Boston Fuzzstival 2014 Recap

Fuzzstivall
Date: Saturday, August 2, 2014
Venue: Middle East Upstairs and Downstairs (Cambridge, MA)
Bands: Dinoczar, Black Beach, Gymshorts, The TeleVibes, Beware The Dangers Of A Ghost Scorpion!, CreaturoS, Atlantic Thrills, Abadabad, Magic Shoppe, 28 Degrees Taurus, The Fagettes, Fat Creeps, Doug Tuttle, Ghost Box Orchestra, The New Highway Hymnal

Once again, here’s another show review in spectacularly late fashion! Ahh at least last year’s review was completed merely hours after leaving the show. Can’t win em’ all, but we live to fight again or something like that. Anywho, here’s some fond recollections of my favorite bands’ performances at this year’s Fuzzstival…. oh and a lengthy introduction as to cap it all off. You didn’t think you would escape one of my lengthy introductions now did you??? Haha.

We love going to shows. You don’t need me to tell you that unless you assumed we were masochists this whole time. It’s all been our great displeasure seeing all of your bands perform live year after year. It’s been ever so painful. Though, if it’s painful for a masochist isn’t it also pleasurable? You got me. We’re actually not masochists, we’re sadists. We spew filth and fury. Hate us on facebook.

Festivals are simply shows on steroids or better yet shows in the midst of a nasty coke binge. One band and then another and then another and then another and then another. Sensory overload. All senses are fuzzed up by the end of this shindig. All senses. The Lysergic Factory Lightshow, Video Joe Turner, and  Wax House A/V scrape the mucus off your brain, Emma’s Pizza deliver mouth watering slices, and fifteen of New England’s feistiest tear through what’s left of your withering eardrums. I think that covers all the senses. Ahh well, you get the gist.

We at KLYAM typically cover the fuzzy variety – garage spunk psychaholics.  So, it’s an absolute pleasure to have an entire festival dedicated to this “style” of music. Big thanks to Jason Trefts/Illegally Blind for doing what must be done. We thoroughly enjoyed last year’s Fuzzstival, but the line up this year is even superior: many of our own local favorites and on top of it all, the party takes place at our favorite venue, Middle East.

———— UPSTAIRS ————-

Gymshorts – We scurry into the Middle East, fretting that we may have missed our Providence dawgs in Gymshorts. As we slime into the Mid East Up, I notice a crowded room and Gymshorts setting up to play and I realize I haven’t missed anything. An awesome relief washes over me.  Per usual they launch into “Scumdog” I WANNA GET HIGHHHH AND I WANNA GET STONEDDDD” ya you know.  They shred the usual No Backsies jams then things come to a halt briefly when one of their strings breaks. Hey, rock ‘n’ roll ain’t perfect. They bounce back with an apropos tune for the moment in “Oh Brother.” Catch these shorts on a giant ass tour all across these here United States: https://www.facebook.com/events/250069071850157/
Bandcamp: http://gymshorts.bandcamp.com/

The TeleVibes – Dude, these vibes get right under your skin and crawl around for a few days/weeks at a time. You’ll be telling all your friends and loved ones about how awesome The TeleVibes were at the Fuzzstival. Fuck, your grandchildren.

The Tellies are fuzztastic, but they got a little more than just grit in their wee bellies. They possess a tenacious affection for mind melting psych noise that’s dripping garage snot rockets all over the place. Guitar riffs coming straight from the bowels of hell. That’s old Charlie Northin’ there and old Scott Lorin’. And old brother Christian Hardy packing heat and smacking away on the skins. Sounds like these young men have spent entirely too much alone time with Mr. Dwyer and Mr. Segall. So, I guess then that’s not alone time, ahh well it’s too late to go back now. The past is the past and we’re living in a modern world, whatever that means.

I’ve seen The Tellies in the past, but prior to this Fuzzstival, it’s been about seven months (HOLY SHIT I know, I was shocked as well) and they sincerely sound better than ever. Actually, my favorite band at the Fuzzstival. Dig it. It’s dug. These Tellies be vibin’ so hard. They slap me in the face like a bag of wet dicks. Each guitar lick is a new slap to the face and I suppose the masochist in me wants more. More More More, no wait, wrong fuzz band. Forgive me or not, whichever works. I’ll be seeing The TeleVibes again and again, in my head and in my bed, now that I got me my very own Washed Up EP on cassette! LISTEN to it HERE: http://thetelevibesofficial.bandcamp.com/

Beware The Dangers Of A Ghost Scorpion! – Listen up, you little freaks. Here’s one band you’re not going to FUCK with… ladies and gentlemen, Beware The Dangers Of A Ghost  Scorpion!

I’ve been seeing these fine gents a lot lately. Starlab Fest, Black Lodge, and now here at the Fuzzstival. Beware is the premiere Boston surf rock band, a surf nut’s wet dream. They lean hard towards the nuttier side of the surf realm, fitting in perfectly within this fuzz fest as my friend Dylan likes to call it.

As always Beware puts on a fun, frenzied show, constantly hoppin’ and boppin’ around the stage, leaving the audience on the edge/over the edge. Definitely a band to catch in the flesh sooner than later. Their recordings sound just as demonic though, check them out here: http://ghostscorpion.bandcamp.com/

CreaturoS – Local psych juggernauts, CreaturoS headline the first half of Fuzzstival, being the last band to play at the Middle East Upstairs tonight. The group (as with most of the bands playing this thang) thank Jason Trefts for hosting such an epic event. They rip through an earache inducing set of psych pop that Boston fans have come to know and love.

At one point this dude climbs on stage and awkwardly stands up there with the band for a few seconds.  I even think he’s a friend of the band for a minute. You know how sometimes bands pull up their comrades to sing or play along to a song. Not in this instance. The band smirks and kindly escorts the man off the stage. Perhaps he thought there would be a stage invasion like last year: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yTFptrZH5Mc.

So, that’s the end of the first half of the fest. Oh and check out CreaturoS on bandcamp: http://creaturos.bandcamp.com/

———– DOWNSTAIRS ————

Atlantic Thrills – Providence dawgs Atlantic Thrills are kicking things off right for the second half of the Fuzz. Seeing the Thrillz up on stage here brings me back to the first time I saw them live about three years ago at this very same location opening for Those Darlins. Damn, and many more shows followed!

The crowd is still building up, but those of us that are present are devouring all the punk slime and saliva these maniacs have to offer. My favorite tonight is “Day At The Beach,” a great Summer jam or as Dan Tanner puts it “this song is about drugs and the beach.” Reckless abandon. For mo’ Atlantic Thrills:  http://atlanticthrills.com/

The Fagettes – Illegally Blind seriously rolls out the upper crust of local fuzz and Fagettes is a prime example of that. The group (featuring Nice Guy Jake Gilbertson on bass) pounds through a rockin’ set of gettes classics such as “On Drugs,” “Gonna Die Out Here,” and a bunch of others my fuzzed out dome is missing.

The crowd moves and shakes a bit more during their set, but are still too motionless for my tastes. That’s one of my few qualms about the Fuzzstival. Lack of significant crowd participation/dancing/moshing. Everything else is tip top A ok.

Ryan Fagette is as feisty as ever, prowling around the stage, fighting off some technical difficulties with his guitar. He gives a fiery performance during “I Wanna Feel Good” as he makes his way to the crowd, standing tall above everyone. He fervently shouts  I WANNA FEEL GOOD  directly into various patron’s eyes. He even messes around with the Lysergic Factory’s light show, making a mess out of all dem pretty colors. http://thefagettes.bandcamp.com/

Fat Creeps – FC is fresh off a two week tour with The Lentils. A friend of mine observed that bands always sound tighter when they have just come back from tour and I think that’s true in this instance. It’s like everything else, if you keep persistent, you naturally get better. I’m just happy to finally see the band perform at my favorite above ground venue; I believe this is their first time playing at the Middle East Downstairs. Anyway, definitely one of the better shows I’ve seen from the trio recently. No hesitation, kick out the jams, and raise some hell. Some hell.

I’m at the point now where I don’t really have much more to say about this band, I’ve seen them over 30 times and it’s always been a pleasure. I dig some of the audio assault in the “new” songs from Must Be Nice such as “Party” and “Having So Much Fun,” but I’ll always have a place in my heart for the oldies like “Nancy Drew” and “700 Parts.” It’s all good.  http://fatcreeps.bandcamp.com/

We missed The New Highway Hymnal :( but, if I had seen them, they surely would appear in this article. Check them out regardless: http://thenewhighwayhymnal.bandcamp.com/

So, that’s my recollections. One big final shout out again to Jason Trefts/Illegally Blind.  Like, follow, share, support, do whatever you do on the fascist book, just most importantly GO to the fine ass shows he’s constantly putting on around Boston. https://www.facebook.com/IllegallyBlindPresents

Thanks

Video from TeenageRiotTv

A KLYAMer’s Preview of Boston FUZZSTIVAL 2014

Boston Fuzzstival 2014 organized by Illegally Blind’s Jason Trefts is going down tomorrow (Saturday August 2nd) afternoon and evening at The Middle East Upstairs (starting at 1 PM) and Downstairs (starting at 6 PM) and features exactly 15 bands of the garage/psych/surf/pop variety — exactly the styles of music that we appreciate most around here on KLYAM! Of course this is an event we’ve been looking forward to for months and if you remember back to last year Chris cranked out a review of the event as soon as he got home from it. It is a wonderful thing to see underground rock ‘n roll of this kind making the rounds around local blogs; just head over to the Fuzzstival FB event page to read a bunch of posts about Fuzzstival and the bands playing it.

KLYAM’s pretty energetic about the bands we care about. We’re also eager to see any bands we have not had the pleasure to see yet. I’m just going to say some words about some bands I have seen and really really dig:

GYMSHORTS – Playing at 2:25 UPSTAIRS – Providence scum surf roquers blasted into existence about one year ago, but it just might seem like they’ve been around longer with the amount of shows they’ve been playing around New England and New York. Sarah leads the pack in their mosh friendly jams on vocals/guitar while Devin complements her with fuzzy lead twang. I think this will be about my tenth time seeing them and it’s always a real fun time! [LISTEN]

TELEVIBESPlaying at 3:00 UPSTAIRS – North Shore ass jigglers / ball ticklers – course these words are courtesy of Chris, but I agree completely – playing that slimy Migsian stuff that’s had us in a tizzy since hearing their Washed Up EP and damn that release show is still one for the record books. It’s been seven months since – far too long a wait for us so the anticipation runs highhhhh. [LISTEN]

BEWARE THE DANGERS OF A GHOST SCORPIONPlaying at 3:45 UPSTAIRS – Everybody ought to pace themselves at this point – I mean on any other day these guys would probably be playing at 12 AM and closing out festivities. Two weeks ago they put an end to STARLAB FEST and wow I fondly recall bopping up, down, and around, perhaps at one point falling as they pounded out southern evil Dicky Dale instrumental after southern evil Dicky Dale instrumental. Guess I just suck at describing surf and should stick to bumping into people with a shit eating grin. Must see group! [LISTEN]

CREATUROS – Playing at 4:30 UPSTAIRS – Have seen these new era Boston garage/psych legends (a term I’ll use loosely to let the crowd response to their 2013 Fuzzstival set do the talking) rather intermittently over the past couple of years. I was really won over when they opened for FUZZ at Great Scott last fall. That was a killer set… then just a bit ago they dropped ‘SHORT SHORTS‘ a pure garage pop goldie. Forgive me for not really knowing any of their other songs by heart, I will know that one! [LISTEN]

ATLANTIC THRILLS – Playing at 6:00 DOWNSTAIRS – Alrighty garage bro so you know the Atlantic Thrills, you read about ’em online somewhere. OK yes it was probably here. We’ve championed their rock ‘n roll since the year 2011, about three years before they dropped their first LP (KLYAM recommended obviously). Tripped to Providence a bunch of times to catch them in their abode and have had some really memorable experiences both on stage and off stage in their presence. Very happy to hear that they are kicking things off DOWNSTAIRS (where they once opened for Those Darlins), here’s to another round of sloppy debauchery. [LISTEN]

THE FAGETTES  – Playing at 9:00 DOWNSTAIRS – Without feeling like a local rock n roll snob, I am confident calling The Fagettes the Boston kings and queens of the garage, flower punk style. They have a history of playing with some of the world’s finest rock n roll bands (NOBUNNY, Shannon and the Clams, Hunx and His Punx) and that is surely no coincidence. The energy, vocal trade-offs of Ryan and Melanie, dueling drums, sax here and there, the noisy POP racket, I could go on and on. You wanna feel good. Catch THE FAGETTES. [LISTEN]

FAT CREEPS – Playing at 9:45 DOWNSTAIRS – We’ve seen the Creeps the most out of all the bands at Fuzzstival about three times over, which should not come as a shocker to anyone as we’re intense supporters from way back. They just released their first LP Must Be Nice [pick one up if you haven’t, along with their klyammy debut 10″ of course] and IT’s great! For those who like both the sun and the shade, the fast and the slow, Fat Creeps pack ’em all and their live show is a stellar reflection of what’s got the Americans, Europeans, and Japanese going nuts!! [LISTEN/BUY 10″]

NEW HIGHWAY HYMNAL  – Playing at 12:15 DOWNSTAIRS – What better way to cap off this night than with New Highway Hymnal, emblematic diplomats of the meaning of FUZZSTIVAL. K, didn’t mean to get that deep all of a sudden, except I’m telling the truth here. Psych/garage/surf/noise The New Highway Hymnal can dismantle a Lowell basement and a 575 capacity venue just the same. Don’t think I’ve seen them since Charlie joined on guitar, should be sweeeeet! Heads up crowd you might get bumped in the head by Hadden’s guitar, but you’ll love it all the same. [LISTEN]

STARLAB FEST! (7/19/14)

Starlabfest
SICK! KLYAM Records dudes Nice Guys are playing and slaying among several other local noise makers. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again pick up the Nice Guys/Miami Doritos Splifft 7″ before they sell out and you’re crying yourself to sleep every night wondering what could have been. DON’T LET IT HAPPEN TO YOU. http://klyam.bigcartel.com/product/nice-guys-miami-doritos-splifft-7

BOSTON FUZZSTIVAL 2014 LINE UP ANNOUNCED!

Fuzzstival
Hot damn, look at this line up! So many KLYAM faves!

LINEUP (SET TIMES TBA): 28 Degrees Taurus, Abadabad, Atlantic Thrills, Beware The Dangers of a Ghost Scorpion!, Black Beach, Creaturos, Dinoczar, Doug Tuttle, The FagettesFat Creeps, Ghost Box Orchestra, Gymshorts, Magic Shoppe, The New Highway Hymnal, and The TeleVibes. In bold are my personal favorites. Purple bolded are KLYAM Records bands.

The show is being presented by Illegally Blind, the work of one Jason Trefts, and Trefts is also the man behind a sea of shows in the Boston area including last year’s first annual Fuzzstival, which was a hoot. This year will be even greater.

The whole shabang takes place on Saturday, August 2 at KLYAM’s favorite aboveground venue The Middle East in Cambridge. Upstairs from 1PM-5PM. Downstairs from 5PM- 1:30AM.
For more info: https://www.facebook.com/events/1501237970104061/

In the meantime, while you’re twiddling your thumbs in anticipation, you can read our review of last year’s festival, written just minutes after the festival itself in a shamelessly drunken state of mind: https://klyam.com/2013/08/11/review-boston-fuzzstival-81013/

Or better yet watch this live video shot by fellow KLYAMER Joanna

Review: Beware The Dangers Of A Ghost Scorpion! and Sun Lions @ Middle East Upstairs (3/22/14)

Beware
Bands: Beware The Dangers Of A Ghost Scorpion!, Sun Lions, Soft Pyramids, Whiskey Warpath
Date: Saturday, March 22, 2014
Venue: Middle East Upstairs (Cambridge, MA)

We missed Whiskey Warpath and Soft Pyramids. Damn, next time!

Sun Lions – I have mixed feelings about this band. They are pleasant in some respects, especially in a live setting, but I’m not going bonkers over them either. It’s just too clean and proper for my savage tastes. I need an extra kick in the gut to loosen me up a little bit. This set feels like it lasts forever too. http://thesunlions.bandcamp.com/

Beware The Dangers Of A Ghost Scorpion! – Now, here is a band more to my liking. BTDOAGS is a trippy, all instrumental surf rock outfit, a surf nut’s wet dream, if you will.

Staying true to their name, the guys bear an air of mystery to them. Dressed in black shirts and blue jeans and wearing bandannas that cover most of their faces, they never verbally interact with their audience, not once. Instead, they communicate with their music.

I am always biased when it comes to surf music. I find it hard not to enjoy it, even if it is extremely generic. Frankly, it actually all sounds the same to me, but that’s just it, it’s a sound and one that I never get tired of hearing. Still, BTDOAGS picks it up a notch with their sinister, horror punk take on the genre. Anyway you look at it, it’s fun.

Overall, a strong set, but I’ve seen better from the band. The venue is mostly filled and the crowd is digging the band, rightfully so, but I’d rather see at least one of the members leap off the stage and dance around with the audience or entice them to move more as I have seen in the past. Regardless, always a pleasure to see these dudes. BTDOAGS in a basement/underground setting, now that is something I need to see next.  http://ghostscorpion.bandcamp.com/

Beware The Dangers Record Release Tonight @ Great Scott

Beware The Dangers Of A Ghost Scorpion!‘s second full-length Blood Drinkers Only will be released in fine fashion with a special show tonight, Sunday September 22, at Great Scott in Allston. For those who want a sneak peak of their instrumental surf rock prowess, check out a stream of the album: http://ghostscorpion.bandcamp.com/

Seeing these guys for the first time in January at Great Scott was an immediately exciting experience [READ HERE]. You’ll see what I mean. Also playing tonight are Baby Driver and Cathode Rays.