When The Going Gets Weird: Weirdo Records Is Dead. Long Live Weirdo Records.

Long Live Weirdo Records. (Photo - D.Hixon)

Long Live Weirdo Records. (Photo – D.Hixon)

It’s been a heart wrenching week for Central Square, and selfishly, myself. First news trickled out that the seminal rock club, one in which I’ve seen both friends and heroes play in, TT the Bears, is closing it’s doors – and now…..this. Pound for pound Weirdo Records was the greatest record store in the world, and now….it’s gone, as Central Square takes one more giant step to becoming Kendall fucking Square. Jesse was right, Hi-Fi Pizza becoming a goddamn vegetarian spot was only the beginning. The gentrification of Central Square is now in full throat. But Hey, at least we have a bunch of soulless and pretty pharmaceutical buildings creeping up our ass. Yikes, this could get ugly quick….let’s get back to Weirdo.

The first time I entered Weirdo Angela Sawyer (Godhead & Owner of Weirdo) turned to me and asked over some sort of percussion driven screech chant “music” if I wanted a beer. I of course said yes and my experiences only improved from there – Weirdo was always perfect for me. As a DJ, blogger, podcaster, and overall music freak I can’t overstate how important Weirdo Records was to me. I was admittedly intimidated by the place at first. Walking into Weirdo Records was like entering a tomb. The claustrophobic feel of the large closet called store berated your senses and didn’t allow you be comfortable – and that’s why it was utterly fantastic. There’s still plenty of great shops in Cambridge, but none push your taste or limits like Weirdo – and that’s what a shop’s supposed to do, expose you to new sounds, make you a little uncomfortable, all while helping you cultivate the musical garden garden of taste in your head, and my garden never grew faster than it did with Weirdo. It was like this strange sonic miracle grow for my ear taste.

If I’ve turned you on to new music, you’ve seen me spin out, or listen to my radio show or podcast – then you should certainly shed a tear with me. So much of what I play was discovered and mined out of Weirdo – and it gives me more than minor (major?) anxiety now that it’s gone. Where the hell am I going to get my Afro-Beat, Asian Soul, Middle Eastern Psych or rare Garage from? Goddamn it. The more I type the more I realize how big a hole such a small place is going to leave.

If she reads this (and I think she will) I want to take a step back and thank Angela. I was mostly quiet in there, but you always pushed me in directions that were beyond good, and from that first beer to last purchase, you made the most intimidating shop the most accessible and in the end the best – I’ll be a cow-eyed shoegazer the next few days as I wallow in my “loss” – but am beyond thrilled for your future adventures. We need more Angela’s in this world. Full Stop. End of Sentence.

I’ll be spinning records tonight at State Park from 9:00pm to 12:00am and will wear my Weirdo Records T-Shirt with pride while playing a healthy amount of wax from the pound for pound undisputed Record Store Champ. Drinks on me if you can make it Angela.

Weirdo Records is Dead. Long Live Weirdo Records.

Mint Pillow @ State Park 05/21.

Mint Pillow @ State Park 05/21. (Photo – J.Nguyen)

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Episode 77 – Mom Rock

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Episode 77 - Mom Rock

Episode 77 – Mom Rock

Mother’s Day has been a bummer day for me since my Ma’ passed away in 2007. It’s nice to remember and honor her memory, but it’s tough on Mother’s Day, especially on Social Media, where digital walls are plastered with images of friends and their still around Moms. That’s all changed now with the birth of my Son Dylan, as I get to celebrate from a new angle, giving thanks to my wonderful Wife Jeannine who’s a phenomenal Mom. This episode is first and foremost dedicated to her, as well as to my Ma’s memory. Each track contains either “Mother” – “Momma” – or “Mom”. Here’s to Mom’s, Mom’s Rock.

1. Those Darlins – Mama’s Heart (Those Darlins – 2009)
2. The Beatles – Mother Nature’s Son (Anthology 3 – 1996)
3. Daniel Johnston – Mother Mom Said (Don’t Be Scared – 1982)
4. The Mothers Of Invention – Motherly Love (Freak Out! – 1966)
5. The Rolling Stones – Mother’s Little Helper (Forty Licks – 1966)
6. Hubert Lee – Hey Mama (Studio One – Sales Conference Vol. 1 – 1979)
7. Meat Puppets – Mother American Marshmallow (Up On The Sun – 1985)
8. Mozes And The Firstborn – What’s Wrong Momma (Mozes And The Firstborn – 2014)
9. The Flaming Lips – Five Stop Mother Superior Rain (The Day They Shot A Hole In The Jesus Egg: The Priest Driven Ambulance Album, Demos And Outtakes 1989-1991 – 2002)
10. James Brown – Mothern Popcorn (Mothern Popcorn – 1969)
11. Stephen Malkmus – Mama (Face The Truth – 2005) Matador
12. Parliament – Mothership Connection [Star Child] – (Mothership Connection – 1975)
13. John Lennon – Mother (Shaved Fish – 1975)
14. Thom Yorke – The Mother Lode (Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes – 2014)
15. Far-Out Fangtooth – Mother Nature Fetish (Borrowed Time – 2013)
16. Wye Oak – Mother (A.V Undercover – 2011)
17. Close Lobsters – Mother Of God (Foxheads Stalk This Land – 1987)
18. Johnny Cash – Send A Picture Of Mother (At Folsom Prison – 1968)
19. Neil Young & Crazy Horse – Welfare Mothers (Weld – 1991)
20. Paul McCartney – Momma Miss America (McCartney – 1970)
21. Paul Westerberg – MamaDaddyDid (Eventually – 1996)
22. The White Stripes – Death Letter > Motherless Children (Orpheum Theater, Boston, MA – 2003)
23. Baby Grandmothers – Somebody Keeps Calling My Name (‎Somebody Keeps Calling My Name – 1968)
24. Jonathan Richman – As My Mother Lay Lying (Because Her Beauty is Raw and Wild – 2008)

Boston Calling Festival - Spring 2015

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Recommended Album: Harpoon Forever – The American Flag EP

Harpoon Forever

Harpoon Forever

Here’s an understatement – I listen to a lot of music. I’m never not listening, if there’s silence that just means I’m in-between records. It’s as vital as water to me, and without it I’m a cranky son of a bitch.

It’s rare that I’ll listen to a four track EP and have it stick in my craw for months after only a few listens. I’ve been a busy man these past few months between work, becoming a Father, my Radio Show, and a myriad of other responsibilities. Through it all I’ve been listening to a lot of music (that whole understatement) – and this Harpoon Forever 7″ left me with an uneasy yearning – I couldn’t, and can’t, quite place what I’m hearing – and that’s the hook that keeps reeling me back. That, and it’s really fucking good.

I’ll always be a sucker for nostalgia, and there’s something about this record that makes me feel weepy. It’s like I’m seeing younger me make mistakes that are needed to become today me, which is good, but it’s still sad to see to see youth lose to coming of age.

The music sounds like a less goofy Pavement crossed with the fuzz freakout’s Yo La Tengo does so well. If Yuck were still a band Harpoon Forever would fit excellent on the bill. You should probably buy this record.

Recommended If You Like: Serious Pavement, Quaalude Mac Demarco

Boston Calling Festival - Spring 2015

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The Boston Calling Block Party Series is Back

Boston Calling Block Parties

Boston Calling Block Parties

I’m very happy to see that the Boston Calling Block Party Series is back. It’s a killer way to see local Boston talent in a unique setting. This Spring and Summer the parties will now be held at two locations: Dewey Square Park and Summer Street Plaza at Downtown Crossing. The parties are an excellent way to enjoy free live music outdoors, while hearing talented local artists like Tigerman Woah, Almighty Buck and Dirty Bangs. All block parties are free and open to the public. Each party will have a cash bar; fans must be 21+ to enter. The Boston Calling Block Party series is in addition to Boston Calling’s upcoming three-day music festival, which takes place May 22-24, 2015 and is headlined by Beck, My Morning Jacket and Pixies.

Boston Calling’s Downtown Crossing Block Parties will be held monthly at Summer Street Plaza from 5pm-8pm. This set of the series kicks off on Thursday, May 7, 2015 with Tigerman Woah and its unique brand of country-folk-punk-rock. The Boston Calling Downtown Crossing Block Parties will then be held on the first Wednesday of each month, June 3, 2015 through September 2, 2015.

Boston Calling Festival - Spring 2015
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Episode 76 – Dad Rock

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Episode 76 - Dad Rock

Episode 76 – Dad Rock

Episode 76 looks at the music that bounced around the walls of Mint Pillow’s childhood home while growing up. Joined by the most special of guests, Poppa Hixon, Pillow and his Dad dive into Jazz, Big Band, Golden Era Rock, and Soul. With Pillow being a recent Dad himself there’s a symmetry to the Episode that can’t be overlooked, as Father and Son look towards the past to understand the future, getting lost in Dad Rock.

1. Louis Armstrong & His Hot Five – Heebie Jeebies (Heebie Jeebies – 1929)
2. Glenn Miller – In The Mood (In The Mood – 1939)
3. Dave Brubeck – Take Five (Take Five – 1959)
4. Count Basie Orchestra – Corner Pocket (Corner Pocket – 1962)
5. The Ramsey Lewis Trio – The “In” Crowd (The “In” Crowd – 1965)
6. Miles Davis – Jeru (Birth of the Cool – 1957)
7. Buddy Holly – Maybe Baby (Maybe Baby – 1957)
8. Big Bopper – Chantilli Lace (Chantilli Lace – 1959)
9. Ritchie Valens – Donna (Donna – 1958)
10. Bill Haley & His Comets – Rock Around the Clock (Rock Around the Clock – 1955)
11. Elvis Presley – Don’t Be Cruel (Don’t Be Cruel – 1956)
12. Chuck Berry – Maybellene (Maybellene – 1955)
13. Little Richard – Rip It Up (Rip It Up – 1957)
14. Frank Sinatra – Summer Wind (Summer Wind – 1966)
15. Mercury Rev – I Only Have Eyes For You (Goddess On A Highway+5 – 2001)
16. Peggy Lee – Fever (Fever – 1958)
17. Fats Domino – Ain’t That a Shame (Ain’t That a Shame – 1955)
18. The Four Tops – Baby I Need Your Loving (Baby I Need Your Loving – 1964)
19. Smokey Robinson & The Miracles – You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me (You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me – 1962)
20. The Contours – Do You Love Me (Do You Love Me – 1962)
21. The Zombies – Time Of The Season (Time Of The Season – 1968)
22. The Animals – Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood (Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood – 1965)
23. The Beach Boys – Wouldn’t It Be Nice (Pet Sounds – 1966)
24. James Brown – I’ll Go Crazy (Think – 1960)
25. Etta James – At Last (At Last – 1961)
26. Sam & Dave – Soul Man (Soul Man – 1967)
27. Jody Reynolds – Endless Sleep (Endless Sleep – 1958)
28. The Pandamonium – My Old Flame (The Pandamonium – No Presents For Me… Singles & Rarities – 1965)
29. Rod Bernard – This Should Go On Forever (This Should Go On Forever – 1958)
30. The Ronettes – Be My Baby (Be My Baby – 1963)
31. The Foundations – Baby Now That Ive Found You (Baby Now That Ive Found You – 1967)
32. Charlie Feathers – Too Much Alike (Too Much Alike – 1957)
33. The Everly Brothers – Lucille (Lucille – 1960)

Boston Calling Festival - Spring 2015

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Episode 75 – Space Lounge

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Episode 75 - Space Lounge

Episode 75 – Space Lounge

This is not the complete set from Episode 75, but enough of a taste to get lost in the cosmic boondocks. Mint Pillow has been awed by the miracle of life with the recent birth of his son Dylan, and was also sideswiped by a recent viewing of Interstellar, a movie he expected nothing of, and got a lot from. With these states of mind Pillow delved into a space lounge set that’d be fit for any journey into the deep unknown – and is a palette he’ll likely revisit at a later date – for the time being though, enjoy this draft.

1. Sound Effects – Star Encounters (Space Invaders: Sound Effects From A Fantasy Space Mission – 1995)
2. Dan Deacon – Woody Woodpecker (Spiderman of the Rings – 2007)
3. Carl Sagan – Man in his arrogance
4. Quantic – Time is Enemy (5th Exotic – 2001)
5. Daedelus – Endless Sea (Looking Ocean – 2012)
6. Sun Ra And His Arkestra – Space Is The Place (The Other Side Of The Sun – 1979)
7. Four Tet – And They Look Broken Hearted (Rounds – 2003)
8. HAL 9000 – I’m Sorry Dave, I’m Afraid I Can’t Do That
9. Thievery Corporation – Marching The Hate Machines Into The Sun [Feat The Flaming Lips] (The Cosmic Game – 2005)
10. Washed Out – You and I (Within and Without – 2011)
11. Aphex Twin – Analogue Bubblebath 1 (Classics – 1995)
12. CaligEars – Jaguar Intention Side B2 Edit (Jaguar Intention – 2013)
13. Air – La Femme D’Argent (Moon Safari – 1998)
14. Houses/Teen Daze – Bikes (Destiny – 2010)
15. Bullion – Are You the One? (Young Heartache – 2008)
16. CFCF – Half Dreaming (Continent – 2009)
17. Caribou – Leave House (Swim – 2010)
18. Neil deGrasse Tyson – The Most Astounding Fact
19. Sound Tribe Sector 9 – Possibilities (Artifact – 2005)
20. Anthony Hopkins Reads Dylan Thomas – Rage Against The Dying Of The Light
21. Clark – Ghosted (Iradelphic – 2012)

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Episode 74 – Guest House

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Episode 74 - Guest House

Episode 74 – Guest House

Kielty & Pillow about to hit the sine waves.

Kielty & Pillow about to hit the sine waves.

You never know what you’ll get with an episode of Visions of the Unexcused – and for Episode 74 Mint Pillow was lucky to be joined by Tom Kielty in the WEMF Radio Studio. Kielty’s a veteran of the Boston rock scene and has written for the Globe, Herald, Boston Magazine, among numerous other local and national publications. Armed with this Rock & Roll Sage – Mint Pillow delved through a psychedelic set filled with stories from the scene and other tomfoolery.

1. The Pogues – Once Upon A Time (Waiting For Herb – 1993)
2. The Rolling Stones – She Smiled Sweetly (Between The Buttons – 1967)
3. Soft Pyramids – Arrows (Fossils of the Free World – 2014)
4. Rory Gallagher – Out Of My Mind (Deuce – 1972)
5. Les Mogol – Sunset In Golden Horn (Danses Et Rythmes De La Turquie D’Hier À Aujourd’hui – 1972)
6. The Outsiders – C.Q. (CQ – 1968)
7. The Kinetic – Suddenly Tomorrow (Live Your Life – 1967)
8. The Pets – Si Tú Quisieras (The Pets – 1968)
9. The Flamin’ Groovies – Golden Clouds (Sneakers – 1968)
10. Shadrack Chameleon – Don’t Let It Get You Down (Shadrack Chameleon – 1973)
11. The Everly Brothers – The Price Of Love (The Price Of Love – 1965)
12. Fleet Foxes – Peace On The Rise (Terminal Sales Vol. 4: Please To Enjoy – 2011)
13. The Beta Band – Inner Meet Me (The Three E.P.’s – 1997)
14. Peaking Lights – Infinite Trips (Cosmic Logic – 2014)
15. GRMLN – Relax Yourself [Dolphin Cry] (Explore – 2012)
16. Beach Fossils – Calyer (What a Pleasure – 2011)
17. William De Vaughn – Be Thankful For What You Got (Be Thankful For What You Got – 1974)
18. Royksopp – So Easy (Melody A.M. – 2001)
19. James Brown – Blind Man Can See It (Black Caesar – 1973)
20. The Men – Sleepless (Tomorrow’s Hits – 2014)
21. Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks – Independence Street (Wig Out at Jagbags – 2014)
22. The Lemonheads – Rick James Style (Come On Feel The Lemonheads – 1993)
23. Cornelius – Wataridori (Sensuous – 2006)
24. Neon Indian – Suns Irrupt (Era Extraña – 2011)
25. Teenage Fanclub – Gene Clark (Thirteen – 1993)
26. Gene Clark – No Other (No Other – 1974)
27. Ty Segall & White Fence – The Black Glove/Rag (Hair – 2012)

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