Earlier this month, in a rare moment of media detente, Boston's finest film critics climbed onstage at the Brattle and talked b-movies, to promote DaCapo's new The B-List: The National Society of Film Critics on Low Budget Beauties, Genre-Bending Mavericks, and Cult Classics We Love. Amazingly, even though Jay Carr was on the panel, the Globe's Ty Burr, the Herald's James Verniere, and the Phoenix's own Peter Keough were able to get a few words edgewise.
Last Wednesday, the Coolidge's upstairs theater was heaving with
excitable dorks of all stripes, all giddy with anticipation for a live
reading and performance from John Hodgman and his surprise musical guest, Jonathan Coulton. You don't get a bill like this too often, folks. (Impatient peeps, scroll down for the MP3 download.
After spinning such gritty urban yarns as Mystic River, Gone Baby Gone, and some cracking episodes of The Wire, Dorchester native Dennis Lehane decided to go ahead and not write the great American novel (he claims), but a great, sprawling Boston novel instead.
In The Given Day,
Lehane surveys the vortex of chaos that gripped 1919-era Boston -- a
city rocked by anarchist terrorism, Spanish influenza, World War I, the
Great Molasses Flood, and the Boston Police Strike --
through the eyes of a black ballplayer and an Irish cop.
The good news is that you haven't been inseminated by former Porn Theater Ushers front man Nabo Rawk or his new accomplice, DJ Paul Foley (or maybe you have - who knows?). The bad news is that these two famed dance-and-party happy Boston rap degenerates are dropping a dual effort under the group name Wasted Talent
Used to be, when we wanted to hear an AGE RINGS number, we’d just wheel ourselves over to Will Spitz’s desk and poke him with an uncapped Sharpie until he acquiesced with an a cappella version of the song of our choosing. Last time, it took only three dots.
For a rock band, there’s only one real way to channel the spirits of Steppenwolf, Deep Purple, and, well, the Eagles without sounding grossly ironic: have one of your dads be a member of Aerosmith. By this criterion, Duxbury’s finest, TAB the Band, should have double the success in their adoption of the arena-rock mantle: brothers Tony (guitar) and Ben (bass) are offspring of Joe Perry.
Not that they’re strangers or anything, but it’s nice to know that there’s now a single degree of separation between Boston’s two biggest punk-rock franchises: members of Dropkick Murphys and the Unseen have fired up two new bands who share former Crash and Burn guitarist Bill Brown.
Four women from Harvard Book Store stood at the back of the Brattle Theater last night, before the crowds arrived, giggling. “I have the biggest literary crush on him,” said one, referring to the evening’s reader — MIT professor, Boston Review fiction editor, Pulitzer Prize-winner — Junot Díaz, a man, it appeared from listening to the women’s chatter, with many charms.
Christian Lander, creator of the hugely popular blog Stuff White People Like, and now the author of a book by the same name (coyly subtitled “The Definitive Guide to the Unique Taste of Millions”), pulled an overflow crowd to Harvard Book Store last night for his first appearance on his book tour. Poised, self-deprecating, and very fucking funny, the 29-year-old scrufty strawberry-blonde Canadian was almost impossible not to like.
Lots of wistful indie bands underwent hipster-mandated retraining in the early naughts and emerged, after a quick stop in laptop voc tech, as certified dealers of . . . wistful, indie-ish compu-pop. Boston (and now Brooklyn’s) Mobius Band were among the least likely applicants for the job, and yet we can’t think of anyone, save perhaps the Postal Service, who do it better.
We've been trying to work our way out from under the avalanche of site-clogging traffic generated by our blogging bretheren over at Slop Culture, who just had the internet version of a runaway, chart-topping, Beatle-mania-type hit single. A ridiculous little idea they had called "The 100 Unsexiest Men in America" -- a parody of lad-mag "100 sexiest women" features -- became a bona-fide internet meme.
OTD is heading south for the week -- and no, we're not going where everyone else is going. We're off for some R&R and even a little M&M, because as we've said before, OTD is for the children. Don't sleep, though, because Cami and a cadre of Phoenix guest bloggers are gonna keep you up to your eyeballs in exclusives until we return.
Some stuff we didn't have time to blog last week . . .
1. "NPR FOR THE STREETS": MAD DECENT RADIO. Put "Diplo" and "podcast" in the same sentence, and we'll show you an internet traffic jam waiting to happen. Add the terms "baltimore club" and "DJ interviews" and "random bits of music you'll never hear again", and you've got a recipe for blogger/DJ pandemonium.
Since paper doesn't grow on trees and all, every little thing that we ever write in the fishwrap ends up being shorter than we want it to be. Take, for instance, Will Spitz's interview with Animal Collective's Avey Tare. There just wasn't space to include dude's musings about lazy-assed critics who lump AC in with freak-folk, or for a graf on how he spent his childhood listening to Cats and Wings.