by Dan Bolles
Word to the wise, if you ever check out a show at the new House of Blues (formerly Avalon) on Lansdowne Street in Boston, don't buy tickets for the Mezzanine. The mammoth nightclub's second floor balcony wraps around the sides and rear of room but has seriously limited sight lines. Unless you are among the first, say, fifty or so people there lucky enough to get a spot along the railing, there is literally no vantage point to actually, y'know, see the show.
So it was that I experienced Spoon at HOB this past Saturday, alternately trying to hop above the four and five deep rows of almost comically tall people in front of me for a glimpse of the stage, and craning my neck at a projection screen simulcasting the concert that was just delayed enough to be annoying. It was sort of like watching a Red Sox home game on TV at the Cask and Flagon, the famed Lansdowne Street bar that is literally twenty feet from Fenway Park — if you've never done this, imagine hearing a David Ortiz home run thirty seconds before you see it. I'm exagerrating a bit. But you get the idea. Thank God for the surprisingly reasonable Narragansett tall boys. And the sound. Good lord, the sound.
I honestly can't remember the last time I saw, er, heard a show with sound so crystalline and balanced. I've long thought that Spoon's Jim Eno (drums) and Rob Pope (bass) form rock and roll's coolest rhythm section. But I have a profound new appreciation for their work having heard them like that. It was electrifying. The same goes for keyboardist/percussionist Ed Harvey. As for lead singer Britt Daniel? Well, I still want to be him when I grow up. All in all, it was the best show I never saw.
Speaking of Britt Daniel, did you know that he used to be this guy?
And speaking of assumed names, Stephen King's kid might just be, well, the next Stephen King. Or would that be the next Richard Bachman?
Are you a local musician wondering how Obamacare will affect you? Our old friend Casey Rae-Hunter at the Future of Music Coalition is here to help.
Your pledge dollars at work! NPR currently has Dr. Dog's new album, Shame, Shame — the band's first for Anti- — available for your perusal here. The record hits shelves, real and electronic, on April 6. And here's an interview I did with bassist Toby Leaman about the record in January.
Finally! The guy responsible for Battlefield Earth apologizes.
The old gray lady of rock ’n’ roll rags, Rolling Stone, unveils its list of "Best New Bands of 2010" this Thursday. Chief among them are none other than our own Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, who got their start in, um, 2002. Nice that someone is finally paying attention to them. (BTW, it's just a coincidence that Thursday is April Fools Day, right?) Anyway, here's a new video for "Tiny Songs," from their forthcoming self-titled album, which is scheduled for release on June 6.
Last but not least, the Montreal Jazz Fest has just announced another slew of concerts for this year's edition. They have also apparently adjusted the scope of the term "jazz" to include the likes of Andrew Bird, Lou Reed, Lionel Ritchie and Steve Miller. On a related note, the Burlington Discover Jazz Fest now has a Twitter feed where they are soliciting suggestions for this year's lineup. I mean seriously, who wouldn't want to see Lionel Ritchie at the Flynn?