“Pygmalion” as Slowdive’s bummer ambient masterpiece

November 26, 2015 in Features

Slowdive at the Royale, 10/26/2014

A little Thanksgiving detour.

This isn’t apropos of anything really, but I think Pygmalion is probably Slowdive’s best record. The Reading-based quintet are one of the lynchpins of the Creation Records shoegaze heyday, largely thanks to their 1993 sophomore LP Souvlaki, which is widely regarded as an unimpeachable classic of the genre. I can’t argue with that. Souvlaki is certainly one of shoegaze’s purest, finest moments. Dreamy vocals, shimmering guitars routed through miles of effects pedals and a woozy, romantic atmosphere with flare-ups of muscular distortion – it’s all here and matched with impeccable songwriting and some cutting lyrics. I question the emotional sincerity of anyone who isn’t at least a little heartbroken each time they hear “Dagger.” I do think, though, that by a hair, Slowdive’s finest moment would be what came next.  Read the rest of this entry →

Mitski played Northeastern – 11/9

November 23, 2015 in Photos, Show Reviews


Brooklyn-based and Boston-beloved singer/songwriter Mitski stopped by Northeastern’s central Starbucks location/performance space earlier this month for a solo set of her disarmingly beautiful songs. I’d been impressed by her full-band opening sets in the past, for the likes of Speedy Ortiz and Hundred Waters, but she proved just as effective with a spare guitar-and-voice setup. Philly’s Cayetana and locals Littlefoot (in full-band incarnation this time) also played. In keeping with the venue’s tradition, we did not make it through the show without one of the bands making a Starbucks joke. Photos below.  Read the rest of this entry →

Deafheaven played Royale – 11/3

November 21, 2015 in Photos, Show Reviews


If we’ve met, you’re probably aware of my feelings on Deafheaven. The California-based black/post/gaze/whatever-metal band have been one of my favorite working acts since the release of their 2013 breakthrough Sunbather, and I talk about this frequently. They released their third record, New Bermuda, in October and hit the road this month with Swedish metal crew Tribulation and heavy Japanese post-rockers Envy. I wouldn’t miss it for the world.  Read the rest of this entry →

Garbage played The Orpheum – 10/21

November 19, 2015 in Photos, Show Reviews


Every concert shoot is challenging in one way or another, but there are some that really do try one’s patience to an abnormal degree. The Boston date on Garbage’s “20 Years Queer” tour – celebrating the 20th anniversary of their debut record – was one such instance, but also a valuable reminder that making due with circumstances you’re not thrilled about comes with the territory.   Read the rest of this entry →

Spirit Caravan played Brighton Music Hall – 10/20

November 18, 2015 in Photos


Long-running stoner-doom collective Spirit Caravan stormed Brighton Music Hall last month with co-headliners Bongzilla and support from Memphis’ Dirty Streets and locals Rozamov.  Read the rest of this entry →

Ghost Box Orchestra played Middle East Upstairs – 10/16

November 16, 2015 in Photos, Show Reviews


Ok, slightly behind on blog posting. But I’ll catch up. Here we have an excellent Friday night show from precisely a month ago, centering on Ghost Box Orchestra’s EP release and support from Major Stars, Boom Said Thunder and 28 Degrees Taurus.  Read the rest of this entry →

S played Lilypad – 10/13

November 2, 2015 in Photos, Show Reviews


S is the current project of Jenn Champion (formerly Jenn Ghetto) of 90s slowcore greats Carissa’s Wierd, who has released four albums under the moniker since 2001 and brought her tour in support of last year’s Cool Choices to the cozy Lilypad on a recent Tuesday night.  Read the rest of this entry →

Mercury Rev played Sinclair – 10/12

October 30, 2015 in Photos, Show Reviews

mercuryrev-1Long-running psychedelic pop experimentalists Mercury Rev headlined The Sinclair on Columbus Day, with support from a stripped-down incarnation of Boston’s Thick Wild.

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Makthaverskan played Great Scott – 10/8

October 29, 2015 in Photos, Show Reviews


Gothenburg, Sweden’s Makthaverskan, who specialize in a particularly effective brand of emotionally forthright and hook-y post-punk, played Great Scott earlier this month along with Denmark’s Lower.  Read the rest of this entry →

Hop Along played Northeastern – 9/12

October 26, 2015 in Photos


Saddle Creek affiliates Hop Along headlined the WRBB (104.9 FM) Block Party at the school I ostensibly attend last month, alongside Boston’s LVL UP and Antarctigo Vespucci, featuring Bomb the Music Industry’s Jeff Rosenstock and the world’s most challenging-to-pronounce-and-remember band name. A fun show from my former broadcast home – photos after jump.  Read the rest of this entry →