It was a hardcore bill at O’Brien’s on
Wednesday that got us out. As we got there the group on stage
was on its last song. Near the end of that the singer ran off
the stage through the crowd and out the door. The band was still
playing. People were laughing. It reminded us of March 2005 when
Richard Nolan of Third Rail did the
same thing but in his case he ran out of the club into a frigid
The next band up was Compassion Fatigue. The
drummer was dressed in a mere G-string. (Oooo-
While the band was setting up there was a tired looking guy in
front walking around. Turned out he was the singer and while he
wasn’t the most athletic guy in the world he had a lot of
energy and it was all centered on his vocal chords. He was
pacing on the floor in front of the stage and occasionally getting
in people’s faces. He reminded us of Larry
Lifeless of Killslug at times.
We learned to love him.
The band’s hardcore sound was chaotic but they were actually
disciplined. They were starting and stopping on a dime.
It was all worked out. They did a lot of segues that were led
by the bass player who was nimble fingered even though his sound
was distorted and aggressive.
The singer kept stealing the spotlight. Lyrically it was a lot
of F this and F that and we heard him yelling about a nightmare
at one point. They faked an ending and then the singer flailed
around and there was a sort of coda. Entertaining.
Ritual Blade was serious hardcore. It
was that fast, loud and intense version that makes you feel like
you are getting hit with something. The lead singer was bare chested
as he sang like his life depended on it. You can get the idea
bandcamp page but this is best experienced live.
Nothing compares with getting the full brunt of the attack.
There was some moshing and at O’Brien’s there’s
not a lot of room but it was controlled enough.
You always wonder how a singer like this one can yell at the
top of his lungs for so long. This guy was full bore and only
slacked off a bit on the last song as he was drained. Alas that’s
the video we have but it will still give you an idea of how they
sound. This was a band to catch again.
It was back to O’B’s the next day.
We walked into a fullish club and it was hopping with the Nice
Guys doing their lose garage punk. It was their
last song. We misjudged the begin time and missed the set. We
do wish they would post the set lists on the O’Brien’s
site. (hint hint hint)
Zip Tie Handcuffs
We did get to catch another set by Zip Tie Handcuffs.
We love this corner of psych pop punk that they've made their
own. The lyrics can be oddball yet interesting, like what
happens when you fall down a hole that goes through the earth?
They have the ability to summon up a frenzy with the first note.
It’s a combo of the busy drums and the way the bass player
hits his notes with up and down strokes. There’s a lot of
chords too. There is a lot of creativity and rule breaking in the
songwriting. A song lurches in an unexpected direction or even
just stops cold. Sometimes the chords seem to change in a
mechanical way, like three steps up – one over – back,
then three down. And they know how to make that work. They're
a clever bunch. The crowd gave them a vocal response like they
did with the Nice Guys.
We try never to miss one of DJ Easy Ed’s
The Midway had one on Saturday as part of this month’s Dirty
for the club. It was a lineup of four
Rockabilly bands with Easy Ed spinning cool tunes in between.
As Ed was spinning his records we were trying to ID them. They're
on the unusual side so we fail. We wish he would posted a set list
somewhere so we would some way to knowing what he was playing.
Other than that we just listen and love it.
Roy Sludge started the night. Roy performs in many
configurations. This night it was a trio. He had Johnny
Sciascia (of the Cranktones) on bass.
The guitarist was Jim Scoppa, who was the first
in a line of superior guitarists for the night. He played
fills all through the songs and his touch was smooth as silk. He
was in Duke Levine territory and there aren’t a lot of people
in that territory. His playing earned many rounds of applause.
Outside of the fact that you are in guitar heaven Roy has his
humorous truck songs. He did his hits like Back the Truck
Up an ode to the trucks going down Storrow Drive and hitting
the low bridges.
Roy is known for his naturally low voice. It’s always a
shock how low he can go no matter how often you hear it. At one
point he closed a song with must have been his lowest note.
That note is the lowest tone we have ever heard issued by any
living entity. It rattled your innards.
The Fearless Leaders
The Fearless Leaders from Worcester added English
Invasion into their Buddy Holly influenced rockabilly. They went
back and forth. The English Invasion material was very much in
the early Beatles Cavern style. The other material was in the
Buddy Holly/Tex Mex area. They covered Farmer John by the Premieres
but transformed it with their own distinctive bass line.
They had the same good time attitude as the other groups tonight but stuck out because of the their distinctive combo of influences.
The Barley Hoppers
Providence’s Barley Hoppers do their thing
without a drummer. In our regular punk world this is heresy but
when they do it we don’t even notice. How the hell?
It’s that they play with such easy grace and natural rhythm.
This is music that makes you feel good. They do Lonesome Town
that captures it’s wallowing-in-solitude mood. On this
guitarist Ray Reniere places notes slowly bent
with the whammy (on his orange Gretsch) that mimic the way Rick
Nelson approached a note. Ray has tons of fills that he rolls our
They do Seven Nights to Rock (also done recently by
the Connection) the 1956 ditty by Moon Mullican. They go into
country with a covers of Johnny Cash twice (Ring of Fire was one
song) and Honky Tonk Blues by Hank Williams. The
Barley Hoppers did what all the groups did on this bill;
make sure the song is quality and sung to perfection and then
lay on a plethora of guitar riffs. It works for us.
The Cranktones are the headliners and they are
the royalty as far as New England rockabilly is concerned. You
don’t have to be told how good guitarist Cranky
Frankie Blandino is, it’s obvious after seconds
of playing. It’s not just the riffs but the way he
delivers them with the light touch of a virtuoso. He brings
in his knowledge of rockabilly, surf and jazz and they get blended
together for his jaw dropping playing.
They did an instrumental (don’t know the name) which had
some deft playing that recalled the best of Nokie Edwards of the
You think you might get guitar fatigue after the three previous
groups but when the Cranktones startup it's all new again. The
bass player was Johnny Sciascia
who did double
duty which was also the case for drummer Stan Kozlowski
who also played guitar for the Barley Hoppers.
We were glad the club was full up for this bill. We tell
you every time to hit these Easy Ed shows and we’re telling
And in other news ....
Again we want wish The Midway a Happy 30th as they go intot heir
2nd week of their Dirty 30 Celebration!! Here's a great article
on the club from WBUR: Read
Here's some good shows coming up .....
July 17 July 30: The
Midways Dirty 30th Anniversary Celebration Spectacular (see
below for particulars)
July 26 (Wednesday) Thrust
Club, sister, Death Cloud and Double Star are at The
July 26 (Wednesday) Black
Beach, Bike Thiefs, The Owens at O'Brien's
July 26 (Wednesday) Hammydown,
Colbis the Creature, Ozlo at O'Brien's
July 27 (Thursday) Actor|Observer,
Born Without Bones, No Hope / No Harm, Backwards Dancer
at Great Scott
July 27 (Thursday) Brain
Solvent Propaganda Presents: Una Bèstia Incontrolable,
Bombers, Video Filth, Innocent at The Middle East Up.
July 27 (Thursday) The
Upper Crust, Supersuckers and Salem Wolves at ONCE
July 27 (Thursday) Hambone
Skinny, Detroit Rebellion and Jon Bach are at The Plough
July 28 (Friday) The Scandals,
Neutrinos, Burning Streets at Dusk in Provi...early show 7-10PM
July 28 (Friday) My Aim
Is True turns 40 - A Night of Elvis Costello covers with three
SUPER Groups you won't want to miss - members include Anthony
Kaczynski, Jonathan Screnci, John Sheeran, Melissa Gibbs, Charles
Hansen, Tom Baker, Linda Shore- and more!! At Sally O'Brien's
check otu the
July 29 (Friday) The
Knock Ups, Endation, Dalton Deschain and Girl On Top
at PAs Lounge
July 29 (Saturday) The
Scandals, Burning Streets, Michael Kane & TMA and The
Lot at The Midway - afternoon 4-8PM show
July 29 (Saturday) The
Electric Queens record release party with pals Creaturos,
Beware the Dangers of Ghost Scorpion and Dandy Sherman
at The Lilypad Inman Square. 10PM start.
July 29 (Saturday) The
Real Kids, Muck & The Mires, Watts and Gene Dante & The
Future Starlets night 13 of the Midway Dirty 30!!
July 29 (Saturday) Night
Birds x Peacebreakers, Conmen x Western
Addct, Wound Man at 55 Bishop Allen Dr, Cambridge,
July 29 (Saturday) Out in
wistah at Ralph's - State of the Union
And further out....
July 30 (Sunday) Fast
Times Nervous Eaters, BarRoom Heroes, The Revilers -4-8PM
at The Midway!! Night 14 of the Midway Dirty 30. at The Midway
August 5 (Saturday) Brian
Young's A Crash Course for the Ravers has Carissa Johnson
- on WMFO 91.5 from 1-4PM
August 5 (Saturday) Coffin
Lids, Downbeat 5, Other Girls, Bunch of Jerks at Sally O'Brien's
August 5 (Saturday) The
Silver Mirrors, Instant Shawarma, The Facc-Tones and The
Sound Down Cellar at The Midway
August 5 (Saturday) The
Knockups, The Caught Flies, Black Hatch and the Labor Pains
are at The Chit Chat Club in Haverhill
August 5 (Saturday) Rancid
and The Dropkick Murphys are at the Brockton Fair! 4:30-9Pm
out the FB page
August 6 (Sunday) Loser's
Circle's Record Release Show! they are back from their US
tour and celebrating their new release on CD and vinyl! at The
August 6 (Sunday) World/Inferno
Friendship Society with Diablogato and Stars Like
Ours at The Middle East
August 8 (Tuesday) Weakened
Friends are at O'Brien's
August 8 (Tuesday) Poptone...which
is Daniel Ash and Kevin Haskins from Bauhaus,
Tones on Tail and Love and Rockets are at The Paradise
August 11 (Friday) The
Way Ways (EP Release), Today Junior, Andy Sadoway
at Great Scott
August 11 (Friday) Michael
Kane and the Morning Afters, Scotchka, Kreisau Circle, Kato Kaelin
August 12 (Saturday) They're
on the road again - OC45 Summer Tour Kickoff! feat. El
Escapado, In The Meantime at the Middle East Up for an early-ish
show 6:30 PM - 11:55 PM
August 12 (Saturday) The
Modern Voice, Black Helicopter, Wrought Iron Hex, Scuzzy Yeti
at The Midway
August 13 (Sunday) Pinkerton
Thugs all ages punk show at The Middle East = also on the
bill The Warning Shots and Duck and Cover. This
is a daytime show- 1-6PM Check the FB
page for more info as it is posted.
August 13 (Sunday) - This
is Bob Colby's 65th Birthday Extravaganza - it is also
he LAST show in Boston!! Viva Gina, DYR FASER, The Land of
Enchantment, Kingdom of Love, Cold Expectations, Carissa Johnson
(solo acoustic), The Very, Randy Black and the Heathcroppers
and The Wrong Shapes. At Once in Somerville and the show
runs 3PM until Midnite!
August 14 (Monday) The
Silver Mirrors, Spo, Scotty & The Gang at Great Scott
August 15 (Tuesday) No
Time, Concrete Elite (tx), Savageheads, Cinderblock and
Piss Dogs at Ralph's in Worcester.
August 16 (Wednesday) Salem
Wolves, North by North and Day Grazer
at O Brien's
August 19 (Saturday) Ocelot
Records Presents: The Tenafly Vipers, Bucky Harris, A
Minor Revolution, The `88 Rangers at O'Brien's
August 22 (Tuesday)
OI!! - Rixe (France), The Brass, Bombers, Security and
The Stance at The Middle East Up
August 24 (Thursday) The
Surfrajettes, Tsunami of Sound and The Beachcombovers
are at Regent Theater in Arlington (FB
August 25 (Friday) Eyehategod
and The Cro-Mags at The Middle East Up (FB
August 25 (Friday) When
Particles Collide and Petty Morals at
Fury's Publick House in Dover NH
August 27 (Sunday) Stop
Calling Me Frank, State of The Union, The New Frustrations, The
Only Things at The Midway - afternoon show 4-8PM
August 27 (Sunday) Brian
Young's A.C.C.F.T.R. featuring Casanovas in Heat! 91.5
September 7 (Thursday)
Teenage Bottlerocket, OC45 and MakeWar at The Middle
September 8 (Friday) The
Nervous Eaters and Glider , State of the Union
and Casanovas in Heat at Out of the Blue Gallery Central
Sq. here's the
FB page to get updates.
September 9 (Saturday) The
Stigmatics are on A Crash Course for the Ravers on
WMFO 91.5 from 1-4PM
September 9 (Saturday) The
Gala, Future Carnivores, Stars Like Ours and Courters
September 10 (Sunday) A
Giant Dog, The Dazies, Boston Cream at O'Brien's
September 10 (Sunday) GBH
and The Casualties at The Brighton Music Hall
September 11 (Monday) Roky
Erickson at the Brighton Music Hall. WOW!! Get
yer tix here.
September 16 (Saturday)
Boston vs Tokyo Rock n Roll Showdown with Muck And The Mires,
The Fadeaways (from Japan), Mellvins (from Japan),
Jittery Jack at O'Brien's Pub
September 16 (Saturday) Chameleons
VOX At the Middle East Also on the bill: Soft Kill , Way
Out and The Milling Gowns FB
September 18 (Monday) Duck
& Cover and the Quiggs are at Once with
a fake version of The Dead Boys...no Stiv no Jimmy Zero -how can
you call that the Dead Boys?? sad.
September 20 (Wednesday)
X doing their 40th Anniversary Tour- at the Brighton Music
September 22 (Friday) The Ataris
and The Queers at The Middle East - this is an early
show- 6PM -10Pm
September 28 (Thursday) Stiff
Little Fingers are doing their 40th Anniversary tour they
have Death by Unga Bunga opening for them - at the Brighton
October 8 (Sunday) Petty
Morals are having a Ballroom Blitz at Once Ballroom
with a Flea Market and Art Show -also on the bill Muck &
The Mires, The Dazies and Lady Pill (set times
and more are on the FB
page) It's 2PM- 8PM
November 4 (Saturday) Human
Sexual Response at HOB
November 9 (Thursday) The
Proletariat at ONCE Ballroom w/ Siege and
November 10 (Friday) The
Proletariat are at Narrows Center for the Arts w/
Black Beach in Fall River, MA (FB
page for info)
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At Easy Ed's Rockabilly night:
Nicole Tammaro, Linda (Muck and the Mires) and Linda LeFever
wearing a Sock It To Me dress from the 60's