The Orwells On Tour (March – April)/Great Scott (3/4)!!!

Orwells Tour
We’ve been spoiled! Boston fans of Chicago’s The Orwells that is. These fellas have been in us, Boston that is, three times in 2013, and now at least two more times in 2014! On Thursday, February 6th, the dudes are opening for Arctic Monkeys and Deerhunter at Agganis Arena. In the following month, they are heading out on a month long tour all across these here United States sir; making a stop at Allston’s Great Scott on Tuesday, March 4th!. Check for your city at the tour dates below.

The Orwells Tour Dates:
March 4 Allston, MA Great Scott
March 6 New York, NY Bowery Ballroom
March 7 Philadelphia, PA First Unitarian Church
March 8 Washington, DC U Street Music Hall
March 10 Atlanta, GA The Masquerade – Hell Stage
March 11 New Orleans, LA One Eyed Jacks
March 19 Phoenix, AZ Rampage Fest
March 20 Santa Ana, CA The Observatory
March 21 San Diego, CA Che Café
March 22 Los Angeles, CA Troubadour
March 23 San Francisco, CA Slim’s
March 25 Seattle, WA Neumos
March 26 Portland, OR Star Theater
April 1 Chicago, IL Lincoln Hall
April 2 Minneapolis, MN Triple Rock

Check out this epic performance on Letterman!

My Top Ten Shows of Twenty-Thirteen

So, here we are again. 2013 feels like a blur, a fun blur though. It just seemed to truck on by so damn fast. It didn’t feel like it was all that long ago when I was making my year end lists for 2012. I must say, every year gets better around here and 2013 was definitely our best year. We met tons of people and went to more shows than ever before (significantly more). With that in mind, I will leap off into my top ten favorite shows from the greatest year KLYAM has experienced thus far…

Storm or Howl
Storm or Howl

10) TIE!: Boston Underground Summit VI @ Cambridge Elks Lodge (9/15/) & The Beets @ The Whitehaus (11/26) – I would start a top ten list with a tie. I simply could not leave out either of these shows from my top ten, so fuck it here’s both. Firstly, this was my first Boston Underground Summit and it was a totally unique live experience for me. The show was set up as a round robin in which a band would play one song and then as soon as they were done another band would play a song and so forth until about 9 different bands had played a song, and then it went back to the first band. My head’s getting dizzy just writing this – it was indeed a dizzying experiment; constantly walking back and forth between all 3 spots in the Elks Lodge (where 3 separate bands were each set up). I compare it to an aggressive wine tasting meets a live, physical playlist/mix. In any situation, it was refreshing and broke down any hint of monotony that may have been creeping in on my fairly consistent show going consumption. My favorite bands/performances included Storm or Howl, Funeral Cone (this one left me bleeding!), Dylan Ewen, and R. Nordac’s Crying Lessons.

Holy shit, the mighty Beets. It took us two hours to get to the holy Whitehaus, but we made it just in the nick of time to catch Los Beets who came all the way from Jackson Heights, Queens, New York!! As you may or may not know, The Beets are one of our beloved KLYAM bands and this year we caught them in the flesh twice within two weeks! This was a strange show for several reasons. We were running late and I feared that we would miss The Beets, having journeyed so long for nuffin. When we arrived at the Whitehaus (for our very first time, by the way) there were few if any hellos and it was near darkness – plus we’re half blind anyway. Seconds pass and those smooth, transcendent Uruguayan voices rang through my ears and down into the depths of my bloody soul. All the blood I have puked since I found out I have gas in my veins. When the set finished, we had to flee once again to catch that dirty old train. It all happened so quickly, like a drug, The Beets drug. I know y’all would like a piece of that! REVIEW

Nice Sinclair
Nice Guys

9) FIDLAR, The Orwells, Nice Guys @ The Sinclair (10/23) – This was a nice slammer.  It’s always fun to see a local favorite (Nice Guys) dazzle an audience of newcomers and it’s all the more exceptional when they are sixteen and rambunctious! The Orwells make my liver shiver and quiver OR that’s all the alcohol? Anyway, we’ve loved these dudes for years and they put on an excellent show. They have this real clean cut exterior to them kind of like The Strokes and Arctic Monkeys, real polished rock ‘n’ roll, but beneath there’s a slimy underbelly that represents some of the bands (Black Lips, Jay Reatard) we grew up and threw up on ourselves. And FIDLAR, I’m just happy you and your fans didn’t break my nose. REVIEW

Clams Great
Shannon and the Clams

8) Shannon and The Clams, The Fagettes, Atlantic Thrills @ Great Scott (11/20) – This list is a testament that we’ve been blessed with a plethora of excellent shows this year, but I can honestly say only a select few are what I would dub a “stacked line-up” and this here is one of them. Our two favorite New England based rock ‘n’ roll bands (The Fagettes and Atlantic Thrills) on the same stage as one of the best in the whole land, the fabulous Shannon and The Clams. I saw the Clams earlier this year and, while that was a great performance, this time around the crowd went a lot crazier and that always makes the difference. The band’s cover of Del Shannon’s “Runaway” alone made my night :). REVIEW

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


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

Ty Bowery
A photo of three sexy men

5) Ty Segall @ The Bowery Ballroom (8/30) – What up New York City? We voyage to NYC once or twice a year to see some of our favorite bands. This time it was the man, Ty Segall, the global ambassador for rock ‘n’ roll. If rock ‘n’ roll had a representative at the UN it would be this man. For this show/tour Ty and his bodacious band played an all acoustic set, performing the album Sleeper in its entirety as well as some old classics such as “Girlfriend.” I’ve never seen kids (including myself) mosh and stage dive to acoustic music before and I may never again. Only you Ty, only you. REVIEW

Hunx and His Punx

4) Hunx and His Punx, Hunters, The Fagettes @ Brighton Music Hall (8/23) – Let’s face it we’re fairly predictable around here –  but that’s NOT a bad thing! because we are consistently enthralled with gorgeous music, at least I think so. It’s true! Hunx is a long time KLYAM favorite and a must see live band (seriously do it!). Just writing about Hunx gets me all revved up and ready to go. This year the band morphed into ultra punx with the release of their epic, early hardcore punk ode Street Punk, and they brought all the piss and vinegar with them when they destroyed our fair city last August.  The set’s most memorable moment actually came from a couple of kinky crowd members, when a young man was accosted by a topless middle aged woman and the two proceeded to slobber over one another for the remainder of the show. I will never be able to listen to “Lover’s Lane” the same way ever again. “Just gotta touch you and squeeze you, and make you mine/I want to hold you til the end of time.” Yeesh, did they have to take it so literally?! Stellar set from Fagettes as always. Hunters were cool too. REVIEW

atlantic thrills bbq

3) Ravi Shavi, The New Highway Hymnal, Atlantic Thrills “Rock ‘n’ Roll BBQ With Psychedelic Sauce” – We saw quite a bit of shows in Providence, RI this year and every single time we came to see our chief punk slime animals in Atlantic Thrills. Mix them up with fellow Providence soul machines Ravi Shavi and our Boston psych creatures The New Highawy Hymnal and I’m one happy camper. All of this madness was set to the background of the TRIPPY Lysergic Factory Light Show! I don’t think I’ve ever “danced” more in my life,  charming some attendees, perhaps frightening most. Those were fucked times, fun times. I woke up the next morning covered in dirt and blood and my dick hurt a little bit (only a little bit).  In hindsight, it was the perfect summer night. REVIEW

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

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

So, that’s that. Top albums of the year coming up next.

Orwells Touring w/ Arctic Monkeys/ Boston (2/6/13)

Damn, we were psyched to hear that Deerhunter was opening for Arctic Monkeys at Boston’s Agganis Arena on February 6, 2014. Now, The Orwells are going on a whole tour with the Monkeys that includes our Boston show! I hate big ass venues, especially arenas, but fuck it, this is one helluva bill.

The Orwells Tour Dates:
1/30 Miami, FL – The Fillmore*

1/31 Orlando, Fl – Hard Rock Live*

2/1 Saint Petersburg, FL – Jannus Live*

2/3 Charlotte, NC – The Fillmore*

2/4 Richmond, VA – The National*

2/6 Boston, MA – Agganis Arena*

2/7 Portland, ME – State Theatre*

2/8 New York, NY — Rough Trade In-Store

2/10 Covington, KY – Madison Theater*

2/11 Columbus, OH – LC Indoor Pavilion*

2/13-17 Weezer Cruise

2/20 Birmingham, UK – Hare and Hounds

2/21 Leeds, UK – Brudenell Social Club

2/22 Glasgow, UK – Broadcast

2/25 Brighton, UK – The Haunt

2/27 Manchester, UK- Night & Day

3/1 Bristol, UK – Thekla

* w/ Arctic Monkeys

Review: FIDLAR, The Orwells, Nice Guys @ The Sinclair

Bands: FIDLAR, The Orwells, Nice Guys
Date: Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Venue: The Sinclair (Cambridge, MA)

Nice Guys – OMG!!! IT’S NICE GUYS!!!! HOLY SHIT!!!
That’s right kids, it’s Nice Guys! And if you feel my exclamation points are extraneous and exaggerated then you obviously haven’t seen the band at the Sinclair among hundreds of screaming sixteen year olds. As soon as the Allston foursome hit the stage the crowd begins to cheer. Jake quickly quips “thanks for clapping for us even though we haven’t done anything yet.” And with that little jab, they launch into their demonic set on the gigantic Sinclair stage. It’s funny how I’m used to seeing these guys play on small stages or no stages or even better in dusty basements and other DIY spaces, so seeing these gentlemen on the Sinclair stage is a trip. The sound is terrific; the Nice Guys’ sound at the Sinclair is so large it could break down the walls of Jericho, which from what I hear are very hard to break down.

I’ve seen Nice Guys about ten times now and in some ways I know what to expect, but with the exception of a few other people in attendance, most of the crowd are newbies. But, the newbies eat it up, moshing and thrashing about and even high fiving the dudes at the end of their set, much to the pleasant surprise of the band members themselves. This has to be the best crowd response I’ve ever seen for a local, opening band or even most opening bands. I saw Jacuzzi Boys and King Tuff here earlier in October opening for Wavves and the crowd didn’t go this bonkers to those guys as they do to the Nice Guys.

Personally, I get a massive kick out of simply watching the young, all ages crowd react to the Nice Guys’ performance. It’s the little things that make the difference. Like seeing little bracefaced girls giggle when Jake announces that the next song is “Pizza Bong” or their perplexed faces when Alex rampantly swings his guitar around like one of those dudes that’s just been infected by the zombies in zombie flicks, like he’s trying to fight it off even though he knows he’s a goner. Game’s over man. I love that feisty energy! Ha yeah so, then there’s my favorite when Matt unleashes some nasty feedback and distortion from his guitar and the kids’ eyes just light up. Woahhhhh. I remember seeing Thurston Moore scrape and mutilate his guitar in similar fashion and being blown away, I know the feeling kids.

Besides impressing kids with their usual set of shenanigans, the crowd genuinely devours the Nice Guys’ fast, aggressive punk sound. A sound that could be or more importantly SHOULD be the soundtrack to kids getting drunk as fuck and stoned as fuck for the very first time. Nice Guys oughta play some sweet sixteen birthday parties…. when their parents aren’t home.

P.S. Cam rocks. I haven’t mentioned his name until now. How could I forget? It’s like my dad used to say “you would forget your dick if it wasn’t attached to you!” Cam slays on drums and eats souls. Keep soul eating brotha.

Set List:
“Herb Chambers”
“Pizza Bong”
“Drunk As Fuck Stoned As Fuck”
“HD Snobs”
“An Unholy Sacrifice”
“Cop Walk”
“Box Fort”
“Medical Envy”
“Finale Dead”

The Orwells – Our Chicago boys The Orwells, so happy to see these fellas again for the third time in twenty thirteen! This show, however, tops them all. Last time at Brighton Music Hall, the crowd was sparse and still filling up for the headliner Palma Violets. The headliner tonight is FIDLAR, and they bring forth a little bit extra junk in the trunk, so pairing The Orwells with a harder edged bunch of ruffians like FIDLAR pays off. The crowd of youngsters don’t spare a second of The Orwells’ set with moshing and stage diving galore. All of that pent up aggression fresh off  your first Nice Guys show, I feel ya kids.

The Orwells feed off the crowd’s energy and they emerge as a true rock ‘n’ roll outfit of epic proportions. In particular, Mario is a beast. He knows how to work a crowd. All he has to do is give one of the girls his signature zoned out, wide eyed, evil glare and they are instantly blushing.

In terms of the set-list, damn, it’s all the songs you would want to hear the band play and then some. “Who Needs You?” “Other Voices,” “Halloween All Year,” “In My Bed,” (which can be seen below), “Mallrats (La La La),” and my favorite “Blood Bubbles” – I really miss the singing black ladies though. See the song’s music video, if you don’t follow. Covers of classic tunes in the rock canon such as “Build Me Up Buttercup” (The Foundations) and “I Wanna Be Your Dog” (The Stooges) round out one of the best performances I’ve seen all year.

FIDLAR – I just started listening to FIDLAR recently, so I am not overly familiar with the band’s material. BUT, upon hearing the band for the very first time I felt an instant wavelength with these Californians. Enter the first track off of their self – titled LP and this set’s opener, “Cheap Beer.” “Twenty – three years I’ve been drinking cheap beer,” while I didn’t crack open a PBR as I rolled out of my mom’s womb, I can identify with being a 23 year old cheap beer drinker and being proud of it. And as soon as FIDLAR rolls out “Cheap Beer,” I proudly gulp what is left of my PBR and scream along to the anthemic chorus “I DRINK CHEAP BEER, SO WHAT? FUCK YOU! I DRINK CHEAP BEER, SO WHAT? FUCK YOU! I DRINK CHEAP BEER, SO WHAT? FUCK YOU!”

Like I said, I don’t know most of their songs, but they are all pretty much easy to get in to. The only other song I recognize is a solid cover of Descendents’ “Suburban Home.”

FIDLAR has a fun, teenage crowd that goes even wilder during their set than The Orwells. Every other second, there’s a new set of legs crashing into my head after leaping from the stage. I love the excitement, because stiff crowds suck, but it can also be obnoxious at times too. For example, stage diving during slow songs or even in between songs, which is actually pretty funny to see because the crowd isn’t ready to catch the person; hopefully they don’t get too fucked up though.

Additionally, some of the audience members are simply too knuckleheaded at times. Like one dude keeps yelling at the band to play “Cocaine,”(which they do). Lead singer/guitarist, Zac Carper informs the young man “Dude, cocaine is bad for you. I mean it’s good… but it’s bad for you.” Ahh well, these are minor flaws and it’s okay, I can be a knucklehead too, and hey it’s better to see a rowdy crowd than a well behaved crowd. Plus, FIDLAR’s music tends to be of the shameless, beer guzzlin’ variety anyway. Cheers.

Video by Juan Daniel Torres

Video by Dalton Patton

The Orwells – “Blood Bubbles” Music Video

The ORWELLS – Blood Bubbles from Eddie O'KEEFE on Vimeo.

Check out the latest music video for The Orwells‘ “Blood Bubbles” from their drop kicking, heart pounding, finger licking good EP Other Voices. The video has been hailed as a David Lynch take on The Supremes, being a fan of both parties that’s enough to get me watching.

The Orwells are also heading on tour with FIDLAR, check out the dates below:

9/20/13 – Santa Barbara – CA – Velvet Jones
9/23/13 – Tucson, AZ – Club Congress
9/24/13 – Phoenix, AZ – The Crescent Ballroom
9/26/13 – Denver, CO – Larimer Lounge
9/27/13 – Kansas City, MO – Czar Bar
9/30/13 – Columbia, MO – Mojo’s
10/02/13 – Atlanta, GA – Drunken Unicorn
10/07/13 – New Orleans, LA – One Eyed Jacks
10/08/13 – Baton Rouge, LA – Spanish Moon
10/14/13 – Nashville, TN – Exit/In
10/18/13 – Toronto, ON – Hard Luck
10/19/13 – Montreal, QC – Il Motore
10/23/13 – Cambridge, MA – The Sinclair
10/24/13 – New York, NY – Bowery Ballroom
10/25/13 – Philadelphia, PA – First Unitarian Church
10/26/13 – Washington, D.C. – Rock and Roll Hotel
10/28/13 – Pittsburgh, PA – The Smiling Moose Upstairs
10/29/13 – Cleveland, OH – Grog Shop
10/31/13 – Chicago, IL – Subterranean
11/01/13 – Madison, WI – High Noon Saloon
11/02/13 – Minneapolis, MN – 7th Street Entry

The Orwells Playing The Sinclair Oct 23; On Tour W/ FIDLAR

KLYAM has mentioned The Orwells once or twice in the past few months. Maybe more. That is primarily because they are AROUND. And being AROUND often, of course,  works to the advantage of both up-and-comers and established bands. New song one day, new video a week later, new album shortly thereafter, new tour dates. You get the picture. The Orwells do.

The date: OCTOBER 23 @ The Sinclair opening for FIDLAR – whom I’ve never checked out for no reason at all. There, I’m being honest. The time will come.

Check out the rest of the tour dates and new information about The Orwells new EP Other Voices on their new website: See what I mean?