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.

BUFU Fest Recap (4/25-26/14)

BUFU sch
Date: Friday, April 25 and Saturday, April 26, 2014
Venue: Cambridge Elks Lodge
Yeah, I know this shit was like over a month ago. Get over it. The following is a recollection of April’s first annual BUFU Records Festival. Here are the bands that made me chill the hardest…

Night One:

Nice Guys – OOOHHHHH Nice Guys!  Boston’s Nicest Guyzzzz. As soon as I enter the Elks these guys are getting ready to play. They blast through a fast, frenzied set that affirms my belief that I am one deaf bastard.

With this set there’s a solid chunk of new material or at the very least songs I’ve never heard before: “Whale,” “Rock ‘n’ Roll,” “Freedom,” “Pegger,” and “Stinker.” All bone crushing in their own eloquent way. Still, I get the biggest kicks from the regular chart toppers such as “Boxfort,” “Medical Envy,” and “Cop Walk.” During “Cop Walk” Alex rummages his way through the crowd in classic Alex fashion. A valiant way to wake up the stiff crowd and kick off BUFU Fest.

Yo, have you been staying up all night alone in your bed thinking “damn, I love those Nice Guys live if only I could own a piece of that magic on wax. Sigh.” Well partner, you’re in luck. Such a gem exists. Nice Guys have a splifft 7″ with fellow stasement boners Miami Doritos via KLYAM Records. Pick it up from here: http://klyam.bigcartel.com/product/nice-guys-miami-doritos-splifft-7 and then tell all of your friends about it. We’ll all laugh at your enemies together.

Set-List:
“Gary”
“Whale”
“Rock ‘n’ Roll”
“Freedom”
“Box Fort”
“Pegger”
“Medical Envy”
“Stinker”
“Cop Walk”
I collect Nice Guys set lists like a yuppie collects his Bill Joel ticket stubs. Dorks!

ACLU Benefit – This is my first ACLU Benefit. This isn’t the first time I’ve met Noah (the man behind ACLU Benefit) however. When I first met him he was dressed up as a juggalo at a Halloween show this past fall featuring Fat Creeps, Nice Guys, Guerilla Toss, and Designer. Actually, no wait we met on the train later that evening. Long story short, I had already heard the name ACLU Benefit tossed around these parts like the town whore, but at the time I didn’t realize I was speaking to the benefit himself. The low voice should have given it away. So, that night I looked up his bandcamp and I was correct. I went on to discover one of Boston’s most original voices.

Fast forward to tonight and I am delighted to finally be standing in front of Noah/ACLU Benefit in a musical setting for the very first time. It’s hard to write about his music because it evokes so many different emotions in me. That sounds like an excuse and it is, but I’ll do my best.

Noah stands alone with a guitar and that baritone voice you can hear from a 100 feet away. The crowd is building up, starting to get packed; it’s still pretty early in the fest. Noah introduces himself and begins to play. The performance is chilling, humorous, and all around entertaining in its own little way. Certainly one of the more engaging, inclusive performers I have come across over the last decade.

He has two distinct anthems in which he instructs the audience to sing along with him. In the aptly titled “Beer,” he informs us to sing “BEEEEEER!” after he sings “I’ve got a friend and his name is Beer.”  So it goes like this…
Noah: I’ve got a friend and his name is Beer.
Crowd: BEEEEEEEER!
Noah: He loves me cause you’re not here.
Crowd: BEEEEEER!
It’s fun and interactive. There’s another song Noah plays entitled “Love Of My Life” and the performance operates in similar sing along fashion. This time as Noah sings “love of my life” the crowd sings “I’ll never get over you.” It’s one of those you had to be there kind of moments. You reading my description of it obviously doesn’t have the same effect. Case and point, go see ACLU Benefit. You’ll ponder life and wonder what went wrong. Don’t die wondering.  http://aclubenefit.bandcamp.com/

Following the set, Glen, Ben, and I shake hands with Noah, complimenting him on a job well done. It’s worth missing the next band.

Funeral Cone – The lodge is rockin’ and the party is off the hook by the time Funeral Cone gets rollin. I saw these peeps at this exact spot here back in September and it left me bleeding. A nice little scar on my arm. A Funeral Cone memento if you will. This set is pretty much the same thing, minus the blood. Constant moshing from the punks, indeed, it’s a punker’s wet dream. Ramonesian tune (they may even cover some Ramones tunes? I’m fuzzy) with flashes of early hardcore punk a la Circle Jerks. With a diabolical keyboard in tow, it  makes for a hardcore Okmoniks. Surely, the garage rawk klowns will foam  at the mouth over this gunk. Slimy seconds err thirds, I’ll take em’.

P.S. Cory from SKIMASK, Ancient Filth, and Concrete Facelift also plays drums in Funeral Cone!

Gymshorts – This band’s music is as satisfying as their moniker. As I type this I’m comfortably sitting back in my own pair of gymshorts listening to Gymshorts. You know, I’m not really sure where I’m going with this, but trust me you want to hear this band. If you’ve ever trusted me before (I don’t  know what you were thinking), trust me on this one. Loads of killer slop rock songs that stick to you for dayssss kidddddd. My new favorite band or at least the best band I’ve heard all year.

I just got into Gymshorts a few months back and from the looks of it most in attendance are unfamiliar with their music.  They eagerly stare at the band, bopppin their heads and possibly other things… not really moving too much though, which is a damn shame. That’s ok, it almost makes it that much more hilarious when Sarah (vocals, guitar) bursts into the crowd barreling through a sea of stiffs. They never expect it haha. Regardless, after their set I overheard some kids praising their performance, so Providence’s best shorts have converted some Bostonian heads in the process. Listen to dis shit for weeks: http://gymshorts.bandcamp.com/

Free Pizza – Before Free Pizza begin their set, BUFU Records founder and BUFU Fest organizer, Ben Katzman announces that BUFU Records will be reissuing Free Pizza’s Boston, MA (previously released as a tape on BUFU) on vinyl alongside Feeding Tube Records. When I hear this, I can barely see Katzman’s face because I’m way in the back of the room, though I know it’s him up there because of his distinct voice and tone. The place is packed to the gills, but I have to get up front for this. The band launches into their set and Jesus Vio starts singing “I’m going forwardddd” (“Forward”) as I am literally moving forward to make my way to the front. The crowd eats it up and dances their asses off and it only gets better.

The next song is “Net Babes,” one of my favorites from the group and I’m not alone in this. I start singing along “We have no beaches, but baby we can surf …” and before I can even finish the line I notice Ben Katzman looks back at me, smiles and sings along with me, “but baby we can surf the internet!” Katzman’s enthusiasm is contagious and as I said the crowd is going bananas.

They continue to play some songs off their debut, such as “Freedom Pizza,” “Ducks,” “Porty,” and “Baby Girl” as well as some fresh cuts (I think) like “Keep on Moving,” and “2 Broke.”

The best part of not just Free Pizza’s set, but the pinnacle moment of all of BUFU Fest comes when the band closes with “Boston, MA” the final track off the album of the same name. The song alone encapsulates the feeling of inclusion, unity, rejection of the mainstream, and above all good old fashion fun aka “chilling mad hard”  that BUFU Records, BUFU Fest, Free Pizza, and the Boston underground as a whole represent on a daily basis; here is just the perfect microcosm and it hits like an explosion. The band encourages everyone to sing along if they know the words and even if you don’t, it’s all good. A shirtless, sweaty Jesus triumphantly flings himself into the crowd as they dance along and sing into the mic with him “Living in Boston, Massachusetts, BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTSSSS!!!”

Definitely one of the greatest live experiences in my life. The whole set, but in particular “Boston, MA.” A rare feeling I struggle to put into words. If I could bottle it up and ingest it every morning I totally would. For what it’s worth, I’ve never been one for civic pride. It’s just not my style. I’m not ashamed of my town/city/state, but I’ve never felt any direct connection with Boston and it’s surrounding area. With that being said, Free Pizza’s “Boston, MA” is finally a New England anthem I can actually identify with and one that makes me happy and proud to live here.  http://freepizzarocks.bandcamp.com/Can’t recommend this album enough.

Set-List:
“Forward”
“Net Babes”
“Freedom Pizza”
“Ducks”
“Porty”
“Keep On Moving”
“Baby Girl”
“2 Broke”
“Boston, MA”

Juan Wauters – With all of the excitement following Free Pizza’s set I almost forgot I’m seeing one of my favorite artists for the first time, well you could say that. Juan is the lead singer for Jackson Heights, Queens, New York’s The Beets, a band that co-KLYAMER Glen and myself have been fascinated with the past 4-5 years. We’ve seen The Beets a number of times now, but we’ve never seen Juan solo. In fact, before Juan even makes it to the stage/floor, we’re praising the man, shaking his hand, giving him big hugs, offering him beers. He’s overwhelmed by the love and support, I can tell he appreciates it or he’s a bit freaked out haha. Matter of fact, Juan actually interviewed Glen or I should say Gangbang Gordon for Allston Pudding. True story.

It’s all dark and quiet and the Juan begins (following another arousing introduction from Mr. Katzman). I can’t remember what the order is, but Juan and his acoustic guitar bust out some recent fan favorites form his debut solo effort N.A.P. North American Poetry. These include, but aren’t limited to “Water,” “Sanity,” “Continue To Be You,” and “Let Me Hip You To Something.” There are a lot of Juan fans in attendance, all sitting and standing, huddled around the Uruguayan singer. BUFU Records/Fest co-head honcho Chris Collins especially is digging the Juan, he always does. We all do. I’m confident Juan hipped many kids on to something haha, something special.

The Founding Fathers – Now, here’s a fine group of young, upstanding gentlemen that look awfully familiar. Call me crazy, call me wild, but they bear a striking resemblance to another local band you may remember as SKIMASK. Ehh whatever, must be me losing my mind.

Speaking of which, the lead vocalist seems to be off his rocker as well. He shrieks and flails about, barging through the moshers on a warpath, both physical and vocal. He’s an orator. An enigmatic performer of epic proportions. He crashes into the drum kit, he rolls on the floor, tossing his body to and fro in a possessed state of mind. Not wasting a second to rant and rave and proselytize the elks lodge inhabitants, when he’s not tearing the place to shreds. He spares no one, the audience is the target. He runs through the crowd as if he is engulfed in flames and burning to death.  He stares into their eyes helplessly like he’s Carrie White covered in period blood, fiercely moving forward amid a chaotic atmosphere. It could all end at any second.

Electronic, spastic alien noise and fast, deafening drums provide the backbone to all of this pandemonium. It’s noise, it’s odd rock ‘n’ roll, and definitely one of the highlights of BUFU Fest.

Guerilla Toss – If any band could keep up with the the frenzy of the previous set then it’s Guerilla Toss. This is also one of my top sets from the entire fest. It’s always a trip, a party, a filthy mess when it comes to Gtoss and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Hundreds of kids are up front, slamming into each other, if you can even move. It’s body to body, no open space. I’m hot as a motherfucker, perspiring all over the place. The crowd is one giant body, a sweatball that bounces back and forth to the band’s self-proclaimed fucked up dance music. It’s fun as always, though I would prefer some room for more hippie dancing/moshing, then again I love when it’s just a crazy mess too. One downside is that I can’t see everything and I can’t even hear everything. Kassie’s vocals seem a bit lower or it’s just me. I’m gone. My eardrums took a serious pounding tonight.

As the set wraps up, Simon Hanes bangs his two fists against his head several times like he’s Jake LaMotta or Andre the Giant or some other human animal. Gtoss is a bestial powerhouse, let em’ bring out the beast in you!

Night Two:

Gangbang Gordon – My homeboy Gangbang Gordon kicks BUFU Fest night two off with a BANG! As GBG and his Northshore barebackers crack into their set the crowd is slowly building up and taking notice.

GBG opens with “Life At The ABC” and “The Breeze” two tunes that will be featured on his upcoming cassette Culturally Irrevelerent coming out this Summer on none other than BUFU Records!

Among other rocking standards such as “Lost Touch With The Youths,” “I Can Testify,” and “Warm Warm Warm” that get some folks headbanging, there’s also a new cut known as “Not Your Average Professor Liberal Arts.” A tune only GBG could imagine.

The sound is a bit all over the place and not everyone sounds in sync with one another, which can be expected at a GBG show, but at least they’re having fun and that’s not always the case with a lot of ‘rock’ bands.

For some of the tunes including the Spanish rap number “Orguello De Rappers” there’s a blinding, seizure inducing  disco ball light. They close the set with “Slide Paper,” which sounds like a teenager’s attempt at recreating a Van Halen song. It’s a good riff. http://gbgordon.bandcamp.com/

Set-List:
“Life At The ABC”
“The Breeze”
“Lost Touch With The Youths”
“I can Testify”
“Warm Warm Warm”
“Not Ya Average Professor Of Liberal Arts”
“Orguello De Rappers”
“Slide Paper”

Frank Hurricane – Damn, it’s been years since I’ve seen the one and only Frank Hurricane. Frank can captivate an entire room of gangstas with a few  words. Frank aka Hurricanes Of Love will always hold a warm place in my heart, for the first basement/house show Glen and I ever attended was at the Dirty Douglas in Lowell and Frank opened the show. His kind, gentle, and humorous demeanor was the perfect introduction to underground music and the local music scene. That was a little over three years ago. Frank was on tour from Atlanta. He is a constant traveler and tonight he speaks of his various travels.

Frank sits back, plays some acoustic guitar, and rattles off hypnotic tale after tale of one amusing (or sometimes disturbing) anecdote to the next. He is a true raconteur, a rarity. http://frankhurricane.com/

Littlefoot – Littlefoot is a band from Providence that I’m starting to really get into a lot. I first saw them opening for Atlantic Thrills at their album release party at Dusk in Providence. This set had similar, dream pop vibes. Very relaxed, comforting, and insanely catchy. Almost too many people for me to truly enjoy it. I look forward to seeing them more in the future, especially in more intimate settings. http://littlefootlittlefoot.bandcamp.com/

Dylan Ewen & The Sulk Scouts – Ahh one of my favorite local bands. It’s always a fun time when these kids play. They wear sunglasses, Hawaiian shirts, and just let off a breezy, chill attitude. That isn’t  to say they can’t rock out, because they most certainly do. Kooky klassics like “Us Girls Got It Tuff,” “Handcuffs,” and D.Ewen OG “Korean Girlfriend” are all on display.

The band also performs Madonna’s “Like A Virgin,” a fitting cover that complements their mixture of coyness and semi-deviance. It’s all for fun.

For mo’ Dylan Ewen:  http://dylanewen.com/

Set-List:
“*noise intro*
“Us Girls Got It Tough”
“Handcuffs”
“Cool Party”
“Like A Virgin” (Madonna Cover)
“Stoked To Be Sad”
“Korean Girlfriend”
“Fkuu Me”

Fat Creeps – This is the longest I’ve gone without seeing the Fat Creeps since… ever. Last time I saw them was on New Year’s Eve! Crazy, whack, son. Things have changed. They have a new drummer. Mr. Travis Hagan. My dude! You may have seen him in such local rock ‘n’ roll juggernauts as The New Highway Hymnal, Chill City Icon, Wakes, Radskull, and you may recall Travis’ brief stint as the drummer for The Migs. RIP Migs :(. Anywho, he’s behind the kit and he kills it.

If my memory serves me correctly they open with “Secrets” and it’s great to finally hear the song live again after all this time. Most of the set, however, features newer songs These tunes will appear on their upcoming full-length Must Be Nice on Gnar Tapes and Sophomore Lounge Records. I’m looking forward to it to say the very least.

All in all, as I said before great to see the Creeps again and it’s awesome to see a big crowd of kids devouring the various Creeps numbers, both old and new. http://fatcreeps.bandcamp.com/

Unstoppable Death Machines – This is the last band I remember truly hitting me over the head with their music. Or that may have been their fans haha. It’s a rowdy set for this NYC noise duo, think Lightning Bolt. I’m sure they get that comparison a lot, but that’s what comes to mind for me. There’s still a lot of people in the room, but it seems like less than before. Still a decent chunk, going apeshit to the ravenous sounds of Unstoppable Death Machines. My buddy Brian Hickey and myself are at the front of the pit, smashing into each other and everyone else. It’s lunacy! http://unstoppabledeathmachines.com/

So that’s that. BUFU Fest was an extraordinary experience. One of my top shows ever and definitely the best I’ve seen this year thus far. I can’t wait for next year. I hope you chilled as mad hard as  I did. Peace.

Do the Cop Walk baby.


Video shot by Zurnoise

Review: Miami Doritos, Dylan Ewen, Tacocat @ The Womb (3/30/14)

Taco
Bands: Tacocat, Dylan Ewen/Teenage Springsteen, Miami Doritos, Dylan Ewen & The Sulk Scouts
Date: Sunday, March 30, 2014
Venue: The Womb (Allston, MA)

Dylan Ewen & The Sulk Scouts – The Sulk Scouts is just one of the many faces of Dylan Ewen. Dylan’s music is often in your face and snarky, but the Sulk Scouts are a bit of a departure. This project stays consistent with Dylan’s sense of humor, but in a light and playful manner. They even have a song called “Handcuffs” about light bondage.

As with my prior Sulk Scouts experiences, the highlight of the show is when the band performs a cover of Girls’ “Lust For Life.” It’s such a dreamy, nostalgic piece of music and honestly it sounds better here than anywhere else, and I heard Girls themselves perform ‘Lust’ twice. The female Sulk Scouts harmonize so well, it’s insane. Totally making out music. Totally.

Another highlight for me is D. Ewen classic “Korean Girlfriend.” That’s the money maker right there. It’s all about the ca$h flow and having a good time. Much more the latter. In any spot, preferably a basement such as this womb here, Dylan Ewen & The Sulk Scouts is a hot band to catch live. http://dylanewen.com/

Miami Doritos – A grimy Allston basement is the perfect place to see Miami Doritos. Up close and personal until it’s uncomfortable, no way! I’ve written about these Doreets several times now, so yeah they’re a two piece (vocals/guitar/drums) and I have a thing for two pieces and so on. Not to mention the fact that this two piece is on my own record label. YEAHH BUDDY!

We almost didn’t have our little Miami Doritos dessert tonight, for drummer Alex has been feeling under the weather this evening. Thankfully, this dorito is a trooper and he powers through a slimy, sweaty set without a hint of error.

This set is chock full of classic Doreets material, like vh1 classic, except not at all. “Price 2 Pay,” “Rush Hour/Piss Take,” “Bike Cops,” “Ice Age Cream,” and more. These are all funny songs, but it’s not a joke. Do you fucking hear anyone laughing, HUH??? Didn’t think so. No jokes. No bullshit. That’s what is great about this kind of music. In fact, most bands that play in basements around this scene. There’s no careerism, at least not overtly. The music isn’t being made to advance a career or some other horrible political motivation. No babies being kissed. I don’t know what goes on in Kurt’s and Alex’s minds, but I am sure there is a constant riot going on.

Get yer greedy little paws all over this masterpiece of modern art: http://klyam.bigcartel.com/product/nice-guys-miami-doritos-splifft-7

Dylan Ewen/Teenage Springsteen – Dylan Ewen is back with an impromptu performance under the Teenage Springsteen pseudonym. He is also accompanied by a drummer, a dude from the band Designer. Right on. The pair flash through a batch of fast and feisty numbers including a half assed cover of Violent Femmes’ “Blister in the Sun.” Check out Springsteen here: http://dylanewen.bandcamp.com/ It’s a lot cooler than the other Springsteen, there I said it.

Tacocat – I can’t say I know all too much about Seattle’s Tacocat, but I am intrigued.  It looks as though a lot of heads flock out to see these Tacocats. And indeed they eat it up and start dancing/moshing. They’re definitely a lively band and they have a strong sense of lighthearted garage mixed with gritty girl group vibes. Picture Colleen Green as a full band and not just CG with a backing band, but imagine if she was a full band entity. I also feel a lot of 90s rock in them like The Breeders. Lastly, local faves Silkies roll through my psyche, especially with the girl group vibes and definitely in the vocals. I’m going to check out Tacocat more now. Ride that crimson wave over and over again. http://tacocat.bandcamp.com/

 

Review: Dylan Ewen & The Sulk Scouts @ Craft House (2/8/14)

Apple
Bands: Indian Twin, Life Size Maps, Dylan Ewen & The Sulk Scouts
Date: Saturday, February 8, 2014
Venue: Craft House (Medford, MA)

Dylan Ewen & The Sulk Scouts – It’s great to be back in the Craft House/Crab Haus, fuck it whatever you wish to call it, it’s swell. It sure as hell beats the cold outside, beats it right off. My balls are about to freeze into ice, ice, ice baby where am I going with this? There’s heat inside the haus, warmth – both physical and emotional. Me, my frozen testicles, and a case of PBR pop a squat upfront for the The Sulk Scouts.

I’ve seen my man Dylan Ewen a few times now in various incarnations, but this is my introduction to the Sulk Scouts, a girl group that plays with Dylan Ewen (vocals/guitar) and D. Ewen reg, Chris Geller on drums. The girls’ vocals are really sweet and smooth, they harmonize well. The vocals bounce off Dylan’s in a fun way and mixed with Chris’ drums the band has a sunny, day at the beach vibe to them. Gimmie a fucking hot chocolate and put an end to this miserable winter already! Sulk Scouts will suffice.

A couple of days ago, I saw a show at Agganis Arena and while I enjoyed most of the music itself, the experience just seemed so foreign to me. With this performance, I am glad to be back to my usual environment. I don’t want to say comfort zone, because those are no fun! Anywho, it’s a real pleasure to see some kids play in a living room and just have fun with the music. Not take themselves too seriously. That’s the attitude. It’s quirky, it’s  sexy, but above all it’s FUN. The crowd gets it as some light, playful moshing consumes the Craft House space.

This set is filled with buses, horses, tuff girls, and handcuffs, but my favorite part is when The Sulk Scouts cover Girls’ signature song “Lust For Life.” The harmonies I spoke of earlier are exceptional in this instance. Shit brings me back to 2009 when I first heard and loved this song and so did you. Come on, you mean you didn’t blast “Lust For Life” and dance around in your underwear with a pizza and a bottle of wine? Damn,  was it just me?!

Dylan’s a pimp.

Set-List:
“The Bus Song”
“Us Girls Got It Tuff”
“Cool Party”
“Lust For Life” (Girls cover)
“Horses Are Better”
“Forgot How to Have Fun”
“Handcuffs”
“Girlfriend”
“Fkuu Me”

Life Size Maps – Yeah, this just ain’t my thing at all. I hated it actually. Just not my thing.

Indian Twin – Damn, now these guys sounded more to my liking, but I only hear a few tunes before it’s time to depart to catch that nasty train. Next time!

My Top Ten LPs of Twenty-Thirteen

I know I’m a little late on this and I already ran my mouth off in my last post regarding my top shows of 2013, so I’ll do my best to keep this one short and sweet. Here we go…


10) Dylan Ewen & The Southern Gospel Gangbusters – Country Fried, Southern Pride (BUFU Records) – Gangbusters? More like Gangbangers! I really got into a lot of Dylan Ewen this year in his various projects and out of all of them this was my favorite. For my money, this has Dylan’s rawest, most in your face lyrics with a nasty, bad ass gangsta edge that puts him up there with Cube, Dre, and Mr. Big. So wild.  AND it’s all set to a full backing band (drums, guitar, bass, viola, banjo, mandalin, harmonica, you name it) busting out southern gospel, bluegrass, and country. I had the pleasure of catching the band live in the heart of JP last month and I errr uhh nearly wet myself. TOP SONG: “500 Days of Bummer”
http://dylanewen.bandcamp.com/album/country-fried-southern-pride


9) Bent Shapes – Feels Weird (Father/Daughter Records) – I just received this record as a Christmas gift and I’m loving it. As a long time fan of Bent Shapes/Girlfirends this is a terrific mix of classics and some solid new jams. Every track is strong. On one hand, it feels like a greatest hits compilation and then on the other it comes across as a completely new entity. It works both ways. TOP SONG: : “I Was Here, But I Disappear”


8) Shannon And The Clams – Dreams In The Rat House (Hardly Art) – Shannon and The Clams  is a big favorite of mine, so this album was a serious treat this year. This one falls in line with all of their previous work: rock ‘n’ roll at its purest. 50’s doo wop, garage rock, Ramones styled punk rock, and some of the best voices you will ever hear. It may not be the most original music, but it’s rock ‘n’ roll. This is the plateau, this is the ideal, this is the benchmark. TOP SONG: “If I Could Count”
idiot genes pic
7) Idiot Genes – S/T (Self-Released) – The third (but not final!) Boston band on this list, Idiot Genes are one of the most recent bands I have listened to in 2013. I first caught them at a show at O’Brien’s Pub last August and I was enamored with their oddball sense of humor and surly, apathetic punk attitude. Subsequently, I hopped on their bandcamp and I was blown away by what I heard. I related to the band’s sloppy, lethargic, wasted narrative. The feeling of being fucked and fagged and shagged. I was frustrated and hearing the Idiot Genes reminded me why I hold rock ‘n’ roll so near and dear to me in the first place. It is my elixir, the temporary cure to all of life’s problems. They are almost like a different kind of party band, an after party band, a hangover band. This all sounds like one miserable hangover, and by miserable I mean extraordinary. Makes me want to drink too much and then regret some of it the next day, especially when the hangover doesn’t go away by 5 /6 PM like it usually does, so then you just drink more, until the next day after that when you’re even more hungover AND still a little drunk. So, what do you do? you crack open a beer and drink some more and then you listen to Idiot Genes, one of my new favorite rock ‘n’ roll elixirs for that temporary cure. Drunk Consistently. Listen here and join me in a nightcap. Cheers. TOP SONG: “The Charles Mansion” http://stupidpants.bandcamp.com/album/idiot-genes


6) Colleen Green – Sock It To Me (Hardly Art) – Sock it to me? Ok. Ms. Green is one cool cucumber with all her Richard Nixon and True Romance references on her latest album Sock  It To Me. Much like Shannon and the Clams, with this album Colleen maintains the same rock ‘n’ roll flavor she’s always had, it’s just stronger than ever. Just a great example of how pop music doesn’t have to be a big mass machine product, instead it can be as simple as a guitar, a drum machine, and passionate vocals. TOP SONG: “Number One” (The Queers cover)

The Monsieurs 2
5) The Monsieurs – Rock The Night (Self-Released) – Damn son, this past October I had the enormous fortune of cumming across my legs when I came across The Monsieurs at the Brighton Music Y’all opening up for the holy King Khan & The Shrines. I’ve heard plenty of great garage spunk this year, but this new release from The Monsieurs was/is a real dessert, a dish best served cold. A cold, sudden punch right in the nads that is. Seriously though, these dudettes and dude really fucking rock and pack in the punches. This band has all the bells and whistles and bubblegum and grit that you and your buddies get off on every time you listen to Hunx  and Nobunny and hopefully Fagettes at home on your dad’s worn out stereo, BUTT Monsieurs turn it up to 11. From the first few seconds of “Shadow” to the last gasping breaths of “At the Hop,” this record is garage pop on steroids. Lead singer Andy Macbain is a beast, a force to be reckoned with, and his vocals are out of control, off the wall. It’s all sludgey and thuddy and LOUD. If you like rock ‘n’ roll with a rambunctious ummphhh up your ass then here ya go – yet, it’s still as sweet as a little old lady taking 20 hours to cross the street with her little old cane? So sweet it helps that sludge go down smoother… I see big things for The Monsiuers in Twenty Fourteen. In 2014, let their album Rock the Night become your musical lubricant! TOP SONG: “Kari Ann” http://themonsieurs.bandcamp.com/album/rock-the-night-8-song-digital-album


4) King Khan & The Shrines – Idle No More (Merge) – It’s always a great year whenever one of our Honorary KLYAMERS releases an album and King Khan is among our top OG’s. You could say he helped make us who we are today to paraphrase a line in the tune “So Wild,” a song dedicated to the late, great Jay Reatard. RIP Jay forever and ever.  For once your wild spirit may rest in peace… the chaos of the world so foreign, yet so familiar, you feel this tone on King Khan & The Shrines’ Idle No More, their first album since 2007. It’s a very personal album, the most mature to date. Highly spiritual as ever, yet it still maintains that fantastic Khan spirit of ubiquitous joy. Love. And coming back to the KLYAM, that’s one thing I love about rock ‘n’ roll (as we see it),  all the bands we rep, and this record. No matter how torturous the world can be, there’s still a light. Khan and his crew take the misery, the darkness, and they turn it on its ugly head, ultimately receiving a boisterous, fun filled album as ever been conceived by the Shrines.  TOP SONG: “Bite My Tongue”


3) Nobunny – Secret Songs (Goner) –  Nobunny continues the trend on this list of artists releasing albums that preserve their raw, rock ‘n’ roll character and yet augment their craft at the same time.  Secrets Songs is stacked with smash hit after smash hit haha; every tune is a blast, no filler. Love Visions will probably always be my favorite, but I have to send my accolades to Mr. Bunny here. This LP has the most variety ever on a Nobunny record lyrically, musically, and aesthetically. There’s several fast poppers, screeching hardcore punks odes, and a batch of soft gentle numbers for the ladies and in particular for the Birthday Girl. NO NO 4 LYFE! TOP SONG:  This is a toughie, but for now I’m going to go with “Bye Bye Roxie”


2) Peach Kelli Pop – Peach Kelli Pop II (Burger) – I know this came out in 2012, but I heard it in its entirety in 2013 and I loved it so damn much that I just couldn’t leave it off the list! This is one of the greatest pop records I have ever heard. Like I said earlier regarding Colleen Green, pop music  doesn’t have to be mass produced and this certainly applies here. I was in love with PKP’s first album and I didn’t think it could be topped at the time. What was I thinking?! As awesome as her debut is, it doesn’t have anything on its sequel. Holy shit, this thing is incredible. PKP II is like Terminator 2, if it was a movie. A full blast of immediate, catchy pop songs from start to finish is what we have here. Peach Kelli Pop – Allie Hanlon channels bubblegum, garage, and 60’s Girl Groups in all of these short, but ever so sweet songs. It’s like injecting yourself with bubblegum pop music and feeling that instantaneous sugary high! This record always puts me in the best mood. Cheers. TOP SONG: “Red Leather”http://peachkellipop.bandcamp.com/

And the weiner is…


1) Hunx and His Punx – Street Punk (Hardly Art) – I know, I know I’m a Hardly Art whore. Haha, that should be a marketing trend. Labels should pick up on this. I can picture it now “I’m a Burger Whore!” or “Be a Burger Whore!” Shirts, pins, posters, let’s do it! I say this all with love. Anywhooo, since the dawn of KLYAM five years ago, Hunx and His Punx is one of the only, if only (possibly?) band that has consistently put out new, exceptional releases each year. With this album, Hunx and his cronies have snarled their way into the bowels of the rock ‘n’ roll/garage/punk landscape. I just adore and admire the way the band mixes up early hardcore punk (Germs, Misfits, Black Flag) with their classic garage rock style. Half of me says it’s an affectionate satire and the other says this is the real deal, this is the music itself. It feels like Circle Jerks or whoever comes to mind. When Hunx says he wants to beat you with a baseball bat, his screams are terrific and serve as a true homage to the aforementioned punk legends, but let’s not forget he’s saying this all because of his BAD SKIN! That’s part of the fun. I’m glad someone finally made (I could be wrong here and I very well may be missing out on loads of great, similarly styled albums) a piece of work that connects the dots in these various styles of pure rock ‘n’ roll music, which is not very pure to begin with. It’s so satisfying. I’ve always felt like that early wave of hardcore punk was like garage rock’s weird, fucked up cousin. It’s all coming from the same place essentially. It’s all about total and agonizing frustration and partying your ass off to cure that frustration. Hunx and His Punx get it. By the way, some of Shannon Shaw’s finest vocals! TOP SONG: “Mud In Your Eyes”

So, that’s it. That’s my list, but before I depart I have to give some mo’ shout outs. Here are some honorable mentions.  Ben Tan – Inside Out, The Memories – Love Is The Law, Kal Marks – Life Is Murder, Saralee –  S/T, The Gabba Ghouls – S/T, Kaviar Special – S/T, and last but certainly not least Lust Cats Of The Gutters – S/T , an album that was released in 2012, but nonetheless one of the best albums I heard all year.

2013 was also the first year of our record label KLYAM Records. We were/are extremely proud that our first release was one of our favorite records from 2012: Fat Creeps S/T EP


I chose not to include it on this list, because A) It was one of our own releases, B) It was originally released in 2012 and that’s when we heard it and loved it, and so forth, and C) It’s an EP and this is a list of my top LPs. Still, I couldn’t go without repping this record in a year end list of top records. Furthermore, if you haven’t picked up this album yet, then do yourself a favor and grab one now before it’s too late You can order it from KLYAM Records here: http://klyam.bigcartel.com/ The record is also available at Weirdo Records and Armageddon Records, both in Cambridge, MA.

We look forward to 2014 as we have more records and shows and reviews then can be imagined! Stay tuned, then turn on, and then drop out, and we’ll meet up and listen to records or something.

Peace 2013!

Free Pizza & Dylan Ewen TOUR; D.E. “Resentment” VIDEO

It’s a beautiful thing – officially termed The BUFU 20 Minutes Or Less lil BB Tour featuring triple slicers Free Pizza and real talk duo Dylan Ewen (that’s one axeman Dylan, and the other dude drummer Chris G). They’ll be going up down and all around the New England/New York area, kicking off at a special place in JP, up to Brattleboro, down to Providence at Machines With Magnets, northwest to Feeding Tube in NoHamp, then straight to Death By Audio.

All these dates and venues can be accessed via that FB events page link above.

Also, check below a new music vid from Dylan Ewen – live in the studio with a lil green screen trickery

Review: Miami Doritos, Dylan Ewen, Zebu, Fat Creeps @ JP Drive In

Two Piece
Bands: Miami Doritos, Dylan Ewen, Zebu, Fat Creeps
Date: Friday, August 16, 2013
Venue: JP Drive In

Miami Doritos – I don’t see any Miami or any Doritos, I feel like rioting, I feel like inflicting pain upon each and every one of youuuuu KLYAM readers.  Just kidding mom, I love you.

The Miami Doritos are best appreciated in a basement setting such as this JP Drive In, though I am completely full of shit because I have only seen them in basements, so I have no means of comparison anyway. I guess I just like the intimate feel, which is what typically makes two pieces special to begin with, and tonight the Doritos are kicking off this whole two piece hootenanny.

The Doritos are rough and crunchy, but not difficult to swallow, they go down rather smoothly with a watery beer and a broken heart. In terms of comparisons, well I know I say this often when I see two pieces, but they remind me of KLYAM favorite No Age, mostly in the instrumentation and odd pop sensibility.

I suppose I should also mention that the Doritos consists of Kurt (Thigh Masters) on vocals and guitar and Alex (Nice Guys) on vocals and drums, they are good dudes and if you haven’t checked out those bands then I don’t know what else to say, you better get on that shit brah. And while you’re at it, quit being a pussy and listen to Miami Doritos here: http://miamidoritos.bandcamp.com/album/scoop-dreams
And hey, also watch this vid of them at Allston DIY Fest: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H-GJFO_5VrY

Dylan Ewen –  Dylan Ewen, yeah you know Dylan Ewen, in a way you may just be Dylan Ewen. Every teenager and twenty something is – and maybe even some of you thirty somethings. Dylan likes to write songs about bitches and booties and sadness, all topics that have been covered a gazillion times in pop music long before any of us were even twinkles in our daddy’s eyes. Yet, with his brand of garage spunk Dylan brings back a bucket of fresh water from the old stereotypical rock & roll well.

Dylan sings/screams and rages on guitar while a fellow named Chris sings along and brutishly slams the drums behind him. Together they smash through a fuzzy set of Dylan Ewen tunes including “Lead Me On,” (watch the crazy music video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xl-jSFP_6DY&feature=youtu.be). It’s a catchy little number that will stay with you forever like herpes. I myself was drunkenly singing this song the other night and didn’t realize it until a friend pointed it out,  it’s that powerful. The dudes also unleash a sick ass cover of one of my favorite Ramones songs, “The KKK Took My Baby Away.”

If I may slide down a slippery slopey rant for a few lines, if you would be so inclined… Dylan Ewen is like if Blink 182 sounded garagey and not like pop punk shit. It’s like all of his songs are about things that suck, but they are all fun and happy at the same time. Content wise it’s all frustration and disappointment . And that’s exactly why I dig the joy that comes out of my speakers when I listen to his bandcamp. That’s my argument against all the sad bands that sing about jerking off alone at night – or something else “dark and mysterious,” I don’t know I don’t pay attention. After a while, if I get bored I just make up my own plot. Those bands seem to be not having as much fun and make sad, sad songs. You can still make songs about sad stuff and still have fun, and having fun can be the focal point of the performance. You picking up what I’m putting down? Dylan Ewen does that like a true rock ‘n’ roller. Listen to all of his songs about youth and sex and such: http://dylanewen.bandcamp.com/

ZEBU – So, I saw these two dudes before at their Fat Creeps Split 12″ Release show at the Discovery Zone a few months back and this performance is not too dissimilar.  The pair, which consists of Ted Lee (vocals/drums) and Steve D’Agostino (vocals/guitar), put on a fairly entertaining show that really makes use of the small, intimate basement space tonight. At one point, Steve playfully waltzes through the crowd and pops a squat on a conveniently open chair in the middle of the room. He sits back and relaxes as if the song has to wait for him. It’s antics like this that makes me think a Zebu show in an above ground venue would be comparatively dull or at least lose some of its charm. Either way, their oddball take on pop music (?) is strong enough to endure in any setting.

Zebu also recently toured in Europe, which appears to be a rare feat for most artists of their underground nature. So, kudos to them. Here watch a clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0OHC6Zmt1g
http://zebu.bandcamp.com/

Fat Creeps –  A few years from now when I am an old man, about 27, I will be standing alone at a show, nursing a Narragansett and trying to relieve myself of an ailing hangover, when some young scrawny, pimple faced lad, about 16, will approach me and ask “what were the early Fat Creeps shows like?” to which I will respond, “fuck off, get me another beer junior. Let’s go find your sister.” Fortunately, I am still young and only 70% bitter, so I will enjoy these last few years before the remaining 30% takes over.

Fat Creeps or should I say Fat Dweebz as they are calling themselves tonight round out this two piece shabang. Gracie strums the guitar and sings while Mariam takes care of the drums and sings as well. I’ve never seen them as a duo and I may never again, but it’s pretty cool, a different take on their usual three piece sound. I miss regular drummer Jim Leonard, but Gracie and Mariam do a fine job with some of the Creeps originals as well some sick covers; I swear they play The Vaselines’ “Monsterpussy,” but I haven’t confirmed this.

Both women are decked out in some eye catching spandex suits, it look likes they are competing in American Gladiators or WWF (fuck WWE, it’s still WWF to me).

Check out their tunage here: http://fatcreeps.bandcamp.com/

And while you’re at it, order their 10″ (VINYL) EP from our very own KLYAM Records! http://klyam.bigcartel.com/