I was browsing around on Bandcamp for some new music to get me through a weekend trip down to Newport recently, and I came across this 4 song ep by a band called Sun Sister. Over a week later, I still haven’t been able to stop listening to it! It would be very easy to think that this was a band from the beaches of California, but they are actually from the sunny(?) and non beach-like Fitchburg, Massachusetts. It is easy to compare their sound with that of Best Coast with hazy vocals and a surf rock sound.
The songs are a little bit raw, and I mean that in a good way, but catchy as hell. The first track, “Growing ur hair out“, has a chorus that will get stuck in your head and have you singing “are u growing your hair out? I think you should” long after the song is over. Hair seems to be a running theme as its mentioned in three of the four songs.
One of my favorite Boston bands, Dirty Dishes, have a new 5 track album called “The Most Tarnished Birds” coming out on March 4th. There was originally a limited edition cd/t-shirt combo pack, which according to the band’s Facebook page, is now sold out, although the physical cd is limited to 50 copies and can be pre-ordered for $5. You can also grab it for $3 digitally through Bandcamp.
Judging by the first single “Hush“, this is definitely worth picking up. Give it a Listen on their Bandcamp page below:
Because of the huge amount of snow piled up in Boston, as well as the ever elusive parking spot anywhere near the Paradise, I decided to take the T into the city. The downside of relying on the T to get to a show in Boston is that it doesn’t run late enough, but more on that later. I had missed the first band, Certainly Sir, but arrived before The Forms went on stage.
The first thing I noticed was the huge amount of plaid shirts, then I noticed that pretty much everyone had a beard, something that singer Travis Morrison would acknowledged during the Dismemberment Plan’s set. At this point, I cursed my inability to grow a decent beard while feeling like an outcast. Next, almost all of these bearded, flannel wearing people were drinking PBR’s (I believe the “B” in PBR should stand for “beard”, because you can’t have one without the other). I’m getting off track, this isn’t a review of hipsters.
The Forms which consisted of two people, went on stage. They played dance music but I just couldn’t get into it. Sort of reminded me of Javelin but different. Something seemed to be missing but I just can’t place it. I didn’t notice too many people dancing though, more of just a light sway. This was kind of disappointing since I saw a lot of posts and tweets saying not to miss these guys.
The Dismemberment Plan, playing their first show in Boston since 2003, walked onstage to loud cheers from the sold out crowd. The band looked really happy to be playing together again, which is usually a pretty rare thing. It’s great when a band is really enjoying themselves and looking like they are having a lot of fun! I don’t think singer Travis Morrison stopped smiling for the entire show!
They started out with “The Face of the Earth” and went into a “A Life of Possibilities“. I have to say, it was pretty good setlist, which included my favorite song “The First Anniversary of Your Last Phone Call“.
I left during “Ellen and Ben” to make sure I could get back home. So, I was pretty bummed to miss “Ice of Boston“, because it would have been amazing to get up on the stage with them during it! Hopefully, the band will stay together and do another tour. Judging by the good time had by everyone, I wouldn’t be surprised if they did.
Overall, it was a very fun night with a band that I love and hope to see again in the near future. My only regret was taking the T there, which made me miss what could have been an even more amazing experience.
CKY is one of my favorite bands ever. As proof, one only needs to look at my Last.fm most listened to charts. I was excited to find out they were coming to Boston and even though I was exhausted, I forced myself to go, but missed all of the opening bands. For once, I was ok with that (nothing against those bands, but a nap was a little more important at that point).
We got there a little later than I wanted to, thanks to excellent detour signage in Boston (insert sarcasm tag here) and walked in during “Flesh Into Gear“, which I was told was maybe the 2nd or 3rd song, so it was still early…whew! This was the first show I’ve been at The Paradise since they remodeled and moved the stage away from that infamous view-obstructing pole. I like the new layout, which has the advantage of making it easier to get to the bars as well.
I expected there to be a huge crowd, but it was fairly small considering the following that the band has, as well as it being an all ages show. The band interacted with the crowd all night, even asking what songs people wanted to hear. A few times during the show, they would put on some crappy dance music like the Backstreet Boys or Justin Bieber and start dancing around the stage and mocking the songs. At one point there were problems with Chad’s guitar and he seemed to be pretty pissed off about it. They ended up killing time while someone fixed it, by playing more dance pop songs. Chad was getting pretty pissed off, yelling at their roadies, which was pretty entertaining.
The set consisted almost entirely of songs from before the Carver City album (possibly because there is more synthesizer on that album than the other ones?). Some of the songs they played were “96 Quite Bitter Beings”, “Sara’s Mask”, “Disengage the Simulator”, “Knee Deep”, “Plastic Plan”, and “Close Yet Far”. I was kind of disappointed not to hear “A #1 Roller Rager” since that is my favorite track off of Carver City, but I was pretty happy with the songs they played. In between songs, the crowd was loudly chanting “CKY! CKY!”.
Overall, I was glad to finally have the chance to see one of my favorite bands live. It was a really fun night and I will definitely be there the next time they come through the area, that’s for sure!
Well, hey what do you know, another concert on another rainy night! I arrived at the Wang aka Citi Center in downtown Boston to see Belle and Sebastian. My company for the night was the very friend that introduced me to them back in 1998 via her radio show on WRIU, and it has taken this long for me to actually see them live. Needless to say, I had very high expectations, especially since I’ve never heard a bad thing about their live shows.
The ritual of getting (overpriced) beers was performed, then we took our seats as Dean Wareham was playing the music of Galaxie 500 with his wife Britta. I have not listened to that band in soo long, but will have to rediscover them again. This also brings up the question of when will Luna get back together?
My good mood was kind of shot down due to the staff at the Citi Center who were being real pains in the asses about taking pictures or even looking at your phone. If I’m paying to be there, why can’t I snap a memory of it? Venues should really be more fan friendly. But eff them, I managed to get the one shot above. Also, for a classy place, beer in cans…really?
After Dean Wareham was done, it was off for another quick beer run, then back to our seats where Belle and Sebastian came out to much applause and cheers from the audience.
Starting off with “I Fought In A War” from 2000’s Fold Your Hands Child album, and going into “Dirty Dream Number Two“, the 12 people onstage sounded amazing! The guy in the row in front of me got up and started dancing immediately and never stopped. From now on, he will be known as “dancing guy”. It was kind of annoying but he seemed to be enjoying himself (perhaps a little too much).
This is when people were whipping out cameras and phones all over the place. The staff weren’t hassling people about taking pictures anymore. One theory we came up with was that maybe Dean Wareham was against it? Who knows, but I was happy to finally be able to get some pictures.
For “I Didn’t See It Coming” and “The Boy With the Arab Strap“, singer Stuart Murdoch asked for a few people to come up and dance onstage, letting violinist Sarah Martin choose the guys. Dancing guy hauled ass down the aisle to be the first one picked to get on stage. The four people danced non-stop through both songs. Before leaving the stage, they were given medals that said “I made it with Belle and Sebastian”. Definitely a nice memento of getting to be onstage with the band.
At one point, Murdoch ran up and down the aisles of the theater, giving out high fives to people as he ran by still singing. It’s always great when bands acknowledge their fans! He also tossed out some footballs to the crowd during another part of the show.
Towards the end of the first set, Stuart said that they were very grateful to have Dean Wareham open for them for the Boston show. He had one medal left and called Wareham to the stage, where he put the medal around his neck and thanked him. They played a little bit more and were done with the first set.
The band came out for an encore and played “If You Find Yourself Caught In Love“. After about an hour and a half show, the house lights came up and that was it, despite everyone around us hoping for a second encore. We hit the merch area on our way out, but it was absolutely insane! There were soo many people trying to buy posters and t-shirts, that it was impossible to get in there to see anything.
Overall, it was a very entertaining show and a great night! I left the show very happy that I finally got to see a band that I have wanted to see for quite a long time and regret not seeing them sooner. If you ever get the chance, by all means make an effort to see Belle and Sebastian live.