At the end of May, I moved from Burlington, Vermont to Boston for basically no reason. Luckily, I stumbled upon The Boston Hassle in early June, for whom I’ve been writing and tweeting ever since. Here are five things I’ll always remember from my first six months here in Boston in 2013. (Sarah is the Hassle’s twitter maven, and a music writer for this Hassle site that you are currently visiting ! And that’s just a couple of the amazing things that she constantly does to help keep the Hassle arts org running!– Dan)
The Monsieurs playing on the roof of Fresh Hair in JP. The only thing cooler than seeing a band play a show on a roof is seeing a really sick band play a show on a roof. And the Monsieurs are a really sick band. Also, there were free hot dogs, and mini chocolate bars, and I had hours before landed my first “real” job, making this early August evening basically the greatest night of all time.
Discovering Haymarket. I discovered Haymarket by accident this summer, but the one-dollar bags of potatoes and practically free bunches of bananas have kept me coming back. One weekend, I witnessed a vendor go haywire (pun intended) on a lady who was fondling some romaine lettuce at his stand seemingly inappropriately. “You do not touch!” he exclaimed, grabbing the lettuce. “I touch! This is not a supermarket! This is not a Stop ‘N’ Shop!” Yes, the Haymarket experience is truly insane, and sometimes a little abusive, and that’s why I think it’s spectacular.
The Coolidge Corner Theater at Midnight. Thank you, Coolidge Corner Theater, for introducing me to the beautiful travesty that is The Room, and, months later, allowing me to see Greg Sestero (actor from said terrible film) speak and read from his book (written about said terrible film) live and in person. Greg also brought copies of the preliminary script of The Room—that’s right, the final The Room script had actually been edited—and let the audience come up on stage and act it out, which was priceless. Anyhow, I’m actually part of that rare group of people who characteristically don’t like movies and movie-related events (gasp!) but the Coolidge is beginning to change that. And the guy who talks before the midnight flicks is, I swear, the funniest person in Boston.
Hasslefest 5: Say what you will about the Elks and their lodge, but I don’t think Hasslefest 2013 would have been quite as great anywhere else. From the gnarly fake wood paneling to the dust-covered empty bottle of gin behind the one bar that is never used to serve alcohol, to the uniquely cranky Elks themselves, there’s something about this venue that just feels so…right…for a DIY show. Oh, and the bands killed it. There was the girl from Prince Rama riding around on somebody’s shoulders wearing a veil, crooning something mysterious and incoherent but compellingly beautiful. There was Speedy Ortiz, who powered on through multiple power failures. And Lightning Bolt, raucously reminding us that saunas and absolutely packed basement mosh pits are hardly mutually exclusive. I was working the door at the end of that night, and everyone emerged from the basement looking like they’d just taken a shower. What a weekend.
The Orange Line: I was on the train home from a Hassle meeting this fall, minding my own business, when I noticed a guy in my train car start to squirm and gesture towards a man sitting across from him as the train paused for a minute or two between Ruggles and Mass Ave. It was at this point that I turned the volume down on the Deerhunter on my iPod and put on my glasses, because if this person was going to murder us all, I was going to need to see it and hear it clearly. But this is what actually happened: he offered the guy across from him a little money to finish off a Snapple bottle in his backpack pocket, then took the bottle and headed toward the least populated corner of the train (aka where I was sitting), peed in the bottle, and got the hell off the train when we reached Mass Ave. I’ll tell you one thing—I’ll never think of Microcastle the same way.