Top 10 Shows of 2015

klyammm
What up creeps. It’s been a long time since I’ve been on here rapping about your favorite bands, my favorite bands. Why should all those other writer twerps take away my spotlight? I’ve been, we’ve been busy… we threw down more shows than ever this year and attended many more. Here’s a list of my favorites, you’ll see a lot of the same names. You may even choke on your own vomit because you’re so sick of reading about the same bands over and over again and there’s no mention of Pile or Krill. Too bad freaks! Let’s go…

NOTSURS
Flyer by Sonam

10) NOTS, (New England) Patriots, Ursula, Germ House @ Club Bohemia (October 23rd)
Jason Trefts (Illegally Blind) knows how to curate a stacked bill and that’s an understatement. But, this show right here is a chief example of his undeniable efforts. We KLYAMERS were beyond ecstatic when our beloved Memphis punkers in NOTS journeyed to our second home – the 100 capacity Club Bohemia in Cambridge, joining forces with local favorites Ursula and (New England) Patriots. New Mexico’s Germ House was a pleasant introduction as well. Dark, dank, and head spinning. Sounds like a regular night at Bohemia.

GBV
Flyer by G. Gordon Gritty

9) The Monsieurs, Atlantic Thrills, Feral Jenny, ACLU Benefit @ Lilypad (January 24th)
2015 is truly the first year we’ve consistently put on shows in Boston and this was one of my favorites. There was a snowstorm that night and the show was facing potential demise. Glen and I grabbed a beer at The Druid and as soon as 10:00 PM rolled around we headed over next door to the Lilypad to get ready for the show, expecting a sparse crowd. Quite the contrary my friends. As ACLU Benefit’s baritone vocals roared through the art gallery I was greeted with snowy friends and strangers alike. Each band turned it up a notch and I hold them all near and dear as you probably know. For what it’s worth, ego aside, I think this was one of the finest and most diverse bills all year. Where else have you seen The Monsieurs and ACLU Benefit on the same bill?! I could go on and on… Feral Jenny rocks. RIP :( and Atlantic Thrills are longtime homies. I hope to see and book more shows at Lilypad in 2016.

KKBB

8) The King Khan & BBQ Show, Milk Lines @ Middle East Downstairs (November 19th)
To paraphrase something Mark Sultan said during the show, it’s a rare night when the stars align and you can see Nobunny and The King Khan & BBQ Show in one night. We did! But, I’ll get to the bunnyman later on. KKBBQ. Damn, we’ve been able to count on them to provide relentless, passionate rock ‘n’ roll entertainment for many years now. They are the best at what they do; soulful, punk infested doo wop. If you closed your eyes and didn’t know any better you’d probably think there were a whole bunch of fuckers up there. Nope, just two. I dug Ryan Major passionately singing along to their cover of Johnnie Thunders’ “You Can’t Put Your Arms Around a Memory” and King Khan dedicating “Lonely Boy” to one Gangbang Gordon. “Ladies, they don’t call him Gangbang Gordon for nothing.” Haha, they don’t win PC punk points and that’s fine by me.

Melanie
Photo by Madison McConkey

7) The Barbazons, Earthquake Party, Jim Leonard, The Double Buscemis @ Theives Grotto (November 7th)
I’ve seen my fair share of Barbazons/Fagettes shows and probably your fair share and his fair share and her fair share and your snake’s fair share and you get the picture. They are a KLYAM staple, duh. This one stands out as one of the feistiest, sweatiest, and most fun. The Grotto is often the best place to see a band. Sidebar: Theives Grotto, best venue in Boston. Give it up for those kids. The picture above says it all: Melanie hanging from the pipes surrounded by a sea of doe eyed boys and girls. You can’t make that shit up.

Nice tour 2
Flyer by Jesse DeFrancesco

6) Nice Guys (tour kick off), Creaturos, The Mardi Kings, The Double Buscemis @ Grandma’s House (August 21st)
We said fuck off to all of our least favorite Nice Guys, which is all of them for me. I hate them all equally. Beer cans and bottles were flung, you crazy fuckssss I TRUSTED YOUUUUUUU. Basement shows can get wild sometimes and this place is pretty teeny tiny, so we were all smushed together and it was perfect. Creaturos set the bar high as always, don’t fuck with those guys or you’ll get a knuckle sandwich. Mardi Kings (they were Marty Kings at the time, what’s the scoop there?), damn that’s my jam. Those fuzzy bubblegum poppers, got all the crazy kids dancing hysterically. I too was not afraid to die, for a second. Anddd The Double Buscemis, this was my first time seeing this local duo. A couple of straight shooters; short, scuzzy rips about not wanting to be a fuckboi. Don’t. Keep your eyes peeled for these hellions in twenty sixteen.

Nice Guys Chips
Flyer by David Fowlkes

5) Nice Guys (‘Chips in the Moonlight’ EP Release), The Monsiuers, Slow Jerks, Black Beach @ Club Bohemia (February 12th)
I could make a list of my top ten Nice Guys shows in 2015, but then I’d just be sucking their dicks wayyy too hard and I’d rather save up all of my energy for 2016, sorry gentlemen. This list is pretty close to that anyway. You’ll see those fine boys on here again, trust me, I trusted you… This show was special, because “Chips in the Moonlight” is their finest release to date as far as I’m concerned and this was the perfect celebration for the occasion. Club Bohemia is the KLYAM haus, as you probably know and I love seeing the place packed to the gills, which is rare. Cheers Al Slounge.

Six Years
Flyer by Jim Leonard

4) KLYAM 6th Anniversary Show featuring The Barbazons, Nice Guys, Atlantic Thrills, G. Gordon Gritty @ Middle East Upstairs (July 1st)
This was a massive love fest. Truly humbling and heartwarming. We were surrounded by all of our friends and favorite bands and I couldn’t have asked for a better anniversary party. The Barbazons set felt like it was being played just for us. I loved how they had us request each song before they played. They opened with my favorite Barbazons/Fagettes number, “Catholic Riffraff & The Allston Amazon.” Melanie shouts “I thought it was a hangover, but it’s my heart.” Well, the next morning, it was a hangover!

Fuzzstival 2015
Poster by John Magnifico

3) Boston Fuzzstival @ Middle East Upstairs & Donwstairs (August 6-8th)
Several of the shows featured on this list were Illegally Blind shows and many more were attended by yours truly. Illegally Blind is run by Jason Trefts, a true mentor for KLYAM and a pillar of the Boston music scene. Fuzzstival is an annual event that brings various artists and fans together to build bridges within the community. The fest is a microcosm of what Illegally Blind/Jason does every day. This year was especially significant because it stretched across three days and featured 34 bands – 18 on the final day with sets shifting back and forth from the Middle East Dowstairs’ main stage and a little side stage near the bar area. It was incredible seeing so many great people and hearing the city’s fuzziest freaks all in one room. A positive vibe we can aspire to going forward.

Nobunny 2015
Flyer by TJ of Midriffs

2) Nobunny, The Monsieurs, Nice Guys, Gymshorts @ Middle East Upstairs (November 13th)
This was a bruiser, but it was totally worth it. Nobunny is KLYAM’s top dawg, errr bunny. Seriously our favorite current live act. We go wayyy back ked, way back to 09 ked. Eight shows deeps and this was one of, if not, thee best. The bunnyman had some help from some of New England’s slimiest too. Stacked bill if I ever saw one.

Goner Fest 12
Art via Rocket Science Audio

1) Gonerfest 12 @ Hi-Tone, Murphy’s, and Bucaneer (Memphis, TN from September 24-27th)
I can’t believe it either, we made it to Gonerfest! A dream six years in the making. Goner Records has always been a favorite of ours; just look at our vinyl collections. We hold Memphis in our hearts, bbq on our faces, and beers in our bellies. It was an amazing experience as a whole (first time in the South) roaming through literal rock ‘n’ roll history. The fest itself featured numerous incendiary bands, too many to mention them all. Highlights for me included Pookie and the Poodlez, Nots, Ty Rex ( Ty Seall T Rex cover set, got some sweet champagne poured in my eyes), Giorgio Murderer, Obnox, Sweet Knives (Alicia Trout fronted Lost Sounds cover set), Ar-Kaics, Quintron, and Nobunny (duh). What is special about Gonerfest is that the bulk of the attendees are non-locals. Like ourselves, most festers traveled from all over the world just to see some good old fashioned rock ‘n’ roll. We met folks from DC, Kentucky, Washington, Finland, Australia. You name it. We even met some Boston peeps, shout out to Tom! As monumental as the fest is, it’s still relatively small when you think about it and that’s not a bad thing. It’s cool to think 1,000 (or less) freaks from all over the globe are gathering to drink beer and geek out over some underground bands. It’s rock ‘n’ roll camp, that’s all you need to know.

There you have it. 2016 be my baby, be my bitch, you’re next.

Review: White Fang @ Middle East Upstairs (4/20)

By Joanna Trachtenberg

The next night (which was 4/20 by the way) I saw White Fang who are The Band To See On 4/20™. That’s right, Boston was the lucky city to be graced by White Fang’s presence on that glorious day this year. Free Pizza were up first in this jam packed bill. This band is fairly new and I had never seen them before but I was quite impressed. They played power punk that I wouldn’t exactly call poppy. Their songs were for the most part short fast and not very sweet (by the way I mean that as a compliment). Next up were Boston’s version of FIDLAR, the Nice Guys. They like to party and rock hard. I am hoping for big things coming from them. Next up were Boston’s best synth punkers Earthquake Party! They recently recorded a bunch of new songs for an upcoming album and they played a number of them tonight. The one non local opener was Denney and The Jets from Nashville who at first I thought were gonna be an Elton John cover band or something. They were not. The name comes from the fact that their singer’s name is Denney. They played good ol’ fashioned rock n roll. They are homeboys of Natural Child who I saw the previous night with the Black Lips.

Now it was time for the mighty White Fang! Guitarist Kyle Handley, Drummer Jimmy Leslie and Bassist Chris Uehlein started playing with lead singer Erik Gage in the background. When he was ready to sing Gage stormed to the front of the stage and started jumping around like a madman. Their songs border between punk, hardcore, metal and hard rock with the band into it the whole time. Some of the funnier moments included when Gage backhumped the stage for about a minute and when Gage lifted Uehlein while he was playing bass and spun him around. I am planning on seeing Gage and Handley again later this month with The Memories, their mellower other band. After the show I saw for merch they had a number of gnarly Gnar Tapes.

 

Review: Fagettes, Sun Lions, Earthquake Party, The Migs @ Mid East Upstairs (7/31/13)

Bands: Fagettes, The Sun Lions, Earthquake Party!, The Migs
Venue: Middle East Upstairs (Cambridge, MA)
Date: Wednesday, July 31, 2013

This is the kind of bill that should easily draw loads of local attention, any day. And it did. Eager onlookers slowly packed into the Middle East as my kinda band – The Fagettes – started playing their music. Sometimes these reviews can sound awfully repetitious, especially when describing some KLYAM faves, but singing the praises of Fagettes never gets old for me. Their sublimely catchy garage/pop is highly stimulating, more so than most bands in this ole Boston scene. They stick out visually – two stand-up drummers is pretty uncommon – and of course audibly; three singers trading words and ba ba ba’s more often than not. Entertainment. Tonight they play a couple cuts from last year’s impressive 7″ If I See Him Again (“On Drugs” and “My Girl Looks Like Johnny Thunders”), which along with “Gonna Die Out Here,” really showcase the Fagettes sound – sweet guitar tones bleeding from the amps of Ryan and Matt. They toss in a couple of brand new, full battery jams that oughta be trademarked soon. And then there was “I Hear Noises”. Not sure if I remember the last time I heard them play this, but it’s one of those tunes that calls for the late arrivals to be slapped around a little for missing out. People who’ve seen Fagettes live know what I’m trying to get at here. If you haven’t, they are playing a big show: August 23 opening for Hunx and His Punx at Brighton Music Hall. Can’t recommend that one enough. And remember to show up way early.

Next, we hear from The Sun Lions – formerly The Images. By either name, I was unfamiliar with their music. They had some passionate fans constantly dancing near the front of the stage. The first half of their set quite honestly didn’t too much for me. They sounded like any number of vocal-centric pop-rock alternative groups that had their heyday in the ’90s. That kind of familiar sound obviously has appeal to some, but around this site, you know, the slimier, the better. So once a second guitarist jumped on stage and joined the group, Sun Lions’ set became night and day to my ears. They transformed into a looser band, showing a knack for ’60s pop (covering “Heatwave”) and garage (another cover was “Have Love, Will Travel”…I think). I had much more fun rocking out to this side of the band and I wish the whole set would have been of this variety.

Earthquake Party! is a trio that like Sun Lions dabbles toward the more accessible fringes of pop ‘n roll. Their set consists of many very very brief tunes that are wild explosions of noise, fuzz, but most importantly melody. The guitarist Justin moves around the stage passionately while playing. So while he’s frantically singing and blasting away, Mallory (keyboard) and J-Raff (drums) keep things relatively in check. The energy of Earthquake Party! is perhaps their greatest attribute. They capture my attention immediately and always. I’ve seen them a few times before. This was the most fun I’ve had seeing them. To me they’re like a more catchy, snappy, ADD, Lost Sounds.

Last and hopefully not literally last (show) is New Hampshire’s pride and soul, The Migs. Kicking off with a cover of Rolling Stones “The Last Time” (remember they finished off their set at Great Scott with this a few weeks ago?), tonight felt like a cumulative continuation of all the good time vibes these guys have created over the years. Out of all the local-ish bands I’ve seen, it is the MIGS that capture the sonics of psychedelic garage nuggets the best. They nail this to a tee. I recently bought a compilation called Teenage Shutdown which features some gunk from young ’60s bands. If the Migs were around back then, you’d find them included. No doubt at all. “You and Me” is my nomination. Revved up and rowdy rockers. When Keven frequently takes off from the stage into the crowd while still hammering away on his guitar, it’s only natural to join in on the fun, shoving your neighbors around to the sounds of “Follow Me Home” and “We’re The Migs”. Moshing, freaky dancing, jumping up and down. A Migs show for the ages. For the thirty or so minutes they were up there, everyone was all smiles. Just incredible stuff.

Concert Review: Bent Shapes, earthquake party!, Beware the Dangers of a Ghost Scorpion!, The Fagettes @ Great Scott (1/12/13)

Bent Shapes
Bands: Bent Shapes, earthquake party!, Beware the Dangers of a Ghost Scorpion!, The Fagettes
Date: Saturday, January 12, 2013
Venue: Great Scott (Allston, MA)

Act I: The Fagettes – The Fagettes are a KLYAM band. Period. There are many styles/genres I could attribute to this band, and pretty much all of them we dig, hence why they are a KLYAM band. Rock ‘n’ Roll, Garage, Punk, Psychedelic, you name it, they got it.  Their sound and aesthetic fits perfectly with the punk slime we proudly promote every day on this site, which I honestly can’t say about most of the local bands we see. That isn’t to say other bands around here suck, not at all. It’s just great to see a Hunxian “garage” band in Boston.  We saw them once before performing as Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazlewood for a Halloween cover show, and as much of a blast as that was, we yearned to see them as FAGETTES. Needless to say, I’m pretty excited.  As I mentioned earlier, these guys have nailed that fun, fun rock ‘n’ roll sound down pat, but they also have a real cool look to them.  Especially Ryan Major (vocals, guitar, harmonica);  he is simply one suave motherfucker. He rocks the shades and from a distance he looks like Jared Swilley, but up close he looks more like John Holmes, either way he is the man and he is a great singer. Ryan shares vocal duties with Melanie Bernier (one half of one of the best local bands, The Electric Street Queens – check them out!), who also plays drums. But, Melanie isn’t the only one that sings and plays drums, oh no. A wonderful gentleman by the name of Peaches commands the kit in the back and provides some sick backing vocals. The bass player, who’s name escapes me (sorry dude!) is enthusiastic as he always is, love that guy. But, wait there’s more.  Matt “Nice Guy” Garlick is riffing on guitar. In fact, before the band plays their set, I can hear Matt jamming on The King Khan & BBQ Show’s “Waddlin Around,”  killer song.  I should also mention that Matt is completing the second half of his double header tonight, having just played at the Butcher Shoppe with his other badass punk band, Nice Guys, wowzer! The Fagettes’ set consists of all the fun tunes you’d want to hear, oldies like “Catholic Riff Raff,” “Mystery Pills,” and “Water, Tea, and Alcohol,” as well as their latest offering, “Gonna Die Out Here,” one of their sexiest to date.  They also play all three cuts (“If  I See Him Again,” “On Drugs,” and “My Girl Looks Like Johnny Thunders”) from last summer’s EP If I See Him Again.  With “On Drugs,” they really make it feel like a place you come to visit, where the fun never stops.  This song and every song sounds terrific. The Fagettes live is a visual, auditory monster. With all these vocals and percussion jostling me, I feel like I’m being trampled by a lion. The sound is that big, perhaps not that terrifying though, but my ears are equally pleased and damaged.  I can’t recommend Fagettes more, going back to what I started saying at the beginning of the review that they are a KLYAM band, meaning they play rock ‘n’ roll the way it  ought to be done: short, but simple pop songs, fun, filthy, and catchy. Sweetness meets sickness. Like, Shannon and the Clams, there’s enough loud punk and soft pop for all to enjoy, and usually somewhere in between. I am exhausted, but Fagettes can keep me up all night. Be awesome like me and listen to all their crazy music here: http://thefagettes.bandcamp.com/

Act II: Beware the Dangers Of A Ghost Scorpion!– Now, here’s a sweet band. With a name this enormous and eccentric, they ought to send me into an oblivion. And like their name they are both fun and puzzling, but in a pleasant way. ‘Beware’ is a five piece and each member is dressed the same: bandannas covering their noses and mouths, blue jeans, and black shirts bearing a picture of a presumably dangerous, ghost scorpion.  The set is entirely instrumental and with the exception of Big Mess, I typically am not fond of this style of music, but these men capture my attention and entertain me for the next half hour. They rock out pretty hard, playing early 60s surf rock with a bit of an extra kick, in fact a lot of emotion and physical energy. This is especially true of the man on tambourine. This dude bashes away at the tambourine, unlike anyone else I’ve seen before, I can’t imagine what his hand looks like after each gig.  But, he goes beyond that in his showmanship. He makes the crowd move and shake and he is the leader of all this hype and excitement in the room, as if he is holding the crowd in the palm of his hand, perhaps a cliched comparison, but he  just holds this undeniable command over the crowd. What’s even more fascinating and unique about this man and the group as a whole is the lack of vocals. As I mentioned, they are an instrumental band, but they literally never speak throughout the whole performance. No words, just music. Actually, let me rephrase that, words do appear at various moments, as they are scrawled across a sign that the tambourine player triumphantly holds, reading: BEWARE THE DANGERS OF A GHOST SCORPION!  This guy gets an A+ for the night. Solid set, sick band, but I don’t know if this is the kind of music I see myself listening to at home alone in my room, with that being said, I hope to see them again in the future and I hope others catch their set too, for this is a live show you won’t want to miss. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8EmoBSVPoXs

Set-List:
“Red River Tombstone Hustle”
“Heads Will Roll”
“The Lover’s Curse”
“The Nameless One”
“Caught Dead”
“Cateye Glasses”
“We Welcome The Living, But Only If They Come Here To Die”
“Satan’s Invisible World”
“13 Stabs”
“SOS”
“Denton County Casket Company”
“Haintmaker”
“The Legend of Goatman’s Bridge”

Act III: earthquake party!– Earthquake Party’s a perennial rock force in Boston, and a very talented band at that.  Their set is loud and noisy, but with some pop beneath the heavy volume. Their keyboard driven songs mixed with grungey/screaming vocals remind me of the Lost Sounds and Yo La Tengo.  There’s a harsh quality to it, but it’s also satisfying and never overstays its welcome. Listening to their bandcamp, I hear the songs more clearly, they have some real great pop numbers here. I’ve seen them a couple times before and each show has been an enjoyable experience.  Definitely a KLYAM recommendation: http://earthquakeparty.bandcamp.com/

Set-List:
“Nails + Hammertime”
“One More Night”
“Pretty Lil Hand”
“Fast Girl”
“Escape Artist”
“Daydream Jenny”
“Brains”
“Pretty Trash”
“Tramp”
“Little Pet”
“Hello Weirdo”

Act IV: Bent Shapes – Like earthquake Party! Bent Shapes are familiar faces around the Boston rock scene and they have earned a reputation for creating catchy, mellow, pop songs that rank up there with the finest in music today. So yeah, they’re one of my favorite bands right now and it’s great to see them in front of a packed crowd at the Great Scott. Great Scott is the first place I saw Bent Shapes (well Girlfriends) many, many moons ago, opening for another brilliant, underrated pop band, Harlem. At the time, I didn’t really pay attention to local music, for no particular reason, I just didn’t. Girlfriends stood out to me though, I think the first local band that I really dug. Flash forward to the present. They sound excellent and they play some of their best songs including the sunny “Leave It Till You Need It,” and their recent flexi, “Panel of Experts” and “Bites and Scratches.”  They have a somewhat soft pop style to their craft, but they rock just as hard as all the other bands. The set closes with one of my all time favorite songs, “I Was Here, But I Disappear,” which always gets me super ecstatic, there’s just no way of describing my love for this song without sounding over the top. Perhaps, the best performance I’ve seen from Bent Shapes. Check them out, if you haven’t already. http://bentshapes.bandcamp.com/

Set-List
“Big Machines”
“Panel of Experts”
“Boys to Men”
“Spazz”
“Bhead”
“Wut?”
“Space”
“What We Do Is Public”
“Bites and Scratches”
“Leave It ‘Til You Need It”
“Brat Poison”
“I Was Here But I Disappear”