My sister Christy saw these guys play at Coachella a couple weeks back and sent me an email asking what I knew of them, especially their percussionist (what is this, a dating service?). To my embarrassment, I knew nada. After reading up, I see that one of their two singers is Anthony Roman, formerly of Garden Variety, who I do know for his ragged, plaintive punk of some 10 years back. After listening up, I hear funky homage to Britain’s most danceable post-punk bands (Wire, Gang of Four, The Clash) and the feelgood politics of NY peers !!! and Out Hud. So thanks, sis, for keeping your brother’s ear to the street (apparently the Mitubishi ad they were featured in didn’t do it) — and happy birthday!
In light of the recent discussion in Wisconsin to legalize cat hunting (if you haven’t heard about this, check here), it seems appropriate to post The Weakerthans, whose “Plea From a Cat Named Virtute” is actually told from the perspective of a cat. Katherine slipped me a disc of their melodic Canadian punk/pop, replete with a little steel guitar here and some blazing noise there, and it’s been the only rotation in my car’s CD player for a few weeks now. As for the licensed hunting of feral cats, it seems like The Weakerthans would likely not approve. To my knowledge, 3hive has no official position on the matter.
Some kid was walking by singing “Knock on Wood” the other day, and it got me thinking about the Bosstones. In 1989, I played trombone in a ska band that opened for for them in Toronto. Nineteen eighty-nine! That kid probably wasn’t even born yet! And although the words “now defunct” are commonly associated with the band, I like to think they’re aging nicely, still dressed in plaid from head to toe.
Shan is getting married, right? (Sure it’s in June, but hey, let’s start celebrating now!) According to Webster’s, a chivaree is a noisy mock serenade to a newly married couple, made by banging pans and kettles. It’s also this tight new track from Channels, another project featuring Jawbox frontman J. Robbins. So there you go. Happy wedding, Shan!
Can’t tell if that fuzzy sound is a low bitrate or an honest-to-god garage band ethic from Jersey. Either way, fuzz sounds good today.
Allie told Jared about the Celtic punk intensity of Flogging Molly, and this is what he told me (Allie was at the dentist, or I’d have asked her, too): “Sometimes you’re just in a happy mood and want to listen to something upbeat, like when I’m driving around in Minnesota with my friends, running red lights and honking at people and acting crazy. That’s a good time to listen to Flogging Molly, you know.” But of course, young man, but of course. And thanks, kids.
Personally, I’m loving the memories these tunes evoke, like the time when Sam and I went to see The Pogues but Shane MacGowan passed out dead drunk during the first song (I’m pretty sure it was “Boat Train”) and Spider Stacy sang the rest of the set. Yeah, Flogging Molly should have been the opening act who ended up playing all night long.
Ask Sam, my fellow 3hiver, just how utterly amazing the Seaweed/Quicksand show was back about ten years ago at the old Club DV8 in Salt Lake City. It changed our lives. I’d venture to say 3hive wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for that concert. At the risk of exposing ourselves as the complete geeks we are, I’ll admit we were screaming every word of every song at the top of our lungs, working our air guitars as if possessed by a locomotive. Shots Fired, this Kansas City trio, would have made a perfect opener for that night. Check the chorus in “Squires @ Bristol.” I just about keeled over from a brain aneurysm rocking out to that guitar riff. But wait! It only plays through once!?! AAAAAAAA! Rewrite! Verse, Chorus, Verse, Chorus, Chorus, CHORUS!!
A quick fix, a swift blow to the gut, a pick-me-up to jump-start your day, or to give you that second wind you’ll need just as you’re dozing off in front of your computer at 3pm. Bonk’s a bunch of Norwegian hippies doing punk rock by way of Motown. Don’t doubt. Believe.
Full disclosure: The first record I bought was an XTC 7-inch of “Helicopter,” with the B-side “Ten Feet Tall.” That’s back in the day when radio was really, really cool. I heard “Helicopter” on Mighty Six Ninety, an early AM alternative station out of San Diego. Bought the record the next day at Music Market, and played it over and over again on my parent’s hi-fi that was as big as a coffin. There should be no wonder then as to why I’ve taken a fancy to The Futureheads…
Every so often a band’s name alone grabs your attention, and even less often it actually makes good on its promise. One of those rare cases is The Je Ne Sais Quoi who, as it turns out, have that certain je ne sais quoi. If you were listening from another room, you might write them off as another vapid electro-clash happening. However, in more intimate settings, their tense, funky sound digs its fingernails into you and won’t let go. That said, “We Make Beginnings” wouldn’t be my first — or second, or third — choice for the single from their strong full-length debut. But no one asked me… (And if they had it would have been in Swedish, so I wouldn’t have understood anyway.)