Posts Tagged ‘boston’


The quintessential Boston New Year’s song

January 1, 2008

Pop open a bottle of bubbly – here’s to another goddamn New Year.

MP3: Dismemberment Plan -The Ice of Boston [live]


Listen local: Bon Savants

December 28, 2007

Bon Savants by Maryanne VentriceMy favourite rock and roll moment of 2007 was at a Bon Savants concert. At the end of their show at the Paradise Rock Club in Boston, frontman Thom Moran (everybody’s favourite rocket scientist) lifted his guitar over his head like a – literal – axe to mock-smash it down on the stage, in an homage-slash-parody to hard rockin’ guitarists everywhere. Unfortunately, its trajectory took it straight into a mirror ball hanging above him, and shards of glittering glass confetti’ed down onto the stage. The best part was the look on his face – any semblance of rock poseur was gone, and it was pure little boy, just got caught stealing cookies and worried about getting in trouble with mum.

Guilty looks aside, the Bon Savants play thoughtful, tuneful, sophisticated pop, mostly about love and loss but interwoven with scientific and other metaphors. Their self-released debut album, Post-Rock Defends the Nation, has been occupying a CD slot in my car stereo for most of the year. The standout track remains ‘Between the Moon and the Ocean,’ with ‘Mass Ave and Broadway’ a close second (despite the lyrics that refer to Porter Square as located at that intersection; in reality, Porter Square, Cambridge is at the intersection of Mass Ave and Somerville Ave).

Image: Bon Savants at the Mercury Lounge, New York, in June 2007. Photo by Maryanne Ventrice, reposted here under its Creative Commons license.

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MP3: Bon Savants – Between the Moon and the Ocean


Listen local: The Dresden Dolls

December 11, 2007

flyer from Dresden Dolls March 2003 show

The first local band that I heard after moving to Boston was the Dresden Dolls. I had gone to see Michael Gira play with his band, Angels of Light, in the South End in March 2003. Their opening act was an unknown folk-y singer that Gira had signed to Young God Records, with the unusually cross-cultural name of Devendra Banhart. But the local openers were a band called The Dresden Dolls, who were just astonishing – I vividly remember my first hearing of ‘Miss Me’ and ‘Coin-Operated Boy’ – and I also remember noticing Amanda Palmer’s modded keyboard, with the Kurzweil logo painted over to instead read ‘Kurt Weill.’ After their performance, I cornered Brian Viglione and told him how much I loved their music and that I was happy to discover that I was not the only person who listened to both the Buzzcocks and to Lotte Lenya. At the time, I remember thinking, ‘Well, I love them, but they’re never going to find a wide audience.’ Then, of course, I was mandible-to-the-mat astonished when they won the WBCN Rock’n’Roll Rumble a few months later (I mean, come on, the Rock’n’Roll Rumble?) and delighted by their subsequent success.

Sadly, I fear that they are drifting apart – Amanda is working on a solo album, produced by Ben Folds, and Brian has been playing with another local band, HUMANWINE (and I’ve heard a rumour that he’s accepted an invitation to join Nine Inch Nails permanently – well, insofar as any NIN band member is permanent), so I do wonder if the upcoming tour is their last.

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MP3: Dresden Dolls – Girl Anachronism


Concert notes: Battles

November 13, 2007

[Paradise, Boston; November 12, 2007]

They absolutely rock live. You should go see them. That is all.