Speaking of veteran artists making some of the best music of their career, here is the best Stiff Little Fingers album since at least 1982’s Now Then
You don’t have to go to music school to be a musician and so it’s the same thing. You don’t have to take writing classes to be a writer!
For the encore, they closed with an incredible version of “Coming Down” which featured Dee Dee bringing down the house with her vocal acrobatics. What a treat!
This was a bill so strong from top to bottom that we braved the icy tundra and slippery roads to make it out to this show.
All in all, this book is a terrific read and I had trouble putting it down, barreling through its 400 or so pages quite quickly. If you are a former City Gardens patron or a fan of the ’80s and early ’90s underground music scene, this book is for you.
In summary, I have a feeling I’ll be listening to this one year-round as this is not just a holiday novelty record.
If slightly bigger crowds are a sign of things to come for the band, then it is well-earned as the new album is great and their live show just keeps improving.
Though the title of their brand new album is I Hate Music, this past Tuesday’s show at Union Transfer proved (as if they need any at this point) that in fact the exact opposite is true.
As such, there are six tracks, five of them shimmering, psychedelic pop that sounds like a lost time capsule from the mid to late ’60s.
The joy just permeates their very essence as they even stayed at the merch table after the show to chat with fans and sign posters and album booklets.
Though the A-side is terrific, the B-side “Who Have I Become” might the best song that Best Coast has ever recorded.
Sure enough, the set was an excellent mix of both Lps, not favoring one or the other, and the band was in sync.
So what about the actual music? Well, if you’ve never heard The Big Boys, this might be a good place to start.
The bottom line is that if you ever have a chance to see The Night Marchers, don’t miss them!
What a show, what a night and what a testament to Mould and his band that they still kick so much butt after all these years!
It’s rare that two artists of such quality share a Free at Noon bill.
For this go-round and perhaps to stick to theme of the documentary, Stabb and company were intent on replicating a 1982 style set.
Starting with the instrumental “Mango” and playing a set that mostly comprised material from their earliest days, Dag Nasty was just on for the entirety of their short but incredible set.
The musicianship is just off the charts and I love the 3-4 part harmonies in some of the songs as well.
Imagine a mild-mannered, 70-year old singer-songwriter in dark black sunglasses and a leather vest saying this stuff and you’ll get an idea of the weird, but cozy vibe of the show.
I took out my earplugs so I could hear their set in all of its glory and turned to a friend afterwards and said “wow”.
Newman was in fine spirits, joking with the crowd on numerous occasions between songs and even giving detailed (and very personal) explanations for the lyrics on songs like “Come Crash” and the aforementioned “The Heartbreak Rides”.
Keith Morris was in fine form, hounding the stage like a screaming banshee and living up to his verbose and confrontational reputation.
I think the speakers are still smoking from the heat generated by the version of “Aly Walk with Me” that was played and it’s over a week later!
Maximo Park played a fantastic set spanning their four albums, wisely focusing heavily on just-released new album The National Health (perhaps their career best) and their debut A Certain Trigger, by some measure their best records.
As the encore ended with the classic “Makes No Sense At All”, we left exhausted but utterly blown away by the absolutely great show we had just seen.
They opened up with “She May Call You Up Tonight” and followed it with “I’ve Got Something on My Mind” and “Pretty Ballerina”.
Finally! This is what Alternative Tentacles should’ve done all along with this material.
Oh well. I’ll stick to their records and hope for a better, tighter show next time.
This is a tome well worth reading not just for Yo La Tengo’s fans but anyone interested in indie rock’s travails from the late ’70s beginnings to today.
The set culminated with what I think is their greatest song to date, the stunning “Up All Night”, the closing track on The Only Place.
It’s fitting that Swedish free jazzers The Thing, a band named after a composition by Don Cherry, have now collaborated with his stepdaugher Neneh Cherry.
This was the Radiohead of the 2001 Amnesiac tour and the 2003 tour for Hail to the Thief, turning insular, jotty compositions into jaw-droppingly tight and powerful arena rock and it was a thrill to have them back!
What a difference four and a half years makes, or does it?
If Graham can just be as expressive on stage is he is on record and with proper sound, this band could be as dangerous and exciting live as they are on record.
When Barbato broke a string on B-side “Behind Your Eyes”, for example, they used the occasion to turn the song (only a little over two minutes on record) into an extended, impromptu, droning jam.
Nevertheless, we got a very short, 35-minute set that concentrated mostly on Interstellar with a few tunes from her 1st album thrown in.
Real Estate is a band with a very particular, mannered sound and they have to sound right to be fully effective.
If the rest of their proposed new album will be as good as this tune, then I’m already looking forward to it!
Audience members sung every word and there wasn’t one song that stood out in that regard that everyone was waiting for.
Stinson projects a rock star aura that looks, breaths, feels and sounds just like the The Rolling Stones, The Faces and others of that ilk.
Although I’ve lived close to it for almost 6 years, this was my first visit to the venerable University of Pennsylvania frat house and venue.
Anyway, she more than lived up to the accolades with an hour long set that was focused almost exclusively on material from Tramp.
Though there are light r’n‘b touches on a few of these songs, this is ultimately a singer-songwriter album and a great one at that.
Clearly this is an album made by 40 somethings instead of 20 somethings.
Though others may disagree, I think that this album is a mix of good and not so good.
Hermes’ lengthy and detailed tome reads a bit like the proto-punk diary From the Velvets to the Voidoids except that it covers virtually all of New York City’s then burgeoning musical styles between 1973 and 1977.
This is exactly what it says it is.
This album belongs in the same conversation as other classics of the genre and time period like Love’s Forever Changes and The Zombies’ Odessey and Oracle.
An embarrassment of riches, this limited-edition collection plays not only a great outtakes album, but like one of their best albums period.
Honestly, it was my first time seeing them and I thought they were great from the first few notes.
Instead of a “normal” show with a headliner and an opener, this was something altogether quite different.
Bells were the surprise of the night and honestly stole the show for me.
Thankfully, this performance more than justified the $30 ticket price.
All this would be enough, but as a bonus we get the first official version of The Faith’s 1981 demo.
Their set was short but sweet.
So how did Wild Flag fit into this context? Quite splendidly.
Just from a creative stand point, to put myself out there like that was the scariest thing I’ve probably ever had to do and then to play it.
Within a few seconds of their set, I had beer spilled on me.
ALL, on the other hand, were amazing.
Of the many times I’ve seen Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, I’d never had the chance to see them in such a great-sounding and intimate room.
This more stripped-down iteration fit in perfectly with the gentle, quiet vibe of this seated show
Improved songwriting, musicianship and stage presence contributed to what was by far the best Vivian Girls live set I’ve ever seen.
Thurston’s set in the beautiful but very poorly ventilated church sanctuary drew heavily upon his recently released solo Lp Demolished Thoughts.
Singer Steve Polcari acted as if almost a quarter of a century hadn’t passed, jumping around all over the stage and showing off the energy of a frontman half of his age.
Still, this had the feel of a band playing to a bunch of friends and family and that’s basically what it was. It was an afternoon show to boot, so that made it even more family-friendly.
Opening with Bad Moon Rising‘s “Brave Men Run (in My Family)”, the first five tracks were a flurry of ’80s highlights.
There’s an old saying. It’s a cliché, but a true one. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. If you think about it in a different way, in the early ‘80s for a hardcore band and especially for a straight-edge band facing additional pressure in terms of not conforming to society’s standards on that level, it was unbelievable in terms of the odds.
At the end of his set, opening band The Gerunds came on stage and they proceeded to crank out two highlights of Reynolds’ tenure with ALL.
Wild Nothing played to a sold-out and jam-packed room at Johnny Brenda’s
Mainly, much of the book deals with Mould’s struggles to come to grips with who he really is.
In other words, the new songs fit in so perfectly with the old stuff that The Smithereens should be commended.
For starters, this was the fourth time I’d seen them at the First Unitarian Church since early 2007.