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Posts Tagged ‘Music’

Raise your hand if you really like(d) The Field Mice.

Okay, now keep it up if you think the Pastels and the Vaselines are/were adorable and enjoy subjecting your significant other to “Truckload of Trouble” on long car rides.
Two hands up if you sing along.

Okay, good…

Now keep your hands up if you actually went out and laid down cash money for the Galaxie 500 box set of crappy Mid East up footage.

If your hand is still up you need to go buy The Pains of Being Pure at Hearts “Higher Than the Stars” on September 22nd – and I’m guessing that if you were raising your hands so hard and excitedly at the mentions of those adorable bands you’ll tweak over their Stuart Murdoch-esque cover art as well.

Look.

Higher Thanthe Stars

Remember to breathe!

They kick off their tour September 5th at the Middle East Downstairs in Cambridge.

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I go to a lot of shows these days (probably too many) but it’s usually worth it, especially when I stumble upon a band like Hot Box. I caught this Cambridge four-piece at Great Scott recently for the release of their debut LP Four Eyes (check out some fancy photos from the gig below). If sparkly dual guitar lines are your thing, you will find a lot to like here – same goes for fans of hypnotic female vocals and hi-hat. Album opener “Busy, Busy, Busy” shows the outstanding rhythm section at the peak of its powers, driving an addictive, spiraling riff. The band’s “indie post rock” tag is apt – “Chainsmokers” sounds like late Sonic Youth, and “I’ll Tell You Later” (my favorite track) recalls Tortoise at their most epic. Great stuff. We hope you like it.

MP3: Hot Box – Busy, Busy, Busy

hotbox_rh2 hotbox_gg1
hotbox_gt2 hotbox_dr1

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gigboston1Last weekend, Sophie and I embarked on a four-day, TLOS expense account-draining road trip that led us from Boston through scenic New York (upstate, central, and western; it’s not all upstate, people – look at a damn map!), Pennsylvania’s famed “chimney” region, and our final destination: Oberlin, Ohio. Those of you following our Tweets should already be familiar with the trip’s highlights (notably Waffle House, blue cheese dressing, shuffleboard, my opera singing little brother, etc) and, rest assured, each will be revisited in a series – wait, no, a smattering (best word ever) – of thrilling posts in coming days. 

This post, however, will spotlight a local band whose music (incidentally) is the perfect soundtrack to driving the coast of Cayuga – New York’s longest Finger Lake – to Ithaca for Thai food and waterfalls.

This band is called Shoney Lamar and the Equal Rights – and they’re performing tonight – for three measly dollars! – at the Central Square’s underrated All Asia, 334 Mass Ave. 8:00 p.m. doors; music at 9:00. 

We hope you enjoy their dark, bluesy, Tom Waits meets The Pixies, blood-splattered strumming hand intensity as much as we do. They’re performing with the similarly Waits/Pixies-influenced Kingsley Flood (which, at full disclosure, features me on bass), Stargraph, and Climbing Ardeshir. This shindig celebrates the release of a new literary arts magazine called Gigantic Sequins. Culture yourself here.  

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From Hypebot – though most of this is fairly obvious, TLOS is a sucker for nifty charts and diagrams. Enjoy!

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By guest blogger Mercy James

I’ve played at least 5 different Battle of the Bands over the years.

It started in high school when all the bands in the suburban wasteland of Coral Springs, Florida would converge on the roller skating rink once a year for a showdown.

The big deal in those days was stunts. The wackier you were the better you went over with the crowd. I rode a skateboard on stage with my band (Matrix) and wore various wigs and masks and even jumped on a trampoline.

Although it all made for a good show, we never won. Part of our problem was the way they picked the winners… a show of hands. Absolutely the dumbest way to pick a winner ever. First of all it basically was simply a count of how many people you brought in… not really a judgment on your show. But you also had to rely on the counting skills of the MC.

Nevertheless… there was some talented folks in my town… including future members of Marilyn Manson and the Spooky Kids and Saigon Kick.

The best I ever did in a Battle of the Bands was at the WPBZ Battle of the Bands in West Palm Beach. I always had a problem putting a band together down there for some reason. So I entered the contest as a solo acoustic singer. Amazingly I won my round and advanced to the finals.

Well perhaps not so amazingly actually. One of the bands I was up against was a techno-rockabilly band who had some technical difficulties. It seemed that most of their sound was generated by computer or was pre-recorded. And unfortunately they had computer problems. So even though they had a drummer, bassist, guitarists and a vocalist… they simply couldn’t perform without the computer. 

I actually had to fly back down to Florida to perform in the finals as I had moved to Boston right after my preliminary round not thinking I had a chance to win. If I were to win the finals, I would win cash, equipment and studio time. I really wanted to win but still thought it was a longshot being solo acoustic boy.

And as I took the stage… my insecurity was amplified by the mass of skinhead punk dudes in the audience shouting profanity at me and giving me the finger. I wasn’t really playing folky acoustic stuff for the most part. In fact, I thought maybe some of my punkier numbers could win them over. But then I realized that they were fans and members of the band that was following me. They weren’t just being punks… they actually wanted me to lose.

The worst was this one guy who during all my songs gave me the finger and kept motioning his finger across his neck like he wanted to kill me. I was starting to get really annoyed at this guy midway through my set as it was pretty distracting.

So as I was about to launch into my song about falling in love with a skinhead girl (“Little Miss Swastika”) I said “This song is dedicated to the bald fat guy standing in the middle!” Not a wise thing to do. First of all it alienated all the bald and fat people in the audience (a surprisingly large contingent). But worse… it sent an unstable punk dude into kill mode.

As I played my tune, I could see the crazed skinhead push through the crowd on his way to the stage. I had no idea what his plans were. But I didn’t have much time to ponder it as before I knew it he was standing right next to me while I was mid-song. I think he was a little confused as to what to do too as I couldn’t really defend myself while playing acoustic guitar. But rather than punching me (or stabbing me) he just pushed me with extreme force until I smashed into the ground (luckily my guitar survived).

He left the stage and I took to the mic and called security. The crowd (and the judges) was thoroughly confused. Many thought it was part of the act. But when the bouncers descended and grabbed the guy, people started getting even more uncomfortable as it was obviously not part of the show.

As they dragged him away he shouted “I’m going to fucking kill you! As soon as you go to your car I’m going to fucking kill you!”

The police showed up and remained a presence for the rest of my set and the following set of the punk guys. All my friends were completely freaked out and thought there was a good chance I would be killed later on.

I wasn’t. But I lost. I think I could have won too because that punk band sucked. But I let my anger get the best of me and I caused a scene that didn’t need to happen. Lesson learned.

The next day the guys on the morning show talked about my performance and the incident more than they talked about the winner. They even played one of my tunes. So it wasn’t all bad I guess. And that’s my story about a battle of the bands that turned into an actual battle.

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Courtesy of cool new blog discovery Minneapolis Fucking Rocks (great name – and you don’t even have to live in Minneapolis to read it – just like you don’t need to be from Boston to enjoy TLOS), Phoenix has released a second single from their forthcoming album out May 25. The song is called “Girlfriend.” It probably won’t blow you away instantly like “1901,” but it does has a nice, understated charm. Listen to it here.

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Ah … “Heartbeats.” OK, I’ll admit it – my introduction to this sparkly modern pop classic came when a friend emailed me that Sony Bravia “bouncy balls” clip days before I hopped on a plane to San Francisco. The cover by José González seemed so natural that I was shocked to later find out it wasn’t actually his song. The cold, totally synthetic sounding original, by electropop duo and fellow Sweeds The Knife, seemed light years away from González’ gentle finger picking, but surprisingly, it’s the version I’ve grown to prefer. Now your friendly neighborhood bloggers at the Limits of Science would like to know what you think. Check out the clips below and give us your feedback in the comments section. We like comments; they make us feel whole again, even if the sensation is only temporary. 

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