Universal Hub and Community News

Adam Gaffin has had a long-time Boston website at boston-online.com. A few months ago he set up UniversalHub.com as a community news website for anyone to contribute their own content to.

Last night he wrote an entry about Brian’s blog entry about a two-car accident near his home. Within a couple hours, Adam saw what Brian wrote when he was looking at Universal Hub’s aggregator and then linked to it on Universal Hub. This morning Adam wrote:

But here’s a request/challenge: We could cut that down to almost no time at all. Get a Universal Hub account (they’re free and we’ve got about a bazillion of ’em), and when news breaks, log on here and post about it (or link from here to the more detailed account on your site).

Thank You For Calling the SoozCenter

Michael just sent me a link to an article at the Boston Globe’s website about the FleetCenter’s naming rights going up for auction on eBay after Bank of America decided to pay a small pocket of change (about $3M) to get out of the buiding’s naming rights contract that they inherited after acquiring Fleet Bank. Proceeds from each of the single day naming rights will go to charity. There’s no mention of specific charities in the article. As of the time I’m writing this, there are six days days up for auction with the highest bid at $3,050.

The highest bidders won’t get to change the giant FleetCenter sign overlooking the highway. But they will get an assortment of perks, including their names on the FleetCenter’s website, its Jumbotron, and a message for callers to the automated phone system, which will say ”Thank you for calling the ‘YourCenter.’ They also will get four tickets to the day’s game or show, and a framed photo collage and a certificate, and a ”special surprise gift package.”

Update:The fine print on each of the listings mentions that “net proceeds will go to FleetCenter Neighborhood Charities (FCNC), a 501(c)(3) non-profit private foundation that benefits outreach initiatives focused on children and families in the Greater Boston area.”

Photos from last night’s Mix Tape Tuesday at the Paradise Lounge

Mix Tape Tuesday

Another fabulous evening of music at last night’s Mix Tape Tuesday at the Paradise Lounge. I borrowed a friend’s digital camera but forgot to charge up the batteries so the photo quality is not so great but here they are nonetheless. At one point there were a bunch of people watching the last inning of the Red Sox/Yankees game so Mike Viola and his musical cohorts ended up doing a sort of live rock opera play-by-play alongside the game. It was amusing. They handled the interruption to a very enjoyable music evening very well. I’m not sure I’d have been so nice. A highlight of the night was a rousing cover of Prince’s “Purple Rain.” Next time I also need to write down what songs they sing because there were other excellent tunes but I can’t remember the titles. At one point Steve (of the amazing concert going duo) shouted out a request for “Always Saturday” by Guadalcanal Diary. I don’t think I’ve run into anyone who has heard of that band in at least ten years. Unfortunately Mike Viola, host of the night’s adventure, didn’t know the song. That would have been a treat to hear. I’d like to pretend that Bleu just happened to be sitting at the bar and casually wandered up on stage to join in on a few tunes. But he was probably invited. The coolest part of this monthly series is the level of spontaneity. They have a few songs planned in advance but a lot of it seems to be very spur of the moment. They do a good job balancing the banter with the actual singing and performing.


I had only previously seen one of the bands (Sparkola) that played at last night’s benefit for the Rock & Roll Library. I was really blown away with munk. Egads. So, so good. The bass player seemed a little sleepy but the rest of the band put on an impressive show.

Rock & Roll Library Benefit Show Tonight (9/17) at Harper’s Ferry with munk, Sparkola, Count Zero and The Fly Seville

The Rock & Roll Library has a benefit show tonight at Harper’s Ferry in Allston sponsored by WFNX. Proceeds will support development of the Music Archive Database (which will begin to unveil very soon) and a website makeover. The bands include one of my favorites, Sparkola, plus munk, Count Zero and The Fly Seville. Doors open at 9:00 PM, tickets are $10 and it’s a 21+ show. See you there?

Boston Pop Underground’s Tuesday Night Cabaret with Mike Viola at the Paradise Lounge


Andrea Kremer put together a magical night of pop delights for the Tuesday Night Cabaret at the Paradise Lounge. Mike Viola of the Candy Butchers hosted the evening and was accompanied by his pal Todd Foulsham on drums. Gordon Wright from Fooled by April performed a short set and then was joined by Mike and Tom for a cover of Crowded House’s “Don’t Dream It’s Over.” I was hoping they’d go for something else by Crowded House or maybe a Neil Finn solo tune. But it was good. Great, even! Meghan Toohey from The So and So’s sang a few of her tunes and then joined Mike for Roy Orbison’s “Love Hurts.” My favorite part of the night was when a newish Boston band (who Mike introduced as The Clique but the Q Division websites has a photo of them as Zoo) got up to sing “Jet” by Paul McCartney with Mike Viola standing in front of the stage assessing how well the band administered their popness.

Andrea’s Boston Pop Underground has other happenings coming up including The So and So’s at the Lizard Lounge on September 9th. See you there? Mmmmm pop!

Boston Pop Underground is a live music series featuring the best local and national indie pop artists. Not “pop” as in Britney — pop as in the Beatles, the Kinks, the Beach Boys, the Zombies, Big Star, Cheap Trick, Badfinger, Elvis Costello, Squeeze, the Posies, Jellyfish, Matthew Sweet, Jon Brion, Neil Finn, Michael Penn, XTC… you get the idea. The kind of pop distinguished by memorable melodies, soaring harmonies, thoughtful lyrics, irresistable hooks, and a love of the craft of songwriting.

The Big Walk from Boston to Somerville

Sometimes I forget that Boston is such a walkable city. Yesterday after finishing up some work around 5:00 near the Boston Common area in downtown Boston, I decided to walk home to Ball Square/Somerville. It took a little over two hours. I suppose if I had better walking shoes and was a speedier walker it might have been a bit less than that. It was a great walk and various spots along the way broke it up into reasonable chunks. My first destination was Charles Street in Beacon Hill where I did a leasurely stroll and some window shopping. Next up was the Longfellow Bridge heading into Cambridge. I walked through Kendall Square and then down Hampshire Street to Porter Square. Then up Willow to my apartment in Ball Square. I’d like to do this a lot more this summer to/from other locations in the greater Boston area. And if I have to work in Boston during the DNC happenings, I can always walk part of the way.

Why You Stay

Some people have deep introspection when they turn 30. That never really happened for me last year. What seems to be the big moment (or lingering series) has moreso been the anniversary of the month I moved to Boston ten years ago. Everything changed May 1994 when I landed here. Some good, some not so fabulous … all interesting. I’ve been wanting to write about the related observations, changes, etc but haven’t really taken the time to do so yet. While poking around my pal Frances’ poetry archive, I found this little gem of a poem that does an excellent job summing up part of my “ten years in Boston” restrospective.