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Scrooges at Once
Photo: Blowfish

We went to the New Alliance art show Dark Days Long Nights. We wanted to see what it was like after a half a year. We went to the opening in May of this year.

It’s almost a joke now that we show up and just miss Dave Tree’s See This World. We walked in the room as the last notes were sounding. We did make it a point to not miss them last month at the Midway And we were not disappointed.

This was a mid-winter bash to get the spirits up. There was a generous amount of Dave Tree’s art in the hallway galleries. His paintings are marked by his mastery of techniques. He does art in different styles and media depending on his intent. The works are agit prop and meant to get a rise. There’s lots of politics and religious skewering going on. This guy has the goods.

Dave Tree
Dave Tree
Photo: Blowfish
New Allaiance studio
Entrance to New Alliance.
Photo: Blowfish

We saw some work by Mark Doherty of The Pint Killers. We didn’t know he was an artist! They are colorful and pop out. We were drawn to them before we knew who did them. Here's one - click here.

The place was crowded with people coming and going every second. New Alliance has the vibe and they have the support of the community. It was nice to see. Also, The New Alliance recording studios look like they are back in full swing. Stop Calling Me Frank has just finished up doing their next album there.

For the last few years we've gone to the Loser’s Circle Toys for Tots show. That’s where we were mid-day Saturday. As is usual for Toys for Tots there were two Marines there as representatives of the drive. They had a big box there for those that brought toys. We didn’t have toys but gave extra money at the door. Next year though we make the pledge to bring some toys because this show always gets you in the Christmas spirit of giving.

Photo: Blowfish

As aspiring as that is, we still want our punk. We caught the whole set by C.O.B. which made up for missing them at Maggy’s Lounge two weeks ago. They played some snappy street punk. There was just a tad of the Irish thing in there as well as Oi. It worked big time for us. The singing lifted some songs by giving the choruses an extra punch. The lead singer had a controlled voice that latched on to small melody tweaks and made them memorable.

They drove home a cover of Operation Ivy's "Knowledge". That's the second video above.
We liked them when we first saw them last August and this time we got into them more. Their overall punk sound is not that far from Loser’s Circle which made them fit this bill.

Losers Circle
Loser's Circle
Photo: Blowfish

Up next Loser’s Circle were in top form. They had the moment we wait for every year; they gave us the first Christmas song of the season. it was a punked up “Jingle Bells”.That's the second video below. Then they did another thing we love; they played a few new songs that they've been recording. That told us that this next album should be right up there with their first amazing effort – Took Long Enough... and that is some of the best punk pop put out in Boston, period. Do yourself a favor and get up to speed on that if you haven’t. Here's their Bandcamp page for that.

They ended by Christmas-izing “Own Worst Enemy” by Lit. It had Santa coming down the chimney somehow. That's the first video above.

It was a fun topper to a nice feeling show. I think we can all agree that this is not one of the most uplifting times to live through. Our recipe for that is to go to a show like this and get some hard hitting punk and join in with other giving people that are doing something to make things better. Punks, marines and Toy for Tots are one great combo.

With a boosted Christmas spirit we headed to The Scrooges at Once.

The Von Traps
The Von Traps
Photo: Blowfish

It seemed like a long time that we couldn’t catch The Von Traps at a show because they were mostly north of the city. We’re making up for that now. We’ve seen them lately at Jungle and Maggy’s Lounge and now they opened up this show.

The stage was set up dramatically for them with a black backdrop and white spotlights. They looked cool up there and they took advantage of it by hitting extra hard on their first few songs to make a big impression. One of those songs was a new one and that’s maybe the best song they have in their set now and that’s saying something. They also included that knockout version of the Pleasure Seekers song “What a Way To Die” which they have become identified with. They also gave us the first shot of Stooges music with a cover of "I Need Somebody".

Part of the thing with The Von Traps is the way they look and play. Often all three guitar players will be lined up in a row singing. Skipp on vocals had that look like a punked up pressure cooker letting off steam. At Once Brian had a bright white shirt that got super white under the bright spotlight. James hunkers down and had that low slung bass stance.

There was a nice moment where Brian brought his son Jake on stage to pay him tribute and the audience sang Happy Birthday. It feels so uplifting to be part of a moment like that which should be life time memory for him!
And we happen to know his Dad got him an awesome mini bass for his birthday. Yeah! Keep up the tradition Rileys! Photo of Jake on stage in the photos below the show listings.

Nice Guys
Nice Guys
Photo: Blowfish

The next set was a chance to see Nice Guys on a raised stage. They've paid their dues in so many low key local shows. They must have played so many basements. We’ve seen them many times and talked about how they have changed from a loose garage band in 2016, to a tighter sort of Led Zeppelin phase and then to this current jerky arty set.

The songs were sharp and the twists and turns were precise. They have doubled down on the Captain Beefheart sound. They had that thing where the two guitars played alternating stabbing chord shapes that were different but somehow make sense in the way they bounce against each other. One of the things they do every show is to contribute an upcoming song to Sting. Then they riff on Sting a while. For some reason they have a thing about Sting. It gets funnier every succeeding time you hear it.

Most people we talked to didn’t know of Nice Guys. After the set we heard some good impressions. We liked that and we liked that someone thought to put them on the bill.

Brix'n Mortar
Brix'n Mortar
Photo: Blowfish

Next it was a change up with Brix’n Mortar. Like The Von Traps they have a strong image on stage. They have Troy who has the Oi look. They are hardcore/Oi/Metal with the extra twist of Joey Riots melodic gift. The key to Brix’n Mortar is to hear that dynamic of Troy/Joey working in the songs. In the set we had our ear on their voices. There are sections that are obviously Joey Riot melodies that alternate with Troy Oi choruses and then the best parts where they combine.

One of the best songs of the set was “Wasted” where you can hear some of the dynamic that we talk about here. Or you could just forget all that and just get into the roar coming off stage with the monumental bass sound and the thundering metalish drums from Devon.

Photo: Blowfish

It seems that The Scrooges have been going their Stooges/Santa = Scrooges thing for twenty years ... but we just got to them this show. We knew that it would be fun to see a stage full of band members in Santa gear, we didn’t know that we would love the music so much.

First off, yes they were all head to toe in red flannel with white fur and black belts…and a tail!? Just seeing them goofing around and sweating those outfits up was worth the price of admission.

It was the way they played those Stooges songs that gave it validity beyond the spectacle. They roared through the catalog. “1969”, “No Fun” and “TV Eye” were highlights but every song hit it’s mark. They all had a wonderful flow to them. They kept the tempos brisk as they glommed onto the core riffs, reveling them as the primitive gold they always have been.

White Dynamite lead man Dave Unger brought his subtle bombast to the head Santa/Iggy position. We don’t know anyone else that could pull that off. That guy has a certain charisma, no doubt about it. We were late to the game on the Scrooges phenom but we'll be back next year!!

Meanwhile, this Saturday put us in the Christmas mood. We’re ready to shop.

Click Here for more band photos.

Thursday John Keegan found the holiday spirit in the Christmas spectacle called Horton's Holiday Hayride 2019 at the Paradise. The Reverend Horton Heat had buddy Dave Alvin as quest. The Voodoo Glow Skulls and the's rounded out the holiday bill. John gives a full round up of the action and has plenty of photos. Click the photo below to go to the review.


John has also has interviewed some of the principals behind the Whistle Stop Rock tour that is going to start in a few weeks. It's a lot of bands you love and everyone involved is excited about the concept. We can see that this whole thing could start a new way of bands touring the region.
Here's a fast run down of the bands in the tour and the people being interviewed. Cold Expectations (JoEllen), Tiger Bomb (Lynda), The Knock Ups (Cat, Gretchen), The Chelsea Curve (Linda), Kid Gulliver (Simone), PowerSlut (Linnea), Field Day (Joan), Heather Rose in Clover (Heather, Lisa), and Justine and the Unclean (Justine).


Whistle Stop

And in other news .....

The Immpossibles Rum Bar Records just does not stop!! This week they put out a few things. One is It's About Time, a compilation by The Real Impossibles who were active in the mid-eighties. They're a pop rock group with lots of the right influences. We have their “With A Girl” on our top ten.

Tom Baker’s new album is called Dirty Snakes. There are a few songs pre-released off of it posted on Bandcamp. We’re big on “Cancel It” where the band rocks it out and the guitars sound like they are stacked on top of each other.

Then there’s a group called Spanking Charlene that sounds a bit like the Yardbirds (because of the harmonica mostly). Their song is called “Find Me Out

Irresistibly sunny....And pop, pop poppy... is “Rise and Shine” by Telamor, which is Tom Hauk (Atlantics). This song is about how there’s a better sunny day after that bad love affair. We warn you, it is an earworm. and it’s on our Top Ten Songs

Mark you calendar for:

SCMF Christmas Stop Calling Me Frank is having their yearly Christmas show at the Midway on this Friday Dec 13. The cool think about SCMF is that they don’t just cover Christmas songs, they actually have a whole bunch of original Christmas songs. Like Santa Buy Me A Beer But they'll also play new material they just finished recording at New Alliance Studios. Also on the bill: Tom Baker who'll be playing that “Cancel It “ song..... Then you have Jamaica Plain hometown heroes The Grommets playing punk with old school style. Ex Avenue rounds out the bill. Here's the FB page.

December 15 (Sunday) The 3rd Annual Rum Bar Records Holiday Mess-Around - this will be quite the party folks!!! Go to the FB page for the list of participants...its long and good!! at The Plough 3-7PM

Friday Jan 3 Oh The Humanity!, Loser's Circle, Tensor, Rage//Quit at O’Brien’s

Saturday January 11- Lyres (record release party) Middle East Up -early show at 6:30.

Alternative Christmas shopping....there's a TON of markets happening this year with offerings from local artisans & businesses your local non corporate people!!!!......

Christmas Friday December 13 - Union Square Holiday Market - Warehouse XI @ 6Pm - FB page

Saturday Dec. 14 - JP Holiday Flea 2019 - First Church in Jamaica Plain Unitarian Universalist, 6 Eliot St, FB page

Dec 12-15 (Thurs - Sunday) Allston-Brighton Winter Market FB page

Saturday Dec. 14 - Cambridge Holiday Market - 11Am- 5PM @ Saint Paul AME Church Bishop Allen Dr Cambridge FB page

Sunday December 22 - Holiday Buzz Markets, 2 floors and over 40 vendors each! Come check out local folks with handmade, craft, vintage and fine art @ Once Somerville - starts at 11AM - FB page

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

Trivia December 9 (Monday) Rock & Roll Trivia w/ Erin & Brett + Guest Shaun Young! at City Winery FB page

December 13 (Friday) Merry Friday the 13th Rockin' Bob Punk Band at Koto Salem

December 13 (Friday) Stop Calling Me Frank, The Dirty Truckers, Ex-Avenue, The Grommets at The Midway

December 13 (Friday) FU’s, Duck & Cover, Rockin Bob Punk Band & Doug MacDonald Band at Koto

December 14 (Saturday) Baabes, The Chelsea Curve, The Hi-End, The Stigmatics at the Midway Matinee Show 3-7Pm

December 14 (Saturday) Jenn D'Angora Birthday Fest at Sally O'Brien's

Pizza party December 14 (Saturday) Wormtown Ska Presents a benefit for The Mustard Seed Soup Kitchen in Worcester: bands start at 3PM - in order of appearance: Evil Felipe, The Shoats, Jerry's The Screw Ups, The Lousekateers, Shape Shifter - It's at The Raven in Worcester - here is the FB page Excellent cause folks and only FIVE DOLLARS at the door!!! OR....5-6 cans of food for FREE admission! (or maybe both!)

December 15 (Sunday) Thrash N Bang's 8th Annual Punk Pizza Party! with The Neighborhood Shit, Fast Times, The Ratz, The Hangovers at The Midway 3PM matinee - ony $5!!! and free pizza.

December 15 (Sunday) The 3rd Annual Rum Bar Records Holiday Mess-Around - this will be quite the party folks!!! Go to the FB page for the list of participants...its long and good!! at The Plough 3-7PM

And further out there is.....

December 16 (Monday) We Are Space Horses, The Zygote Theory, Rawstrum, Kevin Madden Band at The Jungle

Rum Bar December 18 (Wednesday) Randy Black & The Heathcroppers Plough & Stars Residency 6-8 pm

December 20 (Friday) WBCN and the American Revolution Screening at The MIddle East down 6:30PM

December 20 (Friday) Instamatics, Radium Girls, Thee Fightin' Fish, Johnny No Graves at The Jungle

December 20 (Friday) Crunchtime, The Hi-End, The Chelsea Curve at Koto Salem

December 21 (Saturday) A Crash Course for the Ravers featuring Mad Painter! WMFO 1-4PM

December 21 (Saturday) MOTO, The Thigh Scrapers, The Thirsty Pirates (NYC) , The Montgomerys at The Midway for a Matinee Show 3-7:30PM

December 21 (Saturday) Black Helicopter, Blood Built Empire, Above the Din & NSTW at Club Bohemia

December 21 (Saturday) Lily Black, Set Fire, Baabes, The Spins at Sally O'Brien's

Brian Young WMFO December 21 (Saturday) A Rum Bar Holiday Spectacular with Jay Allen & the Archcriminals, A Bunch of Jerks, Hambone Skinny, and The Black Souls at The Midway

December 21 (Saturday) Mother Iron Horse, Tied to a Bear, Von Traps, Skytigers at Opus in Salem

December 29 (Sunday) Cook Bag, Louzy, DownBoy!, Circus Battalion at The Midway matinee show 3-7Pm

December 30 (Monday) The Last Rebuilder New Year’s Eve Party at Charlie's Kitchen with Save Ends, Sorry and 1 special guest to be announced

December 31 (Tuesday) Ken Highland's HAPPY LOU YEAR 2020 New Year's Eve Club Bohemia

December 31 (Tuesday) NYE show with Margaret & The CoPilots & Sugar Blood Jinx at Atwood's

January 3 (Friday) Oh The Humanity!, Loser's Circle, Tensor, Rage//Quit at O’Brien’s

January 4 (Saturday) The McGunks, Hamhocker, We Own Land, COB matinee show at The Midway 3-7PM

January 4 (Saturday) Handsome, Four Point Restraints, T and the Wrecks, Micah Howeson at The Jungle

January 4 (Saturday) Freaking, Minibeast, Service, Nice Guys @ Great Scott

January 10 (Friday) All Mod Cons Final Show....this will be a special event...after 30 years and lots of shows in the UK All Mod Cons are planning a great night with great music and a host of local musicians getting together to celebrate the music of The Jam and the music of Boston. Also on the bill are The Cretins and Didn't Planet. Also, since the band Boy's Life twice played support for The Jam (at The Channel and the Orpheum), John Surette will take to the stage with All Mod Cons as his back up band to play a couple of Boys Life tunes and then a dive headlong into Private Hell to end it. It all happens at Once Lounge (upstairs) Music atarts at 9PM. Tickets here. FB page

January 10 (Friday) Nomad Stones, Labor Hex, Chrome Over Brass at Opus Underground Salem

BGN Archives January 10 (Friday) The Mercy Case, Bystander, blindspot, Foxes at Koto Salem

January 11 (Saturday) Lyres (record release party) Middle East Up -early show at 6:30.

January 11 (Saturday) WhistleStop Rock Festival at Askew in Providence- this is the first Whistle Stop - Featuring: Heather Rose In Clover, The Knock Ups, The Chelsea Curve, PowerSlut, Kid Gulliver, The Cold Expectations, Justine and the Unclean

January 11 (Saturday) No Fucker (NY), Sadist, Innocent and Bakkara (Maine) at the Hong Kong in Harvard Sq 8pm

January 15 (Wednesday) Randy Black & The Heathcroppers Plough & Stars Residency 6-8 pm

January 18 (Saturday) Triple Thick, Crunchtime, 1.4.5., Butterscott at The Midway 3-7PM matinee

January 18 (Saturday) Barrence Whitfield & The Savages, Muck and the Mires at The Middle East FB page and tickets

January 19 (Sunday) Stoploss, Secret Spirit, F.U.’s, more TBA at The Thirsty First Tavern Lowell FB page

January 27(Monday) il Mostro, Between Skies, Silver Screams at Charlie's Kitchen

February 1 (Saturday) Stop Calling Me Frank,Greg Allen's Fringe Religion,Tsunami of Sound at The Square Root Roslindale

February 7 (Friday) Lucid Lynx, Above The Din, Luxury Deathrap, Heavy Hands at The Midway

February 7 (Friday) Immolators, Labor Hex, Wire Lines, Brain Vacuum at 13th Floor Music Lounge Florence MA.

February 8 (Saturday) Scuzzy Yeti, IL Mostro, Z/28 and Wrought Iron Hex at The Midway

Oh the Humanity February 8 (Saturday) Nick And The Adversaries (CD Release), Jason Bennett and The Resistance, Triggered at The Middle East Up

February 16 (Sunday) Stop Calling Me Frank, State of the Union, The New Frustrations, The Steamies at The Midway - matinee 3-7PM

February 22 (Saturday) Justine's Black Threads EP Release Party w/Two Fathoms Down at Atwood's TAvern - this is a 4-6PM show.

February 22 (Saturday) Rum Bar Records Anniversary Show with The Dogmatics - 11:00 PM, Muck and the Mires - 10:00 PM, The Dirty Truckers - 9:00 PM at The Square Root

February 28 (Friday) LUX LIVES East Coast 2020 with The Evil Streaks, The Demon Seeds, Thee Benevolent Tarots and DJ Kogar the Swinging Ape playing Lux and Ivy's Favorites all night long! at Opus Underground Salem. FB page.

February 29 (Saturday) DJ Easy Ed presents: Lynnette & the Sundowners, The Barley Hoppers, Easy Ed's Record Hop at The MIdway for a 3-7PM matinee show.

February 29 (Saturday) PowerSlut “Fun With Junk” Release Party...AND...WhistleStop Rock Fest featuring The Chelsea Curve, Cold Expectations, Field Day, Heather Rose In Clover, Justine and The Unclean, Lockette, Kid Gulliver, The Knock Ups, The Shang-Hi-Los, and Tiger Bomb! EARLY show 3PM - Midnight mat Once Somerville.

March 13 (Friday) This is Night 1 of a 2-night Whistle Stop Rock festival in Salem!! Featuring: The Knock Ups, The Cold Expectations, The Chelsea Curve at Koto Salem

March 14 (Saturday) This is Night 2 of a 2-night Whistle Stop Rock festival in Salem!! Featuring: Kid Gulliver, Heather Rose In Clover, Justine's Black Threads... And special guests: The Dents!! at Koto

Glowbox March 28 (Saturday) The Zulus at The Paradise

March 28 (Saturday) WhistleStop Rock Festival Portland with Tiger Bomb, Heather Rose In Clover, The Knock Ups, PowerSlut, The Chelsea Curve, Kid Gulliver, Justine and the Unclean at Sun Tiki Studios 6PM start!!! FB page

April 19 (Sunday) The Undertones at The Paradise

April 25 (Saturday) WhistleStop Rock Festival Western Massachusetts - featuring: Heather Rose In Clover, Kid Gulliver, The Cold Expectations, OTP and special guests State Of The Union at HiLO North Adams - FB page

May 16 (Saturday) Baabes, The Knock Ups, Mister Vertigo, Motel Black at The Jungle

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

Photo: Blowfish
Photo: Blowfish
Loser's Circle
Loser's Circle
Photo: Blowfish
Losers Circle
Loser's Circle
Photo: Blowfish
Brix/n Mortar
Brix'n Mortar
Photo: Blowfish
Brix'n Morar
Brix'n Mortar
Photo: Blowfish
Nice Guys
Nice Guys
Photo: Blowfish
Von Trapps
Brian and son Jake - The Von Traps
Photo: Blowfish
The Von Traps
Photo: Blowfish
Photo: Blowfish
Photo: Blowfish

999 in Proivdence RI
Mike Stewart Interview
Kids Like You And Me
RIP Asa Brebner
LA Palm Springs Vacation
John Lydon at museum of art
Valentine Banner
Simon Ritt
Curt Florczak
Mkke Worm
Color Killer interview 2018
Justine and the Unclean
Stop Calling Me Frank
Live at the Rat CD DVD party
John Felice Inerview
Trivia Night by LRC WMBR
Wayne Viens Interview
Abbey Lounge Reunion
David Minehan Interview
   We interviewed David Bash on the week where his International Pop Overthrow is coming to town. It's some backgroud on the history of the event and of course talk about POP..........
David Bash Interview
   We bring you into the Rat Room at the Hotel Commonwealth. Jimmy Harlold invited a group of scene veterans. It was a Rat reuion with lots of stories exchanged. Get to see the room and the people.........
The Rat Room
   Johnny Angel writes a mystery novel Looking for Lady Dee steeped in Boston punk and Thrills history. It's no apologys given for the punk lifestyle. ....
Johnny Angel talking about his Book
   Just ahead of the big punk show at the Middle East we have an interview with the outspoken Paul Cripple of Reagan Youth......
Paul Cripple of Reagan Youth Interview
   It appeared before us like a chimera and it's still's the Pipeline 25th Anniversary celebration. We interview mastermind Bob Dubrow about his background and search for what motivates him as well as Pipeline history and the show....
The Bob Dubrow Interview
   A look at a notable summer Wednesday. We start at the LRC Summer Party and bar hop to the Sonny Vincent show at Radio......
LRC Summer Party/Sonny Vincent
   The Boston punk community comes out for a good cause. Neighborhoods, Upper Crust, Dents, Dogmatics, Roy Sludge Trio, Ed Moose Savage, Downbeat 5 and Classic Ruins raise some money and rock the house at......
The Viva La Eva Benefit
   He's legendary and his surprise birthday party was legendary in turn. Only in your Boston Rock and Roll dreams could you come up with a night like this.......
Willie Loco's 70th Birthday Party
   In a case of reverse outsourcing Carl Biancucci of the Classic Ruins also plays bass in the English group Shotglass Killers. He tells us about a gig at the 100 Club with a reformed Damned....
Carl Biancucci in London
   Ralph Fatello gets into reporter mode and gives us a look into the Cars reunion gig with some great back stage photos too at. ......
The Cars reunion gig at the House of Blues
   The scene gets together for Charlie Chesterman and we get to see Scruffy the Cat reunite......
The Charlie Chesterman Benefit
   The Domatics and The Neats Band 19 and Last Stand reunite...for a benefits for cancer research.... ......
Dogmatics Reunion show at the Paradise
    The Konks' hypnotic bashing was a smart mindlessness that you got addicted to. They are calling it quits and we'll miss 'em and there's no free clinic out there to help us either...........
The Konks Final Show
   We were so thrilled with the La Peste DVD we had to talk with Jan Crocker and while we were at it, get his story too......
Jan Crocker/La Peste DVD Interview
Thank god for 110 Instamatics or we wouldn't have a lot of our early Boston punk photos. Kathy Flynn used hers to get some pics of the Rat and The Club and she sent them to us to share with you..........
Kathy Flynn's Photos
One of the interesting things in the early days of Boston punk was seeing the attention grow around us. One watershed moment was when we heard that a Time Magazine reporter was going to visit the Rat. We didn't like the resulting article. But you can decide. Take a look at the .... ...
Time Magazine Article on Punk 1977
Let's get real. We are all getting older and will die. Do you ever consider how you will be remembered? I'm talking about your tombstone. It's morbid, it's in poor taste, it's .....
Future Tombstones
Crotch biting...head bleeding...dick's all in Miss Lyn's report (with photos to prove it) from the GG Allin 10 Year Memorial Tour at the Middle East....
"R.I.P. GG!!"
Everybody wants to know where everybody else is. To help keep track of the wild, the beautiful and the damned we have set up ....
Then and Now
Punk started 25 years ago. Did any of us think we would ever make it this far? Probably not, that was punk; nihilistic, "no future!". Here is a place to remember, and give a moment of thought to, those who didn't make it this far...
In Memoriam
The minute she hit the scene she was every male punk's heart throb. She was beautiful. She had a winning personality. She had a ...well...a...glow. That could be my heart talking because I, Blowfish, confess: I too am Judy's love slave. We didn't just love Judy, we worshiped her. So, now all of us members of Judyism have somewhere to meet and offer our prayers of unrequited love.
The Judy Map Shrine
1977-The Damned were ready to piss on Blowfish and started to undress Miss Lyn! And people seemed to like it!! This interview IS outrageous...for then AND now!
The Damned Interview

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