Ride release their new song called “Charm Assault”

There is nothing quite like randomly checking Twitter and seeing that one of my favorite bands ever, like top 5 favorite, Ride, have released their first new song in 20 years! “Charm Assault“, which will be on the band’s new album due out this summer, is a very catchy song that I’m sure will have lots of people singing along when they play it live. I for one, cannot wait until they tour the U.S. again (unless I can somehow get to some of their shows in Europe).

Ride 2017 tour dates:

March 21, 2017 – Limelight, Belfast, UK
March 22, 2017 – Olympia Theatre, Dublin, Ireland
March 24, 2017 – BBC6 Music Festival, Glasgow
Jul 13–16, 2017 – Festival Internacional de Benicàssim

Review: Lush, Tamaryn at Royale Boston 9-15-2016

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Ever since the Lush reunion was announced, I had hoped a tour would follow (it did) and that they would play Boston (they did). I got to Alewife and took the very much delayed Red Line train to downtown Boston, where I met up with a couple of friends for some pre-show dinner and drinks at Jacob Wirth, then we were off to Royale Boston

At the door, our excitement was brought down as I got hassled about my non-removable lens camera by the people working the door (who have a reputation all their own, just look up the Yelp reviews of this place). After proving to them it was NOT a professional camera and that I wasn’t interested in being in the photo pit, amongst other assumptions they made, I was finally allowed in (thanks to the manager who took a quick glance and said it was fine). This was kind of embarrassing and different people who witnessed this whole thing came up to me throughout the night and told me how ridiculous it all was. Admittedly, this whole incident soured me on the night, so I wasn’t all that excited to be there anymore, but tried to make the best of it. All of the pictures below were taken on an iPhone 6 because I was too self conscious about using the camera at this point. Ok, enough with the negatives, I was here to see some bands!

After finding a spot really close to the stage, we made a few friends around us while waiting for Tamaryn to go on.

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Tamaryn

I first saw Tamaryn on the river stage at Austin Psych Fest a couple of years ago and they were amazing. Tonight was even better (minus the incredible backdrop of the Colorado River). Tamaryn came out to loud cheers and started to play immediately. With a dream pop, shoegaze sound that consisted of some fairly heavy bass, singer Tamaryn made her way all over the stage, and at times, played keyboards. I thoroughly enjoyed their set.

After they were done, I checked out the merch table before Lush went on and Tamaryn was signing CDs for people. So that was pretty cool.

I grabbed a Harpoon UFO from that lady that sells them in the back corner for $5 and found a spot to see Lush even though there was a pretty large crowd.

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Lush

I was lucky enough to have seen Lush a few times in the 90’s…including that one time at Rocky Point in Warwick, RI where they played with Live and Weezer (that was a very strange night in more than a few ways). Of course nothing can top the time I saw Lush at a 4AD showcase (which also featured Mojave 3 and Scheer) in the 90’s at Lupos in Providence where I had an awesome spot right against the stage in front of lead singer Miki Berenyi.

It seemed like a it took a while for the band to come out, prolonging the anticipation. When they finally did and launched straight into “De-Luxe“, it was awesome! Although the vocals sounded a little more mature, as they would after 20 years, the band overall sounded great! Playing all of the favorites such as “Hypocrite“, “Light from a Dead Star“, the long slow jammy “Out of Control“, which had quite a few people bobbing their heads, and the faster “Lady Killers” which got everyone dancing around. In fact, during Ladykillers, Tamaryn stopped and danced right in front of me. They ended the set with “Sweetness and Light” and left the stage, only to come back a few minutes later for a 3 song encore. They appeared for a second encore to play one more song, before finally ending the night.

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Lush setlist that some girl was nice enough to let me take a picture of.

Considering all of the issues getting there on the T and then problems with staff, I still ended up having a pretty good time and it was great meeting some new people, but I will have to seriously think about going to any more shows at Royale again.

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: The Brian Jonestown Massacre, The Veldt at The Paradise in Boston, MA 5-7-2016

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Since I was unable to see the Brian Jonestown Massacre at the cancelled Levitation 2016, I was hoping to see them locally here in Boston, but didn’t order a ticket in time and the show was sold out. Through a pretty cool set of circumstances, I was able to go after all and I appreciate that more than anything!

After a very fast ride on the Red Line to Park Street, then a change to a very slow ride on the Green Line, I finally got to The Paradise. As I walked in, North Carolina’s The Veldt had just started playing. I ordered a Hoptical Illusion beer and tried to find a spot to see the band.

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The Veldt

It was kind of hard to see 90’s soul shoegazers, The Veldt, who were opening three of the East Coast shows on this tour, and not just because of the massive crowd around the stage, but because the stage was really dark. This was a big difference from seeing them in Austin where there were all kinds of swirly visuals being projected onto the band. One thing was for sure, the sound was much cleaner and louder than when I saw them last week at Barracuda. The first half of their set seemed to consist more of their shoegaze sound and switched to a more soulful sound for the second half. I have really enjoyed seeing The Veldt twice in two weeks and hope they stick around for a while and continue to tour.

After their set, I went outside to get some air and ended up randomly chatting with a really cool couple from RI. Then in a repeat from last week in Austin, I saw Tayler from Magic Shoppe and we chatted for a bit. I have to say, the psych scene is one of the friendliest (and yes, even in the notoriously very unfriendly Boston). I went back inside and ordered another Hoptical Illusion, while waiting for The Brian Jonestown Massacre to go on.

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Brian Jonestown Massacre

The Brian Jonestown Massacre came out to very loud cheers and applause from a sold out crowd that reached across all age ranges. I’m sure by now everyone knows about the Dig! documentary and the band’s past (and for some reason, if you don’t, I highly recommend see it!). From the very first song, BJM frontman Anton Newcombe held the audiences attention for a nearly 3 hour show that didn’t fixate on any one era of the band’s music. They played an incredible mix of older songs like “Geezer” and my personal favorite “Open Heart Surgery” to some newer stuff, some of which hasn’t been released yet. The crowd sang along with “Who?”, seemingly having fun yelling “whoooo” every time that part of the song came up.

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Evan Dando

They even had Evan Dando of The Lemonheads come out and play a mini set, which was something Newcombe teased earlier. After Dando left the stage, the band came back out and kept playing as the night got later and later. The crowd thinned out a little bit, but by a lot less than you would normally see at a show. This was probably due to the fact that the show went until almost 1am, long after the T stops running, but nobody wanted to miss any part of it. They could have played till 5am for all I care because it was incredible and worth missing the last train! They ended the night with an awesome, high energy jam that fired up the crowd.

I didn’t even care that I had missed the last train (thanks MBTA for cutting late night service), because this night was soo worth it! After wandering down Comm Ave. for a bit to find some food, I ended up at Otto Pizza, where I got a couple of slices to go. I requested an Uber to get me back to my car at Alewife and made my way home. This was an absolutely amazing night of music and will probably go down as one of my favorite shows of the year.

Levitation 2016 Kick Off Party at Empire Control Room and Barracuda in Austin, TX 4-28-2016

This was a long and very strange day. After getting up at the ungodly hour of 3am to catch a flight to Austin for Levitation 2016 and very little sleep, I was really looking forward to these two shows. I got some lunch at Javi’s Best of Tex Mex, which is one my favorite places near my hotel, then went back to my room for a much needed nap. I woke up around 5pm, checked Twitter real quick and saw the extremely disappointing news that Levitation 2016 was cancelled. I thought this was a joke at first.

So, the festival was cancelled due to the threat of strong thunderstorms in Austin. I don’t think the 2 raindrops that fell all day counts as a storm, but whatever. There’s nothing as devastating as having something you were looking forward to for a year just pulled away at literally the last minute. Levitation/Austin Psych Fest has always been my favorite festival, even more so than Lollapalooza, so yeah, this really sucked. But, I was determined to make the best of the situation and with my weekend now freed up, I had time to do some apartment hunting (I’m looking for some leads on apartments that aren’t filled with waterbugs and possible jobs in Austin) and hang out in some of my favorite coffee shops and restaurants, so that was definitely a plus.

When these shows were announced, I had a hard time deciding where to go to the one at Empire Control Room or Barracuda (the third and much larger show was at the Mohawk, but I didn’t even consider it just because it would have been a pain to run between three clubs), so I bought a ticket for both. Since the show at Empire had an earlier start time and that’s where I began the night.

I got to Empire around 7:45pm, a little later than planned. I really love this venue! It’s small, but you can get a pretty good view of the inside stage from almost anywhere. I ordered a Karbach Weekend Warrior, which wasn’t bad, but had a little more of a sour taste than I like. Beer in hand, I made my way over to the room for Hidden Ritual.

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Hidden Ritual

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The Golden Dawn

With visuals projected onto every wall surrounding the stage, Austin’s own Hidden Ritual played a set full of reverb soaked psychedelia to a pretty good sized crowd. I ended up liking these guys a lot. From there, I went to the outdoor garage stage to see The Golden Dawn. I stuck around for a few songs, but it just wasn’t my thing. Maybe a little too much twang for my tastes. That being said, they had a pretty good crowd packed into the covered garage area as a few raindrops began to fall.

I could see a long line across the street at Barracuda and tried to wait it out for a bit. I ended up just going over there and chatting with people around me as we waited in line. In an “only in Austin” kind of thing, I was recognized by Tayler from Magic Shoppe, who was standing in front of me along with singer Josiah. It really is a small freakin world! This at least made the long wait to get inside that much easier. Inside, nobody was playing yet, so I ordered a Fireman’s #4 from the bar, then made my way to the outside stage to see Death Valley Girls

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Death Valley Girls

The outside stage at Barracuda (formerly Red 7) is one of my favorite places to see bands anywhere. Death Valley Girls definitely brought the garage rock sounds to the outdoor space.

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Sugar Candy Mountain

Sugar Candy Mountain were playing inside, so I went to check them out. To be honest, I wasn’t familiar with this band, but really enjoyed watching their set as did a lot of the people standing around me, who were having a lot of fun watching them. I thought that they sounded a like a more psychedelic Beatles.

I went back outside to see Levitation Room, but not before changing up my drink to a hard ginger ale, which was too syrupy and sweet for my tastes, so I trashed it. I also ran into the dude I was chatting with in line earlier and we ended up hanging out for a bit, so that was cool. Shows are always more fun with people to chill with.

Levitation Room

Coming from LA, Levitation Room brought a breezy sound that was a throwback to the older psych sound of the 60’s. These guys were great!

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The Turns

Back inside, The Turns kept the psychedelic vibes going. I went back outside and caught some of The Coathangers set. These four ladies totally rocked and had more of punk/grunge sound, which was a little different than most of the bands that played on this night.

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The Veldt

Inside, The Veldt were just getting started. Although they come from the early 90’s shoegaze scene, their set had a more R&B/soul feel to it with singer Daniel Chavis emotionally crooning through the songs. There was an intensity that I’m pretty sure every single person in the room felt. This was by far my favorite band of the night and the weekend!

After The Veldt’s set, I went over to Empire to see Ringo Deathstarr, a band I love and have seen a few times in the past. But it was a little too crowded and hot inside, so I went out to the little side area and could still hear them playing their gazey dream pop.

Once the show was over, I walked up 6th Street in a search for some late night food. I ended up getting a burger and fries at P. Terry’s and then made my way back to the hotel for some very much needed sleep and to figure out the rest of the weekend.

Review: The Silver Mirrors, S.S. Cretins, Dead Leaf Echo, Magic Shoppe at Out of the Blue Too 11-07-2015

After an unusually long wait for the red line at Alewife, the train finally arrived and I was on my way to Central Square. This was my first show at Out of the Blue Too Gallery, so I wasn’t really sure what to expect.

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Upon arriving at Out of the Blue Too, the first thing you notice is that this is one funky place for a show. All kinds of artwork was featured along the walls and the “stage” was an area set up in the middle of the gallery surrounded by rope lights, with the bands playing on the floor, which makes for a pretty intimate show. If you’re a fan of beer and other alcohols, one thing to take note of is that there is no alcohol served here, but there is a liquor store a couple of doors down. Use that information as you will. The Silver Mirrors were already playing as I got there.

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The Silver Mirrors

The Silver Mirrors are a garage psych band from Boston. This was the first time I had heard of them but they were a great way to start the night. I’m now a fan and can’t wait to see these guys again!

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S.S. Cretins

Next were S.S. Cretins, who came here from Portland, Maine. I’m not sure how to describe their music other than as raw psychedelic dirty stomp. These guys and girl were really good. After their set, I stepped outside to get some fresh air before Dead Leaf Echo took the stage for the last show of their current tour before heading back home to Brooklyn.

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Dead Leaf Echo

I think this was Dead Leaf Echo’s first show in the Boston area in over a year. The last time I saw them was at the now closed venue Church of Boston (R.I.P.) last year and had a great time at that show. With lots of dreamy gaze and distortion, the band played a set of great music, which was awesome to see in such an intimate setting. They even played some new songs which sounded pretty good. At one point, they dedicated a song to birthday boy Kris Thompson of Magic Shoppe, who I’ve gotten to know over the last year and is a pretty cool dude.

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Magic Shoppe

This was Magic Shoppe’s last show of the year. The stage area seemed really cramped with all 5 members of the band trying to work around a stage crasher playing tambourine. Either way, they killed it as always with their psychedelic sounds, even if the equally psychedelic checkerboard cupcake pring hanging from the ceiling above them seemed to be distracting them (in the best and funniest way possible!). They still remain my favorite local band and it’s going to be a long wait until February to see them play again.

Overall, despite a few minor annoyances, I had a pretty good time seeing and hearing some great bands! I’d recommend seeing any of them live if you get the chance. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed.

Review: Ride, The Besnard Lakes at The Paradise Rock Club in Boston 10-03-2015

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This was a show I needed to go to for many reasons, one being a rough week at work, but it was also a good excuse to catch up with some friends from Providence and have some drinks. We met up at Limoo, which is located across the street from the Paradise. We chose this place based on the Yelp reviews were really good, but our experience there was pretty bad. This is one of the few times Yelp has failed me. Once we finished our food, we made our away across the street to the Paradise, where we were some of the first people inside. I started with a Goose Island Autumn Ale, which was really good and waited for The Besnard Lakes to go on.

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The Besnard Lakes

The Besnard Lakes, who I have previously seen at Austin Psych Fest, totally killed it with a mix of shoegaze and psych music. It looked a little cramped on the stage between 5 members of the band, their instruments, and Ride’s equipment already set up behind them.

Ride Drums

I went to the bar and ordered a Goose Island 312, which I’m pretty sure was from an old batch because it tasted terrible and nothing like the one I had at Lollapalooza a couple of months ago. I trashed it and went back to the Autumn Ale. There seemed to be a lot of time to kill in between the sets and the club was totally packed by the time Ride came out.

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Ride

Ride are my favorite band of the early 90’s shoegaze era. Of the 3 major players (My Bloody Valentine, Slowdive, Ride), they were the ones I was hoping would reunite. There was a cool musical build up as Ride took to the stage and the crowd cheered very loudly. The band started by playing “Leave Them All Behind” and classics such as “Seagull” and “Vapour Trail”. They ended the main set with some long, crazy noise feedback during “Drive Blind”. The band came back for a two song encore where they finished up with “Today” and “Chelsea Girl”. The set was awesome and Marc Gardener and Andy Bell sounded great! I was kind of bummed that they didn’t play my favorite song which is “Nowhere”. Perhaps another time. Also, I expected the show to be a lot louder than it actually was, maybe that’s because the My Bloody Valentine show last year was just so incredibly loud.

While waiting near the stage after the show, one of the people breaking down the stage asked if I wanted the drumsticks, so yeah, of course I took them! These will go awesome in a frame with Ride’s vinyl re-release of the “Nowhere” album that I have already pre-ordered.

On our way out, the doorman for the Paradise Lounge part of the club asked if we wanted stay for the after party and that the bands would be there hanging out. How could you say no to that? We hung out there for a while, then the bands started to filter in and people got excited. I ended up getting my one of the drumsticks signed by Mark Gardener and it was the highlight of my year to actually meet him. I was unsuccessful in meeting the rest of the band and getting them all to sign them though.

We finally parted ways, and it was a long wait for the T, but I ended up chatting with a couple of people that were at the show as well. This was an amazing night of friends, music, and just a great time seeing one of my favorite bands ever. I hope Ride stay together and will definitely catch them again at some point in the future.