating, car-crashingest art movement ever.