BLEU, HOORAY FOR EARTH
WFNX Disorientation 2007
Bank of America Pavilion, South Boston, MA
Late Risers’ Club 30th Anniversary
The Basement, Boston, MA 9/13/07
This is more of a diary of a day than a live review.
After Saturday Morning Softball I rush home to shower then make it over to the northern harbor side of South Boston to meet up with a bunch of guys and gals I’ve been rehearsing with for the past week to sing five songs as part of Bleu’s Get Up Choir. After a lot of hurry-up-and-wait for the soundcheck there is a lot of stand-around-and-wait for showtime. There are strings of speakers looking like caterpillars dangling from the ceiling of the 4,800 capacity amphitheater known as the Bank of America Pavilion. I find a place behind the stage to watch Hooray For Earth. The largely college crowd fills up the place as the four-piece drives their big melodies and heavy sounds with a one-mind intensity. Then it’s Bleu’s turn to turn on the masses. He’s decked out in a fancy tux and communicates with the audience like he’s known them all his life. The choir, in tuxes and black evening dresses, lines up according to height and we file onto the right side of the stage. Blue leads us into his catchy choruses and we shake and shimmy and throw our fist up into the air at the appropriate times. Minutes later I’m changing back into my street clothes and heading for the Fenway. I enter the Baseball Tavern and head straight to the roof for the free food and drink being taken in by people I knew well 20-plus years ago. I see and talk to Albert O, David Green, Greg Reibman, Joanie Lindstrom, Blowfish, and Natalie Waleik—all alumni of the Late Riser’s Club (the most popular weekday college radio show in Boston history). Other big names representing the “day” are Wayne Viens, Springa, John Burnhardt, Cindy Bailen, Bradley J, Pat McGrath, Miss Lyn, Rick and Dave Barton, and David Minehan. Joanie Lindstom, the organizer of this event, encourages me to head down to the Basement where the bands are playing (Band 19, The Neighborhoods, The Outlets), even though I’ve been warned that the lower level of the building is most resembling hell. I head down the stairways and I can feel the heat rise and perspiration permeate the air. Dave Minehan is on stage shouting, “It started in a dive and will end in a dive.” The sound of the room kinda sucks but that’s partially because the band wants their amps cranked. This is real thing —the heart-felt rock that lives in the cavernous dives that continue to survive in Boston. Dave reminds everyone how much the sound sucked at Cantones, the Underground, and Storyville. The quality of the sound doesn’t bother me, but I need more oxygen than this room can offer. (T Max)
ROCK CITY CRIMEWAVE, THE McGUNKS,
JOE ZIPPO & THE RAIDERS, THE DIMWITS,
Slimedog’s Going Away Party
Abbey Lounge, Somerville, MA (9/14/07)
I’ve been going to Boston rock nightclubs thirty years this summer and I’m proud to say I was around during that time and I had a lot of fun. I can also say that about the present, that I’ve been proud to have been a small part of the local punk scene and again, I’ve had a bunch of fun. The folks in these bands are passionate about their music but always keep a sense of modesty, spirit of fun and camaraderie that I think went on in some of my favorite eras of music—’50s rock ’n’ roll and late ’70s punk. I guess I’m prejudiced and shouldn’t be reviewing my own goddamn party but I’m not a fucking journalist, I’m a writer, or someone who expresses themselves with words. And though I think I lack the skill and experience at writing I feel my style has meshed well with these punk bands who value emotion, honesty, and desire over skill. This was one of the best times I’ve ever had in a club and the nicest thing that has happened to me since I’ve been involved in music. Let me hand the pen to…
Slimedog’s cat, here. Yeah, he brought me into a club again but this time I’m in ashes. Big deal, at least this time I don’t need earplugs. First up are The Spoilers who redeem themselves from their last gig. Hey, they do an Avengers cover for Slimedog and do it quite well. Slimedog sings backup for his favorite tune by them, “You’re Not Worth My Time,” a song I believe Mrs. Slimedog wrote about him. Next The Dimwits do their usual explosive set with Slimedog totally ruining, “I Want To Be Canadian,” but otherwise great set, hey man. Slimedog gets up to talk next and makes me and Mrs. Slimedog stand next to him. He thanks Mike Mahoney, Joe Zippo, and others but basically makes no sense, (what a surprise), as far as I can tell. Joe Zippo & the Raiders make their debut, kind enough to do a few Zippo Raid songs by Slimedog’s request. The highlight is “I’m A Loser” with guests like Cindy Spoiler and Swid stepping up to do a verse. McGunks kick butt with “Three More Beers,” “She Used To Be Pretty.” And close with a blistering cover of “Ace of Spades.” Let’s give kudos to the soundman for providing great sound all night. It ends with Rock City Crimewave bringing their groovin’, murky, swampy pyschobilly to the people and they do it mighty fine, just like their cover of Patsy Cline’s “Walking After Midnight.” Now, it’s time to pry the Jägermeister bottle from Slimedog’s mitts and hope he drives me, Mrs. Slimedog, Audrey, and birthday girl Dana safely home. Hey, I guess at least I don’t have to worry. I guess this’ll be Slimedogs’ last live review. Mine, too, haw, haw, haw. (Slimedog with Slimedog’s Cat)
BANG CAMARO, THE SNOWLEOPARDS
BU Central, Boston, MA 9/6/07
I’m at the official Boston University live music venue, BU Central. I’ve never seen this big of a turnout at a BU show, and the people just keep on coming. The Snowleopards are playing, but the kids aren’t too interested: in between songs, there are raucous demands of “We want Bang Camaro!” But then The Snowleopards’ lead singer, Heidi Lee, announces that she went to BU and the audience breaks out in cheers. The sound at BU Central is surprisingly good, and the band plays a fun set. Their last song features a cameo from several members of Bang Camaro.
The Snowleopards get offstage, and suddenly, “The Death March” starts to play over the loudspeaker. The members of Bang Camaro file onto the stage one by one amidst much cheering and clapping—the kids are going crazy. “This is the first time most of us have been on a college campus,” one of the singers tells us. The crowd seems to love the frequent BU references included in the between-song banter, such as “We all got laid in Warren Towers last night!” When the band asks for some crowd participation, everyone enthusiastically complies. During “Push Push (Lady Lightning),” some kids even start crowd surfing. The crowd demands one more song and Bang Camaro gives it to them. I’m very impressed with how energetic and fun the show is, and how much the crowd enjoys the show. It appears that Bang Camaro has achieved what all Boston bands wish they could: a college-student fanbase. (Emsterly)
LYRES, MY OWN WORST ENEMY, COROLLA DEVILLE
The Cantab, Cambridge MA 9/15/07
Riddle me this, Nancy Neon: If it’s Lisa Connolly’s birthday, why is her band not headlining? Sure, Corolla Deville has only been around for all of three seconds, but they could pass for old pros. A few weeks ago at the Abbey, I detected a slight country flair around the edges, though tonight Corolla Deville sounds more like straight forward stompin’ rock ’n’ roll. Their charm for me is that they’re not a bunch of kids, but they play like they are. If there’s a drawback to this band, it’s that they’re short on originals—the few they’ve got are choice (“Price I’ve Paid” especially), so you’re left wanting more! Still, how can I complain when they cover all my favorites (Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, Ramones, Eddie Cochran)? While tough to match the original, Corolla Deville’s version of Holly’s “Rave On” is at least as great as The Real Kids’ version. There’s a compliment!
My Own Worst Enemy is pleasant enough—downright respectable even. Their stylistic influences are fairly subtle (meaning I haven’t got a clue here). What’s particularly odd is they’re going with two guitars and no bass. Either that or I’m standing too far back. Genuinely impressive is the fact they successfully pull off a Patti Smith cover—something from Radio Ethiopia I think. [Nope, I checked for you and the only Patti Smith cover they do is “Redondo Beach” from Horses… Ed.] Can you recall anyone pulling off a Patti Smith song well? Not me, boy.
Over the last nine months it seems like I’ve seen Lyres countless times (can’t be a Nancy Neon show without them—check your rule book). Good deal. The problem with writing about this band is that there’s no praise or insight left to put into words. In a nutshell, they rock—this is old news. You either dig that as fact or you don’t… and if you don’t, well, there is no hope for your immortal soul. Monoman’s vocals, that crazy organ sound—neither ever fail. Tonight isn’t their best performance but their talents are so strong, they still kill. Essential. (Frank Strom)