Thursday, March 21, 2019

What's Going On: 3/21, 3/22, 3/23 & 3/24, 2019

Yawn Mower are releasing their latest EP this Friday at The Saint.

Springin'

It's officially spring. The MLB season kicked off in Tokyo the other day, and the great Ichiro announced his retirement. I'm starting to come back to life after overdoing it for the last week in Austin. Starting to feel pretty good.

A bunch of shows this weekend. Yawn Mower celebrate the release of their latest EP at The Saint on Friday. Jawbreaker are in Brooklyn on Saturday and Sunday. Lots of other stuff, too.

Have fun. Don't drink and drive.

THURSDAY (3/21)

The Asbury Hotel, Soundbooth (Asbury): Open Mic, 8pm

Chubby Pickle (Highlands): Jersey Shore Jazz and Blues Foundation, 7pm

Clash Bar (Clifton): Chained To The Dead / Gutted Alive / Gutted Christ / Dismal, 8pm, $10

Crossroads (Garwood): Maddy & Brianna / Paul Rose / Nude Shoes / Sonoa / Machines Never Forget, 7pm

FM (Jersey City): ENTREBAND, 7pm, $12-$15

Music Hall of Williamsburg (Brooklyn): Dilly Dally / Chastity, 8pm

New Lanes (Asbury): Cat London Video Premiere, 7pm

Our Wicked Lady (Brooklyn): Small Drag / Sharkswimmer / Pocket Protector / Discount Sunset, 8pm, $5

Pet Shop (Jersey City): Joy Cleaner / Dinowalrus / Pynkie, 8pm

River Rocks Restaurant (Brick): Wynward / Sonic Blume / Skyline / Connor Bracken & The Mother Leeds Band, 7pm

The Saint (Asbury): Selwyn Birchwood / Magnificent Mancini Brothers, 7pm, $15-$20

Starland Ballroom (Sayreville): As I Lay Dying / Phineas / Currents / Frost Koffin, 6pm

Wonder Bar (Asbury): Into Another / Beyond / Death Ray Vision, 6:30pm

FRIDAY (3/22)

The Asbury Hotel, Soundbooth (Asbury): Bryan Hansen Band / Matt Cook / Quinton Smith, 9pm

Asbury Park Yacht Club (Asbury): Lemats / Sentient Moss / Grin and Bear, 9:30pm

BoonTunes (Boonton): Ticker Tape / Lionites / Arcadia, 8pm, $10

The Bowery Electric (NYC): Wylder / Bad Business / Lowlight / Cabel & The Strings / Wilolux, 7pm, $10-$15

Brighton Bar (Long Branch): Baron Praxis / Skinny Dickies / Judo Chop / Unlabeled / Bare Face Gallery / Hunters Run, 6:30pm, $12-$15

Chubby Pickle (Highlands): Cranston Dean Band, 9pm

Count Basie (Red Bank): Glen Burtnik's Summer Of Love, 8pm, $29-$75

FM (Jersey City): I Get Wild White (Talking Heads Covers) / Forget The Whale (No Doubt Covers), 8pm, $10

House of Independents (Asbury): ABBA Dance Party, 9pm

The Kingsland (Brooklyn): Weakened Friends / Nervous Dater / Coping Skills / Hit Like A Girl, 7pm, $10

Langosta Lounge (Asbury): Shady Street Show Band, 9pm

New Lanes (Asbury): Colossal Street Jam / Billy Walton Band, 8pm

Pino's Gift Basket (Highland Park): Magnolia Street String Band / RGD / Jewel Cases, 7pm

The Saint (Asbury): Yawn Mower / Wetbrain / Les Dangers / Shut Up / TrapBang, 7:30pm, $10

Sin Bucket (Philly, Ask): Kissies / Shin Guard / Night Moves / Row Home, 7pm, $7

Starland Ballroom (Sayreville): Warrant / Mikell's Plot / Raftree / Sweet Sienna / Steve Ballo, 6pm

The Stone Pony (Asbury): East Coast In Lullaby, 7pm, $12-$15

Wonder Bar (Asbury): Maggie Rose / Them Vibes / Rick Barry, 7pm, $15

SATURDAY (3/23)

The Asbury Hotel, Soundbooth (Asbury): Elk / Ward Trio, 9pm

Asbury Park Brewery (Asbury): Stag Party / Natterers / Axxe Crazy / Program, 8pm, $10

Asbury Park Yacht Club (Asbury): Jurks / The Mercury Brothers, 9pm

BoonTunes (Boonton): 23andMusic, 7:30pm

Brighton Bar (Long Branch): Swingin' Utters / Lost In Society / The Fullers / Fetal Rage, 7:30pm

Brooklyn Steel (Brooklyn): Jawbreaker / War On Women, 7pm

FM (Jersey City): Change√∂rder / Dutch Guts / Psych-O-Positive / Molten, 9pm, $8

House Of Independents (Asbury): Can't Swim, 6pm, $15-$17

Langosta Lounge (Asbury): Jet Weston & His Atomic Ranch Hands, 9pm

Millhill Basement (Trenton): The Cryptkeeper Five / Coach N Commando / Gringo Motel / White Cactus, 9pm, $7

Monty Hall (Jersey City): Karyn Kuhl Band / Wygalator / Brenda Sauter / Deena Shoshkes / Long Neck, 7:30pm, $15

Our Wicked Lady (Brooklyn): Darkwing / Whiner / Kissing Is A Crime / Johnny Dynamite, 7:30pm, $10

Saige Coffee House (Jackson): Fake Pockets / Riley Schiro, 7pm

The Saint (Asbury): George & Brenda's Anniversary Bash, 12noon, $10

The Saint (Asbury): HALO, 7pm

Starland Ballroom (Sayreville): Ten (Pearl Jam Covers) / Ripped / Best Of Foo / Baelfire, 7pm

The Stone Pony (Asbury): Paint The Pony Purple Epilepsy Benefit, 12:30pm

The Stone Pony (Asbury): Earthshare NJ Benefit, 6:30pm, $12 (students) - $20

Transparent Gallery (Asbury): Tyler Plazio / Ferentz and The Felons, 4pm

Wonder Bar (Asbury): Light My Fire (Doors Covers), 7pm, $17-$19

SUNDAY (3/24)

The Asbury Hotel, Soundbooth (Asbury): Sandy Mack, 4pm

Asbury Park Music Foundation (Asbury): Anthony Krizan, 3pm

Brooklyn Bowl (Brooklyn): High Waisted / The Furies / Talay / Treads, 8pm

Brooklyn Steel (Brooklyn): Jawbreaker / War On Women, 7pm

Catsbury Park (Asbury): Renee Maskin, 3pm

Debonair Music Hall (Teaneck): Rust N Stardust / Uncle Skunk / The Ghost Rodents / Stereo Joe, 6pm

In The West (New Brunswick): Exmaid / Science Man / Delicate Flowers, 7pm, $5

Millhill Basement (Trenton): Hood Rats / Dusters / The Components, 9pm

Monty Hall (Jersey City): DBUK & Norman Westberg, 8pm

Scarlet Pub (New Brunswick): Sonoa / The Barrbarians / Caroline Clark, 8pm, $5

TLA (Philly): Swervedriver / Failure, 8pm, $30

Wonder Bar (Asbury): Wonder Jam, 3pm, $5

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

SXSW 2019, Day 6 w Lee Bains, Annabelle Chairlegs, Viagra Boys, Pip Blom, Lunar Vacation, Tallies, Bambara, and A Giant Dog

A Giant Dog

Sleep When Dead

I woke up in the wee hours of Saturday morning and noticed a figure looming in the dark. "Bye, Jimmy." It was Chris Dickman heading out for his early flight back to Jersey. I'd be on my own for the day.

I had one goal for Saturday. That was to make it to A Giant Dog's midnight set at Cheer Up Charlies. This would be easier said than done as a week's worth of sleeping four hours per night was starting to catch up with me. In previous years, I generally took it easy on Saturday nights, turning in early following some shows during the day. But this would be A Giant Dog's first set of the week, and I would kick myself if I left Austin without seeing them on their home turf.

I made myself a Texas-shaped waffle in the hotel breakfast area and walked downtown. Joe Steinhardt from Don Giovanni Records messaged me that Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires would be hitting the stage at The Side Bar at 1pm. After a more than serviceable couple of slices at Austin's Hoboken Pie, I headed over there to catch the set.

It was the Athens in Austin Day Party, so the bill was filled with Georgia bands. I walked in during the end of the set from The Artisanals on the outside stage. Then, I headed into the darkness of the bar for Lee Bains's set. I'd been trying to hook up with the Glory Fires all week long, and I was happy to run into them finally on the last day. The sun streamed through the big front windows in the bar making taking pictures a challenge.

The Artisanals

The Glory Fires did their usual wild set with Bains moving throughout the crowd and handing his guitar and mic off to eager participants in the audience. After that, I dipped back outside for the last half of the last song from Nashville's Katie Schecter. Back inside for a quiet set from Athens's own Thayer Sarrano. Sarrano performed as a duo with a drummer who also handled some bass duties. I dug her set which had kind of a Mazzy Star vibe.

Lee Bains
Katie Schecter
Thayer Sarrano

Austin, like many cities and towns across the country, has been overrun by dockless shareable scooters and bikes. I never could bring my 49-year-old, relatively uncoordinated self to scoot anywhere; but I do love cycling. I borrowed an electric-assisted bike and was over at Hotel Vegas in a flash.

There, I caught the tail end of the set from Austin punk band, Late, on one half of the patio stage. I slid over to the other half and waited with a whole bunch of people for Stockholm's Viagra Boys. I'd been hearing a bunch about them over the course of the week. Post-punk performance art. Songs like "Can't Get It Up" and "Sports" take down bro-y masculinity with the boys staying in character the whole time.

Late
Viagra Boys

Back over to Patio Stage 2 for Austin psychedelic dream rock band, Annabelle Chairlegs. I wrote about them a few years ago. They played Asbury last year, I think. Rosi really dug them on her first day in Austin. This was my first time seeing them, and they rocked.

Annabelle Chairlegs

Joe from Jersey City had been talking up Amsterdam's Pip Blom (the name of both the band and their lead singer) all week. I saw that they were playing the third outdoor stage at Hotel Vegas, and I decided I had to see what he was on about. He was right. High-energy, gritty garage pop. One of my favorite acts of the festival.

Pip Blom

I grabbed another bike back to my hotel. The motor really helped with the giant hill I had to climb multiple times during the week. Why didn't I do this sooner?

Anyway...

Rest time, then one, final stop at Torchy's Tacos to fuel up for the evening ahead.

I walked over to Las Perlas on 7th to catch another set from Toronto's mesmerizing Tallies (one of only 3 bands I saw more than once, the others being The Beths and Dentist). I walked in just in time to hear Atlanta's Lunar Vacation. The young band call what they do "pool rock." It sits somewhere on the dream pop spectrum. Nice. Tallies absolutely slayed again.

Lunar Vacation
Tallies

By now, it was almost 11; and I knew I would make it. I hoofed it over to Cheer Up Charlies and posted up at the front of the stage just as Brooklyn's Bambara were setting up. I'd seen their name on various bills throughout the day, but I'd be catching their final set. Their guitarist noticed my Mets cap as he went over to set up his pedal board, and we had a nice conversation about the 2019 NL East outlook.

Bambara play eerie, gothic, western / southern-inspired punk. Vocalist Reid Bateh throws himself into the performance without regard for his own personal safety, swinging and slamming the mic stand and falling off the edge of the stage into the crowd. It was a wild set.

Bambara

As A Giant Dog took the stage, lead singer Sabrina Ellis gave me and some of the other people in the front row a nod of acknowledgement. They opened the set just as the clock struck midnight with, appropriately, "Sleep When Dead." At one point, during "Lucky Ponderosa," Ellis kicked a drink; and it splashed over a woman's camera. Ellis apologized, mugged for a few shots, and then picked the camera up and licked it clean.

A Giant Dog

I have a soft spot in my heart for A Giant Dog for a number of personal reasons. But I do think they might just be the best rock and roll band in these United States right now. They brought it for the duration of their 40-minute set on Saturday night.

When they were done, so was I. I wanted to stay for the 1 AM set from Har Mar Superstar, but I was outta gas. I trudged back up the hill, got into my room, and crashed on the bed in my clothes, my camera bag next to me.

Every year after South By Southwest, I have mixed feelings. It's a long week away from family, and I do get lonely at times. I run myself into the ground taking pictures and trying to kick out posts; and I'm never really sure who is paying attention. I wonder if I'm making any connections or doing anything really to grow the site.

But I'll tell you something. When I'm down in it, getting jostled around, taking pictures, and screaming along with my favorite band, there really isn't any place I'd rather be.

SXSW 2019, Day 5 w Mike Krol, Spider Bags, Gymshorts, Bad Moves, Low Cut Connie, The Beths, CHAI, and Charly Bliss

Charly Bliss

The Ides of March

After our showcase at Hard Luck Lounge on Thursday, Chris Dickman and I surprised ourselves with how early we were up and out the door. We took the rented equipment back over to the good people at Austin's Rock n Roll Rentals (Again, can't recommend them highly enough), and then picked up the Yawn Mower dudes for a little blunch at P. Terry's Hamburger Stand.

Chris was looking to browse for some records, and I still hadn't caught a set from Mike Krol. The stars aligned on that one as Mike Krol and his band were playing the Waterloo Records Day Party. We hopped over there, and I got myself situated in the photo pit.

One of the things I often forget to do when shooting a show is format the card in my camera before I start. After about 16 shots of Mike Krol, I got the message that my card was full. Forgetting that I had my SD card case in my bag, I just re-formatted the one in the camera and pretty much missed out on my two-song allotment from the pit. Oh, well. I shot from the barricade, and still ended up with way too many.

Mike Krol

I've grown into a huge Mike Krol fan over the last several months. This set was good, but it didn't have the wild vibe of an indoor club at night with Krol's strobes giving me a seizure.

We left Yawn Mower at Waterloo so they could see Spiral Stairs, and I headed to The Side Bar where The Midgetmen's annual Jump Start showcase was going down. Chris and I took our sweet time, and I ended up walking in just as Dentist were breaking down from their set. Who knows if I'll ever get another chance to see them play?

There were plenty of other bands on the bill that I wanted to see, and I managed to catch sets from Spider Bags, Gymshorts, and Bad Moves. I've seen Spider Bags a bunch at this point. Friday's set took me back to that first time they blew me away at The Saint. I remembered Gymshorts from their opening set for Tacocat at Rough Trade a few months back. They're heavy and loud with a big dose of humor thrown in.

Gymshorts
Spider Bags

I've loved Bad Moves since their self-titled EP from a couple of years ago. 2018's Tell No One is one of my favorite albums maybe ever. It's a power-pop masterpiece. I'd never managed to catch a set from them before, though; so I was grinning like an idiot when they played "Spirit FM," "The Verge," and other songs I've been in love with for a while now. Both Gymshorts and Bad Moves played in the bar, and it was bordering on pitch black in there.

Bad Moves

The line across the street for The Current's showcase at Barracuda was around the block for most of the day. By the time I walked over there at 5pm or so, things had died down enough for me to get inside for Philly's Low Cut Connie. I was able to stake out a spot up front among the Low Cut Connie die-hards. Frontman Adam Weiner is a showman and a blast to shoot. He came down from the stage at one point and put a big bear hug on me as well as anybody else he bumped into in the crowd. It's impossible not to get swept up in the emotion and community of a Low Cut Connie set, and I was feelin it.

Low Cut Connie

Time for a dinner break, so Chris and I headed over to one of the many Torchy's Tacos that dot the city. I would eat at this place every frigging day if we had them here. Then, we drove over to Hard Luck Lounge just in time for me to walk in after another set from Dentist. Welp. Guess that was probably my last chance with them.

Anyway...

2/3rds of Dentist and I headed over to the Rolling Stone party at Native Hostel to catch The Beths and Charly Bliss; while Chris, Emily, and Yawn Mower headed over to Lady Bird Lake to see the big show from Big Boi, Cee Lo, and Dungeon Family.

Native Hostel was starting to pack out, but we got in early enough that I was able to worm my way up front. Taylor Janzen was playing when we walked in. In just the few minutes that we watched, the Winnipeg native blew me away with her voice.

Taylor Janzen

The Beths delivered another great-sounding set, but they were clearly a little more subdued than when I'd seen them earlier in the week. When I'm at South By Southwest, I'm kind of cut off from the news. It wasn't until after they'd played that I learned of the horrific terrorist attack that took place in their home country of New Zealand earlier that day. It stung to think about how they must all be feeling being so far from home on such a sad day. All I could do was silently will some peaceful vibes their way.

The Beths

In between The Beths and Charly Bliss was Japan's CHAI. What a wild set. Twin sisters. Everyone dressed in pink. Sugary, joyful, and a little bit subversive. Narduwar The Human Serviette was right next to me absolutely loving them. Judging from my Instagram feed, I think I'm the only person who was at South By Southwest who was too nervous to ask him for a picture.

CHAI

Charly Bliss came out and powered through a set marred by technical problems. They did their best with virtually no help from the on-site sound crew. Beths' guitarist Jonathan Pearce eventually came out and did some of the sound crew's work for them, dealing with the microphone that was shocking singer Eva Hendricks for the entire set.

Charly Bliss

For their part, Charly Bliss did what they could. The understandable frustration became apparent at points, but they didn't let it sap the fun from their set. I love Charly Bliss's debut, Guppy. I'm still not 100% sure how I feel about the band's new sonic direction; but, live, the new songs definitely had some edge.

Our two groups reconvened at Attabar to end the night. I did some designated driving and Uber'd back to the hotel to rest in preparation for one more go on Saturday.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Rosi's SXSW 2019, Days 2 & 3

Low Cut Connie by Rose Lamela

Not Missing Jersey

Words and pics by Rose Lamela

Day 2

My second day in Austin was more of an exploratory adventure of this interesting city located in the big state of Texas. I also wanted to walk around and enjoy the nice warm weather as I had left a cold wintry NJ behind. I walked over to a local coffee shop where I witnessed firsthand the friendly nature of the folks residing in this small capital city.

I chatted for almost an hour with a woman who moved to Austin from LA. She told me about all the cool venues and things to do here. I jotted down notes, and she wished me well on my travels. I walked over the bridge on Congress Avenue famously known for the bats that take shelter underneath it. I took a deep breath of the fresh Texas air and just kept on truckin.

I continued to make instant friends, whether it would be on the street or at shows. Being from the East Coast, I did find this a little strange. I even bumped into the bassist and vocalist from the band Dehd walking around town. I quickly added them to my list of bands to see after our interesting banter about the music scenes in both Philly and Chicago.

I met up with CoolDad, and we talked about who we were going to see that night. I scarfed down a Texas brat and, we looked through ShowlistAustion.com, which I highly suggest if you ever need a great guide to show listings when visiting. We both chose our venues for the night and parted ways. I chose Mohawk as it was suggested by one of my new Austin buddies.

I got to see an array of music there. I arrived right before Night Glitter began to play. A photographer told me that they were one her favorite bands. They had a very psychedelic sound to them filled with french lyrics. I dug it even though I waited for a projector to fill the blue stage that never came. The crowd slowly swayed in response to their music.

Night Glitter

I kept bouncing from the outside stage to the inside stage. The inside was more low key. I got to enjoy a touch of country folk with Carson McHone and the Joe Cocker feel of Kevin Galloway's voice. The crowd there was looking more for peace of mind in their music.

Carson McHone
Kevin Galloway

Spiral Stairs came on after Night Glitter on the outside stage and was "in your face" with his punchy lyrics and alt rock sound. His fans responded when cued to sing along, and things got a little rowdy but not as rowdy as the crowd for Low Cut Connie. They know how to put on a show despite lead singer Adam Weiner's need to stick his middle finger to any camera shooting his photo. I, of course, don't mind as it makes for a great photo. He did grab my hat which I was able to retrieve, so no hard feelings. Watching him jump on his piano and dance gave out a very mutual energy between the crowd and the performers. It was a satisfying end to my second day in SXSW. Thanks, Low Cut Connie!!!

Spiral Stairs
Low Cut Connie

Day 3

I woke up super tired on day 3 but more excited to get back out on the road. I had a few destinations scheduled. I wanted to go to see my new acquaintance and her band Dehd at Hotel Vegas, the best venue in Austin in my opinion.

I went straight to Hotel Vegas and got me another food truck meal. It was a nice sunny day, and the heat felt nice on my face and made me wonder why I live somewhere where it can be so damn cold too many months out of the year. Sorry, Jersey. I wasn't feeling you out here.

I walked to the back stage and caught Dehd. I love the hint of surf rock in their music. This three-piece band from Chicago has a catchy live vibe to them. I really like the basic drum kit that I know now contributes to their sound. I especially liked the song "Lucky." They opened up my day for more music in Austin.

Dehd

There was a back stage on the Hotel Vegas patio that had the sounds of a band named Melenas from Spain. I'm always immediately drawn to girl bands. I had never heard a rock band from Spain live, so I hung out a bit and listened. Anyone that knows me knows one thing for sure. I usually despise Spanish rock bands (I can say this because I grew up around it). Melenas officially changed that. They are cool rockers!!

Melenas

After Melenas entertained us with their sound, The Blank Tapes came on. Now this band had the 60s vibe that I like from some of my earliest rock favorites. I wouldn't say they sound like The Mamas and The Papas, but they would possibly be jamming alongside them if they were put in a time machine. I especially loved the band's style as it complimented the genre of music they played. I know I mentioned this before, but I love that I get to relive eras of music that I was not alive to witness the first time around.

The Blank Tapes

Somewhere around the end of The Blank Tapes' set, I got a text from CoolDad telling me that The Black Angels were going to be at Mohawk later in the day. I decided to go for yet another walk in the beautiful music city. I got a cup of joe and weaved in and out of thrift stores and shops towards my next destination.

The Black Angels are one of my favorite bands to see live. It was exciting to see them in their home base. I managed to get in, and there were two guys up front who kindly let me get in front of them to shoot photos. This kind attitude towards photographers is something I had to get used to but not get too used to, as I will have to eventually come back home someday. I got to be up front for most of their set. They played "Comanche Moon" and "Young Men Dead." I have to say it was odd to see them without all the trippy lights and projector, but I did smell the grass.

The Black Angels

I met up with CoolDad again, which was nice as we didn't really get to hang as we went our separate ways a lot so we could capture more stuff. We got some food and met some cool Texas natives who gave us a quick lecture of the state of our nation. For me it reminded me to be grateful for what I have because sometimes other people are not as privileged as I am. I felt it there under the hot Texas sun. A little history lesson and a bit of self awareness.

I then headed to Cheer Up Charlies to see The Ophelias who I just starting listening to at the airport while waiting to catch my flight to Austin. Anytime you give me some violin in my rock music, you got my attention. I walked in a little after they started, and I heard the banter of the people from Ohio cheering them on as they are Cincinnati natives. They remind me of the band Belly. Very mellow with a pop beat. We already know how I feel about all-girl bands. They are just all way cooler in my book.

The Ophelias

After my fill of both wandering and listening to music I hopped into an Uber. My Uber pool rides were also just as entertaining as the rest of my experience in Austin. I got to meet locals and visitors on all my rides. Sometimes, I would end up belly laughing on my ride home with a funny Uber driver right before hitting the bed and passing out from the exhaustion.

Check out all of Rosi's shots as they go up at her Flickr account.