The Classic Ruins at Chetstock
I listened to just a few minutes of Cut Ups
songs before I wanted to see them live on Wednesday night at
OBriens. In the club 25 people.
I liked the little I heard of Weller, from
PA, before them. It reminded me a little of the old singer/songwriter
idea but with the band much more integrated. They are a indy/pop/emo
hybrid maybe in current trends. I think there is some appealing craft
in the material. For a listen check 'em out on
Cut Up were over 20 days into a long tour
from their home in San Francisco. You think they would be tired just
a bit? No way. They were jumping and running around the stage from the
beginning. Its a full court press with all four contributing.
They often had three of them singing full out. Add to that the wall
of guitars and it was better than you would expect a Wednesday night
to be. They are pop punk but they leave the pop behind to punk it out
more often than not.
I have two photos of the singer in midair; he was
just jumping the whole time. This
video shows the revved up show but the audio does them no credit
so go to the Bandcamp page for the songs.
Saturday was the second Chetstock at Once.
The first one was February
this year . This was a long haul with 8 bands that go 6 hours.
Like last time they had a projection with that orange/red wallpaper
pattern that was at Chets.
There were less people than last time with the club
never getting more than half full but the spirit was there. We talked
to a relative of Chet outside and he was still emotional about the loss
but Im sure the family is buoyed by the whole Chetstock happening.
The Hopelessly Obscure
We arrived as The Hopelessly Obscure crowded
the stage. Arguably I think they sounded as good as they ever have or
even better. Kenny Kaiser threw in some very sharp creative solos
that gave the songs a boost. John Keegan blew some sax and did
a cowbell stint that also worked but the best thing was The Thunder
Tube on "Twin Cities of Your Mind". It's tube that has a ball
in it (or something) that John shakes and it makes a gurgling sound
not unlike the electric jug the 13th Floor Elevators used. It gave the
songs a psych atmosphere. Matt Burns brought the authenticity
with his drum work. He had played a show in NYC on Friday night and
then played porchfest on Saturday afternoon before Chetstock. Mike
Quirk was rock solid and was the only one to take the spotlight
away from Kenne by playing one of his own songs that may be a new Hopelessly
Obscure song if they ask nice.
Kenne Highland was in fine voice and doing
his thing which means you heard the Doors "Break
On Though" in a the middle of another song and you didnt
know how that happened. They have some stand out songs with Jailbait
Janet, Rain of Death, Shes So Cryptic, The Progression (the lyrics
give you the chords to the song what a concept) and 649 Steps
(where he called out "Dr. Jay" and Bob Colby in the crowd).
Video of Hopelessly Obscure doing Jailbait Janet
Video of Hopelessly Obscure doing Twin Cities of Your Mind
The Classic Ruins
We just saw the Classic Ruins a week
ago at the Midway . We've seen the Ruins/Babys Arm so
many times its hard to believe. We know now that our remaining
life spans will not allow any group to match the record.
They were in top form last week and it was similar
for this show with the added boost of the raised stage and the nicely
balanced sound at the club. The result was a energized set that started
people dancing up front. Frank was doing a lot of his favored
pinched harmonics that gave that half nasal squealing tone we have come
to know and love. You could see and hear all of Carls fretboard
gymnastics. One thing we loved was looking at Dave Kowalachek
smiling all the way through the set even as hes working hard (see
photo above). He loves playing for the Ruins.
Xanna Dont : the woman, the voice...
the hairdo! Xanna is something to hear and something to look
at. She was doing country/rockabilly years ago. She has finely tuned
that Xanna Don't style and looked like a real star up there with
her signature mega-sized up-do, gorgeous dress and sparkling jewelry.
She traveled all the way from Seattle, WA for this show. She pulled
together the guys she played with here in the past - the band is so
good that Jittery Jack was there as a side man.
They started by entreating everyone to join them
on the "Train to Satanville". Then they threw in a
curve by doing the Real Kids' "Common At Noon" country-style.
With that she re-realized the song with her vocal finesses. Her voice
is so much better than what you usually hear that it's a revelation
to see it work its magic. She sings through a full range from soft to
an ear tingling caterwaul (which she uses just as an effect).
Randy Black and The Heathcroppers
Randy Black played Chets with the Randy
Black Combo. For Chetstock he played one of those songs but mainly
stayed to his current material from the Heathcroppers. Again
the raised stage and the clear sound mix helped the Heathcroppers by
spotlighting their highly crafted playing and song writing. One of the
lyrics that struck us was something like, He was having problems
with his wife/ and thinking of the afterlife.
He brought his ace in the hole Mark Chenevert
up to play sax on a song. Mark always finds the sweet spot and digs
in. Its always a pleasure to hear him. The Heathcroppers
are their own world and we get lost in it. A fine set with plenty of
There seems to be a long wait for the Real Kids
to get on stage. We see John and Dickie...We talk to Rick Harte
who tells us they're waiting for Billy Cole.
Rick also reveals that they've been in the studio
for some time and have recorded 7 songs that he characterizes as all
good and if Rick says that than they must be fantastic. One song
is called "Bad To Worse" and one is going to be used in a
movie. All exciting news for Real Kids fans.
What wasnt good for Real Kids fans was the
long wait which ended up cutting the Real Kids' set to three
songs because of the resultant time constraint. It was three good ones
though. They played full out. They started with "My Babys
Book" and then went into a new song that was as good as anything
they have done. People were stunned as the band walked off stage. Just
add it all to your Real Kids stories.
Now really - They cut The Real Kids set short so Harlequin
could get on stage??? That's just wrong on so many levels!!
We called it quits there as did most of the audience.
But for sure we'll be at Chetstock III.
John Keegan's part of the story....
and Miss Lyn
missed out on
the first two and last band of the night. A quick two cents in addition
to the news and the slideshow. Tim Sprague and Linda Vien's Chelsea
set a high bar with well-matched alternating vocals. Engine
on backup vocals and Mark Chenevert
tenor sax opened up the sound and the options. I agree with whomever I
overheard saying it was the most musical set of the night.
brought a hard pushin' punked up sound that kicked up some
grit and contrasted nicely with Chelsea Clutch's
expansive efforts. Real Kids
debacle aside, one thing
I dig about Matt Gilbert's bands - Gravedancers
resurrected for the night Harlequin
, is that Gilbert has a squirrely
vision of what he wants to do and he, Reno and Bubba shred it into reality.
For a minute there I thought I had a mullet.
And in other news .....
OC45 are celebrating 5 years together. They say: "It has
been an incredible 5 years and it's only getting better, with a European
tour just around the corner and a full-length album currently in the
works." They are having a birthday party July 16 with other bands
-see listings below
On the first day of shows for the Celebration fo the Life of Keith
Brooks they say they've made $2,000 from the door and $1,850 from
the raffles, and CD sales. All the proceeds go to Emma, Keiths
daughter which makes it so good. More shows coming. (also listed below)
Billy Connors has a new band that he calls the Billy Connors
Project (for now). The new band also includes Gary Soprano, Arty
Plummer on drums (from Johnny Barnes group) and Desi Desautels
(Third Rail) on bass. They have a show at PAs Lounge on June 11.
Cadillac Heart will be back in the fall.
The creative horn of plenty we call Roger Miller has another
group going. His mission statement goes: Miller started The Trinary
System to give his guitar playing an outlet freed from a post-punk
environment. This new environment covers whatever Miller has absorbed
from rock during his 50 years of playing: Psychedelia, funk, skronk,
post-punk and blues all rear their heads.
He has Larry Dersch on drums who we know and
admire from Randy Blacks Heathcroppers. They have a cd out called
Amplify the Amplifiers and right off the bat the first song gets
your attention. Its called "Dave
The songs go through some change ups. "Living by Flashlight"
is as quiet as he ever gets. Roger will not be tied down. Listen
Staying with MOB news - Brett Milano (Check out his latest book
via our review ) has a profile of Peter Prescott and
Mini Beast in
the Boston Herald.
Peter drops this bomb about the MOBs current status
fair to say its dying down." Oh crap
begin tearing out
hair and gnashing of teeth.
Peters group Mini Beast (we saw
them October last year) plays Once with Magic Shoppe, Dyr Fraser
and S.S. Cretins, on May 28.
The Forz latest song can
be heard on their web page. An album is on the way.
John Surette has been working on his sequel to punk rock opera
Tomorrow The World with Tomorrow the World Act 2 and
now has a Kickstarter page to raise funds for studio time.... Please
out the Kickstarter page...
Rum Bar records just released a smokin' new Watts CD
and digital album: Black Heart of Rock'n'Roll. Watts
are no-holds-barred GREAT live so you know they are great in the
studio too!! Download etc here....WATTS
Here's a great article on Please Kill me Ernie Brooks talks
to Legs McNeil about meeting Jonathan Richman in the early
Love With The Modern
Here's some good shows coming up this week.....
May 26 (Thursday) It's getting
down to the final days - and final shows - at Store 54 and this is one
of those- its also a GREAT one!....MiniBeast (featuring Peter
Prescott) and the return of Akacod featuring Monique Ortiz,
Larry Dersch and Dana Colley....Here's the FB
page check for updates
May 27 (Friday) Ex-Cult, Far
Corners, Andy California, Sticker Shock are at O'Brien's
May 28 (Saturday) Thought Bomb
with Matthew Flynn featuring Lydia Lunch, Joyce Brabner,
Cassie J..."Thought Bomb with Matthew Flynn is a show where eccentric
writers, stand-up comics, illustrators, etc. get the chance to perform
a story and then do a karaoke song with the aid of a live band."
Here's the FB
May 28 (Saturday) Mini Beast,
Magic Shoppe, Dyr Fraser and S.S. Cretins are at Once Here's
May 28 (Saturday) Join Al Janik's
Plastic Cheese Band for a celebration of Polish subculture in honor
of the Patron Saint of Poland, St. Stanislaus, who was martyred for
his courageous stance against the unbridled lust, savage cruelty, and
acts of rapacity of the Polish King Boleslaus II. No matter whose side
you take in that argument, come dressed in red and white for an evening
of polkas, pierogies. and Polish beer. Many for-the-night-polish people
you knwo will be performing at the Polish American Club Cambridge Ave
Cambridge!! See the
FB page Doors open at 6p and music begins at 7p (the first of
Polish food is available on a first come first served basis until it
May 28 (Saturday) The Offseason,
School Damage, Tied to a Bear, and Lucky United are at O'Brien's
And further out past this week....
May 30 (Monday) Some Kind of Nightmare,
The Pity Whores, Broken Glass Kids and Damnation are at Opus
June 2 (Thursday) Kilslug, Psycho,
Horrible Earth, Deathtaker and Mad Gasser of Bostoon at O'Brien's.
Mark yr calendars for this one folks, it should be a show you'll not
June 4 (Saturday) When Particles
Collide are having their vinyl release party along with Aloud
at Great Scott.
June 4 (Saturday) The Humanoids
along with The Heave Ho, Ass Tractor and The Straight Eights
are at the Midway (8PM)
June 5 (Sunday) GREAT all Punk
show at The Midway with the Nervous Eaters, Fast Times, Interfectum,
and Jumper!...and they're keepin' it in the family with this
show...Eater Alan Hebditch's son Nick is in Fast
June 5 (Sunday) Found Audio,
Rock'N Bob Punk Band, The Ungraded, and Duck & Cover
at Thunder Road 8Pn show
June 5 (Sunday) a Ramone ....this
is a stretch - CJ Ramone at ONCE Ballroom with Broken Gold
and Meat Depressed. The closest you can get to the Ramones now,
sad to say.
June 11 (Saturday) Scissorfight,
Watts, Goddamn Draculas, Dirt Mall are at Thunder Road
June 11 (Saturday) A day show 4-8PM
with Fireking, Big Giant, The First Supper, and Universe Narrows
at The Midway
June 11 (Saturday) Cherie Currie
along with Gene Dante, MarianneToilet & The Runs and
others at Brighton Music Hall - this is a benefit for Bagly.org
June 11 (Saturday) The Upper
Crust, Thee Fabulous Itchies, The Hi-End and Shiny Beasts
are at The Midway - there's a lot going on this night- and the show
starts at 8PM -check out the FB
June 11 (Saturday) The Skeleton
Beats and The Black Cheers are at O'Brien's
June 11 (Saturday) The Billy
Connors Project is doing a show at PAs Lounge with Stop
Calling Me Frank, The Angel Martins and The Boss.
June 12 (Sunday) Mike's Monsters Guitar
Third Annual Birthday Bash is on Sunday, June 12 with a long list
of bands. Last
year it was at TTs
There's a long list of bands: Jay Allen and the Archcriminals, Andy
California, Baluchaterium, Axemunkee, Hambone Skinny, A Bunch of Jerks,
Ten Dollar Mistake. Doors are at 2PM and all proceeds go to the
MSPCA!! Here's the
June 17 (Friday) The Stoves,
Topheavy (a reunion), Diablogato, and Stars Like Ours
are at The Midway
June 17 (Friday) The Brigands,
Greg Allen's Fringe Religion, Doug MacDonald...and Pete Cassini
will be rocking as well at Tavern at the End of the World
June 18 (Saturday) Thunder Road
has The Dwarves, The Queers, White Dynomite, and Decent Criminal
June 23 (Thursday) Do Not Forsake
Me Oh My Darling are saying Bye Bye Boston with their last show
here - joining them are Petty Morals, Endation, and Psychic
Dog - at the Middle East Up
June 27 (Monday) Pere Ubu at
July 9 (Saturday) Tsunami of
Sound, Fireking, Popgun, and The Beachcombovers are at The
July 11 (Monday) Guided by Voices
are at The Paradise
July 14 (Thursday) The Late
Risers Club Punk Rock Trivia night will be at "the Greek"
in Union Square (more info to follow) Of course Eric Law's team
will win but it'll be fun just the same.
July 16 (Saturday) OC45 celebrates
their 5 year anniversary at the Middle East Up along with Burning
Streets, The Jukebox Romantics and Jumper!
July 22 (Friday) Fur Purse,
Thalia Zedek, Weather Weapon, Phurnne, Death Cloud at the Midway
July 22 (Friday) Screw Cart,
Psycho, Rockin' Bob Punk Band, and 4 Sids are at The Cantab
July 23 (Saturday) The FUs,
Silver Screams, Electric Street Queens, Il Mostro (mems of The
Humanoids) are at The Midway
July 29 (Friday) The Warning
Shots, Duck & Cover, Quiggs, and Tenafly Vipers are at
the Greek in Union Square (FB
August 6 & 7 (Sat & Sunday)
The Boston Rock Opera presents Stardust to Blackstar: The
Lives of David Bowie at Once Ballroom: a concert dedicated to
the late rock god David Bowie. "David Bowie taught us all so much about
performance and stagecraft. If B.R.O. is going to, like Lazarus, rise
up again then it should be to honor and celebrate his amazing music."
The night begins with fellow B.R.O. co-founder Mick "Mondo" Maldonado
directing and performing Bowie's "The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust
and The Spiders from Mars" with a full band and guest vocalists. Following
that, is an original live arrangement of of Bowie's final opus work
"Blackstar" performed by an all star band and chorus under the direction
of Either/Orchestra's Russ Gershon. The evening continues with a celebration
of songs from Bowie's vast catalog as even more Boston musicians take
the stage to perform.
October 15 (Saturday) The Upper
Crust, Hickoids, The Grannies & Devil On Horseback at Once
October 21, 22 & 23 (Fri., Sat & Sun)
The Boston Rock Opera presents Hair at Once Ballroom.
CONTACT US AT....firstname.lastname@example.org
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Bob Colby, Xanna Don't and Mike Quirk
Terry Brenner and Ed Moose Savage