Allow Dear Leader to introduce you
There are plenty of ways to introduce yourself to Boston. You can put up little LED boards under bridges all over town and get pilloried, you can assume multiple identities and kidnap your daughter and get exposed, or you can ride a bike towing a big wooden cart around town and holler warnings at everyone in your path. These tested methods work — though sometimes at the expense of your valuable rep. A better way is to get in good with newly reactivated local gut-pop heroes Dear Leader. They do these two-night residencies sometimes at T.T.’s (like this Friday and Saturday) and tend to fill the bills with the cream of the up-and-coming crop. Alongside more familiar names, like Taxpayer and the Motion Sick (both of whom join DL on Friday), there’s a handful of notable newbs and special guests. Let’s have a listen, shall we?
Friday + Saturday
That was close. Dear Leader frontman Aaron Perrino and his family up and relocated to Belgium last year. Sounds awesome, yes? No. Visa shit, cultural shit, apartment shit, and none of that lovely Boston humidity. But lo! He has returned, with (I’m guessing) a new fondness for mayonnaise and (I’m certain) a crush on these slick Belgian lickmeisters, who join Dear Leader both nights.
The Fatal Flaw, “The Great Indoors”
Although they demonstrate mastery of the interpersonal-squabble emo ballad (“When We Were Friends”), the true strengths of the Fatal Flaw (dudes from the Information, the Plus Ones, and — wow — the Mr. T. Experience) reveal themselves when the band get all loud, chunky, and pop-punky, splitting the difference between Jawbox and Jawbreaker. Do they sometimes go “Whoa-oa-oa”? Well of course they do.
The Painted Lights, “Kind Wind”
I’m with you: the idea of a halfway point between the Replacements and Coldplay makes me feel bad for coming up with it — but here we are. In other words: singer Brendan Little’s voice can go from milky coos to raspy calls while remaining tuneful, and their songs (especially this one) rock a balance of real grit and true class.
Dear Leader, “Raging Red (vs. Guns N’ Roses)”
Friday + Saturday
This live clip of hosts-with-the-most(s) Dear Leader is notable for a couple of reasons. One: it’s pretty much a spontaneous mash-up of “Sweet Child o’ Mine” and their own hit “Raging Red” that would make the Dismemberment Plan proud. Two: I swear, 22 seconds in, Barney Gumble makes a cameo. How is that even possible?
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