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

The Nines Festival

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In its first year The Nines Festival in Devens, MA has already started making waves in the local music scene with a stellar lineup to go along with comedy, art installations, and crafts all crammed into one day. On August 10th Willard Field will be filled with a lineup full of M&T favorites including Delta Spirit, Dr. Dog, Explosions In The Sky along with acts like Walk Off The Earth, Matt Pond, k. flay and local favorites Walter Sickert & the Army of Broken Toys. And the best part is, there are two stages with no overlapping sets. I love it when that happens.

With tickets at an extremely reasonable price of $55 and Devens being less than an hour drive from Boston, what’s not to love? You can get your tickets here and once you do, stream the Spotify playlist below to get ready for what is sure to be a day filled with great music and plenty of other activities to boot.

The Ballroom Thieves Play Summerfest…TONIGHT!!

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On Wednesday I left Boston on a journey that would take me halfway across the country, and quite honestly, did not know what to expect from it at all. I was enlisted to help one of my favorite local bands, The Ballroom Thieves, document what is probably their biggest gig yet– direct support for Dispatch at Summerfest. Leaving Boston I felt a bit apprehensive, not knowing what would come of this 5-day 1,000 mile adventure, but it seemed as if the band knew exactly what needed to be accomplished. Not only with logistical items facing every touring band such as how to pack the van, and which route to take westward, but also with their Summerfest performance.

On Day 1 the mood in the van was light, with obvious excitement building as we drew closer and closer to our final destination. Day 2 brought us through Chicago and into Milwaukee, and the focus of conversation became increasingly centered around the big gig. Topics included details of the set list, timing of sound checks, and even on-stage spacing between the band members was discussed at length by the band and their manager. Although it may only be an hour out of a week-long festival for all of the Summerfest attendees, it’s been months of prep for the band and what seems like an eternity of waiting to take the stage. And with the day of the big gig upon us, these seemingly minute details like how far Devin (percussion) should sit from Martin (guitar), are magnified ten-fold.

With only about 7 hours between now and the performance, the scene has turned more into the calm before the storm. The band called it early last night (while this guy rocked out to LL Cool J) and today will be a check list of show preparations from loading and unloading the van, to running through the setlist and making sure all of the instruments sound just right.

If you’re in or around Milwaukee you won’t want to miss tonight’s Summerfest performance from The Ballroom Thieves, you’ll be able to say, “I was there when…”

So come one and come all to the BMO Harris Pavilion at 8pm for The Ballroom Thieves and Dispatch, followed by an exclusive after-party at Translator on Menomonee St in downtown Milwaukee. You’ll have to come to the show if you want all of the details for that after-party, and believe me, you’ll want to be there.

 

The Ballroom Thieves’ Guide to Touring

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All this week we will be travelling with one of our favorite hometown bands, The Ballroom Thieves, as they venture out to Milwaukee, WI for a performance at this year’s Summerfest. After Day 1 of driving (in our badass tour van courtesy of Greenvans) took us through Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, and Pennsylvania it felt like a good time for the Thieves to reflect on their past tour experiences. We asked each band member, and their manager Livingston, to discuss their favorite things about being on the road. And yes Doritos Locos Tacos is one of them.

Devin-

Favorite Tour Snack: “Naked pita chips… naked”

Road Trip Jam: “Born of a Broken Man” by Rage Against The Machine

Favorite Pit Stop: Antiquing and/or yard sales (“Anything I can turn into a haggle-crush-fest.”)

Best Tour Memory: “We were in West Virginia and we had pulled over to make a stop when it was just about dusk. It was a great evening and where we stopped we walked down this path in the woods that opened up to a deck that had a beautiful vantage point looking over a valley. Martin turned to me and said ‘You won’t pee off that,’ so I peed off that.”

The photo above is evidence from the crime scene

Rachel-

Favorite Tour Snack: Applesauce (“It comes in a bag…might be baby food.”)

Road Trip Jam: “Animal Skins” by Dry The River

Favorite Pit Stop: Brewery tours

Best Tour Memory: “Hangin’ in Burlington at Lake Champlain with Caroline Rose and Jer Coons.”

Martin-

Favorite Tour Snack: Banana and peanut butter

Road Trip Jam: “Will You Be There” by Michael Jackson

Favorite Pit Stop: “This bar in Pennsylvania where we ordered a 12-pack to-go. It was $12 and they just handed us the cans over the bar.”

Best Tour Memory: “Our tour with [fellow Boston duo] Tall Heights was a lot of fun. We picked them up in Wisconsin and they were with us through Michigan on a week-long tour. That whole tour was hilarious and inspiring in terms of travelling with other musicians and seeing how they work together, like seeing the dynamic between the two of them and the dynamic between them and us. It’s always great to play shows with them.”

Livingston-

Favorite Tour Snack: Doritos Locos Tacos (“Cool Ranch who are we kidding?”)

Road Trip Jam: “That’s All” by Genesis (“We start every car ride with it.”)

Favorite Pit Stop: Bodies of water, “Like lakes, rivers, and oceans mostly. Puddles, ponds, and creeks are cool too. I dig hangin’ out by the water.”

Best Tour Memory: “We were going to play a college gig at Keene State and we took two different cars, Rachel and Martin in one car and Devin and myself in the other. Devin and I got off the highway on the way up to get Boston Market so Martin and Rachel got up there first. They sent us what we thought was the address for the college, but when we made it to the address we drove back and forth multiple times before realizing the address that they gave us was actually for a bowling alley. We noticed their car in the parking lot so we went in and they had beers waiting for us and we played a couple strings before the gig. It was a great pre-show warm-up.”

On The Road!

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Today is the day folks! We will be taking to the highway with our friends from The Ballroom Thieves on their journey to Summerfest in Milwaukee. The Thieves are fresh off of kicking some ass last night at a SOLD OUT headlining gig in Allston at Great Scott so the mood is sure to be quite chipper as we hit the road. Stay tuned to our Facebook and Twitter feeds for updates along the way, it’s bound to get weird.

M&T Exclusive: On The Road With The Ballroom Thieves

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As a music junkie who was never quite good enough at guitar to progress beyond the high school battle of the bands scene (although I thought myself to be a modern-day Hendrix), there’s always been a part of me that’s utterly fascinated with the idea of being a part of a touring band. Well now that I’ve come to grips with the fact that my guitar playing is more like this than this, I’ve finally landed my chance to hit the road with one of my favorite bands. No, I won’t be playing any guitar (thank god), but I’ll be playing Cameron Crowe to The Ballroom Thieves’ Stillwater if you will.

If you don’t know who The Ballroom Thieves are, you will soon enough. We wrote about the Boston trio back in December as they were preparing for a show with the Apache Relay and we still can’t praise them enough. If you have had the pleasure of catching their live show you’ll understand like we do that they have “it.” I can’t describe what “it” is, but when you see it you’ll get it. That’s why we are beyond excited to be hitting the road with The Ballroom Thieves next week as they travel to Milwaukee in what may be their biggest gig to date– opening for Dispatch at Summerfest. The festivities will begin next week with a send-off show at Great Scott on June 25th (info here) that we highly suggest you all check that out, after you stop by Tommy Doyle’s of course.

We’ll be serving up exclusive content throughout the trip and sharing the inside scoop on how rising rock stars party on the road, er at least I’m imagining this as one big party. Stay tuned to Maimed & Tamed and all of our associated social channels as we take to the highway to give you all an inside look into the world of the Ballroom Thieves. So buckle up for a wild ride kids, and as the Thieves say in “The Callow and the Hale”– “let’s get outta here”

The Joy Formidable, You Won’t, and Vinyl Thief at House of Blues 6/20/2013

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It’s been just about a year since we named You Won’t as one of 5 Boston Bands You Should Know and 8 months since we hosted Vinyl Thief at our CMJ Showcase,  so it makes us feel like a (musically obsessed, and slightly overweight) proud dad to see both of these bands on a bill with The Joy Formidable. These three bands will take to the stage in what is sure to be a raucous night on Lansdowne St at the House of Blues this Thursday June 20th. When we last caught up with Nashville electro-rockers Vinyl Thief  they had just release a series of live videos that will serve as the perfect preparation for the dancing and drinking that you’ll be doing with us on Thursday. As for the local duo of You Won’t, they have already joined The Joy Formidable for a slew of dates leading up to their supporting run with The Lumineers.

Needless to say you won’t want to miss this Thursday’s show featuring these three incredible bands (horrible pun totally intended). Here’s three videos to whet your whistle–

We Avalanche Talks About Barber Shops, Chicken Nuggets, and More Ahead of 6/25 Tommy Doyle’s Show

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Three weeks ago we announced that the M&T crew will be jumping back into the local concert scene to present a show at Tommy Dolye’s in Harvard Square with our friends Young Giant. The show will feature two amazing local bands that we’re very excited about at the M&T headquarters, We Avalanche and VAVÁ. Recently we had the chance to chat with We Avalanche’s lead singer and guitar player, Brady Custis. Our conversation covered their most recent record Time Travels, new music, and most importantly- chicken nuggets. Read on for the full interview below and make sure to keep your calendar free for Tuesday June 25th at 930pm at Tommy Doyle’s. It’s only $5, so you have absolutely no excuse.

Maimed & Tamed: What’s on the horizon for the We Avalanche? Any new music, videos, or content that you want to share with the M&T faithful?

We Avalanche: Lots of new music. I don’t think we’ve played a show in the past few months without premiering a new song. We’ve just started recording a new record that we think will be exactly what the people have been waiting for.

M&T: What’s your favorite gig that you’ve played?

WA: Last January we were on tour and stopped in a little town called Collegeville, PA. They have a barbershop there run by the most beautifully bearded men you’ve ever seen. There is a nice stage in the back (yes, in the back of the barbershop) and in a small town everyone there appreciates having such a hip place like that. So it was an attentive crowd full of good people in an atmosphere we really loved. We can’t ask for more than that.

M&T: Tell us a little bit about your album Time Travels and the recording process. There’s a lot of sounds going on there, but only three of you guys, how did you pull it all together?

WA: We recorded it in Nashville at Trapdoor records. It was a great place to be, really inspiring surroundings, and I think we just went into it knowing exactly what we wanted. We recorded everything except vocals in 4 days straight down there. All the marathon days of extreme excess of coffee, cigarettes and cheap quick food allowed us to just focus and get it done in the limited time we had to do it. The “time traveling” chord in there that appears between a lot of the songs I made by having Eric record each note of the chord so many times until it sounded almost electronic, and then I pitch-shifted and time-shifted it all over the place so it feels like the record is actually moving. Or that was the idea anyway. We’ve never actually time traveled so we’re not exactly sure how to portray it.

M&T: What is your favorite food to eat on the road?

WA: You know, the answer WAS Burger King. Recently however I went back there and they changed their chicken nuggets to taste exactly like McDonald’s [bad idea]. They were so delicious and comforting before and now they just taste terrible. Honestly, I don’t know what we’re gonna do next time we’re on the road. Getting Burger King was half the fun.

M&T: What’s your band spirit animal and why?

WA: Uhh. A good chicken nugget?

M&T: Who has a better mustache, Tom Selleck or Hulk Hogan?

WA: Lanny McDonald.

The Grownup Noise and Syd Straw at Johnny D’s 6/9/2013

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Our friends in The Grownup Noise are back at it again, this time at Johnny D’s in Somerville opening for Syd Straw. Since we last caught The Grownup Noise at Club Passim, they have been hard at work on their 3rd studio album, a follow up to 2011’s This Time With Feeling.  Needless to say we are quite excited to check out some new tunes from one of our favorite local bands. Following a few Boston dates this summer, TGN will be taking their show on the road with dates that will bring them out to the west coast as they gear up for the release of their next record.

If you’ve read M&T before you’ve certainly seen The Grownup Noise mentioned on various occastions, but if you’re not privy to the work 0f Syd Straw then you are in for a treat. Straw started her career singing with Pat Benatar, then joined Matthew Sweet and R.E.M.’s Michael Stipe in the Golden Palominos. Since then Straw has recorded with the likes of Jeff Tweedy and Wilco, so you know she’s the real deal. Check out a tune from each group below and head on over to Johnny D’s on Sunday night for a good time.

VAVA Chats About New EP, Ligers, and Mustaches Ahead of 6/25 Tommy Doyle’s Show

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Two weeks ago we announced that the M&T crew will be jumping back into the local concert scene to present a show at Tommy Dolye’s in Harvard Square with our friends Young Giant. The show will feature two amazing local bands that we’re very excited about at the M&T headquarters, We Avalanche and VAVÁ. Recently we had the chance to chat with the latter of the two acts and what resulted was quite the insightful yet comical conversation. Read on for the full interview below and make sure to keep your calendar free for Tuesday June 25th at 930pm at Tommy Doyle’s. It’s only $5, how can you say no?

Maimed & Tamed: Tell us about how your band was formed, but tell it in the style of a fairytale…

VAVÁ: Once upon a time a big city girl and a country boy met in a small town. They  learned that the other loved to play music, and soon began playing music all over the place to whomever would listen. This went on for several years, but then the girl began to miss the city, and boy his country home. So, they went their separate ways but continued to write and perform.

While in the city, the girl met another girl who loved to make music, too, and they worked together for many years. The boy visted the girls for a long time and they all became good friends. But, one day the girls both decided that they wanted to spend some time learning more about music, so they both moved back to the small town. They worked separately for awhile, but then something magical happend:  the boy moved back to the small town! They all began playing music together and they lived happily ever after.

M&T: What’s on the horizon for the band? Any new music, videos, or content that you want to share with the M&T faithful?

VAVÁ: We are in the final month of recording our first  five  song EP, for which an August release date is predicted. The EP will be released on vinyl and electronically via websites like iTunes, Amazon, and BandCamp. Other merch is in the works as well, and we are gearing up for several shows (TBA) on both the west and east coasts. Check out facebook.com/vavamusique or vavamusique.com for updates!

M&T: What’s your favorite gig that you’ve played?

VAVÁ: Sarah (drums) – Midway Café,  March 2013.

Rich (lead guitar, backing vox) – Berklee Performance Center, Feb 2004.

Vanessa (lead vox, guitar) – Middle East Upstairs,  Sept 2004.

M&T: What is your favorite food to eat on the road?

VAVÁ: Sarah– apples and fruit n’ nut mixes

Rich– skittles

Vanessa– fresh apricots

M&T: What’s your band spirit animal and why?

VAVÁ: The Liger. 

First, here is a little overview of the liger’s parentage:

The liger, as its name suggests, is a cross between a lion (male) and a tigress. Lions hunt in a pack to increase their advantage over prey, so it  is not so coincidental that they possess a highly developed set of social cues. When they are not hunting, they primarily spend their time together relaxing in the sunshine.

Tigers are the largest of the cat species. They are territorial animals that keep a limited home range and lead mostly solitary lives, but congregate under special conditions. As opposed to the desert dwelling lion, tigers are fond of swimming and spend much of their time in a lakes, ponds, or high up in a tree.

The lion/tiger hybrid does not occur in the wild as they come from different habitats. Ligers are only found in captivity in zoos, wild life parks, or with people oddly interested enough in their breeding.

The liger possesses both the social and fun loving exuberance of the lion, but is tempered by the calculated nature of the tiger. This hybrid speaks to us as individuals, as a group, and to our music, which is both unique and yet deeply referential.

M&T: Who has a better mustache, Tom Selleck or Hulk Hogan?

VAVÁ: Hulk Hogan. It’s not as classy as Tom’s, but it’s not as sleazy either.

Tame The Giant Presents: We Avalanche and VAVA at Tommy Doyle’s 6/25/2013

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It’s been a long while since we presented our last show in the Boston area, but we’re back now with our friends from Young Giant to present our first local show as part of our new collaboration, Tame The Giant. On June 25th we will be bringing two local bands that we are very excited about to The Loft @ Tommy Doyle’s in Harvard Square for only $5. Yes you read that right people, two bands for a measly $5 cover.

For all of you M&T playlist followers out there you’ll recognize We Avalanche from our March 2013 Spotify playlist with their self-titled track off of their new album Time Travels. As for VAVÁ, if you’re not familiar then you’ve got a little more than a month to get acquainted with their shimmery guitar rock. Read on below to discover more about each band and make sure to mark your calendars for Tuesday June 25th.

We Avalanche

The designation of folk-rock certainly doesn’t do this group justice as they incorporate a menagerie of instruments to create a sound that can go from a whisper to pure cacophony at the drop of a hat. Through a combination of guitar, strings, and vocal harmonies, We Avalanche weaves together layer upon layer of sound that makes for quite the active listening experience. Take a listen and a look below to a performance of “From Nowhere” off of Time Travels.

VAVA

Led by singer/guitarist Vanessa Wheeler, VAVÁ’s sound is equal parts Warpaint, Beach House, and Tennis. Their music is influenced by Wheeler’s Brazilian heritage as well as her classical background from New England Conservatory. Familiarize yourself with VAVÁ and check out the sonic delight that is “You” below.