Review: Polica, Andrew Broder at 3S Artspace in Portsmouth, NH 2-18-2018

It had been quite a while since I’ve made it out to a show (life and work seems to get in the way these days), so I was pretty overdue. I made a last minute decision to go to Portsmouth, New Hampshire to catch Polica and Andrew Broder at a cool, small-ish space called 3S Artspace.

After finding a parking spot (tip: on street parking is free after 8pm), I bought a ticket at the door and was inside the venue. This may have been the cleanest venue I’ve ever seen a show in and I loved the small size of the place, which made for a more intimate show with great views of the stage. There weren’t many people there yet, so I ordered a Stoneface IPA and waited for Andrew Broder to come out.

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Andrew Broder

Andrew Broder stood behind a laptop and mixed some beats, creating music that had kind of a Twin Peaks (the TV show, not the band) atmosphere to it. As the set progressed, the experimental/droney sounds morphed into something danceable, causing a few people to start moving, but settled back down like a crashing wave towards the end of the nearly 40 minute set.

After the set, I tried a Great Rhythm Brewing’s Tropical Haze, which was really good, as I waited with what was now a much larger crowd for Polica to go on stage.

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Polica

I had the opportunity to see Minneapolis’s own Polica twice in one weekend during Lollapalooza 2012 in Chicago. Once at Lolla and the second at a very small after party at the Hard Rock Hotel. Both times I was blown away and was excited to finally see them again. Featuring two drummers, a bass player, loops, no guitars, and lead singer Channy Leaneagh, this was their first time ever playing New Hampshire.

Starting out with the straight forward “Amongster” from their first album to the thumping beats of “Lipstick Stains“, the band held the crowds attention for the whole night. This also happened to be Channy Leaneagh’s birthday which led to constant shouts of happy birthday from the crowd until about half through their set and everyone joined in with singing happy birthday to her. After the show, Channy chatted with people everyone who lined up at the merch table.

This was a really cool, fun crowd in a really neat space and I had a great time at this show, even if I did feel a bit awkward being there by myself at first. I ended up at Gilleys for a burger and some cheese fries, where I also made a few new drunken friends who were nearly kicked out. This was the kind of fun night I needed and I’m glad I went.

Setlist

Setlist

Review: The Veldt, Dyr Faser, Your 33 Black Angels at Once Lounge in Somerville, MA 9-02-2016

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This was a tough night as there were several really good shows going on that ranged from the last Guillermo Sexo show to Fat Creeps and even Anthony Green, which I was invited to go to, but I had been looking forward to seeing The Veldt again. This was also their tour kickoff. Finding parking around Once Somerville can be a pain at times, but luckily I found one open spot in the lot across the street. There was another show going on in the larger ballroom, but this one took place in the smaller, more intimate Twin Peaks-ish lounge area upstairs. Your 33 Black Angels were just starting their set.

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Your 33 Black Angels

I was at the bar, ordering a Jack’s Abby Copper Legend just as Brooklyn’s Your 33 Black Angels started playing. Before the beer filled the glass, a fuse blew cutting power to the stage and the bar, which brought applause and cheers from the pretty small crowd. A few minutes later, the amps were powered back up and the show continued. I wasn’t familiar with Your 33 Black Angels but they have been around for a while. They had a bit of a psych sound and at times venturing into synth pop territory. It’s kind of hard to describe their music since it seemed to span multiple genres. They were great and I really enjoyed their set.

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Dyr Faser

Dry Faser’s sound is something that needs to be experienced live. The video above as well as me trying to convey just how awesome their reverb drenched music can fill up the small-ish room does it no justice. A project of Eric Boomhower on guitar, with Thalia Zedek on another guitar and keyboardist Kate Murray all jamming over a drum machine, this trio created some seriously dark sounding music that completely wraps itself around you.

After the set, I ordered a Newburyport Brewing Green Head IPA, then tried to find an unobstructed spot to see The Veldt.

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The Veldt

I have now seen The Veldt 3 times in the last 5 months and every time they have been amazing. Tonight was no exception, especially with projections that added to the vibe of their soul-shoegaze sound, it felt more like an experience rather than a mere show. Singer Daniel Chavis’ soulful voice combined with his brother Danny on guitar, brought a lot of emotion to the songs, which was especially evident on the slower ones.

After the show, I chatted with bassist Hayato Nakao as I bought a Veldt t-shirt. I meant to pick up a physical copy of their latest CD The Shocking Fuzz of Your Electric Fur since I haven’t gotten around to buying it on Bandcamp yet.

This was an awesome small and intimate show that felt like a private performance by some really great bands, all of which I’d recommend seeing if you get the chance.

The Veldt 2016 European tour dates:

09/22 London, UK – Shacklewell Arms (with Electric Eye, Camera)
09/23 Liverpool, UK – Liverpool International Festival of Psychedelia
09/24 Malmo, Sweden – Gatufest // Norra Grängesbergsgatan
09/25 Copenhagen, Denmark – TBC

Review: Magic Shoppe, Minibeast, DYR FASER, U4IA at Once Ballroom in Somerville, MA 5-28-2016

I was really looking forward to this show because it has been a while since I’ve seen Magic Shoppe play. Taking place at Once Ballroom in Somerville, it was my first time at this venue, which isn’t really T accessible, so that meant having to drive there. I was worried about finding someplace to park, but there was a pretty empty parking lot across the street. I paid, then went inside and was kind of surprised that Once Ballroom was a little bigger than pictures I’ve seen had led me to believe. I ordered a Smuttynose Finest Kind IPA then waited as U4IA were setting up.

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U4IA

U4IA is Tim, who also plays drums in Magic Shoppe. He was filling in for Portland’s S.S. Cretins after they were unable to make it to Somerville from Maine. I first saw U4IA at the Lilypad last year where he played solo and was surrounding by lots of electronics, but this time, there were a couple of people helping out. It was a pretty cool nearly 40 minute set of electronic music.

I ordered my usual Jack’s Abby Hoponius Union from the bar, but they only served it in cans, although I still prefer it on tap. DYR FASER were up next and I was really looking forward to seeing them.

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DYR FASER

DYR FASER is a band I have heard a lot about, but haven’t seen live until now. With drum machines and lots of reverb, frontman Eric Boomhower and Thalia Zedek created a darkly layered sound that was subtle and built up in intensity. I really got into this band and was happy to finally see them.

While waiting for Minibeast to go on, the guy standing next to me commented on how sticky the floor was (and believe me, it was!). When he lifted his foot up, it came right out of his shoe, which gave a few people around us a laugh.

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Minibeast

Minibeast are a 3 piece band from Providence and featuring Pete Prescott of Mission of Burma. Their set was full of really cool beats and grooves and they fit right in with the two bands that played before them in keeping a kind of experimental/electronic vibe going.

I ordered one more Finest Kind as Magic Shoppe were getting ready to go on.

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Magic Shoppe

It had been a while since I’ve seen Magic Shoppe play, so I was really looking forward to this and they did not disappoint. With awesome visuals setting the mood behind them, the band tore through a set of psychedelic garage rock which included a personal favorite, “All The Way“. Although it felt like a too short set (doesn’t it always?), it was a good end to a night of amazing experimental and psych music.

I ended up at Sonic in Wilmington for some quick junk food which was much needed and then made my way home. This was a great night of music and people! Once Ballroom was a pretty cool space and I’ll definitely have to catch some more shows there in the future.

Review: G. Gordon Gritty, Atlantic Thrills, Nice Guys, The Barbazons at the Middle East Upstairs 7-01-15

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After a very quick drive to Alewife, I was on the T heading to the Middle East Up in Central Square for the Kids Like You And Me 6th anniversary show! I ordered a Hoponius Union and waited for G. Gordon Gritty to go on.

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G. Gordon Gritty


I wasn’t familiar with G. Gordon Gritty, but this ended up being my favorite band of the night!! Playing most of a pretty rocking set down on the floor amongst the crowd, then band even let other people in the crowd sing. Tambourine guy danced through the crowd and shook it like nobody’s business. Tambourine guy…you fucking rule! It was time for another drink, so I ordered a Harpoon UFO White and waited for the Atlantic Thrills to go on.

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Atlantic Thrills

Providence’s Atlantic Thrills play surf rock with a psych edge to it. The constant spitting of beer into the crowd by one of the members got old real fast though, especially when some of it got into mine. Not cool. That being said, I have seen these guys a few times and they always put on a fun show!

Nice guys were up next.

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Nice Guys

This was my first time seeing the Nice Guys, who played a set of dirty garage rock with a punk edge that whipped the crowd up into a dancing frenzy. At one point, the drummer left his spot behind the drums and sang one of the songs, which was really awesome. These guys were a lot of fun! One more Hoponius Union to replace my tainted drink as one of my favorite local bands, The Barbazons were setting up.

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The Barbazons

My god, I loves me some Barbazons! Really, what more can I say about this band after having seen them so many times? They rocked an all request set with the usual fun energy. I had to leave before they finished because it was a weeknight and the T doesn’t run all that late.

I saw some fun bands, drank some good beers, and had a great time! Thanks to Kids Like Me And You for putting this show on, it was a blast!

Review: Bedroom Eyes, Guerilla Toss, No Joy at the Middle East Upstairs 6-26-2015

I had just missed the red line train by seconds, so I had a bit of a long wait at Alewife, but I was finally on my way to the Middle East for what was a pretty good lineup. Making my way through a very busy Central Square, and subsequently a very busy Middle East restaurant (which if you don’t already know, you have to cut through in order to get to the Upstairs), I paid and walked into a packed room, where Bedroom Eyes were already on.

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Bedroom Eyes

Bedroom Eyes have been around for a couple of years now, but this was the first time I have seen them. They were full of the kind of shoegazey goodness that I haven’t heard in quite a while and I was loving it! I will definitely have to see them again.

It was time for my first beer of the night, which was a Hoponius Union from Jack’s Abby and went down way too fast, making me think that I probably should have eaten dinner before heading out. Guerrilla Toss were up next.

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Guerilla Toss

Guerilla Toss are a band that I’ve read a lot about but have never seen live until tonight. Playing a pretty wild set of experimental noise rock, the crowd was dancing and going nuts during every song. It’s very easy to compare them to Arab on Radar, but it was a really fun set that was full of energy from both the band and the crowd.

It got really hot after their set, so I ordered a Harpoon UFO White and waited for No Joy to go on for the last show of their current tour.

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No Joy

It took a little while for Canada’s No Joy to set up their equipment, but once everything was good to go, they launched right into the music. Singer Jasamine White-Gluz’s vocals were barely audible over all of the distortion from the guitars. It should be noted that they were loud, *very* loud, so I’d highly recommend wearing earplugs if you’re going to see them live (and you should, because they were awesome!).

Although the show ended kind of early, I had a really fun time seeing some great bands. After a quick stop in Harvard Square for some much needed food at Tasty Burger, I was on my way back home, happy and satisfied.

Review: U4IA, SUNRAM, Ancient River at the Lilypad in Cambridge, MA 5-30-2015

This show was at the Lilypad in Inman Square, which is a place the T doesn’t go to, so I ended up having to drive there (and getting a little lost on the way). I was worried about parking, but there was a lot behind the club which was free after 10pm, and with this being a late show…it all worked out. I stood outside with several other people who were waiting for a while. I guess the earlier show ended late and that pushed things back a bit. I finally went inside and noticed this place was small. Like, really, really small, but that’s ok, it makes for a more intimate show.

I went to the tiny bar that is situated in the front window and got a Jack’s Abby Hopponius Union as U4IA, who replaced the original openers Worthless started to play.

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U4IA

I couldn’t find any information on U4IA through a Google and Facebook search, other than a video from a show he played at Out of the Blue Too Gallery. Surrounded by instruments from the other bands, he wailed on the guitar and occasionally played a keyboard as the drum machine did it’s thing, while also making use of loops. At one point, the very cute and very friendly little dog (Annie as I was informed) that lives upstairs from the Lilypad, decided to take a walk around the stage while U4IA was playing, as well as gave smiles to everyone in the place. It was insanely cute!

I went back to the bar for another beer and being undecided, the bartender, who was awesome by the way, suggested something that had an 11% alcohol content. Having driven there, I had to decline but ended up with his other suggestion of something with a lower content, the Lagunitas IPA, which is always a good choice.

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SUNRAM

SUNRAM is a side project by some of the members of local psych band Ghost Box Orchestra. From what I gather, this was their first show in a long time. Taking turns on different instruments at times, their set was full of instrumental droning and dark psych rock goodness. It seemed to be pretty short, but it was great!

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Ancient River

Up next were Ancient River, a band I got into a few months ago when I heard the amazing first track “This Is The Time” off of their just released Keeper of the Dawn (an album I’m currently mildly obsessed with). For some reason I thought there was more than two people in this band, which was really only a drummer and guitarist. They created both guitar and vocal loops while playing, which gave the illusion of there being more people in the band. At times, the drummer took out a small keyboard and would play that. Unfortunately their set was also really short, which I’m guessing was because of the late start and 1am closing time.

Although there wasn’t much of a crowd left by the end of the night, I got to meet a some new people and the bands were all amazing. The Lilypad is a pretty cool little spot to check out a show, with a good selection of craft beers on tap and I’ll definitely be going back there again.