Mmmm yeah, let me have a piece of that. That water is so delicious, it goes down so smooth with the Uruguayan voice and words of Mr. Juan Wauters. The song/video before you is called “Water,” and if you dig the folksy, mind bending stuff this cat has brought to you before both solo and of course in The Beets, then you will dig this. The video is directed by Beets/Juan vet Matthew Volz.
Don’t leave just yet. Juan has a new album out on Captured Tracks entitled N.A.P. North American Poetry. Ok, now you’re dismissed.
Bands: Way too many to name.
Date(s): Friday-Saturday, November 8 and 9, 2013
Venue: Cambridge Elks Lodge
Every year the good people over at Boston Hassle throw a big ass music festival featuring over 40 local and national bands. Essentially, they do what they do best year round, just in the most gigantic way possible. This is the fifth Hassle Fest (formerly known as Homegrown) and the first ever attended by us, the KLYAM and we had a shit ton of fun! We are forever grateful for having the Boston Hassle around us and all of the great music they promote on a daily basis, much of which was on display at this year’s Hassle Fest. We have never experienced anything quite similar. Simply one band after another, with no breathing room in between. Exhilarating. Overwhelming. Punk Slime All Of The Time – at least in spirit. So yeah, I set out to write about every single band. This quickly became impossible due to work schedules, train schedules, and our general black out status over the course of the weekend. The following is a recap of some of the bands we saw that left me with the best impression and/or I remember best.
Zebu! – The Zebu! dudes always put on a good show and interact very well with their audience. They use up their twenty minutes bashing out a string of noise rock fused jams including a cover of The Vaselines classic “Molly’s Lips,” which they twist into “Molly’s tits.” Hehe.
Per usual in Zebu! shows, Ted walks through the crowd, shirtless, singing and shrieking about. He parades all the way to the back, until he is practically in the next room.
The band announces that they are happy to be celebrating their tenth anniversary and that they are releasing a greatest hits album on BUFU Records. Damn, pick that shit up. http://zebu.bandcamp.com/
Kal Marks – I’ve been digging Kal Marks for a while now and I’ve seen them with various line-ups over the years, but this is definitely the finest performance I’ve seen from the band thus far. Lead singer Carl has an undeniably distinct voice that just reverberates throughout the room and rests inside your ear drums for weeks to come. It’s like an odd, mumbly/grungy, southern drawl that one either finds appealing or nauseating. Most fall under the former category.
Besides Carl’s voice, the band has really come a long way since I last saw them (though, they were a rare two piece that night, so I’m not the best one to be judging), particularly with the addition of drummer Nick Egersheim (Big Mess). I’ve long been a fan of Nick’s powerful, sledgehammer drumming and I can’t think of a better fit for Kal Marks.
As a whole the band has a ginormous ROCK sound to them, very epic, very big deal. The guitars jostle back and forth producing incredible build ups and break downs. It’s almost intimidating, overwhelming, and strangely accessible, which isn’t a terrible word. Listen to Life Is Murder here: http://kalmarks.bandcamp.com/ It’s one of the best records you will hear all year.
Ed Schrader’s Music Beat – Here’s a band people have been recommending to me/us for at least a year and a half now, and I can certainly see why. This being our first Ed Schrader experience, I am flabbergasted. The place is roaring to the sweet, sublime sounds of Ed Schrader’s Music Beat. Glen comments that he was inspired by Ed before he even heard him!
Ed Schrader delivers a loony bass heavy sonic blast that drills my ears even way in the back of the Elks Lodge. The place is packed to the gills with Ed Schrader nut bags. I specifically love how Ed switches up between soft, serene Frank Sinatra drenched vocals to fast, pummeling screams. Ed makes it a point to make a special shout out to the Profit$ and how awesome it is to have him in our city. There ya go. The set crashed to its conclusion with a sick little cover of KISS’ “Rock and Roll All Nite,” which must have shoved old Ben Katzman into paroxysms of ecstasy. Check out Ed Schrader’s Music Beat here if you want to be shoved into paroxysms of ecstasy: http://edschradersmusicbeat.bandcamp.com/
The Beets – YIPPEE KI YAY MELON FARMER, IT’S THE BEETS! The Beets from Jackson Heights, Queens, NY, back in beautiful Boston for you and me. And I’ve never seen so many enthusiastic Beets fans all in one room before. It is fabulous to see the Elks filled to the brim with hundreds of kids of all ages, well maybe not all ages (in theory there could be!), all surrounding Juan Wauters (vocals/guitar), Tall Juan Zaballa (vocals/bass), and their Amerikan flag proudly hoisted behind them. Alas, no Chie Mori (vocals/drums) this time around :(, but two beets beat it off just fine, no fumblin’, no foolin’ around. There’s work to be done dawg. Despite the large crowd, this Beets set still feels just as warm and fuzzy as ever. Glen and I snag a nice lil spot up front, so close to the band that we are probably freaking them out, no way!
We first saw The Beets at a secret show at Wellesley College (opening for No Age) back in April 2009. I remember thinking they were a strange combination of Black Lips meets Beat Happening. At the time, I didn’t truly appreciate it though and about a year and half passed by before I started listening to The Beets again. The fall of 2010, a time when folks could find me listening to Spit In The Face of People Who Don’t Want To Be Cool (2009) on repeat, especially the song “Broken English.” Boy, did I love that song. I used to turn up the speakers all the way – I eventually broke them – blaring The Beets and tossing a tennis ball against my dorm room walls, annoying the hell out of all my fellow dormatory chums. I guess they just didn’t want to be cool.
Later that summer (2011) we caught The Beets again on a bill with Slumberland’s Brilliant Colors at a basement show in Allston (Problem House). While that show was fine and cozy, I don’t recall kids going apeshit for The Beets, at least not in serious numbers. Tonight is a different story. As I mentioned earlier there are many enthusiastic Beets fans in the house.
Aside from Glen and myself, Hassle Fest organizers Chris Collins and Ben Katzman are among these Beets zealots, rambunctiously dancing and singing along to each and every Beets song. It’s damn near hard not to; with just a couple of guitars these Queens kids can start a riot if they wanted to. The dudes open with Spit opener “Happy, But On My Way” and they play a satisfying mish mash of material from all three of their distinguished albums. My favorites on this evening include “What Did I Do” and “Why Should I Live If I Won’t Fit.” The latter is a fantastic anthem for all of us outsiders, and if you’re a Beets fan you probably are an outsider or maybe you’re an insider, but an outsider at heart or an outsider, but an insider at heart. The Beets can be puzzling. Make you contemplate life while you dance. Keep your mind moving just as fast as your hips, I dig. Lastly, at the request of the audience The Beets plink out “Friends of Friends.” Tis a great show.
Set – List:
“Happy, But On My Way”
“Now I Live”
“What Did I Do” (written as “Why Did I Do”)
“In Your Head”
“I Don’t Know”
“Why Should I Live If I Won’t Fit”
“Knock On Wood”
“Friends of Friends”
Lightning Bolt – Lightning Bolt headlines the first night of Hassle Fest and rightfully so. The legendary noise duo formed nearly 20 years ago and have been deafening the youth over and over again ever since. I first heard of Lightning Bolt at the recommendation of a hip college professor in 2009. I was reading The Catcher In The Rye and this young, hip college professor suggested I listen to Lightning Bolt and Hasil Adkins. It was a fun day. Since then, Lightning Bolt has been on my list of “bands to see before I die.” I’ve seen chaotic videos of the pair (Brian Chippendale – drums/vocals and Brian Gibson – bass) in wrestling masks (as they appear tonight) playing on the floor while a crowd of crazy kids pile all around them. It looked amazing and I wanted in.
Last I heard of Lightning Bolt till now was that they were playing and even selling out the Paradise Rock Club, a large venue, not exactly what I expected from the band. Glad to see they have made it to a bigger level and still retain their gritty, abrasive nature, but I am so happy that my first Lightning Bolt show is here at the much smaller Cambridge Elks Lodge. And as I predicted, the place is full of vast amounts of Lightning Bolts fans, all tucked away in this tiny spot, and balls out bedlam ensues.
I’ve/we’ve never experienced anything quite like a Lightning Bolt show. It’s LOUD as fuck (thankfully I threw on some earplugs, about the second or third time I have ever done this) and it’s just a non stop mosh pit. The ear splitting, constant barrage of noise coming from the Brians’ drums and bass is the perfect soundtrack for mayhem. It’s like a 30-40 minute tornado. Kids even crash into the drum set and it topples over from time to time. By the end of the set, I’m drenched in sweat and I remain soaked for the next two hours. So yes, go see Lightning Bolt if you get a chance.
Fat Creeps – KLYAM Records’ own Fat Creeps are among the most anticipated bands to play the Hassle Fest and by the time they hit the stage (or lack thereof), a solid crowd is built up around them.
Tonight’s set consists of some of the band’s louder, noisier tunes and the whole performance is one of the heaviest I have seen from the trio. Songs include the pop gems like “Fooled” and “Secrets,” which feature some nasty, extended vocals – “I Can’t hear youuuuuu!” as well as some fast punk rockers like “Going to the Party” and “Daydreaming.”
I notice a lot of new faces at this show, I can see that many of them are taking a shine to the Fat Creeps. The seemingly younger crowd produce a healthy, fun loving mosh pit during “Going to the Party,” something that typically doesn’t occur at most Creeps shows.
All in all, one of the best I’ve seen from the band in months. Check out their music here: http://fatcreeps.bandcamp.com/ and pick up a copy of their self-titled 10″ (VINYL) EP from KLYAM Records! http://klyam.bigcartel.com/product/fat-creeps-10-ep-coke-bottle-clear
Spacin’ – Spacin’, some dudes from Philly, some seriously spacin’ dudes. These fellas are fun, laid back, dare I say psychedelic. It’s an overused description, but for all intents and purposes, we’ll stick with psychedelic for now. No need to get into all the hairy, in depth, emotional details. What do I look like their fucking biographer? So yeah, it’s jam, bluesy psych stuff. They’d pal around with the likes of Moontower and Future Days if they were around these parts; a bit dirtier than those folks though. Not downright filthy either.
A pair of hoolgians grab the band’s mic and sing into it while the band continues to solo as if nothing is going on. They all spaced out. Maybe. Space out with Spacin’ right here: http://spacin.bandcamp.com/album/1-1-11-demo
Guerilla Toss – There’s been a lot of commotion surrounding Guerilla Toss lately and they’ve earned it. I mean there’s always commotion surrounding Guerilla Toss. It’s that primal, incomparable rawness that sets them apart from just about every other band I have ever seen and most other bands you will see too. I’m not going to pretend like I understand the technical sophistication that makes up the music of Guerilla Toss. I don’t know much about no wave or free jazz or whatever, but I know what I like and I like Guerilla Toss.
So, instead of throwing out names like Boredoms or another noise/experimental/avant garde band I don’t actually know anything about as a means of comparison, I’m going to stick with what I know: my own gut feeling and Jay Reatard. Huh? yes, I am probably the only person that will compare Guerilla Toss to Jay Reatard. But, I can only speak from personal experience. When I see Guerilla Toss, I get that same, uncertain, somewhat uncomfortable feeling in my stomach that I got all those years ago when I saw Jay all revved up on stage before he passed away far too young. While the late musician played comparatively far more straight forward rock ‘n’ roll than Guerilla Toss, both artists share a similar brutal aesthetic that is particularly amplified during a live show. With Tard and Toss the music serves as a gigantic bulldozer that rolls over you with little to no care for your preservation. There is no conventional verbal interaction with the audience. There is no applause after each song to serve as an ego boost for the artists. There is no time check, time is suspended. In a few simple words, Guerilla Toss is the most confrontational band I have seen since Jay Reatard; the band and the audience together behave as they ought to at a rock ‘n’ roll show, like primitive, savage animals.
Give Guerilla Toss’ new record Gay Disco (NNA Tapes) a listen and check out everything else G Toss here: http://guerillatoss.com/
All around Hassle Fest was a mesmerizing experience, a constant assault of excellent music – both foreign and homegrown. Can’t wait for next year.
Footage shot by our guy Melody Matters
Bands: Ronnie Nordac, Dylan Ewen & The Sulk Scouts, The Beets
Date: November 26, 2013
Venue: The Whitehaus
THE BEETS of QUEENS performing in Boston, two times in about a three week span. I’ll take it. You’ll take it. Let’s make this a regular occurrence – why not? Thanks to Dylan and Ben (of BUFU Records, pictured above) and B.O.W. Shows, The Beets came through, full band/full visuals, to play the illustrious Whitehaus. Opening for the trio was the man himself Ronnie Nordac as well as Dylan and the Sulk Scouts. Now, a legitimate show reviewer might just omit the following, but I won’t: train delays and bus shuttles and all of that kinda crazy shit meant that we KLYAM were running a bit behind. We missed Ronnie and Dylan. And I’m still pretty pissed. But we ran as fast as we could, got pointed in the right direction by Naked Man Simon, and descended into a dark, crowded underground. The Beets were all set up, flash forward exactly one minute. They start playing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
THE BEETS – guitar/vocals Juan Wauters, bass/vocals Tall Juan Zaballa, and Chie Mori drums/vocals – are without any second guessing, simply one of my favorite bands to listen to – live, recorded, on YouTube, whatever. It was back in April 2009 that this band came into my life. Wellesley College opening for No Age. There weren’t many of us there, but you can ask Nick and he’ll tell ya all about it. I remember thinking Beets’ sound was a bit like Black Lips, like Beat Happening, two juggernauts themselves right there. Well whatever the case maybe, a couple years passed by, and we heard they were playing the Problem House. That was something else. I remember Chris begging for some “Broken English” and he did indeed get his wish. Then there was Hassle Fest, still very fresh in my mind. Their set was a highlight, a passionate affair. Ben Katz and Chris Collins going ape shit, singing along.
I will say…………..last night was maybe even more special! People were itching for more Beets, perhaps feeling like they’ve been missing something from their life these past 17 days. It was awesome to be surrounded by several people that may have been turned onto this show from Hassle Fest. Well anyway, with flags draped behind them, lights attached to microphones, The Beets went along. Jumping up and down at the hit of a drum, the pluck of the guitars, head bobbing. Most of the dozen or so songs that THE BEETS played are characteristically short, but characteristically oh so memorable for those of us obsessed. “Happy But On My Way,” “Why Should I Live If I Don’t Fit,” my top dawg “What Did I Do?, and the ultimate lil teaser, shout-along “The Devil” from Spit On The Face; 90 second clanger “Cold Lips,” “Watching T.V,” “Knock On Wood,” and “Flight 14” which they did as an encore (yo if they played more after this, don’t even tell me!!!!!!!!!!!!!) from Stay Home; and from their most recent LP Let The Poison Out, we got “Let Clock Work”, “Doing As I Do,” “I Think I Might Have Built A Horse,” “Friends of Friends”; a pair of covers — Beatles “Day Tripper” and Howard Sterns “Silver Nickles and Golden Dimes”; and a really really really cool song sung by Chie. Am I forgetting some???? Maybe.
The bottom line right here is that The Beets are a must-see/must-hear group. Their minimalist rock ‘n roll ways go deep in that the experience is always like very few I’ve encountered in the many shows I go to. If the Beets were from around here, you’d be reading review after review, and honestly we’d never tire of writing about them. No exaggeration.
CHECK OUT THE BEETS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
You’ll be hearing about the sheer awesomeness that was Boston Hassle Fest and particularly THE BEETS very very soon, but to hold you over, watch them play in Central Park in 2010 opening for Pavement. Damn those unsuspecting folks were in for a real treat.
Monday, November 4, 2013
FAST APPLE Presents: Guantanamo Baywatch @ Charlie’s Kitchen – 9PM – $5 – Portland’s garage surf punkers, Guantanamo Baywatch are hitting up Boston this Monday and speaking of which – word around the campfire is that they have a split 7″ coming out on Suicide Squeeze on December 3 with Natural Child! Several of Boston’s finest are opening this show: Fellow surf freaks, Beware the Dangers Of A Ghost Scorpion!, psych monsters, CreaturoS, and one of KLYAM’s favorite noisemakers, Miami Doritos.
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
pRIMORDIAL sOUNDS Presents: The Middlesex Lounge is hosting its weekly PS nights and this night features the likes of insane doo woppers SKIMASK, anarcho punks Ancient Filth, and Teacher Mother Secret Lover. 10 PM $3
Friday and Saturday, November 8 and 9, 2013
Boston Hassle Fest 5! @ Cambridge Elks Lodge, Cantab Lounge, and Western Front and featuring wayyyy too many rad bands to mention, but if the names Lightning Bolt and The Beets mean anything to you then that alone should make you come out to Hassle Fest. More importantly, over 40 of New England’s greatest bands are playing this fantastic festival. Fat Creeps, SKIMASK, Nice Guys, Guerilla Toss, Free Pizza and so much more! 3PM $15 – $20 Sliding Scale.
Friday, November 8, 2013
Night Beats @ O’Brien’s Pub – 8PM – $10 – Seattle’s experimental garage rockers, Night Beats are returning to O’Brien’s for a fun ass rock ‘n’ roll show. Opening up is one of our local favorites The New Highway Hymnal as well as Thunderbloods and Gymshorts.
If you think we missed any shows that a tru KLYAM gangsta would vant to see. Hit us up at KLYAMEMAIL@GMAIL.COM
Cover of a sixth grade Howard Stern song. From new Hardly Art 7″ (October)
Awesome, isn’t it
1. Black Lips – Arabia Mountain – My excitement for this album grew steadily once the news came out that they were working on one in early 2010. The original release date set for “when school gets back in” was pushed back once Ronson joined as co-producer. As we all know by now, the band had a delightful time working with him. So it’s no coincidence that Arabia is filled with some of the catchiest songs I’ve heard in a while. The sound production is not as muddy and psychedelic as the band’s previous effort 200 Million Thousand; instead, it’s clean and clear. The songs themselves cross the kind of rock and roll terrain that the Lips have always found themselves in, including but not limited to: clangy, jangly, country, punk. This stuff is addicting (for people with an ear for it like me) and tough to remove from the record player. I guess that’s a quality that the best album of the year should possess.
2. Ty Segall – Goodbye Bread – This is another one that I was counting the days until release. Ty’s last record Melted received an ‘honorable mention’ in my Best of 2010, but would have comfortably cracked the Top 5 if I redid my list a few months later. Goodbye Bread was a quintessential summer listen and still holds the test of time as this part of the country is freezing over. The thing that Ty does so well (and has always done so well) is arranging his songs. There’s optimal fuzz, hard-pounding drums, and a lingering bass line in nearly every song at some point and a lot of it is unexpected and fresh. I love the opening of “You Make the Sun Fry,” and the ever so crunchy chorus in “My Head Explodes,” in particular. Goodbye Bread affirms Ty’s status as one of the most talented song writers in modern rock and roll. At the least, it goes to show that noisy relatively straight-forward garage isn’t all the dude is about.
3. Atlas Sound – Parallax – Last year (as I just said above) I made the folly of overlooking some records. Another one of them was Halcyon Digest. Sure, it was among my Top 10, but I didn’t really appreciate as much in 2010 as I should have. With Parallax, I gave it several listens before reviewing it and over the course of listening the real beauty of it really came out. It’s mainly a light affair with several streaks of brilliance that some could dub ‘experimental’ or ‘odd’, but to me is just as pop as anything typically labeled that. Bradford knows catchy better than most. The by product of this is a mass of songs that are inspirational and healing.
4. The Beets – Let The Poison Out – The Beets are one of those bands that I regret not getting more into earlier on in my KLYAM career. After seeing them open for No Age at Wellesley College back in April 2009, I failed to do significant follow up research. Well, now I’d say I’m fairly well versed on the Beets; all the credit to them for infectious releases and superb live performances. Let The Poison Out works so well because it’s just so hard to not be hooked on the Beets raw rock, pop, n’ roll . It makes me want to start pounding on some drums while blasting it loudly. “Doing As I Do” and “I Think I Might Have Built A Horse” are sing-alongs like none other.
5. Mikal Cronin – Mikal Cronin – You can tell this guy has spent some quality time hanging around Ty Segall. Not to say he hasn’t spent quality time with other musicians. The Moonhearts are nice. Well anyway, this album really captivated me as it fits in perfectly on a scale of Ty and Thee Oh Sees. Like those folks’ records, Mikal Cronin is quite instantaneously hooky (with like two exceptions, but those are still real good). Picking favorites is a challenge. I love “Situation” a great deal, because right from the get-go it is extremely fun. The San Fran rock ‘n roll region had quite a 2011.
Shannon and the Clams – Sleep Talk
The Orwells – Remember When
Thee Oh Sees – Castlemania
Girls – Father, Son, Holy Ghost
Natural Child – 1971
Mark Sultan – Whatever I Want
The Hussy – Cement Tomb Mind Control
Davila 666 – Tan Bajo
When you see them on the righthand side of this page you will know that they are The Beets, our Band of the Week. One of the finest bands around, these Queens, New York natives play a soft, but comically meancing brand of Punk Rock that for me draws comparisons to the Maine Coons, Black Lips, Beat Happening, and even Gangbang Gordan. My favorite tunes include “Broken English, “Flower Girl,” “I Think I Might’ve Built a Horse,” and “The Devil,” just to name a few. Below is a link to their myspace page.