Kids Like You And Me
on the occasion of their
Glen and Chris
BGN- KLYAM is Chris and Glen…..Give
us a fast rundown on both – Are you from Boston and if not how
did you come to be here?
Chris- I think Time Warp Weekends
describes us best: “Getting past their pre-pubescent adolescent
looks they are actually greasy sleazy freaks of the unknown kind.”
Warp Weekends website
Glen- We're from Wakefield,
a suburb just a bit north of Boston. I moved to Boston in 2010
Glen and Chris
BGN-You started as a blog in 2009 – were you
going to shows before that or was that when you started? What
bands were you seeing?
Chris- We wrote about what we felt like, which
was mostly music reviews, announcements, show reviews. It was
a fan site without any creepy crawlers poking at us telling us
to write this or that. We were just really excited about some
of the garage punk bands of the time. It was refreshing.
I grew up loving old school rock ‘n’ roll, but I felt like it
was dead. In my teens, I attended suburban metal, emocrapcore
shows and I hated most of it back then (hate all of it now). We
hadn’t been exposed to the kind of rock ‘n’ roll we enjoy now.
A major turning point for us was hearing the Black Lips
for the first time. I didn’t know people still made music like
that. “Garage” to me was simply 60s rock ‘n’ roll that came before
punk like The Kingsmen or The Sonics
or whomever. I didn’t know people took that same style/aesthetic
and put their own spin on it after that. Hearing and eventually
seeing the Black Lips as well as Jay
Reatard, The King Khan & BBQ Show, Nobunny,
Hunx and His Punx to name a few felt refreshing.
Rock ‘n’ roll from our generation. And it was loose, wild, freaky,
and fun! A complete volte face from all that miserable bastard
emo shit. We saw Black Lips and the King Khan & BBQ Show at the
Middle East Downstairs. We went there often. Great Scott, Harpers
Ferry, Paradise. All of the usual suspects. Local music was initially
off of our radar.
Glen- My first show was The B52's
in Vegas in 2002 on family holiday and then a year later I saw
Weird Al at the State Theatre in Portland, Maine.
Psychedelic Furs in 2007 at the Avalon was the
start of going to shows on a regular basis. We were just bored
teenagers like The Adverts said. We wrote about
whatever interested us and hit 'publish'. No coherence. By the
time the blog kicked off, my favorite bands were Black
Lips and No Age, although I was probably
still very much into larger acts like Arctic Monkeys,
Radiohead, and stuff like that.
will play at Rama Lame Ding Dong
By the fall of
2009, my interest in garage rock was blossoming on a daily basis.
Like Chris described above. A game changer was the Shattered
Records Tour show at Harper's Ferry in October 2009 with
Jay Reatard, Nobunny, Hunx and His Punx, Box
Elders, and Useless Eaters. This show
opened up a whole world of underground garage/punk bands and record
BGN- When you started to book
shows, did you not see bills/bands playing that you wanted to
see or did you just have an urge to do it yourself?
Chris- Yes and no. Initially,
we didn’t know much or anything about local music. Overtime, we’d
see smaller and smaller touring bands and when they would roll
through town they would often play basements or smaller venues.
That got us into local music. You’d see bills comprising of mostly
local, underground bands, being booked by local underground bookers
and artists alike and being attended by, again, mostly local artists/
We started to see more familiar faces and became friends with
other bands around town. The first couple shows we booked were
also the early G. Gordon Gritty (co-founder Glen’s
band) shows. So, in a way that came out of necessity. Since we
already did the blog together we’d collaborate and ask other bands
we liked to play. Even as we became immersed in local music, we
still struggled to get the shows up and running.
It was discouraging at first. We’d contact venues and never hear
back from them. It probably wasn’t that bad, but it’s tough when
you are starting out and you don’t’ feel that support. One show
that sticks out to me, however, is when the band Cumstain
(Oakland, CA) came to town. They were one of my favorite bands
and they contacted me directly about hooking them up with a Boston
show. I immediately reached out to some friends and the show was
booked at the JP Drive In, a former show house.
The show was loads of fun and inspired me to keep booking shows.
It’s been pretty consistent since then.
playing Rama Lama Ding Dong
Glen- Agreed. I'd been wanting to play my first
show for years, so we figured let's put a bill together and make
it happen. That was the first one. We ran with that attitude of
making it happen. We only put on shows we want to see. Sometimes
it's because others don't book the bands we want to see. It wasn't
a reaction to a lack of good shows, because there were plenty.
It was more of continuing the tradition of booking fun shows such
as those put on by likeminded peers like Boston Hassle,
Illegally Blind, BUFU, Fast
Apple, and others I might be forgetting.
BGN-Where have you gotten
support (and coverage)? Boston Compass? Allston Pudding?’
Chris- We’ve received support
from Boston Hassle, Boston Compass,
Allston Pudding, Illegally Blind,
BUFU Records, and a lot of the bands themselves.
We appreciate everything they do and how their commitment is to
keeping DIY alive in Boston.
Glen- If nobody gives you coverage, cover yourself.
BGN- What clubs have been
open to your shows? You do house shows? How are they compared
to a club? What about the off the grid pat of it, any concerns?
Chris- Club Bohemia
has been great to us. Big shout out to Mickey Bliss!
We love the dank, dingy 80’s vibe of Bohemia. We’ve done a ton
of shows at clubs, but we tend to lean more towards spaces outside
of the typical club circuit such as the Lilypad,
Deep Thoughts, Dorchester Art Project,
and certainly house shows. As far as concerns, there is the inevitable
concern that the cops will show up and bust the show. It’s a legitimate
concern and it happens sometimes. But, most of the time it doesn’t
happen and I think it’s worth the risk.
Logistically, it’s great
for all involved. Small donation at the door. No rental fee to
book the place. Everyone wins! Also, there's the intimate warm
atmosphere at a house spot that you can't recreate at a club.
It's like hanging out. Any other concerns or worries I feel are
often myths. In my experience anyway. We aim to make people feel
included and first and foremost have a fun time at any of our
shows. There’s a joy in the off the grid nature of a house show,
but I hope that doesn’t turn people off, folks that may think
it’s exclusive or dangerous. That’s not the vibe we want!
BGN- You have a label…are
there bands signed to it or is it more low key where you just
release songs here and there? We have followed Nice Guys
a while. They have changed over time. Any insight into that band?
What’s going on? What’s their mindset?
Chris- The releases often vary
in nature, format, run, etc. It’s pretty low key, fuck a song
or two. We’ve put out a couple 10” Eps, a 7’ split, and a bunch
of tapes of full albums and compilations. A couple of CDs and
a book. All great formats.
Yeah, Nice Guys! I'm sure they appreciate the
support. Insight? Fuck if I know. They play a lot because you
regularly have an opportunity to catch them live. If you miss
them, there's a good chance you'll be able to see them next month,
or next week even. They are going to be releasing their first
full length on Illegally Blind Records. We love
these guys and have seen them nearly 100 times. I think they regularly
have sex parties but I may be confusing them with Johnnie
and the Foodmasters.
BGN- You must have seen a
lot of Monsieurs shows. Any crazy one stand out?
Chris- Monsieurs are my favorite
band in Boston! Andy is up there with old school
punks. The whole band rips. A lot of wild nights. There was a
show a few years back. Andy was on a death trip and willing to
take anyone down in his path. Most people hid in the back and
on the sides. A few of us brave (or dumb) souls stayed up front.
It was a dry spot but I snuck some beer in. I had an open beer
in my pocket. Andy started to push me over and the beer flew everywhere.
I know that kind of in-your-face performance isn't for everybody,
but I love it and Andy is a great guy. Monsieurs
have the music to back up the chaos.
BGN- And what’s the next step
from the Barbazons ex-bandmates? We love Boston
Cream - why don’t they play out more? (If you have an in on that).
Chris- Ryan plays in Love
Strangers, we put out their tape and they play out regularly.
Matt and Jake are in Nice Guys. Melanie and Peaches are in Boston
Cream. We put out a tape with them. I don't know where
you've been, but they still play frequently! In fact, they are
playing Night #1 of the Rama Lama Ding Dong at Lilypad (Thursday
BGN- You must be raking in tons of money! But
maybe it’s not about money? How do you explain your passion?
Chris- We snort coke often out of hookers assholes
and fuck groupies on top of our piles of money everyday. Aha,
there's no money to be in it for! We love rock 'n roll and want
to keep it alive in Boston as much as we possibly can. Anyone
can do it. Book a show. Write about music. Start a label. Play
in a band. Anyone can do it, but someone has to do it. As long
as there is cool stuff out there, we'll keep spreading the gospel.
BGN- You call your festival – Rama Lama
Ding Dong in reference to the Edsels 1957 doo wop hit.
How the heck did you come to have a hankering for doo wop….not
being 70 years old (I’m guessing).
Chris- Yes, the Edsels. It's also in Barry
Mann's "Who Put The Bomp". I hated Doo Wop and Oldies
as a kid. All the love songs depressed me. But in college, I rediscovered
all these oldies, malt shop pop stuff. Perfect stuff to pass out
to after a heavy night of partying. Watch the sunrise and fall
into a dream to "You Belong to Me". Started making the connection
to that music and the garage pop/slime we were devouring at the
time and everything in between.
Glen- I worked at Johnnie's Foodmaster in Melrose
from 15 to 21 years old, right up until it closed. I loved every
second of it, mainly because of the music and family atmosphere.
Felt like a vacation. Not work. In between ringing up customers,
I would focus my attention on the sound system, blasting the finest
playlist of early rock 'n roll and doo-wop. Before the store closed
forever, I scribbled lyrics on the back of receipt paper as quickly
as I could and when I got home I would Google all these lyrics
so I could find/listen to the songs on YouTube.
I was naive of musical history so I'm not sure I immediately connected
the dots between oldies and the garage/teen bands that influenced
my favorite bands. I remember an interview with Black
Lips in 2009 in the Boston Phoenix;
they said they realized a lot of the oldies sounded more punk
than punk. I'd agree.
BGN- And you like music from
the 1950’s – how far does your knowledge of Boston Punk go?
Chris- The Axe of course. We like The
Real Kids, Lou Miami. I really love
This Is Boston Not LA comp.
Glen:- I karaoke'd to a few Lou Miami songs from a record I found in Papagiorgio's (my dad) collection. Someone wrote the comment "Leave your father's records alone".
Papagiorgio had some other records that came out on Modern Method. I remember him talking about The Axe before I knew the The Axe. But yeah, I don't know anything.
BGN- Talk a little about your
Chris- Three Nights. Lilypad
on Thursday July 11. Dorchester Art Project (DAP)
on Friday July 12. Cambridge Elks Lodge aka Hardcore
Stadium on Saturday July 13. Lots of our favorite bands
are playing including Juan Wauters (from Queens,
NY, formerly of The Beets - playing at the Lilypad). KLYAM Records
bands are playing (Boston Cream, American
Whip Appeal, Nice Guys, The
Glue, G. Gordon Gritty). Noisier weird
stuff at DAP. Thighs, Kremlin Bats,
Semi Sounds. Rock 'n roll at Elks with Andy
California and Atlantic Thrills.
BGN- Why pick the Unnatural Axe
Chris- The first time I ever heard of
Unnatural Axe was through Papagiorgio. Gritty had a show
at Traphaus in New Bedford, a former underground record store
and probably other things. We'll leave it at that. They had an
Unnatural Axe record and Papagiorgio picked it
up. We never heard of them, but he said they were a legendary
Boston punk band. We really dug the record and eventually saw
them at Gonerfest in 2017. It was an obvious
choice for us to have a great punk band headlining and they are
arguably Boston's greatest punk band. We are humbled they are
playing our fest.
BGN- I love the name Jonnie and the
Foodmasters, but haven’t seen them yet – what are they
Chris- Some bands have been
labeled "The Greatest of All Time." They can all suck my dick.
Johnnie and the Foodmasters is the best band
in the world. Some assholes may disagree. One geezer came up to
us after the show and said we were the worst band he's seen in
30 years! We play the oldies and upset the parents and the kids.
The cool kids love us. The bad guys know us and leave us alone.
The normies freak out. We fall down a lot but we get back up and
Johnnie and the Foodmasters