So I thought there might just be a handful of New Year’s Eve shows this week, but alas, there are tons of Boston-area bands playing. Trying to get this up and out, so my apologies if I miss stuff (and feel free to let me know if I do). We got everything from hardcore to synth pop to soul to a Bim Skala Bim NYE’s bash at the Middle East (sold out, but maybe there’ll be a ticket or two outside). Quirky folkies (and I just love quirky folkies) at PA’s Lounge. And a shockingly cool line up with The Boston Pops this year. Wow, Amanda Palmer?! Really?? Happy 2010, and more Boston bands in the new year.

Monday, December 28 (tonight)

Now Denial (Boston/Lowell), Furnace (Boston), Digital Prisoners Of War (Brighton), Theory Engine & Big Big Bucks @ O’Brien’s Pub – Monday Dec. 28 (tonight).


Witch Trial Records night O’Brien’s Pub with an evening of punk, hardcore, metal, and thrash. Witch Trial is a new label based in Allston, MA.

The White Owls (Cambridge) and Jen Kearney & The Lost Onion (Lowell MA) @ Toad, Cambridge – Monday Dec. 28 (tonight).

Rootsy singer-songwriter Dennis Brennan performs with a few different bands; he’ll be at Toad tonight with the White Owls (Mike Dinalo, Steve Sadler, Andy Plaisted, Dean Casell). They go on around 8pm, followed by Jen Kearney & The Lost Onion performing some sleek sounding soul and R&B (with some Latin influence). Sounds like it’ll be another nice evening of music at Toad.

Str eight An gular, Shore Leave (Cambridge), Girlfriends (Boston), and Archelon (South Boston) @ the Middle East Upstairs – Monday Dec. 28 (tonight).


Jangly indie rock from Str eight An gular (or however it’s spelled) and Shore Leave; garagy punk from Girlfriends. And grungelike bits mix with something more serene and thoughtful from the trio of Trevers Mith, Brianr Usnica and Jesseg Oyette (or whatever their names really are) who comprise Archelon (which is pronounced “Ark-ah-lawn”, and which is also an extinct sea turtle).

Tuesday, December 29

The Royalty (Boston) and Yankee Power (Boston) @ Great Scott, Allston – Tuesday Dec. 29.


Psychedelic indie pop at Great Scott with The Royalty and Yankee Power.

Brendan Hogan (Cambridge) and Audrey Ryan (Bar Harbor/Somerville/NYC) @ Toad, Cambridge – Tuesday Dec. 29.


Acoustic guitarist and singer-songwriter Brendan Hogan has a new CD out, Long Night Coming, and he’ll be at Toad along with the very interesting multi-instrumentalist Audrey Ryan, whom I (happily) recently discovered, though I have yet to see her perform. She’s definitely worth trying to catch. He’s on around 8pm; she follows at around 10pm.

Easter Bloodhounds and Who Carries The Lantern @ O’Brien’s Pub, Allston – Tuesday Dec. 29.


Loud and noisy hardcore assault. Enjoy.

The Devil & A Penny (Boston), , Totem (Norwell, MA), The Hail Baby (Boston), and Loira Burra (Martha’s Vineyard) @ T.T. The Bear’s Place – Tuesday Dec. 29.


The Devil and a Penny – Once again I stumble upon a band I’d probably really like, and it’s on a work night. Fruck. Pretty melodies; punk-aesthetic vocals. A quiet little piece “Bombing the Sunset”, quite lovely. “Grave Digger”, Very Nice (accordion and vocals only). Good stuff.

Wednesday, December 30

Have At It (Haverhill MA), Leaders Led (North Andover MA), Death & The Dance Machine (Boston), and Brother Bear (Boston) @ T.T. The Bear’s Place – Wednesday Dec. 30.


Alternative/indie evening of Boston-area bands. Death & The Dance Machine especially seem quite nice (based on a quick listen); some influences listed include Built To Spill, Modest Mouse, Pavement, Thelonious Monk.. (nice mix of indie rock and tinkly jazz piano in “Everything”. Brother Bear is more folky/Americana. Sweet.

Last Night On Earth – Seventh Anniversary: Caspian, Constants (Boston), Doomstar (Cambridge), Animal Hospital (Boston) @ the Middle East Downstairs – Wednesday Dec. 30.


Caspian’s music was described by the Boston Phoenix as “shiatsu for your neurons”.

Ben Simon (Boston), Full-Source, Young and Old (Somerville), and So+So (Somerville) @ PA’s Lounge, Cambridge – Wednesday, Dec. 30.


Lord, there’s a lot of local music this week! At PA’s Lounge you can check out Ben Simon, who performs (vocals, guitar, piano) with The Double Stops, who seem to be about fun, quirky folk. Full-Source is “an experimental indie acoustic pop project by Tim Dwyer”. Young and Old I vaguely recall as being really good (also nice quirky folk music), and So+So have songs called “Bunny Suit” and “Chicken Is Thinking” – and I think that’s all you really need to know.

Fandango (Somerville) and Hugh McGowan and the Misfit Toys (Somerville) @ Toad, Cambridge – Wednesday, Dec. 30.


Well, it’s billed as “Fandango”, but the link is to Fred Griffeth’s site, and Fred sings with the doo-wop group The Family Jewels, which also features Boston legend Asa Brebner on guitar and vocals. As for Fandango, I’m not too familiar with them, but the band features, along with Fred, Sonny Barbato, Joey Scrima, Greg Tawa, and Steve Cuoco. Hugh McGowan (who goes on at 10pm) will be performing this evening with Mike Hastings, Noah Maltzburger and Jim Larkin.

Thursday, December 31 (New Year’s Eve)

New Year’s Eve Bash w/Bim Skala Bim, Have Nots (Boston), Morgan Knockers (MA), Brunt Of It (“Rhodesachusetts”) & Special Guests @ the Middle East Downstairs – Thursday Dec. 31 (New Year’s Eve).


Punk/Ska/Hardcore party bands; should be a crazy night at the Middle East. I don’t see this listed as “sold out” on the Middle East site, so I’m guessing tickets are still available, though I’d hurry.

The Indobox (Allston) and Jimkata (Ithaca, NY) @ the Middle East Upstairs – Thursday Dec. 31 (New Year’s Eve).


Electro pop/rock, progressive. A nice contrast to what’ll be going on downstairs, if you’re more synth-pop-dance inclined.

Mean Creek (Boston), You Can Be A Wesley (Boston), Magic Magic (Boston), and Earthquake Party! (Boston) @ Great Scott, Allston – Thursday Dec. 31 (New Year’s Eve).


Great Scott’s NYE Party with 2009 Boston Music Awards Winner for ‘Best New Act’ – Mean Creek recently released their “The Sky (Or the Underground)” album, and they have a nice “90’s indie rock” melodic sound. Lyrical, nice harmonies. They’re playing with the popular Boston bands You Can Be A Wesley and Magic Magic (the latter of whom will be opening for Passion Pit at House Of Blues on Jan. 6). Magic Magic are quite nice and dreamy, by the way. And no, they don’t sound like Arcade Fire.

Amanda Palmer and The Boston Pops! – also Adam Matta (NYC), April Smith (Brooklyn, NY), Miss Tess (Boston), Sxip Shirey (Brooklyn, NY), and video artist Michael Pope @ Symphony Hall, Boston – Thursday Dec. 31 (New Year’s Eve), 8pm.


Wow! The usually quite staid and “vanilla” Boston Pops goes seriously hipster this year. How incredibly cool.

Melvern Taylor and his Fabulous Meltones (Lowell MA) and Cassavettes (Boston) @ Toad, Cambridge – Thursday Dec. 31 (New Year’s Eve).


“Ukelele noir” with Melvern Taylor and his Fabulous Meltones – their instrumentation includes ukelele, slide guitar, drums and stand-up bass; might be a bit of a squeeze on Toad’s stage, but it’ll sound fantastic, I’m sure. Cassavettes’ folk rock and Americana will make for a very nice double bill.

Friday, January 1, 2010

The Clash Tribute: Destroy Babylon (Boston), with special guests The Macrotones (Boston) @ the Middle East Upstairs – Friday Jan. 1.


This is interesting. Destroy Babylon will be doing a Clash Tribute, performing London Calling in its entirety (to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of its release – WOW!).

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Hail Plankton (Boston/Salem), Await Rescue (Boston), Elle Driver, This A.M. Static (Rochester, NY), and The Hands Off Love Affair (Boston) @ the Middle East Upstairs – Saturday Jan. 2.


This is a Team Shred Presents show, which kinda suggests metal and hardcore (and I think much of their stuff is), but this particular show, at a quick glance, seems to be a mix of metal, rock, progressive, and perhaps even some pop/rock (This A.M. Static, The Hands Off Love Affair).

JaJu (Boston), Seven Shades Of Grey (Boston), Lisa Parade (CA), and Joanie Pimental (Boston) @ T.T. The Bear’s Place – Saturday Jan. 2.


Soul ballads of Jaju, indie pop with Seven Shades of Grey and Lisa Parade, and some soul/funk (I guess?) with lead vocalist Joanie Pimental of Superhoney. She’s listed as playing solo; not sure if she’ll have any of the band with her.

Christian McNeill (Boston) and Stereogrove (Boston) @ Toad, Cambridge – Saturday Jan. 2.


Some pretty smooth crooning from Christian McNeill (he’s on around 7:30pm); not sure what’ll fit on the Toad stage, but he’s performed with a wide variety of people and his own instrumentation includes mellotron, piano, fender rhodes, wurlitzer, percussion, and acoustic/electric guitar. Stereogrove are a bluesy jam band with some elements of Reggae and Hip-Hop.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Doug MacDonald Band (Boston), Endstage (Lowell), and Crimes In Graceland (NH) @ T.T. The Bear’s Place – Sunday Jan. 3.


Rock. Yup. (sorry, trying to get this posted).

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