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]

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

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: Gymshorts, Durt Dog the Band, Couches, Sneeze @ Wilder Zangcraft (4/16/14)

durt
Bands: Couches, Sneeze, Gymshorts, Durt Dog the Band
Date: Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Venue: Wilder Zangcraft (Lowell, MA)

Durt Dog the Band – Ahh back in Lowell, my old stomping grounds. It’s nice to be back here and with Durt Dog the Band, a Lowell based trio (at least tonight) fronted by Brian Donovan. Brian’s got his durt dog on, he’s durt doggin’ it like it’s nobody else’s business. He’s a folk hero.

I’ve been a Durt Dog fan for a year now, but I’ve never actually had the pleasure until tonight. The set’s sloppy and garagey and that’s alright with me. Guitar feedback, mumbly vocals, and Brian’s ubiquitous grin. I feel it.

“Ashes” and “Things I Do Care About” are just a couple of personal favorites and they play them on this holy evening. The songs come to life more in a live setting and the band sounds thicker, muddier, like a garage punk version of Pavement. Either that or I’ve lost my mind.

Before the final song, Brian quips “We still have to kill your dog,” blasting into a rocker that buries us all. Keep Durt Doggin it until the day you die. http://durtdogtheband.bandcamp.com/

Gymshorts – I promised you in my last post that there would be a butt fuck load of Gymshorts coverage on here and I am a man of my word. For Durt Dog , the crowd is still building up, though let’s face it if you have even five people it feels crowded at the Wilder Zangcraft. Toss a gazillion bodies in the place and it’s stuffed. That’s part of the fun! And for the Gymshorts  the bodies are a plenty. More importantly, people are washing down their first forties, cracking open their second, starting to possess a one eyed sailor squint. Hey, Gymshorts are the perfect soundtrack to twisted, drunken youth debauchery. College kids start moshing and hurling each other to and fro.

The shorts shred through a series of gut busting numbers that we KLYAMERS have grown to love in the past few months. I too want to get high and get stoned! I wish every day could be daylight savings, and you bet your fucking ass my favorite republic is banana! Let me tell you about it. That’s how my parents talk. Not the banana thing, but they begin every sentence with “And let me tell you about…” instead of just telling me about whatever topic. “And let me tell you about pre-ejaculatory fluids leading to pregnancy.”  I imagine I’ve lost everyone at this point. I lost myself around banana. I am not a journalist, I don’t trust journalists. Music journalism sucks.

LISTEN: http://gymshorts.bandcamp.com/

Sneeze – First and last time I saw these dudes was here at the Wilder Zangcraft nearly two years ago. They aren’t exactly what I’m into, but I don’t hate them either. Of all the bands, they are definitely the heaviest and during the set the crowd is rowdier than ever. It’s hard to stay in one spot. One girl even plummets straight to the floor. SHE’S OKAY, THOUGH! I especially dig the Deftones White Pony tattoo on the drummer’s leg. Nice undies by the way.  http://sneezeus.bandcamp.com/

Couches – This band is on tour from California. They are a long, long way from home. Let’s make it feel like home for them. Still some moshing, but it’s a bit more mellow man. Couches definitely have that laid back, West Coast vibe to them. I spoke to one of the Couches after the show and he said I talk really fast. Couches always tell me I talk too fast. http://couchessf.bandcamp.com/

Heavens to Betsy!  The boys in blue had nothing else better to do and this little festivity had to come to a close. No New Highway Hymnal :( .

 

 

 

 

My Top Ten Shows of Twenty-Thirteen

So, here we are again. 2013 feels like a blur, a fun blur though. It just seemed to truck on by so damn fast. It didn’t feel like it was all that long ago when I was making my year end lists for 2012. I must say, every year gets better around here and 2013 was definitely our best year. We met tons of people and went to more shows than ever before (significantly more). With that in mind, I will leap off into my top ten favorite shows from the greatest year KLYAM has experienced thus far…

Storm or Howl
Storm or Howl

10) TIE!: Boston Underground Summit VI @ Cambridge Elks Lodge (9/15/) & The Beets @ The Whitehaus (11/26) – I would start a top ten list with a tie. I simply could not leave out either of these shows from my top ten, so fuck it here’s both. Firstly, this was my first Boston Underground Summit and it was a totally unique live experience for me. The show was set up as a round robin in which a band would play one song and then as soon as they were done another band would play a song and so forth until about 9 different bands had played a song, and then it went back to the first band. My head’s getting dizzy just writing this – it was indeed a dizzying experiment; constantly walking back and forth between all 3 spots in the Elks Lodge (where 3 separate bands were each set up). I compare it to an aggressive wine tasting meets a live, physical playlist/mix. In any situation, it was refreshing and broke down any hint of monotony that may have been creeping in on my fairly consistent show going consumption. My favorite bands/performances included Storm or Howl, Funeral Cone (this one left me bleeding!), Dylan Ewen, and R. Nordac’s Crying Lessons.

Holy shit, the mighty Beets. It took us two hours to get to the holy Whitehaus, but we made it just in the nick of time to catch Los Beets who came all the way from Jackson Heights, Queens, New York!! As you may or may not know, The Beets are one of our beloved KLYAM bands and this year we caught them in the flesh twice within two weeks! This was a strange show for several reasons. We were running late and I feared that we would miss The Beets, having journeyed so long for nuffin. When we arrived at the Whitehaus (for our very first time, by the way) there were few if any hellos and it was near darkness – plus we’re half blind anyway. Seconds pass and those smooth, transcendent Uruguayan voices rang through my ears and down into the depths of my bloody soul. All the blood I have puked since I found out I have gas in my veins. When the set finished, we had to flee once again to catch that dirty old train. It all happened so quickly, like a drug, The Beets drug. I know y’all would like a piece of that! REVIEWhttps://klyam.com/2013/11/27/review-the-beets-the-whitehaus/

Nice Sinclair
Nice Guys

9) FIDLAR, The Orwells, Nice Guys @ The Sinclair (10/23) – This was a nice slammer.  It’s always fun to see a local favorite (Nice Guys) dazzle an audience of newcomers and it’s all the more exceptional when they are sixteen and rambunctious! The Orwells make my liver shiver and quiver OR that’s all the alcohol? Anyway, we’ve loved these dudes for years and they put on an excellent show. They have this real clean cut exterior to them kind of like The Strokes and Arctic Monkeys, real polished rock ‘n’ roll, but beneath there’s a slimy underbelly that represents some of the bands (Black Lips, Jay Reatard) we grew up and threw up on ourselves. And FIDLAR, I’m just happy you and your fans didn’t break my nose. REVIEWhttps://klyam.com/2013/11/15/review-fidlar-the-orwells-nice-guys-the-sinclair/

Clams Great
Shannon and the Clams

8) Shannon and The Clams, The Fagettes, Atlantic Thrills @ Great Scott (11/20) – This list is a testament that we’ve been blessed with a plethora of excellent shows this year, but I can honestly say only a select few are what I would dub a “stacked line-up” and this here is one of them. Our two favorite New England based rock ‘n’ roll bands (The Fagettes and Atlantic Thrills) on the same stage as one of the best in the whole land, the fabulous Shannon and The Clams. I saw the Clams earlier this year and, while that was a great performance, this time around the crowd went a lot crazier and that always makes the difference. The band’s cover of Del Shannon’s “Runaway” alone made my night :). REVIEWhttps://klyam.com/2013/12/29/review-shannon-and-the-clams-fagettes-atlantic-thrills-great-scott-112013/

7) Guerilla Toss, Fat Creeps, Nice Guys, Designer Halloween Show @ Cambridge Elks Lodge (10/19) – Halloween is usually a good excuse for everyone to let loose, get wasted, and eat a shit ton of candy. Oh yeah, and to dress up like their favorite bands and play a set full of bizarre covers. That’s my favorite part. G Toss took to the role of one Meatloaf, Designer dropped down to their skivvies and cranked out a noisy set of Blink – 182 numbers, and Fat Creeps destroyed as the legendary Cramps. My favorite performance by far was the Nice Guys as The Mummies. Being somewhat of a garage junkie, I’d kill to see The Mummies and I felt like this came inches away from the real thang. Alex Mum demolishing his keyboards was priceless. Poor keyboards, they never had a chance. REVIEWhttps://klyam.com/2013/11/08/review-fat-creeps-nice-guys-designer-guerilla-toss-cambridge-elks-101913/

Wavves

6) Wavves, King Tuff, Jacuzzi Boys @ The Sinclair (10/1) – Wavves is one of those bands I’ve cherished over the years. One of the few bigger bands I still enjoy. I wasn’t overly enthusiastic with their latest record, Afraid of Heights, but it has grown on me. Studio work aside, this band still kills me live. It’s as if these songs were made to be heard exclusively live. From Wavves’ inception, there’s been a great anthemic feel to their music and this show at Sinclair is enough evidence for me that they can still kick out the jams like the best of them. It was also a pleasure to finally see King Tuff and Jacuzzi Boys, bands we’ve been aching to see for a few years now. And on a personal note, I was happy to chat with Wavves’ members Stephen Pope and Alex Gates about their past (and future) in the magnificent Memphis bands The Barbaras, Girls of the Gravitron, and Cretin Stompers. REVIEWhttps://klyam.com/2013/10/04/review-wavves-king-tuff-jacuzzi-boys-sinclair-10113/

Ty Bowery
A photo of three sexy men

5) Ty Segall @ The Bowery Ballroom (8/30) – What up New York City? We voyage to NYC once or twice a year to see some of our favorite bands. This time it was the man, Ty Segall, the global ambassador for rock ‘n’ roll. If rock ‘n’ roll had a representative at the UN it would be this man. For this show/tour Ty and his bodacious band played an all acoustic set, performing the album Sleeper in its entirety as well as some old classics such as “Girlfriend.” I’ve never seen kids (including myself) mosh and stage dive to acoustic music before and I may never again. Only you Ty, only you. REVIEWhttps://klyam.com/2013/10/08/review-ty-segall-bowery-ballroom-83013/

Hunxxx
Hunx and His Punx

4) Hunx and His Punx, Hunters, The Fagettes @ Brighton Music Hall (8/23) – Let’s face it we’re fairly predictable around here –  but that’s NOT a bad thing! because we are consistently enthralled with gorgeous music, at least I think so. It’s true! Hunx is a long time KLYAM favorite and a must see live band (seriously do it!). Just writing about Hunx gets me all revved up and ready to go. This year the band morphed into ultra punx with the release of their epic, early hardcore punk ode Street Punk, and they brought all the piss and vinegar with them when they destroyed our fair city last August.  The set’s most memorable moment actually came from a couple of kinky crowd members, when a young man was accosted by a topless middle aged woman and the two proceeded to slobber over one another for the remainder of the show. I will never be able to listen to “Lover’s Lane” the same way ever again. “Just gotta touch you and squeeze you, and make you mine/I want to hold you til the end of time.” Yeesh, did they have to take it so literally?! Stellar set from Fagettes as always. Hunters were cool too. REVIEWhttps://klyam.com/2013/09/09/review-hunx-and-his-punx-hunters-fagettes-brighton-music-hall-82313/

atlantic thrills bbq

3) Ravi Shavi, The New Highway Hymnal, Atlantic Thrills “Rock ‘n’ Roll BBQ With Psychedelic Sauce” – We saw quite a bit of shows in Providence, RI this year and every single time we came to see our chief punk slime animals in Atlantic Thrills. Mix them up with fellow Providence soul machines Ravi Shavi and our Boston psych creatures The New Highawy Hymnal and I’m one happy camper. All of this madness was set to the background of the TRIPPY Lysergic Factory Light Show! I don’t think I’ve ever “danced” more in my life,  charming some attendees, perhaps frightening most. Those were fucked times, fun times. I woke up the next morning covered in dirt and blood and my dick hurt a little bit (only a little bit).  In hindsight, it was the perfect summer night. REVIEWhttps://klyam.com/2013/07/27/review-ravi-shavi-the-new-highway-hymnal-atlantic-thrills-in-providence-71313/

2) The New Highway Hymnal, Atlantic Thrills, Polaroids, The Real Tom Hanks @ Wilder Zangcraft (2/23) – Once again, The New Highway Hymnal and Atlantic Thrills throwing straight up wild shows! This show took place at one of my favorite DIY spaces, a tiny basement in Lowell that was overwhelmingly consumed by 50 or more plastered college kids all accompanied by the perpetual, visual mindfuck that is the Lysergic Factory Light Show. NHH demolished my skin and bones as can be expected at Lowell basements shows. But, on this night my sweet, sozzled eyes have never seen such a fantastic, frenetic show from Providence’s finest, Atlantic Thrills. It was great to sing/scream along to all the songs, slam back pbr after pbr, and smash into my peers for a couple hours. In my primitive state of mind, I think I screamed “Lies” and “Demolicion” at the band about two hundred times. Lunacy at its most depraved. The Real Tom Hanks and Polaroids were both exciting and ethereal in their own rights. A memorable night in my life to say the very least. REVIEWhttps://klyam.com/2013/03/08/concert-review-the-new-highway-hymnal-atlantic-thrills-polaroids-the-real-tom-hanks-wilder-zangcraft-22313/

1) Hassle Fest 5 @ Cambridge Elks Lodge (11/7-11/8) – How could this not be number 1? This was/is the pinnacle of local underground music. A two day festival showcasing some of the best, most groundbreaking, and above all invigorating bands both at home and across the nation. So, as I’ve said before, it’s pretty much a microcosm for everything the Boston Hassle promotes all year long. Every single day. And we couldn’t salute y’all enough. I’ve found that several local music fans (some of which played the festival themselves) walked away with similar feelings as my own. I know we KLYAMERS have never seen anything else like it, just a constant barrage of band after band after band. It felt intimate and gigantic all at once. Unforgettable. My favorite sets included Fat Creeps, Guerilla Toss, Lightning Bolt, The Beets, and Kal Marks. REVIEWhttps://klyam.com/2013/12/13/hassle-fest-recap-118-913/

So, that’s that. Top albums of the year coming up next.

Listen: The New Highway Hymnal – Reverb Room EP

Reverb
Cover art by Amelia Gormley

The New Highway Hymnal are cracking skulls yet again! The Reverb Room EP is a whacked out, psych trip that solidifies their status as the ultimate Boston psych freak out machine. Yet, this release isn’t all macabre, there’still plenty of satisfying Americana charm, charm that will get your mothers dancing and tripping all over the place. The Winter Of Love has arrived.

Side A:
1) By the Pool
2) Isolation

Side B:
1) Reverb Room
Vanya Records. VAN007

Ohh and you can stream The New Highway Hymnal playing LIVE from Red Star (Cambridge) right now. I’m talking RIGHT NOW… http://www.vanyaland.com/2013/11/21/live-stream-ghost-box-orchestra-new-highway-hymnal-live-redstar-cambridge-8-11pm-est/