I recently saw Liars at Brighton Music Hall. I hadn’t seen them since 2008 and this was worth the wait. As I was waiting I saw a guy up on the stage setting some equipment up. I soon found out that was not a guy after all and that actually was Jana Hunter. I knew of Jana Hunter being the frontwoman of Lower Dens. As a solo artist she sounded more stripped down. It was just her with a guitar and a drum machine. She started her set with a cover of Hall & Oates’s Maneater. The rest of her songs were new songs that she wrote for Lower Dens. Right before Liars went on, the lights dimmed and projections started up on the screen behind the stage. Each band member came out and last to emerge was Angus Andrew wearing a maskhat made of colorful yarn like what is on the cover of their new album Mess and all the promo pics leading up to the album’s release. They started with some songs from Mess. This album as well as their last one are more electronically based. I think the new one is a bit more aggressive than its predecessor. The songs got the crowd bouncing. They just went through song after song until their set ended after about an hour. Personally I think they should have played longer. I was hoping to hear some of their really old songs from their first couple albums.
Pro Anti Anti
Let’s Not Wrestle Mt. Heart Attack
I’m No Gold
No 1 Against the Rush
Vox Turned D.E.D.
Mess On A Mission
Plaster Casts of Everything
The next night (which was 4/20 by the way) I saw White Fang who are The Band To See On 4/20™. That’s right, Boston was the lucky city to be graced by White Fang’s presence on that glorious day this year. Free Pizza were up first in this jam packed bill. This band is fairly new and I had never seen them before but I was quite impressed. They played power punk that I wouldn’t exactly call poppy. Their songs were for the most part short fast and not very sweet (by the way I mean that as a compliment). Next up were Boston’s version of FIDLAR, the Nice Guys. They like to party and rock hard. I am hoping for big things coming from them. Next up were Boston’s best synth punkers Earthquake Party! They recently recorded a bunch of new songs for an upcoming album and they played a number of them tonight. The one non local opener was Denney and The Jets from Nashville who at first I thought were gonna be an Elton John cover band or something. They were not. The name comes from the fact that their singer’s name is Denney. They played good ol’ fashioned rock n roll. They are homeboys of Natural Child who I saw the previous night with the Black Lips.
Now it was time for the mighty White Fang! Guitarist Kyle Handley, Drummer Jimmy Leslie and Bassist Chris Uehlein started playing with lead singer Erik Gage in the background. When he was ready to sing Gage stormed to the front of the stage and started jumping around like a madman. Their songs border between punk, hardcore, metal and hard rock with the band into it the whole time. Some of the funnier moments included when Gage backhumped the stage for about a minute and when Gage lifted Uehlein while he was playing bass and spun him around. I am planning on seeing Gage and Handley again later this month with The Memories, their mellower other band. After the show I saw for merch they had a number of gnarly Gnar Tapes.
Bands: Paul Weller, Matthew Ryan Venue: Royale Date: Sunday, July 28, 2013
I’ve seen shows at the Royale with a decent degree of irregularity since the posh club opened its doors in 2010. No complaints as far as the performances were concerned; King Khan and the Shrines, Deerhunter, The Walkmen – all bigger names that have pleased me nicely over the years. Seeing Paul Weller fits right in there, especially in a standing room only setting like this one.
Kicking off the night was Matthew Ryan – one man with an acoustic guitar. He said it’s not easy being one man with a guitar opening for a legend such as Paul Weller. I agree. I’m not sure many solo performers of Ryan’s variety could do an adequate job of entertaining me in this kind of setting. He did seem to garner some interest, but there were just as many people chitchatting among themselves and ignoring the performance as there were genuinely curious onlookers. His set didn’t do anything for me, but I didn’t expect it to.
Paul Weller – I’m no expert on him, but seeing him a couple of times before this, and listening to his solo albums since I was very young, I’ve grown very appreciative of what he’s done. This was definitely the most fun I’ve had at a Paul Weller show. I would say that this might just be how other attendees feel as well. It may have been years since some of these people have gotten the chance to see Paul up close and personal. Having him and his band (made up of another guitarist, a bassist, an organist, and two drummers) wail away just feet in front of me is something I won’t forget. From this mini-tour’s itinerary, it seems like Paul made it a point to play at smaller sized venues, at least in comparison to the gigantic structures he regularly plays in his native country. As far as what the audience was treated to… about twenty songs from his old Jam days up through his latest Sonic Kicks LP. I was familiar with most of Paul’s set (shout out to setlist.fm for preparation), but the Stanley Road back-to-back of “Whirlpools End” and “The Changingman” is my favorite. Eight hundred 50-somethings chugging $13 mixed drinks may agree with me there. Paul came back for an encore and finished things off with customary Jam hit “Town Called Malice.” We were all pulling for a second encore, but hey that’s alright, we enjoyed a very memorable hour of music.
Bands: Nice Guys, Ex-Cult, OBN III’s, The Tampoffs Date: Tuesday, July 23, 2013 Venue: Great Scott [Allston]
Maybe I haven’t been looking hard enough, but I don’t think that I’ve seen a ‘stacked’ purely garage/punk bill at Great Scott in months. That changes on this Tuesday night as all of these bands are teeming with the kind of energy and showmanship that most bands I see live unfortunately lack.
The Tampoffs take the stage and word around the band’s fascist book page is that this is their second to last show. One can hope that isn’t really true as The Tampoffs have been a local R’n’R staple for a long time now. I’m not exactly in a position to talk about the time I saw them at the RAT – but I will say I first saw them open for Nobunny at Church a couple of years ago. All I can remember from that show is that some moshing erupted and the band was loud and forceful. Not sure what they’ve been up to between that show and now. I didn’t know they played Gonerfest 6. There’s YouTube footage. It’s great. What makes up for my lack of knowledge of their songs is the feeling of watching the closest thing to the Oblivians that isn’t actually the Oblivians. This is a compliment. Tight, fun, times. The song toward the end that the drummer sings stands out as my favorite.
OBN III’s step up onto the stage. I didn’t see this happen, but I know it did. As I’m making my way back towards the venue (after stepping outside), I hear the band playing. I’m missing out on some crucial action. I hope I didn’t miss out on much, but when I walk up to the front I see dudes and girls going wild. Familiar faces just really enjoying themselves. Several had seen OBN III’s before – I can tell – and several had not. Orville jumps into the audience, touches the heads of dudes like Joey Roach, all while shouting out instant jams like “Runnin on Fumes” and “You Wanna Bitch?”. I’m not even really familiar with OBN III’s, but I remember those really sticking out. So for people that know the band, I can imagine that these are incredible moments in show-going history and for others, it’s an equally satisfying performance. You can’t stand around the stage bored. You’ll get punched in the nose.
So after some pushing and shoving and falling to the ground, that kinda stuff doesn’t stop after Orville and crew finish. Of course, there’s the obligatory clearing of equipment and setting up of new stuff. Ex-Cult is cut from the same cloth as OBN III’s – energetic frontman included in the package. It’s all rock ‘n roll. I’d say Ex-Cult is more punchy, stompy, and darker than OBN. There’s more atmopsheric/cacophony guitar heroics. Swell Maps minus the Brit accent. I’m definitely won over as a fan. “Mister Fantasy,” their new single, is really good. Definitely a highlight. I’m fascinated by the antics of guitarist JB Horrell. Dude was making these crazy faces all throughout the set. Seemed like he was having a great time. They all were. We all were.
Some party poopers make a run for the doors after Ex-Cult. Not really sure what was going through their minds. Gotta stay for Nice Guys. Gotta miss trains for Nice Guys. I would think. Well the truest of rock ‘n rollers stuck around and I think we can all agree we were in for yet another treat. Nice Guys are a perfect fit for this bill as they pack in a lil bit of all the sweet qualities of the previous bands. It’s safe to say that “Cop Walk” is always a KLYAM favorite – it stirs things up and is memorable as can be. Of course there’s the perennial “Burrito Boner” and the specially dedicated “Free Slice” to Ryan from Fagettes. Good times all around. Add a dose of excitement to your night life and catch these guys always.
Bands: The King Khan & BBQ Show, Bloodshot Bill, Aykroyd Date: Wednesday, April 10, 2013 Venue: The Sinclair (Cambridge, MA)
First time at the Sinclair, place gives me the willies! What is this monstrosity before me? I almost feel like I’m at some quasi House of Blues. For a few moments, I forget where I am, I think I am in some other city, some foreign land. Then I see King Khan and Mark Sultan/BBQ at the merch table and all is well. I am in the right place, it’s April 10, 2013 and The King Khan & BBQ Show are back in Boston! Last time, we saw these two on stage was way back in October 2009 at the Middle East Downstairs. Great times! One of the finest shows we have ever witnessed. Since then, we’ve seen King and Mark separately several times as King Khan & The Shrines and Mark Sultan solo, respectively and those were all kick ass shows, but KKBBQ is superior. After saying some hellos, we make our way to the stage.
Aykroyd plays first and you may remember them as The Needy Visions, y’all know. The one from that Maine Coons song, “Fast and Easy Livin.” Maine Coons, you know, one of the greatest bands of all time. Quick, here’s their bandcamp page: http://themainecoons.bandcamp.com/album/s-t We’ll just act like this never happened. But, enough of those dogs, I mean cats, I mean that dude, ehhhh, Aykroyd/Needy Visions is the topic of discussion and they totally rule, looking like mighty beings on top of this massive stage in front of me. I look up and see lead vocalist/guitarist Dan Shea making bizarre faces and awkward, uncomfortable, high pitched shrieks that are oddly appealing. The whole band sounds top notch, like a blend of 90’s “college rock,” right cause everyone who plays music goes to college – err like Dinosaur Jr, Sebadoh, and other bands of that era that didn’t hail from our great state of Massachusetts mixed with classic rock. It’s ginormous Sam Potrykus flails about and passionately rocks out on bass, whilst he boogies around in his funky, unusual dance style. With all of this eccentric behavior in mind, it brings me back to nearly three years ago when I first saw The Needy Visions opening for No Age. That was a sick performance, but I enjoy this one even more.
Sam and Dan are the masterminds behind Bodies of Water Shows, Boston Hassle, and the Boston Counter Cultural Compass. They represent the Boston underground better than anyone else and best of all they have a killer taste in music. Dan name drops the Compass, which is available at the merch table and the band expresses their gratitude for being on this bill tonight. Dan says, “We love King Khan & BBQ, A LOT.” So, do we, Dan! You guys rule and promote so much great music around here that I probably would have never heard of otherwise. In fact, any Boston garage/punk slime KKBBQ fans reading this, if you haven’t heard of Boston Hassle or B.O.W. check it out. I’ll bet you a PBR that you will dig at least one if not numerous fun loving rebel rousers making plenty of punk slime noise in your very own backyard. Here’s some links: http://www.bostonhassle.com/ http://bowaac.blogspot.com/ http://www.bostoncccompass.com/ http://theneedyvisions.bandcamp.com/
And then there was Bloodshot Bill… Bloodshot Bill has appeared on my list of people to see live for at least two years now. Much like King Khan and Sultan, who he has collaborated with in Tandoori Knights and The Ding Dongs, respectively, Bill is no bullshit, real, old school, greasy rock ‘n’ roll. No trendy, mindless fluff; it’s not a haircut band to paraphrase one, Ian St. Pe. Though he does slick his hair with his own brand of grease known as “Nice ‘n’ Greasy!” But, greasy hair aside, also like his Canadian comrades, he is an incendiary performer, and tonight is a blistering, steamy show.
Bloodshot Bill has the Mark Sultan set up: stomping the drums with his feet, clutching his guitar real, real close, and melting everyone’s brains with an incredible voice. It’s an obvious comparison, considering both men are collaborators, they play solo, and they play this raw, original style of rock ‘n’ roll. The original rock ‘n’ roll as it was meant to sound. But, the comparison should end there, because they are actually quite different. Bill channels Chuck Berry, Elvis, country, and rockabilly with a nasty, fiery punk edge. Dude sweats and spits unlike any other performer. He spits more than that lady in Heavy Cream!
What I love about Bloodshot Bill is his interaction with the audience. He can hold a crowd real tight and when he wants to let them loose, he can. When he tells them to shout “YEAHHHH!” They do it on command. It’s hard not to obey Bill, with his enigmatic, unique sounding voice. His range is unbelievable and he switches back and forth from high to low, low low. Sounds like an animal at times. How is a human making these noises? It’s not just Bill’s voice, however, that entices me. The musician sounds like a full band all by himself and he puts his entire body and soul into his performance. He shakes his hair violently and taps on his guitar, banging on the strings. You can tell he’s having fun, everyone’s having fun, that’s the idea. One woman even throws her black bra up on stage haha. Definitely one of the more distinct and skilled performers I have seen to date. Catch Bloodshot Bill live or on record. Check him out here: http://www.bloodshotbill.com/
The King Khan & BBQ Show is one of the original KLYAM beloved bands. King Khan and Mark Sultan/BBQ are legends, responsible for much of the music I have come to love over the years. As usual, the duo come out on stage, dressed up in some wacky, colorful attire. King Khan stands towards the front of the stage, on guitar and vocals, while Mark sings, plays guitar, and plays drums with his feet. Together, the two rip through three albums worth of rock ‘n’ roll classics, getting everyone in the Sinclair to dance and mosh in the process. KKBBQ represent the fun spirit of rock ‘n’ roll as a whole. Their mixture of punk and doo wop is unmatched. Some bands may be able to master these styles and combine them in an effective way, but this duo’s music ranks up there with the best of the best themselves. Sultan’s crooning is comparable to that of Sam Cooke, while King Khan’s deep, doo woppy voice harkens back to 50s groups like The Five Satins.
In between songs, there is constantly inner band banter in which the pair crack jokes, amusing themselves even more than the crowd itself. You can tell these two are good friends and there’s a sarcasm to them that is pure entertainment. The set tonight is not too different from the one we experienced three and half years ago, which isn’t a bad thing, because the band plays most of the songs a die hard KKBBQ fan would want to hear. Some of my favorites include fast, punk driven bohemoths, “Fish Fight” and “Zombies,” sing a long, doo wop anthems, “Waddlin’ Around” and “Invisible Girl,” or soft, gentle, love songs such as “Into the Snow,” which display Sultan’s vast, intimidating vocals. Then there’s the straight up funny songs like “Tastebuds.” I love screaming out the filthy nonsensical lyrics to this song (“Tastebuds on your cunt/So you can lick my booty from the front”), but I get an even better kick out of hearing most of the kids around me completely fucking up the words. They also play one of my favorite songs from Invisible Girl, “Truth Or Dare,” a great, heavy punk number with some of King Khan’s best vocals tonight. I don’t recall this one from the previous Boston show, so it’s a pleasure to finally hear it live.
The moshing is fun, definitely a sweaty, beer flying frenzy, but not nearly as chaotic as I expected. I never lose my sense of place or whatever. Per usual, King and Mark are exciting, lively performers, but I feel like King is more animated when he is performing with The Shrines. Mark, on the other hand, seems to be more fervent in this setting than when he plays solo. That’s just my reaction anyway. I’ve seen Mark Sultan only a few times and he’s just as passionate, but I feel like he is more entertaining when he interacts and plays beside King Khan. In some ways, they bring out the best in each other. At the end of the day, these two are legends and they bear their souls for rock ‘n’ roll. This show is a lot of fun, but not nearly as marvelous as that initial KKBBQ performance I experienced several years ago. Still, I’m always grateful to see one of my favorite bands live and I look forward to the next show.
Set List (in no particular order):
“Too Much In Love”
“I’ll Be Loving You”
“Into the Snow”
“Hold Me Tight:
“Treat Me Like A Dog”
“Dock It #8”
“Truth Or Dare”
“Shake Real Low”
“Why Don’t You Lie”
There may have been more…
KEWL CATS: This is the latest segment in KLYAM live reviews. A shout out to the new and old pals we encounter at shows. It was terrific seeing Eric and Kelly from the Atlantic Thrills, Ryan from Fagettes, Justin from Earthquake Party!, Dan from Aykroyd/Needy Visions, and of course Kiyal, the KLYAM guardian angel. Y’all rule.
This was the first song I ever heard by The King Khan & BBQ Show!
Bands: The Orwells, The Kingston Springs, Nice Guys Date: Wednesday, February 27, 2013 Venue: TT The Bears (Cambridge)
TT The Bears is one of those venues that hosts some real solid local shows on a regular basis that we often recommend, but for whatever reason, it is just not a place that I often find myself going to. The shows I have been to at TTs have been memorable, though. There was that sparsely attended Sunday March 29th 2009 War on Drugs show, an even emptier Tuesday night Growlers show back in February 2010, and finally a more populated event on September 17, 2010 that featured the choice threesome of Those Darlins, Gentleman Jesse & His Men, and The Strange Boys.
On this chilly Wednesday night in Cambridge, it was one of my favorite bands of the past few years – The Orwells – headlining a gig at ‘The Bears. The cool thing about running a site that operates like a fan zine is that the shows we go to and end up reviewing usually feature a favorite on the bill. Well, as it turns out, the power of informing others about bands that rule went full circle on this night. A little more than two years ago, The Orwells reached out to KLYAM, seeing if we would check them out. At that juncture, they were a little known band from Elmhurst, Illinois without much deserved press coverage. Not to mention that they were still far away from graduating high school. Well, KLYAM gave them the ole Spotlight (https://klyam.com/2011/01/31/band-spotlight-the-orwells/). Not that this did much in the way of introducing shit tons of people to a really great band; it was more of a damn, how are these guys not being mentioned alongside some of the garage greats of the day? Their debut album Remember When, self-released a year before the Autumn Tone backed vinyl, is an insane album that definitely stacks right up with some of the best of the past couple of years and I would say that is a testament to the way these guys achieved a stand-out sound that is probably more the result of extensive listening to Black Lips and Ty Segall than the stuff (’60s garage/psych) that those same dudes were influenced by. It was great to finally meet the band after a long ass waiting period of simply listening to their music. On to the show:
Starting things off were Nice Guys, who I had seen on a few different occasions prior to tonight. Those times contrasted this occasion in more than one way. The last time I caught them was at the Wilder Zangcraft in Lowell with Nice Guys being Nice Whips (all Coachwhips covers) due to the untimely illness of drummer Cam Smith. Well Cam was back behind the kit tonight, and damn right he was, given that the show I mentioned was many months ago. At any rate, the point is that up until this point I had only seen Nice Guys play teeny basement spaces with rampant moshing, oozing beer, and broken instruments. There wasn’t any of that mayhem at TTs, but there were fun times and a fine display of musicianship from the foursome. Their set, the list of which I’m really pissed to say I lost…the one that was personally given to me by always friendly guitarist Matt Garlick, mixed up a bit of Mean Songs material with newer works like the recently recorded jam “Cop Walk”. Dueling guitars, extended shredding and pounding, and a pretty consistent nod to the work of Mr. Jon Dwyer, resulted in nice vibes, some dancing, and simply a good start to a good show. They fooled me a few times at the end of their set with some ‘we’re not done yet’ teasing and – hey – that’s fine by me. [http://niceguys666.bandcamp.com/]
Second in order is The Kingston Springs, a group from the South. Tennessee. I had not heard any music from them, prior to the first chords that blared from their amps. They were polished and tight, but not overwhelmingly so as in a Kings of Leon clean boy trying to be “dirty” kind of way, no, not really. The Kingston Springs’ bigger, pop-rock sound was differentiated occasionally with by some more rough around the edges country and garage twang. They definitely seemed to impress the audience as I looked around and noticed a lot of people were really into these guys. I’m not about to say The Kingston Springs’ take on southern rock/blues rock is something I find/found myself extremely into, but for what it is worth, I could see firsthand their passion for their material and how easily they got a whole bunch of people excited to be witness to their performance. Their faster stuff I definitely got behind, namely “Sweet Susie,” which I’m listening to now and enjoying. [http://thekingstonsprings.bandcamp.com/]
Back to the main band, the dudes themselves, The Orwells. Seeing them on stage, doing incredible renditions of tunes from Remember When like “Halloween All Year,” “In My Bed,” “Hallway Homicide,” and “Mallrats (La La La)” – just to name four – there were OTHERS – brought back the memories of when I first heard them and I could literally feel the energy of The Orwells. But there is nothing like seeing singer Mario Cuomo knock down the microphone stand while frantically pacing around the stage (and nearly off of it), all while singing/screaming at the top of his lungs. He’s a character for sure, a naturally manic front-man who never takes a minute off. None of the members take a minute off, though, and hey that’s probably why this was one of the best things I’ve seen all year. Their live pace is more frenetic than on record and with that said, they only played for about a half an hour. But in that time, they jammed in all those aforementioned classics and a smothering of new songs that we should see later this year on a new full-length that is nearly complete. The new songs I can tell are going to be special and why wouldn’t they be? With Orwells being one of the more distinct bands out there today. Some bands are great performers without necessarily having individual songs that are instantly recognizable. The Orwells got both of those things going on. Of course I would loved to have heard another half-hour worth of jams, but in due time. Maybe on a different stage. Maybe on the same. But it shouldn’t be a surprise why these guys are touring a shit load and playing some choice venues around the country. This isn’t 17 year old pop punk Warped Tour shit, this is passionate rock ‘n roll that can be enjoyed by all ages – hence why it was and yeah, the middle aged dude perpetually rocking out next to me seemed to know what was up. See you soon Orwells. [https://www.facebook.com/theorwellsband]
Bands: Ravi Shavi, Atlantic Thrills, The Rice Cakes, Napoleon Date: Saturday January 26, 2013 Venue: Firehouse 13 [Providence, RI]
Act I – Napoleon – Things get started right with Napoleon from Brooklyn. This four piece played a dark and danceable set that included some memorable tracks from their latest record, Success. They had their act together, showing some nice moves that ought to be appreciated by more than New York basement attendees. The songs themselves are very New York, which is sort of a weird thing to say, but if you are familiar with dudes like mid 2000s Walkmen, Interpol, and their oversea counterparts, Editors, you might get what I mean. There also was some upbeat jangle in there – so I’m not talking a totally dark experience; I enjoyed these clingers a bit more than the rest. And the hi-hats were nice, as testified by an enthusiastic man who related his feelings to the drummer after the set. I used to be way more into this style of rock and roll, but I found myself really appreciating this young group and the way that they played since it is not really what I hear often at shows I usually attend.
Act II –Atlantic Thrills – The Thrills, I will state off the bat, are the kind of band that makes me always want to drive down to Providence. Providence/Boston, not too far apart, but only for truly special bands do we like to go out of our way. The Thrills are special – I mean they are not musically unique by most measures, but they’ve held the torch of messy, fuzzy, fuckitall r n r pretty high since it was handed to them by wild teens from Peru. Seeing them on the stage tonight brings to mind some great show moments, a handful now involving these guys. I’m going nuts the whole time and hey, fellow KLYAMer Chris seems to be enjoying himself a good deal as well. The increasingly packed crowd gets more and more into Atlantic Thrills as the set progresses. The Thrills’ set nowadays is as impressive as ever – there are the perennial classics, “Acid Rain” and “On My Mind,” a re-energized “Ain’t Enough,” and a handful of newer songs that I am sure will find their way on the Thrills upcoming LP. The energy of these guys is outstanding, climbing on amps, spewing mouthfuls of Jim Beam on the crowd, spilling more than half of that bottle of Beam on the ground. Not caring. If you live remotely close or far from Providence – it is well worth a journey to see the Thrills. Do it!
Set-List Ain’t Enough
On My Mind
Try & Try
Hold Your Tongue
Act III – The Rice Cakes – I didn’t know what to expect from The Rice Cakes, but certainly they made good with their output! Their tunes tended to be lengthy and melodious. A more folky take on rock and roll. A cover of Pixies “Gigantic” surprised me as they certainly put their own three-piecy sspin on it. Another tune that particularly remains with me is “Magma”. It drew a more than pleasant response from the crowd and like I said – it’s memorable!
Act IV – Ravi Shavi – At last, we see the arrival of Rafay Rashid and his three band-mates onto the stage. This ain’t no ordinary show for Ravi Shavi – it’s their record release show. A big deal for a band that’s certainly been making a name for themselves for some time now. They have a very strong following of devoted fans, at least from what I’ve witnessed each time I have seen them. And the reason is clearer than ever this evening. They play pop rock that is loose and messy. While their references might be more along the cleaner side of power pop and garage rock, Ravi Shavi created a raucous and positioned themselves far from safety. I wasn’t really expecting a mosh pit of any kind, but it happened and it was awesome. Everyone reacted to Ravi in some way… how could one not? I can’t really pick any one highlight, it was just one of those situations where I felt extremely satisfied throughout. Everyone can agree.
Bands: Atlantic Thrills, Ravi Shavi, Yale Massachusetts Date: Monday, December 4, 2012 Venue: Great Scott (Allston, MA)
Act 1 – Atlantic Thrills – The Atlantic Thrills, damn, yo! I was blessed with the opportunity to see the Thrills for the sixth time last night. I always reflect on the very first time that I saw them, opening for Black Lips. I was blown away by the fact that they were just a local act. They channeled quite nearly the same energies of the headlining Lips. I couldn’t believe what I had witnessed and really hoped that they would open the next night in Boston. It didn’t happen, but I kept up with them and flash forward to now and yes, here we are a handful of shows deep. There are just a few bands out there that I get to stand in front of on a semi-regular basis. Atlantic Thrills are one of them. Tonight was a night of newness for the band. They kicked off the set with two new songs “Come On,” and “Holy Mountain”. Each had its own catchy hook, sometimes sounding surf, other times more of the garage punk fascination. It was awesome. “Beach,” which they’ve been playing for a while now, is becoming a staple, in my opinion. We got a fine taste of the lead vocal abilities from all three guitarists, a load of sweet solos and ‘meat’ playing from Dan Tanner, and the steady percussion/background vocals of drummer Josh Towers. After some fresh middle of the set jams, the Thrills really turned things up with “Shotgun” and frankly never relented. I’ve seen some fine “Acid Rain” performances in the past, but tonight’s included what seemed like a lengthier jam filled with various noises, knob turning, and simply rocking out. A fast “Give It Back” and the perennial dancer “Light Shines” followed THEN ya-ya-ya cover “Salvaje,” Kelly Riley crooning “Foreign Lands,” and a ‘what you should do with your drink right now’ “Drugs In It”. Was that all? Yes, it was. Some funky dancing, too. But yeah if you like rock and roll old-school style (with Peruvian jolt and small state shenanigans), the Thrills are your band. Or if you just like rock ‘n roll any variety. Word around the street is that more Thrills recordings will be making their way to us soon. I’m excited. Here’s their current stuff: http://www.reverbnation.com/atlanticthrills
“Hold Your Tongue”
“Give It Back”
“Drugs In It”
Act Two – Ravi Shavi – This was my second time seeing Ravi Shavi. The first time was an ultra energetic set a few weeks ago. They were a three piece, drums-guitar-vocals. This time they had a little bit less restriction with the addition of another guitarist and a duo on violin and cello. One thing that struck me about Ravi Shavi first time around was their familiarly distant sound. I thought Lovely Feathers, King Khan and the Shrines, and Adam Green. Just very eccentric, but like the aforementioned…very pop. Frontman Rafay Rashid played some on guitar and then put it down, dancing always. Part of what is really awesome about them is their random nature, at least to a relatively new fan such as myself. Anything is possible, it seems. Soulful. As one man next to me commented in the audience, “Ravi Shavi needs a Rafay in the audience.” They’re just that kind of band. The greatest moment of the set came in the latter half with the sunny, unpredictable power pop of “Accidental Mental”. The chorus could have went on for 20 more times and nobody would mind at all. I was really impressed by the dynamics of the band as a six piece, it was fun to see how well the string instrument players connected with the other instruments, especially during the faster joints. So yeah, this sounds like something you’d want to see? Many did on this night. Listen: http://ravishavi.bandcamp.com/
Act I: The Migs– Performance wise, this is easily the best Migs show I have seen and Glen concurs. Five Migs shows deep, you know what to expect, but it never gets old. Migs Keven, Lukas, Craig (and special guest Travis Hagan on drums!) have a real solid presence on (and more appropriately off) stage. It’s nice to watch Keven, Lukas, and Craig playfully fight for control of the stage, practically knocking one another off- they appear to be having more fun than everyone else, which is awesome. Like, I said a real presence every rock ‘n’ roll fan should see; if these guys expand their cross country voyages they could take America by storm! I don’t know, maybe I’m crazy, maybe I’m not. What I do know is that this band has that classic, soul/blues psych/garage yeah, yeah, yeah (even I get sick of using these words to describe music, seriously if you counted up the amount of times we have said the words “rock ‘n’ roll,” “punk,” “garage,” in this year alone you could fill up a fucking dictionary, but let it be known here, exclusively, for the record that I mean it from the bottom of my heart and I/we don’t use those words lightly) – they got that whole damn sound, we’ve all come to know and love, down pat. They got it. But, what is more significant about The Migs is that they take that lovely, orgasmic sound and turn it up to eleven. Like every great band, The Migs possess an infectious personality- these are dudes you could shotgun a beer or six with and/or take home to mom and dad. I know my dad would love The Migs. Hell, “You and Me,” one of the band’s finest offerings and a personal highlight tonight, is such a sweet ballad that it could make my dad’s limp dick plop right up and pace around the room. YEESH. On that horrifying note, I think the sound system definitely amplifies the group’s rocking performance, fleshing out the tunes even more. All in all, another show for the books. Not as fun as my preferred Migs setting: a dirty, beer reeking basement, but equally impressive.
P.S. Keven remember to wear a shirt (not a sweat shirt) when you play on stage, it gets hot up there. And if it’s chilly, wear a sweater. I don’t want you to catch a cold son. I want my Migs happy and healthy.
The Migs may or may not have played the following songs, well they certainly played some of them, but I’m not sure on a few.
“We’re The Migs” written as ” “We Dah Migs” and “We’re The Pigs”
“You & Me”
“Rock N Roll Stole”
“When She Says My Name”
“Follow Me Home” also written as “Follow Me Dome”
Act II: Bent Shapes– If some tourist yahoo asked me to name the best bands around Boston, the three opening acts on this bill (The Migs, Fat Creeps, and Bent Shapes) would definitely appear on that list. In fact, Bent Shapes were probably the first local band I really got into, about a few years back now. It’s not hard to see why this trio sticks out- they are able to blend Weezer/Blink 182 esque pop punk with garage rock. The thinking man’s garage perhaps. Haha, actually that reminds me of something Glen said earlier in the evening, that Bent Shape have this “college” quality to them. I agree with him on this point, and that’s funny because their music to me shares a similarity to another jangely pop, “college” band: The Pains of Being Pure At Heart. Both bands unleash simple, catchy songs with strong pop hooks. Personally, what I love about bands like Bent Shapes is that a lot of the music they seem to reference (pop punk) is not particularly to my liking, yet I seriously dig these guys. I kind of like it that way, I almost have a greater appreciation for them. Regardless of tastes, all three members are exceptional. If you’re reading this and haven’t heard of this band, click the link here, Do iT! http://bentshapes.bandcamp.com/
“Boys to Men”
“Leave It Till You Need It”
Act III: Fat Creeps– Fat Creeps rock right into “Blitzkrieg Bop,” which I totally don’t expect. The leather jackets should have given it away. A couple of weeks ago, the Creeps delivered a killer set of Ramones covers at a Rosebud Halloween show, here’s a review, if you missed it: https://klyam.com/2012/10/16/concert-review-halloween-show-featuring-fat-creeps-earthquake-party-fedavees-fagettes-rosebud-101312/ and tonight they are reprising their roles again as the seminal punk band aka greatest band of all time. Admittedly, I am craving some original numbers, but with that being said, the band is still captivating with their Ramones set as they were before. My favorite cover is definitely “I Don’t Want to Walk Around With You,” I especially love Gracie’s vocal parts in this tune. Overall, a fun set per usual.
Set List (not sure of the exact order):
“Beat On The Brat”
“Judy Is A Punk”
“I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend”
“I Don’t Want To Walk Around With You”
“53rd and 3rd”
“Today Your Love, Tomorrow The World”
Act IV: Sic Alps– San Francisco’s Sic Alps are garage/psych legends and it is a pleasure to finally get to see them on this wonderful evening. You can tell, these dudes are veterans when they play. Despite the wacked out, chaotic nature of their brand of rock ‘n’ roll, they have an undeniable finesse to their craft that only a seasoned pro could produce. I’m sure this is said all of the time, but it is worthy to note that the Sic Alps have lineage with Mr. Ty Segall or Ty Segall has lineage with Sic Alps. I mention this for two reasons. Firstly, if you regularly visit this site, then you know how much we love Ty Segall, he is one of our top guys. So, seeing his musical kin in a live setting is an extra treat. Secondly, you can see a lot of Ty’s music in the Sic Alps’s performance, leaning more towards the extensive jam quality of his sound and less concerned with pop influence. At times, this is not always my bag, but I can still dig it. Also, I need to be more familiar with their songs, so I can truly appreciate their set in the future. In any case, I recommend you give em’ a listen here: http://www.sicalps.com/
Artists: Nobunny, Bad Sports, Xray Eyeballs, Liquor Store Date: Friday, September 21, 2012 Venue: The Living Bread Deli (Brooklyn, NY) Comments:
Preliminary Activities: We wandered the desert for forty years and somehow we wound up in Brooklyn, destined to see Nobunny. “There it is, the Living Bread Deli!” That’s right Glen my boy, we have arrived and we are hungry for some rock ‘n’ roll, well actually we are just plain hungry. Alas, the Living Bread will not open its doors for another two hours :( As foreigners, we wander some more, careening through the streets of Bushwick with our stomachs rumblin’ and tumblin’, fortunately stumblin’ upon Darrel the “Tour Guide,” as he is known to no one. “Darrel, my main man, where is a good place to sit down and eat and grab a few drinks?” Darell looks at us as if we have five heads, and proceed to exchange our heads, playing a game of musical decapitation. According to Darrel, you can either eat at one of the delis or drink at the bar, but you can’t do both. You can, however, bring your grub into the bar and chow down while you drink. In fact, Darrel’s next mission in life at this moment was that very act itself. Deeming this as suitable behavior, we follow in Darrel’s footsteps, but the menu is not to our liking. We are nomads once again, starving nomads. Walking down the street, I notice a big ass chicken wearing boxing gloves, and I point this out to Glen and Papa KLYAM. When we reach the chicken, a young woman standing next to him asks us if we would like to witness a chicken death match. Sure, why not? As long as we can sit down and eat, and we do! More importantly, the man behind the mask is Dylan, bassist for Robot Death Kites- a band I have never heard until now- catch them if you can son- a band that has shared a bill with the likes of Boston behemoths Guerilla Toss. We discuss both the Boston and Brooklyn music scenes and both Glen and I can say it is of great pleasure to have made your acquaintance Dylan. Rock on brother! Alright, let’s get to the show….
Act I: Liquor Store– Since the Living Bread is a deli, it is a small space, and tonight the place is packed. Liquor Store kicks off the show and they do it with incredible finesse. They blast away with loud, roaring guitars. I dig how they epically strum their guitars with almost this windmill like force a la Pete Townshend. Similarly, I find some classic rock elements in their sound, but it does not seem generic in any way. This is my first time seeing these Jersey boys, but Glen saw them a couple of months ago at the Great Scott opening for Natural Child. Lucky bastard. But, now I too have experienced Liquor Store, YEAH BUDDY!!!
Act II: Xray Eyeballs– Last time KLYAM ventured out to New York we caught Xray Eyeballs opening for Black Lips and Davila 666 at last year’s Hell At the Hall Halloween show. Good times! Once again, Xray Eyeballs are one of the more visually memorable bands I have come across. Tonight their stage show features various bright lights, giving their psych garage sound some extra flavor. Alas, I miss some of their set because there is one helluva line for the bathroom! Fortunately, whilst waiting in this monstrosity of a line, I bump into “teacher’s pet” the drummer for Hector’s Pets, a Brooklyn band I saw open for King Khan & The Shrines at the Brighton Music Hall a couple months back. It is awesome to see you again dude! Anyway, check out Xray Eyeballs, if you have not yet. http://xrayeyeballs.bandcamp.com/
Die Little Love
Act III: Bad Sports – Bad Sports is a name I have seen pop up every now and then, but I honestly have never sat down and listened to their music, so I came into this performance with an open mind, curious to see what will happen next. Bad Sports certainly earned their privilege to be on a tour with Nobunny. These guys don’t fuck around, they create chaotic noises in the midst of power pop. The crowd seems to get more pumped up during Bad Sports’ set with few outbursts here and there. Safe to say, Bad Sports will be kicking it for a while as they have for the past few years. http://badsports.bandcamp.com/
Act IV: NOBUNNY!!! -Nobunny=rock’n’roll. It’s as simple as that. Surely, Nobunny is not rock ‘n’ roll unto himself, but he represents what is amazing about all great rock ‘n’ roll: building a connection between the performer and the fan and everyone having fun together. On this tour, Bad Sports serve as Nobunny’s backing band, and I must admit I miss the Nobunny regulars but at the same time, Bad Sports are fantastic, providing the bunnyman with a killer sound. Tonight the name Nobunny is to be taken literally, for our hero in disguise is seriously not wearing his typical bunny mask. Instead, he is decked out in a black tape robber’s mask with some branches at the top. Well this transformation from bunny to branchman must have done the trick because No No is on top of his game more than ever (5th KLYAM show), moving and shaking like a maniac, as if he doesn’t have even two seconds to spare. As soon as the band hits the stage, our hero and gang burst right into “Hippy Witch” and as soon as that ends they immediately thrash right through to “Mess Me Up,” sending all the horny bunnies in the room into a frenzy. This set features so many classics: “I Am A Girlfriend,” “Chuck Berry Holiday,” “Boneyard,” “It’s True,” “Tina Goes To Work,” (which I have never heard live before) “Blow Dumb,” “Live It Up,” “Motorhead With Me,” and there’s even a brief rendition of the Sex Pistols’ “Pretty Vacant,” putting a strong emphasis on the CUNT! My favorite moment is without a doubt “I Can’t Wait” (a Sneaky Pinks cover). Nobunny says “this is an all ages show” before kicking into the classic tune, with everyone screaming “EIGHTEEN YEARS IS A LONG LONG TIME!” That’s the greatest thing about Nobunny, it’s an interactive event, as all great shows should be. But, Nobunny has it down pat, he’s a quality performer, in many ways unlike anyone else in the game today. As I said earlier, the greatest aspect of Nobunny live is how he communicates with his audience. He is just as much apart of this show as you are, a Nobunny show relies heavily on how much energy the audience gives, it’s back and forth. It’s terrific to see kids bashing around and shouting out all the words to their favorite Nobunny tunes, and Nobunny knows this, so he holds out the microphone at the most opportune moments, allowing fans to join in. Naturally, this is commonplace in rock, but with Nobunny it’s a recurrent feature amongst other bunny antics that amount to pure entertainment making everyone feel included in the show. Nobunny is part punk, part bubblegum- sweet, sweet, sugary fucking bubble gum pop, part dirty, grimy garage rock, and simply part circus, pro wrestling actually. The set closes oddly enough with Love Visions opener, “Nobunny Loves You,” which simply makes you want more and more! Final thoughts? Nobunny is one of the best live shows around; him and his band put their balls into it and transcend conventional, boring rock band behavior. If your just sitting at home listening to the records alone, playing with your dong, then you are not getting the full experience! Why would you do such a thing to yourself?! In short, GO SEE NOBUNNY!