State Radio shows some Biker Love / by Jason

Here's some great news! State Radio, a fantastic Sherborn, Mass., based band with a strong political bent that's been making it big on the festival circuit and opening up for Dave Matthews, is partnering up with fantastic Boston, Mass., based Bikes Not Bombs to get fans to ride their bikes to their upcoming Boston Show.

The show is at Boston's B of A Pavilion, perhaps our finest venue with its open air but under cover location on Boston's waterfront. The one problem with the Pavilion has always been that it is kind of hard to get to for us car-free types. It's about a 15 minute walk from the nearest subway stop, and although access has been improved recently by a new Bus Rapid Transit route that come closer it's a 2-3 seat ride for most attendees. But the location is a perfect spot for biking, with wide, low-traffic streets and plenty of open asphalt nearby to erect bike racks--in fact, I used to work just around the corner and rode to work every day. Until now, though, the Pavilion hasn't ever explicitly welcomed bikes.

From the announcement about the event, it looks like folks who bike to the show get to ride along with the band, which is about as awesome as anything I could dream up. Bike riders will also get entered into a drawing for some kickin' prizes, including a 4-pack of front-row seat upgrades, a new bike, and entrance to a private party with the band after the show. My only complaint is that I won't be able to make it to the show--I'll be in Chicago that day, covering Lollapalooza for this here web-publication. But I'll get a chance to see them at Rothbury, and perhaps I'll be able to snag an interview then.

Bikes Not Bombs, by the way, is my local bike shop, located just a short walk from my apartment in Jamaica Plain. They're an outstanding nonprofit that's about as green as can be. They take old bikes, train local youngsters to refurbish them, and resell them. They also ship old bikes to places like Ghana and El Salvador, where locals are trained to repair and sell them and they provide sustainable transit to local folks. Let's hope this new venture of theirs catches on and we see more bike-friendly music events in Boston next year!

Incidentally, I fell in love with State Radio after I heard their rollicking "The Story of Benjamin Darling, Part 1" on a Paste sampler a while back. While this song doesn't sound much like the rest of their stuff, it was enough to get me interested in the rest of their catalog. I'm looking forward to a great set at Rothbury and to hearing more parts in the story of Benjamin Darling. Enjoy it below in this live acoustic version from Oregon State U recorded last year. The lyrics can be tough to follow, so here's a cheat sheet.

Hat tip to Noah G. for letting me know about this!