When we think Boston, we think tea party (the original), Red Sox, and baked beans. But music? Not really--at least, not until Passion Pit. But when the indie electro band broke out in 2008, it was a reminder that there's more to Beantown than just pahking the cah. So who better to get a guide to the city than the band itself? "There's so much music coming out of Boston," says Jeff Apruzzese, Passion Pit's bassist. "You look at any telephone pole and you'll see stacks of posters all stapled on top of each other!" Of course, a lot has changed since they released their Chunk of Change EP--signing to a major label, releasing two albums (including this summer's Gossamer), headlining tours, and barely spending much time in their newfound home of Brooklyn--but they still know where to get the best burrito in town. Here are Apruzzese's picks.
Best Place To Start Your Morning: Pavement Coffeehouse (1096 Boylston Street) "It's a very hipster cafe and you'd walk in and there would be 20 fixed gear bikes locked up outside. They have a bunch of spots now, all within a square mile radius of each other. All my friends worked there, you would just hang out there all day. Get a yerba matte latte!"
Best Place To End Your Night: Silhouette Lounge (200 Bright Avenue, Allston) or Model Cafe (7 N. Beacon Street, Allston) For a nightcap, we always used to go to the Silhouette or the Model. Both are in Allston. The Silhouette was awesome because you'd get free popcorn and $5 pitchers of PBR. The Model was across the street from it and it was a total dingy, dark light [bar] where they give you beer in Solo cups sort of situation. Lots of late nights there, for sure." Best Pizza: Veggie Planet (47 Palmer Street, Cambridge) "It's this cool, tiny little cafe with these tiny little wooden stools and they make really, really good pizza. I would get this weird caesar salad on a pizza type of thing--it was really, really delicious. It's attached to this little venue called Club Passim--it's where Bob Dylan had his first show in Boston, they have all of these pictures of him playing."
Best Place To See Live Music: Great Scott (1222 Commonwealth Avenue) "One of my favorite places is Great Scott in Allston. I played there so many times with so many different bands I was playing in--and [Passion Pit] actually had a secret show where we announced it an hour before we were playing. It's a tiny 100-person club, everyone who works there is super nice. Also, the Middle East is a great venue attached to an awesome Middle Eastern restaurant where you can get falafel and beer!"
Best Place To Load Up On Records: In Your Ear! (957 Commonwealth Avenue) "The largest independent record store is of course Newbury Comics--and they always have a great selection there. [But] there's another awesome one there in Cambridge called In Your Ear! It's a really indiscrete sign; you walk down these stairs into this basement and there are a bunch of old guys with tons of '60s and '70s psychedelic rock records all over the place. I get so many original pressings there, like Beatles records and Television records, and you pay, like, $15. I paid $20 for a beautiful, original pressing of Rubber Soul and it's awesome. It's like raiding your cool uncle's garage!" Best Place To Get Lost: The Arnold Arboretum (125 Arborway) "It's always an awesome place to go because unlike a lot of arboretums, it's free and you could ride your bike there in 15 minutes from the Back Bay. They have this really awesome bonsai sanctuary over there, too, which is really cool, and I definitely spent a lot of time there wandering."
Best Place To Bring Boston First-Timers: El Pelon Taqueria (92 Petersborough Street) "They need to go to El Pelon. It's probably the best burrito spot of all time--definitely the best burrito spot in Boston. Get their 'El Guapo'--it's carne asada with fried plantains. It's so delicious. Every time I go back to Boston, no matter where we are, I always make a point to go there. The reason it's so legendary is because it's burned down three times now, and they just keep building it back up."
Visit passionpitmusic.com for the band's tour dates and more.