Show Review: Bass Drum of Death, The People’s Temple, Black Beach @ Middle East Upstairs (10/6/14)

By Joanna Trachtenberg

This was the Illegally Blind show I have been waiting for for quite a while. That’s right: 2 Time Super Bowl Champions The Mighty Bass Drum of Death are back in town! For those of you who don’t know. Illegally Blind is Jason Trefts’s booking company.

I saw the opening band Black Beach only about a week earlier blow the roof off of Thieves Grotto. They were probably my favorite band at that party so I was looking forward to seeing them again. They were the perfect local band to open this show. They played pretty much the same set as a week ago but they sounded and looked even better with the lights and projections around the stage. They rip hard and are a force to be reckoned with. John from Bass Drum of Death even commented that they are the best opener he has seen so far on their tour. Big props to Jason for adding them to the bill.

After a brief break Michigan psych 5 piece The People’s Temple came on. This was my first time seeing them. I have heard their recordings and I think that they rock much harder live than on those recordings. For some reason I thought they were going to be more laid back. I guess to keep up with Bass Drum of Death you really gotta rip it. Their singer reminded me a little of Hadden from The New Highway Hymnal. They impressed me.

Now it was time for 2 Time Super Bowl Champions The Mighty Bass Drum of Death to rip everyone a new asshole. The crowd started jostling as soon as John Barrett strummed the opening riff of Velvet Itch. As the heavy hitting jams continued, the crowd just got more wild. The band members long hair went flying around the stage nonstop as they played. Bass Drum of Death just put out a rippin’ new album appropriately titled RIP THIS! So obviously they featured a number of songs from it. They also did a number of my favorite older songs of their such as I Wanna Be Forgotten, Nerve Jamming & Get Found. For some songs there were girls that jumped onstage and danced. Just watch the video of Crawling After You. For their encore they did GB City track Religious Girls and a cover of Spirit In The Sky which at first I wondered if it was BRMC’s Spread Your Love because those songs have similar chord progressions. After the show I got to chill with the guys. They are some of the most awesome nice guys ever. Finally it was time for me to go home and let my bruises heal. This was not the first time I was bruised at a BDOD show.

Show Review: TYVEK / Cloud Nothings @ Sinclair (10/8/14)

By Joanna TrachtenbergI saw Cloud Nothings for the second time this year. It was a tough decision for me to choose between seeing Cloud Nothings or seeing Warpaint who were playing the same night at Royale. One of the reasons why I chose this show was because of the opening band Tyvek who I will get to later. The first band on were Chandos who are a new local band I’d never heard of. I met a couple of their band members before the show and they told me that they are kind of punkish and thought I’d like them based on my tastes. They came on and sounded decent but I didn’t find anything extra special about them. I thought that Black Beach opening for Bass Drum of Death a few days earlier were much better because they had more bang for their buck.

Now it was time for the band of the night TYVEK! They were so amazing. This was my first time seeing them and they impressed me so much. They remind me of a rawer version of Parquet Courts. I overheard someone refer to them as “choppy” which I can only assume was a compliment. Some of the songs they played included Honda, Underwater 1, This One or That One and my personal favorite Wayne County Roads. I wish that the crowd was more into them. Most of the crowd was standing still during their set yet I was bouncing the entire time. One thing in common with Tyvek and Cloud Nothings is that they have both had bass drum trouble when I have seen them. At the beginning of Tyvek’s set the bass drum kept shifting and they couldn’t get it to be still on the stage. The drummer was having trouble playing it so they had to finish their set using Cloud Nothings’s bass drum. That reminded me of when I saw Cloud Nothings in April and the drummer was playing so hard that he broke his bass drum. At least Bass Drum of Death didn’t have Bass Drum Trouble. That would have been ironic though if they did.

Anyway back to Cloud Nothings. Cloud Nothings hour or so long set consisted mostly of songs from their two recent albums Here And Nowhere Else and Attack On Memory. I don’t know his name but their dummer is such a beast out there. He really enhances their live performances. The highlight of their set was the 10+ minute version of Wasted Days which turned into a mini jam. Then for an encore they played No Future/No Past which they did not play when I saw them in April. Afterwords I ran into a few of the Tyvek guys and I told them how much I loved them. I want to see them again soon.

Review: Ausmuteants @ Barack’s Barracks (10/1/14)

NO I DONT WANT TO TOUCH. Australia’s Ausmuteants (Goner Records/Aarght Records) came through to 1500 Penn Ave on October 1 as part of their first US tour. They had just hit up Gonerfest 11, making for contemporary rock ‘n roll history, and here they are now in a packed cozy basement playing for interested brass.

Well before the actual playin and stuff, I saw these guys loading in. They gotta grab some Blanchard brews and I introduce myself and go with them. Some were familiar with my playing over “Kicked In The Head By A Horse,” and do I love that song. Yeah I do. Well a couple a hours later there they are up on the non-stage cranking out chart toppers from their first LPs and their most recent Order of Operation CD/tape – though the vinyl is coming girls and guys. I found myself feelin as if I was seeing a favorite band for the second time. That’s a nice feeling. Rest assured it was my first time, but I’m telling you these Aussies play strict pounders. There are some blunt force punk hits, no synths. Like “Kicked” and “Felix Tried To Kill Himself,” so demented so sweet. But Jakes’ synth does definitely stand these guys out a part from a lot of the straight away garagers of today. Part of this group are tunes like “Tinnitus” where they made the money (ya I watched the live Gonerfest stream), “No Motivation,” “Wrong” and set closer, “Boiling Point” from their latest. Like I said, just being here, specially in this choice environment, was incredible. I never got to see Jay, the Lips, and so on, bands of like-minded noisy catchiness in a spot like this. Anyway, nearly all Ausmuteants take turns singing and hollering, they got their own ways of doing things. Particularly ruling things, maybe cause I wasn’t expecting him to start singing, was Shaun. On “Freedom of Information,” the lead-off track from Order of Operation, the delivery of the tune is that DEVO maybe more like Lost Sounds shout and repeat after me post Social Media rampage. It’s positively funky not funk – imagine if these guys were from around here. Be on some serious see ’em every chance possible grind. It’s a pleasurable, at times funny, grind and we wish ’em safe travels and hot jams across the United States, back in Australia, and everywhere else.

While you’re at it, go along and check out some Australian recommendations that Jake gave me: the label ANTI-FADE which is run by drummer Billy, and the bands TV Colours, Velvet Whip, Wet Blankets, and Yoghurt Blood.

Catch ’em on their remaining dates:

10/7 – Minneapolis, MN @ Hexagon w/ Real Numbers
10/10 – Portland, OR @ Dante?s w/ King Khan & BBQ Show
10/11 – Seattle, WA @ The Crocodile w/ King Khan & BBQ Show
10/15 – San Francisco, CA @ Hemlock Tavern
10/17 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Smell

Review: Ty Segall, La Luz, Boytoy @ Great Scott (9/19/14)

Ty Great Scott
Bands: Ty Segall, La Luz, Boytoy
Date: Friday, September 19, 2014
Venue: Great Scott (Allston, MA)

Boytoy – I’ve never heard nor seen these knickerbockers before, but apparently at least one of the members is originally from Boston or at least was a part of the Boston music scene some time ago. Alright, we’ll give them that. I would have preferred seeing a local band such as one Nice Guys, but it’s all good, Ty Segall is playing tonight!

I get my typical spot right up front and center for Boytoy. I wouldn’t have it any other way.  I spend most of the set mildly rocking out, if you will. Swaying a bit to and fro, doing the headbob. Most of the crowd looks like they could use a big buck of water splashed upon them; I guess like myself everyone is just waiting for Ty to hit the stage.

I like Boytoy’s set as a whole. Poppy, easy to get into, but doesn’t cut too deep for me. Reminds me a little of Boston’s Mean Creek and I have similar feelings for them. Not too shabby, but not something I’m in love with either. In any case, check them out here: http://boytoy.bandcamp.com/

La Luz – Alas, I missed most of La Luz’s set and what I did see I was way in the back for. I’ve heard a lot of positive things about this Seattle band from reputable sources i.e. friends and musicians, whose taste in music I respect.  Based on what I’m listening to now on their bandcamp, it sounds like they have a soft, surf/dream pop feel to them. Brings to mind Dum Dum Girls and local favorites Littlefoot. Give it a listen: http://laluz.bandcamp.com/

 Ty Segall – The full band arrives on stage. The classic line up, y’all know. Emily Rose Epstein on drums, Charlie Moothart on guitar, Mikal Cronin on bass/vocals, and of course the man man himself Ty Segall on vocals/guitar. These aliens/glam rockers, I mean glam rockers are pretty much aliens anyway, are introduced by a gentleman in a white cowboy hat and suit known as Jimmy Longhorn.  Jimmy speaks of Boston glam legend Lou Miami (early 80s) to an antsy and puzzled crowd. You mean to tell me you fuckers don’t know LOU MIAMI?!Ahh I probably wouldn’t either if it wasn’t for Papa Georgio. Okay, back to the present.

Ty is the global ambassador for rock ‘n’ roll. Mmmhmm. At the UN, he represents rock ‘n’ roll. He stands proudly, shredding his guitar and bringing peace and unity across all the countries. Maybe not… yet.

For one thing, he has a legion of followers or let’s say dedicated fans. Followers makes it sound like we’re all ass kissing wannabe cult freaks. Needless to say, Ty’s done well for himself and he’s pretty fucking big at least by my standards. He may not be mainstream, but he’s up there and at this juncture in his career I honestly would have never thought I’d see the dude headlining Great Scott, a 24o capacity venue. He could sell out Middle East Downstairs, The Sinclair, Brighton Music Hall, Paradise, hell even *cringes* the Royale no problem. On a Friday night to boot! I saw this guy and his cronies sell out Great Scott on a Monday night last year in his band FUZZ.

At this level, Ty playing Great Scott as a regular tour stop seemed unthinkable. Unfair even. There’s at least a few hundred more fans that missed out on his performance, because Great Scott is a relatively small venue. With that being said, I’m grateful to be seeing the dude and his band in such a comparatively intimate setting. I’ve seen him a few times before including a visit to Brooklyn’s outdoor venue, The Well, and that was a behemoth, a thousand or more fans in attendance. So yeah, you get the picture, being up front here with the small stage, mere inches away from the band is an entirely different experience.

Without digressing, I also want to mention that this is the band’s first time back in Boston since playing the Homegrown Festival four years ago. Welcome back sir! Ty even acknowledges this absence and apologizes for it. I don’t know why, it’s been so long, but who cares you aliens are here now and that’s all that matters.

From beginning to end, the set is a banger. Ty, Mikal, Charlie, and Emily never waste a second, rarely interacting with the audience, instead letting the music speak for itself. The crowd goes nuts as one can expect. A constant barrage of moshing, crowd surfing, stage diving, the whole nine. As a pint size punker (ehh, I’m not really a ‘punker’ I just love alliteration) I find it difficult to maintain my front and center spot, but I manage. A friend even comments on this following the show, asking how I was doing, “you took a few blows,” ahh nothing I can’t handle at this point.

I’ve found that Ty typically plays newer material at his shows and that’s perfectly fine with me. While Melted (2010) will probably always be my favorite Ty record, I’m more than excited to hear the freshest dish of raw, guitar grit he has to offer from his latest LP Manipulator. Indeed, the bulk of the set is music from the latter album and one of my favorite moments is when he plays the song “Feel,” ohh we feel it Ty.

Naturally, I go berserk (in the best possible way) when he whips out some of the vintage cuts such as “Standing At The Station,” “Skin,” “Girlfriend,” “Imaginary Person,” “You’re The Doctor,” “Thank God For The Sinners,” and an unexpected highlight in “The Drag,” a personal favorite.

Anyway you can take it, Ty is king. At the same time, he’s just another dude like you and me. Err, I mean kid like you and me ;). Ok, ok, I”ll wrap this up real quick. Point being, he’s not too cool to stop and chat with hundreds of fans including one Gangbang Gordon haha.

Until we meet again, thanks for one of the best shows all year and simply ever…

If you weren’t here, then you missed out!  At least you can check out this video from youtube user FrontRow Poster:

 

Review: Robot Death Kites @ Neverland (7/11/14)

RDK

“You’d like us if you were in Junior High.” These words appear on Robot Death Kites’ bandcamp page. I’m thinking… yeah, I would totally dig these dudes if I heard them in Junior High. Their music is extremely angst fueled and like so many of my peers I was pissed off all the time. Bullies, asshole teachers, gym class, math I dunno you get my point. Times sucked and I used music as an outlet to get through all that hideous shit. Robot Death Kites sing about bigger bullies and assholes. Evil corporations, sycophant yuppies, and Starbucks fiends. Depraved souls.

These fellers hail from Brooklyn, New York and I first heard of em’ two years ago when I too was roaming the street of Brooklyn, hungry. Seriously though, that wasn’t just a cute metaphorical phrasing. I actually was hungry, I hadn’t eaten in hours and it was around dinnertime; I was in town for a Nobunny show.

So waltzing down some lonely street in Brooklyn I bumped into a man in a chicken suit wearing boxing gloves. He led me to an odd, little restaurant known as Mama Joy’s. Long story short, the chicken turned out to be Dylan aka Snuggles. We bonded over tales of Gay Gardens shows and mutual tastes in music. He revealed himself as the bassist for this here band Rainbow Dream Kittens better known as the mighty ROBOT DEATH KITES.

Now, that brings us to the present day. Robot Death Kites are back in Boston and they’ve brought a tape with them – Yuppie Nightmare – their latest and greatest effort. The recordings are crisp and cool. You may catch yourself dancing along to the music at home alone, giving your junk the old plunk, the old one, two tug. Smash a few holes in the wall, empty another case of PBR. But, that’s not as fun as seeing these ruffians in the flesh dangling in front of you and more than likely resting their sweaty skin on top of your wee body.

Before the set begins vocals guy Otis aka Sunshine runs outside to rally the troops and round up as many men, women, and children as he can. About twenty or less bodies are present before Otis, Jon aka Artichoke (guitar), and Vinny aka Booboo (drums) rip through their set.

Robot Death Kite is pure spectacle. Otis is dressed in his mum’s Sunday best, a real top notch black number (he eventually slimes down to his skivvies), holding a red telephone as his microphone. Dylan’s face is covered in a set of fine pantyhose. Scrumptious. Don’t be misconstrued now. These guys have the guns to back up the glamour and they fire off a string of skull cracking tunes that gets the small, but enthusiastic crowd all riled up and ready to blow off some steam.

These miscreants really do put on a fun show. Their songs are angry and angst ridden, but the performance is anything but; if anything it’s an excuse to go ballistic, like you needed one, right?  It’s Atlantic Thrills meets Guerilla Toss meets Rage Against The Machine if they were a basement band. Speaking of which, a basement is the perfect place to see Robot Death Kites, I can’t imagine it any other way. There’s just something about knocking back two PBRs and clutching your third in the midst of a mosh pit, whilst a convulsing Dylan Death Kite leans back and shreds his guitar in the middle of the pit on the cold basement floor.

Definitely a must see. We’ll have to get these fine, upstanding gentlemen back in Boston again sometime soon. It’s a pleasure to finally meet some of you dudes and bring home a few bruises in the process. Fuck it, you don’t want to leave this world without any scars.

LISTEN UP: http://robotdeathkites.bandcamp.com/

Does anyone have any videos from this enchanted evening? I’d love to see them. Give the dumbasses that didn’t attend a chance to see what they missed out on. Ahh well, here’s a vid from Boston Hassle of the band’s set at Gay Gardens (RIP) the last time they were here. Enjoy.

 

 

Review: The Growlers, The Garden @ Brighton Music Hall (9/14/14)

By Joanna Trachtenberg

This was my 3rd time seeing The Growlers in the last 2 years. The opener, The Garden, I’d heard of but wasn’t familiar with their music. They are a duo that consists of two twin brothers from So Cal. They started with a few short punchy punk songs. Then about midway through their set I saw the singer/guitarist put down his guitar and the drummer got up from his throne. I was thinking “They couldn’t be done so soon. They were only on for about 10 minutes.” Then I saw one of the guys press some buttons and a drum machine turned on. They both started rapping and it turned into a hip-hop show. I was not expecting to see 2 skinny guys rapping at a Growlers show. After a few minutes of that they got back to their regular instruments and the short punchy punk tunes continued. Their punk songs almost reminded me of a less aggressive version of The Hussy (who are also a duo).

Right before The Growlers took the stage a drag queen dressed in stereotypical Asian dress came out and started singing and dancing to the crowd. Some of the songs that played when she was out there were “Jet Boy Jet Girl” by The New York Dolls and “Homosapien” by Pete Shelley. At first it made me wonder if Brooks Nielsen had a new career, but once she started singing I knew it wasn’t him. After about a 10 minute performance the drag queen introduced The Growlers. The stage was decked in Chinese style fans and dragon heads in honor of their new album Chinese Fountain. The best part about seeing The Growlers live besides their music is watching Brooks do his funny little dancing. For some songs he was dancing with the drag queen and then he pushed her in to the crowd so she could crowdsurf. I didn’t recognize Brooks right away without a mustache. I personally think that mustaches should be mandatory for any members of The Growlers. Their set lasted a little over 90 minutes. Sorry but I don’t remember the actual setlist because I didn’t write it down but I know they did a bunch of new songs. The crowd seemed to get most excited towards the end when they did One Million Lovers and Someday. After the show when the bandmembers went off stage I could see one of The Growlers (I think it was Anthony) moon the crowd. They have been great everytime I have seen them and I am hoping for their thereafter walkabout.

Review: Cumstain, Free Pizza, Gangbang Gordon (Tape Release), White Pages @ JP Drive In (8/24/14)

Cumstain Boston
Flyer by Christine Moore
Bands: Free Pizza, Cumstain, Gangbang Gordon, White Pages
Date: Sunday, August 24, 2014
Venue: JP Drive In (Jamaica Plain, MA)

FUCK YESSS! Cumstain in Boston! We’ve been huge Cumstain fans for the last four years, so this is truly a triumphant day in KLYAM history. A dear diary moment indeed. I had visions of seeing the band play in a dank, crowded basement and NOW for once my fantasies have cum true!

White Pages – White Pages kick the show in the balls with a BANG. Not my favorite garage rawk band around these parts, but they fit in well with the crew tonight; fast, sloppy, out of tune punk rock. Songs are over before you even knew they began. I wish they were a little bit more distinctive, but I appreciate the ramshackle. I also get a kick out of the band’s self deprecating attitude. “You couldn’t possibly hate us as much as we hate ourselves.” Haha. http://whitepages.bandcamp.com/

Gangbang Gordon – Shit, if you thought White Pages were nutty then you’re in for a shocker. If the name alone didn’t scare you away (which it shouldn’t), brace yourself for America’s greatest cultural train wreck, GANGBANG GORDON! Culturally Irrevelerent that is. That’s GBG’s tape (out now on BUFU Records) and this is his tape release show. Did you get all that?

Gordon and his fellow gangbangers, which includes a rockin’ Sydney Kinchen on tambourine, are all squeegied together in a tight spot in the basement. This is their first haus show and honestly the best I’ve seen from the group. Not just hoppin’ on the Gangbang train, it’s the best I’ve seen. The sound is smoother, it’s a teeny bit more melodic, and the bangers just feel more at home. For one thing, the vocals are clearer than ever, though I also recognize most of the lyrics, since I’ve watched these little puppies (the songs) grow practically since their inception.

I think they open with “Malt Shop,” a pill poppin’ popper. It’s outsider noise, but there’s also some slamming, traditional punk rock to it. Some of the songs have solid, catchy, head bobbin’ inducing riffs to them (“Life At The ABC,” “I Can Testify,” and “Slide Paper”), but then sometimes those riffs get lost in the madness. I know this is a gangbang, but I’d prefer it if they had more rehearsals. Like they all gang up on a teddy bear or two the night before.

It’s okay though, as I said this is my favorite set from the dudes. When GBG/Gordon/Gangbang/Ted Bundy/ G Spin It/Max Hardcore/GG Gordon Allin/ GG Gordon Liddy/Gangbang Gordon Marshall JK plops into the crowd resting his guitar against his JP Drive By vicdumbs he serenades them with each guitar stroke, giving all their GF’s strokes in the process. They eat up each JP Lick he has to offer.

Cheers buddy, let’s see you and your minions do it again in another rusty basement near you and me and other kids like us in a theater near you and perhaps me, but closer to you. http://gbgordon.bandcamp.com/

Cumstain – WHA WHA WHATTT??? WHAT’S THEIR NAME?!! Chill out bro, it’s cool, EVERYBODY CUMS. In fact, that should be the name of a children’s book: Everybody Cums. From the creators of Everybody Poops…. We’ll teach them while they’re young so we don’t have to deal with all of their PC whining when they grow old. Wipe away all that self-righteous shame in its infancy.

Seriously though, I’m getting the chills. I’ve waited for this for so long. The band opens with White People Problems (2012) classic “I Ain’t Wrong.” Hot dog, we have a weiner. We also hear some newish cuts such as “Dahmer Blues (Gimme Head),” my Grandmother’s favorite Cumstain song. She used to shotgun six busch lights with Jeffrey Dahmer every morning. She’s a trooper.

For the first half of the set, the crowd is kind of swaying about, nodding along, you know politely rockin’ out or whatever that noise is. Erin and Sean then introduce one of Cumstain’s finest tunes “Bachelor’s Life” (from 2010’s Hurry Up and Kill Yourself You Scumbug, Trust Me Your Mother Won’t Miss You) as a song a certain someone (HINT: Expletive Gore Dan) might enjoy… and that sets the crowd off as it oughta. What a banger!

The crowd’s sauced and rowdy, boppin’ and sloppin’ to and fro. The band climaxes with their eponymous #1 hit “Cumstain” (2010) and I hear some folks giggle as Sean sings “I just want to fuck you.”  But, that’s not enough. The people want more. They demand sloppy seconds and we get an encore with “Broke My Dick” (2010) and the bodies keep slamming some more, culminating in a 40 shattering to pieces. It’s just another malt liquor stain on your floor.

A HUGE HUGE HUGE HUGE thanks to Cumstain for playing this show on their tour. It was amazing to finally meet Sean and Erin. Boston loves you, pretty please cum back soon!!!

LISTEN!: http://cumstain.bandcamp.com/

Free Pizza – The moshing continues and barely stops for a breather. The crowd goes particularly apeshit during the local rock anthem “Boston, MA.” Surely, it is one of those songs I wish could go on for two hours, if you’re just feeling it. The lyrics center around the happenings of young musicians and music lovers and pretty much anyone else depending on how you take it “living in Boston, Massachusetts.” My favorite line is “chill with the dead in the cemetery.” The dead. Grateful Dead. Haha, I always picture Jesus, Santiago, and Nick chilling with the Grateful Dead in a cemetery when I hear that line. Perhaps their jamming together. Perhaps.

Go see these guys live. There’s no excuse not to, one of the best around town and they play all the time. http://freepizzarocks.bandcamp.com/

THANKS TO ALL THE BANDS THAT PLAYED, BOSTON HASSLE/BODIES OF WATER SHOWS, BUFU RECORDS, AND EVERYONE THAT CAME OUT TO THE SHOW OR WANTED TO!

Don’t leave before checking out this sick vid of Cumstain from the show shot by our dear friend Mr. Melody Matters!