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Willie BGNTWO.jpg - 5.73 K Ocasac BGN.jpg - 6.12 K The Late Risers Club WMBR at MIT Nervous Eaters pIc by Denise Donahue Johnathan Richman. Oedipus - for a while he had rainbow colored dandruff.
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The BGN News Archive

January 20, 2020

John Keegan did the heavy lifting for the BGN this week. He went to three shows:

Randy Black and the Heathcroppers

The recently expanded Randy Black and the Heathcroppers have a third Wednesday of the month, 6 - 8 pm, residency at the Plough and Stars. The addition of Linda Viens and George Hall broaden the tone pallet available to Black to paint his moody Americana vignettes. Viens' harmonies are a sweet fool to Black's vocals on his tightly constructed tales. Hall adds constrained shimmer and shine and the promise of occasional rave-up to this literate, already formidable trio.

Is it my memory or has Sammy’s Patio been a biker dive on Revere Beach since I was in high school? Its a low ceiling dive with a gigantic pile of old school speakers. The monitor facing the audience at the feet of alternating Von Trap frontman Brian Riley was a bit reluctant to perform but when it did it jumped his voice right off the stage and was an unusual, but cool configuration. The joint was about half full of psyched up punks and barflies. Location, location, location. It could be a pissah place for a bunch of bands for an all-day bash in the summer. Hmmmm.

The Von Traps

The Von Trap family sound fierce on their loud and catchy as a middle ages plague - minus the pustulates and the death thing - Clash and the lurching, in your face GBH riffery. Only their hairdresser knows for sure. They keep the tunes tart and short. Nothing over three minutes. One slow one to show they can. A new tune or two. No guitary wankery. Just big riffs with all aboard choruses to match. The Baabes are diggin’ it. The Von Traps have a new CD that came out in November. Sound the Alarm, Johnny was and Indian, What a Way to Die. Its made loud to play loud. All this and their long term bass player just had to go back home to his main gig hitting the world’s best parties with the Dropkick Murphys. The new guy sounds good on three practices and you can tell he’ll sound better every show.


Laika switches the mood from black leather to flannel. They transcend what seems to be jammy roots to an eclectic mash of genres - a little Pavementesque vocal here, a touch of light psych there, longer but not snooze-inducing guitar solos offset the Von Traps six-string economy. Two vocalists and guitarists keep up the tonal variation on both. A party happy bass player on a sub-lime green ax adds a splash of color and offsets the general chill of his bandmates.

Muck and the Mires

I love it when a weekend of music just keeps getting better. Muck & The Mires and Barrance Whitfield & The Savages have the big local show of the week. They both take full advantage. Both bands appreciate that the decent-sized crowd has braved the elements to be there and put out in kind.

Muck and crew fly out of the gate. They bounce around their ever-expanding catalog of dare you to not dance to this list of killer hits and deep cuts. The energy loop is building. Hips be shaking. Snow, schmoe. The band's so hot the snow is melting out on Mass Ave.

Barrence Whitfield and the Savages

Stick a snowplow on Barrence Whitfield and the Savages and they could clean the whole city down to the pavement. Peter Greenberg is fresh off a long injury lay off and he is out to play. His rhythm playing is set to slash and burn. His leads blow away all that remains. Tom Quartulli's tenor sax hits the kicks and gets a few chances to break free. Andy Jody's drums push and pull the beat across all manner of R and B beats.

And then there's Barrence. He's a New England force of nature. He rocks. He swings. He breaks down. He punches. He preaches. He yowl's and woo-woo’s and howls. He can make a nor'easter cower and curve out to sea. The Middle East crowd knows when they are in the presence of a sizzling show and they overcome their generally too cool for school nature's to twist and shout their approval. It's a little early to start the running for the best show of the year, but I'm just saying...

Click the photo below to see more great Keegan photos on his review page.

Keegan reviews

And in other news.......

Art show for you arties! There's an art show coming up with works by a large number of people in the Boston music scene ... Two Pieces Art Show and Party will have work by Wayne Valdez, Dave Tree, Ruby Viens, Jess Punk, Irene Ferri, Isabel Riley, Diane Dodge, Claire Eder, Woody Geisman, Amelia May, William Jordan, Tracy White Wendland, Dennis Stein, Joanne Kaliontzis and not to forget – Miss Lyn of the BGN. Each artist will have two pieces in the show.

Two Pieces Art Show and Winter Party is on Saturday, Feb 8 at 3PM-1AM at Gallery Poulet, 613 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02141

There is some symbiosis between rock and art, currently more than in the past in some ways, with Out of the Blue Gallery, the Dorchester Art Project which is a Boston Hassle gallery/performance place and, of course, the New Alliance complex in Somerville. Who had a great opening show in May of 2019 and another in December.

In 2018 there was Art & Soul show in Watertown that featured professional and emerging contemporary art, as well as fan art, that is inspired by, pays tribute to or otherwise celebrates musicians, bands and music culture.

In 2010 there was Nancy Neon's Art & A Rock Place that included work by Asa Brebner, Andrea Gillis, Frank Rowe and others.

In 2003 there was Between Rock and an Art Place at the Zeitgeist Gallery. That show had some work by Jeff and Jane Hudson. Jane’s paintings are now on the walls of Tunnel City Coffee shop at Mass MOCA in North Adams.

And there is also an art show on Saturday Feb 1: Savtones “Abstractions” Party & Art Show featuriing Savtones Performance and digital photography by Tony Savarino, paintings by Paola Savarino and motion art by Duane Lucia. More info here

BGN cover Jonathan Richman We were thrilled to see that our 1980 Jonathan Richman interview got some attention from a blog called Words + Music The blog is by Donald Armstrong who describes his site and method of working as : "Words + Music is written and managed by Don Armstrong, a freelance academic writer whose idea of a great time is tracking down a rare book or magazine … to read,… This website explores the history of music journalism – taking a close look at the magazines, writers, columns and articles that shaped listeners' tastes. Included are fan-oriented writings as well as penetrating criticism."

The BGN is a good target for that search. He looks at the interview as an example of the theory of melancholy as theorized in "Melancholy as an Aesthetic Emotion," in the online journal Contemporary Aesthetics by Emily Brady and Arto Haapal .

He gives an excerpt showing how Jonathan thinks about emotion in his music. He doesn’t mention that Jonathan cried during the interview when he thought about how beautiful William Blake’s poetry was.

We loved when Donald wrote: "That these words were documented in the pages of a hand-stapled issue of the Boston Groupie News shows the critical role of fanzines in capturing the thoughts of innovative musicians." Again here is our full Jonathan Richman interview

Also ... A reminder about the very cool Jonathan Richman Songbook that we talked about in 2017 HERE. It has special notes from Jonathan himself, about his songs. It is available still on Amazon.

Rager Miller And more music and art.....Reminder that: There’s definitely a day trip in your future! Roger Miller has an installation called “Transmuting the Prosaic", featuring video, sound, and modified vinyl records, at the Brattleboro Museum and Art Center. "Miller filmed Somerville’s Davis Square from five different locations, throughout all four seasons. This footage forms the structure for the composition, with vehicles, pedestrians, and bicycles represented by different instruments. Miller’s “Modified Vinyl” works are vinyl records that Miller has altered or modified by scratching, melting, bending, and other methods. These interventions change both the appearance and sound of the records, creating new objects and musical compositions."

It’s happening from March 14 to June 14. Read more here.

Justine and the Unclean we love this band!!! Justine and the Unclean have released a new single. It's available digitally and on a limited pressing CD. An album will follow in May. Justine and the Unclean are in familiar punk pop territory but they do everything with more craft and top musicianship. Justine’s voice is the seller. Quickly it becomes identifiable and brings you back for more. It’s got a punky sweetness. The Unclean are now at that point where you can tell a song is The Unclean right off the bat. That’s gold for a group.

“Picking a Fight” is short and snappy the way all songs should be. It whips by and only stops to drop in one of those crazy Hansen solo’s where the notes seem random and bend up and down and yet fit perfectly. How does he do that?

“Sweet Denial” has a heavier attack that the band also favors. There are some sweeping background vocals that are stunning. A short hit of it begins the tune. That’s one vein the group should continue to mine.

Both tunes are radio friendly and should spread the word even further for the group.

All of the Unclean's recordings have been done at Woolly Mammoth. Minehan continues to be the place where bands are recording their best work.

“Picking a Fight is also on the FREE generous 29 song Compilation posted by Rum Bar on Bandcamp. There’s too much good material to go into here, you should just head over and give it a listen: "If it ain't Rum Bar Records it ain't worth the shot. Winter 2020" (Free Digital Download) Sampler

Mark you calendar for:

Pesos Friday January 24th - Death Pesos is playing in Pink Noise Studios in Somerville on Jan 24. Sounds interesting. Also on the bill are Mother Mammoth, Jessica Rabbit Syndrome and The Freqs - Music starts at 8 pm, BYOB - FB page

Saturday February 1 - Loser's Circle, DNZL, Chandler Cross at The Hong Kong

Saturday February 8- Two Pieces Art Show and Winter Party - Gallery Poulet Cambridge

May 8, 9 & 10 - Salem Answers-Night: A three day music fest to celebrate and encourage the arts, magic, equality, and diversity of Salem! (listings below)

The Hoodoo Gurus are playing the Sinclair….on November 7 ….2020!! But lucky you ticket are already for sale!!

Stop Calling Me Frank Here's some good shows coming up this week.....

January 24 (Friday) Thalia Zedek and Chris Brokaw (10:45),Field Day (9:30) Kid Gulliver (8:30) at The Lizard Lounge

January 24 (Friday) The McGunks, Triggered, Electric Joey at The News Cafe Provi RI

January 25 (Saturday) Punk Rock Aerobics 12-2:30PM at Once Ballroom

January 25 (Saturday) The Hi-End, Watts, Justine and the Unclean at The Square Root

January 25 (Saturday) The Chelsea Curve, Speedfossil, Fireking at Sally O'Brien's

January 25 (Saturday) Skytigers, The Only Things, Sonic Libido, Threat Level Burgundy at The Worthen House Lowell

January 25 (Saturday) The Ratz, Sonorous Rising, Rockin' Bob's Punk Band, T-Wreck at 33 Golden Street, New London, CT FB page for info

And further out there is....

zRock show January 27 (Monday) il Mostro, Between Skies, Silver Screams at Charlie's Kitchen

January 31 (Saturday) Blood Built Empire, SOLD, Husbands, at the Hong Kong

February 1 (Saturday) Loser's Circle, DNZL, Chandler Cross at The Hong Kong

February 1 (Saturday) Stop Calling Me Frank,Greg Allen's Fringe Religion, Tsunami of Sound at The Square Root Roslindale

February 1 (Saturday) Sonomatics, The Worried, Electric Joey, Knightsville Butchers at Ralph's Rock Diner Worcester

February 6 (Thursday) Zip Tie Handcuffs, The Bobby Lees, Baabes, Dead Trains at O'Brien's

February 7 (Friday) Lucid Lynx, Above The Din, Luxury Deathrap, Heavy Hands at The Midway

February 7 (Friday) Immolators, Labor Hex, Wire Lines, Brain Vacuum at 13th Floor Music Lounge Florence MA.

February 8 (Saturday) Murphy & The Mess, The Inebriations, the Deep State, Amoricans at The Midway - this is a 3PM Matinee show

February 8 (Saturday) SS*25, The Von Traps, The Lipstick Boys at Sally O'Brien's FB page

DNZL February 8 (Saturday) Screamin' Rebel Angels, Trash Pandas, The Wandering Ones and DJ Easy Ed spinnin' 45s t The Square Root FB page for set times etc

February 8 (Saturday) Scuzzy Yeti, IL Mostro, Z/28 and Wrought Iron Hex at The Midway

February 8 (Saturday) Nick And The Adversaries (CD Release), Jason Bennett and The Resistance, Triggered at The Middle East Up

February 8 (Saturday) Nat Freedberg & No Brainer at the Plough & Stars with special guests John Powhida's JPX to celebrate the release of Record Number Three on Rum Bar Records!

February 8 (Saturday) Lux Lives 2020 with The Evil Streaks, The Demon Seeds, Thee Benevolent Tarots at Opus, Salem FB page
DJ Kogar the Swinging Ape playing Lux and Ivy's Favorites all night long!

February 8 (Saturday) Confusatron, Escuela Grind, Willzyx, Lepra, Sores at Geno's Portland, ME

Root show February 9 (Sunday) Club Linehan A Go Go, A Bunch of Jerks, The Billy Connors Project, Miranda Rae at Midway - a matinbee show 3-7PM

February 14 (Friday) The Endorphins, Moist Boy, the Betties at The Hong Kong

February 15 (Saturday) A Crash Course for the Ravers featuring Screw Cart WMFO 91.5 - 1-4PM

February 15 (Saturday) Martin, Morell, Fredette, Richie Parsons and Randy Black at the Midway Matinee show 3-7PM

February 15 (Saturday) The Gala, Hambone Skinny, Zulu Lulu at The Square Root- this is an ALL AGES show

February 15 (Saturday) Xander Nelson & TIger Bomb at Big Babe's Portland, ME

February 16 (Sunday) Stop Calling Me Frank, State of the Union, The New Frustrations, The Steamies at The Midway - matinee 3-7PM

February 16 (Sunday) HardCore Stadium presents Fuming Mouth, High Command, Raw Radar War, Suffer on Acid, Mangled - Middle East Up 7PM

Brian Young WMFO February 17 (Monday) Black Beach, Rye Pines, Proper Nouns, Night Beat at Charlie's Kitchen

February 19 (Wednesday) Randy Black & The Heathcroppers Plough & Stars Residency

February 21 (Friday) Set Fire, The Gala, Motel Black, Gene Dante and The Future Starlets at Koto in Salem

February 22 (Saturday) A Crash Course for the Ravers featuring Linea Herzog WMFO 91.5 - 1-4PM

February 22 (Saturday) Justine's Black Threads EP Release Party w/Two Fathoms Down at Atwood's Tavern - this is a 3-6PM show.

February 22 (Saturday) Rum Bar Records Anniversary Show with The Dogmatics - 11:00 PM, Muck and the Mires - 10:00 PM, The Dirty Truckers - 9:00 PM at The Square Root

February 22 (Saturday) blindspot, Baabes, Set Fire, Hands 3 at O'Brien's

February 23 (Sunday) The Gobshites - Performing Live on WAAF - Carmelita's Bay State Rock

February 23 (Sunday) Sick Minds, Skytigers, Color Killer, Nine Votes Short - 2-6PM matinee and ALL AGES at Thirsty First in Lowell

February 24 (Monday) Rebuilder, Dead Bars, Oh the Humanity!, Towanda at Charlie’s Kitchen

February 28 (Friday) Scuzzy Yeti, Death Pesos, 3 Parts Dead, Blue Manic at Club Bohemia

BGN Archives February 29 (Saturday) DJ Easy Ed presents: Lynnette & the Sundowners, The Barley Hoppers, Easy Ed's Record Hop at The Midway for a 3-7PM matinee show.

February 29 (Saturday) PowerSlut “Fun With Junk” Release Party...AND...WhistleStop Rock Fest featuring he Chelsea Curve, Cold Expectations, Field Day, Heather Rose In Clover, Justine and The Unclean, Lockette, Kid Gulliver, The Knock Ups, The Shang-Hi-Los, and Tiger Bomb! EARLY show 3PM - Midnight mat Once Somerville.

March 7 (Saturday) The Gala, Muck and the Mires, Dangereens, The Downhauls at The Midway (night show)

March 8 (Sunday) Kenne Highland Clan, Mad Painter, The Fools Agenda, Spaces For Two at The Jungle

March 9 (Monday) SkyTigers, Brix'n Mortar, Circus Battalio, Rage//Quit at Charlie's Kitchen

March 13 (Friday) This is Night 1 of a 2-night Whistle Stop Rock festival in Salem!! Featuring: The Knock Ups, The Cold Expectations, The Chelsea Curve at Koto Salem

March 14 (Saturday) A Crash Course for the Ravers featuring Lucretia’s Daggers! WMFO 91.5 - 1-4PM

March 14 (Saturday) This is Night 2 of a 2-night Whistle Stop Rock festival in Salem!! Featuring: Kid Gulliver, Heather Rose In Clover, Justine's Black Threads... And special guests: The Dents!! at Koto

Von Traps March 18 (Wednesday) Randy Black & The Heathcroppers Plough & Stars Residency

March 20 (Friday) Wine Lips, Zip-Tie Handcuffs, Baabes at O'Brien's Pub FB page

March 21 (Saturday) POST PUNK II with Chuck Ferreira, Duncan w Johnson, Anthony Kaczynski at Sally O'Brien's

March 21 (Saturday) The Return of the Bentmen w/ CMB at Once FB page

March 27 (Friday) Little Caesar, Diablogato, Little Billy Lost, Pink Mahalares at Koto Salem

March 28 (Saturday) Bombpops, MakeWar, Pass Away, In the Meantime at The Hong Kong

March 28 (Saturday) The Zulus at The Paradise

March 28 (Saturday) WhistleStop Rock Festival Portland with Tiger Bomb, Heather Rose In Clover, The Knock Ups, PowerSlut, The Chelsea Curve, Kid Gulliver, Justine and the Unclean at Sun Tiki Studios 6PM start!!! FB page

March 31 (STuesday) Stubborn Hearts, Nowhere Fast, Lotus Kid, The War In Kids at the News Cafe Provi RI

Bay State Rock April 3 (Friday) Kid Gulliver, The Steamies, The Winter Project, A Bunch of Jerks at The Jungle

April 4 (Saturday) Uncomfortables, DNZL, Joe Division, The Damaged at the 13th Floor Music Lounge, Florence MA

April 8 (Wednesday) Mad Painter Live on the Heavy Leather Topless Dance Party

April 17 (Friday) FU's, End of Hope, Northern Skulls, & More at O'Brien's

April 19 (Sunday) The Undertones at The Paradise

April 25 (Saturday) WhistleStop Rock Festival Western Massachusetts - featuring: Heather Rose In Clover, Kid Gulliver, The Cold Expectations, OTP and special guests State Of The Union at HiLO North Adams - FB page

May 8 (Friday) Salem Answers-Night 1: This is a music fest to celebrate and encourage the arts, magic, equality, and diversity of Salem! 7-9 at Koto: Accoustic sets with Pink Malahares, Coffin Salesman, Jenn Lombari - 9:30 to close at Koto: Salem Wolves, Oh The Humanity!, Radio Compass, Bad Larry's....9:30 to Close at Opus: Marianne Toilet and the Runs, Losers Circle, Red Ledger, Hyber, Subourban Sunrise FB page

May 9 (Saturday) A Crash Course for the Ravers featuring Glider WMFO 91.5 - 1-4PM

Skybar May 9 (Saturday) Salem Answers-Night 2: 7-9 at Koto: Acoustic sets with Live Nude Girls, C.Murray, C.Okeeefe - 9:30 to close at Koto: Diablogato, Brix'N Mortar, Hellbound Hitmen, Skytigers, Motel Black...9:30 to Close at Opus: The Gala U.S., Z28, The Von Traps, The Downhauls FB page

May 10 (Sunday) SalemAnswers-Night 3: 7-9 at Koto: Accoustic sets with Carissa Angelo, Opus, Vilanvs, - 9:30 to close at Koto: Stiff Propisition (Glamtastic covers members of Bacterial Husk, Sexcrement, and Brix'N Mortar), Master of Beers (Metallica), Aces High (Iron Maiden), Warthog (Ramones ). FB page

May 16 (Saturday) Baabes, The Knock Ups, Mister Vertigo, Motel Black at The Jungle

June 14 (Sunday) Fourth Annual Out of the Blue Art Gallery Benefit FB page for more info as it comes.

CONTACT US Send us your gig listings, your anything else ya got!! You want your CD reviewed?? Contact us for that too.


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