Tag Archives: middle east downstairs

Review: Boston Fuzzstival (8/10/13)

Bands: Nice Guys, Fagettes, Moniker, Guillermo Sexo, CreaturoS,  The New Highway Hymnal
Date: Saturday, August 10, 2013
Venue: Middle East Downstairs (Cambridge, MA)

I’m not the right person to be writing about the Fuzztival… and I assure you no one else will make that claim right off the bat to you in any other “review.” I also assure you that no one else has the the right to review this show more than me either. Reviews are pointless to begin with, don’t listen to reviewers, nothing but trouble. Never done me any good. But, I am going to write about this show anyway because that’s how it goes, that’s how it’s always been. The Middle East Downstairs, fuck man, this brings back memories. No other venue compares. KLYAM attended shows at Mid East Down way before there even was a KLYAM!  We saw Black Lips, No Age, The King Khan & BBQ Show, and Box Elders (opening for Black Lips) here. Here. These suckers, these fuckers, these icons were inches away from us; their saliva smoothly sailed down my beat up, gray Ramones shirt.  The next day at school I would brag about what I saw, oh boy! “Girlfriends” would feign interest, it was a glorious time to be alive. But, the fun can only last so long. Soon I would realize that they just thought I was cool because I read Noam Chomsky and Malcolm X, and indeed those men are cool, but these femmes never wanted me, they never wanted us, they never wanted rock ‘n’ roll . They just saw my slick, leather jacket and assumed I was cool. KLYAM began on the concept that cool was death, we were anarchists, rebels, nerds, dorks, sociopaths, retards,  reatards. Reatards. We didn’t know (and still don’t know) how  things work. Late at night/ early in the morning, you could listen to Black Lips, Jay Reatard, King Khan & The Shrines, The King Khan & BBQ Show or even that psycho gorgeous band Deerhunter and for two seconds it made sense! The world was a fucked up place, but these dudes were fucked up too and they loved it and they drank their own piss and  that was okay that gave us hope, honestly.

And with that lovely introduction, here are Nice Guys! Woooooo Nice Guys woooo. How many shows has it been? Fuck it, you been counting? Me neither (yeah right) have I, I don’t fucking know, calm down. NIce Guys are a funny band though they play this abrasive, semi-hardcore, quasi garage style of music that just makes the hairs on my testes jet up and dance, It’s fucking loud and fun and noisy. They shit out various hits y’all oughta know like “Herb Chambers,” “Cop Walk,” and “Burrito Boner,” which is a favorite among dental receptionists.

I’ve seen my fair share of Nice Guys sets, yeah yeah yeah yeah, and they typically rock, but this one is a comparatively exceptional rocker. Cam Slays on the drums, up on that little drum riser thing like a Greek God –  must be new to the Mid East Down, cuz I’ve never seen it before. Jake, Matt, and, Alex jolt back and forth on the guitars, bashing into one another, crawling over their bandmates’ sweaty skin, tangling in wires and such. My favorite moment in the set is when Cam rushes up from his drum set and tackles Jake to the floor. That’s what I like to see, I love aggression, I guess I am just a sick guy. Nah, metal folk are sick, I am just having fun. Nice Guys are fun and sweet! http://niceguys666.bandcamp.com/

Set – List:
“Herb Chambers”
“Unholy Sacrifice”
“Cop Walk”
“Burrito Boner”
Watch Nice Guys play “Draggins” at the Fuzzstival HERE: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jdqiUk8gGi0

Nice Guy Matt Garlick is back again in The Fagettes and he’s joined by Ryan, Melanie, Peaches, and Joe. Fagettes are a KLYAM fave, only a fool couldn’t tell you that. They lean toward the nastier side of rock and roll that we cherish. Besides delivering humorous and informative weather reports, they unleash many essentials including “My Girl Looks Like Johnny Thunders,” “On Drugs,” “Water, Tea, and Alcohol,” “Tsunami,” and “Gonna Die Out Here.” In addition to the gunky classics, the fivesome also bash out some new numbers with “Bad Catholic” being my top jam for this holy evening. I too was a bad catholic, drank the holy water, bopped the bishop, and licked plenty of peanut butter.

A cool breeze just splashed over me, it’s a sign that Fagettes are the future of American pop music OR a favorite band of mine, Either way the future looks bright. http://thefagettes.bandcamp.com/
Watch The Fagettes play “On Drugs” at the Fuzzstival HERE:

Moniker – I catch flashes of  Moniker’s set, I dig, but I need to hear more to judge.  Find out for yo self here: http://whatsyourmoniker.bandcamp.com/

Now to Guillermo Sexo. Not as sexy as I would have thunk; not enough gunk punk in thee old junk. That’s okay though, I think some of y’all would dig them. For the first ten minutes or so, I’m feeling sexy, but then it just drags and my psyche yearns for some “Light Shines,” but that’s another band for another day, Ultimately, this is a decent band, just not exciting enough for my tastes. http://guillermosexo.bandcamp.com/

CreaturoS are a psych outfit that often pop up on local listings and rightfully so.  While, I can’t say that they are the right kind of punk slime dish that I prefer,  they do rock pretty hard, enough so to garner an onslaught of fuzzstivalers, friends, and fans up on stage moshing and boppin’ about.  A killer way to conclude a set.  http://creaturos.bandcamp.com/

During CreaturoS’ and Sexo’s sets, I”m clutching on to the monitors and dreaming about a three way between Betty Rubble, Wilma Flintstone, and myself. Gee whiz, that would be a swell time, but I must be at least a tad bit insane in the old membrane for me to conjure up such images. Ironically, The New Highway Hymnal put me in my place. Arguably, The NHH are the freakiest of the bands tonight and that works to their  advantage. Vocalist/guiarist Hadden Stemp utters “Let’s give it up for CreaturoS,” receiving very little crowd response. “That sucked,” Stemp accurately asserts.  He gives the Boston crowd one more chance and with a slight improvement we segue way into the New Highway Hymnal’s diabolic set. The trio, which includes Travis Hagan on drums and Amelia Gormley on bass and vocals, open with “Whispers,” the title track off their epic LP released last year on Vanya Records.  The fuzziness continues with the grimy album opener “Through Stained Glass,” and then my memory is fuzzy after that (yes just a few hours later). I think there’s some new cuts tossed at us or just stuff that’s fresh to my ears. Last I remember is “Hey Kid” and then Hadden i s suddenly on the floor with us in the audience, jumpin’ around and what not, and then he’s back up on stage like a ninja. He’s quick and I’ve had too menty, a deadly combination. In any setting, listen to The New Highway Hymnal’s Whsipers LP here: http://thenewhighwayhymnal.bandcamp.com/releases

Concert Review: Those Darlins, Movers and Shakers, Atlantic Thrills @ Mid East Downstairs (10/15/11)

*This photo is not of the Middle East*

Artists: Those Darlins, Movers and Shakers (we missed :( ), Atlantic Thrills
Date: Saturday, October 15, 2011
Venue: Middle East Downstairs (Cambridge, MA)
Act I: Atlantic Thrills– Atlantic Skillz is kind of like what would happen if the Black Lips were a twelve year old kid caught masturbating by their shady uncle Los Saicos and were forced to sing and dance for a half hour. I’m not sure how that makes any sense whatsover, but in more common terms you could say these guys have that nice Punk Slime flavor of garage rock found in the Lips music amongst other practicioners of said style. Just fun, rock and roll you can dance and drink along to- I mean what kind of rock and roll can you not do that to? Well, if you can, then you don’t like rock and roll and I don’t like you, but that’s another whole can o’ worms. The Thrills set some nice vibes for the evening and “Acid Rain,” everyone’s fave was a particular stand out; got me all revved up and ready to go. And when that happens, you know to move back about five feet or else*…

Act II (That KLYAM saw): Those Darlins– Those Darlins have been a favorite of mine for about two years now; a band I often recommend to those kids lurking around, asking for “new” or “good” music. Apparently, they have yet to discover the internet, but that is okay. That’s what I was put here for, to spread my love. The Darlins put on a great, rockin show per usual- well at least in my experience, they have been a fun, live band; I saw them last year at T.T the Bears. That was a cool show, but I’d say they rocked even harder this time around and the PA at the Middle East was/is superior, so that definitely amplified the greatness. The set consisted of tunes from both their studio albums, Those Darlins (2009) and Screws Get Loose (2011). I prefer the former, and “Red Light Love,” “The Whole Damn Thing,” and “Wild One,” got me real excited as they always do, definitely some of their finest songs to date. I really dug their encore (I noted this the last time I saw them) which featured some sick classics including “Night Jogger” and “Funstix Party.” FP is a Darlins fave of mine for sure, it sorta reminds me of King Khan & BBQ at their raunchiest. In any case, it was a fun show, so if Those Darlins are stopping by your town, GO AND SEE THEM!

Grade : 7/10

Here’s the relatively new music video for “Scews Get Loose”:

*Or else absolutely NOTHING will happen.

Concert Review: No Age, Lucky Dragons, Needy Visions @ Middle East Downstairs (11/16/10)


Bands: Needy Visions, Lucky Dragons, No Age
Venue: Middle East Downstairs (Cambridge, MA)
Date: Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Act OneNeedy Visions – Now, I really liked Needy Visions. The lead singer and guitarist was very Boston. He and his crew were very passionate. I always like that. “Fuck the System” showcased the best of these guys. A jovial keyboard riff contrasted the passionate vocals. Props to the bass player who really brought the funk. Props to the drummer and the other guitarist as well as they also contributed to the sound and overall “funk” of the band. They aren’t really your typical garage rock or punk band by any stretch of the imagination. They are more rooted in fun beats and tight rhythms. It’s cool.

Chris: Glen summed up most of my points, but he perhaps loved them more than I did. They were entertaining though and I recommend y’all check em’ out. They are playing at the Whitehaus this Friday (November 19).

Act TwoLucky DragonsI’ve seen a few groups that possess a very similar style to Lucky Dragons. For those who aren’t familiar with Lucky Dragons, it was one guy — Luke Fischbeck — with a laptop and a few other toys. He played some ambient music that was at least partially based on crowd interaction. He handed about ten CDs to people at the front of the stage. There was a projector and a box on the stage. At first, I didn’t quite get the concept of the CDs, but I quickly realized that when somebody flashes the CD on top of the box and in front of the projector, a unique sound is produced on the PA. This was fun for about three minutes. In the background of the stage there was a pretty constant slow motion projection video of what looked like mansions. At some point, Luke handed some of us pieces of paper with lyrics. He repeated about half of what was on the sheet. About ten minutes later his set was over. I always feel bad for people that do experimental sets like this. Since the music is pretty constant, a lot of people were bandying about for the duration of the set. They treated this art form as background music. I can’t really blame the talkers since this experience is rather obscure and awkward for first-timers and those otherwise unfamiliar with such art.

Chris:: Yeah, this aint my bag, but like Glen said at least we were not simply spectators and instead had a chance to participate in the process.

Act ThreeNo Age – Wow, where to begin?! No Age, simply stated, has been amongst my favorite bands — live and on record — for the past couple of years. Their all-ages show at the Middle East Downstairs in July 2008 marked my first real concert experience. It’s funny because I only stumbled upon No Age by accident. I was looking on the Middle East website to see if The Walkmen were playing. They weren’t — yet — but I noticed something else: pretty much every show listed was 18+, except this one band No Age was playing an all-ages show. “Wow, this is awesome” I thought. So I checked them out on YouTube and really liked what I heard. The rest is history. Flash forward nearly two and a half years later. I’ve seen them four times and each of their shows has topped their previous performance. Incredible. Three full-length albums and one EP deep, No Age had a lot more material to showcase than they did on that hot July 2008 night. They started this night off with “Life Prowler” off of their latest LP Everything In Between. Following that they rushed into a familiar classic “Teen Creeps” from 2008’s Nouns. From the opening notes of this, the crowd erupted into a frenzy. A frenzy that’s never been known to really let up. Smiles were plastered on everyone’s faces. Some people decided to crash into others. Others held onto the stage — or strangers next to them — for dear life. The 21+ crowd in the bar section looked on, with some snapping photographs. Whatever the case, it’s all about the music with No Age. The punk rock spirit and excitement that comes from the drum kit of Dean Spunt and guitar of Randy Randall is unparalleled. After “Teen Creeps,” we got a little taste of everything from the ambient-turned-explosively catchy noise classic “Every Artist Needs a Tragedy” from Weirdo Rippers to the sample heavy power number “You’re a Target” off of their Losing Feeling EP to “Chem Trails” and “Fever Dreaming” — the best of the best off Everything In Between. Meshed additionally in the set were other excellent tracks off Nouns and Everything. One especially great moment was when the sweat from Dean’s drum kit flew into the air as he started pounding his floor tom and snare drum in the opening seconds of “Glitter”.  After the end of their near hour long set, the crowd took a breather (realizing just how much we were sweating) before welcoming the band back on stage. Chris might have been expecting another “Don’t Talk To Me” G.G. Allin cover, but instead they performed Black Flag’s “Six Pack” to a T with the singer of Needy Visions joining them up on stage. They closed the set with Nouns closer “Brain Burner”. What more could we ask for?! Some high fives from Dean and Randy? No need to ask. These fine gentlemen do that kind of thing automatically. This show was about as fun as shows come. It was the kind of show that I’ll always be able to reminisce. Being able to talk to Dean after the show was a pleasure. He took the time to sit on stage and interact with concert-goers after it was all over. This is exemplary. It shows he isn’t some music celebrity, but rather a really nice guy playing really nice music. Hope to see you back again soon, No Age!

Chris: Easily one of the best bands I have seen live, perhaps the Black Lips are the only other band I would say has topped them for me. Dean and Randy are masters of high energy without coming off as typical Rock Stars that try way too hard to get a crowd going. With these dudes, the music simply speaks for itself. They played more than half of my favorites as well as some other killer tunes, plenty of cuts from the new LP. I always dig their references to old school Hardcore and this time around I loved their rendition of Black Flag’s “Six Pack.” Dean went so far as to include the classic closing lines, “What do they know about partying or ANYTHING ELSE?!” Another classic moment was the long, but amazing build up in “Every Artist,” we waited in anticipation for that awesome moment when Randy swinged his guitar around and kicked right into the heavy part of the number and of course the crowd went crazy. Speaking of which, this was one of my favorite mosh pits, as always with No Age. Can’t wait to see them again! Modern day DIY Punk at its finest.

No Age Set-List [No Order]
– “Life Prowler”
– “Teen Creeps”
– “Every Artist Needs A Tragedy”
– “Sleeper Hold”
– “Cappo”
– “Eraser”
– “Miner”
– “You’re A Target”
– “Chem Trails”
– “Shred And Transcend”
– “Valley Hump Crash”
– “Glitter”
– “Depletion”
– “Fever Dreaming”
———– Encore ———-
– “Six Pack” [ Black Flag Cover]
– “Brain Burner”

VIDEO OF “LIFE PROWLER” LIVE @ MIDDLE EAST: http://vimeo.com/16974100

Lucky Dragons + Needy Visions Opening For No Age

Interesting bands, for a lack of a better phrase, always seem to open for No Age! First time I saw them electro/psychedelic group High Places and tropical punk band Abe Vigoda opened. The next time I got to see two bands signed to Dean’s PPM: one-man psych-band (at the time…now I believe it is a duo) Soft Circle and New York dark-wave/electro bunch Silk Flowers. Finally, the third time I got to experience fun dance vibes from Lemonade (who coincidentally will be opening for Delorean this Saturday at the Middle East Downstairs) and the now much more appreciated Beets from Jackson Heights! So what about the bands who will be playing tomorrow? 

Lucky Dragons
From: Los Angeles
Music Style: Electronic

Needy Visions
From: Weymouth, Massachusetts
Music Style: Garage/psych rock
Sounds: Awesome!

No Age Return To Boston!!!

It’s been a year and a half. It feels longer, but at the same time, it doesn’t feel that long.

At any rate, I haven’t seen No Age since April 2, 2009. That’s far too long. They’ve got a new album coming out September 28. Get at that. Everything In Between is the title.

Most importantly, Dean, Randy, and the other dude are in town on November 16. They’ll be at the Middle East Downstairs, a choice venue. It is my favorite place to see a show after all and has vegan goodies for the dudes. It’s all ages gig, too! It’s a Tuesday night.


Pains at Paradise!

I don’t know if me posting upcoming concerts is getting on anyone’s nerves, but I really don’t care, because I’m too damn excited! I saw The Pains of Being Pure At Heart at The Middle East almost exactly a year ago and they were pretty good. At the time, I was only a teeny bit familiar with their music. Then I listened to their LP and I was blown away. I think knowing the tunes this time around will make the show even greater.

The Pains of Being Pure At Heart- Paradise Rock Club, Boston on Wednesday, October 20- Yeah, you know this shit is KLYAM Recommended.

Why do soooooo many of my favorite shows have to be during the week?!