“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 →

R.I.P. TT’s: A post-mortem on Boston’s most poorly-lit venue

September 7, 2015 in Features, Photos


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 →

2013 Year-End Lists and Thoughts

December 31, 2013 in Features

nickcaveMy 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.

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2013 Live Music Preview

January 16, 2013 in Features, News

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.

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The Top 20 Albums of 2012

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.

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Feature: Interview with Pat McGrath of Looney Tunes Records

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.

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Report: Newport Folk Festival

August 7, 2012 in Features, Photos, Show Reviews

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.

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“So, did Daft Punk really play at your house?”

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.

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Pitchfork Music Festival 2012 – Sunday

July 17, 2012 in Features, Photos, Show Reviews

The final day of Pitchfork Fest 2012 brought with it clear skies, hot temperatures and a rock-heavy lineup to close things off with a bang. Click on to check out the final round of reviews and photos, including Vampire Weekend, Beach House, Ty Segall, Real Estate and more. Read the rest of this entry →

Pitchfork Music Festival 2012 – Saturday

July 17, 2012 in Features, Photos, Show Reviews

Between the seemingly endless list of must-see sets and the disagreeable weather conditions, day two’s festivities alternately took on the feel of a grand-scope adventure and a punishing endurance test. Sets from Hot Chip, Sleigh Bells, Wild Flag, Godspeed You! Black Emperor and more reviewed and photographed inside. Read the rest of this entry →