» VIEW BLOG Boston Hassle Blog
Boston_Hassle on 06/18/2014 at 03:52PM
A screaming, beyond logical continuation of future primitive rock n' roll madness flows from TUNNEL OF LOVE. This s/t record was the first vinyl issuing of this trio's blatant low chord number freakish-ness. Another band vying for the title of most popular band on the Boston area underground music circuit during the first half of the 00s decade.
I first encountered these miscreants (a truly applicable term) raging out (stand up drummer, twins or close relations at least barking and battering a guitar) @ the Berwick Institute in Dudley Sq. in the Roxbury neighborhood of Boston. They were the one garage rock band among a whole scene of art freaks and their resulting music. At the time the Berwick was certainly one of the epicenters of underground music and art in the Boston area, and so when I would see that bands were playing there it was essentially a stamp of approval. TOL received that stamp time and time again. They would eventually become staples @ my house venue THE HOSS and I would eventually release this album for them on LP and CD with my friend Dave Conway.
Originals paired with choice covers, all rendered in one of the gnarliest takes on garage rock that has ever been. You'd be forgiven for thinking that this scuzz was a product of Memphis or Detroit, but no, Boston, MA. Actually, Brookline, MA, just across the Muddy River from Boston, really. Unholy, scuzzing garage rock bombast. As of 2014 these guys do not play very much anymore, but they still stop to throw shit from time to time. Several 7's and LPs followed this one (and a good handful of CD-Rs preceded it). The brothers MacBain went on to bands like THE MONSIEURS, MARTY KINGS, THE PSYCHED, and 99999999999999999999.
- Dan Shea (firstname.lastname@example.org)
** Unfortunately we can't host the cover songs from this record on the FMA.
Get a copy of the LP, or hear the record otherwise, it's worth it. Their version
of "Paint It Black" is LEGENDARY.
LP was limited to 300, 100 of which were ruined by a basement flood. There's
like 20 left.
If you want one get in touch: email@example.com
TAGGED AS:brookline ma, andy macbain, tol, eca records, minimalist, massacusetts, rock n roll, garage rock, brookline, anthony macbain, bodies of water arts and crafts, art rock, the hoss, blown out, boston, makoto, tunnel of love, garage stomp, boston diy, boston underground, scuzz rock, See Less...
Boston_Hassle on 06/05/2014 at 11:31AM
Mysterio-rock trio NIGHT RALLY emerges from the mist & murk of a decade past. Here their debut EP/demo is visible to the naked eye!
Another band encountered in the basements, and other off-the-beaten-path venues, as well as the bars and clubs of Boston, Cambridge, and Somerville (the latter @ the time just beginning to move toward being a land of much live music).
NIGHT RALLY were a unique band for multiple reasons. For one, their post-punkian pop throb was a truly collaborative effort, where band members Luke, Farhad, and Devin not only shared playing and songwriting duties, but singing duties as well. Even here on this demo the singing effort is split up amongst the lot. Secondly, the sound they mined - a pulsing, jittery thing crowned by celestial guitars, and full of anxious yelps trading off with mellow croon - was an abberation at that time in Boston's underground music scene. The band was of the variety that, while perhaps preferring the more informal settings of a Bodies of Water or Honeypump booked underground show, were nonetheless also comfortable in the bar live music setting. And so the band was one of the few of its moment that bridged the gap between acceptance by the underground/ diy music community and the more pop and "indie music" oriented Boston rock club scene and its ilk.
NIGHT RALLY's demo has always been my favorite recording by the band. Initially it found its way to me via the underground venue I was involved with, The HOSS, probably handed to me on an evening when the band played, or not. These Cambridge fellows found their way to that Brighton basement on a number of occasions, playing or not, if my memory serves. The demo @ only 4 songs is fairly perfect, each of the 4 offerings highlighting one or a number of the band's strengths. The rhythm section is locked in, propulsive and capable of surprise turns while remaining locked in. The delay coated guitars showering the songs as if rays of light beaming increasingly through a clouded sky post-shower. Devin King's inventive, powerful lead vocals, intertwine with his bandmate's, creating a syncopated, unified human voice that reaches out and grabs the listener.
NIGHT RALLY were a great band. A split LP with the band CLICKERS followed on HONEYPUMP RECORDS. The self-released PRESTON FAMILY CREST appeared later, and served as the band's swan song.
They disbanded in 2006. Both of these other recordings will eventually make their way onto the FMA via the Boston Hassle, so if you like this EP, keep your eyes peeled.
Boston_Hassle on 05/28/2014 at 03:34AM
Whitehaus Family Record Family Record - Boston's longest-running DIY collective/show space/label's first vinyl compilation
Released in 2010, the Whitehaus Family Record Family Record is a double vinyl testament to the diverse, prolific and wide reaching talent of the Whitehaus Family Record label, the physical Whitehaus community show space in Jamaica Plain, MA and the Whitehaus family and extended-family members themselves. The tracks herein were conceived and recorded from the collective's inception in 2007 up to the compilation's release in 2010. This record is a continuation of the CD-R samplers and records released by the WFR label in it's formative years and it does an excellent job of representing all the magical qualities the collective has held from the very beginning. There is a wealth of good music and messages contained in the Whitehaus' rich history. We plan to continue archiving whatever we can dig up from this crucial faction of Boston DIY culture, which still continues to this day.
If you don't know about the Whitehaus, it was first known as a place that opened up it's doors every friday to community hootenannies and general chilling (see their Wikipedia entry for mostly correct information). Anyone could come and perform at a hootenanny (or HOOT) that was held every friday from 11-4am and all styles, aesthetics and sounds were welcome with open arms. This is where poets, artists and musicians in JP could hone their craft, share with each other or just have a good time. As the collective grew it began releasing Hoot compilation tapes and other records/projects of Whitehaus family and extended family members. The Haus began to host more touring and out of town bands, tying itself in with a worldwide network of underground artists and becoming synonymous with Boston DIY culture. Hosting touring bands nearly every night, releasing dozens of CD-R, tape and 7" recordings and beginning to book tours themselves, the Whitehaus collective was more inspired than ever in 2010.
This double vinyl compilation features the wide breadth of music, art and poetry happening in and around the Whitehaus at the time. It dates back to its earliest members and tunes and reaches right up to the fresh blood that came into the fold in the months leading up to the compilation's release. Some notable contributions to this compilation include outstanding folk vibes of Gracious Calamity and Pancho The Kid, VT cosmic-pop troupe The Great Valley (Feeding Tube Records/NNA Tapes), Anna Fox Rochinski of Quilt (Mexican Summer), former JP residents and "now age" high preistesses Prince Rama (Paw Tracks), tape chime noise pioneers Peace, Loving, psychedelic trance-party pushers Many Mansions and Truman Peyote, dedicated followers of pop fun The Needy Visions and The Cups and stomping folk-soul diva Shira E to name a few.
Continue to look for more Whitehaus-related material being uploaded to the FMA in the coming months. Eventually you will be able to put together all the pieces of this underground puzzle and see why the Whitehaus Family Record is so important to the radness of Boston, MA and beyond. If you like what you hear you might want to pay them a visit, they still have shows.
Tune in and bliss out.
- Sam Potrykus
Boston_Hassle on 05/09/2014 at 03:00PM
This band was probably the most fun thing happening in the Boston underground music scene circa 2003-2004. Beyond this 7" (released by BODIES OF WATER arts and crafts (full disclosure: my label) there was also a demo tape with their original drummer (which was recorded in a strange wooden room in the far corner of the basement @ my old house/ venue in Brighton, THE HOSS). So fun. THE MULES sound was a truly rambunctious thing, a hyper, spastic art punk with nods to garage rock, noise rock, and the overarching cool underground music of that moment in whcih they existed, post-punk. If there was one band who defined what THE HOSS was to me, it was this bunch. Doug on guitar, Marin on keys, and Jose on guitar/ bass. Jose and Marin taking most of the singing duties. The drummer situation was a revolving one (as it so often seems to be). Here on this recording Elliott, their final drummer, plays the role. They played with OLD TIME RELIJUN at that show house in Brighton, and the match was perfect, and should give you an idea of where THE MULES were at in their time. The band broke up several times, and thus had several reunion shows. And with each show, as happens, the number of people aware of their music grew and grew. The final final final show was, if my memory serves me, @ another house show space called CASTLE GREY SKULL, in Allston. And it was mayhem. A final happy FUCK YOU from a band who lived on the fringes, wanted nothing more, but certainly deserved more.
I went on tour with THE MULES and our friends, and another band on my label, WILDLIFE (they later became WILDILDLIFE) in probably 2005. One of the better shows on the tour was @ a Chicago warehouse called MISTER CITY, home to the awesome noise rock squelchers COUGHS, who hooked up the show. It was the first time I ever saw DAN DEACON, and beyond that the performers must have been pretty noisy. I remember this because a comment that an audience member made to one of THE MULES after their set has been fused to my memory of the band itself. I don't know who said it, or to whom it was said, but someone came up to the band after their set that night as I stood nearby and said something like, "The noise sections in your songs shouldn't make any sense, and certainly have no right being there. But it does make sense, and it works. Good set." That interaction sums up this band for me: straddling multiple, at times disparate genres, but making it all work, and making it all fun as hell. The mincing of the genres that THE MULES smashed together has become more common place in the decade since they rocked basements, but that ability to make it all fun remains elusive still.
This 7" was recorded somewhere @ Emerson College, for free by someone (thank you unknown engineer). Perhaps it doesn't capture the true raucous nature of this unwieldy group in teh live setting, but at least something exists that can be pointed to, to prove that this band existed. I will try to dredge up that demo tape @ some point, if any still exist. I will also try to find the original cover to this 7" (the image included on this 7"'s album page is the color version of what appeared in faded black and white on the 7"s back cover), as that too has perhaps been lost to time...
Members of THE MULES went on to form great bands such as: MMOSS, SPF ALOT, DOUG TUTTLE, BAROQUE PUNKS, EGGPLONT, WORLD MAP, DRUNK DAD, and PROTOKOLL. In particular DOUG TUTTLE has gained a good deal of notoriety and acclaim for his contemporary take on psychedelic pop, and other strains of psychedelia.
- Dan Shea (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Copies of this 7" still exist!!!!
If you would like to get your hands on one please email: email@example.com
TAGGED AS:boston underground, boston, jose delara, the hoss, bodies of water arts and crafts, See More...
Boston_Hassle on 05/05/2014 at 06:02PM
U.V. PROTECTION's 1st album CONSUMER MATERIAL, a lost Boston underground music treasure from 10 years ago!
UV PROTECTION came out of a scene centered around Mass Art (the public Massachusetts College of Art) that was fostered by show booker/label head/ party thrower, Ben Sisto, himself a Mass Art student. From there the band exploded into the basements and many other odd spaces all over the Boston area. Based primarily out of Somerville, and part of the 440R Collective based just outside of Union Sq., they might possibly have been the most popular band in Boston underground music leading up to and during the time surrounding the release of their 1st album, CONSUMER MATERIAL in 2004. They may also be the last Somerville performers to achieve such popularity.
Sisto's label HONEYPUMP RECORDS released the record in 2004. Icy, and shambling synth-pop permeates the thing. LILLIPUT gone new wave rather than punk, or ESG if they'd taken opera lessons and had a large pile of keyboards.
Something like that. At their best this band had packed basements across the city writhing to their bubbling poppy, post-punk. One of the best post-punk bands Boston has seen, these 4 women, 2 synths/ drums/ dancer wearing different costumes for EVERY show (designed by pne of the band's 2 singers Karen Tsiakais) should have known wider popularity but it never happened. A second self-released record CLEAN MODERN COMFORTABLE followed 3 years later. Bands spawned of UV's demise include THE SECRET SEA.
- Dan Shea (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Boston_Hassle on 05/05/2014 at 06:00PM
Bugs and Rats are from Quincy, MA and you probably haven't heard their heavy & loud amazing record: Adidas
You know that one great band that always ends up playing with a ton of shitty bar bands? You know when you go out to some dive bar with your friends and there are some crappy metal bands playing the stage, and then all of the sudden one act comes up and is legitimately gnarly, but no one really pays attention because it goes over there heads? For years, this was Bugs and Rats, from Quincy, MA. It’s not a surprising thing when you see Quincy. It’s a small town outside of Boston, not known for any sort of booming music scene. Perhaps it was the lack of music scene that helped Bugs and Rats ooze to fruition.
The boys; Shawnie Brando, Kellzo, and Radek Weirzbowski, started writing and playing music together in 2003. Influenced by the hardcore scene and bands like Godflesh, Nirvana and Eyehategod, the band's early sound was a mix of simple song structures, repetitive hooks and vocals akin to some sort of dog being strangled. The first release, 2004’s Smart as a Whip was (according to Brando) met with little interest from the Quincy bar band and metal 'scene.' Bugs and Rats were not really playing punk, they were not really playing metal, there weren’t really playing rock. It was hard to pin-point what they were doing.
- Rory MacMurdo
Boston_Hassle on 05/05/2014 at 06:06AM
MARTY KINGS - XVII (TUNNEL OF LOVE's Andy MacBain quietly releases juggernaut of a solo garage punk-pop record)
If ever there was a quintessential garage rock monster of Massachusetts, who haunts and wreaks music havoc on it's denizens across generations, suggesting some type of immortal rock quality about him.. it is Andy Macbain. Boston is lucky to have such a character. Macbains initial fuzzy footprint was left by the humungous chucks of TUNNEL OF LOVE. Ten years ago it was Tunnel Of Love instilling fear in the hearts of young Bostonians, those who dared to venture into the basement. In recent past Macbain has been stirring up shit with his trio THE MONSIEURS who (at least for those who don't remember TOL) are IT for nasty garage pop in Boston. But this project? This is a project - The Marty Kings - Macbain's latest solo venutre is a testament to why this guy needs no one. He will always be a monster of gnarly rock and roll glory and you know it'll be true because it won't matter who is around to participate or witness, Macbain will be not be stopped. People need to hear this and if need be, follow the man into hell.
- Sam Potrykus
Boston_Hassle on 10/21/2013 at 04:15AM
In 2010, Wes Kaplan released the album Teenage High-School under the name The Craters. A self-proclaimed "100% bedroom project," this album stood it’s ground in the scene for quite some time, now having it’s name dropped in small circles of music enthusiasts (eg. “Yo, do you like The Craters?"). The album showcased a trial and error production style, using a mixture of hand-claps, electronic drum samples, synths, un-plugged electric guitar loops, vocals, and a whole bunch of effects in a minimal manner, displaying Kaplan’s songwriting in as unique a way possible. Right off the bat, Teenage High-School was agreed upon by the few who heard it as a total jam, a very brilliant listen, and at the very least, an extremely unique pop album.
- Rory MacMurdo
Boston_Hassle on 10/02/2013 at 06:00AM
The Boston underground has recently been rejoicing for reasons devoid of home-team sport pride. Free Pizza, a short lived yet extremely memorable power-pop group has decided to reunite within the past few months of 2013. This is not your everyday reunion. This is a great day for New England, and all areas of land where rokndroll is bumping.
Power-Pop is a genre that many are attracted to, and thus will dip their toe in and attempt to make some pop jams. Maybe this is why it can feel like a sort of redundant genre, with so many mediocre acts 'poppin' up here and their, playing some dumb songs about eating cheetos or skateboarding or maybe something about a girl or, um, girls. It is also one of those sounds that has changed so much since it's early raw yet earest beginnings in the 80's with bands like the Replacements. Power-Pop can almost have a bit too much self-awareness. Not Free Pizza. These boys are having a party and everyone is invited.
- Rory MacMurdo
jason on 10/12/2012 at 05:00AM
Though you'd never guess from a listen to this fantastic comp of Boston DIY music, its organizers believe that their city has some problems: "Rents are high. The train doesn't go where the rents are low. Nearly all the clubs in town treat bands like scum and have little or nothing to do with the music communities that keep them in business. In short it can be a serious hassle to be a band in the area, especially one that isn't mainstream."
Boston Hassle is combatting these problems through concerts and initiatives that unite the greater Boston area's underground communities. The Boston Hassle webzine is overseen by Bodies of Water Shows, a not-for-profit show-booking entity with a bourgening label arm known as Bodies of Water Arts & Crafts. The same crew is also behind the Boston Counter Cultural Compass, a monthly newsletter for underground all-ages/DIY shows throughout Boston, Cambridge, Somerville, Brookline and beyond.
Boston Compass, Boston Hassle and Bodies of Water are joining forces for the fourth-annual Home Grown Festival this November 2nd & 3rd. The lineup includes a big batch of FMA favorites from all over the country like Gary Wilson, Pissed Jeans, Blue Sausage Infant, Burning Star Core, Dan Melchior, Black Dice's Eric Copeland, Fat Worm of Error, Greg Kelley/Bill Nace, Major Stars, PC Worship, Purling Hiss, Roomrunner, Sediment Club, Sightings, Sore Eros and many more. You'll also find a few of the artists from this compilation: Slumberland's classy pop group Cuffs, deconstructed post-indie rockers Fat History Month, and Exusamwa feat. Angela from the great local shop Weirdo Records.
Boston Hassle's premier compilation of Boston underground music was originally released on a 3" playable button (pictured at right). Pick up the badge and show some support for their efforts to make it a little bit easier for Boston underground music to thrive!