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The BGN News Archive

September 10, 2018

State of the Union
State of the Union
Photo: Blowfish

A lot of the Boston rock community would have been at Fenway Park on Tuesday for Pearl Jam. We, however, were where we usually end up on Tuesday – O’Brien’s. What can we say? They bring the early week punk.

State of the Union was playing and we are hot on them now. We mistimed the set and only saw the last few songs. We were sure they would be on second not first. Despite there being very few people in the club the band was in full blown rock out mode. They were sweating like crazy and digging hard into their instruments. These are the moments that make us marvel. Does the band get discouraged with the small turnout? No, they give it all. There is a lesson there in how to live your life. They ended with the Ramones “Beat on the Brat”. They're right on the verge of releasing their next album. We talk about that below.

Photo: Blowfish

Gasko has members that have been on the scene since the 90’s. They seemed to take a lot from the pre-seventies hard rock. The vocals sounded a lot like Pop Gun to us. The songs shaped up from the chord progressions. Not bad at all. Their Bandcamp page songs relate to what we heard live.

Evil Engine
Evil Engines
Photo: Blowfish

Evil Engines are from Mississippi. There's some connection to the Gizmos and Eddie Flowers but to tell you what it is would mean we could understand Kenne Highland’s verbally obscure explanation. In any case, Kenne was there and he will explain in his column this week. Again with not many people there they put all their energy into the set.

They were nice and punky. The guitar leads were often single line riffs that were doubled up with the two guitarists. That gave them a thick texture and they stood out giving the songs an extra feature to catch your ear as they repeated. We wished we knew their material beforehand because the songs seemed worth getting the lyrics. They did have that southern influence that seeped into the material and made it more interesting for us.

They covered “I Think of Demons” by Roky and that was worth going out for right there. We have it on vid here "I Think of Demons" but it’s out of focus (damn), but still worth hearing.

They also covered “Need To Know” by Tom Petty, the video is above. They sped it up and played it with power chords to make it work in a punk way. Beyond any single song the overall set was a rush of rock and felt so good on a Tuesday night. Somehow you never think anything this good will come early in the week but it does and it did. We talked to them before and after. They are a great bunch of guys. We admire them and the bands like them that travel up to 12 hours a day to get to the next show for weeks in a row.

Evil Engines
Evil Engines
Photo: Blowfish

There was way too much to choose from on Saturday. The easy thing was listening to Color Killer on Crash Course for the Ravers at 1pm. Those kids are amazing and also hard working. They have gigs everywhere.

The early show at the Midway was worth going to with Lucky United and M.O.T.O but then there was a Jamaica Plain Music Fest with Shelia Divine, Sidewalk Driver and Andy California at Pinebank Field. At the same time Watts was playing a Riverfest in Somerville. (We heard later they did a 70 minute set.) At night Muck and the Mires were at the Plough and Stars for a record release, the Knock Ups at Sally O’Brien’s and the Queers were playing on a boat.

We shot for the night time Midway show. The main thrust was that it was Richard Mirsky’s CD release show. There was a good crowd at the club.

Chris Brokow
Chris Brokaw
Photo: Blowfish

Chris Brokaw opened the show in a trio format. Well known as a Codeine and Come member his career is wide ranging and most impressive. There was much more instrumental work than singing. Overall the music was it’s own genre. Everything had a brooding mood that is Chris doing his thing. He is constantly picking the chords out arpeggio style with the low note moving around to give a sense of shifting drama. That’s not done much at all these days.

The tempos were on the slow side with just a few rocky upbeat numbers. At one point Chris changed his guitar. That’s a normal thing you see. What was unusual was that the bass player changed his too. It seemed the same to us but there must be a reason for that.

Rich Mirsky
Photo: Blowfish

Everyone got upfront and gave full attention to Rich Mirsky. He played most of the songs from his new CD called Creepy Older Guy. The song "Creepy Older Guy" was a funny self-deprecating look at himself. It came across pitch perfect. You identified with him and the situation. He really captured something there. It came across as a sort of theme song for him.

He also played “Melissa” from the CD. We have that on our Top Ten Songs. The video is above. It captured a Lou Reed feeling with that Sweet Jane chord playing as it told the story of an office co-worker crush. The solo by Mike Powers was a stunner. He was on an amplified acoustic with some effects on the tone. It was a searing single line solo with masterful articulation. Mike Powers was in the Third Rail line up in 1980-83. Richard Nolan always had the best musicians and Mirsky has the same thing going on, the whole band was sharp.

Rich sings and plays with a calm born from years of performing. His songs covered some different genres. He comes across as a singer-songwriter in this configuration rather than just a member of a band. Many were there for the first two bands it seemed because the club lost some people after Rich’s set but they missed out on two more great bands.

Justine and the Unclean
Photo: Blowfish

Justine and Unclean were tight and punchy with their pop punk. The set was half old songs and half new. They are all three minute punk gems. To us they came across as if they were an established international act that had a few records out and you are waiting to hear your favorites. They seemed too good to be just a local band with only one release.

They have that band dynamic where you feel the individual identities on stage: Jim the crazy, stick twirling drummer, Janet the steady, amiable bass player, Charles the genius guitar nerd and Justine the leader. It’s all ready for Sixteen and Hit Parader Magazine. There was something in the character of the singing when Justine and Janet sang together that evoked the punk songs from the first punk era. It’s all ice cream too us.

Stop Calling Me Frank
Photo: Blowfish

Stop Calling Me Frank may be the best end of the night band ever, as they were on Saturday. They had a let’s-have-fun ethic and a few drinking songs that drove you into party land. Once you've heard this band you never forget them. They don’t sound like almost any other band out there now. They have the sax heavy sound that harkens back to the origins of rock. They played their old material and some new songs. They opened with "Every Time I See Her" with it’s irresistible sax hook.

Our current fave is “Dash to the Haberdashery” an almost vaudevillian sounding effort that was played with a driving urgency that indeed made you want to dash… to somewhere. They don’t play ballads. Romantically it’s like; "My Baby Is An Ax-murderer From The State of Wisconsin". The only time they got serious was with the new song “Gimme Life” which is uplifting. They got an encore, and it was 1:20am at that point, and ended up with a driving rocker.

It's like they say in our Stop Calling Me Frank interview this year: “We’re going to move our semi-drunk asses around, sweat, and have fun like you’re supposed to!” ‘Nuff said.

More band photos below the show listings

We talked about the Rat Beach Party last week but John Keegan was at more of the show. He has his review and a cool slide show of photos on his page. Click photo below for full story.

Rat Beach Party

And in other news ....

Record Movie Records Collecting Dust II a film which has some local luminaries in it is at the Regent in Arlington this Friday Sept 14. They'll have the FU’s and Antibodies playing live afterwards.

Also at the Regent from Sept 19 to 23 the new Public Image Ltd film The Image is Rotten. Sept 26 to 28 it’s more rock on film with the showing of Bad Reputation which is all about Joan Jett. They claim, “She will kick your ass, and you'll love her all the more for it.” So there’s your September film schedule right there. Check their site for more info.

Petty Morals got a half page color photo in the Herald on Friday. That’s a reminder to tell you of their two big shows. One at the Peabody Essex Museum on Sept 14 and the Bust Out Boston Music Fesival at the Burren on Sept 19-23

The world is falling apart but we don’t care because the Shiny Beasts album is now available. It’s up on Bandcamp. We heard most of these songs live. They are short and punky. Do what we do, imagine Henry shaking his maracas as you listen to songs like “Feral Cat” and "Draggin’ You Down”. And it would be a better world if everyone listened to what Shiny Beasts tell you to do: “Pick Up Your Trash”.

Chets Chet’s Last Call is going be shown at the Cape Ann Cinema on Oct 18. FB page here. It’s also at the Regent on Oct 21. After the film there will be sets by Randy Black and The Heathcroppers, The Dogmatics, Bim Skala Bim and TBA Allstars. More info here. We've seen the film and it is supurb. It manages to tell the story of Chet, the club, the bands and the scene in the 80’s. We have an early review of it here

Next Rock and Roll Trivia is Tuesday Oct 2 at the Sinclair.

Xanna Don't is coming back to Boston to play at Thunder Road on Tuesday Sept 18.

It’s eight months from now but Cal Cali already has a show for May 11, 2019. Originally scheduled for Club Bohemia it’s a Rosebud reunion/appreciation show with Lyres, Glider, Classic Ruins and Screw Cart. It's now at Koto in Salem. We love that Screw Cart is in the mix and the Classic Ruins have played so long in so many venues that they could be booked at any reunion show for any club in existence since 1977. FB page

State of the Union State of the Union are releasing a new CD called Panaflex Blue. We were primed for this with the live shows we've seen recently where they played many of the new songs. “Ring Me Up” sounds like a Neighborhoods song from the “Prettiest Girl” era. Can things get any better than that? The album was recorded at Wooly Mammoth Sound and David Minehan did play on the track. “Bombs in Boston” is like a cross between the Hoods and Stiff Little Fingers. At their last Midway show they played "Rain" and pronounced this should be their single. It is indeed single material!!

State of the Union remind us of the Clash because of the character of the vocals and the way they ride on the punk guitar bed below. It also reminds us of a lot of seventies punk albums that we love to death to this day. This Saturday Sept 14 they will be live on A Crash Course for the Ravers with Brian Young and next Saturday Sept 28 they have their record release show at The Midway with The Gala, Gene Dante & TFS and The Hi End.

Here's some good shows coming up this week.....

  Tounge Party

September 10 (Monday) Aneurysm, Tongue Party, Knock Over City, Forktie at O'Brien's

September 11 (Tuesday) Killing Joke on their 40th Anniversary Tour at the Paradise FB page

September 11 (Tuesday) Cheetah Chrome's new "Dead Boys", The Ghost Wolves, Midnight Creeps, The Worried at Alchemy in Provi RI. The Midnight Creeps!!! so glad they are back!!!

September 12 (Wednesday) Cheetah Chrome's new "Dead Boys", The Ghost Wolves - added to the bill- The Nervous Eaters and the reformed Red Invasion!! at Sonia. This is one of only two shows Red Invasion will be doing. FB page

September 12 (Wednesday) Mongorellis, Order 66, Circus Battalion @ PA's Lounge

September 13 (Thursday) MC50 presents Kick Out The Jams - The 50th Anniversary Tour - whoa!! This is Wayne Kramer celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the MC5...with special guests!! At the Paradise. FB page

September 13 (Thursday) Carinae, Stuyedeyed, Zip-Tie Handcuffs at O'Brien's

Dead Boys poster September 13 (Thursday) Randy Black & The Heathcroppers and The Emily Grogan band are at Tavern at the End of the World 

September 13 (Thursday) Test Meat, Haunted Horses (NYC) at The Plough and Stars

September 13 (Thursday) Fall-Fest 5 Day 1: featuring The Avengers! also on the bill - Silver Screams, Boot Rot, City Problems and a bunch more bands. It’s at Alchemy. Music starts at 8PM Here's the FB page

September 13 (Thursday) Hudson Falcons, Genuine Rust, Sonic Libido and more TBA at This is an ALL AGES Matinee! at Thirsty First: Tavern & Grill, Lowell.

September 14 (Friday) Illegally Blind presents: Way Out, Russian Baths, Black Beach, House of Harm at O'Brien's

September 14 (Friday) Ten Dollar Mistake, Cold Expectations, The Melatonins at the Tavern at the End of the World

September 14 (Friday) Records Collecting Dust II Film Premiere at Regent Theatre in Arlington: it "focuses on the East Coast cities of Boston, New York and Washington DC, and includes in depth interviews with twenty eight highly influential people from the 1980’s hardcore punk rock music scene." Including- Bob Cenci (jerry's kids) and John Sox (The FU's) After the film there will be sets by The FU's and Antibodies. FB page

September 15 (Saturday) State of the Union will be on Brian Young's A Crash Course for the Ravers on WMFO 91.5 1-4PM

Rock show poster September 15 (Saturday) The Hideout, In The Meantime, DNZL at O'Brien's

September 15 (Saturday) Stars Like Ours, Sidewalk Driver, Gene Dante & TFS at KOTO Salem.

September 16 (Sunday) Black Market Flea by Boston Hassle & Ignore Rock n Roll Heroes - we went in June and it is awesome!!Lots of great vendors. Check it out folks!! 12-6PM FB page for info

September 16 (Sunday) LOCAL Focus: a celebration and sale of boston rock photography And Bob Colby's Goodbye Party and Rock Extravaganza, 20+ of Boston's music photographers, spanning four decades of Boston music photography, will each display two prints in the Ballroom at ONCE. 2pm - 10pm FB event page

And further out we have...

September 18 (Tuesday) Ian Moore with his full band PLUS Xanna Don’t & The Wanted at Thunder Road

September 18 (Tuesday) ALL AGES MATINEE- 1-6PM : Hudson Falcons, Genuine Rust, Sonic Libido, Losers Circle at the Thirsty First Tavern in Lowell.

September 19 - 23 (Weds-Sun) Regent from Sept 19 to 23 the new Public Image Ltd film The Image is Rotten.

HasselfestSeptember 19 - 23 (Weds-Sun) Bust Out Boston Music Festival at The Burren - a five night festival dedicated to Boston Music by "womxn". FB page

September 19 (Wednesday) Bust Out Boston Music Festival at The Burren Day One - NEON BLK (fka Radclyffe Hall), Abbie Barrett & Band, ZOLA

September 20 (Thursday) Richie Parsons plays before Queeraoke - that's 8-9:30 - at the Midway

September 20 (Thursday) Boston Emissions is back. They're doing early shows at Hennessy’s upstairs, across from City Hall.
Doors at 7:30. Music starts at 8:30. Food served all night. This night they have Baabes, Set Fire, 123 Astronaut. Check out the FB page for directions etc.

September 21 (Friday) Thalia Zedek Band album release party with special guests Sleepyhead at The Midway

September 21 (Friday) Bust Out Boston Music Festival at The Burren Day Three- VQnC, Petty Morals, Stars Like Ours

September 21 (Friday) Punk Night with Crimespree, The Straight Eights, Worm, The Woods at Pinz - Kingston FB page for info and direction

September 22 (Saturday) The Knock Ups, Titans of Industry, Sweetcreem, MIDI Myers at The Midway

September 22 (Saturday) Bust Out Boston Music Festival at The Burren Day Four - The Devils Twins, Dark Matter, Magen Tracy & the Missed Connections, Susan Cattaneo, Cujo, Flight of Fire, Happy Little Clouds, Lily Black, PowerSlut, Citrusphere, Mint Green, Lonely Leesa & The Lost Cowboys

Brian Young September 22 (Saturday) 1st Annual ONCE FEST at Once - An all-day and night festival of more than 10 local bands alternating sets in the Ballroom and Lounge. Check the FB page for more info

September 22 (Saturday) The Dogmatics, The Dents, HEAP at Cafe Nine in New Haven CT

September 23 (Sunday) The McGunks, Quiggs, Port City Saints, The Martians do a Sunday day show at the Midway 4PM

September 23 (Sunday) Roy Sludge B'day Jamboree at Sally O'Brien's 6PM & Free

September 23 (Sunday) Vivi'd presents Agnostic Front and Death Before Dishonor at the Middle East UP -this is an early show- doors are at 3:30PM.

September 23 (Sunday) FEAR at the Middle East Down- Tix are $25...but maybe you'll want to shell out $125 for a meet and greet and early entry. Also on the bill are Slapshot and the Pint Killers.

September 23 (Sunday) Bust Out Boston Music Festival at The Burren Day Five - Oompa, Melissa Ferrick, Shepherdess, Aversed, Aubrey Haddard, Carissa Johnson, Marcela Cruz, sister, Emily Grogan, Fur Purse, Cruel Miracle, Thrust Club, Radium Girls

September 26 - 28 (Weds-Friday) The Regent Theater in Arlington is showing of Bad Reputation which is all about Joan Jett.

September 28 (Friday) Thee Fightin' Fish, Graneros, Jakals at Opus in Salem

Colby goes Bye bye September 28 (Friday) State of the Union's CD release party at the Midway with The Gala, Gene Dante and The Hi-End. We heard some of that material and it is awesome!!! FB event page

September 28 (Friday) Have Nots, Lenny Lashley's Gang of One, Cuidado, Blood Stained Brindle at The Middle East Up

September 28 (Friday) Stop Calling Me Frank, Soraia, Hambone Skinny & The Connection at Sally O'Brien's

September 28 (Friday) When Particles Collilde, Dirty Dottys, Bloom at O'Brien's

September 28 (Friday) Shiny Beasts, Tiger Bomb at the Plough

September 29 (Saturday) Kermit's Finger, New Frustrations, More Beer Please, Instamatics 4-8PM At the Midway

September 29 (Saturday) Party Bois (record release!) along with Carissa Johnson, Andre Obin and Dj Michael V at Great Scott

Crimespree September 29 (Saturday) Crunchtime, The Hi-End, State Of The Union, The Worried at Koto in Salem

October 1 (Monday) Major Stars *tour kickoff* Chris Brokaw Rock Band & Bong Wish at Charlie's Kitchen

October 2 (Tuesday) Rock n Roll Trivia at The Sincalir!! FB page.

October 2 (Tuesday) Coffin Salesman, Bob Cenci, Troll 2 and 1 more tba at Opus in Salem

October 5 (Friday) Kid Gulliver, The Hi-End, The Stigmatics at The Jeanie Johnston Pub in JP

October 8 (Monday) Loser's Circle, Coffin Salesman, Voice of Addiction, Cook Bag at Charlie's Kitchen

October 12 (Friday) Salem Horror Fest After Party with Diablogato, Gray Bouchard and the Dedications and Petty Morals at Opus in Salem

October 13 (Saturday) The Pack A.D., Tom Baker & The Snakes, The Gala at ONCE

Watts October 14 (Sunday) Punkcake's Halloween Market with lots of cool vendors and music by The Evil Streaks, The Demon Seeds, Coffin Salesman at Ralph's Diner 12-5PM FB page for more info

October 14 (Sunday) Jagger Holly, MATB, The Prozacs, Mongorellis, Color Killer at Beatnik's in Worcester.

October 15 (Monday) Jagger Holly, Mongorellis, The Prozacs, Jimmy Jacked, Color Killer at Opus Salem

October 15 (Monday)- October 18- Thursday Jonathan Richman at the Middle East Up.

October 17 (Wednesday) The Damned are back and at The Paradise.

October 18 (Thursday) The Proletariat, Savageheads, Silver Screams at Sonia -FB page

October 18 (Thursday) Sidewalk Driver, Watts, Justine and the Unclean at Thunder Road

Lyres October 19 (Friday) Halloween Show with Kid Gulliver, The Knock-Ups, Ski Bunny, Sapling will include Special Halloween covers and a full cover set with The Knock-Ups doing Siouxsie and the Banshees. At jeanie Johnston Pub in JP

October 20 (Saturday) Nervous Eaters, Indonesian Junk, Duck & Cover at the Middle East Up

October 20 (Saturday) Stop Calling Me Frank, Crunchtime, The Jiblantos and The Black Souls at The Midway for a 4PM matinee.

October 27 (Saturday) Lyres, GLiDER, the modifierS at The Middle East Up- Early show doors at 6:30PM

October 27 (Saturday) The Descendents w/ Teenage Bottlerocket at The Palladium in Worcester FB page for tix etc

October 29 & 30 (Mon & Weds) Now here's how to do Halloween!! At Symphony Hall this Halloween season when Keith Lockhart and members of the Boston Pops visit The Bates Motel and perform the original score of the Alfred Hitchcock film, "Psycho", in sync with the film on the big screen. One of the greatest suspenseful thrillers of all time, this cinematic masterpiece comes alive with Bernard Herrmann's spine-tingling score performed live. The unforgettable and disturbing slashing chords played during the now famous shower scene are just as terrifying now as they were to first-time audiences in 1960.

November 2 (Friday) Roky Erikson at Once. Tix here.

November 4 (Sunday) Book release party for Poetry for the Neon Apocalypse by local Punk Poet Jake Tringali with Mint Green, Ski Bunny, The Sewer Buddies, Jenn Lombari, Hyber at The Midway 4-8 PM. FB page

Buy Me Boston November 11 (Sunday) Save the date!! Brian Coleman who has published the much talked about Buy Me Boston book will be having a slideshow and panel discussion (including our very own Paul Blowfish Lovell, oh yeah and David Bieber) to promote the book. It's at The Brattle Theater - more info as it becomes available.

November 17 (Saturday) It's HIXXGIVING!! The joyous return of the annual celebration of white trash culture and redneck vittles. This year they'll have newcomers - Alice Highland, New Jersey's Sex Zombies, Your hosts- HIXX and the formidable Screw Cart. This will, no doubt, be off the hook! The buffet will be provided by the bands. Hixx asks that you bring non perishable food items, as always, for a local woman's shelter.

November 17 (Saturday) Post Punk 1977-87 Cover Night at Sally O'Brien's - 3 super groups will be covering songs from 1977-87. (punk, new wave, synth pop etc)
The groups are: Chuck Ferreira, Josh Pickering & friends, Duncan Wilder Johnson & friends, and Anthony Kaczynski & friends. FB event page

December 1 (Saturday) the second and final Red Invasion show - with Funeral Cone and Brix N' Mortar and one more TBA. @ The Middle East Upstairs

December 9 (Sunday) Trusty Sidekick, Stigmatics, Crunchtime. Dick Pics do a Matinee 4-8 show at The Midway

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

Evil Engine

Evil Engines
Photo: Blowfish
Photo: Blowfish
State of the Union
State of the Union
Photo: Blowfish
Justine and the Unclean

Justine and the Unclean
Photo: Blowfish

Justine and the Unclean
Photo: Blowfish
Stop Calling ME Frank

Stop Calling Me Frank
Photo: Blowfish
Stop Calling Me Frank

Stop Calling Me Frank
Photo: Blowfish


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