Tag Archives: Bostonist

Neon Shirt

Saw the above t-shirt at Warped on Tuesday. It may just be a shirt, but nowadays fashion is oft as important – if not the important – as the music that a band chooses to define itself. In My So Called Punk, Matt Diehl notes the clashes between “emo” kids and traditional “punk” kids at Warped came out in the t-shirts they wore. Just like during the earlier part of this decade, the same thing is happening currently, but pitted between scrunk and traditional “punk” acts. There were more black punk shirts in support of traditional punk virtues – though none as straightforward anti-scrunk/crunkcore as the photo above. And they faced a host of bright, neon colored shirts from acts such as 3OH!3, brokeNCYDE, Millionaires, Jeffree Star, etc. Take a look at some of the designs below:

3OH!3 shirt. They also had a shirt that said "This is a 3OH!3 Shirt," which I wasn't sure if it was a humorous send up of the "This Is Not A Fugazi Shirt" or not


brokeNCYDE shirt. Their crowns, when done by hand in concert, is similar to the 3OH!3 hand design. Also, not the most annoying brokencyde shirt

brokeNCYDE shirt. Their "crowns," when done by hand in concert, is similar to the 3OH!3 hand design. Also, not the most annoying brokencyde shirt

Even check out the Babycakes shirt, which screams (pardon the pun… or play on the situation) scrunk:

Anyway, that was an interesting aspect of Warped I took notice of.

As another aside, while stopping by the Vagrant merch tent on Tuesday, I noticed the tip sign by the guy running the tent. Most tip signs usually have some gaudy or humorous note to get people to drop a buck. The Vagrant guy’s merely asked people to donate to fly his girlfriend out to Warped. In many ways, this image (and I wish I could have gotten a picture of it, but the weather was really hit-or-miss, and this was a miss moment) is perfectly representative of Vagrant’s take on emo: there’s a clean cut guy with a simple message trying to get his significant other to come accompany him on a big event for the summer. And the guy was nice to boot and quite enthusiastic about their selection of $5 Dashboard Confessional albums. Couldn’t have been a more perfect match. Needless to say I dropped a buck.

That’s all for now… check in to Bostonist in the late morning, as the Warped piece should be online at that point.

Mayday, Mayday


Gallows Frank Carter in the mosh pit

Gallows' Frank Carter in the mosh pit

Got back from Warped Tour a handful of hours ago. For those eager to hear what went down at the Boston date, check out Bostonist in a day or two for a review with a smattering of pics such as the one I took of Frank Carter at the start of this post.

Sure, I felt a little “old” throughout the day, but that’s not all to be chalked up to the waves of teens, some of whom are a good decade younger than me (yikes); in actuality, the constant rainfall and sheer exhaustion is what did it to me. Many individuals consider Warped Tour to be a staple of their youthful summers, and it’s wonderful that one can rely on something to be a consistent part of their experience growing up (as there is so little that one can foresee and rely on when you’re growing up). For these folks, it’s easy to see how they may feel old once they age out of the 13-19 age range that Warped founder Kevin Lyman aims at appealing to; they took every moment at the day-long festival as a wonderful part of growing up, and with each new band they’re unaware of that ends up on the main stage, it can be a little odd. Scary even. Not I’m-so-old-there-goes-my-hip type of scary, but scary that something so comforting and reliable seems to have completely changed at the drop of a pin.

So for many, it’s easy to see how the appearance of scrunk bands comes as an affront to what they’ve loved and understood Warped to be. Granted, Warped has always had a thing for including acts of all different genres and ideological backgrounds (Eminem anyone?), but this may be the first time that such hatred towards one specific act/sound is as directed as scrunk. Nu-metal had it’s bumps; so did the emo-pop wave. But scrunk bands seem to have appropriated the festival, at least in the eyes of some… because going from 0-60 in the span of a year is a sign of… well, something.

What’s so odd is seeing not the 19 or 20 year olds shocked, but the 16 year olds scared straight by the 13 year olds who fawn over Millionaires. They already seem nostalgic for a summer one year past, and that’s when you certainly can understand a kid for getting so angry at the appearance of brokeNCYDE.

I unfortunately (or fortunately? who knows) missed brokeNCYDE, but certainly made up for that by catching Millionaires, Breathe Carolina, and Attack Attack! of the scrunk stratosphere, as well as countless (literally, countless) acts that happened to be on whatever teeny stage when I swung around. Head to Bostonist soon for a full round up. Until then…

East of Vancouver




Check out Bostonist today for a review of the Japandroids Great Scott gig from Sunday night. Twas an entertaining, endearing, and solid set that kept me going from 11:30 until one am on little sleep and having arrived much much earlier that day by plane.

But, enough of that… read on if you’re interested, and check out Post-Nothing if you like to shake your fists a lot. And I mean a lot.

Sonic Bites



Check out my review of Cymbals Eat Guitars at Great Scott on Bostonist tomorrow/today. As a brief aside, Joe (the singer) has a singing style not unlike many frontman from many a mid-90s emo band. I’ll leave it at that. Stumble your way onto Bostonist tomorrow if you’re more interested in the band…

Cheers for the Home Team!

Team Robespierre in the dark

Team Robespierre in the dark

Check out Bostonist tomorrow/today for a review of the recent Team Robespierre gig at the Middle East Upstairs. I’ll leave it at that – check out the piece for what I thought (and you might be able to pick up on my not-so-subtle hint of a title for this post.)

Gig Fail

Deacon in the glow of his green skull

Deacon in the glow of his green skull

My review of the Super Secret Summer Surprise – featuring Dan Deacon, Ultimate Reality, and Videohippos – is on Bostonist right now. And it ain’t pretty. That had nothing to do with the musicians involved – just the bumbling mess that was the ICA’s master plan for the evening.

You can read more about the details at Bostonist, but I left out one thing in my review: for much of the performance, it felt like looking at art in a gallery. Granted, the ICA is a museum of contemporary art, but that doesn’t mean that people should interact with performers as if they are just to be stared at and not paid much attention to. It was only until Deacon asked people to move towards the drum kits for the Ultimate Reality set that people seemed to interact with what was going on, but not that much. What’s so great about the Wham City collective (much like the DC emocore scene from Revolution Summer on) is their inherent ability to challenge concert goers with interacting with their surroundings at a show in an entirely different light. Unfortunately, the ICA crowd wasn’t up for that. Even though they moved around during Deacon’s set, I got the sense many did that because they perceived that’s how one acts at a Dan Deacon show and not because the moment grabbed them and allowed them to let loose. How do I know this? Well, probably the fact that people were ready to dance when Deacon was testing some faulty DI boxes, and while they emitted an uncontrollable buzz to the effect of something he didn’t want to send through the PA, much of the crowd took it to mean “this is Dan Deacon music, I must dance like crazy!” Obviously, it’s great when people dance and let loose, but they seemed to entirely betray the points that Deaon wants to make with his music….

And now I’ve gone on a tangent. Read the piece if you’re still interested! And if you disagree, comment on it as well!

Way To Go Joe

Lally on bass...

Lally on bass...

I’ve got some more stuff over at Bostonist today, this time with some big names in emo and underground music history: Joe Lally and Glorytellers. The former is the bass player of Fugazi, the later is fronted by Geoff Farina of Karate (who I’ll be interviewing for America Is Just A Word when the tour wraps up). Also in on the show was The Soft Drugs, fronted by the singing drummer who goes by the name of TW Walsh (formerly of emo Christian-rockers Pedro the Lion), though I didn’t mention the band in my review, partially because my pics of them just weren’t up to snuff. What’s interesting was that between sets whoever was behind the music selection had an ear for Pedro the Lion-esq songs…

Anywho, for a recap, head to Bostonist. That’s all for now!

Ice Cream Is Gonna Save The Day, Again

A peek at the Scooper Bowl

A peek at the Scooper Bowl

Check out Bostonist today for my recap of the first day of this year’s Scooper Bowl. It’s nice to get away and do a little something different from my usual music and gig reviews .(and even in the course of this blog, discuss something not related to emo every so often!)

For folks in the Boston area, this is a great annual event to attend that also happens to benefit the Jimmy Fund. And for people outside of Boston, well, if you’re the least bit curious what it’s like to have several dozen flavors of free ice cream at your disposal on an unusually chilly day, head over to Bostonist and read on…

TV Eye


Kyp Malone kicks it with the wolf...

Kyp Malone kicks it with the wolf...

Head over to Bostonist for my review of TV On The Radio at Boston’s House of Blues last night. There are pictures and words galore; just go here.



Lookin at the Books performance preview

Lookin' at the Books' performance preview

Be sure to head over to Bostonist tomorrow for a review of Split/Signal at the Center for Arts at the Armory in Somerville. The show paired eight musical acts – including The Books, Cul De Sac, Roger Miller (from Mission of Burma), Caspian, Arms & Sleepers – with eight filmmaking teams to produce an entire evening of filmed scenes-meet-live musical performances. You’ll have to read my review when it’s out to see what I think, but I did (and certainly continue to) enjoy the idea of approaching audiences with entirely different methods of art in unusual formats with a range of musical acts… Not unlike, say, much of the thoughts behind emo artists, right down to the very idea of pairing the harshness attributed to hardcore with the idea of introverted and ambiguous lyrics about hard-to-comprehend concepts in life…

…ok, I’ll stop… for now…