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Pete’s First 11 of ’11 – 2011 Show Reviews: Young Adults, Quilty, Sleepy Very Sleepy @ Great Scott, 1/16

by Pete on Feb.23, 2011, under Audio, Live Shows, Media, News, Reviews

Young Adults - Photo Credit: Jeff Allen

Young Adults - Photo Credit: Jeff Allen


Whoa! WHOA, Greater Boston Area! You have seriously got to stop rocking so much! These shows are piling up faster than I can write about them. Since things are only about to get crazier with a slew of legit legends (Wanda Jackson, Motorhead, Jonathan Richman, The Pogues etc.) about to hit town in the next month, I figured now might be my best chance to tell you about some of the awesome shit that’s already gone down this year. And so, all this week, we will be taking a look back at the first 11 shows I’ve hit in 2011.

To see the rest of Pete’s First 11 of ‘11, click here!


Young Adults, Quilty, and Sleepy Very Sleepy – January 16 @ Great Scott

Finally! A show where I saw more than 25 percent of the bands playing! At Soiree numero trois, I caught every band except for Nassy.

Sleepy Very Sleepy - Photo Credit: thatsthehookup.com

Sleepy Very Sleepy - Photo Credit: thatsthehookup.com

I had seen Sleepy Very Sleepy twice before, but on both occasions, they played without a bass or a full drumkit. There was plenty to enjoy then, what with Stephen Konrad surfing deserts on a twangy Rickenbacker, and Katie Von Schleicher’s far-fetched claims of time distortion and eyeball posses. But having a proper rhythm section laid a more textured landscape in the band’s dreamier forays, and fed some meat to their mid-paced psych-pop fauna. SVS has been toiling away on their debut LP, Unlimited Circulation for several months, and they are now in the finalest of final stages of post-production. The album drops in March, and I’m betting that when it does I will read at least two different reviews of it in which the author makes some awful pun on their name (“This album is bitchin. Very bitchin.”).



Photo Credit: James McDowell

Quilty - Photo Credit: James McDowell

Up next was Quilty (formerly known as KC Quilty), a Brooklyn band touring in support of their new 7”, Black Hole. This trio won me over quickly, and if you have any taste for rough-and-tumble gore grunge, they will probably win you over as well. You might have read some raves about about their savvy use of Pixian loud-soft dynamics, but I did not hear a whole lot of “soft” from them at Great Scott. They’re sometimes infectious, sometimes grisly, but they always walk heavily and carry a big stick. Singer/gunslinger Sarah Dupuis can pour on a very sweet chorus when she wants to, but you’ll often find her twisting a few notes into uncomfortable positions, often while her guitar strings undergo similar spinal adjustments. I guess it’s not totally unfair to label them “retro” or “revivalist,” (if you have a label fetish), but most pearljammin’ poseurs don’t have nearly as much metallic sludge caked onto their sound. Plus, they’ve got a fucking trombassist! Pavement didn’t have no trombassist.


Quilty – “Siiya” – Clover/Coriander

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p3-ya

Young Adults - Photo Credit: Jérôme Léon Eno

Young Adults closed the show, doing their best to nurture the growing buzz that has followed them around town since their 12” (which, ironically enough, shares the name Black Hole with the aforementioned Quilty release) was unleashed November. Their set was a blitzkrieg bop advancing relentlessly under cover of a shoegaze haze. From start to finish, the beats drove fast and steady, with some urgent chord combos and syncro-shouting adding to the sense of desperation.


Young Adults – “Impression” – Black Hole
Available for FREE Download as part of Exploding In Sound’s “WAX UNWOUND” Compilation!

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Sleepy Very Sleepy

Quilty

Young Adults

Great Scott

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Pete’s First 11 of ’11 – 2011 Show Reviews: Acaro @ Church 1/7

by Pete on Feb.23, 2011, under Audio, Live Shows, Media, News, Reviews

Acaro frontman Chris Herrell - Photo Credit: Jarvis

Acaro frontman Chris Herrell - Photo Credit: Jarvis

Whoa! WHOA, Greater Boston Area! You have seriously got to stop rocking so much! These shows are piling up faster than I can write about them. Since things are only about to get crazier with a slew of legit legends (Wanda Jackson, Motorhead, Jonathan Richman, The Pogues etc.) about to hit town in the next month, I figured now might be my best chance to tell you about some of the awesome shit that’s already gone down this year. And so, all this week, we will be taking a look back at the first 11 shows I’ve hit in 2011.

To see the rest of Pete’s First 11 of ‘11, click here!


Acaro – January 7 @ Church

My second outing of the year was another benefit show, this one to raise money for Leukemia and Lymphoma research. I was really hoping to get out of work early enough to catch this entire show, which also included sets by Razors in the Night, Tijuana Sweetheart and Buried in Leather. Unfortunately, my deeply satisfying job driving deliveries for a barbecue restaurant kept me from seeing all but the last act of the night.


Acaro – “Forever is Temporary” – EP 2010
PGB Track of the Week #70 – Free EP Download here!

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It remains to be seen if America is willing to embrace another Massachusetts metalcore band the way it embraced Killswitch Engage and Unearth in years past, but Acaro would seem to have as good a shot as anyone. That Friday at Church, a few dozen of their most raucous rooters made it plain that the local headbangers have Acaro’s back, and it’s not hard to see why. Like a good metalcore band should, they bring the frothing anguish of metal’s most inbred mongoloids, and retain the melodic charm of its enduring foreshredders. They stir the pit with beefy breakdowns, then make the black-shirts reach for their air guitars with ‘Maiden-melt harmonies and (you guessed it!) face-melting solos. Chris Harrell never sings; he only screams. Seems like a nice dude in interviews, but on stage with Acaro, he is one scary son of a bitch.


Acaro

Church

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Pete’s First 11 of ’11 – 2011 Show Reviews: The Beast Fest @ Starlab, 1/6

by Pete on Feb.22, 2011, under Audio, Live Shows, Media, News, Reviews

Movers & Shakers

Movers & Shakers


Whoa! WHOA, Greater Boston Area! You have seriously got to stop rocking so much! These shows are piling up faster than I can write about them. Since things are only about to get crazier with a slew of legit legends (Wanda Jackson, Motorhead, Jonathan Richman, The Pogues etc.) about to hit town in the next month, I figured now might be my best chance to tell you about some of the awesome shit that’s already gone down this year. And so, all this week, we will be taking a look back at the first 11 shows I’ve hit in 2011.

To see the rest of Pete’s First 11 of ’11, click here!


The Beast Fest – January 6 @ Starlab

My top New Year’s Resolution was to start wearing earplugs, and I have managed to honor this sacred vow for exactly one show to date: a quasi-legal BYOB benefit concert at Starlab. The show was held to raise money for a friend of Starlab whose family was left with considerable medical bills in the wake of her father’s passing that very week. Although it was tragic circumstances that brought everyone together that night, the atmosphere was anything but somber. Most people expressed their sympathy with their wallets, and then grabbed a can of ‘Gansett and watched the show.

Back then, the condo-sized pile of snow on my sidewalk was only knee-high, but there was ice everywhere and it got dark at 4:30 in the afternoon. Watching Movers & Shakers, it struck me that this winter basement show was a more appropriate setting for them than when I saw them at a club last summer. In contrast with some of the dirt-road-and-horse-pasture bands in the Americana set, M&S drive their rusted-out pickup over craggly asphalt and manhole covers – in windy places with lots of streetlights and power lines. Instead of braying fiddles, M&S have howling organs. Instead of foreign influence from Robbie Robertson and the occasional Mexican folk song, M&S have blue-collar Brit heroes like The Clash and Billy Bragg. The only thing “country” about them is the occasional slide guitar (and I don’t recall them using it at the Starlab that night).




Get Laid!

Get Laid!

The only other band I caught at this show was Get Laid! (the bill also included such un-google-friendly names as Furnace, Luau, Now Denial, and Dan Webb And The Spiders), who – if nothing else – made me extremely glad that I had stuck with the earplugs resolution. And no, that’s not a snark at the band; I think most rockers will tell you that blocking some of the feedback when you see a band that plays as fast and (extremely fucking) loud as Get Laid! actually lets you hear more of what their music sounds like. Before I put the plugs in, I thought Get Laid! was either a grindcore band or a terrorist attack, because all I could hear was explosions and people screaming. But Get Laid! kicks out some seriously vicious female-fronted hardcore. They turn their punk rock tantrums into bloody, semen-soaked crime scenes with some homicidal thrash riffs and drum detonations that approach noise/grind levels of rhythmic deviance.

Isn’t safety fun?



Get Laid! – Decca A.D.
(FREE Download of this track available at the Get Laid! Reverbnation page)

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Movers & Shakers

Get Laid!

Starlab

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The Starting 5: Best Local & International Releases of 2010

by Pete on Jan.11, 2011, under Albums, Audio, Media, News, Reviews

kissbball

Carmelo might have a different jersey by the time you read this, but KISS will never change


A Seattle rock columnist recently published a list of his Top 10 reasons why annual Top-10 lists are kind of bullshit. Mr. Roderick raises some good points (along with one or two inane-ish ones), mainly that the very act of “ranking things automatically presumes that the top-ranked thing is what everything else should aspire to be, and that’s not how we listen to music.”

On that, I couldn’t agree more. So this year, I’ve decided to do something a little different or, at the very least, much more geeky and unnecessary. Instead of a Top 10 list, we’re going to use ten albums from 2010 to fill out two starting lineups… you know, like for basketball teams! One includes my favorite releases by Massachusetts bands, and one made up of the best (to me, anyway) stuff from other parts of the globe.

(continue reading…)

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Show Revew: Mellow Bravo, Rob Potylo @ Middle East Downstairs, 12/2

by Pete on Dec.20, 2010, under Audio, Media, News, Reviews

Mellow Bravo frontman Keith Pierce - Photo Credit: Michael Patrick Hennessy

Mellow Bravo frontman Keith Pierce - Photo Credit: Michael Patrick Hennessy


I first saw Mellow Bravo several months before I ever heard of Mellow Bravo.

It was at Harper’s Ferry last New Year’s Eve, where a bevy of Boston bands took turns playing cover sets in the guise of a respective legend of yore. At one point, this goofy looking gang in wigs and spandex invaded the stage and blew the doors off the club with mammoth bastardizations of “Unchained” and “Panama.” The guitarists might not have had Eddie’s chops, and the singer most certainly didn’t have Dave’s athleticism. And yet, it was pretty much what I would want a Van Halen concert to feel like: over-served, oversexed, in-your-face and out of control… that and, you know, Van Halen songs.

Jess Collins on the keys for Mellow Bravo - Photo Credit: Michael Patrick Hennessy

Jess Collins on the keys for Mellow Bravo - Photo Credit: Michael Patrick Hennessy

Flash forward to a Saturday night this past November when I went to see Roky Erikson at the Royale. The show was over by 9:30, presumably so that Roky could get back to his hotel room to take his medication and watch Wheel of Fortune. Not that I held this against him, (I mean, give the guy a break! He’s a pioneer and he’s been through psychological hell, even by acid rocker standards), but I needed more noise, so I met your boy and webmaster Bryan at the Rosebud. By this time, I had heard of Mellow Bravo, and was eager to see if their spirit-of-‘79 soul metal was as heady as advertised.




Mellow Bravo – “I Wanted A Girl” – Strut
(PGB Track of the Week #46 – May 2010)
FREE Album Download of Strut HERE!

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(continue reading…)

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Show Review: Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling @ Middle East Downstairs, 12/2

by Pete on Dec.17, 2010, under Audio, Live Shows, Media, News, Reviews

Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling - Photo Credit: Pete Legasey

Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling - Photo Credit: Pete Legasey


Rock and weirdness were in abundance at the Middle East on December 2, when Boston’s favorite dating show contestant Rob Potylo celebrated the release of his new album, Something Happened at Horse Lake. This was not your standard three-indie-groups-and-an-alt-country-band lineup at the Downstairs. There were secret agents, epic mustaches, retro TV psychodrama, paranoid wailing, attractive young marrieds and omnipresent shadow entities… and that just covers the first band!

The first band, of course, was Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling, an act featuring drummer/shouteuse Sophia Cacciola (Blitzkriegbliss) and bassist Michael Epstein (Blitzzkriegbliss, The Motion Sick, Michael J. Epstein Memorial Library). Now assuming/imagining that you’ve never heard of them, if I told you only their band name and the fact that they are a husband-and-wife duo with songs about their favorite spy show from the 60’s, you might picture DNFMOMD as a nerdier Mates of State. But as far as two-piece acts go, DNFMOMD’s marriage is between Lightning Bolt’s aural masochism and the White Stripes’ do-it-yourself rudimentations. There really isn’t much of that cuddly, Mates of State picnic-blanket babbling up in here.


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Photo Gallery: Helmet with Intronaut, RIBS @ Middle East Downstairs, 10/20

by Pete on Nov.02, 2010, under Media, News, Photos

Helmet - Photo Credit: Pete Legasey

Helmet - Photo Credit: Pete Legasey


RIBS – “Even” – British Brains

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Thanks to Pete Legasey for the great photos!

Check out Pete’s review of this show HERE!


Helmet

Intronaut

RIBS

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Show Review: Helmet with Intronaut, RIBS @ Middle East Downstairs 10/20

by Pete on Nov.01, 2010, under Audio, Live Shows, Media, News, Reviews, Video

Helmet - Photo Credit: Pete Legasey

Helmet - Photo Credit: Pete Legasey

If there’s one thing I do love to see on a bill at the Middle East, it’s three very loud bands with three very short names. And apparently, I’m not the only one. I forgot to ask if it sold out, but headbanging room was at a premium last Wednesday as 90’s grunge veterans Helmet brought their tour with LA prog-metallers Intronaut to the Downstairs. RIBS, the only local outfit on the bill, set the table and showed why they’ve been generating so much momentum in recent months.

_MG_2767

RIBS - Photo Credit: Pete Legasey

Formed by Atlanta transplants and longtime pals Keith Freund and Blake Fusilier, RIBS has earned a steady flow of positive reviews and radio play (both terrestrial and webcast) since releasing their debut album British Brains earlier this year. Far from being the dinner-themed band I imagined them to be when I first heard their name, the group’s moody-but-dynamic brand of atmospheric rock has garnered comparisons with Joy Division, Queens of the Stone Age, and Deftones.

RIBS – “Transversal” – British Brains
(PGB Track of the Week #32 – January ’10)

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RIBS played an ideal opening set for a chilly October night in the middle of the workweek – far from cheery, but hardly a bummer. This was my first time seeing the guys in concert, and the live setting definitely allows for a much bolder contrast between their moments of murky ambiance and frenzied ruckus. It was those latter moments of chaos that stirred the crowd’s blood to an adequate consistency for the blitzkrieg that awaited. Fusilier’s bass was a much more grisly and battle-ravaged creature than anything that roams the album, and Justin Tolan (reportedly a touted shred prospect before joining RIBS) let his chops fly with a goody-bag of arpeggios, resonant speed picking and rain-soaked chord combos.


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Show Review: Planetoid with Neurological Damage @ Harper’s Ferry 11/4

by Pete on Nov.18, 2009, under Live Shows, News, Reviews

All Photos by Pete Legasey

All Photos by Pete Legasey

The three extraterrestrials that call themselves Planetoid were in an unusual position last Wednesday at Harper’s Ferry. Ordinarily, the talk from these sharp-dressed spacemen is all about waging intergalactic war, melting faces and enslaving the “fleshbags” that remain. But on this night, the Planetoid showed an unexpected flash of mercy and chose to save the day for the earthlings they had come to destroy.


Planetoid 15Perhaps they took pity on us. After all, much of the crowd at Harper’s Ferry was hoping to see grammy-nominated, 247-piece puppet-core goofballs Green Jelly (pronounced “Green Jello”) along with openers Hydrahead, Neurological Damage. However, word began to trickle through the Allston grapevine earlier that day that Green Jelly had fallen prey to a sudden financial disaster when founding member Moronic Dictator’s assets were frozen by his bank. Monsieur Dictator and his mates could not scare up enough last-minute cash to get out of California, and had to cancel the scheduled tour behind their latest release, Musick To Insult Your Intelligence By. Of course, the crowd would not have gotten to see Green Jelly anyway, given that Planetoid would have already reduced them to a steaming mess of slime and bone fragments long before the headliners hit the stage – but the point is, they (the crowd) didn’t know that, and fully expected to be regaled with Green Jelly’s obscene retellings of “the Three Little Pigs” and other childhood favorites.


It could have been a major disappointment, but by the time Planetoid packed up their alien weapons and returned to their mother ship, no one in Harper’s Ferry could be heard asking “where the hell is Green Jelly?”

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