John Lydon - NYC
Photo: Miss Lyn
It seems people out there want to celebrate the 40th Anniversary
of Punk. So we headed down to Manhattan to catch a couple Punk
exhibitions this past weekend.
First was Too Fast to Live, Too Young to Die: Punk Graphics,
1976-1986 at the Museum of Art & Design.
That show was mainly about the graphics and imagery used in punk for
album covers, gig poster, buttons and the like. It felt pretty sterile
but brought home the idea that, at the time, that imagery was pretty
ground breaking. The focus was on bands like The Sex Pistols, The Clash
and pother bigger named bands. On the day we went there was a special
one hour conversation with John Lydon before seeing
the exhibition. Now THAT was exciting! To finally see John Rotten in
person! John sat with Gillian McCain, (co-author of Please Kill Me)
for what was supposed to be a question and answer presentation. But
John Lydon is a one man show so it was mainly him talking about what
he wanted to talk about.
We also went to The Museum of Sex to catch their exhibit
Punk Lust: Raw Provocation 1972-1985. This
one felt a lot more punk and the focus here was on the sexuality of
punk and the use of sexual imagery, language and attire to shock. This
show is has loads of great stuff and is definitely worth the trip to
NY!! Check out the photos and you’ll see what we mean. To see
click the link below.
You have to put some time aside to keep up with The Connection.
Along with their releases you have Kris Rodgers, Brad
Marino and Geoff Palmer all with solo careers of their
own. Their solo efforts are all a bit different.
Last Saturday Brad Marino was playing at Sally O’Brien’s
with his new CD release called Extra Credit.
Rodgers & the Dirty Gems
To keep things in the family Kris Rodgers & the Dirty Gems
did the opening slot. (Rodgers also co-produced Brad’s album.)
Kris is the keyboard guy in the Dirty Gems and by listening to his solo
material you can see the wide sweep of his playing. His songs at Sally
O’s were taken from his several albums. He has the Billy Joel/Elton
John feel in his material. The last song of the set was a cover of John’s
“Take Me To The Pilot”. Video below.
Kris also did “Every Little Crack” that was a Coolest
Song of the Week at Little Steven’s underground Garage show. It’s
hard not to like all of Kris’ songs and his piano led group would
probably have an appeal to a large audience. His band is top notch.
The guitarist adds some meaty solos, he often sounds like Pink Floyd’s
Kris also sat in for Brad’s set. Just a day
previously Brad’s wife delivered a baby, talk about Extra Credit!
The wife said, of course go do the show. That’s a rock and roll
household! Brad did most of the songs from Extra Credit. One
of the standouts is “C’mon, C’mon, C’mon”
(video below) and “Broken Record” about a girlfriend messing
with a record collection is going to be a long time fave. It’s
funny and all us record collectors can see ourselves in it. “Wake
Up Baby” was written with Kurt Baker and you
could hear some of Kurt’s songwriting magic in it.
Brad takes a lot from early County and injects that into some Chuck Berry type
rockers. He sang “What Comes Naturally” that has country touches
and did a cover of “Bye Bye Johnny” by Berry. “It’s
Not Right” was a pop nugget. All in all a breezy pop set that made you
want to get that CD.
Stop Calling Me Frank
Stop Calling Me Frank’s last show was at the House of
Blues in front of thousands....so the next step….a half full Sally O’Brien’s.
If anything they played even harder at Sally O’s. This band just loves
to play, period. They were loose and freewheeling which is a perfect way to
be on a late night at Sally O’s. They even did a few new songs, always
a sign of a healthy group. One was called “Cyclone Baby” another
was so new that Lennie was singing the lyrics from a cheat sheet.
Another twist was having a guest accordionist which set up a Cajun zydeco song.
That sounded very good, there’s another thing they can do. One thing they
don’t do is the blues; you just can’t be blue when listening to
this upbeat mayhem. At some point Terry on sax ended up on the floor, the set
was almost over, but a lot of yelling got two more encores.
That a band from the Chet’s Last Call era can be out there now and have
more success than ever is one of the wonderful mysteries of the Boston punk
Thursday we were at Once for a good bill. Openers Duck
& Cover and Minibeast are two bands we go out
for on their own.
We saw about half of Duck & Cover’s set. We know
their set and songs well now. We just take it in and catch all the cool guitar
interactions and the twists that make them unique and stamp them as Duck &
Cover material. They had one new song that we caught and then a cover. In the
past they have pulled out an occasional cover and they are always a revealing
pick. This time it was “Better Off Dead” by La Peste. That reminded
us of Les Lullies covering “Do The Boob” last week. It was another
nod to our rich punk past in Boston which is where the BGN began and always
relates too. If we like or don’t like a band it's often because of our
experiences in the mid-seventies.
Last time we saw Minibeast was on this selfsame stage when
they opened for Gang of Four in February.
It seemed to us that the sound was a bit off. Whatever it was it took us a few
songs until we got that pull from the rhythm section that we love.
Most people go to bands for the front man who usually is a singer or guitar
player, this is a band you could go to for the drummer! Keith Seidel’s
busy and unrelenting machine precision drumming is almost super human. The bass player is also fantastic, it’s a rhythm section to die
for. Over that Peter Prescott is a sort of mad preacher/flim
flam man. He adds the color from his electronic closet: it’s bloops, bleeps,
drop ins, dissonant chords and looped vocals. It’s creepy and other worldly
By the end of their set Once was just about full. It was a younger crowd than
at the shows we usually attend. They loved Minibeast. That was nice.
The headliners drew this audience. Death is a group that
got some notoriety a few years ago. They were playing some raw music in Detroit
in 1971. They made one single that got rereleased and they were heralded as
an early precursor to punk. Without knowing the backstory they sounded like
an early raw hard rock group maybe. But you can imagine that in 1971 they were
way out of the mainstream.
The audience went crazy for them. There was some moshing in the middle of the
crowd now and then. People were singing along with the songs. That’s
pretty amazing. A younger audience giving an older group it’s
due, very very nice.
Friday it was a must-go to at O’Brien’s because
Actor|Observer was playing. This was the second to last show
of a tour with Sparrows.
We saw Sparrows from Toronto on a bill with Actor/Observer
years ago at O’Brien’s. At that show they had no bass player
but still played a powerful set. This time with a bass player they blew us away.
They had the same sonic attack as Actor/Observer which is to say way heavy,
loud and punctuated with pile driving slams. They balance the overpowering blast
with quiet sections that have a calmness to them. The pedal boards supply the
tonal effects. The songs were on the long side and had many parts to them. You
really couldn’t follow; you just went along the ride.
You can get some of this by listening to one of their songs on Bandcamp, like
Four Two Five, Three Four Two Five" but you really need the live band
experience to get the full effect.
A lot of what we say for Sparrows goes for Actor/Observer
also. They have the loud/quiet dynamic. The thing with Actor/Observer
is that the material has an emotional effect as powerful as the musical
blast. The set was a journey you took with the band, or you might as
well have stood outside. The people in front often leaned forward toward
the stage as they sing/yell along. It’s all about the band audience
The set started with Greg Marquis the singer singing off microphone
from the other side of the club and slowly walking toward the stage. The rest
of the show he’s as much in the audience as on the stage going from person
to person singing face to face.
One of the issues that drive the lyrics is mental health. Greg
is very open with his problems and it’s refreshing to hear someone talk
about this. One of the song deals with taking medication for mental health issues.
A lot of people don’t want to take the medication. That’s a real
life problem. Getting it out in the open is a huge step.
As usual we left an Actor/Observer show all emotional. We
rank them as one of the best groups in town.
This Wednesday John Keegan went westward to see Robyn Hitchcock
at the Center for the Arts in Natick. For photos and
a reviw please click photo below.
More band photos after the show listings
And in other news.....
In November 2018 New England writer Joe Milliken published
the book Let's Go, Benjamin Orr and The Cars. In an
interview he says “My goal was to paint the clearest picture possible
of Ben’s entire life, not just his life as a member of The Cars. It’s
not meant to be a ‘Cars book,’ although, of course the band is prominent
in the narrative. This is not a backstage exposé, but rather the story
of an extremely gifted, tenacious musician who knew exactly what he wanted to
do in life from a very early age … and he achieved it.” Joe interviewed
over 120 family members, friends, bandmates, and music associates from Orr's
life, as well as many unpublished and never-before-seen photos from private
collections, to reveal an intimate portrait of one of classic rock’s greatest
talents. You can read
more about the book here, or buy it on Amazon
and other outlets. Milliken is also having a book event on June 22 (8:30-10PM)
at 9 Wallis in Beverly, MA. The Cars’ tribute band Moving In Stereo will
be performing. Click here
for the FB event page.
Mike Hoban and Lenny Scolletta are now doing a podcast called "The Boston Beat".
The show will feature past, present & future music & arts guests from all around New England. Right now they cover some cool musicians from the sixties mostly but will have some later punk things in there at some point.
Right now they have interviews with Moulty of the Barbarians, Ian-Bruce Douglas from Ultimate Spinach, Dick Weisberg from Beacon Street Union, and Harry Sandler drummer from Orpheus among others.
They are at - https://anchor.fm/thebostonbeat
It's real easy to hit the page and start listening
Liz Borden has done a cool thing. She's designed a sneaker
that's available to buy on this site www.aliveshoes.com. Her
sneaker's color scheme matches her red/pink bass.
Check out this story about Britain's
oldest punk rocker getting married with a Sex Pistols themed wedding! And
it seems he's The Damned's biggest fan. Hey Johnny Rotten has had a very successful
marriage and we hope these two do as well!!
We talk about the Connection people (above) this week. On
that front Geoff Palmer the Connection guitarist will have
a new LP out soon titled Pulling Out All The Stops.
There's a new video release of a song from that album called “Giving In”
be seen here.
There’s a new
digital single by Death Pesos called Deceivers backed with
Sarcophagus. It's stoner rock with intelligent lyrics.
The new club The Jungle opening in May has some interesting
ideas going on. Like Cycling with Venom & Mayhem, that
the twins from Flight of Fire playing on stage while people ride the exercise
bikes! It's a 3 hour session - whew!!! First one is Thursday May 23rd 5-8PM
check out their
Here's some good shows coming up this week.....
April 23 (Tuesday) Battery March,
Feedbag, The Laces, Secret Spirit at O'Brien's FB
April 25 (Thursday) The Big Sway,
Oh The Humanity & Coffin Salesman at Sally O's
Union Sq FREEEEE as in NO cover.
April 25 (Thursday) The Proletariat,
Moving Targets, The Northern Skulls at Alchemy Provi RI
April 26 (Friday) Michael Kane
And The Morning Afters, Cuidado, and Lenny Lashley
at the Thirsty First Tavern Lowell.
April 27 (Saturday) A Crash Course For
The Ravers has POP GUN in to play their new stuff! 1pm to 4pm
and transmits on 91.5FM Medford.
April 27 (Saturday) The Proletariat
and Moving Targets at Once
April 27 (Saturday) The Stigmatics,
Mongorellis, Thee Sonomatics, Groundlift at Club Bohemia
April 27 (Saturday) Nervous Eaters
CD Release, Mr Airplane Man, Corolla DeVille at 9 Wallis Beverly.
April 28 (Sunday) Roy Sludge
at Sally O'Brien's 6-8:30PM
And further out we have.....
May 2 (Thursday) Rawstrum, Gideon
Grey, Pinaple Jam at Thunder Road (Rawstrum on first!)
May 3 (Friday) New Alliance Studios
Opening Party!! Please check out the FB
page for all the stuff going on 6-10PM.
May 3 (Friday) Barrence Whitfield
& The Savages w/ Muck and the Mires at The Middle
May 3 (Friday)
Corolla Deville, Stigmatics and Pop
Gun at Jeannie Johnston's Pub JP
May 3 (Friday) Choke Up, Keep Score,
Depressor, Matt Murphy at The Hong Kong Harvard Sq
May 3 (Friday) Mad Painter
(with Kenne Highland on bass) along with The Fringe,
Roll Over White and Shipwrecked at The C Note in Hull.
May 4 (Saturday) It's "LIVE
DAY" on WMFO (91.5FM) featuring local acts doing 40 minute live
sets all day. Same DJs at their regular times but live music all day. The Cast
Irons - 9AM...Anthony Kaczyinski (acoustic) 10AM... Peter Parcek 10:50....Danielle
Miraglia w/ Lisa Bastoni 11:45...Lily Black (full band) 12:40PM...61 Ghosts
1:35PM...Will Dailey 2:30...Flight of Fire 3:25....Celebutant (acoustic) 4:25.
May 4 (Saturday) The McGunks, Silver
Screams, Revilers, Damnation, Live Nude Girls at The Midway 3-7PM
May 4 (Saturday) Trusty Sidekick,
Bill Dwyer Band, Hambone Skinny, Richie Parsons at The Midway 8PM show
May 4 (Saturday)
Carissa+Cure-Alls, Justine & The Unclean, Tiger
Bomb, RunHideFight at Sally OBrien's
May 4 (Saturday) Dial Drive (FL),
Loser's Circle, The Runouts at The Hong Kong, Harvard Square
May 4 (Saturday) The Devils Twins,
The Anti-Queens, Ratne, Bad Larrys at Opus in Salem
May 6 (Monday) Sneeze, Cult Fiction,
Toothbrush, Non- at Charlie's Kitchen
May 7 (Tuesday) Dougie Flesh, Coffin
Salesman, Ciderdown, Hannah Jay at The Tavern at the End of the World.
May 9 (Thursday) The Guillopointagers
(Matt LeBel and Will Barry), Baluchitherium, Black Leather Lagoon, The Nuclears
(NYC), The Natty D's at Club Bohemia
May 10 (Friday) The Grand Opening of Somerville's
latest music club, The Jungle! with 10:50pm: Major
Moment, 9:55pm: Exit 18, 9pm: Tzivia &
May 10 (Friday) The Devil's Twins,
Nemes, North By North, The Gala at O'Brien's Pub
May 10 (Friday) Thigh Scrapers,
GLiDER, Legendary Cazbats at Jeanie Johnston Pub in JP
May 10 (Friday) Oh The Humaity,
SkyTigers, Tied to a Bear, Shrug Dealer, Weaklings at Uncharted in
May 11 (Saturday) Art Thieves,
Donaher, The Last Noelle at The Jungle- 5 Sanborn St Union Sq Somerville.
May 11 (Saturday) The Knock Ups,
Ila Minori, Erel, Chad Gosselin of The Big Lonesome at The Midway night
May 11 (Saturday) Back Central,
Kind, Distressor, DNZL at Thirsty First in Lowell
May 11 (Saturday) FUs, GLiDER,
Classic Ruins, Screw.Cart at KOTO Salem
May 11 (Saturday) Cactus Attack,
Diablogato, Jittery Jack & Amy Griffin at the Dover Brickhouse
May 13 (Monday) Happy Accidents
(UK), Greed Island, Birdwatching, Traders at Charlie's Kitchen
May 15 (Wednesday) Jon Snodgrass,
Lenny Lashley, Micah Schnabel at O'Brien's Pub
May 15 (Wednesday) The Blasters
with Diablogato and Dead Trains at ONCE Ballroom
May 17 (Friday) Lily Black, Highway
Chapel, Thee Fightin' Fish, The Negans at Club Bohemia.
May 17 (Friday) Andy California,
The Swettess, Heavy Connection at Jeannie Johnston's Pub in JP
May 17 (Friday) Parlour Bells,
Gene Dante and The Future Starlets, and Smitt E. Smitty & The Feztones
@ OPUS Underground in Salem,
May 18 (Saturday) Marko And The
Bruisers, Color Killer, Shore City, Punk Band - 3-7 matinee at The
May 18 (Saturday) Lily Black
May 19 (Sunday) The Last Ones,
Billy Copnnors Project and Fireking at O'Briens.
May 20 (Monday)
Coffin Salesman, Molly Rhythm, Talk Me Off, Double Star
at Charlie's Kitchen
May 22 (Wednesday) GLiDER
live! On the Town w/MikeyDee~91.5 FM/wmfo.org live stream
May 23 (Thursday) Swivel
and Modern Day Idols at The Jungle
May 24 (Friday) Lo Wreck's birthday with
The Downhauls, The Dents, Duck & Cover and Skytigers
at Sally O'Brien's
May 25 (Saturday) Lara Hope, Jittery
Jack & Amy Griffin, The Demon Seeds at Opus! Salem
May 27 (Wednesday) Natterers,
Yooth Decay, SAP at O'Brien's Pub
June 1 (Saturday) Vicky and the
Vengents, Muck and the Mires, The Electric Mess at The Midway
June 2 (Sunday) Slimedog's 22nd
Annual Punk Pizza Poetry Party featuring Kermit's Finger, Cry
Havoc, Jerry's Got Jokes, The Grommets, Jake Tringali (between sets)
at The Midway 3-7PM
June 2 (Sunday) the second Out
of the Blue Benefit with a TON of bands….starting at 2PM -this
is in order of appearance: Club Linehan A Go Go, Mimsey Mack & the
Skinned Knees, Bob Cenci, Richard Mirsky Band, Randy Black & the Heathcroppers,
Thee Fighting Fish, Climate Change Band, The Stigmatics, The Laces , The Thigh
Scrapers, Gary Shane & the Detour, Sara Billingsley & Friends, GLiDER,
Baabes, Butterscott. FB
page for more info
June 5 (Wednesday) Mad Painter Live at WMFO 91.5 10PM
June 7 (Friday)
61 Ghosts, Cal Cali Band at Tavern at the End
of the World.
June 7 (Friday) Jittery Jack &
Amy Griffin at The Book & Bar, Portsmouth
June 12 (Wednesday) Glider
will be on the Heavy Leather Topless Dance Party. Check out
page for access. 8:30-9:30PM
June 15 (Saturday) Thee Fightin'
Fish, The Billy Connors Project, A Bunch Of Jerks, Club Linehan A Go Go
- 3-7 matinee at The Midway
June 15 (Saturday) The Daylilies,
Justine and The Unclean, The Chelsea Curve at Sally O'Brien's
June 15 (Saturday) The Gala, Zip-Tie
Handcuffs, Ben & Jolly Janes, Green Pieceat at UnchARTed Lowell
June 21 (Friday) Kid Gulliver,
Stars Like Ours, The Rationales at Sally O'Brien's
June 22 (Saturday) The Gala, The
Dazies, Haunted Horses NYC, Lockette at The Midway
June 22 (Saturday) It's Quincy Porchfest!!!
At 62 Prospect Ave Quincy you can find - Order of appearance starting at 1pm
and every hour on the hour- The Fringe, Thee Fightin' Fish, The Stigmatics,
Baabes, Glider, The Thigh Scrapers, Charlie Don't Surf a tribute to The Clash
page for directions etc.
June 22 (Saturday) writer Joe Milliken
is having a book event to promote his Ben Orr bio Benjamin Orr and
The Cars at 9 Wallis 8-10:30PM FB
June 23 (Sunday) Teenage Bottlerocket
with Ramona, The Young Rochelles at Once
June 27 (Thursday) Powerslut, Thrust
Club, Radium Girls @ The Jungle
June 29 (Saturday) The Old Edison,
Coffin Salesman, Time & Place, Loser's Circle at The Midway
July 5 (Friday) Cal Cali Band,
GLiDER, Mad Painter at KOTO Salem
July 9 (Tuesday) Some Kind Of Nightmare,
Losers Circle, Nick Barbarian, And Live Nude Girls
at Thirsty First Tavern Lowell.
July 11 (Thursday)
The Thigh Scrapers, Baabes, State of the Union and
The Laces at The Jungle 5 Sanborn St Union Square Somerville.
July 11 (Thursday) 61 Ghosts,
Thee Fightin' Fish, Pop Gun at Opus in Salem
July 18 (Thursday) Stars Like Ours,
Blindspot, Justine & the Unclean at The Jungle Union Sq Somerville
July 20 (Saturday) Dogmatics, Jittery
Jack & Amy Griffin, Stop Calling Me Frank at the Back Room at The
Burren Davis Sq Somerville 6-9PM folks!!!
July 27 (Saturday)
Corner Soul, The Knock Ups, Motel Black at
The Jungle Union Sq Somerville
July 27 (Saturday) The New England
Ska Summit; Bim Skala Bim, Copacetics, Hempsteadys, El Grande at Once
August 8 (Thursday) Otto Records present
145 & The Thigh Scrapers at The Plough
August 14 (Wednesday) Deke Dickerson,
Bloodshot Bill, Jittery Jack, DJ Easy Ed at Once FB
August 15 (Thursday) 1.4.5.,
Crunchtime and Glider at The Jungle Union Sq Somerville.
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Stop Calling Me Frank
Stop Calling Me Frank