Gentlemen Hall, the pop outfit whose members are all Berklee College grads, was voted Best Boston band in The Phoenix's annual Best Music poll. The group's accolades have been collecting ever since they were voted Best New Band two years ago, and include being crowned winners of Billboard magazine's Battle of the Bands in 2011. Other notable awards in this year's poll included Viva Viva's blues-rock nugget, "Hailing A Cab In Hell" (from the cleverly titled EP, What's The Kim Deal?); headbangers Acaro snapped up Best Boston Metal band, while Streight Angular were bestowed Best Boston Garage Rock band.
Keeping their eye on the national scene, The Phoenix gave hosannahs to Wilco for Best Roots/Americana, Odd Future for Best Hip-Hop, ex-White Striper Jack White for Best Male Vocalist (seriously? who was he up against?) and Gotye's utterly cloying "Somebody That I Used To Know" as Song of the Year. I've always been of two minds when it comes to The Phoenix's BMP (even back when I was a contributing writer): on the one hand, it's encouraging to discover so many artists are using Boston as an incubator for their musical talent, and to witness the diversity represented by so many genres (rap, punk, hip-hop, garage, metal.)
On the other hand, when one listens carefully to their musical output, an almost(?) mercenary approach to current industry standards, both in songwriting acumen and production merely highlights why so much of what it out there (or about to be) continues to mine the formulaic vein. And let's get real for a moment - many of Boston's own who've gone on to enjoy the National spotlight weren't exactly trailblazers, musically speaking: Aerosmith, Boston, New Kids On The Block, The Lemonheads, Godsmack, The Cars......the list goes on. When Boston spawns an Animal Collective, Beck, Bjork or Sigur Ros, then I'll sit up and take notice.
Concerts This Weekend: Tonite @ Bank of Boston Pavillion - indie-pop sensation Foster The People share a bill with Kimbra and Tokyo Police Club at 7:30pm. Irish punk faves Flogging Molly take the stage at House of Blues with special guests Outernational (promoting their new release, We Are All Illegals) - doors open at 7, show starts at 8.
Highlights on Saturday include a rare appearance by hip-hop pioneers The Last Poets performing at Hibernian Hall in Roxbury - these guys influenced everyone from Jay-Z to Public Enemy to Kanye West, so if you want to go straight to the source, here's your chance. Show starts at 9pm. Also: the unsinkable Lisa Marie Presley struts her stuff on the stage of the Wilbur Theatre for an afternoon gig at 3pm. Expect to hear cuts from her new album, Storm and Grace, which sports the production pedigree of T Bone Burnett.
Hot Tix: Nationally recognized cover bands have become less of an anomaly these days: attribute that to either the far-reaching influence of Youtube or the inaccessibility of the orignal groups hitting the road, but one thing's for sure - The Australian Pink Floyd have acheived a notoriety almost on par with their mentors. They've already received the blessing of PF founders Roger Waters and David Gilmour, who have granted them access to many of Pink Floyd's original stage props and lighting (Gilmour was so impressed with the Aussie lads, he had them perform at his home for his birthday), and their live concert DVDs have helped PBS raise a ton of money during pledge drives. Mark your calendars, New England - The Australian Pink Floyd are coming to the Wang Theatre, bringing their Exposed In The Light tour to our shores on Saturday, November 10th. Tickets will go on sale next Friday at 10am. Previous gigs here have sold out in a heartbeat, so if you're a Floyd fan, you wont want to miss this!