Review: Colleen Green – “Sock It To Me” (2013)

Artist: Colleen Green
Release: March 2013
Label: Hardly Art

The long awaited Sock It To Me is here and I am a happy camper. I say long awaited because Colleen has mentioned this release being in the works at least since December 2011, when she played two of these tracks on WMBR’s Breakfast of Champions. Those recordings sure were exciting and left me in anticipation for the unnamed release…which we know now is this record! Well well well, Sock It To Me features the likes of Colleen, her trusty drum machine, and some additional support and engineering from Danny Rowland. The guitars are still fuzzy as ever, the melodies go above and beyond previous tracks, and in general, I’d say these are some really fleshed out tunes.

I really really enjoy “Time in the World,” as it is particularly sticky, thanks to a varied drum beat, layers of guitar and sound, and Colleen’s brilliantly stretched out vocals. To continue in the direction of talking about some more interesting tunes, I’ll mention “Close to You,” which is like the ultimate pop song – almost R&B/slow jam style – distinctly CG, but pretty different from a lot of the songs on this record and in her catalog at large. These vibes continue on the title track, which sounds like it is destined to explode into noise, but keeps the pace with a healthy amount of uh-huhs. And that’s fine!

Side B of Sock It To Me is a good degree faster and heavier than the songs I previously mentioned, so if you found yourself previously big into tunes like “Worship You” or “Rabid Love,” Side B might be your side…or if you are into pretty much anything that Colleen composes, it’s all good! In fact, the heavy shit of “Heavy Shit” straight up rocks. The production throughout the record stands out, as I feel that we now get a super sized listening experience, with differentiation between the trebly guitar parts, the bassy guitar parts, and the other instrumentation instead of one chunk of sound. Colleen is such a good songwriter that she can really do a lot with a little (technically speaking) and Sock It To Me is her latest and greatest example of that. The entire record is very catchy. Additionally, I’m not sure that anyone is really doing the kind of stuff that Colleen is. And that’s cool because she does it so well.

klyamrecommended
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Colleen Green is playing with Fat Creeps, Fedavees, and Ronnie Nordac on April 25th at Radio in Somerville, Mass. This will be a show’s show.

Top 10 Bands/Performances Seen In 2012

No Age March 2012 001

1. No Age  Favorite Show: Chum’s Coffeehouse (3/10/12)

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2. Nobunny – Favorite Show: Living Bread (9/21/12)

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3. Ty Segall – Favorite Show: The Well (9/22/12)

4. Fat Creeps – Favorite Show: Moe’s Lounge (8/10/12)

5. Atlantic Thrills – Favorite Show: Great Scott (12/3/12)

6. Thee Oh Sees – Favorite Show: The Well (9/22/12)

7. The Migs – Favorite Show: Wilder Zangcraft (11/24/12)

8. Slimers – Favorite Show: Great Scott (12/18/12)

9. Mark Sultan  Favorite Show: Starlab (12/8/12)

10. Colleen Green – Favorite Show: Middle East Upstairs (9/9/12)

Concert Review: Colleen Green, Plateaus, Empty Phrases @ unchARTed (9/10/12)


Artists: Colleen Green, Plateaus, Empty Phrases
Date: Monday, September 10, 2012
Venue: unchARTed (Lowell, MA)

Comments: Tonight is my first time stepping foot into the unchARTed gallery in downtown Lowell and I am impressed by its small, but cozy and enticing atmosphere. The walls are covered with various, intriguing portraits, I don’t know much about art, but I can recommend art enthusiasts and purveyors to check this place out! Though, this is my first unchARTed show, I have heard of the place for a while now, so I am glad my introduction is with one of my favorite artists, Colleen Green!

Act I: Empty Phrases– Ahh my boys, the Empty Phrases, a budding four piece fresh out of Lowell and ready to take on the world. Alas, tonight they are missing guitarist Evan Walters :( next time brother! Fortunately, the group manages more than fine as a three piece and I can honestly say this is the finest performance I have experienced from these gentlemen. Tonight, they display a much more aggressive, almost a hardcore/noise rock possessed version of Empty Phrases, giving their summery, dream like sound an oddly  enchanting, sinister touch. All in all, a fun, loud, rocking set from one of Lowell’s most promising bands. http://emptyphrases1.bandcamp.com/album/empty-phrases%20

Act II: Plateaus– Plateaus were sick last night when I saw them at the Middle East Upstairs, but I prefer them even more tonight. The PA at unchARTed is a motherfucker, making all the bands sound quite loud, I love it! This is definitely the case for Plateaus, for their power pop sounds even better with the thunderous volume added to the mix. I don’t know if it’s just me, but their set tonight hit me like a ton of bricks and leaves me with an even greater impression of their music.  Check out this badass band! http://plateausband.bandcamp.com/

Act III: Colleen Green– Wooooooo! Night 2 of my Colleen Green extravaganza. KLYAM has the whole Colleen Green coverage as Empty Phrases vocalist/guitarist Ben Raymond puts it. Indeed, the Massachusetts coverage anyway. It has been a privilege of mine to see one of my favorite singers and her glorious backing band two nights in a row. I say this not to sound like a kiss ass as I am sure it may come off that way haha, but I love her music so as a fan the pleasure is all mine, and who wouldn’t want to experience something they love two nights in a row? Masochists that’s who. Anyway, Colleen and crew delivered a fantastic set last night at the Middle East Upstairs, so going into this performance I was ecstatic, rightfully so. The unchARTEd gallery truly is one of the best venues for a Colleen Green show in all of MASS and definitely the DIY atmosphere of this place feels fitting. Once again, I have to give props to the sound system here, I definitely think this is the best way to experience Colleen. When the bands gets their thing on, Colleen introduces the whole band as “Colleen Green,” which I think is awesome. Just like the previous night they rock into the Descendents tune “Good Good Things,” and transition into the fast, punk, Ramones ode “I Wanna Be Degraded.” The PA is nasty here and from what I am told it often unleashes some unpleasant noises (though tonight everything I have heard has been awesome), but the Colleen Green band is able to make everything sound great; nothing sounds harsh; in fact it’s all very soothing to my ears, which at this point are horribly damaged. Seriously, Colleen is one of my favorite singers, her vocals are so soft,  yet powerful, it’s incredible and I cannot think of anyone else that compares to her. Overall, the Colleen Green band destroys and I am a happy camper. I can’t wait to see her and her band again! KLYAM loves you! http://colleengreen.bandcamp.com/

Concert Review: Colleen Green, Plateaus, Bent Shapes, Bugs and Rats @ Middle East Upstairs (9/9/12)


Artists: Colleen Green, Plateaus, Bent Shapes, Bugs and Rats
Date: Sunday, September 9, 2012
Venue: Middle East Upstairs (Cambridge, MA)

Comments:

Act I: Bugs and Rats– These motherfuckers diminish what is left of my eardrums, which is great. Bugs and Rats are a powerhouse band, a three piece that is LOUD and guaranteed to wake up the neighbors. They would serve as a terrific alarm clock, I must say. I’ll admit much of the music I listen to is of the “wimpy” variety so I’m not as big into Bugs and Rats, but damn they are a solid band and they rock pretty hard. Their music is easy to head-bang to – in fact I would find it hard not to. Though it’s not necessarily my cup of tea, I can definitely recommend it. I also admire the band’s overall enthusiasm, which makes this performance even more fun. The drummer looks like he is going berserk! Lastly, I notice there is a picture of Anne Frank on the guitarist’s guitar, I do not know why, but I find this interesting. I mean I think it is Anne Frank. Either it is her or I am a fucking idiot.
Go nuts http://bugsandrats.bandcamp.com/


Act II: Bent Shapes–  So, y’all know Bent Shapes were formerly known as Girlfriends, right? Alright good. Speaking of which, I haven’t seen this band since they opened for Harlem at Great Scott back in April 2010, so it is a real pleasure to see them tonight.  I was always struck by their music before and I have been meaning to see them again for quite some time now, but for whatever reason it just never worked out. Fortunately, tonight is my night and I get a chance to see this excellent band.  Bent Shapes definitely has some outstanding pop hooks and they remind me of one of my favorite bands, The Pains of Being Pure At Heart.  I also hear a lot of pop punk a la Wavves in their music. Glen concurs on this point. Without a doubt my favorite moment is when they play “I Was Here, But I Disappear,” a favorite of mine. Not just a favorite from the band, but one of my favorite songs of all time. I did not expect them to play this song at all, so this is a real treat. Admittedly, I need to listen to more of their material and I plan to. You should too! http://bentshapes.bandcamp.com/

Set List:
Public
Brat (“Brat Poison”)
Panel (“Panel of Experts”)
Bites (“Bits and Scratches”)
Big M (“Big Machines”)
Space
Bhead?
Disappear (“I Was Here But I Disappear”)
Hex (“Hex Maneuvers”)
Leave (“Leave It Till You Need It”)
Boys (“Boys to Men”)


Act III
: Plateaus– Before tonight’s performance I have never heard of Plateaus, but now I am convinced they are a sound band and I plan on checking out their music. Their songs are not as stripped down and catchy as those of Bent Shapes, but they keep up the same power pop/ pop punk sensibility. I am also feeling some strong garage vibes and in this way I can see them fitting well with the kind of music we typically champion on KLYAM. Their set is definitely fun and gets me pumped up for Colleen, even more so than I already was. http://plateausband.bandcamp.com/


Act IV
: Colleen Green– Before I start my little babbling, I am going to take a mini trip back to April 2011. April 29, 2011 to be exact. Glen and I had had little exposure to basement venues (a couple of shows in Lowell and that was about it) and so when we arrived at the Starlab in Somerville to see one of Ottawa’s finest, The White Wires, we were a bit perplexed. As I recall we paid the seven bucks or so for admission (which included a stamp of the word “fuck” on my hand) and then we left the venue momentarily to smoke a bowl. One of the dudes running the show caught up with us and said that it was cool for us to smoke inside. So, we did. More importantly, why am I telling this story?! What I forgot to mention was that Colleen Green was headlining this bill, but at the time we had no idea who Colleen Green was, we came to see White Wires as I had mentioned earlier. I remember sitting down Indian style in the basement of the Starlab, waiting for the band to play- actually the dudes from Luau (also on the bill that evening) were setting up their equipment and I began to aggressively converse about G.G. Allin and Charles Manson the way I often do when I’m left unsupervised. Around this time, Colleen approached Glen and me, oh and Dan, damn I forgot that motherfucker came with us, he’s the man! She sarcastically said something to the effect of “You aren’t those guys that are smoking weed are you?” She then politely introduced herself as Colleen and within seconds I began vigorously raving about my favorite bands as I tend to do if given even the slightest opportunity. I stated that my top three current favorite bands were/are 1)Black Lips 2)Deerhunter, and 3) Hunx and His Punx. This led to a brief discussion of the Hunx tune “Cruisin,” a fabulous song indeed. Alas, we weren’t able to stay long enough to catch Colleen’s set that night, but I remember thinking anyone that appreciates greats like Hunx and His Punx is worth checking out. So, I YouTube’d a few songs and live vids and I was instantly hooked. But, between 21+ shows and lack of transportation we KLYAMERS missed out on all the remaining Colleen Boston gigs :( Until now! Ahh shit, it’s 4:20 (I didn’t plan this btw) why am I still writing this? Why am I still up? I need to be awake and alert in a vapid classroom setting within four hours. Oh well. So yeah, tonight is very exciting on the account that not only do Glen and I get to see Colleen Green live for the first time, but with a whole band including members of Plateaus. The Colleen Green Band opens with a cover of the fine Descendents tune, “Good Good Things,” before moving into what may just be my favorite Colleen number “I Wanna Be Degraded,” goddamn that song is catchy! The whole set is spectacular. Colleen can be pure rock ‘n’ roll and totally mellow all at once. It’s like she doesn’t have to shout, but you can hear every little nuance of her vocals. I don’t know what I’m talking about- to quote a friend of mine-“I don’t know art, but I know what I like!” One of my other favorites is “Dance the Night Away,” a killer tune that surely stood out as one of 2011’s finest. Colleen and crew close the set with “Nice Boy (I Want A),” another classic that leaves me in great anticipation for tomorrow night’s performance in Lowell. I can’t wait! http://colleengreen.bandcamp.com/

Check Out The Dodgy Exclusive Interview W/ Colleen Green

Well-written and highly informative. I didn’t know Colleen had ties to UMASS Lowell (a college that comes up a lot in KLYAM lit), but now I do! Read here!

Colleen is playing Middle East Upstairs on September 9 with Bent Shapes, Plateaus, and Bugs and Rats. Before and after that date she is playing several shows:

8/24 – San Diego, CA @ Tower Bar
8/25 – Tucson, AZ @ Plush
8/26 – Las Cruces, NM @ The Trainyard
8/27 – Lubbock, TX @ Glassy Alley
8/28 – Austin, TX @ Mohawk (inside)
8/29 – Dallas, TX @ Bryan St Tavern
8/31 – Atlanta, GA @ 529
9/1 – Durham, NC @ The Pinhook
9/2 – Baltimore, MD @ Ottobar (upstairs)
9/4 – Philadelphia, PA @ Kung Fu Necktie
9/5 – New York, NY @ Mercury Lounge
9/7 – Brooklyn, NY @ 285 Kent
9/8 – Storrs, CT @ University of CT
9/9 – Boston, MA @ Middle East (upstairs)
9/10- Lowell, MA @ unchARTed
9/11 – Buffalo, NY @ Ninth Ward
9/12 – Cleveland, OH @ Happy Dog
9/13 – Columbus, OH @ Cafe Bourbon Street
9/14 – Cincinnati, OH @ MOTR Pub
9/15 – Louisville, KY @ TBA
9/16 – Lafayette, IN @ Black Sparrow
9/18 – Chicago, IL @ Empty Bottle
9/19 – Milwaukee, WI @ Cactus Club
9/20 – Minneapolis, MN @ 7th Street Entry
9/21 – Lawrence, KS @ Replay Lounge
9/22 – Denver, CO @ Lion’s Lair
9/23 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Kilby Court
9/25 – Missoula, MT @ Zoo City
9/26 – Seattle, WA @ Comet Tavern
9/27 – Portland, OR @ Mississippi Studios
9/28 – San Francisco, CA @ Thee Parkside
9/29 – Los Angeles, CA @ TBA

Read Awesome Article Written About Colleen Green

Written by Allison Tanenhaus (we met her at a Colleen Green show, too!)

“When I planned to meet Colleen Green before her show at the Middle East’s ZuZu on August 23, I was smacked with a sinking realization – I don’t know what she looks like.

Yes, I’d been to her Myspace and her Facebook page. I’d watched live footage and listened to her limited-edition cassette. But the youtube videos were darkly lit and showed her in sunglasses. And the image on her Facebook profile and her cassette was a simple cartoon drawing (also with sunglasses, natch). I’d have to wait until after her set to approach her.”

Continue reading here: http://happybirfdayjeff.blogspot.com/2012/02/kapital-ink.html  and where it appears in full in Kapital Ink, Maine’s only ROCK n ROLL magazine: http://www.kapitalink.com/back_issues.html

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
Girls
– “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