house of blues
From who's nominated to why it's a big deal, here's everything you need to know to celebrate the music scene’s biggest night.
Kurt Vile had to know that including a song like “One Trick Ponies” on his seventh record would be a vulnerable action, as rumblings from certain cynical/critical corners would gleefully point to Bottle It In and say, “See! He’s just released the same mid-tempo ...
The guitar jammer talks doing impersonations, supporting the ACLU, and the brutality of New England winters.
“You know it’s okay to have a bad day.” Courtney Barnett spends a lot of time, thinking about the edges of the daily human existence, sketching out brilliant pastiches of the small moments that everyone experiences. It never hurts to have a catchy song to drape lyrics around, and her case she’s shown to be more than capable of providing sterling examples in both areas. Her newest record, Tell Me How You Really Feel, is not a departure from her oeuvre, and why mess with a winning recipe? “Need A Little Time” was an early standout, showcasing Barnett’s unusual pickless guitar playing style; she’s gotten quite good since first seeing her at the Sinclair in 2015. Maybe spending a good chunk of time with Kurt Vile inspired her playing?
Speaking of, she didn’t play any of the material from Lotta Sea Lice and “Dead Fox” was a notable exclusion but there was no grumbling; “Depreston” remains a piercing look at the depressing state of real estate rent. She also didn’t forget the song that put her on the map, the languid slide of “Avant Gardener” matching with the best reference ever about poor bong smoking proficiency. Her love of Gillian Welch is still going strong, as she opened her encore with a solo, introspective reading of “Everything Is Free” (at last year’s show with Vile, she also played “Elvis Presley Blues”) and invited opener Waxahatchee to help out on “Houses,” a cover from obscure late 60’s folk singer Elyse Weinberg. A ripping version of “Pedestrian At Best” closed out the particularly enjoyable evening.
More photos of the show:
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The folk charmer talks eccentric neighbors, opiate fields in Wizard of Oz, and all the things hidden under his bed.
The indie folk act talks traveling to Mars, running into wildcats, and U2 covering Ol’ Dirty Bastard.
The saying goes that you can’t go home again (and RIP, Mr Wolfe) but really, Boston never was home for Kim Deal. Sure, she got her start here, first with the Pixies, and then later via the once-side project and now main concern The Breeders but she’s always been an Ohio girl at heart. Along with her little sister, Deal brought fellow Daytonian Jim McPherson (arguably the best drummer ever to occupy the rotating drummer position of Guided By Voices) and Brit Josephine Wiggs for a run-through some material from their excellent new record, All Nerve, and of course a big helping of their previous songs.
I wouldn’t necessarily categorize Breeders’ songs as mindless fun, but the sisters had gigantic smiles on their faces the entire time and were clearly enjoying the adopted hometown love that the audience was giving back. APlaying “Gigantic” was sort of unnecessary but got a huge response nonetheless, and at the very least it was fun to see Kim playing bass again. The other nod to local roots was their cover of “Drivin’ on 9,” from the oddball rock combo Ed’s Redeeming Qualities. I was always partial to “Lawn Dart” but there’s no denying the bounce in one’s step that “Drivin’ On 9” delivers. And speaking of covers, the band is surely on the short list of best Beatles’ covers and “Happiness Is A Warm Gun” still delivers with the lead-in crack of the snare.
Melkbelly was the handpicked opener for the tour, and the three siblings plus drummer played a spiky brand of rock that had they been active two decades, wouldn’t be out of place on Touch and Go or Boner. It’s nice to see that genre isn’t totally overlooked these days.
Photos of both bands:
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