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The bare facts
The Dresden Dolls unclothed, a new Boston hip-hop label, plus news from Antler, Westbound Train, and Night Rally

There’s been a long history of notorious moments at the Best Music Poll, and the 2005 edition will go down in the annals of Boston rock as the year the Dresden Dolls’ Amanda Palmer left her robe in the hands of lucky FNX program director Paul Driscoll, streaked across the Avalon stage, hopped on Kaiser Chiefs’ frontman Ricky Wilson, then zoomed off into a waiting robe held by her tour manager. "I have never played that song with an erection," Wilson said, not missing a beat — to which bassist Simon Rix responded, "I have." Palmer’s choice of frontman may not have been random: she and Wilson were spotted being friendly back when the Kaisers played the Middle East downstairs in March. At the BMP, it was cute watching Ricky sit on the side of the stage and gaze at Amanda as the Dolls closed out the evening. Now will someone send me the pictures?!

Boston independent hip-hop fans can welcome another local label into the fold: Early Spotter Recordings dropped its first release in April, an album by Brooklyn-based MC Access Immortal titled Shades of Reality. Featured back on Def Jux Presents III alongside El-P, Aesop Rock, and local boys the Perceptionists, Access also recently released the limited-edition mix tape 9th Gate a/k/a the Clear Album, which was produced by underground legend 9th Wonder (Jay-Z, Destiny’s Child). Shades of Reality features production from Boston’s 7L and Insight. Early Spotter’s second salvo, The Great Potato Famine, is from Ambidex, who’s repping for Lynn; the disc features several tracks produced by Sage Francis producer and hype man Joe Beats. And last month, the label dropped CD #3, Perseverance, by an artist from Chelsea who calls himself Shed Light; this one has spots by local cats Alias, Fakts One, and Cadence of Raw Produce.

Dropkick Murphys stopped by Game On at Fenway Park a couple Wednesdays back to unveil The Warrior’s Code to friends, fans, and family — and also to give a sneak peek of the video for the first single, "Sunshine Highway," which was shot at the late Mark Sandman’s Cambridge loft by director Zach Merck (Converge, Atreyu, Shadows Fall). The rumor flying around the room, though, was about yet another Boston band signing to the Epitaph family. Word has it a deal memo is on its way from Tim Armstrong and his Hellcat peeps to local ska champs Westbound Train, who, as previously reported here, appear on the forthcoming album by Armstrong’s side project the Transplants.

After a debut on Tortuga, Allston’s whiskey-and-barbecue good ol’ boys Antler (members of Roadsaw, Shake Dog Shake, and others) have struck a deal with Detroit’s Smallstone Records (Dixie Witch, Throttlerod) to release the band’s sophomore album in October. Guitarist Tim Catz reports they’re sounding more like Mule; a new track, "River Underground," is up at www.antlerband.com . . . Your mom’s favorite radio station, WBOS, has added Jake Brennan’s single "Believe Me" to its rotation; keep an ear out for it next time you’re at the dentist . . . Night Rally are set to record a full-length album at Brooklyn’s Headgear Recording (the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ studio of choice) with TV on the Radio engineer Chris Moore. Night Rally play a stellar bill this Saturday at Great Scott with Helms, Polaris Mine (three parts Big Bear, one part Common Cold), and Providence’s Badman. NR’s Farhad Ibrahimi is threatening to commit ritual suicide if they don’t have copies of the long-delayed Clickers/Night Rally single for sale.

Chris Rucker is the host of New England Product, which airs Sundays from 9 to 10 p.m. on WFNX 101.7 FM.

Issue Date: June 17 - 23, 2005
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