GONERFEST 14 HIGHLIGHTS PT.1 (L.A. & NOLA)

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Everyone’s Gonerfest is a personal Gonerfest. Everyone’s Memphis is a personal Memphis. Folks travel far and wide, or in some cases – not at all – to get to Gonerfest to see the best bands in the land. For us, this was our third trip down there. Veteran status? King Louie might beg to differ. At any case, if it was not for the precise organization of the heads at Goner and the cooperation of the city, venues, groups, and fans, this might be a different animal. Instead, it’s for the most part a meeting of minds, a reunion for many, or for the uninitiated – the first annual.

I will call it an international summit, with some representation of the past, present, and future. Where bands unite, where bands stop on tour, where bands play their first (and maybe last?) show. Is there a Goner sound? If anything I learned this weekend, it’s that no, no there is not. Maybe in 2009, but not in 2017. And the record label/store is better off for it. There are some sounds and scenes that curry a bit more favor across the board. Los Angeles and New Orleans have some wild bands, shoving that straight-ahead, raw, fast sound into our welcoming ears. Die Group (Los Angeles) are mainstays and were a definite highlight for me on Thursday night at the Hi-Tone. Almost from the second they begin to play, I’m into it and there is no resting after that. Sex Tape Records – Die Group’s record label – put on a Friday early morning afterparty at Bar DKDC and this was a choice shindig with the Sex Tape’s very own Brain Bagz (Salt Lake City) and Tenement Rats. Now, it being a long drunken night, I thought Tenement Rats’ Jonny Watkins was Pitbull. A garage punk Pitbull. Yes, that Pitbull. It took some clarification. Count me in as a big fan of both groups, both with the noisy, catchy immediacy we need in these modern times.

New Orleans deserves a paragraph of its own. From my very first Gonerfest (12), I gathered some intel that this is a very incestuous group of music playing individuals. Playing in each others bands, supporting each other. From the start we had NOLA king King Louie (weirdly called King Louis on a Memphis news website?) playing opening ceremonies in a new band with Abe White, formerly of The Manatees (Memphis). A few hours later BENNI started Night One at the Hi-Tone. With an album recently released on Goner, the mysterious BENNI might just be the weirdest project of the bunch. Armed with a few synthesizers and a talk box, he eased us into what would be a night of heavy rock ‘n roll. Kind of like Couteau Latex did last year. It would be more than 24 hours until we got another dose of freewheeling New Orleans punk – this time at the legendary Murphy’s for the Night Two afterparty. Gonerfest alum Die Rötzz, and Dummy Dumpster (both been around for more than a decade) along with newer crew Enoch Ramone got the booze spent revelers moshing around into each other. Maybe it was the peck on the cheek from Don Perry (eternal gratitude for the rides to the afterparties and the laughs), or maybe it wasn’t, but the Enoch frontman was in a frenzy start to finish, save for the “Gates of Steel” DEVO cover, which was sung by Sam from Trampoline Team. Maybe Murphy’s is the true second home of these NOLA characters as this year’s  Saturday afternoon Blowout brought us three performances: GUSHERS, IS IS, and HEAVY LIDS. While the first and last just mentioned groups are more in line with the above mentioned quick zip, speedfire r’n’r and absolutely rocked it, it’s that middle group that put on arguably the most subdued, but interesting performance. Masterminded by Giorgio Murderer and featuring members of Trampoline Team and Black Abba. This was the closest thing we got to that unmistakable Giorgio/Buck Biloxi sound. Click the link and go be offended.

Pt. Two coming soon…………………….

FALL FESTIVALS/SHOWS (9/28 to 10/7)

SEPTEMBER 28 to OCTOBER 1 GONERFEST 14 – Memphis, Tennessee – Simply stated the best rock ‘n roll festival in existence. Line-ups featuring some of the more exciting groups from all over the world. Headlining this year (Thursday night) is our Boston brethren, late ’70s punk heros and one of papagiorgio’s favorites – Unnatural Axe. Friday night headliners are some Aussies called feedtime and Saturday night we’ve got Derv Gordon (of the Equals). But those night time Hi-Tone shows are like dessert during this bender with weekend afternoon shows at Memphis Made and Murphy’s. And there is nothing like strolling into the famed After Parties at 2 AM. In between all the music there is so much to do and so little time. This is Memphis and there is still time for you to hitch a flight and check out what we rant and rave about every year.

SEPTEMBER 28 to SEPTEMBER 30 Boston Fuzzstival 2017 – Boston, Massachusetts – One of our favorite local festivals for a few years now, this three day event is in its 5th year, and is curated by the trustworthy Jason of Illegally Blind. Bummer it has to be the same time as Gonerfest, but what can you do. Expanding beyond the primarily garage/psych niche of the initial runs, these gigs are jam packed with local up-and-comers alongside mainstays.

OCTOBER 6Johnnie & The Foodmasters/Dylan and the Ded Beets/_HighlightReel/Picnic Lunch – Cambridge, Massachusetts @ Club Bohemia – As you know, every now and then, or maybe “most of the time,” we KLYAM like to throw some weird shows. This is one of them – almost like a mini/smelly club version of our Mouth is a Mouth Noise fest. New Bedford’s PICNICLUNCH is an offkilter outfit, ramshackle, maybe but maybe not put-together post punk cubed. Happy to have them up for this one! Going further down the odd rabbit hole is _HighlightReel. We know jackshit about experimental (dance?) music, perhaps our most deviant foray since Field of Sheep graced Club Bohemia’s presence at one of our shows a couple summers ago. Dylan and the Ded Beets might be playing their first show? It might just be a one man band? Sounds like a deranged early Ty Segall or the reincarnation of the Maine Coons. Yup. The mystery can’t wait much longer. And the “two year anniversary” of Johnnie & The Foodmasters. You’ve seen the name, maybe you’ve seen them. There is the intersection of the musical and the nonmusical, bla bla bla but for the less descript – there is the proliferation of oldies, good time tunes. Love us, hate us, bye!

OCTOBER 7 – Crocodiles/St. Pe/Boston Cream/Second Becky – Cambridge, Massachusetts @ First Parish Church. Former lead guitarist of Black Lips stepped away from our favorite group a couple years back and turned his focus to his own music, which he had called The Fixed Focus, but is now known as St. Pe. He kept Fixed Focus for the name of his first album which dropped earlier this year. Now Ian is on the road, touring with poppy noise advocates Crocodiles. We’ve been tracking St. Pe ever since he casually released a music video for a song called “Movin On Up” in 2011. He was like a recklessly wild step-brother in the Black Lips with primetime quotes and a ubiquitous friendly spirit. His new stuff seems to be dialed back a bit, but rest assured this Ian guy is one helluva performer that we’re pumped to see play once again. And we’re pumped to see Boston Cream, a bonafide local music supergroup, as well as Second Becky, who we last saw play at Night 1 of the first Rama Lama Ding Dong.