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Out of the Blue Gallery Benefit

541 Mass Ave, Cambridge MA,

June 19, 2017

This town don’t mess around when it comes to helping a fella out. Between the benefit for Out of the Blue Gallery on Sunday and the hard rocking benefit for Mike Oliver at Once on Tuesday night twenty two bands and over one hundred musicians kicked in their time and talent. Special honors to Cal Cali on promotion, Sara Billingsley at the door and Brian Young doing the MC honors.

The day flew by with most sets lasting under thirty minutes. The crowd waxed and waned averaging about twenty-five people for most bands. OotB is a cool space - perhaps I should say hot. Very hot. It’s like wandering through your wild artist Aunt’s mansion. One nook is full of original art. One cranny overflows with brightly colored african clothing and, for the fashion forward rock gal, some very snazzy large beaded bags. It’s a great collection of well curated ephemera that is worth the trip to scenic Central Square. Owner Tim Tipton and XO, the gallery’s hirsute husky, keep easy going vigil.

I’ll pick up where Blowfish left off (which you can read here) with Out of the Blue. Cal has a tight plan and things move quick and smooth.

Chicago Vin takes treats the early crowd to Garland Jeffreys’ “Wild in the Street”.

Chicago Vin

Tsunami of Sound bring the wave. There must be a board somewhere in the place. I overhear someone say “they’re better than the Ventures”.

Tsunami of Sound

To my regret, between cooling off, eating dinner and hanging around yappin’ out front I miss the Billy Connors Project, Greg Allen’s Fringe Religion and The Thigh Scrappers.

I’m back in for the Stigmatics who kick up some catchy garage debris. Lead singer and guitarist Peter MacCormack’s dad is in the audience and he looks impressed. The two nephews look wide-eyed. They’ll remember this afternoon.


The Knock Up’s Gretchen Shae and Cat Verlicco tone down their usual rockers and turn in a strong acoustic set.

The Knock Ups

The Last Ones, part of Boston's third wave of punk, rock the joint. Coincidentally two shows with no Vox, they stick to guitar numbers. Dying to hear those keys.

The Last Ones

State of the Union offer up a welcome blast of snappy trio, physical pop punk. Big choruses, brash riffs and mucho sweat leave the crowd regretting the short set format.

State of the Union

The Hummingbird Syndicate bring the unabashed wide range pop. The swelter in the room suddenly finds a breeze. The harmonies float like, ok, say it, birds. Jon Macey’s and Lynn Shipley’s vocals are a fine concoction. Macey’s guitar work abetted by the tight rhythm section keep the center solid. Jim Melanson ups the tasty rock quotient.

Hummingbird Syndicate

Glider. Al Schmel’s psychoactive guitar tone always adds a twist to Cal Cali’s N.Y. Punk covers and originals. Yuke Fuji’s supple bass pushes the contrast. How many bands can tackle Shonen Knife in Japanese?


The Black Souls a nip and tuck has started to settle. Cool tunes, the whole couple as co-lead thing, dancers welcome. The Classic Ruins as Kim and Cam Ackland and the MG’s with Brian Worobey on tenor sax.

The Black Souls

Butterscott charm the panties off the place. They do the impossible and get a jaded, sweaty, tired crowd to unabashedly clap AND sing along to their bubblegum on acid Flo and Eddie ditties. The unrivaled theme song orchestra of Saturday morning television on Jupiter.

Jonathan Butterscott

The just reconfigured Fireking pick up where they never left off. Jonathan Screnci is solid slipping into Smitty’s tough fez to fill. Tony K’s pop meister chops are on fine display beside the antique radios and art nouveaux bracelets. Outside the air has cooled. Inside, Fireking keep the heat on.




Tsunami of Sound

Hummingbird Syndicate

Hummingbird Syndicate

Jimmy Birmingham - The Last Ones

Mike Quirk - The Last Ones

Sandy Juneau Summer - State of the Union

Joey Wire - State of the Union


Gretchen Shae - The Knock Ups

Al Schmel - Glider

Bob Daly and Cam Ackland

Brian Worobey

Cak Cali - Glider

Cam Ackland - The Black Souls

Carolyn Butterscott

Classic Ruins

Eddie and J Christopher James

Eddie and J Christopher James

Gee Julie and her father

Yuki Fujii - Glider

Joel Simches

Joel Simches and Mike Quirk

Jonathan Screnci and Mitch Murphy

Kim Ackland

Mark Davis, Matt Burns and Kenne

Kim Ackland

Sara Billingsley and Brian Worobey

Sara Billingsley and Mark Davis

Sara Billingsley and Jim Melanson

Tom Tipton and friends

Tom Tipton and friends

Tom Tipton and Brian Young



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