Posts Tagged ‘Concerts’

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z=z at Tourfilter Night, Thurs Sept 16

September 15, 2010

Cambridge! Somerville! Boston! Allston Rock City! Late notice, but I’m guest DJing at Tourfilter‘s monthly residency at River Gods, just outside Central Square, Cambridge this week: Thursday, September 16th, and the festivities start at 9 pm. Same drill as last time: my playlist is composed entirely of songs from artists with shows lined up for the Boston area in the next month or so. And the fall concert calendar looks fantastic.

UPDATED: (Friday, September 17th) Here’s the full playlist:

01     Guided By Voices, “I Am A Scientist”    Friday, November 5th at Paradise Rock Club

02      The Motion Sick, “Winged Bicycle”     Saturday, September 18th at TT the Bear’s

03     Great Big Sea, “When I’m Up (I Can’t Get Down)”     Friday, September 17th at Orpheum Boston

04     Screaming Females, “I Don’t Mind It”      Tuesday, September 28 TT the Bear’s Place

05     Me First and the Gimme-Gimmes, “The Rainbow Connection (Muppets cover)”    Thursday, October 21st at Paradise Rock Club

06     Superchunk, “Hyper Enough”     Tuesday, September 21st at Royale Boston

07     James, “Laid”     Saturday, September 25th at Paradise Rock Club

08     Belle and Sebastian, “Judy and the Dream of Horses”     Friday, October 15th at Wang Theatre

09     Frightened Rabbit, “Swim Until You Can’t See Land”     Friday, October 29th at Paradise Rock Club

10     Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling, “First We Take Manhattan” (Leonard Cohen cover)     Friday, September 24th at Church

11     Sufjan Stevens, “Chicago”     Wednesday, November 10th at Orpheum Theatre

12     Born Ruffians, “What to Say”     Wednesday, September 29th at The Middle East

13     Teenage Fanclub, “Your Love is the Place Where I Come From”     Saturday, September 25th at Royale Boston

14     Swans, “Love Will Tear Us Apart” (Joy Division cover)     Thursday, September 30th at Middle East Downstairs

15     Stars, “This Charming Man” (Smiths cover)     Thursday, September 23rd at House of Blues Boston

16     Mates of State, “Get Better”     Sunday, September 26th at Paradise Rock Club

17     Sea Wolf, “You’re a Wolf”     Tuesday, September 21st at Middle East Upstairs

18     Cake, “Short Skirt, Long Jacket”     Saturday, September 18th at Orpheum Theatre

19     Oranjuly, “I Could Break Your Heart”     Thursday, September 16th at Great Scott

20     Pavement, “Stereo”     Saturday, September 18th at Agannis Arena

21     Of Montreal, “Coquet Coquette”     Thursday, September 16th at House of Blues Boston

22     Broken Social Scene, “Texico Bitches”     Friday, September 17th at House of Blues Boston

23     Built to Spill, “You Were Right”     Friday, October 1st at Paradise Rock Club

24     Sleigh Bells, “Tell ‘Em”     Tuesday, September 28th at Orpheum Theatre

25     The Xx, “VCR (Matthew Dear remix)”     Sunday, October 3rd at Orpheum Theatre

26     Holy Fuck, “Lovely Allen”     Sunday, September 19th at Paradise Rock Club

27     Gary Numan, “Cars”     Thursday, October 22nd at Paradise Rock Club

28     Caribou, “Odessa”     Sunday, September 19th at Paradise Rock Club

29     Ratatat, “Drugs”     Wednesday, September 29th at Paradise Rock Club

30    LCD Soundsystem, “Dance Yrself Clean”     Tuesday, September 28th at Orpheum Theatre


Image: River Gods by brixton, used here under its Creative Commons license.

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There’s no place like home

August 5, 2009

ruby-slippers

Zed equals zee is back in 02139, hurrah! Postings will be light this week, thanks to Verizon deciding they need an entire week to turn the phone service on in my apartment, but I’m psyched to return to a bunch of zed equals zee local faves doing live shows. Tomorrow night (Thursday, August 6th), The Main Drag [myspace] is headlining at the Middle East Upstairs, and The Lights Out are playing with The Divorced at TT the Bear‘s (and if you’re looking for a few seconds of fame, The Lights Out will be shooting a music video at the gig). And on Saturday night, The Motion Sick will be part of the Third Annual 08.08 Party, also at the Middle East Up. And there’s a bunch of shows on my calendar for the second  half of the month (like Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling and Gene Dante and the Future Starlets). And I’m really, really looking forward to the musical and community experience  of One Night Band, presented by Boston Band Crush, on August 29. It’s good to be home!

MP3: The Lights Out – Miss Fortune [download EP]

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Songkick: social media site for concerts

June 10, 2009

songkick screenshot

Songkick brings together two bright spots in the world of music: fan communities, and live music. On the one hand, it’s an evolving database of live shows, complete with dates, opening bands, and fan-uploaded media like photos, posters and (of course) ticket stubs. On the other hand, you can be a Twitter-like follower of not just artists, but also venues and other users, whether they are your friends from down the block or a music editor on the other side of the world.

While there is lots of concert information on the web, it’s primarily sequestered on either artist sites or on music blogs. Songkick scrapes the web to find information related to live shows, but it seems like the predominant source of content is from users. Like all crowdsourced/social media sites, it’ll continue to get better as more people use it. At the moment the database is still a bit rocky. A search of ‘The Mountain Goats‘ returns two entries: one with an uploaded photo but no concerts, and the other with a 477-show ‘gigography’ but no photos. And the latter doesn’t include the Somerville, MA show on March 25th of this year, which Brad of the eponymous Almanac did a fantastic job of describing, recording, and sharing.

I’d love to see a local music scene make the most of Songkick by ensuring that local indie shows make it onto the site (hint,  Boston Band Crush, ahem): it seems that the ability to follow and connect with other users would be particularly compelling if you could meet them at concerts around town.

[via Underwire]

MP3: John Darnielle – Beach House [with thanks to Bradley's Almanac; go read what Brad had to say about the show here]

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No service fees on lawn tix from Live Nation

June 3, 2009

LN no feesJust a reminder that Live Nation is waiving the service fee on lawn tickets to a bunch of outdoor amphitheatre concerts today, starting at 12:01 am in your local time zone. Bands include The Killers, Nine Inch Nails and Jane’s Addiction, and Depeche Mode. Wired has the full list.

MP3: The Killers – Andy, You’re a Star [buy]

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Music venues with good food

April 30, 2009

middle_east

A recent article in Gourmet, “Eight Great Rock Venues With Great Food,” combines two of my obsessions, food and live music (three if you count travel) The article is written by Mia Clarke, guitarist of Electrelane (who are now on indefinite hiatus), and is gleaned from her years of touring with the band. Cambridge’s own Middle East made the cut for its fare, as did the Bite Cafe at the Empty Bottle in Chicago. Nothing made the list from Seattle, sadly (although the Triple Door got a shout-out in the comments). While not on Clarke’s list, the reputation of Stubbs Bar-B-Q in Austin has reached the barbecue-deprived north, and I’m looking forward to checking it out this summer (SXSWers, any feedback?). I’d also add Toronto’s Sneaky Dee’s for its Mexican fare; it frequently appears in the Scott Pilgrim graphic novels, and his band, Sex Bob-omb plays there (inevitably, the performance is interrupted by a homicidal robot, which Scott fights off with his bass guitar).

Check out the list, and then tell us what you think it’s missing. Where do you go in your ‘hood for good food and good music?

MP3: Electrelane – To The East [buy]

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Boston music bloggers (re)present!

April 19, 2009

cycle-kids-middlesex

Two great shows early this week, presented by Boston music bloggers. Slightly belated notice for a night of indie electro with Count Rockula and Cassette tonight (Sunday, April 19th) at the Middlesex Lounge, presented by Enough Cowbell. It’s a benefit for Cycle Kids, and you should go.

rsl-presents

On Tuesday night (April 21st), Ryan’s Smashing Life presents a terrific lineup including z=z faves Logan 5 and the Runners, The Lights Out, Fishhawk, and Hundred Years War. It’s at Great Scott in Allston.

MP3: The Lights Out – Miss Fortune [artist site]

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Live music apps for the iPhone

April 13, 2009

gigotron bandloop

I’m a big fan of live music, but I also understand that there is a bit of a barrier. Unlike going to your favourite bar, live music is an ever-changing landscape. Two new iPhone apps for live music are working to make it easier.

Gigotron, which won an award for best mobile app at SXSW Interactive, was originally only available for New York, LA, and San Francisco, but recently rolled out an update that includes Seattle. To be precise, it includes ‘Seattle-Tacoma,’ which I wouldn’t exactly consider one city. The listings are presented as a time-ordered list (based on doors, I presume). The information about the bands is pretty good, but not exhaustive, obviously; a quick check of Saturday night shows resulted in descriptions for The Gaslight Anthem, the Heartless Bastards, and local band The Whore Moans, but not for fellow locals Peter Parker. But the venue information is minimal, at best. Not only does it fail to specify city or neighborhood within Gigatron, but the ‘map this venue’ button seems to only send street address (not city) information to Google Maps, which means I ended up with locations in Skagit and Vancouver. Not good.

Bandloop takes the opposite tack. Rather than focusing on artists, it focuses on your location, using the GPS info in the 3G iPhone to find you. Event information is presented as a map, and you can drill down for venue and artist information. The info page for each event includes the address of the venue, together with its website and the website of the artist. At the moment, it doeen’t seem to include Myspace pages, which means its easier to get information on more established bands. But I’m not really thrilled with having to go to artist websites to get any idea about their music, especially not on my phone.

I much prefer Bandloop’s location-based interface, but would love it if it included in-line capsule descriptions like Gigotron. Both of these apps are solid betas, but I don’t think I’d want to rely on either of them to make my Saturday night plans.

MP3: The Gaslight Anthem – Old White Lincoln [buy]

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Great Lake Swimmers and Mother Mother

March 31, 2009

great_lake_swimmers02

Two bands I love are both playing tonight (Tuesday, March 31st) in Seattle – somewhat to my dismay, since I’m in Boston.

If you happen to be in Seattle, this is the plan: Head to the High Dive in Fremont around nine, to catch Mother Mother, the opening act for Sam Roberts. Then quietly sidle out (you can see Mr. Roberts next time) and head two miles up NW Leary Way to the Tractor Tavern in Ballard to catch Great Lake Swimmers (above). They’re supporting their spanking-new album, Lost Channels, out today. Go see both bands if you can.

MP3: Mother Mother – Body of Years [buy]

MP3: Great Lake Swimmers – Pulling on a Line [buy]

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This weekend in Seattle: z=z recos

February 19, 2009


[embedded YouTube video; if you can't watch it, click here]

Some recommendations for this weekend in Seattle (which hasn’t been getting much z=z love recently):

Thursday, February 19th: Our new favourite local band, Hey Marseilles, has its first headlining show at Neumo’s. Doors at 7 pm. Check out the video above for a taste of their live show.

Friday, February 20th: This month’s Broken Disco, a monthly show by a collective of local electronica collectives, is the third Friday of the month at Chop Suey.  This month features a DJ set by Jona (Berlin; Get Physical) and a live set by Nutownproject (Berlin; Recode/Immigrant). Doors at 9; $10 cover before 10 pm.

Saturday, February 21st: Get your evening started at the Three Imaginary Girls‘  listening party for Dark Was The Night (which is terrific, incidentally). It’s at Moe Bar, from 7 to 9 pm. Then mosey next door for the AC Newman show at Neumo’s.

MP3: AC Newman – There Are Maybe Ten or Twelve [buy]

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To legislators, on the TM/Live Nation merger

February 11, 2009

ticketmaster_logo2livenation_logo1

As of yesterday morning, Ticketmaster and Live Nation announced that they’d merge into a single entity, with the caveat that the merger is still subject to regulatory approval.

If you’re a legislator or a civil servant who’ll be involved in deciding whether the new entity will violate anti-trust laws, you probably know about about the concerns with Ticketmaster and its in-house secondary market, TicketsNow (if not, you can ask Bruce Springsteen). And you should be alerted by phrases like ‘the creation of an entertainment powerhouse of game-changing proportions‘ or ‘the most powerful and influential entity the music business has ever known‘ appearing in news stories about the merger.

But what I really suggest you do is the following: Take a look at the concert listings for your city, and choose an artist that you would like to see. Then go to the Ticketmaster website and ‘buy’ tickets for the concert. Here’s my test run: I picked The Killers, playing at the WaMu Center in Seattle on April 22nd. The face value of each ticket was $33, and after I selected ’2′ as the number of tickets, I got the first of the additional charges: $9.70 x 2 and $2 x 2 in ‘convenience’ and ‘building’ fees (can’t they do the arithmetic and give me the total charge?). Then I chose their ‘recommended’ delivery method, a PDF of the tickets – apparently it costs them $2.50 to send me an e-mail that I have to print out myself (maybe they could get some hints from the airlines). Next, I logged into an existing account, but if you haven’t bought tickets from Ticketmaster before (lucky you!), you have to create an account. After investing all of that time in the purchase, I got an extra little surprise: $5.35 in ‘processing’ charges. Final tally: $97.25 for $66 worth of tickets, or a markup of 47% on each ticket. Needless to say, I didn’t push the ‘submit order’ button.

If you went through that process, especially for a band you do want to see, you probably feel like you’ve been held up by your ankles and shaken repeatedly to dislodge all the money from your pockets. So ask yourself this: is this the behavior of a company that is vying with its competitors? Or is it the behavior of a company whose business model is predicated on maximizing what the buyer is willing to endure? Ticketmaster already has a monopoly, if not over all live music, then certainly over a large chunk of artists and venues. Live Nation is the same. Given their current behavior, do we really want to allow them to join forces extend their de facto monopolies even further?

There is no way this merger is good for the consumer. Please do the right thing and refuse to approve it.

UPDATE: Less than a day later, and the Justice Department has already announced that it will scrutinize the merger; the investigation may take up to six months.

MP3: The Killers – Smile Like You Mean It [buy]

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Coverage: The Motion Sick at Influenza

January 28, 2009

influenza

Tomorrow night (Thursday, January 29) is the premiere of “Influenza,” a new Boston-based monthly show that features local artists playing a mix of their original material and covers of songs that influenced them (hence the title). I think this is a great idea – one of the things that makes it a little tough to see a new band for the first time is the absence of the familiar. You don’t really know what they sound like, or what to expect, and unless you are a dedicated neophile, that’s a little off-putting. “Influenza” makes it a little easier to go out and try some new music, because you know you’ll hear something you’ll recognize, even if it’s from a band you’ve never heard before. Conversely, however, you’ll get to hear original music too – it’s a far cry from cheesy cover bands.

So go check out the show tomorrow night at Great Scott. If you need some additional motivation, this show includes z=z faves (and fellow bloggers) The Motion Sick.

Boston Globe article on Influenza

MP3: The Motion Sick – 30 Lives [buy]

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Concert notes: Jonathan Coulton

January 27, 2009

joco

So, last Friday, my friend dragged me out to see this guy Jonathan Colton. We got there right at eight and we didn’t have to wait very long at all, which was good because my mom wanted me home by 11. *pout*

The opening band were pretty fun – I don’t really remember their name. Paul and…something? Thunder? But ewww! One of them got some things called jafa cakes, they didn’t really look like cakes, they looked more like cookies and he dropped one on the floor and HE PICKED IT UP AND ATE IT! EWWW GROSS!!!

I didn’t really get a lot of the main guys songs. There seemed to be a lot of robots. And there was something about a vacuum cleaner? All of the songs seemed to be about guys who have crushes on girls. Just ask them out already! Unless you’re really a dork, cause then they’ll probably just say no.

All in all, it was a pretty good concert. I got to wear a really cute outfit but it was really, really cold in the theatre so I had to keep my coat on so no one could see it. But it was still really cute.

Current mood: :) happy

[For those of you thinking 'WTF?', today is Rabbit Hole Day. For those of you not thinking 'WTF?', might I refer you to some of my other postings? If you actually prefer this one, you may wish to return to the LiveJournal from whence you came. And my sincerest apologies to Jonathan Coulton and to Paul and Storm.]

MP3: Jonathan Coulton – Shop Vac

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The changing economics of touring

January 9, 2009

madonna

Two recent articles, one in the Economist’s culture magazine (link) and one in the Independent (link) both take the recently released 2008 concert revenue figures as a starting point to discuss the future of touring musical acts. Unsurprisingly, the Economist gives a deeper historical perspective (I’m impressed by their ability to work in a reference to Tom Stoppard), whereas the Independent’s article focuses more on the numbers, including a list of the highest-grossing tours of 2008, with Madonna (pictured) at the top of the heap. The Independent reports that music sales have fallen in the last five years due to, among other factors, “the corrosive effects effects of piracy.” They also note that concert revenues are up by 13%. While they fail to connect these two things, both articles quote David Bowie:

The absolute transformation of everything that we ever thought about music will take place within ten years, and nothing is going to be able to stop it. …Music itself is going to be like running water or electricity…you’d better be prepared for doing a lot of touring because that’s really the only unique situation that’s going to be left.

Even more remarkable is that it’s from an interview with the New York Times in 2002.

MP3: David Bowie – Hang on to Yourself [buy]

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Upcoming: Rolling Tundra Revue 2009

December 17, 2008

constantines

The Constantines and the Weakerthans are teaming up again to reprise their 2005 Rolling Tundra Revue tour. As the name suggests, they’ll be touring all across Canada, starting in St Johns, Newfoundland in March 2009 and ending with a show in Whitehorse, in the Yukon Territory. They won’t be crossing into the US on this tour, but I’ll probably brave the border crossing to catch one of the Vancouver shows in early May.

Full tour details at Epitaph’s site.

MP3: The Constantines – Hard Feelings [amazon]

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Upcoming: Sloan, Parallel Play

June 7, 2008

Sloan - Parallel Play

Sloan’s new album, Parallel Play, drops next Tuesday, June 10th. They are supporting it with a short tour and will be hitting Cambridge, MA on June 18th (yes, I will be there), returning to TT the Bear’s. I saw them the last time they were there – as well as being enormously fun live, they had the best response to Cambridge’s rather draconian curfew that I’ve ever encountered. They announced that they wouldn’t bother with a (manufactured) encore. Instead, they played until the stroke of 1am. Chris Murphy was fronting the band for the last song, and when they finished, he just set aside his guitar, sat down on the edge of the stage, and began to chat with the fans.

MP3: Sloan – I’m Not a Kid Anymore

website myspace emusic amazon

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The logical outcome of OCD ticket purchasing

May 16, 2008

I’ll freely admit to my obsessive-compulsive tendencies, and their manifestation in my ticket purchasing habits are only further enabled by Tourfilter and my proximity to music venues in Central Square, Cambridge, like TT the Bear’s Place and the Middle East. But I seem to have taken them to their logical extreme when I went to buy Sloan tickets for their June 18th show – check out the numbers in the upper-right corners.

Sloan: website myspace

MP3: Sloan – Who Taught You to Live Like That?

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Concert planning: Tourfilter

April 6, 2008

tourfilter

Remember all those times you heard that a band you like played in your town only after the concert? Tourfilter is what you use to make sure this doesn’t happen.

All you do is register, and then enter a list of artists you want to see. Tourfilter scrapes online concert listings for your city and, when it finds a match to a band on your list, sends you an e-mail with the information. The website is reminiscent of Craigslist, with a minimalist aesthetic and a simple, user-friendly interface. That’s pretty much it. It’s brilliant.

For a slightly less minimalist experience, check out the Tourfilter night at River Gods, in Cambridge, MA. Chris and his guest DJs play songs from artists that are going to be performing in the area soon. While you are listening to the songs (and snarfing River Gods’ wonderful fries with aioli), you can text for details on the artist, date and venue, and sometimes other fun info too.

more about Tourfilter

Next Tourfilter night at River Gods: Thursday, April 17th, 9 pm (normally the third Thursday of the month)

Tourfilter on Facebook (login required)

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Concert notes: Miracle Fortress

March 25, 2008

[Middle East Upstairs, Cambridge, MA; March 22, 2008]

Montreal-based Miracle Fortress played a sold-out show at the Middle East Upstairs, opening for fellow Canadian scenesters The Most Serene Republic. Based on their single ‘Hold Your Secrets to Your Heart,’ I expected them to be quite a bit more ethereal than they were, especially given their fairly dreamy start – frontman Graham Van Pelt began with a solo piece. Instead, driven by Jordan Robson-Cramer’s propulsive drumming, they turned out to rock quite a bit. Their set was mostly drawn from their first full-length release, Five Roses (which, if you grew up in Canada, doesn’t evoke music so much as it does baking), as well as some new material.

myspace emusic amazon

MP3: Miracle Fortress – Maybe Lately

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Upcoming: March concerts

March 2, 2008

[Click on the photo and mouse over for details.]

See also: Holy Fuck, British Sea Power, Mountain Goats

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Concert notes: Born Ruffians

March 2, 2008

[Middle East Upstairs, Cambridge MA; February 29, 2008]

Toronto-based trio Born Ruffians played at the Middle East Upstairs on Friday night. They were astonishingly tight, especially considering that it was only the second night of their tour. Luke LaLonde’s jagged, warbling vocals were ably backed by both bassist Mitch DeRosier and Steve Hamelin, the drummer, leading to an almost 50s vibe, with barbershop-quartet-style harmonies. The cheerful-sounding music belies dismal lyrics, however, like these from “Badonkadonkey”: The disappearing kindness/that I show for you, I know/the loving that you gave to me/was wasted too. Their new album, Red, Yellow and Blue, is slated for release on on Tuesday, March 4th (I nabbed a physical CD – complete with lyrics sheet – at their concert).

Link to MP3 download page: Born Ruffians – Badonkadonkey

website myspace

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