Our friend Walker invited us to a short show by Bo-Peep, who promised some nuevo punk sounds from Fukuoka Japan. And saki, wine and sandwiches. The band was invited to the states by two guys, one of whom Walker knows, who paid their way over and set them up with some shows in Brooklyn over the weekend (including at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s cherry blossom festival, the blossoms will be rocking).
The place was an empty store on 8th Street in Greenwich Village, which is serving now as an art gallery, and the vibe was heterogenous, consisting mostly of young Asians, mostly women, and old American rockers. You can read what Bo-Peep has to say for themselves here, at their website.
I thought the band was terrific. This is high energy rock, but every song has musical ideas in it that make it stand out from the others. One tune had the pulsing drive of Golden Earring’s Radar Love, others had the straight-ahead drive of the Ramones. Others get a little herky-jerky, like this one from their album Vibe, which reminds me of Karen Oh’s band, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Live the vocals were a little undermiked, but the group’s dynamics comes across in this music video.
Here’s a cut of live footage with a studio version of another song.
Final note: The band had a little Pee Wee Herman doll sitting on the front of the stage. Don’t know why, but it made me think of Moyer.
My high school buddy Russ had a little brother, a tow-headed kid who was happy to play with his Matchbox or Hot Wheels cars while we kept him far away from our explorations with Thai stick in the garage.
Now, some 40 years later, he’s releasing at a pretty good pace songs he’s written on which he plays all the instruments. I’ll always think of him as the kid, but now he is also the kid who shreds.
Pitchers and catchers today.
Every week on my show on FNTSY (the Tout Wars Hour, 9-11 PM, ET every Thursday night he plugged shamelessly) I ask my special guest to reveal a favorite album, movie, TV show, athlete to watch, and food and the list, as Fantasy now spreads generations, is big fun.
There are wonderful surprises like Tim McLeod loving Sunburst Finish by Be Bop Deluxe and Eno Sarris, being a fan of his namesake’s Taking Tiger Mountain by Storm.
A couple of weeks ago my special guest was Jeff Zimmerman, and when I suggested that basic script for the show that week I also noted that during our final five minute segment we do indeed review those pop items like players we like to watch and music we like to listen to.
Jeff warned me in advance that he was not that much of a music person, and I responded no problem, and there must be a Beatles or Stones or some kind of album or song in his head somewhere he liked and just do the best you can.
But, never, ever, ever, did I expect his actual entry to the list which is a blue grass cover of The Wall performed by Luther Wright and the Wrongs.
So, I went digging a little, and found the album, and during my guitar lesson that same week I asked my friend and mentor Steve Gibson if he knew about Luther and his band’s treatment of the Floyd.
Steve did not know The Wall specifically, but he was more than hep to Nashville musicians gathering and deconstructing famous albums and bands in a phenomenon known as “pick on,” as in “pick on Aerosmith” or “pick on AC/DC.”
I cannot say that this revisionism is totally my cup of tea as much as I like both the Floyd and blue grass. Clearly these guys are knockout musicians, but I think I actually prefer to hear them cover the Carters and Irish jigs, but just discovering this subculture of music was a kick and a half.
This is Luther’s treatment of my favorite tune from the Floyd album. I still prefer David Gilmour’s chorusy guitar ripping through, but this is still pretty good.
There is a quiz today at Slate called Does This Band’s Name Start With The?
I did very badly on the quiz, but got the last question right, which led to this band that I’d heard of but had never listened to.
This is a San Francisco band from the 90s that I think still mittens on. This clip is the entirety of their seventh elpee, which I’m listening to as I type, and which I’m liking quite a bit. Retro, but also fresh. Good rockin’ sounds that could spiral into dancey camp, like the B-52s, but don’t. Unfortunately cute name, however.
These guys are playing Joe’s Pub, a local place this week. They have a funny name. They call themselves punk, but this song is more hard rock (and others are more theatrical). Yeah or Nay?
Very Strokes-ish, which means it sounds pretty good. It’s two years old, and would be a welcome sound on the radio. On the other hand, could there be a worse band name than Mainland?
Listening to other tunes, they are pretty good at mining the same commercial rock vein as the Strokes, but the rhythm section doesn’t hit quite as hard, and the songs aren’t quite as good. And the arrangements can veer toward, ugh, the commercial crap we try to avoid (and ambitious rockers sell their souls to achieve).
But this one just dropped, and apart from the fake English accent it’s pretty jangly and rocking.
So, came across this band tonight. A few years old, so not new, and referencing old music mostly, but trying more.
This song, Please, is like a soul cover, but it might be an original.
This is catchy. A real cover.
I like this one because it starts out like a Crystals song, though it goes in a different direction. But there is a lot of music, harmonies and arrangement going on here. And maybe I’m thinking of the Shangri-las.
They have a new one, same as the old one. Which is good enough.