Saturday, August 30, 2014

Perfect Pussy Played Asbury Lanes with Potty Mouth, 8/29/14 (PHOTOS)

Bring The Noise

One of the things I've been kicking myself over since going to Northside Festival in June is that I missed each of the several sets that Syracuse's Perfect Pussy played during that weekend. I was either too far away from whichever venue they were playing or just not in the mood to deal with the crowd that would turn out for such a talked about band. When I saw the announcement that Perfect Pussy would be coming to Asbury Lanes appear on my Facebook feed, I felt redeemed. I'd finally get to check out this band, and I'd get to do it at one of my favorite places.

I convinced CoolMom to join me for the evening. She wasn't necessarily sure that Perfect Pussy would be her thing. We had babysitting lined up, though; so she went with it.

I really like Perfect Pussy's debut LP, Say Yes to Love. I can see how it's not everyone's cup of tea. It's discordant. Lead singer Meredith Graves is almost inaudible above the din created by the band. It's 23 minutes long, and only about 17 minutes of that consists of what could be called actual songs. But I'm drawn to the album's aggression. It's a form of aggression, though, that's free from chest thumping violence. It's more like a geyser of rage and torment spewing from your speakers or headphones. The added physicality of the live show just turns everything up by several orders of magnitude.

Northampton, MA quartet Potty Mouth took the stage before Perfect Pussy. They did a short set featuring songs from their excellent debut LP Hell Bent. They've got a lo-fi pop, 90s-influenced sound that covers a lot of bases I really enjoy. Compared to Perfect Pussy, Potty Mouth's songs are pretty conventionally structured; and lead singer / guitarist Abby Weems has the stage presence of a seasoned performer despite being so young.

There was kind of a long time between sets. Both bands would do just under thirty minutes, so things took on a somewhat more leisurely pace than usual for Asbury Lanes when it came to changeovers. CoolMom got a little fidgety, but the break gave Perfect Pussy lead singer Meredith Graves time to move among the crowd. She made time to chat with just about anyone who approached her and was really friendly and gracious throughout the evening. I, of course, had no reason to expect anything else; but her offstage demeanor does represent a stark contrast to her performance.

When Perfect Pussy did take the stage, they played a roughly 25 minute set that was a storm of noise from beginning to end. Like on the LP, Graves's vocals are mostly buried with the exception of a few -- and I believe strategically chosen -- moments of clarity poking through the squall. Graves was non-stop motion throughout the performance, and her contortions and facial expressions got the band's full message across even as we all strained to make out what she was saying. The set was almost more performance art than simply a rock show.

As the final song ended, drummer Garrett Koloski immediately began packing up his drum set. Guitarist Ray McAndrew and bassist Greg Ambler left the stage. Keyboardist Shaun Sutkus sent out a continuous drone of sound while Graves lay on the stage touching her front teeth which, I think, she bashed with the mic. The crowd filed toward the bar or out into the night as the drone continued.

I don't think Perfect Pussy sold CoolMom, and that's okay. I'd told Meredith Graves earlier in the evening how excited I was for the show. She sheepishly told me that she hoped that the band would live up to my expectations. I hope she sees this. As far as I'm concerned, they exceeded them.

Meredith Graves proved to be one of the most difficult subjects I've ever tried to photograph, but here's what I could manage. Potty Mouth, too. More up at Flickr.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Katie Crutchfield (Waxahatchee) and Mish Way (White Lung) Trade Songs

"Wrong Star" / "Coast to Coast"

Perfect Pussy are playing Asbury Lanes tonight with Potty Mouth. That got me thinking about how, back in December, Perfect Pussy teamed up with Ceremony, Sleepies, and White Lung for a show at NYU that I had every intention of attending but failed to make. So somewhere in the back of my brain, Vancouver's White Lung were floating around.

Waxahatchee are coming to Asbury Lanes in November, and I'm extremely excited for that one. My love of Waxahatchee is well-documented here. So that was another thing that was kind of just sitting there in the back of my mind.

Then I noticed that White Lung's Mish Way and Waxahatchee's Katie Crutchfield did this little acoustic session thing that Noisey posted last week where they traded off performing each other's songs: White Lung's "Wrong Star" and Waxahatchee's "Coast to Coast."

Mish Way's vocals remind me a little bit of Courtney Love here, and I think that one of the things I love about Waxahatchee songs is that I can learn them on the guitar by just watching Katie play.

I don't know. It just struck me as a kind of weird and mystical occurrence. Not really, I guess. I just like this. Here are the two videos.

Have a great final weekend of summer. CoolMom's probably gonna be out with me tonight, so this is a really good night to come and say hi. She's awesome.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

What's Going On: 8/28, 8/29, 8/30, 8/31, 9/1, 2014

A big final weekend of summer with shows from The Battery Electric, Dentist, Hot Blood, The Vansaders, Grey Goes Black, Dollys, Black Flamingos and more.

See You In September

It's the last official weekend of summer -- for those of you who don't live around here, anyway. We never really got around to planning a vacation here at CoolDad Music HQ; so we'll be reverse commuting for the weekend, heading to NYC on Sunday for a few days. The cooldaughters are excited for Wicked. I'm excited for Yankees / Red Sox without having to think about getting all the way back to New Jersey. We're all excited for things like dim sum, pastrami, matzo ball soup, and whatever else we decide to stuff into our faces. I'll miss some cool things here on Sunday, but you don't have to.

Let's not get ahead of ourselves, though. There's plenty to do all weekend, starting Thursday. The free Sound Waves show at APYC has Puppy Grease, Cherry Sea, and Xylophone. Grey Goes Black bring their dark 80s/90s sound to The Saint with Ashes to Oranges and Dark Matters. WBJB closes out the Songwriters on the Beach season with Steve Conte and Jounce. The Brighton has Long Branch native Bernie Worrell of Parliament Funkadelic along with The Ricky Eldridge Band.

Friday is a very tough night. So much stuff is happening that I may need -- as one reader once suggested -- a skateboard to get around town and take it all in. Dark City Entertainment hosts the cleverly named "Local Summer Kickoff Party" at The Wonder Bar which features Hot Blood, The Vansaders, The Battery Electric (you're gonna see a theme here this weekend), The Villanelles and MSRP. Hot Blood and The Vansaders are celebrating their return from the tour that took them all around this great Northeast Megalopolis of ours. Over at Asbury Lanes, Syracuse punks Perfect Pussy bring the noise along with Northampton, MA's Potty Mouth. Black Flamingos and Creeptones play a free show at APYC. Scotch LaRock favorites Owel are part of a bill at The Saint that includes Zerbin, Modern Suits, Underwater Country Club, and The Strangers. The Smithereens, The Romantics, and Tommy TuTone hit The Summer Stage.

Saturday night brings Handsome Dick Manitoba's Dictators NYC to The Brighton along with Frankenstein 3000, The Battery Electric (see), and Knif. The Parlor Mob make their return with a show at The Stone Pony featuring The Gay Blades, Wreaths, and Ether Sunday.

What will I be missing on Sunday? Glad you asked. Splendour In The Grass 3 is taking place in a Howell backyard and features bands like Amy Malkoff and The Moonshines, Blisstique, Trans Charger Metropolis, The Places You've Been, and (yes) The Battery Electric along with several others. Microfossils, Acid, and The Ribeye Brothers play for free at Anchor's Bend. Deal Casino close out their summer residency at The Saint with help from Dollys, Dentist, and Seasons.

And you've even got a Labor Day option as Happy Mondays roll on with Swift Technique, Underwater Sounds, and Western Star for the usual price of FREE.

I hope your summer was everything you wanted it to be. Get out there this weekend and send it off in style. Remember, though, September is always the best month around here anyway.

And you really have no excuse for not seeing The Battery Electric this weekend.

PDF listings.


Asbury Park Yacht Club (Asbury): Sound Waves: Puppy Grease / Cherry Sea / Xylophone of Wrench, 9pm, FREE

The Batcave (Montclair): Christopher Reyne / Liv Lombardi / Matt Smith / Left or Right / Adam Melchor, 7pm, $8

Belmar (Ocean Ave., Between 5th & 6th): Steve Conte / Jounce, 7pm, FREE

The Brighton Bar (Long Branch): Bernie Worrell (Parliament Funkadelic) Orchestra / Ricky Eldridge Band, 7pm, $11 adv, $14 door

Court Tavern (New Brunswick): LEEDS Record Release Party / Crash The Bear / Killer Waves / Ian Bamberger Trio, 9pm

Langosta Lounge (Asbury): Boardwalk Jazz w/ PJ Rasmussen Ensemble, 7pm, FREE

Roxy & Dukes Roadhouse (Dunellen): Awesome: The PodCast. Punch & Pie Live Taping of The September episode ft. Vextion, 8:30pm, FREE

The Saint (Asbury): Ashes to Oranges / Grey Goes Black / Dark Matters, 7:30pm, $10

The Wonder Bar (Asbury): Big Rooney Unplugged, 7:30pm, $5

FRIDAY (8/29)

Asbury Lanes (Asbury): Perfect Pussy / Potty Mouth / Nice War, 7:30pm, $10 (ALL AGES)

Asbury Park Yacht Club (Asbury): The Black Flamingos / Creeptones, FREE

The Brighton Bar (Long Branch): The Fullers / Sleep No More, 6:30pm, $10 adv, $12 door (ALL AGES)

Court Tavern (New Brunswick): The Dirty Hoe Comedy Show, 7pm

Court Tavern (New Brunswick): Cicada Radio / France / In Angles /, 9pm

Langosta Lounge (Asbury): Karmic Juggernaut, 10pm, FREE

Roxy & Dukes Roadhouse (Dunellen): The Powertones / The Wandering Bards, 9pm, $10

The Saint (Asbury): Zerbin / Owel / Modern Suits / Underwater Country Club / The Strangers, 7:30pm, $10

The Stone Pony Summer Stage (Asbury): The Smithereens / The Romantics / Tommy TuTone, 5pm, $30 adv, $40 door (ALL AGES)

The Wonder Bar (Asbury): Dark City Entertainment Presents: Local Summer Kickoff Party w/ Hot Blood / The Vansaders / The Battery Electric / MSRP / The Villanelles, 7:30pm, $10


Asbury Park Yacht Club (Asbury): Steve Reilly, 10pm, FREE

The Batcave (Montclair): Those Mockingbirds, 7:30pm

The Brighton Bar (Long Branch): The Dictators NYC / Frankenstein 3000 / The Battery Electric / The Knif, 8pm, $14

Clash Bar (Clifton): Tarpit Boogie / King Dead / Gypsy Eyes

Court Tavern (New Brunswick): Boxed Wine / We're Ghosts Now / Lake Effect / Semiotics / Brick Mower, 9pm

Roxy & Dukes Roadhouse (Dunellen): Big Ass Show V: Plato Zorba / Jenny Rocha / Hypnata / Reverend Jerry, 9pm, $15

The Saint (Asbury): Marty Higgins Memorial Laff-a-Thon w/ Swindling Gypsies, 6pm, $10

The Saint (Asbury): Pat Veil / Dog Lift Leg / After the Burn / KoJack Moments, 10pm, $5

The Stone Pony (Asbury): The Parlor Mob / The Gay Blades / Wreaths / Ether Sunday, 7pm, $18 adv, $20 door (ALL AGES)

The Wonder Bar (Asbury): Billy Hector Birthday Bash, 8pm

SUNDAY (8/31)

232 Maxim Rd. (Howell): Splendour In The Grass 3: Bill and Ken / The Hellfire Club / As We Go / Trans Charger Metropolis / The Battery Electric / The Villanelles / The Places You've Been / Blisstique / Amy Malkoff and The Moonshines / The Filthy Three, 2pm

Anchor's Bend (Asbury): Microfossils / Acid / Ribeye Brothers, 7pm, FREE

Asbury Lanes (Asbury): Emily's Army / Desert Sharks / 9:18 / The Rundown, 7:30pm, $10 adv, $12 door (ALL AGES)

Asbury Park Yacht Club (Asbury): DJ Dehydrated Pirate, 5pm, FREE

Langosta Lounge (Asbury): Country Comfort, 1pm, FREE

Roxy & Dukes Roadhouse (Dunellen): Belly Dance Night, 7pm, $10

The Saint (Asbury): Deal Casino / Dollys / Dentist / Seasons, 7:30pm, FREE

The Stone Pony (Asbury): Halfway 2 Funk Gras, 4pm, $18 adv, $23 door (ALL AGES)

MONDAY (9/1)

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Black Flamingos Live at Coffee Haus Studios

"The Devil's Punch Bowl"

I got to see Black Flamingos for the first time as part of the Little Dickman Records' show at The Brighton Bar last night. A power trio featuring Bog Iron Bloom's Declan O'Connell, The Brigantines' Vincent Minervino, and Plato Zorba's surf guitar virtuoso Robert Butkowski, Black Flamingos offered up some instrumental surf jams to close an evening that served as both a debut for Groundskeeper and a college send-off for Corrina, Corrina. Even though the band claimed just to be jamming and having fun, they pretty much blew me away.

Recently, Black Flamingos did a live session at Freehold's Coffee Haus Studios, and released a video for "The Devil's Punch Bowl." Check that out below to get an idea of what Black Flamingos are all about.

You've got another chance to catch Black Flamingos live this Friday when they play a free show at Asbury Park Yacht club with Creeptones.