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.

Ronnie Nordac Interview


Check out this sweet, informative Ronnie Nordac interview from “The Media.” It’s from a little while back, April 25 @ Radio in Somerville to be exact haha. This is the night Ronnie opened for Colleen Green; Fedavees and Fat Creeps played as well. I just discovered it now though, so I figured I’d post it. You can even hear Fat Creeps playing in the background!

Review: Guerilla Toss, In Heat, Advaeta, Crying Lessons, Noisy Boys @ JP Drive In (9/28/13)


This freaks out my dad. Freak out all dads – whether they are your real dad or not.

Bands: Guerilla Toss, In Heat, Advaeta, Ronnie Nordac’s Crying Lessons, Noisy Boys
Date: Saturday, September 28, 2013
Venue: JP Drive In/ Ill Spot

Noisy Boys – This must have been a last minute addition or I’m losing my head. I’m not even sure if I got the band’s name right. That’s okay, since they claim to have formed a mere six hours ago, and yet they are already famous. The band consists of Simon Hanes (from headliner Guerilla Toss) on vocals and guitar and another dude on drums. I never catch his name, but he is a zick drummer.

Together, the two warm up this evening’s festivities with a ten minute or so set chock fulla  of obnoxious tunes such as “I’m a Slut” – I assume that is the title anyway because the song’s only lyrics are “I’M A SLUT! I’M A SLUT! I’M A SLUT! I’M  A SLUT!”  and they are shouted at an enormous rate, perfectly complemented by the speedy drums and noisy guitar. “I’m a slut” is my top Noisy Boys jam, in fact we should change the name of this site to Sluts Like You & Me, the  SLYAM! (pronounced slam). I regret writing this already.

Hopping back to the performance, it’s funny how initially everyone wants to stand back a little bit further from the band, while there still is space. I normally don’t like doing this, but I also wish to preserve the bits and pieces that remain of my hearing, at least until I have a few beers in me.

Some other numbers include a song about a Christmas Tree and a song where Simon simply sings “YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH.” I agree, most lyrics are stupid, one word suffices.

Noisy Boys speak in faux British accents, which appears to be a popular theme in my show experiences as of late, and they are very grateful for all of those that came out to support them in their slick rise to fame. Hope to see them again in some shady setting, large or small.

Ronnie Nordac’s Crying Lessons – I saw these kewl cats a few weeks back at the Boston Underground Summit and that was pretty rad. Ronnie Nordac is indeed a kewl lad, rocking his shades and speaking of the wonders of making out with babes and sippin’ on 40’s.  His music inspires me to pursue far more of the former and far less of the latter.  Now with Crying Lessons, it’s not just Ronnie – he’s shared on floor with several other familiar scenesters all of whom rock the kewl Ronnie shades, well, almost all of them. But, they are all super kewl.

The Crying Lessons features guitarz, bass, drums, and the lead vocals of Dylan aka Girl Ronnie as I have nicknamed her. They play a batch of short – close your eyes for a second and you could miss them – but ever so sweet fuzzed out doo wop tinged rock ‘n’ roll songs. My favorite is a slow dance/prom song that reminds me of “The Locomotion,” one of my all time favorite songs.

Overall, this performance is an improvement or I’m simply standing closer to the band, either way it’s  a lot of fun and I highly recommend them to all y’all. Like em’ on the fascist book, https://www.facebook.com/CryingLessons but, please stop liking after 2,080 because we all know it’s no longer kewl after 2,080 likes.

Yo also check out this little live vid from Noah Bartel: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sbHvse8tT4Y

Advaeta – Advaeta are here from Brooklyn and they totally rule. I have never heard of them up until tonight, but they blow me away. The band consists of three talented, attractive women: Amanda on guitar and vocals, Sara on guitar and vocals, and Lani on drums.

They have an overwhelming, gargantuan audio assault that just slaps you across the face, but in a pleasant way. It’s noisy, but it’s not noise rock, there’s a lot of solid pop songs here too. I can’t quite put my finger on any comparisons, but I’d like to think of it  as Sonic Youth if they were a garage band.

There’s also a very trippy quality to this performance or maybe that’s just me. Certainly, the colorful visuals provided by the band’s friend Ginny, a sweet girl I met earlier in the evening, amplify these reactions in me.

Apparently, Advaeta has played in Boston a few times now and they recently played with Guerilla Toss at 285 Kent in Brooklyn, damn some day I’ll venture out to that venue.

Advaeta come back soon!  http://advaitabangbang.bandcamp.com/

In Heat – These Providence dudes are coming off a string of shows with Guerilla Toss and they are more than excited to be concluding their jaunt with us tonight in JP.  They are one of the heavier bands on the bill and kids mosh around to them and generally rock out more than any other band thus far. Sadly, I only catch half of their set and most of the time I’m way in the back, behind the packed crowd. It’s all good, I’m saving most of my zest for G Toss.

Guerilla Toss – By the time the final band goes on I’m typically shit cocked to use a phrase I heard an upstanding gentlemen spew the other day, and this show is no exception. Admittedly, I can only remember portions of this set. With that being said, as with all Guerilla Toss shows it’s a grizzly, bestial mindfuck of an experience, and I can testify to that. Even though my memory is blurry I do remember the crowd dancing and moshing and members of the band bouncing back and forth in the crowd and all that perspiring messy stuff that ought to happen at a fine show. There’s all of that and it’s a blast. For those, that don’t know who Guerilla Toss is, I don’t even know where to begin and I feel like I wouldn’t do justice anyway. Just see/hear for yourself. http://guerillatoss.bandcamp.com/album/kicked-back-into-the-crypt

And check out another Noah Bartel live vid below:

Video Review: Ronnie Nordac, Durt Dog the Band, Gangbang Gordon @ Club Bohemia (8/1/13)

GBG
Bands: Ronnie Nordac, Durt Dog the Band, Gangbang Gordon, Animals & Sharp
Date: Thursday, August 1, 2013
Venue: Club Bohemia (Cambridge, MA)

So, I was not present for this wonderful, most likely life mutilating experience :(. Fortunately, Papa KLYAM viddied the whole show on his old school, analog, 1991 VHS styled camera. Good work sir! And with documentation being the name of the game I just had to write about the thing. In other words, this is technically not a live review, but rather a review of the performance via video. Ok ramblers, let’s get rambling.

Ganbang Gordon – Name a piece of music from the last twenty-five years that wasn’t influenced by Gangbang Gordon. Tough, considering this is only his third performance! His latest and greatest, a massive improvement from the last two shows, which were striking in their own fashion, but this one tops them all.

Firstly, GBG’s appearance is slightly different here. This time, he eschews the regular GBG garb (blonde wig, corona hat, shades, etc), wearing a casual shirt and shorts instead. Secondly, he is joined on stage by local musician and pal, Ben Tan on drums. Together the two bash through a set of standard GBG tunes including “Damn Shame,” “Passed In My MCAS Exam,” and my favorite “Life at the ABC,” a song by and for the working man. Another notable number comes in the form of a cover of Girls of the Gravitron’s “Weird World,” an obscure song from an obscure band; nonetheless, GBG captures it’s weird spirit.

In typical GBG fashion, the outside rocker runs around the venue, on and off the stage, playing on the floor, creating piles of feedback and often hasslin’ the audience in the process. Thankfully, the crowd is rather warm and receptive with shouts and cheers, oohs and ahhs alike. The biggest response comes when he unleashes his epic Spanish rapcore ditty “Orguello de Rappers,” bringing the mic with him out on the floor, rapping directly for the people.

The set concludes with GBG and BBT (BIG BEN TAN) simultaneously boppin’ the drums, each with one drum stick in hand. The crowd eats it up and applauds while the pair step forward, bowing for their audience in mutual appreciation.

If you would like to learn more about Gangbang Gordon, go to your local library or simply click the link here: http://gbgordon.bandcamp.com/

“Have you been Durt Dogging it man?”
“Yeah, I’ve been Durt Dogging it dude. I Durt Dog it four times a day.”
“No no, I mean rocking out to the infectious sounds of Lowell based folk slimers Durt Dog the Band led by the one and only Brian Donovan.”
“Ohhh.”

Well son, now is your time to experience Durt Dog the Band. And if you haven’t  listened to Durt Dog the Band, listen to Durt Dog the Band. I don’t know how to make it any clearer. Brian Durt Dog Donovan is accompanied by several of his comrades and they provide us with a vast, intimidating set that lasts for fifty minutes! They even tag along a violinist.

The music is mellow, may even make you reflect upon your life up until this very moment and what great music doesn’t do that anyway? I don’t recall if they play it or not (gimme a break I’ve only seen the video once!), but “Rat Traps” off the album Weight is one of my favorite things right now in life. It’s encouraging, like when you are riding your bike for the first time as a child (no training wheels) and you realize that the mailman is no longer holding on to you, you’re doing it all by yourself… and now you’re desperately trying to get away from the mailman. Heavy stuff. Listen to the Weight and everything Durt Dog here: http://durtdogtheband.bandcamp.com/album/weight

Golly. That’s the best word I have to describe the music of Ronnie Nordac. Golly, what a fine young man we have here. Fine with his long, black hair and shades like Joey Ramone. I imagine in High School Ronnie was constantly getting chased by all the girls.

“Gosh, I’d love to go to the Enchantment Under the Sea Dance with you Ronnie Nordac!” Of course you do, sweetheart.

Ronnie Nordac lives life the way God intended us to: eating pizza, drinking 40s, and making out with babes. Paradise. In fact, Ronnie would fit in well with the Garden of Eden crowd; plinking away on his guitar, whilst Adam and Eve hop around naked – save for the green leaves on top of their crotches, and naturally they will be tongue wrestling, sipping on 40s, and emptying pizza box after pizza box. No heart attacks, no hang overs, no HIVs, just Ronnie. Do iT!
Listen up kids: http://ronnienordac.bandcamp.com/