Flogging Molly

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.

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Shots Fired

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!!

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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.

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The Futureheads

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…

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The Je Ne Sais Quoi

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.)

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Hot Snakes

If per chance Drive Like Jehu changed your life at one point but you let yourself slip back into a rut, a coma, and you’ve been living under a rock (mortgage, marriage, career), snap out of it! Let the Snakes heal you. Or be damned. For the rest of you, start with these and work backwards. There may still be hope for you yet…

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Pilot to Gunner

Seaweed + Fugazi + Quicksand + Superchunk = Pilot to Gunner. Hey, this ain’t mathematics; no equation is perfect, but I’ll be damned if PtG aren’t channelling shards of four of my absolute favorite bands from the ’90s.

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Unfortunate for us Yanks, this gem hasn’t dropped on our side of the pond. Post-punk on its second time around. It’s not necessarily evident from these tracks, but this band’s politics are as sharp as their grooves. Gang of Four float your boat? Start downloading…

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The Briefs

Meet The Briefs, the punk rock band that kept me sane (and awake) during a recent 36-hour work marathon. Catchy as heck and dripping with snotty wit (promise me you’ll listen to “Silver Bullet”), The Briefs wear their influences — The Dickies, Undertones, Devo — like, well, tighty-whites pulled over their pants for all to enjoy. So, enjoy…

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Against Me!

Opening with the same explosive chord as the Pixies’ Bossanova, riffing right into a Killing Joke-like hook, and finally settling into Billy Bragg at 78 rpm, this brand of punk rock revolution is, regrettably, rare.

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