Local music. Even the descriptor “local” sounds trite. We picked 12 bands who sound bigger than Boston to highlight in this year’s issue. It’s not just that they play a certain style or use computer programs to make like they are from the future. Indeed, they’re all quite different. They’re simply bands we can expect big things from.
And, it turns out, they are all playing the Harpoon Summer Session, too. Wink.
When we were asked to recruit the lineup to play Harpoon’s seasonal beer fest, we thought: “Why the hell isn’t there a local festival that highlights all the great bands we’ve got here?” Since the demise of NEMO, the rise and fall of NEST and other acronymic gatherings, there has yet to emerge one hoopla of hoop, one mongoconcert, one local feature-fest.
So we made one. This Friday night and all day Saturday, on both indoor and outdoor stages, these bands will strut their stuff—everything from the precocious You Can Be a Wesley to the visceral rock of Hydra Head’s Clouds. “Our favorite beer is whatever’s free,” writes Clouds’ Michael Quartulli in response to our email survey, “today our favorite beer is Harpoon.” Reports’ Ben Macri also chimes in: “These days our favorite beer is Harpoon Summer. Now where is my free case of beer?” And, yes, Sam Margolis of Comanchero says his favorite beer is Harpoon IPA. “It makes us feel good and play inspiring music.”
Gratuitous sponsorship references aside, there’s nothing but love for Boston among the bands we’ve picked. Particularly for its hometown team. Dan Burke of Viva Viva proclaims Kevin Youkilis to be “the Mike Vallely of baseball,” Quartulli says his favorite Red Sox player is Jacoby Ellsbury, “he’s so hawt,” while Macri attests “no one ever worked harder for this town than Brian Daubach.” Not to be outdone, Nate Donmoyer of The Peasantry says he prefers “Coco Crisp. Delicious.”
“Is there really any other show on TV worth watching other than the Red Sox?” asks Margolis. Most of the other bands said yes. Passion Pit’s Michael Angelakos watches Fawlty Towers religiously, Viva Viva prefers Lost, Joe Gonzales of Retrosleeper and Martin Pavlinic of the Reports both watch Always Sunny in Philadelphia and Chris Pappas of Everyday Visuals goes to bat for Mystery Science Theater 3000, “God rest its soul.” The Peasantry goes with Batman. “We named our touring van Barbara Gordon.”
The most revealing were the bands’ rider preferences, those requests performers make before a show in order to have the proper amount of, um, inspiration backstage. What, if anything, would they want on their rider? “An extensive raw bar coupled with various wines and liquors,” says Angelakos. Pappas would like “a crowd watching us.” Nick Zampiello of Campaign for Real-Time asks for “a Japanese-themed urn full of Percocets.” The Peasantry gets decadent with “a hot tub and eight 30-packs of PBR and some books on tape.” Nick Curran of You Can Be a Wesley gets whimsical. “A fog machine and bubbles, anything that could put meaning to the term ‘Sway-core.'” Clouds are purely logical: “$1,000,000,000,000.00 cash.”
Other band stats are highlighted below in our dandy trading cards. For more live input, hit the brewery this weekend for music powered by the Dig. Since we’ll be running around manning shit, we’re obligated not to drink, but don’t worry about us. The music will be intoxicating enough.