The BGN News Archive
December 4, 2017
We got an early night out on Monday at Great Scotts.
It was Dead Trains CD release show. The Rough Cuts were earlier on the bill.
The Rough Cuts
The Rough Cuts from Fitchburg had two old style
cheap looking microphones so you knew it was going to be a low
fidelity workout. Indeed the vocals sounded like they were coming
out of a six inch transistor radio. We knew from their
Bandcamp page that they had a messy garage
style. The great thing was that they weren't just being noisy.
All their songs had inventive twists in them, both with sound
and songwriting. They got some wacky sounds from those microphones,
tons of echo and other effects made the vocals go off into the
ionosphere. ..or was it the guitar? Hard to tell.
When a group's sound is primitive you expect the songs to be
primitive also. The Rough Cut however had all sorts of twists
and turns in their songs. They changed more than a few times as
they went along. They seemed like a sonic collage at times. They
are well rehearsed because they had lots of tempo and rhythm changes
to hit and they hit every one. They also ran their songs together
so at times it was hard to know if it was a new section of the
current song or the next song. We liked that challenge. See them
work their way through the song in the video above.
They reminded us of the Zip Tie Handcuffs. They
both have the idiosyncratic songs, some with a little psych in
them and the echo-laden vocals.
We saw Dead Trains a year ago down the street
The Wonder Bar. They do a stripped-down rock/blues
style with a punk attitude. We of course wanted it to be more
punk all around but they know what they're doing. They had a lot
of people up front soaking up every note. Led Zeppelin comes immediately
to mind with a lot of their riff based songs. Catch the video
above to hear that. That video is "Shake Em On Down" from their
new Big Fun CD. The good early week shows have been
sparse lately but this was a good one.
Once continues to have creative booking. They get some high profile
shows like Friday's Richard Lloyd and Dream
Dream Syndicate seemed like the big draw but
Lloyd has a lot of fans too. He's a guitar hero for a musical
movement that decried guitar heroes. How did that happen? His
and Tom Verlaine's extensive guitar workings
in Television were more instrumental compositions
that became the framework for the song rather than straight soloing,
although that's in there too. Richard's solo records brought his
muscular guitar work to his own compositions. We have a whole
list of favorite songs from those albums. We've seen him twice.
One occasion was
at Church in 2008.
It's hard to not just talk about the Television
material. Those majestic compositions scale the heights. Without
Verlaine's interaction they still can transport you to the high
heavens. Lloyd has the magic in his fingers and the band was right
there with him. When he hit the opening riff to "Marquee Moon"
there seemed to be a collective gasp. You knew what was coming
and he didn't disappoint.
Lloyd has a different voice than Verlaine but
it didn't matter too much. He also played "See No Evil". John
Hess said he liked those versions better than the ones
that re-grouped Television did at the Paradise around 2002. We
thought it was pretty close too and the sound at Once was better
than the Paradise gig as we remember it. But not to ignore Lloyd's
other material. "Alchemy" the title cut of his first solo album
also has the killer intro riff. We remind everyone that Reddy
Teddy's Matthew McKenzie played on that record. He played
"Pleading" and "Field of Fire" a longer guitar jam from the Real
Lloyd himself didn't have much to say. He seems pretty blah up
there. We were way back in the crowd so these videos are only
good to get an idea of the sound. We have "Marquee
Moon" and "See
You could feel the buzz for Dream Syndicate. John
Keegan saw Wynn in his group the
Miracle Three at Church in 2015. and in the Baseball
Project in 2014. We saw Wynn play the Medicine Show album in
2010 at Church.
All eyes went to Steve Wynn as he walked out
looking smart in a suit jacket. Their first song kicked up a lot
of guitar work right off the bat. Wynn's soloing had a lot of
Lloyd's sound and technique. It was a good transition. As the
set went on their sound changed, its emphasis getting more and
more psych. They did a few songs from Days of Wine and Roses
and many other albums. It was a long set, about two hours long,
then they did a few encores and then a few more songs.
This was their first show on the tour and they were super happy
at the audience response. They had a right to. Once
was full and few left before it was all done. The audience was
older as would be expected. We didn't see many young people at
all. Deep into the set they did a long psych jam that would have
sounded normal coming off the Boston Tea Party
stage in 1968. There were times during the jams when you could
see a blissful look on Steve Wynn's face. Like
Lloyd, Dream Syndicate didn't have a thrilling
stage show; they concentrated on playing the music only.
A lot of their material relies on the steady repetitive rhythm
section. The guitars work together to make a ringing thick sound
that rides over the rhythm like a wave. It's so easy to let it
wash over you and soak it in. One of the encore songs had Boston
in the lyrics and morphed into "Refugee" by Tom Petty
in the middle. Here's a video
taste of the action.
It was a long wide ranging show that had an impact from it's
size alone. Something you had to experience at the club.
Still on a high from Friday, the buzz continued with a party
atmosphere at the Midway on Saturday.
Duck & Cover
We walked into a full club with Duck & Cover
blasting away. We have been struck by the wide variety of D&C
fans. Their inventive punk has an undeniable appeal. It helps
that they are as tight as hell as a group.
This night the drummer caught our attention. He was getting
a great sound from the back-line drum set. That was true all night
too by all the drummers. As each drummer played, the drum head
on the front ripped more and more. After Jesse Von Kenmore,
the thing was in tatters and John Lynch was asking
for restoration money.
Other punk groups should be watching the way D&C
work a song. They make sure every song has an intro, ending, hook,
a change-up and development. They elevate the genre. They got
good attention with their showing in the Rumble. We think they
should be getting more now.
They have a good number of songs now that you wait for them
to play as they did at the Midway. "Wasted" and "Stand Corrected"
are at the top of the list. They do a glorious "Way of the World"
by Cheap Trick too. Video above. And we got this far without mentioning
Chris Brat's voice. We were happy when Dan Kopko
of Watts mentioned how he is in wonder of Chris' hard vocal attack.
Then it was on to Diablogato. We saw them at
Middle East in October. As we said then, we like Diablogato
better in the small clubs; so here we were and yup, they were
in your face good. The songs were hitting their mark especially.
You could catch their character, some more rockabilly than others.
With Jessie on drums every song starts at the upper end of the
rocking scale, so that's going on. The guitarist brings things
back however with choice rockabilly licks sweetened with the whammy
bar. Add in the baritone sax and you have Diablogato's
signature sound. The bass player is doing insane things on stage
with the standup bass. He's sitting on it, he's standing on it,
he's dancing with it, he's twirling it and inevitably slapping
the hell out of it.
It was two hard rocking sets and we knew what Watts was going
to do. They do it every time. It's a rocking blitzkrieg, a domination
via rock that there's no use in fighting, and that's what they
They had the last set and plenty of time so they had a long
set list. They have three CD and a few singles to draw from. It's
all tried and true material. They concentrated mostly on their
last CD, they started with "The Black Heart of Rock n Roll", hit
"Up All Night", "She's So Electric", "Flash of White Light",
"Strut Like A Champ" and "Bye & Bye". Not only do they all sing
together but all take turns singing lead. Each of them could sing
the whole set themselves.
Watts' sound has changed since the first CD
in 2007. They are much more high-powered now. The latest EP, released
this night, has them changing just a bit again. Two songs have
falsetto singing on them. Something they didn't do before. They
are not changing the formula just adding to it. It's like Muck
and the Mires, we don't want them to change, but it's
up to them to keep things interesting and still have the attributes
we love them for. Mission accomplished on that. Video of new song
"We're Through With Rock n Roll" is above.
Lee Harrington and John Blout
They brought surprise guest Lee Harrington
up on stage to sing "Father Christmas" by the Kinks.
That's the first Christmas song of the season for us. Lee was
acting all kooky up there and was very entertaining. He said he
loved the group so much that he was offering sex to all of them
in the parking lot. It seemed to be agreed on with John Lynch
stipulating, "no condoms". They then played an AC/DC song in memory
of Malcolm Young, it wasn't wake like it was party time. Video
above. Then Chris Bratt and Mike from openers Bunch of Jerks got
up on stage too. John Blout had the half sung/half yelling vocal
down and when Chris Brat's vocal was added it was full bore AC/DC.
A short note: Props to the sound guy, every group sounded hot
Quite a night. For us it was two nights with five bands in a
row of resounding rock. You gotta love it.
More band photos below the show listings.
John Keegan also has a review and photos on the Dream Syndicate/Richard Llyod show.
Click on photo below for the page.
And it seems everyone was at this Dream Syndicate
show. Mark Davis was and too much is never enough
we guess because here are his photos of the show. Click the photo
And in other news.....
Thursday’s Globe had an article that revealed that this
December’s issue of The Noise
will be it’s last. That was a shocker. The Noise has been
going since 1981. That’s 36 years of work. T Max
managed to get print issues into all the clubs and record stores
up to a few years ago when it went digital. In the print issues
the masthead listed over 30 people that contributed to compiling
an issue. T Max was the only paid person. People believed in the
Noise’s mission; that’s how they managed to last
so long. Francis Di Menno and A.J. Wachtel
were two of the writers who were still going strong right
to the end. T Max will now concentrate on his music career. There
was an article/interview on us in 2013 (Read
it here) We appreciated the attention and the whole scene
was served well by The Noise.
T Max's final words are here. In
I lot of people were upset to see Johnny D’s in Davis Square
get flattened this week. That place is irretrievably gone. Something
else will be in its place. See the
pics on Boston.com
The Connection posted on Facebook that they
are mixing their new album with David Minehan
at Wooly Mammoth. Rum Bar potentate
Malibu Lou said the band is shopping the music
around, meaning it might not be on Rum Bar this time.
Saturday March 17th 2018 / St. Patrick’s Day. Thundertrain
is getting together for a reunion down at jetBlue Park in Ft.
Meyers, FL!! .
Here's some good shows coming up .....
December 5 (Tuesday) Carissa
Johnson is at Dusk in Providence, RI
December 8 (Friday) Rumbar
records is throwing a HUGE record release party of the
new Justine and the Unclean record Get
Unclean....It's at Once and there will be bands
in the ballroom and in the Lounge. Check out this list!: In the
Ballroom- The Upper Crust, Hey Zeus, Tom Baker and the
Snakes, Justine and the Unclean ....In the Lounge - Cold
Expectations, Roy Sludge Trio, Pinecone Teeth and Jay
Allen - doors at 7:30 show starts at 8:15.
December 9 (Saturday) The
Raging Teens are turning 21 this year.. and that's "Drinkin'
Age!" There's releasing a 45 called "Drinkin' Age"
on Swelltune Records to celebrate their 21 years as a band! AND
that means The Raging Teens Holiday Shindig Record Release!
With The Raging Teens, Nate Gibson, Bloodshot Bill, Sean
Mencher at Great Scott. FB
December 9 (Saturday) Radiator
Rattlers, Brix'n Mortar, Lipstick Boys, The Grubs at
The Chit Chat Lounge in Haverhill FB
December 10 (Sunday) It's
time for the Annual Rockin Holiday Flea Market and Bloody
Mary Bash- 11AM-5PM at Once Ballroom. Since it’s
always FREE ADMISSION they ask that you bring a small toiletry
( shampoo, razors, toothbrushes, etc) to donate to the residents
of ROSIE’S PLACE if you can. Not required but it would be
nice if you did. Checkl out the
FB page for more info.
December 10 (Sunday) The
Boston Hassle and Ignore Rock'n'Roll Heroes present their joint
effort, Black Market a bi-monthly one-day flea
market featuring handmade artwork, prints, patches, records, tees,
pins, ceramics, jewelry, zines, body care, tea, macrame; vintage
clothing, accessories, books, as well as tarot readings, haircuts,
live drawings, and more! 12-6PM at The Massasoit Elks Lodge
December 10 (Sunday) Loser's
Circle and Special Guests are at The Midway 4PM show
55 Bishop Allen Dr, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139 Here
the FB page for vendor lists etc. $1 entry fee!!
December 10 (Sunday) Horton's
Holiday Hayride featuring Reverend Horton Heat
& Junior Brown with special guests The
Blasters & Big Sandy at The Sincalir
And further out we have...
December 11 (Monday) Rock
and Roll Tacos & Trivia at ONCE Lounge 7-10PM...always
December 14-16 (Thurs-Sat) Bowery
Boston presents Street Dogs Wreck the Halls Thursday
12/15- with special guests The New Darkbuster
& Taxi Driver at The Sinclair -
Proceeds benefit Massachusetts Fallen Heroes
December 14 (Thursday) Boston
Compass: Confront Your Issues party and pop-up
art show at Garmnent District. They'll be artists DJs snack and
shopping Nd its free! 6-9PM FB
page for more info
December 14 (Thursday) The
Hi-End, The Peasants, Trusty Sidekick at Sally O'Brien's
December 15 (Friday) The
Evil Streaks, Muck And The Mires, The Downbeat 5, The Black Cheers
at O'Brien's Pub
December 15 (Friday) Tragedy,
The Scrooges, Rawstrum at The Middle East Up.
December 15 (Friday) Street
Dogs Wreck the Halls with special guests The
Pinkerton Thugs & The Abductors at
December 16 (Saturday) Roy
Sludge is doing a 4PM show at Atwood's.
December 16 (Saturday) Street
Dogs Wreck the Halls with special guests A Wilhelm
Scream & Michael Kane & the Morning Afters
at The Sinclair
December 16 (Saturday) Bent
Shapes with Beware the Dangers of a Ghost Scorpion
@ Great Scott- this is Bent Shapes' FINAL SHOW
December 17 (Sunday) Thrash
N Bang's Annual Xmas/Pizza Party Show! with Crimespree,
CAC, The Grommets, The Sewer Buddies, and Jenn
Lombari & special guests (Matinee 4-8PM)
December 17 (Sunday) The
Dazies, Hallelujah the Hills, The Knock Ups, Courters at
Koto in Salem
December 20 (Wednesday) Solstice
Party 2K17: Gizzards, Coralcola, Full Color, Totaled
December 20 (Wednesday) Crimespree,
Worm, Parkinglot at the C Note in Hull
December 26 (Tuesday) KCUF,
Loser's Circle, The Essays at O'Brien's Pub
December 28 (Thursday) The
Knock Ups, Gene Dante And The Future Starlets, Godmouth, Set Fire
at O'Brien's Pub
December 30 (Saturday) When
Particles Collide, Old Jack, Petty Morals at The Lizard
December 30 (Saturday) 3
Parts Dead, Z28, Test Meat at Koto in Salem
January 6 (Saturday) Nervous
Eaters, Watts and David Age & The Regrets
at ThunderRoad FB
January 6 (Saturday) Fur
Purse Album Release Party with Whore Paint, Shepherdess,
sister at The Midway
January 9 (Tuesday) The
Hi-End, Ski Bunny and Monty's Lobster
January 13 (Saturday) Stop
Calling Me Frank, State of The Union, The Johns, Angel Martins
at The Midway for a ear;ly show at 4:00 PM
January 13 (Saturday) Lyres,
Paul Collins Beat, Boston Cream at Thunder Road FB
January 14 (Sunday) The
Black Souls, Crunch Time, I Wish I Could Skateboard, Vanishing
Point at The MIdweay for a early show at 4Pm
January 20 (Monday) U.S.
Bombs, Wimpy Rutherford & The Cryptics, The FUs -
at the Dover Brickhouse Dover, NH - Here's the
January 27 (Saturday) Red
Mantis, Silver Screams, Wrought Iron Hex & Greylock
January 27 (Saturday) Il
Mostro, Mercury On Mars, Uncomfortables, Silver Screams
at O'Brien's Pub
February 11 (Sunday) The
Thigh Scrapers, State of The Union, Girl On Top, Lily Black
for a early show at 4PM at The Midway
February 24 (Saturday) A
Bunch of Jerks, Muck & the Mires, Jay Allen & The Archcriminals,
Hambone Skinny at The Midway 9PM show
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and anything else ya got!! You want your CD reviewed?? Contact
us for that too.
The Rough Cut
Miami Lou introducing Watts
Lee Harrington with Watts