2014 was a great year for DIY showbooking in Boston, in large part because of the fine work of one Jason Trefts, aka ILLEGALLY BLIND. A dedicated supporter of the Boston scene, Trefts propelled the music community forward by booking many great up-and-coming nationally touring acts (that sadly often skip Boston) and—crucially—pairing them with excellent and much-deserving local acts. And now that he’s the primary booking agent for Middle East Upstairs, 2015 is looking even brighter for local music in Boston. Here’s what he had to say about the past year.
2014 was an incredible year for music in the Boston area. It’s really hard to put together any sort of definitive “best of” list due to the sheer number of good bands we have in the scene right now. With that in mind, here are some of my favorite things about 2014 in local music.
Things I was happy about in 2014:
Guerilla Toss, Vundabar, and more local bands touring Europe.
These bands are helping to move the entire scene forward, and I’m psyched to see them continue building an international fanbase in 2015.
So many friends at shows!
People seem genuinely excited about the music scene around here, and in a world where only outrage seems to move the needle—I’ll take it.
Local press taking more interest in previously uncovered music.
Everyone including Dig Boston, Allston Pudding, Vanyaland, Boston Hassle, BDC Wire, WBUR, etc., that covers local shows. I’m seeing more and more local writers out at shows, which is a huge plus.
The number of people involved in local music.
Shout-out to Boston Hassle/B.O.W. shows, Fast Apple, Park Slug, Eye Design, KLYAM, BUFU Records, Primordial Sounds, Deep Thoughts and other local record stores, all the house venues, local record labels, and booking agents around town for putting in the work to help make this all happen.
Best Live Acts of 2014
Ghost Box Orchestra
Boogie Boy Metal Mouth
New Highway Hymnal
Breakout Acts of 2014
Best Albums of 2014
Free Pizza: Boston, MA
The Monsieurs: The Monsieurs
Doug Tuttle: Doug Tuttle
Littlefoot: Night of The Living Dreams
Mean Creek: Local Losers
Fat Creeps: Must Be Nice
Hallelujah The Hills: Have You Ever Done Something Evil
Best EPs of 2014
Goldbloc feat. Soleil: Black Gold
Guerilla Toss: 367 Equalizer
Krill: Steve Hears Pile in Malden and Bursts into Tears
Nice Guys: L.A.P.D
Black Beach: Play Loud, Die Vol. 1
Kal Marks: Just a Lonely Fart
The Televibes: Washed Up
Speedy Ortiz: Real Hair
Best Song of 2014
Pile: “Special Snowflakes”
Guerilla Toss: “Smack The Brick”
Jittery Jack: “Something Wicked This Way Comes”
Free Pizza: “Boston, MA”
Goldbloc feat Soleil: “Days Are Dreaming”
Nice Guys: “Cop Walk”
IAN: “Great Big Dog”
Creaturos: “Going Out In Style”
28 Degrees Taurus: “Hearts Were Made”
Acts To Watch In 2015