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.
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…
“Ha Ha Ha” (Flipper cover)
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