Prince and the Soundtrack of My Life

Prince at Coachella.

Prince at Coachella.

It was my best friend from the neighborhood who first introduced me to Prince. Hanging out at his house one day, he played one of the earliest albums, either Controversy of the self-titled debut album. At that time, I was a good Catholic school boy trying to fit in, and Prince was kind of out there for me, with his erotic lyrics and a reputation for performing in underwear. I don’t remember my reaction as I listened to the songs with my friend, but my determination not to like this man’s music did not last long. Those songs stuck with me, echoing in my head.

Prince kept churning out great music, scoring bigger and bigger sales. Soon enough, even the suburban prep-school kids whose opinions I was too concerned about, were also listening.  It would be hard Continue reading

Robbie Fulks at Passim October 13

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This gallery contains 11 photos.

Just a small gallery of images from the Robbie Fulks show at Club Passim on October 13.  It was a great show.  If you’ve heard his music, you know that Robbie Fulks has a great sense of humor.  He’s also … Continue reading

Boston Calling

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This gallery contains 36 photos.

The Boston Calling Festival is, in my humble opinion, the best annual music festival in this area, since the Life is Good Festival ended at least.  City Hall Plaza is a great setting, the music is an nice mix of … Continue reading

Stromae at House of Blues in Boston

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This gallery contains 18 photos.

On September 18 I went to a concert by Stromae, the Belgian rapper and singer/songwriter  at the House of Blues in Boston.  Stromae is a consummate performer, drawing on a variety of musical influences to put on an amazing show.  … Continue reading

Hayes Carll at Club Passim

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This gallery contains 8 photos.

Hayes Carll, whose song “Hard Out Here” inspired the title of this site, played a great show at Club Passim, one of my favorite venues in the area, on July 16. The sold out show was his second in the … Continue reading

The Steel Wheels at Club Passim

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This gallery contains 18 photos.

I’m a huge fan of the Steel Wheels, and not just because they hail from the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, my home state.  In fact, it was an article about their tour on bicycles that made me check out … Continue reading

Concert Gallery: The Contenders at Lizard Lounge

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This gallery contains 9 photos.

Guitarist Jay Nash and drummer Josh Day are The Contenders, and they have recently released their debut EP. It’s a fantastic collection of original Americana songs with strong, evocative lyrics, that are set to tunes that are both soulful and … Continue reading

Adam Ezra Group Release Better than Bootleg 2 at the Sinclair January 2

The Adam Ezra Group

The Adam Ezra Group

The Adam Ezra Group is celebrating the release of Volume 2 of the Better than Bootleg series with a show at The Sinclair in Cambridge, MA on January 2. Like its predecessor, Better than Bootleg, Vol 2 is a live recording, but while all the songs on Volume 1 came from one single performance, the recordings on this collection are taken from different shows. (Cl

In an interview conducted on December 13, Adam Ezra explained that it is not a live album” in the usual sense, documenting a single concert from beginning to end.  Rather the collection represents the band’s ongoing experiments at finding the best way to engineer recordings that “translate the energy from our live shows into a recording.”  I quite like the approach taken to this collection.  A live recording of a show on a single night is documentation of that specific night’s, but this approach feels more representative of the band’s live shows in general.  It mixes things up.  The tracks include performances of some of the bands best known songs such as “Burn Brightly” and “Steal Your Daughter,” one cover of James Taylor’s “Sweet Baby James,” as well as some of the newest songs in the band’s repertoire. (Click here to jump to a video of “Hippy Girl,” another song from the album.)   Continue reading

Concert Gallery: Ryan Bingham in DC

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This gallery contains 39 photos.

It’s no secret I think Ryan Bingham is one of the most exciting artists touring today.  I said as much 4 years ago in a post on my Random Thoughts and Ideas blog, and many of you agreed.  That post was … Continue reading

Concert Gallery: Paolo Nutini with Phox at House of Blues in Boston

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This gallery contains 51 photos.

I’ve been eagerly waiting for a new album from Paolo Nutini, and for a chance to see him in concert for a while.  He’s released a few live recordings and they’re just great!  He teased us in the States a … Continue reading