Friday, May 31, 2013

The Dicators NYC; Deniz Tek; The Fleshtones; Livids @ The Bowery Electric

The Dicators NYC; Deniz Tek; The Fleshtones; Livids
@ The Bowery Electric
May 30, 2013 - New York, NY

The Dictators NYC, more or less Manitoba, more or less the Dictators, AKA Handsome Dick Manitoba and some skilled cats (the likes of which include of course Ross The Boss of Westchester and Dean Rispler) have not only brought back/resumed/carried on their punk goofball ways, they're doing it in the theme of half-nostalgia/half-Jane-Jacobs of Punk New York. "Avenue A" addresses this outright but in hindsight their greatest song, "New York, New York", now rings with a cultural immediacy - and yes you just read "cultural immedicacy". That's punk, no?

It's nice to see Deniz Tek play before a crowd (last time, a storm kept the people away). Still backed by those creepy (that's a compliment) twins, and equipped with a new record, Tek blasted through some classics (including "Aloha Steve and Danno)" before wrapping up with blues harpist D. Longlegs, who was so good I earnestly belted out "Sheeeeeeeeeiiiiiiiiit".

Well it only took my whole life but hey I finally saw the Fleshtones. They were good. "Pretty Pretty Pretty" makes for a nice companion to "New York, New York". Brooklyn and Bronx native anthems of fun-tinged despair. Heyyyyyy.....

Seeing Livids for the third time in as many months, I can now sing along to the noises that come out of E. Davidson's mouth (I'm told they are "lyrics"). It's fun to see the leader of the New Bomb Turks run around with a band that people don't know much of and are the young whippersnappers of the day, but it speaks to the ongoing fun & fury of this music. Also, if you take what Handsome Dick said to heart, if you take a look at the crowd, and the neighborhood, you might very well decide these are indeed the final years of a time gone by. But damn if Livids aren't reminding us that it can still go go go.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

The Sonic Parthenon Show – Episode 81: “The Voyager 3 Project, Volume 2 – Talk in ‘81”

The Sonic Parthenon Show – Episode 81: “The Voyager 3 Project, Volume 2 – Talk in ‘81”

“For Those About to Rock (We Salute You)” by AC/DC

Set 1
“We Want the Airwaves” by the Ramones
“It’s Who You Know” by X
“Marie, Marie” by the Blasters
“Six Pack” by Black Flag
“That’s When I Reach for my Revolver” by Mission of Burma

Set 2
“Hang Fire” by the Rolling Stones
“Rock This Town” by the Stray Cats
“I Love Rock n’ Roll” by Joan Jett & the Blackhearts
“Shake It Up” by the Cars

Set 3
“Over the Mountain” by Ozzy Osbourne
“Live Wire” by Motley Crue
“Burning for You” by Hall & Oates
“Limelight” by Rush

Set 4
“Superfreak” by Rick James
“Private Eyes” by Hall & Oates
“Dancing With Myself” by Billy Idol
“Freeze Frame” by J Geils Band

Set 5
“Jessie’s Girl” by Rick Springfield
“Working for the Weekend” by Loverboy
“Down Under” by Men at Work
“Bette Davis Eyes” by Kim Carnes
“Kids in America” by Kim Wilde

Set 6
“I’m in Trouble” by the Replacements
“Headbanger” by the Plasmatics
“Spasticus (Autisticus)” by Ian Dury
“Nick the Stripper” by the Birthday Party

Set 7
“Pretty in Pink” by the Psychedelic Furs
“Through Being Cool” by Devo
“Call Box (1-2-3)” by Wall of Voodoo
“Sex Beat” by Gun Club
“Genius of Love” by Tom Tom Club

“Every Grain of Sand” by Bob Dylan

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The National @ Sycamore

The National
@ Sycamore
Brooklyn, NY - May 21, 2013

The National have always been and always will be a serious band making serious music that to most ears does not sound like anything to do with raw, pure rock n' roll. Having been called "chamber pop" in the past, being tied to classical and avant garde artists and events, and just having a somber disposition in most of their songs would appear to relegate them from what we think of as a rock band. But never you mind, hoss. This is a rock band. These guys have always had the spirit and vigor of a rock band. Not only they can belt it out like madmen, not only do they do tribute to videos to wild, loud Soviet rebel punk rock, they do things likes this:

A sudden free midday show in their neighborhood bar to celebrate the release of their new record today. Then they are playing a contest-only ticketed show at 5PM and then playing a set at the best small venue in town at 10PM. These are the kinds of things done by rock bands who like to have fun with what they do.

Playing  songs from Trouble Will Find Me (and one furious edition of "Bloodbuzz, Ohio"), the National were not just relaxed and happy playing their Ditmas Park watering hole (Hi neighbor!), they were empowered by it. They were in their element. And it offered a great perspective to how it will be in a couple of weeks when they headline the Barclays Center. Unlike some other bands that are "from Brooklyn", these guys have really made it their home. And we're benefiting from that.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

The Sonic Parthenon Show – Episode 80: “Work Out”

The Sonic Parthenon Show – Episode 80: “Work Out”

“Work Out” by the Fondas

Set 1
“Wreckin’ Bar (Ra Ra Ra)” by the Vaccines
“Speaking in Tongues” by Eagles of Death Metal
“Gentlemen’s Blues” by the Fucking Eagles
“T.V. Eye” by the Stooges
“Holiday in Cambodia” by the Dead Kennedys

Set 2
“Next Big Thing” by the Dictators
“I Just Want to Have Something to Do” by the Ramones
“Get It On” by Turbonegro
“Pick a Fight” by Broncho
“I Come from the Mountain” by Thee Oh Sees

Set 3
“How You Like Me Now?” by the Heavy
“No More Mr. Nice Guy” by Alice Cooper
“Rise Above” by Black Flag
“Rock and Roll Evacutaion” by Electric Six
“Where Have All the Boot Boys Gone?” by Slaughter & the Dogs

Set 4
"That's the Way I Wanna Rock n' Roll" by AC/DC
“Shot in the Dark” by Ozzy Osbourne
“Gates of Steel” by Devo
“What You Need” by INXS
“A Million Miles Away” by the Plimsouls
“Get Out of My Dreams, Get Into My Car” by Billy Ocean

Set 5
“Dance Floor” by Apples in Stereo
“Papillon” by Editors
“Too Fake” by Hockey
“Commotion” by the Hundred in the Hands
“Lights Out” by Santigold

“Grip Like a Vice” by the Go! Team

Turbonegro @ Irving Plaza

Turbonegro; Dirty Fences
@ Irving Plaza
New York, NY - May 18, 2013

It was the first time for me at a chapter meeting of this strange Merchant Marines Union/Biker Club that appears to be fixed around a Norwegian punk band (fronted by a replacement chap from the UK who served as the fan club president over there...though you'd have thought this was the man at the top since Day 1) with a flair for the glam and the cabaret. I've heard the band's music over the years but it just never clicked at the right time because there was always too much else going on. Problem rectified after this show. Recalling AC/DC, Ramones, the Dictators, and everything else good and wholesome and wonderful, and playing in the glow of some neon thingy, this was, in the parlance of times gone by, "a show". This was a show.

Dirty Fences are a serviceable local act in the vein of all the bands listed above, with some arena rock thrown in.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

SOJA @ Webster Hall

SOJA; Nahko & Medicine for the People; Los Rakas
@ Webster Hall
New York, NY - May 17, 2013

What was I doing here? A friend with a big reggae flavor (see previous Matisyahu write-up) wanted some company so I obliged. I like the good classic reggae and ska of times gone by so this was not a major emotional sacrifice. Apart from the very white crowd throwing gang signs and gun gestures during the opening rap act who were about as threatening as tulips, there wasn't even much to be quizzical about. Major headliner SOJA - always struck by immensity of an act I've never heard before - seem to be the Coldplay of modern reggae and that's not meant to be an insult. Even being white boys with dreads didn't gross me out like it used to. Nahko & Medicine for the People are a straight up, emotions on the naked shirtless sleeve reggae from Hawaii, which makes for a conducive match of sounds. Talented musicians, nice hooks, California influenced, even the political messages were easy to digest. Openers Los Rakas were pleasant hispanic and african-american reggae rappers demonstrating the multicultural appeal of that sound made wonderful by the Dekkers and Drummonds and Marleys and Toshes of the world.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mudhoney; Pissed Jeans @ Music Hall of Williamsburg

Mudhoney; Pissed Jeans
@ Music Hall of Williamsburg
Brooklyn, NY - May 11, 2013

Not gonna front, as the kids say. I have never listened to much Mudhoney beyond frequent playings of "Touch Me, I'm Sick". If they play a radio station live and it's captured for posterity, I've probably heard it. So I know things, I know things. But I don't know enough to write here before you now in any sort of way that would make for an informed Mudhoney review (and pardon the narcissism of this piece heretofore, though thankfully it's nowhere near as bad as the faux-crusty fellow who stormed the stage three times in a quest to take a photograph of himself with the crowd behind him).

So what's here then is a capture of the feelings. And boy whatta feelin'. Smash bang straight up low brow gunky brown rock n roll courtesy of Mark Arm and his expert brothers in arms (sorry). Proto-grunge...insert rock n roll history here...something something...a great time. And no foolin'! This might technically count as the first time I've seen a grunge era grunge related band but that's irrelevant. Relevance! There's a word! And that's what's cooking in the music here. Maybe it's that Azzerad book weighing on me but when I think of Mudhoney I think of an uninterrupted stream of relevant rock n roll, genres and eras be damned. And the live show etches that in stone.

Pissed Jeans of Allentown, PA have been around for quite awhile now and about 5 or 6 years ago, they were buzzed as something of a vanguard of very noisy hardcore-grounded borderline-metal anew. Metz is now the band of taste in that regard but sure enough they run around with these Pennsylvania cats to show all these things remain together. So while it was a long sow before seeing Mudhoney, it was relatively seconds before finally seeing Pissed Jeans. The "we're mentally unwell and that subsidizes our music" element is mostly OK and it's part of the band's well-placed sense of humor. So it works.

Sunday, May 05, 2013

The Sonic Parthenon Show – Episode 79: “Talk in ‘79”

The Sonic Parthenon Show – Episode 79: “Talk in ‘79”

“Talk in ’79 by Phil Lynott”

Set 1
“Complete Control” by the Clash
“Problems” by the Sex Pistols
“If the Kids are United” by Sham 69
“Ready Steady Go” by Generation X

Set 2
“Lipstick Vogue” by Elvis Costello
“Without Love” by Nick Lowe
“Look Sharp!” by Joe Jackson
“I Hear You Knocking” by Dave Edmunds
“Gut Feeling (Slap Your Mmmy)” by Devo
“She’s So Modern” by the Boomtown Rats

Set 3
“Fade to Grey” by Visage
“Dancing with Tears in My Eyes” by Ultravox
“The Model” by Kraftwerk
“Solid State Survivor” by the Yellow Magic Orchestra
“Baby’s on Fire” by Brian Eno

Set 4
“Typical Girls” by the Slits
“Love You More” by the Buzzcocks
“Salome Maloney” by John Cooper Clarke
“Flowers of Romance” by Public Image Ltd.
“So Lonely” by the Police

Set 5
“Hot Patootie Bless My Soul” by the cast from the Rocky Horror Picture Show
“TV-Glotzer” by Nina Hagen Band
“Golden Brown” by the Stranglers

“Do Anything You Want To” by Thin Lizzy