Archive for the ‘Porchistas’ Category
Every year I do some kinda recap about how I spent my year musically. This year I entrenched myself quite deeply into the local music scene. I think its funny now when people ask me what I do the first thing that comes out of my mouth is that I’m a music blogger. Saying that used to inspire a great deal of poserism in me. I was a pretender, just trying to figure out if I could hold a readers attention. Almost three years later and hear I am watching Flash Gordon, and figuring out which tracks were the best I’d heard this year. People actually value my opinion and as laughable as that still seems to me, I’m humbled by your unwavering fealthy to local music and to you tolerance for my coverage. So here they are 10 songs I rocked out to this year, in no particular order.
Hailing from Detroit, Hushmoney isn’t exactly local. No matter they rock out(and it’s my blog so nah)! Sort of a mix of Epic Metal and Dance Rock. Think Everytime I Die meets Cobra Starship.. Catchy though, The Breakdown is fucking rad as shit! Listen to that lead guitar! And its free so how about you get on that!
Yea yea I know this Track has been out for a while. But 2011 was the year I really, started listening to Black Water. After a meeting with Adam Copeland that went sorta strange (My Bad) at the end of 2010. I booked BW with Ben Franklin at Lucky 7. Although I had apparently seen them in 2009 at Automata Chino. Anyhow, I really got into these guys in 2011 and this song “Arizona” is one of my favs. Back in April, I asked Copeland about the inspiration for the song… about what incident it referred to. “A fictional one. Its a reverse terrorism fantasy tale of an American whose homeland (AZ) is invaded and fights back” He told me. It’s an intense concept and the song is just as wild.
I saw these guys at a show in the middle of the year. And I can’t get this song out of my head. That guitar riff is stuck in there. Seeing them live I gotta say their mid song banter rivals that of The Press’s Mike Henry.
In 2009 this song was my first impression of Billy Gray as well as Ben Franklin. In early 2011 it was released through Killing Horse Records as a B-side on the Urgency EP. What a timely song, though it’s loosely rooted in a true story, the Newburgh Four, I think the chorus really should be the new recruiting jingle for the US military. “Serve your country. Do us some good, it’ll get you off the street. Keep the fear alive keep the threat alive keep the population undercontrol.” Just listen to the thing, otherwise I’ll have to write out the whole damn thing out.
2011 was the year I moved to Brooklyn. I moved for several reasons some good (To embed myself into the Brooklyn Indie Scene a bit more) some not so good (I’d worked at every bar in Jersey City). One of the Bands that really took me under their wing was I Am The Heat. No song embodies these guys better than What Would Lou Reed Do. This song reminds me of the end of Wayne’s World when Crucial Taunt is playing to get Mr. Big to give them a record contract. It’s chaotic raucous and fun. That’s how I think of I Am The Heat.
Truthfully I can’t pick one song off Porter In The Making that I like better than the others. It’s a faceblast furnace of rock! The whole album should be listened to over and over again while sharpening knifes. One thing I can say with impunity about this band in that their recordings hold up just as well as their live shows. Be sure to catch them at the Killing Horse Records 2nd Anniversary show at Maxwells this Friday Jan 6th at Maxwells. It’ll be the last time to catch them before they go on hiatus from Live shows (hopefully for just a bit).
What the fuck can I say about Holy City Zoo that I haven’t already. I’ll keep it simple, they belt it out and they wail! I know this is a curveball for the band (they think that Mark your Path is my favorite). Part of the Tiny Giant Artist Collective HCZ is crazy supportive of the local scene as well. Traveling far and wide to help spread the good word of underground music. I haven’t seen this much positivity in a scene since I started doing this blog.
This song has heart. It’s a little dark and little depressing but damn I just can’t get enough of it. It’s like a catharsis to the rest of the Imposter EP. Perfectly placed. I hear tell KIlling Horse is looking to release this on Vinyl!
Talk about a wall of noise! First off the video is great! EV and Paul are animals! This song is like combining Motorhead and the Rocketeer! And Live? Fuck, I’ve seen these guys play their hearts out for like 3 hours. Thats fortitude! The whole Shoot the Freak EP is like a night in county jail, that is to say you should experience it with your eyes and ears at the ready. You’ll be surprised, but at least you’ll be ready.
I have slept of these guys for WAAAAY too long. The album has been on my ipod since just a little before Brick City Sound Riot and this song jumped out at me the other day. The intro is great the melodic backing vocals contrast the main vocals perfectly. Importantly you can dance to this! The chorus just makes me feel like this song should be used in a commercial or as the intro to a sitcom.
My favorite song off the much celebrated LP. These cats are in store for big things mark my words. The story behind this song is kind of great as well. Back in 2009 Dave Feldman, was looking for a lil extra money. He tried his hand working as a cook at Lucky 7 with me… it didn’t take. (Dave Feldman doesn’t cook burgers he sings rock n roll.) Well, the guy that got his job also got his room in his apartment. I’m not sure of the exact details, but this song is a lil murder fantasy about his old roommate. You’re a dark dude Dave, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I had a terrible time narrowing this list down, but I firmly believe that ten is a good cut off and I couldn’t even stick to that. That said, here are some other excellent songs I loves this year. I listened to them on the train or while I was writing, friends passed them around, and they are all on my playlist at home.
Some people are blessed with powers far beyond that of mortal men. Take me for instance. I have the uncanny ability to be able to cook, bartend, video, photograph, and write a blog all at the same time. No joke! I really did that Saturday August 22nd at Lucky 7 Tavern in Jersey City. I think Teddy Roosevelt said, “Some men are born great and some men have greatness thrust upon them.” Like I said though, I think he said that. What I mean to say is I know Robin Williams said it when he played him in that museum movie with Ben Stiller. Anyhow I’d say greatness was thrust upon me that very night. The funny thing is I can tell you the exact time and place of my baptism by fire. At about 7:00 The Porchistas entered the bar and kicked off the McMickle Brothers EP Release party. I know it’s not the most glamorous way to realize that you’re a super hero. No lives were saved, no enemies defeated and certainly no radiation was involved. I don’t wear a cape and cowl, opting for a porkpie hat and a vest instead. There are better origin stories. But I’ll say this: My genesis had the coolest soundtrack, by far!
The Porchistas are Deivis “Deivito” Garcia, Alan “Sucia” Smith and Adam “Devil-Hands” Falzer. This merry band of troubadours calls Montclair home. They specialize in a funk fusion of folk and spanish rock. Their original work is fun and easy to dance to. They have a way of making cover songs totally their own. Porchistas’ vocal stylings coupled with their instrumental finesse really makes these cats stand apart from the crowd in the local Scene. I doubt you’ve seen anything quite like this before.
After The Porchistas warmed up the crowd the kitchen took a hit that was like throwing a pack of rabid wolverines into a shark tank. For the next 40 mins my life was chaos. Hamburgers, Pizzas, Chicken Sandwiches, and Hot Wings flew from the kitchen as I rushed between bar and grill. My only saving grace was Kiwi the Child. Vera’s soothing voice and Alex’s guitar stopped me from going positively postal. Sadly during the rush I hadn’t the time to get over and take some pics and vids, but as luck would have it they played last Wednesday at the Groove on Grove. And I still have some exclusive and previously unreleased pics and video. Kiwi the Child is a reggae rock duo. Like The Wailers meets Batman and Robin. Scratch that! More like Dave Hillyard meets the Wonder Twins! The set itself sounded great. I only wish I was able to get a visual as the bar was packed with people enjoying the music.
After I sweated out my time in the kitchen Tip Canary sprung into action! Robbie and Wes are another dou of local rockers. They specialize in storytelling and spoken word with guitar backing. Songs like Doobie Blues pt 1 and Apple City are some of my favourites. Material ranging from getting hassled by John Law or dealing with a girl’s lame excuse to not give you her phone number are just part of the daily grind for these fellas. It’s familiar ground for me as well, in fact we’ve all been there before. Robbie leads the rants with a cynical but optimistic tone, and Wes backs him up with a greek chorus type inquistion. This normally goes off to a tangent from time to time, but it’s all in the sake of comedy and rock. Few can combine these element so well! “Normally you can find Wes and I on a Friday or Saturday night grabbing a slice of Pizza or a Sharma around 3-4am on the Lower East Side.” Robbie tells the crowd, in case anyone’s phone mysteriously stops working and they don’t have a pen and paper, but maybe they still wanna get in touch for something potentially meaningful down the road.
I had just finished working as Kagero took the crowd by storm. Kaz, JW, Rob Simpson, Mr Wynn, and Kate are a Brooklyn Japanese Gypsy Rock Band. Now that’s a music genre! This group is heading the way in the JGR wave that will soon take over the world the way the Beatles headed the British Invasion of the 60’s. Each member has their own unique style. Kaz plays the part of the lead man so well you’d think he took lessons from Chuck Norris’ School of Charisma and Raw Awesomeness. JW makes the violin dance sing and cry like some kind of steampunk puppetmaster. Rob’s bass is solid rock and roll, like his collection of 80’s metal t-shirts. Mr Wynn plays the Chindon drum like a man on fire. Whats a chindon drum? You’ll just have to see for yourself. Newcomer or at least I should say this is the first time I’ve seen her with the band Kate fills out the band on orchardian. Just when I thought this band had achieved perfection they go and add a piece to the puzzle that goes with their sound like Peanut Butter and bananas (If you haven’t tried it, take my advice it’s unconventionally amazing, like this band)! The bar became a dance hall! JW’s solo for Grappa featured Deivis “Deivito” Garcia hanging on JW’s back and crying while he played. It’s impossible to deny this band’s star power. You see them once and you know the words to the songs you can’t help but sing along and dance with the crowd!
So we were here enjoying all this rock for one reason. The McMickle Brothers geared up and began rocking our faces off. Matt and Sam are actual brothers. Matt “the Red Knight” does most of the singing and plays the guitar, Sam lends his voice every so often and beats it out on the drums. They are the White Stripes of the local scene. They keep it simple and head straight for the highway with songs like Finish Me and Dancing for the Smokers have become anthems that their fans know well enough to scream out all the words to. I took a quik break to clean up the kitchen while they began. At the climax of their sixth song I sprung into the door from the front and joined the already excited crowd with some dancing. Deivito and the Porchistas members of Kagero Tip Canary and Kiwi the Child all joined in. We couldn’t help it, there was a steady wave of hooting, hollering and stomping. They played two encores! The crowd couldn’t get enough. James Dower who runs the Live Music Events at Lucky 7 Tavern nearly had a mob on his hands! They couldn’t be sated by just one more song!
After the Live music was over DJ Leonard Smalls (Lucky 7 Tavern’s resident Jockey of Discs) took over. The party continued on through the night and this was about the time I had my first drink. I checked the clock. It was only 11:30 pm. I ordered up a few shots of Jameson, a Vodka Redbull to re-charge myself. I thought if there’s a time and a place to start drinking, spatially and temporally, I wouldn’t have it any other way. As the swelling is going done from the hangover that ensued shortly after I woke up this morning, I promise myself to only use my powers for good.
Monday July 20 2009. I woke up at around 5pm from a lovely mid-afternoon nap. Go ahead and take this moment to judge me. Ok know that you’re finished just remember I get more done between the hours of 10pm and 2am that most people do all day, and in some cases all week. So the nature of my waking was a bit to be desired. There is a new sidewalk being put into my new neighborhood. So My waking to jack hammers and bulldozer type machinations was a bit more abrupt that I normally rise and shine. I was having nightmares about earthquakes that I think subsequently had origins mysteriously linked to my ex girlfriend and a former High School Physics teacher. I’m frankly not quite sure that the real things origins however less sinister where not in league with that same culprits. Well either way I was up, and the McMickle Brothers were playing at the Rockwood café in Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Hoping I could snag a ride and avoid the Path I shot Deivis Garcia (Deivito) a text to find out if he might be driving in. Turns out he was but he’d be late…… Curses! Foiled again! So I took the path to Christopher Street hopped a Cab and got curbside service to Rockwood Café.
The Rockwood is a pleasant little place if not a bit small. I like to think of it as cozy. Of course the McMickle Brothers’ entourage of Montclair bands quickly packed the place. Bern & the Brights, Tip Canary, Porchistas, Copasetic just to name a few of the bands that showed up to support their friends. And call it kismet, but I had no idea that Jamie Rae worked here. I took a minute to find a good spot to set up. While I was doing that, my anonymity was betrayed by my dancing skills and smile as some apparent fans of my rug cutting recognized me from the Boro Six Fest. I guess I even leave my mark from time to time. I greeted the McMickle dad (who I think looks a little like George Lucas). Things swiftly got under way. They swaggered through their set, of which I got much of on video. Katherine and Nicole of Bern and the Brights joined in for a couple of songs. It was a sort of reunion as well withprevious bandmates John Clinton on piano and Dan Mcnevin on bass. Their added help really filled out the McMickles already solid sound. Deivis and I lended our clapping and stomping rhythm. There was a minute were I saw Deivis loose track of the beat though. Many times, at previous shows, while clapping it out with him I found myself loosing the rhythm and just blaming myself. Is it possible that he was the one in the wrong all along? We may never know! In classic McMickle Bros fashion they ended their set with a classic cover song. The crowd erupted into a cacophony of applause and cheering.
After the show Matt, Sam (Vox/guitar and Vox Drums respectively) joined by Deivis Garcia, Alan from the Porchistas, Wes and Robbie of Tip Canary and several other hangers on took to a little Mexican restaurant across the street called Mole’. We had some food and drink. Laughed and sang and when it was all over, Deivis Alan and Robbie gave me a ride back to Jersey City. During the drive we played some of the most ridiculous music the mid to late Nineties had to offer. And I don’t mean like rock music. I’m talking the kind of music you would have heard in a club at a shitty Philadelphia club circa 1996. It was awful! But like train wreck awful. We couldn’t help it. Alan and I even sang a few tunes. It was a low point for us musically and a high point in good times. We stopped off at Lucky 7 Tavern and had a couple of drinks then I retired to bed for the night. I think I might sleep too much.