Review: Con Tex & Secret Lover @ Midway Cafe (5/6/14)

Babes
Bands: Free Pizza, Babes, Gymshorts, Secret Lover, Con Tex
Date: Tuesday, May 6, 2014
Venue: Midway Cafe (Jamaica Plain, MA)

The evening begins with a quick trip to the Whitehaus to say a few hellos and meet some friendly faces, both old and new. We have a grand old meeting of the minds with a member of the band Babes, whom will be playing later tonight. His name escapes me, but he is the gentleman wearing the Buck Biloxi & The Fucks tee shirt. If you’re reading this, how are you fine sir? We shoot the shit over Jay Reatard, King Louie, and various Memphis/NOLA based bands. All goodness.

After our quick visit, it’s off to the Midway Cafe. For whatever reason, we’ve never been here before, so it’s exciting to finally step foot in the place. I always dig experiencing a venue for the first time. The Midway is fairly spacious with a large bar area, plenty of room to dance, and a fairly big stage. Not bad, we’ll have to come here more often.

Kofi Thomas, a local stand up comedian introduces all of the bands and delivers some amusing comedy of his own before the show and in between acts.

Con Tex – Con Tex is a Whitehaus Family Records folk legend. We’ve been interested in his music for a couple years now and have ran into the man at several hootenannies, but we’ve actually never seen Con Tex live. A high crime indeed.

Tonight, Con Tex is backed by a full band. Altogether, they create a ginormous rawk sound. I picture these men practicing their music off somewhere in a cabin in the woods, playing for hours. There’s this woodsy feel to the music.

I can’t quite put my finger on any concrete comparisons here, but I dig it. At its best, it evokes the atmosphere found in a Girls Of The Gravitron song. Who? Yeah, I know you don’t know them, but check em’ out. I know I also just said that I couldn’t think of any comparisons, but then I did, so what? I could also see folks interested in Led Zeppelin and 70s rock moving to this music. Who knows? There is nothing in this world, but possibilities. http://contex.bandcamp.com/

Secret Lover – Worcester’s Secret Lover always finds their way onto the finest bills. I’ve never actually gone out of my way to see the band live, but I’ve seen them many times, because like I said they often play on sick bills. Regardless, they are a fun, hip shaking inducing party band. They always get people going, thanks in part to lead singer Sally’s never ending enthusiasm. So yeah, they’re a cool band. You should give them a listen or see them around New England, which shouldn’t be too hard because they’re always playing. http://secretlover.bandcamp.com/

Blasts, that infernal train! Once again it kept us from seeing sick rock ‘n’ roll music. Especially our faves Gymshorts and Free Pizza :( as well as NOLA’s Babes :(.  Babes were on tour, check them out here: http://babesuniverse.net/music.php

 

Secret Lover TOURING U.S.A !!!

Worcester spook pop stars Secret Lover are currently in the midst of a long, long tour that goes all over the United States of America. A lot of these exciting shows are taking place at DIY spaces – all the more awesome. Check ’em out, they’re probably stopping by your area! HERE is the FB Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/448603891916930/

1/5- Stamford, CT at Seaside Tavern w/Final Frontiers and Jacques Le Coque
1/6- Pittsburgh, PA at ANDREW’S BASEMENT w/ The Final Frontiers + General Fantasy
1/7- TBA. DETROIT OR COLUMBUS CONTACTS GET AT US!
1/8- Bloomington, IN at Rachel’s Cafe w/ The Final Frontiers, Two Bands from Canada + Bad Psychic
1/9- Chicago, IL at The Plains Project w/ The Final Frontiers, Bill Tucker + TBA
1/10- Milwaukee, WI at Center Street Free Space w/Nevada Greene + TBA
1/11-Minneapolis, MI at Pine Cone Castle w/ Bill Tucker + Grow Fangs
1/12 DRIVING DAY ALL DAY
1/13- Missoula, MT at VFW Hall w/ TBA
1/14- Olympia, WA w/ (maybe!) Dog Jaw + TBA
1/15- Seattle, WA at Victory Lounge w/ Neighbors and The Webs
1/16- Portland, OR at Firkin Tavern
1/17- Eugene, OR at The Wandering Goat w/ The Dobis
1/18- Oakland, CA at A HOUSE w/ NO BABIES + Baus +Straight Crimes
1/19- LA at Complex w/ Snow Wite + Their Only Dreams + Skin Town
1/20- HANG IN LA
1/21- Phoenix, AZ at Pages Per Content launch party!
1/22- HANGING WITH DAVE’S UNCLE
1/23- Denver, CO at Rhinoceropolis w/ TBA
1/24- Dallas, TX at King Camel w/TBA
1/25- Little Rock, AR TBA
1/26- New Orleans, LA at down some alley with a generator w/ Gay Bar Mitzvah! + TBA. THIS IS JOHN’S BIRTHDAY.
1/27- Gainesville, FL TBA
1/28- Savannah, GA at Hang Fire
1/29- Athens, GA at Go Bar w/TBA. THIS IS DAVE’S BIRTHDAY.
1/30- DAY OFF
1/31- Charleston, SC at King Dusko w/ Southern Femispheres
2/1- Washington, DC TBA
2/2- Baltimore, MD TBA

And of course listen to The Lasso – six song EP they dropped last month!

Review: Snow Wite, Secret Lover, Fat Creeps, Miami Doritos @ A Basement

JULY_2013PAULWELLER 003

Bands: Snow Wite, Secret Lover, Fat Creeps, Miami Doritos
Venue: A Basement In Boston
Date: Friday, July 26, 2013

I think arriving to shows early is a very great thing. I’ve always felt this way. Going to a stranger’s basement to see a rock ‘n roll show early is even better. In that time between when the first band comes on, you can get to indulge yourself in talking to other attendees and the bands, and drink your own beers. This particular show didn’t kick off ’til much later than planned, but when domes came down the stairs, they came in bunches.

I was really excited to hear Miami Doritos, being a fan of previous performances of ThighMasters and Nice Guys…other bands of Kurt and Alex, respectively. Kurt belted out these tunes and Alex crushed drums. I remember being immediately impressed by the jams. It was like seeing the full Ty Segall Band drive forth with brief tantalizing punk tunes. These songs were really catchy – at least to ears that can readily identify hooks underneath loud loud noise. Like other fascinating duos, Miami Doritos made the most out of just a little. For local garage punk, I’d stick these dudes right up there in the ranks. I got a tape of theirs that is bound to be reviewed on this very site soon.

The KLYAM obsessed/debut KLYAM Records signees Fat Creeps played second. I haven’t reviewed them in a while as that has been the forte of Chris, rock ‘n roll’s youngest dirty old man. According To Jim. The 24th time (seeing them live) is the charm. Not to say the other 23 weren’t the charm, oh you bet they were. My eyes had not previously witnessed the Creeps in a true basement setting, Starlab not included. Seeing them at a rate now three times that of the Black Lips – an incredible feat given our steadfast devotion to those dudes – I sort of know what to expect of a Fat Creeps performance. Yet not really. There’s Gracie switching between her three guitars, by all means something we take for granted given the outrageously amazing sonics which I call tasty swells that are procured throughout the set. So you know, tonight brought all the classics of old (like on the EP), several new-ish jams that deserve their own acclaim, and a cover – ‘Sex Beat’ by The Gun Club, which brought back old memories of last summer when I heard the Creeps play it for the first time. I really dug seeing the Creeps in this setting, the unmanned PA system doing its job just as nice as any old sound guy.

Secret Lover gathers their instruments. This Worcester band is one that I’ve seen before. And I’ve listened to them after the fact as well. I can’t help but chuckle to myself as I’m standing inches away from the singer who is making rounds in and around the invisible stage. I say they’re like the Barbaras or Ariel Pink instrumentally with a spooky, Disney Rock n Roller Coaster vocalist. I’m blown away compared to the first time I saw them. I’ll take more time out of my daily regiment to recall this truly bizarre group. Even bizarre doesn’t seem like the right word, it’s just that in this day and age, rock ‘n roll combinations of Secret Lover esque proportions are rare. Maybe the closest modern comparison could be Screaming Females, if only in the singing department.

Last up is the headliner from LA. This is Snow Wite. The logistics of this band, the members more specifically, include three members of Secret Lover as backing musicians to vocalist and guitarist, Andy. Snow Wite’s an interesting character for sure. There’s a legion of what I presume are genuine fans from a distant past (one year, tops) standing at the front, gushing over Andy for the duration of the set. These folks are having what appears to be the time of their lives. On the other side of me is Chris, who is not impressed one bit by Snow Wite. My stance on this issue is sorta like how I was standing: middling. I saw all the music videos before this show and I had some suspicions. It seems too intense to be purely pretentious or jokestery so I didn’t make any superficial judgments (as I try not to). The music itself, for the most part, is a blend of late ’90s mainstream pop rock and classic guitar rock psychedelia. Don’t count me in as a meaningful fan of either of those, but I did appreciate some of Snow Wite, particularly his flashy guitar work.

Concert Review: Fat Creeps, 28 Degrees Taurus, Secret Lover, Electric Street Queens @ PA’s Lounge (11/17/12)


Bands: 28 Degrees Taurus, Fat Creeps, Secret Lover, The Electric Street Queens
Date: Saturday, November 17, 2012
Venue: PA’s Lounge (Somerville, MA)


Act I: The Electric Street Queens– I have seen countless two pieces in my day, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a two piece consisting of two ladies. I’ve seen two dudes, one dude and one dudette, but never two dudettes. Electric Street Queens, where have you been all of my life?! Electric Street Queens is Melanie Bernier ( also of Fagettes- I admired her drumming in the past) on drums and vocals and Coco Roy on bass and vocals, so basically the greatest duo of all time. Simon & Garfunkel ain’t got shit on you! This is some real good shit, don’t walk away…. if I could hold a live LP from these gals in the palm of my hand, I’d be a happy man. But, for now I have to cherish the moment. And indeed it was a great moment. Like The Coathangers, but better and sassier. Simple, stripped down songs- very catchy, fun, playful/nasty sense of humor. I can relate to that, being a sick bastard myself. They don’t seem to take themselves too seriously, which is always refreshing to see. Like I said, funny songs about beefcakes and bruises, puke and scum, you know the usual Thanksgiving family dinner convo. There is also plenty of in between song banter, such as cracking jokes about diapers and other sexualized comments that I love to hear.  The band’s closer “Doncha Want To Work At The Brewery” is an amusing, macho, testosterone drippin’ anthem that demands the universal question stated in the title. During the song, Coco makes her way out to the crowd, rockin’ right up against KLYAM’s very own Glen! I’m sure he’s now looking for employment in one of our local breweries.

Set List (written on a brown paper lunch bag, no lunch though):
“Roadkill”
“She’s Gotta Bruise”
“Brew ha-ha”
“Beefcake”
“Puke”
“Molly Brown”
“Divorce Court”
“Scum”
“Brewery” (“Doncha Want To Work At The Brewery”)

Some links: http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Electric-Street-Queens/454252407931289?fref=ts
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AoRyl_S9z-k&feature=relmfu


Act II
: Secret Lover–  The whole band sounds delightful, for lack of a better adjective, okay we’ll go with peachy keen, sure that works, I prefer that. Secret Lover sounds fairly dynamic, especially the lead vocalist. I enjoy watching her slither on and off stage, twirling the mike with ease. She has a loud, powerful voice that sounds familiar, but I can’t quite explain what or who it is. I recognize the last song they play, “Rubber.” It’s a catchy, little number and the backing vocals (“bahhh buppp bah bah bah”) are memorable.  Check out their music here: http://secretlover.bandcamp.com/


Act III
: Fat Creeps– This is my first time seeing the Fat Creeps at PA’s Lounge. YAYYY!!!!  Before this moment in time, I had to solely rely on You Tube videos (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YkFImOf5kZI) Tonight, they switch things up by opening with what are in my opinion (and I can imagine others) their strongest songs “Nancy Drew” and “700 Parts”. These are tunes that typically fall towards the end of their sets, but I must say I like seeing them at the front of the set, starting the show on a solid note. In general, the sound is excellent, and much of this is a debt to PA’s sound system, but it’s not just that. I think this is simply one of the Creeps’ best shows, at least one of the best I’ve seen. I announce this 700 times on the ride home as Glen can testify. Okay Chris, settle down, have another Narragansett please. My favorite part of their performance is the transition from “Dad Weed” to “Daydreaming,”  it’s practically one big ass pop song, it’s continuous, one right into the next. Creeps stand outs, “Fooled” and “Secrets” and two new numbers “Go to the Party” and the cute, little instrumental closer “Back to School” round out the set. The latter can be seen below, shot by good old Bernie.

P.S. I can’t forget to mention that there is a brief “O-o-h Child” (Five Stairsteps) interlude at some point during their set. I’d love to hear a full fledged cover! Whenever I hear this song I think of the movie Over The Edge (1979), y’all know this flick? No? Know it.

http://fatcreeps.bandcamp.com/

Act III: 28 Degrees Taurus–  Our second two piece of the evening, 28 Degrees Taurus headlines tonight’s show. The band consists of  Karina Dacosta on drums and vocals and Jinsen Liu on guitar and vocals. They have a very atmospheric/pop song dynamic to them that I liken to that of No Age, and no not just because they are also a vocals/drums  and guitar duo. I mean there certainly is that element,  but the mellow, atmospheric  meets hard edge punk feel strikes me more. Glen hears this as well and makes a comparison to early Wavves, particularly the live show circa September 2009 when it was just Nathan Williams and Zach Hill in the band. I do not walk away with this impression as much, but I guess that’s because I wasn’t cool enough to catch that Wavves show way back when brah. Anyway, I dig the first few songs, but after a while they start to fade on me and I feel a little bored. Listening to their bandcamp page now, I feel less bored though and I enjoy some of their songs much more. Overall, the set just seems too long, but the band appears to be having a lot of fun and that’s all that matters. Not to mention, various attendees are intensely fascinated by their set. Lastly, I am just finding out now that this group has been active since 2005, which is pretty rad, what’s also rad is the fact that they list artists as diverse as The Carpenters to Lightning Bolt as influences on their facebook page. Right on!
Check out their bandcamp here, you can listen to a shit ton of releases from over the years: http://28degreestaurus.bandcamp.com/

Most of this review was written under the influence of Genesee, Busch Light, and The Cardigans’ “LoveFool” on repeat.