The BGN News Archive
March 23, 2015
Thursday we were back at an Easy Ed Rockabilly show again. What can
we say? These gigs are ultra-enjoyable. Just a night with Easy Ed spinning
would be enough for us but he always picks the quality rockabilly groups to
play too. This night at Atwoods in the bowels of Cambridge there was
Jittery Jack. "Jack" Kevin Spatey has his hair slicked
back and his guitar hitched high as he delivers his rockabilly with a clear
strong voice packed with personality.
Everything about this group is clear; their intention,
their instruments' tone, and the mix. It's also clear that they are superior
musicians. Judd Williams on drums does beats and rhythms you hear a lot
on record but don't get a lot live; different shuffles and intro beats that
trigger memories. His knowledge goes deep. Miss Amy has a month of guitar
lessons in every solo. She's got an endless conveyor belt of riffs and runs
for every song. The fluid runs go up and down every inch of the neck. There's
a little surf in those upper neck triads with tremolo bar too. Johnny Sciascia
on bass we saw two weeks ago with Roy Sludge and he was making a duo not
miss a drummer then tonight he delivers a wonderful warm sound on the standup
and helping the back ground vocals.
Not a ton of people in the long narrow room of the Atwood
tonight. Easy Ed always has some shows going on. Seek them out.
Saturday's gig at the Midway was billed as the Big Thaw Spring Equinox Party.
Even though it snowed that morning it felt like a spring rock'n'roll renewal
inside the club.
We saw so many people that we haven't seen in months because we haven't been
out and they haven't either. Amy Prohaska, Skybar, John and Susan Keegan, Jay Allen, Eric Law
(snow didn't stop him though), Joanie Lindstrom, Tony Kaczynski and other
familiar faces peppered the crowd that filled the club. Muck and the Mires,
Watts and Dents are very dependable groups, you knew it was going
to be a great night.
The unknown entity was the openers The
Above. No one seemed to know them. It turns out their connection was
Muck and the Mires. They are British Invasion influenced music. As their
set got going I was standing next to Tony Kaczynski and he started to make comments
that were paralleling my thoughts. It went from, "hey, they're good" to 'Hey,
they're very good", to "I love these guys!".
They looked like an English Invasion group so you were expecting that but the
quality of what they were doing was the game changer. The songwriting was full
of the fine details. Three of them sang with harmonies always in tune. The backup
vocals didn't come in Ahhhh's or Ooooo's but in lyrics that buoyed the main
singer's lyrics. The chords were straight ahead but the melodies did catchy
turns around them. One song did have some major sevenths (Think Don't Let
the Sun Catch You Crying) that gave it a distinctive flavor.
The lead player had a Rickenbacker 12 string that he played
most of the set and that was heaven. Why don't more groups do that? The other
guitar player did tasteful leads utilizing tones from a few pedals. The drummer
had chops that grabbed your attention immediately. He did some snappy intro
licks that were better than whole sets by other people. (This did remind me
of Judd Williams playing from the Thursday gig with Jittery Jack.
) John Keegan theorized he was a Berklee kid or similar. Talking to him
afterward I found out that his father was a drummer but he never took lessons.
He was good enough to be in the Navy band for a while. The Above impressed
a room full of local scenesters and made them fans. They
have played locally with The Forz and probably will again. So monitor
After that it was back to the known with Watts. At
one point Dan Kopko mentioned it looked like an Abbey reunion, and it
did a bit. That reminded me of first seeing Watts at the Abbey back in
2007 maybe. They had memorable songs from the first gig. The difference now
is the revved up presentation. The excitement on stage is now a trademark. The
energy builds as they pummel their way through the set. There is no let up,
no ballad to relieve tension. The idea seems to be - just rock'n'roll.
Here and for the rest of the night it seems almost beside the point to be
writing about this. This was the gig you should have been at. All night was
a rocking party. It was loud music and friendly crowd. You could have guessed
that from the lineup. I'll go on and tell you about it but it was more about
The last song Watts brings The Dents' Craig Adams on guitar. With him
giving some flash they do up AC/DC's Rock 'N' Roll Damnation. John Blout
does the vocals. Wowser.
The Dents after-career must now be five times longer
than their actual life. They were driving punk then and driving punk now. The
only question one hears is why did they quit? We forget it and enjoy. Of all
Jen D'Angora's group incarnations I most love her voice in conjunction
with Michelle Palhaus. That's the center of the Dents
sound to me. They have the memorable songs and they play them all...they don't
have a ton of material...or maybe rehearsed material. It's all strong however.
The other remarkable asset is Craig Adams's guitar onslaught. His chords
and riffs just sear their way thought the already gigantic group sound. Personable
Michelle does the inter song banter.
It's now been three high energy sets in the now very sweaty club and it's getting
late Some people leave but Muck is coming up. They always deliver and you know
that will make a night to remember. I stay, no problem. One thinks after hearing
Watts and Dents rip it up that somehow the energy can't keep going,
Muck and the Mires come crashing out of the gate and
never stop. Is it possible they have more energy than the other groups tonight?
I don't know how but they always play as if every song is the last song of the
night. They just live on that plain. Muck has had a few guitarists and all good.
Now they have Peter from the Ape Hangers and for a short while the
Port Charles Quintet and he's a guitar dynamo. He's a strong presence on
stage. It's not just the notes he plays but the way he plays them. He distorts,
bends and shakes every riff and a lot of those riffs are of the catchy variety
that marks all the Muck and the Mire's material. So, there's that on top of
the wonderful songs driven by Linda's snap cracking drumming and you know, it's
nirvana Muckstyle. They got a few encores even though it was way late. And that
was the never better titled Big Thaw Spring Equinox Party.
So with that said.....
Here's some other stuff:
Andrew Szava-Kovats has given us another trailer for his next film
The Women Who Rocked Boston. This one is with Laurel Blanchard
who was the drummer for Lou Miami!! Watch
If you liked the bands you saw in True Age Media's Lets Go To the
Rat you can now get the soundtrack from the film since its out on CD.
can be ordered here
Jordan Kratz of Big Meat Hammer has dedicated
a section of his site to all of Dave "Hard Korp" Koehler's
treasure trove of early punk material. We are SO greatful this stuff was not
lost or tossed!! There are tapes of gigs by LaPeste, Lyres, Unnatural Axe,
Thrills, Tracks, Babys Arm, Real Kids, Count, Molls, Bonjour Aviators,
The Neighborhoods and Mission of Burma. There are tapes of radio
shows like The Demi Monde, an interview with The Dead Boys and
much more including photos of some of the issues of Dave's Hardcore
fanzine. . Jordan is looking for more stuff to archive as well and info on the
bands on the site. Theres a lot to check out: Dave
Koehler site here.
OC45 have a new EP and since we have such good taste
we already have S.C.A.B. on our Top Ten. Check
it out here
and another fond adieu this week sadly to Danny
Schechter the News Dissector who did the news on WBCN back in the 70s.
I grew up with that station, back then when it was good and groundbreaking,
and I'm sure many of us did and listened to Danny do his news....did you know
he went on to work for 20/20 as a producer and won two emmys???
here are some shows that are happening this week....
March 23 (Monday) - The The Downbeat
5 are playing in Salem at Opus Underground along with The Skeleton
Beats and Crimson Ghosts
March 27 (Friday) - Township
is at the Midway.
March 27 (Friday) Salad
Days - The D.C. Punk Revolution is a film about the great punk scene
that came out of DC from 1980-1990 is showing at the Somerville Theater.at
7:30PM Here's the FB
page for more info and you can buy
March 28 (Saturday) A Crash Course for the
Ravers on WMFO 91.5, 1-4PM has MOTO. so tune in.
March 28 (Saturday) Bob Colby presents
Thalia Zedek Band and The Major Starsat Store 54. (Unfortunately
the Banditas had to cancel) FB
March 28 (Saturday) All ages early (4PM)
show at The Spotlight Tavern in Beverly with The FUs , Los Bungalitos,
Oh the Humanity, 138 (a Misfits/Samhain/Danzig cover band) and RMW -
Randy Mississippi Whiskey
March 28 (Saturday) two great shows up
in the north shore! Roy Sludge is
at In a Pig's Eye in Salem
March 28 (Saturday)
very hardcore gig at The Elks Lodge in Central Square with Los
Crudos, (their First Boston Gig in a long time), Scapegoat,
and Animal Mother NOTE:
this is a 6PM show!
March 29 (Sunday) Biohazard, Sworn Enemy
and Tenebrae are at the Middle East down - note! this is an early
show- doors are at 6PM.
And coming up after this week
April 1 (Wednesday)
It's "Surf and Turf" at TT's for a night of instro/surf and
rockabilly/rock and roll/honky tonk featuring The Skeleton Beats, Matt Heaton
& the Electric Heaters, The Weisstronauts and Leah and her J-Walkers
April 1 (Wednesday)
The all new Mars Records opens today in downtown Plymouth Ma Mars Man
says "this will be the coolest and funkiest record store you have ever
seen!! I'll be selling New and Used and Rare Collectable records as well as
other music related goods. I will also be paying cash for unwanted vinyl records.
This has been a LONG time coming and I plan to make something special for Plymouth
and all of the south shore and beyond !" Here's a
link to the store's FB page, like it to keep updated on what's happening!
Road trip to the Cape!!! and while there dont forget the most awesome Atomic
Dimestore run by Rick Paige in Hyannis!!
April 1 (Wednesday)
Mars Records Grand Opening Party at The New World Tavern Plymouth
with Kingsley Flood! and special guests Plymouth's own New Frustrations!
9pm no cover charge!
April 3 (Friday)
At the Midway - ther return of The Real Kids!! also on this bill: Monsieurs,
Stop Calling Me Frank and The Skeleton Beats (note the Skeleton Beats
were originally booked in Salem for this night but that has changed, they are
at the Midway instead, really can you blame them??) The Skeleton Beats
will start recording an album...on vinyl....on March 27th at Galaxy Park Studios....and
remembner the Real Kids are currently in the studio also!
April 3 (Friday)
-It's Party Time at TT's with Party Bois, Petty Morals, Parlour Bells
and Gene Dante & The Future Starlets
April 3 (Friday)
The Knock Ups, Ladymob, Lucky United and Radio Compass are at
Opus Underground in Salem.
April 4 (Saturday)
Cadillac Heart is doing a show at Club Bohemia at The Cantab.
Also on the bill is James Straight and The Wide Stance, Billy Connors'
nephew Cory's band Dr Fuzz and the Garage Boys
April 4 (Saturday)
a FREE and all ages punk show at The Midway with Opposition Rising,
Ancient Filth, All Torn Up, Slow Children and Crystal Methodist -This is
a 4PM early show. FB
April 10 (Friday)
Salad Days - The D.C. Punk Revolution
is a film about the great punk scene that came out of DC from 1980-1990 is playing
in Providence, RI at AS220 (115 Empire St) Here's the
FB page for this event.
April 10 (Friday)
and of course The Sonics are at The Brighton Music Hall along with Barrence
Whitfield & The Savages, Muck And The Mires - NOTE!! early show,
doors at 6 show starts at 7PM! Hmm, what to do afterwards???
April 11 (Saturday)
A is for AWESOME 2: the punk version. This is a fund raiser for Autism research
etc. The money raised from all four events during the weekend will be donated
to The Trudeau Center Children's Rec Program and The Autism Project. Confirmed
so far they have: Neutral Nation, The Frenzy of Tongs, The McGunks and
Me Jane. At the Parlour in Providence RI. Check the FB
page for updates!!
April 12 (Sunday)
A is for AWESOME 2 : On this night they have: The Worried, Pyramid, Black
Oil Incinerator, Atlantic Thrills The Neutrinos, The Evil Streaks and more
to be announced soon. Check the FB
page for updates on the bands etc...
April 19 (Sunday)
It's The 5th Annual Hard Core Cotillion...with Gang Green, Antagonizers
ATL, Drug Shock and "Special Guests" (who they'll announce after
3/17!) and Rockin Bob (Cenci) and The BarRoom Heroes. This is
an All Ages 3PM afternoon show.
April 24 (Friday)
The Upper Crust, The Grannies, White Dynomite and I Am Next are at
Cuisine en Locale. You can buy tix for this killer show