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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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.


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: Modern English, Shadow Age, The Milling Gowns at the Middle East Downstairs in Cambridge, MA 6-7-2016


Since this was an early show, I cut out of work a few minutes early so I could go home and change. I got to Alewife and took the train to Central Square and after a short walk, I was at the Middle East downstairs for a show I had been looking forward to all day. I started with a Jack’s Abby Hoponius Union and got closer to the stage to see Boston’s own The Milling Gowns.

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The Milling Gowns

For one reason or another, I have never seen The Milling Gowns live before. I don’t know what took so long but I was loving this band. They were soo dark and moody, invoking Joy Division-esque sounds. With lead singer M. holding his head down at times, as the band played, there was a very cinematic element to their gloomy songs and it worked well. Gloom pop indeed.

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Shadow Age

To be honest, I didn’t know too much about Shadow Age, who are from Richmond, Virginia. Once they started playing, things got a little more rocking. It was hard to miss lead singer Aaron Tyree, who with a towering presence was front and center, moving around the stage as he wailed on the guitar. Their dark and moody post punk sound kept the tone of the night going.

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Modern English

From the moment Modern English (yes, that band) stepped on stage, they were all smiles as the crowd cheered loudly. With this being the last show of their Mesh & Lace tour, named after their 1981 debut album, things were probably a little looser and relaxed and you could tell they were genuinely having a good time.

Once Modern English started playing, I was surprised, in the best possible way, that most of their music was very different than their popular 80’s hit “I Melt With You”. Starting off the set with “Dance of Devotion”, with it’s pulsating guitars and singer Robbie Grey howling and convulsing around the stage, it was a good way to start off the show. The majority of songs were from the Mesh & Lace album and ranged from dark post punk to almost droning at times. Grey held the audience’s attention throughout the show with stories and banter between songs. After playing through their set, the band left the stage, only to come back out a few minutes later for an encore. They ended the night with as Grey called it “that one song”, of course referring to “I Melt With You“, which turned into a giant sing along and it was awesome!

This was an amazing night that far exceeded my expectations. All three bands were great and Modern English were really fun. I’d highly recommend seeing any of them if you get the chance.

At The Drive In to tour and release new music in 2016!

What a way to start 2016! One of my favorite bands, At The Drive In, will release new music and go out on a world tour this year. I had the chance to see them at Lollapalooza in 2012 and they played one the best sets of the weekend, despite a few technical problems. The tour kicks off in Los Angeles on March 23rd and I’m planning to be at the House of Blues Boston show on June 18th (if I’m still living here at that time).

2016 tour dates:

03/23 Los Angeles, CA – The Fonda
03/26 Dublin, Ireland – Vicar Street
03/27 London, United Kingdom – Roundhouse
03/29 Paris, France – Trianon
03/30 Cologne, Germany – Palladium
03/31 Amsterdam, Germany – Melkweg
04/01 Brussels, Belgium – Ancienne Belgique
04/02 Luxembourg, Luxembourg – Den Atelier
04/04 Berlin, Germany – Columbiahalle
04/05 Vienna, Austria – Arena Vienna
04/07 Milan, Italy – Fabrique
04/08 Lausanne, Switzerland – Impetus Festival (Les Docks)
04/10 Barcelona, Spain – Razzmatazz
05/15 Atlanta, GA – Shaky Knees Festival
05/17 Nashville, TN – Marathon Music Works
05/19 Chicago, IL – Riviera Theater
05/22 Columbus, OH – Rock on the Range Festival
06/03 San Francisco, CA – The Warfield
06/06 Portland, OR – Crystal Ballroom
06/07 Vancouver, BC – Commodore Ballroom
06/08 Seattle, WA – Showbox Sodo
06/13 Philadelphia, PA – The Fillmore
06/14 Washington, DC – 9:30 Club
06/17 New York, NY – Terminal 5
06/18 Boston, MA – House of Blues
06/21 Detroit, MI – St. Andrews
06/23 Toronto, ON – Phoenix Concert Hall

Review: Krill, Porches, Summer People, Pile at TT the Bear’s 11-22-2013


I got a bit of a late start on this night, despite trying like hell to get over to Central Square for what was to be a pretty great lineup of bands. After leaving work later than planned and a much needed power nap, I made my way to Alewife and took the T to Central Square on this unusually warm November night.

Jamaica Plain’s Krill, were already playing to a much larger crowd than I expected by the time I got to TT the Bear’s. I only caught their last two songs, which I was really liking and made me wish I had gotten there earlier. After Krill were done, I decided to try a Wolaver’s Pumpkin ale, which was kind of disappointing.

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Up next were New York’s Porches, who I have read a lot about and was happy to finally have a chance to see. The band sounded a bit of a different live than on their recorded stuff. Lead singer Aaron Maine’s raspy, emotional voice seemed to give the songs a little something extra live. This wasn’t a bad thing at all and I was really liking them a lot. I’m guessing that about half the crowd were there for Porches, since a decent amount of people left after their set.

It was time for another beer and I ended up with a Sam Adams Octoberfest, which despite wearing a good portion of it as I made my way back to the stage area, tasted a lot better than the first beer.

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Summer People

Summer People, who are also from New York, went on next. Going right into the first song, singer Alex Craver played a tambourine furiously for nearly the whole set, which I’m sure left some bruises on him. At one point he jumped down into the crowd, which went crazy and were loving it. It was a pretty energetic set of rock with a little bit of a blues sound.

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This was my 3rd time seeing Pile, a band I like more every time I’ve seen them. Pile played a pretty rocking set that got some of the crowd moshing and at one point, someone ran up and attempted a stage dive, which is funny because the stage at TT’s is pretty low. Their set felt way shorter than it actually was, but I guess that’s not a bad thing, because I was really into it.

It was a fun night of great music. My only regret is that I missed Krill’s set. I went over to get a Porches CD and ended up briefly chatting with someone at the merch table who was extremely apologetic for not having them. I assured him that I would get it from their Bandcamp, so it’s all good. I ended the night with some much needed food from Falafel Palace, which wasn’t as good as it usually is, but it did the job.

Here’s a bonus video of Summer People doing “Good Stuff“:

Review: Sleep Studies, Ghost Modern, Heliotropes, Japanese Monster at TT the Bears 9-06-2013


Although I was a little out of it after a full day of work and getting very little sleep the night before, I forced myself to go out on this slightly chilly September night, because this seemed like it was going to be an awesome show. A quick ride on the red line and I arrived at TT the Bear’s in Central Square.

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Sleep Studies

Sleep Studies were already on and playing to a decent sized crowd. I only caught the last couple of songs, but the band seemed to have dream pop/shoegaze sound and were pretty good. I was kind of bummed to have missed the majority of their set, but will definitely see them again at Deep Heaven Now 8 in October in Somerville.

At this point, I decided to get a drink and ordered the UFO seasonal, but have no idea which one it was (definitely not pumpkin). It was ok, not anything special though. I made my way near the front of the stage to catch Ghost Modern, who were setting up.

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Ghost Modern

Ghost Modern are a new local band that features ex-members of the excellent Autochrome and Squall. Trading off on boy/girl vocals, with the male vocal being deep and dark and the female vocal counteracting that with a lighter sound, it all came together very well. They are also playing Deep Heaven Now 8, so I’ll get to see them again too.

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Brooklyn based Heliotropes, just killed it during their set. Their sound can probably best be described as fuzz rock with harmonies. Guitarist and singer Jessica Numsuwankijkul went into several guitar solos and seemed to play off of Amber Myers tambourine and backing vocals. These 4 ladies really seemed to be having fun and it showed. I may have developed a little crush on this band and can’t wait for them to come back to the area. I wanted to buy a physical copy of their CD (their label, Manimal Vinyl doesn’t seem to have one listed on their website), but will end up buying it on iTunes, because this band is that good!

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Japanese Monster

Most of the crowd had cleared out by the time the final band of the night, Japanese Monster went on. They had set up a couple of synthesizers on the stage, but I wasn’t sure what to expect as I haven’t heard any of their music before. Those that left missed out on some really good post punk, slightly dance music and the band was appreciative of those of us that did stay. The visuals being projected onto the band helped enhanced the mood as well. I saw them do about 6 songs before having to leave to catch the train back to my car.

Despite being really tired, I had a pretty good time and enjoyed every band at this show. I would highly recommend seeing any of these bands, as well as seeking out their music. I ended the night with an attempt to get some food at Falafel Palace, but the line was literally out the door and I would have missed the last train. I decided to hit up a McDonalds on my way home, where a very terse little old lady was working the counter and very unintentionally awesomely hilarious!

The Dismemberment Plan reunite for a few shows!

The Dismemberment Plan
The Dismemberment Plan

It looks like 2011 is going to start off as a good year for seeing some live music! Washington DC post-punk band The Dismemberment Plan have reunited to play 5 shows in January! They will also be re-releasing the very excellent “Emergency & I” on vinyl on January 11, which will feature bonus tracks and some hard to find stuff amongst other things.

These will be their first shows since breaking up in 2003, with the exception of a couple of benefit shows in 2007. I’m hoping that they will stay together or at the very least, put out a new album, which would totally rule!

Dates and venues are below:

    Friday, January 21, 2011 – Washington, DC The Black Cat 1811 14th Street NW All ages show. Doors at 9PM. Tickets on sale Friday 9/17 at 12pm EST. $20
    Saturday, January 22, 2011 – Washington, DC 9:30 Club 815 V Street NW All ages show. Doors at 7PM. Tickets on sale Friday 9/17 at 12pm EST. $20
    Thursday, January 27, 2011 – Philadelphia, PA The Starlight Ballroom 460 North 9th Street All ages show. Doors at 7:30PM. Tickets on sale Friday 9/17 at 12pm EST. $20
    Friday, January 28, 2011 – Cambridge, MA Paradise 967 Commonwealth Ave 18+ show. Doors at 8PM. Tickets on sale Friday 9/17 at 12pm EST. $20
    Saturday, January 29, 2011 – New York, NY Webster Hall 125 E 11th St. 18+ show. Doors at 7PM. Tickets on sale Friday 9/17 at 12pm EST. Bowery Presents/Amex Presale Wednesday 9/15. $25

You can keep up to date through their Facebook, Myspace, or Twitter.