Sunday, December 1, 2013

Billy Bragg

I would like to make the world a better place and love protest songs. Like thought provoking documentary films and op-ed pieces, they can raise awareness through their art. And they can make a difference, at least in theory.

Billy Bragg has been called a "national treasure" in his home country of England, but he cares about issues worldwide. His shows are part punk rock and part evangelism for the common good. In the tradition of Woody Guthrie, Billy was chosen by daughter Nora to bring Woody's unfinished works to life in the Mermaid Avenue album projects.

Here are a couple of my favorite Billy Bragg songs. Like Dylan's "The Times They are a-Changin'", they are just as applicable to today's sociopolitical climate as they day they were written. For better or worse.

"Some people sing about love. Some people sing about war. Some people sing about a better world to come. Well I sing about all three, and this is my theme song."

See my Music Calendar and Music Festivals for upcoming shows in New England

Thursday, August 1, 2013

The Head and The Heart @ Prescott Park

The Head and The Heart played the River House concert series at Prescott Park on what was undoubtedly the nicest Wednesday night of the season (so far). There was a very big, enthusiastic and noticeably younger crowd at the show. They played both new songs from their upcoming album and old ones from their self-titled 2010 release. They'll be back in the area in November, when they play two nights at Royale Boston.

Below is a 2010 in-studio performance from their hometown station, Seattle's KEXP.

For more info, see

See my Music Calendar and Music Festivals for upcoming shows in New England

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Bill Janovitz at Lizard Lounge

In case you missed last Thursday's Bill Janovitz show at Lizard Lounge, the night went something like the video below.  Only with less horns, more guitars, some different friends, and even more fun. Plus Mike Gent, Buffalo Tom solo songs and Stones covers. He also read a passage from his new book "Rocks Off: 50 Tracks That Tell the Story of the Rolling Stones". A good time was had by all.

The song "Long Island" comes from Bill's excellent new record "Walt Whitman Mall", which he successfully helped to fund on in no time.

See my Music Calendar and Music Festivals for upcoming shows in New England

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Tan Vampires

Two videos of "Digital Rot" from NH's own Tan Vampires. The acoustic version on Big Ugly Yellow Couch is very cool, as is their own official video.

Tan Vampires play The Shaskeen on June 1, Ox and the Ax on June 2, The Middle East (upstairs) on June 5. and Fury's Publick House on June 7.

More info at

See my Music Calendar and Music Festivals for upcoming shows in New England

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Superchunk at Paradise 9/26

Superchunk will be playing Paradise on Thu, Sep 26. Tickets are on sale now. Watch the video for "Crossed Wires" from the album Majesty Shredding, out now on Merge Records

More info at 
Tickets at

See my Music Calendar and Music Festivals for upcoming shows in New England 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Glenn Yoder & The Western States at Lizard Lounge

Glenn Yoder & The Western States will be hosting a Tuesday night residency at my favorite basement, Lizard Lounge. They have a great new album (listen below), some high profile opening slots (Old 97's, Shooter Jennings), were Rock'n'Roll Rumble finalists, and are getting some great Boston press. Plus, they're nice people. You may know Glenn from Cassavettes and guitarist Jeff Katz formerly from Girls Guns and Glory.

More info at and
Tickets at

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Muscle Shoals documentary

Muscle Shoals is a documentary film about the music produced in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, home to FAME Studios and Muscle Shoals Sound Studio.

Located on the banks of the Tennessee River, Muscle Shoals, Alabama is the unlikely breeding ground for some of the most creative and defiant music in American history.

More info at

See my Music Calendar and Music Festivals for upcoming shows in New England 


Friday, April 5, 2013

Green River Festival 2013

The 2013 Green River Festival returns to Greenfield, MA on July 20 and 21. This year's headliners are Gogol Bordello (Sat) and Brandi Carlile (Sun). The scheduled line-up is shown below. For more info and tickets see

See my festivals page for upcoming music festivals in New England

Saturday July 20 - Gogol Bordello, The Devil Makes Three, The Skatalites, JD MCPherson, Sally Ford & The Sound Outside, Jeffrey Foucault & Cold Satellite, Slaid Cleaves, The Bernie Worrell Orchestra, Ryan Montbleau Band, Miss Tess & The Talk Backs, Caravan Of Thieves, Poor Old Shine, And The Kids, Rusty Belle, Bunk, Spanish For Hitchhiking, Bright Lines, Sun Parade, Lux Deluxe

Sunday, July 21 - Brandi Carlile, Buddy Miller & Jim Lauderdale, Lake Street Dive, Todd Snider, Heather Maloney, Joe Pug, Bombino, Spirit Family Reunion, Cedric Watson & Bijou Creole, Boxcar Lilies, Salvation Alley String Band, Gaslight Tinkers

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Twenty Feet From Stardom at IFFBoston

"Twenty Feet From Stardom" is a documentary about the world of backup singers. Directed by Morgan Neville, it premiered in the U.S. Documentary Competition at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. In the clip below, the director talks about the film.

The director says "the fact is that backup singers can blow away lead singers any day of the week, every day of the week". He specifically mentions Merry Clayton's singing on The Stones "Gimme Shelter" as possibly the greatest backup singing performance of all time.

The film screens at IFFBoston at Somerville Theatre on Sunday, Apr 28 at 3:30pm

More info at

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Rock 'n' Roll Rumble 2013

The line-up and schedule for the 2013 Rock 'n' Roll Rumble has been posted on The annual battle of Boston bands starts on Sun, April 17 at TT The Bear's. The semifinals will be Thu and Fri, April 18-19, with the finals taking place on Fri, April 26.

More info at Follow on Twitter (@rocknrollrumble) and Facebook (

Sun, Apr 7
  • 9:00 The Okay Win
  • 9:45 Cancer Killing Gemini
  • 10:30 The New Highway Hymnal
  • 11:15 Velah
Mon, Apr 8
  • 9:00 Endation
  • 9:45 The Deep North
  • 10:30 Herra Terra
  • 11:15 Camden
Tue, Apr 9
  • 9:00 Eddie Japan
  • 9:45  Supermachine
  • 10:30 Glenn Yoder and the Western States
  • 11:15 Blackbutton
Thu, Apr 11
  • 9:30 Mount Peru
  • 10:15 Whitcomb
  • 11:00 Lifestyle
  • 11:45 Twin Berlin
Fri, Apr 12
  • 9:30  Coyote Kolb
  • 10:15 The Field Effect
  • 11:00 The Suicide Dolls
  • 11:45 White Dynomite
Sat, Apr 13
  • 9:30  Parks
  • 10:15 Jack Burton vs. David Lo Pan
  • 11:00 Ruby Rose FoxSemifinals #1
  • 11:45 The Daily Pravda
Thur, Apr 18
  • Semifinals #1
Fri,  Apr19
  • Semifinals #2
Fri, Apr 26
  • Finals

Friday, March 8, 2013

Son Volt - Honky Tonk

Son Volt's new album "Honky Tonk" is in stores now. See them live at Paradise Rock Club on June 13. Look for them at summer festivals too.

The performance of "Tear Stained Eye" (from 1995's Trace) below comes from "Live from Austin, TX", recorded during a 1996 appearance on Austin City Limits.

More info at

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Kathleen Edwards @ Tupelo Music Hall

Kathleen Edwards returns to Tupelo Music Hall on Fri, Feb 8. I saw her there last time and am glad she's coming back. Her band is more stripped down than the full band below, but is highlighted by Jim Bryson on guitar and keyboards. Expect to hear songs about hockey (she's Canadian) and heartbreak.

UPDATE: Due to the Nor'easter/Blizzard that is expected Friday, the show has been cancelled. Tickets for the sold-out show will be refunded.

Below are two videos of "Empty Threat" from "Voyageur", one with a full band and a more stripped-down version from Bonnaroo. "I'm moving to America. It's an empty threat" (again, she's Canadian).

More info at

See my Music Calendar and Music Festivals for upcoming shows in New England 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Portsmouth Book and Bar

I haven't been there yet, but Portsmouth Book and Bar looks like it has great potential. I mean, I like books and I like bars, especially those with a great beer selection. They will also be hosting music events and the first one will be Session Americana on Wed, January 23, 2013 at 8pm. They'll pass the hat to pay the musicians.

More info at Be sure to read their bio and you'll see why this is a place you should check out.

Here's a video of Session Americana and some friends that you may recognize. The video was shot at their home base, Lizard Lounge in Cambridge.

See my Music Calendar and Music Festivals for upcoming shows in New England