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Show Review: BORIS @ The Paradise Rock Club 8.9.16

I picked a rough night to forget my earplugs. On August ninth, three-piece Japanese metal band Boris tore the roof off of the paradise and left me near-deaf for days to follow. Their explosive performance of their now-classic 2006 album Pink brought an energy and charisma that smashed through the language barrier and delivered well over an hour of pure unbridled hype. That being said, Boris were by no means… continue reading

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Show Review: Buzzcocks @ Royale 9.27.16

  Buzzcocks may not have been the first punk band to write love songs, but they were the first punk band to write love songs that sounded like punk songs. While Ramones used ‘50s girl-group saccharin to keep feelings at a safely ironic distance, Buzzcocks set their brutally incisive lyrics about relationships to the same power-chord pummeling that accompanied their songs about alienation. That alone makes Buzzcocks one of first-wave… continue reading

Basement

Show Review: Basement @ Worcester Palladium 9.3.16

Few experiences are as cathartic to a young music fan as screaming the words to your favorite song at an intimate show. This past Saturday, UK five-piece Basement provided a few hundred kids just that in the ridiculously small upstairs room at the Palladium. Upon entry, I was delighted to discover the absence of a barricade; as a fan of Basement since high school, they have a special place in… continue reading

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Show Review: Pierce the Veil @ Paradise Rock Club 6.14.16

On June 14th Pierce the Veil rocked the Paradise Rock Club on their Misadventures Tour. Establishing themselves as leading acts in the heavier sides of pop punk with their album Collide with the Sky in 2012, the four-piece band released Misadventures earlier this year. The venue was sold out, completely packing the pit as well as the balcony areas. The band’s dedicated fans had been waiting since the morning to… continue reading

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Nonobject(ive): Summer Happenings @ The Broad 7.30.16

Known as much for its spectacularly long lines as for its impressive collection of modern art, The Broad is the newest addition to LA’s already broad selection of art museums. This summer The Broad is holding monthly multidisciplinary art events called Nonobject(ive): Summer Happenings, inspired by events in 80s New York where musicians, dancers, performance artists, etc. performed in the same space, often in collaboration. This edition featured a contingent… continue reading

Babymetal @ The Wiltern 7.15.16

by Jonas Polin (Cultural Anthropology/Theater) BABYMETAL has been on a tear recently. They appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, their most recent album METAL RESISTANCE reached higher on the Billboard Chart than any other Japanese album in fifty years, and they’ve been selling out massive venues around the world, including the 12,500-capacity Wembley Arena in London and two shows at the 55,000-capacity Tokyo Dome. How could a band… continue reading

Deftones

Show Review: Deftones @ Blue Hills Bank Pavilion 8.9.16

Deftones and Refused, two very different but equally heavy and innovative bands, brought the thunder to Boston on their recent tour. Spotlights opened with a mix of slow, doomy metal and blurry guitar which they have dubbed “sludge-gaze.” The music’s glacial pace and droning distortion produced a surprisingly soporific effect despite its loud volume. They’re an almost too fitting choice to open this tour- guitarist Mario Quintero’s playing is textually… continue reading

Pearl Jam

Show Review: Pearl Jam @ Fenway Park 8.5.16

Pearl Jam are generally considered one of the best live bands around, and on the first night of their two-night Fenway Park stint, they proved that they’ve earned that distinction with a three-hour, 32-song extravaganza. Playing for three hours without exhausting the audience requires good pacing, a skill which Pearl Jam has mastered. They started slow, opening with the majestic “Release” and following it with four more downtempo numbers, with… continue reading

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Show Review: James Taylor @ Fenway Park 8.3.16

Had James Taylor and Jackson Browne toured together in the 1970s, it might have been the hottest ticket of the year. If the packed, enthusiastic Fenway Park crowd was any indication, however, the opportunity to see these totemic singer/songwriters is just as precious in 2016 as it would have been in 1976. His voice sounding mercifully untouched by age and his well-heeled backing band making sure every note landed just… continue reading

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Show Review: Rhye @ Paradise Rock Club 7.31.16

Of all the members of this decade’s nebulous indie-R&B movement, Rhye hews most closely to the sound and style of the genre’s forebears. The duo’s 2013 album Woman is a musical expression of romantic love, passionate yet tastefully restrained, with no avant-garde production or dark subject matter to dilute their suave sensuality. Music this intimate isn’t always conducive to a memorable concert experience, so Rhye were wise to bring a… continue reading

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Show Review: Silversun Pickups @ House of Blues 7.21.16

For the past decade, Silversun Pickups have written well-crafted modern rock radio hits with obvious stylistic debts to shoegaze and ‘90s alternative. They don’t seem concerned with their music’s lack of experimentation or innovation, and because of this they will never be hip or critically adored. Which is a shame, because at their best Silversun Pickups can hit listeners in their pleasure centers more consistently than any of their alt-rock… continue reading