Hotter Than Hell, Coolest of the Cool:

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Hotter Than Hell, Coolest of the Cool: Mr. Golden Inside the 15th Anniversary of HOT STOVE COOL MUSIC

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Facts only, mane: I love my city.

The unity – the FAMILY aspect – of the Boston music & nightlife communities is one of the many intangibles that sets this scene in a league apart from anywhere else in the world. For Mr. Golden, this has always been one of the most attractive qualities of this circuit. You especially see it in the world of Boston sports. Now, I won’t even front, you guys: you know I am not much of a “sports guy.” It’s just never been of much interest to me. That said, I have always saluted the sense of nationhood – again, the unity – you feel when Boston unites in support of one of their iconic teams.

Seriously: where else in the world can the opening stage monologue for an annual benefit suddenly morph into a running commentary for the ongoing football game? Yep. Only in the 617, bruh.

This was one of the many charming aspects among the super rad highlights of this past Saturday night’s main event: the 15th Anniversary of Hot Stove Cool Music, held down at the Paradise Rock Club on Commonwealth Ave.

If you are one of the handful in Boston unfamiliar with this annual extravaganza, here is some backstory: founded by Peter Gammons, Hot Stove Cool Music first began back in 2000 as the flagship fundraising event for Theo Epstein (former GM of the Boston Red Sox) & twin brother Paul’s Foundation to be Named Later. The Foundation’s formation was steeped in the goal to better the Boston community, generating funds and raising awareness for nonprofit federations working to support the urban youth community, and the many families who work hard within it to find a brighter day. Through fun, one of a kind special events with a focus on two of the brothers’ greatest loves – music and baseball – the Epsteins have established Foundation to be Named Later as one of Boston’s most respected benefit organizations.

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In the years since the inaugural Hot Stove Cool Music event, it has become one of the single most important nights on the city nightlife calendar, with a veritable Who’s Who of Boston pop culture, music, politics and sports turning up annually. So, of course, this being the 15th Anniversary, you knew your boy Mr. Golden was going to be in the building, getting coverage for the Dirty Water News blog & publication. I mean, this was the MOVE of the night; an unmissable situation that would yield everlasting memories, new friendships (and new business contacts – hey, you already I know I’ve got to network and keep planning the next strategy), and legendary live performances. Yessir, this was going to be a poppin CRAZY, crazy night.

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With the big homie Dave Russo – Boston’s king of comedy – holding down the Dirty Water TV detail as only he can, I was off to get the inside track elsewhere, for the article your beautiful, deep, dark eyes are fixed upon right now. The VIP pre-party was a dope networking opportunity for sure, and featured an insane array of the area’s most acclaimed grub available to those who were in attendance. Any VIP situation featuring the one & only Sausage Guy doing his thing, offering up the delicacy that made him a Boston legend – mane, that’s just serious. While making my rounds, I had the pleasure of sharing some hang time with my Vanyaland squad – Mr. Michael Marotta, Lady K, and crew – who were on hand as media sponsors for this year’s Hot Stove Cool Music deal. Considering how much sweat equity this collective puts in to cover & support Boston music, through their online radio station, blog and promotional efforts – it was all too fitting they were involved with Hot Stove Cool Music in this capacity. Big love & respect for their continued efforts.

As I finished up saying my hello’s, making new contacts, and even being asked for on the spot relationship advice (got to be a first), the night’s music was under way, with Chadwick Stokes taking the stage (not before the night’s emcee, Mike O’Malley, finishing his impromptu football play by play by shouting “Patriots win!” on the house mic, evoking a hell of a crowd pop). For the next five hours, a celebration of all things that make our city shine so bright – a city that may well be the center of the sports universe in 2024 – took over Commonwealth Ave.

There was Al Kooper showing love for the 1969 Rolling Stones hit “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” (the original studio recording features Al on piano & organ); there was Jen Trynin channeling 1994 with “Better Than Nothing”; Tanya Donnelly and bass player Gail Greenwood taking us back to the days of Belly; Kay Hanley taking the lead with Letters to Cleo for a handful of songs (well, almost Letters to Cleo; close to being intact but no cigar); more recent talents like Eli “Paperboy” Reed tearing the house down; and then you had one of my personal favorites of the 1990’s, the Juliana Hatfield Three, reunited and performing onstage for the first time in 20 years. Amid classics such as “My Sister” (forever my choice Hatfield joint), you also got to hear a new JH3 single, “If I Could”, which to me, holds up well among the vintage jams.

If only Juliana & Tanya Donnelly got up there together to rehash the “Josie & the Pussycats” theme song (which they performed in tandem on the 1995 Saturday Morning Cartoons’ Greatest Hits compilation, one of the decade’s most awesome guilty pleasures). Geshhhhh, my night would have been even more on 100 than it already was.

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For Mr. Golden, however, the night was all about 2014’s Artist of the Year, recognized by the Boston Music Awards; singer/songwriter dynamo Will Dailey. In addition to being one of my guests this past weekend on Boston VIPs, I have long taken an interest in Will’s creative endeavors, so seeing him one of the city’s grandest stages was a dope experience. It’s moments like these that make you proud you support this city’s liberal arts so hard; Will Dailey stole the show, in my opinion, with a short but stunning set, showing all on the dancefloor of the Paradise why he is the man right now. Cheers to Will Dailey for continuing to create, inspire, and shine.

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As you can see in this photo, the Paradise was going UP; and it went all the way into the stratosphere on Saturday night, Family, this was an epic party, an unforgettable experience, one that will surely be remembered as one of the highlights of ’15 when we look back on the year that was. Big love and thank you’s to Taylor, Grace, and the whole team behind this event for allowing us to come through and provide coverage. Hotter than hell, coolest of the cool: this is what all party situations should be. Respect to this group for continuing to set new industry standards.

As my boy Zachary Poirier loves to say: “PAAAARTY.”

 

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