I’ve totally neglected to do a proper shows/photo wrap-up at the end of a given year prior to this one, but given how insane 2015 was for my life in concert photography, I think it had to be done. I’m just gonna tackle this chronologically with favorite images and memories because, over the course of approximately 425 sets in 130 shows and 6 festivals, I’d be here til June trying to rank them. Read the rest of this entry →
December 31, 2015 in Features
This was an exceptionally good year for music. I don’t get around to writing about albums nearly as much as I write about live shows, so I thought I’d take the year-end opportunity to get some thoughts down on what resonated with me in 2015. I kept the list proper to 20 albums, in keeping with the lists I’ve done for the radio format in years past. I never really made ordered lists until I started doing radio in 2011 and needed one for a year-end show, and even though my radio career is no more (for now), it seemed like a good metric to stick with. Anyway, here’s the list – direct your hate mail accordingly. Read the rest of this entry →
November 26, 2015 in Features
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 →
July marked the end of the road for Cambridge’s storied TT the Bear’s place, but not before a special series of farewell shows and events. I missed most of the headline-generators, including surprise gigs from The Pixies and The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, but I figured I owed it to myself and the dingy bar where I’d first cut my teeth with music photography to see at least one last show. Read the rest of this entry →
December 31, 2013 in Features
My plans for a 2013 wrap-up were, as usual, a bit too ambitious. A set of favorite photos never came together, and a list of favorite performances simply didn’t have time for a proper writeup. Nonetheless, I tried to give my top 20 albums their due diligence and list off a few of my favorite live moments of the year before 2013 draws to a close.
The opening weeks of the year are always something of a wasteland for live music and for my own creative energy, hence the radio silence around here for the past two weeks. Luckily though, things will be heating up soon enough with a set of killer shows in the next few months. Read on for some recommendations of the first 2013 shows you shouldn’t miss.
December 30, 2012 in Features
A few weeks back, I counted down my favorite records of this year live on the air during my weekly radio show. Given the relatively limited audience of the tiny college radio station I broadcast from, I would gather that not too many people actually heard it. To cap off 2012, then, I decided to publish the list here with some short write-ups on the best the year had to offer.
November 1, 2012 in Features
A few weeks back I ventured out to the new location of mainstay Boston record store Looney Tunes and asked a few questions of owner Pat McGrath. Read on for some words of wisdom on the current state of the music business and the continuing virtues of vinyl in the full Q and A.
Last weekend marked the return of the long-running Newport Folk Festival to Rhode Island’s Fort Adams State Park. Despite some rainy interludes, the weekend brought a bevy of stellar performances from Wilco, My Morning Jacket, Conor Oberst, The Tallest Man On Earth, Iron & Wine and many more to the gorgeous seaside setting. Read on for set reviews and plenty of photos.
July 26, 2012 in Features
In a sense, last week’s premiere of Shut Up and Play the Hits marked the final comment on the demise of James Murphy’s beloved dance-rock project LCD Soundsystem. The new documentary covers the days immediately preceding and following LCD’s massive final show at Madison Square Garden through the eyes of its frontman. The film also focuses on many of the themes that the band itself mined over the course of its ten year existence: getting old, staying relevant, catching up with the rapid passage of time, and questioning how a self-proclaimed ‘normal guy’ fits into the rock star life. Thoughts on the film and the demise of one of last decade’s best and most important bands inside.