Thursday, October 29, 2009

Setting the Paces
Boat returns with new album and tour

Seattle's Boat are back with their third full length, Setting The Paces. The new album was released this week via Magic Marker and is available on CD and orange vinyl. Setting The Paces finds Boat delivering their best work to date on an album full of messy indie pop and smart ass lyrics. When I first heard Setting The Paces I was immediately transcended back to the early 90's when bands like Pavement, Archers of Loaf, and Built To Spill were ruling supreme, in my world anyway. Comparisons to such 90's indie touch stones are inevitable, but where Boat sets itself apart from those influences is their gift for churning out songs with irresistible pop hooks and lots of them, buckets full in fact.

Boat are setting out on a short east coast tour in support of the excellent Setting The Paces and will play PA's Lounge on November 11th.

[MP3/Steam] Boat - Lately
[MP3/Stream] Boat - We've Been Friends Since 1989
[MP3/Stream] Boat - Prince of Tacoma

Buy the album from Magic Marker Records/CCNow

Boat (official)


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Funeral Singers
Califone returns to Boston tonight

Over the course of eight full lengths, a hand full of ep's, singles, and compilations Califone have remained one of the most original and consistent bands in America. Their new set, All My Friends Are Funeral Singers comes via there new label Dead Oceans, further proves this point. This is starting to sound like a review, which is not my intention but sometimes these things tend to take a life of there own. On their new album Califone continue to explore the cross pollination off folk, blues, and fractured electronics, for a record full of rich melodies and unforgettable songs. All My Friends Our Funeral Singers is a masterful and devastating album. Highly recommended.

So much for not writing a review. The fact is this record is very easy to get excited about and once you hear it I think you'll agree.

The new album is only half the story. Tim Rutili the bands principal songwriter wrote and directed the film All My Friends Are Funeral Singers as well. A story of a house haunted by aggrieved but mostly friendly ghosts. The music was written and recorded while the film was in production and Califone's music is featured throughout the film, as is the band themselves, fittingly as ghosts.

Califone are currently undertaking it's most ambitious tour to date. They are taking the new film and accompanying album to thirteen city's where they will perform live during the films screening. The band will play a short 30 minute set of older material before providing live musical accompaniment during the presentation of All My Friends Our Funeral Singers.

Califone will play tonight at the Brattle Theatre
Doors 8:30/Show 9:00

[MP3/Stream] Califone - Funeral Singers
[MP3/Stream] Califone - Ape-Like

Buy the album at

Saturday, October 17, 2009

For Amie: A Breast Cancer Awareness Benefit

Show your support for a great cause and one of Boston's most ardent local music supporters as his immediate family deals with this issue first hand. All the information is on the poster below, and what a line up.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Free Shows and Test Drives

The Kia Soul Collective are set to take over the Artists For Humanity space in Southie for 4 days of music, art, and design. Plus (here comes the corporate twist) a chance to test drive the new Kia Soul.
It all kicks off tonight when Staten Island's Cymbals Eat Guitars (pictured above) take to the stage at 8:30 to kick this weekend of free music off.

Here's the full line up:
Friday - Here We Go Magic @ 6:30
Friday - White Rabbits @ 7:15
Saturday - Boy Crisis @ 6:00
Saturday - Antlers @ 7:00
Sunday - The Pains of Being Pure at Heart @ 8:00

Don't miss your last chance to see The Pains of Being Pure at Heart in one of their last US shows for the foreseeable future. The band will close out this weekends festivities before heading off to Europe to round out what can only be described as an incredible year.

Corporate angles aside, this event is chock full of quality bands performing full sets for free. You can RSVP to each show and get all the details here.

The Venue: Artists for Humanity
100 W. 2nd Street
Fort Point Channel
South Boston

Friday, October 9, 2009

Regurgitated Video

The video for However Wrong You Are from the just released Boston Spaceships album Zero to 99 turned up over at Stereogum earlier this week. The clip is just too amusing not to share.

As far as the track goes, I just can't get enough of it personally. It's got it all, big hooks, charging guitars, and a chorus that will have you humming it all day. It's a hit!

Buy Boston Spaceships - Zero to 99 via The Factory of Raw Essentials

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The AGP Presents: An Interview with
Adam Thompson of We Were Promised Jetpacks

Since first having the pleasure of hearing These Four Walls, the debut release from Glasgow's We We Were Promised Jetpacks we've been counting down the days until the band would make it's live debut in our city. The day has finally arrived and the excitement around here is mounting.

We Were Promised Jetpacks were formed in 2003 by high school friends Adam Thompson (vocals/guitar), Michael Palmer(guitar), Sean Smith (bass), and Darren Lackie (drums). The band moved from Edinburgh to Glasgow to attend university and to be closer to that city's burgeoning music scene and in July WWPJ released their debut album via Fatcat Records and have since received heaps of well deserved accolades both here in the U.S. as in their homeland.

Over the past couple of weeks I've had the pleasure of conducting an interview with WWPJ's Adam Thompson . I sent the questions over and Adam answered and e-mailed them back during some brief down time on the bands current U.S. tour.

Thank you to Caroline Barolla at Motormouthmedia for setting this interview up and especially to Adam Thompson and the rest of We We Were Promised Jetpacks for taking the time to answer a few questions.

The Ash Gray Proclamation: Have you been surprised by the positive response that your debut, These Four Walls has received from critics and fans alike?

Adam Thompson
: Yeah, really surprised. Also with the amount of people who even care enough to say anything about it, good or bad. We all thought it would get some decent reviews, but nowhere near the amount of positive reviews we've received.

AGP:I read that you formed the band in high school, can you tell us how you went from playing the battle of bands to recording your debut album?

Adam: We started as band who played covers, as those were the songs we knew. When we first started playing together we wrote some original songs, but played a few covers to fill the set out. We were 15 or so, that's forgivable, right?

AGP: What was the recording process for These Four Walls and it does it live up to your expectations as an introduction to the band?

Adam: The recording wasn't that great. We were talked into doing it live in a room together, overspill and all. Which meant that the "feel" of the songs is this great raw live sound, but it meant the mixes were not good. Luckily Peter Katis was able fly in with his red cape on and fix it. We all feel the record is a really good introduction, but that it, only an introduction. Let us at the next one.

AGP: How did the Fatcat signing come about?

Adam: The guy from Is This Music? magazine in Scotland is great guy, I asked him if we could play one of the monthly nights they put on and he said yes. We then found out it was with Frightened Rabbit and we got along well. Eventually they mentioned to Fatcat that we were not so bad, so they got in touch.

AGP: You're currently playing some shows in the U.S. with fellow Glaswegians Frightened Rabbit and The Twilight Sad, how have the shows been?

Adam: Great! Frightened Rabbit have just left us, so we're pretty emotional, but the guys from Brakes (or BrakesBrakesBrakes in the U.S.)have arrived and we're getting along well. The shows were brilliant. We weren't really sure what to expect but we've had a blast.

AGP:Do you have any plans to write and record in the near future, or do you prefer to enjoy your time on tour?

Adam: No, we quite want to have a bunch of new songs to play. Touring is great fun and all, but some new songs would be great. We've got one done, only the rest of the record to go!

AGP: Over the past few years the Glasgow scene was been booming with quality bands, who's next to emerge, any predictions?

Adam: Endor, Lyons, John B. McKenna, Dupec (from Edinburgh), Jesus H. Foxx (from Edinburgh), and Over the Wall.

We Were Promised Jetpacks play Great Scott tonight alongside label mates BrakesBrakesBrakes, and The Twilight Sad.

Buy These Four Walls at the Fatcat shop

Friday, October 2, 2009

This is your weekend Boston:

Am I the only one frothing at the mouth at the prospect of this weekends events. Not one, but two of our areas seminal bands are scheduled to play shows in town this weekend and one of those bands is playing for free.

It all gets kicked off tonight at The Middle East, down stairs when Dinosaur Jr. plays the first of two sold-out shows. Mascis, Barlow, and Murph our currently on tour in support of the superb Farm, released last June on Jagjaguwar and the second album released by the band since reforming it's original line up. Lou Barlow will pull double duty both nights by opening the shows with his band,Lou Barlow and The Missing Men.

[MP3/Stream] Dinosaur Jr. Daytrotter Sessions
[MP3/Stream] Lou Barlow - Gravitate

Buy Farm via the Jagjaguwar store.

Now to the show that completely took me by surprise. On Thursday I got a message from Matador that Mission of Burma would be playing a free show this Sunday on the MIT campus.
The show will start at 2PM in the east campus courtyard, 3 Ames Street. Burma will be supported by Big Bear and the winner of the Battle for Burma, a contest Matador recently held for aspiring bands to have the opportunity to open this show. New Haven, CT's Eula won the battle and they'll take to the stage at 2PM on Sunday to claim their prize.

Newbury Comics will be on hand selling copies of Mission of Burma's The Sound The Speed The Light, two days prior to it's official release on October 6th.

[MP3/Stream] Mission of Burma- 1,2,3, Partyy

Buy The Sound The Speed The Light via Matador.