Photos by Tia, see lots more over here.
“I can’t believe we didn’t have a flying V when we started this band,” said Bang Camaro drummer Andy Dole, staring at the Middle East stage at the ungodly early hour of 10 am this past Saturday. He’s right: it’s not really a metal band without one. But Bang Camaro have got one now, and by Christ, those dudes are so metal.
Street heat: Ted Leo, Pharmacists. Mike Miliard's camera wants to be infra-red when it grows up.
And the award for most seamless segue between opener and headliner goes to...
Ted Leo, bounding onstage at the Middle East on Sunday afternoon during Drew O’Doherty’s cover of “Dancing in the Dark” and shimmying for a few moments like Courteney Cox before picking up his Gibson hollow body and joining Doherty to close out the song.
MP3 of the Week: Bullseye, "Mick Jagger's Birthday Bash"
DOWNLOAD: Bullseye, "Mick Jagger's Birthday Bash" (mp3)
As imagined by a bunch of Pioneer Valley pre-teens, the party in question appears to take place in the future, and in Heaven: there’s a cool guest list (Dylan and Johnny Cash, Art Garfunkel and the Clash) and cooler party favors (guitar picks by Hendrix, a song by Stevie Nicks), but kind of a creepy vibe (the Stones sneak them ice-cream cones, Dee Dee Ramone phones home).
Back in the early ’90s, along with other Boston bands like the Swirlies and Fat Day, KUDGEL were among the primary purveyors of what along the way became known as chimp rock — a nasty, noisy, yet somehow beautiful mess of guitar-driven pop (somewhat debatable Wiki entry: CHIMP ROCK). They also carried the flag for AmRep-style fuck-you sludgepunk, and we will always love them for that.
ThePhoenix.com's K. Bonami fought her way through a forest of stoners to bring back this rare footage of last year's Swedish hipsterbait Dungen and J. Mascis's medieval, middle-aged metal band Witch. From the Middle East on June 8:
Singing and dancing sock puppets, cartoons, inflatable lobsters, underground mutant prairie dogs from hell — expect the works this Sunday, June 4 at UNCLE MONSTERFACE's afternoon, all-ages “extravaganzathonarama” at the Middle East for their self-released debut full-length, letter green (i love you), a 25-minute synth-rock acid trip that you and your kid nephew alike will freak out to.
There are those nights that you go see see a friend’s band and you tell yourself: this headliner that I’ve never heard of has about 30 seconds to absolutely blow me away or I’m going home. That's what happened last night. An hour later I was standing in line to pick up MuteMath’s disc.
Mashed in prog-rock somewhere between the Police and Radiohead (yes I know that Radiohead sucks, but think of Angels and Airwaves but not as cheesy), this was quite possibly the best show I’ve seen this year.
The Dents' leading ladies Michelle and Jenn are links from Boston's neo-garage-punk underground to its ye-olde-days garage-rock underground -- Michelle played in a latter-day version of the Real Kids; Jenn was married to DMZ/Queers legend JJ Rassler and still plays with him in the Downbeat 5. In the Dents, they make perfect foils: Jenn, the raspy one, sounds like she could've sung in the Runaways or the Ronettes, while Michelle shouts boys down like a hardcore queen.
The most ridiculous weekend ever. How ridiculous?
WHAT: R. Kelly "Trapped in the Closet" sing-a-long. WHAT?!: "Maybe you've even seen them on DVD in a room with friends. But you haven't fully experienced them until you've rapped along with R. Kelly in a theater full of hundreds of friends and a bevy of props hidden around the room.
Two years in the making, the Lot Six’s new vicious and ambitious 12-inch Get Baked on Youth Kulture (Plastic) is finally ready for your turntable. When we dropped a needle on the 120-gram red vinyl, sat back, and took in the tunes — high-octane riff rock, piano-driven roots music, circus-organ-cum-feedback noise collages — our little minds were just about blown.
The recently reunited Smoking Popes absolutely, uh, smoked last night downstairs at the Middle East at their first show in town in “like eight years,” according to frontman Josh Caterer. As one of the best and most under-appreciated power pop bands of the ’90s, Caterer, his brothers — guitarist Eli and bassist Matt — and drummer Mike Felumlee deftly married big power chords and big hooks with Josh’s distinctive Kermit-the-Frog-meets-Morrissey croon.
In most cities, when you mention the words "battle of the bands," musicians give you a look like you just backhanded their mother in public. Not in Boston, where the Emergenza Festival is spreading like a tumor, and where for the past 25 years and counting, "important" and "popular" bands from Mission of Burma to the Dresden Dolls have been dog-and-pony-showing in the Rock N Roll Rumble, an odd local tradition that's spawned its own lore and even its own curse
The T-shirts sported by the audience at the Middle East last night read like the crash course in Rock Music that your older, cooler brother gives you when you're fourteen: Melvins, Misfits, G.G. Allin, Motorhead, Venom, uh . . . The Cosby Show. Okay, well, metal is rapidly becoming assimilated by popular indie culture, so it wasn't surprising to see some of the tight-pants, silly-T-shirt set in attendance.
Over the past decade, VICTORY AT SEA have taken the dark-and-stormy, barbed-guitar torch from Come and run with it, subtly evolving with each of their five full-lengths. There’s still plenty of serrated guitar chords and big drums on their new All Your Things Are Gone (Gern Blandsten), but frontwoman Mona Elliott has become a more nuanced songwriter, and the band have developed a deft dynamic sense of interplay with her throaty delivery.