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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Review: Mikal Cronin, Shannon and The Clams, Roomrunner, The Migs @ Great Scott (6/17/13)


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.

Mini Documentary on Shannon and the Clams


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!

‘Why Pick On Me Mixtape Vol. 1’ Available Now!!!!

Featuring the likes of a couple bands we could not recommend more: THE MIGS and CUMSTAIN. Fuzzy and loose, this is a compilation for the ages. These groups come from all over the map – most haven’t received the kind of attention they very much deserve.

Also on this tape: SON OF A GUN, LAUGHING LEAVES, HELLSHOVEL, REAL NUMBERS, TODAY’S HITS, HEAVY TIMES, LAZY, EL SUR, and UH BONES.

Check it outhttp://whypickonme.bandcamp.com/album/why-pick-on-me-mixtape-vol-1

Shannon & The Clams Tour W/ Mikal Cronin/ Great Scott (6/17)!


Excited to see one of my favorite bands, Shannon and the Clams, is playing with our boy Mikal Cronin. Hitting up the Great Scott on Monday, June 17.  To top it all off, local KLYAM fave, The Migs are opening! I have been waiting to see Shannon and the Clams for a couple of years now, so I’m really psyched! And it’s been way too long since I have seen The Migs, hopefully I see them before this show too! So many exclamation points, so little time!

Tour Dates:

06.06.13 – Portland, OR – Mississippi Studios *
06.07.13 – Seattle, WA – Tractor Tavern *
06.08.13 – Missoula, MT – Old Beck VFW Post 209 *
06.10.13 – Minneapolis, MN – 7th Street Entry *
06.11.13 – Chicago, IL – Empty Bottle *
06.16.13 – Montreal, Quebec – La Divan Orange *
06.17.13 – Boston, MA – Great Scott * w/ The Migs!
06.18.13 – Philadelphia, PA – Kung Fu Necktie *
06.20.13 – New York, NY – Bowery Ballroom *
06.21.13 – Washington, DC – Comet Ping Pong *
06.22.13 – Asheville, NC – Emerald Lounge *
06.23.13 – Atlanta, GA – The Earl *
06.24.13 – Nashville, TN – The Stone Fox *
06.26.13 – Dallas, TX – Club Dada *
06.27.13 – Austin, TX – Mohawk (inside stage) *

* – w/ Mikal Cronin
Info from- http://www.facebook.com/pages/Shannon-and-the-Clams/134248713268350

Here’s a song off the new album coming out in May on Hardly Art:

My Top Shows Of Twenty-Twelve

I saw more shows this year than any other (47 total) and all of them were FUN . The following is a list of my top ten (most fun) shows all year:

10) The New Highway Hymnal, Creaturos, Leamers, The Migs, Nice Guys @ Big Stink (10/6/12)
Damn, this was a solid night. I mean with the bands on this bill, how could it not be? Going in to this show I only knew NHH and The Migs, but I came out a fan of local stalwurts, Creaturos and Nice Guys, and our neighbors to the North, Montréal’s Leamers. Kids bashing and bopping around like they ought to. I’ll link you up to the KLYAM review: https://klyam.com/2012/10/09/concert-review-nice-guys-the-migs-leamers-creaturos-new-highway-hymnal-big-stink-10612/

9) The Migs, Nice Guys, Cult Fluorescent, Slimers, Chillcity Icon @ Wilder Zangcraft (11/24/12)
Best Migs show I’ve seen! Nice Guys played a sick set of Coachwhips covers and it was great to see the experimental one mon band Cult Fluorescent again. This show was also my introduction to the mighty Migsian two piece, Slimers and the twisted no wave/noise duo, Chillcity Icon. https://klyam.com/2012/12/06/concert-review-the-migs-nice-guys-cult-fluorescent-slimers-chillcity-icon-wilder-zangcraft-112412/


8) Hunx and His Punx, Heavy Cream, Radio Control @ Great Scott (4/2/12)
I’m a Hunx freak, so words can’t describe my excitement for this show. Having missed the past two Hunx Boston gigs :( I’ve waited for two and a half years to see the band live again. The first time back in October ’09 was opening for Jay Reatard and this served as my intro to Hunx. This time around was even better because I actually knew and loved all of the songs. Throw in Infinity Cat noise makers, Heavy Cream and Somerville rockers, Radio Control and you have one of the finest shows all year. https://klyam.com/2012/04/04/concert-review-hunx-and-his-punx-great-scott-4212/


7) Fat Creeps, Earthquake Party, Fedavees, Fagettes Halloween Show @ Rosebud (10/13/12)
2012 very well could be called the year of the Fat Creeps, especially on this site. We’ve seen a dozen Creeps shows this year, more than any other artist. In fact, I think I’ve seen them more than any other band I’ve seen. Every show has had its own special quality, but for Halloween they played a set of Ramones covers and the crowd ate it up. It was the marriage of two of my favorite bands, and on top of that there were stellar sets from Earthquake Party! (Nirvana), Fedavees (The Wipers), and The Fagettes (Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazlewood).
https://klyam.com/2012/10/16/concert-review-halloween-show-featuring-fat-creeps-earthquake-party-fedavees-fagettes-rosebud-101312/


6) On Broadway Fest 2008 @ Dirty Douglas/Ant Cellar (5/5/12)
I haven’t been to any music festivals, except this one, well and the first On Broadway Fest, but I arrived at night for that one. Therefore, this show was a unique experience. It was a blast seeing 15 or so bands all in one day, especially with memorable performaces from Fat History Month, Big Mess, The New Highway Hymnal (shit water yay!), and Guerilla Toss – I literally felt the Guerilla Toss, woooo. https://klyam.com/2012/06/08/concert-review-onbroadway-fest-2008-5512/


5) No Age, Make It Up @ Chum’s Coffeehouse (3/10/12)
KLYAM and No Age go way back, way back before there even was a KLYAM. The first show we saw at Middle East was No Age, and that took place in 2008. They were one of the first of our beloved, HONORARY KLYAMERS. As popular as No Age is, they still carve out their own DIY aesthetic and playing a little Coffeehouse in Waltham is a testament to that. Some of the best moshing/crowd surfing I’ve seen all year! https://klyam.com/2012/03/12/concert-review-no-age-chums-brandeis/


4) Ty Segall, Thee Oh Sees, K-Holes @ The Well (9/22/12)
This is one of the few shows I have seen outdoors. I need to experience more of these! Outside on a rainy night in Brooklyn with a thousand or more bodies. I usually prefer smaller gigs, but Ty Segall’s music is so gigantic it feels right in this setting. Of course, this show is also special because this marks my first and only experience with Thee Oh Sees, one of America’s greatest live bands. Can’t wait for the next NYC trip and/or Ty/Oh Sees show. K-Holes, stay solid. https://klyam.com/2012/09/23/concert-review-ty-segall-thee-oh-sees-k-holes-the-well-92212/

3) Ty Segall, White Fence, Strange Boys @ Space Gallery (5/14/12)
Ty it is again! You just can’t stop this guy from popping up on our year end lists. Ahh, our first Ty Segall show ever! An event in heavy anticipation for nearly two years. The Space Gallery is one of the finer venues in the New England area that I have attended: larger capacity without that corporate rock feel, art gallery, steady rock ‘n’ roll, and two dollar PBRs! Yeah, so if the show above at the Well felt like a big time House of Blues event, then this Space Gallery show was more akin to a rowdy, packed Black Lips show at the Mid East Downstairs. And of course, Strange Boys were better than ever!
https://klyam.com/2012/05/15/concert-review-ty-segall-white-fence-strange-boys/


2) King Khan & The Shrines, Hector’s Pets @ Brighton Music Hall (7/23/12)

As far as showmen go, you’d be hard pressed to find anyone that competes with King Khan. We were blessed this year to catch Khan and all the classic Shrines at a sweaty, fun filled show this past July. It’s just one big party y’all. https://klyam.com/2012/07/25/concert-review-king-khan-the-shrines-brighton-music-hall/

Who will be number 1?…..

NO NO NO NO NO!!!
NobunnyTyOhSeesNYCSep2012 009
NOBUNNY!!!!

1) Nobunny, Bad Sports, Xray Eyeballs, Liquor Store @ Living Bread (9/21/12)
For the past three years, the almighty Black Lips have filled the number one slot in this category. Alas, we did not see them this year, they had bigger plans – touring the Middle East. Beautiful, those kids need em’ more. Fortunately, we witnessed somebunny else on stage, this bunny we’ve also consistently seen the past 3-4 years, and he’s never let us down. 5 Nobunny shows deep and this was the best. I felt like I was watching Darby Crash or Keith Morris, but singing bubblegum and garage. I love that feeling, when you look up at a bunnyman in his underwear and say to yourself “this is the only kind of rock ‘n’ roll that matters.” https://klyam.com/2012/09/24/concert-review-nobunny-bad-sports-xray-eyeballs-liquor-store-living-bread-92112/

Ahh what a year, 2012, the best I’d say. In this year I saw the following exceptional/favorite bands for the first time (some of which I noted above): SKIMASK, Bleached, Smith Westerns, Dirty Virgins,  Fat Creeps, The Migs,  Ty Segall, Beach Boys,  Bent Shapes (as Bent Shapes), Colleen Green (two nights in a row!), Thee Oh Sees, Nice Guys, The Fagettes, The Electric Street Queens, Yankee Power.

And now I’m off to bring in 2013 with Fat Creeps,  The New Highway Hymnal, Color Channel, and Yale, MA at Great Scott. Peace.