Category Archives: The Strokes

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.

Best Of 2011: Glen’s Favorite Songs

Rather than release a countdown or a numbered list, I’ve decided to try something different!!!!! Band and song. Keepin’ it simple. 

Arctic Monkeys- “Black Treacle
Atlas Sound – “Lightworks,” “Mona Lisa
Babies – “Meet Me In The City
Bass Drum of Death – “Get Found
Beets – “I Think I Might Have Built A Horse
Black Keys – “Lonely Boy
Black Lips – “Family Tree,” “Modern Art,” “Mr. Driver
Colleen Green – “Rabid Love
Diarrhea Planet – “Fauser
Dum Dum Girls – “Coming Down
Fat History Month – “Old Lady Smokers
Gaye Blades
 – “Don’t Get Married
– “Magic
Handsome Furs – “Repatriated
The Hussy – “Sexi Ladi
Mark Sultan – “Song In Grey,” “Graveyard Eyes
Mind Spiders – “Don’t Let Her Go
M-Tank – “Don’t Miss You
Natural Child – “Hard Workin’ Man
Night Beats – “Ain’t Dumbo
Orwells – “Lays At Rest,” “Halloween All Year
Panda Bear – “Last Night At The Jetty
Peach Kelli Pop – “Girls of Summer,” “Eenie Meenie Minie Moe
Shannon and the Clams – “Baby Don’t Do It
The Strokes – “Under Cover of Darkness
Thee Oh Sees – “I Need Seed,” “If I Stay Too Long
Those Darlins – “Be Your Bro
Ty Segall – “My Head Explodes,” “You Make The Sun Fry

17 Year Old Chris’s Favorite Bands/Songs

I was shuffling through some boxes of old books and I found two lists I made in what I can only imagine is roughly the Summer of 2007. Here they are:

101 Favorite Artists

1) The Beatles
2) Pink Floyd
3) Nirvana
4) Ramones
5) Rage Against the Machine
6) Tool
7) System of a Down
8) GlassJaw
9) Johnny Cash
10) Led Zeppelin
11) The Who
12) The Pixies
13) Minor Threat
14) Bad Brains
15) Frank Zappa
16) The Doors
17) Velvet Underground
18) Radiohead
19) Sonic Youth
20) Deftones
21) Against Me!
22) Descendents
23) Black Flag
24) Fugazi
25) The Clash
26) Sex Pistols
27) Iggy Pop/The Stooges
28) Lou Reed
29) Incubus
30) Black Sabbath
31) Simon & Garfunkel
32) Alice in Chains
33) David Bowie
34) N.W.A.
35) The Smiths
36) The Replacements
37) Bjork
38) Dead Kennedys
39) Anti-Flag
40) Misfits
41) Metallica
42) Pantera
43) Slayer
44) X
45) Fall of Troy
46) Daphen Loves Derby
47) Page France
48) Animmal Collective
49) Elliott Smith
50) Arctic Monkeys
51) Beach Boys
52) The Kinks
53) Beastie Boys
54) Smashing Pumpkins
55) Nine Inch Nails
56) Wu-Tang Clan
57) Cypress Hill
58) Talking Heads
59) Primus
60) Roy Orbison
61) R.E.M.
62) Bob Marley
63) Jimi Hendrix
64) Bob Dylan
65) Chuck Berry
66) Nick Drake
67) Marvin Gaye
68) Sly and the Family Stone
69) Run-DMC
70) Public Enemy
71) Grateful Dead
72) Queen
73) Neil Young
74) Credence Clearwater Revivial
75) Husker Du
76) Joy Divison
77) New York Dolls
78) The Cure
79) The Jam
80) The Buzzcocks
81) Dinosaur Jr
82) Eric B. and Rakim
83) Otis Redding
84) Helemt
85) Pavement
86) Parliament/Funkadelic
87) Grandmaster Flash
88) Janes Addiction
89) Faith No More
90) Jesus and Mary Chain
91) Mudhoney
92) Foo Fighters
93) Germs
94) Beck
95) The Strokes
96) Stone Temple Pilots
97) 40 Below Summer
98) Messhugah
99) Norma Jean
100) Chimaira
101) Psychedelic Furs

101 Favorite Songs (except there is only 41 listed)

1) Simon & Garfunkel-Mrs. Robinson
2) Beatles- In My Life
3) Lou Reed- Perfect Day
4) Talking Heads (Nothing But) Flowers
5) Kinks- Waterloo Sunset
6) Doors- The End
7) Jefferson Airplane- White Rabbit
8) Blondie- Heart of Glass
9) Tool- Aenema
10) Pink Floyd- Comfortably Numb
11) Rage Against the Machine- Killing In the Name
12) GlassJaw- Lovebites and Razorlines
13) Against Me!- Baby, I’m an Anarchist!
14) Roy Orbison- Crying
15) Johnny Cash- Hurt
16) Terry Jacks- Seasons in the Sun
17) Radiohead- No Surprises
18) Bob Dylan- Mr. Tambourine Man
19) Bob Marley- Redemption Song
20) Sex Pistols- Anarchy In the U.K.
21) Ramones- KKK Took My Baby Away
22) Fatlip- What’s Up Fatlip
23) Lynyrd Skynyrd- Tuesday’s Gone
24) Led Zeppelin- Tangerine
25) The Who- I’m A Boy
26) The Jam- That’s Entertainment
27) Buzzcocks- Ever Fallin In Love?
28) Pixies- UMass
29) The Smiths- Shoplifters of the World Unite
30) The Cure- Boys Don’t Cry
31) New Order- Temptaion
32) Grandmaster Flash/Mellie Mel- White Lines
33) Janes Addiction- Ocean Size
34) Descendents- I’m Not a Loser (live)
35) Nirvana- Drain You
36) Black Sabbath- Iron Man
37) Elliott Smith- 2:45 A.M.
38) Grateful Dead- Truckin’
39) Tapes n’ Tapes- Mainitoba
40 Sonic Youth- 100%
41) Pantera- Walk

If I made similar lists today they would be dramatically different than seventeen year old Chris’s lists. But, at the same time with the exception of maybe one or two artists all enumerated here can be found on my ipod and I still enjoy listening to them very much.

CD Review: Angles [2011]

The Strokes
Release: 3/2011
Label: RCA

1. “Machu Picchu” –  B+
2. “Under Cover of Darkness” – A
3. “Two Kinds of Happiness” – A-
4. “You’re So Right” – C+
5. “Taken For A Fool” – B+
6. “Games” – C+
7. “Call Me Back” – C
8. “Gratisfaction” – B
9. “Metabolism” – C+
10. “Life Is Simple In The Moonlight” – A-

Comments: While this is no Is This It, I’m not sure anyone — band, fan, or critic — was expecting it to be something of that magnitude. Instead, it’s a pretty solid record that does a lot of soul searching in terms of sound, which is probably its primary downfall. We all heard “Under Cover of Darkness” first and from the way that sounded, I wasn’t really sure what to expect. It had a nice Phoenix vibe going on the verses and a pretty poppy chorus so overall I thought…nice, but not overly impressive. Upon a lot of listens, it grew on me and I actually throughly enjoy that tune. I can’t say that for too many more on here. The first and third tracks stand out — “Two Kinds” because it oddly sounds like “Two Tickets to Paradise,” though I’ve seen perhaps more apropos comparisons to The Cars. “You’re So Right” sounds Yorkian and quite average at that. “Games” and “Call Me Back” are draggy and have potential in some places…they really do…except…”Call Me Back” disappoints when it reports back to average Yorke. If this was Guts, do you HAVE IT? “Gratisfaction” is pretty borderline so we’d have to check with Mo to see. So yeah, the recording process was a horrible one for most of the dudes, though it’s pretty hard to tell that Julian sent mp3s of his voice and they were copy and pasted on the songs. Modern technology guys. This is it. Calm down on the Muse-y ambition on “Metabolism” guys, that shit is not where you wanna go! Aw too late. “Life” gives us hope. No pun intended, it’s a quality revival jam. Good thing Julian only got two seconds of average Yorkian at the end AGAIN ! damn that impersonation ! This isn’t KLYAM recommended, but check it probably. It’s on their website.

Grade: B (84)