Live Review: Nice Guys & Free Pizza @ Thieves Grotto (11/21/14)

Nice 7

Heyyooo hey hey, it’s the Thieves Grotto’s 69th anniversary or something like that. Hats off to those straight shooters and all the memories they have created over the years. I saw the Nice Guys and Miami Doritos tour kick off at this very place some time ago, that was a tasty swell if I ever saw one. Now, here we are November 21, 2014. Crazy to believe it’s twenty fourteen. Wild times. The police are trying to kill me, Ted Bundy’s been laughing at me, Charles Manson’s getting married and I’m not getting laid! It’s not even Thanksgiving and I already feel full. Luckily, there’s a show, several shows on the horizon. Time to kick back and rock and/or roll with some of my favorite bands, local and otherwise.

This is my second time here at Thieves Grotto and tonight is a flashback to my first experience, those equally frigid times circa February 2014. Indeed, I froze my ass off on the walk here, wearing merely my leather jacket and my Cumstain shirt beneath. Ironically, one of my cleanest dirty shirts. I kept the attire on the lower end, having remembered how sweaty this place can be in the midst of all the hysteria. Most basements can get toasty at times, but hell this place is body to body packed, so it gets HOT, especially during the sets.

The Grotto has their shit down pat, a whole crew. Right as you walk in they’re right there at the door for the donations. On top of their shit and rightfully so cause this place is huge in a way. Its as if this is a scene from some hip, mumblecore flick and the director wants to capture a house show. It’s the Great Scott of basements, if you will, housing rosy cheeked, eager students and a series of twenty somethings whining about the work week, desperately missing their own college days of yesteryear.

Upon my arrival, Lady Bones are blasting away and they sound decent. I can’t see much if anything, however, so I virtually miss their set. Apparently, Dinoczar has also played as well. This place takes their set times seriously, on top of their shit.

Fortunately, KLYAM Records’ own Nice Guys are up next. Before they begin, a young gent busts out a few acoustic tunes and some beats including a cover of the Chili Peppers “Under The Bridge,” which riles up the anticipating crowd. I didn’t catch his name, but if you attended the show and know who he is or you are him (what up), then by all means let us know.

Off to Nice Guys! Damn, I love those few seconds before a crazy set is about to begin. It’s like being on a rollercoaster and getting strapped in for the ride. You can see where the ride will take you and it’s about to set off any second, but this very moment is exhilarating all by itself. The moment of anticipation.

The dudes kick it off with a new banger that is as feisty and catchy as ever and as I suspected, the crowd goes ballistic. It’s non-stop, slamming and blamming back and forth to all your favorite Nice Guys hits and one Andy Kaufman number where the Soul Eater shines.  I TRUSTED YOU. The moshing is a lot of fun and it really makes the songs that much more enjoyable. I’ve seen 20+ Nice Guys shows and unfortunately I can’t say all of them are this nuts. That isn’t a knock against the band at all, but even in basements audience appreciation is typically much mellower. Here, you could be tossed from one side of the room to the other and I love it. So do, the Nice Guys themselves, thanking the Grotto on several occasions throughout their performance.

Cheers to more off the wall Nice Guys shows in the future (leans back and pounds 40 ouncer). Now you’ve heard it from me before and you’ll hear it again, pick up the Nice Guys/Miami Doritos Splifft 7″ from KLYAM Records: http://niceguys666.bandcamp.com/album/splifft-7

Free Pizza – Dayemmm son, first Nice Guys, now Free Pizza, dayemmm, devour these mouth watering slices before it’s too late. Yep, Free Pizza, one of Boston’s finest and a personal favorite are leaving us very soon for Miami, FL :( .  Now, there’s teardrops on my pillow and telephone, I cried for four hours last night. As they (and Nancy Kerrigan) say WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? But, it’s alright, at least we have these last few, precious shows. COME ON EVERYBODY, LET’S HAVE SOME FUN! It felt like a caps locks kind of moment.

The Free Pizzas – Jesus, Santiago, and Nick open their set with a cover of Ramones’ “Havana Affair.” Crazy song, crazy lyrics, just reminds me of how fucked up the Ramones really were. At least, it’s not as disturbing as “53rd and 3rd.”

Much like every band that apparently plays at Thieves Grotto, the kids are flippin’ and floppin’ about during Free Pizza. Though, it’s not as rambunctious as it was during Nice Guys or I’m in a less chaotic place in the basement, who knows? I have a nice spot right up front, holding on to one of the amps for dear life.

Songs about Boston, Massachusetts, ducks, and love ensue. Good times had by all. See these slices before they are eaten by that Miami monster I call Ricky Martin. http://freepizzarocks.bandcamp.com/

They’re playing with Nice Guys and The Monsieurs on Friday, December 5th at the Cantab Lounge for The Monsieurs Record Release: https://www.facebook.com/events/542009525942992/  HOLY SMOKES! BATMAN THAT’S A GOOD SHOW!

Review: Burger Caravan of Stars @ Brighton Music Hall (10/29/14)

Review by Joanna Trachtenberg

OK folks it was now time for round 2 of the Burger Records Caravan of Stars. The first round happened last year when The Growlers, Gap Dream, Pangea and a few other megastars did the tour. Tonight Pangea were returning this time as HEADLINERS! Pangea have finally hit the big time. They have toured the world. They have a record deal with a label which may or may not be major. Ok enough about them now. We’ll get to them later.

Starting the show were Puerto Rican punx AJ Davila y Terror Amor. I was sorta familiar with their stuff because I knew of AJ Davila from his other band Davila 666 who I saw a few years ago. They brought the energy. Too bad there wasn’t a bigger crowd to see them. I’d say that Mozes and The Firstborn were probably the most psych band of the night. I saw them back in February opening for, you guessed it, Pangea and they were really good then. They were fine now as well. There were times however that I couldn’t hear the vocal as well as I hoped but I never blame the band for that. Now it was time for Cherry Glazerr to make their Boston debut. I had been looking forward to seeing them for a while now. They were the first band to bring a real crowd. Their songs are lofi fuzz-pop about things such as cats, grilled cheese and other sweet topics.

The Coathangers were now up to rip shit up. Playing mostly tracks from their 2 most recent releases they banged hard through their set. There were times when band members switched instruments and everyone got in on the singing and shouting. After their set I was chatting with some of the members. I found out that one of the girls in The Coathangers was the sister of one of the members of The Hiss who were one of the more underrated garage punk bands of the 2000’s. Pangea played all their hits to finish the show. They played what I would expect to hear from them including Badillac, Sick Shit, Offer, Too Drunk to Cum and River. At the end I bought another Burger button and I can officially say that I am a Burger Bitch!

Review: ACLU Benefit, Big Buck Hunter, Nice Guys @ Weenie Hut (11/22/14)

ACLU Benefit is on stage at the Weenie Hut, nothing new for Noah, whose been playing his bitingly honest music for decades. It’s only in the past year or so that I have had the fortune of discovering and seeing Benefit play. I say fortune because his performances are spectacles. No outrageous antics – more like a community, participatory atmosphere led by a tall, deep voiced dude on electric guitar. He guides fearless sing-a-longs “It’s a lonely lonely world, it’s a lonely lonely world” and “We will hold you when you fall down” and “BEEEERRRRRRRR” and “Everyone is going to die”. Written after the passing of Robin Williams. I typically feel uncomfortable in these situations and so do you, but there’s something about just not caring and enjoying life’s special moments. ACLU Benefit makes it all well and lively. If I had my way, I’d want him to play a set at every show. Every time I write about ACLU Benefit I have deja vu about writing about ACLU Benefit. I’m satisfied with that. This set was my favorite I have seen – the mixture of new songs and old standards and Lil B MIT lecture references. World music fans (not the genre but like everyone), there’s a real gem here.  Old and young, college student or veteran Axis attendee – you’ve been missing out or you’ve been missing in. [BANDCAMP]

Back to their home after a tour with Sun Young…the Big Buck Hunter trio. Nah maybe foursome, thanks to Kurt’s trusty tape player that was somehow perfectly timed with the band’s set. Not really sure how that came to be, but it was a perfect addition. Buck Hunter’s all over the map stylistically speaking, comedic dissonant pop through and through. Something like “Garden” is a real big, big tune. A mover; it never lets you settle down. That’s admirable. Kurt transforms into guitar hero status early and often, economical playing in tough times. Keyboards hold things down for the most part, but even that dude isn’t afraid to venture off on his own. As long as there’s Couch (drums) powering through, always bearing an acute sense of timing and brute. There’s not really a Boston comparison to ’em though Sun Young (who we missed tonight, damn!) are outstanding complements. At times I felt like I was watching the Grateful Dead Pavement Redux and there ya go I never saw either of them, but pretty sure I’d have a good old time. [BANDCAMP]

In a hallway in a basement two nights a row seeing Nice Guys that’s what we do here at KLYAM. They even got a set-list this time. They’re “Legit”. Well, so the night before last, that was Friday Night at Thieves Grotto. I don’t know what they give the kids there, what’s in that magic marker that brandishes you a number upon entry. But for some good reason, it’s always packed and there’s always some serious moshing and fun when these Nice Guys start wailing. They can go up there and cover who knows, Kaufman’s “I Trusted You” with drummer Soul Eater on vocals and everyone goes ape shit all the same. Well, I think that review is coming soon from Chris, so I’ll stick with last night at the weenie hut. A bit more subdued affair at the hut but the sound and passion, the oozin rampant punk it’s slightly addicting if not more. For no bullshizz rock ‘n roll, these guys remain at top of the Pyramid around here. They’ve played a ton in 2014 so the word tight might come up but really anything can happen. No crowd member is ever safe as this is something of a lively bunch, willing to bring the show to your face. [BANDCAMP / KLYAM RECORDS 7″ ]

So we missed Sun Young and Rosie and the Rosies. Click on their hyperlinks

Review: Meatbodies, Purling Hiss, Krill @ Great Scott (10/28/14)

Meabodies

Written by Joanna Trachtenberg

I just saw the band that probably had one of my most anticipated albums of the year, The Meatbodies. I knew their frontman Chad from his work with Ty Segall, Fuzz, Mikal Cronan and Pangea. This was their first full tour to the northeast. They were joined by hard hitters Purling Hiss and local rockers Krill.

Krill was up first. I had never seen Krill before but I knew friends that were fans of theirs so I had a feeling that they’d be good. Krill sound like a cross between the Lo-fi indie bands of the 90’s & early 00’s ( i.e. Pavement, Modest Mouse, etc) and 90’s emo. This was back when emo was actually good, not like the dumb emo kids you have today. I liked them and they appear to have quite the following around here. It seemed more crowded when they were playing than when the headliners took the stage.

Purling Hiss muddled this show. From what I’d heard of them prior to seeing them they reminded me of early grunge and Lo-fi punk mixed together. Their new album which they played most of their set from is probably their most mainstream accessible album to date. Live they sounded like a louder, dirtier version of Dr. Dog (whom they have toured with before). No one in the crowd seemed more excited to see them than Sam from Boston Hassle who has booked them before for Hassle shows.

Meatbodies – Now it was Chad and his boys from So Cal’s time to shine. They rocked out just about all the songs from their self titled debut album. One song that they didn’t play was The Master which is probably my favorite song on the album. About midway through the set they had technical difficulties where Chad had to borrow one of the opening band’s guitars. He also had to disconnect one of his pedals because it was not functioning properly and making some awful static. Towards the end of their set they did a cover of The Stooges’ Search and Destroy. They said they were practicing it for an upcoming Halloween cover show. This was the second time this year that I have seen a band cover that particular song. Back in June I saw Kenny Wayne Shepherd and his band cover that same song. It was nice to see him show more of a punk side. Back to The Meatbodies now. Their 45 or so minute set of punk slime certainly pleased me and made me want to see them again which I did two days later when they created a shit storm with Diarrhea Planet.

Review: JEFF The Brotherhood, Diarrhea Planet, The Monsieurs @ The Sinclair (10/17/14)

JEFF
Flier by Alina Sabirianova

Written by Joanna Trachtenberg

I knew from off the bat that this show was gonna be wicked. Megashredders JEFF the Brotherhood and Megarippers Diarrhea Planet. Opening were the local power trio The Monsieurs. Their brand of trashy lofi garage punk excited the crowd. Their singer, Andy MacBain had quite the swag as well. They just put out a new album and for sure it will win them a Grammy in 2015. They have a lot more shows around the area so czech them out!

Next up was the band that I will affectionately refer to as the Shittiest Band In America. Yes that’s right it is Diarrhea Planet! This was my first time seeing them which I am kind of surprised because they have come around quite a few times. They have 4 different guitarists riffing it at once. This also makes them super loud. Their stage moves rival Andy MacBain’s for best of the night. During one song their had their friend, photographer Pooneh Ghana play with them on stage and they showed her all the moves. They ended their set by taking us all back to the summer of 1997 by covering Third Eye Blind’s Semi Charmed Life. I must say they totally killed it with their violent diarrhea.

Diarrhea Planet Set List:
Raft Nasty
The Sound of My Ceiling Fan
Separations
Ghost With A Boner
Orange Girls
Lite Dream
Kids
Semi-Charmed Life

DP LIVE VID!: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t4apmBwWXkA

JEFF the Brotherhood aren’t their normal selves any more. They are no longer a duo (or at least live they no longer are.) They are a four piece band now and they played the whole show as a four piece. Last time I saw them they played half the show as a duo and the other half as a four piece. I miss the simplicity of them just being a duo. I just felt it worked better for them. They still sounded quite tight though. They did a number of my favorite songs of theirs such as Melting Place, Heavy Krishna & U Got the Look. They even threw in a few covers of Beck’s Totally Confused (which appears on their new covers ep Digs the Classics) and Rush’s Working Man (which does not) As always JTB get a great crowd in Boston. For their last song, the aforementioned Rush cover they brought out The Wizard. The Wizard sang as JEFF played. For some reason I knew it was going to be a magical night from the beginning and this just topped it off. Afterwards I shot the shit with a few members of Diarrhea Planet and they told me how they recently got high with Rikky from White Fang/The Memories

JEFF The Brotherhood Set List:
Voyage
Mellow Out
Melting Place
Heavy Krishna
U Got the Look
Black Cherry Ale
Totally Confused
Bummer
Staring at the Wall
Hey Friend
Sixpack
What’s A Creep
The Ripper
Working Man

Review: Ty Segall, La Luz, Boytoy @ Great Scott (9/19/14)

Ty Great Scott
Bands: Ty Segall, La Luz, Boytoy
Date: Friday, September 19, 2014
Venue: Great Scott (Allston, MA)

Boytoy – I’ve never heard nor seen these knickerbockers before, but apparently at least one of the members is originally from Boston or at least was a part of the Boston music scene some time ago. Alright, we’ll give them that. I would have preferred seeing a local band such as one Nice Guys, but it’s all good, Ty Segall is playing tonight!

I get my typical spot right up front and center for Boytoy. I wouldn’t have it any other way.  I spend most of the set mildly rocking out, if you will. Swaying a bit to and fro, doing the headbob. Most of the crowd looks like they could use a big buck of water splashed upon them; I guess like myself everyone is just waiting for Ty to hit the stage.

I like Boytoy’s set as a whole. Poppy, easy to get into, but doesn’t cut too deep for me. Reminds me a little of Boston’s Mean Creek and I have similar feelings for them. Not too shabby, but not something I’m in love with either. In any case, check them out here: http://boytoy.bandcamp.com/

La Luz – Alas, I missed most of La Luz’s set and what I did see I was way in the back for. I’ve heard a lot of positive things about this Seattle band from reputable sources i.e. friends and musicians, whose taste in music I respect.  Based on what I’m listening to now on their bandcamp, it sounds like they have a soft, surf/dream pop feel to them. Brings to mind Dum Dum Girls and local favorites Littlefoot. Give it a listen: http://laluz.bandcamp.com/

 Ty Segall – The full band arrives on stage. The classic line up, y’all know. Emily Rose Epstein on drums, Charlie Moothart on guitar, Mikal Cronin on bass/vocals, and of course the man man himself Ty Segall on vocals/guitar. These aliens/glam rockers, I mean glam rockers are pretty much aliens anyway, are introduced by a gentleman in a white cowboy hat and suit known as Jimmy Longhorn.  Jimmy speaks of Boston glam legend Lou Miami (early 80s) to an antsy and puzzled crowd. You mean to tell me you fuckers don’t know LOU MIAMI?!Ahh I probably wouldn’t either if it wasn’t for Papa Georgio. Okay, back to the present.

Ty is the global ambassador for rock ‘n’ roll. Mmmhmm. At the UN, he represents rock ‘n’ roll. He stands proudly, shredding his guitar and bringing peace and unity across all the countries. Maybe not… yet.

For one thing, he has a legion of followers or let’s say dedicated fans. Followers makes it sound like we’re all ass kissing wannabe cult freaks. Needless to say, Ty’s done well for himself and he’s pretty fucking big at least by my standards. He may not be mainstream, but he’s up there and at this juncture in his career I honestly would have never thought I’d see the dude headlining Great Scott, a 24o capacity venue. He could sell out Middle East Downstairs, The Sinclair, Brighton Music Hall, Paradise, hell even *cringes* the Royale no problem. On a Friday night to boot! I saw this guy and his cronies sell out Great Scott on a Monday night last year in his band FUZZ.

At this level, Ty playing Great Scott as a regular tour stop seemed unthinkable. Unfair even. There’s at least a few hundred more fans that missed out on his performance, because Great Scott is a relatively small venue. With that being said, I’m grateful to be seeing the dude and his band in such a comparatively intimate setting. I’ve seen him a few times before including a visit to Brooklyn’s outdoor venue, The Well, and that was a behemoth, a thousand or more fans in attendance. So yeah, you get the picture, being up front here with the small stage, mere inches away from the band is an entirely different experience.

Without digressing, I also want to mention that this is the band’s first time back in Boston since playing the Homegrown Festival four years ago. Welcome back sir! Ty even acknowledges this absence and apologizes for it. I don’t know why, it’s been so long, but who cares you aliens are here now and that’s all that matters.

From beginning to end, the set is a banger. Ty, Mikal, Charlie, and Emily never waste a second, rarely interacting with the audience, instead letting the music speak for itself. The crowd goes nuts as one can expect. A constant barrage of moshing, crowd surfing, stage diving, the whole nine. As a pint size punker (ehh, I’m not really a ‘punker’ I just love alliteration) I find it difficult to maintain my front and center spot, but I manage. A friend even comments on this following the show, asking how I was doing, “you took a few blows,” ahh nothing I can’t handle at this point.

I’ve found that Ty typically plays newer material at his shows and that’s perfectly fine with me. While Melted (2010) will probably always be my favorite Ty record, I’m more than excited to hear the freshest dish of raw, guitar grit he has to offer from his latest LP Manipulator. Indeed, the bulk of the set is music from the latter album and one of my favorite moments is when he plays the song “Feel,” ohh we feel it Ty.

Naturally, I go berserk (in the best possible way) when he whips out some of the vintage cuts such as “Standing At The Station,” “Skin,” “Girlfriend,” “Imaginary Person,” “You’re The Doctor,” “Thank God For The Sinners,” and an unexpected highlight in “The Drag,” a personal favorite.

Anyway you can take it, Ty is king. At the same time, he’s just another dude like you and me. Err, I mean kid like you and me ;). Ok, ok, I”ll wrap this up real quick. Point being, he’s not too cool to stop and chat with hundreds of fans including one Gangbang Gordon haha.

Until we meet again, thanks for one of the best shows all year and simply ever…

If you weren’t here, then you missed out!  At least you can check out this video from youtube user FrontRow Poster:

 

Review: Robot Death Kites @ Neverland (7/11/14)

RDK

“You’d like us if you were in Junior High.” These words appear on Robot Death Kites’ bandcamp page. I’m thinking… yeah, I would totally dig these dudes if I heard them in Junior High. Their music is extremely angst fueled and like so many of my peers I was pissed off all the time. Bullies, asshole teachers, gym class, math I dunno you get my point. Times sucked and I used music as an outlet to get through all that hideous shit. Robot Death Kites sing about bigger bullies and assholes. Evil corporations, sycophant yuppies, and Starbucks fiends. Depraved souls.

These fellers hail from Brooklyn, New York and I first heard of em’ two years ago when I too was roaming the street of Brooklyn, hungry. Seriously though, that wasn’t just a cute metaphorical phrasing. I actually was hungry, I hadn’t eaten in hours and it was around dinnertime; I was in town for a Nobunny show.

So waltzing down some lonely street in Brooklyn I bumped into a man in a chicken suit wearing boxing gloves. He led me to an odd, little restaurant known as Mama Joy’s. Long story short, the chicken turned out to be Dylan aka Snuggles. We bonded over tales of Gay Gardens shows and mutual tastes in music. He revealed himself as the bassist for this here band Rainbow Dream Kittens better known as the mighty ROBOT DEATH KITES.

Now, that brings us to the present day. Robot Death Kites are back in Boston and they’ve brought a tape with them – Yuppie Nightmare – their latest and greatest effort. The recordings are crisp and cool. You may catch yourself dancing along to the music at home alone, giving your junk the old plunk, the old one, two tug. Smash a few holes in the wall, empty another case of PBR. But, that’s not as fun as seeing these ruffians in the flesh dangling in front of you and more than likely resting their sweaty skin on top of your wee body.

Before the set begins vocals guy Otis aka Sunshine runs outside to rally the troops and round up as many men, women, and children as he can. About twenty or less bodies are present before Otis, Jon aka Artichoke (guitar), and Vinny aka Booboo (drums) rip through their set.

Robot Death Kite is pure spectacle. Otis is dressed in his mum’s Sunday best, a real top notch black number (he eventually slimes down to his skivvies), holding a red telephone as his microphone. Dylan’s face is covered in a set of fine pantyhose. Scrumptious. Don’t be misconstrued now. These guys have the guns to back up the glamour and they fire off a string of skull cracking tunes that gets the small, but enthusiastic crowd all riled up and ready to blow off some steam.

These miscreants really do put on a fun show. Their songs are angry and angst ridden, but the performance is anything but; if anything it’s an excuse to go ballistic, like you needed one, right?  It’s Atlantic Thrills meets Guerilla Toss meets Rage Against The Machine if they were a basement band. Speaking of which, a basement is the perfect place to see Robot Death Kites, I can’t imagine it any other way. There’s just something about knocking back two PBRs and clutching your third in the midst of a mosh pit, whilst a convulsing Dylan Death Kite leans back and shreds his guitar in the middle of the pit on the cold basement floor.

Definitely a must see. We’ll have to get these fine, upstanding gentlemen back in Boston again sometime soon. It’s a pleasure to finally meet some of you dudes and bring home a few bruises in the process. Fuck it, you don’t want to leave this world without any scars.

LISTEN UP: http://robotdeathkites.bandcamp.com/

Does anyone have any videos from this enchanted evening? I’d love to see them. Give the dumbasses that didn’t attend a chance to see what they missed out on. Ahh well, here’s a vid from Boston Hassle of the band’s set at Gay Gardens (RIP) the last time they were here. Enjoy.