Defending The Orwells: I Remember When

orwells1

As the first person to ever write about The Orwells, I have the overwhelming responsibility to defend them. From what, from who? Nevermind. When they were 15/16 years old, they were writing catchy rock ‘n roll. The production was what you would expect from some suburban kids in their basement. By this time, I was the biggest fan of the Black Lips and they were too. This was back in the days when some good bands would e-mail us (themselves), send some links, offer words of appreciation of what we were doing. A kinship. I thought these dudes were doing shit at a much higher level than their older peers and there was some video floating around of them playing a huge show in Chicago. They seemed big, but I figured they were too young to tour. And maybe they were because it took until 2013 for them to come through Boston.

I remember that show like it was yesterday. At the now dead TT The Bears with some local band called Nice Guys whose first 7″ we would later put out. The Orwells were shooting some pool in the back of the empty club and I come through and say “Yo dudes whassup, you know who I am?” Maybe a little cocky but most likely not. I say yo I wrote about you first. ‘OH shit, Kids Like You and Me?’ Yeah dudes. Lamenting about not being able to drink — a few years away — the Chicago White Sox, and groupies? “Nah dude, not at all” – Mario. They had fresh stacks of Remember When at the merch table, though this record was old news to me, as it had a much lower key self-release (like their first two albums). So when the press narratives say that this Terrible Human Beings is their third studio album, that is not a lie, but it terribly deceives the public, those individuals who might like the hot and dirty material known as THE EARLY DAYS. Put them in their parents musty basement or put them in a studio with the guy who produced the Arctic Monkeys – I’m not really sure it makes a difference. They’ve always been a cleaner outlet to weenies or rational thinkers who think The Strokes were garage-punk. I give ’em shit for not knowing the Oblivians. But as I noticed a few years ago, these five weren’t back from the Grave like The Count Five or any nefarious ‘teen punkers’ but they are not some borderline pop punk, Melodic generics, either. And it is funny that they always seem to play with not exciting, ROCK acts.

On Terrible Human Beings, the best way I can put it is they are still Being The Orwells. They are not Trying To Be The Orwells, which is never a good look, something that usually comes from the creativity lacking depths of veteran bands. From a lot of bands, I usually think it is pretty shitty when they say they are evolving. Forced and gross. But yeah with these guys, they seem to still be coasting, and not changing their innate formula for catchy songs. It is humorous how hot spot, big time get-paid-to-write-about-bands publications make a big deal out of shit like the D chord, precision drumming, floaty bass. Draw conclusions and frame things. I don’t have to worry about The Orwells not delivering. They give a decent amount of material for the music journalists of the world – to talk bout their small forays into Indie Rock and Psychedelia. And they do, it’s no lie. They are a fun listen for tweenies and that older gentleman who comments on every of their YouTube video. How you connect or do not connect is up to you. Research the past or stay locked in the 2017 stuff. Both maybe. They fulfilled their dreams of sharing a bill with the Black Lips and now they are going to consistently sell out The Sinclair. Props my dudes.

My Favorites Albums From 2014

I’m going to do my best to just stick to full length albums. Here we go in  ABC order..

Thrills Tour
Atlantic Thrills – Atlantic Thrills (Almost Ready) – I’ve been a life long fan of music, but it wasn’t until a few years ago that I became enamored with local music. Atlantic Thrills was one of the first bands I gravitated towards and it’s not hard to see why. They capture the punk slime sound we crave better than anyone else in New England and that is fully on display on this long awaited debut LP. Besides the music itself and the commaraderie that comes with it, one of the other great things about seeing a favorite band over and over again is becoming accustomed to their signature songs, so when you finally hear their album it sounds like a greatest hits collection – trust me I mean that in the best way possible. For what it’s worth, the alphabet just happens to work this way, but I’m glad this album is up here first because it is indeed my favorite album of the year. #1. I will say Free Pizza’s Boston, MA is a close second though, but we’ll get there when we get there. Top Song: “Lie To Me”

Aus
Ausmuteants – Ausmuteants (AARGHT) – Yes, I’m aware this is an album from 2013, but I first heard it in 2014, so I said fuck it why not just slap it on there. This will happen at least one more time. Top Song: “Tinnitus”. LISTEN:
 http://ausmuteants.bandcamp.com/album/amusements

Ausm
Ausmuteants – Order Of Operation (Goner/AARGHT) –  I just couldn’t get enough of these Aussies. This is just fun, funny garage pop with some vicious keyboards. It sounds like an 80s new wave band that got mixed up in the garage punk scene. You’ll be singing along to these gems all year. In addition to the kickass music, as with the first record, subject matter always slays me. Just listen to “Publicity Stunts.” Top Song: “Freedom Of Information” http://ausmuteants.bandcamp.com/


Fat Creeps – Must Be Nice (Sophomore Lounge/Gnar Tapes) – Your favorite Creeps are at it again and they’re heavier than ever on their debut full-length LP. I’m naturally biased, so the EP will always be my #1, but this is a solid follow up that won’t disappoint FC fans.  Top Song: “Daydreaming” http://fatcreeps.bandcamp.com/album/must-be-nice

Free Pizzaaa
Free Pizza – Boston, MA (BUFU/Feeding Tube) –The title track says it all. This was/is a local anthem for Boston, specifically the Boston underground music scene. I’d never thought I could embrace any notion of civic pride, but this song actually did it for me and it’s always a pleasure hearing it live. Sad to say these slices recently waved good bye to us for their hometown of Miami :(. At least,  we have the music and the memories. Top Song: “Boston, MA” http://freepizzarocks.bandcamp.com/

Gymshorts
Gymshorts – No Backsies (Self-Released) -This was my kick you in the balls, lay back and smoke, chug a 40 in the alley way, fuck you dad album of 2014. Yes, yes eat all of their gymshirts. Fill those little bellies. Top Song: “HEY PARENTS!”  http://gymshorts.bandcamp.com/

NAP
Juan Wauters – N.A.P. North American Poetry (Captured Tracks) – Let me hip you to something, this kewl kat known as Juan Wauters, you may have seen/heard/spiritually merged with the man before in his previous happening, Jackson Heights, Queens, NY’s #1 The Beets. If you doug (ehhhhhhhhhh) The Beets, then you’ll love Juan solo, you’re wack if you don’t. Dude channels The Beatles, Piero, and Los Mockers – the last two are groups Juan hipped me to. It’s like soft, serene Ramones too, if you’re still not convinced. Gotta rep Queens, even though I’ve only been there three or four times. Top Song: “Sanity” http://juanwauters.com/

The Lemons
The Lemons – Hello, We’re The Lemons (Burger/Gnar Tapes/Tripp Tapes) – Holy shit, definitely one of my new favorite bands. It’s hard to not be happy when you hear/see The Lemons. You’re submerged in this little, Lemons world that’s all gooey and yummy it’s like a Cheerios commercial from 40-50 years ago. There’s no bad feelings. SHORT SHORT songs about lemon limes, candy girls, jelly beans, ice cream, kool aid, Chubby Checker! Picture The Archies, The Monkees, The Partridge Family, I think. Perhaps the sweeter more innocent version of their Gnar brethren, The Memories. It’s all that and it’s super sweet and super short. A little injection of sugary pop. It’s so quick you want it to keep going, but it leaves as quick as it came. It’s that fast high, that five second orgasm, that day you discovered you had five bucks left in your pocket. When life hands you lemons, eat em’ up, eat all the sweets up and get those cavities, it’s worth it.
Believe the hype! Top Song: “My Candy Girl” http://thelemons.bandcamp.com/

Littlefoot
Littlefoot – Night Of The Living Dreams (BUFU) –  2014 was the first time I saw or even heard of Littlefoot. I can remember it like it was just last year. I remember seeing them open the Atlantic Thrills album release show and screaming to Glen HEY! they have that sound I love, it’s like Earth Angel and shit! All of those odes to golden oldies are heavily on display here, Erica is on top of it, she’s done her homework and the extra credit assignment. Surf on some dreamy pop waves with this album. Top Song: “Worrydoll” http://littlefootlittlefoot.bandcamp.com/

Marty
The Marty Kings – XVII (Self-Released) – Yeah, yeah, yeah, this isn’t from 2014. I told you this would come up again and I’m a man of my word. Well, I first heard this thang just this October and it’s too fucking fantastic for me not include it. I was cruising around with those sweet ass Nice Guys and I thunk what the funk is this? It’s so bubblegummy and poppy, but in that raw, off kilterish way I always luv. Those boys informed me that this was the mastmerind Andy Macbain, the man behind Tunnel Of Love and another band you’ll be seeing on here very shortly… Top Song: “Little Arthur”  http://themonsieurs.bandcamp.com/album/xvii

Memories hot
The Memories – Hot Afternoon (Burger/Gnar Tapes) – I had/have a huge boner for last year’s Love Is The Law and it’s lasted longer than four hours. Here we are again in 2014 and the vibes are still groovin’. It’s the same spirit, a bit funkier and even more laid back. If Love’ was the 60s, then Hot is the 70s. Do it up. Top Song: “Dad’s Not Home” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aE_vAq1wRO4

The Monsieurs LP
The Monsieurs – The Monsieurs (Black Gladiator/Slovenly) –  This is pure, primal rock ‘n’ roll slime with a splash of punk and a pinch of pop. Real pop, bubblegummy in your tummy fun. Innocence… well not so innocent. It’s fun to be bad and this is about as badass as it gets. Various Boston garage legends here maintain their reputation and lurk the streets of beantown to fight again and again and again. Top Song: “Kari Ann”  http://slovenly.bandcamp.com/album/the-monsieurs

NOTS
NOTS – We Are NOTS (Goner) – You can never go wrong with Goner. Some kids way back said Memphis was dead, but damn it sure as hell is alive on this record. NOTS is straight up no holds barred fun with violent keyboards to add fuel to the fire. It’s one of those bestial sounds that makes me climb on top of the refrigerator and hop off like I’m five years old again, much to the chagrin of the folks downstairs. TOP SONG: “Insect Eyes” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Yvjewj28wU

The_Orwells_-_Disgraceland
The Orwells – Disgraceland (Atlantic/Canvasback) – I’ve heard a lot of talk about this being too clean and commercial in comparison to their previous LP Remember When. Fair, but honestly it’s not that much cleaner and as far as I’m concerned The Orwells have always been mershy, radio friendly in a way, in a FABULOUS way. These feel like radio songs. Hit songs. One after another (some definitely stronger than others). Even when these dudes were fourteen and trying to sound like Black Lips and Back From the Grave comps, they still sounded rather accessible. You could see what they were going for and how they completely drove past it. That isn’t to say I think they’re better than the Lips or whoever, it’s just that even when they were a garage band they didn’t really sound like one. Whatever it is, they hit it right and they have the songs, the talent, and the live show to back it up. TOP SONG: “Blood Bubbles” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g87QQ4RX_KU

Ty man
Ty Segall – Manipulator (Drag City) – Ty again, big surprise buddy! Yes, Ty is back on my year end lists. There are no surprises here, there shouldn’t be. We rep the shit we love all year long and admittedly most of them fall under similar genres, hail from the same regions, and appear on the the same or similar labels. I’m okay with that, while I always love expanding there is such little time on this planet I intend to spend it with the music I love. As much as I dug Ty’s all acoustic effort in last year’s Sleeper, I’m really happy to see the dude rocking out once again. This is his longest monstrosity to date and while it’s not the same fuzz of early Segall, he maintains his true flavor and destroys. TOP SONG: “Feel” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e4VA-b5ORxI

Now hold up, before y’all pack up your shit and leave, I must give a massive shout out to all of the KLYAM Records releases we love and are insanely proud to have put out in 2014. More cumming in 2015….

KLYAM-002: Nice Guys/Miami Doritos Splifft 7″
Nice Guys cover
http://niceguys666.bandcamp.com/album/splifft-7

KLYAM-003: Back Pages Singles 13 TAPE
BackPagesSingles13
http://klyam.bigcartel.com/product/back-pages-singles-13

KLYAM-004: The Electric Street Queens – Live From Your Dreams, We’re The Electric Street Queens TAPE
ESQ-COVER
http://electricstreetqueens.bandcamp.com/

All releases available here: http://klyam.bigcartel.com/, at the the following Boston area record stores: Deep Thoughts in Jamaica Plain, Weirdo Records in Cambridge, and Armageddon Records in Cambridge, and at all KLYAM Presents shows.

That’s all folks!

My Top Ten Favorite Shows of 2014…

I know this sounds like bullshit and I do say it every year, but each year gets better. I’d be lying if I said 2014 was the best year of my life, but as far as KLYAM goes it was definitely the best year for KLYAM. Every year does get better, just look at our label. We put out three more releases that we’re very proud of – Nice Guys/Miami Doritos Splifft 7″, Back Pages – Singles 13, and The Electric Street Queens – Live From Your Dreams, We’re The… and we have more on the way. Just look at our calendar, we went to more shows than ever this year. I counted 85 shows I attended this year, I know for some people that’s nothing, but considering I’m not in a band, I don’t have a car, I’m broke, and don’t live in the city, I’d say that’s pretty good. But hey, it’s not quantity, it’s quality (though we got both!), so here’s my top ten favorite shows from 2014:


10) The Orwells & Twin Peaks @ Great Scott (3/4) – Our dudes, The Orwells always put on a fantastic show and we saw them three times this year, but the Great Scott set was by far the best. Right up against the stage where the action is, no douchebag security guys or broseph stalins, just straight up fun. Oh and who could forget Mario hucking the mic stand into the crowd. Classic. KLYAM Review: https://klyam.com/2014/04/05/review-the-orwells-twin-peaks-great-scott-3414/

Thieves Grotto
9) TIE: Nice Guys & Miami Doritos Tour Kick Off w/ Malportardo Kids and Grave Ideas & Nice Guys, Free Pizza, Ladybones, Dinoczar, both @ Thieves Grotto (2/28 & 11/21, respectively) – This is just one big shout out to the Grotto and Nice Guys. Nice Guys are honorary klyamers and so are Miami Doritos, and we love Free Pizza, we’ll miss those Miami boys. Ahh so much Miami! Guys, pizza, doritos. All the bands are named after food! Haha, but ya Thieves Grotto throws the most insane basement shows and it’s always a party. I wish every show was like these shows. KLYAM Review (2/28): https://klyam.com/2014/03/22/review-nice-guys-miami-doritos-tour-kick-off-thieves-grotto-22814/ & (11/21): https://klyam.com/2014/11/26/nice-guys-free-pizza-thieves-grotto-112114/

Cumstain Boston
8) Cumstain, Free Pizza, Gangbang Gordon (BUFU Tape Release), White Pages @ JP Drive In (8/24) – I still haven’t gotten over this show, not even just the show itself, but the very fact that it happened. Call me crazy, call me wild, call me a cocksucker, I don’t give a fuck. I’ve been waiting to see this band for four years now, I still can’t believe it. It was awesome to finally meet the stains themselves as well. This show is also significant because it was the first KLYAM Presents show in nearly a year and it was my homie, Gangbang Gordon’s BUFU tape release show. Cheers buddy. KLYAM Review: https://klyam.com/2014/09/20/review-cumstain-free-pizza-gangbang-gordon-tape-release-white-pages-jp-drive-in-82414/

NO NO
7) Nobunny, The Hussy, The Fagettes, Banditas, Gangbang Gordon @ Middle East Upstairs (2/4) – NO NO needs NO introduction. It’s always a blast seeing the bunnyman in action, especially in front of a rowdy, sold out Boston crowd filled with tons of my friends. Solid set of openers including one of my favorites, The Hussy, whom made both their Boston and KLYAM debut. A highly memorable show that brought us some joy and warmth in the middle of a shivering, cold ass winter. KLYAM Review: https://klyam.com/2014/02/15/review-nobunny-the-hussy-fagettes-banditas-gangbang-gordon-mid-east-upstairs-2414/

Lipss
6) Black Lips & Natural Child @ Paradise (4/19) – Of course, my favorite band, Black Lips, of course you’d see them here and you’ll see them again my friends. At last, I can finally put them on my year end lists again; we haven’t seen the flower punkers live since 2011. WHATT?! This was also my first time seeing Natural Child, yet another band I’ve been anticipating seeing for years. KLYAM Review: https://klyam.com/2014/05/31/review-black-lips-natural-child-paradise-41914/

Lipskkbbq
5) Black Lips, The King Khan & BBQ Show, Coke Weed @ Port City Music Hall (9/27) –  I always love seeing a show at a venue I’ve never been to before, even if it’s a traditional music hall, it’s still new to me. I haven’t been in Portland (Maine) for a while, so that’s an added bonus. More importantly, this is a KLYAMER’s wet dream bill. Two giants of contemporary garage slime, straight up Rock ‘n’ Roll all in one night. Definitely some of best I’ve seen from the Lips and KKBBQ in years. No KLYAM Review, because my dog ate it. Do kids still say that?

Ty Great Scott
4) Ty Segall, La Luz, Boytoy @ Great Scott (9/19) – At this point in his career, Ty Segall can and will sell out large clubs, but that wasn’t the case this time. The show was sold out, of course, but it was at Great Scott, a relatively small venue. This is Ty here. I never thought I’d see him on that small stage. It was nuts. A vicious set with tunes from all over his career. Why can’t all my favorites just stop here? No bigger clubs (except Middle East). Ty’s the face of our rock ‘n’ roll and this show is a testament that Boston loves him. KLYAM Review: https://klyam.com/2014/10/06/review-ty-segall-la-luz-boytoy-great-scott-91914/

Fall Tour
3) Black Lips, The King Khan & BBQ Show, The Kominas @ Paradise (9/28) – Christ, what a Black Lips whore. You knew what you were getting into when you started reading this. Night II of my Black Lips/KKBBQ Rock ‘n’ Roll Weekend and as you can probably tell the superior of the two nights. In particular, the Lips shined through cranking out golden oldies such as “I’ve Got A Knife” and “Ain’t No Deal” among other classics from all over their fifteen year reign of terror. These Atlantans were as feisty as ever (including newcummer/oldcummer Jack Hines, welcome back Jack!). Speaking of bodily fluids, never thought I’d see Cole peeing in his mouth again, damn I thought that was over after 2006 haha. Best of all, the Lips and KKBBQ merged as one and performed as the gospel supergroup, The Almighty Defenders. I SAW THE LIGHT. Oh and we got to enjoy a beer with some of the guys backstage, also something I’d never expect at the Paradise. I told Jared that I lost my virginity while The Spooks were playing in the background, which is true, he said “Well, cheers to that!”  Yes, cheers.

Dusk
2) Atlantic Thrills (Album Release), Ravi Shavi, Gymshorts, Littlefoot @ Dusk (2/1) – Providence consistently dishes out the wildest shows and this was total debauchery, one of the craziest shows I’ve ever seen. While, I don’t think anyone was hurt (though I had several bruises) I do mean crazy. The word gets tossed around all too often, but this one is up there. Pandemonium. At the very least, just good old fashioned fun. Whether it was all the nudity, moshing, silly string, beer flying, or simply singing along to all the songs we’ve come to know and love, it was a special little feeling you don’t get often and if I could trap it in a bottle and sell it to all of ya’ll, I’d be a billionaire.  And we KLYAMERS have really been waiting for this record to come out, three years now. An epic show with stellar opening sets might I add. What we call in my line of work  a “stacked line up.” Keep up the craziness in 2015 and beyond. KLYAM Review: https://klyam.com/2014/02/10/review-atlantic-thrills-album-release-show-w-ravi-shavi-gymshorts-littlefoot-dusk-2114/

BUFU sch
1) BUFU Fest @ Cambridge Elks Lodge (4/25 & 4/26) – I’ve been to a few local music festivals now, but this one tops them all. Easily the closest to what a KLYAM Fest would look like (Fuzzstival is a close second though). A wide variety of acts being thrust in your face. One moment you’re rocking out to the Nice Guys, the next you’re singing along to ACLU Benefit’s one man show, then the next minute you’re shouting about “living in Boston, Massachusetts” with Free Pizza or you’re caught in a mosh with Guerrilla Toss. I’m ready to do it all over again this year. KLYAM Review: https://klyam.com/2014/06/14/bufu-fest-recap-425-2614/

So, that’s that. As I said before, there were a ton of excellent shows I/we attended this year, I could make an honorable mentions list, but the list would go on and on. At the very least, here’s a list of my favorite bands I saw for the first time in 2014 in chronological order: Littlefoot, The Hussy, The Sulk Scouts, Buttercup, Tacocat, Durt Dog The Band, Natural Child, Juan Wauters, ACLU Benefit, The Ar-Kaics, Beach Toys, Robot Death Kites, Black Beach, The Lemons, Cumstain, (New England) Patriots, Ben Katzman’s DeGreaser, Good Nature (formerly known as Phaze), Ausmuteants, Ursula, Show Me The Body, Buck Gooter, Big Buck Hunter, and Feral Jenny.

The Orwells & Skaters Sep-Oct Tour!


Our dudes in The Orwells are coming back to Boston and then some! Save the date: Thursday, October 9th @ Brighton Music Hall . The Orwells are supporting SKATERS on this tour. Check out all of the US/Canada tour dates below.

Sep-08 Columbus, OH @ A&R Music Bar
Sep-09 Cleveland, OH @ Grog Shop
Sep-11 Pittsburgh, PA @ Altar Bar
Sep-12Indianapolis, IN @ Deluxe
Sep-13 Chicago, IL @ Riot Fest
Sep-19 Denver, CO @ Riot Fest
Sep-20 Salt Lake City, UT @ Kilby Court Gallery
Sep-21 Boise, ID @ Nuerolux
Sep-24 Vancouver BC @ Rickshaw Theatre
Sep-25 Portland, OR @ Star Theater
Sep-27 San Francisco, CA @ Slim’s
Sep-28 Santa Cruz, CA @ The Catalyst – Atrium
Sep-29 Los Angeles, CA @ The Fonda Theatre
Oct-09 Allston, MA @ Brighton Music Hall
Oct-10 Montreal, QC @ II Motore
Oct-11 Toronto, ON @ Mod Club
Oct-13 Philadelphia, PA @ Underground Arts – Wolf Building
Oct-14 Washington, DC @ Black Cat
Oct-15 New York, NY @ Irving Plaza
Oct-17 Asbury Park, NJ @ Asbury Lanes

Check out this article “Are The Orwells rock’s next big thing?” from the Chicago Tribune: http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2014-04-29/entertainment/ct-the-orwells-band-20140429_1_elmhurst-next-big-thing-david-letterman ‘Rock’ sucks. Rock ‘n’ Roll is where it’s at. Everyone  knows that. The Orwells play Rock ‘n’ Roll music.

Ohh yeah and pick up Disgraceland on June 2 (UK) June 3 (US).
Here’s a video of The Orwells conversing with Beyond the Watch.