Concert Review: Natural Child, Liquor Store, SKIMASK @ Great Scott (7/30/12)

Bands: Natural Child, Liquor Store, Skimask
Venue: Great Scott
Date: Monday, July 30, 2012


Act One: SKIMASK – SKIMASK is a band that I think everyone should have at least checked out by now and by checked out, I’m talking LIVE. They now have a website (HERE) but you still got to do some digging for recordings so for right now, at this very moment, you need to see them. Upcoming shows (Boston area) are on their website. I find myself gaining more appreciation for SKIMASK each time I see them. On this night, vocalist Prof$t Mohamed isn’t as spontaneous and incendiary as I’ve seen him in the past, but he seems more in-tune with the music. Whatever he is saying is as forceful as the drums and effects behind and to the side of him. The chemistry amongst the trio and the sounds they emit is baffling. It doesn’t take too long to realize how good the drummer is at drumming and how good the effects man is at effects. Stuffing the face with three microphones is not something you see at shows these days. The other thing I’d like to say is that even though SKIMASK is not your typical rock and roll band – stylistically and so forth – they set the tone for a night of balls out RnR. They can fit in on any bill really and just pump up the audience for what’s to come (or finish things off right…if they are headliners).


Act Two: Liquor Store – Liquor Store fit in perfectly as openers to Natural Child. While Natural Child is a bit more stripped down and to the point, Liquor Store is more expansive on this night. They build their tracks up, making grand use of the old guitar. This isn’t always the case (“Manchild In Paradise” is a short, sweet, and twisted take on classic rock), but their performance makes it seem like they’ve been around for longer than they probably have. Judging from their set-list, they’ve been playing some of these songs for a while now and a good chunk is from Yeah Buddy, their 2011 2X LP. I’ve got to listen to that record. From what I’ve read, it’s killer. I guess some cynical person could come along and say they are reinventing the late ’70s punk wheel, but with Liquor Store’s passion and sloppy New Jersey precision…that cynical person would be guilty of oversimplification. I’ve taken note and really wanna hear some Yeah Buddy and drink some Narragansett, a beer previously unheard of to one of the guitarists in Liquor Store. But like that guy, you just gotta try it out even if you can’t pronounce it and you play in none other than a band called Liquor Store. Yeah, buddy.

Set-List:
1. Proud To Be An American Man
2. Kiss
3. Manchild In Paradise
4. Vodka
5. Big Wheels
6. Gas Station
7. Pile of Dirt
8. In The Garden


Act Three: Natural Child – The last time I saw Natural Child (abbreviated Natti Child for whatever reason in a lot of KLYAM postings) was in August 2010 on a packed yacht cruising up Hudson River near the Statue of Liberty. They were opening for Black Lips so needless to say my excitement for the show was through the roof. The members of Natural Child recall that show fondly, describing it as a lot of fun and quite memorable. The other day at Great Scott wasn’t a close replica to that event, we weren’t anywhere near water, there weren’t as many transvestites, and the show wasn’t close to sell-out capacity. Natural Child themselves though – the band, the myth, and the legend – treated the crowd with plenty of spirited numbers, ranging from 1971‘s “White People” to For The Love‘s “8 AM Blues” and “DTV” to 7″ classics “Crack Mountain” and “Dogbite”. It was these last two songs that came toward the end of their set and brought the most willies for me. The crowd was into Natti, but not on the scale as that NY show that finished off with guitarist/vocalist Seth crowd-surfing his way up to the boat’s balcony. There weren’t any moments like that at GS, but I think I was spoiled for that NY gig. Either way, it’s great to see these guys rising through the ranks and chugging out quality records every few months or so. I’ll make every effort to see them next time around and who knows what that show might bring. This was a fun night, but I surmise the most fun is yet to come!

Best Of 2011 – Glen’s Favorite Albums


1. Black Lips
Arabia Mountain – My excitement for this album grew steadily once the news came out that they were working on one in early 2010. The original release date set for “when school gets back in” was pushed back once Ronson joined as co-producer. As we all know by now, the band had a delightful time working with him. So it’s no coincidence that Arabia is filled with some of the catchiest songs I’ve heard in a while. The sound production is not as muddy and psychedelic as the band’s previous effort 200 Million Thousand; instead, it’s clean and clear. The songs themselves cross the kind of rock and roll terrain that the Lips have always found themselves in, including but not limited to: clangy, jangly, country, punk. This stuff is addicting (for people with an ear for it like me) and tough to remove from the record player. I guess that’s a quality that the best album of the year should possess. 


2. Ty Segall – Goodbye Bread – This is another one that I was counting the days until release. Ty’s last record Melted received an ‘honorable mention’ in my Best of 2010, but would have comfortably cracked the Top 5 if I redid my list a few months later. Goodbye Bread was a quintessential summer listen and still holds the test of time as this part of the country is freezing over. The thing that Ty does so well (and has always done so well) is arranging his songs. There’s optimal fuzz, hard-pounding drums, and a lingering bass line in nearly every song at some point and a lot of it is unexpected and fresh. I love the opening of “You Make the Sun Fry,” and the ever so crunchy chorus in “My Head Explodes,” in particular. Goodbye Bread affirms Ty’s status as one of the most talented song writers in modern rock and roll. At the least, it goes to show that noisy relatively straight-forward garage isn’t all the dude is about. 


3. Atlas Sound
Parallax – Last year (as I just said above) I made the folly of overlooking some records. Another one of them was Halcyon Digest. Sure, it was among my Top 10, but I didn’t really appreciate as much in 2010 as I should have. With Parallax, I gave it several listens before reviewing it and over the course of listening the real beauty of it really came out. It’s mainly a light affair with several streaks of brilliance that some could dub ‘experimental’ or ‘odd’, but to me is just as pop as anything typically labeled that. Bradford knows catchy better than most. The by product of this is a mass of songs that are inspirational and healing. 


4. The Beets
 – Let The Poison Out – The Beets are one of those bands that I regret not getting more into earlier on in my KLYAM career. After seeing them open for No Age at Wellesley College back in April 2009, I failed to do significant follow up research. Well, now I’d say I’m fairly well versed on the Beets; all the credit to them for infectious releases and superb live performances. Let The Poison Out works so well because it’s just so hard to not be hooked on the Beets raw rock, pop, n’ roll . It makes me want to start pounding on some drums while blasting it loudly. “Doing As I Do” and “I Think I Might Have Built A Horse” are sing-alongs like none other. 


5. Mikal Cronin
 – Mikal Cronin – You can tell this guy has spent some quality time hanging around Ty Segall. Not to say he hasn’t spent quality time with other musicians. The Moonhearts are nice. Well anyway, this album really captivated me as it fits in perfectly on a scale of Ty and Thee Oh Sees. Like those folks’ records, Mikal Cronin is quite instantaneously hooky (with like two exceptions, but those are still real good). Picking favorites is a challenge. I love “Situation” a great deal, because right from the get-go it is extremely fun. The San Fran rock ‘n roll region had quite a 2011.

Honorable Mentions

Shannon and the Clams – Sleep Talk
The Orwells – Remember When
Thee Oh Sees – Castlemania
Girls – Father, Son, Holy Ghost
Natural Child 1971
Mark Sultan Whatever I Want
The Hussy Cement Tomb Mind Control
Davila 666 Tan Bajo

Best Of 2011: Glen’s Favorite Songs

Rather than release a countdown or a numbered list, I’ve decided to try something different!!!!! Band and song. Keepin’ it simple. 

Arctic Monkeys- “Black Treacle
Atlas Sound – “Lightworks,” “Mona Lisa
Babies – “Meet Me In The City
Bass Drum of Death – “Get Found
Beets – “I Think I Might Have Built A Horse
Black Keys – “Lonely Boy
Black Lips – “Family Tree,” “Modern Art,” “Mr. Driver
Colleen Green – “Rabid Love
Diarrhea Planet – “Fauser
Dum Dum Girls – “Coming Down
Fat History Month – “Old Lady Smokers
Gaye Blades
 – “Don’t Get Married
Girls
– “Magic
Handsome Furs – “Repatriated
The Hussy – “Sexi Ladi
Mark Sultan – “Song In Grey,” “Graveyard Eyes
Mind Spiders – “Don’t Let Her Go
M-Tank – “Don’t Miss You
Natural Child – “Hard Workin’ Man
Night Beats – “Ain’t Dumbo
Orwells – “Lays At Rest,” “Halloween All Year
Panda Bear – “Last Night At The Jetty
Peach Kelli Pop – “Girls of Summer,” “Eenie Meenie Minie Moe
Shannon and the Clams – “Baby Don’t Do It
The Strokes – “Under Cover of Darkness
Thee Oh Sees – “I Need Seed,” “If I Stay Too Long
Those Darlins – “Be Your Bro
Ty Segall – “My Head Explodes,” “You Make The Sun Fry

Concert Review: Black Lips, Natural Child, K-Holes [Live On A Boat In NYC] (8/2/10)

Date:  Tuesday, August 2, 2010
Bands: K-Holes, Natural Child, Black Lips
Venue: The Temptress

Act OneK-Holes – The cock-sucking K-Holes! The band of former Black Lips guitarist Jack Hines and four other people including a trumpet player AND a drummer who keeps it simple: a bass drum, a floor tom, and a cymbal. K-Holes were very explosive and offered a big sound. Matter of fact, a certain cross-dresser in a certain red dress enjoyed it so much that he/she was crawling on the floor, laying out on a table, and having a rhythmic seizure during the duration of K-Holes set. Fun times! Also, some whippersnapper (not a part of the band) felt like screaming into the microphone at random times during the set. It was all in good fun, but who does that?!

Act TwoNatural Child – The favorite band of Rachel aka Pop Jew was a great band, indeed! Wait a sec: Bawitdaba da bang a dang diggy diggy diggy said the boogy said up jump the
boogy. Okay, that out of the while. These guys had a song about people not understanding you, white people, and punks, a song dedicated to the Captain of the ship, and if I remember correctly, a song about fucking. All in the spirit of Kid Rock. They punk-rocked. The guitarist crowd surfed his way to the second floor to end their set. The bassist was having a great time and the drummer was doing his job in the background. I definitely will keep checking these guys out.

Act ThreeBLACK LIPS – Black Lips pretty much keep topping their previous best show ever. At this pace, all my favorite shows will be Black Lips shows, but I mean they are my favorite band after all. In terms of crowd participation, this show set the bar. The moshing got to the point where the one security guard all but gave up after five minutes of trying to protect Jared from the stampede at the front of the stage. The guitars got unplugged at various points during the set (probably from people falling down)…Jared had to move back and actually face away from the crowd (never saw this done before), although all seemed to be well with the other three members of the band! People were singing along loudly during every single song and there was just the whole vibe of Black Lips in Tijuana except in New York and on a boat. The set may have been trimmed a bit due to the chaos on stage or because time was up, but the roughly one hour the band played was just amazing! Funny things of note: some kid yelling out requests of old rarely (maybe never) played live cuts “Hope Jazz” and “Time of the Scab” and some big jock hollering “OOOOOOOUUUUUU WEEEEEEEE!!!” after every song.

Set-List:
1. Sea of Blasphemy
2. Drugs
3. Make It
4. Short Fuse
5. O Katrina
6. Stranger
7. Not A Problem
8. Ain’t No Deal
9. Dirty Hands
10. Cold Hands
11. Ghetto Cross
12. (A song resembling “I Want Candy”)
13. Too Much In Love
14. Bad Kids

Grade: A+ – Best show I’ve seen!