05/22/2013 Leave a comment
Let’s lighten things up with a funny Nobunny interview. Watch as Nobunny discusses his preference to stay pantless, a shitty show at the Cake Shop, and knowing when you’ve touched too much aka “crossed the line.”
punk slime ALL OF THE time
05/16/2013 Leave a comment
Sally Cinnamon makes the best vids! Here’s an unreleased Hunx song, I’ll be keeping an eye out for.
05/12/2013 Leave a comment
What up world, I know you’re dying to hear some fresh music, so here’s a brand spankin’ new demo from Moldy Naan, our fellow No Age devotee, Nick Rasmussen. It’s folky, it’s freaky, but is it Freak Folk? Nah, do people even use that term anymore? Moldy Naan reminds me of Bob Dylan, Gangbang Gordon, and Hank Williams, quite the motley crue! The song available on Moldy Naan’s bandcamp page (link below) is called “Two-Headed Boy” and if you have any imagination left in you, then it will bring you to a different place. A wee, mental journey never hurt anyone. CLICK CLICK CLICK http://moldynaan.bandcamp.com/track/two-headed-boy
05/11/2013 Leave a comment
Everyone’s favorite band on Die Slaughterhaus (except for Black Lips, of course), Deerhunter is heading on tour again and if you’ve been paying attention then you know that they just dropped their sixth album, Monomania on 4AD. The new LP shows off the band’s ever growing niche for writing strong pop/rock ‘n’ roll songs, while still maintaining the raw, garage edge they created back in their Die Slaughterhaus days.
Deerhunter is playing at the Royale in Boston on Monday, September 16. Check out the full tour dates below.
18th May – Ekko Le Guess Who Festival, Urecht
20th May – Vera, 9711 NV Groningen
21st May – AB Club, Brussels
22nd May – La Trianon, Paris
23rd May – Primavera, Barcelona
30th May – Optimus Primavera Sound (Porto), Porto
7th June – Governor’s Ball (7-9th June), Randall’s Island, New York
21st June – ATP Festival curated by Deerhunter 21-23rd June, Camber Sands, Camber
23rd August – Crescent Ballroom, Phoenix
27th August – Harlow’s, Sacramento
30th August – Rickshaw Theatre, Vancouver
31st August – Bumbershoot Festival, Seattle
3rd September – Music Fest NW, Portland
6th September – Urban Lounge, Salt Lake City
7th September – Bluebird Theater, Denver
9th September – Fineline, Minneapolis
10th September – Metro (Chicago), Chicago
11th September – Beachland Ballroom, Cleveland
12th September – Phoenix Concert Theatre, Toronto
13th September – Skully’s, Columbus
16th September – Royale Night Club, Boston
20th September – Union Transfer, Philadelphia
21st September – 9:30 Club, Washington DC
22nd September – Cat’s Cradle, Carrboro
1st December – Hostess Club Weekender, Tokyo
05/11/2013 Leave a comment
Band: The Reatards
Year: 1998 (original release), 2011 (reissue with Fuck Elvis We’re The Reatards)
On January 13, 2010 rock and roll lost one of its most prolific practitioners, Jimmy Lee Lindsey Jr. aka Jay Reatard. Jay was only 29, but in his short time on this planet he had built up an intimidating discography comprising of at least 75 vinyl releases, all of which he recorded by himself, typically in his living room, giving Jay’s recordings a raw, intimate, lo-fi aesthetic. I have always been a fervent admirer of his solo work, but it wasn’t until recently that I truly appreciated his first band, The Reatards and their debut LP Teenage Hate released in 1998 when Jay was only seventeen years old. It is now being re-released by Memphis garage label, Goner – the same label that initially released it in 1998 – to celebrate the short life of its creator.
Teenage Hate is honestly unlike anything else I have ever heard. There’s an authenticity to it that is almost unreal. In eighteen songs, seventeen year old Jay creates a soundtrack for youth rebellion. Jay sings about the very issues that affect him on a daily basis. In opener, “I’m So Gone,” Jay laments, “I’m so gone, I got no home.” It’s songs such as this where the teenage hate in the title comes through. Having dropped out of school after 8th grade and moved out of his parent’s house soon after, Jay lived in some of the tiniest, cheapest houses Memphis had to offer; hardly a place to call home.
Jay shrieks and curses with the fervor and unabashed vulgarity of scum punk legends GG Allin and Darby Crash. Teenage Hate’s sound is as brutal as the lead singer himself. The record’s rackety, lo-fi production is simply dirty and will turn off most listeners, but charm those of us that love gritty garage. Sonically and musically, The Reatards owe a large debt to fellow Memphis garage punkers, The Oblivians, who served as mentors for the young Jay. Like The Oblivians, The Reatards create simple, sloppy and straight to the point punk rock songs, taking heavy influence from the blues, 60s garage and its imitators, as well as Memphis’s own Sun Records (Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, and Roy Orbison) The Reatards, however, put a much deeper emphasis on immediate pop hooks.
Most songs have clear hooks and lyrics that are easy to sing along to. “When I Get Mad” could be an anthem for drunk, incoherent, pissed off boys across America: “When I get mad I don’t think/said I don’t give a shit about anything/when I get mad I’ll break anything/cause I don’t give a fuck about anything.” It’s not poetry, but that’s what is great about it. A poet would add metaphors and other pretty things to articulate the frustration of being seventeen. But, Jay is a real teenage punk in the midst of all the bedlam a poverty stricken, teenage, rock ‘n’ roll musician must endure. On this track, Jay sounds like Elvis on robitussin singing out of a garbage can. Truly beneath the noise, his vocals have a touch of traditional country, blues, and 50s- early 60s rock ‘n’ roll. Jay is simply telling his story with these songs.
Songs like “When I Get Mad” highlight the authenticity I spoke of earlier. Jay didn’t bullshit. When he said he’ll break anything, he meant it, as it was not uncommon for Reatards shows to culminate in broken beer bottles and blood. Often singers are far removed from the words that come out of their mouths, but with Jay everything is very direct and painfully real.
Jay’s presence on this record is undeniable, but his bandmates also play a big role in Teenage Hate’s overall sound quality. Steve Albundy Reatard plays the bass and Elvis Wong Reatard bashes away on the drums, both serving as the driving force behind these songs. Jay is the main songwriter and he created the hooks, but the songs wouldn’t sound nearly as catchy without the other Reatards. All three together are a juggernaut, like a burnt out 97’ Buick going 110 mph, they are relentless. Each song is extremely fast, averaging about a minute and half. In fact, they fly by so quickly that you have to listen to them at least a few times to truly appreciate the songwriting and pick up on some of the subtle influences.
As much as I love The Reatards, I will say that eighteen songs can be a handful. Eighteen songs of grimy guitars, muttered vocals, and lyrics about “teenage whores” can wear you down after a while. I wouldn’t say that by the end of the record, The Reatards are a one trick pony, but you feel like you get the idea long before it has reached its conclusion. The strongest songs are at the beginning, “I’m So Gone,” “Stacye,” “When I Get Mad,” “Outta Of My Head, Into My Bed,” but there are solid tunes throughout the whole album. I feel like some of the later tracks would stand out to me more if I heard them on their own, somewhere else, but after hearing so many other, somewhat similar songs they just feel weaker. The album’s closer “I Can Live Without You,” (the longest track at a whopping 3:06) lacks the excitement of an earlier song like “Stacye,” (misspelled for whatever reason) which is much more immediate with its Bay City Rollers styled chants “S T A C Y E.”
At its heart, Teenage Hate is a collection of classic themed pop songs buried beneath a slimy ramshackle production. It’s harsh, it’s filthy, it’s honest, but above all it’s fun. As visceral and volatile as this record is, it’s ultimately a fun rock ‘n’ roll record in the traditions of Chuck Berry, The Rolling Stones, and The Ramones. This record is just the beginning of Jay’s career, foreshadowing what he would later master in his synth punk band the Lost Sounds and with even wider success as a solo artist, earning him a place on Matador Records. Alas, Jay’s life and career ended shortly, but this re-release is a testament to Jay’s legacy, with it now garnering far more attention than it ever received in its initial run. Web sites such as Pitchfork now seem to be writing about every new posthumous Jay release, helping to popularize not only his garage music, but the often ignored punk sub-genre as a whole. Garage rock and Jay Reatard are like the anti-indie hero, the anti-Conor Oberst, if you will. This music isn’t a joke in any way, but it’s all about having fun and not taking yourself too seriously. Just look at the band’s name.
05/10/2013 Leave a comment
Bands: The Orwells, Palma Violets
Date: Monday, May 6, 2013
Venue: Brighton Music Hall (Brighton/Allston, MA)
Before I kick into this evening’s performances, let me flash back a few months to Wednesday, February 27. The Orwells, an up and coming rock ‘n’ roll band from Chicago, made their live debut in Boston at T.T. the Bears, where my KLYAM co-conspirator, Glen, a long-time Orwells fan/early supporter (http://klyam.com/2011/01/31/band-spotlight-the-orwells/) was enthusiastically in attendance and ecstatic to finally meet the men behind one of his favorite bands. Local pizza punks, Nice Guys opened. It was a great show (http://klyam.com/2013/03/03/concert-review-the-orwells-tt-the-bears-22713/) or so I am told, for I could not be in attendance that night. Alas, for the last few months Glen has had the bragging rights to say he’s seen The Orwells live and I have not. Now, as the Spring semester is coming to a close, I am outside the realm of academic requirements and ready to take in one of the music world’s most promsing bands: The Orwells
Not to make it seem like The Orwells are this untouchable force, they are actually just mellow, fun loving dudes, appreciating their time on the road, being able to play for fans – new and old – and spreading the gospel of Black Lips stylized rock ‘n’ roll. Like last time, as Glen noted, the boys are playing a quick round of pool before they hit the stage. I briefly chat with Mario Cuomo (vocals) and Matt O’Keefe (guitar) and we discuss the Chicago punk scene/HoZac Blackout Fest, their current tour with Palma Violets, and opening for our favorite band, the Black Lips this past New Year’s Eve at One Eyed Jacks in New Orleans (http://artofcl.com/features/photos-nye-black-lips-king-louies-missing-monuments-orwells/). But, before diving too in depth into a conversation, Matt politely says, “alright man, I’m going to do my thing, we’ll talk to you after the show.” Five minutes later, The Orwells are up on stage.
They blast right into Remember When classic, “In My Bed.” The whole band rocks like they are seasoned veterans, it is nuts to think that this is a band that formed just a few years back. The quality sound system (minus the vocals, which aren’t bad, but could be better) further amplify the loud, firece delivery of The Orwells.
Lead vocalist, Mario Cuomo best captures the rock’n'roll/garage attitude of the band. He is an energetic performer and he never slows down for a moment. His charisma brings even more life to the group’s already vibrant songwriting. Mario rolls his eyes back like they are two inches away from dropping out of their sockets. His showmanship nicely complements his vocals, which are naturally loud, baritone, almost doomy. Unfortunately, the mics are not nearly loud enough to capture his vocals and other members of the crowd agree with me on this account. You can hear pretty much everything he sings, but I want it to be a bit higher. Overall, not a big deal and merely a flaw of the PA, not the band.
My favorite part of the show is when they play my top Orwells song, “Halloween All Year,” a slow, epic ballad that shows how Orwells can expand far beyond the typical, youthful garage band making noise. It’s like a dark, slow dance number from a derranged 50s-60s pop group meets the poppiest cuts from New England based garage rock revivalists, The Migs and Atlantic Thrills. The band also plays a new song entitled, “Other Voices,” which can be heard here – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uS9VrCmM3iI. This is one of the quintet’s best songs to date, drawing comparisons to crisper, cleaner sounding “garage” bands such as Arctic Monkeys, The Strokes, and The Libertines, while still maintaining some punk slime flavor, perhaps easier for a Spaceshits fan to digest. The band closes with a cover of The Stooges’ “I Wanna Be Your Dog,” and to quote a fellow attendee, “What else can you ask for?” Gentlemen, well done.
We came to see The Orwells. Just to make that clear to anyone reading this. We don’t know much about Palma Violets, but it’s only 10 P.M. why not stay for the headlining band?
Palma Violets are a UK based rock band, and I stress rock. No “and/’n’ roll.” If rock ‘n’ roll is like The Ramones soaking up the sounds of the 50s and 60s with bubblegum, surf, and garage, then just plain rock is like hard rock or to be pejorative, generic rock. That’s how I feel about Palma Violets. Very generic, too commerical sounding, almost like wannabe rock stars or wannabe Arctic Monkeys or Editors. They appear to be too in love with themselves, like this is the greatest rock and roll show ever! I appreciate the enthusiasm, but I am not feeling it. I feel no connection with these songs at all. Most of the crowd, however, does. People mosh and dance and sing along to the songs of the apparently great Palma Violets. It looks like a mini soccer riot on the dance floor of the Brighton Music Hall. Seriously, one of the most enthusiastic, yet small, crowds I have seen in a Boston club. Despite my apathy, Palma Violets put on a fun show (for the fans) and they crowd surf and play their instruments in the crowd at times, and I’m jealous. I’m jealous that I can only muster a few headbangs, for this isn’t The Migs, this isn’t my music. Or as the English would say, this isn’t my cup of tea.
Here’s a video of The Orwells performing “Mallrats (La La La)” from their last Boston show at T.T. The Bears (2/23/13).
05/09/2013 Leave a comment
Bands: Nice Guys, Teenanger, The Soupcans, Thigh Masters
Date: Friday, April 12, 2013
Venue: Discovery Zone (Allston, MA)
Thigh Masters – Correct name? I hope so. Thigh Masters aka Kurt opens the festivities with some mind bending one mon noise. Noise – kind of a vague term, but I think noise enthusiasts would dig this. It certainly is loud, so I will call it noise to make it easy for all of us. Kurt Thigh Masters plays guitar and I believe he is accompanied by a drum machine. He also wears a mask and within this mask is a microphone attached to Kurt’s mouth a la Lightning Bolt/Black Pus. I’ve never seen this set up before, so that’s a plus. With that being said, I feel like I’ve seen this performance before and I’ll see it again, just different names. That isn’t to say it’s bad. Kurt Thigh Masters is cool and any local venue/DIY space would be happy to have him.
Soupcans – I’ve always loved Canada. Only been there once and like a good, little American I watched pornography on late night television and ate McDonalds every day. I also bought a present for my grandmother. Soupcans are from Toronto and they are tall, kind-hearted gentlemen. They too enjoy icy cold beers, rock ‘n’ roll music, and perhaps late night pornography and fast food. They will shotgun a beer with your brother, make love to your sister, but when they come home at night they’ll kiss their mothers, and I’m positive that when they are away they buy gifts for their grandmothers.
Fine gentlemen, who aggressively knock your ass out cold on the dance floor with their punk rock music that just greeted my ears in recent weeks. The nicest guy in Allston, Matt Garlick (shake his hand, buy him a drink, give him a high five) introduced me to the mighty Soupcans at approximately 9 P.M. on Friday, March 15, 2013. Fresh off a Nice Guys/Fagettes tour himself, Garlick spoke of a band heading on tour to Boston in the following month. Not usually one for band recommendations, I didn’t know what to expect. I know the guy that recommends bands all of the time doesn’t like band recs, Slutever. What happened next, however, was “a great moment in rock ‘n’ roll history.” Only hearing half of what Garlick said, I was instantly hooked when he mentioned that one of the Soupcans (at this point I thought he was saying “suit cans” too) sings through a beer can! And then when I found out that they were Canadian, my God, that’s it. No more descriptions needed. Perfect band rec. Most kids will tell you something along the lines of “they’re post-punk fused with psych garage punk.” No! We all do it though. But, beer guzzling, swinging, rowdy, Canadian nuts is all I need. It planted an image in my head of the almighty Soupcans. Bandcamped it up and here I am now. Ready to rock ‘n’ roll and you can’t erase those words from history.
Jumping back to this evening, Soupcans open with “Shocked,” a pulsing slammer that shows off the trio’s (classic guitar, bass, and drums y’all) ability to produce fast, pummeling, difficult to describe, but undeniably catchy, raw, punk. Punk in the purest sense. Bestial, no nonsense, straight to the point, simple, but not dumb. No fancy smanchcy bullshit, but not sloppy either, you’re gonna wanna kiss and tell after seeing this band. Lead singer Dave’s vocals are monotone, reminding me of hardcore punk legends, DOA and Joey Shithead’s vocals – also Canadian! Low, baritone, monotone but simultaneously chaotic, exciting – shouts and screams that captivate my heart. The guitars smoothly roar like a serial killer that poetically hacks his victims to death. Right up in your face – raw – but calculated like the work of Jay Reatard in just about all of his bands. The drums are equally frenetic, drummer Gideon slams his kit with extreme precision, kind of feels like my attempts at playing drums, the thrill of hearing the stick smack the snare drum like a slap across the face, except this guy actually knows what he is doing and can control his destruction.
Soupcans play a sound show and they bash out some of my favorites from their LP Good Feelings http://thesoupcans.bandcamp.com/releases including “Shocked,” “Outlander,” and “Deadbeat.” Great to meet the dudes, especially chatting about other sick Canadian bands like The King Khan & BBQ Show and Vomit Squad. Nick knows his Alice Cooper too haha! Great performance, but I wish more people would move and mosh and what not, but still a fun show. Next time will be a wild, drunken, Soupcans riot.
Teenanger – I’ve been calling them Teenager this whole time! What a waste of breath. Ahh well, in the line for the bathroom I notice a bald dude wearing a yellow Suburban Lawns shirt. I vaguely know who they are, late 70s punk band I think. I ask the dude if this is correct and he confirms this. At the time, not knowing much about Teenanger other than the name, which I fucked up anyway, I do not realize who this man is. Moments later, I notice he is singing with his band Teenanger. They blast through a fast, 70′s punkish set. Their music fits very well on a bill with Soupcans and Nice Guys. The singer is enthusiastic, prowling around, hopping into the crowd, making use of the living room space around him. I dig it, but Glen seriously digs it, even more than Soupcans. Speaking of Soupcans, Teenanger also hails from Toronto, Canada. https://soundcloud.com/teenanger
Nice Guys – Nice guys, eh? Just how nice are these guyz you may ask. Sweethearts. Pizza punks from Bawlston – proudly reppin’ the Boston underground. Tonight, the foursome celebrate one of the best first years I have seen for any band. I thought they had been around for a few years. Over the past twelve months, these pizza punks have played many a show, toured twice, and won over the hearts of Kids Like You & Me, in the process making a name for themselves around town.
Nice Guys are like The Beatles. Four Beatles, four Nice Guys, and everyone’s got their favorite. Ahh, I like them all: Drummer Cam (rhymes with Jam, easy enough), Alex “sick moustache dude” Alexson on guitar, Matt Garlick on guitar – hey isn’t that the guy from Fagettes?!, and Jake Gilbertson – vocals/bass. He reminds me of a young Jared Swilley (Black Lips). Hopping and bopping about, right slab in the middle. He and his bandmates get the crowd moving a little bit with their Germsian take on sludgey garage punk. Alas, we KLYAMERS, have to make it to that damn train station, so we only catch the first few tunes. I want to say I hear “Pizza Bong,” one can only hope. You can hear it and all the jaw droppingly exquisite Nice Guys numbers here: http://niceguys666.bandcamp.com/album/mean-songs-demo
Here’s a big shout out to some of the kewl cats we ran into tonight. So Onam/ Fast Apple (who put on the show! like their page – https://www.facebook.com/fastapplebooking?fref=ts), Jen Knight – really nice to meet you!, DJ John Freeman, always spinning the classics like Vivian Girls, Daniel Johnston, George Baker, Tina Turner, you name it. Tim, if you’re reading this, keep drinking those 40s son. Then, my boy Ian, you and your acid tales. You represent the youth of America, the wave of the future. And of course, the Prof$t, who is always lurkin in the shadows at the best shows.
Here’s a video from this show of the nice dudes playing my favorite NG song, “Cop Walk.”