GONERFEST 14 HIGHLIGHTS PT.1 (L.A. & NOLA)

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Everyone’s Gonerfest is a personal Gonerfest. Everyone’s Memphis is a personal Memphis. Folks travel far and wide, or in some cases – not at all – to get to Gonerfest to see the best bands in the land. For us, this was our third trip down there. Veteran status? King Louie might beg to differ. At any case, if it was not for the precise organization of the heads at Goner and the cooperation of the city, venues, groups, and fans, this might be a different animal. Instead, it’s for the most part a meeting of minds, a reunion for many, or for the uninitiated – the first annual.

I will call it an international summit, with some representation of the past, present, and future. Where bands unite, where bands stop on tour, where bands play their first (and maybe last?) show. Is there a Goner sound? If anything I learned this weekend, it’s that no, no there is not. Maybe in 2009, but not in 2017. And the record label/store is better off for it. There are some sounds and scenes that curry a bit more favor across the board. Los Angeles and New Orleans have some wild bands, shoving that straight-ahead, raw, fast sound into our welcoming ears. Die Group (Los Angeles) are mainstays and were a definite highlight for me on Thursday night at the Hi-Tone. Almost from the second they begin to play, I’m into it and there is no resting after that. Sex Tape Records – Die Group’s record label – put on a Friday early morning afterparty at Bar DKDC and this was a choice shindig with the Sex Tape’s very own Brain Bagz (Salt Lake City) and Tenement Rats. Now, it being a long drunken night, I thought Tenement Rats’ Jonny Watkins was Pitbull. A garage punk Pitbull. Yes, that Pitbull. It took some clarification. Count me in as a big fan of both groups, both with the noisy, catchy immediacy we need in these modern times.

New Orleans deserves a paragraph of its own. From my very first Gonerfest (12), I gathered some intel that this is a very incestuous group of music playing individuals. Playing in each others bands, supporting each other. From the start we had NOLA king King Louie (weirdly called King Louis on a Memphis news website?) playing opening ceremonies in a new band with Abe White, formerly of The Manatees (Memphis). A few hours later BENNI started Night One at the Hi-Tone. With an album recently released on Goner, the mysterious BENNI might just be the weirdest project of the bunch. Armed with a few synthesizers and a talk box, he eased us into what would be a night of heavy rock ‘n roll. Kind of like Couteau Latex did last year. It would be more than 24 hours until we got another dose of freewheeling New Orleans punk – this time at the legendary Murphy’s for the Night Two afterparty. Gonerfest alum Die Rötzz, and Dummy Dumpster (both been around for more than a decade) along with newer crew Enoch Ramone got the booze spent revelers moshing around into each other. Maybe it was the peck on the cheek from Don Perry (eternal gratitude for the rides to the afterparties and the laughs), or maybe it wasn’t, but the Enoch frontman was in a frenzy start to finish, save for the “Gates of Steel” DEVO cover, which was sung by Sam from Trampoline Team. Maybe Murphy’s is the true second home of these NOLA characters as this year’s  Saturday afternoon Blowout brought us three performances: GUSHERS, IS IS, and HEAVY LIDS. While the first and last just mentioned groups are more in line with the above mentioned quick zip, speedfire r’n’r and absolutely rocked it, it’s that middle group that put on arguably the most subdued, but interesting performance. Masterminded by Giorgio Murderer and featuring members of Trampoline Team and Black Abba. This was the closest thing we got to that unmistakable Giorgio/Buck Biloxi sound. Click the link and go be offended.

Pt. Two coming soon…………………….

FALL FESTIVALS/SHOWS (9/28 to 10/7)

SEPTEMBER 28 to OCTOBER 1 GONERFEST 14 – Memphis, Tennessee – Simply stated the best rock ‘n roll festival in existence. Line-ups featuring some of the more exciting groups from all over the world. Headlining this year (Thursday night) is our Boston brethren, late ’70s punk heros and one of papagiorgio’s favorites – Unnatural Axe. Friday night headliners are some Aussies called feedtime and Saturday night we’ve got Derv Gordon (of the Equals). But those night time Hi-Tone shows are like dessert during this bender with weekend afternoon shows at Memphis Made and Murphy’s. And there is nothing like strolling into the famed After Parties at 2 AM. In between all the music there is so much to do and so little time. This is Memphis and there is still time for you to hitch a flight and check out what we rant and rave about every year.

SEPTEMBER 28 to SEPTEMBER 30 Boston Fuzzstival 2017 – Boston, Massachusetts – One of our favorite local festivals for a few years now, this three day event is in its 5th year, and is curated by the trustworthy Jason of Illegally Blind. Bummer it has to be the same time as Gonerfest, but what can you do. Expanding beyond the primarily garage/psych niche of the initial runs, these gigs are jam packed with local up-and-comers alongside mainstays.

OCTOBER 6Johnnie & The Foodmasters/Dylan and the Ded Beets/_HighlightReel/Picnic Lunch – Cambridge, Massachusetts @ Club Bohemia – As you know, every now and then, or maybe “most of the time,” we KLYAM like to throw some weird shows. This is one of them – almost like a mini/smelly club version of our Mouth is a Mouth Noise fest. New Bedford’s PICNICLUNCH is an offkilter outfit, ramshackle, maybe but maybe not put-together post punk cubed. Happy to have them up for this one! Going further down the odd rabbit hole is _HighlightReel. We know jackshit about experimental (dance?) music, perhaps our most deviant foray since Field of Sheep graced Club Bohemia’s presence at one of our shows a couple summers ago. Dylan and the Ded Beets might be playing their first show? It might just be a one man band? Sounds like a deranged early Ty Segall or the reincarnation of the Maine Coons. Yup. The mystery can’t wait much longer. And the “two year anniversary” of Johnnie & The Foodmasters. You’ve seen the name, maybe you’ve seen them. There is the intersection of the musical and the nonmusical, bla bla bla but for the less descript – there is the proliferation of oldies, good time tunes. Love us, hate us, bye!

OCTOBER 7 – Crocodiles/St. Pe/Boston Cream/Second Becky – Cambridge, Massachusetts @ First Parish Church. Former lead guitarist of Black Lips stepped away from our favorite group a couple years back and turned his focus to his own music, which he had called The Fixed Focus, but is now known as St. Pe. He kept Fixed Focus for the name of his first album which dropped earlier this year. Now Ian is on the road, touring with poppy noise advocates Crocodiles. We’ve been tracking St. Pe ever since he casually released a music video for a song called “Movin On Up” in 2011. He was like a recklessly wild step-brother in the Black Lips with primetime quotes and a ubiquitous friendly spirit. His new stuff seems to be dialed back a bit, but rest assured this Ian guy is one helluva performer that we’re pumped to see play once again. And we’re pumped to see Boston Cream, a bonafide local music supergroup, as well as Second Becky, who we last saw play at Night 1 of the first Rama Lama Ding Dong.

 

Band Recommendation: American Whip Appeal

It’s been a quick minute since we have continued the tradition of band recommendations and actually, it’s been a quick minute since we have written anything of any kind on this very site. Just honesty right there. And a perfect segue for a talk on American Whip Appeal.

There’s a lot that can be said about this group from Boston. A lot of history. But for most of you folks out there in the world, this might be your first taste of the American Whip Appeal crew. The band is relatively new or old, whatever. All I know is I first saw em play a circa Thanksgiving rip roaring, Nattie Ice drinking, house show set. Gee whiz almost one year ago. That was Dylany, loose and probably more country.

Recordings have emerged. In fact, Stop & Freak is the group’s first full length effort, available right now digitally through Bandcamp. It’s been over a month and dare I might suggest I accumulate multiple daily listens? I will. I am a full on, out in the open, appreciator of these cool, boppin tunes. Listening I get this feeling of camaraderie among the group and an intimacy (not sure if they are the same thing). This is what it is like for me to listen to my favorite groups. From the performance – just last week opening a show at Deep Thoughts – to the ragged sound of the recordings, this is “what’s up”.

I was almost going to name this article, respectfully, Anti Country. American Whip Appeal and I hadn’t one drink in my system that night. I’m not talking out of my ass here. James Coarse (vocals/guitar), Hannah Barbarian (bass), and Buck Palace (drums/guitar) are doing their own realest rock, bizarre in content and presentation, and groovy and fun. That’s where the anti-comes in; Coarse is ,probably unknowingly, flashing some Adam Green showmanship and comedy. He’s been in the game probably just as long – approximately since the infant years. But at the same time THIS IS SOME SERIOUS STUFF. BUT IT’S NOT. Ah I don’t care, I like singing along and not knowing what I’m saying because that experience, or hyperbolic version of a semblance of some actual-ish events. Story telling and totally pleasant, awesome, etc – musical accompaniment from all directions. This is what I want out of it all. Thanks American Whip Appeal.

And that brings up a good point – we put together a show that is happening real soon in fact – THIS UPCOMING MONDAY AUGUST 21 at ZuZu in Cambridge. 10 PM. featuring American Whip Appeal, The Maje, a gentleman whose music I have positively diatribed in a similar fashion as above for a half decade or so – his band Love Strangers, and of course, the royalty of noise pop immediacy, Earthquake Party. Great starting point for all!

Check Out Cody P’s new “Hapless Podcast”

Our bud Cody – who you may know from the excellent local rock ‘n roll groups Future Spa and Tiki Twins or maybe from those funky, memorable flyers he has kindly designed over the years – has started his own podcast up and IT IS ACE. It is called The Hapless Podcast , currently streaming on Soundcloud.

For one, I love learning about new music, old music, any kind of rock ‘n roll that twists and turns, is noisy and harsh, etc, etc. I can’t say I ever had heard of the first two bands that he played on the show, but this is the thrill of having an awesome curator. Showing the appreciators some things. That’s right!

BLACK LIPS – Still The Greatest Band

Black Lips – the mere mention of those two words has gotten KIDS LIKE YOU AND ME excited, stoked, etc. Whatever you wanna call it – our fandom has been anything but passive. We created this very website dedicated to passionate rock ‘n roll music because of BLACK LIPS. We are the dudes that have Google’d and YouTube’d the shit out of the band over the past 9 years (which is really only about half of their existence [formed in 1999]), traveled a handful of times to New York to catch them, and played Mr. Driver on the jukebox at an Irish dive downtown.

Now we can go on and on about why Ain’t Comin’ Back should be as regular a staple in the set as O Katrina, why we obsess about the Gaye Blades and why no one is going to touch the Old King Cole Younger solo album with a ten foot pole.

Plain and simple we are the Black Lips ultimate fans. Now, that’s not to say we take everything they have ever done and just gush and bow down to it. Underneath the Rainbow is pretty much just an average album and hey, I heard they’ve got a new one out. Their discography from the very first cuts through Arabia Mountain stands on its own for pushing ‘garage’ into noisier and more experimental directions. Where other bands play it safe or just plain fuzzy, the Lips always seem to have a genuine sense of humor and an amateur vibe of not caring. This is the kind of stuff that got me to pick up the guitar, drums, and sing, and not worry about doing it ‘right’.

My 13th time seeing the Lips last night at Brighton Music Hall reminded just how giddy I am thinking about and living the experience. This is just FUN. For most bands a short set is decent, but with the Lips I just want it to never end. And life goes on, too. The members have changed so probably certain songs will never be played again and what not. But at the heart of it is a band that still has heart and puts on the best time for those that care.

NEXT KLYAM SHOW: Proud Parents – MAY 22nd @ ZUZU (W/ Peach Ring, G. Gordon Gritty)

We are very excited to announce our next show! It is May 22nd (10 PM), another fantastic Rad Castle Monday night event at ZuZu in Central Square, Cambridge. Proud Parents from Madison, Wisconsin, and on tour!, are making a stop here and we are lucky to hear them perform! I am sure many of you remember a couple of years ago, The Hussy (also from Madison) played an unforgettable set at ZuZu. Our pals Heather from The Hussy plays drums/sings in Proud Parents and Tyler from Fire Heads – who were all set to play ZuZu until a bad snow storm hit – plays guitar/sings in the band. Please head over to their bandcamp and enjoy their infectious pop rock ‘n roll. I insist!

Also playing are firebrands and frankly one of the most exciting groups to emerge out of Boston in the past six months or so — PEACH RING. I would head on over to YouTube where the micro-legend Front Row Person has filmed them on a few occasions, including our Feb 4th gig at Club Bohemia.

Lastly – G. Gordon Gritty – hasn’t shown its (my?) sloppy head(s) in these parts since September. Grab your musical handbook, a pair of scissors, and a lighter.

Defending The Orwells: I Remember When

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As the first person to ever write about The Orwells, I have the overwhelming responsibility to defend them. From what, from who? Nevermind. When they were 15/16 years old, they were writing catchy rock ‘n roll. The production was what you would expect from some suburban kids in their basement. By this time, I was the biggest fan of the Black Lips and they were too. This was back in the days when some good bands would e-mail us (themselves), send some links, offer words of appreciation of what we were doing. A kinship. I thought these dudes were doing shit at a much higher level than their older peers and there was some video floating around of them playing a huge show in Chicago. They seemed big, but I figured they were too young to tour. And maybe they were because it took until 2013 for them to come through Boston.

I remember that show like it was yesterday. At the now dead TT The Bears with some local band called Nice Guys whose first 7″ we would later put out. The Orwells were shooting some pool in the back of the empty club and I come through and say “Yo dudes whassup, you know who I am?” Maybe a little cocky but most likely not. I say yo I wrote about you first. ‘OH shit, Kids Like You and Me?’ Yeah dudes. Lamenting about not being able to drink — a few years away — the Chicago White Sox, and groupies? “Nah dude, not at all” – Mario. They had fresh stacks of Remember When at the merch table, though this record was old news to me, as it had a much lower key self-release (like their first two albums). So when the press narratives say that this Terrible Human Beings is their third studio album, that is not a lie, but it terribly deceives the public, those individuals who might like the hot and dirty material known as THE EARLY DAYS. Put them in their parents musty basement or put them in a studio with the guy who produced the Arctic Monkeys – I’m not really sure it makes a difference. They’ve always been a cleaner outlet to weenies or rational thinkers who think The Strokes were garage-punk. I give ’em shit for not knowing the Oblivians. But as I noticed a few years ago, these five weren’t back from the Grave like The Count Five or any nefarious ‘teen punkers’ but they are not some borderline pop punk, Melodic generics, either. And it is funny that they always seem to play with not exciting, ROCK acts.

On Terrible Human Beings, the best way I can put it is they are still Being The Orwells. They are not Trying To Be The Orwells, which is never a good look, something that usually comes from the creativity lacking depths of veteran bands. From a lot of bands, I usually think it is pretty shitty when they say they are evolving. Forced and gross. But yeah with these guys, they seem to still be coasting, and not changing their innate formula for catchy songs. It is humorous how hot spot, big time get-paid-to-write-about-bands publications make a big deal out of shit like the D chord, precision drumming, floaty bass. Draw conclusions and frame things. I don’t have to worry about The Orwells not delivering. They give a decent amount of material for the music journalists of the world – to talk bout their small forays into Indie Rock and Psychedelia. And they do, it’s no lie. They are a fun listen for tweenies and that older gentleman who comments on every of their YouTube video. How you connect or do not connect is up to you. Research the past or stay locked in the 2017 stuff. Both maybe. They fulfilled their dreams of sharing a bill with the Black Lips and now they are going to consistently sell out The Sinclair. Props my dudes.