M&T Best Songs of 2017


We've compiled a playlist of the 75 best songs from the year that was and highlighted our top 10 below. Make sure to subscribe Read More

M&T Best Albums of 2017


The moment you've all been waiting for...our favorite albums of 2017. We've compiled a list of the 40 best albums of the year and highlighted a Read More

January 2018 Spotify Playlist of the Month


Welcome to 2018. Hopefully we never hear the words 'bomb cyclone' ever again after this far-from-temperate January day here in NYC. To keep you Read More

Concert Preview

Summer Guide to the Small Festival

Posted on by Eric in Concert Preview, M&T Favorites, Music News | Leave a comment

Now that Coachella has announced its lineup for this year’s festival, it is only a matter of time before Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, Sasquatch and other large summer festivals announce theirs. Only a few days after Coachella’s lineup went public, Wilco made the announcement that their Solid Sound Festival would be taking the year off.

With the big festivals attracting larger and larger crowds each summer and one of our favorite small festivals going on hiatus, where do we turn if we want to see a great weekend of music without paying $300+ for it? No need to fear, we have compiled a list of  summer festivals that are sure to give you plenty of bang for your buck.

Northside Festival (June 14-17, 2012 Brooklyn, NY)– With a 4-day badge priced at $80 and music playing at venues throughout Brooklyn, this festival is a hipster’s paradise. Last year’s  lineup boasted acts like Beirut, Deervana, Surfer Blood and the U.S. debut of Iceage. Now in its fourth year, it’s safe to say that there will be plenty of flannel and skinny jeans blanketing Williamsburg and Greenpoint come mid-June.

Sled Island (June 20-23, 2012 Calgary, AB)– We had to give Canada some love on this list and although some may consider the $200 for a 4-day pass a bit much, just take a look at the 2011 lineup. With bands like Braids, Deer Tick, Howlin’ Rain, Kurt Vile, Minus the Bear, Of Montreal, Teen Daze, Twin Shadow, and Wild Flag you will get more than your money’s worth.

AthFest (June 20-24, 2012 Athens, GA)– Over the years Athens has become a hotbed for music, producing bands like R.E.M., Drive-By Truckers, Widespread Panic and The B-52’s to name a few. More recently, homegrown bands such as Futurebirds, Dead Confederate and Reptar have graced the stages of AthFest to help promote the artistic culture of the city. All outdoor stages are FREE (talk about bang for your buck) and a $20 wristband will get you into any of the club shows at night.

Newport Folk Festival (July 28-29, 2012 Newport, RI)– You can find all of the information you need to know about Newport Folk Festival here and here. Can you tell that it’s one of our favorite events of the year?

Philadelphia Folk Festival (August 17-19, 2012 Schwenksville, PA)– As the longest continually running music festival in the country, the Philadelphia Folk Festival has one of the finest reputations in the festival world. For $140 you can see legends like Arlo Guthrie and Tom Paxton while modern balladeers such as Bonnie “Prince” Billy and Jeff Tweedy help to carry on the torch of their folk forefathers.

New Music Monday + EP Release Party: Kingsley Flood

Posted on by Eric in Concert Preview, New Music Mondays | Leave a comment

M&T favorites and darlings of the burgeoning Boston Americana scene, Kingsley Flood, are set to release their new EP Colder Still on January 10, 2012. The EP features 6 tracks including “I Don’t Wanna Go Home” which was released as a single earlier this year. The other tracks are familiar too, as we heard most of them performed at this year’s Nor’easter Festival.

Much like their previous release, Dust Windows, the band never settles into a distinct style, rather challenging themselves to incorporate elements of folk, bluegrass, punk and country throughout the EP. “I Don’t Wanna Go Home” immediately grabs your attention and I can guarantee will be stuck in your head for days. “Quiet Quiet Ground” provides the harmonies and banjo picking that seem perfect for a summer’s day on Newport harbor while “Mannequin Man” pushes the band more towards The Clash than Johnny Cash. The sonic diversity of Dust Windows was a breath of fresh air, and with Colder Still I was very pleasantly surprised to hear the band capture a comparable breadth of musical themes in just 6 songs.

If you want to hear all of the songs off Colder Still before January 10th then you are in luck. The band will be performing at the Lizard Lounge December 8-10 for a string of EP release shows and each of the three nights will feature different opening acts including another friend of the blog Jamie Kent. Take a look below for the full schedule of shows as well as a link to the event page for more info.

Kingsley Flood Boston EP Release Party:

Thursday, Dec. 8: Son of the Sun and Balthrop, Alabama

Friday, Dec. 9:  Paper Thick Walls and Swear & Shake

Saturday, Dec. 10: This Way and Jamie Kent

 

Newport Archives with Jonny Corndawg

Posted on by Trevor in Concert Preview, M&T Favorites | Leave a comment

On a beautiful and historic afternoon at the 2011 Newport Folk Festival I had the soul enriching experience of interviewing the disarmingly charming Jonny Corndawg. We stored that interview in anticipation of his upcoming tour with Trampled by Turtles which we knew would be swinging through the Northeast this upcoming November. Like any scene in Indiana Jones where Harrison Ford brushes off the dust on an ancient object shrouded in mystery and a glorious aura, we gladly present to you an 8 minute, uncensored, uncut, real life talk with Mr. Corndawg. Jonny will entertain you as he expounds on his thoughts of the music scene both here in the US and across the pond in the UK (“fuck ’em” he says), the explanation of what he means by ‘Dad Country’ and where the inspiration comes from for his creative album title ‘Down on the Bikini Line’. I will forewarn you though, the cool Atlantic breeze that blows off Brenton Cove and the Newport Harbor does interfere with this man’s beautiful voice…and I do make a lot of bad jokes. I was starstruck/buzzin on Magic Hat #9’s alright.

Enjoy!

Corndawg gets real

Concert Preview: Wu Lyf and Crystal Antlers at The Middle East 11/10

Posted on by Neil in Concert Preview | Leave a comment

After realizing that I’ve been going through withdrawls recently as a result of not seeing enough live music, I couldn’t have been more relieved to see Wu Lyf and Crystal Antlers on the bill when scoping out the upcoming schedule for The Middle East. When I first heard Wu Lyf’s debut album Go Tell Fire To The Mountain a couple months back, I was immediately floored. The scope of these guys’ sound was mind-boggling, like something which should be performed in the most grandiose of venues whilst everyone’s headbangs are perfectly synchronized in a slow-motion, sweat-flinging gathering of bros. In place of a baroque chapel, they’ll be playing at the Middle East, which I’m sure will suit them just fine. These guys have a lot of hype building around them, at the beginning it was mostly because no one knew shit about these mysterious Brits, like they had dropped from the sky from some alternate indie-verse (a la Unknown Mortal Orchestra). But now, I’m pretty sure the hype is completely justified and these guys know how to bring the noise. Either way, I can’t wait to find out.

Sea Monsters @ TT The Bear’s Friday 11.04

Posted on by sandmanmusic in Concert Preview, M&T Favorites | Leave a comment

Sea Monsters @ TT The Bears

M&T favorite, Sea Monsters, will be performing tomorrow night, November 4th, at TT The Bear’s Place in Central Sq, Cambridge. For those of you still unfamiliar with the Sea Monsters, they are a collective of some of Boston’s best players, built around frontman Christian McNeill and his finely crafted tunes. The communal stage dynamic and rotating cast of the Sea Monsters always makes for a one-of-a-kind live musical experience that is not to be missed. Tomorrow night’s edition of the Sea Monsters will include regulars Ben Zecker (keys), John (sax) & Scott (trumpet) Aruda, Mike Miksis (bass); occasional sit-in drummer Dean Johnston; Tim Pike (guitar) and first-time Sea Monster, guest vocalist Samantha Farrell, fronted by the energetic McNeill on vocals and guitar.

Get ramped up for tomorrow night by checking out a live version of McNeill’s “Older Now” below, and then head right on over to this link to grab your tickets. With Kristin Cifelli and McAlister Drive also on the bill, this promises to be a brilliant night of music.

Oh!…and don’t forget to go vote for Christian and other M&T favorites Tim Gearan Band, David Wax Museum and Kingsley Flood, all who were nominated for this year’s Boston Music Awards! VOTE HERE

 

Chris Taylor of Grizzly Bear Brings CANT to Middle East Downstairs 10/24/2011

Posted on by Eric in Concert Preview | Leave a comment

 

Chris Taylor, most widely known as the bass player and multi-instrumentalist for Grizzly Bear, will be bringing his solo project CANT to the Middle East Downstairs this Monday. Taylor released his debut full-length effort Dreams Come True last month on his label, Terrible Records. Taylor’s solo release sounds less like Grizzly Bear and more like some of the records that he has worked on as a producer such as Twin Shadow’s Forget and Dirty Projectors’ Rise Above.

Dreams captures various styles and sounds ranging from the airy yet funky “Believe” to the downright scary title track and everything in between. Taylor will also be bringing along label-mate Blood Orange aka Lightspeed Champion aka Dev Hynes to take on opening duties as well as joining in on guitar and bass for CANT. Finishing off the bill is Here We Go Magic frontman Luke Temple whose solo material may be stripped down but still just as eclectic as HWGM’s sound.

Needless to say it will be an exciting night at the Middle East, so grab your tickets here and we will see you in Cambridge on Monday.

Those Darlins and Movers & Shakers Set to Rock Middle East Downstairs 10/15/2011

Posted on by Eric in Concert Preview | Leave a comment

On Saturday October 15th we will be headed back to the Middle East, this time to catch Those Darlins on the downstairs stage. The Tennessee trio turned quartet (with the addition of drummer Linwood Regensburg) is touring in support of their second release, Screws Get Loose, which came out earlier this year. Their sophomore effort is a little less country than their self-titled debut, but still delivers the brash wit that made the first record so entertaining.

Some standout tracks to get acquainted with before Saturday’s show are “Mystic Mind” and “Be Your Bro” the latter of which tackles every bro’s nightmare– “I just wanna be your brother, you just wanna be my boyfriend. I just wanna run and play in the dirt with you, you just wanna stick it in.”

Fresh off a run of shows with everyone’s favorite Japanese action comic punk band Peelander-Z, Those Darlins will be joined at their Middle East gig by Boston natives Movers & Shakers.

The band who dubs themselves Americana garage rock is now streaming their newest record, National Harvester, on their bandcamp page. What really grabbed me on this one was, “The Strongest Way To Go,” which certainly passed the Makes Me Want to Get Up Out of My Desk Chair and Dance test with the sound of the organ accompanied by energetic guitar licks, and relentless drums.

Another track to check out from Movers & Shakers is the epic, “Without You I’m Gone” for which Emperor Norton’s Stationary Marching Band was enlisted to help close out the album.

Take a listen to tracks from both bands below and click here for more info on the event.

Jamie Kent Set to Kick Off Fall Tour at Middle East Upstairs 10/7/2011

Posted on by Eric in Concert Preview | Leave a comment

Massachusetts native Jamie Kent will be embarking on a nationwide fall tour along with his band The Options, starting with a tour kick-off party tomorrow night at the Middle East Upstairs and ending over a month later in New Orleans.

Jamie is an old friend of the blog and we cannot speak highly enough of not only his music, but also the entrepreneurial spirit that he has brought to making a career out of that music. Back in 2009 when Jamie first started his musical journey he created The Collective as an innovative way to raise the money needed to support his musical dreams while also giving fans an inside look into what it takes to be a successful musician.

I’m sure that The Collective will be out in full force at tomorrow night’s kick-off party and if you haven’t already grabbed your tickets you can find them here. Jamie will be touring in support of his most recent release, the Basically Unplugged EP as well as debuting some new tunes for his upcoming full-length disc. Basically Unplugged has been plugged in to my headphones all day and I can’t stop listening to one track in particular. “My Head, Your Arms” reminds me of one of my favorite records from my freshman year of college– Trevor Hall Live.

For me that record was the quintessential listen as a wide-eyed 18 year old leaving the little town of Ipswich, Massachusetts and heading off to college. It had a sort of liberating quality to it that opened up doors to many of my other favorite records in college. With Basically Unplugged Jamie and The Options evoke the same hope and youthfulness as Trevor Hall and are certain to bring that energy to the stage tomorrow night at The Middle East.

For a full list of shows on Jamie’s fall tour click here and take a listen to “My Head, Your Arms” below and you’ll hear exactly what I am talking about.

Japandroids at Middle East Upstairs 9/15

Posted on by Eric in Concert Preview | Leave a comment

If you’re like us here at M&T you have been patiently waiting for another full-length release from Japandroids. Yes there was the series of 7″ EPs that they released over the course of last year, which included some solid tracks like “Younger Us,” but like any greedy music fan we want more. When we heard that the band would be playing new material from the follow-up to 2009’s Post-Nothing on their Fall 2011 tour, we knew that we had to be there to get a sneak peek at these fresh tracks.

We enjoyed 2009’s Post-Nothing as much as the next guy (see year end lists for Spin-#16, NME-#39 and Pitchfork-#15), but what sealed the deal on Japandroids for us was their performance at Bonnaroo in 2010. It was early on a Sunday in one of the tents and the crowd was a bit thin compared to other Bonnaroo performances (keep in mind there were probably about 50,000 people at the main stages at any given time over the course of the weekend), but the band was thankful for those who showed up. By the end of the set we were the ones thanking the band for delivering their fuzzed out yet poppy tunes to perfection through 100 degree heat.

The setting at the Middle East in Cambridge for next week’s show is going to be a bit different to say the least. Although the show is SOLD OUT the room only has a max capacity of 194. Yes you read that number correctly, 194. This means two things–

1. This has all the makings to be one of those “remember when” shows where you caught a band in an intimate venue before they gained major mainstream success

AND

2. Bring your ear plugs

Make sure to check back after the show for our review and head over to the Middle East’s website because we are going to be spending a lot of time there over the next few months (Peter Wolf Crier, Vetiver and Fruit Bats and many more) and would love you to join us for some shows.

Fruit Bats and Vetiver at Middle East

Posted on by doucebox in Concert Preview | 2 Comments

 

September…I’ve been waiting for you to arrive. No, not because it’s the end of the summer (I’m not some freak that doesn’t like the summer) but because of the amount of shows I have lined up over the next month. I’m literally going to at least two shows a week, every week of September. You may be thinking to yourself; Doucebox, you must be spending a boatload of money? Well my friend, that’s the beautiful part about my September show lineup, most of the shows I’m going to are under $20. Well with the exception of, Broken Social Scene, The National, and Wilco…but that’s besides the point. If you’re looking for a great show in Boston during September, there are plenty of bands coming around, and we will update you on shows we recommend.

On September 12th, Fruit Bats and Vetiver will be playing The Middle East (downstairs) for only 13 bucks. For those of you not familiar with these bands, let me give you a little preview. Fruit Bats have been crushing the folk rock scene for quite some time now. Led by Eric D. Johnson, they have released 5 studio albums since 2001, their latest one came out this year and is titled Tripper. Musically they are very melodic, and easy on the ears. If you like fingerpicking acoustic guitars you will love Fruit Bats.

Vetiver, like Fruit Bats, is also a veteran indie folk rock band. They have been around since 2004, and have released 5 albums and several EPs. Their most recent album, The Errant Charm, came out earlier this year and it may be their best one yet. Their usual chilled out mellow sound opens up a lot more on this album (it’s still pretty mellow) with great guitar leads, and a few organ driven tracks. Unlike Fruit Bats, I have seen Vetiver live. I saw them open for Dawes last year at The Royale and they played a really great set, despite the time restriction. They have a bunch of songs that they jam out to, so I’m excited to see them play a longer set.