Third annual Soozapalooza at TT’s with Good Night States, The Phil Aiken Army, Somerville Symphony Orkestar and The People’s Karaoke on Friday, January 20th

Soozapalooza 3 with Good Night States, The Phil Aiken Army and Somerville Symphony Orkestar
Soozapalooza, an annual party I host featuring some of my favorite bands is almost here. This year the v3 installment is happening on my 39th birthday this Friday, January 20th at TT The Bear’s Place in Central Square, Cambridge. The night features three of my favorite bands: Good Night, States (from Pittsburgh), The Phil Aiken Army and Somerville Symphony Orkestar. After the bands, it’s karaoke time with The People’s Karaoke.

Listen to music by the bands and say you’ll be there by RSVPing on the Facebook event page for Soozapalooza 3. You can buy a ticket in advance for ten bucks or pay $12 at the door. Doors open at 8pm and it’s an 18+ show.

Good Night, States

If you follow me on Twitter and/or we’re friends on Facebook, then you already know how much I LOVE Pittsburgh’s Good Night, States. L-O-V-E. They performed at the first Soozapalooza in 2010 and I’m more than just a little excited that they’re back this year. A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. The music below is from the band’s earlier releases. They’ll be performing music from their new, not-yet-released album at Soozapalooza.





The Phil Aiken Army

Phil Aiken released his first EP recently with The Phil Aiken Army and a full-length album is in the works. If you want to hear supercharged pop songs with an all-star cast of players, you definitely need to be at Soozapalooza on Friday to see The Phil Aiken Army. Oh, snap — more A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!

Phil Aiken and friends covering “The Shape I’m In” at the Cover Up

Somerville Symphony Orkestar

There’s no better way to start a party than with the all-original Eastern European punk funk band from the Slavic heart of Greater Boston — also known as Somerville Symphony Orkestar. The band describes it better than I could: The SSO spectacle is a carnivalized punk show that turns its audiences into equal parts mosh-pit and horah. Complex six-piece arrangements reign in the chaos only to explode in shuddering “fun-gasm” after “fun-gasm.”

Don’t be surprised if Penelope the elephant makes an appearance during Somerville Symphony Orkestar’s performance.



2nd Annual Soozapalooza is around the corner on Saturday at The Middle East Downstairs

2nd Annual SoozapaloozaLast year I hosted a big party at Precinct in Union Square a couple days after my birthday and jokingly called it Soozapalooza. It was so much fun, it had to happen again. This year the 2nd Annual Soozapalooza is taking place at The Middle East Downstairs in Central Square. The theme is simple: enjoy an awesome night of my favorite music and celebrate nine years of my music blog and event guide Exploit Boston!. As an added bonus, this year festivities will be MC’d by vigilante pundit and comedian Baratunde Thurston.

Don’t you hate it when people say “OMG! You must check out my show. It is going to be the a-m-a-z-i-n-g!”? What happens when that’s really the case? ;)

The event has a website, of course — soozapalooza.com. The Twitter hashtag is #Soozapalooza2.

The Bands

Soozapalooza Supergroup: A bunch of Boston musicians somehow agreed to play a curious mix of music I selected. The group includes photographer and musician Johnny Arguedas rapping “In Da Club” by 50 Cent, My absolute favorite woman of Boston music Linda Viens singing “Joy” by Lucinda Williams, Three Day Threshold heart throb Kier Byrnes and Static of The Gods indie rock goddess Jen Johnson performing the Kenny and Dolly duet “Islands In The Stream” … and more.


VIDEO: “Islands In The Stream” by Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton

The Candles: I first heard about NYC’s The Candles back in October when I noticed Boston music friends were liking their page on Facebook. About ten minutes after listening to their music I emailed the band and asked if they’d headline my big bash several months later. As Wikipedia says: “fronted by Josh Lattanzi, The Candles encapsulates the varied styles and influences he picked up while recording and touring with the likes of Ben Kweller, Albert Hammond, Jr. (The Strokes) and The Lemonheads. Their guitarist is Boston guy Matt Pynn who played for many years with Will Dailey. Stacy Jones will be sitting in with the band on drums. He was the drummer for Letters To Cleo and more recently American HiFi and Miley Cyrus.


VIDEO: “Let Me Down Easy” by The Candles at The Knitting Factory

Mistle Thrush: This is where music nostalgia kicks in. When I moved to Boston in May of 1994, a friend clued me into Mistle Thrush and they became my “first Boston band.” Mistle Thrush is lifting their many-year hiatus to play at Soozapalooza. Guitarist Scott Patalano’s current band is Gene Dante and The Future Starlets and Valerie Forgione is one part of the on-again-off-again and happily back-on-again duo Van Elk.


Listen to “Cicada” by Mistle Thrush

The Lights Out: I saw one of their first shows in 2006 at the former Sky Bar in Somerville. The Lights Out have a brand new album that came out on 1/1/11 called Primetime. It’s an epic assault of rock and roll.


Listen to “Primetime” by The Lights Out

Kristen Ford Band: I first saw Kfo and her band play a basement show in Arlington of all places last summer. If you’re like me and you very much Do Not Like To Dance you might be surprised what comes over you when the band starts up. That doesn’t mean you’ll be dancing well, Kristen can’t do anything about your style (or mine, sadly) — but you will have to make a special effort to not move around and enjoy yourself when they kick off the night at Soozapalooza.


VIDEO: “Please Please Please” by Kristen Ford Band at The Institute
for The Musical Arts

Buy tickets at the box office and don’t pay the pesky TicketWeb fees

Advance tickets are $10. You can buy a ticket for you and ten of your friends in person at The Middle East Box Office in Central Square or online through TicketWeb. Day of show tickets at the door are $12.

Free Agent Holiday Party at WorkBar

Free Agent Holiday Party

My event planning company Awesome Office Party has teamed up with WorkBar to host a party for those of us who never get holiday office parties: freelancers, consultants, free agents and solopreneurs. It’s called Free Agent Holiday Party and festivities happen on Thursday, December 9th at WorkBar, an office share and coworking community in downtown Boston near South Station.

This is an event I’ve wanted to organize for many years and I’m excited it’s coming to life. It will no doubt be the first of many as this sort of party needs to happen every year … and not just in Boston!

If you work on your own and want to get out for a work party where you don’t have to worry about embarrassing yourself in front of your boss, please join us. There will be beer and cocktails, food (for vegans and vegetarians, too), giveaways, merriment and music by DJ Nomadik.

More info about the event is on Awesome Office Party’s website.

New Event: Boston Tech Games at Microsoft NERD

My event planning company Awesome Office Party is hosting a fun board game night for the Boston tech and startup community called Boston Tech Games. It’s happening Thursday, October 14th 6:30-9:30pm at Microsoft NERD (One Memorial Drive, Cambridge — near Kendall Square.) The game night at NERD will be happening every 1-2 months to bring together tech and startups in Boston for something other than the usual networking event. And of course there will be beer and pizza (vegan and vegetarian options, too).

If you’re a company who’d like to connect with the Boston tech and startup community, get in touch about our sponsorship opportunities. We’re working on lining up sponsorships this week so we can include the Boston Tech Games sponsor companies in promotion and outreach activities

RSVP for game night (or purchase a sponsorship!) on the EventBrite page for Boston Tech Games.