Review: Guerilla Toss, SARALEE, Giving Up, Bad History Month @ JP Drive-In

Date: October 26, 2013

Bad History Month: Bad History Month is solo Sean History Month, singer and guitarist of Fat History Month, who you all know as Boston’s dearest underground band. The crowds descend downstairs, greeted by the warm presence of Sean, his guitar, amp, and bass drum. The bass drum seems to be something of a new addition for Sean as he has anointed us the crowd a focus group for his percussion aided performance. Sean’s gentle playing is a beautiful thing, full of depth and intensity. The liberating, calming sound that is a History Month set is so distinguishing, so relaxing. I kept thinking to myself, what a pleasure to be in a basement right now listening to this set. The only tune that I recognize is “Fucking Despair” from the same-name-can’t-recommend-enough album so don’t count me in as an expert of the nitty gritty for tonight’s set. Which might not be a bad thing – the mood generated was most notable and left us feeling better than we did thirty minutes prior.

SARALEE: I won’t speak for Chris, but I think he’ll agree with me here – Saralee is a band we hold near and dear. We first saw Sara [vocal/guitar] and Lee [drums] perform as Saralee back on May 26, 2011, opening for Peach Kelli Pop at the Problem House in Allston. That was our first Boston basement show. From that point forward – roughly – our eyes were opened to the magic of the local scene. Seeing Saralee in a grimy basement is all I know of seeing Saralee first hand. So when they took to the non-stage last night, I was brought to a rather familiar place. A cozy place. The tunes of Saralee are like small pieces of nostalgia, a soundtrack to things that might have occurred in childhood or yesterday or in the future. They are uplifting songs, at least to my hears. The only comparison I can really come up with is early OCs – if in light tone and playful minimalism. They played a dozen or so jams, most topping out at around a couple of minutes. There was a time during the winter months of both 2012 and 2013 that I spent hours for several consecutive days listening to Saralee’s DEMO at work. You’d think I would get sick of it, but it just put me in high spirits…continuously. That was the case with SARALEE tonight. I loved every minute of it, Lee’s artistic drumming synced with Sara’s ultra reverby delivery. This is a band that has won hearts across the nation in a tour culminating in this very basement. I’m sure of it. Their self-titled LP just released on 12″ hand-screened vinyl is stunning. Listen there and pick up a copy or pick up the copy and smile wide! It’ll be a favorite.

Giving Up: One of the most unfortunate things that can happen for a big fan of live music is showing up late and paying the consequences of being squished in the back. This is most trying in close quarters. So there we go, I don’t think I ever got a solid view of Giving Up, but thank God for my ears. I heard ’em! I dug what I heard, bizarre folk sorta like Page France but noisy, more demented. Catchy! A perfect complement to Saralee being all hazily distinct and stuff. Memory music. Also, I’ve been informed that Lee was on drums. Nice Lee. Check these Midwesterners out: http://givingup.bandcamp.com/ !

Guerilla TossG-Toss can just about do anything they damn want and like most things so very irresistible, crowds will follow! Every show I’ve seen Guerilla Toss play has been push and shove, so beware people who like to take things easy. There’s not another Guerilla Toss in the world – Cassie, Peter, Simon, Ian, and Arian – make/display some of the craziest stuff I’ve ever heard/seen. Punk rock stripped to its most feral motions, radically spun with noise, glitches, consistent freak outs. It’s a very held together thing though. I’m always amused just by being witness to what is going on and the domineering clutching fist enveloping the crowd, making them suspects of a short duration assault. YA i’m down for this! http://guerillatoss.bandcamp.com/

Review: Miami Doritos, Dylan Ewen, Zebu, Fat Creeps @ JP Drive In

Two Piece
Bands: Miami Doritos, Dylan Ewen, Zebu, Fat Creeps
Date: Friday, August 16, 2013
Venue: JP Drive In

Miami Doritos – I don’t see any Miami or any Doritos, I feel like rioting, I feel like inflicting pain upon each and every one of youuuuu KLYAM readers.  Just kidding mom, I love you.

The Miami Doritos are best appreciated in a basement setting such as this JP Drive In, though I am completely full of shit because I have only seen them in basements, so I have no means of comparison anyway. I guess I just like the intimate feel, which is what typically makes two pieces special to begin with, and tonight the Doritos are kicking off this whole two piece hootenanny.

The Doritos are rough and crunchy, but not difficult to swallow, they go down rather smoothly with a watery beer and a broken heart. In terms of comparisons, well I know I say this often when I see two pieces, but they remind me of KLYAM favorite No Age, mostly in the instrumentation and odd pop sensibility.

I suppose I should also mention that the Doritos consists of Kurt (Thigh Masters) on vocals and guitar and Alex (Nice Guys) on vocals and drums, they are good dudes and if you haven’t checked out those bands then I don’t know what else to say, you better get on that shit brah. And while you’re at it, quit being a pussy and listen to Miami Doritos here: http://miamidoritos.bandcamp.com/album/scoop-dreams
And hey, also watch this vid of them at Allston DIY Fest: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H-GJFO_5VrY

Dylan Ewen –  Dylan Ewen, yeah you know Dylan Ewen, in a way you may just be Dylan Ewen. Every teenager and twenty something is – and maybe even some of you thirty somethings. Dylan likes to write songs about bitches and booties and sadness, all topics that have been covered a gazillion times in pop music long before any of us were even twinkles in our daddy’s eyes. Yet, with his brand of garage spunk Dylan brings back a bucket of fresh water from the old stereotypical rock & roll well.

Dylan sings/screams and rages on guitar while a fellow named Chris sings along and brutishly slams the drums behind him. Together they smash through a fuzzy set of Dylan Ewen tunes including “Lead Me On,” (watch the crazy music video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xl-jSFP_6DY&feature=youtu.be). It’s a catchy little number that will stay with you forever like herpes. I myself was drunkenly singing this song the other night and didn’t realize it until a friend pointed it out,  it’s that powerful. The dudes also unleash a sick ass cover of one of my favorite Ramones songs, “The KKK Took My Baby Away.”

If I may slide down a slippery slopey rant for a few lines, if you would be so inclined… Dylan Ewen is like if Blink 182 sounded garagey and not like pop punk shit. It’s like all of his songs are about things that suck, but they are all fun and happy at the same time. Content wise it’s all frustration and disappointment . And that’s exactly why I dig the joy that comes out of my speakers when I listen to his bandcamp. That’s my argument against all the sad bands that sing about jerking off alone at night – or something else “dark and mysterious,” I don’t know I don’t pay attention. After a while, if I get bored I just make up my own plot. Those bands seem to be not having as much fun and make sad, sad songs. You can still make songs about sad stuff and still have fun, and having fun can be the focal point of the performance. You picking up what I’m putting down? Dylan Ewen does that like a true rock ‘n’ roller. Listen to all of his songs about youth and sex and such: http://dylanewen.bandcamp.com/

ZEBU – So, I saw these two dudes before at their Fat Creeps Split 12″ Release show at the Discovery Zone a few months back and this performance is not too dissimilar.  The pair, which consists of Ted Lee (vocals/drums) and Steve D’Agostino (vocals/guitar), put on a fairly entertaining show that really makes use of the small, intimate basement space tonight. At one point, Steve playfully waltzes through the crowd and pops a squat on a conveniently open chair in the middle of the room. He sits back and relaxes as if the song has to wait for him. It’s antics like this that makes me think a Zebu show in an above ground venue would be comparatively dull or at least lose some of its charm. Either way, their oddball take on pop music (?) is strong enough to endure in any setting.

Zebu also recently toured in Europe, which appears to be a rare feat for most artists of their underground nature. So, kudos to them. Here watch a clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0OHC6Zmt1g
http://zebu.bandcamp.com/

Fat Creeps –  A few years from now when I am an old man, about 27, I will be standing alone at a show, nursing a Narragansett and trying to relieve myself of an ailing hangover, when some young scrawny, pimple faced lad, about 16, will approach me and ask “what were the early Fat Creeps shows like?” to which I will respond, “fuck off, get me another beer junior. Let’s go find your sister.” Fortunately, I am still young and only 70% bitter, so I will enjoy these last few years before the remaining 30% takes over.

Fat Creeps or should I say Fat Dweebz as they are calling themselves tonight round out this two piece shabang. Gracie strums the guitar and sings while Mariam takes care of the drums and sings as well. I’ve never seen them as a duo and I may never again, but it’s pretty cool, a different take on their usual three piece sound. I miss regular drummer Jim Leonard, but Gracie and Mariam do a fine job with some of the Creeps originals as well some sick covers; I swear they play The Vaselines’ “Monsterpussy,” but I haven’t confirmed this.

Both women are decked out in some eye catching spandex suits, it look likes they are competing in American Gladiators or WWF (fuck WWE, it’s still WWF to me).

Check out their tunage here: http://fatcreeps.bandcamp.com/

And while you’re at it, order their 10″ (VINYL) EP from our very own KLYAM Records! http://klyam.bigcartel.com/

Review: Paul Weller, Matthew Ryan @ Royale (7/28/13)

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Bands: Paul Weller, Matthew Ryan
Venue: Royale
Date: Sunday, July 28, 2013

I’ve seen shows at the Royale with a decent degree of irregularity since the posh club opened its doors in 2010. No complaints as far as the performances were concerned; King Khan and the Shrines, Deerhunter, The Walkmen – all bigger names that have pleased me nicely over the years. Seeing Paul Weller fits right in there, especially in a standing room only setting like this one.

Kicking off the night was Matthew Ryan – one man with an acoustic guitar. He said it’s not easy being one man with a guitar opening for a legend such as Paul Weller. I agree. I’m not sure many solo performers of Ryan’s variety could do an adequate job of entertaining me in this kind of setting. He did seem to garner some interest, but there were just as many people chitchatting among themselves and ignoring the performance as there were genuinely curious onlookers. His set didn’t do anything for me, but I didn’t expect it to.

Paul Weller – I’m no expert on him, but seeing him a couple of times before this, and listening to his solo albums since I was very young, I’ve grown very appreciative of what he’s done. This was definitely the most fun I’ve had at a Paul Weller show. I would say that this might just be how other attendees feel as well. It may have been years since some of these people have gotten the chance to see Paul up close and personal. Having him and his band (made up of another guitarist, a bassist, an organist, and two drummers) wail away just feet in front of me is something I won’t forget. From this mini-tour’s itinerary, it seems like Paul made it a point to play at smaller sized venues, at least in comparison to the gigantic structures he regularly plays in his native country. As far as what the audience was treated to… about twenty songs from his old Jam days up through his latest Sonic Kicks LP. I was familiar with most of Paul’s set (shout out to setlist.fm for preparation), but the Stanley Road back-to-back of “Whirlpools End” and “The Changingman” is my favorite. Eight hundred 50-somethings chugging $13 mixed drinks may agree with me there. Paul came back for an encore and finished things off with customary Jam hit “Town Called Malice.” We were all pulling for a second encore, but hey that’s alright, we enjoyed a very memorable hour of music.

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

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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.

Review: Nice Guys, Ex-Cult, OBN III’s, The Tampoffs @ Great Scott


Bands: Nice Guys, Ex-Cult, OBN III’s, The Tampoffs
Date: Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Venue: Great Scott [Allston]

Maybe I haven’t been looking hard enough, but I don’t think that I’ve seen a ‘stacked’ purely garage/punk bill at Great Scott in months. That changes on this Tuesday night as all of these bands are teeming with the kind of energy and showmanship that most bands I see live unfortunately lack.

The Tampoffs take the stage and word around the band’s fascist book page is that this is their second to last show. One can hope that isn’t really true as The Tampoffs have been a local R’n’R staple for a long time now. I’m not exactly in a position to talk about the time I saw them at the RAT – but I will say I first saw them open for Nobunny at Church a couple of years ago. All I can remember from that show is that some moshing erupted and the band was loud and forceful. Not sure what they’ve been up to between that show and now. I didn’t know they played Gonerfest 6. There’s YouTube footage. It’s great. What makes up for my lack of knowledge of their songs is the feeling of watching the closest thing to the Oblivians that isn’t actually the Oblivians. This is a compliment. Tight, fun, times. The song toward the end that the drummer sings stands out as my favorite.

OBN III’s step up onto the stage. I didn’t see this happen, but I know it did. As I’m making my way back towards the venue (after stepping outside), I hear the band playing. I’m missing out on some crucial action. I hope I didn’t miss out  on much, but when I walk up to the front I see dudes and girls going wild. Familiar faces just really enjoying themselves. Several had seen OBN III’s before – I can tell – and several had not. Orville jumps into the audience, touches the heads of dudes like Joey Roach, all while shouting out instant jams like “Runnin on Fumes” and “You Wanna Bitch?”. I’m not even really familiar with OBN III’s, but I remember those really sticking out. So for people that know the band, I can imagine that these are incredible moments in show-going history and for others, it’s an equally satisfying performance. You can’t stand around the stage bored. You’ll get punched in the nose.

So after some pushing and shoving and falling to the ground, that kinda stuff doesn’t stop after Orville and crew finish. Of course, there’s the obligatory clearing of equipment and setting up of new stuff. Ex-Cult is cut from the same cloth as OBN III’s – energetic frontman included in the package. It’s all rock ‘n roll. I’d say Ex-Cult is more punchy, stompy, and darker than OBN. There’s more atmopsheric/cacophony guitar heroics. Swell Maps minus the Brit accent. I’m definitely won over as a fan. “Mister Fantasy,” their new single, is really good. Definitely a highlight. I’m fascinated by the antics of guitarist JB Horrell. Dude was making these crazy faces all throughout the set. Seemed like he was having a great time. They all were. We all were.

Some party poopers make a run for the doors after Ex-Cult. Not really sure what was going through their minds. Gotta stay for Nice Guys. Gotta miss trains for Nice Guys. I would think. Well the truest of rock ‘n rollers stuck around and I think we can all agree we were in for yet another treat. Nice Guys are a perfect fit for this bill as they pack in a lil bit of all the sweet qualities of the previous bands. It’s safe to say that “Cop Walk” is always a KLYAM favorite – it stirs things up and is memorable as can be. Of course there’s the perennial “Burrito Boner” and the specially dedicated “Free Slice” to Ryan from Fagettes. Good times all around. Add a dose of excitement to your night life and catch these guys always.

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.

Review: The Orwells & Palma Violets @ Brighton Music Hall (5/6/13)


Bands: The Orwells, Palma Violets
Date: Monday, May 6, 2013
Venue: Brighton Music Hall (Brighton/Allston, MA)

Before I kick into this evening’s performances, let me flash back a few months to Wednesday, February 27. The Orwells, an up and coming rock ‘n’ roll band from Chicago, made their live debut in Boston at T.T. the Bears, where my KLYAM co-conspirator, Glen, a long-time Orwells fan/early supporter (https://klyam.com/2011/01/31/band-spotlight-the-orwells/) was enthusiastically in attendance and ecstatic to finally meet the men behind one of his favorite bands. Local pizza punks, Nice Guys opened. It was a great show (https://klyam.com/2013/03/03/concert-review-the-orwells-tt-the-bears-22713/) or so I am told, for I could not be in attendance that night. Alas, for the last few months Glen has had the bragging rights to say he’s seen The Orwells live and I have not. Now, as the Spring semester is coming to a close, I am outside the realm of academic requirements and ready to take in one of the music world’s most promsing bands: The Orwells

Not to make it seem like The Orwells are this untouchable force, they are actually just mellow, fun loving dudes, appreciating their time on the road, being able to play for fans – new and old – and spreading the gospel of Black Lips stylized rock ‘n’ roll. Like last time, as Glen noted, the boys are playing a quick round of pool before they hit the stage. I briefly chat with Mario Cuomo (vocals) and Matt O’Keefe (guitar) and we discuss the Chicago punk scene/HoZac Blackout Fest, their current tour with Palma Violets, and opening for our favorite band, the Black Lips this past New Year’s Eve at One Eyed Jacks in New Orleans (http://artofcl.com/features/photos-nye-black-lips-king-louies-missing-monuments-orwells/).  But, before diving too in depth into a conversation, Matt politely says, “alright man, I’m going to do my thing, we’ll talk to you after the show.” Five minutes later, The Orwells  are up on stage.

They blast right into Remember When classic, “In My Bed.” The whole band rocks like they are seasoned veterans, it is nuts to think that this is a band that formed just a few years back. The quality sound system (minus the vocals, which aren’t bad, but could be better) further amplify the loud, firece delivery of The Orwells.

Lead vocalist, Mario Cuomo best captures the rock’n’roll/garage attitude of the band. He is an energetic performer and he never slows down for a moment. His charisma brings even more life to the group’s already vibrant songwriting. Mario rolls his eyes back like they are two inches away from dropping out of their sockets. His showmanship nicely complements his vocals, which are naturally loud, baritone, almost doomy. Unfortunately, the mics are not nearly loud enough to capture his vocals and other members of the crowd agree with me on this account. You can hear pretty much everything he sings, but I want it to be a bit higher. Overall, not a big deal and merely a flaw of the PA, not the band.

My favorite part of the show is when they play my top Orwells song, “Halloween All Year,” a slow, epic ballad that shows how Orwells can expand far beyond the typical, youthful garage band making noise. It’s like a dark, slow dance number from a derranged 50s-60s pop group meets the poppiest cuts from New England based garage rock revivalists, The Migs and Atlantic Thrills. The band also plays a new song entitled, “Other Voices,” which can be heard here – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uS9VrCmM3iI. This is one of the quintet’s best songs to date, drawing comparisons to crisper, cleaner sounding “garage” bands such as Arctic Monkeys, The Strokes, and The Libertines, while still maintaining some punk slime flavor, perhaps easier for a Spaceshits fan to digest. The band closes with a cover of The Stooges’ “I Wanna Be Your Dog,” and to quote a fellow attendee, “What else can you ask for?” Gentlemen, well done.

We came to see The Orwells. Just to make that clear to anyone reading this. We don’t know much about Palma Violets, but it’s only 10 P.M. why not stay for the headlining band?

Palma Violets are a UK based rock band, and I stress rock. No “and/’n’ roll.” If rock ‘n’ roll is like The Ramones soaking up the sounds of the 50s and 60s with bubblegum, surf, and garage, then just plain rock is like hard rock or to be pejorative, generic rock. That’s how I feel about Palma Violets. Very generic, too commerical sounding, almost like wannabe rock stars or wannabe Arctic Monkeys or Editors. They appear to be too in love with themselves, like this is the greatest rock and roll show ever! I appreciate the enthusiasm, but I am not feeling it. I feel no connection with these songs at all. Most of the crowd, however, does. People mosh and dance and sing along to the songs of the apparently great Palma Violets. It looks like a mini soccer riot on the dance floor of the Brighton Music Hall. Seriously, one of the most enthusiastic, yet small, crowds I have seen in a Boston club. Despite my apathy, Palma Violets put on a fun show (for the fans) and they crowd surf and play their instruments in the crowd at times, and I’m jealous. I’m jealous that I can only muster a few headbangs, for this isn’t The Migs, this isn’t my music. Or as the English would say, this isn’t my cup of tea.

Here’s a video of The Orwells performing “Mallrats (La La La)” from their last Boston show at T.T. The Bears (2/23/13).

Review: Nice Guys, Teenanger, The Soupcans, Thigh Masters @ Discovery Zone (4/12/13)


Bands: Nice Guys, Teenanger, The Soupcans, Thigh Masters
Date: Friday, April 12, 2013
Venue: Discovery Zone (Allston, MA)

Thigh Masters – Correct name? I hope so. Thigh Masters aka Kurt opens the festivities with some mind bending one mon noise.  Noise – kind of a vague term, but I think noise enthusiasts would dig this. It certainly is loud, so I will call it noise to make it easy for all of us. Kurt Thigh Masters plays guitar and I believe he is accompanied by a drum machine. He also wears a mask and within this mask is a microphone attached to Kurt’s mouth a la Lightning Bolt/Black Pus. I’ve never seen this set up before, so that’s a plus. With that being said, I feel like I’ve seen this performance before and I’ll see it again, just different names. That isn’t to say it’s bad. Kurt Thigh Masters is cool and any local venue/DIY space would be happy to have him.

Soupcans – I’ve always loved Canada. Only been there once and like a good, little American I watched pornography on late night television and ate McDonalds every day. I also bought a present for my grandmother. Soupcans are from Toronto and they are tall, kind-hearted gentlemen. They too enjoy icy cold beers, rock ‘n’ roll music, and perhaps late night pornography and fast food. They will shotgun a beer with your brother, make love to your sister, but when they come home at night they’ll kiss their mothers, and I’m positive that when they are away they buy gifts for their grandmothers.

Fine gentlemen, who aggressively knock your ass out cold on the dance floor with their punk rock music that just greeted my ears in recent weeks. The nicest guy in Allston, Matt Garlick (shake his hand, buy him a drink, give him a high five) introduced me to the mighty Soupcans at approximately 9 P.M. on Friday, March 15, 2013. Fresh off a Nice Guys/Fagettes tour himself, Garlick spoke of a band heading on tour to Boston in the following month. Not usually one for band recommendations, I didn’t know what to expect. I know the guy that recommends bands all of the time doesn’t like band recs, Slutever. What happened next, however, was “a great moment in rock ‘n’ roll history.” Only hearing half of what Garlick said, I was instantly hooked when he mentioned that one of the Soupcans (at this point I thought he was saying “suit cans” too) sings through a beer can! And then when I found out that they were Canadian, my God, that’s it. No more descriptions needed. Perfect band rec. Most kids will tell you something along the lines of “they’re post-punk fused with psych garage punk.” No! We all do it though. But, beer guzzling, swinging, rowdy, Canadian nuts is all I need. It planted an image in my head of the almighty Soupcans. Bandcamped it up and here I am now. Ready to rock ‘n’ roll and you can’t erase those words from history.

Jumping back to this evening, Soupcans open with “Shocked,” a pulsing slammer that shows off the trio’s (classic guitar, bass, and drums y’all) ability to produce fast, pummeling, difficult to describe, but undeniably catchy, raw, punk. Punk in the purest sense. Bestial, no nonsense, straight to the point, simple, but not dumb. No fancy smanchcy bullshit, but not sloppy either, you’re gonna wanna kiss and tell after seeing this band. Lead singer Dave’s vocals are monotone, reminding me of hardcore punk legends, DOA and Joey Shithead’s vocals – also Canadian! Low, baritone, monotone  but simultaneously chaotic, exciting – shouts and screams that captivate my heart. The guitars smoothly roar like a serial killer that poetically hacks his victims to death. Right up in your face – raw – but calculated like the work of Jay Reatard in just about all of his bands. The drums are equally frenetic, drummer Gideon slams his kit with extreme precision, kind of feels like my attempts at playing drums, the thrill of hearing the stick smack the snare drum like a slap across the face, except this guy actually knows what he is doing and can control his destruction.

Soupcans play a sound show and they bash out some of my favorites from their LP Good Feelings http://thesoupcans.bandcamp.com/releases including “Shocked,” “Outlander,” and “Deadbeat.” Great to meet the dudes, especially chatting about other sick Canadian bands like The King Khan & BBQ Show and Vomit Squad. Nick knows his Alice Cooper too haha! Great performance, but I wish more people would move and mosh and what not, but still a fun show. Next time will be a wild, drunken, Soupcans riot.

Teenanger – I’ve been calling them Teenager this whole time! What a waste of breath. Ahh well, in the line for the bathroom I notice a bald dude wearing a yellow Suburban Lawns shirt. I vaguely know who they are, late 70s punk band I think. I ask the dude if this is correct and he confirms this. At the time, not knowing much about Teenanger other than the name, which I fucked up anyway, I do not realize who this man is. Moments later, I notice he is singing with his band Teenanger. They blast through a fast, 70’s punkish set. Their music fits very well on a bill with Soupcans and Nice Guys. The singer is enthusiastic, prowling around, hopping into the crowd, making use of the living room space around him. I dig it, but Glen seriously digs it, even more than Soupcans. Speaking of Soupcans, Teenanger also hails from Toronto, Canada. https://soundcloud.com/teenanger

Nice Guys – Nice guys, eh? Just how nice are these guyz you may ask. Sweethearts. Pizza punks from Bawlston – proudly reppin’ the Boston underground. Tonight, the foursome celebrate one of the best first years I have seen for any band. I thought they had been around for a few years. Over the past twelve months, these pizza punks have played many a show, toured twice, and won over the hearts of Kids Like You & Me, in the process making a name for themselves around town.

Nice Guys are like The Beatles. Four Beatles, four Nice Guys, and everyone’s got their favorite. Ahh, I like them all: Drummer Cam (rhymes with Jam, easy enough), Alex “sick moustache dude” Alexson on guitar, Matt Garlick on guitar – hey isn’t that the guy from Fagettes?!, and Jake Gilbertson – vocals/bass. He reminds me of a young Jared Swilley (Black Lips). Hopping and bopping about, right slab in the middle. He and his bandmates get the crowd moving a little bit with their Germsian take on sludgey garage punk. Alas, we KLYAMERS, have to make it to that damn train station, so we only catch the first few tunes. I want to say I hear “Pizza Bong,” one can only hope. You can hear it and all the jaw droppingly exquisite Nice Guys numbers here: http://niceguys666.bandcamp.com/album/mean-songs-demo

Here’s a big shout out to some of the kewl cats we ran into tonight. So Onam/ Fast Apple (who put on the show! like their page – https://www.facebook.com/fastapplebooking?fref=ts), Jen Knight – really nice to meet you!, DJ John Freeman, always spinning the classics like Vivian Girls, Daniel Johnston, George Baker, Tina Turner, you name it.  Tim, if you’re reading this, keep drinking those 40s son. Then, my boy Ian, you and your acid tales. You represent the youth of America, the wave of the future. And of course, the Prof$t, who is always lurkin in the shadows at the best shows.
Here’s a video from this show of the nice dudes playing my favorite NG song, “Cop Walk.”

Review: The King Khan & BBQ Show, Bloodshot Bill, Aykroyd @ The Sinclair (4/10/13)

APRIL 2013 013

Bands: The King Khan & BBQ Show, Bloodshot Bill, Aykroyd
Date: Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Venue: The Sinclair (Cambridge, MA)

First time at the Sinclair, place gives me the willies! What is this monstrosity before me? I almost feel like I’m at some quasi House of Blues. For a few moments, I forget where I am, I think I am in some other city, some foreign land. Then I see King Khan and Mark Sultan/BBQ at the merch table and all is well. I am in the right place, it’s April 10, 2013 and The King Khan & BBQ Show are back in Boston! Last time, we  saw these two on stage was way back in October 2009 at the Middle East Downstairs. Great times! One of the finest shows we have ever witnessed. Since then, we’ve seen King and Mark separately several times as King Khan & The Shrines and Mark Sultan solo, respectively and those were all kick ass shows, but KKBBQ is superior. After saying some hellos, we make our way to the stage.

Aykroyd plays first and you may remember them as The Needy Visions, y’all know. The one from that Maine Coons song, “Fast and Easy Livin.” Maine Coons, you know, one of the greatest bands of all time. Quick, here’s their bandcamp page: http://themainecoons.bandcamp.com/album/s-t We’ll just act like this never happened. But, enough of those dogs, I mean cats, I mean that dude, ehhhh, Aykroyd/Needy Visions is the topic of discussion and they totally rule, looking like mighty beings on top of this massive stage in front of me. I look up and see lead vocalist/guitarist Dan Shea making bizarre faces and awkward, uncomfortable, high pitched shrieks that are oddly appealing. The whole band sounds top notch, like a blend of 90’s “college rock,” right cause everyone who plays music goes to college – err like Dinosaur Jr, Sebadoh, and other bands of that era that didn’t hail from our great state of Massachusetts mixed with classic rock.  It’s ginormous  Sam Potrykus flails about and passionately rocks out on bass, whilst he boogies around in his funky, unusual dance style. With all of this eccentric behavior in mind, it brings me back to nearly three years ago when I first saw The Needy Visions opening for No Age. That was a sick performance, but I enjoy this one even more.

Sam and Dan are the masterminds behind Bodies of Water Shows, Boston Hassle, and the Boston Counter Cultural Compass. They represent the Boston underground better than anyone else and best of all they have a killer taste in music. Dan name drops the Compass, which is available at the merch table and the band expresses their gratitude for being on this bill tonight. Dan says, “We love King Khan & BBQ, A LOT.” So, do we, Dan!  You guys rule and promote so much great music around here that I probably would have never heard of otherwise. In fact, any Boston garage/punk slime KKBBQ fans reading this, if you haven’t heard of Boston Hassle or B.O.W.  check it out. I’ll bet you a PBR that you will dig at least one if not numerous fun loving rebel rousers making plenty of punk slime noise in your very own backyard. Here’s some links:
http://www.bostonhassle.com/
http://bowaac.blogspot.com/
http://www.bostoncccompass.com/
http://theneedyvisions.bandcamp.com/

And then there was Bloodshot Bill… Bloodshot Bill has appeared on my list of people to see live for at least two years now. Much like King Khan and Sultan, who he has collaborated with in Tandoori Knights and The Ding Dongs, respectively, Bill is no bullshit, real, old school, greasy rock ‘n’ roll. No trendy, mindless fluff; it’s not a haircut band to paraphrase one, Ian St. Pe. Though he does slick his hair with his own brand of grease known as “Nice ‘n’ Greasy!”  But, greasy hair aside, also like his Canadian comrades, he is an incendiary performer, and tonight is a blistering, steamy show.
Bloodshot Bill has the Mark Sultan set up: stomping the drums with his feet, clutching his guitar real, real close, and melting everyone’s brains with an incredible voice. It’s an obvious comparison, considering both men are collaborators, they play solo, and they play this raw, original style of rock ‘n’ roll. The original rock ‘n’ roll as it was meant to sound. But, the comparison should end there, because they are actually quite different. Bill channels Chuck Berry, Elvis, country, and rockabilly with a nasty, fiery punk edge. Dude sweats and spits unlike any other performer. He spits more than that lady in Heavy Cream!

What I love about Bloodshot Bill is his interaction with the audience. He can hold a crowd real tight and when he wants to let them loose, he can. When he tells them to shout “YEAHHHH!” They do it on command. It’s hard not to obey Bill, with his enigmatic, unique sounding voice. His range is unbelievable and he switches back and forth from high to low, low low. Sounds like an animal at times. How is a human making these noises? It’s not just Bill’s voice, however, that entices me. The musician sounds like a full band all by himself and he puts his entire body and soul into his performance. He shakes his hair violently and taps on his guitar, banging on the strings. You can tell he’s having fun, everyone’s having fun, that’s the idea. One woman even throws her black bra up on stage haha. Definitely one of the more distinct and skilled performers I have seen to date. Catch Bloodshot Bill live or on record. Check him out here: http://www.bloodshotbill.com/

The King Khan & BBQ Show is one of the original KLYAM beloved bands. King Khan and Mark Sultan/BBQ are legends, responsible for much of the music I have come to love over the years. As usual, the duo come out on stage, dressed up in some wacky, colorful attire. King Khan stands towards the front of the stage, on guitar and vocals, while Mark sings, plays guitar, and plays drums with his feet. Together, the two rip through three albums worth of rock ‘n’ roll classics, getting everyone in the Sinclair to dance and mosh in the process. KKBBQ represent the fun spirit of rock ‘n’ roll as a whole. Their mixture of punk and doo wop is unmatched. Some bands may be able to master these styles and combine them in an effective way, but this duo’s music ranks up there with the best of the best themselves. Sultan’s crooning is comparable to that of Sam Cooke, while King Khan’s deep, doo woppy voice harkens back to 50s groups like The Five Satins.

In between songs, there is constantly inner band banter in which the pair crack jokes, amusing themselves even more than the crowd itself. You can tell these two are good friends and there’s a sarcasm to them that is pure entertainment. The set tonight is not too different from the one we experienced three and half years ago, which isn’t a bad thing, because the band plays most of the songs a die hard KKBBQ fan would want to hear. Some of my favorites include fast, punk driven bohemoths, “Fish Fight” and “Zombies,” sing a long, doo wop anthems, “Waddlin’ Around” and “Invisible Girl,” or soft, gentle, love songs such as “Into the Snow,” which display Sultan’s vast, intimidating vocals. Then there’s the straight up funny songs like “Tastebuds.” I love screaming out the filthy  nonsensical lyrics to this song (“Tastebuds on your cunt/So you can lick my booty from the front”), but I get an even better kick out of hearing most of the kids around me completely fucking up the words. They also play one of my favorite songs from Invisible Girl, “Truth Or Dare,” a great, heavy punk number with some of King Khan’s best vocals tonight. I don’t recall this one from the previous Boston show, so it’s a pleasure to finally hear it live.

The moshing is fun, definitely a sweaty, beer flying frenzy, but not nearly as chaotic as I expected. I never lose my sense of place or whatever. Per usual, King and Mark are exciting, lively performers, but I feel like King is more animated when he is performing with The Shrines. Mark, on the other hand, seems to be more fervent in this setting than when he plays solo. That’s just my reaction anyway. I’ve seen Mark Sultan only a few times and he’s just as passionate, but I feel like he is more entertaining when he interacts and plays beside King Khan. In some ways, they bring out the best in each other. At the end of the day, these two are legends and they bear their souls for rock ‘n’ roll. This show is a lot of fun, but not nearly as marvelous as that initial KKBBQ performance I experienced several years ago. Still, I’m always grateful to see one of my favorite bands live and I look forward to the next show.

Set List (in no particular order):
“Fish Fight”
“Zombies”
“Too Much In Love”
“Waddlin’ Around”
“I’ll Be Loving You”
“Into the Snow”
“Pig Pig”
“Hold Me Tight:
“Treat Me Like A Dog”
“Dock It #8”
“Invisible Girl”
“Tastebuds”
“Truth Or Dare”
“Shake Real Low”
“Why Don’t You Lie”
There may have been more…

KEWL CATS: This is the latest segment in KLYAM live reviews. A shout out to the new and old pals we encounter at shows. It was terrific seeing Eric and Kelly from the Atlantic Thrills, Ryan from Fagettes, Justin from Earthquake Party!, Dan from Aykroyd/Needy Visions, and of course Kiyal, the KLYAM guardian angel. Y’all rule.


This was the first song I ever heard by The King Khan & BBQ Show!

Concert Review: Peach Kelli Pop, The Fagettes, Great Valley, The Scamps @ Radio (3/27/13)


Freak Flag Presents
Bands: Peach Kelli Pop, The Fagettes, Great Valley, The Scamps
Date: Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Venue: Radio Upstairs (Somerville, MA)

The Scamps – The Scamps are a straight up fun band. KLYAMER Glen likens them to the Meat Puppets and I can definitely see that. Country mixed with pumped up rock and a slight leaning toward the bizarre. As I noted in the past, The Scamps play a fast set, with each tune rolling right through you.  They open with “Stuck On You,” a catchy little ditty that I recall standing out to me last time I saw them all the way back in February of 2012 at the Middle East Upstairs.  That was an intense performance, not so much from the band, but particularly from some diabolical rice krispie treats given to me from KLYAM buds, Atlantic Thrills. Goddamn, I had a love/hate relationship with those suckers (the treats that is). Mini psychedelic experiences aside, I remember “Stuck On You” being highly memorable, so much so that I thought it was a cover of a 70s  hit song that for some reason I really dug. Long story short, The Scamps are a powerhouse band that will sonically punch you square in the balls, when you least expect it. http://scamps.bandcamp.com/

Great Valley – These two chaps from Brattleboro, VT are up next. They are quite different from The Scamps, and well all the bands on this bill. Though, they do have some definite pop elements to them like the other bands. Great Valley is kind of awkward and off kilter, but hey what two piece isn’t? Wait, did I say awkward? I meant off the hook. Certainly, some fun weirdo pop stuff here. They remind me of Sunset Rubdown and High Places in that mellow yet equally deranged sort of way. Unpredictable. Go on a trip with Great Valley here: http://thegreatvalley.bandcamp.com/

The Fagettes– The Scamps and Great Valley are kewl cats, for sure, but The Fagettes are a KLYAM reader’s kinda band. They dish out vintage rock ‘n’ roll that will make your head spin and your hips shake. I’ve been falling in love with their recordings, but the live show is a whole other monster. There’s five of them up on stage (is there a stage? I don’t think so) and it feels overwhelming, like they’re all gonna grab you or eat you, and maybe in a way their music does. Tonight is no different than my previous Fagettes experiences in that it is a sweaty, physical, and visceral performance filled with hit after hit. I know I sound like some jackass for saying “hit,” and you know what I am a jackass, but pop music is pop music to me and when I go to a show I like to hear my favorite songs, which are like pop hits in my little world. For the most part, Fagettes deliver, playing fast punk rock ‘n’ roll numbers like “Water, Tea, and Alcohol,” “Gonna Die Out Here,” and “I Wanna Feel Good,” with the last one really showcasing vocalists, Ryan Major’s and Melanie Bernier’s abilities to scream their lungs out. So glad, Fagettes play along side Peach Kelli Pop on this wonderful evening, since they are perhaps the most fitting Boston band for the bill. They have mastered and in some ways transcended the kind of garage rock, for lack of a better term, that fans of Peach Kelli Pop, Burger Records, Infinity Cat, and similar bands on or affiliated with those labels would seriously dig. That’s your cue to click on the bandcamp page: http://thefagettes.bandcamp.com/

Peach Kelli Pop–  Ohh boy, Peach Kelli Pop! I can’t tell you how ecstatic I was when I found out that Peach Kelli Pop was hitting up Boston.  We saw Peach Kelli a couple of years back and it was marvelous. Just look at this video from Melody Matters: (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M-OQSlRc0kY). Those were fun times, but tonight is even better. Peach Kelli aka Allie plays guitar and sings with the rest of her band, bashing out a set chock full of bubble gummy rockers from both of  her albums, which I highly recommend.  Classics like “Do the Eggroll” and “Doo Wah Diddy” are instantaneous and fun to dance to – well that can pretty much be said about all of the songs. I loved hearing those songs before and they sound even better this time around.

In general, this performance is superior and I think the sound system at Radio helps out a lot, but I’m sure relentlessly touring over the past couple of years doesn’t hurt either. The set is like a quick injection of sugary pop goodness. Fast, catchy, rock ‘n’ roll; the songs arrive, tackle you, and then vanish. You’re singing along to “Panchito Blues” at one second and before you know it the riff to “ABC” hits your ears. Other stand outs include “Julie Oulie,”  “Dreamphone,” and “Knockout.”
When the band is about to dismantle their equipment, the crowd demands an encore! To wrap up the show Peach Kelli unleashes a somewhat slower tune and a personal fave in “Lover,” I seriously can’t get enough of those “ooooo ooooo” vocals, alright I know it just looks like Froot Loops in writing, but you have to hear it! I can’t imagine not liking Peach Kelli Pop. What kind of sick, depraved individual despises this kind of music? Killjoys, curmudgeons, mean people, cops, metalheads, ehhh whatever I’ll shut up now, just listen:  http://peachkellipop.bandcamp.com/

Normally, I would be posting a set-list here, but some joker took it before me. Doesn’t he know that I’m the guy that grabs set lists in this town?!

Big shout out to the masterminds known as Freak Flag. They put on this shindig and they put on TONS of  nasty happenings in Boston and they’re the coolest DJs. Get yer grimey hands on their newsletter, it’s zick. http://www.freakflagboston.com/