Concert Review: Fat Creeps @ Cambridge Elks (2/16/13)

Creeps Elks
Bands: Fat Creeps, Space Bums, Fedavees, The BFS
Date: Saturday, February 16, 2013
Venue: Massasoit Cambridge Elks Lodge (Cambridge, MA)

Fat Creeps–  Hey y’all super cool people out there reading this, if you are in fact reading this, I got a little confession to make. I am a Fat Creeps fan. I know, it’s a shocker, who would have thunk? To say that I am a fan of this band would be a massive understatement, but I don’t want my Fat Creeps fanboyism to clog up this “review’ anymore. I am trying to imagine what it would be like to see them for the first time without having any prior knowledge about their music, ahh sounds awful, but I’ll give it a shot.

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Fat Creeps are a three piece consisting of Mariam Saleh on vocals and bass, Gracie Jackson on vocals and guitar, and Jim Leonard on drums. They have taken over Boston by this point and are starting to overflow into Portland, Providence, Worcester, Northampton, Brooklyn, and Bennington, your city will be next. The charming trio of early twenty somethings play a variety of styles that is both familiar and appealing to the ears, but not always easy to classify. Lazy journalists might call it “garage” or “pop punk” or they actually hear those styles, I don’t know. Surely, there’s elements of each, but being somewhat of a connoisseur of contemporary garage and a vehement detractor of most pop punk, I’d say this is painfully misleading.  It just goes to show that the band’s diversity makes them applicable to many genres and they can and have shared bills with all different walks of life from the rampant noise of SKIMASK to the playfully vulgar punk of The Coathangers, and everything in between. It’s all rock ‘n’ roll.

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Tonight, the band rips through some fresh cuts as well as some vintage Creeps classics that everyone and their grandmother should know by now. I mean my grandmother probably does, she’s a hip, hip lady, I once caught her listening to Black Flag, strange. “Nancy Drew,” do do do doo, hey Nancy Drew, do do do doo, hey Nancy Drew, do do do doo, hey Nancy Drew, do do do doo, hey Nancy Drew. The song practically sells itself.  You just have to hear it once and you can already sing along to it! Actually, once you hear the first do do do doo or second do do do doos, then you can pretty much sing along to it, unless you’re retarded. But, that’s okay I screw up lyrics all the time myself. “Nancy Drew” is a mini insight into the band’s quirky world. It’s simple, but ever so catchy, you can’t turn your back on it. I’d say this goes for pretty much most of the Creeps songs tonight. The main appeal to me is the memorable quality in all of their tunes, with “Nancy” being a boss example. That is the basic charm, but the band’s prowess as musicians and performers is what really hooks me in to their sound. Up front, Mariam and Gracie execute harmonies that rival the Vivian Girls, while Jim tenaciously assaults his drums behind them. In particular, I dig the way the delivery of their sound can match up with the direct nature of their lyrics  like in “Secrets,”  Mariam roars “Come closer I can’t hear you,” and it really feels like she is yelling at you to come closer.

This show is at the Cambridge Elks Lodge, a place I have never stepped foot inside in my entire life, until now. It’s a sweet spot, not too big, not too small,  but just right, to paraphrase one, Goldilocks (I had to look the correct spelling up, this whole time I’ve been spelling it as Goldie locks). There was no stage and  it was pretty much absent of any extraneous rock club bullshit, so it kind of  felt like a glamorous basement show. Speaking of basement shows, a young chap by the name of Kevin Dacey- a frequent basmenter, is in attendance tonight,  which is swell because I usually don’t see him at Boston above ground gatherings because of the ageist polices of the rock clubs :( Nonetheless, Mr. Dacey is a happy camper and he ignites some fine moshing during the Creeps’ kickass, fast rocker, “Daydreaming,” perhaps the most moshable song in the Creeps catalog. Definitely a highlight of the evening.  http://fatcreeps.bandcamp.com/

The first three bands were all solid as well:

The BFS are a mixture of power pop a la Gentlemen Jesse and His Men/White Wires and pop punk. Check em’ out here: http://thebfs.bandcamp.com/

Fedavees play extended, experimental, psych pop and they’re doing a fine job. Take a gander: http://thefedavees.bandcamp.com/

Spacebums have a similar psych sound, but with more of a fun, rock ‘n’ roll, garage sensibility. Check it out: http://thespacebums.bandcamp.com/

Before and in between some of the band’s sets there were a couple of screenings of bizarre, but humorous videos from “The Gooder Life With Dr. Jesse” and “The Family Factory.” They reminded me of a cross between John Waters, Tim and Eric, and Hollywood Nailz (Hunx’s show). http://www.thegooderlife.com/

Check out this Surfer video featuring the Fat Creeps’ Christmas classic “Bring Us Some Waves”

Concert Review: Fat Creeps, Earthquake Party!, Fedavees, Fagettes Halloween Show @ Rosebud (10/13/12)

Bands: Fat Creeps, Earthquake Party, Fedavees, Fagettes
Date: Saturday, October 13, 2012
Venue: Rosebud (Somerville, MA)
Comments:
Act I: Fagettes as Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood– The Fagettes are one of the hottest bands in Boston right now, so naturally I am more than excited to see them live for the very first time! Tonight, however, they are not the Fagettes… instead we are taken back a few decades to a simpler or perhaps weirder time when the music you heard on commercial radio didn’t just flat out reek like a steaming pile of feces. Oh no, one could flip the dial to the soulful, sexy voice of Nancy Sinatra and my main man Lee Hazlewood.  Well, those good times haven’t ended and the band recreates at least some of that good old pop magic of yesteryear. Furthermore, I appreciate the way they inject their own modern day aesthetics into the mix, adding some deviant flavor to an otherwise innocent set. By the way, I can’t forget to mention that while the band (and each band this evening) plays a creepy Horror flick is projected in the background complementing their freakiness. For Fagettes, I believe Night of the Living Dead is playing, but I might be wrong on this one? Overall, I dig this performance and I really love their set up too, which includes saxophones and two (standing!) drummers. Yeah, fuck all those lazy drummers that remain seated whilst performing! Dave Goldberg would be proud… Anywho, I’m getting off topic, but I can now testify that The Fagettes are one helluva a live band and I hope to see them playing original material in the near future. http://thefagettes.bandcamp.com/ Yo, check out this badass video and all its badass brothers and sisters on You Tube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m9-Q7g44-fA

Act II: Fedavees as The Wipers- I have to admit I am not too familiar with either Fedavees or The Wipers, but I have known of the latter since I was a young fella, thanks to Mr. Kurt Cobain, whose band will be making an appearance later. My ignorance aside, Fedavees are nasty and deliver a kickass set that evokes passionate singing in at least a few of the Rosebud’s attendees, so they must be doing something right. For their performance, I believe it is Blade that has the honor of being backdrop # 2 tonight. I’d rather not see Blade again, but I would enjoy attending another Fedavees show. Check out their Bandcamp page here: http://thefedavees.bandcamp.com/

Act III: Earthquake Party! as Nirvana– As soon as I see Earthquake Party hit the stage, it brings me back to August 2011, the first and last time I saw Earthquake Party, until now. I remember these dudes and their sheer, abrasive batch of noise pop tunes. To make things even spookier Evil Dead is playing in the background! EP is definitely a solid band to be covering Nirvana, my early teenage wet dream band. And while I don’t climax on this evening, I am truly invested in their performance, particularly enjoying the various heavier, more aggressive Nirvana cuts such as “Scentless Apprentice,” “Radio Friendly Unit Shifter,” and my favorite Nirvana song “Drain You.” Earthquake Party dish out all the screeching vocals, endless feedback, and lack of concern for the well being of one’s own equipment necessary to fulfill a proper Nirvana set. Personally, I would have liked to have seen a bit more of the band’s own personality shine through the covers, but nonetheless a fun and riveting performance that thankfully forces the crowd into a frenzy. Just check out this video here, in fact the whole set can be seen on You Tube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yS18SeNZlA0 Boy, if I just had five minutes alone with that Where’s Waldo motherfucker…. In the meantime, I’ll have to listen to this: http://earthquakeparty.bandcamp.com/

Act IV: Fat Creeps as The Ramones– It’s always beautiful when two great bands come together, like a marriage made in Heaven. Essentially two of my favorite bands have merged on this evening when the Fat Creeps perform as The Ramones! Not to mention one of my all time favorite films, The Shining, is playing in the background. The creepiness begins when the trio blast right into Ramones signature “Blitzkrieg Bop,” and indeed the kids are losing their minds as Joey Mariam gleefully shouts- moshing and bopping and plopping along to the mile a minute classics. “Beat On the Brat”  is next and in fact – with the exception of a few tunes – they play most of the Ramones’ debut album. Arguably, The Ramones are the greatest rock ‘n’ roll band of all time and certainly a long time favorite of mine, so hearing all these songs executed in a nearly flawless fashion hits real close to home. It’s easy to get caught up in Ramones hysteria (and I do), but in many ways this is still a classic Creeps performance; I especially love their harmonies in songs such as “Judy Is A Punk” and “I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend.” With this in mind and just the overall joyful, positive response from the crowd, I think their set is the finest of all tonight. Admittedly, I am excessively biased in my position, but biases aside I am glad everyone is having fun, cause isn’t that what it’s all about anyway? Ahh, I’m starting to sound like a Little League coach now. Seriously though, sickest Fat Creeps show I have ever experienced!
P.S. I dig Jim Leonard’s exclamation: “God Bless George Bush!” I’m sure Johnny would be proud of ya!
http://fatcreeps.bandcamp.com/