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Awesome Day in (where else but) Allston

Posted by Scott McLennan  July 3, 2013 02:04 PM

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Tired Old Bones_ from left Glenn Smith, Bridget Nault, Jesse Sherman, and Neal Johnson_ is intimately tied to Awesome Day (Photo by David Ward)

It's a cookout. It's a concert. It's Awesome Day.

Now in its fourth year at O'Brien's at 3 Harvard Ave. in Allston, Awesome Day is happening Saturday, July 6, its first summer-time running after three spring jaunts.

Why the move?

"That was the first open date when I called the club to book it in February," explains Jesse Sherman. It's a matter-of-fact explanation that echoes the simple design at the heart of Awesome Day; really, could there be a simpler name for an 11-band show that includes food with the price of admission?

Sherman was working at O'Brien's at the time his band Tired Old Bones knew it would need to take a break after the birth of singer and keyboard player Bridget Nault's first child. In planning for one big show with all of the bands Tired Old Bones wanted to play with, Sherman decided that it was insane not to utilize O'Brien's patio and grill that were typically idle.

"The original grill was a 55-gallon drum cut in half with a fire-escape grate on it. Now there's a real grill and some chairs out there," says Sherman, who now works at Great Scott in addition to playing drums in Tired Old Bones and bass in Never Got Caught.

And thus a tradition was born, one that Sherman tends to as an organizer, promoter, meat buyer, and chef.

And in keeping with the tradition, Awesome Day presents all styles of music. Jim Healey of Black Thai will open Awesome Day at 4 p.m. with his solo material. Then following with a succession of 30-minute sets are Lunglust, Spectre Hawk, No Fun, Tired Old Bones, Eldridge Rodriguez, Z*L, Hey Zeus (whose Ken Cmar makes a grilled meat loaf that has become part of the Awesome Day legend), Goddamn Draculas, Cult 45, and the Humanoids. Approximate set times are online here.

Tired Old Bones, which didn't play the fest last year, is not only back in the lineup but also touting the vinyl pressing of its "Which Way is Home?/ Throw Stones" single

Releasing the single was not so awesome at times. First the band scotched the original recordings it made of the songs. Once satisfied with the quaking, vintage rock tone ultimately crafted for the tunes, Tired Old Bones sent the tracks out for pressing.

"The first test pressing we got back wasn't our band. The second one was done at the wrong speed," Sherman says. "It was a comedy of errors. A symphony of errors."

That behind Tired Old Bones, the band is mapping out a full-length release and working at guitarist Glenn Smith's studio.

The deal with Awesome Day is that ten bucks gets you the tunes and whatever is available on the grill (Sherman says he even stocks a few veggie burgers).

Awesome Day sparked a trend, as Boston Bloghead organized an Aug. 4 Punk 'N' Roll BBQ at O'Brien's. And hey look, Tired Old Bones is on that bill too, maybe becoming Boston's first BBQ go-to rock band.


This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
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About the author

Scott McLennan is a Boston Globe music correspondent and previously wrote a music and entertainment column for the Worcester Telegram & Gazette for 15 years. After seeing the band Boston in the Boston Garden as a teenager he never looked back and eventually figured out how to be a professional fan. Scott is very good at writing in the dark. This blog is an ongoing discussion about music happening in and around Boston. Scott will be leading the trek across genres looking for new releases and hot shows as well as just checking in with the people who make Boston such a great place to listen. More »
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