2015 in Shows

2015 has been a landmark year for music…and going to amazing shows! We started the year off slow, with back-to-back of Montreal and Father John Misty shows at the Paradise in March. Apparently, Josh Tillman had just filmed the Master of None episode when we saw him, because he referenced joining the ranks of “fake TV bands” such as the Shins on Gilmore Girls. I finally saw the episode the other day and it was so fantastic. Congrats, Aziz Ansari, on a different (but still very awesome) type of show.

Phish at Shoreline Ampitheatre (7.24.15)

We were treated to a Phish concert at Shoreline in the Bay Area in July. We never go to huge arena shows like that, so it was an awesome experience, even though I previously knew nothing about the band. Phish fans are hardcore. Matt, the husband of the cousin that took us to the show, has seen the band over 150 times! And, according to Instagram, Regina Spektor (who I saw in ’09) went to see them a day or so after we did (yeah, we’re cool like that).

Chelsea Wolfe with Wovenhand (9.5.15)


Natalie Prass & co. (11.8.15)

The Sinclair in Cambridge has been THE place for shows this year. In the past 3 months, we’ve seen Chelsea Wolfe, John Grant, and Natalie Prass there. There’s no bad view at the Sinclair, so no matter what time you arrive, you’re guaranteed an incredible show (and Insomnia Cookies after the show).

Nicole Atkins @ Royale Boston

We were lucky enough to win tickets via Facebook to see Nicole Atkins & JD McPherson at the Royale last month! Meeting Nicole was such an insane privilege. She’s one of my favorite singer/songwriters and easily one of our generation’s most remarkable talents.

Dengue Fever @ BMH (9.2015)

Another “surprise” show was Dengue Fever at Brighton Music Hall. We didn’t get tickets until the last minute and I’m so glad we did. Nimol is an international treasure. The Dengue show might have been one of the most joyful experiences of my life. I don’t understand how this band hasn’t taken over the world.

Cutler Majestic Theatre, Boston, MA

My father and I went to see John Cleese at the Cutler Majestic Theatre on tour for his memoirs, So Anyway…

I can’t wait to read the book! It was a spur-of-the-moment decision to go, so I didn’t have time to read it prior to the show, but regardless, Mr. Cleese was an absolute treasure, as expected. This clip of Cleese on Conan is a great little taste of what my experience was like.

Left to right: Matt Hollenberg, Kenny Grohowski, John Medeski, John Zorn

Last Friday was a twofer: it was my first time at the ICA (Institute of Contemporary Art) in Boston and it was my first time seeing John Zorn in person! He didn’t perform, since the concert was for his “heavy metal organ trio”, Simulacrum, but it was still amazing. I wore earplugs, something I have only done once before at a local hardcore show.

My brother! He got the blond gene, the bastard. (My glasses are Skunboy for Bonlook.)

Sunday, the 15th, Fig & I were treated (by my dad) to tickets to see Bill Maher at the Providence Performing Arts Center. It’s so life-affirming that someone with such a wide-reaching voice  shares (99% of) your opinions. It was also my first ever comedy show—HOLLA.

Tonight we’re seeing Cameron Esposito at Brighton Music Hall. Another stand-up, who you might know from Maron or the Meltdown. She’s one of my absolute favorites right now, and I was super stoked when Fig impulsively bought tickets to see her while we were at the Dengue show.

We’re capping off the year with Joanna Newsom at the Orpheum on her Divers tour. This is the first time I’ve ever seen Joanna live after nearly a decade of rabid fandom, so I’m pretty excited. Fun tidbit: Michael and I had our first actual date at the Orpheum–he took me to see Neko Case as a belated 22nd birthday present. It’s the first time we’ve been back together since then (I went back a few months later for Neutral Milk Hotel).


One show I’m bummed I missed was Eisley with We The City and Copeland. I’ve never heard the music of the latter two bands, but this is the second time I’ve missed Eisley in the past two years—a major, major bummer because they’ve been one of my favorite bands for years. They’re currently on tour with only 1 original member (Sherri), 1 established member (Garron) and a whole crew of fam & friends. It would have been amazing to see, but as I’m already having Stacy and Chauntelle withdrawals, so it might have sent me into a spiraling depression.

Also, the Decemberists, Belle & Sebastian, and the New Pornographers all rolled through town this year, but they’re big enough now to play the House of Blues which is not our fave venue.


I hope we have as fruitful a 2016 as we did 2015. Amazing new music hasn’t ceased for a second (you can check my Modern Music page for updates on new releases).

What shows have you seen this year?


Remember that time I had a blog?

The month of September has been a whirlwind! I started full-time school again, so I’m busy 6 days a week. As a life-long dilettante, the adjustment has been difficult for me. Things finally seem to be falling into rhythm, and I’m confident that I will be able to drop a mic on this semester in December.

A week and a half ago,  I suffered a *very mild* head injury/concussion at work. It was nothing serious…an evening bag fell on my head. As in, those little clutches you carry to a wedding? Yeah, most embarrassing injury ever. My head still hurts though. There’s a huge tender spot, like a bruise I can’t see, that kills every time I touch it. But other, more positive stuff has happened recently, such as:

September 5, 2015
September 5, 2015

I went to go see Chelsea Wolfe. I mentioned that I was going  in my “July & August faves” post, but man, was it a show. I am the WORST at going to concerts, as in, I want to fall asleep pretty much as soon as the opener comes on. However, I’m so glad I fought through my yawning and perked up for Chelsea Wolfe. She destroyed. She did a ton of new stuff, so we recognized almost every song. Fig bought ALL of her albums, plus a sick hat, at the merch table, so now I’m positively rolling in Wolfe-goods.

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Less than a week later, I got the unbelievable pleasure of seeing the formidable Dengue Fever in concert! I never would have thought I could dig music with Cambodian lyrics so much, but I am so down! Nimol put on the vocal performance of a lifetime. It might be one of the top 5 shows I’ve ever been to. We were so close to the stage!

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Now that the cooler weather has begun to arrive, this little jerk has become ten times more cuddly. Hanging out with us all the time, curling up with us on the couch, crawling under the covers and cuddling with us in bed…it’s sublime. I truly never thought I could be a cat person, but here we are, almost 2 years later, and I love her more every day.

Oh, and this other thing happened this month…


I bought my wedding dress! This isn’t it, but this was one of the runners-up. I can’t believe how fortunate I was to find such a beautiful gown for an absolute steal. It was everything I wanted: stark white, plain, and ON SALE. Music to my ears. Now we just have to do things like “set a date” and “book a venue”.

Of course, no outfit is complete without shoes. My fiancé is almost imperceptibly shorter than me. He doesn’t mind if I wear heels, but out of respect/embarrassment, I chose flats. And what could possibly be more me than Keds for kate spade new york?

Keds for kate spade new york champion glitter in silver

My weddings colors are black and gold, but I plan on wearing all white and silver/white gold in contrast to the décor. So, I splurged and got these. I saved megabucks on the dress, so why not spend an unnecessary $80 on sneakers? Seems totally reasonable, right?

Anyway, just checking in with the blogosphere! I have a ridiculous minestrone recipe to share this week, and I’m excited to start sharing all of my wedding progress when it, y’know, eventually starts happening.


Tunesday, Belated

2015 has really been a banner year for music. I can’t even keep up with all the new releases! Nothing upsets me more than the Music-Is-Dead attitude shared by so many (lame) people. I mean, if I subjected myself to the radio and heard the non-music it offers, I might share that belief. Not that I’m a pop-naysayer—I proudly own Katy Perry albums, obsess over Beyoncé’s every move, and am weak to Sam Smith’s voice. My hatred for Taylor Swift is even beginning to wane with each subsequent (forced) listen to “Style” and “Blank Space”. However, if this blog can serve as a space to turn even one person on to an indie or lesser-known artist, I’ll feel as though my evangelical mission has been fulfilled.

Here are a few of my July & August favorites.

Chelsea Wolfe, Abyss (2015, Sargent House)

Shockingly, previous to this album’s release, I had never heard the music of my name twin, Chelsea Wolfe. I always got a goth vibe from her, which I found off-putting. Obviously, my daily all-black attire and my metal-loving fiancé opened my mind to checking her out, and I’m so glad that I did. This album is amazing! So amazing that I’m actually going to go see Chelsea Wolfe at the Sinclair on September 5! Wolfe has this lady Trent Reznor vibe that I really respond to. The music is super dark and distorted, but her voice is very feminine and ethereal. In the words of every contestant on Project Runway ever, it’s the perfect combination of hard and soft.

And yes, I will be wearing head-to-toe black at her concert. Sue me. A PJ Harvey-loving goth adolescent lives within me.

Rising Fawn, Sifting Through Sadness (2015, Equal Vision)

On Friday of last week, Rising Fawn’s debut album, Sifting Through Sadness dropped! I’ve been looking forward to hearing their full-length since I picked up their EP at the Say Anything/Eisley show over 2 years ago.

For anyone not as deeply immersed in the Instagrams of celebrities as I am, Rising Fawn is a duet featuring Chauntelle DuPree of Eisley and her husband, Todd D’Agostino. Husband/wife duets are seriously my favorite. I fully aspire to one day be part of one.

Sifting Through Sadness is haunting and bursting with string arrangements. It contains shades of the moodiness of a Metallica ballad and Renaissance-fair vibes, which could have turned out terribly but actually really works perfectly with Chauntelle’s reverb-y vocals. Both Chauntelle and Todd are guitar players, so it’s really refreshing how tastefully and sparingly the guitar is used throughout. The last (bonus) track, “Hempstead” is a 12-minute instrumental, which is so badass I don’t even have the words to describe it. My favorite tracks thus far are “Ours for Taking” and “Forsaking Calamity” which features guest vocals from Sherri DuPree-Bemis, Christie DuPree, and Max Bemis, unless my ears deceive me. For anyone reading who is a super nerd about this stuff, the ending of “Forsaking Calamity” recalls the bridge of “Save My Soul” from Eisley’s last record and is seriously the best.

Tame Impala, Currents (2015, Interscope) Click through for the Pitchfork review!

And last but most certainly not least, Tame Impala! I wish I could hire someone to play this album on a boombox and follow me around all day. It is the fucking best album of the year. I’ve been a Tame Impala fan for a few years, but neither of their previous releases managed to instantly grab me the way Currents has. From the moment I heard them preview the first track on Conan, I knew that I would fall in love with this album. The whole thing is so lush. I’ve linked to the Pitchfork review above, I’m sure they can give Currents a more eloquent appraisal than I can.

Thanks for letting me share some of my recent picks! The new Beach House album came out the other day, so I’m sure that will make this list before long. For anyone who loves getting hipped to new music, I actually keep a record of the new releases we buy (once I’ve actually managed to listen to them) under the heading Modern Music on the blog.