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Days of the New

The orchestral stylings of Rustic Overtones 2.0
When drummer Tony McNaboe delivered the burned copy of Rustic Overtones’ new full-length album, he tucked it inside the packaging of the re-released and re-mastered Long Division.
By SAM PFEIFLE  |  November 05, 2009

Mars vs. Venus

Speed-the-Plow; The Taming of the Shrew; A Long and Winding Road
It’s been 21 years since Speed-the-Plow first milked the cravenness of Hollywood and the self-described “whores” who turn its celluloid tricks. But David Mamet’s scathing, staccato comedy has held up at least as well as Madonna, who made her Broadway debut in the original 1988 production.
By CAROLYN CLAY  |  October 28, 2009

Slow hand

Jeremy Udden’s rocky jazz path
In his Village Voice review of Jeremy Udden’s Plainville (Fresh Sound New Talent), Jim Macnie recalled how a friend of his tried to file it as “jazz for Wilco fans.” As Macnie explained, that’s not the whole story with Udden or Plainville , but it’s not a bad starting point.
By JON GARELICK  |  October 21, 2009

Life in Ruin

The crushing metal of Human Moral Deception
Recently, Bull Moose wondered "aloud" (via Facebook) about the future of metal.
By SAM PFEIFLE  |  October 21, 2009

Slow hand

Jeremy Udden’s rocky jazz path
In his Village Voice review of Jeremy Udden’s Plainville (Fresh Sound New Talent), Jim Macnie recalled how a friend of his tried to file it as “jazz for Wilco fans.” As Macnie explained, that’s not the whole story with Udden or Plainville , but it’s not a bad starting point.
By JON GARELICK  |  October 21, 2009

The Big Hurt: Think of England

‘Who Charted?’: The UK edition
Although we like to think of ourselves as having an ironclad hegemony over the pop of the Western world, those plucky Brits like to rise from their misty bog and tweak our nipples with a pond-crossing chart smash once in a while.
By DAVID THORPE  |  October 06, 2009

Tropicália storm

The long awaited return of Os Mutantes
When Sérgio Dias takes to the Somerville Theatre stage this Sunday with the current incarnation of Os Mutantes, it's a safe bet he'll be beaming with gratitude. "I'm riding the same wave," he says of his band's legendary Brazilian albums, "but this time I have my eyes open."
By GUSTAVO TURNER  |  September 28, 2009

Crossword: ''Dietary restrictions''

Don't go over your limit
Don't go over your limit
By MATT JONES  |  September 16, 2009

Falling fast

Let's get things started right away
As almost always seems to be the case, I have to start the "fall preview" by detailing this upcoming weekend, which promises to be one of the most active of the year.
By SAM PFEIFLE  |  September 16, 2009

Cheesy and crackers

Too much southern exposure. Plus, a rant — unpamper those kids!
There is no place hotter in the media lately than South Carolina, "The Cracker State," whose logo is still  essentially the Confederate flag.
By PHILLIPE AND JORGE  |  September 16, 2009

Pain makes you beautiful

 Dead Season find the middle ground between life and death
With all the success Dead Season have had, perhaps their greatest talent lies in their unflappable honesty, their unwavering self-confidence. At times, their songs, full of introspection and naked emotion, are like being forced to stare at the sun. The instinct to blink is strong.
By SAM PFEIFLE  |  September 09, 2009

Game Review: The Beatles: Rock Band

Don't meet the Beatles — be them
Can we agree that the music-game market is saturated? To stand out in this crowd, you'd need something special. You'd need the Beatles.
By MITCH KRPATA  |  September 09, 2009

The Big Hurt: Don't look back in anger

The best of times with the worst of bands
"You don't know what you've got till it's gone," Janet Jackson once famously sampled, and how true it is. Only now that Noel Gallagher has left in a firestorm of brotherly acrimony can I truly take stock of my feelings toward Oasis.
By DAVID THORPE  |  September 08, 2009

Better all the time

Get these Beatles reissues into your life
In 2006, Apple/EMI released the Beatles-soundtracked Cirque du Soleil companion piece Love , which mashed together songs from the band's repertoire in stunning remastered sound.
By ZETH LUNDY  |  September 08, 2009

What of the Beatles?

Jazz, pop, and circumstance
Spouting off during downtime in an interview with jazz drummer/composer Steve Grover, I once put forward my ill-researched idea that the third song is almost universally the best song on a great album.
By SAM PFEIFLE  |  September 02, 2009

Players only

A peek inside the world of Harmonix
Jessica Smith has spent years booking death-metal shows around Boston. On top of loads of meat-and-potatoes nights at O'Brien's in Allston and Dee Dee's in Quincy, two of her shows — Origin and Malevolent Creation — actually sold out the Middle East upstairs.
By MATT PARISH  |  August 24, 2009

Kollective soul

Kris Hansen's ever-evolving sound
Singer/songwriter Kris Hansen and longtime pal Bob Giusti certainly are no stranger to the local music scene, having played out and hosted scores of gigs and all-star, open-mic jam sessions for more than a dozen years as Kris Hansen's Left Hand Band, a tight-knit jazzy/folky-type trio. Their 08 self-titled debut (at and iTunes) zigged and zagged across acoustic blues and roots-rock, with Hansen's pen celebrating a second chance at life after the Scituate native battled a near-fatal brain aneurysm on the eve of his 24th birthday, as well as Hansen, drummer Giusti, and bassist/engineer George Dussault all becoming dads during the recording process.
By CHRIS CONTI  |  August 12, 2009

From Sir, with love

Paul McCartney, live at Fenway, on August 5, 2009
However people go about justifying an expensive rock experience — whether laundering it through nostalgia, taking it as a sound investment in one’s pop-culture equity, or writing it off as a de facto co-pay toward rock’s fast-failing status quo — a Paul McCartney show just seems . . . different, excusable, maybe even compulsory.
By MICHAEL BRODEUR  |  August 10, 2009

Photos: Paul McCartney at Fenway

Paul McCartney, live at Fenway Park on August 5, 2009
Photos of the former Beatle performing at Fenway Park 
By DAVID F. NICHOLSON  |  August 11, 2009

The Big Hurt: Woo ware

This one goes out to all the ladies
A friend of mine offered a suggestion: I should make a ton of money by compiling and selling the most foolproof ladykiller of a romantic mixtape ever conceived.
By DAVID THORPE  |  August 11, 2009

VIDEO: Watch Paul McCartney at Fenway

Paul McCartney, live at Fenway Park on August 5, 2009
Watch Paul McCartney in concert at Fenway Park
By PHOENIX STAFF  |  August 11, 2009
drug rug list

Going steady

This just in: Drug Rug are insanely good
Whenever Drug Rug come up in the press (which is happening more and more lately), writers seem to find it hard to separate the band from the relationship between founding members Sarah Cronin and Tommy Allen. Cronin and Allen are not crazy about this.
By RYAN STEWART  |  August 05, 2009
spencer list

So good

Spencer Albee's got Spirit. How 'bout you?
One way to experiment with songwriting is to throw convention out the window, eschew verses and choruses, try to be completely unique. Sometimes the idea appears that if a song sounds like anything that came before it, well, that's points deducted like a gymnast who missed her landing. It's derivative!
By SAM PFEIFLE  |  July 30, 2009

Interview: Michael Angelakos of Passion Pit

Cleaning up with this year's BMP winners
In 2008, Passion Pit won Best New Artist in our Best Music Poll.

Best Music Poll 2009: Anything goes

The underground: saved, salvaged, or savaged?
The underground: saved, salvaged, or savaged?
By DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  July 30, 2009

Scholarship gigs

Newpoli and Steven Bernstein do their homework
When in 1999 Björn Wennås moved from Sweden to Boston to study jazz guitar, he hardly imagined that he'd one day be playing in an ensemble that specializes in Italian folk music of the 12th to 19th centuries.
By JON GARELICK  |  August 04, 2009

More than a feeling

Music inspires art at the MFA, Panopticon, and the Gardner
The centerpiece of the Museum of Fine Arts' "Contemporary Outlook: Seeing Songs" is Candice Breitz's 2005 Queen (A Portrait of Madonna), a wall of 30 televisions, each showing a different Madonna fan singing a cappella to her 1990 greatest-hits compilation, The Immaculate Collection. They wear headphones, bob their heads, sing aloud to music we can't hear.
By GREG COOK  |  July 21, 2009

He all lives in a yellow submarine

Will Sean Bagge's one-man submarine last or will it swallow him whole?
In just over a week, the Brown University senior will batten down the hatch and take the submersible on its first major voyage: dropping into the murky depths of Massachusetts' Long Pond.
By ABIGAIL CROCKER  |  July 15, 2009

Music as memory

Marco Benevento, live at the Museum of Fine Arts, July 1, 2009
When I first saw him perform, at Newport last year, I slammed pianist Marco Benevento for playing "bombastic, leadfoot, pedal-to-the-metal instrumental rock." But that was long ago in another country, and besides, the wench is dead.
By JON GARELICK  |  July 07, 2009

VIDEO: Michael Jackson's memorial service

Watch video of Michael Jackson's memorial in LA
Thousands attend Michael Jackson's memorial inside the Staples Center in LA
By PHOENIX STAFF  |  July 10, 2009

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