Slimedog’s 26th Birthday Celebration
(Mexican Food, Art, College Graduation Parties, Papa Gino’s!)
BarRoom Heroes, The Blue Bloods, Hope & The Husbands
Midway Café, Jamaica Plain, MA 5/12/12
Get The Fear, Tijuana Sweethearts, Damn Broads, Tensor
Ralph’s Rock Diner, Worcester, Ma 5/12/12
(Plus enough beer and Jagermeister to fill the Grand Canyon)
Okay, so this is my 26th Birthday, and it happens to fall on a Saturday. A perfect day for me contains three items, still now and back when I was really 26, and that’s – punk rock, beer and Mexican food. And that perfect recipe arrives today and this evening.
So, I want to get to Central Square by 1 pm and I arrive on time. I have my Mexican food and then it’s time to see some art. Melanie Bernier and David Peaches Goodrich from The Fagettes and Rebecca Potter have a studio nearby and it’s Open Studios weekend. I check it out, it’s great stuff and David’s use of old Polaroid photos where he paints on them and inserts another little painting underneath them, is my favorite. But Melanie has some neat objects she makes with vinyl and buttons, (they’ve been used as album covers for the band) and Rebecca does paintings that concerns her study of anther, the male organ of the flower that produces pollen, all visually interesting stuff.
Anyways, then I’m off to the Midway. Up first is Hope & The Husbands, my new discovery. Second time seeing them and though they have the duty of getting the action going early, they are more than up for the task. Hope is such a natural performer that she has the crowd in the palm of her hand after a few songs. More rock ‘n’ roll than punk, I still really like this band. A cover of “Psycho Killer,” by the Talking Heads, done straight but with drummer Jaymz Purtle’s expressive beat in the part where it’s just vocals and drums makes it for me, this is a band to watch and enjoy.
Next are The Blue Bloods and it’s quite obvious to me that lots of folks are here to see them (as well as The Welch Boys). They’re quite tight and professional which helps make their attraction but is sometimes detrimental for my tastes. Not so, in this case, as they add enough grit and emotion to create an awesome set.
BarRoom Heroes are next and the two bands I most wanted to see this afternoon were them and Hope & The Husbands. As the latter is new for me and the former I haven’t seen in a while. Earlier in the week the BarRoom Heroes were mistakenly referred to as “The Bar Rats,” by my mom, a great name; indeed. Anyways, this band consists of midgets who play….Oh, wait. I’ve just been informed by Bang that they are actually 12 and 13 year olds. And they have a new drummer, Davey Dryer, who is the old guy at 16. They sound great with him added and do my favorites like, “Outta Weymouth,” and “Punk Rock in the U.K.” They seem to rely less on covers now but their version of “White Riot” has the place rockin’. It incited me to, single-handedly, turn over cars outside and loot dry goods stores, (Sorry, everybody). And their bassist hand is in a cast from beating his (guitarist) brother. How punk is that?
At this time I must take my leave as I’m headed to another show in Worcester. I miss Dead Friends, Red Line Rebels and The Welch Boys. I’ve seen these fine bands before but from my report from Carrie, manager of The Bar Rats, is that instead of playing their usual songs, they all did sets that consisted entirely of songs by Fall Out Boy. Seems it was a misunderstanding as Fall Out Boy got confused with Rammstein (which is quite understandable, but the latter I truly would’ve loved). I just want to apologize to everyone and I promise this won’t happen again- until next year.
I stop off for a moment at Electric Rich’s sons’ graduation party and then at Papa Gino’s for some spaghetti and meatballs, that was finer than any Italian food you could have in the North End; and then meet up with Bang to head to Ralph’s Rock Diner, which is a marvelous, fucked up place.
Tensor is the first band, which is a surprise to me as I saw a band named Taster a few weeks ago and mistakenly, thought their name was Tensor. Anyways, I can see it’s a different band and they’re a pretty gutsy punk trio that doesn’t let good taste or good musicianship get in the way of having a good time. They deliver a casual, no frills performance that’s set the night up right for the festivities.
Damn Broads, an all-girl, all-great Connecticut hardcore band plays next. I get to talk to them a bit before their set about how much I liked their CD (reviewed here). For a bunch of dames who have such ferocious, in your face songs their demeanor, offstage and on, is unassuming and polite. It seems to be their first time at Ralph’s and they seem to be enjoying it. The crowd seems to enjoy them as well, as they should, as they are in my opinion, one of the best hardcore bands in New England.
Tijuana Sweethearts is next, the second all-girl band of the evening. They are a TNB fave and have been getting noticed so, of course, they’ve decided to call it quits. They still all seem to be great pals and put forth a set that combines punk, pop, glam and metal. Towards the end of their set I recall a great version of “Trash Candy,” but I know my neurons are dying quickly on the vine.
Get The Fear I’ve seen a couple times before as the opening band at the Midway so I was surprised to see them headlining this strong bill. But I’m pleasantly surprised to see how much they prove they deserve the spot as they certainly have turned it up a notch tonight. Another surprise is how they are dressed as they “come out” in dresses, fishnet stockings, wigs and make up. They do this, I guess, to keep in the theme of all-girl bands. At first I thought it was The Go Go’s doing a surprise set but then I realized these guys are much more inviting and glamorous. They do an awesome set that causes me to run up to the front of the stage (or maybe that and the Jagermeister).
Now, it’s time to finish our drinks. The neurons have been beaten to a bloody pulp. Thankfully, Andy Bang is adept as the usual designated driver role and is allowing me to sleep in his yard. We leave the pleasant bartender and bartenderess playing their Van Der Graf Generator songs as the keg of Jagermeister is finally depleted.
It’s time to steer our car through the few miles of light and desolate urban wildlife toward home. It was a great day of good music, good people and good times. I reflect on our experience, our existence, our illusions, our destiny’s and our dreams.
Then I pass out.