Jed Gottlieb over at the Herald nailed it when he wrote “Sidewalk Driver eliminate the psychic space between audience and band with self-deprecating humor, simple love songs and humility.” Through all of the off-beat anthems and confetti bombast, Sidewalk Driver prove the heart of a really great show is having fun and sharing that fun with the sold out crowd that packed The Sinclair to see if this show can be even better than the last. It can. It was. I love this band.
Here’s Sidewalk Driver showing off why they got a nomination for Live Artist Of The Year at the 2014 Boston Music Awards.
This midsummer night’s dream has Sidewalk Driver headlining a show at The Sinclair. Along with their usual collection of offbeat rockin’ pop songs, punched-up musical prowess and stellar showmanship, the band is onstage covering a Mellow Bravo song. RESPECT. I don’t think I could possibly love this band more than I already do.
As I watch Sidewalk Driver mesmerize a sold out Rock-n-Romp crowd at The Sinclair, I can’t help but wonder how many people are seeing this wonderful gift of a band for the first time and think that the parachute, bedazzling, face projector, confetti and sheer musical joy were concocted just for this event. Is this real? It is, and now my boys have witnessed what was once inaccessible to an audience that is in bed before the first band typically hits the stage. Thank you Rock-n-Romp. Thank you Daykamp Creative for making Sidewalk Driver at Rock-n-Romp a reality. Thank you Sidewalk Driver for being you.
File this one under things we’ll probably regret, but we’re letting Mellow Bravo pick the Video of the Day all week on Daykamp Music TV. Why? Because they’re awesome and maybe they scare us a little bit. Hey, sometimes being scared is a good thing. Especially when the band picked “More Than A Feeling” as today’s Video of the Day.
We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention that there’s another reason for this video takeover. You see, Mellow Bravo is playing a gigantic Indie Rock Ranger Presents show at The Middle East Downstairs with Sidewalk Driver, Goddamn Draculas, The Silks and Watts on Friday night. That’s a great bill. You should go.
No snowstorm was going to keep me from seeing Sidewalk Driver at Indie Rock Ranger’s Holiday Spectacular. After all, Glamta comes but once a year…
Boston Does Boston Vol. 1 & 2
Boston Does Boston Vol. 1 & 2 is out. It’s 26 tracks of Boston bands covering each other to raise money for the Animal Rescue League of Boston. Read all about it right here. This is my first time through the collection. I’ve been waiting to listen until I had time to go end-to-end all at once. I’m jotting down some notes. Let’s see what happens…
- “Get Away” (Township covering Jenny Dee and the Deelinquents) – Hell, yes! I love the original. This version is just Township doing their thing. We’re off to a good start.
- “Bright” (Will Dailey covering Reverse) – Yes and yes. The original sings with supersaturated glory. This version kicks back. Perfect.
- “True Star” (Reverse covering I, Pistol) – Reverse gets a cool groove going on this I, Pistol tune. Sweet harmonies and guitar lines. Three songs in and this collection is blowing my mind a bit.
- “Amylee” (I, Pistol covering The Michael J. Epstein Memorial Library) – When in doubt, rock it out. Especially when it sounds this natural.
- “A Madness To His Method” (The Michael J. Epstein Memorial Library covering Gene Dante & the Future Starlets) – The “watch me falling down” parts on this version sound really good.
- “Trainwreck” (Gene Dante & The Future Starlets covering Miss Fairchild) – Everything Gene Dante touches is delightfully seedy. This cover is no exception.
- “Costumes” (Miss Fairchild covering Mr. Vertigo) – Tremolicious.
- “Sleeping Alone” (Mr. Vertigo covering The Field Effect) – A modern-rock-radio-ready take on a stripped back Field Effect tune.
- “The Sun Shines” (The Field Effect covering Sidewalk Driver) – Come on. The Field Effect covering Sidewalk Driver? Do you know me? Thank you Boston Does Boston.
- “Straitjacket” (Sidewalk Driver covering The Luxury) – Sidewalk Driver make magic. When the boy/girl vocals meet up with the bop-baddas, good things happen.
- “Infinity Minor” (The Luxury covering Ted Billings) – Meticulously layered and melodic.
- “Celebrate” (Ted Billings covering Garvy J.) – A spunked up and stripped down take on the Garvy J. anthem.
- “Pavement Prophet” (Garvy J. covering Sarah Rabdau and Self-Employed Assassins) – Subtly glorious. Shrouded in mystery and synthesizers.
- “Rian” (Jenny Dee and The Deelinquents covering Township) – Jenny Dee and The Deelinquents return the favor, turning a Township tune into one of their own. Geez. These cats are good.
- “No God in Massachusetts” (Sarah Rabdau & Self-Employed Assassins covering Dead Cats Dead Rats) – Whoa. That was unexpected. Sarah turned herself inside out without losing sight of who she is. Impressive.
- “On Fire” (Dead Cats Dead Rats covering The Lights Out) – Blistering take on an already rippin’ tune.
- “Atom Bomb” (The Lights Out covering Walter Sickert and the Army of Broken Toys) – There’s still some grit under the nails, but steamcrunk cleans up nicely. Nice pairing.
- “The Ladder” (Walter Sickert & the Army of Broken Toys covering Black Thai) – Still heavy. Possessed vocal. Possessed viola.
- “Less Talk, More Rokk” (Black Thai covering Freezepop) – Yes, yes, yes and more yes! Black Thai slay the synth-pop giant.
- “Sweater Weather” (Freezepop covering Parks) – Look, a perfect pop song is a perfect pop song, OK? Proof.
- “Badfinger Bridge” (Parks covering Corin Ashley) – A natural pairing with a lovely bouquet.
- “Marigold” (Corin Ashley covering The Curtain Society) – I’m not familiar with the original, but this version is lovely.
- “Birds Fly Information” (The Curtain Society covering Here We Just Dream) – Poppy. Trippy. Melodic. Great guitar solo.
- “The Most Beautiful Thing” (Here We Just Dream covering Sarah Blacker) – There are a lot of nice, subtle touches in this one.
- “Whiskey” (Three Day Threshold covering Nemes) – Three Day Threshold singing about whiskey? Shocking.
- “Kindness” (Nemes covering Will Dailey) – Impressive shared vocals and a wonderful sentiment. Nice way to end the comp.
Yeah, so this is great. All you have to do now is download this thing and enjoy it yourself. Oh, and maybe check out one of the live events happening this weekend.
Where to get it:
- Open web browser
- Type: http://www.bostonbandcru
- Realize it’s been a year since your favorite site closed up shop
- Hang head like Charlie Brown
The above happens to me a few times a month. Old habits die hard, I guess. This time last year, the folks at Boston Band Crush presented their final show, with Freezepop, Sidewalk Driver, The Field Effect and Emily Peal and The Band of Skinny Men bringing some much needed holiday cheer to a sold out crowd at Brighton Music Hall. It was a fitting send off, put together by Richard Bouchard (AKA Indie Rock Ranger AKA The Biggest Supporter Of The Boston Music Scene Since Billy Ruane).
Over the past year, Richard has put together some of the finest shows in the city under the Indie Rock Ranger Presents banner. Thankfully, he’s readied another humdinger of a bill to fend off the holiday blues. Freezepop and Sidewalk Driver are back. This time they’re joined by Parks, Animal Talk and Harris Hawk. That’s a whole lot of awesome on one bill. The Indie Rock Ranger Holiday Spectacular happens Saturday night at The Middle East Downstairs.
Sounds good, right? Of course it does. You love rock ‘n’ roll and the possibility of a Glamta sighting. I’m going to go out on a limb and wager that you also want to help some kids in need this holiday season. Thank you! You can do so at this very event. Anngelle Wood will be holding her annual toy drive for the DCF Kids Fund at the show. New (unwrapped) toys, gift cards, electronics, books and just about anything else a kid might enjoy will all be collected. Don’t have time to get to the store? Pick up a print of Nicole Anguish’s amazing Empire Strikes Back-inspired poster at the show (it’s at the top of this post, in case you missed it). All of the profits from poster sales will be donated to the cause. Plus, you’ll get to go home with a wampa.
Do good on Saturday night.