This past weekend, shoegaze legends My Bloody Valentine miraculously followed through on their long-promised new record. It is, of course, quite good. I haven’t undertaken the sizable task of properly reviewing it yet, but I wrote up a little something for Tastemakers chronicling the dramatic evening of its release. Check that out here.
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 4, 2012 in News
New York-based experimental rock/jazz trio Zs are currently on the road, and they’ll stop by Boston’s Studio Soto for a show on Wednesday night.
Over the course of its decade-long existence, Zs has cycled through ten lineups with saxophonist and composer Sam Hillmer as the only consistent member. That constant rearrangement of personnel reflects the band’s many, oft-contradictory but consistently fascinating musical directions. Zs’ most recent release, the four-disc box set Score – The Complete Sextet Works 2002-2007, pulls together an overview of every disparate musical angle the group managed to touch upon during its first five years. Everything from minimalist ambient and noise pieces to free-jazz madness, rhythmically complex math rock, eerie choral chanting and what approaches conventional post-rock can be found somewhere on Score, which draws from studio recordings, outtakes and live performances to capture the many sides of a weirdly beautiful and totally engrossing band.
The current live lineup consists of Hillmer on sax, Patrick Higgins on guitar and Greg Fox on percussion. If footage from their August show at Brooklyn’s 285 Kent is anything to go by, Boston should be in for a hell of a performance on Wednesday night. Local ‘drums and drone’ duo TAPS will open, and doors are at 7:30. More info and ticket information here.
For the experimentally- or generally open-minded, this is not one to miss.
July 9, 2012 in News
The ever-prolific John Darnielle announced today that The Mountain Goats’ new record, Transcendental Youth, would be released October 2nd on Merge Records. John discusses the origins of and inspiration behind the record here, and Consequence of Sound has the tracklist and the astoundingly great artwork. A limited edition pre-order of the album with a bonus 7″ will be available from Merge in a few weeks.
Darnielle is one of my favorite working songwriters, and The Mountain Goats have yet to disappoint me. Last year’s All Eternal’s Deck was one of their most varied and sonically interesting records yet, so I’m very much eager to here what’s in store this time around. The fact that Darnielle has already referred to this as the band’s “Satan record” has me extra stoked.
July 2, 2012 in News
I go to bed and wake to find that Girls have broken up. The lesson? Never sleep again, I guess. I should clarify that the San Francisco-based band has not officially ‘broken up,’ but with the departure of frontman/songwriter/vocalist Christopher Owens, that’s essentially all they can do. This bums me out for a couple of reasons. I didn’t get into Girls until last September, at which point I realized Album and the then-recent Father, Son and Holy Ghost were among the catchiest, most replayable and most relatable indie rock albums I’d heard in a long time. The nearly LP-length Broken Dreams Club EP soon proved to be just as essential. Owens is a fantastic songwriter backed by equally talented collaborators, and it’s a real shame that they won’t be working together anymore. Double sadness for me, since Girls were an apparently awe-inspiring live band who I was never able to see. Their last Boston gig was the same night as a Stephen Malkmus show at the Royale, which my never-ending Pavement fandom forced me to attend instead. Sadness all around. Click on for a rundown of the day’s much less depressing music news. Read the rest of this entry →
June 27, 2012 in News
Noise-rock gods Swans will be releasing a gargantuan double CD/triple LP album entitled The Seer on August 28th. In support of it they will be touring Europe and the US from August through December, with a stop at Boston’s Paradise Rock Club on October 11th. Swans played the Royale on their last Boston visit, and while the show was still stellar, the nightclub atmosphere and early curfew were slightly off-putting. A Paradise show will likely be a better experience. Just be prepared for volume levels which will physically assault you, especially in a room that size.
Yoni Wolf’s indie rock/hip-hop project Why? also announced a tour today, in support of new EP Sod in the Seed and a forthcoming, untitled as of yet new album. They’ll hit the Middle East Downstairs on September 12th. Don’t forget that that Wednesday also happens to be the second of two nights for The Jesus and Mary Chain at the Paradise, just so you can keep your potential show conflicts straight. Why?’s last record (2009’s Eskimo Snow) didn’t do a whole lot for me, but Alopecia remains a 2000s highlight. Surely there’s potential in new material that’s been gestating for three years now.
Check out full tour itineraries for both bands after the break. Read the rest of this entry →
Hey everyone. As you might have noticed, Everybody Talking has been rather sporadically updated in the past few months with pretty much nothing but show reviews. I’ll attribute this partially to my own laziness, but also to an unexpectedly high volume of non-music things happening in my life. Regardless, starting today I’ll be returning to more regular updates with news and editorial-type things. Show reviews for a ton of exciting things will continue through the summer, as well as festival coverage! In July I’ll be at Chicago’s Pitchfork Music Festival as well as the Newport Folk Festival in Rhode Island, reporting back with photos, reviews and whatever else is interesting enough to print.
For today though, some thoughts on a fascinating new Modest Mouse documentary from Pitchfork.tv and that NPR intern everyone is so angry at. Read the rest of this entry →
April 12, 2012 in News
The semi-legendary Icelandic post-rock band announced a short US tour today in support of their remarkably pronounceable new album, Valtari. These shows mark the band’s first live appearances since their ‘indefinite hiatus’ in 2008. The itinerary includes stops in Philadelphia, New York, Montreal, Chicago (for Lollapalooza) and several more cities. Boston is curiously and sadly absent from the list. I lamented this on Twitter and wondered aloud at a potential Boston date being added to the tour. The band responded with an implication that that would not be happening.
Conclusion? Us Bostonians should probably look into the July 31st show at Brooklyn’s Prospect Park if seeing Sigur Rós live is on our to-do lists this summer.
April 10, 2012 in News
Wilco will be on the road for much of the summer in continued support of last year’s excellent The Whole Love. I saw the band for the first time in Boston this past September, and it was a phenomenal show even under the limiting circumstances of an absurd 11pm curfew. This time should be even better, since it’s a general admission show where I’ll be able to get close rather than watching from fifty rows or so back in a theater. I can scarcely imagine a better plan for a summer evening than seeing Wilco under the stars. So very excited.
Other big names appearing at the fest include My Morning Jacket, Iron & Wine, Conor Oberst, Tune-Yards, The Tallest Man On Earth, Deertick, Sharon van Etten, and many many more. Check out the full lineup here, and details on the Wilco show here.
April 9, 2012 in News
I am unreasonably excited about the new Spiritualized album Sweet Heart Sweet Light, and you should be too! Stream the whole record over at NPR right now, over a week before its April 17th official release date.
Also, don’t forget that Jason Pierce and company will be in Boston at the Paradise on May 9th. Not a show you will want to miss.