Thanks to the huffingduster You Tube channel here’s a video of Nobunny performing a solo set at a house show in Berkley, CA on July 12, 2008. Damn, I’d love to see a Nobunny house show! Shannon and the Clams and The Ears were also on the bill.
DAYEMMMM! The Burger Boogaloo (July 5-6 in Oakland,CA) features an epic line-up this year: Ronnie Spector, Milk ‘N’ Cookies, Nobunny, Shannon & The Clams, Juan Wauters, Thee Oh Sees, White Fang, The Muffs, OFF!, The Reigning Sound, Personal & The Pizza, Pookie & The Poodlez, Summer Twins, La Sera, and more!
Check it out here: http://www.burgerboogaloo.com/
I know I’m a little late on this and I already ran my mouth off in my last post regarding my top shows of 2013, so I’ll do my best to keep this one short and sweet. Here we go…
10) Dylan Ewen & The Southern Gospel Gangbusters – Country Fried, Southern Pride (BUFU Records) – Gangbusters? More like Gangbangers! I really got into a lot of Dylan Ewen this year in his various projects and out of all of them this was my favorite. For my money, this has Dylan’s rawest, most in your face lyrics with a nasty, bad ass gangsta edge that puts him up there with Cube, Dre, and Mr. Big. So wild. AND it’s all set to a full backing band (drums, guitar, bass, viola, banjo, mandalin, harmonica, you name it) busting out southern gospel, bluegrass, and country. I had the pleasure of catching the band live in the heart of JP last month and I errr uhh nearly wet myself. TOP SONG: “500 Days of Bummer”
9) Bent Shapes – Feels Weird (Father/Daughter Records) – I just received this record as a Christmas gift and I’m loving it. As a long time fan of Bent Shapes/Girlfirends this is a terrific mix of classics and some solid new jams. Every track is strong. On one hand, it feels like a greatest hits compilation and then on the other it comes across as a completely new entity. It works both ways. TOP SONG: : “I Was Here, But I Disappear”
8) Shannon And The Clams – Dreams In The Rat House (Hardly Art) – Shannon and The Clams is a big favorite of mine, so this album was a serious treat this year. This one falls in line with all of their previous work: rock ‘n’ roll at its purest. 50’s doo wop, garage rock, Ramones styled punk rock, and some of the best voices you will ever hear. It may not be the most original music, but it’s rock ‘n’ roll. This is the plateau, this is the ideal, this is the benchmark. TOP SONG: “If I Could Count”
7) Idiot Genes – S/T (Self-Released) – The third (but not final!) Boston band on this list, Idiot Genes are one of the most recent bands I have listened to in 2013. I first caught them at a show at O’Brien’s Pub last August and I was enamored with their oddball sense of humor and surly, apathetic punk attitude. Subsequently, I hopped on their bandcamp and I was blown away by what I heard. I related to the band’s sloppy, lethargic, wasted narrative. The feeling of being fucked and fagged and shagged. I was frustrated and hearing the Idiot Genes reminded me why I hold rock ‘n’ roll so near and dear to me in the first place. It is my elixir, the temporary cure to all of life’s problems. They are almost like a different kind of party band, an after party band, a hangover band. This all sounds like one miserable hangover, and by miserable I mean extraordinary. Makes me want to drink too much and then regret some of it the next day, especially when the hangover doesn’t go away by 5 /6 PM like it usually does, so then you just drink more, until the next day after that when you’re even more hungover AND still a little drunk. So, what do you do? you crack open a beer and drink some more and then you listen to Idiot Genes, one of my new favorite rock ‘n’ roll elixirs for that temporary cure. Drunk Consistently. Listen here and join me in a nightcap. Cheers. TOP SONG: “The Charles Mansion” http://stupidpants.bandcamp.com/album/idiot-genes
6) Colleen Green – Sock It To Me (Hardly Art) – Sock it to me? Ok. Ms. Green is one cool cucumber with all her Richard Nixon and True Romance references on her latest album Sock It To Me. Much like Shannon and the Clams, with this album Colleen maintains the same rock ‘n’ roll flavor she’s always had, it’s just stronger than ever. Just a great example of how pop music doesn’t have to be a big mass machine product, instead it can be as simple as a guitar, a drum machine, and passionate vocals. TOP SONG: “Number One” (The Queers cover)
5) The Monsieurs – Rock The Night (Self-Released) – Damn son, this past October I had the enormous fortune of cumming across my legs when I came across The Monsieurs at the Brighton Music Y’all opening up for the holy King Khan & The Shrines. I’ve heard plenty of great garage spunk this year, but this new release from The Monsieurs was/is a real dessert, a dish best served cold. A cold, sudden punch right in the nads that is. Seriously though, these dudettes and dude really fucking rock and pack in the punches. This band has all the bells and whistles and bubblegum and grit that you and your buddies get off on every time you listen to Hunx and Nobunny and hopefully Fagettes at home on your dad’s worn out stereo, BUTT Monsieurs turn it up to 11. From the first few seconds of “Shadow” to the last gasping breaths of “At the Hop,” this record is garage pop on steroids. Lead singer Andy Macbain is a beast, a force to be reckoned with, and his vocals are out of control, off the wall. It’s all sludgey and thuddy and LOUD. If you like rock ‘n’ roll with a rambunctious ummphhh up your ass then here ya go – yet, it’s still as sweet as a little old lady taking 20 hours to cross the street with her little old cane? So sweet it helps that sludge go down smoother… I see big things for The Monsiuers in Twenty Fourteen. In 2014, let their album Rock the Night become your musical lubricant! TOP SONG: “Kari Ann” http://themonsieurs.bandcamp.com/album/rock-the-night-8-song-digital-album
4) King Khan & The Shrines – Idle No More (Merge) – It’s always a great year whenever one of our Honorary KLYAMERS releases an album and King Khan is among our top OG’s. You could say he helped make us who we are today to paraphrase a line in the tune “So Wild,” a song dedicated to the late, great Jay Reatard. RIP Jay forever and ever. For once your wild spirit may rest in peace… the chaos of the world so foreign, yet so familiar, you feel this tone on King Khan & The Shrines’ Idle No More, their first album since 2007. It’s a very personal album, the most mature to date. Highly spiritual as ever, yet it still maintains that fantastic Khan spirit of ubiquitous joy. Love. And coming back to the KLYAM, that’s one thing I love about rock ‘n’ roll (as we see it), all the bands we rep, and this record. No matter how torturous the world can be, there’s still a light. Khan and his crew take the misery, the darkness, and they turn it on its ugly head, ultimately receiving a boisterous, fun filled album as ever been conceived by the Shrines. TOP SONG: “Bite My Tongue”
3) Nobunny – Secret Songs (Goner) – Nobunny continues the trend on this list of artists releasing albums that preserve their raw, rock ‘n’ roll character and yet augment their craft at the same time. Secrets Songs is stacked with smash hit after smash hit haha; every tune is a blast, no filler. Love Visions will probably always be my favorite, but I have to send my accolades to Mr. Bunny here. This LP has the most variety ever on a Nobunny record lyrically, musically, and aesthetically. There’s several fast poppers, screeching hardcore punks odes, and a batch of soft gentle numbers for the ladies and in particular for the Birthday Girl. NO NO 4 LYFE! TOP SONG: This is a toughie, but for now I’m going to go with “Bye Bye Roxie”
2) Peach Kelli Pop – Peach Kelli Pop II (Burger) – I know this came out in 2012, but I heard it in its entirety in 2013 and I loved it so damn much that I just couldn’t leave it off the list! This is one of the greatest pop records I have ever heard. Like I said earlier regarding Colleen Green, pop music doesn’t have to be mass produced and this certainly applies here. I was in love with PKP’s first album and I didn’t think it could be topped at the time. What was I thinking?! As awesome as her debut is, it doesn’t have anything on its sequel. Holy shit, this thing is incredible. PKP II is like Terminator 2, if it was a movie. A full blast of immediate, catchy pop songs from start to finish is what we have here. Peach Kelli Pop – Allie Hanlon channels bubblegum, garage, and 60’s Girl Groups in all of these short, but ever so sweet songs. It’s like injecting yourself with bubblegum pop music and feeling that instantaneous sugary high! This record always puts me in the best mood. Cheers. TOP SONG: “Red Leather”http://peachkellipop.bandcamp.com/
And the weiner is…
1) Hunx and His Punx – Street Punk (Hardly Art) – I know, I know I’m a Hardly Art whore. Haha, that should be a marketing trend. Labels should pick up on this. I can picture it now “I’m a Burger Whore!” or “Be a Burger Whore!” Shirts, pins, posters, let’s do it! I say this all with love. Anywhooo, since the dawn of KLYAM five years ago, Hunx and His Punx is one of the only, if only (possibly?) band that has consistently put out new, exceptional releases each year. With this album, Hunx and his cronies have snarled their way into the bowels of the rock ‘n’ roll/garage/punk landscape. I just adore and admire the way the band mixes up early hardcore punk (Germs, Misfits, Black Flag) with their classic garage rock style. Half of me says it’s an affectionate satire and the other says this is the real deal, this is the music itself. It feels like Circle Jerks or whoever comes to mind. When Hunx says he wants to beat you with a baseball bat, his screams are terrific and serve as a true homage to the aforementioned punk legends, but let’s not forget he’s saying this all because of his BAD SKIN! That’s part of the fun. I’m glad someone finally made (I could be wrong here and I very well may be missing out on loads of great, similarly styled albums) a piece of work that connects the dots in these various styles of pure rock ‘n’ roll music, which is not very pure to begin with. It’s so satisfying. I’ve always felt like that early wave of hardcore punk was like garage rock’s weird, fucked up cousin. It’s all coming from the same place essentially. It’s all about total and agonizing frustration and partying your ass off to cure that frustration. Hunx and His Punx get it. By the way, some of Shannon Shaw’s finest vocals! TOP SONG: “Mud In Your Eyes”
So, that’s it. That’s my list, but before I depart I have to give some mo’ shout outs. Here are some honorable mentions. Ben Tan – Inside Out, The Memories – Love Is The Law, Kal Marks – Life Is Murder, Saralee – S/T, The Gabba Ghouls – S/T, Kaviar Special – S/T, and last but certainly not least Lust Cats Of The Gutters – S/T , an album that was released in 2012, but nonetheless one of the best albums I heard all year.
2013 was also the first year of our record label KLYAM Records. We were/are extremely proud that our first release was one of our favorite records from 2012: Fat Creeps S/T EP
I chose not to include it on this list, because A) It was one of our own releases, B) It was originally released in 2012 and that’s when we heard it and loved it, and so forth, and C) It’s an EP and this is a list of my top LPs. Still, I couldn’t go without repping this record in a year end list of top records. Furthermore, if you haven’t picked up this album yet, then do yourself a favor and grab one now before it’s too late You can order it from KLYAM Records here: http://klyam.bigcartel.com/ The record is also available at Weirdo Records and Armageddon Records, both in Cambridge, MA.
We look forward to 2014 as we have more records and shows and reviews then can be imagined! Stay tuned, then turn on, and then drop out, and we’ll meet up and listen to records or something.
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…
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! REVIEW: https://klyam.com/2013/11/27/review-the-beets-the-whitehaus/
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. REVIEW: https://klyam.com/2013/11/15/review-fidlar-the-orwells-nice-guys-the-sinclair/
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 :). REVIEW: https://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. REVIEW: https://klyam.com/2013/11/08/review-fat-creeps-nice-guys-designer-guerilla-toss-cambridge-elks-101913/
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. REVIEW: https://klyam.com/2013/10/04/review-wavves-king-tuff-jacuzzi-boys-sinclair-10113/
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. REVIEW: https://klyam.com/2013/10/08/review-ty-segall-bowery-ballroom-83013/
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. REVIEW: https://klyam.com/2013/09/09/review-hunx-and-his-punx-hunters-fagettes-brighton-music-hall-82313/
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. REVIEW: https://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. REVIEW: https://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. REVIEW: https://klyam.com/2013/12/13/hassle-fest-recap-118-913/
So, that’s that. Top albums of the year coming up next.
Bands: Shannon and the Clams, Fagettes, Atlantic Thrills
Date: Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Venue: Great Scott (Allston, MA)
Atlantic Thrills – It’s kind of crazy how life works sometimes. Take for instance these rock ‘n’ roll shows we go to. When we discover that a fantastic national band such as Shannon and the Clams is coming to town, we say to ourselves “gee whiz, wouldn’t it be swell if Atlantic Thrills and Fagettes opened?! What a fine bill that would be.” Fortunately, the stars have aligned for us, and here we are with the perfect bill! A casual reader might come across these words and say “wow, this dude’s reallyyy sucking these band’s dicks.” But, anyone that reads this site on the reg knows that Fagettes and Atlantic Thrills are two of our favorite bands, bands that we have repped hard for the last couple years. SO HATERS FUCK OFF!
Anyway, it’s awesome to see Atlantic Thrills on ye olde Great Scott stage. I’ve seen the band a gazillion times, but this is the first time I’ve seen them here at Great Scott, and it is ever so great. Old Glen caught the dudes here about a year ago with fellow Providence kingpins Ravi Shavi – yeah check out those dudes too! The sound is amazing and this is one of the best sets I’ve seen from the foursome. The sound definitely amplifies the Thrillz’ typically passionate, heartfelt, and above all beer chuggin’, beer spittin’, balls out fun set. The group’s, gang styled doo wop vocals come through clearer and more powerful than ever. And they’re starting to really bring out a lot more doo wop in these newer tunes.
The band also unleash a steady batch of cuts from their classic catalog – many songs we’ve come to practically memorize over the years. All fast, psychedelic garage punk songs with memorable choruses and admirable musicianship. To quote a sagacious young man I know, it’s better to play music drunk, loose, and sloppy – as long as you know what you’re doing. This quasi paradox could certainly apply here.
Now, The Thrillz have played many a Boston show, but with this show they surely charmed some fresh faces on to their punk slime cult. I saw some of you new kids buying seven inches and tee shirts, that’s right! And if you haven’t done so. Pick up Atlantic Thrills’ “A Day At the Beach” 7″ from Almost Ready Records: http://www.almostreadyrecords.com/arr.htm
Keep your eyes peeled for an upcoming full length also to be released on Almost Ready Records on February 4th! Lastly, Atlantic Thrills will be playing at the Middle East Upstairs for The Televibes’ tape release show on January 22 w/ The Guru and Vundabar. Do it up.
Set – List:
“Drugs In It”
“A Day At the Beach”
“Salvaje” (Los Saicos cover)
Fagettes – The Fagettes are up there with Atlantic Thrills when it comes to the cream of the crop of New England rock ‘n’ roll. They hold a special place in our slimy hearts.
This Fagettes set is a lot of fun and people are dancing more than usual, which is always a good thing. The place is packed as fuck, making it difficult to get to the front of the stage, but I do my best. After all, I need to clutch my set lists, being a rampant set list devourer.
As of late, Fagettes have been playing a steady slew of old and new tunes. They play one song called “Stems and Seeds,” which they have only performed three times in the past: in Philly, in Ohio, and in Cambridge (I believe this was at the May 16, 2013 Middle East Upstairs Fagettes show, yeah I know I’m solidifying my status as the ultimate rock ‘n’ roll nerd with these obscure facts…).
My favorite song from tonight is “The AA Took My Baby Away,” a sad jam that always puts a smirk on my face, go figure. By the way, I never knew that the AA had the authority to take away babies!
Now go forth and listen to Fagettes my pretty child, my sweet one: http://thefagettes.bandcamp.com/
P.S. Did I see Matt wearing a Black Lips shirt? Looking sharp nice guy! Hahaha.
Set – List:
“Gonna Die Out Here”
“The AA Took My Baby Away”
“Stems and Seeds”
Shannon and the Clams – What kind of music do you like? “Rock ‘n’ Roll,” “Punk Rock,” “Pop.” Those are my top three answers to that dreadful question. But, as you all know those words mean different things to different people. For some clowns, 12 hour guitar solos = rock ‘n’ roll, this is time that would have been better spent shaking hands with the unemployed. When I mean rock ‘n’ roll, punk rock, and pop you damn well know I mean bands like Shannon and the Clams. I don’t own the definition of rock ‘n’ roll et al, but in my heart of hearts this is it. A buffet of distinctive, varied, and utterly sincere art and entertainment that stretches far and wide through the rock ‘n’ roll gamut. To get a better taste of the Shannon and The Clams dish, think Rosie and the Originals, Roy Orbison, Ramones, The Cramps, Circle Jerks, and the best of the best of both old and new garage spunk. FOR FANS OF HUNX AND HIS PUNX AND NOBUNNY FO SHO.
Our proud rock ‘n’ rollers roll out the soft and ever so sweet “Done With You” as tonight’s opener. A sweetie from the group’s 2011 mind mutilating LP Sleep Talk. The sound of Shannon and the Clams is bone crushing, shivers down my spine, slithering all the way down to my testes, so slimy it makes my balls drop. It’s an intimidating, gargantuan sound and presence. The vocals are easily some of the greatest in modern rock ‘n’ roll. Shannon’s and Dan’s voices are lunatic, we’re talking crazy good. The judges on Idol and Voice would wet their panties and spill out their guts if they were ever in its vicinity, except they won’t because those shows suck ass. It’s still worth noting, since most rebel rousers in this line of work scream and shout their little hearts out, true, but few actually have professional pop singer voices (and that’s usually a good thing). In this instance, it works. Shannon and Dan are up there with the all time greats: Ms. Kline, Mr. Cooke, Mr. Orbison, and that charming Canadian fellow, Mr. Sultan.
Thee Clamers (not KLYAMERS ha!) rip through a searing batch of tunes from Sleep Talk (2011), Dreams In The Rat House (2013), and beyond. One of my favorite moments is when the trio performs a cover of the Del Shannon classic “Runaway.” I told you these punks have a soft spot. Speaking of punks, there is plenty of feisty enthusiasm on display from both the band and the audience. Patrons dance and mosh and slam all around. It’s a solid time had by all. One of the best shows I’ve seen all year. Read the set – list below and then cry like a stupid, weak, little baby if you were one of the sad saps that missed out on it. Look at the weak little baby! You’re stupid! You stupid, weak baby!
Set – List:
“Done With You”
“You Will Always Bring Me Flowers”
“Warlock In The Woods”
“King Of The Sea”
“Rip Van Winkle”
“Into A Dream”
“Runaway” (Del Shannon cover)
“You Can Come Over”
“Tired Of Being Bad”
“The Cult Song”
Check out the new video for Shannon and the Clams‘ “Rat House” and then go see them live tonight at the Great Scott with our top dawgs, Atlantic Thrills and Fagettes! Remaining tour dates listed below.
11.21.13 – Philadelphia, PA – Kung Fu Necktie
11.22.13 – New York, NY – Mercury Lounge
11.23.13 – Brooklyn, NY – 285 Kent
11.25.13 – Toronto, ON – Silver Dollar
11.26.13 – Oberlin, OH – Dionysius Discotheque @ Oberlin
11.27.13 – Detroit, MI – Trinosophes
11.29.13 – Indianapolis, IN – Do317 Lounge
11.30.13 – Chicago, IL – Subterranean
12.01.13 – Milwaukee, WI – Cactus Club
12.07.13 – San Francisco, CA – The Bay Brewed @ Public Works
So, we already informed you that the amazing Shannon and the Clams are coming back to Great Scott on Wednesday, November 20. Cool. Ohh, but it gets wayyy cooler than that…
Our Providence dawgs, Atlantic Thrills are kicking things off with their psychedelic, Peruvian punk slime. https://www.facebook.com/AtlanticThrills
They will be accompanied by Boston’s rowdiest garage/rock ‘n’ roll band, The Fagettes! http://thefagettes.bandcamp.com/
Our two favorite New England based rock ‘n’ roll bands opening for one of the best national rock ‘n’ roll bands today – this is the bill we have been dreaming for!
Hot Dog! We have a weiner! A serious KLYAM fave is in the haus. Shannon and thee Clams aka Shannon And The Clams is back in Boston on Wednesday, November 20 at Great Scott. Dayemmm, it feels like we just saw these guys the other day…. back in June we caught the Clams opening for Mikal Cronin, also at Great Scott. You can read about it here: https://klyam.com/2013/07/09/review-mikal-cronin-shannon-and-the-clams-roomrunner-the-migs-great-scott-61713/. We’re truly blessed to have such a fantastic band back in our city once again!
Bands: Mikal Cronin, Shannon and the Clams, Roomrunner, The Migs
Date: Monday, June 17, 2013
Venue: Great Scott (Allston, MA)
The Migs – HOLY SHIT, IT’S THE MIGS!!! Man oh man, it’s a huge pleasure of ours to see New Hampshire’s finest up on stage once again, it’s been way too long. Wayyyy too long. Vintage Migs Keven, Lukas, and Craig are joined by a new drummer by the name of Alex (well new to us, but apparently he’s been rockin’ with the fellas for several months). What up Alex?!
The Migs are one of the greatest live bands I’ve seen. The songs are solid, if a little bit rough around the edges, but in a live setting the songs simply hit you with a greater force. In addition to The Migs’ undeniable grasp on 60’s garage rock, R& B, soul, blues, and a pinch of doo wop, they provide pure entertainment. It’s the little things that separate them from most other garage/rock ‘n’ roll groups. Their coy, innocent dancing and sudden bursts of laughter effectively match the joyful, tension free style of music they embody. It’s fun. It’s joy, like the Black Lips taught me, joy could be an aesthetic – could be meaningful. And The Migs do their best to make sure everyone has a fun time.
The band’s unhesitating interaction with their audience is a feature of The Migs that I have admired since day one (4/20/12 for me). I remember back then, fanatically telling people about a band I saw the other night (which is what usually happens after I experience a special band). I extensively proselytized my love for The Migs, “you have to see this band, they play in the crowd, they play with the people!” It was like something out of Fugazi or Lightning Bolt or something crazy like that, something I had only seen in videos. Tonight, The Migs don’t play in the crowd or on the floor, but it’s not a big deal because it’s not quite the same unless it’s a grimy, crowded basement. Nonetheless, the enthusiasm and entertainment is still very much intact.
Up until now, I have suffered through endless months of Migs withdrawal, but this performance brings me back to the good old times. The quartet concludes with a cover of The Rolling Stones’ classic, “The Last Time.” I certainly hope it’s not the last time. Go see em’ live! http://themigs.bandcamp.com/
Roomrunner – Naturally, going into a show like this I’m biased. I’ve been a longtime fan of Shannon and the Clams, seen Mikal Cronin in the Ty Segall Band (not to mention liking and enjoying some of his music) and of course I hold The Migs near and dear – taking in several of their shows in the previous year. Roomrunner, on the other hand, is foreign to me. For the first few songs, I can nod along to this Baltimore based band, but after a while I’ve had enough. It’s certainly not as upbeat as The Migs, but Roomrunner do have some power in them and they definitely write some decent songs, but they’re simply too sad for me or not sad enough haha. I did find their in between song banter to be quite amusing though. The vocalist/guitarist even introduces the classic “we have one/two more songs left” ( a line that practically every band utters at one point in their lives) as a phrase that everyone loves to hear; in this instance I concur. That being said, I do appreciate Roomrunner’s sense of humor, even if their sound is not exactly my bag. Apparently, they are also on a string of tour dates with Shannon and the Clams and Mikal Cronin. Kudos gentlemen. Check them out here: http://roomrunner.bandcamp.com/
Shannon and the Clams – I’ve been waiting two years to see this band! I love Shannon and the Clams and tonight I can finally cross them off of my “top 5 bands to see live” list. The trio, which includes vocalist/guitarist Cody Blanchard (King Lolipop), vocalist/bassist Shannon Shaw (Hunx and His Punx), and new drummer Nate are known for creating a raw, analog flavored, bizarre take on 60’s pop music, implementing elements of garage and doo wop – not to mention 70’s punk, making the band a sheer bestial force.
So, with these elements in mind, one can understand why weird, off kilterish pop/rock ‘n’ roll, garage punk rock fans such as myself would simply adore the music of Shannon and the Clams. Their recordings are near flawless, but seeing them up on stage is incredible. They open tonight’s show with 2011’s “Sleep Talk” off the album of the same name and what appears to be the main source of this evening’s set. A solid opener and a favorite of mine at that, they continue with other Sleep Talk tunes such as the soft, doo wop morphed fast punker “You Will Always Bring Me Flowers” to the straight up slower, ballady gems in “Oh, Louie” and “Done With You.”
The finest cut from Sleep Talk/my all time favorite Shannon and the Clams song and the one that seems to generate the greatest crowd response is “The Cult Song.” This number showcases what is fantastic and utterly strange about Shannon and the Clams. The song builds with a fast, pulsing drum beat backed by Cody’s bizarro vocals and Shannon’s seemingly endless chants “one of us! one of us! one of us!” as made infamous by 1932 cult horror classic, Freaks. The band attempts to persuade their audience that they are sane in the lines “WE ARE NOT UNDER MIND CONTROL” but by the end of the song I think most of us would happily join the Shannon and the Clams cult! This song in particular reminds me of why I admire a band like this what with all of their little idiosyncrasies and good old fashioned weirdness. Maybe, it’s not even weirdness. Just taste.
I’ve gone on and on about my love for Sleep Talk, but the band has actually just released their debut for Hardly Art entitled Dreams in the Rat House. I have to admit I am not overly familiar with the songs on this album, having only heard it once or twice now. With that being said, I do recognize them playing the song “Rip Van Winkle” tonight and as expected they kill it.
As I have noted thus far, the vocals are one of the hallmarks of Shannon and the Clams’ music. With this in mind, a rather distinguished moment in the set is when Shannon and Cody both see how loud they can sing with each Clam trying to top the other. This is entertaining, but also shows us just how phenomenal their voices are.
Point is, go see Shannon and the Clams live if you get a chance or better yet pick up one or all of their amazing records.
Mikal Cronin – For starters, I am only vaguely familiar with a couple of Mikal Cronin songs, but Co-KLYAMER Glen is a huge fan. He’s shown me some sweet Mikal Cronin tunes in the past and I agree that it is solid psychedelic pop/garage rock.
I mentioned earlier that we have seen Mikal Cronin before in The Ty Segall Band, well Mikal is joined by fellow Ty Segall band mate Emily Rose Epstein on drums. Mikal and Emily are just as talented as they were with Ty; the whole band is exceptional actually. If you like Ty Segall, then I’d recommend you check out Mikal Cronin, as you will most likely enjoy the similar style. Mikal and crew seem to perform more solos however, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but typically not my thing.
I mainly came to see Shannon and The Clams (and The Migs!), but Mikal Cronin and his band are also impressive. The crowd appears to be a bit of a mixture of Clams and Cronin fans with some natural overlap. Considering he is the headliner, more people probably came to see him, but I am positive that all four bands tonight left the sold out crowd with a lasting impression.
Watch this excellent documentary on Shannon and the Clams from Out Of Focus TV.
Shannon and the Clams have recently released a new album titled Dreams in the Rat House (Hardly Art) and they are currently on tour right now with Mikal Cronin, hitting up Allston’s Great Scott a week from today. FYI: The Migs and Roomrunner are opening. I’ve anticipated seeing Shannon and the Clams for over two years now, so I’m pumped!