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China Forbes

[music | Leonard Cohen - I'm Your Man]

Tonight is China Forbes @ The Paradise, Boston.

Natalie is the big Pink Martini fan here, I like them well enough, but she's the Lounge Music superfreak. We knew this wouldn't be loungey, but it was a very good show. She's a good song writer, and their performance was great. It was kind of an odd show because a huge part of the audience was friends and family (I guess she grew up in Cambridge), and so there was lots of in-joke back and forth.

The Grandmother stuff was the best. Her grandmother is 90 and apparently couldn't hear a thing, so Forbes was just hoping that everything "looks good anyway".

Opening was Lael Alderman, who is also the rhythm guitarist/everything-elsist for China Forbes' band. The audience was super light anyway, and not many people were there for his set, but he was good in a solo-male-singer/songwriter-Jack-Johnson sort of way. If you like Dashboard Confessional, you'll like Lael Alderman. I hope we were able to give him enough love from the 6 people in the audience at that point!

The main set was really entertaining, she pretty much played everything off of '78, and a couple of covers (R.E.M - Superman, Bryan Adams). The Bryan Adams song was good because of the story. This was her encore, and since no one in the audience seemed to go to many shows, they don't understand how encores work. When she said "It's been great playing here, hopefully we get back to Boston soon yadda yadda bye", everyone left. Every. One. So she said she had wanted to skip the encore but that the band made her do another song. So she told a story of Bryan Adams going back out on stage 30 minutes after a show in some stadium and playing to the few dozen stragglers who were still around.

Some of the people came back in after they started playing again. Many didn't :-)

A much higher percentage of my photos came out this time. Previously, I mentioned the blurry/grainy tradeoff I was willing to make, and I made it. I don't care, at least they're visible this time. No new camera however, the one I was trying to buy doesn't come out until June. Forcing ISO 400 and then playing with shutter speed seems to have done the trick largely. Maybe I'll put it at 200 next time for a while and see what happens.

Here they are:

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Saul Williams at the Paradise

[music | People Under The Stairs - More Than You Know]

What a surprisingly good show, I'm not surprised that it was a good show, but it was just amazingly good. Dragons of Zynth opened, who I'd never heard of, but I really liked them, and they will get my CD money. The first few songs reminded me of Smashing Pumpkins is a big way sound-wise, and their souled-up cover of Janie Jones really made my day, after learning I'd missed Mick Jones's band this past weekend.

Saul Williams was everything we wanted to see. Fantastic show and if you don't go see him you're a moron. Especially considering they were $15 tickets. Like many people, I came to him through Nine Inch Nails, with the tour a couple years back, and then Niggy Tardust, the album so nice, we bought it twice. The thing that motivated the audience most was his poetry. I wouldn't consider myself a huge fan of so called "urban poetry" as much, I think I associate the genre too much with Harold Perrineau. It's probably because I'm neither Urban nor a poet. I hang around in the city a lot, but I hardly think that makes me qualified to call myself Urban. In any case, his imagery was powerful and moving. His band was really tight, despite some on-stage tech problems, which happen all the time to everyone. The audience couldn't tell anyway. Well, I guess one guy yelled that he couldn't hear Williams' voice, but evidently that guy wasn't leaning on the stage, cause he sounded perfectly clear to me.

Natalie said that, even with all the shows we go to, this is right up there among her favorites, and I agree, energetic as hell, great lyrics, great sound, .

Williams' daughter came out for a couple of songs, she joined him on her spring break and was dancing like crazy and singing her head off. If all other career choices are unappealing to her, she could make for one of the great hype-men someday.

I'm glad Boston gave him such a great crowd, hopefully he'll come back around soon, as amazing as Niggy Tardust is, the live show was even better.

I swear that before Sunday's show I'll have a way faster camera. I'm getting really tired of having very non-grainy, usually blurry pictures. I want to swing that pendulum.

I only got a couple of decent photos, here they are:

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Dropkick Murphys, Tsongas Arena, Lowell MA, 3-15-2008

UPDATE: You're probably looking for the 7-10-08 show at the baseball park, those pics are over here

[music | D.R.I - In the Pit]
[music | Pete Seeger - Which Side Are You On]
[music | Dropkick Murphys - Dirty Glass]
[music | The Bruisers - These Two Boots of Mine]

We were very lucky to get these tickets. I guess they just moved the venue to the Tsongas on Thursday and opened up a huge block of tickets. We'd tried to hit the St. Patricks day shows a year or two ago, but they sold too fast. This time I was worried we'd have to be in seats, in a hockey arena, and I just wouldn't have bothered. As it was, we were right up front and got to see a fucking brilliant show.

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Club Troubles

music | Pig - Stage Slut]

I'm troubled by the club situation in Boston. As I've noted elsewhere, the Boston club scene has kind of hit a wall the last few months with the closure of Avalon and Axis, and to a lesser degree, the Modern. They've been closed for "Renovations" into a MegaClub Corporate Entertainment Complex, but since they were still owned by the Lyons group, who has given us 25 years of great clubbery, I knew it couldn't be as bad as I imagined. At that point I didn't know they'd sold the Paradise months ago. How did I manage to miss the entire loop here, let alone be in it.

Now I know it's worse, they're going to become a House of Blues...

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New York Dolls @ The Paradise

[music | Jim Carroll - People Who Died

Whee I got to see David Johansen and I got the photos to prove it. What an awesome show. The audience didn't move around much at all, and those that did were dragged out by their throats, so that sucked, but it was good to get out, hang with my friend, drink some beers and see the Dolls. Highlights were obviously singles (Trash, Personality Crisis, Looking for a Kiss, Frankenstein - in that order). They also did a cover of Piece of My Heart, which rocked. Here are some of the not-that-shitty pics I took, more are at the Flickr set. I wish I hadn't been buried in the crowd, but the Dise was packed, I didn't want to ditch my friend and assert myself to the front, and the balcony was pretty much out of the question. 90% of the pics I took sucked, but some survived, unfortunately, none of the rest of the band survived (as in reality pretty much). I was supposed to meet one of my work friends, but that wasn't happening. Hopefully she got in since the show was sold out by the time I showed up, which thanks to my sucky weekend karma and our general slowness, meant I missed Opening Band.

UPDATE: Oh yeah, and as I was telling Sean. Scrooged is provably full of shit. No way is anyone getting in a cab driven by that guy.

Pics Inside

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Neko Case @ Lupo's

Tonight was Neko Case at Lupo's in Providence. Aside from the most frustrating day in the world, especially for my wife, it was awesome. Thank you The Internet, for making me listen to her.

Update: Oh yeah, and I got hit by a car.

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Dresden Dolls - Orpheum 12/29/2007

[music | Combichrist - Get Your Body Beat (Sergio Mesa Remix)]

In the half dozen or so Dresden Dolls shows we've seen in the last few years, I've never been to a bad show. Often, Amanda's voice is fucked (like last night), once they opened for a band we didn't care about, but their shows are always excellent. Even as an "old timer", it's still easy to be impressed by the stage presence of just two people, and how much music comes out of those two instruments. I think that's because I count Brian as three people, and up to four instruments.

I've seen faster drummers, but no one can show me a more entertaining drummer. Drummers are usually second only to bassists in polls of "who is the most emotionless suckass on any stage". It's his treatment of the drums as an instrument capable of melody as much as his playfulness that makes him so important. That and he's really cute and hilarious to watch. I've never seen him go quite so far back during Coin Operated Boy. One day he's going to try that and discover he's 30, right there in the middle of the show. He'll say "Fuck, I'm 30", and just stay down. I know. And it's only 18 short months away. Get ready man.

I've also never seen Amanda get through an entire performance of Missed Me without cracking up at him at least once.

Her performance was nothing short of stunning. Her voice was as screwed as I've ever heard it from the get go, she couldn't even talk. I was worried we were going to have another Morrissey on our hands, but Amanda proved she could suck it up and not annoy everyone and have to reschedule.

For the love of god watch the video

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Bosstones - Middle East 12-27-07

[music | Unwoman - Deeper Understanding]

I always love going to Mighty Mighty Bosstones shows. The first time I went was at UNH in the middle of a blizzard. They opened the doors to the outside and we'd all go outside, pick up some snow, cool down, throw snowballs, then run back in and dance more.

The second time was at Hampton Beach Casino. They opened the doors to let the cool in there as well if I remember. I got a drumstick from that one.

This show as at the Middle East. There aren't any doors there, and it was mightily hot, but we were right up front by the loudspeakers and it was way fun. Not much jumping around was happening because everyone was just packed in like crazy. My knees were fine with this anyway, they think I should get pins in them, I keep telling them to shut it and be glad I haven't amputated them yet.

I also always leave Bosstones shows with the opinion that what I need more than anything in my life is a good hype man:



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Rev. Horton Heat @ The Roxy

[music | Sandra Lee's insane boozahol'ing]

Here are some of the good photos from the Reverend's 11/17/2007 Boston show.

Nashville Pussy and Hank Williams III/Assjack opened, and the crowd was really wound up and active an hour before the Reverend came out, which is the highest praise I can give an opener, so let's stop there. If you're unfamiliar with Hank III / Assjack, he does basically two sets, a psychobilly set and a thrash/hardcore set. So we basically got 4 bands for the price of 3, and it was awesome. I'm still trying to figure out the roots of the gg allin & Murder Junkies connection, since he remains a local legend and heroic hardcore pioneer. It was good to see props in a big way. I know they've got allin & MJ family on board, playing with Merle Allin et al, which is great. Here is a good interview on NHPR with G.G. Allin & the Jabbers members, since I'm on the subject.

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Happy Birthday to Me

[music | Me, humming Big Red Rocket of Love quietly]

Get a present, lose a toenail, here's what tonight's Rev. Horton Heat show did to my foot :-) :

Due to my age and state of my knees, I've re-assigned myself from dancing in the pit to doing "Pit Maintenance" around the outside, this is what you get when you don't wear steel toe caps.

Natalie actually thinks that, as disgusting as this is (and more importantly, will become), my abilities to spread and bend my toes like fingers is worse:

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