Boston Counter Cultural Compass – JUL 11

KLYAM has a neat calendar of shows that we plan on attending or, at the very least, recommend to others. The Boston Counter Cultural Compass has an even better publication that details quite a gamut of gigs every month. A good chunk of the listings are area punk houses and basements [what we folks like to call the underground underground] so please do get in touch with the BCCC or BCCCers (new term, maybe?) for information on locales. This is a great source for local music happenings — perhaps the best. They have a constantly updated Facebook pagehttp://www.facebook.com/pages/Boston-Counter-Cultural-Compass/137506276302253?ref=ts and a website: http://www.bostoncccompass.com/.

Click here or on the picture below [to make it more readable] to see what is going on for the rest of July!

Wait…This Concert Happened?

A long time ago I started a little feature along these lines…historical concerts that actually happened. Well, of course, every band has to start somewhere and most do indeed start at or near the bottom of the totem pole. No exception was made even for Nirvana when they played TT the Bears Place to a mere seven people and no exception for this show: a sold out November 12, 2004 night: Arcade Fire at TTs. At that time, the band was a young one — having just released their debut LP Funeral two months prior. Funeral became an instant (and lasting) classic. The fact that this show took place at TT’s and not somewhere like the Paradise is a testament to the changed landscape of the national underground music scene. We’ve all heard it a bunch of times, how blogs and social media outlets have altered our engagement with musicians and the like. Simply said, had Arcade Fire emerged with Funeral in 2010 not 2004, they’d be playing bigger venues immediately nationwide.


(Photo: Bradley’s Almanac)

Read about this show here: http://www.bradleysalmanac.com/2004/11/live-arcade-fire.htm

Chris’s Best of 2010: Concerts

Inspired by Glen’s post here is my list of the greatest concerts (16 damn I saw 21 last year, I’m slacking!) I had the pleasure of seeing in Twenty Ten; if I see anymore I will add them accordingly.

A+ :
1) Black Lips and Box Elders at the Middle East Downstairs- March 25 (best concert ever!)

A:
2) No Age and Needy Visions at the Middle East Downstairs- November 16
3) Wavves, Cloud Nothings, and Young Adults at the Great Scott- June 22
4) King Khan & the Shrines, Gentlemen Jesse and His Men, and Red Mass at the Royale- October 13
5) Deerhunter and Real Estate at the Royale- October 16

A-:
6) Deerhunter, Kurt Vile, and K-Holes at Royale- October 13
7) Nobunny and Maine Coons at the PAs Lounge- June 29
8) Spoon, Deerhunter, Strange Boys at the House of Blues- March 27 (formerly an A show)

B+:
9) Girls and Dum Dum Girls at the Paradise Rock Club- April 1
10) Those Darlins, Strange Boys, and Gentlemen Jesse and His Men at T.T. the Bears- September 17

B:
11) Harlem and Girlfriends at the Great Scott- April 25 (formerly a B+ show)
12) 1964 the Tribute at the Merchantsauto Stadium- August 16 (formerly a B+ show)

B-:
13) Uninhabitable Mansions and the Big Big Bucks at the Middle East Upstairs- May 7 (formerly a B show)

C:
14) Kurt Vile, Real Estate, and Sore Eros at Harpers Ferry- July 23

N/A: I don’t grade my friends’ bands, but in any case I had fun at these shows.

15) Silhouette Rising and The Scouflaws at the West Side Social Club- July 2 (I actually saw countless SR shows, but I can’t remember any of the exact dates except this one)

16) Gold Star Morning at Bull McCabe’s- October 30

Glen’s Best of 2010: Concerts

It looks like another year in concerts has concluded for me. I got to see 22 shows (25 in 2009) at quite a few different venues and three happened to have taken place in New York City (reppin’ Queens). While I’m not so sure 2010 can top 2009 in terms of overall favorite shows, I think it’s safe to say I had a great time concert-going. Looking back, I’m going to rate shows based on three factors: opening bands, headlining band, and experience. A great experience for me is a combination of a great venue, a great crowd, and second-by-second fun. I tend to be pretty analytical about this kind of stuff, so for math people the weighting is as follows: 20% opening bands, 20% experience, and 60% headlining band. Also, I’m usually stricter when it comes to these end of the year tallies.

A
1. Black Lips – Temptress, NYC [95]
2. No Age – Middle East Downstairs [95]

A-
3. Black Lips – Middle East Downstairs [93]
4. King Khan & The Shrines – Royale [92]
5. Wavves – Great Scott [90]
6. Nobunny – PA’s Lounge [90] 

B+
7. The Walkmen – Royale [89]
8. Editors – House of Blues [89]
9. Spoon – House of Blues [87]

B
10. Paul Weller – Apollo Theater, NYC [86]
11. Girls – Paradise Rock Club [86]
12. Beach House – Paradise Rock Club [86]
13. Harlem – Great Scott [85]
14. Deerhunter (AUG) – Royale [85]
15. Those Darlins – TT The Bears [84]
16. The Growlers – TT The Bears [84]

B-
17. Deerhunter (OCT) – Royale – [83]
18. Uninhabitable Mansions – Middle East Upstairs [82]
19. Mission of Burma – Paradise Rock Club [81]

C+
20. Vivian Girls – Great Scott [79]
21. Black Lips – The Shank, NYC [78]
22. Kurt Vile – Harper’s Ferry [77]

No Age H & E

Hopes I hope this is within my top 5 greatest shows ever. No Age plays all my favorites, which are way too many to name, but mostly from Nouns (2008) and they close with “Everybody’s Down,” as they previously did at the Middle East.

Expectations: No Age are as great as ever, if not superior. They play most of my favorites, but not all. The show ranks high for me, but not top 5, perhaps top 10 and almost cerain top 15.

Concert Reviews: Paul Weller @ Apollo/ Black Lips @ The Shank


http://www.self-titledmag.com

Bands: Erland & The Carnival, Paul Weller
Venue: Apollo Theater
Date: November 6, 2010

Act  OneErland & The Carnival – A very respectable UK folk/post-punk revivalist group. As Erland said, they were simply warming up the stage for Weller. With that said, their set was quite modest in length — not more than thirty minutes — but very effective. They reminded me of a more eclectic/James Bond theme music version of Editors. When they jammed, they jammed. I found myself recognizing a number of their tunes from the video of the gig they posted on their MySpace page.

Act TwoPaul Weller – Over the past several months, I’ve gained much more appreciation for the Modfather. It was a quite a treat to see him perform last night at the historic Apollo Theater. Weller has quite a catalog to choose from in selecting his night’s set-list. Last night, he incorporated a bunch of tunes from 2010’s Wake up the Nation. What made up the rest was a fine variety of relatively recent material, a little bit older stuff, and classic Jam and Style Council tunes. The sound was excellent. The aid of two keyboardists/effects performers and an extra rhythm guy contributed greatly to Weller’s backing. What I love about Weller is when he really rocks out. The drum solo in “One Bright Star” and the pure magic of “All I Wanna Do” were just some of the many highlights. Weller gave off the impression at the end of his second encore that the near sold-out crowd would be back to hear him for a second time in a row the next night. Those people are in for a double dose treat.

Set-List
1. “Aim High”
2. “Into Tomorrow”
3. “7 to 3 is the Striker’s Name”
4. “Pretty Green”
5. “From the Floorboards Up”
6. All I Wanna Do (Is Be With You)”
7. “Sea Spray
8. “Paper Chase”
9. ??
10. “No Tears to Cry”
11. “Shout To The Top”
12. “Trees
13. “How Sweet It Is”
14. “One Bright Star”
15. “Andromeda”
16. “Fast Car Slow Traffic”
17. “Start!”
18. “Echoes on the Sun”
19. “Wild Wood
——Encore One——
20. “Broken Stones”
21. “Pieces of a Dream”
22. “Wake up the Nation”
23. “Art School”
24. “Come On, Let’s Go”
—-Encore Two—-
25. “The Changingman”
26. “Porcelain Gods”

—————————————————–

Bands: Fergus & Geronimo, K-Holes, Cerebral Ballzy, Black Lips
Venue: The Shank
Date: November 6, 2010

Comments on the Venue: Where do I even begin? I just want to clear something up, first. Hipsters, individually, are not necessary bad people. Talking to a few of them and sort of mocking them (“Are shows in a big warehouse the new thing?”), I realized there are some good apples in the bunch. Not so much for the case for the hoi polloi of Williamsburg hipsters. Damn, these people suck so much! As Rich said, they are people with a lot of money, but love to act like they don’t have any. These hipsters wait in long lines for port-a-potties and $4 beer. Making loads of money off of the cheapest brands of beer is suddenly relevant. These people have no respect for the bands and care solely about themselves. Shocker! The venue itself was the complete opposite of the Apollo. I didn’t expect some first-rate DIY “soundspace”, but…this?! Every process after the most basic (checking IDs, buying tickets) was actually pretty laughable. There are shit-loads of people just standing around, smoking whatever they feel like. In front of the stage are hipsters yelling at each other and pushing each other. The stage itself is pretty legit, but the sound system is quite awful.

Act One, Two, and Three – I wasn’t really paying attention much to any of these bands. Fergus & Geronimo sounded really good. I caught the tail end of their set. K-Holes were the same K-Holes I saw in July and August. Cerebral Ballzy sounded not so good, but I couldn’t really hear them all that well from where I was standing.

Act FourBlack Lips – After avoiding the pit area for a while, I made up my mind. I was going to stand in front like I usually do. The moment Black Lips come on, they sound-check jammed to something that sounded like “Stone Cold.” A soft rocker to test out the waters. This was all well and good. They then got the night going with “MIA,” the frantic opener from excellent live album Los Valientes del Mundo Nuevo. After that was a new song. After that was “Make It,” “O Katrina,” and another new song. “Make It” and “Katrina” were both listenable and very well played. This was a good thing. It was very down-hill from here. A bunch of idiots stormed the stage after like five minutes and, like on the boat cruise, all the amps became unplugged. Jared’s microphone also fell from its stand multiple times. Some asshole started talking into it all the while Jared thought it was still there. The Lips ad-libbed, while the sound “crew” was trying to fix things, a cover of Elvis’ “He Touched Me.” Parts of “Dirty Hands,” “Ain’t No Deal,” and “Fairy Stories” were played. Keep in mind “parts.” Nothing was complete about the Lips set. I blame it on the “fans”…these self-righteous douche-bags who wanted all the attention. At least the Lips got paid $10,000 to play this shit-show. The second to last song was “Sea of Blasphemy,” which almost was a valiant attempt for them to restart their set…except it was the second-to-last sosng. You know shit has gone wrong when I think “Bad Kids” is “Ghetto Cross” for a complete minute. Damn, son.

Grade: D+

Concert Review: Deerhunter, Real Estate, Casino vs Japan @ Royale (10/16/10)

Artists: Deerhunter, Real Estate, Casino vs Japan
Venue: Royale Boston
Date:  Saturday, October 16, 2010

Act I: Casino vs Japan
This is not my kind of music whatsover, so yeah it was just unbearable electronic music to me. It always feels like these guys overstay their welcome, but maybe it’s just me. Aficionados of said music may have dug this chap, but nothing stood out to me, I have seen far more interesting purveyors of the style.

Act II: Real Estate
Not my favorite band by any means, but a good band and after Casino, they were a massive relief. I liked them slightly more this time around. They are just a chill, relaxing group with some rockin’ in them. If you like mellow music, I would recommend them.

Act III: Deerhunter
YESS! As one of my favorite bands, I was really excited for this show. Deerhunter always (in the two previous times I have seen them) blow my mind. But, before I felt a tad bit unsatisfied, just a teensy bit as they are amazing, but not this time. Sure, there were some flaws. The vocals were low, at times they were better, but much of the time they were indecipherable. Which was not that big of a deal because I feel like the vocal apsect of their music is better appreciated on record, whereas the live show is mostly concerned with the guitars. Brad, Lockett, and Josh produce shards of noise whilst still maintaing that calm, cool quality that is essential to their art. Not to mention, the pounding drums of Moses, also exquisite. In terms of the setlist, it was fantastic. Sure, I did not hear everything I wanted to, but numerous classic were dished out, mostly tracks from their latest release, the incredible, Halcyon Digest (2010). They opened with one of their best “Rock” numbers in the Halcyon track, “Desire Lines,” where Lockett carried vocal duties. For that album they also unleashed the catchy and evocative (Deerhunter can mash the two aesthetics together perfectly) “Revival,” “Don’t Cry,” “Memory Boy, “Helicoptor,” and “He Would Have Laughed,” in honor of our buddy Jay Reatard. From Microcastle (2008) we heard “Never Stops,” “Little Kids,” and “Nothing Ever Happened.” Then “Rainwater Cassette Exchange,” from the EP of the same name. “Fluorescent Grey” and other classics were performed as well. As serious of a band Deerhunter is, there is an amusing, almost goofy side to the band. Frontman Bradford Cox always seems to be cracking jokes: at one point he stops the show to ask Josh if he loves him and informs the audience that he will not continue to play until he hears Josh utter the words. Haha, stuff like that. Overall, I can safely say this is the best Deerhunter show I have seen and I really cannot wait to seem them again.

Grade: A/A-

King Khan & The Shrines H & E

Hopes: In my own little weird way I hope Khan does something like the above portrait or something equally (or more) outrageous. But, more importantly I wish to see an even greater performance, spectacle, if you will than I saw previously (which was one of my all time favorite concerts). I hope Gentlemen rock out even harder than the last two times I have seen them, playing all my favorites like “All I Need Tonight (Is You),” “Butterfingers,” “I Get So Excited,” and others. Lastly, I envision Red Mass to join my plethora of kick ass artists I have seen live and possibly become favorite of mine.

Expectations: This show is just as good, if not slightly better, than the last show, but lacks some of the intimacy of the Paradise setting. They put on a fun and/or entertaining show, but aren’t as “crazy” as they have been, which is more than ok as that’s not why I am going to see them (music clearly comes first). Gentlemen are just as good as last time, but don’t play all of my faves. And finally I expect Red Mass to be good, but probably not on the road to favoritism (a new word I coined).

In any case, I can’t wait!

Memory #2: Classic Concert Review: Shrines @ Paradise

Bands: The Homosexuals, Mark Sultan, King Khan
Venue: Paradise Rock Club

Act One
: The Homosexuals

Glen: The Homosexuals, or in this concert’s case Bruno Wizard and two members from the noise rock band Fiasco, started things off. Wizard, who has an affinity for saying ‘fuck’ and acting crazy as ‘fuck,’ didn’t fail at moving about the stage like an asshole. Wizard’s most notable song was “Hearts in Exile,” a lengthy and repetitive proto-punk jam that got the crowd semi-excited. He finally sang “Don’t Touch My Hair,” an obnoxious rhyme that was undoubtedly written while Wizard was under some form of narcotic. I give a lot of credit to Julian (drums) and Jon (guitar) for playing excellent music.

Chris: Well, the singer was a bit obnoxious and got really old rather quickly. Speaking of being old, he was middle aged, but tried to act like a buzz cock. Perhaps a bit more cock than buzz. His vocals and the songs themselves were average. He repeated one particular line at least 50 times. Ridonculous. With that being said, I appreciated his high energy, albeit a cliched, poor man’s Mick Jagger. Also, the guitarist and drummer had the musical chops and I suggest they find a new front man or create an entirely different group. [Editors Note: They are a part of Fiasco, which has a different lead singer. They were just filling in, bud.]

Act Two: Mark Sultan

Glen: Mark Sultan, or as the guy standing next to me said “the man they call B-B-Q” was very impressive. Complete with a makeshift drum kit and an old-school electric guitar, Sultan provided the audience with vintage rock n’ roll sounds. For me, Sultan’s highlight was “Waddlin’ Around.” The crowd really got into this song in particular. It was too bad Sultan only played for 30 minutes. That wasn’t the last of him though…

Chris: Mark Sultan or BBQ- Impressive. That’s the first word that comes to my mind when I think of his performance. For all ye musicians out there that merely play 1 instrument (I play none!), the BBQ has you beat! Simultaneously Sultan commands the microphone, plays the chords, and bangs the drums with the assistance of some handy dandy foot pedals. Sultan gave the audience a nice, little balance between slow, doo-wop echoing, love numbers and kick ass rockers you could rock your head and bop around to. A notable set to say the least.

Act Three: King Khan and the Shrines

Glen: I witnessed the soulful Supreme Genius! I actually noticed King Khan an hour before the show. I yelled “King!” and he stopped and gave Chris and I handshakes. Seriously, though, he puts on an amazing show. It couldn’t be done, though, without the help of the eight other members of the band. The cheerleader — unnecessary, yet unbelievably necessary — sprinkled glitter all over us in the pit. Her fine dancing was a great adjunct. The saxophone players don’t get as much credit as they deserve. They were instrumental (literally). The guitarists were fun, often interacting with the crowd (by jumping off stage). BUT it was the King who got everyone going. The minute he walked onto the stage, everyone just smiled, clapped, and knew that one hell of a show was in store. King’s swagger on stage is unprecedented. His gimmicks are vast and varied. Lying on the ground, sticking his head out to the front row, dancing over the cheerleader, whatever, you name it. His energy simply never relented. God bless him. He performed classics such as “I Wanna Be Your Girl,” “Welfare Bread,” and “Shivers Down My Spine,” before delving into a Gospel track — a brand-new 5+ minute epic that involved intensive crowd participation. King Khan came back on stage (thanks in large part to a certain energetic Shrines percussionist) after saying “this is our last song” and performed my personal favorite “Took My Lady To Dinner” followed by a few others, including a never-been-done-live-before song with Mark Sultan. Unfortunately, the experience had to come to an end. The keyboardist was doing crazy shit with his keyboard and having one hell of a time as he tackled it (which probably rendered it unusable). After slightly more than fifty minutes of moshing, sweating, and smacking King Khan’s helmet (yes, I got the privilege), the King, his underwear and animal teeth necklace, and his Shrines walked off the stage. The lights in the club turned on. We bounced.

Chris: I did not truly comprehend just how supreme the genius of King Khan and the Shrines was until Thursday night. Rarely have I ever seen such a build up to a band arriving on the stage. The Shrines, all in their black Shrine uniforms, began playing their various instruments, increasing the overwhelming anticipation of King Khan and his lady. Finally, our hero, accompanied by his ever-grinning cheerleader (pom poms and all!), hit the stage all decked out in his white suit and ready to go!. The crowd immediately danced into the “Land of the Freak,” which the Paradise Rock Club had transformed into by this point. The sensational opener was followed by even more notorious numbers including “How Do I Keep You (Outta Harm’s Way),” “Sweet Tooth,” “Shivers Down My Spine,” “Welfare Bread” (one of my favorite moments during the concert; the cheerleader sprinkled glitter all over herself and us!), “I Wanna Be A Girl” (I’d say the tune earned the biggest crowd response, at least from me anyway), “No Regrets,” “Took My Lady to Dinner,” and “Live Fast Die Strong.” The last 3 were performed as the encore in which the King appeared in his traditional golden cape, mask, and nothing but underwear!

Final Comments:

Glen: King Khan and the Shrines probably put on the best show that I’ve seen yet. It wasn’t quite a religious experience, but it was a genius experience. I’ve never gotten the privilege to see eight amazing musicians (plus one cheerleader) perform so amazingly together. I didn’t really listen to King Khan too much before the show, but now I’m absolutely hooked. But seriously this show has to be in its own category because of that. With the Black Lips and No Age, I pretty much recognized all their live music and that made seeing them so great. Bottom line: I absolutely can’t wait to see King Khan and the Shrines again!

Chris: Grade: A. Stage diving, crowd surfing, pogoing, and heartfelt singing insured one of my top 3 greatest concert experiences.

Damn, the anticipation…..