Dirty Bangs were one of the coolest and most engaging bands of 2015. Their new single has me convinced they don’t plan on relinquishing those distinctions anytime soon. “Your Sister’s Friend” smolders with melodic hooks that will have you humming along on the first listen. There’s no big chorus here, just a string of slinky verses strung together with some woo-woos. It works. Just listen to the “take-take-take-take-take-take” part and tell me that’s not gold. You can’t, because it is.
Thank you to everyone who came out to the Photos by Johnny Anguish opening reception at The Verb Hotel last night. It really made this old man feel special. I had a lot of fun putting these photos together. I hope everyone enjoyed them. I talked to the good folks at Vanyaland before the show. You can read the nice piece they put together right here.
If you couldn’t make it out to The Verb last night, don’t fret. The photos will be on display until mid-April when they’ll find homes elsewhere in the hotel. Swing by and have a look.
If you’re wondering what you might see, here are the photos on display. Imagine them bigger, framed, matted and hanging on a yellow wall. Or don’t imagine anything and go see the photos for yourself. They’re real, touchable objects. Please don’t touch the real objects.
Johnny Anguish is the guys that takes all of the photos you see on this site. He’s the guy writing this post in the third person right now. If you’ve ever wondered what his photos would look like hanging up in a wikked cool hotel, you’re in luck. For the next couple of months, some of Johnny’s favorite photos that have appeared on Daykamp Music will be on display at The Verb. How cool is that? It’s not just locals this time, either. Bands like Superchunk, Slayer, Imperial State Electric and X will be hanging side-by-side with Sidewalk Driver, Dirty Bangs, Township, Will Dailey, The Organ Beats and Petty Morals.
The opening reception is Wednesday, 1/27 from 6-9pm at The Verb. Come by and listen to Johnny awkwardly try to say artistic-sounding things. Or just look at the photos and grab a drink from Hojoko. That sounds fun, right?
Is it possible for a band to completely win over a room in 10 minutes? Dirty Bangs did. Their brief set at The Sinclair for the 2015 Boston Music Awards was all that is good an holy about the church of rock ‘n’ roll.
So long, 2015 Rock ‘N’ Roll Rumble. You were something else. Nine nights of Rock ‘N’ Roll that solidified your reputation for helping local music fans find their new favorite bands. Anngelle Wood put together your wonderfully diverse lineup, but you took on a life of your own. You always do. We’re lucky you’re still around and you’ve got people like Anngelle looking after you.
Congratulations to Zip-Tie Handcuffs! You’re the 2015 Rock ‘N’ Roll Rumble Champs! You played every night like you were fending off a swarm of bullet ants, armed only with tortured guitars, thrashing drums and tight harmonies. You are the stuff of legends.
I guess that’s it. Another Rumble come and gone. All I have left now are these photos. Hopefully they bring back good memories…
There’s never a dull moment with the Rock ‘N’ Roll Rumble. The 2015 edition has been a wild one. Zip-Tie Handcuffs and Nemes won their Semifinal nights to move on. The Static Dynamic snagged the wildcard. The Finals will go down Friday night at TT’s. Before you head on over, here are a few things buzzing through my head regarding the Semifinal Round…
Rock ‘N’ Roll Variety Show
It has become pretty common to reference the wackiness of individual Rumble night lineups. Can you remember a non-Rumble show with bands as varied as Zip-Tie Handcuffs, Soft Pyramids, Dirty Bangs and Duck & Cover? Diverse bills occasionally happen in the wild. They’re commonplace in The Rumble. Thursday night’s Semifinal was a goodie.
The NFL’s Got Nothin’ On The Rumble
In sports, you always hear about league parity. Any given Sunday and all that jazz. The big leagues could take a few pointers from The Rumble. Trying to get inside the judges’ minds during the Friday night Semifinal showdown between Nemes, The Static Dynamic, Eternals and Murcielago was an exercise in futility. Hunches? Sure. Confident predictions? Unlikely. That’s parity.
Boston’s New Favorite Band
If my Facebook feed is any indication, Boston’s new favorite band is from Portland, Maine. The number of times Murcielago appears next to some form of the phrase “face-melting” is alarming. Not that I disagree. These guys have been a Rumble highlight for me, too.
Fun With Numbers
Four for four: There were 4 quartets competing in the middle round. Eternals, Murcielago, Nemes and Duck & Cover represented.
Two way tie: There were 2 ties in this year’s Rumble Semifinals. Evan Kenney of Dirty Bangs sported a bolo tie, while Ian Grinold of Zip-Tie Handcuffs sported more traditional neck attire.
One for three: Zip-Tie Handcuffs were the lone 3 piece band in the Semifinals. Winning their night assured they will be the lone trio in The Finals.
Play Me Out
In the end, it’s all about the music, right? Here are the songs stuck in my head from the Semifinal Round.
Capping off a night where the music ruled all else, Dirty Bangs played a set no one at TT’s will soon forget. Their music comes from the heart. Their Rumble Semifinal performance bared their soul. Keep a close eye on these guys.
The 2015 Rock ‘N’ Roll Rumble Prelims are in the books. Even the wildcards have been revealed! Oh yeah, congrats to Murcielago and Duck & Cover. Now the stage is set for a pair of great Semifinal shows at TT’s this Thursday and Friday. Woo! Let’s take a look back at the second half of Prelims week.
Talk about The Rumble bringing out the best in bands. Wow. Soft Pyramids and Zip-Tie Handcuffs both won their nights in vastly different ways. The former were masters of restraint and nuance. The latter were ferocious and wildly creative. Both were great fun to watch. Murcielago earned themselves a wildcard spot by being the heaviest and riffiest band of the whole event. The Nate Leavitt Band broke my heart into a million pieces. I don’t think I ever want it put back together the way it was. Simply gorgeous.
I acknowledge this is ridiculous. I’m doubling down on the nonsense. I apologize. I can’t stop seeing the hats. It first caught my attention earlier in the week. It continued all the way through the Prelims. There were 5 more bands sporting hats of all varieties after the Day Of Rest. With their wildcard selection, Duck & Cover brought the odds of advancing to the Semifinals up to even with the non-hat wearers for the first half of the week. Unfortunately, bands with hats didn’t fare as well in the subsequent nights. None of them advanced. Oh, well. It’s all meaningless, anyway. With any luck, that’s the last thing I’m going to say about hats in The Rumble.
Fun With Numbers
Two For One: Rich Crimlisk played with 2 bands in this year’s event. He was on guitar for The Warning Shots and Salita.
Three For One: There was 1 band that had a shaker that looked like a tomato (Soft Pyramids). There were at least 3 people I know of, myself included, that thought said tomato was real until it was used in a musical capacity.
I Can’t Count That High: The number of decibels pumped out by Murcielago’s 24 speakers.
Play Me Out
Their Lindsey Buckingham cover was a thing of beauty, but “Around This Town” is the Soft Pyramids song that’s been stuck in my head since Saturday night. Here it is with the other tunes ringing in my ears from the later Prelims. Come on out the Semifinals!
I’m still not exactly sure what I just saw, but it was mesmerizing. Dirty Bangs just owned it. They connected with everyone in the room on an individual and communal level. It was uplifting. It was heartbreaking. It was a rock ‘n’ roll moment. That’s how you Rumble. Dirty Bangs take night four.
Here are 7(ish) reasons I’m excited to attend the 6 Rock ‘N’ Roll Rumble Prelimary Round nights that kick off in 5 days. Just like the title says. Night #1 is Sunday the 12th. Wednesday is the Day of Rest. It all goes down at TT’s. Let’s go…
Opening night is always fun. There’s excitement in the air and the inevitable Rumble Plague is still a few photo booth sessions way. I trust Mister Vertigo, The Rare Occasions, Band Without Hands and Nemes will get us off on the right foot.
Prelim Night #2 provides some good reasons to head out on a Monday night. Drab mine ’90s indie rock nuggets. Eternals just released this fantastic track. Raw Blow have the best name in the Rumble/city/world and sound ready take on all comers. Duck & Cover have a punk rock lineage that has made me anxious to see them. Thanks to The Rumble I finally will.
The Tuesday night of Rumble Prelim week can be tough. Fatigue is setting in and the Day of Rest is just out of reach. Thankfully, Night #3 is cooking up a chill-surf-heavy-progressive-post-hardcore-punk-rock-n-roll stew to get you through. Le Roxy Pro, Salita, The Static Dynamic and Psychic Dog are on the bill.
Adventure time! I always look forward to Rumble nights where I haven’t seen any of the bands before. Thursday’s Prelim Night #4 provides the action this year. Adding to the excitement is that this night could prove to be one of the most diverse, with Mercury On Mars, Dan Webb And The Spiders, Dirty Bangs and Protean Collective taking the stage.
Nate Leavitt’s “Taking the Long Way Home” is one of the most underrated, understated songs to ever come out of the city. He opens Prelim Night #5 on Friday before The Dirty Looks, Murcielago and Zip-Tie Handcuffs blow the roof off the joint. That’s gonna be fun.
The Rumble Prelims will draw to a close with another one of the event’s signature eclectic line-ups. New City Ghost, Yale, Massachusetts, Soft Pyramids and The Warning Shots will put a bow on the whole shebang with a wonderfully varied bill on Saturday the 18th.
“Favorite” was a huge local radio hit during my formative years in the Boston rock community. Now, The Gravel Pit are back with a new album and Special Guest status in The Finals. Yes, there’s a lot of rock to roll before then, but I’ll take any opportunity to watch Ed Valauskas play the four string Fender bass. The guy’s a one man wrecking crew.