Review: Yankee Power @ Rosebud (5/11/13)


Bands: The Stampede, Yankee Power, Dave Crespo’s After Party
Date: Saturday, May 11, 2013
Venue: Rosebud (Somerville, MA)

The Stampede – I hardly feel it. The Stampede are loud and they do their rock thang, but it’s rock, not rock ‘n’ roll, that ‘n’/and makes a key difference. You ever hear anyone describe Nobunny as “rock?” I haven’t. It ain’t rock high school either, it’s Rock ‘n’ Roll High School. Alas, The Stampede are a “rock” band playing typical, generic rock music you hear on modern, mainstream radio. To quote a pal of mine also in attendance, they have their Sublime song, their White Stripes song, their Chilli Peppers song. Now, to be fair, that very well may be the way you swang and in that case, The Stampede might be your thang. For what it’s worth, a large chunk of the crowd dance their asses off, so they must enjoy it.  Not the worst band I’ve seen, but I’ve seen so much better. For the first couple songs, I can give them a chance and nod along, hey the singer/guitarist looks like Jared Swilley, but after a little while all I can think is “damn, this is too normal!  Give me some punk slime, give me The Electric Street Queens! I’ll even take a whacked out Gangbang Gordon Karaoke session over this, please just make it stop, it’s been too long!”  Thank God,  my boys, Yankee Power are up next.

Yankee Power – I felt a kinship with vocalist/guitarist Jeff Gallagher the moment I met him at keyboardist Ben Tan’s party last August. He seemed like a gentleman, a Beatles man’s kind of guy, like a 21st century Beatle. I finally had the opportunity to see Yankee Power, which also includes Thomas Calvert (vocals/guitar), Mark Fallon (vocals/bass), and CJ Kanouff (drums) on December 29, 2012 at the Middle East Upstairs and that show was fantastic, featuring a cover of my favorite Beatles song “Hey Bulldog.” I told you Jeff was a Beatles man’s kind of guy. Well, nearly five months later, that charm is still intact and they are showing off some new songs to boot.

The Yanks, as I like to call them, are a fun live band and they play several of their classics from last year’s magnum opus Zoo Traffic. “Swing” is a slick, 50’s styled rockabilly number and one of the best from the aforementioned LP. “Real Folk” is also on display tonight and features some sweet vocals from Thomas Calvert. The band also play some new cuts from their latest release, Patriot Act [EP] including my favorite, “Hot Honey Jazz.” I can recall the band performing this song at the Middle East show, though up until this evening I haven’t listened to the tune since that show – nonetheless the song is so catchy, when they start playing it I recognize it immediately. “Hot Honey Jazz” has a smooth, 80’s vibe to it and could arguably be Yankee Power’s catchiest/finest song to date.

Yankee Power live is a pleasant experience and I can’t recommend the band enough, on stage and on record, but this performance is a bit sloppy, which is unusual for the band. Often sloppiness is an intoxicating ingredient in the rock ‘n’ roll dish, but in this case, The Yanks are fairly clean folk, so the sloppiness doesn’t really help. With that being said, it doesn’t overly hinder their performance either and all of their great qualities emerge beyond some troubling, technical difficulties. Besides having exquisite songs, this quartet has a lighthearted, fun loving sense of humor, which can be quite entertaining for the audience. I always get a kick out of Jeff Gallagher’s dance moves, whether it be his smug booty shaking or the way he awkwardly positions himself up against his band mates. In either case, it’s a subtle, silly characteristic that I thoroughly enjoy about this band.

Listen to Yankee Power, so you can know, love, and sing along to all of the songs at the next show. http://theyankeepower.bandcamp.com/

Goddamn, I’m trying so hard not to make my reviews so flowery, but some of you cats are just too damn GOOD!

Dave Crespo’s After Party – Dave Crespo and his After Party have a lot of enthusiasm and attempt to make the Rosebud feel like a party for sure; Dave Crespo even pats my head, for whatever reason people like to do that. I say attempt because like the first band tonight, this is not the kind of music that sets my rocks off. “Generic Rock” is what I call it, it’s like the FM Rock music on the radio. No thanks.

I heard that this is the last show at the Rosebud. Is that true??? If it is, then RIP. I saw some of my favorite bands here: Fat Creeps, Fagettes, and now Yankee Power. I hardly knew ye, but so long. Twas great while it lasted.

Concert Review: Fat Creeps, Earthquake Party!, Fedavees, Fagettes Halloween Show @ Rosebud (10/13/12)

Bands: Fat Creeps, Earthquake Party, Fedavees, Fagettes
Date: Saturday, October 13, 2012
Venue: Rosebud (Somerville, MA)
Comments:
Act I: Fagettes as Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood– The Fagettes are one of the hottest bands in Boston right now, so naturally I am more than excited to see them live for the very first time! Tonight, however, they are not the Fagettes… instead we are taken back a few decades to a simpler or perhaps weirder time when the music you heard on commercial radio didn’t just flat out reek like a steaming pile of feces. Oh no, one could flip the dial to the soulful, sexy voice of Nancy Sinatra and my main man Lee Hazlewood.  Well, those good times haven’t ended and the band recreates at least some of that good old pop magic of yesteryear. Furthermore, I appreciate the way they inject their own modern day aesthetics into the mix, adding some deviant flavor to an otherwise innocent set. By the way, I can’t forget to mention that while the band (and each band this evening) plays a creepy Horror flick is projected in the background complementing their freakiness. For Fagettes, I believe Night of the Living Dead is playing, but I might be wrong on this one? Overall, I dig this performance and I really love their set up too, which includes saxophones and two (standing!) drummers. Yeah, fuck all those lazy drummers that remain seated whilst performing! Dave Goldberg would be proud… Anywho, I’m getting off topic, but I can now testify that The Fagettes are one helluva a live band and I hope to see them playing original material in the near future. http://thefagettes.bandcamp.com/ Yo, check out this badass video and all its badass brothers and sisters on You Tube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m9-Q7g44-fA

Act II: Fedavees as The Wipers- I have to admit I am not too familiar with either Fedavees or The Wipers, but I have known of the latter since I was a young fella, thanks to Mr. Kurt Cobain, whose band will be making an appearance later. My ignorance aside, Fedavees are nasty and deliver a kickass set that evokes passionate singing in at least a few of the Rosebud’s attendees, so they must be doing something right. For their performance, I believe it is Blade that has the honor of being backdrop # 2 tonight. I’d rather not see Blade again, but I would enjoy attending another Fedavees show. Check out their Bandcamp page here: http://thefedavees.bandcamp.com/

Act III: Earthquake Party! as Nirvana– As soon as I see Earthquake Party hit the stage, it brings me back to August 2011, the first and last time I saw Earthquake Party, until now. I remember these dudes and their sheer, abrasive batch of noise pop tunes. To make things even spookier Evil Dead is playing in the background! EP is definitely a solid band to be covering Nirvana, my early teenage wet dream band. And while I don’t climax on this evening, I am truly invested in their performance, particularly enjoying the various heavier, more aggressive Nirvana cuts such as “Scentless Apprentice,” “Radio Friendly Unit Shifter,” and my favorite Nirvana song “Drain You.” Earthquake Party dish out all the screeching vocals, endless feedback, and lack of concern for the well being of one’s own equipment necessary to fulfill a proper Nirvana set. Personally, I would have liked to have seen a bit more of the band’s own personality shine through the covers, but nonetheless a fun and riveting performance that thankfully forces the crowd into a frenzy. Just check out this video here, in fact the whole set can be seen on You Tube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yS18SeNZlA0 Boy, if I just had five minutes alone with that Where’s Waldo motherfucker…. In the meantime, I’ll have to listen to this: http://earthquakeparty.bandcamp.com/

Act IV: Fat Creeps as The Ramones– It’s always beautiful when two great bands come together, like a marriage made in Heaven. Essentially two of my favorite bands have merged on this evening when the Fat Creeps perform as The Ramones! Not to mention one of my all time favorite films, The Shining, is playing in the background. The creepiness begins when the trio blast right into Ramones signature “Blitzkrieg Bop,” and indeed the kids are losing their minds as Joey Mariam gleefully shouts- moshing and bopping and plopping along to the mile a minute classics. “Beat On the Brat”  is next and in fact – with the exception of a few tunes – they play most of the Ramones’ debut album. Arguably, The Ramones are the greatest rock ‘n’ roll band of all time and certainly a long time favorite of mine, so hearing all these songs executed in a nearly flawless fashion hits real close to home. It’s easy to get caught up in Ramones hysteria (and I do), but in many ways this is still a classic Creeps performance; I especially love their harmonies in songs such as “Judy Is A Punk” and “I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend.” With this in mind and just the overall joyful, positive response from the crowd, I think their set is the finest of all tonight. Admittedly, I am excessively biased in my position, but biases aside I am glad everyone is having fun, cause isn’t that what it’s all about anyway? Ahh, I’m starting to sound like a Little League coach now. Seriously though, sickest Fat Creeps show I have ever experienced!
P.S. I dig Jim Leonard’s exclamation: “God Bless George Bush!” I’m sure Johnny would be proud of ya!
http://fatcreeps.bandcamp.com/