• March 20, 2009
    By Ian Sands

    Back in 2007 I saw a band named Antiques play P.A.’s Lounge in Somerville. At that show, the only people to show up were me, my four friends, and maybe two other people. It’s not exactly an anomaly for a band to find themselves playing to an empty room at that place. But in this situation it was so painfully obvious to everyone in attendance that this band clearly should have been playing to a packed club and not six clowns such as ourselves. They were that good. So then and there I decided that I had to write an article about them, one that would put these boys into the spotlight they so richly deserved. And I did. The article was called “Dynamic Duo” and it was in the “Music and Clubs” section of the paper. It, of course, made the band stars, just as Jon Landau’s piece in The Real Paper (!) catapulted Bruce Springsteen to stardom back in ‘74. Now the Antiques name is familiar in every living room across this fine nation. And as a result, the two main members of the band, drummer Tim Griffiths and singer/guitarist Steve Vallarelli, have a huge house out in Northern California right next to Tom Waits’s abode, where they have since taken to filming a reality show, about what it’s like for two bandmates to live and make music together, with Tom Waits as their neighbor. The conceit is not all that interesting right off. The juicy bit is this: Steve is married and his wife lives with them! It’s really kooky, take my word. Sometimes they invite me out to Cali to have a smoke and a chat. They of course pay for my plane ticket. It’s very nice, indeed.

    Everything that comes after the word “It” in the eighth sentence of that last graph is false. But in a decent world, it would all be true, except for the reality show part, which was me going a little overboard. What happened after the article ran is much more mundane, but that’s okay. The bandmembers are still in Massachusetts, living in the same houses they were living when I met them, as far as I know. Steve is still in law school, as far as I know. There is no reality show, as far as I know. And the band is still killing it in the same clubs they were killing it in last year, that much I know for sure.

    We recently chatted with Tim Griffiths by phone, who was in Michigan visiting his dad, about a show the band is playing on Monday night at Charlie's Kitchen and a new album coming out called No Fortune.

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  • May 16, 2008
    By Clif Garboden

    Our farthest-flung correspondent, Julia Throop, who's spent the past year living in China teaching English, was nowhere near Sichuan Province when the magnitude 7.8 earthquake hit on May 12, but the shock was enough to rock her world. She emails this report.

    Everybody knows the feeling. You have one too many cups of coffee and suddenly your pulse musters the superhuman strength to throw your entire body into a rhythmic sway.

    Read More

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