My Top Ten Favorite Shows of 2014…

I know this sounds like bullshit and I do say it every year, but each year gets better. I’d be lying if I said 2014 was the best year of my life, but as far as KLYAM goes it was definitely the best year for KLYAM. Every year does get better, just look at our label. We put out three more releases that we’re very proud of – Nice Guys/Miami Doritos Splifft 7″, Back Pages – Singles 13, and The Electric Street Queens – Live From Your Dreams, We’re The… and we have more on the way. Just look at our calendar, we went to more shows than ever this year. I counted 85 shows I attended this year, I know for some people that’s nothing, but considering I’m not in a band, I don’t have a car, I’m broke, and don’t live in the city, I’d say that’s pretty good. But hey, it’s not quantity, it’s quality (though we got both!), so here’s my top ten favorite shows from 2014:


10) The Orwells & Twin Peaks @ Great Scott (3/4) – Our dudes, The Orwells always put on a fantastic show and we saw them three times this year, but the Great Scott set was by far the best. Right up against the stage where the action is, no douchebag security guys or broseph stalins, just straight up fun. Oh and who could forget Mario hucking the mic stand into the crowd. Classic. KLYAM Review: https://klyam.com/2014/04/05/review-the-orwells-twin-peaks-great-scott-3414/

Thieves Grotto
9) TIE: Nice Guys & Miami Doritos Tour Kick Off w/ Malportardo Kids and Grave Ideas & Nice Guys, Free Pizza, Ladybones, Dinoczar, both @ Thieves Grotto (2/28 & 11/21, respectively) – This is just one big shout out to the Grotto and Nice Guys. Nice Guys are honorary klyamers and so are Miami Doritos, and we love Free Pizza, we’ll miss those Miami boys. Ahh so much Miami! Guys, pizza, doritos. All the bands are named after food! Haha, but ya Thieves Grotto throws the most insane basement shows and it’s always a party. I wish every show was like these shows. KLYAM Review (2/28): https://klyam.com/2014/03/22/review-nice-guys-miami-doritos-tour-kick-off-thieves-grotto-22814/ & (11/21): https://klyam.com/2014/11/26/nice-guys-free-pizza-thieves-grotto-112114/

Cumstain Boston
8) Cumstain, Free Pizza, Gangbang Gordon (BUFU Tape Release), White Pages @ JP Drive In (8/24) – I still haven’t gotten over this show, not even just the show itself, but the very fact that it happened. Call me crazy, call me wild, call me a cocksucker, I don’t give a fuck. I’ve been waiting to see this band for four years now, I still can’t believe it. It was awesome to finally meet the stains themselves as well. This show is also significant because it was the first KLYAM Presents show in nearly a year and it was my homie, Gangbang Gordon’s BUFU tape release show. Cheers buddy. KLYAM Review: https://klyam.com/2014/09/20/review-cumstain-free-pizza-gangbang-gordon-tape-release-white-pages-jp-drive-in-82414/

NO NO
7) Nobunny, The Hussy, The Fagettes, Banditas, Gangbang Gordon @ Middle East Upstairs (2/4) – NO NO needs NO introduction. It’s always a blast seeing the bunnyman in action, especially in front of a rowdy, sold out Boston crowd filled with tons of my friends. Solid set of openers including one of my favorites, The Hussy, whom made both their Boston and KLYAM debut. A highly memorable show that brought us some joy and warmth in the middle of a shivering, cold ass winter. KLYAM Review: https://klyam.com/2014/02/15/review-nobunny-the-hussy-fagettes-banditas-gangbang-gordon-mid-east-upstairs-2414/

Lipss
6) Black Lips & Natural Child @ Paradise (4/19) – Of course, my favorite band, Black Lips, of course you’d see them here and you’ll see them again my friends. At last, I can finally put them on my year end lists again; we haven’t seen the flower punkers live since 2011. WHATT?! This was also my first time seeing Natural Child, yet another band I’ve been anticipating seeing for years. KLYAM Review: https://klyam.com/2014/05/31/review-black-lips-natural-child-paradise-41914/

Lipskkbbq
5) Black Lips, The King Khan & BBQ Show, Coke Weed @ Port City Music Hall (9/27) –  I always love seeing a show at a venue I’ve never been to before, even if it’s a traditional music hall, it’s still new to me. I haven’t been in Portland (Maine) for a while, so that’s an added bonus. More importantly, this is a KLYAMER’s wet dream bill. Two giants of contemporary garage slime, straight up Rock ‘n’ Roll all in one night. Definitely some of best I’ve seen from the Lips and KKBBQ in years. No KLYAM Review, because my dog ate it. Do kids still say that?

Ty Great Scott
4) Ty Segall, La Luz, Boytoy @ Great Scott (9/19) – At this point in his career, Ty Segall can and will sell out large clubs, but that wasn’t the case this time. The show was sold out, of course, but it was at Great Scott, a relatively small venue. This is Ty here. I never thought I’d see him on that small stage. It was nuts. A vicious set with tunes from all over his career. Why can’t all my favorites just stop here? No bigger clubs (except Middle East). Ty’s the face of our rock ‘n’ roll and this show is a testament that Boston loves him. KLYAM Review: https://klyam.com/2014/10/06/review-ty-segall-la-luz-boytoy-great-scott-91914/

Fall Tour
3) Black Lips, The King Khan & BBQ Show, The Kominas @ Paradise (9/28) – Christ, what a Black Lips whore. You knew what you were getting into when you started reading this. Night II of my Black Lips/KKBBQ Rock ‘n’ Roll Weekend and as you can probably tell the superior of the two nights. In particular, the Lips shined through cranking out golden oldies such as “I’ve Got A Knife” and “Ain’t No Deal” among other classics from all over their fifteen year reign of terror. These Atlantans were as feisty as ever (including newcummer/oldcummer Jack Hines, welcome back Jack!). Speaking of bodily fluids, never thought I’d see Cole peeing in his mouth again, damn I thought that was over after 2006 haha. Best of all, the Lips and KKBBQ merged as one and performed as the gospel supergroup, The Almighty Defenders. I SAW THE LIGHT. Oh and we got to enjoy a beer with some of the guys backstage, also something I’d never expect at the Paradise. I told Jared that I lost my virginity while The Spooks were playing in the background, which is true, he said “Well, cheers to that!”  Yes, cheers.

Dusk
2) Atlantic Thrills (Album Release), Ravi Shavi, Gymshorts, Littlefoot @ Dusk (2/1) – Providence consistently dishes out the wildest shows and this was total debauchery, one of the craziest shows I’ve ever seen. While, I don’t think anyone was hurt (though I had several bruises) I do mean crazy. The word gets tossed around all too often, but this one is up there. Pandemonium. At the very least, just good old fashioned fun. Whether it was all the nudity, moshing, silly string, beer flying, or simply singing along to all the songs we’ve come to know and love, it was a special little feeling you don’t get often and if I could trap it in a bottle and sell it to all of ya’ll, I’d be a billionaire.  And we KLYAMERS have really been waiting for this record to come out, three years now. An epic show with stellar opening sets might I add. What we call in my line of work  a “stacked line up.” Keep up the craziness in 2015 and beyond. KLYAM Review: https://klyam.com/2014/02/10/review-atlantic-thrills-album-release-show-w-ravi-shavi-gymshorts-littlefoot-dusk-2114/

BUFU sch
1) BUFU Fest @ Cambridge Elks Lodge (4/25 & 4/26) – I’ve been to a few local music festivals now, but this one tops them all. Easily the closest to what a KLYAM Fest would look like (Fuzzstival is a close second though). A wide variety of acts being thrust in your face. One moment you’re rocking out to the Nice Guys, the next you’re singing along to ACLU Benefit’s one man show, then the next minute you’re shouting about “living in Boston, Massachusetts” with Free Pizza or you’re caught in a mosh with Guerrilla Toss. I’m ready to do it all over again this year. KLYAM Review: https://klyam.com/2014/06/14/bufu-fest-recap-425-2614/

So, that’s that. As I said before, there were a ton of excellent shows I/we attended this year, I could make an honorable mentions list, but the list would go on and on. At the very least, here’s a list of my favorite bands I saw for the first time in 2014 in chronological order: Littlefoot, The Hussy, The Sulk Scouts, Buttercup, Tacocat, Durt Dog The Band, Natural Child, Juan Wauters, ACLU Benefit, The Ar-Kaics, Beach Toys, Robot Death Kites, Black Beach, The Lemons, Cumstain, (New England) Patriots, Ben Katzman’s DeGreaser, Good Nature (formerly known as Phaze), Ausmuteants, Ursula, Show Me The Body, Buck Gooter, Big Buck Hunter, and Feral Jenny.

Review: Black Lips & Natural Child @ Paradise (4/19/14)

Lipss
Bands: Black Lips, Natural Child
Date: Saturday, April 19, 2014
Venue: Paradise Rock Club (Allston, MA)

This band/show needs no introduction. I usually run through a massive history to introduce my Black Lips reviews, but at this point it just feels redundant. Look all around you. Check out this site and you’ll see what we’re all about… KIDS LIKE YOU & ME – we started five years ago, the same year we first saw the Lips live. Many subsequent shows and excessive fandom have since ensued. Alas, it’s been nearly three years since we’ve seen the band in the flesh. In fact, it was exactly three years ago when we saw the Lips here at the dise; we ventured out for a couple of NYC shows later in 2011. Three long years.

Over these years, KLYAM itself has slowly evolved. With each passing year we have grown closer to the music community as well as carving out our own distinct identity in that same community. Our focus has shifted from bigger (mid level) bands to smaller, local rock ‘n’ roll outfits such as Atlantic Thrills, Fat Creeps, Nice Guys, The Fagettes, etc. The list goes on and on and I can’t recommend all of them enough especially if you salivate over Black Lips and the wild rock ‘n’ roll spirit they embody. Anyway, primarily keeping up with these Boston/New England monsters has forced us into an underground world of dusty basement shows, tiny (sometimes empty) rock clubs, dive bars, or simply hip, welcoming art galleries/DIY spaces. This is the same world our friends the Black Lips were spit out of many moons ago.

If you’re not familiar with the first half of the Black Lips’ career, I suggest getting to know it. See: Die Slaughterhaus (Atlanta house venue in the early 2000s – home to Black Lips, Deerhunter, and a whole scene full of wayward boys and girls and drunken debauchery).  Those were their “underground” years. 1999-2006. 2007-present, the band has become a massive force in the “indie” world, garnering vast media attention, fan adoration – homegrown and international (tours of Israel, India, and the Middle East), not to mention a steady batch of solid albums to back up the acclaim. So, after that lengthy introduction (ahh fuck, I guess I did give an introduction even when I set out not to), here we are tonight and despite our nastier leanings, we still love the Lips as much as ever. Here we go. To the show…

But wait, the doors aren’t open yet! “So call the copssssss” No wait call the Firemen apparently cause “no fire in the 40 Watt motherfucker!” errr I mean “no fire in the Paradise motherfucker! Alright, I’ll quit with the Lips references. Long story short, a fire alarm or something went off in the Paradise, so we have to wait outside for another twenty minutes or so. Fine, we do some catching up with our fellow Lips devotee Travis, reminiscing of past Lips concerts.

Natural Child – I’ve been a Natti Child (that’s what I like to call them, fuck off) fan since 2010, yet I have never seen the band live :(.  They have been to Boston before though. As far as I know, this is their third show. Their first appearance was under the radar, seeing that the band was playing at a house show in Allston (Twin Towers) in November 2011 and damn I missed it. The second time was at Great Scott also in Allston in July 2012 and I was out of town that week. Now, NOW is my time. Though, I’m still a Natti Child fan, I’m more enamored by their older, more aggressive, punkier, material which always had a lovely flavor of country to it. Nowadays and for the last couple albums, these Nashville dudes are 100% country fried. This is cold country to the bone. Very chill, relaxed, like sitting on your porch, smoking a pipe, maybe a spliff, perhaps listening to the splifft – the Nice Guys/Miami Doritos splifft 7″ that is, available through KLYAM Records ;). OR simply listening to the rad eee ohh, leaning back and sipping down that smooth whiskey whilst discussing your thoughts on the Vietnam War with your buddies. It has that laid back feel to it.

The crowd appreciates Natural Child as do I, but at best there are some slight movements, a little dance here and there. I myself am mellow in my admiration. I don’t recognize any of the tunes, but I still enjoy their performance as a worthy introduction to the Lips and as a long time fan of the band. I would have liked to have heard more (if any?) earlier, 1971 (2011) era Natti Child, but that’s alright. Lastly, the band has grown in numbers since I last checked them out – there’s now an additional guitarist and a pianist. Yessir, I can finally cross Natural Child off my “Bands To See Before I Die” list.

Black Lips – The excitement, the awe, the anticipation, the moment, the memory. The Black Lips are my favorite band of all times, if that hasn’t been made abundantly clear by this point. This may not be the Middle East (the venue in Cambridge) nor 2009, but hell it’s still a rollercoaster for me. One thing does disrupt my rollercoaster ride, however, and that is this dumbass guardrail that serves as a mighty trench between the stage and the people. It’s a fascist barrier and kills some of the vibes, but we manage.

“Sea of Blasphemy” (Let It Bloom, 2005) is still the choice opener and as always that kicks off the hurricane of bodies smashing back and forth into each other. The foursome slither into Arabia Mountain (2011) classic “Family Tree,” then transition to a new cut “Drive By Buddy” from their latest LP Underneath The Rainbow (2014). Cole lends his vocals to all of these ditties and Cole does well in his raspy, punk slimy, Cole way.  Though Cole ain’t the only one belting out the leads…

We get served a full entree of Joe numbers. Dude bops the skins and screams his heart out without a second of hesitation. The look of exhilaration and pleasure on his face is the heart that pumps the band and the audience as a whole. Or for a less flowery, more flower punky metaphor, the drummer is the power bottom of a rock show. He (in this instance) is limited by his position, seated all by his lonesome, way in the back. YET! he generates the power of the music. He is the dominating force that fuels the entire room’s  adrenaline. It totally comes through tonight.

You have Joe’s lead vocals on killer hits like Let It Bloom’s “Not A Problem,” a tune that seriously gets the crowd all riled up and singing along, “Buried Alive,” (Los Valientes Del Mundo Nuevo, 2007) a consistent smash whenever they happen to unleash it, the big chart topper, “Bad Kids” (Good Bad Not Evil, 2007), rampant dancing machine inducing “Go Out and Get It” (Arabia Mountain, 2011), and most recently, UTR’s “Justice After All.”

If you’re a Jared man, well then you’re loving some real electrifying tunes. Jared takes control on “Modern Art” (Arabia Mountain) and “O Katrina!” (Good Bad Not Evil) arguably two of the finest, most accessible, and certainly memorable songs from their entire catalog. By contrast, the Lips bust out a lesser known jam and rarely played one at that in “Punk Slime” (Let It Bloom). This one features J Swill on lead vocals and it’s a personal favorite as it is from my favorite Lips album from my favorite era of the band. More importantly, it is the KLYAM anthem – as we quote “PUNK SLIME ALL OF THE TIME!” It’s our “slogan,” and like the name Kids Like You & Me, we’ve taken it and mutilated it into our own.

Jared also provides the leads on a new song known as “Smiling,” (Underneath The Rainbow) one of the few songs I actually enjoy from the new record. Oh what, you thought it was all cock sucking around here, didn’t you? didn’t YOU? Well, everybody loves a cocksucker, but they’re not getting one. Yeah, I’m not as big into this record as all of the others, but that’s okay. This is not an UTR review. “Smiling” gets me going though.

I didn’t forget about my main man Ian. Always one for words, Ian spreads his arms open and thanks “all the fans.” He explains that they have been playing rock ‘n’ roll all along. Amen brother. Ian takes care of the lead vocals on his song “Make You Mine” (Underneath The Rainbow) and honestly he has the most polished vocals of all the members, while still retaining a rough, not ready for top 40 radio voice. Screw em’. It’s only rock ‘n’ roll.

Going back to Old King Cole Younger for a bit, he may be the most animated Lip. Hawking loogies and frolicking to and fro with his guitar. He is the lead vocalist on most of the tunes tonight and always gives the group its raw delivery. While I’m not as into the new song “Boys In The Wood” (Underneath The Rainbow), I love all of the essentials like “Raw Meat” (Arabia Mountain) and “Dirty Hands” (Let It Bloom) – the perennial sing along, Lips anthem if there ever was one. I love how Cole holds out his hand as if he is holding a joint when he utters those immortal words “Me and Bobby went to the beach this Summer, we built castles in the sand and smoked DOPE by the water.”

“Hey baby, I’d love to hold your dirty hands.” Better yet let’s make out and then I’ll make out with your friend and then I’ll watch the two of you make out together. Well, this happens to KLYAMER Glen. Very nice and at a Black Lips show may I add. Speaking of the crowd, the participation is sound, though it seemed crazier in the past or maybe it’s just me? There’s a lot of newbies, which is actually great. Convert em’. Bring your young. Though, I can tell some folks look lost when they play oldies such as “MIA” and “Ghetto Cross” both of which feature Cole on lead vocals and appear on their 2004 trashy masterpiece We Did Not Know The Forest Spirit Made The Flowers Grow. Jared even refers to “MIA” as an “old song.” It has been over a decade since its conception.

Per usual the band closes (or is it second to last?) with the band’s most recognizable song “Bad Kids” only to return for a quick encore featuring a rendition of The Almighty Defenders’ “Bow Down And Die.” For those poor, unconverted souls out there, the Defenders were a punkified gospel supergroup featuring Black Lips and The King Khan & BBQ Show circa 2009/2010.

Another Lips show for the books. I had a blast, one of the best shows all year, but it’s not the same. I feel like it can never be the same again as those initial Lips live experiences 3-5 years ago. It’s like the excitement of Christmas morning or an annual family vacation. It’s hard to reignite that same spark that drove you crazy in years prior. That sensation wears off as you get older. And now being wrapped up in local, underground music the feeling of warmth and intimacy in a show is a quality I greatly desire and one rarely obtained at bigger rock shows such as this.

Nonetheless, the Lips rule, forever my favorite. I can’t wait to see these Atlantans again with The King Khan & BBQ Show!!! What a double feature, a true rock ‘n’ roll show coming to you this fall…

I recognize that this is an extremely long review, but thanks for reading if you are reading. I hope you had fun. Ultimately, this is for my own collection. Documentation. Whether you can proudly hold the first Die Slaughterhaus pressing of “Ain’t Coming Back” 7″ (2001) in the palm of your dirty hands or you just got turned on to Underneath The Rainbow through your hip friend, OR you tapped into their discography somewhere in between like us (2008 for us). Whatever the case may be, I hope you’re having fun and appreciating all of the wonderful music being made around you, regardless of internet hype, fame, or peer pressure. It’s only rock ‘n’ roll.

Punk Slime All Of The Time.

Set-List (by album):
We Did Not Know Forest Spirit Made The Flowers Grow (2004):
“MIA”
“Ghetto Cross”
Let It Bloom (2005):
“Sea Of Blasphemy”
“Dirty Hands”
“Not A Problem”
“Punk Slime”
Los Valientes Del Mundo Nuevo (2007):
“Buried Alive” (though Sea, Dirty, and Not also appear on this live recording)
Good Bad Not Evil (2007):
“O Katrina!”
“Bad Kids”
Arabia Mountain (2011):
“Family Tree”
“Modern Art”
“Raw Meat”
“Go Out And Get It”
Underneath The Rainbow (2014):
“Drive By Buddy”
“Make You Mine”
“Justice After All”
“Boys In The Wood”
“Smiling”
ENCORE
Non Album:
“Bow Down And Die” (The Almighty Defenders “cover” from The Almighty Defenders, 2009)

Am I forgetting anything? Let me know. Overall, a diverse set list with songs from all over their fifteen year long career.

Check out this video of the Lips playing “O Katrina!” at the show. Shot by KLYAMER Joanna!

SHOW ALERT: Black Lips & KKBBQ Show in Portland,ME (9/27/14)

Holy fuck… Black Lips and The King Khan & BBQ Show are joining forces this fall for a big ass tour. Only a few dates have been announced and one of them is being held at the Port City Music Hall in Portland, Maine on Saturday, September 27! We’ll post the full tour dates as soon as we hear them. Mark Sultan had this to say on his facebook page: “so… as you may have seen already, my band ‘THE KING KHAN & BBQ SHOW’ will be touring with our longtime pals/brothers BLACK LIPS this coming fall in North America. it is your introduction to our new band name, too. and after these dates, we’ll be hitting the west coast with some extra special guests in tow! psyched! i’ll announce all of the dates in the next few days.”

Black Lips – Cole and Jared

APRIL 2013 013
The King Khan & BBQ Show

“This is some 2005 shiz, 9 yrs later. Dats Waz up.” – Glen

Black Lips’ New Album: Underneath the Rainbow! / “Boys in the Wood”

black lips rs
Photo by Mick Rock from Rolling Stone

Damn, it isn’t every day that you hear your favorite band is releasing a new album! Our favorite dudes Black Lips are releasing a new country/southern rock droolin’ LP on March 18th entitled Underneath the Rainbow. Oh and if you haven’t heard (where the fuck have you been?) Black Keys’ drummer Patrick Carney produced some of the thang. Check out the track list below:

1. “Drive By Buddy”
2. “Smiling”
3. “Make You Mine”
4. “Funny”
5. “Dorner Party”
6. “Justice After All”
7. “Boys in the Wood”
8. “Waiting”
9. “Do the Vibrate”
10. “I Don’t Wanna Go Home”
11. “Dandelion Dust”
12. “Dog Years”

Now, we just need to get Cole, Jared, Joe, and Ian to come back to Boston!

SHOW: Night Sun @ 529 (1/30/13)

Night Sun 529

Yo, Night Sun, Cole Alexander and Curtis Harding (pictured above) w/ fellow Black Lip Joe Bradley and Danny Lee  (of Night Beats).  Y’all know. These soul brothers are hitting up the 529 in Atlanta, GA on Wednesday, January 30. I don’t live in or anywhere near Atlanta, if you don’t go to this show then it’s like a slap in the face to me. Do iT!