Posts Tagged Middle East Club

show preview: Alex Dezen at Middle East Upstairs, March 9.


The Damnwells have disbanded after 16 years together. Alex Dezen is on tour in support of his second solo album, II. The newest album features upbeat, grooving melodies with a retro vibe. Of the new album, Dezen said: “In many ways, the job of an artist is to re-examine what came before. That informs what we do next, My intention when I made this record was not to make an ’80s record. But as soon as I got the guitar in my hands and started messing around with chords and getting further along into the production and the writing, it just went that way — and it felt very natural to me.”

In 2010, Dezen  earned a master’s degree from the University of Iowa after completing two years at the institution’s Iowa Writers’ Workshop. He writes material for other artists and has worked with  Dave Grohl, The Dixie Chicks, Justin Bieber and Kelly Clarkson. In 2015, he collaborated with the American dance company Pilobolus Dance Theater, composing the music for the dance piece “Wednesday Morning, 11:45 (2015).”

$10, Thursday, March 9, 7 p.m., Downstairs, Middle East Restaurant and Nightclub, 472-480 Massachusetts Avenue, Central Square, Cambridge,


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show preview: Skinny Lister at Middle East Downstairs on Monday, November 7, 2016


Need a distraction before Election Day? Go see Skinny Lister at Middle East Downstairs. Skinny Lister is a six piece British folk band based in London. Formed in 2009, the band puts on a spectacular live show with its upbeat contemplative songs [combo of originals and traditional Irish songs] and solid audience connection. It’s clear that this band loves touring and performing. Skinny Lister recently released its third album The Devil, The Heart & The Fight [Xtra Mile Recordings] on 30th September 2016. the band released Forge & Flagon in 2012 and Down on Deptford Broadway in 2014.

Skinny Lister is: Dan Heptinstall [lead vocals/guitar/stomp box]; Max Thomas [melodeon/mandolin/vox]; Lorna Thomas [vocals]; Michael Camino [double bass/vocals]; Thom Mills [drums]’ Sam Brace [guitar/ concertina/ mandolin/vocals]

venue info:

Middle East Restaurant and Nightclub

472-480 Massachusetts Avenue

Cambridge, Mass. 02139

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show preview: Hinds at Middle East Downstairs on Sunday, October 30, 2016

The all-female rock band from Madrid released its debut album Leave Me Alone at the beginning of the year. Hinds creates infectious, cool songs layered with fuzzy guitar, surfy riffs and lo-fi indie rock elements. This band’s attitude, intensity and emotions bubble through on every song. Female artists still face immense criticism and scrutiny in the music industry. Get out and support women in music!

Hinds is: Carlotta Cosials (vocals, guitar); Ana Perrote (vocals, guitar); Ade Martin (bass) and Amber Grimbergen (drums)


Hinds at Middle East Downstairs on Sunday, October 30, 2016

venue info:

Middle East Restaurant and Nightclub

472-480 Massachusetts Ave.

Cambridge, Mass. 02139

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show preview: Dick Dale at Middle East Club on Thursday, Sept 1 with Three Day Threshold


Kick off September with surf instrumental music from Dick Dale. The 79-year-old musician was born in Boston in 1937, Dick Dale grew up in Quincy. His Beirut-born father and Lebanese background influenced his music choices—drawn to Middle Eastern music and later surf instrumental. He learned to play piano at age nine and then guitar. His family moved to and he learned to surf and invented surf music in the 1950s– fast-paced, laid-back grooving guitar –that reflects the surfing experience.

Dick’s wife and manager Lana Dale writes: “Dick has a stoma bag for 10 years now, Renal Failure, Major Prostate and Bladder issues, Anemia, Fistula’s which develop from him straining and performing, Fistula’s are leakages and they are very dangerous for DD.
DD has a stoma bag, renal failure, diabetes with insulin plus
Gallstones and now recently we were just told he has Cancer again.
We are busy around the clock with Medical for him and also with Touring and Venues and Casinos and Festival Events plus me running our business and I myself Battle the disease Multiple Sclerosis and a Hurthel Tumor Rt. side Thyroid…Plus Thyroid disease and much more as i have had many Medical issues most of my life.
We believe your body follows your mind so we live life And cherish each day.
We are strong Advocates all our Lives of No Drugs, No Alcohol, No cigarettes and No red meat and have both been this way all Of our Lives! We want to see the young people survive this day and age!”

She adds: “Dick Pioneered and created the AMPS WITH LEO FENDER AND ALSO much of the equipment back in the day with Leo fender including strata-caster guitar.
AS HE WAS always called THE FATHER OF HEAVY METAL in Spain as DD is loved Dearly all over the World.
DICK WAS THE PIONEER OF IT ALL from 1955 on. THE BEACH BOYS, JAN AND DEAN, RITCHIE VALENS, BUDDY HOLLY, The Kingston Trio plus many more ALL OPENED FOR DD IN THE LATE 50S AND VERY EARLY 60S. DD taught Jimi Hendrix the slide. Jimi Idolized DD as Buddy Miles Jimi Drummer did as well and hundreds of thousands of others.”


  • Surfers’ Choice (Deltone 1962)
  • King of the Surf Guitar (Capitol 1963)
  • Checkered Flag (Capitol 1963)
  • Mr. Eliminator (Capitol 1964)
  • Summer Surf (Capitol 1964)
  • Rock out with Dick Dale and his Del-Tones: Live at Ciro’s (Capitol 1965)
  • Greatest Hits (GNP Crescendo 1975)
  • The Tigers Loose (Balboa 1983) [live album]
  • Tribal Thunder (HighTone 1993)
  • Unknown Territory (HighTone 1994)
  • Calling Up Spirits (Beggars Banquet 1996)
  • Spacial Disorientation (Dick Dale Records / The Orchard 2001)

Opening for Dick Dale is Boston alt-country/Americana band Three Day Threshold is: Zac Taylor [guitar]; PJ Aspesi [drums] Evan Gavry [lap steel and banjo]; Kier Byrnes [singer] and Johnny Stump [bass]. Three Day Threshold has performed for U.S. military in the Middle East, at a Belgian prison, at the  Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville and opened for Zac Brown and The Avett Brothers.

GUITAR LEGEND DICK DALE on Thursday, Sept 1, 2016 with Three Day Threshold. Doors at 8pm. Tickets here.

venue info:



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show preview: Modern English at Middle East Downstairs Tuesday, June 7, 2016


While at the Trashcan Sinatras show last month at the Middle East Upstairs, I overheard a guy, while perusing the posters for upcoming shows, say: “Modern English. There’s a one-hit wonder.” Is the band a one-hit wonder? Not really. Modern English just never hit that big in the United States. Sure, no 80s party would be complete without a spin of “Melt with You” but that track never hit the top ten. Honestly I’ve never adored “Melt with You” but I’ve been listening to the band’s earlier material and its superb. I expect to me fully engulfed in gorgeous gloominess tonight. The band formed in Colchester, Essex, English in 1979.On its first album Mesh & Lace (1981), Modern English possesses a similar sound and energy, favoring dark deep beats and lyrics, to other post-punk 80s artists such as Echo & the Bunnymen and Bauhaus. 1990’s Pillow Lips embraces a gentler, more upbeat sound. Modern English will release a new album soon. Contribute via Pledge Music.

modern english then

Modern English is:

Robbie Grey [vocals]
Gary McDowell [guitar, vocals]
Michael Conroy [bass, vocals]
Stephen Walker [keyboards]


Mesh & Lace (1981)

After the Snow (1982)

Ricochet Days (1984)

Stop Start (1986)

Pillow Lips (1990)


Modern English–Tuesday, June 7, 2016– at The Middle East Downstairs.


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show preview: Trashcan Sinatras at Middle East Club Cambridge on Tuesday, May 17, 2016

trashcan sinatras pic

Scottish indie-pop band Trashcan Sinatras formed in 1986 and released its debut album Cake in 1990. This album featured the catchy, charming hits: “Obscurity Knocks” and “Only Tongue Can Tell. The second album, I’ve Seen Everything, released in 1993 included the pretty single “Hayfever,.” Trashcan Sinatras create pretty, gentle, melodic songs. Ones that I used to play over and over. The band will release its sixth album Wild Pendulum in May. You can support the new album via Pledge Music.

Trashcan Sinatras line-up: Frank Reader (vocals); John Douglas (guitar); Paul Livingston (lead guitar); Stephen Douglas (drums); Stevie Mulhearn (keyboards); Frank DiVanna (bass-tour); and Grant Wilson (bass-CD).


Cake (1990)

I’ve Seen Everything (1993)

A Happy Pocket (1996)

Weightlifting (2004)

In the Music (2009)

Trashcan Sinatras  play The Middle East Club in Cambridge, Mass. on Tuesday, May 17, 2016.

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music news: Julianna Barwick spring tour/ new album in May


Brooklyn experimental indie artist Julianna Barwick will release her third full-length album Will on May 6th. Her music is enthralling, dreamy and strange, in all the best ways. She worked on the album in Lisbon, Portugal [jealous], Moog Factory in Asheville, North Carolina and in a rural locale in upstate New York.

julianna barwick

Julianna states: “I love touring, but it can be a wild ride. You’re constantly adjusting, assimilating, and finding yourself in life-changing situations.” Those experiences played into and helped shape Will’s charged, unstable atmosphere: “I knew I’d be playing these songs live, so I wanted some movement,” she explains. “Something that had rhythm and low-end.”



Thu. Apr. 14 – New York, NY @ Titus Theater 1 at MoMA
Thu. Apr. 28 – Cambridge, MA @ Middle East Upstairs
Fri. Apr. 29 – Portland, ME @ The Space Gallery
Sat. Apr. 30 – Portsmouth, NH @ 3S Artspace
Fri. May 6 –Los Angeles, CA @ Velaslavasay Panorama
Sat. May 7 – San Francisco, CA @ The Chapel
Tue. May 10 – Seattle, WA @ Fremont Abbey Arts Center
Wed. May 11 – Portland, OR @ Old Church
Fri. May 13 – Mayer, AZ @ Arcosanti
Thu. May 19 – Durham, NC @ Moogfest 2016 at First Presbyterian

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tour preview: Your Friend

your friend

Dorothy isn’t the only cool thing from Kansas. Your Friend, aka Taryn Miller, resides there. Her deviant folk must be inspired by the sparseness and flatness of the state. When I drove cross-country with a friend after college, driving through that state truly creeped me out. You could go so far without seeing another car. Just flat openness. Not pleasing to an agoraphobic. Fortunately that setting generates some superb music, art and writing.

Your Friend released its debut album Gumption [Domino Recording Co.] on January 28, 2016. Your Friend’s intriguing compositions lean toward celestial, escapist and magical. Her melodic vocals remain grounded with wisdom and lucidity. Miller likes utilizing loops and found sounds in her music. She said: “I paid attention to textures. I was trying to remove myself from an approach that I had followed before, but to be able to bring in that melodic element that is most inherent to me, and marry it with a more sonically meditative landscape.” If you like Warpaint, Perfume Genius and Chelsea Wolfe, you’ll definitely like Your Friend.

Ps. when did it become a thing to be a solo artist but utilize a band name?

Your Friend is currently on tour with porches and will play in Seattle, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Detroit and in Cambridge at the Middle East Downstairs on April 12. For more information check out The Middle East website.


Mon. Mar. 21 – Denver, CO @ Lost Lake *
Tue. Mar. 22 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Kilby Court *
Wed. Mar. 23 – Boise, ID @ Treefort Music Fest *
Thu. Mar. 24 – Portland, OR @ Analog Café *
Fri. Mar. 25 – Seattle, WA @ Vera Project *
Sat. Mar. 26 – Vancouver, BC @ The Cobalt *
Mon. Mar. 28 – San Francisco, CA @ Rickshaw Stop *
Tue. Mar. 29 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Echo *
Thu. Mar. 31 – Santa Ana, CA @ Observatory – Constellation Room *
Fri. Apr. 1 – San Diego, CA @ Che Café *
Sat. Apr. 2 – Phoenix, AZ @ Rebel Lounge *
Sun. Apr. 3 – Albuquerque, NM @ The Co-Op *
Tue. Apr. 5 – Omaha, NE @ Slowdown *
Wed. Apr. 6 – Minneapolis, MN @ 7th St Entry *
Thu. Apr. 7 – Madison, WI @ UW Student Union *
Fri. Apr. 8 – Grinnell, IA @ Grinnell College – Gardner Lounge *
Sat. Apr. 9 – Chicago, IL @ Bottom Lounge *
Sun. Apr. 10 – Detroit, MI @ Majestic Café *
Mon. Apr. 11 – Toronto, ON @ Horseshoe Tavern *
Tue. Apr. 12 – Boston, MA @ Middle East Downstairs *
Wed. Apr. 13 – Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg *
Thu. Apr. 14 – Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer *
Fri. Apr. 15 – New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom *
Thu. May 5 – Kansas City, MO @ Middle of the Map Festival

* with Alex G & Porches

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show preview: Xenia Rubinos at Middle East Club on Wednesday March 9, 2016


Xenia Rubinos

from: Brooklyn, New York

R&B meets synth-pop meets world beat. Xenia Rubinos sings gorgeous, soulful songs with smooth, inventive and cool arrangements. Reminds me a bit of Berklee graduate Lilla as both artists embrace island beats and a cool urban vibe.

Xenia Rubinos kicks off her U.S. tour tonight, Wednesday, March 09, 2016 at Middle East Upstairs in Cambridge, Mass.

tour dates:

March 9—Middle East–Cambridge, Mass.
March 10—The Ardmore Music Hall–Ardmore, Penn.
March 11—The Hall at MP—Brooklyn, New York
March 19—1st Ward/Chop Shop—Chicago
March 20—Cedar Cultural Center—Minneapolis
March 21—Vega—Lincoln, Nebraska
March 25—Moon Room—Denver
March 29—Rhythm Room–Phoenix, Arizona
March 30—Music Box—San Diego
March 31—El Rey Theatre—Los Angeles


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music preview: Wolf Alice at The Middle East Wednesday August 5, 2015


I adore this band so much right now. Along the lines of Curve and Throwing Muses, this is gorgeous indie guitar rock with dark swirling melodies and a female vocalist. Simultaneously haunting and brazen with spidery guitar and hard bass, Wolf Alice cuts all angles. I found out about Wolf Alice from DJ Dan O’Connell on XFM London—the benefits of listening to a London radio station at the gym etal. In June, the North London band released its debut album, My Love Is Cool [Dirty Hit/RCA Records].

The fourpiece is currently on tour in the states and will be playing my birthday [happy birthday to me!]– Wednesday August 5 2015– at The Middle East Restaurant and Nightclub in Cambridge, Mass.


Ellie Rowsell (vocals, guitar)
Joff Oddie (guitars, vocals)
Theo Ellis (bass)
Joel Amey (drums)


Wednesday August 5
Middle East (Downstairs)
Cambridge, Mass.

Thursday, August 6
The Hollow
Albany, NY

Saturday, August 8
Santa Monica Pier
Santa Monica, Calif.

Tuesday, August 11
Hawthorne Theatre
Portland, Ore.

Wednesday, August 12
Seattle, Wash.

for more on Wolf Alice

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