The Go! Team is all over the place. In a good way, of course. The British collective burst onto the scene in 2004 with Thunder, Lightning, Strike and have returned with the recent release of their latest full-length, Rolling Blackouts. I say they’re all over the place because they are one of the most eclectic and original touring bands out there today.
Pump up music is just the best. There are certain times, like right after you watch Space Jam for example, when you wish you had entrance music to your life. Sometimes it would just be awesome to walk into a room and have The Go! Team’s jams booming from behind me. Well, to a degree, my dream was somewhat realized on Friday night at the Paradise.
Straight off the release of their third full-length Rolling Blackouts, The Go! Team made another triumphant visit to Boston from across the pond. The surprises started early as Worcester’s DOM delivered one of the greatest opening sets I have ever witnessed. Their brand of dance rock is catchy and melodic, but extremely cutting-edge, as proved in songs like “Burn Bridges” and “Living in America.” The band even put an interesting spin on Prince’s “Little Red Corvette” and sent us back to the solid gold 90’s with a raucous cover of the Adventures of Pete and Pete theme song “Hey Sandy.” The Worcester faithful were out in full force and it was reflected in their spirit and rowdiness. By the end of the set, fans were running up on stage and crowd surfing. It think it was the craziest thing the Paradise has seen since Drew Bledsoe almost flattened some lady at an Everclear show back in ’97. Needless to say, DOM is one of the coolest things to happen to me in a long time.
One of the most anticipated shows of the Spring is just over a week away. Local boys Spiritual Rez will return to the Boston stage with a huge show at the Middle East Downstairs. After soaking in the successes of the recent release of The Nexus and touring the country with their unique, reggae-blended sound, they are headlining a stacked local bill on April 29th. The Nexus is the band’s most refined album to date, taking many of the influences they have accrued on the road over the years and throwing them into a big melting pot of styles.
“It’s so sexy, to be living in America!” Those words came from the monster tunes of our favorite Worcester band, DOM, and ain’t they the truth! Memorial Day weekend is one of those times when sporting the red, white, and blue couldn’t be more fashionable. Rock and roll goes all the way back to the pilgrims, so what better way to show your pride than to get your face melted to some kickass jammage! Here’s the Allston Pudding 4-1-1 for the next few days.
When I asked Rodeo Church front man Adam Young where his band calls home, he simply smiled and responded, “we walked to the show tonight.” Rodeo Church weren’t the only locals to make the snowy trek to O’Brien’s on Friday night either. As a matter of fact, it seemed as though the whole neighborhood came out to witness first-hand what all the buzz is about surrounding the Allston quartet.
O’Brien’s is a phenomenal spot to stay ahead of the game when it comes to local music. They book some great punk bands, they know what’s up when it comes to the Boston music scene, and the atmosphere in general is very informal and personable. Friday night, Rodeo Church was sandwiched on the bill between local folkateers Mornin’ Old Sport and Edward Sharpe sound-alikes The Red River. The bar hit capacity by the time Rodeo Church took the stage and they went right to work. Kicking the set off with the anthemic “Miserable,” the band went from zero to sixty in an instant and set an energy level that was high from the start, but would only continue to grow as the set progressed.
Since Allston Pudding’s inception over a half a year ago, we have had the great pleasure of seeing a lot of awesome bands and meeting a lot of extremely interesting folks. If there is one thing that we’ve learned, it’s that Allston’s music and arts community takes the word community to an absurdly greater level. There are few better ways to witness this strong sense of cooperation and teamwork than to get involved with Allston’s annual DIY Fest. The actual festival itself will take place Saturday, July 24th from (roughly) 10 AM to 6 PM at Ringer Park right in back of the Jackson-Mann School.
There are certain musical experiences that come into your life almost perfectly. Sunday night, the weather still a mystery, classes out for summer, and the false alarm/hilarity of the Rapture already history, a set of serene yet cerebral tunes was the perfect remedy. Junip could not have made a stop at the Brighton Music Hall at a more appropriate time. Those who are familiar with Jose Gonzalez for his spectacular solo work know that while he is armed solely with a nylon string, his music is anything but simple. I quickly made the discovery on Sunday night that Junip adheres to this same trend, but are equipped with more tools and a diverse display of talents to create expansive layered constructions that are pleasant both to the ear and the mind.
Marking the final show of their US tour, Junip brought along Brooklyn up-and-comers The Acrylics to start the night off. The band provided a terrific warm-up filled with brilliant melodies from their recently released full length, Lives and Treasure. Tunes like “The Catacombs” provided a glimpse of what direction these guys are headed, somewhere in the realm of a less spacey Beach House, and more jovial sounding than the XX. The already packed Brighton Music Hall seemed to really enjoy their set, sending them off with warm applause. The crowd was noteworthy as well; A nice mix of young hipsters and older folksters, there to witness how Junip’s LP, Fields, converts to the live stage.
It’s always nice to see local bands take over the Middle East Downstairs for a night. Rarely do we get the treat to see four of Boston’s finest dominate the spacious Cambridge club the way Age Rings and friends did on Saturday night. After a week of damp, brutal weather and last-minute preparations for the Rapture, there was nothing more rewarding than soaking in some of the area’s best up-and-coming sounds amidst a swarm of several familiar faces.
Just as nine o’clock struck and nobody disappeared, either signifying that we were all destined to hell or this Rapture thing was a load of poppycock (at this point, it’s safe to say the latter came true), young Allstonians You Can Be A Wesley took the stage. These young’ns are hard at work on their follow up to last year’s Heard Like Us. Tearing through a set of fuzzy pop riffs from their previous full-length as well as more seasoned constructions in their new material, YCBW gave some exciting hints of what is to come in their future. Pretty & Nice were a spectacle as well, matching YCBW’s energy, but in more of a choppy groove. Their tunes delivered short and powerful punches of rhythm guitar, paired with a furiously over-caffeinated stage presence. Pretty & Nice proved their true talent for the live setting and kept the flames growing for Taxpayer. While not displaying the same youthful vitality as the previous two bands, Taxpayer displayed a masterful grasp on their genre, and caught my ear with their layered instrumentation and keen songwriting. With hints of Muse or even some Nine Inch Nails stuff, they proved why they are one of the area’s most recognizable bands. The three openers alone were worth more than the price of admission and we were yet to experience the night’s headliners.
With the Bruins buzz still in the air and the energy of early summer rushing through the streets of Boston, Landsdowne was the place to be last night as WFNX hosted their annual Clambake. Among the impressive names recruited to play the small festival were California piano-rockers Cold War Kids, highly praised indie poppers Foster the People, and Worcester ruffians/Allston Pudding man-crushes DOM. What we flocked to the Fenway area for, however, was to see the return of British folk rockers Noah and the Whale.
After the block party portion of the festival had wrapped up, fans funneled into the air-conditioned shelters of the House of Blues and rushed to the rail. Smooth scheduling made it so that fans didn’t have to wait long until Noah and the Whale rose to the stage and dove right into “Give a Little Love.” The tune turned out to be one of the best of their set, with Tom Hobden sawing furiously on his fiddle and pushing the tempo of drummer Mike Petulla. For a band that is previously accustomed to playing a progressive full-band folk, they have found their stride in the pop realm, and along with it has come a kinetic stage presence. Right off the bat, bassist Matt “Urby Whale” Owens flailed and jerked across the stage, turning his long locks of hair into a sweaty mane by the end of the set.
This Monday, the Brain Trust hits us with another dope lineup, and this time we’ll be getting down to some of Boston’s finest hip-hop. Infinitirock, Greyscale, The High Life, and Micah will all take their turn gracing the mic at Church.
Infinitirock is a sampling wizard who recently dropped an enormous mixtape, 17 years. You can download all 40 tracks of it from his bandcamp. Greyscale, one of the many names on Base Trip Records, has worked with Infinitirock among many other local producers for his latest release, Beats I Like. Hip-Hop collective The High Life will hit the stage second representing Boston’s AR Classic Records. You can check out their video for “We Came to Rock” above. Kicking off the night will be Micah, another name on Base Trip formerly known to Bostonians as Rapper Steph.
One of Boston’s most promising young bands, Old Abram Brown, will find their way to the Great Scott’s stage on Wednesday to support Hey Rosetta. Old Abram Brown recently released their second full-length, Restless Ghosts, which has taken the band to the next level and helped to solidify their name around Boston and beyond. Stylistically, the quartet produces a dark, piano-heavy sound that is paired nicely with layers of jangly lead guitar.
Good Friday, Easter, muthalovin’ PEASACHH! We might be getting down with religion this weekend, but who says we can’t find a spare moment to get down to some crunchy jams? There’s plenty of jawn to choose from, you just gotta make the right choice. Don’t sweat it brochacho, we’re here to help.
Change is good, but growth is better. As an admitted fan of the Kings of Leon in their early years, I was befuddled as to how they could dress up their studio production and consider “Sex On Fire” a true stylistic progression. Improvement comes through years of trial and error experiences as a band— finding what works towards a more refined sound and weeding out the traits that get in the way. So true strides in the right direction, like the ones that The Dead Trees seem to be making, are enough to make a fan a little giddy. Monday night, at an informal little gig at Zuzu, the Trees gave Boston a little taste of what kind of changes they have been working on out in LA.