It has a nice ring to it. One of our favorite local musicians – Ryan Major (you may have seen him singing and slinging guitar for our beloved Barbazons (RIP)) is fronting his own group these days and they are called the Love Strangers. Dude knows his history of rock ‘n roll and pens catchy numbers. The Love Strangers feature familiar players such as Travis Hagan (drums), Rob Sutherland (bass/vocals, and Scott Jones (guitar). They recorded with Caufield Schnug (Minidresses) and the result is this fun AF debut Strange Lovers. Mister Major, who I often visually liken to Lee Hazelwood and Jared Swilley, has taken a deeper dive into the world of country, more so than ever before. There were hints like ‘Two Whiskeys’ from the last Barbs album, but this EP goes further into that realm. What a realm.
I plug the cellie into some nice speakers, blast this, pick up an instrument or go behind the kit, and I’m off. Possibly the hallmark of a pop song is being able to joyfully anticipate what is to come. I feel that listening to this and for that, let me reiterate these are all remarkably well written and performed. There is plenty of grit and for lack of a better word, sleaze. Boozy, sing-a-long, is this Boston or North Carolina? Johnny Thunders. Speaking of which, there are plenty of clippityclank solos and reverby axe hijinx, in case you are wondering.
If I can choose anyone to deliver mythical rock ‘n roll odes to the road, women, and beer, I am choosin Ryan Major and the Love Strangers. Cheers.
We are kicking off our 2017 show series in what can only be described as TYPICAL KLYAM FASHION. We let you off the hook in January, but look at this one. Saturday February 4th at Club Bohemia. Yup, the downstairs of the Cantab Lounge on the edges of Central Square in Cambridge. We’ve thrown several shows at the palace of Mickey Bliss.
You read that right, too. It’s the return of Johnnie and the Foodmasters. Who? The KLYAM House Band. The wildest, noisiest devotees of the golden oldies era of rock and pop music. There is the Yin and Yang dynamic of the clean and professional and the raw and amateur. It is a sight to see and with tremendous bias, I can say that.
We’ve curated an all-star lineup in support of the Foodmasters return: JIM LEONARD. Rock and roll juggernaut, back from Scotland. He’s been doing his thing for years, in a variety of iterations. Top notch on record, top notch live. THEE CAVEMYN – back to the basics rock and roll. Primitivalia as I have termed it. Boom doom BOOM. That riff. The line-up has seen many varieties, fuck I even used to react in it, but this latest one is a contemporary Boston underground supergroup featuring members of Nice Guys, Big Buck Hunter, Birthing Hips, and a newer group that is playing this show – PEACH RING, another contemporary Boston underground supergroup. We’ve never seen them, but oh we’ve heard them and we are excited for the noiseeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!
KLYAM will be spinning records and I might introduce the bands in some MC capacity. 21+. $8.
This recommendation of Montreal’s The Submissives comes through via our pal Hugo of Time Warp Week Ends. Hugo’s taste in music is top notch (after all, we met at Gonerfest while waiting for Nots to kick off opening ceremonies). I asked him what’s the good stuff up in Montreal? He pointed us in the direction of The Submissives. And what a recommendation. Hugo used my initial reaction – dying guitars and stoned vocals – in his year ender, and I like what he had to say in one of his write-ups so here:
“Dolly Parton on sizzurp, the Shangri-La’s on methadone. This is drug-related, in a cool creative way. And the disheveled retro visual aesthetic is effortless and strong.”
Much has been written about The Submissives, which started as a solo recording project and has blossomed into a live band consisting of some seasoned and some amateur musicians. Amazing.
I like textbooks. I don’t like fiction. I like deep shit. When I looked at the back of this book, which – let me stop right there. Holding onto this book feels so nice. The cover is something to be grasped. The back cover says it is FICTION. And as I said, I don’t do well with fiction. I would like to ask that the publishers revise that. I did a full reading of The Autograph and it felt more like almost non-fiction. Comedy, too. Before even digging in: “Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons – living or dead – is entirely coincidental.” I’m from the North Shore, kid. Kowloon is real as fuck. Bennigans in Wakefield. That’s not a thing. Anyway, I really loved reading this book. I found myself reading it in a forced Boston accent. Enjoying the references to actual places and people. If you grew up in Eastern Mass, or even if you’ve familiarized yourself with the area, you know these places and these people. These are our family members, our friends, yada yada. I could be Steve Industry. It is good stuff. So Steve Industry is a writer, foremost. He also has a bunch of other jobs, but his writing and his music – very intertwined, we learn – takes precedent in his life. Boom, there’s a song right there. I like that mentality. An everyday kind of guy, but he is on another level. Moonstruck. I am going to give this a second read, because the first time through I would like to think I was following along. Lots of laughs. But I was page flipping. I was suckered in. I had a feeling this would be like the book version of a mumblecore film. Excellent character “studies,” no plot. And that is what I am looking for, if it is going to be fiction. I’ve never read a North-Shore-Core book, or any writing that is explicitly Boston. It could have turned ugly, but the writing is so all over the place that only a funny person, whose life went through the ringer that is Route One, could shine through as a genuine scribe of the Keno zeitgeist circa 2009? The one-liners, the deep shit. Some of it complete nonsense, meant to throw you off guard. Each chapter starts with a question. That is irrelevant. It is all about the way Steve rants and raves and communicates with his family, his bandmates, and his own mind. I think it said he hates Good Will Hunting, but maybe ’cause he is that dude. Guy. This is hopefully the first of many novels of this style. Naked confessional, transparency. Populist. A super fun read. Round two – I will be taking notes.