Thank goodness for the music scene in Boston. We are lucky to be around such a diverse collection of eclectic bands and performers. Heavy metal, cry baby forest harmonies, pop, hippy rock, gore metal, girly falsettos, hot and sweet alternative, seductive ballads, it’s all here. Whatever your preference, this city has something for you. So here is your chance to get a head start on seeing the hottest bands in Boston this summer. You can spend that $30 on two drinks at a crowded sweat fest in that boring bar you always go to, or you can get out and give yourself a little auditory satisfaction.
A Wish For Fire - June 10th, Middle East Upstairs $10
A Wish For Fire combines powerful drumming and raw, understated riffs. They defy conventional structure and blend sometimes smooth, sometimes gritty vocals that are unlike anything likely to be found on commercial radio. There is a trace of psychedelic and classic rock in the composition with both the sound and arrangement following more of a feeling than any conventional pattern. They layer melodies to create multi-textured sounds ranging from simple and elegant to a full on sonic assault. The lyrics are complex and full of disheartening yearning. The music and vocals combine to make an unmistakable mood unlike anything out there.
The Bronx & Cradle To The Grave – June 27th, Middle East Upstairs $15
The Bronx is what punk needs: they harness the genre’s classic fire but then bend it to their whim, forging rock n’ roll swagger together with hardcore grit. The L.A. quintet churn out raw riffs and piercing hooks, and their third offering, The Bronx (III), brandishes enough savage charm to spark a revolution. Matt Caughthran croons and screams about fun, family-friendly characters like “Knifeman” and the “Pleasure Seekers.” Joby Ford and Ken Horne’s guitar playing blasts like a machine gun, while Jorma Vik’s drumming is fierce, fiery and furious; amidst the aural assault, Brad Magers holds a tight bass groove. Over the course of their first two offerings, the band garnered massive critical claim and carved out a national fan base from touring with the likes of Mastodon, Converge and Every Time I Die. [credit]
Nikka Costa – July 15th, Middle East Upstairs $15
Her smokey blues inspired voice seems to be the perfect soundtrack to the wind down after a heart break booze filled debaucherous night. Her single ‘Push and Pull’ was featured on the Blow soundtrack. She’s sexy, she’s sometimes pop-ish and she loves to hop around generational musical undertones. The 70′s? The 80′s? The 60′s? Doesn’t matter, she fits.
The Dwarves & Motherboar – July 17th, Middle East Downstairs $13 Advance $16 Door
The band became notorious for self-mutilation, on-stage sex, and taking hard drugs, and their live shows would often only last around fifteen minutes, occasionally cut short due to injury caused by spectators. They are known for their simple, loud, yet nuanced punk repertoire, and controversial lyrics. Since the garage punk sound of their early days, they developed a more direct hardcore punk sound, often identified as “scum punk” due to the intentional perversity of the lyrics. Around the turn of millennium, the Dwarves developed more of a manic pop punk influence. Bits of hardcore, surf rock, pop, hip-hop, and rock & roll all factor into the band’s current punk rock sound.Their shows have been notable for some aggressive fights on stage. So bring your safety gear. [credit] .
SIA – July 31st, House of Blues, $25
Did you ever have those days where your college professor ended your affair, or your boyfriend broke up with you and you tried to eat your feelings, or you sat in a corner feeling sorry for yourself and prayed your breath would be enough to ask for help, or you simply sat in your car and drove until you ran out of gas just to escape your feelings? Well, SIA has a soundtrack for you. Always an amazing display of props and costumes, this is music for the weird sadness and happy madness.
EELS – July 28th, Paradise Rock Club $20
Eels are an indie rock band run by singer-songwriter Mark Oliver Everett. Everett, who more commonly goes by the name E, is the only permanent member of Eels, bringing in different collaborators for his rock and chamber-pop compositions. Known for their spiky humor and confessional bent, E’s lyrics often touch on depression, doubt and mortality while at the same time offering glimpses of hope amidst the despair. Eels have had flashes of mainstream appeal, but largely they remain a critically acclaimed band with a strong cult following. [credit]
Bon Iver with The Rosebuds – August 5th, House of Blues $35-$45
Justin Vernon moved to a remote cabin in the woods of Northwestern Wisconsin at the onset of winter. Tailing from the swirling breakup, he escaped to the property and surrounded himself with simple work, quiet, and space. He lived there alone for three months, filling his days with wood splitting and other chores around the land. This special time slowly began feeding a bold, uninhibited new musical focus. Bon Iver (pronounced: bohn eevair; French for “good winter” and spelled wrong on purpose). For Emma’s tracks consist of thick layers draped in lush choral walls, with rarely more than an ancient acoustic guitar or the occasional bass drum providing structure. Vernon sings the majority of the record in falsetto, which painfully expresses the meanings behind its overt, yet strangely entangled words. This newfound vocal path acts as each song’s main character and source of melody. [credit]
The Naked & Famous – August 11th, Brighton Music Hall, $13
New Zealand indie electronic ensemble the Naked and Famous make driving, melodic pop with an ’80s post-punk influence. Centered around the talents of vocalist Alisa Xayalith and instrumentalist/vocalist Thom Powers, the band formed in 2008 and released two EPs before adding members to play live. In 2010 they released their debut album, Passive Me, Aggressive You, featuring the number one single “Young Blood.” [credit]
My Morning Jacket – August 14th, Bank of America Pavilion, $30-$40
Although they first presented themselves as devotees of Neil Young’s country-tinged classic rock, My Morning Jacket widened their sound throughout the early 2000s, embracing everything from neo-psychedelia to Americana, funk, prog, and reggae. By the time Evil Urges arrived in mid-2008, they had successfully molded themselves into Kentucky’s answer to Wilco: a band rooted in alt-country and rock & roll, but given to sonic experimentation and unexpected genre changes at every turn. [credit]