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[walshed out] March Madness: SXSW + WMC blowback burns Boston



Because a new month is upon us (and because I'm leaving for SXSW in five days, and I can't do much other than pace and ponder where it was that I packed up my shorts last October), I'm going to piggyback a bit off my first post from two weeks ago. A rundown of shit-hot shows worth your precious time and effort during what is shaping up to be a piss-cold month. Don't think of it as me slacking, as much as doing you a great service while maintaining my sanity in the process.

As you may be aware of by now, March is rather stacked for live music. This can largely be attributed to bands heading to SXSW and thinking they might as well stop through Boston while they're at it, or something like that. Well, as it turns out, this trend isn't merely applicable to acts with guitars. There's also acts with turntables! And laptops!

In addition to that runoff, there's also the added influx afforded by the Winter Music Conference, a week-long bout of hedonism that goes down in Miami the week after South By. Seems like my kind of festival -- in the sense that I would go to it, not in the sense that I could ever afford it.

So, for those of you lost in Boston for the foreseeable future, I present five shows that you should give some serious thought to. If you don't see your party included here, it's not because I hate you. It's merely that you didn't e-mail me at mwalsh@phx.com to let me know that shit was going down. Get on that.

03.09 -- Scuba + Boddika @ Good Life


I had the good fortune of catching SCUBA at last year's Movement Festival. He was able to provide a proper dose of dub amongst an otherwise techno-centric weekend. But all of this was pre-"Adrenaline," his trance-baiting single that did me oh-so-right in 2011. That effort begot Personality, his most recent LP that is very much in that same big-room mold. (My review is forthcoming in next Thursday's paper.) A couple of recently released mixes indicate that maybe his DJ style has taken a bit of a turn in accordance to his production shift, with each of those linked above starting out in a plodding, dubby territory before ratcheting up the jack. If Friday night is anything comparable, Good Life basement might reach record levels of weird. Also, be sure to get there early, like 9ish. There'll be a line, and if you miss BODDIKA, you should probably just call it quits. Dude has released more bangers in the past year than most release in a lifetime, and he has a track on the way called "Steam," featured in Scuba's Essential Mix, that upon release, may very well alter the course of mankind as we know it.

03.09 -- Black Light Dinner Party @ Great Scott


Same night, different vibes. This has nothing to do with SXSW or WMC, and happens to be going down at the pill, a weekly dance night hosted by our very own Michael Marotta. But none of that really matters. BLACK LIGHT DINNER PARTY have only played something like two shows, ever. Their sound is like nothing that's emerged from our very rock-centric city in some time. And we named them amongst our 12 best new Boston acts of 2012, in which we predicted that their debut album will set them off to worldwide status. But before all that comes to fruition, they're going to be kicking down in the living-room sized Allston cornerstone. Has all the makings of a special outing.

03.14 -- Maceo Plex + Tanner Ross @ Phoenix Landing


As noted in my last blog post, we're currently under attack by a crop of sexual house DJs, seemingly bent on resuscitating us from the doldrums, one pulsating anthem at a time. Last month we had Richy Ahmed and Damian Lazaraus thanks to the efforts of WeNo Music. And this month, it's MACEO PLEX, arriving mid-month, mid-week in celebration of Re:Set Wednesday's one year of existence. To say Plex had a monster 2011, would be an understatement. The man took to the isle of Ibiza with a purpose, honing in on the ever-so-sultry sound that ruled the year, propelling himself past a handful of living legends, all the way up to number five on Resident Advisor's year end list of the world's best DJs. This gig will be big (understatement, understatement, understatement).

03.20 -- xxxy @ Wonder Bar


And now we arrive at the Allston portion of our proceedings. XXXY is amongst the burgeoning crop of young UK-based producers toying around with touching up the sounds of traditional dubstep and garage with a bit of forward-driving house. (Think James Blake, Jamie xx with their more dance-floor friendly efforts.) A little something for everyone, I suppose. He's playing roughly 5,593 shows in Austin during SXSW, so expect some coverage from my end as to whether this outing will be worth your efforts (I'm predicting a resounding ‘fuck yes' on that one).

03.21 -- NguzuNguzu + Salva @ Wonder Bar


I have no idea how to pronounce NGUZUNGUZU. I also have no idea how to describe what they sound like. But that's only because they eschew definition in many regards. Their productions possess a very drippy bass sound, but what really sold me on this LA-based duo is their XLR8R podcast from last year. A blistering 41-minutes of slo-mo R&B, ballistic drum grooves, and even a touch of grime, indicative of a sweaty night ahead at Wonder Bar. Also, SALVA is opening, even though the SF-bred producer possesses sickly dub chops worthy of a headliner slot. Murderous XLR8R podcast as well.

I'll be back a bit later in the week with a little something something in anticipation of SXSW.

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