The BGN News Archive
Danny Laj and the Looks, & Kid Gulliver – O’Brien’s
Searching around we heard this cut by Danny Laj and the Looks “Left Right to One.” That got us to O’Brien’s on Monday for their show.
Openers were Kid Gulliver who John Keegan had seen at Club Bohemia in March. Listening to Spree their EP revealed the pop that John talked about. They were comparably low key and low volume but it didn’t take long to hear the catchy pop they deliver.
The cover of “I’m Not in Love” was a pleasant surprise.
Video below. The vocals on the original are multi-tracked dozens of
time. Here’s where you can see the value of singer Simone
Berk. She had a sweetness in her voice that captured the dreamy
deniability of the lyrics.
The guitarist had a great tone, as Keegan spotted also. He had some tasty leads and fills. They were the type that, if they were on record, guitarists would go copy and try to learn what makes them tick. A few were those deceptively simple Buzzcock fills of just a few notes. After the set Danny Laj of Danny Laj and the Looks came over to tell them he loved what they were doing with pop, and that was a real compliment from a guy who also knows how to do the same thing.
Danny Laj and the Looks is a trio where all three were contributing listenable moments. The drummer was very active and putting the punch in most of the time but also leading the dynamics of the group. They were not just doing loud/fast/loud fast as a trick. They would mostly rock it out but shape the dynamics of some areas so that it came down extremely low and then they played there for a time. It forced you to listen. Laj would just softly touch the strings, the drummer would barely be playing. It was a different approach. There were other points where the popness was all in the bass. Many times our ears were on that bass line as it led from chord to chord in simple scales and figures. It’s great when that happens, it’s like you are hearing two levels of the song.
All the material was first rate. We assume it took a while to get a set like that. The overall sound reminded us of the power pop groups that were around at the beginning of punk that got shuffled aside, like 20/20, Nerves and Pezband. We mentioned those to Laj who acknowledged them but pointed to Cheap Trick as a main influence. We were talking to Laj outside the club. We interrupted his conversation with Geoffrey Palmer of The Connection. That’s another guy who knows his pop.
Laj sounded very driven so we hope to see them another time. The band is from Toronto. We've seen more than a few groups from Canada at O’Brien’s. Bike Thiefs a few weeks ago was the last. I’m hoping that this becomes a thing – they come down and we send bands up there.
On Monday there were games by the Bruins, Red Sox and Celtics. Even Eric Law stayed home to watch TV, so there were only a handful of non-sports oriented people at the Club, that would be us.
The FUs and XXX All Ages Film – Norwood Space Center
We’ve been wanting to scope out the whole new thing that’s going on in Norwood called the Norwood Space Center. There are a few ideas floating in this development. The place is a very accessible warehouse/industrial area. The main people behind it seem to be David Bieber and Chuck White. Beiber has been looking for a place to put his huge (and we do mean huge) rock archives. Chuck White is involved with Motherload.TV, and judging by the website, there’s a whole lot going on there. Read this to get more details on the Norwood Space Center.
Thursday night was a showing of the film XXXAll Ages and some music after by The FU.s, See This World and American Daughters of the Revolution.
The place was indeed huge. It’s a gigantic mill building. To think that this space is available for whatever they want to do is inspiring in itself. Some booths line the sides selling t-shirts and LP’s etc. They had a SSD LP for $3.50 and the Freeze for $4.00.
There were very few people there as the film started. It was introduced by director Drew Stone. XXX All Ages should be seen by all Boston rock fans. Get it here!! They did a great job on this. It brings back 1981- 83 with clarity. That hardcore scene was comparably small and insular. You get the personalities, the clubs, the rise of straight edge, the violence but no women. Well, a few women but there were only a few.
After the film there was a small discussion by some FU members (Bob Furapples and Steve Grimes), Katy the Kleaning Lady and Duane Lucia from Gallery East. Videos above. Unbeleivably, it was revealed that there were only 12 shows at the Gallery East. Like everything else at that time, things were so concentrated that all perspectives were askew.
After seeing the film, a live set by The FU’s seemed awesome indeed. They actually got together to do the filming for XXX All Ages and have stayed gigging since. With their resurgence John Sox has renewed his place as one of Boston’s legendary front men. The line ups for the group have changed through the years. Thursday’s line up of five members included the actual three original members. At the beginning John played bass, Bob was on drums and Steve was the guitarist. They did thier usual burning set that we have become familiar with. Old stuff and one or two new songs. They still have the fire.
One thing that seemed obvious to us was the attendance. Only 50 people tops. We had just seen a film were the bands fought to play (and the audience fought while they played – ha!) but here we have a venue welcoming their music and not enough people showed up.
Well, some things take time to grow. The Space Center was easy to get to. It’s on Morse St which intersects Route 1 at the Boch dealership. There’s also a commuter rail station right next to it. There is plenty of parking. There’s a lot of people that will find this easier to get to than going downtown.
Blame it on Whitman, Duck and Dover, & The Downbeat Five - Sally O'Briens
Friday it was four bands we like and a chance to see Sally O’Brien’s new expansion. The expansion is an extra 10 feet on one side. It opens the room just enough to get rid of that long and narrow feeling. Rumor has it that they are planning on revving up the booking and getting a higher profile. They have a new PA and the bands liked it. At Sally’s the amps are not miked. So you get the straight amp sound and vocals through the PA. That’s the way a lot of bands set up in the practice space. They are very comfortable with that.
Blame it On Whitman took to the space just fine. We saw their first show in July 2017. They had the scrappy pop sound with lead singer Max intermittently flailing around as if he’s trying to shake off some invisible restraints. We have heard before that he is the son of Yukki Gipe from the Konks/Lavolta and sure enough Yukki was in the audience.
They seemed even more tight than last time we saw them. They have all three members doing the vocals. They ended with the mean revenge song - “I Had Sex with Your Mother”. It’s poppy and has that sting in the lyric that you don’t forget.
The Downbeat 5 started around 1999 and lasted till about 2005. Jay Rassler and Jen D'Angora were a great musical collaboration. Jay wrote and found the songs and Jen had that voice. It’s always welcome when they get a show together.
Intimate Sally’s was a good place to see Jay’s playing up close. He has absolutely no flash. It’s solid simple riffs played with a gritty tone. When Jay plays he’s channeling all his knowledge of rock/garage/blues/soul into it. It’s indefinable in ways but very obvious when you hear his tone and attack. That authenticity separates his playing from everyone else.
We recognized one or two old Downbeat 5 songs like “Dum Dum Diddy”. But other songs were oldies we didn’t know. They did the Velvet Underground’s "Foggy Notion". Jen’s voice is a killer all the time. The songs they do have character and Jen brings that to the vocals. The danger of a cover song is that is sounds like just a cover, but with vocals like Jen’s she owns the songs. The drums were in the pocket with the bass right there too. They’ll be other gigs for these guys and we’ll be there.
Everyone is doing half hour sets so it’s four bands in all. We always want to hear Duck & Cover on a regular basis. They play punk with some smarts and it sounds current. They do that with some clever song writing that gives attention to details. They started with “Yeah Don’t You” that illustrates how they get the power chords rolling and marry it with a catchy melody that fits like a glove. They have a lot of good songs and they keep writing new ones. They announced that they do have some new material that is recorded and will come out soon on Rum Bar. They had the beer cozies to prove it!
The group sound was a few steps up in volume from the first two bands. Duck & Cover hit it hard. They ended with a double whammy with “Wasted” and “Stand Corrected”. That’s quality material. They have two high profile shows coming up. One is June 14 at The Middle East with the Dickies and the other is with the Adolescents at the Brighton Music Hall on June 24.
We were sort of maxed out at this point but it was such a good night we stayed for Michael Kane and the Morning Afters and we’re glad we did. Again the closeness of Sally O’Brien’s made everything even better. The Morning Afters have that punk crunch sound down to a T. It seems to us that if you have that you can almost play anything and we’ll like it. They also made every song slot into a groove and never leave it. That’s the rhythm section doing their job. That combo was irresistible. They had maybe some Irish punk thing in there, it’s faint. We assume there are other things too, they come across as guys who know their music.
The crowd that had stayed around seem to just love these guys with a passion. When they covered “Can’t Hardly Wait” by the Replacements there was a palpable connection between band and audience. At the end they pulled out “Born to Run” for a chance to let it rip and then an encore with "Teenage Kicks" by the Undertones where Jen stepped up to the microphone. Wow, that was worth staying to the end!!!
The new Sally O’Brien’s did us well tonight.
More band photos below the show listings
And in other news.....
Muck & The Mires are touring South America right now.
Watts is opening for The Alarm on August 1 at the Tupelo Music Hall in Derry NH. Tix here
Kurt Baker’s “So Lonely” got played again on Little Steven’s Underground Garage. This week (3/29/18) the Coolest Song of the Week was The Connection's “In the End “ from their just released Wish You Success. Then it was another ripping Barrence Whitfield song “Slowly Losing My Mind”. Their latest album Soul Flowers of Titan is a killer.
Here's an interesting tidbit; Rod McKuen wrote a song called “I Belong to the Beat Generation”. That’s where Richard Hell got the idea for “Blank Generation" and there’s no doubt you can hear it in the lyrics and melody. Listen for yourself, here’s a version by Bob McFadden – “I Belong to the Beat Generation”
From Bomp Records we hear: “Paul Collins' new album Out Of My Head is planned for the end of the summer. Paul plays both the drums and guitar, it’s the first time since the Nerves.”
Rockin' Dune Tunes down on Whitecrest Beach, Wellfleet, Cape Cod is happening again this year on Saturday June 30, 2018 5pm. It’s rocking on the beach – well, the parking lot next to the beach. John Keegan covered it last year. Line up : Mr Airplane Man, Atlantic Thrills, Shiny Beasts, SPF4. It's FREE & ALL AGES. More info below in gig listings.
Here's some good shows coming up this week.....
May 9 (Wednesday) Hoods, Death Before Dishonor, Set Your Anchor, Scars of Deceit and Distressor! at Hardcore Stadium (Bishop Allen Dr Central Sq) 7PM!
May 10 (Thursday) Maple Mars w/Corin Ashley and Richie Parsons at the Tavern at the End of the World
May 10 (Thursday) Elseware, Slum Raisons and Greg Allen’s Fringe Religion at Once
May 10 (Thursday) Mickey Rickshaw and Buster Shuffle at Thunder Road
May 11 (Friday) Pale Monsters, Stars Like Ours, Magen Tracy and the Missed Connections, Dana Osterling of CIVIC at O'Brien's Pub
May 11 (Friday) Loser's Circle, K.C.U.F., Dial Drive (FL), You Scoundrel at The Midway
May 11 (Friday) One Less Scumbag, The Great War, Brix'n'Mortar, Chasms at The Chit Chat Lounge in Haverhill MA FB page
May 11 (Friday) The Hudson Falcons are at Askew in Provi, RI FB page here.
May 12 (Saturday) It's Porchfest in Somerville and there are a TON of great bands playing on porches all over town. Check out the website and the MAP For example 4-6PM The Boxed Wine Collective featuring featuring solo sets and collaborations from Magen Tracy, Sue Minichiello and Josh Pickering (of Sue's Guitar), Mayte Antelo (of Gold Blood & Associates), Erica Mantone (of Bikini Whale, Gold Blood), Emily Grogan, Chuck Ferreira (of Eddie Japan, Aloud), Michelle Paulhus (of Stars Like Ours, The Dents), Rodrigo van Stoli (of Officer), and more. You can expect originals and covers, and maybe even an all-star jam!....anbd then there's Jittery Jack also 4-6PM...Happy Little Clouds, Love Love, The Jiblantos (with John Keegan!) Lily Black,
Check out this Porchfest Pizza Party with Carissa Johnson, Shy Fires, Sirens, Thrust Club, Solo Sexx, Girl Sküll, Happy Little Clouds, Psychic Dog - 12:30-6PM 16 Madison St, Somerville. FB page
May 12 (Saturday) Roy Sludge at Atwood's, early 4PM Show
May 12 (Saturday) M.O.T.O., Color Killer, The Sprained Ankles, Sewer Buddies, Time Out Timmy for a 4-8PM show at the Midway
May 12 (Saturday) Clever Girls, Night Nurses, Dark Wing, Today Junior at O'Brien's
May 12 (Saturday) WEMF presents – Stigmatics, Vanishing Point, Crunchtime and Greg Allen’s Fringe Religion at PA's Lounge
May 12 (Saturday) The Nervous Eaters with Justine and the Unclean, The Gala, The Hi-End at The Midway 8pm show
May 12 (Saturday) WEMF Night with The Stigmatics, Crunchtime at PA's Lounge
May 12 (Saturday) Stray Bullets, Coffin Salesman, Girth Control, DNZL at Club Boho/Cantab
May 12 (Saturday) Watts, The Dents, We Can't Work It Out at Sally O'Brien's
May 12 (Saturday) Crimespree, Pruf, Crossthreads at The 13th Floor Music Lounge in Florence, MA
May 13 (Sunday) Ski Bunny, Happy Little Clouds, Yes Commander at The Dark Horse Public House in Somerville
May 13 (Sunday) Buster Shuffle, Mickey Rickshaw, The Pourmen, Threat Level Burgundy at Alchemy in Provi, RI - 7-11PM
And further out we have.......
May 14 (Monday) Salem Wolves w/the Very Reverend, LE Yikes, SURF CLUB, the Maxims at Charlie's Kitchen
May 16 (Wednesday) Sean Patrick Carney (of The Scandals) with special guests Michael Kane and the Morning Afters, The Callouts, and Coffin Salesman at the Midway
May 17 (Thursday) Tsunami Bomb, Diablogato at Once
May 17 (Thursday) Girls Rock Campaign Boston Pizza Party and Karaoke- there's a pizza buffet, live music from Hilken & Thalia, Charlo & Studs Green, and Jennifer T & Liz W, PLUS Karaoke with Jean Crawford and and entry into a raffle!
May 18 (Friday) The Facc-tones, A Bunch of Jerks, Sugar Cones, Charlie Don't Surf at The Midway
May 18 (Friday) Baabes "Album Release Party" with The Knock Ups, The Gala, Hambone Skinny at The Middle East Up
May 19 (Saturday) A Crash Course For The Ravers 1pm to 4pm on 91.5FM Medford. featuring Simon Ritt talkin' 'bout Johnny Thunders!
May 19 (Saturday) Kingsley Flood, Glenn Yoder & The Western States, Andrea Gillis at Once - music starts at 8PM
May 19 (Saturday) The Knock Ups, State of the Union, The New Frustrations, The Imposers at The Midway- early show 4-8Pm
May 19 (Saturday) WAAF Presents: Punk In Drublic Festival with NOFX, Bad Religion, The Interrupters, Mad Caddies, Bad Cop Bad Cop at Campanelli Stadium in Brockton, MA FB page for more info/directions
May 19 (Saturday) Celebrate Sue (Miniachello's) 50th Birthday!! at Sally O'Brien's celebrate Sue with friends and family and food and drink and cake and, of course, MUSIC! A stellar lineup of bands and special guests is in store. More details to come on that, although a few surprises will be kept under wraps. FB page for updates
May 20 (Sunday) Sunday Mess Around - 4 PM - 6 PM at The Plough - There's Jay Allen, Justine Couvault and Tom Baker and this week's special guests are Jen D'Angora, Michelle Pauhaus and Evan Shore.
May 20 (Sunday) The Scurvy's Black Market Flea 4-8PM at The Scurvy Dog in Provi RI. it's a mini flea with stuff like records, CDs, cassettes, T Shirts, books etc. More info on FB page here
May 20 (Sunday) It time again for Slimedog's 22nd Birthday Party. The line up is Kermit’s Finger, The Lost Riots, The Revilers, Uncle Spud, and Time Out Timmy. Linnea Svedka will play between sets. All that and FREE PIZZA too! Starts at 4PM.
May 20 (Sunday) The Crank-tones (Record Release), Jittery Jack and DJ Easy Ed at Great Scott this is a 2PM show start
May 20 (Sunday) Red Hare, Sweet Jesus (Last Show), Holy Hands, Silver Screams are at AS220 in Provi, RI FB page
May 20 (Sunday) The Proletariat are at Alchemy in Providence RI FB page This show is FREE and All Ages.
May 24 (Thursday) Thrust Club with Dump Him & Sapling at Once
May 25 (Friday) Whore Paint, E (record release), Arch Cape at The Midway
May 27 (Sunday) Roy Sludge at Sally O's, Sun. Memorial Weekend 6- 8:30Pm
May 27 (Sunday) The Four Point Restraints, The Guilloteenagers, Surprise Party, American Affairal (Jess & Tom of Man Trouble) at ZuZu
May 31 (Thursday) Atlantic Thrills, The Mad Doctors, Fire Heads, Heavy Connection at the News Cafe Pawtucket, RI. FB page here.
June 1 (Friday) Tom Baker & The Snakes, Swilson and Duck and Cover at The Tavern @ the End of the World.
June 1 (Friday) Thee Fightin' Fish Record Release Party at Club Bohemia also playing are EVERT, Birdgangs, Captain Martini and the Key Stoners
June 2 (Saturday) A Crash Course for the Ravers featuring Charlie Don't Surf! 91.5 WMFO 1-4PMJune 2 (Saturday) Check out JJ Gonson's pics with Slam Dance - Pictures from the Pit it's out in Framingham, 4-8PM FB page for info
June 2 (Saturday) The Black Souls, Crunchtime & Guests, do a Midway Cafe Matinee 4-8PM
June 2 (Saturday) Fur Purse, Lady Pills, Miss Geo & DJ Sit and Spinat the Midway 9PM show
June 2 (Saturday) Sheer Terror, Nothing But Enemies, Brando, American War Machine at The Middle East - this is an early show 5:30-10:30
June 2 (Saturday) Worshipper, Sidewalk Driver, Flight Of Fire, Blood Built Empire at Sonia
June 3 (Sunday) The FUs, Working Poor USA, The Straight Eights, Worm at The Midway for a 4-8PM show
June 3 (Sunday) Gang Green and Taxi Driver at Alchemy in Provi RI also a matinee 2-6Pm
June 9 (Saturday) The Neighborhoods at the Ocean Mist in RI on June 9, Tickets
June 10 (Sunday) Tokyo Tramps, Jody Moore, Billy Connors Project, Club Linehan A Go Go at The Midway for a 4-8 PM show
June 13 (Wednesday) doing their G.G. ALLIN 25th Death Anniversary Tour the Murder Junkies are at Cafe Nine in New Haven CT FB page
June 13 (Wednesday) Supersuckers, Speedealer, Salem Wolves are at Alchemy in Provi, RI
June 14 (Thursday) The Dickies (40th Year Anniversary) w/ The Queers, Duck & Cover and Cookbag at The Middle East FB page for tix etc
June 15 (Friday) Robert Gordon is at the Greasy Luck Brewpub in New Bedford, MA opening is Johnny Barnes & The Nightcrawlers. FB Page
June 16 (Saturday) GLiDER Live on Radio 91.5FM Crash Course for the Ravers! wmfo.org stream 1-4PM
June 16 (Saturday) The Nervous Eaters, Justine and the Unclean, Stop Calling Me Frank are at Thunder Road
June 16 (Saturday) GBH with Pinata Party are at The Middle East Down.
June 17 (Sunday) Micah Schnabel, Live Nude Girls, Olde Boy, Amy Griffin at O'Brien's Pub
June 20 (Wednesday) Blk Squirrl Record Release with special guests Andy California and Sundog at The Midway
June 20 (Wednesday) Reverend Horton Heat, Big Sandy, Lara Hope & The Ark-Tones at Alchemy Provi RI
June 22 (Friday) Greg Allen's Fringe Religion, Pop Gun, Muck and The Mires and 138 at KOTO in Salem
June 22 (Friday) Tied To A Bear, Duck &Cover, The Von Traps, Sonic Libido at Opus in Salem
June 23 (Saturday) Gene Dante And The Future Starlets, Parlour Bells, The Gala, Smitt E. Smitty and special guest DJ, Gang of One (Hugo Burnham formerly of Gang of Four) at Once - 8:15PM show time!
June 23 (Saturday) Mr. Airpane Man, GLiDER, Andy California, Shiny Beast, Thigh Scrapers at Club Boho/The Cantab
June 24 (Sunday) Opposition Rising Boston Record Release Show! with Not A Part Of It, Infernal Diatribe, Neighborhood Shit, DNZL 4PM matinee show at the Midway
June 24 (Sunday) The Adolescents, Electric Frankenstein and Duck & Cover at Brighton Music Hall
June 29 (Friday) Nervous Eaters, The Gamma Goochies, Euphemia at Geno's in Portland, ME
June 30 (Saturday) Goddamn Draculas, Jason Bennett and The Resistance, Art Thieves at Middle east Up 6:30 PM show
June 30 (Saturday) Rockin' Dune Tunes at Whitecrest Beach Wellfleet Cape Cod. It’s rocking on the beach – well, the parking lot next to the beach. Line up : Mr Airplane Man, Atlantic Thrills, Shiny Beasts, 5 SPF4. It's FREE & ALL AGES. it starts at 5PM. The town charges to park for the beach until 4:30. Bonfire on the beach after the show. In memory of our friend Trey Helliwell. More info here on FB
July 1 (Sunday) G.G. ALLIN 25th Death Anniversary show with The Murder Junkies, Smoking Triples, Jonee Earthquake, They Hate Us, Malcolm Tent at The Dutch Treat Franconia NH Here's the FB page
July 7 (Saturday) Pajama Slave Dancers (reunion) with special guests Trusty Sidekick, Grey Matter (ft. Eric Gaffney), and The Weisstronauts
July 8 (Sunday) Step 13, Genuine Rust, The Martians, Cry Havoc at the Midway for a 4-8PM show
July 11 (Wednesday) The Goddamn Gallows, The Koffin Kats, Viva Le Vox at Alchemy in Provi, RI
July 12 (Thursday) Koffin Kats, The Goddamn Gallows, Viva Le Vox at The Middle East
July 13 (Friday) Last Ones and CalCali Band are at Tavern at the end of the world. (Rick must be back from his Grand Tour!)
July 13 (Friday) Fireking, The Grip Weeds, Watts, Modern Day Idols at Thunder Road -get tix here.
July 14 (Saturday) il Mostro, Psychic Dog, The Laces, Jim Healey for a 4-8PM show at the Midway
August 4 (Saturday) Descendents w/ A Wilhelm Scream & Pavers at State Theatre, Portland, Maine FB page
August 8 (Wednesday) The Blasters come back to ONCE
August 13 (Monday) Agent Orange, Fea, and more at Ralph's Diner in Worcester FB page
August 16 (Thursday) Agent Orange w/ FEA, Zero Holds at Alchemy in Provi, RI
August 24 (Thursday) Lyres, Glider, Pop Gun, Knock Ups at Koto in Salem
September 9 (Sunday) Slim Cessna's Auto Club and Kid Congo Powers at Once - music starts at 8:30
September 11 (Tuesday) Killing Joke on their 40th Anniversary Tour at the Paradise FB page
October 27 (Saturday) The Descendents w/ Teenage Bottlerocket at The Palladium in Worcester FB page for tix etc
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