Ben Tan – This ain’t BBT’s (that’s Big Ben Tan for your information) first rodeo, aww hell no. Ben Tan’s been rocking and shocking dance halls, basements, back alleys, and Vince McMahon’s private parties for over a decade now and he’s not stopping any time soon; he can’t he has that contract with the “dubbya dubbya E” aka WWE as he puts it in the folk anthem “Upper Lower Middle Class Blues.” It’s a Bob Dylan ode if I’ve ever seen one, what with the raspy voice, acoustic gee tar and harmonicai in tow. You know, if you have a younging in the house and are looking for an alternative to the typical clown/magician spectacle than look no further than Ben Tan. Kids love Bob Dylan.
Ben continues with other signature originals including “Inside Out” and a song about a very special gal entitled “Marielle.” These cuts showcase Ben’s natural talent as a singer – songwriter (God, I hate that term, but trust me it works here) and his incredible ability to imitate the pop music of the 60s with The Beach Boys and The Beatles being his top two objects of duplication. If you’re looking for the most original music in the world, then I’d say look elsewhere. At the same time, Ben is his own person and stands out in just about any setting.
After having enough fun with the guitar, he makes his way to the piana, where he busts out a few more OGs. He closes his set, asking for any crowd requests. This leads to mershy pop numbers, R. Kelly’s “Ignition Remix” and Cee Lo Green’s “Fuck You,” much to the crowd’s delight. BBT’s back in the saddle again. http://bentan.bandcamp.com/album/inside-out
Gangbang Gordon – Following Big Ben Tan’s set is rock ‘n’ roll’s last tru gangsta, Gangbang Gordon himself and he is accompanied by my brother Justin on drums. This is GBG’s fifth show and his second with Justin, and with all biases aside I think this is his/their best set so far.
Alas as the two are about to run through the beginnings of an epic GBG set, the amp dies on them. Eh, well whatever doesn’t kill you only makes you stranger, right? Luckily, Ben lends GBG his amp and all is well. The gangbang begins with an all instrumental jam that mixes surf and noise and sounds like The Ramones, Nobunny, and Fat Creeps. Then they slide into “Lost Touch With The Youths,” a song about being young and lost and feeling out of touch with those who are young and lost.
The show goes on for more and more grotesque Gangbang Gordon tunes that make most cheer, some cringe, and then you have Ben Tan, who wants to start a riot. At one point he yanks my naragansett out of my hand, chugs it, and flips me the bird. I immediately rip the beer out of his hands, but he’s out of control as he swings some sort of cables around frantically dancing to the Gangbang.
The Gangbang slops over into its filthy climax with the Spanglish rapcore number “Orgullo de Rappers” in which GBG paces around the packed crowd, rapping in everyone’s face and hucking beer cans in the air. As GBG lays his axe to rest in a whirlwind of feedback, Justin piles through with a vicious drum solo that leaves the crowd thirsting for more. More Gangbang to come in the future…
Free Pizza – Free Pizza is among one of the many fantastic artists I have come across in the Boston underground music scene this past year. They’ve been kicking around for a couple years now, but I only recently got turned on to them this past Summer. This is my second time seeing them and I am really digging their sweet, summery, surf sounds. How’s that for alliteration?
Recently, tragedy struck the band in the form of a skateboarding accident resulting in vocalist/guitarist Jesus Vio breaking his clavicle, leaving him unable to play guitar. But, the mighty Free Pizza soldiered on! Jesus keeps rocking on vocals and they have enlisted friend, Ben Katzman on guitar. Ben rocks. EVERYBODY ROCKS!
I am still learning Free Pizza songs, but right now my favorite is their signature bandcamp available tune “Net – Babes.” It’s a catchy little number and every time Jesus sings “we have no beaches” I hear “we have no bitches.” Haha, that’s just what I hear. It’s BEACHES folks, and Free Pizza will be surfing through your skull on a daily basis. Get with the times. http://freepizzarocks.bandcamp.com/
Miami Doritos – By the time Miami Doritos hit the mini stage I am feeling no pain. Who needs pain when you have Miami Doritos? Kurt (vocals/guitar) and Alex (vocals/drums) find the one kid in the audience that is feeling pain and they serenade him/her back to safety with their psychedelic thrash testosterone fueled noise.
Indeed, two pieces are fun. Just to throw that out there. I typically prefer a full band, but Miami Doritos stretch beyond the common limitations that two pieces meet every day. I mean there’s just two of them, but it takes two to tango, so why do you need more than two people in a band anyway?
If you’re looking for a swift kick in the balls and you’re sick and tired of being let down by indie rock losers, then go out and see Miami Doritos and you won’t be disappointed. http://miamidoritos.bandcamp.com/
This was a Kids Like You & Me/KLYAM show and Glen and I are thankful for all of the bands that played, everyone that came out, and the Radio for having us. We also want to thank Storm or Howl, who was originally scheduled to play, but could not make it. They are amazing and you should all check out their beautiful music here: https://www.facebook.com/stormorhowl