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bananastasi - Thu, Jul 1, 2010, 10:57 P
Weekly Band E-Mail #134.0 NEWS July 2nd, 2010
WEEKLY BAND E-MAIL #134.0 July 2nd, 2010


The staff at the Boston Phoenix have chosen the 40 best concerts in Boston history. Here is their list:

1. James Brown at Boston Garden, April 5th, 1968
2. Nirvana and Smashing Pumpkins and Bullet LaVolta at Axis, September 23rd, 1991
3. The Rolling Stones at Boston Garden, July 18th, 1972
4. Lollapalooza at Great Woods [now Comcast Center] in Mansfield, August 7th, 1992
[with Pearl Jam and Red Hot Chili Peppers]
5. Bruce Springsteen at Harvard Square Theatre, May 9th, 1974
6. Green Day at the Hatch Shell, September 9th, 1994
7. The Beatles at Suffolk Downs, August 18th, 1966
8. U2 at The Paradise, March 6th, 1981
9. The Clash at Harvard Square Theatre, February 16th, 1979
10. Pearl Jam at Boston Garden, April 10th, 1994

11. Radiohead and Teenage Fanclub and Dandy Warhols at Harborlights Pavillion, August 23rd, 1997
12. Led Zeppelin at Boston Tea Party, January 23-26, 1969
13. Mission of Burma at The Bradford Ballroom, March 12th, 1983
14. Lou Barlow and Elliott Smith at Green Street Grill, October 4th, 1998
15. The Pogues at Axis, July 2nd, 1986
16. Bob Dylan's Rolling Thunder Revue at Harvard Square Theatre, November 20, 1975
17. The Pixies at The Paradise, August 8th, 2005
18. Velvet Underground and the Exploding Plastic Inevitable at The ICA, October 29th, 1966
19. Beastie Boys at Worcester Centrum, August 25th, 1968
20. Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros at The Roxy, November 22nd, 1999

21. R.E.M. and Husker Du at Harvard University Indoor Track Center, March 22nd, 1984
22. P.J. Harvey at T.T. the Bear's Place, August 15th, 1992
23. The Who at The Music Hall, August 6th, 1971
24. Aerosmith at Middle East down, November 9th, 1995
25. Beck and the Flaming Lips at Orpheum Theatre, October 28th, 2002
26. Guns 'n Roses at The Paradise, October 16th, 1987
27. Black Flag and Meat Puppets at The Channel, April 15th, 1984
28. Madonna and Beastie Boys at Worcester Centrum, June 2nd, 1985
29. J. Geils Band and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers at Cape Cod Coliseum, July 15th, 1978
30. Oasis at Local 186, October 21st, 1994

31. The Strokes at Gallery Bershad, April 21st, 2001
32. Sinead O'Connor at The Paradise, March 31st, 1988
33. Lollapalooza at Tweeter Center [now Comcast Cebter] in Mansfield, July 25th, 1995
[Sonic Youth, Pavement, Beck, Hole, Elastica, and the Jesus Lizard]
34. The Grateful Dead and The Patti Smith Group at UMass Boston Alumni Stadium, May 12th, 1979
35. Nine Inch Nails and David Bowie at Tweeter Center [now Comcast Center] in Mansfield, September 15th, 1995
36. The Smiths at The Opera House, June 14th, 1985
37. Morphine at The Plough and Stars, March 11th, 1991
38. Talking Heads at The Rathskellar [aka The Rat], January 21st, 1977
39. The White Stripes at The Opera House, November 21st, 2005
40. Rage Against the Machine at The Paradise, January 19th, 1993

Here are two videos called "How James Brown Saved Boston" that shows clips from the concert and commentary from various people

I would add to this list Janis Joplin at Harvard Stadium, The Who at The Boston Garden, Elton John at Foxboro Stadium on July 4th, 1976, Bruce Springsteen at The Boston Garden, Roy Orbison at The Channel, and George Harrison at The Boston Garden.


The Route 63 Roadhouse in Millers Falls has closed its doors. The Drunk Stuntmen played the last show at the Roadhouse on Saturday, June 26th.

The Roadhouse was located about 20 miles from Amherst and about 20 miles from Greenfield, Driving up to it from Amherst, I was often the only car on Route 63 once I got past the Cherry Hill Golf Course in north Amherst. The building was in the middle of nowhere, but being in the middle of nowhere meant that bands could literally crank their music up to 11 and not have any neighbors complain.

The building that housed the Route 63 Roadhouse was bought by Carol Cameron and Jame Snyder in 2003, and is currently up for sale. The Roadhouse also had a full bar, two pool tables, and served food. The Roadhouse added a full menu about a year ago with Carol doing all the cooking in the kitchen, and her potato skins were absolutely amazing.

The upper floor had a dressing room with a full bar for the performers to use. I remember going to see James Montgomery play there one night. I bought the re-issue of his first CD (the one with "Train" on it), and his handler promised he would sign it for me. Well, after waiting for a half hour, she told me to just go on upstairs. So I did and James was sitting at the bar, and proceeded to regale me with tales of how he helped this musician or that musician kick their alcohol and drug addiction.

I have seen many other great bands at The Route 63 Roadhouse, including The Drunk Stuntmen, The Reprobates Blues Band, The Stone Coyotes, Uncle Billy's Smokehouse, Ottomatic Slim, and Louisiana Red with David Maxwell. My wife and I celebrated our 25th anniversary at The Roadhouse on October 8th, 2008, and our favorite live band, The Reprobates, just happened to be playing that night.

The Roadhouse also had a horseshoe tournament and barbecue on the side lawn every summer, and even organized a bus trip to a Boston Red Sox game every summer. Carole Cameron told The Greenfield Recorder that she hopes whoever does buy the building will re-open it as a roadhouse once again. She said "Route 63 was a true roadhouse. It's a dying breed in America." In the meantime, it will be missed.


This from Boston Band Crush:

This past spring, the Somerville home of Starlab (a self-described "small community of friends rehearsing, silkscreening, and occasionally hosting shows") was flooded, causing massive damages that resulted in huge repair bills. This Saturday, July 3rd, the Starlab community will come together and raise money to help offset the costs incurred. A BBQ and flea market begins at 1pm, and bands will be playing 4-8pm. Bands playing for the cause include Drug Rug; Movers and Shakers, Doomstar!, and Sleepy Very Sleepy. This is an all ages show and a donation of $10 will be requested. This will all take place at Starlab's basement home at 32 Prospect Street in Union Square in Somerville.


Celebrate Independence Day the reggae way at Johnny D's in Somerville on Saturday, July 3rd, beginning at 7pm. Reggae legends Dub Station host a cavalcade of stars, including Lady Lee, Akwerius, Jem-i, ASN, Nourish, Sandra D, Jah Rico & Madda Ranks, Ricky Irie, Rider McCoy, Dion Knibb, Pale Wryter, and Nyjah. The show is 21+.


Pop On the Lawn is an event that is happening on Thursday, July 8th, 6:30-11pm, on the lawn of the Florence Civic Center on Park Street in Florence (about five miles west of Northampton). Performing will be The Fawns, Group DeVille, and School for the Dead. This show is free and open to the public. Be sure to bring bug spray.

Here is a video for the song "Snow Day" from the album "A Nice Place to Be" by The Fawns:


Ellis Paul is one of the leading voices in American songwriting. He was a principle leader in the wave of singer/songwriters that emerged from the Boston folk scene, creating a movement that revitalized the national acoustic circuit with an urban, literate, folk pop style that helped renew interest in the genre in the 1990's.

Now Ellis Paul will be celebrating his 20th anniversary as a Boston folk legend with a series of shows at Club Passim in Harvard Square in Cambridge on the weekend of Friday, July 9th and Saturday, July 10th. During these four shows he will perform eight of his albums in their entirety in chronological order. Here is the schedule:

Friday, July 9th, 7pm
Say Something; Stories

Friday, July 9th, 10pm
Carnival of Voices; Translucent Sound

Saturday, July 10th, 7pm
Sweet Mistakes; The Speed of Trees

Saturday, July 10th, 10pm
American Jukebox Fables; The Day After Everything Changed

Tickets to each show are $30, and may be purchased online at If you purchase a ticket to three of the four shows, you get the fourth ticket free. Details on this deal are on the Club Passim website.

Ellis will also be doing a special family show on Saturday, July 10th at 3:30pm. Tickets for this show are $10. Club Passim is an all ages venue.

Here is the bio for Ellis Paul, taken from his website,

Ellis Paul's charismatic, personally authentic performance style has influenced a generation of artists away from the artifice of pop, and closer towards the realness of folk. Though he remains among the most pop-friendly of today's singer-songwriters - his songs regularly appear in hit movie and TV soundtracks - he has bridged the gulf between the modern folk sound and the populist traditions of Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger more successfully than perhaps any of his songwriting peers.

Yet to hear him at this crossroads moment in his career, you would think he was just getting started. For years, he has been among the folk circuit's most popular and dependable headliners, with a mailing list of over 20,000 fiercely loyal fans. He has released 14 CDs, and recently explored new media avenues with a documentary/concert DVD called "3,000 Miles," and "Notes from the Road," a critically acclaimed book of poems and stories.

In recent years, he has also departed from his solo career to tour and record with longtime compadre Vance Gilbert, and to indulge his deep respect for American folk icon Woody Guthrie. He appeared with the all-star Guthrie tribute tour, "Ribbon of Highway, Endless Skyway." For his Philo CD, "The Speed of Trees," he wrote a modern musical setting of Guthrie's unpublished lyric "God's Promise."

Nora Guthrie, Woody's daughter, invited Paul to to perform at a Woody Guthrie tribute show held in September 1996 at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio. The show was part of a 10-day celebration to honor Woody and also included performances by Bruce Springsteen, Ani DiFranco, Billy Bragg and others. In 1998, the quintessential Boston songwriter was also made an honorary citizen of Guthrie's birthplace, Okemah, Oklahoma, in recognition of all he has done to revive interest in the Dust Bowl troubadour.

This may surprise casual fans of Paul's urbane, literate and thoroughly modern folk-pop sound - but not those who knew him well. Among the first to single him out from the vast pack clamoring to rise from Boston's open mics in the early '90s was Bill Morrissey, even then considered the definitive New England ballad writer. He was so impressed, he produced Paul's first record, "Say Something," in 1993.

What did he see, so early in Paul's career? "He was always unique," Morrissey recalls. "He didn't write like anybody, didn't sing like anybody, didn't perform like anybody. So many of the songwriters then were trying to imitate whoever they thought was successful. Ellis was always himself; he didn't try to separate himself from his audiences. Perhaps it's because he's a Mainer; there's no pretense, and I think audiences sense that."

Paul is today regarded as such a classic urban songwriter that it's hard to fathom what a small-town boy he was. He grew up in northern Maine, in a potato farming community so remote that his exposure to music came almost entirely from the one top-40 station he could get on his radio, and his school band, where he played trumpet well enough to earn a summer scholarship to the Berklee College of Music.

He toured the country competing in track, catching a hard case of wanderlust, and earning a track scholarship to Boston College.

It was there that he discovered songwriting, completely out of boredom when a track-career-ending knee injury left him bedridden for months, and he began making up songs on a guitar a friend had given him. By 1989, he was haunting the open mic scene that would soon produce the most important generation of Boston folk stars since the early '60s, including Paul, Dar Williams, Vance Gilbert, Jonatha Brooke and Jennifer Kimball (then performing as The Story), Martin Sexton, Patty Griffin, and Catie Curtis.

Almost immediately, Paul's infectious melodicism, literate lyrics, and honest performing style drew attention. As early as 1993, the Boston Globe was calling him a songwriter's songwriter, adding that "no emerging songwriter in recent memory has been more highly touted and respected by songwriters."

While his style was highly introspective at that time, it was also informed by a probing humanism shaped in part by the five years he spent as a social worker. Every day, he struggled to help poor urban kids hovering dangerously on the edges of the criminal justice and welfare systems.

Recalling those days, Paul says, "It definitely gave me a whole new vision of what the world could be like. Even BC was about as safe an environment as you could find. Picking up kids at the projects, breaking up fights, talking to parole officers and psychologists, getting to know this side of life I'd never been exposed to, really opened my mind up. From that, maybe I took sort of a wide-eyed view of the world around me, which seeped into my music."

His skyrocketing career is still the stuff of legend in Boston folk circles; how quickly he climbed from opening act for the likes of Morrissey, Shawn Colvin, and John Gorka, to national headliner and recording star.

Morrissey recalls something else that set him apart back then: his artistic curiosity. Paul would pepper him with questions about who influenced him, which songwriters he should be listening to. He was discovering what a rich, ancient community this music was - and he wanted to dive right into the deep end.

"You know, that's a very smart thing to do," says Morrissey. "It helped set him apart. A lot of young singers I meet are not curious about what went on before; they just say, 'I want to sing another song about my life.' Paul has a sense of roots, of connectedness to the whole history of folk music; he sees the thread that runs through all the generations of this music."

In particular, Paul fell under the spell of Woody Guthrie, who wrote "This Land Is Your Land," "Pastures of Plenty," and a thousand other American anthems. By 1998, Paul was telling the Boston Globe that Woody, to him, was "ground zero, the prototype in a long line of people I'm a huge fan of." He put a Woody Guthrie tattoo on his arm, solemnly telling people it was "a commitment."

An increasingly topical humanism informed his work. Like Guthrie a half-century before, Paul displayed a humble genius for putting the most divisive issues of his day into starkly personal and emotional terms. "She loves a girl," he sang. "What are you going to do if you love her, too?"

"I feel like I'm more a part of a community now than just a songwriter singing about my own struggles and the struggles of the friends I see around me," Paul says of his career today. "Maybe that's the difference between being a singer-songwriter and being a folk musician, that transition into more of a community sense of writing."

At the same time, Paul remains the most mainstream-friendly folk songwriter to emerge from Boston since Tom Rush. Between 1993 and 2004, he won an unprecedented 13 Boston Music Awards, and his songs were heard on hit TV shows Ed and MTV's Real World; and in the soundtracks of several Farrelly Brothers films, including "Me, Myself, & Irene," starring Jim Carrey, and "Shallow Hal," with Jack Black and Gwyneth Paltrow. Director Peter Farrelly has called Paul "a national treasure."

It would be easy - perhaps even advisable - to become complacent after succeeding so remarkably at all the things he set out to do. But there is a restlessness in Paul these days, a vibrant, glowing spirit of artistic adventure. Success to him is not a prize to clutch and protect, but an open door to a wider journey.

"There are differences between the me now and the me I was in the early '90s," he says quietly. "I have a reliable fan base that keeps a roof over my head, for which I'm so thankful. And I think they're also willing and forgiving enough for me to go through any evolution I choose, as long as the core of what I do is honest, and that I continue to write songs and stories about the things I see around me.

"I need to keep feeling refreshed. I've been down the Ellis Paul rabbit-hole, you know, and now I'm looking around and trying to learn new things, experience other people's music and stories. I have no idea where I'm headed, but I think it'll make me a broader artist. "

That sounds like a very safe bet.

Here is a video of Ellis Paul performing Hurricane Angel at the Guthrie Center in Great Barrington:


The third annual Peskeomskut Park Music and Arts festival will be held in downtown Turners Falls all day Saturday, July 10th, beginning at 11am. Admission is free and open to the public, although donations will be accepted to benefit the Shea Theater. There will be live music from 12noon to 9pm. Scheduled to perform include Bella's Bartok, Birds of Flame, Rusty Belle, Spouse, and Winterpills.


This from Boston Band Crush:

It started in Portland, Oregon in 2001, and has grown to be a full-time program there, with additional camps happening in cities worldwide. This year, for the first time, Girls Rock Camp comes to Boston! During the first week in August (2-7), there will be a grrrlriffic explosion of rock at Spontaneous Celebrations in Jamaica Plain.

The general mission of Girls Rock Camp Boston (GRCB) is to build self-esteem and leadership skills through the use of music education and performance. For one week, girls ages 8-16 (regardless of musical ability) get together to form a band. With the help of band coaches and instrument instructors, the goal for each band is to write a song and perform it live on the final evening of the camp session in the Showcase. This year, the Showcase will be at T.T. the Bear's Place in Cambridge

In addition to learning music, the camp hosts a number of workshops to promote the exploration of self expression. So while learning to rock out, the girls will also learn about self-defense, screen printing, zine writing, women in rock history, and more. During lunch break, the girls get to see live performances by local real-life rock ladies. Scheduled to perform so far are Sister Spaceman, Apple Betty, Cathy Cathodic, and Gunpowder Gelatine. on Saturday, August 7th, 1-6PM

There have already been two fundraisers for this event, but there are two more planned:

Monday, July 12th, 9pm-midnight, $8
Midway Cafe in Jamaica Plain

Sunday, July 25th, 1-6pm, $10
TT the Bears in Cambridge
(Live sets from Aerochix, Mary Lou Lord, Hillken Mancini, Robin Lane, and others.)

To donate to Girls Rock Camp Boston, go to!.html


Yet another show has been added to the summer series of outdoor concerts at Mountain Park in Holyoke. This time it's The Disco Biscuits, who will be performing on Sunday, September 10th. Gates open at 5pm, and the show begins at 6pm. Tickets are $27.50, and went on sale to the general public today, Friday, July 2nd. Tickets may be purchased online at with a credit card. This show is all ages, although children 13 and under must be accompanied by an adult. And if you wait to purchase your tickets at the gate for any of the shows at Mountain Park, be aware that only cash will be accepted.


The third Crossroads Guitar Festival was held at Toyota Park in Bridgeville, Illinois, just outside Chicago, on Saturday, June 26th. The 11-hour, sold out concert, which was put together by guitar god Eric Clapton, featured Sonny Landreth, B.B. King, Jeff Beck, John Mayer, Sheryl Crow, Vince Gill, ZZ Top, Johnny Winter, Ron Wood of the Rolling Stones, Hubert Sumlin, longtime guitarist for Howlin Wolf, The Robert Cray Band, The Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi Band, Jonny Lang, and Stevie Winwood.

Eric runs these festivals every three years, and had previously said that this year's would be the final one. But at the end of the show last Saturday, he said that he was thiinking of putting together another one, presumably in three years. He said “This was going to be the last one, but I don’t think it will be.” He has other people to invite, he said, and he does. According to a story in The New York Times, there are many eligible blues-rockers — the Dead Weather, Them Crooked Vultures, the Black Keys — and guitar-loving jam bands. He could easily add guitarists and guitar bands from outside that blues-rock home turf, who still cherish the instrument but exploit it in other textural and cultural ways, such as Wilco, Sonic Youth, Dirty Projectors and the indie-rock guitar dynamo Marnie Stern; the Indian slide guitarist Debashish Bhattcharya; and the Brazilian bossa nova master Joao Gilberto (who was initially announced for this Crossroads but was not in the final lineup) and countless others.

Money raised from the Crossroads festivals goes to the Crossroads Centre Antigua. Founded by Eric Clapton in 1997, Crossroads Centre was created to provide quality, affordable treatment for alcohol and other drug dependencies. This 32-bed facility, located on the island of Antigua, has become recognized as an international Centre of Excellence for addiction treatment. If you wish to make a donation to the Centre, you can do so online at

Here is a video of Ron Wood, Buddy Guy, and Jonny Lang performing the Rolling Stones' "Miss You" at the 2010 festival:

Fathom Entertainment will be presenting two hours of highlights from this year's festival at 475 movie theaters nationwide on Tuesday, July 27th at 7:30. Tickets are $12.50, and you can purchase tickets in advance at

Here in Massachusetts, those theaters are:
Bellingham 14
Fenway 13 in Boston
AMC Braintree 10
AMC Burlington 10
Legacy Place in Dedham
Patriot Place in Foxboro
AMC Framingham 15
Cinemark at Hampshire Mall in Hadley
Showcase Cinemas in Lowell
Solomon Pond 15 in Marlborough
Blackstone Valley in Millbury
Showcase Cinemas in Randolph
Showcase Cinemas in Revere
Swansea Cinemas
Showcase Cinemas in West Springfield


Dr. Demento, whose real name is Barrett Hansen, will be taking his syndicated radio program to the Internet this fall.

The radio stations carrying his show has since declined to fewer than a dozen. "With the increasingly narrow casting, as they call it, of radio where stations will pick one relatively restricted format and stick with it 24 hours a day, especially in the music area, my show just got perhaps a little too odd of a duck to fit in," he said. He had planned to stop syndicating it this month until he learned a college station in Amarillo, Texas, had committed to airing it through the summer. Hansen lives with his wife Sue in southern California, and has around 300,000 recordings, every recording format from antique wax cylinders to modern-day digital downloads. The Dr. Demento show will reach its 40th anniversary in October. Hansen was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame last year.


Over 175,000 people attended the 40th anniversary Glastonbury Festival in Great Britain the week beginning Monday, June 21st. Although temperatures on Saturday, June 26th were about 103 degrees, which made the area into a dust bowl, there were no reports of dehydration. The main buzz about this year's festival was about Stevie Wonder, Toots and The Maytals, Muse, Vampire Weekend, Kylie Minogue joining The Scissor Sisters, and a surprise set by Radiohead..

As people left the car parks surrounding the festival grounds early in the morning of Monday, June 28th, Worthy FM, which broadcast just up the hill from the Pyramid Stage, had a two hour special program about a campaign called Storm the Charts.

Storm the Charts is an attempt to get the people of England to listen to 40 songs by unknown, independent artists, and download them from this week, with the goal of having as many of these songs in the top 40 download list on amazon on the July 4th weekend. From more than 560 submissions of songs by bands and musicians, 40 were chosen. The criteria was that the band or musician(s) had to either be unsigned or not on one of the four major labels.

Half of the artists were chosen by public vote, and half by a completely separate panel selection. The panel is the former Glastonbury Unsigned competition listening team, with the help of specially invited guest panelists. These panelists have included Tracy Morter (Rage4xmas/Save 6 music), Huw Stephens (BBC introducing/Swn festival), Sofia Hagberg (End of the Road), Emily Eavis (Glastonbury Festival), Steve Henwood (Glastonbury Festival Bandstand/Bath Fringe), Gareth Main (Bearded Magazine), Louise Dodgson (The Unsigned Guide), Adam Brooks (Warp Records), and Louise Kattenhorn (former producer of the John Peel Radio One show). has reduced the price of most of the downloads to 49p, which I am told is equivalent to $1USD. For more information on this campaign, sign into your Facebook page and search Storm the Charts, and then click Info for a list of the 40 bands and artists that were chosen. I will try to post the results of the campaign in the next NEWS issue of the Weekly Band E-Mail. And this wouldn't be a bad idea in the U.S. either, although I personally would like to see it happen between Thanksgiving and Christmas. It would certainly break the "Glee" and "American Idol" juggernauts.


Information for the Weekly Band E-Mail is taken directly from venue,
band, and musician web sites, Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace pages,
as well as blogs, posters, flyers, and e-mails..
Brian Anastasi assumes no responsibility for errors on these sources.
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