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 Review

Green River Festival 2016 Recap

Posted on by Mark Schafer in Concert Review | Leave a comment
Photo by Mark Schafer

Photo by Mark Schafer

The 2016 edition of the Green River Festival in Greenfield, MA was a triumphant weekend for the festival, this being its 30th anniversary. Having grown from what one festival organizer described as a “half-assed balloon festival” in the 1980s, Green River is now firmly established as one of the top music festivals in New England (and one of the highlights of my summer).

The weather for the weekend looked threatening, and while heading west from Boston to the Pioneer Valley, it seemed like a big part of the weekend might be washed out by thunderstorms. Thankfully, the lightning held off and despite quite a bit of rain throughout the weekend, everything went ahead as scheduled except for the hot air balloon rides, which were the main casualty of the weather.
On Friday, the rains held off for an evening of world music and nostalgic jams from NRBQ and Peter Wolf, while Sunday felt more like a one-day jam band festival featuring the Wheels of Soul Tour lineup Tedeschi Trucks Band, Los Lobos, and the North Mississippi All Stars. For me though, Saturday was very much the centerpiece of the whole weekend.
Starting with a short set from Lula Wiles on the main stage and ending with a blowout of a set by Dawes, every set I saw the entire day was remarkable. Ranging from local favorites like And The Kids, established favorites such as Shakey Graves and up-and-comers like The Suffers, there were more highlights than I could possibly cover in this article. Suffice it to say that a group of people just old enough to be cynical about music festivals with a baby in tow still had a fantastic time despite some dreary weather.
Here are a few of my favorite sets from the weekend:

Oh Pep!

Booked on the third stage, overlapping with The Suffers and The Felice Brothers, and performing during a downpour, Oh Pep! didn’t have the most advantageous spot of the weekend. Despite the challenging circumstances, there was a small but rapt crowd gathered for the duration of their set. They weren’t on my radar going in, but I was super glad to make their set and I put their new album Stadium Cake in my rotation as soon as I got back from the festival. A four-piece anchored by original members Olivia Hally and Pepita Emmerichs, they play poppy indie rock with a bit of folk influence thrown in (Emmerichs plays fiddle and mandolin). I currently can’t get the “I know what I want and it’s not what I need” chorus from their song “Doctor Doctor” out of my head, but I’m not sure I want to.

Shovels & Rope

Shovels & Rope came on just after Oh Pep! during the rainiest part of the day. The covered main stage seemed to provide little shelter for the husband-and-wife duo of Michael Trent and Cary Ann Hearst, who were singing at the top of their lungs with water flying out of their wet hair. The driving rain changed from a nuisance to a positive, only adding to the intensity of an already intense set. While I’ve been a fan of Shovels & Rope for a long time now, this set really cemented my respect for them as performers and they have jumped up several spots on my list of favorite bands.

Birds of Chicago

Coming off 12 hours in the rain on Saturday, it was a bit challenging to gather the energy for another day with rain in the forecast. But with a sunny start to the day and a short, packed schedule it was pretty easy to get excited once we arrived back on the grounds on Sunday. I caught Birds of Chicago on the second stage early in the afternoon, and they seemed to hold off the rain through sheer joy and revived everyone out of their soggy stupor with their gospel-inspired sound. Clarinet, hand claps and foot stomps accented singer Allison Russel’s soulful vocals, keeping me glued to the second stage despite competition from the North Mississippi All Stars.

Cross Country Songbook: Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals Live at The Greek Theatre 9/18/2015

Posted on by Eric in Concert Review, Cross Country Songbook | Leave a comment

Ben Harper and The Innocent Criminals at The Greek Theatre

After disbanding all the way back in 2008, Ben Harper announced late last year that he would be reuniting with The Innocent Criminals for a short run of shows in early 2015. Luckily for us, that run continued and we were able to score some tickets to their comeback tour stop at the famed Greek Theatre in Los Angeles. Set against Griffith Park, the Greek was the perfect location for Harper to make his return to Los Angeles amongst the trees and under the stars.

If there was any rust to shake off in the rehearsals leading up to the reunion tour it certainly didn’t show last night as Harper and the rest of The Innocent Criminals ripped through songs spanning across Harper’s 20+ year career with the focus of course on his earlier work recorded with the unit who performed last night. Classics like “Diamonds On the Inside”, “Burn One Down”, and “Steal My Kisses”, brought everyone in the crowd back to their collective stoner dorm room daze, but it was the grittier selections where the band really shined. Songs like “Forgiven” from 1999’s Burn to Shine and “Ground On Down” from 1995’s Fight for Your Mind gave Harper and co. the opportunity to dig into some extended jams that even further energized a crowd that had clearly been counting down the days for this reunion since 2008. The highlight though may have been the band’s rendition of “Where Could I Go”, a song Harper recorded in 2004 with The Blind Boys of Alabama. Near the end of the song Harper abandoned his mic and the crowd immediately went silent to look on in awe as he belted out the song’s final verse with no amplification whatsoever.

With the band reportedly recording material for a new album, the hope amongst fans is clearly that this run of reunion shows might continue in support of the next record. Until then we’ll have to keep our fingers crossed and The Innocent Criminals classics on repeat.

Cross Country Songbook: My Morning Jacket Live at Red Rocks 8/14/2015

Posted on by Eric in Concert Review, Cross Country Songbook | Leave a comment

My Morning Jacket Live at Red Rocks

This past May I visited the Gorge Amphitheatre for the Sasquatch Festival and the views from the main stage were literally breathtaking. I wasn’t sure that there could ever be another outdoor concert experience to top that, but visiting Red Rocks Amphitheatre last week was damn near close. It didn’t hurt either to be seeing my favorite band of all-time with some of my favorite people of all-time (2 of which happened to be geologists that were geeking out about the rock formations), to really enhance the experience. MMJ’s set in Birmingham earlier that week was a treat to say the least, but we all knew that the band’s trip to central Colorado was bound to be a highlight of their tour. As you might have guessed at this point, our prediction was completely right.

Touring behind the powerhouse of a record that is The Waterfall, My Morning Jacket has solidified themselves as one of the greatest live bands playing today and their performance at Red Rocks was certainly a testament to that. Over the course of three hours the band played through nearly 30 songs, even mixing together new and old tunes into interesting hybrid arrangements (see “Steam Engine/Only Memories Remain/Steam Engine” below). Throughout the concert I found myself so locked into the band’s performance that I was startled from time to time when the giant red rock formations caught the corner of my eye and I remembered where we were and how special this place was. For my first visit to Red Rocks (and certainly not my last) I couldn’t have hoped for a better concert and group of people to share it with.

Check out the full setlist and an epic video of “Mahgeeta” below, and make sure to stay tuned to M&T for more updates from the road.

1. Wordless Chorus

2. Compound Fracture

3. Off The Record

4. Circuital

5. Believe (Nobody Knows)

6. Bermuda Highway

7. I’m Amazed

8. Evil Urges

9. Dondante

10. Lay Low

11. At Dawn

12. In Its Infancy (The Waterfall)

13. Gideon

14. Tropics (Erase Traces)

15. I Think I’m Going To Hell

16. Spring (Among The Living)

17. Anytime

18. + 19. Steam Engine/Only Memories Remain/ Steam Engine

20. Phone Went West

21. Mahgeeta


22. Wonderful (with Brandi Carlile)

23. Victory Dance

24. Touch Me I’m Going To Scream Pt. 1

25. Touch Me I’m Going To Scream Pt. 2

26. Highly Suspicious

27. Run Thru

28. One Big Holiday

Cross Country Songbook: My Morning Jacket Live at BJCC Concert Hall 8/10/2015

Posted on by Eric in Concert Review, Cross Country Songbook | Leave a comment

My Morning Jacket at BJCC Concert Hall 8/10/2015

I’ve been to nearly 30 My Morning Jacket shows, but last night in Birmingham at the BJCC Concert Hall was a new experience for me with it being my first solo MMJ show. Once I arrived in Birmingham after a short drive from Nashville, I headed to the Avondale Brewing Company to get rid of those pre-show jitters. The brewery, who have quite a selection of delicious beers, also sports a pretty amazing backyard concert venue themselves. After downing a few Spring Street Saisons and making friends with fellow MMJ concert-goers at the brewery, I knew I had nothing to worry about for my first solo show.

Once I arrived at the venue, opener Mini Mansions had already taken the stage as the crowd was beginning to filter in. Though there was loud chatter throughout the set as fans were getting settled in their seats, it didn’t phase the band at all. They played their two most well-known songs, “Vertigo” and “Any Emotions”, back-to-back and judging from the crowd’s lack of enthusiasm it was very clear that everyone was strictly there for the main event. Don’t let that give you the wrong idea about Mini Mansions’ set though, they were very clearly pros (frontman Michael Shuman does play in Queens of the Stone Age after all) and in a mid-sized club headlining setting they would kill.

Like I mentioned though, everyone was eagerly anticipating the main event and as soon as the lights went down the crowd exploded into uproarious cheers. We’ve said it a million times before and we’ll say it again, one of the best things about this band is that you never know what you’re going to get from the setlist night after night. Last night’s show was no exception as the band chose “The Dark” as their opener, a move that immediately recalled their Forecastle Festival headlining set back in 2012 where they employed the same tune to kick things off. From there the band led us on a journey through their full discography, hitting on tracks from each of their seven albums over the course of the night. Highlights included Carl Broemel busting out the sax on “First Light”, an incredibly epic version of “Dondante”, pulling out “They Ran” from the depths of The Tennessee Fire, and  At Dawn‘s “Strangulation,” which is one of my personal favorites and is always a treat to hear performed live.

Throughout the evening Jim James was in complete control of the crowd, even interacting with nearly everyone in the first row with some weird ET-esque forefinger touching going on that only James could make look cool. It had been quite sometime since I’d seen MMJ indoors and one redeeming quality about that experience is the band’s light show. Perfectly timed and an element that helps to elevate MMJ’s songs to the next level, if that’s even possible.

The show was a great way to prepare for Friday’s Red Rocks performance and I have to commend the Birmingham crowd for bringing such high levels of energy to a show on a Monday night. Check out the full setlist below from last night’s show until we meet again at Red Rocks on Friday.

1. The Dark

2. Compound Fracture

3. Off The Record

4. First Light

5. Wordless Chorus

6. In Its Infancy

7. They Ran

8. Strangulation

9. Like A River

10. Believe

11. Tropics

12. Circuital

13. Dondante

14. Spring

15. Mahgeeta


16. Hopefully

17. Touch Me I’m Going To Scream, Pt. 2

18. Victory Dance

19. One Big Holiday

The Districts @ The Sinclair, Cambridge, MA 2/12/15

Posted on by Woody Black in Concert Review, M&T Favorites | Leave a comment

The Districts_Graffiti_Ryan Farber23

Photo: Press/Ryan Farber

Seeking refuge and revival, a lucky collection of listeners bundled into Cambridge’s dark horse, The Sinclair, for a shot of that soundgood-feelgood. Besides The Districts, the bill featured another four-piece from New Jersey Pine Barons, and the buzz worthy barrage of Boston locals, Vundabar.

As the dark, dimly lit overheads illuminated the foyer, a lone cry came from the concert hall. The source, buttoned-up in dark cottons and hair-covered eyes, became recognizable immediately as Brandon Hagen of Vundabar. Shifting from Ed Sullivan-esque Beatles upstrokes to Bowie-like vocal exaggerations to Bombay Bicycle Club-ish melodic riffs, Hagen challenged and frequented the stereotypes. The self-proclaimed jangly pop-ers of Boston – although mostly harmless – aroused a sense of self-indifference with their stage antics, but the crowd was all together amused.

The half-dancing soon subsided with the arrival of Pine Barons – an eclectic and rather erratic rock quartet from southern New Jersey. As the group dipped and dove between fingerpicked folk tunes and full-on post-punk ballads, the soundscape wandered off at times unattended, but the lyrical content remained potent. The set soon became an extended assemblage of tracks with little post-song banter and ultimately found its conclusion on a particularly electric rock-n-roll tune.

Not too long after a new drink and a new friend, the wait was over. Shepherded by the curly-haired Eric Grote, The Districts assumed the stage now studied by several hundred onlookers. After a few long and illustrious years impressing heads at Fat Possum, then Bonaroo, and recently Late Night with Seth Meyers, the Lancaster-based casual-rockers have found their way out of the trans-lantic indie circuit and into the buzz. Halfway through the opening ballad it became clear what the buzz was all about.

Reviving the all-too-familiar upbeat stop-start of Spoon, The Districts filled the room with an almost refined nostalgia as they chipped and chirped through the softer anthem “Long Distance” while the young audience sang word for word. Despite allusions of Spoon, though, Grote’s versatile vocal seemed to distinguish the four-piece from their influences and moved them into what’s becoming known as “The Districts” sound. The result was all-together spellbinding as Grote along with guitarist Mark Larson, bassist Conor Jacobus, and drummer Braden Lawrence chugged through “Lyla” and into a goosebump-inducing finale.

As whistles and wails rose from the crowd of believers and converts alike, The Districts withdrew from the stage for several minutes before returning again to even more deafening applause. It was the 12-minute volley of foot stamping and yelling that ensued as “Young Blood” built to the top from the bottom, though that left its final mark on the night with a healthy dose of ear ringing to remind the lucky listeners that The Districts are sticking around.

3 SXSW 2014 Acts You Need To Hear Now

Posted on by Eric in Concert Review, M&T Favorites | Leave a comment

Although SXSW is turning into more of a corporate event year after year, there are still plenty of bands to be discovered and shared. If you’ve been reading this blog over the last week or so you’ll know that Maimed & Tamed sponsored a wonderful showcase focused on presenting Boston talent in Austin called SXNE. It was wonderful to have our own little slice of home while down in Texas, but we still had to carve out some time to see as many bands as we could throughout the week. After 5 straight days of music, here are 3 acts that you need to know about now if you don’t already.


We were lucky enough to make it in early to a packed house at Latitude 30 for the BBC Introducing showcase and are we ever glad that we did. The London based group’s debut LP, Galore, only made it on our radar a few weeks back, but we immediately knew it was something special. Their live show certainly did not disappoint either, and since we’ve had a tough time tracking down a good live video from last week, the equally delicious track below will have to suffice.

the Soil & the Sun

With 7 people on the stage at once, you would think this group may have trouble maintaining their dynamic sound throughout a set, but you would be totally wrong. We caught tS&tS at the Sonicbids day party at Maggie Mae’s and from the first note to the last the whole crowd was entranced. Here is a clip of them performing at SXSW back in 2012, but we can assure you that this year’s performance was as epic, if not even more so than two years ago.


We first wrote about them back in 2011 and put them on our wishlist for this year’s Newport Folk Festival, so we are sticking by our guns with this one. After seeing the Portland based group perform at Cheer Up Charlie’s last week it only affirmed our belief that this band is going to be big. Like real big. With a new record due out next week you better get on this bandwagon before it’s too late. Check out a video of their new single “Divisionary (Do The Right Thing)” (which can also be found on the M&T January 2014 Spotify Playlist) performed live at the very SXSW show we attended.


My Morning Jacket’s One Big Holiday – Hard Rock Hotel Cancun

Posted on by Eric in Concert Review, M&T Favorites | Leave a comment

For four nights My Morning Jacket took over the Hard Rock Hotel in Cancun, Mexico for the inaugural edition of their One Big Holiday festival. When the event was first announced we weren’t sure we could make it work, between the cost and the scheduling, but man are we glad we did. As MMJ diehards, Neil and I have seen more than 20 MMJ sets each, dating back to 2003, and missing out on this event is a decision we probably would have regretted for a long time to come. Alas, our wallets and livers hate us, but we’ve just returned from one of the best weeks of our lives.

Once we arrived at the Hard Rock in Cancun the all-inclusive madness began as we were immediately greeted by drinks and food, both of which would have a constant presence throughout our trip. After settling ourselves in our room, conveniently located right outside the concert courtyard, we headed for some dinner and drinks. That first evening the whole resort was packed with strictly MMJ fans, and everyone was abuzz with what might be in store the next four nights. After eating way more than we should have (another theme for the week) the moment we had all been waiting for finally arrived- MMJ’s first set of the week.

It was as if everyone in the crowd knew that this would be the beginning of three very special sets and indeed it was (see below for all three setlists). They started the night off with “Circuital” and from there anything was fair game. Highlights included Bob Weir (who had completed a very similar festival with Furthur the week prior) joining the band for three songs, “Heartbreakin’ Man” and “Evelyn”, and of course “Steam Engine”, which in my opinion is one of the band’s best live songs. After MMJ wrapped up their set with “Mahgeetah”, the party continued at the late night terrace with a DJ set from Thievery Corporation’s Rob Garza.

After night one we got into a bit of a routine—wake up around 11am, eat breakfast, hit the pool and/or beach and start drinking, shower up around 5pm, choose a resort restaurant for dinner, rock the fuck out. Rinse. Repeat. After a day of sun and booze it was time for the Preservation Hall Jazz Band to kick things off with a good old-fashioned New Orleans dance party. All the members of PHJB were giddy and visibly happy to be involved in such an event, and that energy was clearly infectious throughout the crowd. After an hour of bayou jazz it came time for the stars of the week to rock their second set.

Following the set from night one we weren’t quite sure how things could get any better, but they most definitely did. MMJ crushed nearly three hours of originals and some of our favorite covers like Velvet Underground’s “Oh Sweet Nuthin” and Curtis Mayfield’s “Move On Up.” Night two was also very heavy on cuts from The Tennessee Fire, with the band performing five tracks off their debut album. The next morning the pool bar had everyone talking about the set two opening run from the prior night of “Bermuda Highway”, “Old September Blues”, and “Picture of You”, likely one of my favorite three song runs from the whole week.

Although we wished MMJ could have performed all four nights, The Flaming Lips were certainly a worthy slot filler for night number three. Following a fitting opening set from Mariachi El Bronx, The FLips performed a 2+ hour set of their own. Highlights included covers’ of The Beatles’ “I Want You” and “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” along with David Bowie’s “Heroes.” I was also very pleasantly surprised to hear two of my favorite FLips songs, “Feeling Yourself Disintegrate” and “A Spoonful Weighs A Ton”, along with live staples “She Don’t Use Jelly” and “Do You Realize??”

On the final day of the trip Neil and I discussed the two songs that had eluded us all these years, “O Is The One That Is Real” and “Strangulation”, and how desperately we needed MMJ to perform them during the final set of the week. When the band busted into “O” about halfway through their first set that night we were elated, and joked about how epic it would be to go straight into “Strangulation.” And wouldn’t you know that lightning struck twice. Neil and I both looked at each other, “Where can they go from here?” Well when they followed up that two song run with a 15+ minute version of “Dondante” (full video here) everyone in the crowd collectively felt exactly like this. The night ended fittingly with a rousing version of the band’s trademark set closer, and now festival namesake, “One Big Holiday.” Over the course of three nights My Morning Jacket had performed over 60 songs with no repeats, and we couldn’t have been happier with their song selection, both originals and covers. The band hinted at a return to Cancun for One Big Holiday Part II so it’s probably best that we start saving now.

Check out full setlists from all three nights below along with links to video clips for a handful of songs from each night.

Jan 26, 2014

HUNGRY HEART (Bruce Springsteen cover)
KNOCKIN ON HEAVEN’S DOOR (Bob Dylan cover w/Bob Weir)
I KNOW YOU RIDER (Grateful Dead cover w/BW)
TYRONE (Erykah Badu cover)

Jan 27, 2014

ROCKET MAN (Elton John cover)
OH SWEET NUTHIN (Velvet Underground cover)
BLACK METAL (w/Preservation Hall Jazz Band)
DEAR PRUDENCE (Beatles cover w/Bob Weir)
YOU NEVER CAN TELL (Chuck Berry cover w/PHJB and BW)
CARNIVAL TIME (Al Johnson cover w/BW and PHJB)
MOVE ON UP (Curtis Mayfield cover w/PHJB)

Jan 29, 2014

HARVEST MOON (Neil Young cover)
DON’T DO IT (The Band cover w/PHJB)
ISN’T IT A PITY (George Harrison cover w/Wayne Coyne)
ALL NIGHT LONG (Lionel Richie cover)
ROCK THE CASBAH (The Clash cover)

The Church of The Silent Comedy @ Troubadour, Los Angeles, CA 12/10/13

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

Jeremiah Zimmerman of The Silent Comedy

Loyal readers of Maimed & Tamed, allow us to introduce our new west coast M&T correspondent, Pete Rappaport. An LA transplant by way of Boston, Pete considers himself a combination of William Miller meets Rob Gordon because as he puts it, “From a young age I used mixtapes to express my emotions to girls because let’s face it, I was one giant wuss and musicians could tell girls what I thought about them better than I could.” I think we’re all going to like this guy.

Tuesday night Pete attended The Silent Comedy show at Troubadour in LA and this is his account.


Last night the Troubadour welcomed San Diego based The Silent Comedy onto their legendary stage.  Two brothers, and sons of a preacher, Jeremiah & Josh Zimmerman, along with cousin Chad Lee, and long-time friend, Justin Buchanan took to the stage at Los Angeles’ historic music venue.  This quartet of revivalist influenced musicians defies any preconceived vision I ever had of people from this walk of life.  They drink, sing about god and family, and pour every ounce of their blood into putting on a mesmerizing show for their fans.

Watching them on stage last night made me realize that it doesn’t really matter what kind of music you appreciate, everyone can find something to enjoy in The Silent Comedy’s performances.  Playing music ranging from Americana, Folk, and Rock n’ Roll that will make you want to bang your non-existent long hair covered head, they leave no fan feeling disconnected. This all while incorporating lyrics that stem from their personal experiences in life, working in the Southern California bar scene, and even more so, their experiences attending revival meetings.   I’m no man of the church, but if I were and had this band playing in my local church I’d be sure to never miss a Sunday morning visit (sorry, they don’t actually play in your local churches).  Tuesday night’s show featured songs off their new EP “Friends Divide” (see set list below).

In my years of writing and photographing I’ve often discussed the ability for a band to connect with its audience and depending on the venue, that band can succeed or fail miserably.  Sometimes I think it’s the venue that makes the band special, and other times I think it’s the band playing the venue that makes it special.  Troubadour is hands down my favorite venue in Los Angeles and last night I think it was a combination of the lyrics and energy coming from The Silent Comedy on stage, and the environment of Troubadour that left me relatively speechless as I drove home.

While the band’s current tour is coming to an end, only making its way up and down the west coast, keep an eye out for an extended tour, or so I hope, to more cities in the future.  Prior to playing in Los Angeles on Tuesday night, they played the 91x “Wrex the Halls” concert in San Diego alongside Queens of the Stone Age, Vampire Weekend, Cage The Elephant, Alt-J and Arctic Monkeys.

Favorite songs from last night’s show: “Light of Day”, “Gasoline”, “The Well”

Check out the EP Here

Light of Day
God Neon
Sharks Smell Blood
Simple Thing
All Saints Day
Always Two
Blood on the Rails
The Well

All photos © 2013 Pete Rappaport

Josh Zimmerman

Josh Zimmerman

Right to Left: Chad Lee, Jeremiah Zimmerman, Josh Zimmerman, Justin Buchanan




























Troubadour & Band Logo

Right to Left: Chad Lee, Jeremiah Zimmerman, Josh Zimmerman, Justin Buchanan

Concert Review: Sofar Sounds Boston 11/7/2013

Posted on by Eric in Concert Review, M&T Favorites | Leave a comment

Over the past 5 months I have had the distinct pleasure of being part of the crew that has brought the international movement that is Sofar Sounds to Boston. If you aren’t familiar with Sofar (short for Songs From a Room), it is a series of house concerts that started in London 3 years ago and can now be found in over 40 cities across the world. The beauty of Sofar is the fact that it brings together a room full of people who are diehard music fans and have an open mind for music discovery.What makes it a sustainable venture is the power of word of mouth, as the whole concept is built on secrecy and exclusivity.

The guests of each Sofar show register to attend with knowing only the date that the concert will be held. Invited attendees are alerted to the exact location of the show just 2 days before the event itself, and have no idea who the performing artists will be until they actually show up. This creates a community of fans who are buying into a music discovery experience that makes for a totally engaged listening room environment.

My hope is that all of you M&T readers have discovered something meaningful here on this blog and I’d like to think that Sofar will become an extension of that, as it has been the most beautiful, organic, and fulfilling music discovery project that I have ever been a part of.

After kicking off our inaugural Sofar Boston show in Allston in September, we followed it up last week at a small barn in the heart of JP with an assemblage of local and regional talent. The evening featured performances by Vine celebrity and local comedian Ry Doon; the brilliantly skilled finger-picker and contemplative crooner Max García Conover; plus M&T favorites Tales of Olde and The Grownup Noise.

Although I’ve done my best to put Sofar into words, it certainly is a phenomenon that is better to be experienced rather than read about. Check out the links below to discover more about Sofar Boston and info on how you can become part of the movement.

Sofar Boston Facebook Sofar Boston Twitter

Sofar Boston 002 Photo Album

Typhoon and Radiation City at Brighton Music Hall 9/29/2013

Posted on by Caroline in Best of 2013, Concert Review, M&T Favorites | Leave a comment

Typhoon took the stage at Brighton Music Hall on Sunday night to an all-smiles crowd. Maybe it was because this mini-indie-orchestra was playing to their Boston fanbase for the first time, or because their latest LP White Lighter is just that effing good, but the excitement in the crowd was unprecedented. Another huge factor to the crowd’s straight-up giddiness was opening act, Radiation City. We first saw Radiation City in 2011 at the tiny O’Briens Pub in Allston, and the vintage-inspired quintet has exponentially honed the skill they showed back then. The crowd reacted instantly to the group’s silky harmonies and synths. Our favorite tracks of the set, “Summer Rain” and “Find It of Use,” were carried by the indulgent vocals of Elisabeth Ellison. Ellison adorably strained towards the mic on her tiptoes to float her voice into the dense soundscapes, and the crowd loved every moment of it. So for fans of Foxygen, Jens Lekman, any variant of psych-pop since the 60s, and dancing Zou Bisou Bisou-style… please, give Rad City a spin.

Typhoon followed, who crammed no less than eleven band members onto the BMH stage. Due to a childhood illness that left him near death, frontman Kyle Morton’s music is haunted by anxiety and preemptive grief. And yet, Typhoon is anything but bleak on stage. The group’s two percussionists shared a double drum kit at front and center stage, which added a fun visual element to the set (especially when Pieter Hilton played so vigorously that parts of his kit fell off stage and into the crowd). Add in some group vocals and a horn section, and each song became a downright celebration, despite the seriousness of the lyrics. Though the imminence of death casts a shadow over many of Morton’s verses, Typhoon played each song with a true lust for life, as if that show may be their last. To Morton and Co.’s credit, I don’t know many bands out there that could cause me to ponder my own existence, all while dancing and woo-ing like a sorority girl. I guess it’s only right that a guy who almost died can make music that reminds us how freaking great it feels to be alive.

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