Posts Tagged ‘cambridge’

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Emerging models for new music: Illius Rock

January 26, 2009

illius-rock

We’ve spent a bunch of time here at z=z discussing different models for the future of music. Here’s an interesting one. Boston-based Illius Rock runs ‘campaigns’ for artists. Emerging artists ask their fans to make contributions, typically for studio expenses, to shoot videos, touring and the like. In exchange, fans get treats, like exclusive songs, parties, cameos in music videos and the like. Interested in learning more? They’re throwing a launch party tonight (Monday, January 26th) at the Middlesex Lounge in Cambridge, featuring z=z faves The Main Drag.

MP3: The Main Drag – A Jagged Gorgeous Winter

[via Bradley’s Almanac]

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Concert notes: Ted Leo

December 8, 2008

[embedded YouTube video; if you can’t view it, click here]

[TT the Bear’s, Cambridge, MA; Saturday, December 6, 2008]

I really love Ted Leo. So it was terrific to seem him do a solo gig at the tiny TT the Bear’s in Cambridge, MA (capacity: about 300), even if it was utterly jammed. The setlist focused on his earlier albums and a succession of wonderful covers, including Bruce Springsteen’s “Dancing in the Dark” as a set closer. He also reprised his cover of “Fisherman’s Blues” by the Waterboys; you can hear his version during this NPR interview, and the original is below. The Cambridge gig is the start of the tour, and the rest of the dates are here.

MP3: The Waterboys – Fisherman’s Blues [amazon]

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Neophile: The Bloodsugars

November 19, 2008

bloodsugars

Along with Good Night, States, Brooklyn-based The Bloodsugars will be playing at the All-Asia in Cambridge, MA on Friday, November 21st. Their songs are best described as ‘sweetly catchy,’ like a more dance-y Belle and Sebastian. And like Belle and Sebastian, who come across as all twee on their records and totally rock out on stage, word on the street is that The Bloodsugars have a killer live show. If I wasn’t on the wrong coast, I know what I’d be doing on Friday night (although I will be at this, so you don’t have to feel too sorry for me).

Also check out the lovely video for ‘Purpose Was Again,’ with its Simon in the Land of the Chalk Drawings-style conceit (I’d have embedded it, but the DailyMotion player doesn’t seem to play nice with WordPress).

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MP3: The Bloodsugars – Bloody Mary

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Listen local, old school-style: Morphine

September 16, 2008

Lots of bands are described as having a unique sound. At the risk of offending high school English teachers, who remind us that ‘unique’ is definitively singular, I submit that some bands are more unique-sounding than others. Case in point, Morphine. Founded in Cambridge, MA, by Mark Sandman and Dana Colley, Morphine really didn’t sound like any other mid-90s indie bands (or anyone since, for that matter). Sandman’s description of the band as ‘low rock’ is a play on words in at least two ways – the first is for the downtempo, crooning style of the songs. But what really made Morphine sound different from anything else on the radio was the musical line-up, which consisted of Mark Sandman’s baritone vocals, his two-stringed bass guitar played with a slide, Colley’s baritone sax, and drums – a distinctively low-pitched sound. They broke out with their sophomore album, Cure for Pain, and achieved modest college-radio success in North America, together with more mainstream success in Europe. Shockingly, however, Mark Sandman suffered a fatal heart attack on stage in Rome at a 1999 show, and the band disbanded shortly thereafter—a short but notable chapter in Boston and indie-rock history.

MP3: Morphine – Super Sex

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zed equals zee goes west!

July 26, 2008

zed equals zee is heading west! We’re relocating to Seattle for a year. This blog will still focus on local music – it’ll just be a different version of local. So you have a favourite Seattle band, or are in a Seattle band, please tell us about it in the comments! And if you are a Boston band – say, one of these bands – I’d love it if you followed Freezepop‘s example and do a West Coast tour.

Also note that updating will be spotty this week, during the move. But stay tuned!

MP3: Hallelujah the Hills – Wave Backwards to Massachusetts

Image: Freeway Curves by Flickr user Slightlynorth, reposted here under its Creative Commons license.

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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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Concert notes: Destroyer

April 22, 2008

[Middle East Downstairs, Cambridge, MA; April 21, 2008]

I heart Dan Bejar. Backed by an able four-piece (plus his own guitar), he put on a relatively brief but typically intense show at the Middle East last night. Much as I liked Trouble in Dreams, I really enjoy the way Bejar’s voice sounds when it is freed of the studio – his albums are so carefully produced that it’s more than usually appealing to hear the sonic variations of the live performance. While I was a little sad not to hear some of my faves from Destroyer’s Rubies (such as “European Oils”), it was a good show overall.

tourdates (on Myspace)

Previously: Got a question for Dan Bejar?; Release notes: Destroyer, Trouble in Dreams