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Paul Collins

I wanted to hear Casanovas in Heat again. They made a big impression on their Middle East show in November. They were at O’Brien’s on Friday with Shepherdess.


   Shepherdess has been around for a while. It’s headed by Hilken Mancini. Hilken, who also does the Rock and Roll Aerobics, is part of the Monsieurs. It doesn’t take much to see what she brings to the Monsieurs; their sound, and Shepherdess, are all about her guitar sound. Thick with an enveloping buzz, it seems to make more sound than one guitar should. It has the characteristics of a lot of early punk efforts and we love that. The Shepherdess trio had the punk spirit in all they do.
    Hilken is a captivating leader on stage. All the songs came across as packs of energy. They have no bass-just drums and another guitar. The three have primitive stomping fun. The final song which was more traditional sounding hit hard. They are one hard working trio.

Casonovas In Heat
Casanovas In Heat

    Casanova’s in Heat took no time to blast out of the gate and command the stage. They were just as impressive as last time. The orientation of the stage at O’Brien’s sometimes hurts the mix and it did on this night by burying the bass and drums to some extent. That left the two guitar Husker Du-like barrage to hit with full impact. The guitarists know how to play complimentary voicings to get a wall of sound with a ringing on top. It’s an intoxicating mix. They have two voices going also and that adds impact to the sound, as if they need it. I know from last time that the bassist is an exceptional player and even though I could see him doing nice fretwork I couldn’t hear most of it.
   In the middle of this thrill ride of a set they decided to do a cover – Best Friend by the Outlets. That totally floored me. They were able to capture that high strung frenzy that is the Outlets trademark. Six feet from the band playing flat out with ringing guitars (like my ears would later) on a classic Boston rocker I was in heaven. Here is a video of Best Friend but it doesn’t have that live impact but you get the idea.

Casanovas In Heat
Casanovas In Heat

    That salute from Boston punk history was welcome and made me wonder what their other influences are. I hear Husker Du and the band member’s t-shirts were of Thin Lizzy, Devo and Cheap Trick. Like a lot of other bands I think they should have a higher profile. You should catch them for a heady blast of rock. They'll be playing the anti-Valentine show called Frozen Heart Club February 15 at Once.

   The general talk lately turns to the array of interesting shows that seem to have no end. A year after TT’s and Church closings, and Johnny D’s soon too, sees no letup in the overall scene. Saturday there was Lyres/Paul Collins at Middle East and the Dictators at Great Scott (and Wilco at the Orpheum). The early start of the Lyres show prompted many to club jump between that and the Dictators. Both of the shows sold out.

Paul Collins

   Paul Collins has a catalog of pop from the Nerves and The Beat to The Paul Collins Band that thrills all pop fans. He’s also known for translating it to the stage. We saw him in this same club in 2011(LINK).
   Collins was in a sunny mood judging by his stage patter. To begin he turned things around and took a cell phone photo of the audience. Paul looks plain and unassuming, nothing special but then the music starts. It is one pop gem after the other with no duds. They are combination of new and old and older songs although you could never tell which if you didn’t know. Each song slots into a grove, then the chords give a forward motion and the melody captures you, and finally if you haven’t been won over the chorus will hook you. This crowd was a knowledgeable group that didn’t need to be won over they were soaking up every note.
   Paul’s voice got froggy at spots but that didn’t hurt things. The backup group was strong and was a big plus on the support vocals.

Paul Collins
Paul Collins

   A song called I Still Love You was one of the ones that grabbed me big time. I wanted that to go on forever. I wanted the show to go on forever too. I had a dozen songs in my head I wanted him to do. He never even did Hanging on the Telephone from the Nerves and in truth he didn’t need to. There was nothing to prove after that set.

   The audience had loads of familiar faces. This gig brought out the faithful. There were warm feelings all around and that carried over to the Lyres. The crowd was there for both Collins and the Lyres and they gave rapt attention to both.
   Lyres were in top form and that means it’s as good as it gets. It was the same line up we have seen for years now; Aquino on guitar, Paul Murphy on drums and Dave Szczepaniak on bass. They have it all down.


   They start with a few familiar faves that are everything you love about these guys. The songs we love and the performance that contains so much more in it than other groups even have a clue about. Others that cover this material do it by rote, or see the songs as campy, but to Jeff this is serious work and the songs are important. This was born out with the next section of songs that were nuggets that Jeff has mined. He talked a little about the overall idea of the songs. They were about love and heartbreak. The lyrics mention crying and lying a lot. Jeff and the band bring out those emotions that are inherent in the songs and they're able to make them live again. The number one focus is Jeff’s voice. To cover these songs by different artists he puts his voice through the test. He sings in different registers and intonations, he'll hit a falsetto or scream, whatever it takes to put the song across. I’m reminded of their other song We Sell Soul, that’s what they are doing.


   They could easily play a set of songs we all know and love. The Lyres have albums full of them but they show themselves to be still digging and working new material and giving us the thrill of seeing these songs come to life. This is a group still being vital. 1979 or 2016 the Lyres are still doing what they love.
   And that’s not all, after the middle section they went back to the hits and that was heaven.
   You couldn’t ask for more; the Lyres at their best and Paul Collins ditto.

   At the end of the Lyres a sizable amount of the people went to Great Scott’s and the Dictators. There was some grousing online about how bad the crowded club was but all agreed that the Dictators were in primo form. John Keegan who was at the Middle East also says: The Dictators cranked cranked cranked. The perfect end to a night that just kept getting better. He scored some pic too.

Dictators photos by John Keegan CLICK HERE
Jan 29 John Keegan caught the Ambient Orchestra doing Bowie's LOW and Heroes symphonically CLICK HERE

In other news .......

WBCN WBCN was shuffled to digital radio after it’s demise on the airwaves. It appears that It has been shut off from that too. That’s like getting shot then hanged. It’s truly over. Carmelita posted on Facebook……"Apparently, the corporate suited zombie drones at CBS weren't satisfied enough to destroy the legendary WBCN Radio, they just had to pull the plug on WBCN Free Form too. My heart and thoughts are with the legendary BCN pioneer, Samuel Kopper, and Destiny Curtis, beloved lil' radio sister who followed in the footsteps of her BCN predecessors by getting what great radio is, and supporting local rock in the dignified manner it deserves. Bah, I have no real competition now, wink emoticon, but, seriously, today is a very sad day and I wish them the best."

Arthur Freedman whose video work of Boston bands through the years is now in the Harvard Film Archives is currently displaying some of his new photography at the Out of the Blue Too Gallery and Performance space. These are mostly nature photos rather than band photos. He will be adding to the ones that are on display now as time goes on. They are for sale also.

Arthur Freedman and his work at the Out of the Blue Too Gallery

Andy California has three songs recorded and up online. Check them out here. They're released by Slovenly records. Nothing beats the live experience but these capture the blues via punk that Andy plays.

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

Shoppe February 4 (Thursday) Highway Chapel is at Hennessey's Hooley House 25 Union St (by Haymarket) Boston.

February 5 (Friday) The Shiny Beasts and The Knock Ups are at Jeanie Johnston Pub in JP. each band is doing two sets, alternating sets.

February 5 (Friday) Randy Black and the Heathcroppers are at Tavern at the End of the World.

February 5 (Friday) The Silks, The Dirty Truckers and The Furs are at The Midway

Rockin Bob February 6 (Saturday) Roy Sludge with Duke Levine & Johnny Sciascia at Atwoods this is a 4PM show

February 6 (Saturday) Magic Shoppe (celebrating their EP Release) Zip-Tie Handcuffs, Bong Wish and S.S. Cretins at Great Scott

February 6 (Saturday) The Upper Crust, E (Thalia Zedek's new band) The Nickel & Dime Band (Rick Berlin's newest project) and Lived on Lead are at Once. FB page

February 6 (Saturday) Koto in Salem goes MOD with The Forz, Tiger Bomb and The Evil Streaks

February 7 (Sunday) The Manglers, The Grommets, Jason Bennett & The Resistance are at The Midway for a 4PM show

And out in the future we have.....

Chetstock February 8 (Monday) Punk Rockin' And Pastie Poppin' Burlesque at The Midway!!

February 12 (Friday) Chetstock #1 2016 will be at Once Lounge @ Cuisine En Locale! They will also be filming a documentary with lots of interviews and great Chet's stories. This is a memorial event to support Pine Street Inn in honor of Chet. And check out the killer line-up of bands: Moose and the Mudbugs, Liz Borden Group, Pajama Slave Dancers, Dogmatics, Bim Skala Bim, Dogzilla Reunion (with special appearance by AEF) and Chet's All Stars - more info soon check the FB page for updates. And you can get your tix here.

February 12 (Friday) Petty Morals, B.L.O.W.W., Johnny Blazes And The Pretty Boys and Drawstring Lamps are at Great Scott

February 13 (Saturday) The Quiggs will be on Brian Young's A Crash Course for the Ravers on WMFO 95.1, 1-4PM.

February 13 (Saturday) Eat Your Heart Out diner at Cuisine en Locale-Five courses featuring hearts of all descriptions. There are 2 seatings 5:30pm and 8pm, the dinner includes ticket to Frozen Hearts Club show which is to follow at Once Lounge an Aniti Valentine's Day show with Sneeze the Daizys, Casanoves in Heat and Ian Cat & The Crimsons.

February 13 (Saturday) Vapors of Morphine and Mr Airplane Man at Atwoods.

Brigands February 13 (Saturday) Lux Lives! A celebration of all things Lux and The Cramps is back this year at Dusk in Provi, RI featuring The Buzzards (members of thee Itchies and The Worried), Rumble Party and Thee Icepicks also music by DJs Ty Jesso and Kogar the Swinging Ape -(FB page)

February 17 (Wednesday) Poison Idea, Child Bite, The FUs, LIVVER and Profit Margin at Once Lounge (FB event page)

February 17 (Wednesday) Duck and Cover are on the bill at the Middle East with (ex Hanoi Rocks') Michael Monroe and Hardcore Superstar (Tix almost sold out folks act fast here)

February 18 (Thursday) Keytar Bear is at The Midway...a bear's gotta play but it's cold outside!! He's on before Queereoke.

February 19 (Friday) Taxicab Cowboy , The Galvanics, The Brigands and Phil Yates & The Affiliates at PA's Lounge

Humnanoids February 19 (Friday) The Humanoids, Arctic Horror, In The Shit and Oxblood Forge are at The Midway

February 19 (Friday) The Monsieurs, The Barbazons, Nice Guys and Pouty are at The Middle East Up.

February 19 (Friday) wow this should be interesting Russian Punk bands Naive and Matrixx are at the Middle East down. More info on the FB event page

February 20 (Saturday) Brian Young's A Crash Course for the Ravers has The Hummingbird Syndicate as special guests. 1-4PM 95.1 WMFO

February 20 (Saturday) Diablogata and Gold Blood & Associates along with DJ Valdez the Sinner will be shaking it up at Store 54.

February 20 (Saturday) Classic Ruins, Fireking and Plume are at The Tavern at the End of the World

February 20 (Saturday) Quiggs, Howie & The Scrapes, Electric Octopus, and The Black Cheers are at The Foundation Room at the House of Blues (FB page for this excellent gig!)

February 20 (Saturday) The Handymen are at The Plough and Stars (10PM show)

February 20 (Saturday) M.O.T.O. , Stop Calling Me Frank, Sprained Ankles and The Johns are at The Midway

Shakers February 26 (Friday) Township is having their Vinyl Release Party, also on the bill Sidewalk Driver and When Particles Collide - at Great Scott

February 26 (Friday) Jittery Jack & Miss Amy along with Cactus Attack and The Alrighters are at O'Brien's

February 27 (Saturday) Charlie Dont Surf are at PA's Lounge.

February 27 (Saturday) Cujo, Watts , Jenny Dee & The Deelinquents and Christian McNeill are at Thunder Road

March 4 (Friday) The Upper Crust, Muck & The Mires and Tsunami of Sound are at The Midway

March 5 (Saturday) Jeremy & The Harlequins and The Connection are at The Plough & Stars (Great show! )

March 16 (Wednesday) Battalion of Saints, Phobia, Nomads and I am Become Death are at Great Scott.

March 19 (Saturday) The Devil's Twin and Diablogato are at O'Brien's

March 19 (Saturday) Lux Lives! A celebration of all things Lux and The Cramps is back this year at The Bayside Bowl in Portland, ME featuring The Gamma Goochies, Thee Ice Picks and Video Nasties - also music by DJs Ty Jesso and Kogar the Swinging Ape -(FB page)

Once March 25 (Friday) OK whoa....this is gonna be a wild night...go if you dare...S&M punk band GASH is at PA's Lounge...also on the bill is DISIPLINE: Boston queer BDSM Punk.

March 28 (Monday) The Goddamn Gallows, King Sickabilly Trio, and Outlaw Ritual are at The Middle East Up.

April 1 (Friday) "Drop Ya Mic and pick up yer paint brush" is a show of Musicians' art work at Once Lounge...check out the FB page..the list is looooonnnnggg. Providing music for the event will be The Old Edison, Tom Baker and the Snakes, Stars Like Ours and Ringtail. $9 cover with free apps, art at 6PM music about 8:30.

April 1 (Friday) Kenne Highland 60th birthday party at The Cantab Club Bohemia

April 2 (Friday) Kenne Highland 60th birthday party at the midway (this is his actual birthday!) An afternoon 4PM show -more info to come

April 2 (Friday) the night show at The Midway is Wussy and The Thalia Zedek band.

April 3- 22 (Friday) Rock n Roll Rumble at Once Lounge

April 5 (Tuesday) The Legendary Shack Shakers, The Pine Hill Haints and Diablogato are at Great Scott

May 21 (Saturday) A Celebration of Life of Keith Brooks (friend to many and hardcore music lover) will be at The Midway - on the bill: The Struggle, Honest John, Words Of Truth, CHEECH, Straphangers, and DOT RATS -This show runs from 4PM to Midnight.

CONTACT US - Send us your gig listings, your news and anything else ya got!!

Casenovas in Heat
Casanovas In Heat
Hilken of Shepherdess
David minehan
Middle East Holiday Party

It's NEW people     The Middle East Holiday Party gives us the spirit. Friendly people and food were plentiful. John Keegan took the photos, boy did he take the photos............
The Middle East Holiday Party 2015
It's NEW people    Joanie goes far afield and hits the Balkan countries. Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina. She still finds record stores and meets Kevin from the Shods and Lauran from Cheater Pint.........
Joanie Lindstrom's Balkan Vacation
It's NEW people    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 interviewed the Neighborhoods in 1979. Now 36 years later we talk to David Minehan again. We look back and try to fill in the gaps with what happened at some pivotal moments. We also look at what David is doing now and then what's in the immediate future. All here in a very long.........
David Minehan Interview 2015
   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
   Joanie takes a shorter trip (for her) with a Quebec jaunt. She checks out the old city and Bryan Adams' art exhibit!?
Joanie Lindstrom's Quebec Vacation
   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
   John Keegan get some great photos at the Cramps tribute night at the Middle East Down. .....
All Cramped Up
   It's always a special time when The Damned play. As Halloween looms The Damned hit The Royale...John Keegan reviews and has photos......
Review of The Damned at The Royale
   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
   It's Part IV and there are still awesome revels....and the photos go back to 1971....not to be missed stuff for Boston Punk fans......
The Lyres Chronicles:The story of a Lyre Retyre - Part IV
   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
   2011 - there are upheavals all over the world, the US is in economic shambles...yet somehow Johnny Anget finds inspiration for a renewal an artistic rebirth if you will......
Interview with Johnny Angel about his new CD
   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
   In the middle of the worst winter ever we give you a story about one of the worst winters ever: mainly the winter of 1978. But it's not just about the winter of course, we don't care about winters we care about punk. Rick Coraccio gives us the inside story from 33 years ago when DMZ went to record their LP.........
The Story of DMZ and the Blizzard of '78
    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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