Review: Nothing, The Swirlies, Big Bite at The Sinclair in Cambridge, MA 10-7-2018

Nothing Sign

It was a dark and drizzly night where I kept flip flopping on whether or not to go out, but decided to go to this show anyway, because I knew I’d regret it if I missed it. I got to the Sinclair in Harvard Square pretty fast, where I bought a ticket at the door for what was a nearly sold out show. Once inside, I started with a Wormtown Be Hoppy which is always a good choice, just as Big Bite went on stage (I had missed smut but heard they were a really good opener).

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Big Bite

I didn’t know much about Seattle’s Big Bite before this show, but instantly became a fan. They tore through a set of grungy sounding post rock that had a big sound to it.

I wandered around a bit and had another Be Hoppy as I waited for The Swirlies, who were up next.

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The Swirlies

It’s funny, I’ve never seen The Swirlies despite having listened to them for a very long time. With a perfect mix of indie rock and shoegaze, they were so much better than I expected. It seemed like a lot of the crowd was there just for them, since it cleared out a bit after their set. I was glad to finally get to see them live and they were a perfect opener for Nothing.

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Nothing

I staked out a good spot on the upper level and had a much better view of the stage for headliners Nothing. The crowd went crazy as the band came out and started with the relatively mellow “Zero Day”. As the night progressed with “Curse of the Sun” and “Us/We/Are”, I caught myself saying “damn!” out loud a lot as Nothing continued to blow me away with each song. Nothing has that dreamy 90’s shoegaze sound and at times delved into a little harder territory.

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Nothing

Towards the end of the night, singer Domenic Palermo gave his guitar to a guy in the audience and sat down on the edge of the stage where an adoring crowd surrounded him. It was a pretty cool thing. I can’t even express how happy I was that I ended up going to this show. It was definitely one of the best shows I’ve seen all year, and probably longer than that. I ended with my Harvard Square post-show usual of a Big Tasty over at Tasty Burger and was soon on the train back home.

Nothing Setlist

Nothing setlist

Nothing 2018 Tour Dates:

12/08/18 : Stereo – Glasgow (UK)
12/09/18 : The Cluny – Newcastle (UK)
12/10/18 : Hare and Hounds – Birmingham (UK)
12/11/18 : Joiners – Southampton(UK)

Review: Tune-Yards, Algiers at 3S Artspace in Portsmouth, NH 9-18-2018

This was one of those few shows that I bought a ticket in advance because I really wanted to see Tune-Yards, who for some reason, I kept missing at festivals. I got to Portsmouth fast, but had missed my exit and realized that Siri is still completely useless and she could not find directions to 3S Artspace. I got there eventually, but couldn’t find any street parking, so I parked in the fairly expensive lot across the street.

I’ve said this before and it still holds true, but 3S has the friendliest staff I’ve ever encountered at a venue. Algiers was already about halfway into their set by the time I walked into the main room.

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Algiers

I didn’t know much about Atlanta’s Algiers before this show, but they totally blew me away with a pretty high energy stage presence. It was a very intense and rocking set of music that seemed to range from a bit of psychedelic to soul to straight on rock (psychsoulrock?). I quickly became a fan!

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Tune Yards

Merrill Garbus and the rest of Tune-Yards took to the stage to much cheering and applause by the pretty large (at least for 3S) crowd. They started out with “Honesty” and hardly stopped for the rest of the show. I was pretty amazed at how seemless the looping was.

Although it was understandably heavy on new songs from their latest album “I Can Feel You Creep Into My Private Life“, there were a few older ones thrown in like “Gangsta” and “Powa“.

They ended with “Look At Your Hands” as the encore and it was a pretty good finish to an awesome set. I was a little disappointed they didn’t play “Bizness“, the song that made me like Tune-Yards in the first place, but that’s ok, it was still a fun time!

Despite some initial problems with finding the venue and parking, I had a great time. Both Algiers and Tune-Yards sounded amazing and the crowd was really cool and really friendly. I grabbed some Wendys for the ride home since Gilleys was closed, and called it a night.

Setlist

Algiers 2018/2019 Tour Dates:
Nov 9 – Fonda Theatre – Hollywood, CA, US

Nov 10 – The Independent – San Francisco, CA, US

Nov 11 – The Independent – San Francisco, CA, US

Nov 14 – Wonder Ballroom – Portland, OR, US

Nov 16 – The Showbox – Seattle, WA, US

Nov 17 – Venue – Vancouver, BC, Canada

Nov 19 – Bottom Lounge – Chicago, IL, US

Nov 20 – Elsewhere – Brooklyn, NY, US

Nov 21 – Elsewhere – Brooklyn, NY, US

Jan 12, 2019 – Rockaway Beach 2019 – Bognor Regis, UK

Tune-Yards 2018 Tour Dates:
Oct 18 – The Mayan Theater – Los Angeles, CA
Oct 19 – The Glass House – Pomona, CA
Oct 20 – Fillmore – San Francisco, CA
Oct 22 – Roseland Theater – Portland, OR
Oct 23 – Neptune Theatre – Seattle, WA
Oct 26 – Majestic Theatre – Madison, WI
Oct 27 – Park West – Chicago, IL
Oct 28 – Beachland Ballroom – Cleveland, OH
Oct 30 – MASS MoCA – North Adams, MA
Oct 31 – Higher Ground – South Burlington, VT
Nov 01 – Paradise Rock Club – Boston, MA
Nov 02 – Knockdown Center – New York, NY

Review: TV Girl, Infinity Crush at Sonia in Cambridge, MA 7-01-2018

Sign

I had been wanting to see TV Girl for a long time now, but there were always conflicts when they came through the Boston area but tonight, I finally got my chance to see them live. I got to Sonia in Central Square pretty quickly for what was a very early show that started around 8:15pm.

I went to the bar and got a Jack’s Abby Hoponius Union and after chatting with the two super friendly bartenders about beer for a few minutes (including my last experience with that god awful pineapple UFO), I found a spot amongst the fairly small crowd to watch Infinity Crush.

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Infinity Crush

Infinity Crush’s Caroline White played a short solo set of indie folk songs that lasted about 25 minutes. Telling stories and bantering with the audience between songs, she seemed to have won over a lot of the crowd with her humor. Also, she had her set list written on her hand which was kind of cute.

After Infinity Crush finished, I ordered another Hoponius Union and was ready to see TV Girl, who got set up and started pretty fast.

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TV Girl

With all three members of TV Girl standing behind various synthesizers, the band tore through a set of pretty mellow indie synth pop that gave the diehard crowd exactly what they wanted. At times dreamy, others hazy, and it all came together in such a perfect way. The band seemed pretty relaxed and just going with the flow, which kept things very light hearted, including some of the speeches between songs.

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TV Girl

This was a really fun show and I was happy to finally get to see TV Girl, although I was a little bummed they didn’t play “If You Want It”, which is my favorite song by them (and admittedly, one I seem to still find myself humming a lot). I finished out the somewhat early night by hitting up what else but Tasty Burger in Harvard Square.

Review: Dead Meadow, Dyr Faser, Lucid Lynx at Sonia in Cambridge, MA 3-28-2018

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I ended up leaving much later than planned, but soon I was in Central Square for this crazy psychedelic show. This was my first time seeing a show at Sonia, which was formerly known as TT the Bear’s (R.I.P.). The first thing I noticed was that Sonia is a lot brighter than TT’s and seemed to be much larger with the stage on the opposite side of the room. There really wasn’t a bad view from anywhere in the club, but if I had one complaint, it would be that the beer selection was a bit lacking.

Unfortunately, I had missed most of Lucid Lynx’s set, which was a bummer because I really liked these guys when I saw them open for Brian Jonestown Massacre last year. So, I waited for Bostons’s own Dyr Faser to go on.

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Dyr Faser

I think this was the first time I have seen Dyr Faser in its current form which consists of Eric Boomhower and Amelia May. The music seemed a little more mellow, almost ethereal at times, but the reverb-y goodness is still there. Sharing vocals through most of their set, the duo had an almost ethereal sound that completely filled the room.

After the set, I decided to try a Harpoon Pineapple UFO which was a huge mistake that I’m still trying to get over. Probably one of the worst beers I’ve ever had…just no! no! no! Dead Meadow were up next. 

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Dead Meadow

The first time I saw Dead Meadow was in, where else, Austin, and they put on an amazing show. Tonight was no different as the band played for close to 2 hours. The visuals provided by Mad Alchemy, gave me flashbacks to the Earthless show from only a week or two prior and were equally stunning. Standing off to one side of the stage, I had a great view of the band, who started out with “Greensky Greenlake”. Bassist Steve Kille, who was jumping around the stage looked to be having a fun time playing. It felt like a pretty long set and that’s not a band thing.

For an encore singer Jason Londono came out for an encore and sang solo for the song “One More Toll Taker”.

Overall it was a great night of music. It’s always exciting to check out a new venue and Sonia was pretty cool.

Review: Earthless, Kikagaku Moyo, JJUUJJUU at the Sinclair in Cambridge, MA 3-17-2018

Earthless sign

There was nothing about this show that would have led you to believe it was St. Patrick’s day in Boston, unless you were riding the T and saw amongst other things, a girl sitting across from me with an amber colored fluid in her Polar Springs Sparkling Water bottle.

I kept flip flopping on whether or not to go to this show, but decided at the last minute to go with hopes that I could still get a ticket at the door. There was no traffic on my drive to Alewife and it was a really fast train ride to Harvard Square. In no time, I was at the Sinclair for this pretty stacked lineup that consisted of JJUUJJUU, Kikagaku Moyo, and headliners Earthless. I bought a ticket at the door, dropped my coat off at the coat check, and ordered a beer just as JJUUJJUU were just hitting the stage.

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JJUUJJUU

JJUUJJUU are, much like a lot of bands I’ve seen, a group I first saw at Austin Psych Fest a few years ago. Based in Los Angeles, their music is full of reverby psychedelic drenched goodness. They played for just over half an hour, but man, it was great!

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Kikagaku Moyo

Japanese psych band Kikagaku Moyo, whose name I have trouble pronouncing, but translates to “geometric patterns”, are another band I caught in Austin before and really dug them. With enough members on the stage to make it look pretty cramped up there, they played a set where the songs seemed to start out a bit mellow and before you knew it, crashed like a giant psychedelic wave washing over the audience.

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Earthless

As soon as I saw the crazy psychedelic visuals provided by the excellent Mad Alchemy, I knew we were all in for a treat. San Diego’s Earthless, who were draped in swirls of patterns and colors, hit the crowd hard as they went right into “Godspeed” and kept the heavy guitar riffs coming for the rest of the night. Playing mostly instrumental stoner rock to a sold out crowd that was really feeling it and I’ll leave it up to you as to what exactly “it” is, they held the room’s attention for the entirety of their set.

They finished out the night with a very heavy cover of Led Zeppelin’s “Communication Breakdown”, which was pretty loud and intense with most of the crowd singing along. Honestly, I didn’t want it to end, but like all good things, it had to.

This was an amazing night of music and I’m glad I ended going. It was a pretty quick ride back to Alewife and my eyes are still reeling from those visuals!

Earthless 2018 tour dates:

May 31 – Detroit MI @ El Club *
June 1 – Nelsonville OH @ Nelsonville Music Festival
June 2 – Louisville KY @ Zanzabar
June 3 – Morgantown WV @ 123 Pleasant Street #
June 5 – Asheville NC @ The Mothlight %
June 6 – Atlanta GA @ The Masquerade %
June 7 – Spartanburg SC @ GroundZero %
June 8 – Orlando FL @ Will’s Pub %
June 9 – Tallahassee FL @ The Wilbury %
June 10 – Baton Rouge LA @ Spanish Moon %
June 12 – Houston TX @ White Oak Music Hall %
June 13 – Austin TX @ Barracuda Austin %
June 14 – Ft. Worth TX @ Ridglea Theater %
June 15 – Memphis TN @ Growlers %

*: with Timmy’s Organism and The Octopus
%: with Here Lies Man
#: with Hill Giant

Kikagaku Moyo 2018 tour dates:

Nov 07 – Gorilla Manchester, United Kingdom
Nov 08 – Scala London, United Kingdom
Nov 17 – Café Bad Bonn Düdingen, Switzerland
Nov 19 – arena wien – verein forum Wien, Austria
Nov 21 – Loppen, Christiania KØBENHAVN K, Denmark
Nov 23 – Fasching Stockholm, Sweden
Nov 24 – Blå Oslo, Norway
Nov 26 – Hafenklang Hamburg, Germany
Nov 27 – Ancienne BelgiqueBrussels, Belgium
Nov 30 – Sala Upload Barcelona, Spain
Dec 08 – Paradiso Grote ZaalNieuw-Amsterdam, Netherlands

JJUUJJUU 2018 Tour dates:

Jun 05 – Columbus, OH EXPRESS LIVE!
Jun 06 – Chicago, IL Huntington Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island
Jun 07 – Lakewood, OH Mahall’s Locker Room
Jun 08 – Pittsburgh, PA Stage AE
Jun 09 – Sterling Heights, MI Michigan Lottery Amphitheatre at Freedom Hill
Jun 10 – Indianapolis, IN The Farm Bureau Insurance Lawn at White River State Park
Jun 12 – Cincinnati, OH PNC Pavilion at Riverbend
Jun 13 – Milwaukee, WI Cactus Club
Jun 14 – Maplewood, MN Myth
Jun 15 – Bonner Springs, KS Providence Medical Center Amphitheater
Jun 16 – Camdenton, MO Ozarks Amphitheater
Jun 18 – Lincoln, NE Pinewood Bowl Theater
Jun 19 – Denver, CO Lost Lake Lounge


Jun 21 – Missoula, MT KettleHouse Amphitheater


Jun 22 – Redmond, WA Marymoor Park


Jun 23 – Bend, OR Les Schwab Amphitheater


Jun 25 – Troutdale, OR McMenamin’s Edgefield Winery


Jun 28 – Avila Beach, CA Avila Beach Golf Resort
Jun 29 – Berkeley, CA Greek Theatre


Jun 30 – Lincoln, CA Thunder Valley Casino Resort & Amphitheater


Jul 02 – Salt Lake City, UT Salt Air Pavilion


Jul 03 – Las Vegas, NV Downtown Las Vegas Events Center


Jul 05 – Los Angeles, CA Greek Theatre


Jul 06 – San Diego, CA Cal Coast Credit Union Open Air Theatre


Jul 07 – Phoenix, AZ Comerica Theatre


Oct 12 – Perris, CA Moreno Beach

Review: LCD Soundsystem, Juan McLean at Agganis Arena in Boston, MA 12-8-2017

James Murphy’s a pretty funny guy!

LCD Soundsystem before the show

LCD Soundsystem are one of my favorite bands and after finally getting a chance to see them live at Lollapalooza in 2016, I had to go to this show! Navigating the never ending construction in Boston, I got to Agganis Arena surprisingly early. I took my spot in the first section of the floor amid a bunch of people dancing as Juan MacLean opened with a DJ set to warm up the crowd.

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LCD Soundsystem

The crowd erupted as James Murphy and the many members of LCD Soundsystem made their way to the stage. After getting settled for a minute underneath a giant disco ball, the band kicked things off with “Us v Them” and “Yr City’s a Sucker“, but my favorite moment of the night was when they played “Tonight“, which has become one of my favorite songs. They ended with a cover of Chic’s “I Want Your Love” which was awesome!

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LCD Soundsystem

After a short break, the band did a few more songs for the encore, which Murphy stated at the beginning of the show that they would do. Starting with the quiet “Oh Baby” and kicking it back up with “Dance Yrself Clean“, they ended the show with “All My Friends“.

Considering that Murphy mentioned that various members of the band were sick or just getting over being sick, they still sounded great and put on a great show! This was a really fun night of music and dancing with an energetic crowd that was loving every minute of it. I’d make an effort to see them again any time!

Review: Polica, Andrew Broder at 3S Artspace in Portsmouth, NH 2-18-2018

It had been quite a while since I’ve made it out to a show (life and work seems to get in the way these days), so I was pretty overdue. I made a last minute decision to go to Portsmouth, New Hampshire to catch Polica and Andrew Broder at a cool, small-ish space called 3S Artspace.

After finding a parking spot (tip: on street parking is free after 8pm), I bought a ticket at the door and was inside the venue. This may have been the cleanest venue I’ve ever seen a show in and I loved the small size of the place, which made for a more intimate show with great views of the stage. There weren’t many people there yet, so I ordered a Stoneface IPA and waited for Andrew Broder to come out.

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Andrew Broder

Andrew Broder stood behind a laptop and mixed some beats, creating music that had kind of a Twin Peaks (the TV show, not the band) atmosphere to it. As the set progressed, the experimental/droney sounds morphed into something danceable, causing a few people to start moving, but settled back down like a crashing wave towards the end of the nearly 40 minute set.

After the set, I tried a Great Rhythm Brewing’s Tropical Haze, which was really good, as I waited with what was now a much larger crowd for Polica to go on stage.

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Polica

I had the opportunity to see Minneapolis’s own Polica twice in one weekend during Lollapalooza 2012 in Chicago. Once at Lolla and the second at a very small after party at the Hard Rock Hotel. Both times I was blown away and was excited to finally see them again. Featuring two drummers, a bass player, loops, no guitars, and lead singer Channy Leaneagh, this was their first time ever playing New Hampshire.

Starting out with the straight forward “Amongster” from their first album to the thumping beats of “Lipstick Stains“, the band held the crowds attention for the whole night. This also happened to be Channy Leaneagh’s birthday which led to constant shouts of happy birthday from the crowd until about half through their set and everyone joined in with singing happy birthday to her. After the show, Channy chatted with people everyone who lined up at the merch table.

This was a really cool, fun crowd in a really neat space and I had a great time at this show, even if I did feel a bit awkward being there by myself at first. I ended up at Gilleys for a burger and some cheese fries, where I also made a few new drunken friends who were nearly kicked out. This was the kind of fun night I needed and I’m glad I went.

Setlist

Setlist