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The BGN News Archive

March 23, 2015

Muck and the Mires

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.

Jittery Jack

Easy Ed     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 Above

The Above    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 that.


   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 being there.
   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, wrong.

Muck and the Mires

   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.


by John Keegan. Click Here

   So with that said.....
   Here's some other stuff:

Major Stars    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 it here.
   If you liked the bands you saw in True Age Media's Let’s Go To the Rat you can now get the soundtrack from the film since its out on CD. It 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, Baby’s 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. There’s 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....

Hardcore    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 7:30PM Here's the FB page for more info and you can buy tix here

   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 page

   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, Green Beret, 2X4 and Animal Mother NOTE: this is a 6PM show!

Biohazzard    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 we have.......

   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!

Dot Rats    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 event page

   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!!

FU's    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 here.

   April 24 (Friday) if you live near Dover, NH you're lucky coz there's a awesome show with NYC legends Thee Casualties and we luv us some Wimpy and you get Wimpy Rutherford & The Cryptics doing a Full Queers set - the Cryptics backing up NH legend and original Queers singer Wimpy Rutherford ...also, he should not have cut his hair,- Rockin' Bob which is Bob Cenci of Jerry's Kids and The FUs & friends playing Jerry's Kids material + more but you also get Shitty Friends we all have some of those right? these guys are from Lancaster, PA and also on the bill are Maine street punks The Earbleeds. its all happening at the Dover Brickhouse. See the FB page and be there.

   April 25 (Saturday)- Bob Colby Presents Sarah Rabdau & Self-Employed Assassins and The Wrong Shapes at Store 54

   May 6 (Wednesday) here's one to put in your calendars my friends: The Meatmen, Against the Grain and The Humanoids at the Middle East upstairs....(UP??? They sold out the downstairs last time!!) anyway here's the FB event page

gig   May 9 (Saturday) JOEFEST III: The 3rd Annual Joe Coughlin Memorial Concert with M.O.T.O., Johhny & The Jumper Cables - Stump The Undertaker and Lenny Lashley

    May 14 (Thursday) John Cooper Clarke is performing at Berklee!! At the David Friend Recital Hall (921 Boylston Street) Click the link to read more about JCC and to buy tickets.

    May 16 (Saturday) Hixx are at Club Bohemia at The Cantab

   May 22 (Friday)- You have been warned - Book the flight now: Sleep Chamber!! Doing their only show in 34 years in Tel Aviv, Israel at UTC+02. Not only is this their first show in 34 years - its their LAST SHOW ever.

   July 18 (Saturday) Mission of Burma opens for The Foo Fighters and the Mighty Mighty Bosstones at Fenway Park

   and of course The New England Shake-Up! September 25,26,27 2015! Keep yourself updated at their FB page

   CONTACT US AT.......misslynbgn @ yahoo.con Send us your gig listings, your news and anything else ya got!!

Jittery Jack


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