Reverse @ Q Division 12.11.2015

    Reverse @ Q Division 12.11.2015

    Here’s Reverse, continuing to be one of my favorite bands in town at the Q Division Holiday Party.

    Party Bois @ The Sinclair 12.9.2015

    Party Bois @ The Sinclair 12.9.2015

    Party Bois made The Sinclair their own personal pleasuredome during the 2015 Boston Music Awards.

    Dirty Bangs @ The Sinclair 12.9.2015

    Dirty Bangs @ The Sinclair 12.9.2015

    Dirty Bangs’ set at The Sinclair for the 2015 Boston Music Awards was all that is good an holy about the church of rock ‘n’ roll.

    Will Dailey @ The Sinclair 12.9.2015

    Will Dailey @ The Sinclair 12.9.2015

    Will Dailey took home the “Male Vocalist of the Year” award at The Sinclair.

    Sidewalk Driver @ The Sinclair 11.25.2015

    Sidewalk Driver @ The Sinclair 11.25.2015

    We love Sidewalk Driver. We’re so thankful they spent the night with us at The Sinclair for the Daykamp Poster & Photo Show.

    The Easy Reasons – “Williamsburg” (2016)

    the easy reasons williamsburg
    The Easy Reasons
    “Williamsburg”
    2016

    The Easy Reason’s latest is a slow-burn cousin to their first. “Williamsburg” has the same live-on-the-edge sense of abandon as “Piece,” their debut single from a couple of years ago. Both songs rip when they want to, but experience finds the group a little darker, a little dirtier, a little more content to take their time. They’re deep in it on this one. Drivin’ to fast with your brakes cut loose. I’ll keep The Easy Reasons.

    Where to get it:

    Dirty Bangs – “Your Sister’s Friend” (2016)

    dirty bangs your sisters friend
    Dirty Bangs
    “Your Sister’s Friend”
    2016

    Dirty Bangs were one of the coolest and most engaging bands of 2015. Their new single has me convinced they don’t plan on relinquishing those distinctions anytime soon. “Your Sister’s Friend” smolders with melodic hooks that will have you humming along on the first listen. There’s no big chorus here, just a string of slinky verses strung together with some woo-woos. It works. Just listen to the “take-take-take-take-take-take” part and tell me that’s not gold. You can’t, because it is.

    Where to get it:

    Drab – “Well, I Wanna Die” (2016)

    drab well i wanna die
    Drab
    “Well, I Wanna Die”
    2016

    The wonderfully, but inaccurately, named Drab have released a teaser single from their forthcoming EP. “Well, I Wanna Die” is stripped of the fuzz and buzz I’ve come to associated with the band. What’s left is a beautiful bummer of a tune. Drab comes rattling in the night like the Ghost of Relationships Past. It’s a journey through the things you thought were buried for good, inspired by the late-’90s indie rock that was probably playing as you dug the grave. It’s gonna feel worse before it feels better. In the end, it’s for the best.

    Where to get it:

    Eternals – “Raised By Wolves” (2016)

    eternals raised by wolves
    Eternals
    “Raised By Wolves”
    2016

    I’m in love with what Eternals are doing right now. The band is delivering well written pop songs executed with meticulous attention to detail and a lush palette of tailored tones. Actually, when I describe it that way it sounds like something I wouldn’t like. I usually gravitate toward songs and production that are more visceral, but Eternals have a way of polishing up these numbers without losing heart or groove that is just so appealing. These guys are so locked in and in tune with each other that their music still connects on a gut level. That’s good enough for me.

    Where to get it:

    The Wrong Shapes – “Eating Better, Working Less” (2015)

    The Wrong Shapes - Eating Better Working Less
    The Wrong Shapes
    “Eating Better, Working Less”
    2015

    The Wrong Shapes got spaced-out and trippy on their December single of the month. “Eating Better, Working Less” starts with loops that sound stuck in time between The Soft Bulletin and Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots before the duo’s distinctive cello and vocals drift in. The Wrong Shapes float in and out of consciousness for 4:30 while their voices intermingle and a guitar picks out a repeating phrase. It’s a sound that exists in a plane below (above?) the buzz and static of everyday life.

    Where to get it:

    Abbie Barrett And The Last Date – “That Shame” (2015)

    abbie barrett that shame
    Abbie Barrett And The Last Date
    “That Shame”
    2015

    The latest single from Abbie Barrett And The Last Date is a dark and driving dynamo. “That Shame” is a layered with wailing guitars, haunting backing vocals and a locked-in rhythm section. All of this is in support of Abbie’s soulful, scathing, perfectly delivered lead vocal. Damn. This is fantastic.

    Where to get it:

    Ringtail – “Birdwatcher” (2016)

    Ringtail - Birdwatcher
    Ringtail
    “Birdwatcher”
    2016

    OK. Ringtail officially have my attention. Mid-tempo but never dull, their latest single mines vintage indie and classic rock territory. “Birdwatcher” feels like a long lost 120 Minutes gem from the mid-nineties dressed up with some Big Star sensibilities. Is that weird? Maybe, but it works. I’m eager to hear what these guys get up to next.

    Where to get it:

    There’s still time to check out Photos by Johnny Anguish at The Verb Hotel.

    Thank you to everyone who came out to the Photos by Johnny Anguish opening reception at The Verb Hotel last night. It really made this old man feel special. I had a lot of fun putting these photos together. I hope everyone enjoyed them. I talked to the good folks at Vanyaland before the show. You can read the nice piece they put together right here.

    If you couldn’t make it out to The Verb last night, don’t fret. The photos will be on display until mid-April when they’ll find homes elsewhere in the hotel. Swing by and have a look.

    If you’re wondering what you might see, here are the photos on display. Imagine them bigger, framed, matted and hanging on a yellow wall. Or don’t imagine anything and go see the photos for yourself. They’re real, touchable objects. Please don’t touch the real objects.

    • Superchunk
    • Dirty Bangs
    • The Organ Beats
    • Township
    • X
    • Slayer
    • Petty Morals
    • Will Dailey
    • Sidewalk Driver
    • Imperial State Electric
    • Motherboar crowd at TT's

    Guster @ The Verb Hotel 1.15.2016

    It occurred to me as I sat on the floor of The Verb Hotel room newly named in their honor that the first time I saw Guster was in a similarly sized space with about as many people.* The difference? This time they followed up with a pair of shows at the House Of Blues instead of trekking off to another college rec room. The band may have only played a few songs, but it was a unique experience that the folks at DO617 put together with the hotel for a few appreciative fans. Neat.

    • Guster @ The Verb Hotel 1.15.2016
    • Guster @ The Verb Hotel 1.15.2016
    • Guster @ The Verb Hotel 1.15.2016
    • Guster @ The Verb Hotel 1.15.2016
    • Guster @ The Verb Hotel 1.15.2016
    • Guster @ The Verb Hotel 1.15.2016
    • Guster @ The Verb Hotel 1.15.2016
    • Guster @ The Verb Hotel 1.15.2016
    • Guster @ The Verb Hotel 1.15.2016
    • Guster @ The Verb Hotel 1.15.2016
    • Guster @ The Verb Hotel 1.15.2016
    • Guster @ The Verb Hotel 1.15.2016
    • Guster @ The Verb Hotel 1.15.2016

    * At Providence College. They were simply known as Gus at the time.

    Petty Morals – Marked Women (2016)

    Petty Morals - Marked Women
    Petty Morals
    Marked Women
    2016

    This EP may not be named after a sugary treat, but it’s the same synth-y, dance-y, punk-tinged power pop you’ve come to expect from Petty Morals. Marked Women comes out of the gate like Robert Palmer throwing back shots with Blondie at a hair metal show. That’s just “Get Down (And Live It Up).” “Over It” is the band’s best pure pop song since “Radio Action.” “Just A Game” is 1987 flashback city. “Into You” is their best pure pop song since “Over It.” Petty Morals channel their inner Rick James on “Telephone Erotic” before closing out the EP with a sweet Nick Z remix of “Go For Broke.” Looks like they’ve done it again.

    Where to get it: