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…………………….

Show Review: The TeleVibes, Future Spa, CHARLIE, Ben Tan @ Cantab Lounge (1/16/15)

Charlieee
Bands: CHARLIE, Future Spa, The TeleVibes, Ben Tan
Date: Friday, January 16, 2015
Venue: Cantab Lounge/Club Bohemia (Cambridge, MA)

KLYAM is back at the old Cantab Lounge, specifically the basement known as Club Bohemia, where all the action and then some happens. It’s dark, it’s dank, and looks like a leftover from the 70s, but that’s just the way we like it. As Carl on The Simpsons says, “The dank Moe, the dank!” You’re never going to get rid of the dank, don’t even think about it. It’s in the basement where all of the best stuff is born and wreaks havoc. Case and point, this evening’s show.

CHARLIE –  CHARLIE is a three piece consisting of Dan on vocals and bass, Tim on vocals and guitar, and Steve on drums. I haven’t seen these dudes since last April’s BUFU Fest or possibly at a rambunctious Robot Death Kites basement show last Summer, twas so rambunctious, both beer cans and brain cells have been diminished. Suffice it to say, it’s been too long.

“MAXIMUM VOLUME YIELDS MAXIMUM RESULTS” – CHARLIE’s bandcamp. Very true. CHARLIE lives up to this motif in their music and that is especially true live. I usually like to stand as close to the bands as possible, but I held back a little for this set. I want to preserve whatever is left of my eardrums, I lost my ear plugs to boot. I’m one deaf bastard and these are LOUD MOTHERFUCKERS. I love it. Even though, it’s so heavy, it’s not noise. It’s tough for me to describe these fellas. You can hear the vocals quite well, actually everything, every nuance of each instrument. It’s different.

If I had to compare them to somebody I’d liken them to Shellac, but with some more grooves in there. They’ll throw in those grooves and weird ass soundz to spice it up. My bro compares Dan’s vocals to those of the dude in Dillinger Escape Plan. I haven’t thought about that band since 9th grade or something like that, so maybe. I’m positive I would have dug this band as a ranting, pimply faced, anarchisto angst driven teenager. There’s definitely a healthy amount of aggression in CHARLIE, an undeniable aggression, but it’s also calm and controlled at the same time. And maybe schizo like their potential namesake, Mr. Charlie Kelley. This may be the kind of music people huff glue to, dunno, that was never my thing. They did cover a Flipper song though. I’ll be seeing CHARLIE again very soon.
http://charlieisgnarly.bandcamp.com/

Set-List: Titled “CHARLIE Rok ‘n’ Roll Set” and written in sharpie on the back of the cover of Linda Ronstadt’s Heart Like A Wheel record…
“Peru”
“Recall (Total”
“Mothers”
“Ha Ha Ha” (Flipper cover)
“Daved Linch”
“CHARLIE”
“Hard Carpet”

Future Spa  –  Oh yeah pal, KLYAM goes way back with Future Spa. We first had the pleasure on a cold evening in the basement of the Starlab. Mark Sultan was in town that night and we were ready to take off into his cursed world. Future Spa played before the BBQ and as I recall I was impressed with their jittery, snotty take on garage punk. It was like a garage band actually in the garage, practicing Black Lips and No Age tunes. I’ve seen them a couple of times subsequently, they’ve grown substantially. It’s still muddy though and that’s the way I like it. In fact, actually the last time they played and the last time I saw them was six months ago at Starlab Fest. Alas, I only caught a couple of songs of that performance, but here we are now and I’m ready to go.

Some of the dudes are decked out in costumes with bandannas and afros and other shit. Contrary to their own claims, Future Spa doesn’t suck and they garner some of the best crowd reception all night. They play a batch of old and new tunes including a haphazard, but lovable cover of Roy Orbison’s “Oh, Pretty Woman.” The newer songs definitely have some psychedelic taste and add a bit more of a pop sense to the loony garage mish mash. And by newer I mean like seven or more months old. I lost all sense of time. I hit my head on the DeLorean and now I don’t know if it’s 2015 or the alternate 1985.

Fortunately, it doesn’t matter what year it is, because the sounds are coming from all over the ages and beyond. Future Spa is certainly an underrated Boston band and one that is keeping the punk slime flowing around these streets. Catch them lurking around Somerville or your town or on here: http://futurespa.bandcamp.com/

The TeleVibes – Yes, definitely one of my favorite bands around town. Here’s a band that just puts you right in the mood to freak up and fuck out. It’s all that time spent on Salisbury Beach or the lean streets of Rowley; we could use some sweet Summer night music in the midst of the icy cold January. Short story: riveting, smooth, yet heavy psychedelic pop cradled with modern day garage punk. If you dig Ty Segall, Thee Oh Sees, and any surf band, then you need to hear this. Long story: the rest of this “review.”

If the music didn’t speak for itself already, The Lysergic Factory Lightshow amplifies the sensations of enormous 60s psychedelia. As the Tellies play flashes of every purdy color you can think of is projected behind them. You know it. To the right of me, Mr. Charlie Loring is smoking one of those E Cigarettes or Vapes or whatever. Haha, I thought at first they added a smoke machine, until I moved up closer to the front of the room. Indeed, with the light show and smoke and people starting to move and groove a little, the night shifts into a euphoric atmosphere resembling the 60s in some fashion.

But, it is 2015, I think and The TeleVibes are playing. The Tellies. I jolt back and forth between their proper moniker and my vaguely established nicknames. Admittedly, I am not exactly a professional writer, but I am a professional. I just don’t like writers. I wouldn’t even call this a review, except I don’t know what else to call it. A reader, a critic may gripe “don’t you think it is wise for a young man to stick to one topic instead of bouncing from one to another to another?” Perhaps, but the show must go on. I know what I’m doing, I just haven’t steered the boat in it’s direction, let me steer the boat in it’s direction and we’ll arrive safely back to shore, the Northshore, where The TeleVibes await us.

They are an animated bunch, but not in a ridiculous way. I feel you could definitely bring these kids home to mom and dad and they would be cool with it. “Ohh, you play in a band? That’s great.” But, maybeee something else is up. They’re not quite hippies, but they look like they could be on the road (no pun intended) to becoming hippies. Scott’s beard, Charlie’s frosted hair, oh and the music. That’s probably the dead give away.

Whatever it is, this trio, ohh yes they are a trio in case you wanted to know: vocals, guitar, bass, and drums, you gotit – whatever it is, this band generates a feeling of warmth deep down in the bowels of my dirty soul. Splash to and fro in these waves, let them engulf you, you won’t drown here. http://thetelevibesofficial.bandcamp.com/

Ben Tan – My main man, Mr. Billy Joel. OHH GOD NO! Thankfully, Billy Joel couldn’t make it and I’m currently dating Christie Brinkley. More importantly, my buddy Ben Tan is closing this evening’s festivities and he brought along a pal of ours, Brian Hickey on drums. I’ve seen Ben several times now and this is the first time he’s been accompanied by a drummer. Ben is seated, masterfully plucking away at the keyboards like Brian Wilson or any other madman. Brian is a steady drummer, always great, but I feel the drumming doesn’t work as well with some of Ben’s softer pop numbers. This isn’t a knock against Brian as I feel this would be the case with any drummer. But, with some of the speedier tempos (not too speedy though) the drums are fitting. Regardless, it’s still a pleasure to see Brian behind the kit tonight.

As with every Ben Tan show, the gentleman busts out a random hit or two, past or present. I think he mutters “TURN DOWN FOR WHAT!” So, it must be that song. I don’t really know that one, but I’ve heard it in passing. It gets some of the crowd moving though, even a mini break dance competition. We went from Woodstock to 24 Hour Party People, where has the time gone? Huh?

Next time, I’m going to request, NO, DEMAND, Ben plays “You Light Up My Life.” That song gives me shivers and makes me feel sick in a very awesome way. http://bentan.bandcamp.com/

A MASSIVE THANKS TO CHARLIE, FUTURE SPA, THE TELEVIBES AND BEN TAN FOR PLAYING, LYSERGIC FACTORY LIGHT SHOW FOR MELTING OUR MINDS, ALL OF YOU SWEETHEARTS THAT ATTENDED, AND TO THE CANTAB LOUNGE/CLUB BOHEMIA, MICKEY BLISS AND CREW! WE’LL BE SEEING ALL OF Y’ALL VERY SOON…

NEXT KLYAM SHOW IS TONIGHT!!!: https://www.facebook.com/events/813886121991254/?ref=70

 

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.

Show Review: URSULA, Feral Jenny, Trophy Knife @ Lasthaus (12/13/14)

Last
Bands: LAST FEST featuring: Speedy Ortiz, IAN, Couples Counseling, Dent, The Sulk Scouts, URSULA, Feral Jenny, Trophy Knife, Ellen-Siberian Tiger, Trashbaby
Date: Saturday, December 13, 2014
Venue: Lasthaus (Allston, MA)

There was an all day music festival held on this day known as LAST FEST organized by Casey Herz among others. These are the bands that KLYAM saw at the fest…

Trophy Knife – Trophy Knife is Mona Maruyama on “vocals n floor tom” and H. Rose Parry on “guitar n loops.” Mona wears a ski mask and shrieks and smashes the floor tom while Rose shreds each chord. Together, the sound is harrowing and deranged, appropriately complementing the music’s disturbing subject matter. All or most of the songs seem to be in reference to sexism, rape, and general violence against women.

At one point in the set Mona initiates the whole crowd in chanting the word “YES.” She goes on to say “That is the sound of affirmative  consent. This next song is about Bill Cosby.” She often sings and speaks directly to audience members and the set as a whole is equally exciting as it is uncomfortable. The band is locked in the performance and they have the people under emotional arrest. This is also one of their first shows I believe (correct me if I’m wrong) and I look forward to seeing where they go from here. http://ttrophyknife.bandcamp.com/releases

Feral Jenny – I was recently having a conversation with my good buddy Anthony about our favorite current bands and Anthony mentioned Feral Jenny, a band I had never heard before. He saw them play a show at Church with IAN (who is playing their last Boston show later tonight), Flat Swamp, and Gracie a little while back and was apparently blown away. Soon thereafter, co-KLYAMER Glen started listening to Feral Jenny and echoed Anthony’s notions, so I finally said let’s give it a go. Needless to say, I’ve been listening to the Feral Jenny bandcamp ever since, anticipating seeing the band for the very first time tonight.

I’m glad my first time seeing Feral Jenny is at a house space such as one right here at the Lasthaus. Feral Jenny’s set helps give off those warm, fuzzy feelings that I often feel in this kind of atmosphere. The band itself features Jenny on vocals and guitar and she’s backed by two other chums on bass and drums. They have some garage rock leanings with a fair amount of dream pop. It’s like if Elliott Smith, Jay Reatard, and Bradford Cox had a baby. Wow, that would be an interesting night.

I’m still somewhat of a newbie to the Feral Jenny, but I’m really digging “Say The Word” and “Law  & Order,” both of which are played tonight. For the last song or second to last song, I can’t remember, the band does a switcheroo and everyone trades instruments, with Jenny on the drums. Check out Feral Jenny here: http://feraljenny.bandcamp.com/
Set-List:
“Do Right By Me”
“Say The Word”
“You Let Me Fall”
“Let It Rot”
“Law & Order”
New Song
“It Makes Me Sick”

URSULA – Glen and  I are massive URSULA fangirls. It’s hard to describe our excessive fandom, it sometimes freaks out lame people. URSULA comprises of Sonam on drums and Caity on vocals and guitar. Thus far, we’ve seen them only in Boston basements, such as this place and I’ve seen them here three times now. The pair tear through a sheering, slimy set filled with songs about watching Home Alone and something about your fucking mother. I particularly adore Caity’s ravenous yalps. Always get me.

Sonam gets everyone singing MOTHERFUCKER MOTHERFUCKER MOTHERFUCKER from their monster hit “Cavegrrl.” Motherfucker, that’s a funny word when you think about it. Like goldfish and Milwaukee.

There’s an odd, off kilterish vibe to their music. It’s sort of simple and rough around the edges, but that’s part of the charm. It’s minimal and messy. They’re a young band and you can feel the magic (which I usually can’t) and the ambition you can only find when a project is in its infancy. It’s exciting. http://ripursula.bandcamp.com/

Hey some videos shot by the man himself Ethan LLoonngg:

 

Show Review: The Monsieurs (Record Release!), Free Pizza, Nice Guys @ Club Bohemia (12/5/14)

The Monsieurs LP
Bands: The Monsieurs, Free Pizza, Nice Guys
Date: Friday, December 5, 2014
Venue:Club Bohemia (Cantab Lounge basement) in Cambridge, MA

Nice Guys – Sheeet, I’ve never seen Club Bohemia (the Cantab Lounge basement) so packed, it must be sold out. People are using their heads for once in this crazy old world. Coming out to support a killer local rock ‘n’ roll show. This here is easily three of the best rock ‘n’ roll animals in the land of Boston on tap. Kicking it off right is our KLYAM Records bad boiz, Nice Guys, so I guess they actually aren’t bad boiz or maybe they are because everything is backwards in this crazy old world. Good means bad, stop means go, thou shalt not kill… unless you really, really feel like it. But, these guys here, they wouldn’t kill a fly, unless it flew into one of their bongs ahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah. SHUT UP!

Nice Guys errr ahhh here we go, these cats, these guys rumble. A swift kick in the nads. That’s their music. If you wanted a description, that’s what you’re going to get. That feeling you get when you get kicked square in the nads, it’s like that, but pull back a little. It’s that full on attack, but without the pain and misery. Needless to say Jake, Matt, Alex, and Cam make it personal. They get right in your grill. They get it right.

Lord knows what the fuck I am talking about at this point, but it’s all about the emotion. Stuttering fucking Stanley. The fucking emotion. It’s all there and yet it’s not sappy at all or sensitive in any way. In fact, so much music isn’t the Nice Guys, that it feels great when you hear the Nice Guys, because it’s like a vacation from all the other shit. With Nice Guys, it’s about the rockin’, the sockin’, and maybe a bit of thee olde shockin’. You don’t take a Nice Guys song and win back your girlfriend by plinking it on acoustic guitar. Buttt, there is far more to life than just smoking and fucking and partying. True. Well, actually is there? Yes, there is, I suppose. Christ, I’m so indecisive. Maybe, if we all just got really fucked together, we’d all be okay. It’s a thought.

I have to catch myself before diving too far into a nonsensical rant. Nice Guys is where we left off, those cream muffins. They sing and scream about bad cops. “Fuck the Police, fuck racist cops” says vocalist/guitarist Alex as they rock into “Cop Walk.” True that brother. Alex is a ruffian and he makes his way into the crowd and all around the place, even literally playing “in a hallway in a basement.” Yeah!

The dudes play my favorite Nice Guys song “Jamaican Vacation,” which Glen and I have been waiting to hear for quite some time. Not just because it’s on the piece of wax we put out, but because it’s one of the heaviest and angriest in their set and it lifts right off – it’s a tickling riff. FAST FUN FUCKING NOISE! Thanks for playing it and being Nice Guys, you fucks. Listen to this shit: http://niceguys666.bandcamp.com/album/splifft-7

Free Pizza – Sadly, yes y’all must already know our beloved Free Pizza is leaving us and if you don’t know, then now you do.

Free Pizza, along with Nice Guys and Monsieurs, are top tier Boston rock ‘n’ roll and I want you to know that. If you miss their show before they head back to Miami,FL, then you missed out son.

For their song “Freedom Forty,” they always grab a punk from the crowd to sing guest vocals. This time it’s our bad boi Timothy Manns and he belts out the vocals hardcore style like a pro. That’s Tim and that’s Free Pizza, for the people, we are the people. I hugged Free Pizza Santiago and told him he was my rock ‘n’ roll comrade. It’s true, you all are. Nick and Jesus too. I know I’ll see you guys again, but here’s a shout out: http://freepizzarocks.bandcamp.com/

The Monsieurs – And now the main event. THE MONSIEURS ARE HERE. Yo, and it’s their self-titled record release! Yeah, pick up that puppy from Black Gladiator or Slovenly. I’ve been eagerly waiting to hear this monster, I’m gushing with excitement. This is the cream of the crop as far as Boston rock ‘n’ roll goes. They’ve got the sludge, the slime, and all the hooks to back it up. The band on record is a blast to the balls, for sure, but the live show is a whole new beast. I’ve only seen the band twice for some reason, once at the Brighton Music Hall (opening for King Khan & The Shrines) and another time at Church for Illegally Blind’s Boston En Masse. Both times, they sounded sweet, but the crowd was sparse and mellow. Tonight, it’s a different story.

Andy Macbain (vocals, also of Tunnel Of Love/Marty Kings), Hilken Mancini (guitar, also of Shepherdess/Fuzzy/Marty Kings), an Erin King (drums, also of Where My Beat Be At) all together are a menacing machine of mighty punk slime proportions. It’s a KLYAM man’s kind of band. Erin and Hilken rock out on the tiny Club Bohemia stage, as Andy Macbain (shirtless, reppin’ a black leather jacket though) prowls his way into a sea of bodies. He often does this with the whole mic stand in hand, it’s his weapon, as he takes on the world. Man, never cracks a smile, he’s on business. Like GG says “My mind is a machine gun, my body is the bullets, the audience is the target.” AIM! Andy is like GG, if GG never actually went through with all the messy stuff. If GG just put the vibe out there, but never went through with his antics. He’s a force, the rock ‘n’ roll animal.

Initially the crowd is stiff, but as Andy slithers around, he ignites a mosh pit. He even crowd surfs; it’s probably the most successful crowd surfing I’ve ever seen. Teamwork. Most of the time people fuck up.

Well, well this show really hit the spot and I walk away jovially carrying my new Monsieurs record! If you haven’t heard this thang or seen the band live, you have some serious homework to attend to. Don’t make me tell you twice. http://themonsieurs.bandcamp.com/

Live Review: ACLU Benefit, Bong Wish, Willy Mason, Goat Of Arms @ Lilypad (11/29/14)

Willy
Bands: ACLU Benefit, Willy Mason, Bong Wish, Goat Of Arms
Date: Saturday, November 29, 2014
Venue: Lilypad (Cambridge, MA)

ACLU Benefit – Mr. Benefit is one of our favorite guys around Boston, no shit. I don’t mean to ass kiss, but it’s true. We’ve had the pleasure of catching him two weeks in a row. Last week was at Noah’s (Mr. Benefit) favorite venue in Boston and possibly the whole world, the Whitehaus. That show was superior (more environmental, can’t compete with ACLU in a basement), but this doobie is on the level.

Everyone is seated, gazing as Noah in sweat pants (I think) starts to strum his guitar. He invites anyone up to the front and Glen and I make our way, why not? Noah’s voice calmly roars – an oxymoron that is amazingly accurate. Ahh those deep baritone vocals start to serenade the audience. He’s got the “mmmmmmmm” down pat, rivaling Calvin Johnson, Adam Green, Leonard Cohen, and that Crash Test Dummies guy. I’m way too lazy to actually look his name up, come on now.

The set begins with “Love Your Family,” one of the dude’s strongest hits. It should be a hit and Noah could play in front of thousands, but then it wouldn’t be as fun. It would lose those campfire, sing along vibes that are a vital part of any ACLU Benefit set and is what largely separates the man from most other singers and performers.

Audience participation is key and as Glen mentioned in his review last week or whenever that was, you feel the desire to sing along more here than you typically would in other performances. Often, singers will ask everyone to sing along or say this word/phrase over and over again or clap or tap or do this or do that and I just don’t feel it. It feels like they’re just trying to get a crowd going and that’s fine, but it doesn’t feel like a real moment for me, it’s not really about me or anyone else in the crowd, it’s about the singer, it’s about the band. When Noah asks the crowd to sing a line or clap their hands together (which is minimally requested and he also suggests stomping, which I prefer!) it matters.

Many of his songs are seemingly written with an audience in mind, meaning a physical group of people singing a certain part, otherwise the songs don’t work. A chief example is the classic (alright, alright I’ll do my best to lay off the ass kissing) “Love Of My Life.” Noah instructs us to sing “Love of my life, I’ll never get over you” the entire song while he sings his own thing, eventually joining us in what becomes the chorus “Love of my life, I’ll never get over you.” It’s hard to articulate it in print, but trust me it’s riveting. You’ll just have to see it and sing it for yourself at an ACLU Benefit show coming soon to you.

A more professional writer would have gone out on that last line, but I’m not a professional writer. Thank God. “Don’t worry about professional, worry about it being good” – Ian Mackaye. Thanks Mr. Mackaye.  Anywho, another terrific and distinguished quality to an ACLU show is Noah’s constant interaction with the audience. This is in addition to all of the sing along instructions and so forth. Before, in the middle, and after songs, Noah converses with the crowd, often recounting stories that led to the creation of the song, and not in a boring lecturey way or corny “unplugged” way, God I hate that shit. He tells a different story each time he plays and in this way you never see the same ACLU Benefit show twice. With most bands (even the best I’ve seen) they end up doing the same stuff practically every time, it’s only natural, and even Noah isn’t totally free of this, no one is. Here though, hearing these amusing little anecdotes and seeing how they bounce off the crowd makes for a fresh experience.

ACLU Benefit provides a range of emotions, ultimately uplifting. There’s a striking amount of humanity in Noah’s music and in particular in the performance, where the songs really come to life. I know that sounds hackneyed, but in this instance for the reasons stated in previous paragraphs, it’s true. These songs aren’t just Noah’s, they’re for everyone in the room.  He’s the Bill Hicks of music, transcending their given medium and reaching out into the audience and becoming one. It’s a catharsis. More on this Bill Hicks comparisons in future “reviews” I assure you. I’m a nut.

I vowed to not suck too much cock in this review and I failed. I’ll think of something negative to say. He closes with a new song called “Everyone Will Die,”(not exactly the most life affirming in his catalog, but not the most depressing either) a number he claims is an awful closer. I agree. A good tune, just not a great closer. That’s all I got for now. KLYAM LOVE. http://aclubenefit.bandcamp.com/

Willy Mason – I didn’t realize until now Willy Mason has made quite a name for himself over the last decade. He’s a big deal apparently. On Virgin and EMI and shit. I had never heard of the man or his music until tonight. Willy plays guitar and a woman delivers backing vocals. He plays a bluesy, folksy country set and tells tales of touring and travelling. About halfway during the set, Willy is accompanied by Noah Bond on guitar and Jesse Gallagher on drums. In the words of Forrest Gump, that’s all I have to say about that. http://www.willymasonmusic.com/

Bong Wish – This is my first Bong Wish, though this certainly isn’t my first time seeing Mariam Saleh rock out on guitar. I’ve seen Mariam a million times before in Fat Creeps and she’s brought along a friend, a Bongette, Ana Karina Dacosta of local groups, 28 Degrees Taurus and Slowdim. It’s a slower, mellower set, though from what I am told they usually have a full band or something like that. They even throw in a Fat Creeps jam, “Last To Know,” an oldie I had actually never heard live until now. http://bongwish.bandcamp.com/

I only catch a couple minutes of Goat Of Arms, before I have to depart. Ahh well. A pleasure as always at the Lilypad.

Live Review: Gangbang Gordon, Miami Doritos, Ben Tan @ Club Bohemia (11/28/14)

klyam 28
Bands: Gangbang Gordon, Miami Doritos, Ben Tan
Date: Friday, November 28, 2014
Venue: Club Bohemia/Cantab Lounge (Cambridge, MA)

Ben Tan – It’s been exactly a year (well shave off five days) since I’ve seen my homie Bad Boy Tan play a solo set. Welcome back brother. He begins the show with his guitar in arms and tapping away with one foot behind the bass drum. I think it’s a new tune or simply one I’m less familiar with, who knows?

Following the first number, he abandons the drums altogether and comes closer to the crowd; BBT upfront and personal. He strums away on the guitar, singing a song about “Marielle” and life with the “Upper Lower Middle Class Blues.” Classic BBT.

Next up are the keys, the core of BBT’s work. This is where he truly hones in on his Brian Wilson influence. I sound like frigging Patrick Bateman describing his music. The guy from American Psycho. This is where the sweet, softer songs kick in, tunes such as “Come Out” and “Dance The Night Away.”

As in my previous BBT experiences the last few songs are reserved for cover songs and any other special audience requests, within reason. Much to my amusement and pleasure, the bad boy belts out covers of The Carpenters’ “Superstar,” The Beatles’ “Martha My Dear,” and R. Kelly’s “Ignition (Remix).” With the last song, he even has the lyrics down to a tee, including the opening lines: “Now, um, usually I don’t do this but uh….” Sharp, sharp guy. http://bentan.bandcamp.com/

 Miami Doritos – Well, look who it is, couple of doritos on the loose from Miami, eh? Yes, yes sir. Whenever I tell people that I have a band on my label (KLYAM Records, in case you’re a wiener and didn’t know) named Miami Doritos they usually chuckle and say “that’s a good name,” those exact words. They roll over and laugh and nearly die due to the unending hilarity that ensues. One fella even said to me “boy, I’d sign them based on the name alone.” True story.

Alright, now that we all had a laugh or a wince, let’s get down and dirty, if not outright filthy. Kurt (throat & axe) and Alex (skins) are the savage duo behind this mess. Ancient Greek gladiators. These two can cause a real commotion, you’d think there was three, four, or five guys tugging away. A mini mosh pit even erupts, a quick little pick me up, that’s right.

Miami Doriots are a metal machine, it’s as if Metallica and Slayer molested Phil Spector. You see what I did there, haha haha, what a funny guy.

Among the chart topping bangers in the Miami Doreets catalog, I request “Bike Cops,” I in fact scream it at the band as an encore. It’s simply one of those tunes that makes me feel okay with the world, even though it’s a totally shitty world. Yeah. Others request “Price 2 Pay,” a tune that appears on the Miami Doritos Splifft 7″ w/ Nice Guys on KLYAM Records. Hey! check it out here: http://miamidoritos.bandcamp.com/album/splifft-7\

Gangbang Gordon – Is the name Gangbang Gordon inherently offensive? I don’t think so, but that’s not my problem. I mean who is Gordon anyway? That’s part of what makes the name NOT offensive to me. If it was just Gangbang, maybe. Probably not though. Then again, I was under the impression that a gangbang was a bunch of people fucking a lone, but willing participant. I thought when it was rape it was called a Gang Rape. Recently, I looked up the term Gangbang and apparently it could go either way. Regardless, it’s understandable if you feel uncomfortable by the name (feeling uncomfortable is part of the GBG charm), but rest assured no harm was intended. GBG (we’ll just go with that) is so oblivious to everything anyway. That brings me to my main point or at least one of them. I have no interest in actual music reviews.

Oblivious, yeah I like that. Awkward perhaps. Nauseating maybe? Or just plain old fun. GBG is self-described “outsider tard rock ‘n’ roll.” One man’s ambition to make rock ‘n’ roll music within the confines of limited technique, inability to “properly” sing, and somewhat ignorance in terms of the history of the music he is trying to emulate. Picture it on stage (or floor): GBG squeals and huffs and jerks off his gutiar, whilst his co-gangbangers drop loads of magic on “noise guitar,” bass, and drums. Ben Tan returns as Mr. Tambourine Man or better yet Benny the Bunny(he slaps on a pair of bunny ears). Nobenny! Haha!

Ahhhh right, going back to the weirdness, it’s crucial, a GBG set is like no other. Think or say whatever you wish, but you can’t say you’ll see this same performance somewhere else, at least I never have. The typical mantras spouted in the underground (and sometimes aboveground) world is “hey you can do this too!” “anyone can make music!” Whether it’s The Kingsmen, Ramones, Beat Happening, Black Lips – the idea is a few blokes get together, make some noise, bash away till they can adequately play… to be able to play a show and so on and so on. Most of the time, it’s something shitty, but they have their shit together. They really do. They’re adequate as hell, even if it’s incredibly shitty. You’ve seen this band before, you saw them five years ago, you may have seen them five days ago, you’ll see them again, you’ll probably see them five years from now. They never stop. Same band, different name, different faces. NOW, GBG is not this band.

They do not have their shit together. It’s as if every member, every banger, is playing their own individual show. Don’t get me wrong there are songs, this is music. Eschew any nonsense GBG spews about it being non-music, that’s a cop out for the music sounding odd, which it does. Trust me, I’m friends with the guy. The man, the myth, the legend. Well, it could be considered non-music, I suppose, but it’s not some lame, ironic, art house project. Fuck that. It’s entertainment, there’s songs, they are played for your entertainment. GBG flops to and fro in a peculiar fashion in front and frequently within the audience for their enjoyment. He’s well aware that there are people in front of him watching, paid their money, and have other things to do. You often see bands (like the shitty ones I alluded to earlier) that are up their playing and they’re not moving or saying anything or doing much at all. Damn, did I miss something? Do you owe someone money? Is some miscreant sticking a 45 to your head and saying GET UP THERE AND FUCKING PLAY. What a bore. GBG’s music may be comparatively inept, but he sure is an entertainer. He’s quite aware of what he’s going through.

Seemingly, anything can happen during a GBG show. There’s this, dare I say BEAUTIFUL element to a GBG show. It’s a certain atmosphere rarely tapped into by other lads. Everyone stares, perhaps head bobs, Mario Epstein dances his ass off, but legitimately anything could happen and it wouldn’t interrupt the show, the show would keep going on. Someone could waltz over in the middle of the band, drop their trousers and take a steaming dump right in the middle of the set and it wouldn’t stop the show. It may result in some glares and naturally people will pinch and/or cover their noses… but it wouldn’t ruin the moment. It would just be like ohh that’s Bill. Bill comes in around 14:32 and takes a dump. That’s part of the show. Similarly, songs often abruptly end OR they don’t know when to end. Regardless, the crowd typically has no clue when one is beginning and one is finishing.

Let’s hope they never finish. GBG: http://gangbanggordon.com/

So, that’s that. This was a KLYAM Presents show and we are more than grateful for all of you fine individuals that played this show, attended it, or even if you wanted to make it, but couldn’t or didn’t, whatever! WE THANK YOU. And of course a big thanks to Mickey Bliss and the Cantab/Club Bohemia for having us. We’ll be back very soon! Keep your eyes peeled…