Category Archives: Shows

Typing in the Holidays

So we’re expanding the scope of things… Usually December is a winding down of the year, but this year has been crazy and 2018 is already shaping up to be even busier. So instead of merely playing a couple of songs as a lark at the Christmas Cavalcade, we’re also helping the JP branch of the BPL celebrate the holidays, and we’re doing a show with some good pals from Chicago, Bitchin’ Bajas, that will serve as a quasi official record release party for us.

12/7: First up of the three is the trip to Jamaica Plain where we’ll serve the local community with a proper dessert of sound after a potluck at their branch of the Boston Public Library. The room fits only about 100, and I’m not sure if you need to bring food to share to be let in, but this will be the most casual of the shows, with a limited PA, so if it’s not your natural neighborhood, maybe you shouldn’t try to fight your way down to that end of town.

12/13: Last of the three chronologically is the 13th Annual Christmas Cavalcade. It’s always a crazy time and with Johnny D’s razed last week, it’s gonna be at Once again this year. Proceeds go to benefit the Somerville Homeless Coalition, so that’s a great cause, but if you’re coming just to see us play, well, know that we’ve got a very short set in the early part of the night and that we’ll dust off a popular Christmas ditty that we’ve played out the past few years, let Alex do his twisted interpretation of a Night Before Xmas, and we’ll have a new holiday tune to show off celebrating those that died on the holiday.

12/10: The other show, well, this is our big record release show at a dance studio in Cambridge’s Central Square, and it’s the one that everyone should come to see us play. We’ve been trying to find a good chance to bring our record out to the locals beyond those that supported us on Kickstarter or Bandcamp. When my pal Cooper told me his electronic band Bitchin’ Bajas was coming to town to play Studio @ 550, it seemed a perfectly bizarre fit for our all-analog manual typewriter attack to join forces with their droning melodic swells. This one will have us playing first and we’re planning to play a set designed for the heads who are there for the tunes, so we’ve got a few ideas up our sleeves on just how to shock and awe. Bring some extra cash as we’ll have records and t-shirts for sale and we’ll be around to hang out after you figure out how to reattach your jaw.

Thursday December 7 6pm
JP Branch Annual Holiday Party
Boston Public Library JP Branch
30 South Street, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

Sunday December 10, 2017 9pm
Record Release Party (FB Event Page)
with Bitchin’ Bajas, Prone, Erika Nesse
Studio @ 550
550 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge MA
$12 advance / $15 at the door

Wednesday December 13 doors at 6pm, music at 7pm
13th Annual Boston Christmas Cavalcade for the Homeless
with Livingston Taylor, The Chandler Travis Philharmonic, Merrie Amsterburg, The Boogaloo Swamis and more!
Once Somerville
160 Highland Ave, Somerville MA 02143
$20.00 in advance, $25.00 at the door, all proceeds go to Somerville Homeless Coalition

Not Quite Noble Endeavors

We have certainly done things in our past that have earned us varying degrees of infamy, but this effort might just be the most ignominious of all. Somehow we have been tapped with the opening slot for the Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony Awards. While Folks are filing in to one of the most acoustically sound spaces in Cambridge, we’ll be on stage typing and tapping away in an effort to divert them from being able to decipher seat and row numbers. If you’ve never heard of this before, well, it’s like the scientific equivalent of the Razzies. Certainly not Nobel prize worthy, this awards people for genuine scientific achievement of preposterous premises.

While ticket prices are a bit prohibitive to a casual science dilettante who wants to see us play for 20 minutes, the whole thing will be broadcast on the Improbable Research web site and should be up on their You Tube page after the ceremony for us to share.

Thursday, September 14 5:40pm sharp
The 27th First Annual Ig® Nobel Prize Ceremony & Lectures
Sanders Theater, Harvard University
Cambridge MA

Out on the Porch

For some reason people seem to think of porches as a Southern thing. Maybe it’s the fact that our cold New England winters render them irrelevant for such a large portion of the year, but the fact is they are an architectural feature that is prominent even in the streets around Boston. Our region has such a love for the porch that a bunch of the towns around the city have set out to celebrate them specifically. For the second straight year, Brookline is on board with such a venture and this year we are joining in on the fun and playing a set at Brookline Porchfest. While some spots are hosting bands throughout the day starting at noon, we’ll be playing a set at 4pm at a house that backs up to the Emerald Necklace right along the Riverway

Saturday, June 10, 2017 4pm
Brookline Porchfest
247 Kent St, Brookline MA

Summer is Drive-In Time Again

Last year, we were invited to the inaugural take at a Typewriter Arts Festival, with a type-in, typing poets, typewriter displays, and both a film and a documentary about typewriters being shown on a Drive-In screen at the north edge of the Catskills. We had a blast, and this year they are expanding to two days across this beautiful expanse at Drive-In 32 in Greenville NY for QWERTY: The Second Annual Festival of Type and the Letter Arts.

While we won’t be playing until Saturday, the festival begins Friday on World Typewriter Day Friday with a 10th anniversary screening of Gary Hustwit’s documentary Helvetica and a live performance from Brian Dewan, who did the cover art for our new record. On Saturday evening, we’ll be followed by screenings of Ink & Paper and Doug Nichol’s new documentary California Typewriter. Both evenings will host a gathering of typewriter poets, typewriter and letter art and a type-in hosted by Eric Molbach. People are invited to bring their typewriters or use one of the free typewriters provided. The USPS is even setting up a remote mailing station so you can type a letter and send it from the Greenville Drive-In.

Saturday, June 24, 2017
QWERTY: The Second Annual Festival of Type and the Letter Arts
Drive-In 32 Gates and Snack Bar open at 6:30 Friday, 3:30 Saturday
10700 NY-32, Greenville, New York
$10 for Friday Night / $15 for Saturday / $20 for Festival Pass

Type Witch Way

Thankfully by the time we next play in Salem, the waves of tourists that gather over the days around Halloween will have waned. That means there should be a place to park when you come to see us perform at the Peabody Essex Museum for their Thursday night PEM/PM After Hours Party on November 17.

After performing in the auditorium earlier in the year during the Massachusetts Poetry Festival, this time we’ll be right in the atrium for everyone to see and hear as folks gather for their Signals event. It’s a celebration of Samuel Morse and will include a camera obscura and lots of code-breaking fun.

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Thursday, November 17, 2016
PEM/PM “Signals” 6-9pm
Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Massachusetts
free to members, students, and Salem residents. $12 nonmembers

 

 

News of the Word

Everyone tells us that newspapers are dying. That the printed word isn’t printed anymore, it just flashes by in moments on LED screens. But the word is still around and occasionally there are tales of journalists that still do the bulk of their work on an old Underwood. In Boston the spirit of the old hardscrabble reporter hunting down leads (and filing FOIA briefs) exists in the form of the Boston Institute for Non-Profit Journalism.

Now why that might sound like an overly serious group that spends their time thinking about overly serious topics, it seems they do know how to party. Inviting us to come play at a brewery in Somerville is precisely the right way to approach things. So come and enjoy the day and we’re gonna play somewhere sometime in the midst of the mayhem. If we get a more precise read on things, we’ll let you know, but you know how journalists are, they do want all the information for themselves and love to push deadlines….

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Saturday, November 12, 2016
Holiday BINJ 2: Journalistic Boogaloo noon-5pm
Aeronaut Brewery, Somerville, Massachusetts
free, benefit for the Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism

Going Green

You know how Jimi Hendrix opened for the Monkees? That’s sort of like what’s going on here as we’re in the opening slot of the centerpiece, Saturday night benefit concert at the Livak Ballroom at the UVM Davis Center. We’ll be warming up the crowd for Martha Barnette of the public radio program A Way With Words.

Somehow it’s taken more than a decade for it to happen, but BTO is finally getting the last check mark to complete the New England states where we’ve played concerts. We’ll be in Burlington, Vermont on Saturday, September 17 as part of the 12th Annual Burlington Book Festival. Apparently these people didn’t realize that we don’t actually type words when we bash away at our typewriters, so don’t tell ’em until afterwards and we’ll see just how much fun we can have. And seeing as this is Vermont, we’ve even worked up our first bona fide Jam that we’ll be premiering at the show.

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Saturday, September 17th, 2016  
A Very Special Benefit for the Annual Burlington Book Festival 7pm
Livak Ballroom, UVM Davis Center, Burlington, Vermont
$20 in advance/$25 at the door

We’re going to a drive in, everybody pile in..

It used to be that the summers were the time to stop going to dark theaters to watch the latest Hollywood fare, and instead get a group of friends into the biggest car and head to a drive-in. These days those outdoor theater viewing options are getting more and more limited, with only Mendon, Leicester, and Wellfleet offering such a chance in Massachusetts.


A bit further west, just past Albany at the northern tip of the Catskills, the Greenville Drive In is like an art house cinema outside. They have invited us to come join them in celebrating the joy and magic of the machines that we use to make our music as they host the 1st Annual Typewriter Arts Festival on June 11. In addition to our performance, and an open call for the community to bring their own machines to show off, there will be screenings of a couple of typewriter-related films, The Typewriter (in the 21st Century) and Populaire.



So whether you are in the upstate New York area, or are up for a weekend trip, come out and join in on all the fun so we can make our drive out there fun and worth it for everyone involved!

Typewriter Arts Festival
with The Typewriter in the 21st Century and Populaire
Saturday June 11, 2016
Greenville Drive In
10700 NY-32, Greenville, NY 12083

Burned at the Stake in the Name of Poetry

I guess half of the songs we play do have words, so the fact that we’ve been invited to perform at the Massachusetts Poetry Festival in Salem, isn’t completely ridiculous. But I’d be shocked to find out that more than a small handful of the other participants in the festival have a typewriter in their apartment that serves anything more than ornamental function. Truth be told though I am gonna try to get Charles Simic to come and solo on a song with us if I can find any way to get close enough to him to propose the idea.

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The Festival begins on Friday, but our performance is scheduled for Sunday morning at 11:30am in the auditorium of the Peabody Essex Museum. We’re hoping to make a fun show of it all and have a couple new songs that we plan to debut on stage as well. Hopefully we won’t have a lynch mob waiting at the edge of the stage ready to dunk us in water to see if we float when we’re finished.

May 1, 2016
Massachusetts Poetry Festival 11:30a
Morse Auditorium, Peabody Essex Museum
161 Essex St, Salem, MA

Typing Paper in Maine

OK, so the truth of the matter is that our typewriters are used for their sonic properties and aren’t loaded with ink or paper when we perform. However, we’ve been invited to participate in a night called “The Art of Paper” at the Portland Museum of Art on February 26. The museum is free on Friday nights, so all Mainers are welcome to join in and check us out, but we’ll be on early so come right after work as they’re showing Lori Anderson’s documentary about her dog at like 6:30.

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Friday, February 26, 2016
The Art of Paper 5pm Free
Portland Museum of Art
7 Congress St, Portland ME