Auld lang syne

Aaron Sinclair heads for the hills
By WILL SPITZ  |  February 6, 2007
Frank Smith

It was a sad occasion a week ago Thursday at ZuZu — Frank Smith frontman Aaron Sinclair’s last in a long line of shows at the Central Square bar. After a decade as one of the finest songwriters and musicians in town, he’s moving back to his native Texas with a few of his band mates next month. Nonetheless, good vibes filled the air as a slew of friends and collaborators passed around guitars and took turns at the mic: Sharking frontman Marc Flynn, the McCartney to Sinclair’s Lennon in the prog-punk band Drexel; Ted Billings from Age Rings, on whose debut album Sinclair played drums (for the record, I play guitar in Age Rings); Sinclair’s former Lot Six band mate Dave Vicini; Viva Viva’s Chris Warren; Frank Smith banjoist Brett Saiia; Dead Trees (formerly Furvis) frontman Mike Cummings; Mittens’ Tom Novotny; and finally Sinclair himself.

It was an appropriately boozy, loosy-goosy night. The crowd sang and banged along happily as performers played a mix of covers and their own songs. “I’m gonna try to do a cover,” Cummings said before he took a stab at the Grateful Dead’s “Uncle John’s Band.” He lost his way at one point and shot a look of defeat at Saiia, who had been taking occasional whistle solos over his songs. “I like it,” Saiia said, and Cummings kept going.

Sinclair took to the mic a little after midnight: “Thanks to all my amazing friends for playing. I love you guys.” He opened his set with a poignant version of Bruce Springsteen’s “Highway Patrolman,” and the room was quieter than it had been all night — the only crowd noise came from a few folks who sang harmonies on the choruses. Then Saiia joined Sinclair for a few songs, including their countrified version of the Stooges’ “I Wanna Be Your Dog.”

After they were done, the mood turned a bit glum. “I walked away from the last Drexel show and the last Lot Six show and I went back to my car and wanted to cry,” someone said. “I’m about to walk away from the last Aaron Sinclair show, and I don’t like it. The city is going to seem more dead.”

Related: Boston music news: November 24, 2006, Beneficial pop, The Boston hit list, More more >
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