Boston Fuzzstival 2014 Recap

Fuzzstivall
Date: Saturday, August 2, 2014
Venue: Middle East Upstairs and Downstairs (Cambridge, MA)
Bands: Dinoczar, Black Beach, Gymshorts, The TeleVibes, Beware The Dangers Of A Ghost Scorpion!, CreaturoS, Atlantic Thrills, Abadabad, Magic Shoppe, 28 Degrees Taurus, The Fagettes, Fat Creeps, Doug Tuttle, Ghost Box Orchestra, The New Highway Hymnal

Once again, here’s another show review in spectacularly late fashion! Ahh at least last year’s review was completed merely hours after leaving the show. Can’t win em’ all, but we live to fight again or something like that. Anywho, here’s some fond recollections of my favorite bands’ performances at this year’s Fuzzstival…. oh and a lengthy introduction as to cap it all off. You didn’t think you would escape one of my lengthy introductions now did you??? Haha.

We love going to shows. You don’t need me to tell you that unless you assumed we were masochists this whole time. It’s all been our great displeasure seeing all of your bands perform live year after year. It’s been ever so painful. Though, if it’s painful for a masochist isn’t it also pleasurable? You got me. We’re actually not masochists, we’re sadists. We spew filth and fury. Hate us on facebook.

Festivals are simply shows on steroids or better yet shows in the midst of a nasty coke binge. One band and then another and then another and then another and then another. Sensory overload. All senses are fuzzed up by the end of this shindig. All senses. The Lysergic Factory Lightshow, Video Joe Turner, and  Wax House A/V scrape the mucus off your brain, Emma’s Pizza deliver mouth watering slices, and fifteen of New England’s feistiest tear through what’s left of your withering eardrums. I think that covers all the senses. Ahh well, you get the gist.

We at KLYAM typically cover the fuzzy variety – garage spunk psychaholics.  So, it’s an absolute pleasure to have an entire festival dedicated to this “style” of music. Big thanks to Jason Trefts/Illegally Blind for doing what must be done. We thoroughly enjoyed last year’s Fuzzstival, but the line up this year is even superior: many of our own local favorites and on top of it all, the party takes place at our favorite venue, Middle East.

———— UPSTAIRS ————-

Gymshorts – We scurry into the Middle East, fretting that we may have missed our Providence dawgs in Gymshorts. As we slime into the Mid East Up, I notice a crowded room and Gymshorts setting up to play and I realize I haven’t missed anything. An awesome relief washes over me.  Per usual they launch into “Scumdog” I WANNA GET HIGHHHH AND I WANNA GET STONEDDDD” ya you know.  They shred the usual No Backsies jams then things come to a halt briefly when one of their strings breaks. Hey, rock ‘n’ roll ain’t perfect. They bounce back with an apropos tune for the moment in “Oh Brother.” Catch these shorts on a giant ass tour all across these here United States: https://www.facebook.com/events/250069071850157/
Bandcamp: http://gymshorts.bandcamp.com/

The TeleVibes – Dude, these vibes get right under your skin and crawl around for a few days/weeks at a time. You’ll be telling all your friends and loved ones about how awesome The TeleVibes were at the Fuzzstival. Fuck, your grandchildren.

The Tellies are fuzztastic, but they got a little more than just grit in their wee bellies. They possess a tenacious affection for mind melting psych noise that’s dripping garage snot rockets all over the place. Guitar riffs coming straight from the bowels of hell. That’s old Charlie Northin’ there and old Scott Lorin’. And old brother Christian Hardy packing heat and smacking away on the skins. Sounds like these young men have spent entirely too much alone time with Mr. Dwyer and Mr. Segall. So, I guess then that’s not alone time, ahh well it’s too late to go back now. The past is the past and we’re living in a modern world, whatever that means.

I’ve seen The Tellies in the past, but prior to this Fuzzstival, it’s been about seven months (HOLY SHIT I know, I was shocked as well) and they sincerely sound better than ever. Actually, my favorite band at the Fuzzstival. Dig it. It’s dug. These Tellies be vibin’ so hard. They slap me in the face like a bag of wet dicks. Each guitar lick is a new slap to the face and I suppose the masochist in me wants more. More More More, no wait, wrong fuzz band. Forgive me or not, whichever works. I’ll be seeing The TeleVibes again and again, in my head and in my bed, now that I got me my very own Washed Up EP on cassette! LISTEN to it HERE: http://thetelevibesofficial.bandcamp.com/

Beware The Dangers Of A Ghost Scorpion! – Listen up, you little freaks. Here’s one band you’re not going to FUCK with… ladies and gentlemen, Beware The Dangers Of A Ghost  Scorpion!

I’ve been seeing these fine gents a lot lately. Starlab Fest, Black Lodge, and now here at the Fuzzstival. Beware is the premiere Boston surf rock band, a surf nut’s wet dream. They lean hard towards the nuttier side of the surf realm, fitting in perfectly within this fuzz fest as my friend Dylan likes to call it.

As always Beware puts on a fun, frenzied show, constantly hoppin’ and boppin’ around the stage, leaving the audience on the edge/over the edge. Definitely a band to catch in the flesh sooner than later. Their recordings sound just as demonic though, check them out here: http://ghostscorpion.bandcamp.com/

CreaturoS – Local psych juggernauts, CreaturoS headline the first half of Fuzzstival, being the last band to play at the Middle East Upstairs tonight. The group (as with most of the bands playing this thang) thank Jason Trefts for hosting such an epic event. They rip through an earache inducing set of psych pop that Boston fans have come to know and love.

At one point this dude climbs on stage and awkwardly stands up there with the band for a few seconds.  I even think he’s a friend of the band for a minute. You know how sometimes bands pull up their comrades to sing or play along to a song. Not in this instance. The band smirks and kindly escorts the man off the stage. Perhaps he thought there would be a stage invasion like last year: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yTFptrZH5Mc.

So, that’s the end of the first half of the fest. Oh and check out CreaturoS on bandcamp: http://creaturos.bandcamp.com/

———– DOWNSTAIRS ————

Atlantic Thrills – Providence dawgs Atlantic Thrills are kicking things off right for the second half of the Fuzz. Seeing the Thrillz up on stage here brings me back to the first time I saw them live about three years ago at this very same location opening for Those Darlins. Damn, and many more shows followed!

The crowd is still building up, but those of us that are present are devouring all the punk slime and saliva these maniacs have to offer. My favorite tonight is “Day At The Beach,” a great Summer jam or as Dan Tanner puts it “this song is about drugs and the beach.” Reckless abandon. For mo’ Atlantic Thrills:  http://atlanticthrills.com/

The Fagettes – Illegally Blind seriously rolls out the upper crust of local fuzz and Fagettes is a prime example of that. The group (featuring Nice Guy Jake Gilbertson on bass) pounds through a rockin’ set of gettes classics such as “On Drugs,” “Gonna Die Out Here,” and a bunch of others my fuzzed out dome is missing.

The crowd moves and shakes a bit more during their set, but are still too motionless for my tastes. That’s one of my few qualms about the Fuzzstival. Lack of significant crowd participation/dancing/moshing. Everything else is tip top A ok.

Ryan Fagette is as feisty as ever, prowling around the stage, fighting off some technical difficulties with his guitar. He gives a fiery performance during “I Wanna Feel Good” as he makes his way to the crowd, standing tall above everyone. He fervently shouts  I WANNA FEEL GOOD  directly into various patron’s eyes. He even messes around with the Lysergic Factory’s light show, making a mess out of all dem pretty colors. http://thefagettes.bandcamp.com/

Fat Creeps – FC is fresh off a two week tour with The Lentils. A friend of mine observed that bands always sound tighter when they have just come back from tour and I think that’s true in this instance. It’s like everything else, if you keep persistent, you naturally get better. I’m just happy to finally see the band perform at my favorite above ground venue; I believe this is their first time playing at the Middle East Downstairs. Anyway, definitely one of the better shows I’ve seen from the trio recently. No hesitation, kick out the jams, and raise some hell. Some hell.

I’m at the point now where I don’t really have much more to say about this band, I’ve seen them over 30 times and it’s always been a pleasure. I dig some of the audio assault in the “new” songs from Must Be Nice such as “Party” and “Having So Much Fun,” but I’ll always have a place in my heart for the oldies like “Nancy Drew” and “700 Parts.” It’s all good.  http://fatcreeps.bandcamp.com/

We missed The New Highway Hymnal :( but, if I had seen them, they surely would appear in this article. Check them out regardless: http://thenewhighwayhymnal.bandcamp.com/

So, that’s my recollections. One big final shout out again to Jason Trefts/Illegally Blind.  Like, follow, share, support, do whatever you do on the fascist book, just most importantly GO to the fine ass shows he’s constantly putting on around Boston. https://www.facebook.com/IllegallyBlindPresents

Thanks

Video from TeenageRiotTv

A KLYAMer’s Preview of Boston FUZZSTIVAL 2014

Boston Fuzzstival 2014 organized by Illegally Blind’s Jason Trefts is going down tomorrow (Saturday August 2nd) afternoon and evening at The Middle East Upstairs (starting at 1 PM) and Downstairs (starting at 6 PM) and features exactly 15 bands of the garage/psych/surf/pop variety — exactly the styles of music that we appreciate most around here on KLYAM! Of course this is an event we’ve been looking forward to for months and if you remember back to last year Chris cranked out a review of the event as soon as he got home from it. It is a wonderful thing to see underground rock ‘n roll of this kind making the rounds around local blogs; just head over to the Fuzzstival FB event page to read a bunch of posts about Fuzzstival and the bands playing it.

KLYAM’s pretty energetic about the bands we care about. We’re also eager to see any bands we have not had the pleasure to see yet. I’m just going to say some words about some bands I have seen and really really dig:

GYMSHORTS – Playing at 2:25 UPSTAIRS – Providence scum surf roquers blasted into existence about one year ago, but it just might seem like they’ve been around longer with the amount of shows they’ve been playing around New England and New York. Sarah leads the pack in their mosh friendly jams on vocals/guitar while Devin complements her with fuzzy lead twang. I think this will be about my tenth time seeing them and it’s always a real fun time! [LISTEN]

TELEVIBESPlaying at 3:00 UPSTAIRS – North Shore ass jigglers / ball ticklers – course these words are courtesy of Chris, but I agree completely – playing that slimy Migsian stuff that’s had us in a tizzy since hearing their Washed Up EP and damn that release show is still one for the record books. It’s been seven months since – far too long a wait for us so the anticipation runs highhhhh. [LISTEN]

BEWARE THE DANGERS OF A GHOST SCORPIONPlaying at 3:45 UPSTAIRS – Everybody ought to pace themselves at this point – I mean on any other day these guys would probably be playing at 12 AM and closing out festivities. Two weeks ago they put an end to STARLAB FEST and wow I fondly recall bopping up, down, and around, perhaps at one point falling as they pounded out southern evil Dicky Dale instrumental after southern evil Dicky Dale instrumental. Guess I just suck at describing surf and should stick to bumping into people with a shit eating grin. Must see group! [LISTEN]

CREATUROS – Playing at 4:30 UPSTAIRS – Have seen these new era Boston garage/psych legends (a term I’ll use loosely to let the crowd response to their 2013 Fuzzstival set do the talking) rather intermittently over the past couple of years. I was really won over when they opened for FUZZ at Great Scott last fall. That was a killer set… then just a bit ago they dropped ‘SHORT SHORTS‘ a pure garage pop goldie. Forgive me for not really knowing any of their other songs by heart, I will know that one! [LISTEN]

ATLANTIC THRILLS – Playing at 6:00 DOWNSTAIRS – Alrighty garage bro so you know the Atlantic Thrills, you read about ’em online somewhere. OK yes it was probably here. We’ve championed their rock ‘n roll since the year 2011, about three years before they dropped their first LP (KLYAM recommended obviously). Tripped to Providence a bunch of times to catch them in their abode and have had some really memorable experiences both on stage and off stage in their presence. Very happy to hear that they are kicking things off DOWNSTAIRS (where they once opened for Those Darlins), here’s to another round of sloppy debauchery. [LISTEN]

THE FAGETTES  – Playing at 9:00 DOWNSTAIRS – Without feeling like a local rock n roll snob, I am confident calling The Fagettes the Boston kings and queens of the garage, flower punk style. They have a history of playing with some of the world’s finest rock n roll bands (NOBUNNY, Shannon and the Clams, Hunx and His Punx) and that is surely no coincidence. The energy, vocal trade-offs of Ryan and Melanie, dueling drums, sax here and there, the noisy POP racket, I could go on and on. You wanna feel good. Catch THE FAGETTES. [LISTEN]

FAT CREEPS – Playing at 9:45 DOWNSTAIRS – We’ve seen the Creeps the most out of all the bands at Fuzzstival about three times over, which should not come as a shocker to anyone as we’re intense supporters from way back. They just released their first LP Must Be Nice [pick one up if you haven’t, along with their klyammy debut 10″ of course] and IT’s great! For those who like both the sun and the shade, the fast and the slow, Fat Creeps pack ’em all and their live show is a stellar reflection of what’s got the Americans, Europeans, and Japanese going nuts!! [LISTEN/BUY 10″]

NEW HIGHWAY HYMNAL  – Playing at 12:15 DOWNSTAIRS – What better way to cap off this night than with New Highway Hymnal, emblematic diplomats of the meaning of FUZZSTIVAL. K, didn’t mean to get that deep all of a sudden, except I’m telling the truth here. Psych/garage/surf/noise The New Highway Hymnal can dismantle a Lowell basement and a 575 capacity venue just the same. Don’t think I’ve seen them since Charlie joined on guitar, should be sweeeeet! Heads up crowd you might get bumped in the head by Hadden’s guitar, but you’ll love it all the same. [LISTEN]

Review: Beware The Dangers Of A Ghost Scorpion! and Sun Lions @ Middle East Upstairs (3/22/14)

Beware
Bands: Beware The Dangers Of A Ghost Scorpion!, Sun Lions, Soft Pyramids, Whiskey Warpath
Date: Saturday, March 22, 2014
Venue: Middle East Upstairs (Cambridge, MA)

We missed Whiskey Warpath and Soft Pyramids. Damn, next time!

Sun Lions – I have mixed feelings about this band. They are pleasant in some respects, especially in a live setting, but I’m not going bonkers over them either. It’s just too clean and proper for my savage tastes. I need an extra kick in the gut to loosen me up a little bit. This set feels like it lasts forever too. http://thesunlions.bandcamp.com/

Beware The Dangers Of A Ghost Scorpion! – Now, here is a band more to my liking. BTDOAGS is a trippy, all instrumental surf rock outfit, a surf nut’s wet dream, if you will.

Staying true to their name, the guys bear an air of mystery to them. Dressed in black shirts and blue jeans and wearing bandannas that cover most of their faces, they never verbally interact with their audience, not once. Instead, they communicate with their music.

I am always biased when it comes to surf music. I find it hard not to enjoy it, even if it is extremely generic. Frankly, it actually all sounds the same to me, but that’s just it, it’s a sound and one that I never get tired of hearing. Still, BTDOAGS picks it up a notch with their sinister, horror punk take on the genre. Anyway you look at it, it’s fun.

Overall, a strong set, but I’ve seen better from the band. The venue is mostly filled and the crowd is digging the band, rightfully so, but I’d rather see at least one of the members leap off the stage and dance around with the audience or entice them to move more as I have seen in the past. Regardless, always a pleasure to see these dudes. BTDOAGS in a basement/underground setting, now that is something I need to see next.  http://ghostscorpion.bandcamp.com/

Beware The Dangers Record Release Tonight @ Great Scott

Beware The Dangers Of A Ghost Scorpion!‘s second full-length Blood Drinkers Only will be released in fine fashion with a special show tonight, Sunday September 22, at Great Scott in Allston. For those who want a sneak peak of their instrumental surf rock prowess, check out a stream of the album: http://ghostscorpion.bandcamp.com/

Seeing these guys for the first time in January at Great Scott was an immediately exciting experience [READ HERE]. You’ll see what I mean. Also playing tonight are Baby Driver and Cathode Rays.

Review: Beware the Dangers of a Ghost Scorpion!, Jacques Le Coque, The Zookeepers, Polaroidz @ O’Brien’s Pub (7/5/13)


Bands: Beware The Dangers Of A Ghost Scorpion!, Jacques Le Coque, The Zookeepers, Polaroidz
Date: Friday, July 5, 2013
Venue: O’Brien’s Pub (Allston, MA)

Polaroidz – Alright, alright, alright, alright, it’s Polaroidz! Polaroidz were originally known as Polaroids until recently it was unearthed that another Polaroids (of most likely, significantly less importance) already exists. Aww shucks! Unless, this is some sort of sick trick the band is playing on all of us and I fell for it, looking increasingly foolish with each word I type. Hopefully, this is not the case…

Anywho, last time I saw them was at a packed basement show at the Wilder Zangcraft and it was pretty ethereal. Since then, the band has changed a little bit with not just the alleged subtraction of the letter s and the zany addition of the  letter z, they have also added a new guitarist named Al. Oh and I should have probably mentioned by now that Polaridz also consists of Hadden Stemp (who you may have seen as the skull crackin’ vocalist/guitarist for The New Highway Hymnal) on guitar and vocals and Tim Oxton on lead vocals and keyboards. Altogether, the trio create a dreamy, mellowy brand of pop music not too unfamiliar to most music fan’s ears. Wow, that was convoluted. What I mean to say is that Polaroidz have a strong sound that bears resemblance to various artists in the modern rock/pop landscape such as Interpol, The Editors, Handsome Furs, New Order, and one that I never conjured up but Glen points to – Beach House. I feel ya man.

Polaroidz have summery vibes, but not like Beach Boys or anything of that sort, but akin to you just broke up with your girlfriend, so now you spend all of your nights alone at the beach with a pair of headphones, a bottle of wine, and an old book by some author with a last name I cannot pronounce. When all is said and done, the music is evocative, a bit trippy, but above all powerful – especially in the vocals. Lend your ears to their fine tunes. http://polaroidz.bandcamp.com/

The Zookeepers – For the record, I have never understood pop punk. I like pop music. Scratch that I la la love pop music. And as far punk goes, if it’s in the traditions of old school garage, Ramones, Germs and anything with similar aesthetics, then I am typically a fan or at least a supporter. But, pop punk, with very few exceptions (Descendants and Wavves) I disdain. It’s strange, because separately I love those two words, but together they make me want to vomit bags of blood.

And so with that introduction in mind, The Zookeepers are of the pop punk variety. Here’s the twist, they’re actually pretty good and if I was a fan of this style of music, I’d say they were amazing. As far as sweaty, balls out passion and enthusiasm go, these dudes have it and they also have some solid songs to boot. Seriously though, for fans of pop punk and that kind of music, check these guys out because they ROCK. The members often switch up instruments, but unlike most other bands that do this, they don’t stop for a single moment, they keep the momentum while they do the switcheroo, creating a nice little sing a long in the process.

As far as comparisons go, I’m not the best guy for this, but I can think of a few artists that remind me of The Zookeepers or vice versa. Firstly (and admittedly the glasses are a factor) the only original pop punk band I love, Descendants, appear to be an influence, especially in the band’s speedy songs. Another influence is the hip, stylish electronica outfit, Head Automatica. Lastly, one that feels very close to home is the phenomenal, virtually unknown Memphis monster: The Barbaras!  Like this band (one of my all time favorites), Zookeepers have this gauche, “I don’t give a fuck,” nerdy attitude to them; at times just plain zany, but ultimately fun. Though it’s not exactly my bag, if you’re looking for a pop punk that will offer everything they got and more  and some strangeness on top for you and your lover to dance to, then The Zookeepers are your men.  https://myspace.com/thezookeepers

Jacques Le Coque – Seeing Jacuqes Le Coque has held a spot on the KLYAM to do list for over a year now.  Coque (pronounced COCK) are on the same wavelength as KLYAM as far as punk slime goes. So, finally meeting these fine, upstanding gentlemen is a total pleasure. Pete Mazza (vocals/guitar), Jason Kyek (drums), RJ DeAngelis (lead guitar), and Brendan Toller (bass) are the four men that comprise Stamford, Connecticut’s hottest rock ‘n’ roll band. Though this is our first encounter with the dudes, we are able to reminisce of past shows that lie deep in our collective punk slime unconsciousness, such as Saralee and one particularly rambunctious Black Lips warehouse show in Brooklyn.  Can’t stress enough how great it is to come across some people that know their contemporary garage punk, and this quality totally comes through in Coque’s spirited rock ‘n’ roll.

Before the boys hit the mini O’Brien’s stage, Pete tells me that he is “ready to rock ‘n’ roll” and believe me it sounds significantly cooler in person than in print. And Pete and his brethren fully deliver – dishing out just what the doctor ordered – balls out garage punk slime with comparisons to Black Lips, Atlantic Thrills, and The Kinks (especially in Pete’s vocals, remind me of Ray Davies). It’s just fun, rowdy music, plain and simple.

Most of tonight’s set consists of brand spankin’ new material, tunes that are entirely fresh to my ruined ears. Tis a pleasure to hear these fine ass offerings, but I get the biggest boner when I can sing along and dance to some of my favorite Coque numbers such as “Sidewalk,” “Ain’t No Fun,” and the band’s catchiest ditty, “Grow Up,” a youthful, rebellious anthem I can identify with all too well for better or worse.

Of all the bands on this bill, Jacques Le Coque is the best and I’m really going to miss them. Until next time, I’ll just be rocking out to this beast: http://jacqueslecoque.bandcamp.com/album/jacques-le-coque

Set – List:
“Dead & Gone”
“Just Last Night”
“Don’t Wanna Fight”
“Stay With Me”
“Ruler Of My Heart”
“Can’t Keep Away”
“Pass It Around”
“Sidewalk”
“Grow Up”
“It’s Raining”
“Ain’t No Fun”

Beware the Dangers of a Ghost Scorpion! – Here’s a band that offered us one of the greatest live debuts of 2013, that is to say a KLYAM debut, having never seen or even heard of this all instrumental, horror surf punk machine until a key show this past January at the Great Scott. That performance was like a tornado hitting you with massive force and energy that I have rarely seen matched before or since, especially for a relatively unknown band. Needless to say, these disguised surf punks (and in particular a magnetic, tambourine playing gentleman) left a lasting impression on me.

Tonight’s performance is exciting and they reprise their roles as surf mad men on a mission to get the whole place moving and shaking. While, I can’t say that they are as successful in this endeavor as they were in my last experience at the Great Scott, they certainly unleash some gnarly, slimy sounds that stay true to the fun, relaxing, cool like vibes that often come with surf music, yet they are not afraid to veer off into weirder, more complex instrumental territory. So, yes it is fun and lively, but not as intense or as exhilarating as my initial experience, and I attribute this to two reasons:

1) O’Brien’s Pub is a small venue, optimistically speaking it is cozy and this works quite well for cozier bands like Fat History Month and Fat Creeps, among  several other local heavyweights  – but there is a bigness to BTDOAGS that simply is too giant for the cozy O’Brien’s space. Great Scott has a bigger stage and I think it lent itself to a higher quality performance from these mysterious men.

2) This time around the man playing tambourine is nowhere to be found OR somewhere in his musical journey he decided to pick up an instrument. In any situation, one of the most enjoyable features of that past Great Scott show was watching this one peculiar man bouncing around, on and off the stage, bashing away at a helpless tambourine and carrying a sign that read “Beware the Dangers of a Ghost Scorpion.” This doesn’t occur tonight, and I have to say I am a little bit disappointed. Then again, I  could see this tactic coming off as a gimmick to some, so who knows, maybe we’ll see it again, maybe not, I’ll keep my eye out for it anyway.

One last thing I would like to note is the strength of this music off the stage. Initially in January, I felt like these fellas were superior in the flesh, but after having listened to their music online, my appreciation for their musical  prowess has increased. Oddly, my notions are reversed – this time around I feel more flabbergasted by their work in the studio than being in the midst of a sweaty, steamy live performance. Nonetheless, I highly recommend you listen to their music on bandcamp  and go see them live. They are playing at Great Scott on Saturday, August 3 and word around the campfire is that a full length studio LP will be dropped upon us in the coming weeks. Don’t make yourself a stranger, check out these fine, talented gents right here: http://ghostscorpion.bandcamp.com/

Set – List
“Haltway”?
“Heads Will Roll”
“We Welcome The Living (But Only If They Come Here To Die)”
“Caught Dead”
“Cateye”
“Lovers”
“Texas Blood Money”
“SoS”
“Blood Drinkers”
“Black Crescent”
“Red River Tombstone Hustle”
“Rainmaker”?

Concert Review: Bent Shapes, earthquake party!, Beware the Dangers of a Ghost Scorpion!, The Fagettes @ Great Scott (1/12/13)

Bent Shapes
Bands: Bent Shapes, earthquake party!, Beware the Dangers of a Ghost Scorpion!, The Fagettes
Date: Saturday, January 12, 2013
Venue: Great Scott (Allston, MA)

Act I: The Fagettes – The Fagettes are a KLYAM band. Period. There are many styles/genres I could attribute to this band, and pretty much all of them we dig, hence why they are a KLYAM band. Rock ‘n’ Roll, Garage, Punk, Psychedelic, you name it, they got it.  Their sound and aesthetic fits perfectly with the punk slime we proudly promote every day on this site, which I honestly can’t say about most of the local bands we see. That isn’t to say other bands around here suck, not at all. It’s just great to see a Hunxian “garage” band in Boston.  We saw them once before performing as Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazlewood for a Halloween cover show, and as much of a blast as that was, we yearned to see them as FAGETTES. Needless to say, I’m pretty excited.  As I mentioned earlier, these guys have nailed that fun, fun rock ‘n’ roll sound down pat, but they also have a real cool look to them.  Especially Ryan Major (vocals, guitar, harmonica);  he is simply one suave motherfucker. He rocks the shades and from a distance he looks like Jared Swilley, but up close he looks more like John Holmes, either way he is the man and he is a great singer. Ryan shares vocal duties with Melanie Bernier (one half of one of the best local bands, The Electric Street Queens – check them out!), who also plays drums. But, Melanie isn’t the only one that sings and plays drums, oh no. A wonderful gentleman by the name of Peaches commands the kit in the back and provides some sick backing vocals. The bass player, who’s name escapes me (sorry dude!) is enthusiastic as he always is, love that guy. But, wait there’s more.  Matt “Nice Guy” Garlick is riffing on guitar. In fact, before the band plays their set, I can hear Matt jamming on The King Khan & BBQ Show’s “Waddlin Around,”  killer song.  I should also mention that Matt is completing the second half of his double header tonight, having just played at the Butcher Shoppe with his other badass punk band, Nice Guys, wowzer! The Fagettes’ set consists of all the fun tunes you’d want to hear, oldies like “Catholic Riff Raff,” “Mystery Pills,” and “Water, Tea, and Alcohol,” as well as their latest offering, “Gonna Die Out Here,” one of their sexiest to date.  They also play all three cuts (“If  I See Him Again,” “On Drugs,” and “My Girl Looks Like Johnny Thunders”) from last summer’s EP If I See Him Again.  With “On Drugs,” they really make it feel like a place you come to visit, where the fun never stops.  This song and every song sounds terrific. The Fagettes live is a visual, auditory monster. With all these vocals and percussion jostling me, I feel like I’m being trampled by a lion. The sound is that big, perhaps not that terrifying though, but my ears are equally pleased and damaged.  I can’t recommend Fagettes more, going back to what I started saying at the beginning of the review that they are a KLYAM band, meaning they play rock ‘n’ roll the way it  ought to be done: short, but simple pop songs, fun, filthy, and catchy. Sweetness meets sickness. Like, Shannon and the Clams, there’s enough loud punk and soft pop for all to enjoy, and usually somewhere in between. I am exhausted, but Fagettes can keep me up all night. Be awesome like me and listen to all their crazy music here: http://thefagettes.bandcamp.com/

Act II: Beware the Dangers Of A Ghost Scorpion!– Now, here’s a sweet band. With a name this enormous and eccentric, they ought to send me into an oblivion. And like their name they are both fun and puzzling, but in a pleasant way. ‘Beware’ is a five piece and each member is dressed the same: bandannas covering their noses and mouths, blue jeans, and black shirts bearing a picture of a presumably dangerous, ghost scorpion.  The set is entirely instrumental and with the exception of Big Mess, I typically am not fond of this style of music, but these men capture my attention and entertain me for the next half hour. They rock out pretty hard, playing early 60s surf rock with a bit of an extra kick, in fact a lot of emotion and physical energy. This is especially true of the man on tambourine. This dude bashes away at the tambourine, unlike anyone else I’ve seen before, I can’t imagine what his hand looks like after each gig.  But, he goes beyond that in his showmanship. He makes the crowd move and shake and he is the leader of all this hype and excitement in the room, as if he is holding the crowd in the palm of his hand, perhaps a cliched comparison, but he  just holds this undeniable command over the crowd. What’s even more fascinating and unique about this man and the group as a whole is the lack of vocals. As I mentioned, they are an instrumental band, but they literally never speak throughout the whole performance. No words, just music. Actually, let me rephrase that, words do appear at various moments, as they are scrawled across a sign that the tambourine player triumphantly holds, reading: BEWARE THE DANGERS OF A GHOST SCORPION!  This guy gets an A+ for the night. Solid set, sick band, but I don’t know if this is the kind of music I see myself listening to at home alone in my room, with that being said, I hope to see them again in the future and I hope others catch their set too, for this is a live show you won’t want to miss. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8EmoBSVPoXs

Set-List:
“Red River Tombstone Hustle”
“Heads Will Roll”
“The Lover’s Curse”
“The Nameless One”
“Caught Dead”
“Cateye Glasses”
“We Welcome The Living, But Only If They Come Here To Die”
“Satan’s Invisible World”
“13 Stabs”
“SOS”
“Denton County Casket Company”
“Haintmaker”
“The Legend of Goatman’s Bridge”

Act III: earthquake party!– Earthquake Party’s a perennial rock force in Boston, and a very talented band at that.  Their set is loud and noisy, but with some pop beneath the heavy volume. Their keyboard driven songs mixed with grungey/screaming vocals remind me of the Lost Sounds and Yo La Tengo.  There’s a harsh quality to it, but it’s also satisfying and never overstays its welcome. Listening to their bandcamp, I hear the songs more clearly, they have some real great pop numbers here. I’ve seen them a couple times before and each show has been an enjoyable experience.  Definitely a KLYAM recommendation: http://earthquakeparty.bandcamp.com/

Set-List:
“Nails + Hammertime”
“One More Night”
“Pretty Lil Hand”
“Fast Girl”
“Escape Artist”
“Daydream Jenny”
“Brains”
“Pretty Trash”
“Tramp”
“Little Pet”
“Hello Weirdo”

Act IV: Bent Shapes – Like earthquake Party! Bent Shapes are familiar faces around the Boston rock scene and they have earned a reputation for creating catchy, mellow, pop songs that rank up there with the finest in music today. So yeah, they’re one of my favorite bands right now and it’s great to see them in front of a packed crowd at the Great Scott. Great Scott is the first place I saw Bent Shapes (well Girlfriends) many, many moons ago, opening for another brilliant, underrated pop band, Harlem. At the time, I didn’t really pay attention to local music, for no particular reason, I just didn’t. Girlfriends stood out to me though, I think the first local band that I really dug. Flash forward to the present. They sound excellent and they play some of their best songs including the sunny “Leave It Till You Need It,” and their recent flexi, “Panel of Experts” and “Bites and Scratches.”  They have a somewhat soft pop style to their craft, but they rock just as hard as all the other bands. The set closes with one of my all time favorite songs, “I Was Here, But I Disappear,” which always gets me super ecstatic, there’s just no way of describing my love for this song without sounding over the top. Perhaps, the best performance I’ve seen from Bent Shapes. Check them out, if you haven’t already. http://bentshapes.bandcamp.com/

Set-List
“Big Machines”
“Panel of Experts”
“Boys to Men”
“Spazz”
“Bhead”
“Wut?”
“Space”
“What We Do Is Public”
“Bites and Scratches”
“Leave It ‘Til You Need It”
“Brat Poison”
“I Was Here But I Disappear”

SHOW ALERT: Baby Shakes @ PA’s Lounge

Thirsty & Miserable brings us Baby Shakes of NYC/Atlanta. Featured in the WE FUN documentary, Baby Shakes (believe it or not) have never been to Boston. This will be their first time! Check out their girly garage/punk: http://www.myspace.com/babyshakes. Also playing will be Somerville surf-rockers Beware The Dangers Of A Ghost Scorpion (http://www.myspace.com/northtexascobrasquadron), The BFs of Gloucester (who sound especially awesome — http://thebfs.bandcamp.com/), and finally punk ROCK shizzles White Pages (http://whitepages.bandcamp.com/).

When is this thing happening? Well, March 25. In case, y’all don’t know, PA’s Lounge is in Somerville.

More info on the event: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=203434119667193 !