30-08-13

James [Moon, Red Cloud, PJ] Bond

I finally did it! I succeeded! I went to Diest! JH Tijl!
I went to the TIJL UNPLUGGED DELUXE show, which featured local resident star James Moon, reasonably local bearded dude Red Cloud and international famous superstar PJ Bond. Did you see the title? See what I did there? Clever, huh? [Note: I have never seen a James Bond film in my life.]

James Moon is a singer-songwriter. They're ll singer-songwriters. WE are all singer-songwriters! Anyway, let's focus on the point. Very Paul Banks-ish. (Paul Banks is the vocalist for Interpol. Interpol is a rock band. Thought you might wanna know.) Hints of Editors and alike pop rock/new wave artists. It was cool. I guess.

Teun is the vocalist for Break Of Day, Generation 84 and also has a solo-project Red Cloud. He's very punk-influenced of course, but also takes quite large notes from folk and country (from 50's folk singers to 60 country rock to 90s bearded punx drinking whiskey, basically). Sometimes it sounds blatantly unoriginal, at other times it sounded cool and endearing (I don't know if that's a word and definitely not sure if it means what I want it to mean). Teun is an amazing singer, yet not a hero at guitar. Power chords only get you so far when it's just you and your guitar. But above all, of course, it's the sincerity and the sheer love for music that's important for punkrockers-gone-acoustic like him. Genuine music from a genuine man with too much hair. Reminds me, he also made me giggle at two occasions:
1) When he put on his harmonica construction, he made a joke about the lack of having braces so he liked to put that on. Chuckle.
2) When he covered Blink's First Date, he sang the line "Do you like my stupid hair?" and rolled his eyes at his own hair. Got a good laugh out of that.
Honestly though, his hair's alright, his voice is awesome, his guitar skills are pretty decent, his show could've been better, but it also could've been worse. Voila.

PJ Bond! Whoo! I like PJ Bond. He's a great man, a great musician and he's really down to earth. He played a really cool set, including an appropriate amount of banter. He's got a new 7" that you should buy, although the songs are already a year old or something like that. The songs are really good. And his voice is really powerful, which helped cause there were a lot of people talking during the set which was kinda lame-ish.

Anyway, let's discuss, interactively. I was thinking, how much stage banter is cool? On a scale of Sunn O))) to NOFX (I've never seen Sunn O))) but I figure talking would ruin the set so I guess they don't do it?)? And is it cool to explain songs? Even in liner notes of records, some bands want to explain the song's meaning. I think that's really cool, but I've heard people who find it annoying, distracting or doing injustice to the songs. People always rag on about interpretation and such, but in the end most songs are about a specific thing the writer thinks about.
I was just thinking about that. Let's discuss this sometime.

Superdeath

Same time, same place, same shit, different week. Another hardcore hardcore show in Kamikaze Club, Mechelen.
For the purpose of symmetry I will copy last week's blog post and adapt it so it is adequate and relevant.
I had nothing to do Wednesday so I said to myself "there's this lousy hardcore/metalcore show in Mechelen, and it's free and it's possible some cool people will be there. even if the bands aren't that good, I'll still be out and about and it'll be fun."
And it was. I got drunk, hung out with largely the same people as last week. De Vjee was also there and we decided to get married at age 30. That's cool. And I saw some hardcore bands. Great night.

The wheater was nice and I was feeling great but I took the bus this time. It's a 20-minute walk, normally, but I didn't feel like making an effort. Of course, it took equally as long to arrive there with public transport as it does by foot. Thankfully, I was listening to the new Muncie Girls EP and that kept my moods fairly high. Listen to Muncie Girls.

I got to the venue and met Jolien and her friend, whose name I now know. He's a cool dude. It was kind of a flashback, or a deja-vu, which was funny. There seem to always be a lot of hardcore kids in Mechelen. That's cool, I guess?

Atlas had already played. I missed them. They are releasing an EP shortly through the v. cool people of Viva Love recs. So maybe it's cool. I don't really know. My bud Niek told me he really supports them, so maybe I should believe him. He also told me he liked my blog yesterday, which is really cool of him to say, really cool for me to hear and something you should all do cause it makes me feel good. Listen to Muncie Girls.

Hanging with the kids. Domien arrived, whoo. Good times, fun conversations, good beers.

As Prayers Fail. Dutch band. Really weird! I was really confused. I liked 40% of it, and was indifferent to or disliked 60% of what they played. And I mean even in the same song. I didn't make all too much sense to me. Like they couldn't choose to rip off Defeater or to rip off Parkway Drive. So I was split between 'oh, cool!' and just 'oh...'. I'd rather listen to Muncie Girls.

Liferuiner was pretty cool. I was giddy enough so me and Domien went for the moshpit and showed 'em what we got. I cant' speak for Domien, but, really, I got nothing. I mean, compared to these kids. And I'm kinda glad I got nothing, cause some of these kids got a lot but they can't (slam) dance for shiiiiiit. Anyway, Liferuiner was kinda cool, I guess. Just hard-hitting hardcore. Straight edge I think. But the kids don't get it man. When this dude tells 'em to mosh, they'll mosh, but when they play this song called MegaDEATH which has THE HEAVIEST INTRO EVER, everybody just stood there. What the fuck? Didn't make sense. But then it's okay to punch people in the face during the generic breakdowns? Fucking hardcore kids. I'd like to refer to Cedric Bixler Zavala here.
Listen to Muncie Girls. Fucks.

After-show hangouts were cool, got to know some of Domien's colleagues and we listened to the new MC Karel album on the way home. I also sold some records that night, which was cool!
Domien had a day off the next day so we got shitfaced in Leuven and thrashed some bars till 5 AM. Life rules. Felt like shit the entire Thursday though.

What a great night.

Listen to Muncie Girls.
There ya have it! Listen to Sleepless, by Muncie Girls, right now.

27-08-13

Grownups Insane

It was my birthday yesterday. I turned 22. That's nothing special, but it made me realise I'm fucking 22, and, coming from 21, that's fucking old. I also have other issues but I'm not gonna bother you with them, right.

I made pancakes for lunch and in the evening I went to a nice lil' hardcore punk show in Antwerp. The venue of choice was het Autonoom Centrum Antifa-Brick, both a clever and powerful name. It's a squat close to 't Zuid, and the basement is available for shows and the like. Undoubtedly mostly crust, grindcore and other extreme genres, and that's cool. It's a cool space, kinda.

The first band was Wilderness Children, an upcoming band featuring my bud Pie and some other more or less familiar faces. Pie told me they sound like Modern life Is War, which is right. Life Logn Tragedy came to mind. And they played a Suicide File cover, which I didn't recognize but greatly applauded cause I think The Suicide File is really good. So you could probably compare them to that band too. Now, with all the comparisons out of the way and now that you know what to expect, I can tell you it was really nice to see and hear them play. Mid-paced hardcore is kinda my thing, and I know for a fact it's pretty big in Belgium (does anyone remember Midnight Souls?) so I'm siked for this band. They had some great songs, not every bit was that original but overall I'm looking forward to seeing them play more and for the demo they're recording right now.
Also, Pie is one of my favourite people to watch on stage (along with the guitar player from Hessian/Amen Ra and -see later- the vocalist of Toxic Shock). He's just really into playing guitar and that's cool to see.

Kids Insane were the next band, and OH FUCK THAT WAS THE BEST ENTRANCE EVER. While the band was playing some kind of intro, the vocalist just stood to the side. and when it was his cue to sing, he just slid from the side of the room tot he middle and started singing/shouting. It sounds kinda lame but it was awesome to see him do that. Actually, it was kinda lame but that made it all the more cool. Anyway, Kids Insane is a really good band! I did not know that, unfortunately. Now I know! Hardcore punk like it should be, with a few tweaks here and there. Genuinely angry and genuinely concerned. Some creative riffage and melodies. Some captivating parts. Another Suicide File cover, I think it was Ashcroft but I'm not sure. Anyway, Kids Insane, they're from Israel by the way and touring Europe right now, are really cool and you should listen to them. Now.

Toxic Shock also played. As I said, their vocalist is a joy to watch - that is, if you can see him. One moment he's on the other side of the venue, the next moment he's right in your face singing that he's a zombie. That's awesome. But let's not focus on one fifth of the band, Toxic Shock is a great band. No wonder they're doing so well lately, releasing a record on Refelctions, playing some cool shows. For one thing, how many crossover thrash bands are there in Belgium? Not that many, at least compared to 'regular' hardcore bands. En plus, they're really competent musicians, fast as fuck and technically intense. Another great show, a pleasure to watch and be angry to.

On my way back to the station some 20-something dude biked along the Keyserlei singing along loudly to Live While We're Young by One Direction and I saw a part of myself in him. Salvation.

25-08-13

pretty brak

I wanted to go to Ashes' releaseshow in Genk, but that turned out to be a lot more trouble logistically than going to see Teenage Bottlerocket in Duffel.

So onwards to Duffel, where the first thing I saw was Steamy Grease, a bluesrock band which I didn't really care for. Then frisbee and hangouts with people, most notably the West-Flanders crew. Whoo!

Wölf was pretty cool. This Kid was "hmm, ok" and they covered Refused, which was cool. I missed Toxic Shock in favour of aimlessly and fruitlessly looking for something to eat in Duffel centre. Fuck Duffel.

Face The Fax was pleasant. Get Dead was ok. Teenage Bottlerocket was awesome because I like them very much. Acted nuts throughout the show and at one point someone broke their arm which sucked major balls. I got away with a scratch next to my eye. Had a lot of fun, just sucks that thing happened.
Rad show. NUFAN and Ramones covers. Lenny on Bloodbath At Burger King. Other things.

Went home. Whut?

Whoo!

I say Netsky, you say... fuck off.

GOING TO FRANCE
WITH THE BESTEST OF FRIENDS

I went to this Cabaret Vert fest in the North of France (Charleville-Mezières) with a cup of buds, and it was lotsa fun. Unfortunately, we had paid for a camping spot before we learned that people apparently don't give a fuck and you can just put up your tent next to your car. So we did that, then headed into town for a snack, and found the fest-site hidden away in the depths of this idyllic village.

The first thing we did was get drunk on rum and coke, then get beers, pee a lot and chill out.

Sick Of It All was the first band we saw. Let me tell you 'bout our party perty first. I am a punk and hardcore-locin' dude. Then there's Jesse, who likes all kinds of stuff I think. He's really into metal but also really likes electronic music. And there's Lode, who likes a lot of DJs and electronic music of all sorts, also one Teenage Bottlerocket song. To be honest, I don't like Sick Of It All. I think the vocals are pretty bunk, and the New York hardcore style has never really appealed to me. So now that that's out there, I sang along to Built To Last and spend the rest of the set watching these dudes runnin' round like whack at age - what? - 40. They're a solid band, sure, but solid can turn into boring when you have to play a longer set. Anyway, a lot of songs and some stationary circle-pittin' later we went to the other stage.

The Bronx was playing right after Sick Of It All. This would make no sense on a hardcore/punk festival or show, but this is a mainstream-type event, so The Bronx is scheduled after Sick Of It All. And they did a great job. They're a great band, and although I still prefer their older records/songs to the new ones, it's cool to see they're heading for their own direction. They played a cool show, peepz went nutz, good set and all. Yoinks.

Food and wondering why French rock bands are so popular in France. Expensive beers and heading to the car to get cheaper beers.

Then The Offspring. I really enjoyed seeing them. They are not the smoothest people to put on a stage, but they got the hits and they got the vibe. They played a lot of Americana, Conspiracy Of One and Smash stuff, and some new songs in between. I was happy. Have You ever is such a good song. They played a whole bunch of songs, and it was both realistically and nostalgically nice.
I have a quite unpopular opinion about the Offspring, in that Conspiracy Of One is my favourite record of theirs. Of course it's also their poppiest album, so for me it makes sense.

I kinda wanted to see Crystal Castles but my party party didn't seem to eager to go a watch 'em, so I agreed to go chill out. I've seen 'em before, so no biggie.

Boys Noize was cool cause, you know, I got to dance and I really like dancing. I think he's a cool dude cause he does his own thing and he doesn't really adhere to "pop electro" rulage. He has a weird thing going, kinda. That's cool. Also, dancing is fun.

More dancing, yet slightly more agressively, ensued during Netsky. I've never seen him/them perform, but I like some of his songs. I can get quite destructive during the whatsitcalled in Come Alive. And he has a song which is called Puppy apparently, and that's pretty cool. Unfortunately, despite the live show being pretty cool and the drummer being absolutely mental, he has this MC dude who gets the crowd going and stuff. That shit annoys me to next levels, up to the point that I can't really enjoy the show anymore. Fucking hell. Other than that, fun times!

Went to bed to the tunes of the weird music our neighbours were playing till whatever o'clock in the morning.

Escalades

Mannnnn, I have no clue about Brussels. I walked 30 minutes to get to a point 5 minutes away from Brussel-Midi. Desperate case.

But anyway, after a tiresome walk through St-Gillis I arrived at the LR6, a bar/venue which was the setting for the Mont-Doré/Birds In Row show for tonight.

Because I was later than expected I walked in right after Mont-Doré had started. They're a really good band. I saw them last month and definitely wanted to see them again, so this (digital) release-show for their debut EP Escalades, out on Black Basset Records. And it's a good one. Their show was awesome once again, I prefer them live rather than on recordings, probably. Intense, a bit chaotic, yet tight and contained. Cool band, keep your eyes on them. FFO 90s screamo, Circle Takes The Square, Saetia, Twelve Hour Turn.

Birds In Row also played, before they're touring Europe with Oathbreaker. The venue was either less packed than during Mont-Doré, or everyone stood closer together to the stage, which is also probable. Anyway, great band, three crazy french dudes who are genuinely angry and genuinely want to transpose all their energy to their music, and that's admirable. Great songs, awesome vocals. Show was good. 't Was good.

On the way back I found the right (short) route to the station, so that was cool. I had to miss the last song/few songs by the Birds but I thoroughly enjoyed the evening.

22-08-13

Bad scene, not my fault.

I had nothing to do yesterday so I said to myself "there's this lousy hardcore/metalcore show in Mechelen, and it's free and it's possible some cool people will be there. even if the bands aren't that good, I'll still be out and about and it'll be fun."
And it was. I got drunk, hung out with den Berre and de Nico, and with Jolien, and with Suzanne behind the bar, and a bit with de Kenny. And I saw some lousy hardcore/metalcore bands. Great night.

The wheater was nice and I was feeling great so I decided to walk to the venue instead of taking the bus. It's a 20-minute walk, pretty cool. This allowed me to listen to Disfear on my iPod and headbang, airdrum and airguitar whackly for about 20 minutes. Musically, this was the best part of the evening. Which is kinda sad, but okay. Listen to Disfear.

I got to the venue and met Jolien and her friend, whose name, I realised later, I do not know, nor asked. Sorry man. I'd love to know your name. You're a cool dude. We laughed at how people dressed at hardcoreshows. It's getting pretty ridiculous. Fashion scene, everyone's fault. It's a freakshow, which is really cool and fun to watch, but also makes me shake my head, y'know. Listen to Disfear.

Perceptions played. Well they played one song. Then had guitar trouble for a while, because he's left-handed and can't change a string or something? I don't know. Then they played again. Which was kind of a bummer. I nodded my head for a while then realised it wasn't really worth it. Kinda boring. They kept asking if they had time for one more song and ended up playing 3 songs as their last song. Also it was the guitarist's last show with them. Good decision. Listen to Disfear.

Then hanging with the kids. Good times, fun conversations, good beers. Met the girl behind the bar and talked about playing guitar and stuff.

Climates. I don't really remember a lot of their set. Someone got an electric shock. They played some music, whioch was probably towards the other spectrum of music I usually listen to (i.e. good music). Their bass player looked like he played in Together, but didn't.

Last Witness was awful, but I had quite a few drinks in my sachet so I went for a small mosh cause sometimes I feel like doing that when I get drunk. I don't really remember how they sounded. Never heard of the band, but apparently they're a big deal and they're calling it quits. Other and better I guess. Listen to Disfear.

I don't really remember how I got home. I remember running to the station to catch my direct train, stopping by the nightshop for a cara pils, an ice tea green and a bag of mustards chips/crisps, and being hella drunk on the ride home. Might've read a couple pages of Animal Farm but I can't imagine I was able to comprehend written sentences at the moment, so I probably just sat there for an hour, eating crisps and drinking beer/ice tea until my stop was there. I apparently took a shower when I got home cause there was a towel on the floor of my room.

What a great night.

Listen to Disfear.

19-08-13

OPEN HEARTS AND BLOODY GRINS

GREAT NEWS EVERYBODY!
I have furlough. I don't have to work anymore for the next 3 weeks. I have worked for basically 4 weeks with as little as 2 or 3 days off in between. All cool and well and very lucrative, but I haven't been able to go to shows or work on the zine or enjoy much free time for the past few weeks. But now I'm back at it. Back on the punx front. Back "at it". "In the picture". You catch my drift?

I'm back. Last week, though, I had a day off (thank fucking God) and I got to see the Flatliners perform. A happy coincidence. I went to the Flatliners' show at the Sojo last year and if that was any indication, it was supposed to be good. Packed, hot, sweaty and very good. And it was.

The wheater was alright so I went early to grab a beer in the last sunbeams and hung out with the early birdos. Great Mugicians started at 7h30. They're a Sublime cover band. My friend Ari sings and plays guitar in it. He's really talented. He also has a solo project (Boomboy) that I wanna plug cause he's really cool. Anyway, the Great Mugicians were very good but yeah, I'm not too high on Sublime (see what I did there?) so yeah... Hanging out.

There was another band that played. Let me think. Oh yeah, Uncommonmenfrommars from France (not from Mars) played their last show on Belgian soil. I had heard a lot about them, but never really took the time to listen to them. Turns out they're really good. What what!? Cool. I don't know. Spent the show hanging out in the back, dancing and talking to babes. Whaddup.

Then, the Flatliners were "up". Up on that shiz. I've seen them 4 times now and I still haven't listened to any of their albums after the first one (Destroy To Create), when they still played ska-influenced punk, and my favourite (and therefore objectively best) FLS track, Open Hearts And Bloody Grins, off of the Ska is Dead comp. Since they have changed up their game a tad towards the no-frills fast melodic punk genre, they don't play many songs from that period anymore. They did play Fred's Got Slacks, if I'm not mistaken. Which was to only song I stagedived to and I knew the words to when I sang along. I sang along to every other song as well, the difference was that I didn't know the lyrics. Only when the chorus came back I could actually sing the actual words.
But fuck me, the Flatliners are a thunderous live band and the crowd was in it to have the most fun one could have on a Tuesday night and holy fuck I had fun. That was just what I needed. A great band, a great crowd and dancing to the tunes. Release some shit. Toss people in the air. Mosh it up. Smile unconditionally.
Amazing show. The encored with a song which was called, as I would learn later that evening, Shithawks, which has one of the raddest drum parts I've heard in punk rock these days. Holy fuck, that's fucking tight, right? Makes you wanna take on a rhino or something.

Post-show hangouts ensued, lots of familiar faces, some new faces, always a treat. I love being into punk rock.
I love it.
I need it.