Friday, May 19, 2017

Bash & Pop @ The Bell House AKA The Night Tim Kaine Came to Town with Tommy Stinson

Bash & Pop; Jason Loewenstein Band
@ The Bell House
Brooklyn, NY - May 19, 2017

Tommy Stinson recently reformed his brief mid-90's Replacements-"hiatus" project Bash & Pop, with notable help from, among many worthy others, Steve Selvidge, once of Lucero and more recently of the Hold Steady, thereby establishing a firm Minnesota connection between two iconic bands if you're into the whole iconic punk-inspired bands from Minneapolis spanning a bridge of 20 years type thing.

Last year, when the fate of the Republic seemed assured, it came out, as an unexpected delight, that the Democratic Party Vice-Presidential nominee, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia, kept his birthplace of Minnesota in his heart by telling the world (in a way) once upon a time that his favorite album was Let It Be of the above mentioned Replacements.

After the Calamity which appears to have fallen, maybe, said Republic, Tommy Stinson investigated this claim and found it to be true. The fellas recently jammed together down in the Commonwealth.

So it had to be on this night, with Tommy sending the word out early on the social media, that the good Senator would be present and he was, breaking out the harp with Bash & Pop upon them taking the stage, with crucial help from a local boy done good, Jesse Malin to sing Woody Guthrie's "This Land is Your Land". They got everyone together right off to say a few things: first, to mourn the loss of Chris Cornell, a blow so hurtful one cannot dwell upon it much now here except to acknowledge the loss; second, to recognize that the man on stage in this extremely stunningly surprisingly intimate setting even by the standards of the Bell House, that if all things were right, should be the one on call to lead the whole damn civilization if unfortunately need be and who would have, in absence of that, ably assisted in shepherding the ship of state; third to celebrate said man's daughter graduating from a local institution of higher learning; and fourth and not least, to recognize that Woody Guthrie of Oklahoma wrote that truest of true songs "This Land is Your Land" but did it not out of Oklahoma but here in Brooklyn.

And if that wasn't enough, Tommy led his Bash & Pop after that through a pulverizing set of rock n roll glory.

And if that also wasn't enough, witness Tommy rally the audience post-set, after piss-break, to look you in the eye and say "we're not done yet!" and then storm the top of the front bar to do an acoustic number, then walk back, bump into the Senator who insisted their respective daughters meet each other and then it's the Senator who sticks around for pictures and handshakes, overwhelmed by the love and support from the intimate crowd, while the non-rock-star-rock-star goes back to the dressing room.

And it happened in Brooklyn.

Which is to say it happened on this planet Earth. For as immense and staggering you may think the world is, you will occasionally get a reminder like this that there are only so many people who are or have been. And whatever perceptions one may have of roles and one's place in the grand scheme of things, remember: it is one beautiful little blue and green ball in a vast universe and you never know when the state of everything and the state of a little old thing called punk rock n roll may become entwined. And all you have to do is nod your head, drink it all in, and remember you were there.

Jason Loewenstein of Replacements-peers Sebadoh (which is to say pal of Lou Barlow, member of legendary Dinosaur Jr) led his band in an opening alt-rock set of some renown it must be said.

Sunday, April 09, 2017

U.K. Subs @ Berlin

U.K. Subs; Riots; Scene of Irony
@ Berlin
New York, NY - April 8, 2017

Charlie Harper brought his modus operandi to NYC and delivered as expected, highlights being of course "Stranglehold", "Tomorrow's Girls" and "Warhead", not to mention "New York State Police".

Riots are a hardcore band out of Oslo and the lead singer has the decency to wear an FC St. Pauli hat, emblem of the most important sport organization in the world, especially in these trying times.

Scene of Irony are veterans out of St. Louis and their lead singer had the audacity to wear a real swingin' suit replete with patches of great bands of yore, including the headlining act this very night. Their hard whippersnaps of sound culminated in a cover of Suicidal Tendencies' "Institutionalized".

Crowd was classic, all sizes, shapes and shades, and legitimate. Punk lives...?

Early 2017

Nikki Lane - Jackpot
Sleaford Mods - TCR
Split Single - Untry Love
Chuck Prophet - Bobby Fuller Died for Your Sins
Japandroids - Near to the Wild Heart of Life
Son Volt - Back Against the Wall
Iggy Pop - Gold
Red Hot Chili Peppers - Go Robot
Sam Roberts - Lake Effect
Alex Lahey - Wes Anderson
Ryan Adams - Do You Still Love Me
Scott H. Biram - Long Old Time
Surfer Blood - Matter of Time
Dude York - Black Jack
Ron Gallo - Young Lady, You're Scaring Me
Karen Elson - Distant Shore
Laura Marling - Wild Fire
The Pooches - Another Evening, Another Town
Nouvelle Vague - I Wanna Be Sedated
Tickle Torture - Full Court Press
decker - The Holy Ghost
Conor Oberst - A Little Uncanny
Kevin Morby - Beautiful Strangers
Lee Fields & The Expressions - Make the World Better
Geowulf - Saltwater
The Weeks - Talk Like That
ahem - Honeybee
Hiccup - Teasin'
Honeyblood - Ready for the Magic
Preoccupations - Stimulation
Hippo Campus - Way It Goes (live)
Mexican Institute of Sound + Toy Selectah - Crazy Conscious
Chicano Batman - Friendship (Is A Small Boat In A Storm)
Paper Kites - Electric Indigo
Metal Haven - Hater
Alejandro Escovedo - Heartbeat Smile
4th Curtis - Chick
Tennis - My Emotions are Blinding
White Lies - Morning in LA
Strand of Oaks - Radio Kids
Jens Lekman - Evening Prayer
Hiss Golden Messenger - Biloxi
Hanni El Khatib - Paralyzed
Minus the Bear - Last Kiss
Angelic Milk - Rebel Black
NxWorries - Scared Money
'The Courtneys - Silver Velvet
Bread & Butter - Desperation
Holidae - Darkest Shade
Gringo Starr - Get Closer
The Frightnrs - Nothing More to Say
Cage the Elephant - Cold Cold Cold
Joyce Manor - Fake ID
Aimee Mann - Patient Zero
Farewell Milwaukee - Hurt No More
Goldfrapp - Anymore
Los Campesinos! - 5 Flucloxacillin
Lady Wray - Do It Again
The Olympians - Sirens of Jupiter
Gavin Turek - Good Look for You
Allah Lahs - Hereafter
Hazel English - Make It Better

Scott H. Biram - The Bad Testament
Ryan Adams - Prisoner
Japandroids - Near to the Wild Heart of Life
Craig Finn - We All Want the Same Things

Friday, March 31, 2017

Boss Hog @ Mercury Lounge

Boss Hog
@ Mercury Lounge
New York, NY - March 30, 2017

Boss Hog has never felt like a side project of Jon Spencer but rather more of an occasional concern for the dynamic and compelling Christina Martinez. But as their sound has trounced its way over the last couple of decades, Boss Hog now sounds more blues than BLUES EXPLOSION ever has. And those decades matter. Boss Hog still represents that gritty fantasy of an alternate New York 90's, smarts and sex and all those other little bits of badassery which are as natural and steady to this husband and wife duo as hydrogen is to the Universe.

And they know it. Wait a while for a Boss Hog record? No problem. A short tour? Sure. A 45 minute set? Why not? Leave 'em wantin' more for another few years.

Side question: why was the one refrain prerecorded on the best song of the night?

Surfbort are classical in the hardcore sense, short snaps of melodic noise fronted by a wonderfully awkward gangly spastic goofy woman.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Cock Sparrer; Street Dogs @ Warsaw

Cock Sparrer; Street Dogs
@ Warsaw
Brooklyn, NY - February 11, 2017

Cock Sparrer exist in something like an alternate dimension. They are less well known by long miles than the foundational punk bands of the mid and late 1970's but the ones who do know them worship them as perhaps the greatest band in the world and - not unlike the Sex Pistols - that's really truly based on one album, Shock Troops. Once someone hears that record, they fall into it and never escape. But if that doesn't happen, a punk fan may only hear of the band on the periphery of the genre, skirting the edges of their existence like one may skirt the rim of a black hole, never crossing over into the pull of the immense gravity.

Looking every bit their early 60's as British punks of their time would, these iconic working class blokes recapture the youth and vigor of their songs and maintain their creed of being away from the fray of image and clannishness that plagued and haunted their peers over 30 years ago. This isn't to say that there is a grand indifference. There is just enough, especially these days, to merit a small affiliation for what's good and right to keep in your pocket for yourself, a soundtrack for action, even if this part of the action is getting together with friends and keeping yourself sane with a good time. There is a reason "We're Coming Back" is the show closer.

Of all the songs from Shock Troops and their larger body of work, the one that may speak best for these days is the one they kicked the night off with - "Riot Squad". A brilliantly written story of a small time hood who failed at being a big time hood so decided to join the police for the most cynical and sociopathic of reasons, Cock Sparrer, in just a few minutes back a few decades ago, uttered a warning and reminder of how quickly our lives can get away from us so keep your guard up. As lead singer Colin McFaull said at the end of the night - "stay safe and love each other".

Street Dogs have been Mike McColgan's going concern for 15 years now and the Dropkick Murphys' founding singer still rallies the crowd with his forthrightness and soul. I don't know who the hardcore guy was who came up from the crowd for one song, if anyone knows, leave a comment.

Saturday, January 07, 2017

Squirrel Nut Zippers; Davina and the Vagabonds @ Highline Ballroom

Squirrel Nut Zippers; Davina and the Vagabonds
@ Highline Ballroom
New York, NY - January 7, 2017

It was a frozen wasteland outside but Hot as "Hell" inside (sorry) as Jimbo Mathus brought a reignited Squirrel Nut Zippers to New York City in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the hit album. "Put a Lid on It" and "Hell" led the many beloved fables from Hot, but this now New Orleans based outfit (with help from a local vocalist - name please if you read this and know) also delved into later classics like "Ghost of Stephen Foster" and "Suits are Picking Up the Bill" and also showcased some new tunes for a new record which, if the talents of the current brass (and everything else) are anything to go by, will be just fine. Or perhaps one is already being brainwashed by Jimbo's personal physician and fiddle/saw player, Dr. Sick.

Meanwhile, SQZ nearly got one-upped (or four-upped) and had the show dang near completely stolen from them by opening act Davina and the Vagabonds. A fitting compliment with their own smashing way with Dixieland Jazz, these Twin Cities mischief makers led by the compelling and hypnotic Davina Sowers also work up Soul and Rhythm and Blues with panache and depth.

Monday, December 26, 2016

The Top 25 Songs of 2016

25: Wons Phreely - Stars (feat. The Horses)
24: Basia Bulat - Infamous
23: Seatones - Chandelier
22: M. Ward - Girl from Canejo Valley
21: Beach Slang - Punks in a Disco Bar
20: Bob Mould - Voices in My Head
19: Barrence Whitfield and the Savages - I'm a Full Grown Man
18: Sleepwalkers - Run Right Back
17: Bad Bad Hats - Shame
16: Thunderbitch - Eastside Party
15: TacocaT - The Internet
14: Rogue Wave - California Bride
13: John Doe - Go Baby Go (ft. Debbie Harry)
12: Kristin Kontrol - Show Me
11: Weaves - Tick
10: Joseph - White Flah
9: Laura Stevenson - Torch Song
8: Caveman - Never Going Back Again
7: Fast Romantics - Julia
6: Little Scream - Love as a Weapon
5: The Jungle Giants - Skin to Bone
4: The I Don't Cares - King of America
3: TacocaT - I Hate the Weekend
2: toyGuitar - Is It True?
1: Bleached - I'm All Over the Place (Mystic Mama)

Autumn and the Rest of 2016

Geowulf - Saltwater
Joyce Manor - Fake I.D.
Decker - Holy Ghost
Farewell Milwaukee - Hurt No More/Figure You Out
Leonard Cohen - You Want It Darker/Seemed a Better Way
The Frightnrs - Nothing More to Say
Tickle Torture - Full Court Press
Lee Field & the Expressions - Make the World
Norah Jones - Carry On
Ahem - Honeybee
Bleached - I'm All Over the Place (Mystic Mama)
Holidae - Darkest Shade
Sleepwalkers - Run Right Back
TacocaT - The Internet
C.W. Stoneking - Jungle Swing
Kristin Kontrol - Show Me
Weaves - One More
Joseph - White Flag
Angel Olson - Shut Up Kiss Me
Honeyblood - Ready for Magic
Alice Bag - Programmed
Preoccupations -  Stimulation
Mr. Little Jeans - Stitches
Bread & Butter - Desperation
Middle Kids - Edge of Town
STRFKR - Open Your Eyes
The Pretenders - Holy Commotion
Field Mouse - The Order of Things
American Wrestlers - Give Up
Kristin Kontrol - Show Me
Sam Vicari - Contact High
Terry Malts - Seen Everything
Tres Leches - Get Off
Haley Bonar - Called You Queen
The Persian Leaps - See Me Unaware
Van William - Revolution (ft. First Aid Kit)
Total Slacker - Olympus Hills
Sonny Knight and the Lakers - Sooner or Later/It Had to Change
NxWorries - Scared Money
Strand of Oaks - Radio Kids
Beach Slang - Punks in a Disco Bar
Kid Runner - Give Me Something to Love
Pixies - Um Chagga Lagga
The Pooches - Another Evening, Another Town
The Julie Ruin - I'm Done
Nick Waterhouse - It's Time
Billy Bragg and Joe Henry - Midnight Special
Tickle Torture - Full Court Press
Field Mouse - The Order of Things
Hot Hot Heat - Kid Who Stays in the Picture
John K. Samson - Post Doc Blues
Ethan Burns - 22 Knots
Seratones - Chandelier
Muddy Magnolias - Brother What Happened?
Elayna Boynton - Honey I Told You
The Heavy - Miss California
Conor Oberts - Tachycardia
Tift Merritt - Dusty Old Man
Jenny O - Cheer Up Free Your Mind

Leonard Cohen - You Want It Darker
The Frightnrs - Nothing More to Say 
Norah Jones - Day Breaks
Joyce Manor - Cody
The Heavy - The Hurt and the Merciless
Haley Bonar -Impossible Dream
Caveman -Otero War
C.W. Stoneking - Gon' Boogaloo

Sunday, November 06, 2016

Elvis Costello and the Impostors @ Beacon Theater

Elvis Costello and the Impostors
@ Beacon Theater
New York, NY - November 6, 2016

Elvis Costello brought the Impostors and some snazzy vocalists to dress up his remembrance of his Imperial Bedroom record of many years ago. In between the songs of that album, he called up a decent amount of work outside of it. Like at his solo detour show of a month ago, Elvis fixed up "Watching the Detectives" with a background of fantastic film noir posters and he again played songs from the Face in the Crowd musical he's been working on and from another Bacharach collaboration long hoped for a production. 

For some, Imperial Bedroom is not an easily loved album like many of its predecessors and what has come after. Furthermore the acoustics of the Beacon can pose a challenge to just about anyone not doing a purely acoustic set. Yet Elvis and the gang found a way to make it all work, always driven by the immaculate articulate vision of the man himself.

Sunday, October 02, 2016

Elvis Costello @ Town Hall

Elvis Costello; Larkin Poe
@ Town Hall
New York, NY - October 1, 2016

Elvis Costello took a "detour" from his Impostors-run for a solo show shaped in great part by his book events last year and the work on an upcoming musical of some note. With a theatrical giant mock old TV set onstage playing videos of yore and family photos (as well as the amazing footage of his dad performing "If I Had a Hammer"), Costello played from a variety of records including his work with Mr. Toussaint, a swingin' version of "Blame It on Cain", and a deliriously haunting piano rendition of "Deep Dark Truthful Mirror". He further played songs from a musical he's helping to put together, an adaptation of the perfect and prescient film, A Face in the Crowd. On these and some others (including "What's So Funny?), he was aided by his opening act, the dynamic young sister duo out of Atlanta, Larkin Poe, who themselves ginned up a set of stompin' blues rock, a form of music that always needs a good kick in the pants every half a decade.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Summer 2016

Bleached - I'm All Over the Place (Mystic Mama)
Sleepwalkers - Run Right Back
TacocaT - The Internet
Kristin Kontrol - Show Me
Weaves - One More
Joseph - White Flag
Angel Olson - Shut Up Kiss Me
Alice Bag - Programmed
Haley Bonar - Figure You Out
Farewell Milwaukee - Figure You Out
Caveman - Never Going Back Again
Grant-Lee Phillips - Rolling Pin
John Doe - Go Baby Go (ft. Debbie Harry)
Esmé Patterson - Feel Right
Blind Pilot - Umpqua Rushing
Hanni El Khatib - Miracle
Total Slacker - Olympus Hills
Beach Slang - Punks in a Disco Bar
Kid Runner - Give Me Something to Love
Whitney - No Matter Where You Go
Pixies - Um Chagga Lagga
Wons Phreely - Stars (ft. the Horses)
The Julie Ruin - I'm Done
Nick Waterhouse - It's Time
Tickle Torture - Full Court Press
Sharon Van Etten - Not Myself
Rogue Wave - California Bride
Field Mouse - The Order of Things
Hot Hot Heat - Kid Who Stays in the Picture
The Sun Days - Don't Need to Be Them
John K. Samson - Post Doc Blues
Ethan Burns - 22 Knots
Seratones - Chandelier
Luke Bell - The Glory and the Grace
toyguitar - Is It True?
Little Scream - Love is a Weapon
The Persion Leaps - See Me Unaware
Deerhoof - Plastic Thrills
Jack Klatt - Forever is Over
Esme Patterson - No River
Middle Kids - Edge of Town
A Giant Dog - King Queen
Basia Bulat - Infamous
Peter Bjorn and John - Breakin' Point
FEA - Mujer Moderna
Leyya - Butter 
The Honeydogs - Devices
Laura Gibson - The Cause
Gaby Moreno - Se Apagó (Love Is Gone)
Margaret Glaspy - Somebody to Anybody
Fly Moon Royalty - Grown Man
My Morning Jacket - One Big Holiday
Beth Orton - 1973
TacocaT - I Hate the Weekend
The Big Pink - Hightimes
Holidae - Burnin' Up
Matthew Logan Vasquez - Personal
STRFKR - Never Ever
Mass Gothic - Every Night You've Got to Save Me
Iggy Pop - Gardenia
Sonny Knight and the Lakers - Where Did You Sleep Last Night?
Allen Toussaint - Delores' Boyfriend
The Heavy - Miss California
Martha - Goldman's Detective Agency
Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings - I'm Still Here
Los Cafres - Hace Falta
Quantic Presenta Flowering Inferno - A Life Worth Living (feat. U-Roy & Alice Russel)

Weaves - Weaves
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds -  Skeleton Tree
Haley Bonar - Impossible Dream
The Yawpers - Better Than Before

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Patti Smith @ Congregation Beth Elohim (Brooklyn by the Book festival)

Patti Smith
@ Congregation Beth Elohim
Brooklyn, NY - September 15, 2016

Featuring readings of new passages from her latest memoir, M Train, Patti Smith, in a manner befitting her historical presence and age, is staring down the prospect of time but meeting it with the gusto and power one would expect of her. In other words, she's thinking about death and detective TV shows (most especially The Killing).

Interspersed with the readings and fantastical digressions was something of a proper acoustic gig, meaning one Lenny Kaye was on hand to assist. After an initial reading of her pondering following the passing of Lou Reed, the duo played a chilling, goosebumping cover of "Pale Blue Eyes", reverberating around the temple. Later came "Beneath the Southern Cross" and "Dancing Barefoot". At the finale, the Chicago-born, Philly and Jersey raised, New York City Living, Detroit-dipped Icon of a myriad of American energies played that gem that she said was in honor of her late husband, Fred "Sonic" Smith, and of course was initially assembled by another American rock sage, the Boss of them all, who himself, like many of his peers, finally picked up the pen recently to reflect on this fleeting vestige of existence - "Because the Night".

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Femi Kuti; Bombino @ Prospect Park

Femi Kuti; Bombino
@ Prospect Park
Brooklyn, NY - July 23, 2016

Afrobeat returned to NYC with a rapturous performance by Femi Kuti whose work (and whose father's work and whose brother's work) became known to me one night in a 2007 performance by his brother Seun at S.O.B.'s. And look who showed up. Seun.

Bombino's sound, well serviced by a Dan Auerbach produced record a few years ago, was a ripe opener.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

The Yawpers @ American Beauty NYC

The Yawpers; Falling Bird; U.S. Americans
@ American Beauty NYC
New York, NY - July 15, 2016

Despite a horribly chatty crowd and lots of old people using their cell phones, the Yawpers came to New York and nearly melted this writer's face off with their relentless stomping rough acoustic metal country punk rock n roll. The first people I've ever known to actually come from Denver, the Yawpers sounded to me like they would have a dobro and an electric guitar in their arsenal but they are but two acoustic guitars, one with a vicious slide, and a set of drums and this was all they needed to drive home their points.
So perhaps the misplaced crowd in this misfit bar (an Americana bar with sports in the front, free pizza, White Stripes all over the "juke", perhaps the owners remembering like I had forgotten that this was the site of a club once called Rebel which ten years ago hosted a killer CMJ set of the Mooney Suzuki, Willowz,  and two short lived successes called the Changes and the Dansettes) were fitting for this misfit band who did exactly what all the experts say one should do - play Motorhead's "Ace of Spades" with acoustic guitar. Rock n roll may never be further in its spectrum then from Blues to Metal. But somehow through country music, there's been a way to chain it all together and the Yawpers are doing it grandly.

Falling Birds are guitar-drum duo (sounds right) out of Brooklyn. Occasionally dabbled in pop-punk, which I didn't see coming.

Caught the last five seconds of U.S. Americans, seemed they could have been good but the bass player dressed as a Pokemon made me OK with missing the set.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Spring 2016

Bleached - I'm All Over the Place (Mystic Mama)
The I Don't Cares - King of America
Toyguitar - Is It True?
TacocaT - I Hate the Weekend
Little Scream - Love as a Weapon
Rouge Wave - California Bride
John Doe - Go Baby Go (featuring Debbie Harry)
Caveman - Never Going Back Again
Bad Bad Hats - Shame
Tom Waits - John the Relevator
Hippo Campus - South 
Fast Romantics - Julia
Thunderbitch - Eastside Party
The Honeydogs - Devices
Basia Bulat - Infamous
Iggy Pop - Gardenia
Seratones - Chandelier
M. Ward - Girl from Conejo Valley
The Cactus Blossoms - Stoplight Kisses
School of Seven Bells - Open Your Eyes
The James Hunter Six - Something's Calling
Wons Freely - Stars (featuring the Horses)
Margo Price - Hurtin' (on the Bottle)
Le Matos - No Tomorrow
Violent Femmes - Memories
Matthew Logan Vasquez - Personal
Bleached - Wednesday Night Melody
The Echocentrics - Staring at the Ceiling (feat. James Petralli)
Naked Giants - Easy Eating
Kitten Forever - 200X
PJ Harvey - The Wheel
Jack Klatt - Forever is Over
STRFKR - Never Ever
Barry Adamson - Texas Crash
Holidae - Burnin' Up
Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals - Call It What It Is
Soul Asylum - Doomsday
Night Moves - Carl Sagan
The Posies - Unlikely Places
Leyya - Butter
SWMRS - Drive North
A Giant Dog - King Queen
Whitney - No Matter Where You Go
Nothing - Vertigo Flowers
My Morning Jacket - One Big Holiday

The I Don't Cares - Wild Stab
Toyguitar - In This Mess
Iggy Pop - Post Pop Depression
M. Ward - More Rain
The James Hunter Six - Hold On!
Bleached - Welcome the Worms

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Giuda @ Grand Victory

Giuda; Babyshakes; Brooklyn Bluebirds
@ Grand Victory
Brooklyn, NY - June 13, 2016

A city of millions of people in a world of billions leads one to think that any coincidences are of such randomly small probability that they stand out. But when you consider the possibly infinite size of everything then it is a little less surprising. One could wonder about the odds that a year after this hack discovered Cock Sparrer that 4 attendees of this gig wore t-shirts of that band as one did at the Avengers show when I was last here in April, but these can be traced to that band's appearance in Asbury Park over the weekend (but speaks to the power of that band, a discovery this hack made not long before discovering the headlining act tonight, both on the old website Brooklyn Vegan, to give credit where it is due). And one could wonder at the odds of seeing a musical idol in attendance while this hack stood awkwardly nearby wearing a t-shirt of said idol's own idol (Finn; 'Mats). But these are not so much cosmic coincidences as another universal truth:

Rock n roll is family. It's smaller than at any time since it's birth and that makes it a true family.

The family came together to see Rome's greatest triumph since the Pax Romana, or at least since the Bicycle Thief, the glam punk lads called Giuda. In a stunningly perfect set (these are not sloppy no-future punks but rather precise musical talents, professionals even), the band blasted through their still short discography, making stops at recent gem "Roll the Balls" as well as "Working Class Man", "Wild Tiger Woman", and "Get That Goal" (a fitting one for sure as the Azzurri handled Belgium well during the Euros earlier in the day) as well as doing immense service by Elton's "Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting", marking perhaps the first time there was ever crowd surfing during one of Reg's songs. As this club's short history soon comes to a close (at least at this location), it will have given witness to one of the best sets of rock n roll music dished out in this time in a long, long time - a classic to be remembered.

Local darlings Babyshakes played for about 15 minutes but those were 15 beautiful minutes - salvos of garage punk-pop in all the finest measures. Please play a lot all over town all the time.

The Brooklyn Bluebirds appear to feature the same noticeable big man in the front as I've noticed here in the past with another band (The Stalkers; I think the dude works at this place) but this time he was part of a collective doing 50's classics. No irony, no punk or garage take. Straight redux of "Duke of Earl" and all the others of that fine ilk. Not sure if this makes one feel old or righteous or both.