Tag Archives: Ramones

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A Raucous 40th-Anniversary Party at Music Hall of Williamsburg

December 1st, 2017

L.A.M.F. 4oth Anniversary – Music Hall of Williamsburg – November 30, 2017


There’s a lot of talk about how the Lower East Side is not same as it used to be. Hell, the name of The Bowery Presents hearkens back to the glory days of the late ’70s when a few bands set the town—and the world—ablaze with a new kind of fury that hadn’t been witnessed before. Bands like Ramones, Television and the Patti Smith Group all turned rock and roll in on itself, showing how bloated it had become. This new class would behead bands with 100-piece drum kits and 15-minute flute-driven epics about mystical creatures to bring the genre back to its sneering basics. Punk made the Bowery famous worldwide, and one of its hometown heroes was Johnny Thunders and his band the Heartbreakers. With their seminal trash-rock opus, L.A.M.F., Thunders and his band were probably the most rock and roll out of any of the ’77 class. They stuck to the same basics that had been taught to millions by Chuck Berry while adding some of the era’s reckless abandon. (The band also took advantage of their junk-saturated environment more than their peers, and Thunders passed away in 1991.)

Last year, keeper of the NYC rock flame, Jesse Malin, assembled an all-star tribute to play the L.A.M.F. record in full. Needless to say it was a boozed-up blast. This year marks the album’s 40th anniversary and they pulled out all the stops to do it again at a sold-out Music Hall of Williamsburg last night. With a lineup of original Heartbreaker guitarist Walter Lure, Blondie drummer Clem Burke, Sex Pistols bassist Glen Matlock and Social Distortion singer-guitarist Mike Ness, the band ripped through the full LP, trading off vocal duties throughout. Malin (who also opened the show) joined them for a few numbers but seemed to know his place and cleared the stage so these punk legends could hold court.

The band was loose and some numbers ended in charmingly sloppy ways. You could tell this was getting Burke a little agitated, but in defense of the Heartbreakers’ reckless spirit, Ness said that no one cared if the songs came out perfect. The band left the stage once they completed the album and came back to do an encore of Heartbreakers rarities and even a couple of Thunders solo tunes. Malin returned to sing “You Can’t Put Your Arms Around a Memory,” from So Alone, and Ness took on that album’s slow-brooding title track immediately afterward. The show ended with Lure singing the Heartbreakers song “Too Much Junky Business.” It was a great night that transported everyone to a more dangerous and unpredictable era of rock and roll. —Pat King | @MrPatKing

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Bleached Reveal a Matured Sound at Music Hall of Williamsburg

April 12th, 2016

Bleached – Music Hall of Williamsburg – April 11, 2016

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Growing up in California’s San Fernando Valley, sisters Jennifer and Jessie Clavin honed their punk-rock roots at the all-ages DIY venue the Smell. After their all-girl punk group, Mika Miko, disbanded, they resolved to continue their musical collaboration as Bleached, and for their sophomore effort, Welcome the Worms, they escaped to Joshua Tree with famed producer Joe Chiccarelli (Morrissey, the Strokes). Jennifer was recovering from a toxic relationship and Jessie had been evicted from her house. Channeling personal dysfunction, the sisters and bassist Micayla Grace crafted an emotionally charged record full of narratives about broken romances and the vapid Los Angeles scene. Although their foundation is laid firmly in garage rock, Chiccarelli’s production drew out confident melodies that harken back to the Shangri-Las.

Kicking off the week at Music Hall of Williamsburg, the Left Coasters arrived with microphone stands and drum kit adorned with daisies. The ladies rattled off a few from their recent album with the help from touring drummer Nick Pillot. The night was in full throttle with “Keep On Keepin’ On,” while Jen needed to do little coaxing for the crowd to dance along to the thrashing “Sleepwalking.” Stalwart fans were rewarded with oldie but goodie “Searching Through the Past” and the distortion-heavy B-side “Electric Chair.” As if digging into their catalog weren’t enough, the girls covered the Ramones“Today Your Love, Tomorrow the World” in true punk-rock fashion.

There’s a resemblance to fellow Californians Best Coast on “Think of You,” but listening to new material like “Sour Candy,” their sound has matured under Chiccarelli’s guidance. There’s no doubt the ladies have stage presence. As Pillot jumped in for a crowd-surfing session, Jen didn’t skip a beat, taking over on the drums for set-closer “Dead in Your Head.” To fully culminate the evening, Zoe Reign, lead singer of the opener, No Parents, joined Bleached for an encore, in which they covered the classic Misfits horror-punk jam, “Hybrid Moments.” —Sharlene Chiu

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Catch the LAMC Indie Showcase Tonight at Mercury Lounge

July 9th, 2014

The 2014 Latin Alternative Music Conference, which brings Latin music to a wider audience, kicked off yesterday, and it continues tonight at Mercury Lounge in full effect with a deep lineup. The psychedelic five-piece El Mató a un Policía (above, performing Mas o Menos Bien), out of La Plata, Argentina, combine raw punk with experimental noise rock, like the Ramones crossed with Sonic Youth. Uruguayan electronic band Santé Les Amis make bouncy music with catchy melodies—and they make their U.S. debut here. Singer-songwriter Caloncho is a study in folk music, and he employs nontraditional instruments. Danay Suarez, straight out of Havana, proves that hip-hop is worldwide, and it goes even where American diplomatic relations do not. Venezuelan trio Los Crema Paraiso mash up their country’s traditional music with funk, jazz, rock and electronica. And the Chilean singer-songwriter Me Llamo (Sebastián) is known for his melodious voice. All in all, it’s a show not to miss.

 

 

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Two Chances to See Howler Play Live

May 13th, 2014

Jordan Gatesmith (vocals and guitar) had been a part of a variety of other bands that didn’t stick together before he and a friend (who has since departed) formed Howler in 2010. Now rounded out by Rory MacMurdo (drums), Ian Nygaard (guitar) and Max Petrek (bass and keys), they play the kind of fuzzy guitar pop that calls to mind the likes of the Ramones, the Buzzcocks and the Strokes. After getting signed overseas, by Rough Trade, the Minneapolis group began to make waves in Europe—NME named them one of best new bands of 2011. Howler (above, performing “Indictment” live in studio for Radio K) then began to gain attention in the U.S. following the release of their debut, America Give Up (stream it below), in 2012. The A.V. Club says the album “practically glows with youthful energy” and that it’s “about woo-oo-oo choruses and fuzz-laden, spiky guitar chords, and there’s nothing wrong with that.” The band’s follow-up, World of Joy (stream it below), arrived earlier this spring. And NME remains a fan: “The difference between this record and its predecessor, however, is akin to the difference between a young athlete with plenty of potential but little nous or experience, and that same athlete after a couple of years of intensive self-improvement: Everything is that much bigger, faster, smarter and stronger. Tearing through its 10 songs in a shade under 28 minutes, World of Joy sounds like a band straining themselves to top a personal best. Happily, they’ve managed it.” See them tonight at Rough Trade NYC or tomorrow at Mercury Lounge.