Monday, August 31, 2009

MON 8/31: Cupcakes & Rock

What can I say Boston? Cheap fun was found on the other side of the river tonight.


MON 8/31

5pm to 7pm
Cupcake Tastings
at Kickass Cupcakes, 378 Highland Ave, Somerville (Davis Sq)

In the mood for cupcakes?

Just off the epicenter of Davis Sq, there are a smattering of cool stores that offer delicious wares of high quality. Many people deservedly rave about Dave's Fresh Pasta (and other goodies) on Holland St.

In the other direction on Highland Ave -- just a little past the comics shop, the hipster gift stores, and the spot where gaming geeks can get supplies -- Kickass Cupcakes makes a wild variety of flavors of the personal-size cakes.

If you're in the area, you should try a mini-cupcake or two. The taste and presentation are excellent, so you'll probably want to take some home with you. They're not cheap, but you've had some for free so average out the cost with the amount in your belly.

The tastings on the last Mondays of the month could be anything like Cinnamon Chai Pecan Sticky, The Mojito, Cinna Punk, etc...

MON 8/31

Piles, Nassy, Bacchus King, Quoins
at Middle East - Upstairs, 472 Mass Ave, Cambridge (Central Sq)
$8 / 18+

If there's going to be progressive rock, I prefer when it's half-metal/half-jazz like Piles. Every now and then, they crank up the noise for mini-bursts of cool atonality. I guess this falls under math-rock, which normally leaves me cold but these bands keep me listening for the most part.

Nassy have a new CD that meshes angular tunes with a poppish, indie-rock sensibility. Bacchus King makes me think of rock that's made in the desert by a bunch of stoners, and that gets a big thumbs up from me. From a YouTube clip I saw, Quoins put clever songs together.

MON 8/31

Viva Viva, Animal Hospital, Royalty in Exile
at Middlesex Lounge, 315 Mass Ave, Cambridge (near Central Sq)
$5 / 21+

When I first heard Viva Viva, they seemed to chug along like a more straightforward rock locomotive. It seems like they've taken a turn towards a lo-fi, rootsy indie-rock vibe. The intensity is still there, and the stage presence is as strong as you'd expect from guys who've led a bunch of excellent bands such as The Lot Six, Officer May, The Beat Awfuls, etc.

After listening to Animal Hospital several times, I'm not sure if the artist has become more accessible or whether I'm listening more closely. It may be a combination of the two, but the whisper level of ambient layers are louder as the one-man music machine carefully builds songs surround by drums, guitar, and a menagerie of effects. Worth a few listens...

I didn't find any samples of Royalty In Exile, but it seems like a group of talented folks gathered to make musical merriment.

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