Boston Calling

Boston Calling is a brand-new music festival that will hold its first installment in Boston’s City Hall Plaza 5/25-26, and it’s got a lineup that leans heavily toward accessible, middle-of-the-road indie and alt-rock. The National will co-headline alongside the suddenly omnipresent Fun., and the lineup also features the Shins, Dirty Projectors, the Walkmen, Andrew Bird, Matt & Kim, Ra Ra Riot, Cults, and Youth Lagoon, as well as stuff like the popular-as-fuck Icelandic folk-pop crew Of Monsters & Men. Check here for all the details.

Comments (25)
  1. “Accessible, middle-of-the-road indie and alt-rock.”

    You nailed Boston’s music scene’s tastes right on the head with that. I mean, shit, your colleague Liz Pelly is doing her best to shine a light on some of the better and more interesting music that actually exist in that area, but the city’s predominantly preppy ivy league college scene loves it safe and accessible. When I lived there, shows to MGMT and Airborne Toxic Event sold out in a jiff. I once sold a ticket on Craigslist to the National that was $12 face value to some rich kid at Tufts for $150. Vampire Weekend is their Jesus. I don’t mean to sound douchey about it, but like the city itself, it’s very white, traditional and even conservative in its indie indulgences.

    Also, City Hall Plaza sounds like it could be a clusterfuck venue.

    • Yeah, I grew up in around Boston and while there is much to get involved with in terms of a local scene, there’s less of an overall appetite for new and interesting music than other major cities. A lot of it has to do with, as mentioned above, the Ivy League/transplant crowd, but also just it’s size and restrictions in general. Good to see that Boston is getting into the game with stuff like this, crappy to see the first name I see is Fun..

    • (I want to clarify that I don’t take advantage of sold out shows as a means to take advantage of making ridiculous profit — actually, I never sell tickets unless I can’t go. This was one of those exceptional occasions where I couldn’t go, so I figured if I couldn’t enjoy it, I may as well fill the void with easy money.)

      • You don’t need to clarify anything. You bought a ticket for 12 bucks and sold it for 150. You’re a scalper. You’re a hypocrite. You seem to be a typical college know-it-all douche. I grew up in Hyde Park (part of Boston-50% white 50% minorities) and we used to love mocking you asshole suburbanites who thought they were Bostonians but thing Allston or J.P. are bad neighborhoods.

        If you can’t find good music in the Boston area then you are not looking hard enough. Here’s a tip, try outside of Kenmore Square or Faneuil Hall. It’s about time that the city has a multi-day festival. The lineup isn’t perfect. But I’ll just get a bite or hit the head when the bands I don’t care for are playing.

        Grow up you judgmental fuck.

    • This is a pretty nasty generalization. There’s a lot of diverse and interesting music in Jamaica Plain and Allston that goes largely unrecognized just because no one seems to pay attention to the Boston music scene anymore. I agree with some of what you have to say but to call the entire city “white, traditional and concervative” is simply wrong

      • Allston and JP are a different (and overlooked) monster altogether, and I agree with that it’s a lot more artistically identifying in that section with a quiet yet interesting music scene, but once you hit proper city limits, it’s a predominantly white collar young professional and Ivy league atmosphere of people who are afraid of walking through Allston because they think someone is going to hold them up at knife point — or so it was when I lived there about four years ago. Like, they didn’t understand punk, because they were all 24, engaged to lawyers and readying their wedding on Martha’s Vineyard. Maybe that’s changed, but my experience was that of being surrounded by corporate ladder climbers whose parents put up the $3,000 rent for their apartments and their idea of a show was going to that monstrosity of an overpriced general admission venue known as the House of Blues.

        • Wow. I don’t think it would be possible for you to make more generalizations about “cool” stuff/places, “lame” people/places, and the city of Boston as a whole.

          • If you are offended by the fact that most communities or populations in this country can probably be generalized, I’d suggest you never turn on Portlandia. I can make a satirical generalization about where I live now: a boring, uncultured suburban middle class area where dive bars, high school sports and strip malls reign supreme. I’m not boring nor am I uncultured and I hate dive bars, high school culture and Wal-Mart, though, but it doesn’t change the fact that the area I live is mostly (and that’s the keyword) like that.

          • And for what it’s worth, around the same time I lived in Boston, 7 friends of mine did the same. We all ended up leaving around the same time, too, citing exactly as I described it above. Maybe the only thing I missed is that Bostonians are probably the most unfriendliest, self-centered city dwellers around.

        • Never said I was offended. I would watch more Portlandia if it were funnier.

          As for your comments, they again don’t seem to be based on facts (examples: there is a lot of diversity, a bunch of nice people, and plenty interesting music in Boston), so I don’t know where to begin.

          Guess this city is friendlier now that you’re in suburbia.

    • Yeah I never here other people talking about indie at my school (20 min outside Boston but still)

  2. Not sure if my desire to see The National, Andrew Bird and The Walkmen outweighs my reticence to ever pay for a ticket to see Fun., Matt & Kim, and Of Monsters and Men… DECISIONS!

  3. Great name, meh festival. The National and The Walkmen are definitely worth seeing, but I refuse to fund Fun. or Matt & Kim.

    • you shouldn’t think about it that way. think about it, otherwise you really wouldn’t be able to ever go to, well, really any festival. if you live there, buy the ticket, go, see the great bands, see the shitty bands, and then have more appreciation for the great bands. one time i won free tickets to see sugar ray in anaheim on new years eve….i mean i didn’t go, but i totally would have just as a goof

  4. the walkmen > rest of line-up

  5. Would consider going but I’ve got exams the following Tuesday-Thursday and really can’t put all that off until Monday…

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