Record Store Day 2012: The Aftermath

April 23, 2012 in Miscellany

So, this year’s annual Record Store Day has come and gone, and what have we learned? For one thing, record collectors (and reseller scumbags) are taking this event more and more seriously with each passing year. My store of choice was the original Newbury Street location of Newbury Comics, where people had apparently begun lining up at midnight for a 10am start. When the doors finally opened, something resembling a stampede took place as the crowd poured into the store and immediately realized they weren’t actually sure where their personal treasure was to be found. In what was either a stroke of genius preventing a riot taking place around a single rack or a malevolent plot to drive music geeks desperately seeking that new St. Vincent 7″ insane, the Newbury employees had spread out the RSD exclusives throughout the store. It was a stroke of luck to stumble across what you were looking for without having to shove through/crawl under a wall of people or yell for someone to hand you something you couldn’t reach and hope they complied. In short, it was probably the most chaotic record buying experience of my life. Read the rest of this entry →

Show review: The Horrors at Paradise Rock Club – 4/11

April 18, 2012 in Show Reviews

Also published today was my writeup on last week’s Horrors show at the Paradise with Small Black. Check that out here at the WRBB radio blog, and see the full set of photos after the jump. Read the rest of this entry →

Show review: Lambchop at Paradise Rock Club – 4/17

April 18, 2012 in Show Reviews

Kurt Wagner’s long running alt-country collective Lambchop visited the Paradise last night in support of their new record Mr. M. Read the rest of this entry →

Show review: The Pains of Being Pure at Heart at afterHours, Northeastern University – 4/10

April 13, 2012 in Show Reviews

Northeastern brings something for the hipster crowd to Springfest 2012 with an afterHours show featuring shoegaze-leaning indie rockers The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, with support from Bear Hands. Read the rest of this entry →

Should you go all the way to Brooklyn to see Sigur Rós?

April 12, 2012 in News

Yeah, you probably should.

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.

Wilco added to Newport Folk Festival lineup

April 10, 2012 in News

The Newport Folk Festival, aka my non-Pitchfork summer festival venture, announced today the addition of a Friday night show featuring Blitzen Trapper, Megafaun and the mighty Wilco.

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.

Show review: The Magnetic Fields at Berklee Performance Center – 4/6

April 9, 2012 in Show Reviews

Former Boston natives The Magnetic Fields returned Friday night for the first of two shows at Berklee in support of their latest studio effort Love at the Bottom of the Sea. Read the rest of this entry →

Stream the new Spiritualized record!

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.

Happy G.O.O.D. Saturday

April 7, 2012 in News

Yeah, I’m a day late on this post.

Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. Fridays series has officially returned this week with a new group single called ‘Mercy’ featuring Big Sean, Pusha T and 2 Chainz. In addition, Kanye also treated us to ‘Theraflu,’ a new track featuring (ahem) DJ Khaled. Both songs are streaming now over at Kanye’s site.

Based on a few listens through each, I’m giving the edge to ‘Mercy.’ Bass-y production from ‘Kanye protege’ Lifted (with assistance from the man himself, according to MTV) is killer. I have no idea what’s being sampled here, but it sounds exceedingly cool. That down-pitched hook is also pretty great, and shifting the beat into something completely different from the rest of the song for Kanye’s verse is a nice touch. Lyrically, this is pretty straightforward money/drugs/cars/women fare, but done in a stylish enough way that it doesn’t feel dull or frustrating. Leave it to Kanye and company to pull that off on a regular basis.

‘Theraflu’ is something of a different beast. The track is credited as ‘featuring DJ Khaled,’ but it might as well be a Yeezy solo venture. In keeping with his character, Khaled doesn’t actually do anything on the song apart from yelling his and Kanye’s names. His nonsense is a typically head-scratching inclusion. Kanye’s verses here are at least slightly weightier than anything from ‘Mercy.’ He’s got a thing or two to say about his current and former dating situations, in between the boasts about $6,000 pairs of shoes and the various ways in which he can and will embarrass you. The beat feels sparser than ‘Mercy,’ and less attention-grabbing. It suffices, but it’s nothing special. I suppose this track also earns some special sort of credibility for drawing the ire of both PETA and Theraflu.

Neither of these tracks really measure up to most of the material on My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (indisputably Kanye’s best record), but having more Yeezy in our lives is never a bad thing. Let’s hope this G.O.O.D. Friday wasn’t a one-off.

Show review: Of Montreal at Paradise Rock Club – 4/1

April 6, 2012 in Show Reviews

Kevin Barnes and his merry band of musicians and costume changing ninjas descended on the Paradise Sunday night for a ridiculous and ridiculously fun show. Read the rest of this entry →