Sunday was a good day. After bumming around Boston all day with the family, Big Little One and I headed over to Radio to catch some of Roy Sludge’s set. Little did we know we were stepping into Electric Sludgeland. Roy was on electric guitar* and Judd Williams joined on drums. Jim Haggerty even set down his upright in favor of a bass guitar on a few numbers. Pretty cool. This day was full of welcome surprises.
* Very ably, mind you, despite numerous references to “meat hooks.”
The 2013 Rock ‘N’ Roll Rumble is in the books. This one won’t soon be forgotten. Anngelle Wood did a tremendous job. The Rumble requires gargantuan effort to pull together under ideal circumstances. This year? The way Angelle, Richard Bouchard, Kerri-Ann Richard and the rest of the Rumble crew navigated this Boston institution through uncharted waters was commendable. A careful balance of tact, compassion, flexibility and understanding the need for normalcy made the Rumble whole. I’m glad I got to be there.
Congratulations to Eddie Japan on their 2013 Rock ‘N’ Roll Rumble win! They were stellar in every round, never taking a single moment up on the TT’s stage for granted. Thanks to all 24 bands that participated. The talent in this city is inspiring. You kept me thoroughly entertained, even when I wasn’t sure I wanted to be.
I hope I was able to capture some of those special Rumble moments…
Twin Berlin opened the 2013 Rumble Finals by reminding us that rock ‘n’ roll can still be fun. The Dogmatics closed out the night by showing us what a time tested tradition that is while the guys in Twin Berlin danced along. This year’s special guest band (and 1985 Rumble participant) are garage rock heroes around here for good reason. They’ve got some amazing tunes. The Dogmatics were a great closer for another memorable Rock ‘N’ Roll Rumble. Let’s do it again next year.
It’s no secret that Eddie Japan is one of my favorite bands in town. Their run in the 2013 Rock ‘N’ Roll Rumble showed exactly why that is. Their wasn’t a single moment during any one of theirsets in the year’s event where I thought they were anywhere but at their best. From the songs to the showmanship, the folks in Eddie Japan refused to let each other down. This was their night. This was their year. Eddie Japan won the 2013 Rock ‘N’ Roll Rumble.
Glenn Yoder And The Western States don’t mess around. Their set in the Rumble Finals was impeccable. They’ve got musicianship and songs to burn. When these guys and gal get going you can feel the heat coming off the stage. Outstanding.
It would seem that Twin Berlin had one mission in the 2013 Rumble: Remind everybody that rock ‘n’ roll is supposed to be fun. That’s exactly what them did in the Prelims. They did it again in the Semis, The Finals were no different. These guys are a blast.
What is this? It’s got a danceable beat and a locked-in baseline, but that piano is haunting. The guitars? They’re just flat out cool. What is Sinnet doing to me? I’m all confused and I like it. “Year of the Whale” has me hooked. The verses are solid. The chorus hits hard. Between the two is a biting little guitar line that is about as subtle as shock therapy. It’s such a great transition riff. Sinnet is on to something. I’m really digging this song.
There was a lot of past Rumble experience taking the stage on Semifinal Night #1. Glenn Yoder And The Western States, White Dynomite, The Daily Pravda and Lifestyle all had at least one member that had been through the ringer before. They combined for more than 20 previous Rumble appearances. You knew everyone was going to be at their best before the night even began.
Experience Vs And Youth
On Semifinal Night #2, only members of Eddie Japan had Rumbled before. It paid off for them. They won the night. The first timers had a pretty good showing as well. Camden and The New Highway Hymnal both put on great shows. Closing out the night, Twin Berlin earned themselves a spot in the final round as the wildcard with a band/crowd blurring set.
One of my favorite moments of this year’s event came when Ad Frank took the mic during Lifestyle’s set to cover himself. The band launched into the old Ad Frank And The Fast Easy Women* tune “Winterthru.” It was amazing.
Fun With Numbers
We’re number one: Both of the Semifinal winners (Glenn Yoder And The Western States / Eddie Japan) were the first band to compete on their night.
Lucky thirteen: The Semifinals featured thirteen band members that had participated in a previous Rumble.
Eight way tie: 8 performers in this year’s semifinal round donned ties for the occasion. Last year there was only one.**
Play Me Out
There were some great song in the Semis. Here are a few of them. Come on out to the Finals tomorrow night at TT’s!
Compiled by Allston Pudding Boston Marathon Relief Mixtape
By now you’ve probably heard all about the amazing Boston Marathon Relief Mixtape assembled by the fine folks at Allston Pudding. Consider this a gentle reminder to all the procrastinators out there to go download this thing. 130 songs from 130 bands.* All the donations go to The One Fund Boston. Good things come in large zip files.
Twin Berlin knows how to let loose on a Monday night. Their Rumble semifinal set of raucous, fuzzed-out tunes got people going. They didn’t take the night, but they earned a spot in the finals as the wildcard. They’ll do it all again on Friday night…