We've watched those Dead Trees kids since they were but little pups playing far better Pavement knbockoffs than a bunch of 16-year-olds had any right to
Hard to believe it's been ten years since Aaron Turner started Isis -- and eight years since we wrote this. Back then, Aaron was still at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, his LP sleeves were redefining the aesthetics of metal, Isis had released all of one EP (on Escape Artist, a label then-Relapse publicist Gordon Conrad had formed specifically to put out the Isis demo), and Hydrahead was home to Cave In and Converge.
It’s unclear, from this vantage point at least, precisely to whom the proper noun in the band Spottiswoode & His Enemies refers.
Is it Roger Spottiswoode, the director of Turner and Hooch and Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot? Or is it 17th century Scottish Archbishop John Spottiswoode, or 19th century English mathematician/physicist William Spottiswoode, or perhaps Victoria Cross-winner William Spottiswoode Trevor, a major in the Bengal Engineers who fought valorously during the 1864-1865 Bhutan War, vanquishing 200 barricaded enemy soldiers all while greatly outmatched?
Y'know, with all the blabbity blab about blogs and breaking new bands, we still have a real, real strong affection for college radio. Especially WMBR. Every time we get sick of the internet echo chamber chorusing about some pretentiously named new discovery, we flip to the left of the FM dial. Inevitably, we find that not only have college radio DJs not drunk the bloggity kool-aid, but that they've got better kung-fu.
DOWNLOAD: A.K.A.C.O.D., "Spanish Fly" [mp3]
The comparisons of A.K.A.C.O.D with Morphine are obvious: the "low rock" groove of sax, slide bass, and drums, the presence of Morphine saxman Dana Colley as player, producer, and songwriter. But that would discount singer/bassist Monique Ortiz's own distinctive songwriting chops, macho-woman deep alto vocals, and frank sexuality.
From KinoDV's awesome archive of punk- and postpunk-era vids -- captured by MIT geeks with some of the first portable video equipment at a slew of long-lost Boston rockdives -- comes this month's treasure: Mission of Burma performing "Manic Incarnation" live at the Underground in 1980. If you ever wondered where Shellac and Big Black got their guitar sound, now you know.
Magnetic FieldsFebruary 14-15, 2008Somerville TheatreTickets available via presale here
It's the kind of show that makes you wish you weren't in love. Because listening to songs like "The Cactus Where Your Heart Used To Be" just aren't the same if you can't actively chug the black, bitter incense that follows Stephin Merritt around like an ever-present cloud of clove-cigarette smoke.
It wasn't that long ago that the National sold out the Roxy, so we didn't expect to see them back this soon: turns out they came back for a fans-only gig put on by WFNX -- which, as frontman Matt Berninger acknowledged from the stage, is one of the few commercial radio stations to play their music.
We hold that attending Berklee does not make artists Bostonians for life, as it seems to in certain local-music-award circles. But we don't want the statute of limitations to be up just yet for Via Audio, the now-Brooklyn-based-but-Berklee-bred indie auteurs who’ve become blog-famous thanks to endorsements from Death Cab’s Chris Walla and Spoon’s Jim Eno.
If it's good enough for JoJo, it's good enough for emo.
Over the summer we brought you Foxboro's favorite teenage pop-tart launching her comeback with a cover/rework/response to Sean Kingston's "Beautiful Girls," itself a thinly-veiled cover of the Boomer national anthem, "Stand By Me." Stop the presses: now Casey Crescenzo -- formerly of the Receiving End of Sirens, now leading his own band, the Dear Hunter -- has issued his own cover of Kingston's chart-topper.
Here, in its entirety, is the set Spoon played to a roomful of about 30 WFNX listeners and friends-of-OTD last week at First Act, prior to their big shew at the Roxy. By now everyone knows the single, but if you listen to only one of these we highly recommend "Black Like Me," which kills and feels like the "What Goes Around" to Underdog's "Sexy Back."
DOWNLOAD: Noel Heroux, "I Don't Want To Get Over You (Magnetic Fields cover)" (mp3)
It’s impossible to make a Magnetic Fields song sound any darker. Stephin Merritt cannot be out-baritoned. And as songs about doomed love affairs go, no one is likely to sharpen the streak of Meritt’s self-abnegating black comedy, of which this is among the best examples.
DOWNLOAD: Sleepyhead, "Whoville" (mp3)
Before Low and Bedhead made playing really slow an act of indie virtue (and virtuosity), there was Sleepyhead: a not egregiously sleepy band, but one whose noisy, shambolic-yet-deliberate pop felt identifiably post–Sonic Youth. Their nine-year run ended in '99; co-leaders Chris O'Rourke and Rachel McNally got married, procreated, and moved from NYC to Boston.
DOWNLOAD: Magic People, "Laundry Night" (mp3)
On its face, the latest bit from avant-psychpunx Magic People is a wobbly, passive-aggressive love song to the girl whom ringleader John Manson bumps into at the washing machine every week. But like many Magic People songs, it moves quickly from the mundane into a vast, scary, existential crisis: Manson could’ve called this one "Judgment Night" if the title weren’t already taken.