Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Sept 2013 gigs

106. Wet Lips, The Pink Tiles, The Clits, Milk Teddy, Full Ugly, The Tote, 6/9/2013

107. Countdown Love,  No Tomorrow Boys, Wyldlife,  Cake Shop 16/9/2013
Countdown Love

No Tomorrow Boys


There seems to be a uniform in this rock and roll game in NY - more so than I've noticed anywhere else. For guys: black leather jackets, the right hair, the right boots. Tonight's a sausage fest onstage, but in true cliche style, there's plenty of lady rock groupies with hot outfits to match the boys. That's such a terrible generalisation I know, but on this night it really seems to be true. Countdown Love are from New York with one member from Jersey, and have a drummer who moves like Animal. 3 scream in tune vocals, their set is Ramonesy, they've got a Danelectro, but after a while it seems to all fall in a heap. It's Ok though, and they seem to possess deep reserves of energy which they give to their performance. No Tomorrow Boys are ahead of the game and know that if they're going to dress like the cliche - they might as well really do it - matching leather jackets with names spray painted, poses, gold boots, blue suede shoes, ludicrous tattoos, sparkly Danelectro. They've got some good songs, more focus than the last band, execute the show well. When members of Wyldlife join them there's moments of excellence shining through. Wyldlife, possess a strong conviction in their music, have got good hair, and are good looking rock guys. If you're familiar with my prejudice let me restate it: In the believability stakes, t is not an asset to be a good looking guy in a rock and roll band. Enough said, in any case, they sounded a lot like Jet.

108. Alien Trilogy, New England Patriots, Skimask. DBA, 19/9/2013
I can't remember too much except that I recall that I thought that Alien Trilogy were the best band on this sausagefest line up.

109. M.O.TO & Cosmic Psycho's Cake Shop, 21/9/2013
MOTO played some short power pop gems, 19 actually, and they were tops. They dedicated some songs to friends in the largely Australian audience, at one stage, the drummer from The Cosmic Psychos got up to sing the rousing choruses. Unpretentious, fun, and good songs. What is not to like here?

The Australian pub rock band in New York City is a bizarre thing to experience: all the sudden they become this exotic experience. On Tuesday I saw rock by numbers at the same venue - kids with the same look, same style but tonight was the opposite in a way. Refreshingly, it was blokes on stage playing songs there was just no wankery.  The audience know and love the songs [audience were mainly over 30 and many were Australians]; showing appreciation with fists in the air. Between songs, there was straight talking banter....

110. Velma & The Happy Campers & The Mercators P & H Memphis 24/9/2013
Caught the last song of Florida's Velma & The Happy Campers who is actually a one man band with a bit of sloppiness and charm, but managed to clear the room, perhaps due to some bad gear....I'm talking about the instruments here, that's what he was suggesting.
The Mercators were more of a pop rock four piece from North Carolina, that seemed to have a Brit pop influence running through their sound.

111. Austin Texan band whose name I didn't get  Lamplighter, 24/9/2013
Most interesting band I'd seen in ages, such a shame I didn't get their name... there was a lady drummer, a guy on a tom, guitar and bass/vocalist, and they were being filmed.....

112.Guitar Wolf ギターウルフ Gonerfest Opening Ceremony 26/9/2013
Eric Oblivian introduces the band who Goner first released, following a couple of gigs he witnessed at the AV club. This is a free gig for the people of Memphis and perhaps the gig with the most mixed aged groups and races! Guitar Wolf still play with intensity, wavering between trashy noise and pulsating punk rock. Sweating in the heat, melting in leather, yet still rocking out, these guys own it.

113. Blind Shake, Octa#Grape, Catholic Spray, Tyvek, Ex-Cult, Quintron & Miss Pussycat, Gonerfest  Hi Tone, 26/9/2013
Mc Seiji from Guitar Wolf is tonight's MC

Blind Shake from Minneapolis play that garage punk that verges on moments hardcore,  but it's a tight set featuring an an excellent drummer. They also seemed to have a Danelectro Baritone.

Octa#Grape from San Diego sounds like dude rock in that slow head bopping with lead guitar hooks. At times it kind of reminded me of grunge with a touch of funkiness. Maybe it's more like 2013's version of dad rock.

Catholic Spray feature young Frenchmen dressed as Catholic nuns influenced by grunge and the Oh Sees. There's some youthful intensity, but I struggled understand the songs, not lyrically because I couldn't understand most bands, but I mean musically. At times it shifted into anthemic grunge.  In any case there were  2 vocalists, and some vocal effects thanks to some knob twitching.  For the final song the topless drummer cuts off guitarists hair. I'm not feeling it.... Then reprise

Tyvek on the other hand are one of my highlights tonight.  It's Detroit short sharp punky songs with vocals punctuated by drums. Anthemic choruses, good songs with strong hooks &  killer melodic lead guitar. A tight outfit indeed.

As mentioned before, it is felt that Ex Cult are Memphis' answer to ECSR. To their credit they put in a relentlessly energetic performance sounding devastatingly awesome but for some reason I couldn't hook onto it.

Maybe because it's that I'm a sucker for pop and novelty and NOLA's Quintron and Miss Pussycat have got that plus more. Firstly though they had sound issues to begin with and to see the look on Quintron's face, he was very serious, and looked concerned. That's because he takes what he does very seriously - I think - I don't know for sure. What's ironic about this, is it was the most fun band I've seen all night, maybe even all year. Perhaps even the most fun band I've ever seen! Quintron and Miss Pussycat do what no-one else does. Sure they've got gimmicks like crazy outfits, kooky stage props, humorously dark lyrics that you want to listen carefully to for their hilarious insight, synthetic beats, awesome organ sounds and playing, shouting, and mascaras. Influences seem to range from disco, lounge, 80's dance, 60's beat, cabaret-the list goes on. And they've got songs - really good ones that could make you want to sing along to them even if you don't know them. In a nutshell Quintron and Miss Pussycat were excellent, are true artists, that push through that shit but brilliant tag, and they're just regular brilliant.  It will be hard for any other band to top this performance during Gonerfest.

114. Martin Savage Gang, Jackpot, Hemingers, Gino and the Goons, Buccaneer, 27/9/2013
We arrived late, catching only the final moments of Sweden's Martin Savage Gang.

Next up, it's Detroit's Jackpot, a 4 piece no nonsense rock band whose lead singer seems to look very uncomfortable as the front woman when she's not singing. Maybe a tambourine or maracas could solve that.
2 amps/1 guitar, matching t shirts


 Hemingers from Coldwater Michigan are a 3 piece outfit, that sound like that classic caveman garage rock. They've only got a with a teardrop guitar that runs through 2 amps and drums for instrumentation but they've got an amazingly captivating front man, jiggling some manbreast without a care. Fun and the crowd digs it.

Gino & The Goons Setlist on Amp
Florida's Gino and the Goons seemed to be down a man at the beginning, but their bassist arrives in his Hawaiian shirt with the party poppers and egg shaker and they're on their way, but first, there's a little animosity between members to the extent where it seems that it is impossible to have all band members in the same room as each other.

Gino and the Goons

Could this be the drummer of the festival?

But when they finally do play, it's together, it's tight, they've got abrupt endings for their short songs and they've got a drummer with a primitive style - he hits hard, and everyone loves it. Dare I say it, he's the drummer of the festival.  Although Gino apologises for his earlier behaviour, he does come across as an egotistical perfectionist with a little angry man vibe, but full credit to him: he's sweating everywhere to the extent where the sweat is dripping off his fingers, on his guitar, and dropping down the fret board, as well as the body.  I guess this is why he's demanding the audience to give him more-yes he is giving his all.

115. Viva L'American Death Ray, Cheap Time, Head, Human Eye, Mudhoney, Gonerfest Hi Tone, 27/9/2013
MC Ross Johnson proves to be a real character
Viva L'American Death Ray are a good looking band, with costumes, tribal make up and a drum machine as well as drums. Walking the line of coherent pop and rock and mayhem and feature a very good lead singer who could growl just as well.   The synth is used in such a way where it sounds like what you'd a sounding like you'd imagine a death ray to sound. As the set goes on, time reveals a bunch of good songs that feature pop sensibility and a sense of drama. I did not however expect the Goldfinger cover.

Nashville's Cheap Time has their their guitar bass drums set up so well, they play their set seamlessly.

All the way from Seattle, Head are the band that are the most hyped by the European Goner crowd I've met. The Goner guide describes them as "Ramones style punk" which is undeniable. But I think their hook sunk deeper, and here we witness a band who at its core make blissful pop for boys [and girls] but really appeal to dudes.Note: drummer wears sunglasses.

Human Eye bought their costume and their theramin and played their set that guys love so much.

Mudhoney take a while to get on, but when they are they entertain the crowd fairly solidly. Unfortunately we had to leave quickly to see something else.

116. The Limes, Timmy and the Tumblers, Lamplighter Lounge, 27/9/2013

In this configuration, The Limes have drums, bass, sax and lead singer on guitar. It's a cruisy and loose and just what's required after Goner fest.

Atlanta's Timmy and The Tumblers were the surprise of the night. Perfect power pop with front man who can really sing, and as a bonus he can also tumble...and he did! One of the best things I've seen in Memphis, and it was not a part of Goner fest. If you like Royal Headache you will love Timmy and the Tumblers.

116. Cybelle Blood, Talbot Adams, Cuntz, Digital leather, Harlan T Bobo and The Fuzz, Wreckless Eric, Goner Saturday Murphy's, 28/9/2013

Cybelle Blood say they haven't played for 3 years but they've got a slack pop talking & singing girl group thing going on. It's true they're not rocking out like everyone else, but my question is- does everyone have to do that all the time?

Talbot Adams power pop quartet have  thoroughly good songs and do that major to minor thing accompanied by a thumping beat and hook laden melodies. Talbot Adams is obviously the star of the show being the only one to sing and play the guitar solos and it ends on  cha! cha! cha! A class act.

Cunts assault the senses with their spasmodic punk stylings and rhyming lyrics. Their best songs were ones that features heavy synth.

Digital Leather were a 5 piece super charged act from Omaha, described by the guide as "catchy fetish-soaked synth punk". In essence it's music to speed to.

Harlan T Bobo and the Fuzz win hearts and minds. They're loose in the rhythm section tight on electric guitars, they've got really good songs with original moments and Harlan is a genuine star, as he strikes that divine sparkling blue Italia Maranello. In a word: Excellent.

Wreckless Eric arrives on stage and says "You can't imagine what it means for an Englishman to play in Memphis". Already he has charmed the audience, and along with his very English hilarious banter but moreover...his songs, he wins the crowd support. His songs are honest, and clever and hit straight through the heart.  This guy is brilliant, and that 6pm slot on the outdoor stage as the sun goes down is a perfect Gonerfest moment.  Wreckless Eric restores good vibes associated with the term "singer-songwriter".

crowd singing along with Whole Wide World

117. Autodramatics, Onyas, CC Riders, Wizzard Sleeve, Destruction Unit, Cosmic Psychos, Hi Tone, 28/9/2013

Hailing from Iowa, guitar bass and drums with 2 female singers  Autodramatics Iowa early rock have a kind of white trash style. It's really rock with 2 backing singers. They give their all to extent blood running down lead singers face.

"This is one of our hits: beer gut"... Of course it's the Onyas - A tight 3 piece foot to the floor Aussie pub rock by blokes. By the end it's old men with their shirts off - for Macca and the copycat crowd.

Jeffrey Evans and CC Riders play many styles just what you'd expect from a Memphis outfit. Styles include  old school rock and roll, singer songwriter balladry, swamp rock,  Hillbilly, Gospel, and mixed it all up. There was some loose guitar shit that sounded out of time in parts but still cool. It was an all star band is that featured Alicia trout on drums Talbot Adams on bass, and other guitarist whose name I did not catch. Jeffrey Evans was so grateful to play with them, saying "these people on stage make what I do  music", and they played a long set. By the end, someone in the back was yelling out "You suck! Go back to Mainstreet!" But for the tourists in the crowd  - they liked it.

I couldn't quite see Wizard Sleeve from Mobile Alabama  but to hear them it sounded like vocal punk with Sci Fi sounds.

Destruction Unit from Tempe in Arizona were yet more dudes on stage, and had space rock leanings, howling guitars and were punishingly loud. To their credit, they played like there's no tomorrow.

Cosmic Psychos end the evening with their brand of Aussie pub rock and roll. Intensity is high and it's blistering at every turn. Surely  it's what you'd expect for a band on the last show of their tour?

118. Cuntz, Buccanneer 29/9/2013

119. Louis Bee King, Leo Welsh, 29/9/2013
King Louie is the singer-songwriter extraordinaire who pulls the pace right back. Playing kick drum, and snare drum, both with his feet and a white Flying V, and singing, he delivers this brand of R & B/rock and roll with his bandmate from the Missing Monuments. After their set, he returns to the stage area to play a solo set, that includes a song about stinky cabbage, getting beaten up by a girl and classic hit: Jesus loves my one man band. It's trashy, dirty guitars with that hillbilly/gospel stomp beat and it's amazing that he does it on his own, and delivers so much soul along with it. Once finished, he introduced Leo Welsh who was going to play "some real blues"....

I'm told Leo Welsh is 81 years old. Playing a bright pink electric guitar with his own name on it, he plays blues standards along with a bassist and drummer. It was a fitting end to the highly charged Gonerfest: something reasonably stripped back, and quite obviously the roots of rock and roll.

120. King James and the Special Men, BJ's, Bywater, New Orleans, 30/9/2013
New Orleans R & B front bar band that features an upright piano, plays local dive bar on Monday nights. The place is full of drinkers who dance, and this is just another Monday night in the Bywater.