Illegally Blind is at it again, putting on Boston En Masse, four days of live music at Church, which is near Fenway Park. Each night offers something a little different (check out the FB event page for a listing of bands) and it is TOMORROW NIGHT, Thursday September 18, that we are most excited to share with you all!
Presented in association with local underground music advocates BUFU Records, Boston Hassle, Fast Apple, a couple KLYAM splifft singlers – Nice Guys and Miami Doritos – are in on the action along with Ben Katzman’s DeGreaser, Boogie Boy Metal Mouth, and The Monsieurs.
Nice Guys are just about a month fresh off the release of their most recent tape, L.A.P.D. Since forming in 2012, they’ve toured the East Coast a couple of times, played at Hassle, BUFU, and Starlab Fests, shared billings with garage slammers like FIDLAR and Ex-Cult, and released their first 7″, a split with Miami Doritos on our KLYAM Records label, earlier this year. Noisy punk chaos with a tendency for instrumental explosions, break-downs, and the like. We really dig this stuff and enthusiasts all over town and beyond are takin’ note, too!
Miami Doritos are like family with Nice Guys – if you haven’t noticed already – they share a home, a member, a television set, stuff like that. They also have a tape, that before mentioned 7″, a couple tours, and tons of sweet local shows in their name. They just a duo, though, and create quite a racket amongst themselves. Their noise is crunchy, their underbelly is tastily (not tastefully) poppy. Come on down.
Ben Katzman’s Degreaser is the latest and just maybe greatest band from Katzman. Dude’s all about chilling mad hard, rokin out, and Shredding, so let’s see you in action, broooooo!!! The band’s first album Degreaser was released digitally a brief time ago and it is a cok rok love affair. Gritty, positively recalling early rock ‘n roll along the way, charming surely. Right now all I can do is picture their queezy punk pop energy, soon I will see it in the flesh!!
Boogie Boy Metal Mouth‘s hip-hop in the punk spirit holds ya hostage, at least that’s the feeling I’ve gotten from their live performances. I’m not sure what else to feel – they’re the only hip-hop group I have seen or remembered seeing. Lotta movement and interaction at the Wilder Zangcraft that time. It’s still sinking in. What they are doing is not like much I’ve seen in the Boston underground; credit their unique set-up and experimental leanings.
Headlining this En Masse shabang are The Monsieurs, who have roots in the garage underworld that date much further than my time. At any rate and at any inclination, they are maybe the most straight ahead, hook filled, no seaweed, punk trio playing local stages and non-stages. Gather together the funnest rock ‘n roll of the past 60 years or, if you’re more myopic, the gunk punk greats of the past 20, and that’s just about Monsieurs style. Ya heard it before but now it’s right in front you, in fine fashion, uttering shit in one ear, while the other’s being damaged by thick loud amps. In good fun, though.
Bands: Soft Eyes, Phaze, Shame Thugs, John Flannelly Date: Monday, June 30, 2014 Venue: Charlie’s Kitchen [Cambridge]
This was SHAMEFUL to admit it, my first Charlie’s Kitchen experience. Don’t get me wrong here, I always see the events, the spectacular musical parties thrown by some of the finest Boston bookers, FAST APPLE, on Monday nights. I was able to make things work, unfortunately not for the entire duration of the show. Very bummed I missed seeing Soft Eyes – the home spun psych ventures of Luke Goudreault (formerly of MMOSS, The MIGS!!!, and New Highway Hymnal) whose live band also includes Rachel Neveu (formerly of MMOSS), drummer Travis Hagan (Fat Creeps, NHH), and possibly some other members that I did not see roaming the venue. Do head over to the SE BC and stream Lazy Lifein its mono White Fencian/Migsian chromatic splendor.
John Flannelly of Indiana got things started ground level as he worked on his keyboard and pedals set-up, delivering what sounded like an experimental combo of beats and loop effects. John’s take on music is certainly deeper in the sense that I had not a clue what he was going for and perhaps nobody did except for the performer himself. I found the unpredictability and non-conventional nature of his set-up somewhat more fascinating than the actual rhythmic collage. http://johnflannelly.bandcamp.com/
Next up was the bass/keyboard duo $hame Thug$, also from Indiana and on tour with John Flannelly. I don’t think I will be forgetting their set anytime soon at least not their first song which prominently featured a hip-hop sample of this guy shouting YEAH!. The keyboardist rapped with some voice modulated echo throughout the course of the set. I will say I haven’t really seen any band like SHAME THUGS – the taping of individual keys, the total surreal dreamy r&b mood – though maybe the closest thing to them I’ve heard is Kitty Pryde so take that for whatever, but the Thugs are rawer which I like.
PHAZE get ready KLYAMers, PHAZE is a band you’ll be hearing about a lot more. At least from me and hopefully beyond and beyond. Jesse DeFrancesco is at the helm of this rock ‘n roll band, which, live, we have Nick on drums. PHAZE is riffy rock ‘n roll, bluesy in some spots, anchored in all by Jesse’s prepunk singin and tenacity for going hard and going nuts. On recording PHAZE is chiller (real real neat, just wait and see), but with the drumming, these guys wallop. Being in the audience and hearing PHAZE for the first time was quite like when I first saw The Migs. All excitement, the ‘this is really special, I’m grateful I’m here right now’ feeling. Specially on “Backwards”. Ya know! http://allstontapes.bandcamp.com/releases
FAST APPLE presents: Nice Guys, Kal Marks, Miami Doritos, Buttercup Date: Monday, March 17, 2014 Venue: Charlie’s Kitchen (Cambridge, MA)
I haven’t been taking care of my show “reviews” the way I should be. You can call me out on it, you can pinch my nipples extra hard when you see me next. Extra hard. So, here’s a show from a few weeks back.
Buttercup – Aww, look at the cute little buttercup, aww. Nope, not these guys. They’ll eat you up and tear you a new asshole. Tear you three. Buttercup is Nathan (guitar/vocals) and Lee (drums) of local favorites Saralee. This performance is a departure from the soft, serene pop of Saralee. Buttercup is blistering noise without a hint or care for melody or pop. With that being said, their song “Fucked You In My Car” has stuck to me for the last few weeks. It’s sticky.
Miami Doritos – The Miami Doreets are back in Boston! These Doreets just got back from a slammin’ tour with fellow rough riders NICE GUYS and they aren’t even stopping for a breather.
I first saw Miami Doritos last July and in the subsequent months I have come to adore everything about them. Which is actually funny because I often have a hard time describing the band to people. Mad people (I don’t know why they are so maddd) will go up to me and say “hey, what’s up with these doritos? Are they really from Miami? What’s going on? Who am I?” I don’t know what to tell them, but here’s a shot. Musically, this vocals/guitar/drums based two piece, are a rough mixture of bizarre garage punk and screechy noise pop. It’s not all brutality though, they are a fun, charming bunch of ragamuffins.
I’ve never been to Charlie’s before. I know, it’s whack, but I also have never lived in the city. It’s a tight venue and the place is bumpin’, bumpin’ to the doreets in all their wacky goodness. For more wacky goodness. Hit up their bandcamp: http://miamidoritos.bandcamp.com/
Kal Marks – Kal Marks is a straight up epic band. It’s hard not to get swept away in this group’s overwhelming sound and emotion. They have almost a classic rock feel to them, but not in a cheesy or pretentious way.
I’ve seen Kal Marks several times over the years, but this is the first time my brother has seen them and he’s going nuts and he’s not the only one. Alas, we have to depart earlier than expected on this evening and aren’t able to catch the full set :(. In time, we’ll catch you again Kal. http://kalmarks.bandcamp.com/
Nice Guys – The name ain’t a misnomer! Listen to them here: http://niceguys666.bandcamp.com/ and seriously pick up a copy of the Nice Guys/Miami Doritos Splifft 7″ from KLYAM Records!
Bands: Nice Guys, Teenanger, The Soupcans, Thigh Masters Date: Friday, April 12, 2013 Venue: Discovery Zone (Allston, MA)
Thigh Masters – Correct name? I hope so. Thigh Masters aka Kurt opens the festivities with some mind bending one mon noise. Noise – kind of a vague term, but I think noise enthusiasts would dig this. It certainly is loud, so I will call it noise to make it easy for all of us. Kurt Thigh Masters plays guitar and I believe he is accompanied by a drum machine. He also wears a mask and within this mask is a microphone attached to Kurt’s mouth a la Lightning Bolt/Black Pus. I’ve never seen this set up before, so that’s a plus. With that being said, I feel like I’ve seen this performance before and I’ll see it again, just different names. That isn’t to say it’s bad. Kurt Thigh Masters is cool and any local venue/DIY space would be happy to have him.
Soupcans – I’ve always loved Canada. Only been there once and like a good, little American I watched pornography on late night television and ate McDonalds every day. I also bought a present for my grandmother. Soupcans are from Toronto and they are tall, kind-hearted gentlemen. They too enjoy icy cold beers, rock ‘n’ roll music, and perhaps late night pornography and fast food. They will shotgun a beer with your brother, make love to your sister, but when they come home at night they’ll kiss their mothers, and I’m positive that when they are away they buy gifts for their grandmothers.
Fine gentlemen, who aggressively knock your ass out cold on the dance floor with their punk rock music that just greeted my ears in recent weeks. The nicest guy in Allston, Matt Garlick (shake his hand, buy him a drink, give him a high five) introduced me to the mighty Soupcans at approximately 9 P.M. on Friday, March 15, 2013. Fresh off a Nice Guys/Fagettes tour himself, Garlick spoke of a band heading on tour to Boston in the following month. Not usually one for band recommendations, I didn’t know what to expect. I know the guy that recommends bands all of the time doesn’t like band recs, Slutever. What happened next, however, was “a great moment in rock ‘n’ roll history.” Only hearing half of what Garlick said, I was instantly hooked when he mentioned that one of the Soupcans (at this point I thought he was saying “suit cans” too) sings through a beer can! And then when I found out that they were Canadian, my God, that’s it. No more descriptions needed. Perfect band rec. Most kids will tell you something along the lines of “they’re post-punk fused with psych garage punk.” No! We all do it though. But, beer guzzling, swinging, rowdy, Canadian nuts is all I need. It planted an image in my head of the almighty Soupcans. Bandcamped it up and here I am now. Ready to rock ‘n’ roll and you can’t erase those words from history.
Jumping back to this evening, Soupcans open with “Shocked,” a pulsing slammer that shows off the trio’s (classic guitar, bass, and drums y’all) ability to produce fast, pummeling, difficult to describe, but undeniably catchy, raw, punk. Punk in the purest sense. Bestial, no nonsense, straight to the point, simple, but not dumb. No fancy smanchcy bullshit, but not sloppy either, you’re gonna wanna kiss and tell after seeing this band. Lead singer Dave’s vocals are monotone, reminding me of hardcore punk legends, DOA and Joey Shithead’s vocals – also Canadian! Low, baritone, monotone but simultaneously chaotic, exciting – shouts and screams that captivate my heart. The guitars smoothly roar like a serial killer that poetically hacks his victims to death. Right up in your face – raw – but calculated like the work of Jay Reatard in just about all of his bands. The drums are equally frenetic, drummer Gideon slams his kit with extreme precision, kind of feels like my attempts at playing drums, the thrill of hearing the stick smack the snare drum like a slap across the face, except this guy actually knows what he is doing and can control his destruction.
Soupcans play a sound show and they bash out some of my favorites from their LP Good Feelingshttp://thesoupcans.bandcamp.com/releases including “Shocked,” “Outlander,” and “Deadbeat.” Great to meet the dudes, especially chatting about other sick Canadian bands like The King Khan & BBQ Show and Vomit Squad. Nick knows his Alice Cooper too haha! Great performance, but I wish more people would move and mosh and what not, but still a fun show. Next time will be a wild, drunken, Soupcans riot.
Teenanger – I’ve been calling them Teenager this whole time! What a waste of breath. Ahh well, in the line for the bathroom I notice a bald dude wearing a yellow Suburban Lawns shirt. I vaguely know who they are, late 70s punk band I think. I ask the dude if this is correct and he confirms this. At the time, not knowing much about Teenanger other than the name, which I fucked up anyway, I do not realize who this man is. Moments later, I notice he is singing with his band Teenanger. They blast through a fast, 70’s punkish set. Their music fits very well on a bill with Soupcans and Nice Guys. The singer is enthusiastic, prowling around, hopping into the crowd, making use of the living room space around him. I dig it, but Glen seriously digs it, even more than Soupcans. Speaking of Soupcans, Teenanger also hails from Toronto, Canada. https://soundcloud.com/teenanger
Nice Guys – Nice guys, eh? Just how nice are these guyz you may ask. Sweethearts. Pizza punks from Bawlston – proudly reppin’ the Boston underground. Tonight, the foursome celebrate one of the best first years I have seen for any band. I thought they had been around for a few years. Over the past twelve months, these pizza punks have played many a show, toured twice, and won over the hearts of Kids Like You & Me, in the process making a name for themselves around town.
Nice Guys are like The Beatles. Four Beatles, four Nice Guys, and everyone’s got their favorite. Ahh, I like them all: Drummer Cam (rhymes with Jam, easy enough), Alex “sick moustache dude” Alexson on guitar, Matt Garlick on guitar – hey isn’t that the guy from Fagettes?!, and Jake Gilbertson – vocals/bass. He reminds me of a young Jared Swilley (Black Lips). Hopping and bopping about, right slab in the middle. He and his bandmates get the crowd moving a little bit with their Germsian take on sludgey garage punk. Alas, we KLYAMERS, have to make it to that damn train station, so we only catch the first few tunes. I want to say I hear “Pizza Bong,” one can only hope. You can hear it and all the jaw droppingly exquisite Nice Guys numbers here: http://niceguys666.bandcamp.com/album/mean-songs-demo
Here’s a big shout out to some of the kewl cats we ran into tonight. So Onam/ Fast Apple (who put on the show! like their page – https://www.facebook.com/fastapplebooking?fref=ts), Jen Knight – really nice to meet you!, DJ John Freeman, always spinning the classics like Vivian Girls, Daniel Johnston, George Baker, Tina Turner, you name it. Tim, if you’re reading this, keep drinking those 40s son. Then, my boy Ian, you and your acid tales. You represent the youth of America, the wave of the future. And of course, the Prof$t, who is always lurkin in the shadows at the best shows.
Here’s a video from this show of the nice dudes playing my favorite NG song, “Cop Walk.”