My Top Ten Favorite Shows of 2014…

I know this sounds like bullshit and I do say it every year, but each year gets better. I’d be lying if I said 2014 was the best year of my life, but as far as KLYAM goes it was definitely the best year for KLYAM. Every year does get better, just look at our label. We put out three more releases that we’re very proud of – Nice Guys/Miami Doritos Splifft 7″, Back Pages – Singles 13, and The Electric Street Queens – Live From Your Dreams, We’re The… and we have more on the way. Just look at our calendar, we went to more shows than ever this year. I counted 85 shows I attended this year, I know for some people that’s nothing, but considering I’m not in a band, I don’t have a car, I’m broke, and don’t live in the city, I’d say that’s pretty good. But hey, it’s not quantity, it’s quality (though we got both!), so here’s my top ten favorite shows from 2014:


10) The Orwells & Twin Peaks @ Great Scott (3/4) – Our dudes, The Orwells always put on a fantastic show and we saw them three times this year, but the Great Scott set was by far the best. Right up against the stage where the action is, no douchebag security guys or broseph stalins, just straight up fun. Oh and who could forget Mario hucking the mic stand into the crowd. Classic. KLYAM Review: https://klyam.com/2014/04/05/review-the-orwells-twin-peaks-great-scott-3414/

Thieves Grotto
9) TIE: Nice Guys & Miami Doritos Tour Kick Off w/ Malportardo Kids and Grave Ideas & Nice Guys, Free Pizza, Ladybones, Dinoczar, both @ Thieves Grotto (2/28 & 11/21, respectively) – This is just one big shout out to the Grotto and Nice Guys. Nice Guys are honorary klyamers and so are Miami Doritos, and we love Free Pizza, we’ll miss those Miami boys. Ahh so much Miami! Guys, pizza, doritos. All the bands are named after food! Haha, but ya Thieves Grotto throws the most insane basement shows and it’s always a party. I wish every show was like these shows. KLYAM Review (2/28): https://klyam.com/2014/03/22/review-nice-guys-miami-doritos-tour-kick-off-thieves-grotto-22814/ & (11/21): https://klyam.com/2014/11/26/nice-guys-free-pizza-thieves-grotto-112114/

Cumstain Boston
8) Cumstain, Free Pizza, Gangbang Gordon (BUFU Tape Release), White Pages @ JP Drive In (8/24) – I still haven’t gotten over this show, not even just the show itself, but the very fact that it happened. Call me crazy, call me wild, call me a cocksucker, I don’t give a fuck. I’ve been waiting to see this band for four years now, I still can’t believe it. It was awesome to finally meet the stains themselves as well. This show is also significant because it was the first KLYAM Presents show in nearly a year and it was my homie, Gangbang Gordon’s BUFU tape release show. Cheers buddy. KLYAM Review: https://klyam.com/2014/09/20/review-cumstain-free-pizza-gangbang-gordon-tape-release-white-pages-jp-drive-in-82414/

NO NO
7) Nobunny, The Hussy, The Fagettes, Banditas, Gangbang Gordon @ Middle East Upstairs (2/4) – NO NO needs NO introduction. It’s always a blast seeing the bunnyman in action, especially in front of a rowdy, sold out Boston crowd filled with tons of my friends. Solid set of openers including one of my favorites, The Hussy, whom made both their Boston and KLYAM debut. A highly memorable show that brought us some joy and warmth in the middle of a shivering, cold ass winter. KLYAM Review: https://klyam.com/2014/02/15/review-nobunny-the-hussy-fagettes-banditas-gangbang-gordon-mid-east-upstairs-2414/

Lipss
6) Black Lips & Natural Child @ Paradise (4/19) – Of course, my favorite band, Black Lips, of course you’d see them here and you’ll see them again my friends. At last, I can finally put them on my year end lists again; we haven’t seen the flower punkers live since 2011. WHATT?! This was also my first time seeing Natural Child, yet another band I’ve been anticipating seeing for years. KLYAM Review: https://klyam.com/2014/05/31/review-black-lips-natural-child-paradise-41914/

Lipskkbbq
5) Black Lips, The King Khan & BBQ Show, Coke Weed @ Port City Music Hall (9/27) –  I always love seeing a show at a venue I’ve never been to before, even if it’s a traditional music hall, it’s still new to me. I haven’t been in Portland (Maine) for a while, so that’s an added bonus. More importantly, this is a KLYAMER’s wet dream bill. Two giants of contemporary garage slime, straight up Rock ‘n’ Roll all in one night. Definitely some of best I’ve seen from the Lips and KKBBQ in years. No KLYAM Review, because my dog ate it. Do kids still say that?

Ty Great Scott
4) Ty Segall, La Luz, Boytoy @ Great Scott (9/19) – At this point in his career, Ty Segall can and will sell out large clubs, but that wasn’t the case this time. The show was sold out, of course, but it was at Great Scott, a relatively small venue. This is Ty here. I never thought I’d see him on that small stage. It was nuts. A vicious set with tunes from all over his career. Why can’t all my favorites just stop here? No bigger clubs (except Middle East). Ty’s the face of our rock ‘n’ roll and this show is a testament that Boston loves him. KLYAM Review: https://klyam.com/2014/10/06/review-ty-segall-la-luz-boytoy-great-scott-91914/

Fall Tour
3) Black Lips, The King Khan & BBQ Show, The Kominas @ Paradise (9/28) – Christ, what a Black Lips whore. You knew what you were getting into when you started reading this. Night II of my Black Lips/KKBBQ Rock ‘n’ Roll Weekend and as you can probably tell the superior of the two nights. In particular, the Lips shined through cranking out golden oldies such as “I’ve Got A Knife” and “Ain’t No Deal” among other classics from all over their fifteen year reign of terror. These Atlantans were as feisty as ever (including newcummer/oldcummer Jack Hines, welcome back Jack!). Speaking of bodily fluids, never thought I’d see Cole peeing in his mouth again, damn I thought that was over after 2006 haha. Best of all, the Lips and KKBBQ merged as one and performed as the gospel supergroup, The Almighty Defenders. I SAW THE LIGHT. Oh and we got to enjoy a beer with some of the guys backstage, also something I’d never expect at the Paradise. I told Jared that I lost my virginity while The Spooks were playing in the background, which is true, he said “Well, cheers to that!”  Yes, cheers.

Dusk
2) Atlantic Thrills (Album Release), Ravi Shavi, Gymshorts, Littlefoot @ Dusk (2/1) – Providence consistently dishes out the wildest shows and this was total debauchery, one of the craziest shows I’ve ever seen. While, I don’t think anyone was hurt (though I had several bruises) I do mean crazy. The word gets tossed around all too often, but this one is up there. Pandemonium. At the very least, just good old fashioned fun. Whether it was all the nudity, moshing, silly string, beer flying, or simply singing along to all the songs we’ve come to know and love, it was a special little feeling you don’t get often and if I could trap it in a bottle and sell it to all of ya’ll, I’d be a billionaire.  And we KLYAMERS have really been waiting for this record to come out, three years now. An epic show with stellar opening sets might I add. What we call in my line of work  a “stacked line up.” Keep up the craziness in 2015 and beyond. KLYAM Review: https://klyam.com/2014/02/10/review-atlantic-thrills-album-release-show-w-ravi-shavi-gymshorts-littlefoot-dusk-2114/

BUFU sch
1) BUFU Fest @ Cambridge Elks Lodge (4/25 & 4/26) – I’ve been to a few local music festivals now, but this one tops them all. Easily the closest to what a KLYAM Fest would look like (Fuzzstival is a close second though). A wide variety of acts being thrust in your face. One moment you’re rocking out to the Nice Guys, the next you’re singing along to ACLU Benefit’s one man show, then the next minute you’re shouting about “living in Boston, Massachusetts” with Free Pizza or you’re caught in a mosh with Guerrilla Toss. I’m ready to do it all over again this year. KLYAM Review: https://klyam.com/2014/06/14/bufu-fest-recap-425-2614/

So, that’s that. As I said before, there were a ton of excellent shows I/we attended this year, I could make an honorable mentions list, but the list would go on and on. At the very least, here’s a list of my favorite bands I saw for the first time in 2014 in chronological order: Littlefoot, The Hussy, The Sulk Scouts, Buttercup, Tacocat, Durt Dog The Band, Natural Child, Juan Wauters, ACLU Benefit, The Ar-Kaics, Beach Toys, Robot Death Kites, Black Beach, The Lemons, Cumstain, (New England) Patriots, Ben Katzman’s DeGreaser, Good Nature (formerly known as Phaze), Ausmuteants, Ursula, Show Me The Body, Buck Gooter, Big Buck Hunter, and Feral Jenny.

Fond Experiences @ NEU MF ’14 (Friday, September 5, 2014)

This past weekend, starting September 4th at Club Bohemia and ending on the 6th at Cuisine En Locale, New England Underground Music Festival 2014 took place with dozens of live performances and tables (with records, tapes, and other physically pleasing artifacts) and the focus was NEW ENGLAND. Yep, lots of interesting happenings regularly evolve the participatory culture in this community – and if you don’t know what that means check out the September issue of the Boston Compass for a worthy explanation written by Sam Potrykus. Speaking of which, Sam and Dan Shea, who has long been a foremost advocate of Boston underground arts, deserve some major props for setting up NEUMF 2014 in conjunction with their nonprofit/volunteer organization, the Boston Hassle.

An event like NEUMF is sundry for us KLYAMers; you can usually find us round town at underground R’n’R events of the garage/punk variety so something like NEUMF is a brilliant step away from business as usual into the… unknown. Right on.

As we walk some paces down Highland Ave in an effort to locate Cuisine En Locale (ya gram that place you used to go for baby showers) we finally arrive, greeted by familiar company: members of Nice Guys, Phaze, The Lentils. Most always a fine salute. Then I see Gracie Jackson, the 7:20 PM performa. Aw shit she just finished playing her set! Course I tell her my disenchantment of barely missing her perform with her solo group.  Must have been nice for those who got the privilege.

Walk into the main area, already up and jamming on stage are Soft Eyes. Not like I actually could tell, I mean I did get my eyes checked. Should be wearing those glasses. I step a little closer and recognize hey that’s Luke on guitar. He and crew are serving up some wailing psychedelia, spiraling guitar work with that oh so distinct organ sound. I get more and more into it as the set flows through. The last song is a faster mover in the bunch, bringing me happiness Ty Segall & White Fence style. Luke tells us they got a buncha shows coming, I’m listening!

Next up is Worn Leather who call Connecticut their home. Their three piece punchy punk I hoped would stir up the crowd a bit more, but I enjoyed boppin my head to them, most especially during the guitarist/singer’s axe solos. There are some nice possibilities with solid bass and drum behind ya and he seemed to know that!

Back to that stage that Soft Eyes was on is Lair. I remember Lair markedly well, in fact I could say they were the most memorable group that I saw at NEUMF. A duo – guitar and drums – but that’s simplifying the story. Third member was this looping station thing [i don’t play music I appreciate it it’s probably not called a looping station]. Drummer with headset, guitarist fond of intermittently screaming and talking. Lightning Bolt vibes sometimes, ‘weirder’ but more melodic Guerrilla Toss vibes, and more straight ahead doom and thunder. Lair’s presence did it for me more than the music itself, which I mean ya dawg this is all pretty new to me and maybe hundreds of others. We’ll see!

Next band I peered deep into was Video Nasties. As they’re playing, I’m thinking damn what I am going to say about these guys. I love ’em. Never saw ’em before, never heard of them, but wow I don’t even think I can articulate what I’m hearing! That kinda thing. There was a unique energy to their set – maybe it was the dude who was pacing back and forth dancing. Not just a dude but a singer in the band. I hardly noticed the off-stage microphone until he started speaking into it! Hahaha. No drummer necessary…they got machines for that. Also a dude on synths (who sang, too, I believe) and a tall man guitarist/singer. Their stage presence, clang, and strut like DEVO, maybe a super chilled out Lost Sounds. I was into everything they did. Count me most impressed, keep rockin dudes.

At one time KLYAM delved briefly into the world of Electronic Music courtesy of our Queen’s brother Richard Franke. I am not a rock ‘n roll purist or anti-electronic music… I just happen to really love and prefer raw, fun, exciting, live instrument aided rock ‘n roll music. But I can get down with dance music, finding some sounds pleasing, riveting even, when I hear them. That’s exactly the case with JEROME. I totally dug his mix which I guess some could simply call ‘techno’ but I’ll stick with the term beats. A whole bunch of us were dancing, maybe it looked funny from a far. I dunno, don’t care. Fun times.

The Lentils here we come. Lentil Luke was feeling in a more relaxing mood – he said it himself. And with the aid of Gracie Jackson (guitar) and Ben Katzman (drums) alongside his trusty mate Nehemiah (bass), why not everyone take a seat and bear witness to the mouthy, crisp Velvet autumn reflections of Mister Luke. The way he writes songs, they kinda float along wistfully, and the crew follows along, sprinkling some leads, adding some OoOmph. If Vermont was the United Kingdom, it’s all good! The past couple of inclinations of the band that I saw were harder rockin (they took a seat here too) so a gent like me mighta been surmising something like that but this was a neat surprise and cool to see some familiar faces take part in it.

(New England) Patriots there’s no mistaking them. Leaders of the night pack – they play this late for a reason. Crowd flips a lid like no other band performing this night, moshing, crowd surfing. They’ve seen these guys before. I think. I hadn’t. What? Ya thats crazy. Glad I did. Chaotic, noisy – louder than Bob Kraft’s private jet. They’ve garnered the acclaim of many women and men and in between and I am now involved in their schemes, in the front row, seeing these Pats bounce back and forth. Good exercise doesn’t come without some sweat. Alla Boston’s noise outfits of recent years aren’t just spitting distortion and incoherence, there always be some hooks and candied fun to their game. Pats got that. Special Teams.

Now for the grand finale here. Minibeast featuring Peter Prescott (drummer in Mission of Burma) on guitar/keyboard/effects and a few other musicians on other instruments. Not ya typical rock band – off beam experimentation with some poppier flare now and then. One of those ‘wowza’ live experiences that gets you or me confused in a good kind of way. Throw any and all biases and expectations out the window. Course the night was a little fuzzy at this point!

Bruschi Calls Football Quits

Providence Journal
Beloved Patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi will announce his retirement Monday morning during a 10:45 a.m. press conference, ending his against-all-odds career after 13 NFL seasons.
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The development is not entirely unexpected – when he missed over a week’s worth of training camp with no apparent injury, it seemed possible that he was being given time to assess whether he wanted to continue his pursuit of a 14th pro season.

It is also probable that Bill Belichick informed Bruschi that he would not be in New England’s plans this season, leading to his decision to call it a career.

A third-round draft pick out of Arizona in 1996, where he became the NCAA’s all-time sacks leader as an undersized defensive end, Bruschi made his bones in New England initially as a special-teams player – his 17 tackles for that unit as a rookie was third on the club.

This is pretty surprising. He’ll be remembered as many fans’ favorite player.