Miracle Johan – Green 17

“Antoine Walker! Antoine Walker! Antoine Walker! Welcome hoooooome”
Sings Miracle Johan over a gutsy self-produced medley of sound effects, and one passionately laid down drum track. And such was the start to a four year, one-of-a-kind creative streak that began in 2005 when Antoine Walker was traded back to the Celtics after stints in Dallas and Atlanta. So just as Danny Ainge, the boss of the team, had vowed to rebuild the C’s and get a 17th banner hanging in the rafters of the Garden, so did Miracle Johan eventually make a vow: to record a song for every player on the roster of our beloved basketball team until they got that Championship. Weird, yeah, but we’re talking Miracle Johan.

He was easing himself back into 4-track recording after having played bass in the western Mass. band Bears. In his words, he recorded a “weird instrumental using crash cymbals as hi hats and was going to put vocals down when I realized I had no idea what I was going to sing about. Antoine’s first game back after the initial trade was happening that night, so I just sang about that (assuming I’d someday return to do something more serious over it).” So what did he do? He showed some friends his creation and mustered up the courage to post the song to Celticsblog.com in a very 2005 “Hey-look-what-i-found-on-the-internet” way.

His friends made him a Myspace and a second song “I Swear to God I’m Funky” was in the works. This one was about seven foot, gum-chewing center Mark Blount. Miracle Johan raps from the perspective of Blount. Brilliant. What I love about these songs: they are raw, imperfect recreations of moments in time. I was a teenager writing about the Boston Celtics on my Boston-sports themed website when I first encountered Miracle Johan. He would join my staff and write some amazing articles, but at the same time he was leading a charge of what some may call Outsider Music; Miracle was amassing from scratch a four volume musical of his thoughts on the Boston Celtics in real time. And, these were real heady tunes, something collectively closer to underground punk rock/hip hop than anything seeking approval via formula or precedent.

One example of the spaciest of space jams: Dan Dickau, the not oft-remembered reserve guard, sings on Volume 2: “sitting in the hospital bed. Used to play basketball, now I’m learning how to play the guitar. It’s a good, good thing that I don’t don’t need my ACL to jam out on the guitar.” Miracle Johan’s Dickau is either a brilliant Jandek or a talentless hack, but more likely messed up on meds as he sings of “A Zillion Ponies.” Miracle’s songs displayed, in his own words, “musical evolution,” and the variety over the years certainly displays this.

So there’s “Scabs,” the redhead current Boston Celtics analyst/broadcaster Brian Scalabrine who needs very little introduction. White Mamba is a legend among basketball fans around the world. Not the most gifted player (career average 3 points per game and only 61 total starts over 10 years), his personality and hustle is/was A+. Miracle Johan paid fun tributes to him with the tough-guy jam “Hard Rock Life” (featuring a more than on-point guitar solo and overall virtuoso playing) and the french horn elementary throwback “Awesome O’Clock”. Scal, if you haven’t heard these, check these out now! Right now!

The one constant each year was a song for future Hall of Famer and hometown hero Paul Pierce. First was the “Return of the Truth,” which has Pierce rapping: “This city’s more than irish pubs and bars, you want proof? I’ll show you about a dozen scars, I’m the truth.” Pierce sounds optimistic about raising another banner to the roof, but patience is a virtue they say. The next year freaking Paul Pierce informs us in “No Media Love” that he knows he’s one of the best players in the league. Any other chatter about him is irrelevant. Well, until he got injured during the 2006-2007 season. Pierce was hampered with foot and elbow injuries and the Celtics ended up losing eighteen straight games, a franchise record. Something had to be done. Over a spacey synth sequence, Pierce wonders, after the awful season has ended, in “Nowhere to Go But Up”:

“Am I really the captain of a team with the second worst record in the entire NBA? The most celebrated franchise in the entire history of the NBA. And now it has nationally been criticized and accused of tanking to get a high lottery pick? Are you serious? This is the Boston Celtics.”

We all know what happens next. Danny Ainge ‘wisened up” and made some deals to “be at an elite level”. Banner 18 level. Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett. The Big 3 they were called. An unstoppable force with a 66-16 record. “A Whole New Pierce” speaks of the new team dynamic that got everybody excited. Things were much easier with proven all-stars playing next to and bringing the best out in Pierce. At the end of it, there’s a snippet of Naismith Hall of Famer Bob Cousy, who did some commentary alongside beloved announcer-duo Mike Gorman and Tommy Heinsohn. With the Celtics off to a 7-0 start to the season, Cooz asks “Why does it seem like a lot more fun so far this year? Why are we smiling a lot more?” We all know the ending: they won it all. And ten years later (earlier this year), Pierce’s #34 got raised to the rafters at the Garden.

The up-and-down and all around events year-in and year-out gave Miracle plenty of material, but there was usually a little scrambling as Miracle found himself in the quagmire of devoting free time to the endeavor, not to mention recording VHS copies of every game (to use for sampling the commentary of Mike and Tommy). Miracle’s lyrics could almost be analyzed as separate from the music, as listeners are presented with engaging captions of the season and all of these player personalities. Different and more exciting than reading a blog or watching a post-game show on TV. A solid supplement or stand-alone endeavor!

So you’re wondering: how popular was Miracle Johan at the height of his game? Other than real life friends and in Celtics message board enclaves, Miracle got around a bit. One day he noticed a gigantic spike in his daily PureVolume listenership: 3,000+ listens. What’s the story with that, he wondered. It turns out his page had been linked to on a Bill Simmons’ ESPN daily links posting. Not bad. A couple other noteworthy media mentions turned up: his friends in The Mobius Band name dropped him in a Pitchfork interview and more locally, the Boston Phoenix hunted Miracle Johan down, invited him to a game, took his picture, and next thing you know: a feature story was published. (The Boston Phoenix shut down in 2013 and with it came down the article, which had also been posted online.)

As for the actual Celtics – were they bumping Miracle Johan in the locker room? Rumor has it, yes. Maybe. Perhaps Justin Reed (rest in peace) passed along the legend of Miracle Johan after they had a chance meeting in the bowling alley adjacent to MJ’s high school reunion. The Celtics second round draft choice Reed just so happened to be at Kings Bowling Alley. Miracle mustered up a bit of old fashion bravery, approached the big dude with the goatee and eventually slipped the baller a link to his PureVolume. Wild!

The legacy of Miracle Johan is that damn, some guy actually did this. And he did it so good. He inspired me in my own home-recording adventure, reminding us, much like Kevin Garnett did after the Celtics won: ANYTHING IS POSSSSSSSSSIBLEEEEEEEE. Heck, he might have also inspired a Paul Pierce commercial on ESPN. A passion and a sense of humour wins you championships. Scalabrine knew that. Miracle Johan did, too.

To commemorate the Boston Celtics championship run in 2008, to celebrate all of the music that Miracle Johan created since he began the project in 2005, and to optimistically anticipate Banner 18, KLYAM Records is proudly releasing eighteen, four tape box sets of Miracle Johan’s music. Each individual volume/year will be available as well! All of Miracle Johan’s Green 17 and other recordings dating back to the late ‘90s (special shout out to the Hawaii Demos) are streaming on Bandcamp!

FAT CREEPS are BACK! Playing Lilypad This Friday (9/2); Released Two New Songs

@ Great Scott – 11/4/2012 – Photo By Papagiorgio


FAT CREEPS
are back!!!!!!! A brief history lesson for those who don’t know and some reminiscing for those that do: sometime in the year 2011, Gracie and Mariam from the North Shore of Massachusetts formed a band called Fat Creeps. Their first show was at Bangkok Paradise restaurant in Salem, Mass. FC earliest stuff is primitive, raw, no wave. Just some friends having fun was the vibe – whether wearing a helmet at the Elks Lodge in Cambridge or covering Louie Louie at the OAH Hall in Peabody (these were pre-KLYAM attending shows, by the way). And we picked up on that from the very first time we saw them at O’Briens. Which was April 13, 2012. I believe it was the band’s first show with Jim on drums. As Chris wrote:

” Kids need to hear Fat Creeps! Their energy and attitude is always present. I recognize some of the songs, which I want to point out as another trait that separates Fat Creeps from most bands I see: their songs are easily recognizable. I only had to hear some of the songs once for me to remember them tonight, a rare quality indeed.”

Thus began being super fans. If anyone recalls, four years ago, we went on a bender of their shows, seeing them every chance we could. Writing about each one on this very site. And others were taking notice as well; I remember reading an article about them on The Metro as I took my train ride to work. They self-released their debut EP that summer. This album blew us away and inspired us to start our own record label, KLYAM Records, to release it on 10″ vinyl. Around that time Feeding Tube put out a 12″ featuring “Dad Weed” and “Daydreaming.” In 2014, their first full length LP Must Be Nice came through via Sophomore Lounge.

Come to their first show since Fuzzstival 2014 — FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 2, 10 PM, at LILYPAD in Cambridge!!!!!!!

FB EVENThttps://www.facebook.com/events/1589049528062353/

Oh and to stir up your excitement even more, the group has posted two new songs to their BANDCAMP. “IN LOVE” and “MAN IN THE WINDOW”. Check ’em out!!!

*SHOW TONIGHT*: Nice Guys, Black Beach, Jacques Le Coque, GBG @ Club Bohemia (4/17)!

Jim Bohemia
Flyer by Jim Leonard

Hello local mischief makers, boy do we have a shoe for you tonight. Tonight, tonight, at Club Bohemia (Cantab Lounge basement) in Central Square, Cambridge, KLYAM Presents: Nice Guys, Jacques Le Coque (CT), Black Beach, and Gangbang Gordon. 8:30 PM, $8, 21+ sorry kids :(  Facialbook event Page: https://www.facebook.com/events/748501435268691/

It’s been nearly two years since we’ve seen our punk slimy Connecticut brethren in Jacques Le Coque, but now they’re back and with a new record, may I add. Hooky (King Pizza), pick that sheet up at the show and listen to it here: http://jacqueslecoque.bandcamp.com/ I WANT YOU TO GET SOME COQUE!

Joining the Coque, will be some local ruffians if I ever saw any. I’d like to give a shout out to URSULA first though, they were originally scheduled to play this show, but couldn’t make it due to illness. :(, we send our best wishes their way and you need to LISTEN to them immediately: https://ripursula.bandcamp.com/
Filling in for them is bizarre noisemaker, occasional hipshaker nonmusician Gangbang Gordon. https://gbgordon.bandcamp.com/ Playing a quick solo set to warm y’all up for…

Black Beach is a newer band to me, but one that has consistently shaken my soul with their aggressive brand of psychedelic garage grunge mish mash. Picture The Doors partying in a van with Mudhoney and Nirvana. Throw in some blistering surf rock for good measure. http://blackbeachma.bandcamp.com/
A fantastic addition to the messy, care free rock ‘n’ roll embodied by fellow Bostonians in Miami Doritos, Midriffs, and…

KLYAM Records’ own Nice Guys. Needs no introduction or explanation. Look thru the archives sucka. http://niceguys666.bandcamp.com/

TONIGHT!: THE PREFAB MESSIAHS MAXI-EP RELEASE SHOW @ MIDDLE EAST UPSTAIRS!!!

Prefabs poster
At last, we are here. I remember being away on vacation last July, when I received a message from Trip Thompson about doing a potential collaboration with Burger Records in releasing The Prefab Messiahs’ first material in over 30 years. I hit play and was serenaded by those Eastern influenced guitar licks on the opening track “SsydarthurR.” It’s eight months later and I’m still spinning or screaming. That screaming sound is probably me or you or kids like you and me. Ahh, see what I did there? Ahh.

But yes, us kids are collaborating with Fullerton, CA’s Burger Records to bring you The Prefab Messiahs’ Maxi-EP “Keep Your Stupid Dreams Alive” and the record release show is tonight, March 19th, at the Middle East Upstairs in Cambridge, MA. The Prefabs will be joined by next KLYAM Records releasers, The Barbazons (formerly known as The Fagettes), Secret Lover, and Fedavees. Fedavess go on first at 9. Be there early! 18+ $10. Presented by Illegally Blind & Kids Like You & Me.

You can order a 10″ vinyl record here: http://klyam.bigcartel.com/product/the-prefab-messiahs-keep-your-stupid-dreams-alive-10-inch-vinyl
OR simply come out to the show tonight and buy one from us in person!

Music Video: The Prefab Messiahs – “Bobb’s Psychedelic Car”/Record Release Show This Thursday!


HITCH A RIDE IN BOBB’S PSYCHEDELIC CAR! Travel back to 1982 in Bobb Trimble’s car with KLYAM Records’ latest addition The Prefab Messiahs! Be dazzled by the trippy video above, made by Plastic Mynd and then come out see the guys in person this Thursday, March 19th at the Middle East Upstairs in Cambridge alongside The Fagettes, Fedavees, and Secret Lover.
FB Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/790345927703261/

Worcester Release show (3/20): https://www.facebook.com/events/927758727257605/

Manchester, NH Release show (3/21)https://www.facebook.com/events/348102322048049/

The Prefab Messiahs – Keep Your Stupid Dreams Alive (KLYAM/Burger) is OUT NOW!  Pick up a 10″ vinyl here: http://klyam.bigcartel.com/

KLYAM SHOW TONIGHT: The TeleVibes, Future Spa, CHARLIE, Ben Tan @ Cantab Lounge!

Cantab
Flyer by Cody Pettingil

Hey all you punk slime freaks! It’s Friday night and if you don’t have any plans tonight come out to the Cantab Lounge (Club Bohemia) in Central Square, Cambridge. If you have plans, erase em’. This is much better. We’ve got all the bells and whistles and psych and punk and surf and snot to keep you up all night. The TeleVibes, CHARLIE, Future Spa, and Ben Tan all on one smokin’ hot bill. Oooohhh ahhhhh.
FB Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/375101495991229/

Show starts at 9! Get there at 8:30. 21+ :( sorry kids. $8.

The TeleVibes
http://thetelevibesofficial.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/TeleVibes

CHARLIE
http://charlieisgnarly.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/charlieisgnarly

Future Spa
http://futurespa.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/futurespaboston

Ben Tan
http://bentan.bandcamp.com/

Kids Like You & Me (KLYAM)
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Kids-Like-You-Me-KLYAM/184682771542274

ALL KLYAM RECORDS RELEASES WILL BE AVAILABLE AT THIS SHOW AND ALWAYS!!!