On Valentine’s Day, Jason Dunn of the Boston band The Luxury broke his ankle while trying to get one of his cats to come in from the cold. In the idle months that followed, he needed something to keep him busy while gimping around the house. So he did what any enterprising musician would do after a Valentine’s Day accident — set up 30 “dates” for 30 bands to play each other’s songs. And so “Boston Does Boston” was born, which is now a double-disc CD compilation of Boston artists covering other Boston artists with three shows this weekend featuring 16 of the 30 acts over three nights (Friday at Brighton Music Hall, Saturday at Great Scott, and a grand finale Sunday at Brighton Music Hall).
If the lure of music is not enough, “Boston Does Boston’s” proceeds will benefit the Animal Rescue League of Boston, which Dunn calls “practically an angelic organization.” Makes sense since this whole thing started with his cat.
Lots of Boston heavy-hitters are featured on the compilation, including Township, Field Effect, Will Dailey, The Michael J. Epstein Memorial Library, Gene Dante, The Luxury, Sidewalk Driver, Garvy J, Jenny Dee & The Deelinquents, Walter Sickert & The Army of Broken Toys, Black Thai, Freezepop, Parks, Sarah Rabdau & Self-Employed Assassins, Three Day Threshold, Miss Fairchild, Mr. Vertigo, Reverse, I, Pistol, Ted Billings, Dead Cats Dead Rats, The Lights Out, Corin Ashley, The Curtain Society, Here We Just Dream, and Nemes.
“We don’t have to compete with each other,” says Dunn. “And we don’t have to be cutthroat in order to make people see how awesome this area is for music.”
While it’s difficult to break down all of the bands’ contributions into a digestible nugget, here are some noteworthy moments across the 30-song set:
-The only two bands that cover each other in reciprocal fashion are Jenny Dee & the Deelinquints and Township, who are both covering a song that will be released on the other’s next album (Township doing Jenny Dee’s “Get Away” and Jenny Dee doing Township’s “Rian”).
-The most unusual pairing is Black Thai, a metal band, covering Freezepop, a synth-pop band (“They jumped up and asked for them,” says Dunn)
-The most creative execution award goes to Freezepop, who imagine Park’s jangly “Sweater Weather” as something akin to Billy Idol’s “Eyes Without a Face.” “Complete with 808 drum machine hand-claps,” Dunn says.
-For radio programmers, look to Will Dailey cover of Reverse’s “Bright” and the Field Effect cover of Sidewalk Driver’s “The Sun Shines” as the most likely smash hits.
-The animal rescue award goes to Dunn himself, who rescued a beleaguered Gene Dante when the flamboyant singer almost had to pull out due to an restrictive theater schedule. Dunn insisted that he be able to help with the recording of Dante’s track (in exchange for a couple bottles of wine).
Boston Does Boston
Friday, Dec. 13 – Brighton Music Hall, Allston
Township, Jenny Dee & The Deelinquents, The Michael J. Esptein Memorial Library, Nemes, Here We Just Dream
$12, 18+, doors at 8 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 14 – Great Scott, Allston
Dead Cats Dead Rats, I Pistol, The Lights Out, Mr. Vertigo, Reverse
$12, 21+, doors at 8 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 15 – Brighton Music Hall, Allston
Three Day Threshold, Garvy J., The Luxury, Gene Dante & The Future Starlets, Sarah Rabdau & Self- Employed Assassins, Corin Ashley
$12, 21+, doors at 8 p.m.