A few weeks ago I caught a few songs by Today
Junior at OBriens. It made me want to see a whole set so I could
tell what they were really doing. That got me to TTs
on Tuesday. I saw the tail end of DadFights set. It was just enough
to appreciate the fact they were rocking. I looked around and counted; there
were 35 people there.
From Today Juniors first song I was intrigued. Now that I could
see what the guitarist was doing I could see how unique he was. The songs are
comprised of plentiful moving chords. It seemed like a chord a measure. He was
playing major, minor, seventh, minor seventh, sixth and more; and then on top
of that he was moving fingers to give leading tones. I dont think Ive
seen anybody use their pinky as much as this guy. Hes comfortable playing
the full neck from the nut to the top frets. The beauty of it was that the songs
didnt sound disjointed, jerky or jazzy, it was rocking. His craft made
it all flow. I wasnt expecting this. By not using any worn out conventions
of songwriting or playing he sounds distinctly modern.
The lyrics are sparse but I liked what I heard. The best three songs were his
three new ones which tell me hes going in a fruitful direction. I remember
more individual moments in songs than whole songs but I dont know exactly
what that means. The drummer and bass keep everything exciting yet still grounded
enough. The drummer ended one song by hitting on two drum rims; a creative attention
getter. I dont know where this guitarist comes from but hes learned
his craft. Ill be following them to see what develops.
Time again for the International Pop Overthrow which was at OBriens
this year for four days. The IPO is the creation of David Brash who has
done this for 12 years in Boston and a few more years before that in other cities.
Weve caught it now and again but real pop fans should always hit it.
When I walked into OBriens on Wednesday the whole audience was
crowded into the bar area. Usually there are people all over the floor area
and standing in front of the stage. Maybe that was because they are filming
all the bands as a part of a documentary called The
Power Pop Movie.
On stage was Drunken Logic. They played two power pop beauties and I
was thrilled, but then they played four songs that misfired. One being a cover
of Benny and the Jets ah, no thank you, not for me. They revealed
that they usually play in a cover band and I think some of that sensibility
came through, in not a good way. But it was quality playing and singing and
those two songs were winners.
The Eric Barao Band play a sophisticated arranged
type of pop. They tag Jon Brion on their
Bandcamp page. Jon is the main practitioner of this style for a long time.
One member of the band was in Paula
Kellys band. Paula was doing this in Boston in the early 2000s.
Eric Barao Bands CD was produced by Bleu and done
over at Ducky Carlisles studio. We saw Ducky playing drums with
Asa last week.
The music was precise (two players had music sheets in front of them) and lush
as you would expect. I think some are Berkeley players. I liked it. Its
hard for something like that to go bad. Check out this video
of Running in Place which is a good example of what they do.
That was just two out of six bands that were playing. Bash knows how to pick
them. And it wouldnt be any different when I went back the next day.
Classic Ruins were scheduled to play with The Stanleys
from Australia (which has a whole world of notable pop groups) on Friday in
Worcester and Carl Biancucci said they were something to catch. They
were playing the IPO on Thursday, so back I went to OBriens.
Carl was there too. The Stanleys attack pop music from the rock
end of the spectrum; its almost all major chords and from there its
catchy songwriting, upbeat tempos and fine singing. The lead singer has a sunshine
personality and that Australian accent. Its all to love. I could have
listened to them for hours.
Brian Charles is guitarist for Sheila Devine and Dear Leader
but tonight is doing some solo material. Which was very well developed songs.
He had a guitarist throwing in the juicy riffs and he had the rhythm section
from Field Effect who were a complimentary fit for him. Their playing
made me want to see the Field Effect who won best song last year in the Boston
Music Awards for
Ogunquit ME. It was another rewarding set for the IPO.
Richie Parsons was playing the IPO the next day so
back I go again. Richies band had Brother Cleve, Doug Harper, and
Frank Dehler. He played his Honey and Tears material that
fit so well into this IPO setting and he played two Band
19 songs for variety like he did at the Middle East. I didnt think
this audience needed the Band 19s harder sound, two more
songs from the CD would have been fine. Thats what I would have wanted
One of the revealing things about the night was hearing Frank Dehler
play more melodic lines than he would play in the Unnatural Axe and with
a more sophisticated touch. His multi-measure ascending and descending lines
give the songs the movement they need. You could see the shift in playing when
he attacked the Band 19 material. Doug Harper on guitar had some nice
moments with inventive fills.
Sinnet, that followed, had a more quirky Indy music take on pop. It
was lighter. The lyrics seemed like they would be interesting but live I was
I was talking to Justin Fielding who was there, he's a local guy and
he's doing the Power Pop Movie (Check out his
blog here and his production company
site ). Justin knows and loves the pop scene. One of his previous films,
Inventory, has several songs by Shoes. (If you are a Shoes fan,
you are salivating now.)
Saturday night at the IPO had the best line up yet with Brigands,
Fox Pass, and 1.4.5. but I had done my pop duties and hit an early
hardcore show at the Midway. Luckily Arthur Freedman
was there and got a pic of each band for us - the two others are at the bottom
of the news.
At The Midway Senzu did a good palate cleansing for
me with some fast and furious core. In between songs they let the guitars feedback
and did some bass rumbling so there would be no let up on the ears. The lead
singer was standing off the stage in the pit but did a Miles Davis thing by
mostly keeping his back to the audience. The guitarist and drummer were doing
syncro head banging. The guitarist was so vigorous he almost fell down dizzy.
The mosh crew had a new twist, they ran in a group of three and four straight
across the room at full speed and hit the wall then back the other way.
Its a new dance craze!
The drummer stayed on stage for the next group East Beast.
These sets seem so short that this time I checked the clock and found that this
was a ten minute set. I love the way they just leave the mic for anybody to
take and sing and they do. The drummer was completely bushed. He was breathing
heavy and gulping water; these core shows are brutal on drummers and singers.
I love the name of the next group, Crystal Methodist. They had an attention
getting lead singer. He had a very clear voice and you could hear the words,
a novelty for live core group. It was another ten minute set. I liked the songs
I hear on line by the group on BANDCAMP/Crystal
Cryptics are from New Hampshire and just got back from a tour. The set
was a bit longer, about 15 minutes. This group was much less manic than the
previous ones with some more traditional sounding music. I liked them best when
the material was more hardcore. Like the Crystal Methodists before them you
could understand the words. You can hear this on their recordings (check
it out here).
I saw four groups and was out by 8pm. Midway as always had
a friendly feel and the afternoon crowds are younger. These shows are all ages
usually. There were about 45 people there which is good for these things.
In other news Jim Seery is saying goodbye to his booking days. He's
announced he's retiring from booking as he has done for lo these many years.
Thank you Jim for all the great shows!!!
From a story in the Boston Globe Mission of Burma is opening
for the Foo Fighters when they play Fenway park next summer! I love what
Roger Miller said about what will be his first visit to the park!!: "To
me, organized sports seems slightly absurd. Its sort of like a form of
stylized warfare. MOB plays on July 18th.
Be sure to check out John
Keegan's review of Let's Go To The Rat which played at The Brattle Theater
last Sunday. Also check out Kenne Highland at Large this week where he menions
the film as well. These two guys are doing a Sisckel and Ebert on this one.
OK so what's coming up for shows?? Well its Thanksgiving week so things slow
down around the turkey day......
But it's starting wild and wooley over at the Midway...
Monday, November 24- The Midway
has The Wrong Chaneys, The Low Babies Kermit's Finger and Padded Hell.
Larry Litigot is the drummer of Padded Hell and he says "I play
in a really cool unpopular band called PADDED HELL with Mike Mahan -
the original guitarist for Anal C*&t (AC). He's gotten better at singing
and playing but I still do the brunt of the vocals while drumming. Along with
our signature song I Hate The Beach...we'll finally be playing our Thanksgiving
Dinner song at an appropriate time on the calendar."
Saturday December 6th - The Midway
has two great shows: Daytime show (4-8:30PM) with The Tenafly Vipers, Silver
Screams, Quiggs and Give Up! then a night show with X _ X, The
Major Stars, Corn Mo and the Gondoliers are at the Midway
Monday Dec 8th - there's punk rock burlesque
at The Midway with Dinah DeVille, Hellbent Hussy, The Bloodstains
and a bunch of hot babes invite you to join us for an evening of studded
leathers and ostrich feathers, and everything in between. I have a feeling
this one will have a Christmas theme...should be quite entertaining!!
Weds., Dec 10th - A Keep Safe Boston event
to will benefit Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts and features 2014
Boston Music Award nominees Parlour Bells and The Color and Sound,
Corin Ashley (of The Pills!), The Rationales,
Mark yr calendars for this one!!:
December 12th (Friday): The
Real Kids ,
The Titanics, and The Nectarines (Rough Francis had to cancel)
- at The Midway
Also on Dec 12th its Dial
M for MUCK at Church - It's a Muck & The Mires Record Launch
Party!! Also on the bill are Daddy Long Legs (Norton Records -NYC), The
Dogmatics and Thee Itchies.
Dec 13 James Straight and the Wide Stance
have a NYC gig at the Alternarock Festival - check
it out here
Sunday Dec 14th - Roy Sludge Trio
are at The Midway for a daytime show 5-8:30PM. Always a great show!!
Before Sludging it u p you can go to TT's!!
Sunday Dec 14th - It's TT's annual
Holiday Flea Market & Bloody Mary Bash from 11AM- 6PM. They are saying
it 's back and it's bigger and there'll be tons of awesome vendors selling vintage,
vinyl records, music memorabilia, handcrafted jewelry, art, collectibles clothing
AND there's killer bloody mary's and hot dogs and a visit from Santa!! Get yourt
cool holiday Gifts here. ,Mars Man and Eric Law will be there
selling vinyl too and Andrea Gillis will be proffering Gilly's Throwback Snack!
And this year's Flea is supporting the MSPCA and they are asking that though
the Flea is Free bring an item that's on their wish list (you can see
that here)...you know, dog treats, cat treats, Feliway, cat beds, toys etc.....it's
gonna be a fun day!
December 19th (Friday) there's a exciting
show at TT's first off SPiTZZ are playing their first show in
2.5 years!!!, also on the bill are the Blue Bloods, Duck & Cover
(having their vinyl release celebration), Quiggs, and Silver Screams
- this will be a great show folks!!
December 20th (Saturay) Jittery Jack
and Bloodshot Bill are s at Atwoods Tavern on Cambridge St. in
Cambridge (near Lechmere). It's a Rockin'
Holiday celebration--and you'll be able to pick up a copy of Jittery Jack's
new 45 "Something Wicked This Way Comes" and Bloodshot Bills
"Stuffin Her Stocking" at the show. As an added treat - Easy
Ed spins the platters early, late, and on the breaks.
Yikes now we're into the new year here
Friday Feb 13th - Tim Catz 50th Birthday
Party featuring White Dynomite, The Humanoids, Muck And The Mires, Worshipper
and DJ sets by DJ Slim Jim at Great Scott's
CONTACT US AT......misslynbgn @ yahoo.con Send us your gig listings, your news
and anything else ya got!!