LIVE REVIEWS April 2007

ROBBY ROADSTEAMER, FLUTTR EFFECT
Dodge Street Bar and Grill, Salem, MA    3/10/07
      I’m eager to finally see Fluttr Effect. I’ve heard a lot about them but have never heard their music. They appear onstage in this former fish market all wearing either all black or black and white. Kara, the ultra-dynamic lead vocalist, wears a white petticoat over her black jeans. They’re a five-piece but with a cello instead of a bass and a MIDI marimba in place of a keyboard. The effect is stunning. I just love, love, the cello and marimba!  They add warmth and depth to Troy’s whiz-bang guitar work. Vessela’s marimba playing is spectacularly exuberant and Valerie alternately plays her cello with a bow and like an upright bass while Jason’s drumming is spot-on. All five of them seem to be playing with sheer joy. Their brand of creative rock ’n’ roll has all sorts of changes in mood, tempo, and dynamics. At times, they evoke space-age lounge sounds and at others, they blast out a full-on rock ’n’ roll assault. I am riveted for the entire performance even though I am unfamiliar with the specific songs. But they end the set with one song I know: a really neat interpretation of The Police’s “Message in a Bottle.”  I buy a CD. Fluttr Effect is now my latest favorite band.
       From that netherworld where Spinal Tap meets pro wrestling and that OxiClean infomercial guy, Robby Roadsteamer and his band arrive triumphantly. Robby holds a special place in my heart. I admit it. I’m a huge fan.  Robby’s shaved head replaces the fright wig of old. He’s sporting earrings, a goatee, sunglasses, torn jeans, a faux fur vest, and a Red Sox cap. This jester of the music scene eggs on the pumped capacity crowd to sing along with the now-classic anthem of intergenerational awkwardness, “Pee With Your Father.” He rhapsodizes in “The North Shore is Where You’re Gonna Soar, and brags, “I Put a Baby in You.” He adds the new “I’ll Be At Your Funeral” (which sounds like a Yogi Berra-ism “If you don’t go to their funerals, they won’t come to yours.”). Regrettably, I miss my personal favorite, “I’m Sorry Your Cat Has Ass Cancer” when I go to the bathroom. Robby’s latest band lineup is incredible, as usual. Nick, object of abuse and keyboardist extraordinaire, looks quite the rock star wielding a guitar-like portable keyboard. Maybe we can get him some ’70s-vintage Elton John glasses.    (Robin Umbley) 

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ROADSAW, THE HUMANOIDS, THE NIGHT PROWLERS
Great Scott, Allston, MA  3/3/07
      It’s getting cold in Allston tonight.  Fast food wrappers wisp down Harvard Ave. with immediate fury and the crowd inside Great Scott is shivering in almost seizure-like fits.  Beers are bought from the bar and a few stragglers make it down front as the opening band’s guitars feedback through the P.A.
       The Night Prowlers feature the members of Cocked N’ Loaded and they rip through one classic Bon Scott era AC/DC cover after another.  Their wigs are comical, but aren’t necessary.  If you close your eyes it sounds exactly like your 12 inch of “Highway To Hell” playing in your living room, pops, crackles, and all.
      I turn around once The Night Prowlers are finished and the crowd has doubled.  Through a sea of black leather jackets and hooded sweatshirts, The Humanoids ascend the stage with leather pants, denim and leather vests replete with rock and biker patches, and announce that they are from Chicopee, MA and will be bringing the rock presently.  They in fact DO bring the rock and careen through one riff-laden masterpiece after another, including some new joints from their forthcoming record which will be out… one of these days on… some totally bitchin’ record label.  They nail the set in slam-dunk fashion with their cover of Manowar’s “Black Wind Fire and Steel,” including Joey Sinn’s and Mike Demonik’s synchronized kneel with guitar “projection of strength” as the crescendo.
      The moment everyone is waiting for arrives in a slow, deep, smoky green, blues groove to which the audience’s Pavlovian response is to nod in time. Like a Southwestern rock outlaw converting his minions back to a gospel long overdue, Monsieur Craig Riggs sings, “The Black Flower blooms by the light of the moon.  I’ll be in my room with the head phones cranking!” New drummer Jeremy (also of Cortez) pounds away in the exact pocket of these songs like a piston in a Harley Davidson engine.  Guitarist Ian Ross is nothing but legendary as hard riffs and wah-wah solos twist and turn throughout the songs like serpent on psilocybin. Bassist Tim Catz feeds the low end with the thunder of 10,000 mid-summer storms.  Finally, Allston Rock City’s own Dave Unger rounds out the sound nicely on the keys; the perfect touch to create a mood we like to call Roadsaw.
      At the end of the set, the crowd says their goodbyes like a family at the end of a reunion.  We exit the club in its wee hours with the New England chill outside blasting us back to reality.   (Duncan Wilder Johnson)

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MUCK & THE MIRES, THE MYSTERY TRAMPS
The Middle East Upstairs, Cambridge, MA   3/10/07
      This is the second time that I have seen Muck and company with their new bass player, Hugh a.k.a. John Quincy Mire. This group is yet another reason why the Boston music scene is an embarrassment of riches. These guys played one of my birthday bashes at O’Brien’s in August 2001. If that wasn’t enough of an honor (she says with tongue planted firmly in cheek), they won Little Steven’s Underground Garage Battle of the Bands in 2004, earning them the title of the best garage band in the USA. While M&TM have been one of my faves since I first saw them six years ago, I’ve been knocked out lately by the fact that in addition to their perfectly crafted British Invasion numbers, they really know how to mach schau (a German expressions used when fans wanted The Beatles to put on a really good show).  J. Q. Mire is a dexterous and animated bass player. Muck and Brian play off of each other in a thrilling way that brings to mind a Harrison/McCartney shared microphone moment.  Jesse Best is one of Boston’s heaviest hitters. As you know, dynamite packs a lot of force in a deceptively small package.
      Seeing The Mystery Tramps is pure deja. I recall following North Carolina teen band Crash Landon and the Kamikazees. Who knew then that their thirteen-year-old lead guitar player, Dexter Romwebber would become legendary and deservedly so? Likewise, I won’t be surprised if there are some future stars in The Mystery Tramps. The line up is Eric Grava (vocals, rhythm guitar), Adam Amoroso (lead guitar, vocals), Andrew Leader (bass), and Martin DiLiegro (drums). Their moniker comes from Bob Dylan’s “Like A Rolling Stone” chosen by Dylan admirer Adam. Early in their set comes their primed-for-radio “All In My Head.” The double time momentum leads to a fist-pumping chorus. Songwriters Adam and Eric deliver lyrics about how self expression makes their lives worth living. Directly following is their blast of ska, the wittily titled “Rhyme And Punishment.” My favorite is “You’re So Alone” where Eric’s warm, melodic voice is genuinely refreshing.  (Nancy Neon)

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BANG CAMARO
The Middle East Upstairs, Cambridge, MA   2/19/07
      It’s an early Monday night invite-only show with Bang Camaro debuting their video—“Push Push (Lady Lightning).” Months ago, I came to a video shoot Downstairs and this is the creation from that day. Ralph Jaccodine, Bang Camaro’s manager, takes the stage and offers a relaxed introduction to the video. The crowd turns to the back of the room where a large screen lights up with rockin’ images.  The video is full of action in a faux live performance complete with ravaging fans storming the stage and shooting their fists up into the air. I think I saw my arm. When the video ends, the live Bang Camaro magically bursts into their first song behind us. Twelve male lead vocalists wrap around the three guitars, bass, and drums. These guys work like a machine. When drummer Andy Dole’s hi-hat comes loose, singer Pete McCarthy (the one with the handlebar mustache) comes to the rescue and immediately adjusts the contraption. At one point guitarist Bryn Bennett falls down and just as quickly masculine arms reach down to straighten him back up. These guys rock like there’s no tomorrow and keep it fun, even when the hot guitar solos rip—it’s all rockin’ fun.   (T Max)

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BON SAVANTS
Spaceland, Los Angeles, CA   3/11/07
      Bon Savants go from a sold out Saturday night at the Echo with Monomena, to tonight’s show, opening at Spaceland’s free Sundays where I’ve got the band practically to myself. They tentatively begin delivering songs true to the CD and the room fills in some. The newness of a couple of members can be heard in the cohesion of the band, but they come together on the new songs. Bon Savants entertain live with the faster, more upbeat tunes, but I’m a sucker for those songs with a lot of oooh oooh’s and aaaahs. Watching Thom Moran enter into a power stance and serve up the melodic oooohs and aaaahs in that Bee Gees falsetto on songs like “Tips of Our Tongues” is why I’m here. Moran and Hendrix saunter around the large room mid set, filling space. Moran ends the show descending from the stage into the audience for the final chords. Donning a cream colored suit, his Mr. Roarke proclaims, “smiles every one, smiles.”    (Jen Nutting)

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SLIM JIM & THE MAD COWS, BOSTON LEAGUE OF WOMEN WRESTLERS (BLOWW), ELEPHANT’S GERALD
The Baseball Tavern, Boston, MA   2/16/07
      Elephant’s Gerald is first up, and not having done any research before the show, my friend had decided that with a name like Elephant’s Gerald there would be a fat drag queen singing Ella Fitzgerald tunes. We were a bit disappointed.  Chippy Bottom (guitar/vox) is wearing a bubblegum pink bodysuit with even brighter pink panties that say something on the butt.  Sadly, he is pleading to no avail for someone to buy him beer in between every tune. I’m way more interested in people watching than in this particular band.  Tonight there is a mix of preppy, baseball cap wearing, sports bar types mixed in with the usual rock crowd.  Plus there are the BLOWW costumed ladies wandering around as well as the Cowpokes from the SJMC posse.  Elephant’s Geraldends their set with the only lyrics I’m able to discern: “Your Cunt Don’t Lie.”
      The Boston League of Women Wrestlers (BLOWW) announcer Nash DeVille takes the stage and the huge crowd pushes to the front in anticipation. The band, dressed in drag, gets ready to back up the “fighting” with some not too distracting background music.  Nash tries with limited success to get people to sit on the floor around the ring.  It’s difficult to see anything at all, but from out vantage point, we can see wrestlers waist up.  The matches are entertaining and the story lines are amusingly absurd.  The girls have sweet names like Ninja Ho, Sister Christian, and Tinker Hell.  The crowd loves the matches—they shout and cheer for their damsel of choice.
      Slim Jim & the Mad Cows go on and Slim has to announce that sadly the guitar player’s cowboy hat has mysteriously disappeared, which is incredibly lame and doesn’t say much for the crowd.  Don’t y’all know you never touch another man’s cowboy hat? Soon as SJMC start playing there is a lotta toe tappin and ah thigh slappin’ as the crowd seriously gets into what these good ol’ boys call countryfried metal.  Some crowdies are attempting drunken do-si-do, pretzel-twistin’ and swingin’ their partners.  SJMC play their own versions of classics like “Breakin’ the Law” and “Run to the Hills” along with a couple freshly fried numbers “The Number of the Beast” and “Foxy Lady.”  The Slim Jim ladies, Lazy Sue and Honey Do, sing along in their sexy cowboy/cheerleader outfits and have nifty light-up pom-poms.  These guys have a solid sound and a smooth set.   (Kitty Speedway)

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CHRISTIANS AND LIONS, MEAN CREEK, BUGS AND RATS
The Middle East, Cambridge, MA   2/22/07
      Bugs and Rats are a trio, and very early-Nirvana, with their screamy/melodic vocals and loud/soft, fast/slow, start/stop dynamics. For the first half of the set, I feel like the songs get a little simple, and lean too heavily on fast, distorted strumming (except for one slow, dirgey one that doesn’t quite work for me), although they have an infectious energy. Then in the second half, the guitar gets a bit more interesting, with standout use of ringing harmonics on one particular song.
      Mean Creek has propulsive, tuneful bass lines, pretty, engaging vocal melodies, and weird/lovely, Exene-ish harmonies. The songs read more like pop songs, in that the focus is very much on the tunes, but they cover a fairly wide range. The first song is pretty straight-up Boston power-pop, then they throw in some slow, spare, folky numbers, and later on there’s a country song. I like range, and it’s all pretty well integrated. The guitar gets lost a little, but I sense that it’s not really the point here. The harmony vocals are more the point here, though, and I wish she’d crowd the mic just a bit more so that they were more audible.
      Christians and Lions is, at its core, a brother act. This is not to take anything away from the solid, supple drumming or the clean, tasteful trumpet (which often seems to play the role one would expect of a lead guitar). It’s just that the dual vocals are provided by two brothers with a gift for the gorgeous harmony and amazingly sweet voices that blend beautifully—it’s often difficult for me to tell, while watching them sing, which one is singing which line. The musical style is Americana, a little folk and a little alt-country, with stand up bass on some songs and most of the guitar (in this lineup) strummed acoustic. Some of it is slow, achingly sweet and melancholy, but they close with more of a cheerful stomp, which lives in my head for days.   (Steve Gisselbrecht)

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SUPERPOWER, MONOLITH, DISASTER STRIKES
Milky Way Lounge, Jamaica Plain, MA 3/2/07
      Most of the young hipsters pressed up against the bar look like they couldn’t handle anything more powerful than Cheap Trick, and it’s fair to assume that the majority don’t know where Iraq is.  So when Disaster Strikes come out and begin their set with a lengthy diatribe about the Iraq War, how much it sucks, and the futility of the anti-war movement, it’s a surrealistic experience to look around and see the uninterested people who will be paying for it.  Disaster Strikes is fucking pissed about things.  Their performance can best be described as a discharge.  The drummer is a bombastic nutjob behind the kit, revving at a tachycardiac pace.  The pure, unfiltered rage that the band unloads on the crowd is much too heavy for most and much too short a burst for others.  The hipsters clutch their mojitos and flee to the safety of the bowling lanes.
      Monolith is up next.  Their lead singer sounds poppy, but their sound speaks of heavier influences such as Tool, early Queens of the Stone Age, and Helmet.  Lenny is as relentless on bass as he is when asking me for a beer, a ride, or forgiveness.  His guitar neck is ten feet tall.  They churn and grind through catchy tunes with some fresh riffs here and there.  These guys sound like they’re aiming for radio airplay, and I have to say that if more bands like Monolith were getting airplay on commercial radio, I’d probably start listening again.  Their less hostile sound encourages some of the hipster kids to come back to the big room and order more mojitos.  The bar area gets filled up again, and incessant chatter again rents the air above the music, dominating the room during the break.
      And then Superpower begins their set.  Dave Tree is the conductor, the ringleader of a crack team of musical hit men assassinating the lameness in the room.  The non-believers flee the area once more.  Driven by one of the best drummers in the area and a couple of guitarists that obviously understand the history of rock ’n’ roll, the band rifles through their set list.  Dave is out front of the band on the dance floor, using his First Amendment rights, taking a much subtler path to political activism.  This is angry stuff, but there is more focus here than with Disaster Strikes, an old school mélange of punk, hardcore, and hard rock that satisfies as it cleanses the world of fascism.  Their music is a tangible thing in the room, something familiar in a strange place.  Their set and the night end too soon.   (Joe Hacking)

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RED INVASION
T.T. the Bear’s, Cambridge, MA   3/6/07
      Red Invasion is a stellar punk outfit like NYC’s D-Generation. My better half, Billy Borgioli, says “Joey’s stage presence is a cross between Iggy and Alice!” For me, he creates total frenzy like Stiv Bators while being blessed with a pin-up face a la David Minehan. Iaian who plays a beautiful burgundy semi hollow body Gretsch, has a cool demeanor like D-Gen’s Howie Pyro. Early in the set, they create seismic activity with “Disconnected” which, in a perfect parallel universe, is double platinum. Other numbers from their I’m Not Too Young to Die (Pelado) are the title track and “No More.” “October,” like “Disconnected,” grabs my attention and burns into my brain. Drummer Steve has a good solid backbeat in a Jerry Nolan vein. Red Invasion keeps The Dolls/Heartbreakers guitar heroes’ torch blazing. Joey delivers a wild gamut of emotions from comedic to crazed. Catch ’em quick; these boys are gonna take off like a rocket!    (Nancy Neon)

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STUMP THE UNDERTAKER’S ORGAN
The Midway, Jamaica Plain, MA   2/25/07
      Mr. and Mrs. Slimedog and I take the table next to the stage and the show starts with a phone ringing. Accompanying his voice with a loungy automated Casio keyboard, the Undertaker (Allan Sheinfeld) sings, “stick your cell phone right up your ass.” Slimey sets his cell phone on vibrate, follows Allan’s suggestion, and I yell out “Call him!” We’re off to a good start. The next song “Knee to the Groin” goes out to the guy at the end of the bar (Dave, the owner). The audience is encouraged to challenge the Undertaker to play absolutely anything. Requests roll in and Allan knocks them out one by one with help from Fiji, a small figurine, whom Allan credits for controlling the keyboard. During “Muskrat Love” Slimey is dancing in his chair with a strange smile on his face. Is he getting an incoming call? Midway through “Who Stole the Kishka?” the Undertaker leaves the stage to order a drink at the bar while Fiji keeps the show rolling. During “Blow Me,” Mrs. Slimedog is embarrassed and says she wants to hide her head under the table. Mr. Slimedog and I smile at the prospect. The whole night is like an elevator party (yes, complete with elevator music), but instead of getting off when the elevator doors open, Slimedog enjoys the incoming calls.    T Max)

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THE DAILY PRAVDA
Great Scott, Allston, MA   3/11/07
      The Daily Pravda is opening for Pop Levi (ex-bassist for Ladytron and dead ringer for an ultra-glam Johnny Depp) and I approach Great Scott with visions of a sold-out club dancing in my brain.  Instead, I find only 20 to 30 of Allston’s hippest kids in attendance.  No matter—the mostly-empty room doesn’t stop The Daily Pravda from playing a high-energy show suited for an arena full of screaming fans.  From the Bowie-infused psychedelica of “Samantha Hall” to the driving power pop of “Home Invasion,” this band is impossible to classify but instantly likeable.  Although singer David Jackel’s onstage persona brings to mind the pop-punk posturing of Fall Out Boy’s Patrick Stump and Panic At the Disco’s Brendon Urie, his vocals pay homage to The Cars’ Rick Ocasek and Pulp’s Jarvis Cocker.  The band (Adam Anderson on guitar and synth, Ken Marcou on drums, and Lindsey Starr on bass and backing vocals) is tight, and supports Jackel with power and passion.  Despite a strong closing set by the night’s headliner, I leave with The Daily Pravda’s “She’s So Mature” in my head.   (Aimee Weakley)

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PURE IMPACT
Abbey Lounge, Somerville, MA    2/20/07
      Pure Impact’s opening the Tuesday night show of Darkbuster’s Hometown Throwup.  They hit the stage pretty early in front of an already large crowd and dive right into one of their better snotty Oi! sets.  James thankfully sticks with his SG the entire time; it has so much more guts than the Tele.  His and Ian’s vocals provide the hooks for the catchy songs that a chunk of the crowd seems to know.  The new metal-looking bassist is tearing it up and has already mastered the band’s substantial catalogue of hammy guitar faces, but might be a bit more consistent if he’d pick his bass up off the floor.  The audience up front is grinning and yelling along with the band, “When I’m sober I hate this fucking world!”  Which is all well and good, because by now we’ve all been pounding PBRs for over an hour.    (Seth Cohen)

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BUGS AND RATS, MEDICINE 4 TIM, DEAD LIKE DEATH
Dee Dees Lounge, Quincy, MA   1/13/07
      I don’t know if it’s the PA overloading, but Dead Like Deaths’s lead singer sounds like his voice is a rusty chainsaw blade trying to cut through a streetlight pole.  And this is not a bad thing.  The three-piece behind him sounds like a cross between Black Sabbath and Black Flag—raunchy and spastic like your kid brother using swear words for the first time.  Dee Dee’s is filling up quickly during their set, and they’ve got everyone’s attention.  The band’s momentum grows heftier with each song, like a bar tab on a Saturday night.  The vocalist continues to shred the atmosphere of the room, the drummer looks like someone slipped him some amphetamines and the guitarist looks like he’s going to start moshing.  Only the bassist is fixed in his spot, providing backing vocals and moral support.  They leave the crowd wanting more.
      Before his set, Medicine 4 Tim’s drummer, Tim, tells me “it’s time to bring the pipes back into the band.”  He delivers on his statement by leading Herb, the guitarist, and another friend into the room playing bagpipes.  With the crowd sufficiently rowdy, they launch into their set with their newest and most interesting lead singer in years.  Going with a young woman with a set of pipes is the only way to dispel the ghosts of singers past, and yes, it’s all new for them.  Her youthful angst seems to make these dudes sound crankier, the edge of their sound more jagged, raw and exposed.  There’s something to the quality of her pain that is still difficult for the boys to get a harness around, but they achieve traction at several points during their set and crank it out.
      Bugs and Rats sound like Nirvana before a producer took away their edge.  This is a three piece with no frills.  Vocals blown out and desperate.  A drummer whose style resembles Animal from the Muppet Show.  They go into a weird, dissonant groove that somehow comes off as melodic at points, pure post-punk at others.  These boys are bizarre and disturbed, unafraid of the possibility that someone might not like them.  This kind of fearlessness has all but vanished from rock music, and they are rewarded for their haughtiness by having the bouncer shut down the power to their instruments before the end of their set.  Pure punk stigmata.  A sort of dazed confusion drifts across the room and it appears the night is over.    (Joe Hacking)

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DISASTER STRIKES
Milky Way Lounge, Jamaica Plain, MA   3/2/07
      I’ve seen shows at this bowling alley before, but when I walk in I think I might have gone to the wrong venue.  The place is pretty full of college-y and JP types clearly not there for the hardcore.  They’re chatting over their pizzas and having a private party, as blissfully unaware of the fate in store for them as Metallica at the 1989 Grammies.  Jeff, the vocalist, steps up and delivers a high-speed political introduction to the band and the table of women up front start scanning for open seats in back while hoping that a show really wasn’t about to happen around them.  The five-piece tears into a super-tight barrage of metal-tinged crustcore replete with an anti-Walmart tirade leading into “High Cost.”  They should scrap their mediocre recordings and just release a live album.  DS’s super-positive, engaging set of blistering punk is wasted on this disinterested room.   (Seth Cohen)

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CHRISTIANS AND LIONS
Abbey Lounge, Somerville, MA   2/17/07
      I’m not sure if there are any religious tie-ins with the music, but Christians And Lions are a glimpse into something I like—a folk band that plays GOOD acoustic music in a rock club.  They’re smooth and melodious with an underlying groove. The upright bass fills out the mellow sound. The drummer is wisely selective and the trumpet player highlights the musical foreground.  The songs are raw and tight at the same time—especially on the up-tempo numbers. If these boys play their cards right, they should be able to get laid tonight. Or at least make out in the back of an abandoned car. The band’s most striking characteristic is the impressive ease of Ben and Sam Potrykus harmonies.  I feel like I already know the tunes.Seriously, they should be able to take one of these girls home. The combination of well-built acoustic songs and distinct chunks of trumpet-laced instrumentals make this sound really work.    (Ward Hayden and Kevin McDevitt)

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THE CHANNELS, THE MOTION SICK, OKAY THURSDAY
The Milky Way Lounge & Lanes, Jamaica Plain, MA    2/18/07
      Mr. and Mrs. Slimedog invite me out tonight, so we partake in black Russians at my place before we head to the Milky Way. As soon as Okay Thursday starts to play “Dance,” Slimey injects, “This is their best song.” Mrs. Slimedog adds that lead singer Sarah Korval is doing much more than she did the last time she saw her. I agree, and the band has also gotten tighter. A key to Okay Thursday’s music is that guitarist Brad San Martin relies on the pure sound of his Gibson ES-135 instead of buzzing it up. Slimey notes that bassist Clint Reeves and drummer Rebecca Mitchell are copping the basic rhythm of the Supremes’ “You Can’t Hurry Love” in “Eli.” Sarah lets her hair down as I’m reminded how much she emulates the sound of Chrissie Hynde (The Pretenders). Slimey orders another round of black Russians and says Sarah could be a German model. Mrs. Slimey admits that Sarah is mesmerizing. So while the background vocals echo, “Nothing I do is good enough,” I’m picturing the Mrs. and German model entangled.
      Next up is The Motion Sick. There’s a feeling of seriousness about them. Mrs. Slimey doesn’t care for their ties (she’s still dreaming about Sarah). “Satellite” is their radio friendly hit that shows off acoustic guitarist Michael Epstein and bassist Matthew Girard’s good vocals. After only three songs Mrs. Slimey says all the songs sound the same—then she goes back to her lesbian dream—okay, I’m the one who’s dreaming it. Guitarist Patrick Mussari gives his Fender Princeton amp a kick, as it isn’t totally cooperating. The acoustic guitar and bass are a bit overpowering, forcing Michael’s voice to strain above the din. Slimey leaves the table and says that drummer Travis Richter is too good—the band kicks into a cover of “Love Will Tear Us Apart Again.” Slimey comes back to the table with more drinks and admits he’s getting bombed, but he says it’s okay because he said a prayer today. Patrick ends the set by violently smashing his amp with his guitar.
      There’s a lane open so Mrs. Slimedog and I slip on bowling shoes—but who is going to review The Channels?
      Slimedog: Since I’m the least coherent, I guess the task falls on me. I’m thinking The Channels haven’t played out much. While singing, both guitarists stare intently at their guitar necks (stage presence guys), and a song has to be started twice. A cover of “Henry the Eighth” from the ’60s is good, but has nothing to do with the band’s indie rock style. The songs are okay but I guess I’m more moved by the black Russians. And because of the pictures shown to me earlier I can’t get the image of the T Max and a German shepherd entangled out of my mind. Or the image of him sitting on his porch under his dead palm tree feeding squirrels (they do like nuts) out of his hand. Check out Okay Thursday, though, the best pop band in Boston and be kind to animals.   (T Max with Slimedog and Mrs. Slimedog)

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BOSTON ROCKERS vs. BERKLEE ICECATS
Reilly Memorial Rink, Brighton, MA   3/13/07
      Berklee College continued their winning streak on Tuesday 3/13/07, edging out The Boston Rockers by a score of six to five, thus once again demonstrating that youth and agility will beat out years of experience playing music in clubs and bars until the wee hours of the morning, every time.  The Boston Rockers were plagued by penalties, as well as the knowledge of only a few basic chords, while the Berklee team was able to deploy far more complex scales and song structures which helped them out especially in the third period.
      Boston Bruin legend and coach of the Berklee Icecats, John “Pie” McKenzie, looked on proudly as team Berklee (2-0) notched another mark in its win column. The Boston Rockers (0-1) skated away, promising to return next year with a better understanding of hockey strategy as well as music theory. Despite the loss, the WBCN DJ and Boston Rockers captain, Shred, seemed positive about the team’s performance and is looking forward to setting up more games down the road.   (Finnegan E. Stout)

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BLOOD VESSELS 
The Baseball Tavern, Boston, MA   3/3/07
      I race into the club one song into Blood Vessels’ set and charge up front, even though it’s harder to hear the vocals that close to the stage.  Three sailors from the USS JFK are already there rocking out like… well, like sailors out on the town.  This is the best set I’ve seen these guys play since Josh resumed bass duties after a few months with a fill-in.  Paul’s guitar leads stick out more than usual and he’s doing more backing vocals, both of which enrich the band’s rock-core sound.  A circuit breaker trips but is quickly flipped back without costing too much momentum, but Niff’s guitar amp kicks out for a second soon afterward.  They’ve finally added a new song with a great riff but Sputnik’s drumming during the break in “Escape From My Brain” drives home the fact that this band is rock first, punk second.         (Seth Cohen)

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