Photo: John Keegan
It seems to Blowfish that he ends up at OBriens
on Wednesday frequently. It was really going to happen this week with
a line-up of three notable local acts: Black Beach, Zip Tie Handcuffs,
& and The Dazies. The one out of town act, A Giant Dog,
was on Joanie Lindstroms radar. She'd played them on her
Zip Tie Handcuffs
I got there for Zip Tie Handcuffs. I saw
year and this show reminded me of that. They're all very
busy players so the resultant overall sound is way busy. What holds
things together are the songs and the singing. Their signature move
to have all three singing falsetto. That is a constant point of focus
for the listener.
The songs are three minute gems. They dont just bang out a verse/chorus/verse/chorus
they add all sorts of side trips. In almost every song there are passages that
are just played one and stuck in the song somewhere. Its very creative songwriting
with attention to detail.
One song they described as a story about falling through a hole in the earth,
nothing but that. With that song they stopped cold in the middle.
After a few seconds they mimed playing their instruments with wild abandon before
actually doing it. The song also had a false ending as another trick before finally
closing it up.
A Giant Dog
A Giant Dog are from Austin. Right off you know
they have to be good to survive in that city of a million bands. I put
one of their new songs in our TOP
TEN last week.
The lead singer came out in a leopard patterned top
and skimpy bottoms. She was dressed like a sex pot and moved like one,
doing belly dancing moves among all sort of other things. It didnt
take long to find out she was an excellent singer. She was belting it
out full volume without losing tone.
Zip Tie Handcuffs as well as Black Beach
later are very busy sounding groups on purpose, thats part
of the statement they are making, whereas A Giant Dog have all
the players focused on the central beat and push of the music. With
that they connect immediately and are able to transmit combined power
of all the players. Its a more traditional way of doing things
and they sound more traditional and less modern because of it.
They have a glam element (This
video shows that ) and even sounded like they were in Bat
Out of Hell area on some songs. They balance that with a punk element
that gives them grit. It makes a very listenable mix.
The songs all distinguished themselves with different styles. They're savvy
enough to pace the set. Theres a lot of musical smarts in this unit.
The singer plays up the sex element and there was
a few guys lapping it up. Nothing new there I guess. They know how to
amp up a cover tune. There are YouTube videos that show that. This night
they ended with a dynamite rendition of Angst in Your Pants
by Sparks. They captured that unique posh blasé
of Sparks while rocking it out. Joanie Lindstrom who bar hoped
from the TSOL at the Middle East just caught that last
tune. Not her fault - they changed the line up at some point.
Black Beach had the unenviable chore of following
up after A Giant Dog. Ive seen Black Beach a
half dozen times (Put in Black Beach in our SEARCH
box at the top of the NEWS) and consider them one of the best current
bands out there. They're a trio and the sound is guitar heavy and the
songs are loose shapes that accommodate lots of riffing. Somehow it
doesnt come off as boring jamming or egoistic soloing but just
as modern playing.
The set is short and they really kick in on the last two songs. Its a glorious
mess that sweeps you along.
That was an excellent night although I missed the Dazies who I like.
The next day Blowfish was back in Allston to Great
Scotts: I listened to some Actor/Observer who were playing
and they sounded interesting, and it turned out they were, but I had
a weird time before that with The Workout.
Workout plays a strange mix to begin with.
They are a half hardcore and half emo mix along with many other things
I could just barely catch. But the thing that got to me and that I couldnt
get over was the synthesizer player. Number one just having a synthesizer
in the hardcore style band is odd and not just one synth but a few and
one of them was the type you sling on like a guitar as Jan Hammer did
back in the day. Holy tap dancing Moses that was enough but the synth
player had skimpy gym shorts on with knee high white socks. This is
never a choice for stage wear.
Maybe if he were in the local group Gym
Shorts it would make sense. I guess
Linda Ronstadt did it. He was shamelessly strutting
around the stage like nothing was wrong. One time he struck a spread
-leg relaxed pose. If you have the fortitude here
is a short video of the display culminating in the man-spreading.
Ugh! OK, Im stopping now.......
Back to the show; the band had fans there and they were singing to the songs.
The club never got more than half filled.
Actor/Observer made everything good again. They put
on a tremendous show. They were a hardcore/emo mix, that would be screamo
maybe. They mention Thrice
as an influence.
The group put out a blasting wave of rage punctuated with staccato sledgehammer
pounding. That was a potent background to the emotional vocals they were giving
at the top of their lungs. They had one effective trick by using two vocalists.
When the lead singer Greg did a verse, Brett the bass player took the second
verse. By trading back and forth the songs could go longer without burning out
either of their voices. They both had similar voices so in the heat of the song
you didnt even know who was singing.
Meanwhile Greg was a standout front man. He was
all over the stage. He climbed up the amps - see photo above. He jumped
off the stage and spent half the set on the floor mosh/singing and singing
into everyones face, me included. You were involved with this
group like it or not.
The combination of the pounding ominous music along with the distraught
vocals gripped me. This was a set Ill remember for a while. I
think they're playing Great Scotts again on June 21st. Ill be
there!! Check out their
Photo: John Keegan
While Blowfish was at Great Scotts blanching at the sight of gym shorts John
Keegan was at the Store 54 on Thursday. There was Mini Beast which
is Peter Prescotts experimentally bent music project and Monique
Ortizs AKA COD.
Mini Beast played the next night at Once and John again was
on the scene. On the bill was Magic Shoppe who played their psych with
a cool light show behind them as shown in Johns photos.
Al Janiks Plastyczny
On Saturday John went to Al Janik's St Stanislaus Day Polka Party 2016
which has become quite a tradition in these parts! Al invites everyone to be
polish for the day while dancing the polka to his Plastyczny Ser Orkestra, eating
polish food and drinking lots 'o Polish beer! Loads of fun was had by all as
you will see in John's photos too!!
For Blowfish it was back to OBriens on Saturday, they had a pop
punk band from PA that seemed interesting but somehow they never showed up.
Such are the vagaries of club going.
Slimdog and Lucky United
I missed openers Lucky United from Providence. Slimedog
was there ( a rare siting outside JP) to hear them. They are one of
his favorite groups. He thinks Jenn Lombari is one of the best
songwriters around. I would add she has a voice that ramps up the live
They also pick notable cover songs: at a Christmas
show they did Letters From Cleo's Christmas Song "WTFAMP"
("Where The Fuck Are My Presents") This night they played
"Hello" by Adelle. That must have been something.
As for Slimedog, he just finished a weekend seeing
21 bands at the Keith Brooks benefit shows. The story is here
at his Thrash n' Bang site.
I did catch Offseason an emo pop punk band
weve covered a few times (last time here)
They haven't played out much in the last year or so because some members
were starting families. They seemed to have a lot of pent up energy
and were hitting hard. The drumming seemed simpler to me than it was
in the past and that helped to focus the energy. They have lyric heavy
songs but they never get in the way of rocking it out. They played what
I think is their best song Living
of Offseason at O'Briens shows them in good form.
There was only 25 people there. it's possible Boston
Calling with all the national acts drew a lot of people away,
that was a shame because this was a good local show.
Father, Son and Holy Ghost
Photo: John Keegan
Its true to be said that the Boston
Calling didnt divert any people from the Store 54 on
Sunday. The below the radar coolness of Store 54 attracts its own clientele.
With most of the stock out of the store there was room for the biggest
crowd yet inside and still half as many people upstairs in the patio
The socializing started the minute we got to the patio and it took time
to get downstairs to the music. When we heard Randy Black and the
Heathcroppers were going on we headed down.
As in the past, the people were bunched up near
the stage. Theres no way that the sound should sound as good as
it does. Somehow it seems the band in a corner with people surrounding
works well keeping the music warm and compact. This was perfect for
Randy Black and the Heathcroppers. Randy is still writing
more and more new songs. I agree with Matt Burns who said the
new ones are his favorites. Thats two superb shows for Heathcroppers,
the last one being at Chetstock
last week .
Photo: John Keegan
Zip Tie Handcuffs had people buzzing with
their early set.
The room did its magic on Jay Allen and the Archcriminals
had Nat Freedberg and David Fredette,
with Jim Janota on drums, kicked up the rock quotient.
Eric Martin sweetened the troubadour mix. The band
for the finale was worth the anticipation with George Hall
and Billy Loosigian on guitar. Regretabley Asa
Brebner hadn't got the memo and warmed up with a little too
much gusto. Result: other than the drummer lead Eve of Distruction,
a rambling anticlimactic train wreck with good solos.
Wayne with Asa
Photo: John Keegan
Truth be told it was just as much about schmoozing as about the music. It
would have been even more about the schmoozing had the music not been so good.
It was all a proper good bye to Waynes unique space. Big business
spend skillions of dollars trying to stir up the right elements to get what
Store 54 had. And what was that? It was some indefinable mix of store/people/community/art/eccentricity/eclectacisn/music/ambience
and Waynes personality.
We will not see the likes of that again any time soon. Thank you Wayne!!
Check out our Wayne
Viens interview if you havent already.
And in other news .....
This Tuesday is the sold out Conversation
with David Minehan of the Replacements at Berklee. Well
you can read our
conversation with David Minehan here!! Our interview was
in July 2015.
Rum Bar records just released a smokin' new Watts CD
and digital album: Black Heart of Rock'n'Roll. Watts
are no-holds-barred GREAT live so you know they are great in the
studio too!! Download etc here....WATTS
Here's some good shows coming up this week.....
May 30 (Monday) Some Kind of Nightmare, The
Pity Whores, Broken Glass Kids and Damnation are at Opus Underground
June 2 (Thursday) Kilslug, Psycho, Horrible
Earth, Deathtaker and Mad Gasser of Bostoon at O'Brien's. Mark yr
calendars for this one folks, it should be a show you'll not soon forget.
June 3 (Friday) Carissa Johnson,
Viva Gina, The Knock Ups, PowerSlut, Some Kind Of Nightmare are
at The Cantab down. (for
June 4 (Saturday) When Particles Collide
are having their vinyl release party along with Aloud at Great Scott.
June 4 (Saturday) The Humanoids
along with The Heave Ho, Ass Tractor and The Straight Eights are
at the Midway (8PM)
June 5 (Sunday) GREAT all Punk
show at The Midway with the Nervous Eaters, Fast Times, Interfectum,
and Jumper!...and they're keepin' it in the family with this
show...Eater Alan Hebditch's son Nick is in Fast
June 5 (Sunday) Found Audio, Rock'N
Bob Punk Band, The Ungraded, and Duck & Cover at Thunder Road
June 5 (Sunday) a Ramone ....this is a
stretch - CJ Ramone at ONCE Ballroom
with Broken Gold and Meat Depressed. The closest you can get to
the Ramones now, sad to say.
And further out past this week....
June 11 (Saturday) Scissorfight, Watts,
Goddamn Draculas, Dirt Mall are at Thunder Road
June 11 (Saturday) A day show 4-8PM with
Fireking, Big Giant, The First Supper, and Universe Narrows at
June 11 (Saturday) The Upper
Crust, Thee Fabulous Itchies, The Hi-End and Shiny Beasts
are at The Midway - there's a lot going on this night- and the show
starts at 8PM -check out the FB
June 11 (Saturday) The Skeleton Beats,
The Black Cheers Go Blank and Art Thieves are at O'Brien's
June 11 (Saturday) A Benefits for
Rock Camp Boston with E, Shepherdess, Violet Nox
and Lost Lake. There will be DJs, Art work and visuals. Should
be a great night!! FB
June 11 (Saturday) Fur Purse, The Gala, Noble
Rot are at Sally O'Brien's
June 11 (Saturday) The Billy Connors
Project is doing a show at PAs Lounge with Stop Calling Me Frank,
The Angel Martins and The Boss.
June 11 (Saturday) Cherie Currie
along with Gene Dante, Marianne Toilet & The Runs and
others at Brighton Music Hall - this is a benefit for Bagly.org
June 12 (Sunday) Mike's Monsters Guitar
Third Annual Birthday Bash is on Sunday, June 12 with a long list
of bands. Last
year it was at TTs
There's a long list of bands: Jay Allen and the Archcriminals, Andy
California, Baluchaterium, Axemunkee, Hambone Skinny, A Bunch of Jerks,
Ten Dollar Mistake. Doors are at 2PM and all proceeds go to the
MSPCA!! Here's the
June 17 (Friday) The Stoves, Topheavy
(a reunion), Diablogato, and Stars Like Ours are at The Midway
June 17 (Friday) The Brigands, Greg
Allen's Fringe Religion, Doug MacDonald...and Pete Cassini will be
rocking as well at Tavern at the End of the World
June 18 (Saturday) Daytime show- Roy
Sludge Trio at Sally O's. starts at 1 PM
June 18 (Saturday) an afternoon show 4-8PM
with Kenne Highland Clan, HIXX, Jody Moore Band and Club Linehan A
Go Go at The Midway
June 18 (Saturday) Thunder Road
has The Dwarves, The Queers, White Dynomite, and Decent Criminal
June 18 (Saturday) Fuzbrains presents -
Electrolux (featuring Steve Aquino, lead guitarist of the Lyres), on
at 9, Thee Sonomatics (10:30), The Black Souls (12) at the wicked
cool Hotel Vernon.
June 21 (Tuesday) Allston Pudding Presents
an All Ages show with Free Pizza, Nice Guys, and The Monsieurs
June 23 (Thursday) Do Not Forsake Me
Oh My Darling are saying Bye Bye Boston with their last show here - joining
them are Petty Morals, Endation, and Psychic Dog - at the Middle
June 26 (Sunday) Making Waves For Autism
benefit - featuring John Powhida, The Dogmatics, Girl On Top at Sally
O's (this is a 1-5PM show)
June 27 (Monday) Pere Ubu at The
July 1 (Friday) Rock The Cradle
- A Two Day Benefit for Cradles
to Crayons Night 1 is with Cactus Attack, Live Nude
Girls, Mark Lind, time and place, Evan Weckbacher and Darn Coyotes
at The Midway
July 2 (Saturday) Rock The Cradle - A
Two Day Benefit for Cradles to Crayons -Day 2 (this one's 3-8PM) is with The
Dents, High School Football Heroes, Mickey Rickshaw, The American Myth and Go
Big - at The Midway
July 9 (Saturday) Happy Little Clouds
(It's their Album Release), The Rationales, Powerslut and The Knock
Ups at O'Brien's
July 9 (Saturday) Tsunami of Sound,
Fireking, Popgun, and The Beachcombovers are at The Midway
July 11 (Monday) Guided by Voices
are at The Paradise
July 14 (Thursday) The Late Risers Club
Punk Rock Trivia night will be at "the Greek" in Union Square
(more info to follow) Of course Eric Law's team will win but it'll be
fun just the same.
July 16 (Saturday) OC45 celebrates
their 5 year anniversary at the Middle East Up along with Burning Streets,
The Jukebox Romantics and Jumper!
July 22 (Friday) Fur Purse, Thalia Zedek,
Weather Weapon, Phurnne, Death Cloud at the Midway
July 22 (Friday) Screw Cart, Psycho,
Rockin' Bob Punk Band, and 4 Sids are at The Cantab down.
July 23 (Saturday) The FUs, Silver Screams,
Electric Street Queens, Il Mostro (mems of The Humanoids) are at
July 29 (Friday) The Warning
Shots, Duck & Cover, Quiggs, and Tenafly Vipers are at
the Greek in Union Square (FB
August 6 & 7 (Sat & Sunday) The
Boston Rock Opera presents Stardust to Blackstar: The Lives of David
Bowie at Once Ballroom: a concert dedicated to the late rock god David
Bowie. "David Bowie taught us all so much about performance and stagecraft.
If B.R.O. is going to, like Lazarus, rise up again then it should be to honor
and celebrate his amazing music." The night begins with fellow B.R.O. co-founder
Mick "Mondo" Maldonado directing and performing Bowie's "The Rise and Fall of
Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders from Mars" with a full band and guest vocalists.
Following that, is an original live arrangement of of Bowie's final opus work
"Blackstar" performed by an all star band and chorus under the direction of
Either/Orchestra's Russ Gershon. The evening continues with a celebration of
songs from Bowie's vast catalog as even more Boston musicians take the stage
August 13 (Saturday) FRANK ROWE's 65th
BIRTHDAY PARTY!!! starring: Kenne Highland, Stop Calling Me Frank, The Dogmatics,
Classic Ruins, Richie Parsons Band, and The Stigmatics
August 15 (Monday) X are at The
Brighton Music Hall - nice venue to see them!!
August 20 (Saturday) The Road
Devils C.C. Boston Massacre Pre-Party!!! featuring Taxi
Driver, The Hi-End AND MORE!!! FB
page for more info as it develops
August 20 (Saturday) There's a great daytime
(4-8PM) show at the Midway with The Lost Riots, The Scrapes, Whoopi Sticks,
Go Blank and Point Blank
August 20 (Saturday) The Upper Crust, Devil
on Horseback, Watts, Gymnasium at The Middle East Up.
October 15 (Saturday) Idiot Genes, Duck
& Cover, Chanticlear and Jack Widows are at O'Brien's
October 15 (Saturday) The Upper Crust,
Hickoids, The Grannies & Devil On Horseback at Once
October 21, 22 & 23 (Fri., Sat & Sun)
The Boston Rock Opera presents Hair at Once Ballroom.
September 1 (Thursday) Thalia Zedek Band,
Minibeast , Black Helicopter, Positive Negative Man are at Great Scott
CONTACT US AT....firstname.lastname@example.org
- Send us your gig listings, your news and anything else ya got!!
Photo: John Keegan
Photo: John Keegan
David Fredette and Wayne
Photo: John Keegan